4 Things We Learned from the Val Di Sole World Cup DH 2019

Aug 6, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Mille Johnset was the first racer of the day to be part of the first time winners circle.

Here's what we noticed from behind the tape:

1. Greenland and Cabirou have risen up through the ranks together.

In Val di Sole both Marine Cabirou and Laurie Greenland picked up their first wins, but their careers have followed an eerily similar trajectory since Vallnord in 2015 when they picked up the Junior World Championships.

Just a year later they both entered the elite category and got top tens as first years. Then at the Val di Sole World Champs, they both defied the odds to earn top-five finishes. In 2017, they both picked up their first World Cup podium each - Marine in Vallnord and then Greenland just one round later in Lenzerheide. Last year both became World Cup podium regulars and now they finally have their first wins. With both racers just 22 years old, we’re sure there’s plenty more joint success for these two on the cards over the next decade or more.
Marine Cabirou celebrates gold in the junior women s catagory.

2. Both elite titles could be wrapped up in Lenzerheide.

It would take some pretty extraordinary circumstances but we could see two new World Cup overall champions crowned in Lenzerheide.

In the women’s overall, Tracey Hannah’s lead of 170 points puts her firmly in the driver’s seat. She just needs to score 80 more points than Cabirou and the title is hers with a round to spare. This means if she picks up the maximum 250 points by winning qualifying and the race, Cabirou will have to podium or better to ensure she’s still in the race in Snowshoe.

In the men’s field, it’s a bit closer with Bruni’s lead at 132 points but disasters for Brosnan and Pierron could mean the title goes to Bruni.
Tracey Hannah pushed hard and made a few mistakes in the process but in the end she was no match for Marine Cabirou

3. The top qualifiers raised their game for the live feed.

Qualifying may have been a huge washout but one positive was being able to see some under the radar riders lift their game as Saturday’s headline acts. Yes, they may have had the best of the conditions but of the four top qualifiers, Joe Breeden, Forrest Riesco and Davide Palazzari all got their best ever results and Faustin Figaret was also on for a top 20 before he crashed. Hopefully, they take confidence from the weekend and we see more of them in the future.

It was also great to see the reaction from the top guys as the lower-ranked racers came down. The camaraderie among the riders is one of many reasons this sport is so great.
The hotseat crew congratulate Palazzari on a good game.

4. Five of the top ten elite male racers were from France.

It feels like we’re running out of ways to say “The French are good at downhill”, but there’s another new stat to simply underline it. At this round as five of the top ten elite male racers were from France: Bruni, Vergier, Thirion and the 2 Pierrons. The last time this happened was at Windham in 2015, when Gee Atherton got 4th and then positions 7-10 were taken up by Bryceland, Simmonds, Heath and Jones. It looks like competition is going to be fierce for the soon-to-be-announced World Champs team but it would be harder to pick a bad one than a medal-winning one at the moment.

Amaury was not the only Pierron killing it out there on the hill today - Baptiste snuck into the top 10 too.

Regions in Article
Bike Park Val Di Sole


  • 147 3
 6. The Denim Destroyer was back & killed it again with a bonkers run,absolute legend & hero of DH.
  • 46 6
 The word “Legend” sure gets thrown a lot!
He is good for sure. But legend? Come on. Steve Peat is a legend. Sam Hill legend.
  • 8 1
 @savage47: legend perhaps not yet but it's sure that we will never forget him ah ha ah
  • 13 0
 Check out how he qualified and it's even more impressing what he did that weekend!

Also nice move from Wyn to wash his bike for the re-run! Smile
  • 10 0

I will be in his restaurant the next days and give em an extra tip for his season and the future!
  • 3 0
 @funkifab: Thanks for that link. Our respect rises even more!
  • 6 0
 @dh-corn: He is also a gentleman by not publicizing his restaurant´s name, do you know which one it is?
  • 6 0
 @Davichin: It's called: Fink's Südtiroler Knödelküche
  • 1 0
 @funkifab: Thank you!
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 The Privateer Season 2: The Denim Destroyer.
  • 27 2
 5. No one in the top 5 men was on a full 650b set up, and correct me if I’m wrong, only one person in the top 10 elite men was on full 650b.
  • 4 2
 Huh, that's surprising!
  • 5 0
 It's only a matter of time before Remi Thirion starts riding a mullet bike as well.
  • 5 0
 Loris Vergier has been on for 650b for his podium runs in VDS and Les Gets.
  • 2 0
 @davetrumpore: Really? I did not realise that!
  • 25 0
 I love back-to-back racing weekends. By the time we're through last-weekend's content, we have next weekend's content Big Grin
  • 6 0
 Hell yeah! They should have a round every weekend.
  • 2 1
 @Adamrideshisbike: Would be fantastic for spectators, but the riders need to recover as well.
  • 2 0
 @Jacquers: nah, they have legs of steel
  • 3 0
 Yes! Please RedBull rise the price of your shit cans so that we can have 18 races seasons year after year.
  • 24 1
 7. We still don't know who won the Trek Slash from the Return to Earth ride challenge.
  • 7 0
 this, this 100x
  • 5 0
 I received an e-mail this afternoon stating they had picked all of the winners and they will be announced soon. I think this means I wasn't a winner.
  • 1 0
 @mmoon: I got the same email around 5:30 PM MT. I think that's safe to assume neither of us won. Oh well!
  • 4 0
 We are all winners for competing the challenge...but I’m still hoping they just haven’t announced to me that I won the slash haha.
  • 1 0
 @SpaghettiShredder: hahah nice work
  • 1 0
 @Toryt7: rootin for ya
  • 4 0
 What I learned is you need a little luck on your side by virtue of the weather and racing order.
Cheers to the ones who: 1. weren't protected 2. qualified in the shit storm 3. had to race first before the track dried out.
  • 4 0
 "3. The top qualifiers raised their game for the live feed." this, this allover. I got sick n tired of Rob n Claudio "oh they're only here because of blah blah blah oh oh wait - he's laying down a good run" /facepalm
  • 6 0
 Each category had a first time winner. That's pretty awesome!
  • 5 1
 5. Greenland won on a carbon fibre bike, which hasn't happened for ages!
  • 10 8
 The YT TUES is good at UCI DH, Fest Series, and Rampage. Let the DV begin.
  • 16 0
 I don't think they go too far by themselves
  • 2 0
 Bummer they didn’t mention jack reading in that list. He rode to a solid spot too
  • 1 0
 Forrest Riesco has been on a burner lately! Great to see him get a good result.
  • 2 0
 what about Tuhoto-Ariki Pene winning the Juniors! Yeah Boi!
  • 1 4
 What about all the privateers in the top 20s?
  • 12 0
 Literally that’s what point 3 is
  • 1 0
 @kleinblake: is it? Some of those unexpected top qualifiers have race teams.
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