8 Things We Learned at the La Bresse World Cup

Sep 1, 2018
by Hazel Brewster  
Wetter than your average otter s pocket.

1. Martin Maes is an absolute beast.

This is the first time anyone has won an EWS & DH World Cup back-to-back. Fresh off his win in Whistler, and onto the new GT Fury, Maes showed us he's a massive force to be reckoned with. Say what you want about weather/course conditions, this was an epic win for a man who no doubt will be giving the top riders a run for their money in the next few years, as he's said he's planning on doing more downhill races in the future.
World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018

2. Rachel Atherton remains the fastest woman in the world, but Tahnee is hot on her tail.

Rachel only needed a top four performance to secure her 6th overall World Cup title but took the top spot in rough conditions, showing how much of a legend she really is. But, let's not forget Tahnee, who only missed the top spot in La Bresse by 0.638, and took 2nd in the overall standings despite a disqualification back in Leogang. Rachel and Tahnee each won three races this season. The battle between these two next season is sure to be monumental.
The contrasting emotions that sport brings. Tahnee Seagrave will look to bounce back at World Champs it was Rachel Atherton s day as she racked up her 37th win and took her 6th overall title in the process.

3. Commencal's Supreme DH took 28% of the wins this year.

With the World Cup season coming to a close there will be plenty of geeky stats to come, but a stand out one for us is that 28% of World Cup top spots were taken by the new bike under Amaury Pierron and team. And that was with Myriam Nicole missing out on quite a few rounds... Thibaut Daprela was a stand out this season taking nearly every Junior win whilst fighting off the likes of Kade Edwards and Henry Kerr. Commencal definitely seem to have nailed the 29er bike and were one of the first to adopt the new trend of high pivot idler pully designs.
Commencal Supreme DH 29 Review

4. The Juniors are coming.

The coming years will see a handful of Juniors joining the Elite ranks, but don't let their age fool you, they're here to make their mark. The phenomenon, Valentina Holl, swept the 2018 World Cup Season in style. She regularly put 30 seconds over the 2nd place time in the Junior Women's category, with times that would often have earned her a podium spot in Elite. Thibaut Daprela earned the series overall win on the Junior Men's side. He would have swept the season as well if it hadn't been for two second places to Kye A'Hern.
Your 2018 Junior Women Overall from left to right Anna Newkirk Valentina Holl amp Paula Zibasa.

5. New tracks are a good thing.

La Bresse was one of two brand new World Cup tracks on the UCI circuit this year, and both have seemed to be rider favourites. Should we see more new venues/tracks? World Champs will be in Mont Saint Anne for 2019, so that leaves an opportunity for more new venues. Could we see more rounds in the USA or the Southern hemisphere?
Neko Mullally inspects one of the very loose and slippery berms right at the top of the track.

6. 2018 was the season of Amaury Pierron.

Despite a crash to end his final series race run, Amaury had the overall locked up after MSA. For the man who was on the podium for five of seven World Cups, three of which he won, to celebrate such an amazing season with the grand finale in France sounds almost too good to be true. Can Amaury's fairytale season continue into World Champs next weekend? Guess we'll have to wait and find out.
World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018

7. The wheel size war never changes.

In this round we saw 60% of the men's podium on 27.5 and 100% of the women's podium on 27.5. With more companies having viable options for their riders to choose from, we will likely see more wagon wheels on the World Cup DH circuit next year, but we will have to wait and see if they start occupying the podium on a regular basis.
Gwin YT Tues 29

8. Gee Atherton proved himself (yet again).

Gee Atherton taking 2nd place is his first podium since 2014. He also took 9th in the overall whilst racing most of the season with a broken wrist. However, he didn't make the cut for the GBR worlds team. This is the first time he's missed a worlds, prompting the hashtag #gee4worlds.
Nervous moments on the hot seat for the two old team mates.

Other oddities:
• Gwin's ridiculous scrub had Red Bull TV viewers worldwide collectively exclaiming at their screens. The GIF of it is our most-read story of the week.
• This was Gee Atherton's best result (2nd) since 2014 in Cairns (1st).
• Martin Mae's previous DH results according to Eliot Jackson's Statistics site are: Fort William 2018 - 10th, Val di Sole 2016 - 22nd, Fort William 2016 - 78th.

What did we miss? What stood out to you this during this weekend's race?

• The Essential Guide to the La Bresse World Cup
• Photo Report: Qualifying - La Bresse World Cup DH 2018
• Final Results: La Bresse DH World Cup 2018
• Video: La Bresse DH World Cup Highlights
• Gwin's Ridiculous Scrub - La Bresse DH World Cup 2018
• Photo Epic: Finals - La Bresse DH World Cup 2018


  • 166 0
 I learned alot about the tracks this year thanks to Ben Cathro. He's so chill & very insiteful. I hope he becomes a mainstay here @PB.
  • 18 0
 Agreed! His approach is so comfortable it makes it very easy to sit, watch and listen. Also, the comparisons of different lines through sections was excellent. Really hope he is kept onboard for more content
  • 16 0
 Yep. Cathro made world cup racing a lot more interesting and accessible to the mere mortals in our household. Really hope to see that continue.
  • 5 0
 Now only resources are needed to improve the visuals and make #cathrovision a top notch experience!
  • 3 0
 This is the one.
  • 79 3
 Maybe I have been drinking too much Haterade, but Croatia was a new track too.
  • 16 104
flag mxmtb (Sep 1, 2018 at 8:50) (Below Threshold)
 But it sucked and need to be forgotten about ASAP
  • 21 3
 @mxmtb: No way, it was a sick race to watch, and I'm pretty sure the riders seemed to like it too.
  • 13 2
 27.5 bikes still pretty much at play. Just ask Martin Maes
  • 41 38
 Sorry a race that’s ends with a sprint on a side walk is not a DH race
  • 12 14
 Yep, with a roady section.
  • 4 15
flag leftCoastBurn (Sep 1, 2018 at 13:02) (Below Threshold)
 @endurocat: pretty sure you can't even buy the bike he raced on -- only available in 29.... I think you'd have to build it up frame only. Pretty lame.
  • 9 2
 @leftCoastBurn: I would advise you to read the article published 3 days ago. The bike is available for both wheel sizes.
  • 8 13
flag leftCoastBurn (Sep 1, 2018 at 16:17) (Below Threshold)
 @endurocat: I would advise you read the article. It says only the "expert" base model is available in 27.5 in all frame sizes. The other 2 sizes have restricted offerings in 27.5. or you can buy the frame and build it however you want....
  • 4 2
 @endurocat: "The GT Fury comes in three models, Team, Expert, Pro, and a frameset. The Fury Team, the top of the range bike and a near replica of the GT Factory Race bikes, will be available in 29-inch wheels only." "The Fury is compatible with both 27.5 and 29" wheels, although switching between wheel sizes requires GT's 'Switch Kit', which is only included with the frame-only option". Get it? As someone who read the article, I agree with @leftCoastBurn. Yes, the Fury can accept both sizes, but the Team is only available in 29.
  • 75 4
 I’m pullin for Gee next year. I love seeing riders find their form again after years of persistence and determination to their sport. I’m bummed he wasn’t invited to Worlds but maybe we can change that #gee4worlds
  • 19 1
 I have a feeling Gee will focus on hardline instead and probably win this year.
  • 12 9
 From what I've seen I'd already discounted him as a soon-retired racer turned team manager or something...but strangely this season his interviews and obviously the result at La Bresse somehow changed my mind.
I get the impression that he's well prepared for next season and with Gwin struggling near the end there (granted he was injured & learning how to ride a new bike) I could see him having a career season next year.
Who knows? I could be wrong. But I think he might end up on my fantasy team next year...
  • 9 0
 Maybe to not have been selected for worlds was the key to get him ignited upon the finish line again.... Just saying... Wink
  • 2 1
 @ssteve: both gee and gwin had injuries. Remember, wc season is really only a couple months long. There's a month long break after the 1st race.
  • 2 12
flag mollow (Sep 1, 2018 at 21:29) (Below Threshold)
 @ssteve: how the f*ck did you get upvoted... People here are f*cking ridiculous
  • 2 0
 @ssteve: when you're one of the most athletic guys in the bunch, you have more options.
  • 39 1
 Gee is a LEGEND. Stoked to see him on the podium again.
  • 26 1
 Props to Gee racing with a busted wrist though! Thats pretty hardcore
  • 24 2
 Gwins scrub. Nuff said
  • 26 2
 And troy's
  • 8 3
 Did nobody notice that Luca Shaw did almost exactly the same thing?!!?? I don't get why nobody mentions this.
  • 5 2
 @clarky78: because gwinner did it more stylishly than the rest after washing out. Proving that A) the kids still one of the best no matter what B) Wagon wheels can still be playful.. sometimes
  • 3 0
 @beast-from-the-east: troys was sick too but gwins was almost a nose manual so that took it a notch above
  • 4 1
 @clarky78: the camera was way more zoomed in on Luca so it was a lot harder to see that what he did. It wasn't until similar comments to yours were made on the gif post that I went back and rewatched the footage and saw what Luca did.
  • 11 1
 This could be a personal problem, BUT:

I am totally not into this new BuzzFeed clickbait article format. I'm so tired of seeing "#3 WILL SHOCK YOU!!!"

I get that people have short attention spans now, but this makes the content feel like an afterthought. Does anyone else feel that way, or am I just getting old and cranky?
  • 2 4
 This article would fall under the "listicle" format of Buzzfeed fame, but you're confusing it with clickbait, which it isn't.

Yes you're too old, Mr. Grinch.
  • 17 5
 Gwin for the World Champ Win!! Could be his Year since The World Cup season went the other way-
  • 1 0
 Being injured mid wc season with everyone else on top form..tuff ask but def gta put a few chips on him.
  • 8 0
 For me the outstanding thing was how the youngsters put pressure on the established guys. Pierron taking his first win and then the overal, Loris first win, Maes of course too, Luca takeing the qualifying title, Estaque and some others charging into the top 10 Will be fun next season when Gwin, Minaar ang Gee are heals up again!
  • 11 2
 go Gee, go! So many injuries would've put back many 33 year olders, but not you, among this retirement-speculating crowd. I hope you win another WC title before the day comes.
  • 11 1
 As much as the coverage has grown. Nothing can replace the excitement and enthusiasm of a Claudio course preview. On Wednesday of race week.
  • 13 2
 New countries guys put South America n Asia on the map dammit
  • 1 0
 Let's put Bali on it haha
  • 6 0
 Gee!! He is such a beast. Always has been. He has to be one of the fittest guys out there and has the experience. Would love to see him do well in 2019. Would also love to see Brendog put in top 10 results regularly but that might be hoping too much.
  • 8 1
 Rachel proved she's No.1. Many would have played safe and ensured a series win, not Rachel she wins it in the rain when a crash would have cost her everything. Massive respect.
  • 7 0
 interesting, you didn't learn that the new "improved" starting order by the uci was total bull shit?
  • 8 2
 Amaury deserves to wear a rainbow jersey after this season. Really rooting for the kid to win!
  • 6 0
 Brosnans scrub was soooo much less ridiculous.
  • 2 0
 “Gwin's ridiculous scrub had Red Bull TV viewers worldwide collectively exclaiming at their screens”, as in “The Exclaim, the famous painting by Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch”?
  • 1 0
 Yes. Exactly like that.
  • 4 0
 The return of Brook Macdonald has to be up there. Surly he has a big chance at Worlds.
  • 1 0
 Good point, stoked to see him back on form.
  • 1 0
 Rachel Atherton may have Seagrave on her tail but let's take a trip down memory trail to 2016.....NOBODY will ever top Atherton's 2016 season. She's firmly cemented that year into the history books, ride your heart out, Anne Carroline.
  • 2 0
 Technical question : If a junior wins the World Championship just before going up to elite, does he get to wear the jersey the following year ?
  • 2 0
  • 2 0
 Iirc anyone who's won the world champs in any age category wins the right to wear the stripes on their kit/bike for the rest of their career (same goes for the mechanic of the winning bike) but the W.Ch jersey is only worn in the category it was won in.
  • 2 1
 @mi-bike: they get to wear a miniature jersey which on close inspection is more than anything a hindrance
  • 1 1
 The completely changing traction conditions at La Bresse made the results a roll of the dice. While I think it's cool that Martin Maes won and that Gee Atherton suddenly had his best race in 4 years, I'm not convinced the results would have looked anything like that had the conditions been more consistent for the field.
  • 3 0
 78th, to 22nd, to 10th and now 1st! Hell of a progression.
  • 12 10
 I still wonder how well Maes would have done if his run was later in the race.
  • 17 1
 He won, that's all that really matters. You'll just have to take not knowing to the grave.
  • 11 0
 Well the only other DH race he had this season he was 10th and he had just won the Wistler EWS which has some pretty similar DH sections, so it is not like he doesn't have form, presumably a very capable bike, and Brooke was 3rd starting at the end. We will never know but it isn't like some no name came out with a shocking result
  • 2 0
 He had a good run.
Gwin skidded literally off the gate but saved the day (for YT) with a scrub.
Minnar did what Minnar does lately.
Eddie clipped a tree.
Blah blah blah...

It's racing.
  • 4 3
 This is Gee's FIRST podium in 4 seasons.... Ouch! Vali Holli won the overall by a collective 150seconds, that's 2.5 minutes! That's crazy!
  • 7 13
flag mollow (Sep 1, 2018 at 21:32) (Below Threshold)
 How long has it been since you won a WC?

Yeah, thought so.
  • 2 1
 Wild season! Glad Gee got back on the horse, so to speak. Can't wait for Gwin and Minnar to heal and we will have an even better 2019.
  • 1 0
 Ah, Martin Maes, maybe he first to win EWS & DH back to back but not the first to win a non DH race and DH race back to back.
....You kids ever hear of John Tomac?!
  • 4 3
 How about how high Bulldog would have placed had he been down the hill earlier... Now his was a BEAST of a run.
  • 2 1
 #9 We wouldn't be talking about Gwin or Minnaar for the bulk of the season.
  • 1 0
 29ers are here to stay and new tracks are always a good thing. Bring another North American race please !!!!!!
  • 2 1
 When is the World Champs?
  • 4 2
 In November.
  • 4 1
 @COnovicerider: no its not...its september 4-9
  • 5 7
 "New trend of high pivot idler pully designs"!? You mean like the Balfa BB7 from 20 years ago? Or the 15 year old Trek Session 10? Or the older Trek Diesel before that?
  • 12 0
 Those were the old trend high pivot idler pulley designs...
  • 17 0
 A new trend doesn't have to mean a new idea.
  • 3 0
 @src248: as pointed out by src248, it is a new trend utilising an old idea. Similar to 29er downhill bikes, it's been almost 10 years since Intense showed the 2951 bike, so the idea may not be new, but the 29er TREND is.
  • 7 0
 Or the current Canfield Jedi (now since 2008?) which has been one of the best bikes out there for a decade with no marketing hype behind it.
  • 1 1
 poorly written article..... Ghost bikes was using the "high pivot idler pully designs" from 2010 as well......
  • 1 0
 @amonas: what’s poorly written about it?
  • 1 1
 @nhp890: i am refering to the following : "Commencal definitely seem to have nailed the 29er bike and were one of the first to adopt the new trend of high pivot idler pully designs."
  • 1 0
 @amonas: read the comments above yours to understand why that’s not wrong
  • 7 8
 Big up Gee, top proffesional, but i hope Tahnee crushes his sister next year
  • 3 3
 Totally agree with point n°1.
I propose an hashtag #MartinTheBeast
  • 9 24
flag mollow (Sep 1, 2018 at 21:38) (Below Threshold)
 Fuck off with your childish social media wanna be cool slang. Hashtag don't even make sense on PB, shut your fucking mouth for the love of our savior Jesus Christ and his sister which no one ever talks about even though she's the key to all the god damn answers we're all looking for in the end of course without implying anything too drastically somewhat unvelivable but don't stop, BELIEVINNNNGGGG .
  • 9 0
 @mollow: You need to chill...or go bed. Probably both.
  • 4 0
 @Hockerz: And get off whatever he's on.
  • 1 0
 Yep. Hmm... Maes is pretty close to beast... baest, maest, meats, I dunno. Something fun. Also close to Maelstrom... Anagram time!
  • 1 0
 Too risk. "I'm going to ride my MTB. I love MTB."
  • 2 0
 @mollow: Spot the internet hard man
  • 1 0
 Awesome RACING!!!
  • 1 0
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