Rewind one year and things were very different for Manon. An injury sustained just one week prior to the 2010 World Championship put the Junior favorite out of the running for those coveted rainbow stripes and put a depressing twist on the end of an otherwise great season.
In March 2011 the Madison Saracen downhill team was unveiled, giving Manon the backing of the UK’s largest distributor and the acclaimed Saracen Myst downhill bike as a platform for her 2011 assault.
Manon’s first race under the Madison Saracen team banner was round 1 of the British Downhill Series at Nant Gwrtheyrn, with a 1st place in the Elite category showing a new found determination for the season ahead.
Manon Racing at the opening round of the BDS in N.Wales where she took the Elite Women win
The first round of the World Cup took place in Pietermaritzburg where Manon opened her World Cup campaign with an 8th place which was then repeated at Fort William. The World Cup circus then rolled across the Atlantic, first to Mont St Anne and then to Windham where two 14th place results put Manon firmly in the lead of the Junior World Cup.
A quick stopover at Kokanee Crankworx (Whistler, B.C.) was a very fruitful endeavor, with a 3rd place at the Crankworx Dual Slalom being trumped by a 2nd place at the Garbanzo downhill race.
At Fort William WC
Back to the World Cup and Manon kept up her impressive form with another 8th place in La Bresse, followed by yet another at Val di Sole. These results gave Manon the 2011 Junior World Cup title by an impressively large margin, with her consistent form also securing a 10th overall in the Elite Women’s field.
Manon in La Bresse.
With these results came the pressure of expectations as the World Championships came ever closer. Keen to put the disappointment of last year to one side and claim those rainbow stripes that proved so elusive in 2010. Pressure was coming from all angles, not least from Manon herself, who was determined to grab this final opportunity to be the Junior World Champion.
At the World Champs in Champery
Come race day the Champéry track was wet, muddy and wild and proved to be a real challenge for even the best riders in the world. Manon’s run showed exactly how treacherous the course was, with three separate crashes caused by the extreme conditions. In spite of this, Manon put in a run which saw her go a whopping 14 seconds beyond her nearest rival, adding the Junior World Championship to the Junior World Cup victory she had secured only a few weeks prior. The good news didn’t just stop there, as Manon’s time was so quick that she would have made the podium in the women’s field as well!
Finals run in Champery
Manon is one of the most exciting young riders on the Downhill circuit and all of us at Madison and Saracen are immensely proud of her amazing achievements this year.
Manon in the rainbow jersey
Manon on her World Champ's special team Saracen Myst
Roll on 2012!Slideshow video of Manon's week at the World Championships in Champery
Images courtesy of www.britishcycling.org.uk
and Jacob Gibbins