Seven down, one to go. Both elite titles are still up for grabs as we head onto the last World Cup of the season in Snowshoe, West Virginia in a few weeks time. There is, of course, the little matter of settling the World Champs jerseys in between then, but we'll come back to that later. Today was the perfect result for those that want to see the title fights go down to the wire with both Marine Cabirou and Amaury Pierron who are ranked 2nd in the overall, get one over on their title rivals in Tracey Hannah and Loic Bruni respectively.
The weather gods decided to hit the reset button once again this morning with riders greeted by steady rain and low lying cloud in the morning. It didn't take long for the track conditions to turn slick with riders keen to cram in as much track time as possible, most riders completed 3 runs in quick succession in the short hour session they had available this morning. The rain stopped by the time the elite men's race runs came around and the track steadily began to dry out. Any fear of an afternoon shower quickly subsided as the sun began to creep out from behind the clouds.
As mentioned previously Marine Cabirou managed to snag her second-ever World Cup win just ahead of title rival Tracey Hannah after they played a game of split ping pong over the length of the track, Caibrou eventually eeking out a margin of just under 3 tenths. There was then a gap of 7 seconds before the riders came in thick and fast with home hero Emilie Siegenthaler coming in third ahead of Kiwi Kate Weatherly and another Swiss rider in Camille Balanche who got her second podium in as many races. In behind them came Eleonora Farina, Monika Hrastnik, Raphaela Richter, Veronika Widmann, and Sian A'Hern. Nina Hoffmann and Mariana Salazar both went down in the slippery conditions when on podium pace.
The juniors may well have got the worst of the conditions which makes Vali Höll's fastest time of the day even more impressive. What can we say about Vali that hasn't been said already? It wasn't Anna Newkirk following her home in second this time, she was third as Nastasia Gimenez took her first podium finish of the year in second. Seth Sherlock laid down a heater in a tightly contested junior men where he pipped Switzerland's Janosch Klaus who chose a good race to take his first podium at, last weekend's winner Tuhoto-Ariki Pene rounded off the podium. It was a day to forget for Thibaut Daprela who flatted even when down at the first few spits.
With the rain halting the track then proceeded to dry throughout the men's finals with the track conditions improving rider to rider. Last man down Danny Hart just couldn't match his qualifying prowess and faded to 5th, opening the door for Amaury Pierron to take his third win of the season. He and Bruni have now taken 3 apiece with Greenland the only other rider to get in on the number 1 action this season. Greg Minnaar came closest to Pierron just under a second back with overall leader Loic Bruni coming home 3rd, Troy Brosnan and Danny Hart rounded out the podium. Laurie Greenland, Dean Lucas, Loris Vergier, Reece Wilson, and Florent Payet completed the top ten. Kudos to Lucas, Wilson, and Payet who all took their best result of the season so far.
Bring on World Champs and World Cup finals.
: @natedh9 @andy9 @rossbellphoto