Photo Epic: Finals - La Bresse DH World Cup 2018

Aug 25, 2018
by Nathan Hughes  




Better to burn out than fade away, as the saying goes... Well, the 2018 season is all over and before disappearing in a cloud of thick smoke, it brought one last helping of particularly explosive action to the table. To say conditions were poor would be a profound understatement after extended bouts of rain in the preceding days were compounded by several hours of raining 'les chats & chiens' throughout finals. While many riders felt they were up a sewage-filled creek without a paddle and crashed and burned, there were those grinning ear to ear at the prospect of taking their shot down this sodden Vosges gauntlet. While a lot of big names got into difficulties, it was more or less a fair fight; equally treacherous underfoot... although some will say it got slower and tougher to ride as the rain subsided and the top 10 took to the track.

In the men's race it was supposed wild man Brook MacDonald killing the consistency game to come in 3rd and an epic return to the sharp end for Gee Atherton, only to be sabotaged by old teammate and enduro behemoth, Martin Maes, who somehow went and claimed the first ever back to back EWS and downhill win. In the women's race, Rachel Atherton stood tall and defiant to see off Tahnee Seagrave's bid for the top step on the day and in the overall, to take an incredible 6th series title. Meanwhile, in the junior races, Thibaut Daprela kept it rubber side down to play his part in the Commencal Vallnord team's overall victory and Vali Holl made it 7 for 7 to ride the perfect season, totally undefeated.

The 2018 season now goes into the history books as absolutely the best World Cup season we've ever had the pleasure of enjoying since the last one. Of course, we still have the curtain call of World Champs around the corner and based on the last couple of races it's going to be pure class. Hold onto your hats and see you in Switzerland.



World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Dark days were had here in the Vosges mountains, but there was still time for one more with a side order of torrential rain.

It was freezing cold and raining pretty much all day and Tahnee Seagrave broke out the portable heater to dry cold hands in between runs.
From almost 30 Celsius on arrival in La Bresse, temperatures somehow plummeted to single figures and a little heat between runs suddenly went a long way.

That s it that s all from the 2018 World Cup DH season
The day would start wet and end wetter as the 2018 champions sampled the French champagne.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Paula Zibasa stoked before a good day on the hill; 2nd on the day and 3rd in the overall.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
After taking a big hit in yesterday's qualies, Millie Johnset came back to take the last available podium slot.

Vali Holl making light work of the slick conditions up top this morning.
Vali Holl making light work, as ever, of the extra slick conditions up top this morning.

Your 2018 Junior Women Overall from left to right Anna Newkirk Valentina Holl amp Paula Zibasa.
Your 2018 Junior Women Overall from left to right: Anna Newkirk, Valentina Holl, & Paula Zibasa.

The track went from tacky mud to sticky mud to a river of mud and back to sticky mud today. Those who could adapt and roll with the punches were the ones who would do well in La Bresse.
The track went from tacky mud, to sticky mud, to a river of mud, and back to sticky mud today. Those who could adapt and roll with the punches were the ones who would do well in La Bresse.

The last race runs of the 2018 World Cup DH season got underway in some fog and cold rain.
The last race runs of the 2018 World Cup DH season got underway in some fog and cold rain.

Kade Edwards couldn t back up his top qualifying speed and would finish 3rd in the junior race.
Kade Edwards couldn't back up his top qualifying speed and would finish 3rd in the junior race.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Henry Kerr looked super aggressive on track all week and took second place on the day and in the series.

Thibaut Daprela once arian delivered gold in the junior men s race.
Thibaut Daprela once again delivered gold in the junior men's race.

Your 2018 Junior Men Overall from left to right Henry Kerr Thibaut Daprela amp Kade Edwards.
Your 2018 Junior Men Overall from left to right: Henry Kerr, Thibaut Daprela, & Kade Edwards.

One last pressure check in the FMD pits before practice kicks off. What you can t hear is Natasha Bedingfield blaring in the background whatever it takes to get the day going I guess...
One last pressure check in the FMD pits before practice kicks off. What you can't hear is Natasha Bedingfield blaring in the background, whatever it takes to get the day going I guess...

Katy Curd cranking along the start straight before plunging into the dark of the woods.
Katy Curd cranking along the start straight before plunging into the dark of the woods.

Nina Hoffman missed out on the podium by just under 2 seconds one to watch out for next year.
Nina Hoffman missed out on the podium by just under 2 seconds, one to watch out for next year.

Greasy as hell the riders certainly didn t have it easy the last few days.
Greasy as hell, the riders certainly didn't have it easy the last few days.

Outgoing overall winner from last year Myriam Nicole had to settle for third today.
Outgoing overall winner from last year Myriam Nicole had to settle for third today.

Tracey Hannah protected her 3rd place in the overall with a 4th on the day.
Tracey Hannah protected her 3rd place in the overall with a 4th on the day.

Rachel Atherton on her final practice run of the day.
Rachel Atherton powering through the soaking wet forest towards the top step.

It took a massive effort from Rachel Atherton to take the win today and she needed a few moments to catch her breath before celebrating her overall WC title.
It took a massive effort from Rachel Atherton to take the win today and she needed a few moments to catch her breath before celebrating her overall WC title.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Seagrave sending the final jump before the finish arch in the hammering rain.

Tany Seagrave was first to congratulate Tahnee on a job well done. 2nd in the race and 2nd for the season despite being disqualified at round 3 in Leogang.
Tony Seagrave was first to congratulate Tahnee on a job well done. Second in the race and second for the season despite being disqualified at round 3 in Leogang.

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.
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.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Holding it down in the awful conditions and securing yet another piece of UCI crystal in the process.



bigquotesF******* sick. Absolutely made up. I think I had to be fourth to get the overall and all weekend I was like, aw I don't know what to do... Should I play it safe or should I go for it? I dunno, I dunno... Then as soon as you leave that start gate you just forget, it all goes out the window and I'm in a race run, World Cup finals, let's go for it. I never thought I could win, I was struggling and blah blah blah, whatever... To win is f****** mental. It's so instinctual, built into you. As soon as you leave the gate it's full attack. It was a horrible, horrible track, conditions were awful and you are just absolutely f*****. That's the only word for it, that flat woods with the double... Like oh my god. Like horrific. 2 minutes but probably one of the hardest races I've ever done I think. I honestly think so. Maribor was like this one year and that was hard but this is flat so it's like grim. It's been raining all day, after we'd practised the juniors raced, then the men practised and its hard to know what the track is going to be like. You're trying to see off the chair lift if it's really muddy. I kept dries on and at the top I was like oh god... But at home all winter I ride dries in the absolute s***. I asked Gee for some advice and he was like yeah it's f*****. Thanks for that, that helps! But yeah you can see in the results for the Brits this is like a nice sunny day at home!Rachel Atherton



Rachel Atherton Tahnee Seagrave Myriam Nicole Tracey Hannah and Katy Curd let the champagne fly in La Bresse.
Rachel Atherton, Tahnee Seagrave, Myriam Nicole, Tracey Hannah, and Katy Curd let the champagne fly in La Bresse.

Fastest women in the Wolrd 2018 Atherton Seagrave Hannah Nicole and Hrastnik.
Fastest women in the World 2018, Atherton, Seagrave, Hannah, Nicole and Hrastnik.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Yeaaaaaaah.

It was pretty much pitch black in the woods to start off the final day of the World Cup season.
It was pretty much pitch black in the woods, to the point where riders were having real trouble spotting their lines in some sections.

Greg Williamson has been on the hunt for that illusive podium he had the pace for 4th up until the final split before tucking the front in one of the open grass turns.
Greg Williamson has been on the hunt for that elusive podium, he had the pace for 4th up until the final split before tucking the front in one of the open grass turns.

Loris Vergier s front wheel kicks off the ground as he digs into the final turns. He slipped down the standings from 2nd to 4th in the overall.
Loris Vergier's front wheel kicks off the ground as he digs into the final turns. He slipped down the standings from 2nd to 4th in the overall.

Aaron Gwin pushing to the line after tasting the dirt further up track.
Aaron Gwin pushing to the line after tasting the dirt further up the track.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
A little trackside horsing around.

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World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Matt Walker showed no fear of the swamp-like conditions and scored his best result of the season for 13th.

A great run for Bernard Kerr landed him on the podium at the final WC race of the year.
A great mud run from Bernard Kerr landed him on the podium at the final WC race of the year.

8th on a very muddy and tough day for Connor Fearon.
8th on a very muddy and tough day for Connor Fearon.

The track went from tacky mud to sticky mud to a river of mud and back to sticky mud today. Those who could adapt and roll with the punches were the ones who would do well in La Bresse.
The track went from tacky mud, to sticky mud, to a river of mud, and back to sticky mud today. Those who could adapt and roll with the punches were the ones who would do well in La Bresse.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Mick Hannah hit back to manage his best result of the season in the slop with 12th.

The legend that is Greg Minnaar crosses the line to end a tough day at the office.
The legend that is Greg Minnaar crosses the line to end a tough day at the office.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Danny Hart didn't get that miracle run in the rain, but 7th was enough to land him 2nd place in the overall.

Remi Thirion lives about 30 minutes away and made the locals around by finishing on the podium in 4th.
Remi Thirion lives about 30 minutes away from the venue and made the locals proud by finishing on the podium in 4th.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
A top 10 for Jack Moir shows he is still a major player and he'll be looking to go big for team Australia in Lenzerheide.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Conditions were certainly a little less than ideal, but at least the whole field suffered the same fate.

EWS or World Cup it s pure talent and bikes skills that make Martin Maes such a success.
EWS or World Cup, it's pure talent and bike skills that make Martin Maes such a success.

Foot u and full gas to the line in the pouring rain for Martin Maes.
Foot up and full gas to the line in the pouring rain for Maes.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
First at splits one and two, Loic Bruni could have taken this race on soaking home soil.

A hard fought battle would get Loic Bruni 6th in La Bresse.
A hard-fought battle would get Bruni 6th in La Bresse in the end.

It s been so good to see Brook Macdonald battling for podiums once again his aggresive riding style is a joy to watch.
It's been so good to see Brook MacDonald battling for podiums once again, his aggressive riding style is a joy to watch.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
For such a wild rider, Bulldog sure has proven consistent this season since his crash at round 1.

The Bulldog sinks a shoey to celebrate another podium and a great season he just missed out on the overall podium in 6th.
The Bulldog sinks a shoey to celebrate another podium and a great season, he just missed out on the overall podium in 6th.

Gee was riding confident in the mud and narrowly missed the win by just over a second.
Gee was riding confident in the mud and narrowly missed the win by just over a second. And to think he didn't make the Great Britain squad for World Champs...

Nervous moments on the hot seat for the two old team mates.
Nervous moments on the hot seat for the two old teammates, Maes and Atherton.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Pierron was on a heater of a run but went down entering the finish field to come home 10th.

Amaury Pierron congratulates team mate Remi Thirion on a return to the podium.
Pierron congratulates teammate Remi Thirion on a return to the podium.

Not bad for a part timer. After winning Whistler EWS Martin Maes caused one of the biggest upsets of all time.
Not bad for a part-timer. After winning Whistler EWS, Martin Maes caused one of the biggest upsets of all time.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
The stoke is real for this bicycle genius.


bigquotesYeah I don't know what happened! I just rode my bike fast. The conditions were very hard and very hard to be consistent in. I knew I had to pull a run all together to do a good result, but for sure I didn't expect to win. I'm over the moon. I had no goals. Coming into Fort William 3 months ago, a top 15 would be perfect, I'd be over the moon if I got a top 10... I got a top 10 so for this one in La Bresse, it's a short track, it's the same kind of ground in Belgium, the same conditions... So I'm aiming for a top 5 and if I get a top 5 I am stoked. F***. I got the win... I don't know what to expect next. I just rode my bike fast, I didn't take any extra risk... I wasn't out of control at any time so that feels even better... Knowing you can be on top and not taking any stupid risks is sick! I'm over the moon. - Martin MaesMartin Maes



Now then who predicted that podium Anyone What a race.
Now then, who predicted that podium? Anyone? What a race.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Seems like Pierron's a popular chap in these parts.

The hardest rain of the day fell on Martin Maes in the form of champagne from atop the podium.
The hardest rain of the day fell on Martin Maes in the form of champagne from atop the podium.

World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018
Your DH heroes 2018; Pierron, Hart, Brosnan, Vergier and Greenland.

What a season it s been for Amaury Pierron who really had the bit between his teeth and ran away with the series lead.
What a season it's been for Amaury who really had the bit between his teeth and ran away with the series lead.

The last corks have been popped on the 2018 World Cup DH season.
That's it, that's all from the 2018 World Cup DH season. Over and out for now, but see you for World Champs.



48 Comments

  • 90 7
 If I was the British coach I’d be burying my head in the sand right now for not picking Gee to go to the worlds he’s been there and done it before and has the mentality and fitness over others, I know he’s not liked by some for being boring but he has more of chance of getting a result than some beer swigging jokers who seem to always put their foot in it whenever the cameras turned on them
  • 57 0
 I just think its awesome that he laid down a killer run after a few pinkbikers have trolled about how he should retire... idiots.
  • 5 92
flag thesharkman (Aug 25, 2018 at 23:25) (Below Threshold)
 @Jokesterwild: he puts down one good run and you're sold, just like that? His good days are over. This weekend was a bluff. You'll be very disappointed if you expect to see this again.
  • 21 0
 @thesharkman: there have only been 2 other world champions since Gee won. Don’t count the man out
  • 38 2
 @thesharkman: yeah OK mate... Bore off. 9th overall, 3rd best brit behind Hart & Greenland, raced most of the year with a busted wrist / hand, equal best result (2nd) with other brits and coming in to great form at the end of the season... Yeah OK mate. Jog on.
  • 51 0
 I've personally never seen him as boring, just as very professional. He seems approachable and even at his most intense and disappointed in his result like someone that wouldn't lose their temper or lash out at someone. Dry sense of humor maybe but nothing wrong with that. He was super happy for Maes today and that made me feel good to see.
  • 6 0
 He's a living legend. Good time to put pedal to metal as well with contracts up this year hey? Three years on trek?
  • 1 0
 I wonder if the people selecting the team were aware of his injury or not as well as the possible time scales for recovery. He kept it quiet from the public for a while.
  • 5 0
 @heavyp I don't think Gee is boring, he is a cool dude and has a great humor.
  • 4 2
 @LoganKM1982: I disagree. From 2011 to 2014 while I was living in NY and attending the Windham WC and US Open races, Gee was only approachable if he won the race. If he lost, he ran to his trailer tent and didn't want to see any fans for autograph or photo.

He's very professional but has a standoff-ish personality unless he's in a good mood. I think to be a professional racer, you have to be able to set aside your emotions once you're off the track. Yes, a lot of work goes into racing at the highest level, but at the end of the day, it's just riding bikes and the fans are what makes everything possible anyway.
  • 19 0
 That was a fun race, fun season. Love seeing Bulldog and Gee looking good again, and so much young talent. Can't wait to see Vali Holl jump up.
  • 16 1
 And what about the french crowd ? I was here and despite the heavy rain all the public aera were full or people, chainsaw, clapping rims, song fight. That was sick and rider loved it.

Yes the track was short with ''no steep'' section (like in fort william).

it was amazing. Congratulation to all the racers who makes us dream !
  • 3 0
 I was there too and the crowd were amazing. The photographers did good job of tweaking the photos and it was actually much worse weather than it looks.
  • 18 0
 Congratulations to Thom Yorke on his first dh win
  • 8 0
 Maybe we will see him in rainbows jersey soon
  • 3 0
 @browner: excellent
  • 3 2
 @browner: hail to the thief who stole the last cup of the year from the regulars
  • 15 0
 That picture of Tracey and Rachel is amazing. Super stoked to see Gee in 2nd too, great race to watch.
  • 13 0
 Matt Walker gets a mention for 13th, but his novice, first year in the elite team mate Max Hertenstein for 15th gets ignored?? Come on guys!!
  • 3 0
 Saw these two at the Klinovec Bike Park in the CR a couple weeks ago. Both were absolutely hauling!!
  • 13 0
 Yep UCI that new start list order worked a treat today...
  • 14 1
 Not taking anything away from maes, i expected him to do really well, but this startorder thing is a huge mess. It started with the bulldog not beeing last man down in croatia and it ended with the winner mot beeing in the liveshow and having a totally different track compared to other guys placed close to him in qualis. Just stop it and go back to the old rules.
  • 1 0
 But hey at least we got to see Fayolle's run!
  • 11 1
 It's over? Already?
  • 12 5
 Martin is on another planet, the moon!
  • 47 0
 The moon is not a planet, it is a moon Wink

(sorry!)
  • 2 0
 @kusanagi72: Ghost in the Shell reference Major? If it's your last name or holds other significance my apologies in advance.

And hey, maybe where ever Maes landed his result was so amazing they declared it a planet. Maybe he even reinstated Pluto as a full planet!

Or not. I'll see myself out.
  • 1 1
 I see Rude in this mtb gods planet too... I think he is perfectly able to pull a result like this too ( not in the wet but ) now we see this EWS aliens has pushed the bar to... Yety is taking way way to much to release a freaking DH frame and help the guy!
  • 3 0
 Yeah Gee! This guy has been plagued with injuries the last couple seasons, but has kept them real quiet. His results, especially in the last two rounds, are seriously impressive. Would love to see his potential shine next season if he's injury free.
  • 5 2
 Even when typing up Athertons interview they still left in all the "likes".

Would have saved me 5min of reading if you had taken all of them out.
  • 5 0
 Enduro racer on a 27.5! NICE
  • 1 0
 I would love to know how maes made that time. It was that one section that beat everyone else - what happened in there? Did anyone see him go though? I’m amazed that he did that, but would really like to know how he gained three seconds in a short bit of track.
  • 2 0
 I think that, apart from him being an absolute boss, the weather played a part. Just got greasy more and more later on.
  • 4 0
 Valli Höll..... her time was insane... again!
  • 3 0
 Poor Loris... Sucks to drop from 2nd to 4th on the last race of the season Frown

Best luck to all riders for World Champs
  • 3 0
 Best news is rumored Sam Hill return. Woooo
  • 1 0
 No way.
  • 1 0
 I hope Rob was not joking...
  • 2 0
 Would love to see Maes take the rainbow jersey and wear it in the EWS races before the EWS can even win it!
  • 1 0
 What a great season, plenty of surprise’s made it interesting, shame it’s so short!
  • 1 1
 The Junior Mens' champion needs a shave! Great photos and another exciting race. Stoked to see Gee's dedication, grit and hard work pay off.
  • 2 0
 Bruni with the goddamn white kit lol
  • 2 1
 A shoe-cup cocktail of giardia and athletes foot for Bulldog. Enjoy that...
  • 1 0
 He said at the beginning of the season he'd do a shoey if he gets a podium. Poor lad had 2 podiums this year!
  • 1 0
 Maes win is like pain in the a** for those DH boys haha
  • 1 3
 Mon heros!

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