Finals Photo Epic: The Battle Rages On - Maribor World Cup DH Round 2

Oct 19, 2020
by Nathan Hughes  




Photo Epic presented by Five Ten




We didn't have to wait long for the second helping of World Cup downhill action in 2020. A mere 2 days after Marine Cabirou and Loris Vergier took the spoils, we were back between the tape on a much drier and faster course which provided some epically close racing throughout the field. The day kicked off with the junior races and it was once again Leona Pierrini and Oisin O'Callaghan who were a class apart, taking the wins in their respective classes by 9 and 6 seconds. Trailing behind Pierrini was Siel Van Der Velden and Ella Erickson whilst O'Callaghan ended up sharing the podium with Nuno Reis and Dante Silva.

When the women began to leave the start hut it was fair to say the like of Cabirou, Seagrave and fastest qualifier Nicole were the hot favourites but it wasn't to be any of their days. It was finally time for Nina Hoffmann's moment in the sun with the German taking her very first World Cup win by close to 2 seconds. She got the better of Cabirou whilst Farina clinched third and Nicole and Hannah rounded off the podium.

The men's race finished off the week's racing in perfect fashion with just a single second separating the podium positions. Loris Vergier held on to take his second win of the week in Maribor, pipping friend and ex-teammate Loic Bruni by just 0.057 seconds... Matt Walker was 0.4 back, Finn Iles 0.8 back and Troy Brosnan a second back. As close as you like. We've now got a week off before the final races of this hectic year take place in Lousa, Portugal.




Angel Suarez back where he belongs in the top 10 and just over half a second back from the podium.
Light cloud and occasional sun on the last day of race camp. Five days of hard riding, so tough on bikes and bodies has taken this collection of weary travellers close to the limit.

Slovenia has treated us well. Thanks to all involved in the orgnisation to get World Cup racing going in these difficult times and before the dive into deep winter.
Slovenia has most definitely treated us well. Huge thanks to all involved in the organisation to get World Cup racing going in these difficult times and before the dive into deep winter.

Oisin O Callaghan has made one hell of on entrance onto the World Cup scene. 1 World Champs win and 2 race wins notched up already.
Oisin O'Callaghan has made one hell of an entrance onto the World Cup scene. A World Champs win and two race wins notched up already.

Ella Erickson of the USA riding to third place in junior women.
Ella Erickson of the USA riding to third place in Junior Women.

Dante Silva on his way to third in junior men.
Dante Silva on his way to third in Junior Men.

Siel Van Der Velden was closest to Pierrini s pace but nowhere near to cause any drama. She held it together for second.
Siel Van Der Velden was closest to Pierrini's pace, but nowhere close enough to cause any drama. She held it together for second.

Skipping across the roots and into Junior Men s second place for Nuno Reis.
Skipping across the roots and into Junior Men's second place for Nuno Reis.

Leona Pierrini looks to be the class of the junior women field so at the moment.
Leona Pierrini looks to be the class of the Junior Women’s field so at the moment.

Your top 3 junior men 1st Oisin O Callaghan 2nd Nuno Reis 3rd Dante Silva
Your top 3 Junior Men: 1st O'Callaghan, 2nd Reis and 3rd Silva

Your top 3 junior men 1st Leona Pierrini 2nd Siel Van Der Velden 3rd Ella Erickson
Maribor Round 2 top 3 Junior Women: 1st Leona Pierrini, 2nd Siel Van Der Velden & 3rd Ella Erickson.

The layout featured on the second course better suited Nina Hoffmann s style. It was a winning formula especially in dryer conditions.
Clearly the layout of the second course better suited Nina Hoffmann's style. It was a winning formula, especially in drier conditions.

Nina Hoffmann on the final few moments of her race-winning run.
Hoffmann on the final few moments of her race-winning run.

Monika Hrastnik couldn t take a second podium on home soil this week and ended up in 6th.
Monika Hrastnik couldn't take a second podium on home soil this week and ended up in 6th.

Tracey Hannah says she didn t feel at home in the slippery in-between wet and dry conditions.
Tracey Hannah said she didn't feel too at home in the pretty untrustworthy in-between wet and dry conditions.

Unfortunately for her the stripes weren t of any help today for Camille Balanche.
Unfortunately for Camille Balanche, the stripes stayed clean, but the podium never showed.

Things just don t seem to be going Tahnee Seagrave s way this year. She has the track speed but the runs just aren t coming together for her at the moment.
Things just don't seem to be going Tahnee Seagrave's way this year. She has the track speed but the runs just aren't coming together for her at the moment.

Eleonora Farina had a tough week with her big slam but somehow soldiered on to better her podium and ride to her career-best of third place.
Eleonora Farina had a tough week with her big slam, but somehow soldiered on to better her podium and ride to her career-best of third place.

Tough break for Marine Cabirou. She was starring down a two for two here in Maribor green on both first splits. Late race run mistakes cost her the big win.
Tough break for Marine Cabirou. She was staring down a two for two here in Maribor, green on the first two splits. Late race run mistakes cost her the big win.

Nina Hoffmann had to wait out the final few riders in the hot seat to see if she could hold on to take her first win. A messy and mistake-ridden run from the last rider down the hill Myriam Nicole meant she did just that.
Nina Hoffmann had to wait out the final few riders in the hot seat to see if she could hold on to take her first win. A messy and mistake-ridden run from the last rider down the hill, Myriam Nicole, meant she did just that.

Mistakes cost Myriam Nicole in a field of top-flight female racers deeper than we ve seen in many years. 4th place for the ex-series leader but at least the plate can turn back to single digits heading to Portugal.
Mistakes cost Myriam Nicole in a field of top-flight female racers deeper than we've seen in many years. 4th place for the ex-series leader, but at least the plate can turn back to single digits heading to Portugal.

Myriam Nicole congratulating Hoffman on the win.
Myriam Nicole congratulates an ecstatic Hoffman on her first ever World Cup win.

She s been knocking on the door of it for a while but today was the day that Nina Hoffmann took her first victory.
She's been knocking on the door of it for a while, but today was the day that Nina Hoffmann took her first victory.

Hoffmann Cabirou Farina Nicole and Hannah reign supreme at Slovenia Round 2.
Hoffmann, Cabirou, Farina, Nicole and Hannah reign supreme at Slovenia Round 2.

The deep mud of Austria and Round 1 here in Slovenia certainly seemed to phase Aaron Gwin. The drying course brought him back into the zone and very nearly back on the podium.
The deep mud of Austria and Round 1 here in Slovenia, certainly seemed to phase Aaron Gwin. The drying course brought him back into the zone and very nearly back on the podium.

23rd was icing on the cake for Brook MacDonald s comeback after a week of extremely rough conditions and struggle with mindset between the tape.
23rd was icing on the cake for Brook MacDonald's comeback after a week of extremely rough conditions and struggle with mindset between the tape.

Absolute ledge this man.
The track was back to running at signature Maribor speed after bogging down significantly for Round 1.

Benoit Coulanges gave Bruni and Vergier a few grey hairs this summer but has yet to get ahead of the dangermen at an international race. Still 20th place today shows he s not far out of touch.
Benoit Coulanges gave Bruni and Vergier a few grey hairs this summer, but has yet to get ahead of the dangermen at an international race. Still, 20th place today shows he's not far out of touch.

Slovenian sender Juri Zabjek slipped back a little in the ranks today but certainly fought a good fight over the long week of racing.
Slovenian sender, Jure Zabjek, slipped back a little in the ranks today, but certainly fought a good fight over the long week of racing.

Andreas Kolb smashed into the hot seat and held on to a career-best 15th place pipping fellow Austrian David Trummer.
Andreas Kolb, smashed into the hot seat and held on to a career-best 15th place, pipping fellow Austrian David Trummer.

Danny Hart flying somewhat under the radar into 8th place.
Danny Hart flying somewhat under the radar into 8th place.

Given the circumstances with the team eighth place would be a good one for Danny Hart. Although it s got to hurt watching Walker getting so much more closer to the win.
Given the circumstances with his team, eighth place would be a good result for Danny Hart. Although it's got to hurt watching Walker get so much closer to the win.

That s more like it from Aaron Gwin. He looked to grow in confidence on the track all weekend and delivered a solid 6th place half a second back from the podium.
That's more like it from Aaron Gwin. He looked to grow in confidence on the track all weekend and delivered a solid 6th place, half a second back from the podium.

Troy Brosnan was on it first split before falling back. It wasn t easy to avoid making mistakes on this technical track.
Troy Brosnan was on it at the first split before falling back. It wasn't easy to avoid making mistakes on this technical track.

Remi Thirion was one of the favourites here yet couldn t hold his lines as the seconds trickled away.
Remi Thirion was one of the favourites here yet couldn't hold his lines as the seconds trickled away.

Finally the injury-ridden Spaniard with all the talent puts a score on the board. Mobster Angel Suarez boosted into the green and made 7th.
Finally the injury-ridden Spaniard with all the talent makes his mark in the top 10. YT mobster Angel Suarez boosting into the green for 7th.

Luca Shaw ended his day just outside the top ten.
Luca Shaw ended his day just outside the top ten.

That tuck came in handy for Loris Vergier as he takes the win by a mere 0.057 seconds.
That tuck came in handy for Loris Vergier as he takes the win by a mere 0.057 seconds.

Green lights for Loris crossing the line. What a finish. Now he waits in anticipation while Bruni takes on the track.
Green lights for Loris crossing the line. What a finish. Now he waits in anticipation while Bruni takes on the track.

Dakotah Norton gets crossed up on the finish line table he was on pace for a top 10 before crashing towards the bottom of the track.
Dakotah Norton gets crossed up on the finish line table. He was on pace for a top 10 before crashing towards the bottom of the track.

Finn Iles shot his shot today and it paid off. He bumped Gwin off the hot seat ending his day on the podium.
Finn Iles shot his shot today and it paid off. He bumped Gwin off the hot seat, ending his hopes for a podium.

Sprinting to the finish Iles finally closer to where he wants to be.
Sprinting to the finish, Iles finally closer to where he wants to be.

Greg Minnaar exits the woods into the finish arena on his way to 9th place.
Greg Minnaar exits the woods into the finish arena on his way to 9th place.

GM clocking out of a hard working week.
The near-dry track conditions did not lend to any kind of pilot error and GM had to clock out of a hard working week with thoughts of what could have been.

Dodging a DQ bullet with a very close call after smashing the inside pole on the finish jump it seems Matt Walker just can t miss here in Maribor. This time he was less than a second off the win for third.
After a more than close call with the inside pole on the finish jump, it seems Matt Walker just can't miss here in Maribor. This time he was less than a second off the win for third.

The nervous final moments for Loris Vergier as he awaits his fate. Win number 2 of the week.
The nervous final moments for Loris Vergier as he awaits his fate. Win number 2 of the week.

No podium heroics this time around for Thibaut Daprela but a top 10 is still a super strong result for the first year elite.
No podium heroics this time around for Thibaut Daprela but a top 10 is still a super strong result for the first year elite.

Loic Bruni was nearly identical in pace to Loris. It came down to half a pedal stroke at the line. 0.057 back and into second.
Loic Bruni was nearly identical in pace to Loris. It came down to half a pedal stroke at the line. 0.057 back and into second.

Loic Bruni was 2 tenths up going into the final split but lost a little time in the bottom woods and ended up second by the smallest of margins.
Bruni was 2 tenths up going into the final split but lost a little time in the bottom woods and ended up second by the smallest of margins.

Loic Bruni congratulates Loris Vergier on his third World Cup win and second this week in Maribor.
Loic congratulates Loris on his third World Cup win and second this week in Maribor.

No cigar for Bruni at the scene of his season-opening victory lasy year. Still a clear reminder that he still has everything it takes to win after a nightmarish Worlds and tricky round 1.
No cigar for Loic at the scene of his season-opening victory last year. Still, a clear reminder that he still has everything it takes to win after a nightmarish Worlds and tricky round 1.

The man to beat in the 2020; Vergier takes his 3rd ever World Cup win.

Your second round Men s Elite podium - Loris Vergier Loic Bruni Matt Walker Finn Iles and Troy Brosnan.
Your second round Men's Elite podium - Vergier, Bruni, Walker, Iles, and Brosnan.

If Loic Bruni was going to lose out on a race win by 0.057 seconds to anyone I m sure his first pick would be Loris Vergier.
If Loic Bruni was going to lose out on a race win by 0.057 seconds to anyone I'm sure his first pick would be Loris Vergier.

Two rounds on the one hill was certainly an interesting experiment. While the course variations weren t extreme the contrast in conditions was drastic and kept the thrill levels high.
Two rounds on the one hill was certainly an interesting experiment. While the course variations weren't extreme, the contrast in conditions was drastic and kept the thrill levels high.

Does AG still have what it takes to hit the top step You betcha. The unparalleled talent and drive he s shown over so many seasons of dominance doesn t disappear overnight or indeed through a Covid-stricken summer. Now he s blown off the cob-webs we ll have to see what drier climes can bring.
Does AG still have what it takes to hit the top step? Well, the unparalleled talent and drive the man has shown over many seasons of dominance isn't the kind of thing to disappear overnight, or indeed over a Covid-stricken summer. Now he's blown off the cobwebs, we'll have to see what drier climes can bring.

No champagne showers at the podiums so the VitalMTB cr e brought their own to the post race roundabout party.
No champagne showers at the podiums so the Vital MTB crüe brought their own to the post race roundabout isolation party.

It s a long time since we heard the German national anthem was played at a World Cup race. Stoked doesn t quite cut it for Nina Hoffmann.
It's a long time since we heard the German national anthem at a DH World Cup. 'Stoked' doesn't quite cut it for Nina Hoffmann.

It a wrap. A week of burning the race candle at both ends concludes in captivating fashion and we can cross our fingers on a rematch or two over in Lousa.
It's a wrap. A week of burning the 'race candle' at both ends concludes in captivating fashion and we can cross our fingers on a rematch (or two) over in Lousa after a much needed week off.



31 Comments

  • 30 0
 I’m sure it’s hard on the racers, but I sure enjoy back-to-back races! Great field of riders right now. Congrats Nina. Wish Amaury was in the mix, anxious to see how a healthy Gwin stacks up against the current top guys, and always gotta give props to Brosnan. Has anyone else been on the podium so consistently?
  • 15 0
 Brosnan, always the bridesmaid never the bride
  • 3 1
 Amuary was there, filming Bruni giving Loris a hug in the photos above while wearing a RedBull shirt. Okay, it's not AP but I did a double-take...
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I hope they keep the double header format. Seems good for low ranking privateers who have two chances to qualify after paying for traveling expenses and such. I do wonder if adding a day would help. One rest/light practice day between finals 1 day and qualification 2 day would make things a bit easier on the riders and everyone involved, like the photographers and such.
  • 18 0
 Bruni has plucked his unibrow and lost his world champs crown and world cup dominance. Coincidence?
  • 13 0
 I like Nina Smile
  • 17 0
 Doesn't everyone? Privateer to podium contender to race winner. Always with the same big smile.
  • 2 0
 The one shoe'd finish said to me, this is someone who really enjoys the sport.
  • 9 0
 So happy for both Nina and Loris - both of them always go for it and its always 50/50 if they crash - glad they made it stick this weekend - both very likable characters Smile
  • 6 0
 really like this 2 race in one place format. With the riding cost of hosting a race, travelling, time and energy to setup and take down... I think it may be something to seriously consider having more of in the future. 2 races on consecutive weekends in the same venue maybe? Better value for the hosts, more bang for the buck for all the teams at each venue.
  • 5 0
 Loving the weather conditions for this short season, mixing things up from the dry, cookie cutter runs for tenths. Real Racing
  • 7 0
 Those ruts on the takeoff of the finish line table give me nightmares
  • 6 0
 Great ride from Gwin. You can tell he is back into the swing of things.
  • 8 0
 i can say he doesn't like to wear the mask at the end of the race
  • 16 5
 @blacktea: Gwin doesn't appear to understand the science around the pandemic. It's disappointing, really. He's shared some malarkey on his social media feeds over the summer.
  • 13 3
 @aaronjb: Yeah saw that too. Lost a lot of respect that way
  • 21 7
 @aaronjb: Sadly religion and right wing politics seems to be at odds with science in the US at the moment.
The thing is. Science/ nature doesn't give a shit what he believes .
  • 8 5
 @aaronjb: he acts a bit “holier than thou”
  • 10 1
 @aaronjb: please. Wear a mask while you sit alone on the hot seat, but give a huge hug to every rider that bumps you off? Meanwhile the cameraman has his nose hanging out the whole time? I support wearing masks generally, but in this context, most of it is security theater. If you're really worried about spreading the virus, you cancel the race.
  • 2 9
flag lobohusky (Oct 19, 2020 at 9:27) (Below Threshold)
 @aaronjb: If you're referring to him showing some kids how to jump at local bike parks and sharing good times with others around his age being malarkey, then I'd say he's doing just fine. The data shows that 91.6% of all Covid-related deaths in the US have occurred in individuals aged 55 and older, 97% aged 45 and older (data here: www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm).
  • 5 0
 @lobohusky: Right, so younger people are usually just carriers. The masks still stop the spread which could end up affecting vulnerable people. Do vulnerable people not matter?

Also, CDC numbers have been hopelessly compromised by Trump appointees. We might not have good data until Biden repairs the organization.
  • 4 1
 @lobohusky: sooo set a good example for the kids and be respectful to the elderly by wearing a mask??
  • 5 0
 Those trophies are strikingly ostentatious

#moreshowythanadubaiskyscraper
  • 1 0
 Guys do you know if next race in Lousa Portugal is open for spectators? I will be in Portugal not far from venue around that weekend .. Thx
  • 2 0
 With case numbers spiking at the minute across Europe, it's a safe bet to assume that no, you won't be spectating (if the race takes place at all).
  • 1 0
 @pensamtb: if spectators sneak in it will get shut down. let's hope people aren't selfish.
  • 1 0
 Leona Pierrini running Fox 49's ??? Someone in the pits is having a girraffe with the decal bin...
  • 3 0
 Wasn't this the official name last year? She's just not on the latest.
  • 2 0
 Looks like Finn Iles is not using brakes at all.
  • 1 0
 Battles rages on...spell check for the loss
  • 1 0
 No fair that Finn Iles doesn't get an electric lunchbox

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