Pinkbike Predictions - Maribor World Cup 2021

Aug 13, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  
Myriam Nicole goes 88mph in the morning fog.

With its wild weather and rowdy tracks, 2021's World Cup season has been one of the hardest to predict in years. Maribor is set to offer a dry track for the first time all year but who will prosper in the dusty conditions? Here are our picks for the win on Sunday.



Loris Vergier

Being plate number 61 Loris Vergier missed out on the timed training action he knew that was the case and did more runs in practice to make up for it.

I've backed Vergier for the win at every round of the World Cup so far this year and he's yet to produce the goods with a best result of 25th in Les Gets. I'm hoping it will be third time lucky for Vergier in World Cups this year as he's dominated pretty much every other race he's entered in 2021. He's now unbeaten on this Maribor track since April 2019 after picking up both World Cup wins at the double header here last year and just last weekend he won the European Championships too.

A DNF and a 25th really don't represent the pace Vergier is carrying this year and on a drier, more consistent track in Maribor, he should be able to finally show that off in a finals run.



Thibaut Daprela

Thibaut Daprela full tuck on the final off-camber grass. It would take more than a broken nose and lacerated tongue to stop him.

When a racer takes their first win, one of two things tends to happen. Either they go on to take a handful of wins in a row, such as Pierron, Hart and Gwin, or they can struggle to find that same form again for a while such as Greenland, MacDonald and Brosnan. Currently the one World Cup win club contains nine riders but I don't think Daprela will be sticking around in it for long. Daprela has won in Maribor as a junior and finished 10th and 2nd at the double header here last year in his first-ever Elite races. He should have fully shaken off the crash that was supposed to hold him back in Les Gets and will be frighteningly fast this weekend.



Phil Atwill

Phil Atwill coming in hot into the lower rock garden

I've had some flak for being a bit too safe in these predictions so I'm picking a third rider who I think is due another big result, Phil Atwill. Phil is revitalized this year on his own program and although he's yet to crack the top ten, he's been able to lay down some seriously fast sectors in his wild runs. He was the fastest of anyone in the second sector in Les Gets and second fastest through the stumps in Leogang. If he can put it all together and produce a consistent run in Maribor we could see Filthy Phil back on the podium again.



Myriam Nicole

Myriam Nicole tucking towards the line but out by a small margin. Rest assured the French crowd was there to welcome her regardless.

Myriam Nicole was on a tear in Les Gets but a mistake in the woods saw her forfeit the win by about a quarter of a second to Tahnee Seagrave. On the new Supreme frame, Nicole is dangerously fast this year, which she demonstrated perfectly by qualifying 8 seconds clear of the rest of the field in the last round, but like her compatriot Veriger a winning finals run hasn't yet clicked into place. She'll be gunning for the win again in Maribor and hoping that this time there are no slip ups.



Vali Holl

Vali Holl took her frustration out from her fall in Leogang on the course. She d win the Elite Women s race by two seconds.

It was clear in Les Gets that something wasn't quite right with Vali Holl. The Austrian prodigy was only racing her second senior World Cup and the level of expectation placed on her shoulders was astronomical. She said after the race that she "can’t keep it together at the moment" so will probably have been more glad than anyone for the month-long, mid-season break to get her head in order and refocus on the season ahead. It's undeniable that Holl has had winning pace this year but mistakes, especially on the last corners of tracks, have cost her stronger results. The first World Cup win for the young racer surely can't be far away.



Monika Hrastnik

Monika Hrastnik keeping the Dorval standards at the top of the game with another podium.

Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic have already made 2021 an incredible year for Slovenian Cycling but Hrastnik could add the cherry on top as she races on home soil this weekend.

By winning the European Championships, Monika Hrastnik kept the starred jersey in the Dorval AM team and also marked herself out as one of the favourites to deliver a strong result in the World Cup. In 2021 Hrastnik has established herself as a podium regular and with the home crowd behind her will be looking to equal or better her best-ever World Cup result of third.


61 Comments

  • 31 5
 Kerr will be jacked from his Hardline win and Minnaar with his win last week will be looking for sweet double, but with all the PB comments on Gwinn - I'm more interested in who takes 23rd.
  • 12 0
 Kerr is out with a broken arm according to Wyn's Instagram stories.
  • 4 0
 Kerr in the hospital
  • 8 0
 @Hogfly: Damn that sucks. Dudes a wild man. He's as fast as anyone at times but always so on edge. One of my favorites to watch. He'll put down crazy times in the craziest sections.

Heal up dude.


Guess I need to fix my team as he is currently sitting on it.
  • 34 3
 @PTyliszczak: Gwin is in the hospital too being treated for burns.
  • 4 3
 @hamncheez: Burns? WTF?
  • 5 0
 @abueno: yesir.... most definitely woosh. Ha.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: So true, he is awesome to watch, unreal how he rides some of the more tricky stuff.
  • 18 0
 My bet is on Troy.
  • 1 4
 I'm sure if he wasn't forcing himself to not be safe Troy would be sitting in there in the top 3.
  • 2 4
 He's already peaked for the season, Coulanges is the racer on the rise.
  • 2 0
 @onemanarmy: He's a smart rider and always, i mean always, rides within his abilities. The only reason he's performing better this season is because he now switched to a 27.5" rear wheel. He's too short for riding a 29" rear wheel, but still tried to force it last season because of the superiority of the bigger wheels, but never felt comfortable on them.
  • 10 0
 Here's my hopes for a podium... bulldog. He's looking fast out there this year and he's due. Podum for the dog!
  • 4 0
 That would be cool to see, but there is high risk of bodily harm, death or 2 day hangover from the celebration that would result.
  • 1 0
 @Herb1234: ha yes on all accounts
  • 5 0
 Trummer and Kolb for their first wc podium - David is one of the smoothest riders, that should help in this rough, dusty conditions...Andi is on fire right now and timed training will motivate him even more...
  • 8 2
 Bruni... Atwill will never win a Worldcup. Great rider...but not for the win Anf Vali will strikes Back
  • 6 0
 Myriam.

Also rooting for local rider from Comox/Cumberland Emmy Lan she's the National Junior champ from Canada. Go Emmy!
  • 6 1
 Phil who can make the bike do anything at will, is a top bloke. I hope he gets it. Him or Danny Hart.
  • 4 0
 Finn, Kerr, Wyn, and others in the hospital. Track is fast and rough!
  • 2 0
 WTF - ALL these riders taken out and it's not even Qualis!!! And what's with Gwinn in the hospital with burns!! Need info!
  • 2 0
 My prediction, the winner will be someone who can stay on the track and out of the hospital. Seems like that's quickly becoming a major achievement in itself this week.
  • 2 1
 Myriam Nicole... hum... good pretender indeed, but achtung: Marine Cabirou is back, and she's not joking.
  • 2 0
 Not this time! She hasn't fully recovered. But she'll be back no doubts.
  • 1 0
 @Ricolaburle: ah OK, I didnt know. I saw her on Wyn TV and thought she was back into the battle. Looking forward...
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: Just take a look at her IG,she said she won't be able to compete for the top spot.
  • 4 0
 @danstonQ: But she very well be bluffing actually !
  • 1 0
 Maybe I have missed something but wouldn't Camille Balanche do well too? At least she has proven to be able to keep it together when nearly everyone else crashes and/or makes mistakes.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Well for sure you didn't miss anything, she's the series leader. But... I can't help but think she's a winner by default, she'd taken advantage of the top dogs crashes so far... or maybe I have to admit she's one of the top dogs after all... We'll see !
  • 1 0
 @Ricolaburle: The way I looked at her recent Leogang win, it was said several times that it was key to preserve energy at the top section in order to preserve strength and focus on the demanding lower section. So many riders went faster than her at the top section and then either made mistakes in the lower (wet) section where they either crashed or at least lost flow or went down in that last bit where Hoell and Masters went down. Something similar happened at the mens race. Obviously it is a balance as if are too careful at the top, you're never going to compensate lower down the track. I think Maribor has something similar. It may not be wet, but the lower section looks tough (in loose and rough). Balanche may not have the all out top speed that some others have so on shorter tracks or on a track with a smoother lower section, she'd likely lose it to several others. But considering how tricky loose patches can be and considering how many riders got injured already (as a measure for how tough the track is), I think her approach and abilities suit the race here.

Of course this is just me on the internet. We'll see how things unfold. First and foremost I hope riders stay in one piece and are able to give it their best.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: You're right, I do agree, she has a mature approach to racing and it has paid off in Leogang. And yes, no more injuries I hope !
  • 1 0
 @Ricolaburle: .... except that she is 9th in the qualies. Unless she's got an homonym in the same team, Marine Cabirou is actually racing.
  • 1 0
 @Ricolaburle: As for Camille, it seems like she had a similar approach again in the qualiffiers. A little back at the top, then in the bit between split 3 and 4 (which I think is a more technical section but I honestly don't know where the splits are exactly) she got the second fastest time (after Eleonora Farine who rode that part more than a second faster than Vali) but she lost a little again further down (in the less tech final section). Not saying that she'd win the race (after all, Myriam and Vali both had faster complete runs) yet she does have an approach that works really well and allows here to get consistent good results. I'd definitely call her a top dog.
  • 2 0
 @danstonQ: OK, my message was unclear, she is racing for sure but she said on her IG that she has not fully recovered yet and that she was not hopping for a top spot on this race. Sorry for the mix up !
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Right again buddy ! But I have to admit I'd love Valli to take the win this time !
  • 1 0
 @Ricolaburle: Personally I don't favor one rider over the other for a win and I appreciate all aspects of racing. Be it a calculated, precise, or a wild run instead. Strength, endurance, being a hard working privateer or helping other riders out... There is so much to this sport. I think the fun/positive mentality of Camille jives more with how view mountainbiking than Vali her competitive mindset. But this doesn't imply (to me) one deserves a win more than the other one. That said, unless Vali gets injured and/or has to skip races, I'd be very surprised if she doesn't take at least one win this season.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Ah, here I have to disagree I guess... The way Camille celebrated her victory right after Vali's crash, or the way she kinda forces Tahnee to celebrate right after Vali's crash (!) was not very mountain biking to me. But this is a very personal opinion I grant you. Anyway, many ladies are crushing it lately and it's a pleasure to watch. I'll be equally happy whoever wins.
  • 1 0
 @Ricolaburle: Yeah, I've heard that comment more often and I might need to watch the footage again. I recalled it as that she was initially shocked Vali went down (putting her hands over her mouth) and only celebrated when it was clear that Vali was fine (scrambling to get back up and continue her podium run). And even here, with all this modern tech we can analyze a split second emotion of a rider for whom the race matters more than all us keyboard warriors together. Even if she did celebrate to early (which would be, before it is clear that Vali is fine enough), I personally wouldn't go too harsh on her. I've got the impression that none of these top riders likes to see another one get badly hurt. If one gets the attitude we see in "top level" soccer, that would indeed put me off.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I wouldn't go too harsh either, you're right about all the modern tech. There is mostly a good vibe on those DH racing and that's what we all like so much ! Miles away from soccer for sure !!
  • 1 0
 @Ricolaburle: Something clearly went wrong with Vali, not sure what. No question she still has it to take a win this season. Camille was dominant between split 2 and 3. Not sure how it works but if she wouldn't have the rainbows already, would both she and Myriam get to wear the leaders jersey next World Cup race? Either way, more impressive than her qualifier (as I mentioned earlier) is the second place Eleonora bagged in the finals. Considering how strong and precise she rode, it would be silly to not consider her a regular podium contender from now on. That's it, right? I see so many riders pull off amazing performances even if it is only on a few sectors of the track, it feels nearly impossible to favor one rider over the other for the win. Myriam deserved that win too, super happy about that.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I guess it's a mental issue for Vali, so much pressure on her shoulder, the two first races lost on stupid crashes, could be tough to run flat out in confidence. When it comes to today result, my DH Fantasy team was... Myriam and Eleonora ! I was not that good with men's race... Myriam was really up to speed since the beginning of the season so I was pretty confident she could take the win with a good run and Eleonora, well, she's consistent isn't she? That's a nice surprise. The stacker the field the better the race! As for Camille and Myriam, are they co leaders?
  • 2 0
 ngl, that first picture is pretty sick.
  • 2 0
 would be great to see phil do well!!
  • 4 2
 Obviously Daprela walks away with the win.
  • 3 1
 Coulanges is a shoo-in, he'll step it up in the final.
  • 2 0
 y'all not putting money on Cathro???
  • 3 0
 Vali and Loris
  • 1 0
 The Redcar Rocket has been keeping his powder dry for this one, and if it rains, he has that covered too.
  • 2 0
 Thibo or vergier
  • 2 0
 Bulldog!!
  • 1 0
 I reckon Fearon or Lucas's may be in the hunt. Conditions suit them
  • 1 0
 Jack Dichiara takes junior men
  • 1 0
 Greg and Myriam for the win!
  • 1 1
 Thibo and Tahnee
  • 1 3
 It’s funny listening to everyone talk shit on Gwin when he could destroy anyone of us down any track with a hurt back.
  • 3 0
 You're the 1 mentioning him here. Pom Poms much? Maybe go post in the Gwin thread? This thread is about predicting winners for today's WC DH race.
  • 1 0
 @m1dg3t: the top comment is about gwin. I didn’t bring it up.

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