Pinkbike Primer: A Double-Header to End the World Cup Season at Snowshoe, USA

Sep 13, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

Nothing Left to Lose
The double-header this weekend is weighted with the pressure of the overall title

And just like that, the World Cup season is almost over, with just two rounds in one week left for the racers to tackle. This week, the World Cup circus has hopped across the pond to the US, where racers will be put through a six-day barrage of training, qualifying, and racing to finish out the season. It'll be an exciting week, with the overall season title on the line and twice the points available as at most World Cup stops. That also means the riders will go through twice the physical strain and twice the emotional rollercoasters. America does it big, indeed.

When the World Cup visited Snowshoe in 2019, we watched one of the greatest mountain bike racing dramas we've ever seen unfold as if it had been scripted just for our viewing pleasure. The overall title was between Amaury Pierron and Loic Bruni, and after a jaw-dropping run from Pierron, the title was all but decided in his favor, but Danny Hart managed to do one better and take the win, taking away the points Pierron would need to win and making Bruni the first elite male racer since Sam Hill in 2007 to take both the World Cup overall and the World Champs win in a single season.

The 2019 women's race also had plenty of nail-biting, with the title riding on a hair between Tracey Hannah and Marine Cabirou. If Hannah had finished outside of the top six, the title would have gone to Cabirou, but despite Cabirou's near-flawless run and subsequent win, Hannah rounded out the podium in fifth, high enough to take the coveted UCI crystal from Cabirou.

With the season coming to a close and so much to gain or throw away, we can be sure that Snowshoe will once again deliver. Here's what to expect.

Luke Mier-Smith rode this rocky track smooth enough for second.

The Track

The Snowshoe track debuted in 2019 and was well-loved, but a bit notorious among racers. The course starts wide open with several jumps, some of which are new this year, then drops into woodsy steeps before the absurdly physical, long finish section. Every section of the course will be demanding, with the jumps on top requiring commitment, the steep middle sections requiring precision, and the lower chunder requiring so, so much strength from the riders. With two rounds packed into one week, and some minor course changes between the two rounds, it's bound to be an exciting World Cup finale.

Many props to builder Sean Leader for a banger race track for the season finale.
The stellar track was built by Sean Leader.

Barnaby Edwards on the Pabst.
One fine week of incredbile action is ahead of us in the land of the free.

Previous Winners

The top qualifier held it down and quite a phenomenal run it was too trumping Pierron s barn-burner by 0.66.

2019 // Danny HART // GBR

2019 // Marine CABIROU // FRA

What Happened in 2019?

The 2019 race at Snowshoe was a big one. Marine Cabirou came from behind to take the win, but Tracey Hannah stayed within the top six to take the overall for the first time in her decorated career. In the men's race, we saw some of the most suspenseful World Cup runs ever. Amaury Pierron put down an astonishingly fast run that seemed more or less unbeatable, so it appeared that Pierron would take the win and clinch the overall. Then, Danny Hart went fastest and bumped Pierron out of the top spot, giving fourth-placed Bruni the overall title, also a career-first for him. Just incredible.

Elite Women

1st. Marine Cabirou: 3:43.032
2nd. Myriam Nicole: +1.995
3rd. Veronika Widmann: +3.482
4th. Tahnee Seagrave: +3.710
5th. Tracey Hannah: +4.825

Elite Men

1st. Danny Hart: 3:03.627
2nd. Amaury Pierron: +0.656
3rd. Charlie Harrison: +0.971
4th. Loic Bruni: +2.149
5th. Greg Minnaar: +2.395

What Happened at the Last Round?

Vali Holl, Tahnee Seagrave, and Myriam Nicole all had stellar runs, Vali finally pushing onto the podium this season, Tahnee beating her time by an impressive margin, and Nicole beating both of them by more than three seconds, backing up her recent World Champs victory.

We saw something similar go down in the men's field. Thibaut Daprela put down an insane run to take the lead, which was then bested by Loic Bruni, and then both were beaten with an incredible performance from Loris Vergier.

It's been said before, but I'll say again: it's not bikes that win races; it's French people.

Elite Women

1st. Myriam Nicole: 3:10.661
2nd. Tahnee Seagrave: 3:13.323
3rd. Vali Höll: 3:16.776
4th. Nina Hoffmann: 3:19.110
5th. Camille Balanche: 3:19.222

Elite Men

1st. Loris Vergier: 2:46.921
2nd. Loic Bruni: 2:47.118
3rd. Thibaut Daprela: 2:47.291
4th. Amaury Pierron: 2:47.549
5th. Laurie Greenland: 2:48.189

Clawing back from injury is never easy. Myriam Nicole did it however well enough to earn the UCI stripes last week and finish her season in second.

The Standings

1st // Myriam NICOLE // FRA // 810
2nd // Camille BALANCHE // SUI // 695
3rd // Tahnee SEAGRAGE // GBR // 662
4th // Vali HOLL // AUT // 645
5th // Monika HRASTNIK // SLO // 517
6th // Eleonora FARINA // ITA // 465
7th // Millie JOHNSET // NOR // 334
8th // Marine CABIROU // FRA // 331
9th // Mathilde BERNARD // FRA // 202
10th // Veronika WIDMANN // ITA // 190

1st // Thibaut DAPRELA // FRA // 752
2nd // Loris VERGIER // FRA // 566
3rd // Loic BRUNI // FRA // 454
4th // Laurie GREENLAND // GBR // 422
5th // Danny HART // GBR // 391
6th // Greg MINNAAR // RSA // 384
7th // Troy BROSNAN // AUS // 366
8th // Benoit COULANGES // FRA // 332
9th // Reece WILSON // GBR // 312
10th // Amaury PIERRON // FRA // 305

Weather Forecast

Last year, the rocks toward the bottom of the course because absurdly slick with moisture, though more due to humidity and fog than to rain. Now, with possible rain in the forecast for the week, we could see similarly slippery conditions, especially for the second of the two races. Temperatures are expected to stay pleasant and mild through the weekend.

Tracey Hannah closed out her season with 5th place which was more than enough to take home the series overall.

Tuesday, September 14 - Qualifying 1
Partly sunny // 22°C // 25% precipitation // wind 7km/h

Wednesday, September 15 - Race 1
Sunshine and patchy clouds with a thunderstorm in parts of the area in the afternoon // 19°C // 41% precipitation // wind 9km/h

Thursday, September 16 - Training
Periods of clouds and sun with a thunderstorm in the afternoon // 17°C // 60% precipitation // wind 7km/h

Friday, September 17 - Qualifying 2
Mostly cloudy with a thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon // 18°C // 40% precipitation // wind 9km/h

Saturday, September 18 - Race 2
Rather cloudy // 18°C // 25% precipitation // wind 9km/h

Weather forecast as of Monday, September 13. Live updates from Accuweather.

The Schedule

Matt Walker getting right into the spirit in morning practice.

Monday, September 13
• 08:45-11:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 11:30-12:45 // Official Downhill Training - All
• 12:45-15:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group A
• 15:30-17:00 // Downhill Timed Training Session

Tuesday, September 14
• 08:45-10:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 10:15-11:45 // Official Downhill Training - Group A
• 12:15 // Seeding - Junior Women
• 12:30 // Qualifying - Junior Men
• 13:30 // Qualifying - Elite Women
• 14:00 // Qualifying - Elite Men

Wednesday, September 15
• 08:15-09:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 09:45 // Final 1 - Junior Men
• 10:30 // Final 1 - Junior Women
• 10:50-11:05 // Official Downhill Training - Elite Women
• 11:05-12:05 // Official Downhill Training - Elite Men
• 12:30 // Final 1 - Elite Women
• 13:30 // Final 1 - Elite Men
• Awards to follow

Thursday, September 16
• 08:45-11:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 11:30-12:45 // Official Downhill Training - All
• 12:45-15:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group A
• 15:30-17:00 // Downhill Timed Training Session

Friday, September 17
• 08:45-10:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 10:15-11:45 // Official Downhill Training - Group A
• 12:15 // Seeding - Junior Women
• 12:30 // Qualifying - Junior Men
• 13:30 // Qualifying - Elite Women
• 14:00 // Qualifying - Elite Men

Saturday, September 18
• 08:15-09:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 09:45 // Final 2 - Junior Men
• 10:30 // Final 2 - Junior Women
• 10:50-11:05 // Official Downhill Training - Elite Women
• 11:05-12:05 // Official Downhill Training - Elite Men
• 12:30 // Final 2 - Elite Women
• 13:30 // Final 2 - Elite Men
• Awards to follow

Note: All times are local and subject to change by the event organizer.

Follow Along

After a 44th place qulaifier no one could be sure how the all-American hero might fair this afternoon. 13th was a fair showing for the Gwizard after a tumultuous season of injury not to mention starting his own team.

Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our team the U S of A this week. Tune in to Pinkbike to catch photo epics, videos and results from Timed Training, Practice, Qualifying and Finals, as well as tech bits and news.

You can also watch the seventh round of the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup The live broadcast starts on Wednesday, September 15 and Saturday September 18 at 12:30pm EST.

Schedule: Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Snowshoe LIVE on Red Bull TV:

Snowshoe DHI Women: September 15 & September 18 Live on Red Bull TV 12:30pm EST
Snowshoe DHI Men: September 15 & September 18 Live on Red Bull TV 1:45pm EST

All times local / EST, replays available immediately following the races. Times are subject to change at the race organizers' or Red Bull's discretion.

fantasy dh 2021

Fantasy League

Don't forget to complete your DH Fantasy team! Participating is way more fun than watching from the sidelines.

Pinkbike Fantasy Downhill League in association with Retallack.


  • 29 0

"Freedom's just another word for......"

Great article header or whatever! Nailed it.
  • 7 0
 I can hear her singing those tunes right now!
  • 4 0
 Agreed, awesome title. Alicia sent it. Smile
  • 26 1
 What is this C and km you speak of. Can't find it on AccuWeather.... Wink
  • 14 0
 bro, as a fellow American, u should know the C word is the most offensive thing here.
  • 17 0
 @savagelake: Canada?
  • 18 2
 @savagelake: Communism if you’re in the South?
Capitalism if you’re in California?
  • 21 0
 It's 3am local time as I type this and my wife and I are heading down to LAX to start our journey to WV.... So stoked! I'll be the guy with the white safari hat screaming his head off all weekend.
  • 2 0
 I will look for you
  • 1 0
 @skinnyjeans: we all will. Hope bottomless camo painted to match
  • 2 0
 We went in 2019 and it's a hell of a trek to get to there but worth it. Enjoy!
  • 2 0
 @ninjammin: Drove 19 hours to get there in 2019! Well worth it!
  • 5 5
 We had plans to go but decided against it. The delta variant is currently ravaging through W Va. like wild fire and icus and hospitals are overwhelmed. Have a great time but also be careful, keep some distance, wear a mask and try not to doing something that will require a hospital visit.
  • 1 0
 See ya there! I'll be the guy in the Chili Pepper Costume. Need to find a noise maker as my voice was wrecked after the Short Track race in 19.
  • 2 0
 @Zoo1424: lol!! I saw you! What a freakin' week that was. I don't even know where to begin, and even if I did, I would still leave something out. I will just sum up by saying that it was more electrifying in person than anyone can put into words, no matter how talented of a writer they are. The DH. The short track..... and Blevins!! I am in so many of the pictures here on PB that I lost count, and yes, some are just a blur, but I still know it's me! My wife and I had so much fun and WV is such a beautiful place, and this life long SoCal high desert dude has never seen so many trees in his whole life. Well done Snowshoe and thank you.
  • 23 1
 Hope Dak can make a good showing for us American's on home soil.
  • 9 0
 Lucas Shaw might do something as well...
  • 3 0
 @danstonQ: Good call. Sadly the rest are nowhere near contention.
  • 1 0
 Congrats to Loris and Camille!! Dak got 4th and Charlie Harrison got 3rd! USA USA
  • 1 0
 @danstonQ: ol Lucas
  • 10 0
 Did I miss where you talked about who can and can't win it all?
  • 8 0
 I like burritos.
  • 3 0
  • 7 1
 Surely if its the end of the season its a ‘double-ender’ rather than a double header!
  • 3 1
 I see what you dild there.
  • 1 0
 or a double footer?
  • 2 0
 Anybody know where the start lists for World Cup races (including XC) posted?
  • 4 0
 I forgot to put the word “are” somewhere in that question.
  • 2 0
 Elite women are so fast. They only get 15 minutes of training on Wednesday and Saturday morning before the finals.
  • 3 1
 Am I miss reading as it looks like practice and qualifying are happening simultaneously
  • 2 0
 That’s exactly what it says. Presumably a mistake, but it would certainly be a way to spice things up…
  • 1 0
 So many looking fast today at practice! See everyone for qualifying tomorrow!
  • 4 2
 Is this geo blocked or can I have a beer and enjoy?
  • 4 2
 Only World Champs is geo blocked so get those beers in the cooler
  • 3 1
 @melonhead1145: Nah the Snowshoe race was geo blocked the last few years in North America for no good reason. Always find a way around it.
  • 5 0
 We carried our cooler all over the mountain as did others Enjoy
  • 3 1
 6:45PM for the Men's races on Wednesday and Saturday in the UK apparently
  • 4 0
 WOW!!! guys get an evening Matinee. Popcorn, lounge chairs, brews and after party. Beats the heck out of 8am Sunday Euro-World Cup fogginess in my pajamas!!!
  • 2 0
 I was just thinking this will be one of the first times where I actually watch a live race haha.
  • 2 0
 Can't wait I'm going for G.M. ☆
  • 2 2
 Same race course for both races???
  • 6 0
 @audeo03 what did you do skip the article and come straight to the comments?
  • 1 4
 When did they get mountains east of the Mississippi?! But I am happy I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to watch live.
  • 4 0
 The USGS says about 270 million years ago but wikipedia says 480 million. I'm sure you were born after that.

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