Video Round Up: Winning Runs from the 2019 World Cup Season

May 10, 2020
by Ed Spratt  
2019 was a rollercoaster of a year for downhill racing with some big names injured and an extremely close title fight in both the men's and the women racing. We were all on the edge of our seats until the final run of the year. With the 2020 season on indefinite hold and with the Losinj World Cup originally scheduled for this weekend, we decided to look back at the fastest runs from 2019.

Maribor:

The opening round of the 2019 season in Maribor provided a great start to the season with the top four Elite Male riders separated by less than a second. Loic Bruni was the rider who came out on top in Solvenia on the new mixed wheel Specialized Demo. Danny Hart, who was also experimenting with the two wheels sizes, was just off the pace of Bruni and, as ever, Troy Brosnan was in the mix in third.

In the Elite Women's race, it was a battle between the two British riders Rachel Atherton and Tahnee Seagrave. With Tracey Hannah in third over 2.5 seconds off the pace, they were in a league of their own on race day. With extremely close split times, we thought the rest of the season was going to be dominated by the battle between Atherton and Seagrave...

Men:

1st. Loic Bruni: 2:58.839
2nd. Danny Hart: +0.404
3rd. Troy Brosnan: +0.764

Women:

1st. Tahnee Seagrave: 3:25.888
2nd. Rachel Atherton: +0.855
3rd. Tracey Hannah: +2.638




Fort William:

After coming away from Maribor sitting in ninth for the overall, the 2018 series winner Amaury Pierron was hungry for a top result and he definitely delivered. Pierron's run was on the edge from top to bottom and he had the wildest finish we may have ever seen in World Cup downhill, taking the biggest winning margin in the Men's racing for 2019. Troy Brosnan was again in the top three and this time just over three and a half seconds off the Frenchman.

Rachel Atherton would get her first win in Fort William onboard the new Atherton prototype and, with Tahnée out after an injury from training, it was looking like the series title would once again go to Rachel. Tracey Hannah's run was good enough for second place and in third was the privateer rider from Germany, Nina Hoffmann.

Men:

1st. Amaury Pierron: 4:28.578
2nd. Troy Brosnan: +3.582
3rd. Loris Vergier: +3.631

Women:

1st. Rachel Atherton: 5:15.560
2nd. Tracey Hannah: +1.611
3rd. Nina Hoffmann: +8.822




Leogang:

Moving on to Leogang and we saw a continuation of the French domination of men's downhill with Loic Buni securing his second win of 2019, although Greg Minnaar came ever-so-close to another World Cup victory in second. Troy Brosnan was again inside the top three men with a third-place finish, 0.746 seconds behind Bruni.

In the Elite Women's racing, we saw a shakeup in the results after a crash from Rachel Atherton saw her finish in 15th. Seizing this opportunity was Tracey Hannah, who put over two seconds in Nina Hoffmann and split the top three riders by nearly ten seconds. Kate Weatherly was able to just squeeze into the top three women after a small crash from Marine Cabirou left her in fourth position.

Men:

1st. Loic Bruni: 3:16.132
2nd. Greg Minnaar: +0.324
3rd. Troy Brosnan: +0.746

Women:

1st. Tracey Hannah: 3:42.107
2nd. Nina Hoffmann: +2.435
3rd. Kate Weatherly: +9.360




Vallnord:

A weekend of racing in Andorra saw the French winning streak continue with a back to back win for Loic Bruni. In an intense finale, Bruni was just able to keep ahead of a charging Loris Vergier who was the only rider to come within a second of Bruni. Troy Brosnan secures his another third place after an amazingly consistent first half of the season.

After her crash in Leogang, Rachel Atherton was gunning for the win and with a gap of nearly two and a half seconds to Marine Cabirou, she secured her 39th World Cup win, putting her just two wins off Anne Caroline Chausson's record. Despite a crash, Tracey Hannah would finish third and Nina Hoffmann would put on an incredible spectacle for the crowds after losing her shoe and riding half the track in her socks.

Men:

1st. Loic Bruni: 4:11.055
2nd. Loris Vergier: +0.423
3rd. Troy Brosnan: +1.202

Women:

1st. Rachel Atherton: 5:00.622
2nd. Marine Cabirou: +2.497
3rd. Tracey Hannah: +7.131




Les Gets:

In a race run that still defies physics, Amaury Pierron reached light speed during his race run in Les Gets, beating out fellow Frenchman Loic Bruni by a staggering 2.352 seconds. Laurie Greenland finished up the day in third after laying down a run that was over three seconds off the pace of Pierron.

For the women, Tracey Hannah secured her second win in 2019 with Marine Cabirou nipping at her heels in second place. Mariana Salazar rounded out the top three just over two seconds back. But the fastest female rider of the day was the Junior rider Vali Höll. Rachel Atherton sadly crashed out in practice and sustained an Achilles tendon injury, knocking her out of contention for the rest of the season.

Men:

1st. Amaury Pierron: 2:57.008
2nd. Loic Bruni: +2.352
3rd. Laurie Greenland: +3.450

Women:

1st. Tracey Hannah: 3:27.600
2nd. Marine Cabirou: +0.677
3rd. Mariana Salazar: +2.171




Val di Sole:

The Black Snake once again provided the goods with an incredible weekend of racing that resulted in two new World Cup winners. In the Men's racing, it was British rider Laurie Greenland who took the top spot with an impressive win, taking almost three seconds off of Loic Bruni's time. Although we saw a change at the top, the next three riders would be Bruni, Vergier, and Pierron showing the French still had their hold on World Cup downhill in 2019.

The women's race saw another first-time winner with Marine Cabirou taking a huge win of over 11 seconds. With a second-place finish, Tracey Hannah held onto the overall title lead but Cabirou edged closer o the Australian.

Men:

1st. Laurie Greenland: 3:37.819
2nd. Loic Bruni: +2.854
3rd. Loris Vergier: +4.882

Women:

1st. Marine Cabirou: 4:25.790
2nd. Tracey Hannah: +11.776
3rd. Camille Balanche: +18.324




Lenzerheide:

After some incredible racing in Leogang, Amaury Pierron took his third win and closed in on Loic Bruni in the overall, just 100 points back. Greg Minnaar finished in second place once again, less than a second behind Pierron, and Loic Bruni could only muster a third-place on race day. Leaving just one more race to defend his overall title lead...

Marine Cabirou backs up her victory in Val di Sole with another top spot in Switzerland as she just squeezes ahead of Tracey Hannah. Swiss rider Emilie Siegenthaler had a return to form going seven seconds back from the top two women.

Men:

1st. Amaury Pierron: 2:49.422
2nd. Greg Minnaar: +0.951
3rd. Loic Bruni: +1.400

Women:

1st. Marine Cabirou: 3:34.304
2nd. Tracey Hannah: +0.264
3rd. Emilie Siegenthaler: +7.085




Mont-Sainte-Anne World Championships:

Loic Bruni continued his masterclass of World Championship performances as he once again secured the rainbow jersey. After Troy Brosnan's time had looked unbeatable, Bruni managed to find half a second on the Australian rider to take the gold medal position.

After sitting out nearly a whole season due to injuries, both Myriam Nicole and Tahnee Seagrave were back between the tape and although neither rider was up to full strength, they managed to secure the top two positions with Myriam Nicole taking the gold medal spot. After her back to back wins, Marine Cabirou rounded out the top three and was only just behind the time of Seagrave.

Men:

1st. Loic Bruni: 4:05.544
2nd. Troy Brosnan: +0.581
3rd. Amaury Pierron: +2.549

Women:

1st. Myriam Nicole: 4:53.226
2nd. Tahnee Seagrave: +1.204
3rd. Marine Cabirou: +1.694




Snowshoe:

As if the 2019 season couldn't get any better, we then had the grand finale in Snowshoe, an all or nothing showdown for the overall title between Loic Bruni and Amaury Pierron. Pierron was first to go and he set a blistering pace, as he crossed the line with a time that gave the last man down the hill the role of kingmaker as he would have to win or else the series would slip out of Bruni's grasp. The title was sitting on a knife-edge, but with one of the best runs we have seen in the past few years, Danny Hart broke a three-year streak of no wins and took the final win of 2019 and handed the title to Bruni.

The women's racing also reached a nail-biting conclusion as Traceh Hannah and Marine Cabirou fought for the overall. But with a sixth-place finish for Hannah, the title would go to the Australian, although Cabirou managed to take her third win of the year with an impressive 1.995 second margin back to the recently crowned World Champion Myriam Nicole.

Men:

1st. Danny Hart: 3:03.627
2nd. Amaury Pierron: +0.656
3rd. Charlie Harrison: +0.971

Women:

1st. Marine Cabirou: 3:43.032
2nd. Myriam Nicole: +1.995
3rd. Veronika Widmann: +3.482






33 Comments

  • 39 0
 I never understood how Troy Brosnan can be so consistent and never win races. It’s insane. A cool idea would to see who has the fastest overall time over their career... bet Troy would take it.
  • 7 0
 ^This is a bright idea. Do it PB!
  • 2 2
 I genuinely believe if Brosnan had a bit more mass that no one else could touch him
  • 3 1
 I always wonder whether it’s just a ‘psychological edge’ thing. Maybe he’s really fast but doesn’t truly see himself, deep down, as number one. It is a rather bizarre anomaly, that’s for sure.

A good example of ‘knowing you’re the best’ would be Roger Federer. At a certain point, everyone facing him knew they were up against the best. And he knew he was number one. Tiger Woods is another good example. ‘The Winner Effect’ by Ian Robertson, is a good book that goes into detail about it.
  • 13 0
 Nerdy analysis incoming...

I was just looking on Eliot Jackson's world cup stats website (really cool site btw) - if you average all results for elite men in world cups, Troy is second only to Nico Vouilloz (average finish of 10.9 for Troy vs 7.53 for Nico).

Obviously Nico is an alien to be so far ahead of the pack... but it speaks volumes that Troy is in second place with only two career world cup wins. And it's not like Troy doesn't have a large sample size of race results - his first season was 2010, and keep in mind that back then juniors raced with elites - so picking up good results early wasn't easy.

And in case you're wondering, when it comes to average results Minnaar comes in 3rd, Gwin 4th, Gee 5th, Hill 6th... Peaty 8th. However, I don't think these guys would mind too much as race wins and overalls are what really count - and these guys dominate that list:

Minnaar - 21 wins
Gwin - 20 wins
Peaty - 17 wins
Hill - 13 wins
Nico - 13 wins
Gee - 8 wins

And with current trajectory, the likes of Loic and Amaury will probably rise pretty high on that list one day (they already are the two guys sitting right behind the aforementioned club with 5 and 6 wins respectively).

I really hope Troy can convert his consistency into at least just one season where he goes out and wins almost every race, he's been sitting on the cusp for so many years.
  • 3 0
 @tobiusmaximum: At 26 (?) he's still reasonably young. I know it's not quite the same but look at any 26 year old at work - are they running much? Not usually. Look at a guy/girl a few years older who is running things, are they the smartest / best person in the room? Probably not but they're typically less worried about whether they are, they just get shit done (caveat; everyone has had a shit boss - but the exception proves the rule).

It will be interesting to see if Troy starts taking results as he gets a bit older / has more experience - the GOAT has already demonstrated that (within reason) age doesn't really matter, and how old is Sam Hill now? It's just about getting shit done. Would be cool to see him do so.
  • 1 1
 @ChasingPhotons: I’m not sure what point you’re making. Or rather, I can read what you’ve written, but I’m not sure how it relates to what I said.

Are you saying these riders are just autonomously racing the tracks? Because I’m pretty sure almost all top level sports people admit that the mental game is a big factor. Maybe I just don’t get what you’re saying.
  • 2 1
 When it is by less than a second it is only bad luck I I think, in the opposite way Bruni really often wins by a small margin, he seems more lucky. Lookat Ben Cathro videos half a second can be won or lost on Evry turn. Let's see if a 29 front wheel gives him extra speed...
  • 1 1
 @pasteque51: sounds a bit like you’re saying that when all’s said and done.. Loic is the fastest in the world, by luck.
  • 3 1
 @tobiusmaximum: I just say when you win several Times by less than a second on a 3 or 4 min track there is also a part of luck, Brosnan almost rides as well as him and has not ever won a race it is also bad luck. Watch a pov run in Mont Saint Anne, 0 6 seconds is nothing, same with Maribor Vallnord and Leogang. You can't say there is not a part of luck in that.
  • 2 2
 @pasteque51: i can. luck sounds a bit like a fairy tale. if you go and study luck, i think you'll find its just variables we aren't able to measure. the point i think the original post makes is that it is certainly unusual that he is so consistently 'not the winner'.
a few times and this might be luck. when it happens consistently i don't think 'luck' is a valid assessment. i just don't think luck really means anything. andy murray quotes a pertinent statement.. "the harder i work, the luckier i seem to get".

or, more simply put, if it is just luck, how come he doesn't win more often? how can it be always 'bad luck'?
  • 6 0
 Brosnan v Bruni v Pierron when they all raced together:
www.rootsandrain.com/compare5740,18198,22047

The totals are down the bottom. From 2017 - 2019, Brosnan is 1hr:22:07; Bruni is 16 seconds behind; Pierron a further 3 seconds back.
  • 3 0
 @tobiusmaximum: realistically on the world circuit there are only a handful of riders (5-6)who can win a WC round, and Troy is definitely amongst that pack. On the day, there is always one of the other five who’ll be that fraction faster.

Brosnan and Danny Hart have been the best riders over the last 5 years for sure even though they’ve only got 5 wins between them.
  • 1 0
 @dubod22: the comparison post above highlights that overall, Troy is the fastest rider. I feel this only adds more to the strange anomaly that he rarely wins.

If, as you say, there is always someone a fraction faster, how long can we pin this to just good/bad luck?

I would be the first to say it’s very strange. Consistently so close.. so is he riding the tiniest bit conservatively? I don’t think so, but maybe.

It’s probably a bit woo woo, but there seems to be some truth in the saying ‘think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right’.

It’s entirely possible that, the longer it goes on, the more concrete his mindset is as ‘someone who doesn’t win’. Is this a factor? Who knows. All that being said, I want to see him as World Cup champion. I was right at the front of the line of people who were absolutely gutted that he didn’t win the Worlds in 2019.
  • 3 0
 @tobiusmaximum: I think this would apply in a head-to-head, but as the racers go one-by-one they simply cannot know what zero point something is. There has been many times where he's gone and put an absolute booter of a time down with 1-2 riders to go and you can tell he knows he's left nothing on the track only for Bruni or Pierron to edge it in a cruel twist of fate (for him).

I believe all he has to do is keep doing what he is doing and he'll win many WCs. Perhaps not Minnaar or Gwin levels, but enough to go down as one of the greats.
  • 2 0
 @dubod22: i want to see him, or danny, piece together a really solid season and make the frenchies sweat a bit.
  • 2 0
 @tobiusmaximum: half a second on mont saint anne track, it is not a different riding it would cost you at least 5 seconds to have less commitment. Troy did not do runs like Pierron in les gets where there was no match with anyone else, but you can also win without donc runs like that, and it is often Bruni who wins on this situation...
  • 3 0
 @tobiusmaximum: The point is that there is very likely a 'psychological edge' factor in his results.

Typically with a bit more age and experience, people are better able to focus on what is necessary to achieve a goal rather than the goal itself. Maybe that's what he needs.

Evidence suggests he still has plenty of time to pick up some top results - hopefully he does.
  • 2 0
 What’s cool is that we are all great fans of his! He is clearly a f*cking ripper if we are all debating the marginal difference he needs to be another GOAT!!!!!
  • 5 0
 Who programs the Matrix this year? Last year was so much fun but this year sucks. You must have forgotten to update your antivirus.
  • 3 0
 Simpsons did it
  • 2 0
 One of the best seasons of racing with what for me was the most memorable end to the season ever. Got to go see MSA Champs, so cool, and the crowd at MSA was BANANAS! Cool to see a mens and womens first time gold in one race for Marine and Laurie in Val di Sol. Pumped to see what Marine Cabirou can do, she is on fire. And Mr. Brosnan, I'm rooting so hard for that dude, love watching him ride. The level of competition is so high, makes it unbelievable to watch. Danny is still my favorite.
  • 5 0
 Thanks for killing it with all the legit random content, guys.
  • 3 0
 2019 was a great season! Le Gets, Val di Sole, MSA, and Snowshoe were all incredible races. Stoked to see Danny get the win again, last race, last run!
  • 1 0
 All told, Mullet domination! Even Maribor, men's 1st, 2nd and third. MC wins 3 in the women's, 3 tenths off a fourth win. Next/this season will see more of the mullet phenomenon, AG already claiming he'll never ride anything else. I love the F1 side of DH, as well as the athlete side, DH rules!
  • 4 0
 France winning 75% of the men’s races. Bonkers.
  • 2 0
 Sheer domination with no end in sight imo
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: I'm just waiting on a decent contract offer. I got you fam.
  • 3 0
 Damn Watching again Amaury's run in Les Gets gave me goosebumps. Sheer speed and determination!
  • 2 0
 My all time favourite is les gets, Pierron absolutely on the edge... his POV is insane
  • 2 0
 Pierron at Les Gets still does it, I don't think it's physically possible to ride that course even faster.
  • 1 0
 What a season!!! I miss World Cup
  • 1 0
 No Mont Saint Anne?

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