*Warning, now contains spoilers from Wednesday's race*Update:
After Wednesday's racing, the overall titles have only got closer. With it all coming down to finals on Saturday, here's how the overall looks now.
How the points will be allocated in the final:
Thibaut Daprela: 752
Loris Vergier: 706 (-46)
Loic Bruni: 627 (-125)
Reece Wilson 529 (-223)
Myriam Nicole: 985
Camille Balanche: 895 (-90)
Vali Holl: 875 (-110)
Tahnee Seagrave: 786 (-199)
There are no points for qualifying and instead they are all rolled into the points allocated for finals. Here's how that scale looks for Saturday's race:
Who can still win the overall?
Myriam Nicole is still the hot favourite in the women's field as she recovered from a race run crash to finish fourth and secure some valuable points in her race yesterday. A third-place finish or better will guarantee her the title and if Camille Balanche or Vali Holl don't win the race, she can finish off the podium and still take the overall.
The men's race is a tighter affair with just 46 points separating Daprela and Vergier. A win for either rider will secure them the title and there are a few scenarios where they could finish within five points of each other. Bruni's best hope for the title is to take the win but even then Daprela only has to finish fifth or Vergier second for him to be pipped at the post.
Although four riders are technically still in each title race, it's pretty unlikely that either Tahnee or Reece will claim a title on Saturday. Both riders will be relying on a win with their rivals scoring very few points. Still, stranger things have happened and with rain forecast over the week they are definitely still in with a shot.What if there's a tie?
If riders are tied on points, UCI Rule 4.9.008 states, "Riders tying on points are ranked by the greatest number of 1st places, 2nd places, etc. (total points in the standings of the concerned round) taking account only of places for which points are awarded for the world cup. If they are still tied, the points scored in the most recent world cup event are used to separate them."
The gripping finale of the 2019 World Cup season
will probably sit freshly in the memory of race fans around the world as both series were decided in the final runs of the season. The year-long battle between Tracey Hannah and Marine Cabirou culminated in Cabriou taking the race win but Hannah taking the title, while in the men's race, Danny Hart's heroic victory was enough to separate Loic Bruni from Amaury Pierron by 40 points. It was one of the greatest downhill World Cup weekends in history and we could be on for a similarly nail-biting battle 2 years on.
In the men's series, Thibaut Daprela has a healthy lead but a resurgent Loris Vergier will be chasing him down hand over fist while Myriam Nicole is favourite for the women's title
but Camille Balanche will be ready to pounce on any mistake for her own claim to the crown.How does the points system work in Snowshoe?
With two World Cups in a week and 450 points still to be allocated, things could change quickly in Snowshoe this weekend. The first race will work as normal with up to 50 points already awarded for qualifying and a further 200 on offer later today for the race. However, for the season finale
, there are no points for qualifying but the totals are combined on race day, this means we could see a 250 point swing in one afternoon of racing.Who can still win the titles?
Mathematically, a lot of racers are still in contention for the overall titles. In the men's series, there are 10 riders within 450 points of the top spot and in the women's series there are six women still racing for the title. However, for Eleonora Farina or Amaury Pierron to win the overall, they would probably need everyone above them to DNF in both races, so it's more likely to come down to two or three main protagonists in each series. Here's how the series stand after qualifying yesterday
How can the overall titles be decided?Elite Men
Thibaut Daprela - 752
Loris Vergier - 566
Loic Bruni - 467
Laurie Greenland - 433
Danny Hart - 409
Troy Brosnan - 386
Greg Minnaar - 384
Benoit Coulanges - 372
Reece Wilson - 329
Amaury Pierron - 327
Myriam Nicole - 860
Camille Balanche - 735
Tahnee Seagrave - 676
Vali Holl - 675
Monika Hrastnik - 527
Eleonora Farina - 481
Thibaut Daprela needs just 265 points across the two races, e.g a third and a fifth, to make it mathematically impossible for Vergier to take the title, regardless of any other results. He will also win automatically if he wins Saturday's race.
Daprela could also secure the title today and we think the most likely ways for him to do this are - if he wins today and Vergier finishes fourth or worse, if he finishes second and Vergier finishes sixth or worse, or if he finishes third and Vergier finishes 10th or worse. If Vergier DNFs, Daprela will need to finish 12th or better to take the title.
For Vergier, his goal is to score 187 points more than Daprela over the next two races but regardless of what he does, he'll still be reliant on Daprela's results to claim the title. The best-case scenario for Vergier is to score a full 450 points and hope that Daprela doesn't hit the 265 number he needs to secure the title.
Loic Bruni has an outside chance of taking the title but he would need to win both races and have Daprela score less than 165 points to take the win. Elite Women
At one point this season there was a dead heat between Balanche and Nicole in the overall
but Myriam's back-to-back wins have set her up as the favourite to take the title this weekend. The race is closer than in the men's field with just 125 points separating the two women and Tahnee Seagrave and Vali Holl also within 200 points of the lead.
Myriam Nicole needs to score 326 points over the two races to secure the title without relying on Balanche's results - she could do this for example with a second in today's race and a third in Saturday's. The only way she can secure the title today is if she wins and Balanche finishes outside the top eight and Seagrave and Holl both finish worse than sixth so basically, the women's race is probably going to go down to the big showdown on Saturday.
The picture will look clearer for all the riders after this afternoon's race. It may look like some of the titles are close to sealed but most of these riders have never been in this situation before and with the pressure of the title looming, anything can still happen. We'll update this article later today when the results drop.