Nerding Out - Leogang World Cup 2021

Jun 14, 2021 at 11:19
by James Smurthwaite  
Hometown hero of the mens race David Trummer rode to a top 20 for the local fans.

Despite regular grumbles about the historically bike parky nature of the track, there's no denying that its tight time gaps and well-broadcasted course make for incredibly exciting racing for all of us watching at home. Thankfully the new course changes have done nothing to change that.

The new woods section is now in its second year and it seems that it hasn't been dry since it was first graced by racers' rubber last October. Once again it was the talk of the weekend as racers pondered over the best lines, setups, and approaches to conquer 'Vali's Hell'. The results will tell us that Troy Brosnan and Camille Balanche made the most sense of it but there was far more going on in both races than that might suggest. Let's get into the splits and sectors to understand what really went on in Austria on Saturday.


Results



Elite Men


1st: Troy Brosnan: 3:26.019
2nd: Thibaut Daprela: 3:27.254
3rd: Amaury Pierron: 3:27.497
4th: Reece Wilson: 3:27.917
5th: Benoit Coulanges: 3:28.253


Elite Women


1st. Camille Balanche: 4:07.850
2nd. Vali Höll: 4:09.262
3rd. Monika Hrastnik: 4:09.321
4th. Marine Cabirou: 4:13.728
5th. Tahnee Seagrave: 4:16.530


The Sectors

Screenshot: Red Bull TV

Sector 1 From the start gate, around the opening corners, and across the ski piste cambers. The split ends just after the second road crossing.
Men ≈ 47 seconds, Women ≈ 55 seconds

Sector 2 Through the rest of the top open sections including the steep stumps. The section ends at the foot of the motorway jumps.
Men ≈ 35 seconds, Women ≈ 42 seconds

Sector 3 Through the ten jumps of the motorway to just before the riders hit the wallride.
Men ≈ 39 seconds, Women ≈ 43 seconds

Sector 4 Off the wallride and into the woods. The section ends a couple of turns before the bridge jump back onto the old track.
Men ≈ 50 seconds, Women ≈ 65 seconds

Sector 5 Out of the woods to rejoin the main line, the track now avoids the rock roll into the finish and sends riders through another small woods section before they cross the line.
Men ≈ 34 seconds, Women ≈ 42 seconds

Total Length: 2.2km / 1.37 miles

Total Drop: 469 metres / 1539 ft


Sector by Sector Results



Men
Sector 1
1. Thibaut Daprela - 46.704
2. Matt Walker +0.344
3. Benoit Coulanges +0.468
4. Joe Breeden +0.539
5. Loic Bruni +0.619

Sector 2
1. Thibault Daprela - 35.111
2. Phil Atwill +0.905
3. Danny Hart +1.128
4. Troy Brosnan +1.207
5. Finn Iles +1.433

Sector 3
1. Greg Minnaar - 38.126
2. Dakotah Norton +0.051
3. Luca Shaw +0.141
4. Angel Suarez +0.246
5. Benoit Coulanges +0.312

Sector 4
1. Reece Wilson - 48.330
2. Laurie Greenland +0.707
3. Amaury Pierron +0.770
4. Remi Thirion +1.289
5. Troy Brosnan +1.539

Sector 5
1. Troy Brosnan - 33.800
2. Thibaut Daprela +0.531
3. Mark Wallace +0.625
4. Kye A'Hern +0.792
5. Amaury Pierron +0.831

Perfect Lap

3:22.071

Fastest Run

3:26.019


Women
Sector 1
1. Vali Holl - 53.407
2. Tahnee Seagrave +0.655
3. Marine Cabirou +1.025
4. Camille Balanche +1.577
5. Monika Hrastnik +1.934

Sector 2
1. Vali Holl - 42.173
2. Myriam Nicole +0.539
3. Marine Cabirou +1.320
4. Camille Balanche +1.637
5. Monika Hrastnik +2.082

Sector 3
1. Myriam Nicole - 42.123
2. Vali Holl +0.996
3. Camille Balanche +1.011
4. Tahnee Seagrave +1.418
5. Monika Hrastnik +1.566

Sector 4
1. Camille Balanche - 1:04.470
2. Vali Holl +1.008
3. Monika Hrastnik +1.016
4. Marine Cabirou +2.559
5. Eleonora Farina +4.231

Sector 5
1. Monika Hrastnik - 40.550
2. Camille Balanche +0.902
3. Eleonora Farina +1.913
4. Veronika Widmann +2.058
5. Myriam Nicole +2.500

Perfect Lap

4:02.723

Fastest Run

4:07.850



The Story of the Race




In Depth






Men

Sector 1
From the start gate, around the opening corners, and across the ski piste cambers. The split ends just after the second road crossing.


It can't be overstated how impressive Thibaut Daprela was in the top two sectors on Saturday. After the first 45 seconds of track, he already had a lead of more than 0.3 seconds. This may not sound like a lot but this is Leogang we're talking about, where entire races have been won by less.

Matt Walker was the closest rider to Daprela at 0.344 seconds and Benoit Coulanges was the only other rider to get within half a second, which put him third. Coulanges was closely followed by Joe Breeden and Loic Bruni. Eventual winner Troy Brosnan starts with a ninth-placed split 0.737 seconds back.



Sector 2
Through the rest of the top open sections including the steep stumps. The section ends at the foot of the motorway jumps.


Daprela continued to extend his lead in Sector 2, this time he was nearly a second faster than anyone else in just over 30 seconds of track. Daprela was also significantly faster than anyone else through this sector of the track last year, so clearly he's got a trick up his sleeve that sets him apart through these steep stump sections.

Phil Atwill has a great second split and is the only rider within a second of Daprela, closely followed by Danny Hart and then Troy Brosnan. Matt Walker, who was second fastest at Split 1 seems to have a bit of trouble in this sector and loses two seconds.


Adding the first two sectors together, we can see that Daprela has already built a commanding lead of more than 1.5 seconds. Phil Atwill's storming Sector 2 sees him running second at this point ahead of Hart and Brosnan. Daprela aside, the rest of the racers are tightly packed as you'd expect from the more bike-parky half of the Leogang track as just over 2 seconds separate Phil Atwill in second to Luca Shaw in 20th.



Sector 3
Through the ten jumps of the motorway to just before the riders hit the wallride.


A flurry of different names appears at the top of the time sheets in the motorway sector as Minnaar takes it by the narrowest of margins over Dakotah Norton. The second Syndicate rider, Luca Shaw, comes through third fastest and Angel Suarez shows his moto roots with a fourth fastest time through this rhythm section. Brosnan has his worst split of the race here but it's only twelfth place and less than half a second back on Minnaar.

The big name missing here is Thibaut Daprela. This is the section where it looked like he tried to triple one of the jumps and it may have looked cool but he later admitted it was a mistake after he lost his bearings and jumped the wrong transition. It cost him crucial momentum and he was 28th fastest through this sector, more than a second off Minnaar.


Daprela's lead gets cut for the first time as we reach the halfway point of the race and he now has an advantage of just over a second over Brosnan, who is starting to climb through the rankings. Coulanges, Suarez, Norton, and Iles are all well placed at this time with the most crucial part of the track still to come. One rider to point out here is Pierron - as in qualifying, he's a fair way down on the leader at the end of the motorway but he will make up lots of time from the entry to the woods onwards.



Sector 4
Off the wallride and into the woods. The section ends a couple of turns before the bridge jump back onto the old track.


When we get into the woods, we start to see much larger time gaps develop. In Sector 3, the top 20 were separated by about three quarters of a second. In Sector 4, it's by more than three seconds. Reece Wilson was fastest through here (and took the top spot in Red Bull's Key Section), proving that last year's victory wasn't as much of a lottery as some people like to claim.

Laurie Greenland and Amaury Pierron aren't too far behind with Thirion (who picked up bronze at last year's World Championships) and Troy Brosnan making up the top five. Daprela gets stalled on the low line off the drop and loses 3.5 seconds while Suarez, Norton, and Iles, who made up most of the leading group at this point, start to slip back, finishing this sector 49th, 21st, and 25th respectively.


The standings get shaken up with Troy Brosnan stepping into the lead for the first time and Pierron and Wilson taking huge strides forward. Daprela has gone from first to third and is 0.7 down on the leader at this point. Coulanges holds onto the final podium place at this point but it's going to be down to the wire between him and Danny Hart.



Sector 5
Out of the woods to rejoin the main line, the track now avoids the rock roll into the finish and sends riders through another small woods section before they cross the line.


Brosnan turns on the afterburners close to the line and powers home by winning the final sector. He spoke a lot about his revised fitness regime in preparation for this race and clearly it served him well, as he was able to push right through to the line. Daprela recovers to take the second-fastest time followed by Brosnan's two teammates, Wallace and A'Hern.


Brosnan takes the win by more than a second with Daprela and Pierron taking silver and bronze on the new Supreme. Wilson's super-strong woods section took him to fourth while Coulanges gets his first-ever World Cup podium in fifth.



Women

Sector 1
From the start gate, around the opening corners, and across the ski piste cambers. The split ends just after the second road crossing.


Sector one belongs to Vali Holl. She got off to a great start on her home track at her debut Elite World Cup and only Tahnee Seagrave is able to get within a second of her. Marine Cabirou is third, followed by Camille Balanche and Monika Hrastnik. Norwegian-born but US-based racer Frida Ronning puts in a super-impressive split for sixth. Myriam Nicole crashed on just the second turn but will have the rest of the track to try and make up her five-second deficit.



Sector 2
Through the rest of the top open sections including the steep stumps. The section ends at the foot of the motorway jumps.


It's Vali Holl on top again in Sector 2 but you can see how well Myriam Nicole recovered and she is now chasing hard, just 0.5 seconds back on this sector. Cabirou keeps it consistent in third and Balanche maintains her position in fourth. Seagrave, who made a great start, slips back and is eighth fastest through this sector.


After 90 seconds of racing, Holl has already established herself as the woman to beat in this race. Cabirou's consistency has got her the third spot and Seagrave holds onto fourth, although she has just a whisker of a lead over the World Champion. Myriam Nicole is beginning her comeback and climbs her way up to seventh.



Sector 3
Through the ten jumps of the motorway to just before the riders hit the wallride.


Myriam Nicole is flying now and takes the motorway by almost a second, this is a truly impressive sector when you consider how tight times can be on this high-speed rhythm section. Vali Holl is still fast here and ends up second just ahead of Balanche. Cabirou loses significant time, probably due to her massive nose dive off the first jump that she saved incredibly well.


Holl's lead grows by another second to be almost three now. Interestingly, the rider who won the first two splits in both races would have a significant lead by the end of the motorway but both also ended second by the end of the race after a mistake. The battle for second place is fierce at this point with Balanche, Cabirou and Seagrave all within 0.3 seconds of each other. After a rough start, Myriam Nicole has battled her way into fifth at the halfway point.



Sector 4
Off the wallride and into the woods. The section ends a couple of turns before the bridge jump back onto the old track.


Just like last year, Balanche was able to make sense of the woods better than the rest of her competitors and wins the fourth sector. Vali Holl and Monika Hrastnik are roughly neck and neck here about a second back. After working hard to get herself back in contention, Myriam Nicole slips up again and loses 10 seconds with a crash just before the drop.


Vali Holl's lead got cut in the top half of the woods but she still has two seconds to play with before the line. Balanche holds second place but Monika Hrastnik jumps from sixth to third. Myriam Nicole yo-yos again, this time back to seventh.



Sector 5
Out of the woods to rejoin the main line, the track now avoids the rock roll into the finish and sends riders through another small woods section before they cross the line.


Disaster strikes in the final split as Vali Holl takes a tumble and loses four seconds on the very last turn of the course. For a full analysis on that crash, watch Ben Cathro's breakdown, here. Hrastnik wins the final sector and Balanche continues her strong bottom half of the track as the Dorval teammates go 1-2.


Rainbow curse? What Rainbow curse. On the track she became World Champion last year, Camille Balanche takes her first Elite World Cup win less than 12 months later. Vali Holl loses the victory but recovers well enough to take second, only just beating out Monika Hrastnik by less than a tenth of a second. Third place is a joint career-best result for Hrastnik, equalling her run in Val di Sole 2018.

Cabirou holds on to fourth despite a couple of washouts in the woods and Tahnee holds off a fast-finishing Farina for fifth.





51 Comments

  • 143 0
 Yeah, but Bulldog’s wall ride…
  • 27 0
 should be -1 second for radness
  • 7 0
 My brain melted like a candle when I saw that! :O
  • 2 2
 Hart did it last year or so... don´t know why anyone else didn´t hit it this year...
  • 1 0
 Will be interesting to see if that becomes the new fast line in the future. Sometimes staying lower is faster.
  • 1 0
 Moment of the weekend for me. Totally unexpected after watching all the other runs!
  • 3 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Many riders have hit it, Masters, Minnaar, Hart, Macdonald. Just not in their race run, so they must not feel it's faster. Fun to watch though!
  • 44 0
 I was laughing out loud watching Thibaut overshoot those jumps and still continue to extend his lead it was absolutely insane. Made funnier by the fact that Claudio was talking about how overshooting is bad.
  • 20 0
 claudio and his risk to benefit analysis. nailing those landings may be better for a long and promising career, but wild and crazy overshoots are waaaayyy cooler
  • 2 0
 Suarez overshooted the most and he still 4th into the motorway section only 0,2 behind MInaar...
  • 4 14
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Jun 15, 2021 at 5:36) (Below Threshold)
 Was really hoping Claudio was going to be replaced by Elliot in the booth this year but I guess we're stuck with him for another year. So many wrong intuitions, and that voice..
  • 22 1
 That's a hell lotta stuff to scroll through to get to the comment section, guys! Where's the analysis on Brook jumping onto that wallride? I'm still grinning after seeing that.
  • 18 0
 Thibaut is a force...JFC. Wonder how Angel would have done with no crash...
  • 17 1
 I remember people talking shit about Angel some 3 years ago, as in 'why is this guy even in a wc team?', but man, the time he stayed healthy showed the potential. He just needs to work on those silly crashes now
  • 2 0
 @iiman: kid is fast no question. I hope he can put it together on that new bike.
  • 12 0
 Burly powerful riders tend to go fast on the flatter flow sections where pumping and carrying momentum gives gains eg Gwinn chainless, the bantam weight guys like Troy and Laurie do well where its steep and janky and they can manage the braking and skip over the holes. It would be interesting to see a graphic with rider weight to compare. I could lose a couple pounds myself and ride more mellow stuff than steeps here in the UK so this could keep me on the beer and deep fried snacks performance diet.
  • 1 0
 I park at the local pub when I go for a ride, that way I have no choice but to re-hydrate with a nice pint. Or two.
  • 12 1
 Thibaut Daprela, I don't know who this guy is but wow!!
  • 8 0
 He moved to elite in the 2020 season I think. Before that he dominated in U23.
  • 7 0
 @TheJD: dominated juniors, 17-18
  • 5 0
 @TheJD: Yeah 2nd season elite. Under the mentorship of Nico Vouliouz(?)
  • 5 0
 @melonhead1145: Yup, mentored by Nico Vouilloz, teamates with Amaury Pierron. Definitely a prodigy of French DH
  • 7 0
 @melonhead1145: His godfather is Nico Vouilloz, i.e. the GodFather of all MTB racing Razz
  • 10 0
 Claudio: " going to fast and missing the landing of the jumps will actually cost you time" . Deprela: " Hold my beer "
  • 12 1
 Also Claudio:

Brosnan is behind Daprela by more than a second! Can he possibly catch up? I have amnesia and I forgot Daprela losing three and a half seconds in the woods around 4 minutes ago!

Daprela was insane at the top. If he had just an average woods section among the top 20 he would have won by a wide margin.
  • 5 0
 @Patrick9-32: I'm sure thousands of viewers were rolling their eyes at that moment. Surprised the penny didn't drop for Rob though.
Very interested to see how Eliot J does on co-commentary at Les Gets, hoping his calm, measured style will contrast nicely with Warner.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: I love Elliot's presenting style, its clear he just loves downhill racing and is excited to talk to his friends about it and brings us along with him. I hope that translates into his commentary.

I thought Tracey did a great job in the women's race as well just bringing that pure excitement even if she wasn't too hot on the play by play, that's what we have Rob for.
  • 6 0
 Thibaut Daprela was very competitive, despite some big (or at least highly visible on the live feed) mistakes. In some ways Thibaut's run reminded me of a younger Brosnan, who just missed out on the top of the podium a few times despite a pretty big mistake in his run. Or at least that's how I remember it, which is probably not very accurately. Anyhow, such a great race!
  • 5 1
 He actually reminds me of a young and wild ratboy!! Something about his wild and chaotic style of riding
  • 4 0
 I can see what you mean, reminds me a bit of this run from Troy in 2015. He was top qualifier, up at the top splits and riding noticeably faster than others but then had a small crash (not seen on the live feed). He still pulled back time after that and finished 3rd! www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_IQRgoU-Uc&ab_channel=LazyJohn

While it'd be great to see Daprela clean up his runs and go mistake-free, I also kind of want to keep seeing these wild runs just because it's so entertaining!
  • 2 0
 This might be a bit obvious, but I'm thinking he's more like Bruni before he learned to stay just below the limit. And Thibault looks like he'll be as dominant when he does the same.
  • 6 1
 It's surprising that in only one sector Aaron Gwin shows up - the motorway. He hadn't any real mistakes either. I guess he just wasn't up to speed. First round always catches a few guys out. Next one should see tighter results. And the front runners will be going all out. Love this S#@t !
  • 34 2
 Unfortunately, Gwin hasn't been up to speed for a couple of years now.
  • 4 0
 @packfill: Thats true, it started with the switch to the 29er wheels in the YT Mob and continued with the Intense team. Alongside with that there were some injuries that wont help either. As a fan of his really smooth riding style I hope he will find his mojo back.
  • 3 0
 To me it seemed like Gwin was looking almost somewhat clumsy on a bike, like he was riding a bike that is a bit too big for him. He used to ride in a very calm but commanding manner, he was on the center of the bike barely moving, but the bike was moving under him. Now it seemed like he was hanging on to the bike, moving along with it, not "floating" on top of it anymore.
My armchair analysis might be way off, but it looks like either his riding technique or his equipment has changed, and not for the better.
  • 3 0
 As his career has evolved the bigger his wheels get the slower he has gone.
  • 3 0
 Can anyone explain to me why roughly a minute at the beginning of each run seemed to be missing in the broadcast? Commentating carried through smoothly from the start to the stumps, but the clock said about 1:15 for each ride right after the camera cut.
  • 2 0
 They commentate from the live feed
  • 1 0
 @Raisadaruppe: Ohhh. Thanks. I had assumed the version on Red Bull TV was a straight pull from the live broadcast. Is there a way to watch the recording in its entirety?
  • 3 0
 @colinmgibbs: There is no recording of the entire track, they only film a portion of the track as that is all they need for the live feed. Also, it seems that they don't keep anything that is not part of the live stream considering how short Reece Wilson's winning run highlights were last year.
  • 8 0
 @colinmgibbs: Riders start at time intervals that are shorter than the time it takes to ride the entire track. The result is that there are always 3 riders (for lower-ranked elites and juniors) or 2 riders (top dogs) on course at the same time. This also means that not everything can be broadcast (or needs to be filmed) in a live feed.
  • 3 0
 I found this so interesting, more so than previous race breakdowns.

I think it's that the course has very distinct sections that are so different; grass corners, stumps; motorway; trees; post epic jump. It really shows the strengths of the riders.
  • 4 0
 Excellent analysis, typo on the Women Sector 4 graphs which show Mens?
  • 2 0
 Leogang has been a sick track both for world champs and this world cup, but the motorway has a few years and could do with some grassy turns instead tho
  • 1 0
 Leogang is turning into good race track just a shame about the long motorway sections.surely the hills big enough to create something more natural??
  • 3 0
 The start hut is only at the middle gondola. Half way up the hill
  • 3 0
 Daprella w/ the sick yank in that rhythm! No chart can capture that one
  • 2 0
 If that had worked out he would have been more like 4.5 seconds up going into the wallride. His top section was unfathomable.
  • 2 0
 Daprela showed us the importance of attack vs. technique
  • 2 0
 Can yall do the same for XC? Smile
  • 1 1
 PinkBike please put the comments up top...I had to scroll forever to get down here!

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