After a phenomenal couple of days blitzing the driest and dustiest Lourdes course we've ever known, the rug was pulled out in the most unfair fashion possible. Lourdes 2017 will be remembered as the race that was indubitably destroyed by horrific weather conditions arriving half-way through the elite men's race. Once inside the top 20, the heavens opened up in biblical fashion, not to mention the hurricane force wind that accompanied the deluge. The moisture wreaked havoc on the extremely rocky, hard-pack course, with many racers unable to keep sight of the track in front of them or indeed keep from sliding outside the tape even on the most basic sections… Suffice to say the last handful of riders hardly knew whether to complete their runs or begin gathering the animals, two by two. What's more, a collection of those unfortunate riders were on bikes set to blow a hole in the roof of the MTB industry, but now we'll simply never know. Until June.
Finn Iles and Rachel Atherton continued their winning streaks, while Danny Hart was denied and sent packing to 74th for his troubles. The silver lining for him was surely that all his main rivals for the overall title were also on the same sunken ship—with very few getting out alive… Connor Fearon and his podium finish being the possible exception. The weather gods did, however, have one man at the top of their priorities list; Alex Fayolle. People will say he only won because of the apparent divine intervention, but truth be told, his was an exceptional run; visibly furious and on the same second as Loris Vergier's top qualifying run the day prior. Whatever the case, while others sank or swam, Fayolle was somehow walking on water.