Photo Epic: Finals - Leogang World Cup DH 2022

Jun 11, 2022 at 16:04
by Nathan Hughes  



The clouds finally parted in Leogang, but that didn't mean any reduction in drama once the racing action got underway. Juniors kicked off proceedings with Phoebe Gale and Jordan Williams taking home top honours in their respective categories. This track required a calm head, especially given the drying conditions... Step up Camille Balanche, the master of intelligent racecraft.

It wasn't really a surprise to see Camille win given she's done the exact same in the two years prior in similarly slick and chaotic conditions, but the margin in which she took the top spot was huge, a monstrous 11 seconds over Myriam Nicole who did well to salvage second after a crash. Several of her competitors overstepped the mark and ended their race in the dirt. Eleonora Farina picked up another strong podium finish in front of first-time World Cup qualifier Louise Ferguson who may well have had the ride of the weekend into 4th, just ahead of Monika Hrastnik.

The men's race was a little smoother, but wasn't without its fair share of crashes and carnage. The race built steadily with plenty of green lights and fresh faces on the hot seat. Towards the sharp end of the race, it was Angel Suarez who sat nervously gazing back up the track until Danny Hart slotted in front, before he was then pipped immediately by ex-teammate and compatriot Matt Walker. Finn Iles had a scruffy run and couldn't come close which then set up a showdown between Benoit Coulanges and Matt Walker for their debut win. Coulanges has been a consistent figure at the front of the field for a few years now, but unfortunately for him his wait to win stretches on after crashing whilst up at the splits. That little slip-up ensured Matt Walker's brutal time in the hot seat came to an end in the best possible way for the young Brit, clinching his very first elite World Cup win.

Marine Cabirou getting the body and mind prepped for a big day on the mountain and unfortunately one that would not go her way.
Marine Cabirou getting the body and mind prepped for a big day on the mountain and unfortunately one that would not go her way.

No rain That ll do pig.
No rain, That'll do, pig.

About the most paintwork we ve seen all week.
About the most paintwork we've seen all week.

Rider witness protection.
Goldstone in rider witness protection.

Lachlan Stevens-McNab launching into third place in junior men.
Lachlan Stevens-McNab launching into third place in junior men.

Juniro series leader Gracey Hemstreet took third in the drying mud.
Junior series leader, Gracey Hemstreet, took third in the drying mud.

Phoebe Gale returns to the top spot in junior women.
Phoebe Gale returns to the top spot in junior women.

Jordan Williams makes it two for two here at round three.
Jordan Williams makes it two for two here at round three.

Jenna Hastings takes her first World Cup podium.
Jenna Hastings takes her first World Cup podium.

Jordan Williams takes the top spot in junior men followed by Jackson Goldstone and Lachlan Stevens-McNab.
Williams takes the top spot in junior men followed by Jackson Goldstone and Lachlan Stevens-McNab.

Junior womens victors Gale Hastings Hemstreet.
Junior womens victors; Gale, Hastings & Hemstreet.

Austrian dirt well on it s way from molten to tacky.
Austrian dirt well on its way from molten to tacky.

Mathilde Bernard scored a seventh place on this ruined track.
Mathilde Bernard scored a seventh place on this ruined track.

Monika Hrastnik was another to go down but still managed to salvage a podium finish.
Monika Hrastnik was another to go down, but still managed to salvage a podium finish.

It s not every day an unknown rider in a national jersey lands on the podium but the top pros had to make some room for Louise Anna-Ferguson today.
It's not every day an unknown rider in a national jersey lands on the podium, but the top pros had to make some room for Louise Anna-Ferguson today.

Mille Johnset entering the off camber rut zone in the best shape it been since trackwalk.
Mille Johnset entering the off camber rut zone, its best shape since track walk.

Myriam Nicole still clawed her way back to second despite a crash.
Myriam Nicole still clawed her way back to second despite a crash.

After a barn-burner in Fort William Leogang was not the one for Nina.
After a barn-burner in Fort William, Leogang was not the one for Nina.

Eleonora Farina jumping into third.
Eleonora Farina jumping into third.

Ride of the weekend from Louise Ferguson
Ride of the weekend from Louise Ferguson?

Vali Holl absolutely devastated after a crash had her out of contention on home soil.
Vali Holl absolutely devastated after a crash had her out of contention on home soil.

Vali Holl absolutely gutted to crash out in her home race.
Crashing out again at her home race, gutted isn't even the word.

Queen of the moutain flying high.
Queen of the mountain flying high.

Camille Balanche stops the clock a massive 11 seconds up on her competition.
Camille Balanche stops the clock a massive 11 seconds up on her competition.

Another World Cup win to add to Camille Balanche s repertoire.
Another World Cup win to add to Camille Balanche's repertoire.

Balanche has this track figured out completing the hat-trick today.
Balanche has this track figured out completing the hat-trick today.

Camille Balanche takes the spoils infront of Nicole Farina Ferguson and Hrastnik.
Camille Balanche takes the spoils in front of Nicole, Farina, Ferguson and Hrastnik.

Camille Balanche s gets to spray that winners champagne once again.
Camille Balanche gets to spray that winner’s champagne once again.

Charlie Hatton charging for his best ever finish, shortly behind Atherton team mate, Kolb.

X-rated style from Frixtalon.
Signature x-rated style from Frixtalon.

Style king Kade Edwards had a few bobbles yet remained in the top 20.
Style king Kade Edwards had a few bobbles yet remained in the top 20.

Just outside the top 10 for Dylan Levesque.
Just outside the top 10 for Dylan Levesque.

Luca Shaw takes the final spot in the top 10.
Mark Wallace takes the final spot in the top 10.

Aaron Gwin is back in the mix. A couple of 11th s makes for a good week in Leogang.
Aaron Gwin is back in the mix. A couple of 11th's makes for a good week in Leogang.

Showboating and top tens for Dakotah Norton.
Showboating and top tens for Dakotah Norton.

Did Andreas Kolb score A Top Austrian B First podium C Career best result or D All of the above
Did Kolb score A: Top Austrian, B: First podium, C: Career best result or D: All of the above?

The loudest cheer of the day went to this man Andreas Kolb taking a popular podium on home soil.
The loudest cheer of the day went to this man, Andreas Kolb taking a popular podium on home soil.

So close yet soo far for Loris Vergier wih 7th place.
So close yet so far for Loris Vergier wih 7th place.

Fourth for Amaury Pierron after coming down fastest with only a few riders to go.
Fourth for Amaury Pierron after coming down fastest with only a few riders to go.

Greg Minnaar was on a heater until he pushed just a little too hard midway down the track.
Greg Minnaar was on a heater until he pushed just a little too hard midway down the track.

Angel Saurez 1.5 seconds off the win in 3rd.
Angel Saurez 1.5 seconds off the win in 3rd.

Danny Hart agonisingly close to that first win since joining Cube.
Danny Hart agonisingly close to that first win since joining Cube.

Thibaut Daprela
No cigar this time for Thibaut Daprela with a crash spoiling an otherwise great run.

Walker backs up his season overall from 2 seasons ago with another win.
Matt Walker backs up his season overall from 2 seasons ago with his inaugural win.

Matt Walker lunges for the line.
Walker lunges for the line.

Matt Walker knew he s laid down a good run... Little did he know just how good it would turn out to be.
Walker knew he's laid down a good run... Little did he know just how good it would turn out to be.

Finn was firing on a cylinders right back where he left off but it wasn t meant to be in the treacherous conditions. He d land just off the podium.
Finn was firing on a cylinders, right back where he left off, but it wasn't meant to be in the treacherous conditions. He'd land just off the podium.

So close once again for the young Canadian.
So close once again for the young Canadian.

Benoit Coulanges could all but taste victory today. The splits were green until disaster struck late in his run robbing him once again.
Benoit Coulanges could all but taste victory today. The splits were green until disaster struck late in his run, robbing him once again.

The moment Matt Walker new he bagged the win. A true nail biter of a race as the men s field counted down.
The moment Matt Walker new he bagged the win. A true nail biter of a race as the men's field counted down.

The wait for that illusive first World Cup win goes on for Benouit Coulanges. So close yet so far.
The wait for that illusive first World Cup win goes on for Benouit Coulanges. So close yet so far.

Walker consoles last man down the mountain on his woods wipe-out.
Walker consoles last man down the mountain on his woods wipe out.

Your Men s Elite podium - 1st Matt Walker 2nd Danny Hart 3rd Angel Suarez 4th Amaury Pierron and 5th Andreas Kolb
Your Men's Elite podium - 1st Matt Walker, 2nd Danny Hart, 3rd Angel Suarez, 4th Amaury Pierron, and 5th Andreas Kolb

Only champagne showers in the forecast for Matt Walker.
Only champagne showers in the forecast for Matt Walker.

TITLE
Fine times sure were had here in Austria. Lenzerheide here we come.



33 Comments

  • 37 1
 That midair pic of Camille is so freaking sick. Also, Camille herself is so freaking sick.
  • 3 0
 I am sure I was not the only one who thought her world champs run was luck but she sure has backed it up since that win. Solid racer with a good chance of the win on every track.
  • 28 4
 Gutted for Danny. So close.
  • 26 0
 Stoked that Danny is at one with his bike and can get the results he is capable of. Looking forward to seeing his runs in the rest of the season. Nice one Danny.
  • 7 0
 @gcrider: real nice!
Hart had that Cube looking wonderfully smooth.
  • 20 0
 Really really good photos! And that scrub by frix frix- what ab AMAZING shot!
  • 14 2
 I retract my comment from last race about the drone footage getting better.
  • 1 0
 Flying Patatos...probably donated by Warner Bros
  • 3 1
 @rafty: yeah but, flying potatoes that deliver live footage, you don't see em often.
In fact, last race was the first time??
  • 1 0
 haha i saw the race live and the drone guy was sitting right in the middle of spectator pathway, wearing those VR goggles, poor guy really had the hardest job going after every rider
  • 13 0
 Men's race... Wow! Good to see Gwin back in the mix
  • 8 1
 1st place photo is a tie between Hugo and Kade. So amazing to see these guys and girls race with style.
  • 7 0
 Love seeing Danny on the hot seat with his little girl!
  • 5 0
 Great race. So many contenders these days. Fun to see the Intense fellas getting settled and into the mix.
  • 2 0
 man seeing the race for the first time what an experience...but those Gopro POVs absolutely are the worst invention for DH. The first turn on the gopro pov looked like a regular trail and in reality I could only see the valley floor and the rider disappearing
  • 6 0
 That pic of Frix
  • 2 0
 If you look at his hands, it seems like he is not covering his brakes. Really committed to that scrub.
  • 6 2
 Someone give Louise Anna-Ferguson a team contract!
  • 8 0
 She is on the same team as Sam Hill, she is doing fine!
  • 3 2
 She is on the Nukeproof factory team, hope to see more results from her in the future! She shreds!
  • 4 0
 According to Cathrovision, she was in a GBR jersey as she doesn't have enough UCI points (or didn't, I bet she does now!) to qualify to race normally in her trade team colours. I would be very interested to know more about how all that works. Do you have to get named to the national team or was she already on the national team? Or can the national body just name someone whenever they want? Louise obviously had excellent results in new Zealand this past year so it was obvious she could race at this level.
  • 11 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: lou’s had some incredible results in NZ at nationals and Crankworx, but not managed to grab enough UCI points over the past year (no fault of hers).

To help, National federation, through an application process, an amount of national jerseys for World Cup events to enter.

These jerseys are representing the national federation I.e British Cycling, it’s a little different to being selected to represent Great Britain at the World Champs.

Incredible result. Especially as she only managed a handful of practise runs due to cancelled flights!
  • 2 0
 @hardtailfolife: Doubtful seeing how Wyn just have her privateer award.
  • 1 0
 @hardtailfolife: she just gets a free bike, no team...
  • 2 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: So to best of my knowledge....

World Cup entry requires a minimum number of UCI points. If you have enough, you can race. You are then entered by either your team (if on a UCI trade team), or by your federation. You can wear your own kit regardless.

However, every federation is allocated a certain number of spots per category they can use at their discretion, where ranking points aren't required. In this circumstance the athletes are representing the federation, and must use National kit. I assume that is what's happened here.

I've benefitted from that myself in the (now distant) past
  • 2 0
 @Cabin: Yeah thats my understanding too. They talk about it in the Wyn TV
  • 4 0
 These are some good photos; well done!
  • 3 0
 Ummm. Might that have been Mark Wallace in tenth?
  • 3 0
 The kinetic energy in the Frixtalon pic is next level
  • 1 0
 Marine Cabirou getting the Vulcan mind meld
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