Throwback Thursday: Remi Thirion's Wild Winning Run - Andorra World Cup 2013

Jun 22, 2020 at 9:29
by Ross Bell  

Rob Warner's words perfectly foreshadowed the following 4 minutes and 13 seconds as Remi Thirion cranked his way out the Andorran start hut in 2013; "he's a man not many people are talking about...flying under the radar really, no one has tipped him for the top this afternoon but maybe that lack of pressure is going to do him good". That turned out to be exactly the case as Remi crossed the line in the green, deposing Steve Smith from the hot seat much to the delight of the partisan crowd, a French rider on an Andorran bike was as close to a "home" win as it was ever going to get.

Remi is softly-spoken off the bike but a total animal on it. He's always had a prowess for steep, technical tracks and has one of the most creative riding styles on the circuit which proved to be a lethal concoction on that day. He did the damage in the steep chutes on the lower half of the course, holding lines few dared to try or had even spotted for that matter, bursting out of the woods onto the open grass with visually more speed than anyone else before holding it inside on the final turn with a foot off to take 2.273 seconds out of Smith.

His time would hold good despite some of the sports biggest scalps dropping in after him, Gee Atherton and Sam Hill would run him the closest albeit 1.3 and 1.7 seconds back respectively. Remi had sprung somewhat of a surprise on the sport taking the #15 plate to the top step of the podium, his solo World Cup victory to date.

As fate would have it Pinkbike photographer Matt Wragg chose the right race to follow Remi and document his approach to the fateful race.

Clean kit fresh googles and his helmet ready for the race run.
About 15 minutes before his run Remi began his warm-up it started with plenty of steady spinning on the bike building up to short sprints. Nothing too exhausting but enough to warm his muscles up and break a sweat so his body is ready to all-out when he reaches the race track.

Unfortunately he was a little late getting to the track just as it closed.
As far as the timing gate where he signs for his transponder while the marshall fits it.

And he s off...
And he's off...

Tight and lumpy There s only 2 real manmade jumps on this track but there are loads of small natural hits all the way down. The faster you go the more time you can spend in the air clearing the craters that have formed at the braking points.
The writing was on the wall in practice as Remi ripped his way down the Andorran steeps.

Remi Thirion 100m out and eyes on the prize.
The final moments of that run and his eyes are already on the prize.

Foot out to the line
Foot out flat out as he shaved a little distance off the track length by cutting inside on that final corner.

FTW
Bro Fist

Vic lap

Victor

Remi Thirion scored his first ever world cup podium this week. A win in front of the home crowd with his sponsor s head office less than a KM away was a fairy tale come true for the frenchman.
There were still some heavy hitters left at the top of the hill when Remi went into the hot seat but his time proved insurmountable.

...Ladies and gentlemen the winner of the Andorra World Cup 2013. Remi Thirion
The crowd was delighted by the result, as close to a home victor as it might get in Andorra.

Mens s Podium Remi Thirion with the W Gee Atherton in second Sam Hill in third Steve Smith for fourth and Troy Brosnan with his second podium in 3 races taking fifth.
Remi was joined on the box by Gee Atherton, Sam Hill, Steve Smith, and Troy Brosnan.

Must be something in the water 2009 the Atherton clan--then on Commencal--sweeps the field for DH and 4X. Fast forward to today and we again see a Commencal take the win on home soil.
Taking the win onboard a Commencal which was designed a matter of minutes up the road.



25 Comments

  • 8 0
 The camera angles seem to give a better view from races back then, showing the rider's speed and terrain more realistically. Coverage of the later tracks seems a lot flatter by comparison, even when it's just as steep and even faster. What g'wan Redbull?
  • 6 0
 easier to film flat boring treeless scenery this run gave me goosebumps, cant believe it's been 7yrs
  • 1 0
 Nothing to do with past coverage. It's the only track on the circuit that looks really steep on camera. No matter how I try, I can't really have any picture showing how steep a track section really is.
  • 1 0
 @fredhay: I checked the Bruni's winning run from last years coverage. Different camera angles, looks a lot flatter, and a lot less exciting to watch in my opinion.
  • 7 0
 He took apart that track that day. Carved out lines nobody else was taking. I want this guy back on top.
  • 3 0
 This. Thirion is always one of my top 5 to watch at every race. So much brilliant bike handling.
  • 3 0
 I remember that race, had me on the edge of my seat - if I remember correctly there was a part where he kind of wallrode over the mainline avoiding all the holes, what was genius! Couldn´t find it in the video so...
  • 8 0
 It's in that final gully at about 1:34 I think. If you watch vs Gee Atherton here he basically cuts off 2 corners: youtu.be/dvLt1vAXoqo?t=93
  • 1 0
 @jamessmurthwaite: Yes, that´s it. Thanks! Funny how without the comparision of the other rider´s lines it doesn´t seem so genius any mor...
  • 3 0
 That was a great run! Have been rooting for Remi Thirion since, and hoping for a similarly stellar performance, where everything aligns for him.
  • 6 0
 An underrated rider
  • 1 0
 Fantastic run by Remi but sometimes I feel these standout runs could do with some context from other rider's runs on the day to help highlight just how good they were. Danny H's run at Champery is great to watch but is so much better when you see how everyone else tackled it.
  • 1 0
 Fun fact, thats the first WC win on air suspension instead of coils. Also, maybe its just the tune of the BOS suspension, but back in 2013 it looks like everyone was running softer setups than now.
  • 3 0
 That was a good looking bike.
  • 1 0
 I was there, I always loved Remi personnality and his riding style. Waiting for 4 years for another french win. Damn I had goosebumps.
  • 1 0
 Hell yes. Always like watching Thirion. His ‘style’ or form is energetic, fully engaged, physical, and precise...which usually equals fast.
  • 1 0
 Great track, only 1 sharp turn and plenty of steeps. I think he might have been able to win that one even without a chain most of the way.
  • 1 0
 That was Scorcher, very enjoyable to watch. I had never seen it since I only started riding 4 years ago. Thank you for posting it.
  • 2 0
 And what a blistering pace it was!
  • 2 0
 Amazing he made it down at all on those tiny wheels
  • 2 0
 That'll be me on Monday at WBP opening
  • 1 0
 The day he fell off the mountain...
  • 2 0
 Wow.....
  • 1 0
 look at this podium !!!!! Quand est ce qu'il en regagne une , eul Mitch ?
  • 2 0
 What a podium.

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