Find out who did the winning at Maribor's double downhill race weekend
© Bartek Woliński
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI Downhill World Cup began with a bang at the double-header race weekend in Maribor, Slovenia. Watch the action, replays and get the race reports here.
You can watch all the downhill action from the Maribor Mercedes-Benz UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup on Red Bull TV. The live broadcast of the races can be watched via the links below:
World Cup race 1 – replay downhill finals
World Cup race 2 – replay downhill finals
Race 2: Women's finals
Women's DH final 2 – Maribor
The sun was out, the track was running fast and it was going to be a completely different race to Friday's slip and slide during the Elite Women's second race of the week. With a slightly altered track, riders didn't have much time to get used to the alterations before today's finals.
Friday's winner Marine Cabirou didn't have a good qualifying, but her race run made up for it. Aggressive and sprinting as hard as she could, the dynamic rider came down the mountain nearly seven seconds faster than those who came before her.
Next up was Germany's Nina Hoffmann. An incredible line through the rock section saw her pilot her bike with precision and this committed, fast line saw her encroaching on Cabirou's time. An immaculate ride in the bottom section of the track delivered her over the line 1.899s faster than Cabirou to take over the hot seat.
Hoffmann's time was challenged by the remaining riders, but nobody was able to better her time and knock her from the top and she walked away with her very first World Cup win.
Nina Hoffmann's winning run – Maribor Race 2
With three riders left at the top of the hill, Italy's Eleonora Farina dived straight into the course, but hitting the big jump with a very nose-heavy landing was too close for comfort and this mistake affected the rest of her run. But the Italian still set a time strong enough to see her finish in third.
British rider Tahnée Seagrave had bad luck from the beginning, with her rear wheel washing out in the first corner. She quickly got back on the bike, but the damage was done and she wasn't able to match Hoffmann's time.
The last rider to try and displace Hoffmann was fastest qualifier Myriam Nicole. Aggressive out the gate, Nicole was looking really strong on the track and with less than half-a-second separating her and Hoffmann at the second split, she was in touching distance of the win. The splits began to turn red, though, as the aggressive start and energy expended caught up with Nicole and a lapse of concentration saw her crash out in a corner. Quickly remounting, she continued to the bottom with a time that saw her secure fourth place.
Race 2 – Women's DH results
|1||Nina Hoffmann||3m 38.602s|
|2||Marine Cabirou||3m 40.501s|
|3||Eleonora Farina||3m 42.814s|
|4||Myriam Nicole||3m 44.677s|
|5||Tracey Hannah||3m 47.477s|
Race 2: Men's finals
Men's DH final 2 – Maribor
Times were expected to tumble on a track that was drier than qualifying the day before and the first man to do that and beat Saturday's top qualifying time of Loïc Bruni was Andreas Kolb. The Austrian cut a delighted figure in the hot seat, having displaced France's Benoît Coulanges. Kolb wouldn't stay there to long, though.
Greg Minnaar used all his experience and racking know-how to better Kolb's time by just over two seconds. The South African knew where he could correct his mistakes from qualifying the day before and it showed. Minnaar's fast time wouldn't stand long however, as Spanish rider Ángel Suárez had a brief moment in the lead. Aaron Gwin, the next rider down after the Spaniard, went faster.
Young Canadian Finn Iles had promised to ride more measured on his race runs from now on and boy did he deliver on that promise. Iles was super smooth on the top part of the course and had a blindingly fast rock section, so it was no surprise that his time was faster than Gwin's at the finish. His wouldn’t be the race winning performance, though – three of the last five riders down would go faster.
Britain's Matt Walker was the first to do so, although his race run almost came a cropper when he nearly went sideways into the entry into the Maribor forest.
Loris Vergier followed after Walker. The Frenchman won the first Maribor race on Friday and that confidence and form was on display in this second race. Despite making a few mistakes, he was on Walker’s pace and crossed the line with a time 0.4s better than the Brit with just three riders left to go.
Troy Brosnan and Thibault Daprela weren't able to better Vergier's time after making mistakes on their runs, so all eyes turned to Loïc Bruni to see if he could take the World Cup win away from his good friend.
At various points on his run, Bruni was faster than Vergier, including the last timing split on the course, and it was neck and neck time-wise right up to the finish. When Bruni turned his head to look back at the timing screen however he was an agonising 0.057s slower than Vergier's time.
Loïc Bruni's run – Maribor Race 2
Bruni couldn't be too disappointed with this result given his below par performances at the Leogang World Championships and Friday's first race in Maribor. For Vergier, this was very much a week to remember. He goes to the next World Cup round in Lousã, Portugal as the leader in the race for the Men's World Cup title after his double success here in Maribor.
Race 2 – Men's DH results
|1.||Loris Vergier||3m 7.771s|
|2.||Loïc Bruni||3m 7.828s|
|3.||Matt Walker||3m 8.174s|
|4.||Finn Iles||3m 8.634s|
|5.||Troy Brosnan||3m 8.767s|
Race 2: Practice and quali highlights
Small changes were made to the course for the second race of the weekend. The Rox'N'Roll rock garden was taped to open up a different line and a new off-camber rooty section was added. The riders didn't have much time to ride the altered track before jumping straight into qualis. It was the French who came out top, with Loïc Bruni taking fastest qualifier for the men and Myriam Nicole for the women.
Race 1: Women's finals
Women's DH final 1 – Maribor
After a wet qualifier, the Maribor track was slippery and muddy for finals. Sticky, slick tree roots were waiting to catch out any rider with a lapse in concentration. Rolling speed was sapped by the track and it was effort from top to bottom to match the speeds seen in qualifying.