This was it. This was the last world cup round in Valnord/ Andorra. We came to Valnord with 2 victories of Danny and a small chance of winning the overall title. Danny was 178 points of Aaron Gwin in the overall and so the door was open. Even it was just a small chance our goal was to make the impossible happen and so the focus was on the overall title.
The tension level was high as on one hand the overall was possible, but Danny’s current second spot was also not secured yet. With qualification and race there was a maximum of 250 points to collect and so the mission was basically “all or nothing”.
Danny had a kind of cautious qualification run, while the others had perfect full on runs. Troy Brosnan won the qualification and Aaron Gwin got second, while Danny landed in 7th spot. Troy made some points up to Danny and with 200 points between Aaron and Danny the door for the overall was almost closed.
While Markus had a decent qualification run, which got him into 24th, Laurie struggled with a flat tire, but he made it into the finals because of the top 20 protection rule.
Again everything was prepared for a thrilling race and even the chance of winning the overall was just in theory alive, we kept working as it was possible. With the whole focus on this chance we didn’t really think about anything else we probably could win.
Markus came down with a solid but not perfect run. Some small mistakes avoid a perfect run, but he still made it in the hot seat. A few riders weren’t able to beat his time and also Laurie rank himself right behind Markus. Just during the run of Laurie it slightly started to rain, but it was still okay as the track was so dusty, that the rain didn’t affect the conditions really.
Danny came down with a pinning all or nothing run. He knew he had to win to keep the chance for the overall title alive and he crossed the finish with almost 2,8 seconds ahead of the current leader Greg Minnar. 2 out of the last 6 riders remaining to coming down had a kind of home advantage, but not one of them was able to beat Danny’s time. Aaron Gwin was second last to come down and he knew that all he has to do to secure his overall title is to ride down the hill and cross the finish line and so he did. With Troy being the last man on the track and him being way back, the impossible and unexpected happen- 1 rider in 1st place and two other riders in the top ten made us winning the team of the day ranking. Absolutely happy with that it just turned out before the podium ceremony that we also won the UCI world cup team overall ranking by 1 point.
This information was absolutely overwhelming all the work and investments finally paid off- 13 years after we found the MS-RACING program.
3 victories in a row, 3 riders in the top ten and winning the overall team title… there is no better way to finish the world cup season.
We are now heading to Val di Sole7 Italy for the 2016 world championships.