world championships

UCI mountainbike world championships Cairns/ Australia

UCI mountainbike world championships Cairns/ Australia

2017 UCI MTB world championships- medal opportunities slipped thru our fingers


With the UCI world championship the 2017 race season is in the books. After the world cup season finals in Val di Sole/ Italy we traveled all the way to Cairns/ Australia on the other site of the globe to attend every seasons highlight: the mountain bike world championships.

World championships differ a little bit to the world cup as this special event is a race with a national federation background, which means that the riders have the support thru the factory teams, but race for their Nation. Furthermore you are not racing for points, a good standing or a place on the podium- you race for one goal and one goal only, which is the rainbow jersey. In the cycling world this jersey is the highest award and it is the aim of every athlete to win the jersey at least once.

Qualies MSA 433

2016 was our year and MS Mondraker’s Danny Hart won the world champion title and the jersey just ahead of team member Laurie Greenland. For sure this got us in the extended circle of favorites, but the statistics of the races here in Cairns told us something different- a 21st place and an 11th place of Danny in 2014 and 2016 and a 15th place of Laurie in 2016 show that they would have to pull a fabulous run out of their sleeves to be on the top box of the podium. For Markus Pekoll it was the last appearance on top international level and with a 15th place of 2014 in his pocket, there was a small chance for another top 10 result at the end of his career.

The first training started horrible for the MS Mondraker team- both Laurie Greenland and Markus Pekoll crashed hard in the unique conditions of the very fast track in Cairns. While Laurie suffered some bigger abrasions, Markus crashed on his head, broke his helmet and had to skip a full on timed training run to recover for the race. Danny came thru the training session without bigger crashes and was able to work out a good setup for race day.

 

 

Instead of a qualification run at worlds riders just do a timed trainings run and while some riders show some others hide, which made the results a kind of irrelevant. Nevertheless the circle of favorites was clear and even we did not have those great results on this track in our bags, both Danny and Laurie had the potential to redo what they did in 2016.

Laurie Greenland in a true downward spiral.

Laurie Greenland in a true downward spiral.

 

With the unlucky number 13 Markus Pekoll was the first to come down. Affected by the crash a few days before, Markus showed a good run, but with the thought of the last race in his mind, he did not risk his neck in his very last race- Markus finished in 51st position.

Cairns Finals-1221

Laurie Greenland was next to come and the first split time wasn’t too promising and indicated a crash scenario in the top section. This assumption proved true in the finish arena- Laurie slid out just after the last turn in the top part, which buried his ambitions to be on the podium again- Laurie finished in 21st place.

Cairns Finals-1259

Last of the MS Mondraker Team to come down was again Danny Hart. He was second last rider to come down and later world champion Loic Bruni as well as local hero Mick Hannah, who already set times, which we know they will be hard to beat. Under the pressure to defend his title, Danny tried the almost impossible to defend his titles, but missed the chance to beat some of the strongest pedallers on the circuit- Danny got 16th.

Cairns Finals-1553

Results:

1. Loic Bruni
2. Mick Hannah
3. Aaron Gwin

 

 

 

Below the line we are looking back to a season, which was not as successful as we have been in 2016. For sure we came to the world championships in Cairns to win the rainbow jersey or at least a medal, but this is racing- sometimes you win and sometimes we lose. Before 2016 we tried and were close sometimes and not winning the title doesn’t make us stop- we will come back and try again.

See you next year and keep following us during the offseason on instagram and facebook to not miss the latest news!

 

 

 

2015 world championships Andorra

2015 world championships Andorra

The 2015 UCI MTB world championship of Andorra is in the books…

…and the race reflected our performance throughout the season- we were well prepared, everything was served, but we haven’t been able to deliver.

We came to Andorra with two aces up the sleeve for 2 rather save top 10 results and maybe for more. We were looking forward to the track of Val di Sole as with Cedric Gracia one of the most well known riders was involved in the organization of this event. We knew the track of Andorra from previous worldcups and we knew that it might be a rough track especially in the wet… wet conditions suit Danny as we know from his world championship run in 2011 and so we were hoping for rain.

The course builders did a great job with building a worthy world champion track: not a lot of pedaling, but steep, rough… simply a little bit of everything.

On day after coursewalk the weather changed from dry and sunny to really wet. We had heavy rain and the more it rained the bigger the smile of Danny became. The training became really difficult, almost surreal and the riders had problems with staying on the bike. As it was world championships we also saw some exotic riders, which were sometimes a handicap on the track, especially because of the gnarly conditions.

Worlds Practice 2-383

 

World Champs 1st Prac-731

Another specialty of the world championships is the fact that at this race we neither have qualification nor seeding, but we have a timed training, which is on the day before race day.

Saturday was the day of the timed training session. After two days of heavy rain, the sun came out and started to dry up the track. This might seems to be a good thing, but it wasn’t. The grooves on the track got deeper and the mud more sticky, which affects the riding quite a lot. Even the conditions were hard we did well in the timed training. Markus stand out another time with the 3rd best 1st split time and 5th best 2nd split time, but finished in 13th position as he had a little mistake in the last wood section. Danny finished in 21st as he crashed before the 2nd split. Markus’s result was promising and Danny’s didn’t bothered us too much as we know how fast he is on the track by video analyses.

Vallnord Practice 3-620

On race day the track was almost tried up, but the previous days left marks. The track was so demanding, that we see some top riders struggling. In some sections it was not about finding the right line, but about catching the right groove. With number 30 Markus was the first rider of the MS Mondraker team to come down. As it was a world championship run, it was not about putting a solid run down, it was about risking everything and pushing as hard as possible. Markus pushed too hard, struggled in some section and almost crashed- Markus ended up in 19th position. Danny was our last ace up the sleeve and as a former world champion you have to have him on the list for being a podium aspirant. Unfortunately Danny didn’t look as committed as in the previous training session and he struggled to find his lines… unfortunately he was not able to ace out his competitors and ended up in 11th place.

World Champs 1st Prac-575

Maybe this sounds hard, but we are disappointed. We are not coming to world championships for a good result. In the end the only thing, which counts at worldchamps are the medals. It would have been a nice thing to finish a season with some top results and maybe to start with a world champion into the next season… thats what we are aiming for! That said it’s clear we have some work to do over the winter and we will come back more competitive- not just prepared, but also able to deliver.

Results