A live, watch along style race report for you…
We’re watching along on Eurosport/GCN… coverage is poorer than we’d hoped. We’re seeing the start gate, and the finish line, and very little in between. Perhaps the result of having some fast protected riders setting off fairly early in the sequence after slow and safe qualifying runs? But then Hoffman is at the end. Who knows how they figure out the start order? Answers on a postcard please, with explanatory graphs and a free calculator.
Tahnee sat in the hotseat, UK National Champ Harriet Harnden having made no impression on the podium. Jenna Hasting from New Zealand looked fast but only placed 6th as the runs continued. Millie Johnset was also out of podium contention. Then, BOOM, GB’s young talent Phoebe Gale took the fastest run. Team mate Louise-Anna Ferguson immediately chased her down and took over first place.
Now, Rachel Atherton. Could she continue the British hotseat musical chairs? She looked a bit hesitant on some of the motorway landings, and no wonder after that dislocation in practice. Amazing to see her compete though. The Brits sat in every spot on the podium… could it stay that way?
Swiss rider Lisa Baumann got a bit more TV coverage after a break giving us a bit more insight to the track conditions. It looked pretty good, no real signs of any muddy carnage or large holes.
Eleonora Farina’s run showed a hole or two opening up in some of the berms, but nothing looked too greasy. No impressions on that podium though.
No one is coming close… who can break up the UK’s 1-2-3 placing?
We’re into the final few riders… watch this space!
Marine Caribou shoves top place off the hot seat! A whole 7 seconds faster. Game on. Vive La France!
Flat for Veronika Widman and she pulls up in the woods.
Monika Hrastnik is on track and it looks like the weather is closing in up top. Could make things interesting for the men’s race later. It’s not looking slippery out there yet. Will the rain hold off?
The coverage is better for these higher placed riders, but that drone shot after the start isn’t really doing much. All very scenic and stuff, but it doesn’t really show you anything about what the rider is doing. Meh.
Hrastnik never looked in contention, and lost a bunch of time in the woods. Three left to ride…
Camille Balanche, Nina Hoffman, and Vali Holl…
Camille is only just in the red as the drone shows us Scottish scenery. Into the woods… despite not looking that great, she’s made up time! Green! (Just…)
Stays in the green by 0.3 and a bit. Takes the top spot, and had us watching take a sharp intake of breath as she landed deep on the second to last jump. Almost a lilypad!
Now Nina Hoffmann. Apparently OK after her crash in practice… 1.7s up by the scenery shots. It’s on!
Lost a bit of time in the woods. AND SHE’S DOWN! She squeezed an extra pedal stroke in just before the road gap, then washed out just after the landing. Maybe just off balance after that pedal?
One left: Vali.
Slightly sketchy turn up the top, she’s pushing it. And it’s working. Over a second up.
Tra la la… scenic shots from afar. We want suspension action! Wheels, tyres, roost!
She’s up more through the woods. Nearly lost it in the same spot as Nina though!
Woah, lost a bunch of time coming off the wall ride. Pedalling hard, an odd line. Still in the green, but only just….
But she’s still up! And she’s gained time in the final section! Vali Holl takes the win! Your World Champion for 2023.
No Brits on the podium, but some great results all the same.
Thanks for watching along. We’re off to recover before the men’s race. How was the commentary on the TV? We’ve got a soundtrack of heavy metal here (Dukes, in Halifax, a nice bike friendly bar, FYI), so we’re watching with our eyes only!
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