Well, that was best World Cup DH season ever

by 53

From confirmation that we live in a Vali Holl Era through to the ding-dong duelling in the Elite Men’s – not to mention the Juniors’ race times being insanely close to the Elites – this season of premium gravity racing was fantastic.

Super Bruni doing it (Pic: ucimtbworldseries.com)

World Cup DH Overall results

Junior Women:

Junior Men:

Elite Women:

Elite Men:

Race Teams:

Congratulations to Valentina Roa Sanchez (Colombia’s first ever Overall winner?), Ryan Pinkerton, Vali Holl, Loic Bruni and the Santa Cruz Syndicate (who lost the war but won the battle for Best Team).

Ten talking points about the 2023 season on World Cup DH

  1. The post-Red Bull era coverage was not to total bin-fire that some predicted. The actual amount of coverage – both of the course and the racing runs – was much better than previous years.
  2. Regardless of the broadcasting hoo-ha, the racers put on the best spectacle of downhill racing for quite some time (very probably ever). So a big thank you to them! Enjoy your off-season.
  3. The racers and the organisers are seemingly not getting along and this is not a good thing.
  4. The Semi-Finals didn’t really work, for either the racers or the viewers.
  5. The best race run of the season? The last run of the whole season. Jackson Goldstone’s Mont-Sainte-Anne winning run will go down as one of the best ‘DH Clinics’ of all time.
  6. The wildest run of the season? Ethan Craik’s Mont-Sainte-Anne jaw-dropper.
  7. The Elite Men’s racing is closer than ever before (there’s about a dozen racers who could win at any one time).
  8. The Elite Women’s is feeling like the beginning of a Record Breaking era for Vali Holl. No one else wins in Elite Women, it’s only ever Holl losing.
  9. Being able to watch the Junior racing (for free as well) was a very good thing.
  10. Aaron Gwin. Single handedly saved the broadcaster’s season. His injury ‘loss’ was very much the audience’s gain.

How was it for you?

Whether you stumped up some dollar to watch the racing on GCN+/Eurosport etc, or you had to make do with the free stuff on YouTube, how did you feel about this year’s World Cup DH racing? Comment below 👇

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Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

Viewing 13 posts - 41 through 53 (of 53 total)
  • Well, that was best World Cup DH season ever
  • I don’t think that this season’s results show that we’re in a Vali era.

    Much like marketing spin, the same happens with racers. I’m not convinced she’s the dominating force that many seem to believe she is. As you’ve already pointed out, she’s been scalped by plenty this year.

    Full Member

    well i think I will give it a try, Im not fit ha ha, but heck lets try approach. I think thats just not very professional to be able to play at it.

    Considering her pre-race build up and media, i think that was her very much playing her chances down rather than being unprepared or unfit. She’d been riding and pseudo-racing at Dyfi for months before that… which lets be honest, is a pretty decent way of testing yourself riding against Dan, Brendog, etc day in day out.

    Full Member

    I think thats just not very professional to be able to play at it.

    Lets not forget that she actually won at Lenzerheide and then got 3rd at Leogang before popping her shoulder in practice at Fort Bill. You make it sound like she rocked up and just bimbled down the track.

    Full Member

    I got the impression that her comeback was all about the chance to race a home world champs. As soon as that went away she hasn’t been racing since.

    Full Member

    @FunkyDunc I don’t think you can “play” at elite WC racing TBH. Rachel’s a professional athlete, and I think you should probably take her self depreciating social media output with a pinch of salt. How prepared she is vs how prepared she says she is are probably quite far apart.

    Free Member

    I got the impression that her comeback was all about the chance to race a home world champs. As soon as that went away she hasn’t been racing since.

    There’s some truth to this, I think. But she was probably also testing the water to see how competitive she was.

    It’s kind-of cool that we forgot about her after that, because the racing’s been so good anyway.

    Would be cool to see her, Cami and Myriam all fit and wanting it next year.

    Full Member

    Yeah that would be awesome. It’s also why I hope they ditch the semi finals next year as if everyone is back next season only having 10 female riders isn’t enough.

    Full Member

    I do find it hard to even comprehend @Funkydunk ‘s point of view on the Atherton thing. They are, very professionally, adhering exactly to the rules as laid out, in that you can pretty much enter anyone into a World Cup DH event so long as they are on the rider list for your trade team. It is a bit of a loophole but not one that’s widely exploited, because it’s actually quite tough to even get to the level where you’d be safe getting down the courses, let alone have any hope of getting out of qualification.  There’s obviously a risk that a team could put a Kris Kyle or similar on the roster for a race or two for some video content but it’s unlikely.

    I do have some experience of the old order and playing the team card, we put together a trade team in 2006 for the 2007 season and ran 4 guys who were just about good enough to go to World Cups. It was hard with a capital F. We qualified some and failed a lot but it was a great experience, even if financially ruinous. It was an expensive undertaking even back then so I have no idea how the guys do it these days.

    I get that WB/Discovery are trying to turn it into a mini F1/MotoGP/MX series but it doesn’t sound like they’re helping to enable it in any way. The provisional schedule is pretty basic with races down as either Europe or Outside Europe and that could have massive variations in costs between say Japan/Australia and the US depending on where the team is based. It’s almost as if they’re saying that you just need an open cheque book for next year or don’t bother.  None of this is going to help get those big ticket sponsors in and at the moment the bike industry on it’s own simply cannot sustain this.

    I have to say I’d love to see the teams get good outside sponsors and the riders start getting paid properly with the races being a vehicle for that but I don’t see how they get to there from here without engaging the (and I hate this word) stakeholders.

    Martin Whiteley was very much caught up in the organisation of things a few years ago and I’m kind of surprised not to hear his voice commenting on the current situation. I’d be very interested to hear his thoughts.

    Full Member

    Great racing this year, despite all the changes..

    Semis added nothing for me, coverage was OK for a first year, but no more than OK.

    ESO don’t appear to be bothered about riders, teams or fans. The fact that they haven’t made any attempt to engage or respond is poor. In reality they probably are listening (I sincerely hope), but the perception is that they have their heads in the sand.

    I’m fairly sure I read somewhere that Martin Whiteley now works for ESO/WBD so may not be able to talk publicly?

    PS If you’re reading this Chris Ball, what’s happening to the SES?

    Full Member

    Racing aside which was excellent:LikedDrone footageGeneral camera coverageKate Morgan / Bart / Josh Change from taping all the courseAaron G commentatingDidn’t likePerceived competition to talk over each other in commentary – Ric McCommentating through the podium presentationConstant incorrect name pronounciationmaking the tracks fit a broadcast time window and dropping Fort WilliamSo for light relief and a depth of insight it was Redbull / Warner / Batty / Jackson with IMHO an dexcellent program which it looked like the riders actually enjoyed their interviews. 

    Full Member

    I have to say I’d love to see the teams get good outside sponsors and the riders start getting paid properly

    I agree although I think you will find, like in most sports, the top riders are very well paid as in north of £100k a season with someone else paying virtually all your costs for the season as well. If you look at the annual accounts submissions to companies house you can see good incomes being declared

    Free Member

    What about the XC World Cup? It is part of the MTB World series……

    Anyway, anybody moaning about the coverage needs to see what the Cyclocross World Cup is like; the absolute bare minimum. Nobody at the venue, nobody on course, no guest co-commentators….and coverage starting 5-10 minutes before the start – so no previews, or track walks…….

    Full Member

    What about the XC World Cup? It is part of the MTB World series……

    It managed to remain mostly unchanged from previous years so didn’t quite generate the same amount of mouth foaming and spittle from people who have a deep seated hatred of discovery or GMBN.*

    Good season overall, kept interesting up until and including the final race. 

    *There were of course people saying 6 months ago that MSA in October would be under a foot of snow… proved wrong… and even in the wet it was a challenging but ridable course. And gave Bart even more chances to use his favourite word, Shlippery.

Viewing 13 posts - 41 through 53 (of 53 total)

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