Bielsko-Biala World Cup DH results, report and highlights video

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The second World Cup DH of the year took place in Poland. Here are the results, race report and highlights vids from Bielsko-Biala.

RACE HIGHLIGHTS | Elite Women Poland UCI Downhill World Cup Bielsko Biala

RACE HIGHLIGHTS | Elite Men Poland UCI Downhill World Cup Bielsko Biala

DH World Cup Bielsko-Biała: results

Race reports and photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports:

MARINE CABIROU AND RONAN DUNNE TAKE THE UCI DOWNHILL WORLD CUP WIN IN POLAND

Marine Cabirou (Scott Downhill Factory) and Ronan Dunne (Mondraker Factory Racing) scored victories in the UCI Mountain Bike World Series in Bielsko-Biała. The Frenchwoman returned to winning ways after a disappointing start to the season in Fort William, while Dunne recorded his first-ever UCI Downhill World Cup on the new Polish track. Meanwhile, Heather Wilson (Muc-Off Young Guns) and Asa Vermette (Framework Racing) made it two from two in the Women’s Juniors and Men’s Juniors.

The 2024 WHOOP UCI Mountain Bike World Series made its Polish downhill debut this week as the best Gravity-fuelled athletes took to the Bielsko-Biała track’s smorgasbord of jumps, roots and rock-filled forest sections.

After a heavy downpour in the morning, the sun came out in full force for the Elite UCI Downhill World Cup finals, but the conditions weren’t without their own difficulties. On the track’s drying exposed top sections, the dirt was breaking up because of the constant pounding of race rigs, while the wood sections remained damp, making tyre choice extremely difficult.

It didn’t faze Marine Cabirou (Scott Downhill Factory) and Ronan Dunne (Mondraker Factory Racing) though, who used all their UCI World Cup-winning experience to get to grips with the unknown course and push their bikes to the limits to take the wins.

CABIROU STORMS TO VICTORY WITH HÖLL CRASHING IN FIRST SECTOR

Marine Cabirou had a disappointing Fort William by her own high standards, finishing outside the podium places and leaving herself with a lot to do to challenge Valentina Höll (YT Mob) in the UCI World Cup overall championship. She appeared to have put the Scottish season opener behind her though, arriving in Poland as one of the most consistent riders on the Beskid Mountains’ course.

Third place in Saturday’s Qualifying and Semi-Finals was a sign that Cabirou wasn’t in Poland to make up the numbers and dropping in on her Finals run with just Tahnée Seagrave (Canyon CLLCTV FMD) and Höll to come, she knew she’d have to find more than three seconds on her Semi-Finals time to knock then-race leader Camille Balanche (Dorval AM Commencal) out of the hot seat.

After a steady top section, the 27-year-old grew in confidence throughout her run, laying down the power to set a blistering pace in the lower section that was good enough for top spot. Seagrave looked like she was on a heater, finding almost a second at the first intermediate split, but the resurgent Brit came unclipped from her pedals in the technical wood section, losing momentum and crossing the line fifth.

And then there was Höll. The 2023 UCI Downhill World Champion put a snapped chain in Qualifying behind her to set the fastest time in the Semi-Finals, with Aaron Gwin saying in live commentary that it was “hers to lose”. The 22-year-old set off incredibly powerfully from the start gate, but her run was over as quickly as it had started – a crash in the first sector sending her down hard. Last year’s overall series winner isn’t a quitter and was quickly back on her bike, but it was damage limitation rather than a miraculous recovery – the Austrian coming home in sixth.

Her win in Poland was Cabirou’s eighth UCI Downhill World Cup of her career, and speaking after the race, she said: “I’m super happy to win here on this new track in Poland. It’s crazy because the track has changed a lot all week. It was difficult to manage the race run because we had a lot of rain at the start of the afternoon, so I didn’t know if I could push or not, so I just tried to do my best. At the beginning, I saw that the track was kind of dry so I tried to push. I made a mistake but I think everybody made a mistake, so I just had a good run.”

DUNNE WINS FIRST UCI DOWNHILL WORLD CUP

Ronan Dunne (Mondraker Factory Racing) put in an assured, controlled performance to take his first-ever UCI Downhill World Cup win in Poland – the Irish 21-year-old piloting his prototype Mondraker down the course in his signature, knife-edge style.

It was another Irishman who was in the hot seat for most of the men’s final – Oisin O’Callaghan (YT Mob) fourth on the hill and laying down a marker that would be strong enough for 10th on the day.

Benoît Coulanges (Dorval AM Commencal) finally broke the 21-year-old’s dreams of a second UCI World Cup win. The Frenchman’s race run was the first to go inside the 2:57 barrier and enough to see him finish on the podium in fourth – an improvement on his 6th place in Fort William.

Coulanges’ time in the hot seat was short-lived though. Enter Loïc Bruni (Specialized Gravity). The 2023 UCI Downhill World Cup overall series winner had kicked off his season with victory in Scotland and looked to have overcome a crash in yesterday’s Semi-Finals. He was 1.2 seconds up on Coulanges in the first split alone and would hold on to break the 2:55 barrier. But would it be enough for his 10th UCI Downhill World Cup win?

Saturday’s surprise qualifier Lachlan Stevens-McNab (Union – Forged by Steel City Media) appeared to be backing up his strong Semi-Finals run, gapping Bruni deep into the fourth intermediate split until he was brought crashing back down to earth with a front wheel washout on an innocuous piece of track.

The 20-year-old New Zealand national champion had shown that there was time to be made on Bruni’s time though, which Dunne exploited to the max. The Irishman laid down a final run where he was fastest in three out of four intermediate splits (and second-fastest in the other), narrowly beating Bruni by 0.64 seconds.

The three riders left on the hill didn’t have an answer to Dunne’s dominant run – Luca Shaw (Canyon CLLCTV Factory Team) finishing sixth, Loris Vergier (Trek Factory Racing Gravity) rescuing third despite dabbing his foot down, and team-mate Dakotah Norton (Mondraker Factory Racing) down in 31st after sliding out at the top of the first sector on a wet patch.

Speaking after his win, Ronan Dunne said: “I was loving the track in Poland. The crowd was insane. It’s the second [UCI Downhill World Cup] with the new team. It’s been perfect and I had myself in the mindset of either I was going for a helicopter trip, or I was coming down in first. We didn’t take the helicopter trip, but we took the win. Usually, I don’t look at the times, but this time I was. I saw the time that Bruni put down and I thought ‘OK, we’re going for it, we’re not messing around’. I was ready to fight someone. It paid off.”

Overall series leader Loïc Bruni said: “I’m pretty happy with the result. I don’t think I deserved more because my weekend wasn’t so good. Some of the boys were riding better than me. I’m happy with second. I didn’t think it would be possible to go top three. The run was good, the bike was good, and everything is really nice so hopefully we can carry the momentum. I’m really happy for Ronan. It’s so good to see.

STANDINGS AFTER THE UCI DOWNHILL WORLD CUP ROUND IN BIELSKO-BIAŁA:

UCI Downhill World Cup | Women Elite

Valentina Höll (YT Mob) – 560
Tahnée Seagrave (Canyon CLLCTV FMD) – 550
Camille Balanche (Dorval AM Commencal) – 540
Nina Hoffman (Santa Cruz Syndicate) – 506
Marine Cabirou (Scott Downhill Factory) – 490

UCI Downhill World Cup | Men Elite

Loic Bruni (Specialized Gravity) – 627
Ronan Dunne (Mondraker Factory Racing) – 467
Loris Vergier (Trek Factory Racing Gravity) – 454
Luca Shaw (Canyon CLLCTV Factory Team) – 447
Troy Brosnan (Canyon CLLCTV Factory Team) – 441

UCI Downhill World Cup | Women Juniors

Heather Wilson (Muc-Off Young Guns) – 120
Sacha Earnest (Kiwidh) – 95
Erice Van Leuven (Commencal Les Orres) – 85
Eliana Hulsebosch (Union – Forged by Steel City Media) – 85
Matilda Melton (Transition Factory Racing) – 70

UCI Downhill World Cup | Men Juniors

Asa Vermette (Frameworks Racing) – 120
Luke Wayman (The Gravity Cartel – Rogue Racing) – 80
Dane Jewett (Pivot Factory Racing) – 80
Daniel Parfitt (BNC Racing) – 73
Till Alran (Commencal/Muc-Off by Riding Addiction) – 54

The third rounds of the UCI Downhill World Cup and the UCI Enduro and E-Enduro World Cups will take place in Saalfelden Leogang – Salzburgerland, Austria on June 7-9.

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More posts from Ben

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 43 total)
  • Bielsko-Biala World Cup DH results, report and highlights video
  • martinhutch
    Full Member

    Looked like a decent race. But paywalling coverage of a relatively small corner of cycling sport and offering such meagre highlights to everyone else will kill any chance for it to build an audience. And so many teams/sponsors are not getting seen at all.

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    Ride of the day was Vermette

    I still don’t like the overall format but the commentary with proper racers in there is great – for all Rob Warner’s enthusiasm, I think this is winning (maybe the low numbers in the finals is just a way of ensuring a ready supply of expert pundits for the booth ?!)

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    But paywalling coverage of a relatively small corner of cycling sport…

    Agreed.  If my wife wasn’t a big SkyTV fan, I’d not have watched at all as the crumbs from the table aren’t worth it

    nickc
    Full Member

    Good race in all the categories. Good to see Ronan getting the result that he deserves. Didn’t take Amaury long to get back up to speed, expect to see him threatening the podium from the next round. Shame about Dakota’s run; he absolutely nailed it in the semis.

    Women’s racing is also really tight at the top, top 5 covered by just 3 seconds.

    Bored of the moaning about the coverage, time to get over it really. The racing is just as good as its always been.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Bored of the moaning about the coverage, time to get over it really. The racing is just as good as its always been.

    Amaury’s return run wasn’t in the highlights, neither was Dakota’s.  I’ll take your word for it though.

    nickc
    Full Member

     I’ll take your word for it though

    You know that for the same price per month as a single pint in any city-centre pub, you can watch the whole thing? All weekend if you want?

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    What a great race – Ronan really threw down a massive run.

    Does anyone know what 0.064 sec translates to in physical distance?  I tried the maths but it’s Monday and my brain isn’t braining properly yet (should be ok by Wednesday lol)_

    Stevet1
    Free Member

    Looked like a decent race. But paywalling coverage of a relatively small corner of cycling sport and offering such meagre highlights to everyone else will kill any chance for it to build an audience.

    <cough>tiz-cycling.io</cough>

    Bruni’s run looked unebeatable but Ronan put down an absoloute heater. Gutted for Lachlan what a result that would have been, just lost concentration for a split second.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Great racing as usual. So pleased to see Ronan win, think Loris might have taken it if not for that mishap though.

    Good to see Marine win again too, and Cami close behind. Hope the women’s stays nice and close this season.

    Didn’t take Amaury long to get back up to speed, expect to see him threatening the podium from the next round.

    He was on the podium.

    And I’ve paid so I’m allowed to whinge about the commentary.

    Gwin was OK, but getting Greg in was a terrible decision. He had some good insight, but he’s so dour and low energy. Took the commentary in the exact opposite direction it needs to go.

    I know they won’t get shot of Ric, but at least supplement him with someone who can show some genuine excitement.

    nickc
    Full Member

    He was on the podium.

    Yes, I got him and Luca the wrong wat around in my head

    but getting Greg in was a terrible decision.

    Yeah wasn’t the most charismatic. I think Ric and Gwin make for a decent pair – for any given value of ‘decent’ commentary.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    I know they won’t get shot of Ric, but at least supplement him with someone who can show some genuine excitement

    They’re using Josh Carlson as a roving reporter but he’d be a welcome addition to the proper commentary

    chakaping
    Free Member

    That’s a good shout Bob.

    They seem determined not to admit Ric is the wrong man for the job though.

    alpin
    Free Member

    still don’t like the overall format but the commentary with proper racers in there is great –

    Gwin was good and insightful but was often cut off by Rick.

    Lost count of the number of times Rick said “Can he do enough to unseat Bruni in the hot seat?” when the rider was already 1.9 down at the last split and about 50m from the finish line. He’s crap.

    Minaar should stick to riding bikes.

    Cough tiz cycling cough.

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    I know they won’t get shot of Ric, but at least supplement him with someone who can show some genuine excitement.

    Isn’t that what Cedric was doing?

    #bringbackCedric

    chakaping
    Free Member

    haha, it’s the humour that keeps me coming back to STW

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    Ric/Rick isn’t brilliant but I think it’s pretty hard to fill all the airtime without occasionally sounding inane* – I bet he’s trying to sound more animated than he probably usually does and struggling a bit and that likely explains why he butts-in to the pundits too; he just needs to learn to shut up when he can.  I think I’ve enjoyed all the pros (Greg least, I admit)
    *(Yeh, Alpin, I noticed the “has he made up 2.3 seconds in the last 100 metres?” a few times too)

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    you can watch the whole thing? All weekend if you want?

    Am I missing something here – can you see qualis and semis somehow ??

    Stevet1
    Free Member

    Tahnee and Rachael were the best pro’s from the commentary I heard recently

    somafunk
    Full Member

    Dunno?, didn’t get to watch it thanks to Eurosport/discovery+ stopping the live feed at the last women down the hill and switching over to **** super bikes

    PrinceJohn
    Full Member

    The current coverage is rubbish – what is the point in the qualifying, then semi finals? Why don’t they show the semi’s?

    Why can’t they get a female commentator for the women’s race?

    Why don’t they show a start order so you know how many more are left?

    So much room for them to improve.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Tahnee at Fort Bill has been the best commentary person this year.

    She was probably still buzzing from her own run though.

    somafunk
    Full Member

    Can someone else with amazon prime/discovery+/eurosport check to see if they can find the race repeat on their feed, I thought id watch it today but there’s no sign of it

    I’ve managed to avoid the results (so far)

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    In Daprela’s run Ric made a comment about Daprela’s Andorra win when Greg was second and something about social media afterwards…

    Greg didn’t answer that comment and barely spoke for the rest of the broadcast. Anyone got any ideas? Daprela has since shown himself to not be the most savvy online poster for other reasons.

    tomparkin
    Full Member

    Does anyone know what 0.064 sec translates to in physical distance?

    The speed traps were recording ~50kmph, which would mean ~90cm.

    Probably less than that in reality though as it seems unlikely the average speed over the course was 50kmph.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

     it seems unlikely the average speed over the course was 50kmph

    very roughly, they said at the start it was a 2km long course (not sure what level of precision they are working to here).

    At three minutes, thats an average of 40kph.

    somafunk
    Full Member

    try here (I think it should work):

    Ta scaredypants but I signed up through amazon prime for discovery+/eurosport and I don’t have a specific log in for the standalone dicovery+ channel.

    oldfart
    Full Member

    Having watched the Minaar video I think he’s still sore with SC , seemed reluctant to say anything when any Syndicate rider was on course .

    somafunk
    Full Member

    Just spoke to an Amazon customer service assistant regarding the no-show of the mens race, they just kept repeating that the road cycling was on and was broadcast without issues. They couldn’t seem to understand that the mtb race wasn’t shown so ive canceled amazon prime/discovery+/eurosport, never watched anything on prime anyway so no loss.

    Signed up directly through eurosport for same price of £6.99/month and now finally watching it,

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Probably less than that in reality though as it seems unlikely the average speed over the course was 50kmph

    🤔🤣

    GavinB
    Full Member

    Another thread about an amazing race derailed by people whinging about commentary/format.  Get over it.

    Ronan Dunne’s run was incredible – loved watching his GoPro footage with him screaming ‘Pedal ya ****’ at himself about 2/3 way down!  Brilliant.

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    I signed up through amazon prime for discovery+

    So did I – afraid I can’t remember how, though

    somafunk
    Full Member

    Just finished watching it on discovery+/eurosport sign up, brilliant race and so happy for ronan but damn shame for dakota.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Another thread about an amazing race derailed by people whinging about commentary/format.  Get over it.

    Who would have thought people paying for something and then not getting it would lead to complaints.

    Personally I had no complaints watching it on tiz.  Great race, all in all.

    Anyone know what the social media spat Ric keeps referring to between Loic and Daprella (something about ‘after Andora’)?  That’s two weeks in a row he’s mentioned it.  I’m guessing it wasn’t about the thing.  That won’t get brought up in the commentary, I’d imagine.

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    Just to reiterate for the evening shift:

    you can watch the whole thing? All weekend if you want?

    Am I missing something here – can you see qualis and semis somehow ??

    crab
    Free Member

    Brilliant race. Watched it live on the hooky link from PB mentioned above, whilst kayaking down the Basingstoke canal on the most glorious day, doesn’t get much better than that.

    Ronans go pro is utterly mental. This is what beating Bruni looks like.

    somafunk
    Full Member

    somafunk
    Full Member

    F e c king hell he’s fast…….

    moonsaballoon
    Full Member

    Anyone know what the social media spat Ric keeps referring to between Loic and Daprella (something about ‘after Andora’)? That’s two weeks in a row he’s mentioned it. I’m guessing it wasn’t about the thing. That won’t get brought up in the commentary, I’d imagine.

    I think it was last year or possibly the season before when Daprella won in Andorra because he came down before the rain started , all the other guys just about managed to get down as the course had turned to ice but Bruni manged to put in a pretty amazing run and got around tenth I think . Bruni commented on Duprellas post race Instagram post , something along the lines that he only won because of the rain . Pretty small fry considering recent developments but I suppose they can’t mention that .

    onetimeews
    Full Member

    Just a quick one to say that I went to both the Enduro at Bielsko and the the Downhill which was a few miles away on the szczyrk mountain resort over the weekend. 

    I’ve seen world cups and crank works in les gets me world championships in fort William in the last few years and ridden the original EWS event in Tweed Valley.

    The Polish round was in my opinion brilliantly organised and fully deserves to be awarded a repeat visit next year, we will be planning a holiday there to ride bikes regardless. The venue is under 2 hours from either Katowice or Krakow airport. Bielsko is a cracking little town which has a Prague 25 years ago feel and Szczyrk is a low key ski-resort. Our accommodation and food was first class and extremely reasonably priced. Food and beers are half the price of the Uk and a third of the price of France/Switzerland. 

    Mountain biking is Big in Poland and the whole area feels like a mini portes de solleil, every day of the competition was attended by huge crowds most of whom turned up on bikes and were massively enthusiastic in their support. The riders seem to have loved the course and fans. The racing was super close and the men’s elite in enduro must have been one of the closest finishes ever. The enduro courses were in a bike park using 3 red trails and 2 blacks with what looked to have had slightly built up features added for the competition day. All well built, flowy and really fast and would suit anyone who rides top/middle reds at BPW. If you could pedal down the road a bit there would be the possibility of a gondola too.

    The Downhill course was purpose built for the event and looked spanking new. It clearly amps up the difficulty level of the existing black run off the top of the mountain with additional built berms and wooden features to create big gap jumps that would not have been there last year. I walked the course on Saturday and thought it looked great. Big jumps at the top and a super steep section just before the end. The changeable weather conditions over the weekend kept it ‘interesting’. My impression was that the builders did a cracking job with the hill that they had to work with. Of note is that there isn’t that much altitude in that part of Poland so you tend not to get an above the tree line section like in the alps, or the more northerly fort William. As a result very little of the course in on the sort of bedrock we would be used to in the UK so anyone that has seen the coverage will have noticed that the surface is overwhelmingly mud/roots/loam. 

    I notice most of the comments on this thread are about the TV coverage, which was shit even in Poland. Apparently you can watch the semis and the juniors on polish Eurosport but not the elites.

    So, for anyone wanting to watch live, I couldn’t recommend visiting in person more. 

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