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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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.

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

Viewing 3 posts - 41 through 43 (of 43 total)
  • Bielsko-Biala World Cup DH results, report and highlights video
  • mark88
    Free Member

    Good info @onetimenews thanks. It definitely looks like somewhere I’d enjoy riding.

    Were you able to do much riding or is the majority of the network tied up?

    Are Bielso and Szczyrk linked or would you need a vehicle to get between them?

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    Thanks for the info @onetimeews – appreciated.

    If it moves to a school holiday week next year we’ll probably try and go for a long weekend/few days and link it with a visit to Auschwitz as it’s on the way back to Krakow.

    Did you hire a car of use public transport?

    Any links to accommodation would be appreciated too.

    onetimeews
    Free Member

    Bielsko trails are on the edge of bielsko (a good sized town with all amenities and transport links) so you could easily ride to the trails. We got a taxi from bielsko to szczyrk which was 20 mins and less than £15, then stayed in the village.

    For the event days there was lots of activity on the non-competition tracks in Szczyrk. I’m not sure about the bielsko trails because I didn’t go to the E-Edr on the Saturday, maybe they used more of the trails than the 5 stages in the Edr on Friday.

    I got quite excited and started looking for next year and there are trails that do link them but and potentially could be made into a 30 mile loop. Interestingly my Polish friends said that there is no footpath/bridleway distiction in Poland so you could theoretically use any combination of trails, fire roads and uplift to get anywhere. If you were renting, an e-bike might make some of the road work a bit easier. Trailforks seems to show natural trails over the whole mountain range.

    A quick search on Google maps show that there are a couple of other bike parks within striking distance so a car might make sense for a riding holiday if you wanted to ride several different ones.

Viewing 3 posts - 41 through 43 (of 43 total)

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