It was a perfect weekend for Benoit COULANGES who won his first ever World Cup, made his biggest dream come true, and took the DORVAL AM team and the entire COMMENCAL crew on an exciting and truly memorable journey. 

There are legendary places in the world of downhill mountain biking, places capable of transcending a rider, an audience, a race... The resort of Les Gets is one of them.

On a slightly redesigned and absolutely bone dry track, Benoit found the necessary rhythm and avoided the blown out dust traps to achieve THE victory of his life after chasing it for two seasons. At the same time, he becomes the first rider in the Elite Men’s competition to achieve a hat-trick (winning qualifying, semi-final and final) in this new race format on his SUPREME DH V5.

After a neck-and-neck battle for time against Andreas KOLB, Benoit made the difference in the last sector and lit the timing board up in green as he crossed the finish line. The reaction from the crowd was a reminder of World Championships 2022 in Les Gets. The rest is already part of DH history and the party was all the more messy.

Ben is the fourth rider to win his first World Cup this year, which gives an idea of the high level that’s necessary to achieve such a performance.

I'm still up on cloud nine about yesterday. I got so many messages and I'd like to thank everyone so much for their support, the crowd for their massive welcome at the finish and of course my whole team DORVAL AM COMMENCAL who have done an incredible job all year. DH is beautiful and long live France!” - Benoit COULANGES

A little earlier in the day in the Elite Women’s race, Monika HRASTNIK put down a very solid run, especially through the most technical sections of the track. Monika is on the up and took second place in Les Gets, her best career result to date. It was Marine CABIROU who made her big comeback with a spot on the top step of the podium after a series of injuries. Well done to her. 

The good form from DORVAL AM COMMENCAL riders means they climb in the team overall rankings. Ben is now fifth overall and Monika fourth.

Special mention to Thomas ESTAQUE from team COMMENCAL IC STUDIO, who climbed into to the top 10, the last time being in 2019.

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In the Juniors, Leo ABELLA from COMMENCAL LES ORRES got onto the podium with the fourth fastest time of the day, which allowed him to move up to third place overall. Among the girls, Lisa BOULADOU (COMMENCAL X1 RACING) matched Leo's performance. She took back second place overall, just 10 points behind leader, Valentina ROA SANCHEZ. After her impressive crash just before qualifying, young New Zealander, Erice VAN LEUVEN preferred to rest up and sit this one out.

Finally, a nod to the COMMENCAL MUC-OFF Team who had a great idea! Because of the diminishing line-up of team members due to injury, the team have given a chance to privateer rider, Dylan MAPLES. The young American now takes on the life of a factory rider with the view of learning all of preparation techniques and everything else required at the top level of the sport.

The next rounds are at the end of September/beginning of October, on the other side of the Atlantic with the North American rounds in Snowshoe (USA) and Mont Sainte-Anne (CAN) to close the 2023 DH season.

Riders : Benoit COULANGES, Monika HRASTNIK, Thomas ESTAQUE, Dylan MAPLES, Hugo MARINI,
Photos : Jey CRUNCH, Nicolas BRIZIN, Keno DERLEYN