DH World Cup #5: Loudenvielle-Peyragudes

World Cup rounds may follow one another in quick succession these days but they are all definitely very different! Indeed, COMMENCAL riders did not have the edge in Loudenvielle, despite bursts of speed and moments of awe by Benoit COULANGES et Thibaut DAPRELA.

It was the first time that the Pyrénées Bike Festival in Loudenvielle had hosted a DH World Cup. With a super fast rolling and physical upper sector and a technical lower part of the track, with a lot of steep tech to contend with in the middle, the track built by Romain Paulhan and the Loudenvielle team proved to be a favourite. Unanimously appreciated by riders, the track was perfectly suited to our bike given the times we saw all weekend, and the impressive number of riders who chose the SUPREME DH V5 for their 2023 season.

Despite dry practice sessions things got complicated on Saturday with the rain which disrupted the party to the point of leading the organisers to cancel the Junior finals completely. The qualifications therefore served as the final result, offering the points for second place to Erice VAN LEUVEN in the Junior Women.

In the Elite Women, Lisa BAUMANN from the COMMENCAL LES ORRES team put us on the map. As consistent as ever, the Swiss rider took her SUPREME DH V5 to fifth place and scored her first World Cup podium at the same time.

In the Elite Men’s competition after a perfect start to the weekend, with wins in both qualifying and semi-finals, Benoit COULANGES (COMMENCAL DORVAL AM) made a mistake and crashed in the final. We will have to wait for Les Gets, on a track that he really enjoys, for him to try his luck again and achieve that first victory that he has dreamt of for so long.

It was much the same for Thibaut DAPRELA (COMMENCAL MUC-OFF). He was chewed up and spat out by the constantly evolving track during the race, his bike ending up in the trees, so intertwined that it took him several minutes to rescue it.

Special mention for Jack PIERCY from COMMENCAL LES ORRES who finished 18th and achieved his first top 20 in the World Cup in his first Elite season.

Change of mountain range to the Alps for another back-to-back round for the second French stop in Les Gets, which always brings back some great memories for the COMMENCAL crew.