Test Event Lourdes 2023 - Daprela on Form.

Before the start of a new era of the (formerly named) DH World Cup in 2023, new organiser ESO and governing body UCI put together a pre-season test event in Lourdes. The race that wasn’t a (official) race was put in place with the view to trying out some different track taping scenarios, new race and coverage formats and to make sure everything works for the first downhill round of the new Mountain Bike World Series.

In a race that didn’t bring with it the level of intensity of a regular stop on the calendar, it was a great start for the riders to quantify their winter preparations, and it was Thibaut Daprela who came out on top! The COMMENCAL MUC-OFF rider rode in race mode throughout the weekend. He took the victory ahead of most of the best riders in the world and on an already demanding track made particularly tricky because of the rain.

"I'm super happy, I played the game while riding flat out. I did what I could, it was pretty slippery… I had a crazy good run. Even if a few riders were missing, the best were here so it's nice to be in front. The track was great, well organised too, so it’s promising for the next races.” - Thibaut Daprela

Among the big changes is the taping of the track with different solutions proposed throughout the course, with the presence of foam mats/pads, much like ski slalom gates, to direct riders to take certain lines. Remember that there is also a new race format with a qualifying/semi-final round with a final on the same day, limiting rest and work time for both riders and mechanics.

There are still some points of interest and a few more questions from the riders and teams, but there is no doubt that ESO and the UCI are committed to doing well and listening to feedback from all those involved to move forward.

The official launch of the Mountain Bike World Series DHI season will take place in Lenzerheide (Switzerland), 8-11 June.



Photos : Sven Martin