What a final!

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World Cup #3 in Leogang – Victory for Camille Balanche & More Podiums

What a final! After a difficult week for all riders with cold driving rain and wind during practice and qualifying, the good weather finally arriving on finals day in Leogang! Top sections of the track improved a lot through Saturday getting drier and faster. Lower down in the woods it was still just as difficult to grasp and remained the sector where the race would most likely be won or lost. In both the women's and men’s races, that’s where it all happened.

Camille Balanche is unbeatable in Leogang! A third consecutive victory for her on Austrian soil, after her World Championship title in 2020 and her victory in the World Cup last season! Like during qualifying, she once again showed all her command and composure through the hardest technical sections. “I don't know what's happening! Three consecutive wins, a dream come true! The double, qualifying and the final. I’m on cloud nine, don't wake me up!” Thanks to this second win in three races, she consolidates her lead in the overall rankings.

Behind Camille, Myriam Nicole took a magnificent 2nd place! However bad the start of her race (she crashed), she composed herself to get back up to speed and take control of her run. The two riders are also battling it out for the overall title, Pompon in 2nd behind Cami.

It was a great performance for Monika Hrastnik too, who made the podium in 5th. Mille Johnset is getting closer to the top in 8th after a tough weekend. Siel Van Der Velden was 10th. All our COMMENCAL riders in the top ten!

In the Elite Men’s race, Angel Suarez is getting closer... He finished in a magnificent 3rd place after an incredibly nail biting men's final. Angel said, “I gave everything I had. I did everything to keep the speed, but above all tried to stay on the bike until the bottom, it was the most difficult day. This is incredible!”
Just behind him, a little disappointed, was Amaury Pierron in 4th. A controlled run, where he knew what he needed to do after difficulties in qualifying. A superb performance given the conditions and he keeps the leader’s jersey!

Disappointment for Benoit Coulanges who is still searching his first World Cup victory. He finished in 20th after being quicker at the first splits, so the speed and the confidence from his winning qualification were there. He just couldn’t quite stay on his bike and a heartbreaking crash put him out of the running. Like Angel, he's also getting closer… Like he did here last year, Thibaut Daprela crashed out and came 59th in the end. Committed at the start of his run, he also fell in the woods and lost a lot of time.

Great performance for Greg Williamson in 21st, who is gaining in confidence and control, and Antoine Vidal who was 22nd despite a fall. Baptiste Pierron came in 26th.

In Junior Men, Tristan Lemire took 7th place, closely followed by Alix Francoz in 8th. Jack Piercy was 20th.

Congratulations to all of our guys and girls for getting through this difficult week. See you in a month in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, for the forth round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup!

Photos : Keno Derleyn / Jey Crunch / Ross Bell