World Cup #6 Snowshoe – Camille Balanche & Amaury Pierron - Another Double

Three out of six for Camille Balanche, four out of six for Amaury Pierron! Our two riders were flying in Snowshoe!
It’s certain that no-one would have bet on these results, on this race, because the conditions were so unpredictable. The chances of making it down with a faultless run in the final were slim. The mud wreaked havoc during practice and qualifying, and even if it was less greasy for the final it turned out to be spectacular, especially through the many difficult to negotiate rocks. It was by far the most difficult race of the season for everyone, both physically and mentally.

The objective was simple on paper, although difficult to achieve… To win you simply had to stay on the bike… It was Camille Balanche who demonstrated once again that she was the most comfortable. As with her victory at the 2020 World Championships in Leogang, she was the only woman not to make a mistake in the final. With a clean, technical and controlled run, she won by more than four seconds! “I have never danced so much on and then off the bike. I love these conditions, I almost wished for even more rain! A perfect weekend in terrible conditions. Winning both the qualification round and the final is just the best feeling!” With 230 points, Camille Balanche largely dominates the Elite Women overall competition and could win the series in Mont-Sainte-Anne this week.

On the second step of the Elite Women’s podium was Myriam Nicole. It was a superb race for her too, and she was clocked faster during much of the race but as wee said, you had to stay on the bike, and a crash plus an error slowed her down just too much. Coming down in 1st, she was pushed out into 2nd by the last lady down the hill, Cami.

Monika Hrastnik is also comfortable in difficult and technical conditions, and she performed well to complete the podium in 5th place! Behind her, Mille Johnset finished 7th. Siel Van Der Velden was 13th. 

What a men's final! After a big crash in Vallnord, Amaury Pierron had a tough two weeks of recovery but obviously managed to get in shape for Snowshoe. On Thursday evening, he was not even 100% sure he would compete. But we’ve learnt never to count him out and he won his 4th World Cup race of the season. Too much suspense! Like Camille, he stayed on his bike, although it wasn’t a faultless run by any means, he ‘had a little coffee stop’ en route to making 2.5 seconds back. With this win he not only consolidates his lead in the Elite Men’s overall classification but also enters the World Cup history books by becoming only the 4th rider to win four rounds in a single season! Well done Maurice! "Don't ask me how it happened, but it was amazing! After I took a little coffee break at the first split I gave it my all until the finish, and somehow it happened. I am over the moon with this 4th win! It's the best feeling.”

There was a superb performance from Matteo Iniguez who got into the top 15 for the first time this season (13th). His aggressive style and stylish technique prevailed! Like Amaury Pierron, Benoit Coulanges was not feeling his best on arrival in Snowshoe after his injury in Vallnord. Despite the first very fast split a little crash slowed him down and he finished 16th on the day. A similar thing for Thibaut Daprela (18th), fast and on pace in the first part of the race, then a crash. Too bad, the speed is there.

It was a great performance from our COMMENCAL USA rider, Austin Dooley. He bagged himself a top 20 position for the first time in his career! Thomas Estaque and Greg Williamson finished 32nd and 39th respectively. Hugo Frixtalon was 47th. Angel Suarez took a big hit and could not finish the race.

Finally, in the Junior Men’s, brilliant results for Alix Francoz and Leo Abella in 6th and 8th! Behind, Jack Piercy finished 15th, Hugo Marini 21st after a fall.

Photos : Keno Derleyn / Jey Crunch / Ross Bell