UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Andorra
Monster Energy’s Thibaut Daprela Takes First Place In The Elite Men Division, While Marine Cabirou Claims Fourth Place In The Women Division.
Finally, back on top! Monster Energy congratulates team rider Thibaut Daprela on taking first place in the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Pal Arinsal, Andorra. In the Elite Men division race, the 22-year-old from France rose all the way to the top with a no-holds-barred final run.
Also making the podium, 26-year-old Marine Cabirou from Millau, France, claimed fourth place in the Elite Women division.
As the fourth stop of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup season, the Vallnord venue in Andorra challenged riders with some of the steepest and most difficult track conditions of the season. From August 22-27, the world elite of competitive mountain bike racing competed in Cross-Country, Short-Track, and Downhill disciplines.
In the Elite Men Downhill discipline, Monster Energy’s Daprela dropped into the course as a podium favorite after taking third place at the previous World Cup event in Val di Sole, Italy, in July. As the final race commenced, South African World Champion racer Greg Minnaar took the lead with a finish time of 2:46.576.
But the South African held the top spot only for a brief time, as Daprela completed the course with a spectacular finish time of 2:46.455 with ten more riders to go. When the race finished, Daprela took home the victory with his time 0.121 seconds ahead of Minnaar.
“It was a crazy, crazy day - especially with the delays and weather today,” explains Daprela after an unusual schedule adjustment. “I was feeling good and confident on the bike all week, and I’m stoked to have [put down] a really good run today, even if the rain came in for the last riders! The win feels amazing! I was going fast but felt relaxed.”
In the Elite Women division, the race was overshadowed by Swiss team rider Camille Balanche suffering a heavy fall on the road gap obstacle during Friday’s qualifier event. Balanche was airlifted to a nearby hospital in stable condition and sidelined from competing. Consequently, organizers decided to remove the road gap from the course for the finals.
In the Elite Women finals, French team rider Cabirou completed the track in 3:14.396 minutes to take second place but found herself bumped to fourth place as the race continued.
“It was really difficult to manage the emotions of the day. The race got postponed this morning, and I had no idea if it would get cancelled later or not,” said Cabirou. “Once we found out the race would be back on, I went straight into another warmup and race mode. I’m happy with fourth place after some mistakes and the rainy weather.”
Congrats to the Monster Energy team on this successful UCI World Cup event! Stay tuned as the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup season continues in Loudenvielle-Peyragudes on September 1, 2023.