UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Loudenvielle-Peyragudes
18-Year-Old Monster Army Athlete Ryan Pinkerton Wins the Junior Men’s Division.
Keeping the podium spots coming! Monster Energy congratulates team rider Marine Cabirou on taking third place in the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Loudenvielle-Peyragudes, France, on Sunday. In the Elite Women’s division race, the 26-year-old from Millau, France, climbed into the top three with a controlled final run.
In the Junior Men’s division, 18-year-old Monster Army rider Ryan Pinkerton from Aliso Viejo, California, took home first place with a strong performance.
From September 1-3, the legendary track in Loudenvielle-Peyragudes in the heart of the French Pyrenees attracted the world’s best mountain bike racers in the Enduro and Downhill disciplines.
As the fifth stop of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup season, the event challenged riders with a brand-new downhill course featuring new obstacles and technical sections. Visitors were also treated to a mountain bike festival with over 150,000 square feet of event space, including live music, kids’ races, and a bike expo.
In the Elite Women downhill race, Monster Energy’s Cabirou battled heavy competition and tough course conditions in the semi-final, qualifying into Sunday’s final outside of podium contention in seventh place.
Rising to the challenge when it counted, Cabirou demonstrated her versatile riding skills and racing IQ on Sunday. Significantly improving on her finish time from the semi-finals, the French rider finished the track at Loudenvielle-Peyragudes in 4:05.945 to take over the top spot with only four riders left to drop.
When the dust finally settled, Cabirou ended up claiming a strong third-place finish with her 4:05.945 time. The result earned Cabirou 245 points in the 2023 UCI DH World Cup season rankings, bumping her into fourth place overall with 958 points. She is now closely behind her Monster Energy teammate Camille Balanche, currently in third place with 1020 points.
“Race day in Loudenvielle was a strange one, especially having only really practiced this new track in dry conditions,” explains Cabirou while describing her weekend here in France. “The track was still greasy from all the rain but conditions improved as we got ready for the afternoon. I had a good run in the semi-final and found faster lines with a better tire choice for the final so I’m very happy with my day! Stoked to climb higher on the podium.”
On Saturday, the Junior Division final race had to be cancelled after overnight storms and significant rainfall. Consequently, results from qualifiers served to determine the winners of the event.
When all was said and done, 18-year-old Monster Army rider Ryan Pinkerton from Aliso Viejo, California, clinched the win with a dominant performance in qualifiers. The American finished the challenging track in 3:35.582, a solid 1.5 seconds ahead of the next competitor.
Based on the victory, the three-time U.S. national DH race champion now commands first place in this season’s overall Men Junior division rankings with 223 points.
Next up, the UCI Mountain Bike World Series will remain in France for the upcoming round: Stay tuned for the sixth stop of the season in the rolling green hills of Les Gets, France, from September 7-17, 2023.