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Photos from the 2022 MTB UCI Downhill World cup in Fort William, UK.
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Amaury Pierron Takes First at Fort William | UCI MTB World Cup 2022

May 232022

The downhill mountain bike World Cup is back on track! Team rider Amaury Pierron took first place in the Elite Men division at the 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William, Scotland, this weekend. In the second race of the season, Pierron took the win with a 4:37.115 finish time. He was joined on the podium by teammate Thibaut Dapréla in second place, finishing only 0.469 seconds behind.

In the competitive Elite Women division, Camille Balanche completed the long and challenging track in second place with a 5:17.785 finish time.

From May 21-22, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup returned to legendary Fort William for the first time since 2019. Known as one of the most demanding tracks on the circuit, Fort William is a favorite among riders and fans alike.

If you missed it, here’s the play by play:

ELITE MEN DIVISION:

The rider to watch this weekend was no other than Amaury Pierron. At the 2022 season opener in Lourdes, France, The Flying Frenchman stunned the competition by claiming a dominant win, finishing 1.5 seconds ahead of the next rider. What’s more, Pierron is no stranger to Fort William, having defended his men’s downhill title on the course in 2019.

 

Then again, Pierron’s weekend in Fort William was off to a less than perfect start. “It’s been tough; I struggled a lot on my bike all day on the first day. It was hard,” said Pierron, who qualified in fourth place for the final.

 

But when it was time for the final showdown, Pierron found his groove: “I try to tell myself that each day is a new day. So, you can improve every day. I didn’t rush things. Just take my time and build my weekend.”

 

Speaking on his two consecutive wins in the 2022 season, Pierron added: “It’s never easy. Every weekend is a new weekend. You start from zero, there are new tracks, and changes in set-ups. I just want to take care of myself, and stay injury-free that’s the main goal. And of course, I will give my best to be the most consistent this year and I want to win.”

 

This weekend’s win marks the third successive Fort William victory for Pierron. “It is a dream come true for me to win three times in a row here at Fort William. I just gave everything, but it was really tough mentally and physically.” Pierron has cemented his spot at the top of the 2022 season leaderboards with 430 points.

 

In what ended up being a tight race, Pierron faced competition from fellow Frenchman Dapréla. When the dust settled, the 21-year-old completed the course less than half a second behind his teammate with a finish time of 4.37:584 minutes.

 

Speaking on his race experience in Scotland, Dapréla said: “Tough, really tough. The track was hard, and it was difficult to find the speed for me. But I found it for the final! This time I changed my strategy and was smooth all the way down. Now I’m ready to keep pushing and I’m back fighting for the podiums. Everything is ready to go so I’m really stoked.”

ELITE WOMEN DIVISION:

When the action commenced in the Elite Women division, Balanche came into the race as a podium favorite after winning the first season stop in Lourdes, France, in March.

 

At the end of the day, Balanche finished the course in 5:17.785 behind Germany’s Nina Hoffmann in first place. With a total of 385 points, she remains in first place on the 2022 season leaderboards.

 

“The weekend was super nice. I won qualifiers and was super surprised. My run in the final was really solid. Not perfect because it’s impossible on this track but super solid run, so I’m really stoked on my second place,” said Balanche, adding: “I hope the rest of the season is as good as it started. It’s perfect, I feel great. I didn’t crash, I feel fit. The mind is there and I’m super confident, so I hope it’s going to stay like that.”

 

Also riding strong but finishing closely outside a podium position, 25-year-old Marine Cabirou from Millau, France, finished her race in Scotland in sixth place with a 5:26.564 finish time.

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