Brosnan started his 2021 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season with a spectacular win at the season opener in Leogang, Austria. On the strength of Saturday’s second-place finish, the Australian ends his season in fourth place with 666 points total. Brosnan also took bronze at the 2021 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy, as well as second place in the legendary Crankworx Innsbruck race in Austria. “It’s been up and down but to get the bronze at World Champs and a second at the end of the year is fantastic. We’ll put it all in for next year and see what we can do!” said Brosnan.
Joining Brosnan on Saturday’s podium, 25-year-old Amaury Pierron from Brioud, France came into fourth place with a 3:14.154 finish. “I’m just stoked to be back on the podium in fourth place. It’s hard! I had a bad crash the first day, so my lower back was really hurting. I’m stoked to ride out the season on a good note and can’t wait to do a full season healthy and just send it!”
Rounding out Saturday’s podium at Snowshoe, American Monster Energy rider and hometown crowd favorite Luca Shaw took fifth place with a 3:14.707 finish. “I’m so happy. It’s been so long since I’ve been on the podium and to be able to do it here and at the last race of the year, basically my home race… I just couldn’t ask for a better way to end the season. I had a great run and I’m just really stoked.”
The final race was overshadowed by top-ranked overall season leader Dapréla suffering a heavy fall during the qualifiers. After holding on to the leader’s jersey for most of the season, the 20-year-old from France fractured his foot and two thumbs, requiring immediate surgery.
Unable to compete in the final race, Dapréla finished his 2021 UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup season in second place with 752 points behind Saturday’s winner and overall champion Loic Bruni. Speaking on his injury, Dapréla said: “It could be worse, I’m not too bad. I need to work a lot this winter and work on some points to be faster next year. I need some rest and then I’ll be back more than ever. I learned lots this year. I’ve learned every year since I was a junior and I’m still learning every race.”
Finishing the season in third place in the Elite Men division, 25-year-old Loris Vergier from Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, suffered several crashes in Saturday’s race but still secured 713 points overall. “I’m excited because I know what to work on for next year. I learned some lessons. It was the first time I’ve been really fired up to ride, you know REALLY fired up,” said Vergier, adding: “I’ll come back and try and be stronger next year!”
Amaury Pierron finished his season in sixth place and Danny Hart in ninth. Canadian Mark Wallace ended in 12th place and Luca Shaw moved up into 16th place to end the season.
The top finishes continued in the Elite Women division. When all was said and done, 24-year-old Cabirou from Millau, France, claimed second place with a 3:39.935 finish, a mere 0.256 behind the winner, and new overall World Cup champion Valentina Hoell from Austria.
“I’m really happy about two podiums in two races. I was really happy! I was 7th or 8th in the overall to begin the week and I ended it in 5th that’s pretty amazing for me!” said Cabirou. “I think I need some recovery for my leg and then I’ll go back to training and get ready for next year to do it again!”
Cabirou’s 2021 season highlights include a silver medal at the 2021 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy, and third place in Wednesday’s first race at Snowshoe. After her strong second-place finish in the season finale, Cabirou ends her UCI World Cup season in fifth place with 691 points.
Also claiming a spot in the top three at Snowshoe, 31-year-old Balanche from La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland, claimed third place after completing the track in 3:45.100.
“I made a little mistake at the bottom, but I didn’t lose 5 seconds, so it doesn’t really matter. I wanted to be consistent and be there every week. And I’ve done that, so I’m really happy!” said Balanche.
In overall season results, Balanche finished her 2021 UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup season in a strong third place with 1065 points. Overall, she claimed six podiums in seven races this year. “Six podiums in a row are just a dream. I’m really happy about my consistency and my run,” said Balanche, adding: “I’m stoked I could do it until the end and I know what I have to work on now for next year.”
All riders now get a well-deserved rest after the most hectic week of racing of the year and can head home to relax, lick their wounds, and get ready to take on the 2022 World Cup downhill season!