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Images from UCI Downhill World Cup Lenzerheide
NEWS

Loris Vergier Takes First Place at UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill Race in Lenzerheide

Sep 072021

Back-to-back victories for the Flying Frenchman! Monster Energy congratulates Loris Vergier on taking first place in the Elite Men division Downhill Race at the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, this weekend. Fresh off winning the Maribor World Cup event in August, the 25-year-old from Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, clinched the victory in the tight race on his last run with a 2:46.921 finish time.

Also claiming a top spot in Lenzerheide this weekend, 20-year-old Monster Energy rider Thibaut Dapréla from France finished in third place less than half a second behind his teammate with a 2:47.291 total time. The French-dominated podium was rounded out by Monster Energy rider, 25-year-old Amaury Pierron from Brioud, France, in fourth place. In the Elite Women division, 31-year-old Monster Energy team rider Camille Balanche from La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland, finished in fifth place with a 3:19.222 total time.

Known for its demanding and high-speed track, the Swiss alpine resort of Lenzerheide hosted the penultimate stop of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season. It’s a notoriously unforgiving course, littered with loose rocks and without much line choice. Errors are costly and must be kept to a minimum, as every slip of the pedal can cost the win.

 

The keys to winning at Lenzerheide consisted of staying smooth through the rocks and being precise with lines. Vergier followed this formula precisely and dropped into the race with confidence after previously winning the World Cup event and European Downhill Championships at Maribor, Slovenia.

 

Even when rain came in briefly towards the end of the men’s field, Vergier kept his focus. “Actually, the rain wasn’t that bad. In a few places you had to be cautious but in others, it was actually better. So it wasn’t that bad.”

 

With fellow French rider Loic Bruni sitting in first place, it all came down to Vergier’s very last run of the race – and the Flying Frenchman did not disappoint. Cheered on by a high-energy crowd, the 25-year-old from Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, blazed down the course without hitting the brakes to finish first with 2:46.921 total, only 0.197 seconds ahead of Bruni in a down-to-the-wire race.

 

“It’s been amazing. It’s been really hard! The track was running really fast but in the same way, it was actually quite slippery. I made it down, but the run was not that fun. It worked, though, so I was really happy,” said Vergier upon taking first place in Lenzerheide this weekend.

 

The victory at Lenzerheide, the fifth World Cup win of his career, adds to a standout season for Vergier. The newly minted European Champion now climbs to second place in the overall World Cup season rankings with 566 points, edging closer to his Monster Energy teammate Dapréla still locked in first place with 752 points.

 

At Lenzerheide, 20-year-old Dapréla from France took third place with a 2:47.291 finish time. After already claiming the win at the World Cup in Les Gets, France, in July, the young rider kept delivering consistent podium finishes to hold on to the overall top spot with just one more event to go in the 2021 season.

“This is amazing!” said Dapréla, still wearing the overall leader’s jersey. “I’m really stoked, it’s good that I was third, so I got maximum points. Loris is coming really close to me now. I need to keep this momentum and go full gas! I don’t have a choice… full gas!” said Dapréla.

 

Another Monster Energy rider claimed a podium in the Elite Men division at Lenzerheide: 25-year-old Amaury Pierron from Brioud, France, took fourth place with a 2:47.549 total time. Aside from a third-place finish at Leogang, Pierron had been out much of the season with injuries and was extremely thankful to be back in the mix.

 

“It’s been super hard. This last year I missed completely with injury, then coming back was super hard. I came to Leogang and then got injured again. Life was super hard. I’m stoked to be back at the races and on the podium, it’s sick!” said Amaury Pierron. Looking towards the end of the season, Pierron said: “On Thursday we go to America, and I’ll try to recover as best as I can. I’m just stoked to be back, and I can’t wait for Snowshoe.”

 

Also securing crucial points before the last race of the season, 29-year-old Danny Hart from Redcar, United Kingdom, earned a strong sixth-place finish at Lenzerheide. With a total time of 2:48.657, Hart advanced to fifth place in overall season rankings with 391 points.

 

In the Elite Women division, Monster Energy rider and 2020 UCI Downhill World Cup Champion Balanche battled her way to the podium. In a highly competitive race, the 31-year-old from La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland, claimed fifth place with a 3:19.222 finish time. Racing at home in front of her family and friends, it was a special podium for the new addition to the Monster program. Balanche now holds second place in the Elite Women overall standings with 695 points.

 

“It’s sick! I’m a bit disappointed because I made a big mistake, but I still had to do a great run to get fifth. I’m really happy, especially at home,” said Balanche.

 

Also putting on a strong performance, Monster Energy’s Marine Cabirou took sixth place in the Elite Women race with a 3:20.309 finish. The 24-year-old from Millau, France, now holds eighth place in-season rankings with 331 points. The previous weekend, Cabirou took second place in the Elite Women division at the 2021 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy.

 

Next on the calendar is the grand finale: The 2021 UCI Downhill World Cup finals will be contested in Snowshoe, United States, from September 15-19. The doubleheader event in West Virginia will crown the champions after an intense season. Stay tuned for the big showdown at Snowshoe!

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