Double victories for the team! Amaury Pierron took first place in the Elite Men division at the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Snowshoe, West Virginia, this weekend. In the season’s only race in the United States, Pierron finished in 3:34.442 to retain his lead on the 2022 World Cup rankings.
Also claiming a win at Snowshoe, Camille Balanche completed the challenging course in 4:28.585 in the Elite Women division and defended her number one position in the overall 2022 season standings. Rounding out a strong showing for Team Monster Energy, Izabela Yankova earned a strong third-place finish in the Junior Women division.
Weather conditions varied from monsoon rains, to zero visibility fog early in the week, mixed with baking sunshine on race day. Riders had to contend with every condition imaginable this week. The already technical track at Snowshoe had the added complication of fresh cut loam that did not hold up well in the wet weather, creating challenging peanut butter-like conditions mid-course, followed by the most slippery mud-covered rocks many racers have ever had to contend with in the infamous lower rock gardens. Known for its lengthy single-track rock sections that beat riders up, the added mud made for a workout that many racers barely made it through, fighting just to keep the rubber side down and in between the tape.
Monster Energy’s Amaury Pierron entered the Snowshoe event as the leader on season rankings but with room to improve: After suffering a crash in the previous World Cup race in Andorra and finishing in 13th place, Pierron almost opted out of the Snowshoe race while still dealing with injuries. But rising to the occasion, the ‘Flying Frenchman’ showed his grit by taking first place in the grueling qualifiers and sending it on finals day.