Cycling News

Five Canadians move through to DH semi-finals in Les Gets

Five Canadians move through to DH semi-finals in Les Gets

Canadians had a very strong start to the elite downhill World Cup on Friday. Adding to a big moment for Jon Mozell, who earned his first junior World Cup podium in Les Gets on Friday, five Canucks are through to Saturday’s elite semi-finals in Les Gets. That includes two women for the first time in 2023.

Elite Women

In the elite women’s qualifying, both Gracey Hemstreet (Norco Factory Racing) and enduro specialist Emmy Lan (Forbidden Synthesis) are made the 15-rider cut-off for Saturday’s semi-finals. Hemstreet continued her impressive debut elite season by qualifying 12th on Friday. Lan, who has used a break in the Enduro World Cup calendar to race more downhill, just squeezed through qualifying in 15th. Both will have to find a bit more speed to make it through the 10-rider cut-off semi-finals tomorrow but, no matter what happens on Saturday, it’s exciting to have two Canadian women in the running at an elite World Cup again.

Vali Höll (RockShox Trek), current World Cup leader, also led qualifying in Les Gets. With German rival in the overall, Nina Hoffmann (Synthesis) disqualified, Höll had a solid 3.406 gap to the next fastest rider, Marine Cabirou (Scott DH). Hoffmann will still drop in for semi-finals, as a protected rider, but early in the start order. Monika Hrastnik (Dorval AM) was the third fastest woman in France on Friday.

Jackson Goldstone on his way to a podium finish in Loudenvielle last week. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Elite Men

Three Canadian men are through to semi-finals after Friday’s qualifying with all three slotting into the top 15 spots. Jackson Goldstone (Syndicate) led the Canuck effort, qualifying eighth. Finn Iles (Specialized Gravity Racing) followed in 11th with Mark Wallace (Norco Factory Team) in 15th.

Benoit Coulanges (Dorval AM) qualified first on home soil, just as he did last week in Loudenvielle. Loris Verier (Trek Factory Racing) finished within a second of Coulanges’ time, just, with last week’s second-place finisher Dakotah Norton (Intense Factory Racing) putting in the third fastest time.

With the new World Cup format, qualifying cuts the men’s field down to 60 riders. Saturday sees semi-finals cut that down further to 30 riders before finals, also on Saturday decide winners. The busy schedule seems to require some pacing for the top riders, like Iles, Goldstone and current World Cup leader Loic Bruni, who qualified fifth.

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