Cycling News

Poland makes a thrilling World Cup downhill debut

Poland makes a thrilling World Cup downhill debut

Poland made a sensational World Cup debut Sunday, with the sun coming out for elite races. That made for fast times for the winners and a few favourites taken out by lingering sections of mud left after the downpour during the junior races.

Finn Iles again led the Canadian effort but with two young riders putting in impressive efforts in Bielsko-Biała.

Marine Cabiro on course in Poland. Photo: UCI Mountain Bike World Series.

Elite women: resurtgent Cabirou claims Polish debut win

In the elite women’s race, the results showed a mix of comebacks and unseated favourites.

Marine Cabirou (Scott) takes the win in Bielsko-Biała, harnessing a mix of technical skill and sprinting power to top the elite women’s standings. After working her way back up the standings from a big injury last season, ending with two wins, the French woman showed she’s still right on pace again this year.

Another rider coming back from injury, Camille Balanche (Dorval AM), spend much of the 2023 season on the sidelines. The Swiss Olympian slots into second behind Cabirou. It’s a very strong showing for the Commencal racer.

Nina Hoffmann (Syndicate) takes third, Jess Blewitt (Cube) fourth and Tahnée Seagrave (Canyon Cllctv) fifth.

Elite women’s podium. Photo UCI Mountain Bike World Series.

Absent from the podium was Fort William winner Vali Höll. Poland proved to be a roller coaster experience of the Austrian world champion. After a broken chain wrapped up in her drivetrain during qualifying, Höll set the fastest time in semi-finals. That all came undone early on in finals, though, when the YT Mob racer crashed hard on a slick section early on. Höll was back on her bike quickly and fought back to sixth in an admirable effort to preserve points for the overall, but the win was already gone.

Marine Cabirou. Photo: UCI Mountain Bike World Series

“I’m super happy to win here on this new track in Poland. It’s crazy because the track has changed a lot all week. It was difficult to manage the race run because we had a lot of rain at the start of the afternoon, so I didn’t know if I could push or not, so I just tried to do my best,” Cabirou says after her eighth career World Cup win. “At the beginning, I saw that the track was kind of dry so I tried to push. I made a mistake but I think everybody made a mistake, so I just had a good run.”

Ronan Dunne on his way to his first World Cup win. Photo: UCI Mountain Bike World Series

Elite men: Dunne finally does it


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