Race organizers made the early call to cancel today’s junior downhill World Cup in Loudenvielle, France after heavy rain overnight. Officials cited rider safety due to muddy track conditions. As a result, results from Friday’s qualifying will stand as final results for the juniors.
Sunday’s elite men’s and women’s races are still scheduled to go ahead as planned. The junior finals cancelation comes days after UCI made a last-minute schedule change to hold the Loudenvielle World Cup Enduro a day earlier.
This is the second week in a row that the UCI has canceled racing due to weather. Last week in Andorra, elite downhill semi-finals were canceled and only finals were run.
The decision is not great for Canada’s juniors. Ryan Griffith and Dane Jewett qualified 12th and 18th and looked ready to have a solid finals run. Rossland, B.C.’s Bodhi Kuhn loses the World Cup leader’s jersey to the fastest qualifier / race winner Ryan Pinkerton. The decision to cancel racing technically didn’t change Kuhn’s result as the Trek Factory Racing rider had already made the smart call not to start junior finals after a heavy crash in Friday’s qualifying.
Other juniors, though, noted that the track conditions were steadily improving over the course of Saturday morning. Several were able to get top-to-bottom runs in as the track dried out. Dom Platt of Atherton Racing posted his Saturday morning run online.
With Loudenvielle rescheduling and cancelations piling onto lingering frustrations from the last-minute rescheduling during the Andorra World Cup last weekend, several top riders hit the point where they were ready to speak out. Several noted that these kind of late schedule changes were new and that, in their long careers, no World Cup race had been canceled due to a bit of mud.
Ed Masters, Wyn Masters and Dean Lucas got together with race winner Ryan Pinkerton to discuss the canceled junior races. They also touch on the way decisions from UCI are being communicated and are joined by French veteran racer Flo Payet to talk about some of the more memorable wet-weather races over their careers.
Loudenvielle World Cup racing continues on Sunday, September 3. Elite semi-finals and finals are currently scheduled to take place on the same day. More rain is in the forecast for Loudenvielle.