"It takes nothing short of perfection to claim this ultimate prize"
A one day race to hand out cycling’s most elusive prize - a coveted rainbow jersey. A challenging track, ever changing weather conditions, and a roaring crowd - the stage was set for an epic 2019 Mountain Bike World Championships.
The weekend began with XCO, and the highly competitive U23 category. After four years of racing the U23 class, Ghost Factory Racing’s Sina Frei will be graduating to the Elite class for 2020. Determined to go out with a bang, Frei fought hard to tame the technical race track, putting time into her competition and claiming her first rainbow jersey!
For Trek Factory Racing’s Yolanda Neff it was a race of 3 parts. Neff started strong and was battling for the lead in the Elite Women’s race, before hitting a mid-race low and losing time. Showing why she is the champion that she is, she fought back in the closing laps to land in the silver medal position. Not bad for a bad day.
Up +12 seconds on her competition, your 2-time Junior Women’s World Champion, Vali Hoell. What will she do in the Elite ranks next year?
Canyon Factory Racing’s Kye A’Hern has been there or thereabout throughout his second year in Junior, but it hasn’t come together like he’d like. On the most important day of his year, things finally turned around, and he put down a great run on the challenging MSA track to clinch the rainbow jersey and become 2019 Junior Men’s World Champion.
Bested by the two returning riders, Marine Cabirou put down an impressive run to grab a bronze medal and continue her incredible 2019 season!
After leaving the World Cup circuit at Fort William with a serious shoulder injury, many were unsure what path Tahnee Seagrave’s return to the races would take. Hellbent on returning to this race almost from the day of her injury, it quickly became clear Seagrave was not here to make up the numbers. Looking strong all week, Seagrave put down a great run in finals to capture a silver medal, and stamp her return back to the race scene.
Just like Seagrave, Myriam Nicole’s return to the races was a real mystery. Half a season on crutches was not ideal preparation. But when Nicole left the gate none of that mattered, as she pushed just as hard as ever, on the run of her life. Down early, she took the lead and had to patiently watch all of her competitors try to best her time. As the last rider came across the line and the light flashed red, it became real. She was World Champion!
Canyon’s Troy Brosnan looked on fire straight out the gate, putting in big margins to the current leader. As he reached the finish, nearly 2 seconds up, he was clearly overjoyed with his performance. Would it be enough?! In the end it wasn’t, and Brosnan would settle for second; A well deserved silver medal and one hell of a run!
Last man down, defending World Champion, leading the World Cup overall, there couldn’t have been more pressure on Frenchman Loic Bruni. Seemingly, none of that mattered, as Bruni set out on course and was met by a flurry of green lights. Fast the whole way down, Bruni crossed the line in 1st and was immediately pounced upon by his proud team. That’s 4 titles for Super Bruni, if you’re counting.
Photos: Sven Martin + Boris Beyer + Ghost Factory Racing