World Cup #6 Leogang - Out with a bang!
The final round of DH World Cup 2013 was in Leogang in Austria this weekend. The LP Gravity Republic Team was eager to finish on a high, after already having an amazing season.
They did not miss the opportunity!
The LP riders achieved their best qualification results of the season: In the Womens, Emmeline Ragot took 2nd place less than a second behind Rachel Atherton, and proved that she won’t let go. In the Juniors, Loris Vergier conserved his strength for the final, but still took a solid 4th place. Then, in Elite Mens, Loic Bruni and Sam Blenkinsop stayed on their current form, finishing respectively 4th and 5th! The top 3 finishers were the contenders for the overall World Cup win: Gee Atherton and Stevie Smith, plus Mick Hannah.
Loris, only 1st year Junior and already World Cup winner!
Sunday, d-day. Loris Vergier was second overall in the Juniors and knew he could still win the overall, if he finished in front of the English rider Mike Jones. Which he did!
Loris had a great run, the young gun finished a tenth of a second in front of his rival and took 2nd place. Only the Swiss rider Niederberger was faster and won the final round. Regardless, Loris, with 2nd place, won the Junior World Cup overall in his first year in the category ... Huge !
Loris follows in the footsteps of team mate Loic Bruni.
Emmeline claimed her 2nd World Cup victory this season
In the Womens, Rachel Atherton was almost assured victory in the overall standings, but Emmeline Ragot hadn’t given up. She was the only one that rivaled the British rider this season.
Emmeline did a fantastic run, almost five seconds faster than Manon Carpenter, and went onto the hot seat. For Rachel Atherton, a top15 would have been enough to secure the overall victory. But Rachel is not really the type of girl to let it go. At the 2 split times, she was neck and neck with Emmeline, finally crossing the line 0.5 sec slower than Emmeline. This is a second World Cup victory this season for Emmeline!
Emmeline ends her first season under the LP colors with a second place at the World Championships, a second place in the overall World Cup, plus two World Cup victories ( Mt Saint Anne and Leogang ) ... Bravo!
Loic got his best World Cup result... with style!
In Elite Mens, Blenky and Loic had a nice card to play. They were both in good form and looking forward to this fast and technical track that suits them well.
Blenky, as usual, had a very confident run. He finished 7th less than a second from the top 5, once again consistent with his top 10 times this season.
Now it comes to Loic, often brilliant in qualifications this season but a little bit off the pace during finals. He made a legendary run (Check the replay here). Ahead of the others at all splits, he crossed the finish line more than two seconds ahead of J. Bryceland, on the hot seat at that moment. In the finish area, Loic was congratulated by his elders, Minaar and Steve Peat.
Only 3 riders were still to go. Neither Gee Atherton, nor Mick Hannah managed to dislodge Loic from the hot seat. Loic saw his first world cup victory in the World Cup Elites as a real possibility. That was before the unbelievable run of Stevie Smith, ( Devinci ). Already the fastest in qualifications, he took the double by winning the final round and the overall, passing Gee Atherton (GT) at the very last moment! Loic finished second in the last race, his best performance ever.
Blenky (wearing gloves !) finished 7th of this round and 5th of the overall World Cup!
The results of both LP riders saw them climb up the overall rankings, to finish in 4th and 5th place overall!
Vergier 1st in Junior, Ragot 2nd in the Womens , Bruni 4th and Blenky 5th in Elite Men ... An outstanding performance for the team, which won the team classification of this final round and finished second in the general classification , a short distance from Team GT. Congratulations to all of them!
Champaign for the LP Team! // Photos credits : Paris Gore