Words: Oliver Gough
Photos: Tim Bardsley-Smith
World Cup number three took place on a brand new steep track in Vallnord, Andorra. The weather turned out to be fine all week and only a small shower on Sunday morning before practice wet the track a bit.
The very steep nature of the track and its length made for difficult riding conditions. All the parts on the bike had to be very well set-up in order to cope with the terrain; Brakes, tire choice, suspension and even riding position was adapted so that the riders could make the most of their bikes.Guillaume practicing on Friday, on one of the less steep bits.
The practice runs saw Guillaume and Mick having great fun on the track. And by the time qualifying came around, both of them were really confident and looking fast.
Mick had a very solid qualifying run and got 11th place. Guillaume had a huge crash over the bars but still managed to get 43rd. He was riding fast before the crash and so knew he could achieve something good at the finals.
After a short training session on Saturday morning the finals came around on Sunday. Guillaume had a good run but reckons he rode a bit too conservatively on the bottom half. He therefore got a 27th place which is a solid result for him after a 32nd place in Fort William and a 20th place in Val Di Sole.
Mick started on an excellent run with the second best time on the first split and the 8th on the second split. He was more than a second up on Steve Smith (who finished 4th) but unfortunately got a puncture half way down the track. He lost his advance rapidly and ended up riding through the line in 26th place. He was rather disappointed with this misfortune as he was feeling great and fast on his bike all weekend. He therefore doesn’t have a result that reflects this and would have liked to be up there on the podium on such a tough track.Mick with a rear flat on one of the bottom corners. Huge shame for one of the quickest looking riders of the weekend.
Remi Thirion, the French rider from the Commencal – Riding Addiction team won his first world cup race. We are all really happy to see a French guy up on the first spot of the podium! Congrats Remi!!
The whole team will carry on training in the South-West of France for a week and then fly off to Mont Saint Anne in Quebec for the fourth world cup.Black and white steep goodness. This is what World Cup tracks should be.
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