Last downhill round of the 2018 UCI World Cup was nothing but wild. New track, rain and last-chance-to-prove-yourself pressure spiced up the things in La Bresse. We’re happy that all three riders were racing, best among them was Dakotah with 30th place.
La Bresse has a reach history of cross-country & downhill racing, but this year everything was new, as the race was moved to the new location in nearby bike park. Organizers struggled in several areas, but nobody can’t say that the track wasn’t proper for the big finals of the series. And for sure it wasn’t easy on the riders, despite it might look that way at first.
All of our riders were on Crankworx, so they also had to fight against jetlag and tiredness from the long trip. Expectations were of course high, they are all riders that already went into top-10 and wanted to do good on the last race. Dakotah had a chance for a high overall position, Rudy was racing in front of home crowds and for the place on the world champs, while Jure was looking for a good result without additional pressure. Unfortunately he was the one that didn’t qualify on Friday – he simply didn’t have enough strength in him. Rudy and Dak had better day, but nothing to brag about. But they both had a chance to prove themselves on Saturday.
“Bad” weather always provides surprises…
…This time around not just one, but tons of surprises, the biggest one of course being Martin Maes’s victory. Our guys didn’t perform as spectacularly… Rudy was on the course first, setting decent times in the first half of the completely wet track. But then the problems started and he even crashed, after that it was hard to do a really good time; he finished in 57th.
Dakotah was on the track just minutes later, also in pouring rain. He did the opposite of Rudy and was setting faster times towards the end of the run. He was 6th in the finish bowl, which didn’t seem any good at the time, but he started to gain places quickly as other riders struggled as much, or even more. On the end he finished in 30th.
Dakotah is 22nd overall on the final UCI World Cup standings and is by far our best ranked rider of the season. No surprise there, both Jure & Rudy were injured for most of the season.
But the first season on the new Devinci Wilson 29 is not over jet, Lenzerheide is just around the corner.
Dakotah Norton: “Very hard race. Super physical. The track was going to be physical in the dry, but with the mud everything rolled much slower and made it even harder to keep the bike moving. Result is not the best, but also not the worst. I would like to been in the twenties, that was my goal. Last year I was 34th overall as a privateer, this year I’m 12 positions better – missing two events. I have 5th & 6th, so I can say it was successful season. With world cup experience comes consistency and I’ve shoved I have speed, right now I’m just battling injury.”
Jure Žabjek: “The season wasn’t what I was aiming for. I injured my wrist before the first round, but still did a good result in Lošinj. Later I broke my finger and had to stop riding. I’m still careful with my hand, I don’t want to crash and make things worse. But I love to be on the bike again. I’ll do some more testing in the next week and prepare myself for Lenzerheide.”
Results – World Cup La Bresse
Dakotah Norton 30th, 22nd overall
Rudy Cabirou 57th
Jure Žabjek did not qualify
Photos by Klemen Humar & Keith Valentine
ACTION GALLERY BY KLEMEN HUMAR
PITS GALLERY BY KLEMEN HUMAR