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Les Gets DH preview: Refreshed track to create exciting racing

Loris Vergier enters the finish arena in Les Gets in 2019
Loris Vergier enters the finish arena in Les Gets in 2019 (Image credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool)

A few weeks after an exciting race in Leogang, downhill racers are back at it again this weekend for the second round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets, France. 

The ski-resort town last played host to a downhill World Cup in 2019, where Amaury Pierron and Tracey Hannah stormed to victories. This year, the course has changed, but still features the wide-open grass turns, technical wood sections, and jumps that made the 2019 race so exciting. 

Pierron, however, will not be at the start line this weekend. He crashed at a French Cup race last weekend, suffering a bruised kidney, liver, and lung. He was admitted to a hospital in Grenoble so is clearly not in race shape. 

Pierron's teammate Thibaut Daprela, who won the Les Gets junior race in 2019 and had a breakout elite ride in Leogang also crashed at the French Cup race, suffering a broken nose and tongue laceration. He's been cleared by doctors to race but has not yet made a decision. 

Hannah is of course now retired from World Cup racing, so the women's field will be a showdown between Camille Balanche and Vali Holl. Here's our look at who's looking fast right now. 

Marine Cabirou races in Les Gets in 2019

(Image credit: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool)

Women

Camille Balanche 

Balanche backed up her rainbow stripes with a win in Leogang. The Swiss racer sure knows how to put down a good run when it matters most, but will she keep her speed in Les Gets? 

Vali Holl 

The Austrian had a devastating crash in Leogang but was not injured and held on for second place. Holl took the win at the downhill race at Crankworx Innsbruck against some tough competition. This weekend could be the time that she grabs her first elite World Cup victory. 

Marine Cabirou

Cabirou just won the French Cup race and was second at Les Gets in 2019. She'll be looking to improve on her fourth-place finish in Leogang at her home World Cup. 

Nina Hoffmann

Hoffmann was one of our favorites for Leogang, but she opted not to race after a crash led to concussion symptoms. She was back on the bike for Crankworx though where she finished second. 

 Monika Hrastnik 

Hrastnik has a list of consistent results including a third-place finish at World Champs last year. She was also third in Leogang, so the former European Champion is certainly a rider to watch. 

Troy Brosnan

Troy Brosnan wins in Leogang (Image credit: Red Bull Content Pool )

Men

Troy Brosnan 

The Australian found his confidence in Leogang, outriding the rest of the stacked field. He'll take that speed and confidence into Les Gets, looking to repeat the trip to the top of the podium. 

Loris Vergier 

Vergier is almost always a threat for the podium, and he beat out Brosnan at Crankworx a couple of weeks ago. It looks like he's getting on well with his new team, so the Frenchman could be speedy this weekend. 

Thibaut Daprela 

Another talented French rider, Daprela had a blazing fast run in Leogang. If he races in Les Gets, his crash last weekend could impact his confidence. He has an aggressive riding style though, so it wouldn't surprise us if he gets right back up to speed. 

Benoit Coulanges

Yes, another French rider - the country's racing talent really is that deep. Coulanges won the French Cup last week and was on pace in Leogang. He'll go into Les Gets with home race confidence. 

Laurie Greenland 

Greenland was third at Les Gets last time before earning his only career World Cup win in the elite field later that season. He wasn't too far off the pace in Leogang, so the Briton is a rider to watch and see if he can sneak up the results list. 

The racing will be streamed for free on Red Bull TV starting at 12:30 CEST on Saturday.

Ryan Simonovich

Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California, where he cultivated his love for riding all types of bikes. Ryan eventually gravitated toward enduro and downhill racing but has also been found in the occasional road and cyclo-cross events. Today, he regularly rides the trails of Durango, Colorado, and is aiming to make a career out of chronicling the sport of cycling. 


Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower, Specialized Tarmac SL4