Kiwi female mountain bike gravity riders to the fore in French Pyrenees

Mountain Bike
Sacha1 1 v2

Kiwi junior downhillers were again to the fore in the latest round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in France.

World junior bronze medallist Sacha Earnest was the top qualifier in the junior women ahead of compatriot and world champion Erice van Leuven at the super-fast, new downhill venue of Loudenvielle-Peyragudes in the French Pyrenees.

The third member of the kiwi junior podium placegetters at the recent world championships, Poppy Lane from Mt Maunganui did not finish.

Last year’s junior world champion, Jenna Hastings (Pivot Factory) from Rotorua was 11th fastest in qualifying in the elite women, to make it through to the final tomorrow, with the competition led by German Valentina Hoell.

In junior men, Luke Wayman (The Alliance) was 17th in qualifying to be the only kiwi male through to tomorrow’s finals while the MS Mondraker pair of national champion Toby Meek and veteran Brook MacDonald were the only kiwis to qualify for the semifinals in the elite men.

Homegrown stars Benoit Coulanges, Loic Bruni and Thibaut Daprella filled the top three elite men’s qualifiers as the spectacular newly developed bike park.

Meanwhile the Enduro World Cup returned after a significant summer break, with French riders filling the podium in the elite men at Loudenvielle, with Charles Murray leading the kiwi riders in eighth and Matthew Walker 11th while George Swift seventh and Rae Morrison (LIV Racing) eighth in elite women. Christchurch rider Sam Blenkinsop placed fifth in elite men’s e-enduro competition.

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