LOURDES, FRANCE: THE TROY LEE DESIGNS SPONSORED UCI WORLD CUP OPENING ROUND
Troy Lee Designs Sponsors the Opening round of UCI World Cup
Well, that was a hell of a weekend!
As you can see by the TLD RAW practice video, things started out great, Track was brilliant, the guys were getting up to speed, checking lines-living the dream. There was snow on the top of the track when the riders arrived in town, but on day one of practice, the sun was out and track conditions were epic.
As qualifiers developed Saturday, things got really good for TLD, with rookie of the year and 2nd season Elite Pro, LUCA SHAW qualifying in the 3rd spot! AARON GWIN in 5th, TROY BROSNAN in 7th, JACK MOIR in 13th, BRENDAN FAIRCLOUGH in 15th and MARK WALLACE rounding out the top 20, in 19th spot.
Sunday finals were looking good for TLD!
survival mode-Wallace saves the day!
The day had already started quite breezy with an incoming storm on the horizon, so even with nerve racking wind conditions and darkening skies, Jack Moir of Team Intense and Mark Wallace of Canyon Bicycles made it down before things went completely sideways. Mark Wallace would come down in 2nd place, and would eventually stay there on the day having the best result of his young career. Brendan Fairclough was up next, with 15 to go, he suffered a puncture in his run so in addition to the increasing winds and rain drops falling he still put it together and was able to still pin it with a pro core system in his wheel giving just a bit of pressure to carry speed. Jack Moir next, he was just at the end dryness, and after he came down the weather really turned south-with gale force winds, freezing temps and the entire top section being slick like an ice skating rink after the Zamboni did a fresh glaze.
Some TLD heavy hitters left to come in the worst conditions to develop in years, on a track that was very steep and littered with smooth ice slabs. Troy Brosnan, Gwin and Luca Shaw all would shift into simply survival mode, just to make it down the treacherous track alive-it was the only hope, RACING this track was impossible at this point. Brosnan would have a spill, Gwin 2 crashes, Luca too. Now the entire world cup series has been turned upside down with so many of last years top 10 riders finishing with ZERO POINTS. The World Cup series has never seen an event go down like this-sure, there has been late coming rain storms, or mud races, but, not like this. Never have we seen so many of the top riders have a day like this.
Congrats to Mark Wallace of Canyon Bicycles, riding his new Custom D3 Helmet with MIPS to 2nd place, unreal result for the young Canadian! As a good friend of Steve Smith, who passed away last year, and this being Stevie’s final pro race a year ago, it was a touching tribute to his friend-with a result that Stevie knew was possible from his country mate.
If You want to re-live the chaos, watch the full replay on RedBullTV