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World Cup Finals 2014, MERIBEL
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the elation that spread through Meribel in a wave led by UK riders. Loris Vergier took the Junior title but he was flanked on the podium by two of the brightest hopes for the future of downhill racing. Laurie Greenland and Taylor Vernon are superstars in the making. Cut from different cloth but fast and exciting when it comes to racing these boys are the future.
The Women’s race was a UK affair too, Rachel taking the win on the day and Manon clinching the overall it couldn’t have been better for our top ladies. The pressure was on and all Manon had to do was land a top 5, down at the splits but doing enough she walked away with a points lead that sent her into the stratosphere. There is a lot more to come from Carpenter and we will no doubt see big things next season.
The Men’s race was just incredible. It wasn’t just a good day for the Brits, it was a great day for downhill racing full stop. Sam Hill is on form, he showed that when a course is taped wide he can open the throttle and fire his way down the slope. He said he was relaxed and that seems to be a recurring theme for success, a lot of riders are committing huge amounts of time to training and preparation but the winners come across the line when their mind is ready.
Matt Simmonds was one rider who dealt with the ‘last man down’ pressure like a true pro. He might have the power for a track like PMB but he has now proven he can take it to the steep technical tracks. 1st in quali was backed up with a 2nd today and he will be riding high going into World Champs.
Then there was Bryceland. Having the pressure of a close Troy Brosnan and Aaron Gwin pushing down on him from the big S team Josh stayed composed and clear when it came to his race run. As Troy crashed and lost time then Gwin didn’t land a competitive result it was nearly in the bag but no one dare say it. His run was tight and the nerves showed, ‘shitting bricks’ was a phrase that appeared a few times! But he did what was needed and took third on the day, sealing his win in the overall and #peakin just at the right time. The overall was his and Gwin leapfrogged Brosnan for second, 4th place went to Loic Bruni and Gee matched his overall with 5th.
It’s been an amazing season and bringing you these galleries has been sweet, massive thanks to Laurence for his hard work, late nights and monster images. We’ll be back for one last hurrah from World Champs before filling the off season with more great stuff.
Check out all the rest of the goings on from the 2014 Meribel World Cup Finals right here: