Another rider profile for you. French ripper Floriane Pugin gets it this time round.
Name: Floriane, Pugin
Team: Playbiker/Iron Horse
2008 World Cup overall: 5
Career highlights: 2007 Junior World Champion
Floriane Pugin, a name that many of us had not heard of before the Fort William World Championships in 2007. After taking the win a massive 27 seconds up on second place finisher Katy Curd, it is safe to assume, things have changed.
The young French flyer has been riding mountain bikes since the age of eight, and living near Chatel in France, she no doubt had a few decent tracks to practice on. When asked who she sees as the rider to beat, she admits riding only for fun and to do the best she can at races, in order to reach the highest places. Having spent her childhood years idolising the legendary Anne-Caroline Chausson, she clearly has some big aspirations and aims for some pretty high places.
World Cup and World Champion Rachel Atherton has made more than one comment about the sheer speed of the young Pugin. In her first year out of Juniors, she took fifth place at the first World Cup in 2008 and second at the last. It’s worth pointing out that on her way to this second place in Schladming, she crashed.
A fourth place at the World Championships in Val di Sole is no mean feat for such a young rider, at the start of their career. As she grows in strength and confidence she is bound to begin fulfilling her potential and could grow into Rachel Atherton’s main adversary.
There is no doubt that Pugin has huge amounts of potential, with our very own Billy Trailstar (aka "Shirley") expecting her to mount a serious challenge for the title in 2009.