With today’s shock announcement that Manon Carpenter was turning her back on World Cup downhill racing, we look back at the career of one of Britain’s most successful racers.
Manon seemed destined for success from a young age when she took to her father’s Dragon Downhill courses. On the sloppy, steep tech of South Wales she was demolishing the competition from the very first one she entered.
A successful Crankworx trip in 2009 had Jason posing the question: “should we try a World Cup?” and the rest is history. Let’s look back at her highlights:
Manon’s first World Cup was 2010 in Maribor. On a notoriously rooty and techy course, storms swept in and left the course a quagmire. Manon finished 14th as the top junior, just behind World Cup stalwarts like Fionn Griffiths and Emmeline Ragot.
It was clear this Valleys’ girl was something special. Later that year she would finish one place off the podium in Champery.
Photos – Jacob Gibbins/British Cycling
Everyone remembers Danny Hart’s win in Champery in 2011 but there was further Brit success as Carpenter took top spot in the Juniors. She too dominated her race as she put 15 seconds into second placed Agnes Delest with a time good enough for third in the senior event.
Manon had unequivocally proven she was the best young rider around and was ready to pounce on the senior podium.