– What happened? –
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup concluded on August 24-26 with the seventh rounds for both the downhill (DHI) and cross-country Olympic (XCO) competitions, as well as Round 6 of the new XCC short track.
The competition opened Friday with the XCC, a 20 minute short course race for the top-40 Elite XCO Women and Men. Annika Langvad (Specialized) took her fifth win in the Women's category, while Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) took his third win in the Men's.
On Saturday, the focus turned to downhill, which saw the riders facing some of the wettest and coldest conditions of the year. Women's UCI World Cup leader Rachel Atherton (Trek Factory) took her 37th World Cup win and a record sixth World Cup overall title. Tahnée Seagrave (Transition Bikes/MUC-Off), Atherton’s season-long rival, finished second in both the race and the series, with Australian Champion Tracey Hannah (Polygon UR) maintaining her third place overall.
Unheralded Martin Maes (GT Factory) became the first Belgian rider to win a downhill World Cup on the Men's side, ahead of Gee Atherton (Trek Factory) and Brook MacDonald (MS Mondraker). Amaury Pierron (Commencal/Vallnord) had already locked up the Men's title after Round 6 and was in contention for the podium, before crashing with two corners remaining in his run. Danny Hart (Madison Saracen) jumped to second in the final standings from third, while Australian Champion Troy Brosnan (Canyon Factory) moved up to third.
The rain disappeared for Sunday's XCO, but the ground was still muddy and slippery. The UCI World Cup leaders in both the Elite Women’s and Men’s competitin completed the season by winning their respective races: Jolanda Neff (Kross Racing) tookher third Women's overall title and Nino Schurter (Scott-SRAM) his sixth Men's title. It was Schurter's 30th World Cup win, putting him in an exclusive club with Julien Absalon and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa.
– What's next? –
Lenzerheide (SUI), UCI Mountain Bike World Championships presented by Mercedes-Benz > September 5-9
– Photo of the week –
– Focus on Tahnée Seagrave –
Tahnée Seagrave (Transition Bikes/MUC-Off) finished the 2018 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup with her best showing ever, including three wins, two seconds and a third. This follows her breakthrough in 2017, when she also won threeUCI World Cups, including her first. She finished the 2018 series second overall. The British rider is currently ranked number one in the UCI World Rankings. Seagrave first showed her abilities in 2013 when she became Junior UCI World Champion.
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