Race Report: Weber and Schwemmer win in Morgins
Morgins in Portes du Soleil has been a fixed part of the iXS Swiss Downhill Cup right from the start in 2003. After a few years of absence, it finally returned to the SDC’s agenda in 2012 with an even better, longer and faster track than ever. With 3 300 meters in length and covering a more than 500-meter difference in altitude the track belongs to the longest and most demanding ones and usually lures hundreds of ambitious riders to its races. And of course it is not only the Swiss who are eager to take part, but also numerous other riders from all over Europe.
Usually, the annual race in Morgins is one of these races both riders and organizers look forward to. This year, however, the weather definitely took its toll. After some sunshine at least on Friday, Saturday brought nothing but rainfall and thick mist, which made it extremely difficult to even find a single line to follow. Bad sight combined with the extremely rough territory did not even allow for the use of the mountain rescue’s helicopters. Therefore, the training session had to be cancelled and the seeding run postponed.
When the Seeding Run finally started one and a half hour after it had been scheduled, the conditions were better than before, but still far from easy – even for the elite riders. Julien Piccolo (FRA - X1 racing) set a best time of 5:17.25 minutes in the Elite Male category despite these conditions, while Géraldine Fink (SUI - Pink Gravity) dominated the Elite Women. After that everybody was off to their camps to gather some strength after a long and exhausting day.
On Sunday the weather was not quite good, but at least a bit better. The overall situation on the track, however, seemed to be even worse: after it had finally ceased to rain the track dried just enough to go from soaked to sticky but still not dry enough to increase the overall grip.
In the Pro Masters category Chris Sinden (GBR) succeeded, followed by seeding’s fastest Kirstof Lenssens (BEL - Scott) and Noah Grossmann (GER - 2 Cycle).
Justino Marius (FRA - US Cagnes VTT) dominated among the U17 and pushed his two Swiss competitior Vincent Arbellay (SUI - Cyclone DH Team) and Stefano Moser (SUI - 981 Gravity Racing) to second and third place.
Meanwhile, Pascal Kempf (FRA - Devinci Diplomatic) finished fastest in the U19 category with an 8-second gap towards second place Janis Lehmann (SUI - Whitestone DH). Jerome Müller (SUI - Magic Downhill) finished in third place.
Unfortunately, the Elite Women category only included nine riders this weekend. At the end of the day, Kim Schwemmer (GER - Herobikes) dominated the rather small field of starters with a time of 6:51.684 minutes, finishing 2 seconds faster than last year’s winner and seeding run fastest Géraldine Fink. Eva Battolla (SUI) completed the podium in third.
In the Elite Men category Myles Weber (SUI - Team Project) started already very early in the competition after having some problems in his seeding. Setting a time of 5:23.678 minutes he then occupied the Red Bull Hot Seat for quite a while. It took 30 more riders until someone, namely Tanguy Boucherot (FRA - US Cagnes), crossed the finish line even faster. However, he soon had to give way to Lachlan Blair (GBR), who then also had to leave the Hot Seat again when Basil Weber (SUI - Team Project) finished even faster and set what would be the best time of the weekend with 5:02.926 minutes. The only rider who came close to this time was Guillaume Larbeyou (FRA - Aveyron VTT), which brought him the second place, followed by Guy Gibbs (GBR - Ride.io) who completed the podium.
Of course, the weather was far from good and definitely clouded what would otherwise have been a great weekend, but Morgins definitely has proven once more to be always worth a trip – we are already looking forward to next time!