UCI Snow Bike World Championships: Such and Thévenard win gold

UCI Snow Bike World Championships: Such and Thévenard win gold

UCI (France) - Press Release: French riders make history on day one of the inaugural UCI Snow Bike World Championships in Châtel, France, with Morgane Such and Pierre Thévenard claiming the very first rainbow jerseys in this new discipline.

Day one of the first-ever edition of the UCI Snow Bike World Championships in Châtel, Haute-Savoie, proved a memorable affair for the host nation as France’s Morgane Such and Pierre Thévenard won gold in the Super-G races.

The Super-G race took place on a single descent of the L’Aity slope followed by the Stade Linga, for a total of 1,957m and a vertical drop of 600m, each rider starting a minimum of 40 seconds apart.

Morgane Such claims the first rainbow jersey:

The women were off first with former UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Champion Morgane Charre (FRA) setting the benchmark time of 2:23.70. With training grounds in the steep Alpine tracks of La Clusaz in the French Alps – around 100km from Châtel – she was one of the favourites. But her lead was short as Veronika Widmann (ITA), five-time Italian national champion in mountain bike downhill, recorded 2:18.17. Would that suffice for gold?

Not for long, as France’s Morgane Such flew down the slopes, beating Widmann’s time by 2:22secs (2:15.95). Such finished second in Châtel at the Enduro Open Racing last September and showed again how much she loves racing in this part of France.

Another favourite was France’s Sabrina Jonnier, with two UCI World Championships titles under her belt, but she couldn’t get into the podium as the final rider, Swiss Lisa Baumann, nudged Charre off and took the bronze medal with a time of 2:18.87 (2.92).

Such claimed the first-ever UCI Snow Bike World Championship title, followed by Widmann in second place and Baumann in third.

“It was a last-minute decision to race and the first time I’ve raced in the French jersey, so I’m very happy,” Such said after the race. “It’s difficult to believe I’m a UCI World Champion, but I love it!”

French dominance on the men’s podium:

In the men’s Super-G, 46 riders were on the start line, with Great Britain’s Benjamin Moore first off. France’s Léo Abella, fourth rider, took an early lead with 2:06.05. The 19-year-old showed the fearlessness of youth as he set a clear lead, showing the form that won him a mountain bike downhill bronze in the Junior category at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

Two-time UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Champion Danny Hart (GBR) was the first rider to finish under two minutes with 1:57.17, nearly 9secs ahead of Abella. It was a fine effort from the 32-year-old. But not enough for gold as France’s Pierre Thévenard, who holds the snow bike record speed of 165.9km/hr, registered a time of 1:47.52, nearly 10secs ahead of Hart. Thévenard, who lives in Châtel, used his local knowledge and repeated the form that saw him win the French National Championships in Snow Bike in neighboring Les Gets last weekend.

France’s Thomas de Litta then rode into third but was knocked off the podium by Vincent Tupin (FRA), who took second place. The next rider down, Dylan Levesque, recorded the third fastest time of the day.

Incredibly, Ireland’s Henry Kerr looked to have denied Thévenard gold when he recorded the fastest time at the two intermediate checkpoints, but lost time during the final stretches to finish in second place, 0.97secs behind the Frenchman. And that was the podium confirmed, with Thévenard winning gold, Kerr silver and Tupin bronze.

“I am so happy and I can’t quite believe it,” a delighted Thévenard commented. “It’s such a crazy day. It was a very fast race and very technical, especially the middle section, which was very steep with big turns. But I loved it and I love snow biking. It’s like riding fast on very compact mud!”

Tomorrow sees the dual slalom races of the 2024 UCI Snow Bike World Championships. This exhilarating format will take place on the Linga piste, with a distance of 510m and a vertical drop of 155m. The competition comprises a series of elimination races where two riders will go head-to-head on two parallel slalom courses, battling each other over two heats where they switch courses for the second heat.

The riders with the fastest combined time advances to the next round of the competition up until the final. The action starts at 09:00 CET.

For more information about this article from UCI click here.

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