Written by Simon de Montfor of
Today before the usual race report I would like to look at some young downhillers who are already showing some talent and will take over the scene when the likes of Brent Meijerigh or Dominic Haidegger end their careers in three or four seasons.
First name which sticks out from the rest is Aurel Kravchenko from Trackstah07. This rider from Moldova is 23yo and is already grabbing some results. With very good DH and SP skills plus good CL skill he has all what it takes to become a DH superstar. His team is also very experienced in the Dh niche and has great riders, so together this is a perfect mix. We will see them winning DH races one after another sooner than later.
However Brent Meijerigh’s team Jubalon ProCycling is not willing to give away their Dh domination and have already a very nice talent ready to replace Brent when he becomes too old. Lars Bjorndal is 24yo now, so in 3 years he will become experienced enough to take over the captaincy role from Brent. Lars is a much better climber than Brent, but lacks power to fight against the wind, however overall he seems to be strong and should be capable of winning top div DH races.
Another super strong rider is Halvard Antonsen from FretexHibas (currently in div3). He is 25yo and has already two great seasons behind him with 4 wins and 4 results. Certainly will remain the favorite for each Dh race in the seasons to come.
Also in div 3 we have Matus Taraba from Mutants Madrid. The Slovakian rider is a weak climber, but with some help from his team mates he should be able to get some results, especially in hilly races.
Greece has now a good downhiller as well and it is a 24yo guy with a wacky name Triadafolis Tsiolis. He is a good climber and rides well technically, which may help in some races. He rides for team Hardkorre in div 4.
In div 5 a very decent allround downhiller is Hernandez Busques (21yo) from Valerie Pro Cycling Team. If his team manages to move from div 5 to div 4, which we all know is a paradise
for downhillers, he should be able to get a lot of wins there.
We have also heard about some other young riders which are being trained as we speak, so lets just wait a bit till they reach their potentials before we judge them.
Ok, enough of future predictions, time will tell who is really great and who is just a team mate ?. Time to see what happened in recent races.
Day 35 – Trofeo Bajando a Grenada
The race favorites Dominic Haidegger and Eleonor Berka have been outwitted by a 33yo Harris Zuidema who won the race with a breakaway. Both favorites failed to catch him and finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. It was a 4th podium for Dominic in this race and he still seeks a win here. Berka got his 6th podium in this race, but he had 3 wins in the past.
Day 37 – Fort Collins Race
Keegan Cycling Team has built a strong team recently with two good DH riders – Ayden Hohns and Heiko Van Veen. It was the latter who won the race in USA ahead of Gregorian Jurca from Bilal and Drake Garcia (lastplace1414).
Day 38 – Hays
One day later in Yemen it was Colin Tomhave who took advantage of little climbing in 35th edition of Hays race and won it easily. 2nd place went to Viggo Grindheim from FretexHibas, who felt much better that day then the usual captain Antonsen while another Norwegian Tor Overland from Help finished 3rd.
Day 40 – Criterium La Grasse
The only Downhill classic in the calendar was won by Anderson Florent Bitala from Anonymous Cycling Project. Bitala indeed was quite anonymous up to now, as this is his first ever win in a professional career. Other two riders on podium were Iancu Raducioiu (Ello Ello) and Aidan Randall, a climber from Rorys Rovers.
Day 40 – Fuga Dal Vesuvio
The rider who most fearlessly descended from Mount Vesuvio was Arnold O’Connor from trackstah07, a win which was quite expected as this race suits him perfectly. He was followed by a sprinter Gresham Prickett (Scilian) and Reynardo Celades, an allrounder from Odfjell Tankers.