French riders dominated day one of the inaugural UCI Snow Bike World Championships in Chatel, France with Morgane Such and Pierre Thevenard taking golds for the hosts. Both claimed the iconic rainbow jerseys in the Super-G races, one discipline of an extreme sport which involves riders speeding down ski slopes on mountain bikes with studded tyres.
Riders went against the clock down the L’Aity slope followed by the Stade Linga for a total of 1,957m and a vertical drop of 600m. The women’s event was a tense affair after former UCI Mountain Bike Downhill world champion Morgane Charre set the pace with a time of 2:23.70. Italy’s Veronika Widmann snatched the lead before Such bombed down to claim the title.
“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. “It’s difficult to believe I’m a UCI World Champion.” In the men’s event, the 32-year-old Thevenard, world speed record holder for snow bikes with 165.9kph, proved too rapid for his rivals as he topped the time charts.
Ireland’s Henry Kerr looked set to knock Thevenard off his perch with a spectacular late run but had to settle for second. “It’s such a crazy day. It was a very fast race and very technical,” he said. “I loved it and I love snow biking. It’s like riding fast on very compact mud!”
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