The 2019 race schedule is really starting to ramp up. Round five of the UCI DH World Cup took place in Les Gets, France over the weekend, and it’s worth pointing out that we are now past the halfway point with just three World Cup rounds remaining. The traveling World Cup circus will see the Kona team visit Val Di Sole, Lenzerhide and Snowshoe in the good ole U S of A.
Les Gets is a storied venue, it was a major player in World Cup DH in the mid and late ’90s, although it hasn’t hosted a World Cup in over 20 years, it did host the 2004 World Champs which Fabien Barel won on a Kona. In more recent years DH has come back to the hill as part of the Les Gets CrankWorx tour stop but for the Kona Gravity Team, it was a blank slate, one that Jackson Frew, Connor Fearon, and Miranda Miller seemed to love.
Connor said it was “the sickest track so far this year and one of the most fun DH races I’ve ever been to for a World Cup.”
Miranda, who squeezed this DH round in between EWS rounds, was equally positive about the venue and track. “Les Gets was friggin sick! I think it was a good World Cup for me to do at this time as the course was fairly simple in the sense there wasn’t a ton of technical features or line choice- you simply had to ride INSANELY fast.”
A top ten finish in qualifications for Connor was a positive result and enabled him to add a few more points to his overall campaign while Miranda’s 13th in qualifications was good enough to ensure a berth in the finals and a chance to finish top ten.
Come race day both Connor and Miranda did exactly that, keeping things upright on the blown-out grassy corners she finished in 10th place. “I just wanted to qualify, then after that, I wanted a top 10. I’m happy that with taking relatively low risks I was able to do both those things. I miss DH racing but I’m enjoying focusing on EWS and I didn’t want to take risks that would jeopardize the remainder of the EWS season. I had so much fun with the DH squad and I hope we can do it all again sometime soon. But now it’s home to get pedaling and preparing for national champs.”
By the time the pro men hit the course, things were getting pretty beat up and with speeds so high, small mistakes would be costly. Connor put down a solid run but a single mistake would cost him time and see him finish the day in 13th place. The 13th combined with the 8th in qualifying moves Connor up to 12th in the overall World Cup standings just 8 points from the top ten.