UCI Mountain Bike World Championships took place in Les Gets, France this past weekend and as promised the course, the racing and the fans were all incredible! The World Championships is different than the World Cup series in that it’s a single day event versus a year long series and one run will crown the World Champion for 2022 and that rider gets to wear the World Champions rainbow strip jersey for a full year. This means the pressure to perform is immense and riders go into their race run with an all or nothing attitude knowing that it’s only the top step on the podium that gets the title of World Champion.
The Les Gets course is a rider favorite due to the many line options, consistently steep terrain and the technical nature of the rough and rooted course that changes constantly. Even thought there was some rain during the week the course on race day was very dusty and blown out with large braking bumps and ruts forming as the day went on. Powdery dust filled the ruts in the corners making it extremely difficult to see the roots that were being exposed as the course deteriorated.
Pivot Factory Racing had two riders racing in the DH event, Bernard Kerr competing in the Men’s Elite category and racing for Great Britain and Jenna Hastings competing in the Junior Women’s category and racing for New Zealand. Both Bernard and Jenna are having stellar seasons so far and both riders were carrying momentum from strong finishes in the last few WC DH events. Bernard had been anticipating this event all year knowing the Les Gets course would be a good one for him. His race run was clean and fast and he was up at split #1. The course between split #1 and #2 was the decisive sector all day and Bernard couldn’t quite maintain his pace in that sector loosing some time and his flow. His run was solid and he crossed the line in 6th place with a number or riders still to race. While not what he wanted Bernard ended up a solid 13th on a day where the French riders dominated in front of their crazy fans.
Now for Jenna’s day…WORLD CHAMPION!!!! Jenna capped off her stellar season with a run that saw here finishing almost 16 seconds ahead of 3rd place and 1.8 seconds ahead of the heavy favorite Gracey Hemstreet from Canada taking her first and Reynold first DH World Championship title!!! Jenna and the rest of the Pivot Factory DH team have been riding Reynolds BL289 DH wheels all season as it continues to be their weapon of choice with its World Championship winning performance and legendary durability.