The 32nd running of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championship didn't disappoint. Val di Sole, Italy was given the honor to host 2021's event at their historic venue for the 3rd time. The track better known as the Black Snake lived up to it's name and proved difficult to tame all week. TLD athletes were out in full force this year with eleven athletes in the elite class alone being chosen across eight different counties to fly their flag on the largest stage.
Downhill World Champs of course is also know for showcasing custom gear and helmet paint. Working directly with the world's fastest racers, Troy Lee Designs brought custom gear and #tldpaint to life.
Vali Höll's custom cheetah print TLD Sprint Ultra kit (might just be a new women's style, maybe)
Fresh red, white and blue TLD paint for Luca Shaw
Mark Wallace showing off his custom Sprint Ultra jersey inspired by Canada colors (you may or may not see this design in stores)
Unlike traditional qualifying, at World Champs the results don't determine the order of the final runs. Instead, the rider order in the finals go off of world rankings that are set prior to the event. Despite the change, qualifying was still all business and riders pushed their times. Highlights in qualifying included first overall in elite women's was Vali Höll and first in junior men's was 2020 World Champion Oisin O'Callaghan.
When the dust settled on Sunday and everything was done and dusted, three TLD athletes stood on the elite podium including Benoît Coulanges, Troy Brosnan and Camille Balanche. Benoît would snag home silver for France, the proud Aussie Brosnan closely behind in the elite men's class bring home bronze and the 2020 World Champion Cami would leave with bronze in elite women's. Other notable mentions are Oisin O'Callaghan had a big lead in the splits but a crash near the bottom cost him the rainbow stripes. Vali Höll who was on pace for a medal, was only 30 seconds from the finish but a unclipped pedal over a massive tree stump saw her go down. In elite mens, Luca Shaw came down in 2nd place, but that slowly got ticked off and Luca ended as the top American rider in 10th place.
Benoît Coulanges is now world no.2
Cami brings bronze back to Switzerland
Troy Brosnan on the podium with bronze