Lenzerheide, Switzerland marked the fourth round and mid-point of the season for this year's UCI World Cup Downhill series. A home race for the Swiss National Champion and overall elite women's points leader, Camille Balanche, this year Lenzerheide was also home to the shortest track we'll see this season and featured an updated designs that were new to all riders. At the end of the week, a total of six TLD athletes stood on the podium across three different classes, but the big story was a dominant display of riding by TLD women that crossed the line with four out of the five fastest times in the elite women's final.
Four Out of Five Ain't Bad
It's no secret Camille Balanche has had the type of start to the World Cup season that some only dream about. With two wins and a second place under her belt through the first three rounds, Cami held a comfortable overall series points lead going into her home race and hasn't looked back or given up the number one plate and overall leader's jersey since the start of the year. As suspected, Cami clocked the fastest time in qualifying by over four seconds with Dorval AM Commencal teammate Monika Hrastnik, who is coming off gold at European Champs, holding the third fastest time and Eleonora Farina in fifth.
Moving into Saturday's final, it was apparent that the short track would make for a smaller margin of error and play a factor in closer times. First down the hill would be Vali Höll who came out of the gate up by a second at the top, but despite a bobble and a crash in section two, she made up for it at the bottom and would earn some well deserved time in the hot seat after salvaging a top five time. MS Mondraker's Eleonora Farina went on to push the pace by staying on two wheels and having a near flawless run. Clocking a time of 3:20.1 would be good enough for third fastest of the day and marked Eleonora's third straight podium. Coming off of a win at the European Downhill Championship where she defended her title for the second consecutive year, Monika Hrastnik looks to be gaining momentum as the season continues and grabbed fourth place in the Lenzerheide final to mark her best World Cup result of 2022.
Last but not least, Camille Balanche was the lone women at the top and the last elite women's race run of the day. Looking calm, cool and collected Cami looked to raced her own race in front of her home crowd, keeping in mind the significance of the overall championship points race still ahead. Crossing the line with the second fastest time of the, Cami when on to say, "this one was super important to me. Thank you to all the fans, family and friends for coming ! Happy with P2, it was a hard one to do for me! Loving the battle."
Elite Men Results:
Elite Women Results:
Junior Men Results:
Junior Women Results: