Vali Höll, Jamie Edmondson, Tegan Cruz, and RockShox Trek Race Team staff headed to Lourdes, France to kick off the World Cup DH season, March 26-27. After a five-year hiatus, athletes returned to the iconic city nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees. With its untamed and unforgiving track, the team was up for the challenge.
Youth + Glory: Episode 2
From Vali going into finals with the #1 plate and leader's jersey to Tegan racing his first-ever UCI World Cup, and Jamie's debut chocolate milk review, there was no shortage of action from the team.
Vali, Jamie, and Tegan's tie-dye race kits from Troy Lee Designs pay tribute to the team's youthful and playful energy. In addition to the new kits, the crew is looking extra stylish aboard their custom-painted Trek Sessions.
Frame: Trek Session
Fork: RockShox BlackBox
Rear Shock: RockShox BlackBox
Seatpost: Truvativ Descendant
Handlebar: Truvativ Descendant
Drivetrain: SRAM X01 DH
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Rotors: SRAM HS2
Tires: Maxxis DHR11 DH Casing
Wheelset: DT Swiss Ex 511 with 240 Hubs
Saddle: Ergon SMD2
Grips: Ergon GFR1
Vali's freshly painted lid from Troy Lee Designs pairs seamlessly with her #1 race plate as a nod to her UCI World Cup Downhill Overall title from 2021.
After a bit of a doozy getting up to the top of the track, the team was able to get a few practice laps under their belt before Quali's on Saturday.
The qualification process provides a start list for the riders which can be a huge advantage depending on where they finish. This also allows them to rack up points that are added to their overall score. With a 65-rider cap, there are 45 spots up for grabs if you aren't in the protected Top 20.
Vali strategically laid down a clean and fast run, landing her P1 and the leader's jersey. The team felt solid after Quali's, ready to go full gas into Finals.
Vali - P1
Jamie - P30
Tegan - P12
It feels great to qualify for my first World Cup.
The moment the team has been anticipating all off-season... the first day of Finals for the year. Bikes are prepped, athletes have been primed to go flat out, and the crowds came in full force. The heightened energy and nerves felt palatable as riders headed to the start gate.
Carrying the weight of the leader's jersey, Vali was the last rider in the Elite Women's field to drop. Her run was smooth, confident, and clean - enough to land P4 and 1.674 seconds off of Camille Balanche's winning time and 2.208 seconds off her own Quali time. Jamie was off to a strong start, but made contact with a tree during Split 2. He crossed the line P52 in Elite Men's with no major injuries. A very excited Tegan landed P10 in his first World Cup race as a contender in the U17 Men.
Vali - P4
Jamie - P52
Tegan - P10
I'm 1.6 seconds back from the win. The Women's level is insane and everything is possible from here.
With seven weeks between rounds, riders head home to prepare for the next race on Jamie's home turf in Fort William, Scotland. For the latest team news and hottest content on the World Cup circuit, learn more about the team HERE. See you at the races!
Photos by Sven Martin. Words by Lauren Chandler.