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Vali Höll and Jackson Goldstone Reign Supreme at Grueling UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2023

Jackson Goldstone celebrates at UCI DH World Cup in Val Di Sole, Italy on July 01, 2023

The tension was palpable as Valentina Höll and Jackson Goldstone conquered the most technical and demanding UCI Mountain Bike World Cup event of the year.

With their dominant final runs, the Austrian sensation Höll claimed the top spot in the Elite Women’s race, while the Canadian prodigy Goldstone emerged victorious in the Elite Men’s competition, leaving their rivals trailing by over two seconds.

Just two weeks after her triumphant elite debut on home turf in Leogang, Höll showcased her unparalleled skills once again on the immensely challenging Val di Sole track.

Vali Holl seen at UCI DH World Cup in Val Di Sole, Italy on July 01, 2023
© Karolina Krasinka / Red Bull Content Pool

Renowned as the most demanding circuit on the downhill World Cup calendar, Höll proved her mettle by outclassing her opponents in the semifinals with a staggering lead of 3.5 seconds over Switzerland’s Camille Balanche. The Austrian phenom carried this momentum into the final round, leaving no doubt about her dominance.

As the last six riders readied themselves atop the treacherous hill, it was Marine Cabirou of France who set the initial benchmark, crossing the finish line in 4 minutes and 12.445 seconds.

Germany’s Nina Hoffmann gave it her all but fell short of Cabirou’s time. However, New Zealand’s Jess Blewitt managed to shave almost a quarter of a second off the leading time, only to be eclipsed by Balanche, who bettered it by nearly two seconds. With only Höll remaining to take the plunge, the crowd held their breath in anticipation.

In true superstar fashion, the Austrian world champion effortlessly surpassed her rivals’ performances on the track. With each split time, Höll showcased her supreme skills, proving that she was in a league of her own.

She crossed the finish line in a remarkable 4 minutes and 7.440 seconds, securing a commanding victory with a staggering lead of 2.9 seconds over Balanche. Blewitt clinched third place, a respectable 4.770 seconds behind Höll.

Despite the remarkable display by Höll, Balanche retains her lead in the World Cup points standings after the completion of the third race in the eight-round series, amassing an impressive total of 1080 points.

However, Höll has significantly closed the gap, now sitting at 982 points. It seems increasingly likely that the championship battle will unfold between these two fierce competitors.

In the nail-biting Men’s race, the already formidable challenge was amplified by a mid-afternoon rain shower, turning large sections of the course treacherously slippery for many riders.

In the face of these adverse conditions, Jackson Goldstone, representing the Santa Cruz Syndicate, emerged as the second rookie in the Elite class to secure a victory this season, surpassing his compatriot Finn Iles to claim a sensational Canadian 1-2 finish.

After a near-collision in the final corner cost him a potential debut win in Leogang, Goldstone left no room for error in Italy. He impressively secured fourth place in the semi-finals, and as the course rapidly dried out for the final 15 riders, Goldstone delivered an awe-inspiring performance.

He gained momentum with each split time, ultimately registering a remarkable time of 3 minutes and 34.926 seconds, surpassing Thibaut Daprella’s previous fastest time by 2.440 seconds.

With only three riders remaining, Finn Iles, also hailing from Canada, came closest to challenging Goldstone’s time, finishing 2.224 seconds behind his fellow countryman.

When Britain’s Jordan Williams suffered a crash and semi-final winner Loris Vergier could only manage the fifth-fastest time, Goldstone’s maiden triumph in the

The elite category was confirmed.

Adding to his jubilation, Goldstone has ascended to the top of the overall Elite Men’s World Cup rankings, currently leading Illes with 786 points compared to the latter’s 774. The young Canadian has firmly established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the global mountain biking stage.

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Val di Sole will undoubtedly go down as one of the most thrilling and memorable events of the season, with Höll and Goldstone proving their prowess on the most challenging tracks in the world.

As the championship battles intensify, fans eagerly anticipate the next rounds, where these formidable athletes will continue to push their limits and leave us in awe of their extraordinary talents.

Women’s DH result

  1. Valentina Höll AUT 4m 7.440s
  2. Camille Balanche SUI +2.913
  3. Jess Blewitt NZL +4.770s
  4. Marine Cabirou FRA +5.005s
  5. Nina Hoffmann GER +5.249s

Men’s DH Result

  1. Jackson Goldstone CAN 3m 34.926s
  2. Finn Iles CAN +2.224s
  3. Thibaut Daprella FRA +2.440s
  4. Troy Brosnan AUS +3.871s
  5. Loris Vergier FRA +4.195s

Women’s World Cup Standings (After 3 of 8 races)

  1. Camille Balanche SUI 1020 points
  2. Valentina Höll AUT 982
  3. Rachel Atherton GBR 616
  4. Nina Hoffmann GER 578
  5. Marine Cabirou FRA 543

Men’s World Cup Standings (After 3 of 8 races)

  1. Jackson Goldstone CAN 786 points
  2. Finn Iles CAN 774
  3. Loris Vergier FRA 742
  4. Andreas Kolb AUT 679
  5. Loïc Bruni FRA 672