Nicole and Minnaar, World Downhill Champions

The French Nicole, for the second time, and the South African Minnaar, for the fourth, were proclaimed downhill world champions this Sunday.


The French Myriam Nicole, for the second time, and the South African Greg Minnaar, for the fourth, were proclaimed this Sunday in Val di Sole (Italy) mountain bike world champions in the downhill modality. All three male medalists moved in the margin of a single second. With a time of 3: 28.963, Minnaar won his fourth world title, with a margin of 227 thousandths over the French Benoit Coulanges, runner-up in Europe, and 441 over the Australian Troy Brosnan.

Title-defending Briton Reece Wilson qualified 15th with 6.9 seconds behind the winner, and reigning European champion Loris Vergier of France was half a second off the podium, fourth at 1.1. Ángel Suárez, eighteenth, 8 seconds behind the champion, was the highest ranked Spaniard. Alex Marín ranked 22nd, 9 seconds behind. Argentines Pablo Seewald and Jerónimo Paez almost traced their times. They finished in positions 68 and 69, at 40 and 46 seconds.

In the women's elite event, France's Myriam Nicole regained the title two years later by beating her compatriot Marine Cabirou and the defender of the crown, the Swiss Camille Balanche. Nicole exhibited great superiority throughout the entire course, marking the best sets from the first control. In the end, with a time of 4: 06.243, she beat Cabirou by 4.8 seconds and the previous champion by 6.

The Slovenian Monika Hrastnik, recent European champion in the same Italian town but on a different circuit, now stayed at the gates of the podium, fourth, 9 seconds behind the winner. The Spanish Ainhoa Ijurko was in charge of opening the track Black Snake (black snake) in the women's elite test. It fell in 4: 53.603 and finished twentieth, 47 seconds behind the champion. Shortly afterwards, Telma Torregrosa did it, who with a time of 4: 56.418 finished in 22nd place. The Argentine Mariana Salazar, the only Latin American in the event, qualified twenty-fifth, 1:02 minutes behind the winner.

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