Damien Spagnolo on the world cup podium after an awesome run in Champery!
The Mondraker Factory Team marked there presence in Champery thanks to the outstanding performance from Damien. He was second fastest qualifier despite a small crash loosing a few seconds. Then he pulled out all the stops to take home his best ever world cup finish in 5th place.
Fab full of emotion said “ the work we have been doing the last 2 years is paying off. Damien has for sure an unreal talent on the bike but his determination and passion for the sport is inspiring. I am really proud to share it all with him…”
After a great weekend at the French Nat champs the team was on a high and really motivated for the world cup. The track had changed since 2007 with most of the turns being rounded and loads more jumps, it was flowing better and Aurelien really loved it. The track was faster than before and a little less technical but still steep and gnarly. In the dry on Thursday the riders quickly found the flow and after a few minor changes to the bikes they felt comfortable and fast on the track, Aurelien had a good timed run posting the 8th fastest time.
Friday night brought the rain and the track quickly changed into a mine field, filled with holes and ruts, the sticky mud making every turn a battle. This was just what Damien loved, the tougher the conditions the better he does. The training went well except for the mechanics, having to wash the bikes after every run due to the 4kgs of mud that was stuck on them.
Aurelien was still riding well despite the tough conditions and was ready for a good run in qualifying, unfortunately for him this was not to be. He crashed on a steep section and went off the track, down a steep bank and into a hole, due to the race rules he had to re-enter the track where he left it, but due to the steep bank he could not until a spectator helped him get the bike up. This lost him over a minute and the chance to qualify was gone.
For Damien it was a different story, he rode well until a big mistake in the top section caused him go down, luckily he was able to avoid putting his hands in the mud and managed to get going again quickly, he rode the bottom section like it was dry and scorched the line with the second fastest time!
With Aurelien out Damien had the pressure of the only rider for the team in the final but he was confident and calm in the start. The rain was on and off for most of the day so Damien had made some changes to his lines to avoid the massive holes that were developing but he was still feeling confident and ready for his run. He took the start with confidence and rode well all the way down, the crowed was amazed to see him staying clipped in through all the technical sections due to his stable position and line choice. Even with 2 big mistakes Dam was able to finish in 5th place, taking home his best ever result from a world cup. Damien has worked hard this year to improve his speed and consistency and now he can reap the rewards. With 3rd place less than a second away Dam was a little disappointed to have made mistakes during his run, but the honour of the podium was enough for him!
Damien moves up to 9th overall in the standings and the team 11th!
Next week world cup in Italy (Val de Sole).
The Mondraker Factory