2016 Vallnord MTB World cup – videos & photos, and thoughts about how the UCI shows MTB

The last MTB World Cups of 2016!  So sad to see the season end, but Vallnord was a gorgeous place to finish in – and of course, we can watch the full replay and catch tons of media and videos.  I’ll be editing more in as I see it, so leave me a comment or tell me on twitter if you find things I’ve missed.

All the results and standings from the 2016 MTB World Cup are on the UCI website – and I’ve also got some thoughts about the UCI highlights videos, and a bit of a rant about why they chose to promote DH as they do.


The full race replay is here on Red Bull TV; and highlights, a few photos, full results and Atherton’s winning run on the Red Bull Bike report; Highlights from Trek Factory Racing:

Photo-essay on Pinkbike; lots of photos on the Vallnord website.


Vallnord World Cup results

1.   Rachel Atherton (GBr) Trek Factory Racing, 0:00:04.783
2.   Tracey Hannah (Aus) Polygon UR, + 06.568
3.   Myriam Nicole (Fra) Commençal/Vallnord, + 07.974
4.   Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen, + 08.811
5.   Tahnée Seagrave (GBr) Transition/FMD, + 12.093
6.   Eleonora Farina (Ita), + 21.863
7.   Marine Cabirou (Fra) Voulvoul Racing, + 22.689
8.   Miranda Miller (Can) + 27.710
9.   Mariana Salazar Palomo (ESA) Dorval AM Nicolai, + 28.819
10. Georgia Astle (Can) + 34.628

View this post on Instagram

The Perfect season!!! 7 out of 7 World Cup Wins!!!! 🙌🏆 🌏 I cannot believe it is real – never dreamed it possible, tried to not think about it & just race every race as its own thing. One step at a time. Yesterday was intense, there is always something to overcome in racing weather physical or mental & this track proved both!! What I love about racing is that once I am in that start gate : it brings out the best in me. Everything gets forgotten for those 5 minutes. It is the time when I come alive, and whatever has happened a switch flips and the race head takes over- it's incredible what you can do when you let your "inner self" take over & stop over thinking and over analysing. The last section of this track was SO HARD – arms burning and feeling like wooden sticks, the struggle to control your braking in the steeps so you could still let the bike roll, the burning pain in legs and arms just screaming at you to stop, the voice in your head telling you to push harder & ride faster against the voice telling you to slow down and not crash , the excitement when you can see finish line and know you've made it down the hill, the waiting in the hot seat for the last 2 girls, the realisation that you've won and THE PERFECT SEASON winning EVERY World Cup has happened for the first time in Downhill History and pure overwhelming feeling of dealing with that. Thank you to everyone My sponsors & team and family for being with me thru this journey!! #perfectseason #ucimtbworldcup @svenmartinphoto 💥💥💥 #crazyfeeling

A post shared by Rachel Atherton (@rachybox) on

Polygon UR’s video, including Tracey Hannah on coming second:


Final 2016 Downhill MTB World Cup series

1.   Rachel Atherton (GBr) Trek Factory Racing, 1700 points
2.   Manon Carpenter (GBr) Madison Saracen, 1140
3.   Tracey Hannah (Aus) Polygon UR, 1130
4.   Tahnée Seagrave (GBr) Transition/FMD, 1015
5.   Emilie Siegenthaler (Sui) Pivot Factory Racing, 630
6.   Morgane Charre (Fra) Bergamot Hayes, 590
7.   Marine Cabirou (Fra) Voulvoul Racing, 494
8.   Eleonora Farina (Ita), 442
9.   Carina Cappellari (Sui) Radon Magura,  389
10. Miranda Miller (Can) 387


That was an absolutely epic, history-making result from Atherton in about 3 different ways.  The first women to win 13 consecutive DH world cups, the first DH rider, male or female, to have a “perfect” season, winning every World Cup in the year.  Incredible!  But if you watched the UCI highlights video of the Vallnord DH, you’d never guess any of that.  In fact you’d never guess women were racing at all.

You’d know that women were there, though, because like always, the UCI video follows a predictable pattern.  Impressive looking skid; crashes; drunk male fans dressed up; crashes; hot women, including such a blatant Tits & Ass shot, panning down the woman’s body to show her short-shorts, my jaw genuinely dropped; a bit of jumping; a cute dog; more T&A; a bit of racing and the podium.  This in less than 2 minutes video, if you’re wondering, and without useful things like graphics showing the name of the riders who won, even.

I just despair.  The UCI videos used to be worse, until fans made a fuss, but they’ve been creeping in the T&A factor more and more recently, and I just don’t get it.  Of course I know there’s a subsection of MTB fans who love the T&A and focus on crashing, but I don’t get why this is the audience the UCI wants to target.  And it’s always the same – we never see highlights aimed at a straight women/gay men subsection who might like a focus on hot topless men, for example.  Or one World Cup, a video aimed at  the subsection who really hate watching crashes, because they hate seeing athletes hurt, especially just before Worlds (that would be me). Or, heaven forbid, a DH World Cup video that is purely about the incredible skills of the riders.   If they really feel they absolutely need the (straight) ‘male gaze’ T&A videos, why not switch it up a little, and aim different World Cup videos at different segments of the audience, and widen the fanbase?

Of course I’m being a bit facetious in that last sentnce, and my feminism means that I hate seeing women just used as decorative items like this, but making these highlights videos in this way is genuinely a really shitty way to promote the sport too.  I love the Parkin Brothers’ videos on Red Bull Bike, because they show the unique things about MTB – the incredible scenery each one takes place in, unique mountains in really diverse parts of the world; riders seeming human, in success and on bad days; the backstage work that goes into the racing; the incredible technical skills that make me gasp out loud; and the crazy fans who adore the sport, laughing and cheering and having the best time.  They can do all this without camera-creeping on pretty women who often don’t seem to know they’re being watched, so why doesn’t the UCI?

There is so much wonderful MTB media, that shows of the sport in so many brilliant ways, that I have no idea why the UCI chooses this particular style.

Anyway.  If you want more of the great media that makes me adore this sport, a collection of pre-race fun:


Cross Country

The full race replay is here on Red Bull TV

Photos and results on Red Bull Bike; Photo-essay on PinkBike, including the U23 men and a photo of the U23 women as well as the elites (you can find their results on Pinkbike too)

Vallnord World Cup results

1.   Jolanda Neff (Sui) Stöckli, 1:31:32
2.   Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Nor) Multivan Merida, + 00:36
3.   Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team, + 01:21
4.   Jenny Rissveds (Swe) Scott-Odlo, + 02:25
5.   Maja Włoszczowska (Pol) Kross Racing, + 03:08
6.   Daniela Campuzano Chavez Peon (Mex), + 03:09
7.   Yana Belomoina (Ukr) CST Superior Brentjens, + 04:50
8.   Tanja Zakelj (Slo) Unior Tools, + 05:22
9.   Lea Davison (USA) Specialized, + 05:55
10. Irina Kalentyeva (Rus) Moebel Maerki, + 06:20


Final 2016 Cross Country World Cup series results

1.   Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team, 1,030 points
2.   Annika Langvad (Den) Specialized, 1,006
3.   Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing, 710
4.   Jenny Rissveds (Swe) Scott-Odlo, 700
5.   Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Nor) Multivan Merida, 694
6.   Jolanda Neff (Sui) Stöckli, 660
7.   Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team, 630
8.   Linda Indergand (Sui) Focus XC, 583
9.   Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing, 561
10. Lea Davison (USA) Specialized, 523


Check out what Catharine Pendrel and Maja Włoszczowska were riding, in this Pinkbike tech gallery.

Pre-race media:


Big thanks to my wonderful Patreon supporters, who fund me to do this kind of thing


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