Two new riders are joining COMMENCAL/VALLNORD!
It’s our turn to announce the changes for the coming season and we’re very proud to say that two new riders are joining our crew!
First is Amaury Pierron! After standing on two World Cup podiums (Lourdes 2016 and Val di Sole 2017), he has proved he has the speed to be one of the fastest riders and it’s an honour to welcome him to our team!
He has already been riding COMMENCAL bikes for the past two seasons so it won’t take any time at all to get up to speed! We can’t wait to see him training and racing with Rémi Thirion and what they can achieve together.
Amaury Pierron: « I’m really happy to join the COMMENCAL/VALLNORD team! This is the kind of team you dream about when you watch the World Cups when you’re a kid. And now I’m going to be part of this team, it’s just crazy! Some dreams are coming true. »
We had the opportunity to meet up in Spain to ride, and I felt at ease immediately. The atmosphere is very cool, I think we’ll get on!»
Up next is a talented young rider named Thibaut Daprela! He won the U17 French Championship twice and won Crankworx Les Gets DH race in 2016 and 2017 in this category. His skills and ability to perform in big races have impressed us and we’re curious to see what he can do in his first year as a junior.
Thibaut Daprela: « I am delighted to join the COMMENCAL/Vallnord team for my debut in the World Cup series. The good atmosphere and professionalism are one, which makes me feel at home for this first junior year.»
Our other big news is that Myriam Nicole and Rémi Thirion have both signed for three more seasons with the team!
Myriam Nicole had an incredible season, winning the World Cup overall and she’s super motivated to do even better, which we’re sure she can… Go Pomp!
Rémi Thirion saw his season cut short by a serious injury after his crash last June in Leogang for the World Cup. He took the time his body needed to come back and he’s now fully recovered. He can’t wait to race again at the very highest level.
The team wouldn’t be the same without the Ruffin brothers, Gaëtan and Thibaut, who will both continue to race and manage at the same time.
Thibaut Ruffin, Team Manager: «I honestly cannot believe how far we have come in all these years. We would not be here without the support of COMMENCAL and all our partners and the work of the Riding Addiction team. At Riding Addiction, we’re beyond stoked to open another chapter, as well as the addition of these two young guns along with Myriam and Rémi will make the coming seasons more exciting than ever! »
Another piece of good news is that COMMENCAL has signed a deal to continue as Riding Addiction’s title sponsor for the next three years. It’s an honour to have had their support since the birth of the team in 2009.
Max Commencal: « I’m particularly happy when I see the make-up of this year’s COMMENCAL/VALLNORD Team! It adds great value and importance to have all race categories represented together; Juniors, Women and Men. The arrival of Thibaut and Amaury, partnering alongside Pompon and Rémi, should allow us to fight for the team titles. This will be one of our goals!
As a brand, our challenge will be to provide these exceptional riders with the best bikes because everyone knows that DH is a mechanical sport where the quality of the equipment is paramount. Our riders will have a choice of configurations and our engineers will work tirelessly with them throughout the season. I also want to thank our other partners, especially RockShox, SRAM and Spank. The season promises to be exciting and I cannot wait to be at the first World Cup! »
The team has extended its partnership with VALLNORD and is delighted to work once more with SPANK for cockpits and wheels, SRAM for drivetrain and brakes, RockShox for suspension and IXS for race apparel. We would like to thank them for their continued work and support!
We’re pleased to add SCHWALBE to the list! The German brand will provide the team with a full selection oftyres benefiting from the new ADDIX technology to deal with anything the weather can throw at us!
OAKLEY, LIZARD SKINS, AXXIOS TECHNOLOGY, CN SPOKE and E-THIRTEEN stay on board as well and we really appreciate what they do for us! We’re happy to welcome WTB as our new saddle sponsor.
Our other technical partners for 2018 include: Unior Tools, HT, Five Ten, Finish Line, Feedback Sports, Super Alloy Racing, GoPro, Ryno Power, Ride Alpha, Thomson, Works Components, Forbike (a few more partners will be announced soon!).
Cheers from everyone at COMMENCAL/VALLNORD!
Myriam Nicole is the new World Cup Champion!
At the start of the year, Myriam’s goal was to finish the season after three years of having her World Cup campaigns cut short by injury.
After taking the series lead at the 5th World Cup in Lenzerheide, her goal changed, she wanted to win the overall!
Training went well for Myriam, lap after lap, she got more and more confident. Unfortunately, during qualis’, she hit a pedal on a rock which sent her over the bar, losing some precious time, but still qualified in 4th place but lost some points to her rivals.
We knew that to keep the overall lead, she had to finish 4th at worth in finals. As long as she crossed the line in first place, it was mathematically impossible for any of the remaining three riders to denied her the title.
On Saturday, finals day, the pressure was huge for everybody, but we all believed that she could do it! After a comparatively safe and steady run, she crossed the line 7 seconds faster than the current best time.
At this moment that we realized she was the 2017 World Cup champion! What a magical moment! We all cried and were more than happy for her! She ended up 2nd of this World Cup round.
“I knew it wasn’t a run for the win. I didn’t take any risks, I just wanted to keep this jersey until the end. I’m so so so happy I did it and so relieved now! It’s a dream come true after all these years fighting against injuries!”
For the boys, the bad luck continued: Gaëtan suffered an unfortunate crash during the French Cup finals the previous weekend, only a few meters from the finish of his final run, while he was going for a podium time. This left him with a concussion and few bruises.
Feeling better coming in Val Di Sole, he decided to give it a try but quickly realized he was not in shape to race a track that demanding and pulled off before the qualis’.
Thibaut was then the only survivor of the team in the men’s field. He qualified 35th with a very average run. He was keen to end his season on a good note, 25th at third split, he got caught by Val Di Sole’s « Black Snake » near the end, slipping a pedal in one of the only breathing section, which sent him off his bike, and ruined his chances to figure well.
It’s been a tough season for the boys. Next year can only be better, but we will work hard to make it great.
But to see Myriam with the trophy was the best way to finish this crazy world cup season full of twists and turns and above all a huge accomplishment for her and the team!
After celebrating this unforgettable day, the team turns its focus to the World Championships in Cairns, to maximise Myriam’s chances to crown her incredible season with a gold medal!
You guys rock! Thanks for the amazing support!
Myriam Nicole is still leading the World Cup with only one round remaining!
After taking the lead in the Elite Women Category in Lenzerheide, the main goal was to keep the white jersey on Myriam’s shoulders.
The Mont Saint Anne World Cup has one of the toughest tracks of the year, and for the last three years, Myriam Nicole didn’t even make it to finals because of injuries sustained during practice. It’s always difficult to race a track when all you have is bad memories, so her goal was simply to do enough to stay first overall.
Taking the fastest time in qualifyings showed Pompon is in incredible form at the moment.
Carrying that confidence boost into finals but still not willing to take any unnecessary risks, she had a consistent run and crossed the line in second.
She now has an 110 point lead over second place Tracey Hannah and is fully concentrated on Val di Sole, the last round of the season. She won her first ever World Cup there in 2011 and finished 2nd last year for World Champs, so things are looking good.
The men’s race was heavily affected by the torrential rain which came after the women’s race.
Thibaut and Gaëtan Ruffin finished 39th and 48th despite a few costing mistakes due to the rain which affected their runs.
The whole team would like to extend our congratulations to all the riders who laid down incredible runs despite the almost impossible conditions!
It has been one of the most thrilling race to watch in years and perhaps in the MTB history!?
Finally we have an update from Remi Thirion, and unfortunately, he won’t be returning to racing this year. We were all optimistic about his recovery, but he had a Xray a few days ago, and his broken vertebrae are still not fully healed.
Even if Remi can ride his Enduro bike right now, he doesn’t want to come back if he’s not at 100% of his capacity and we fully support his decision.
We know this experience will boost him to work even harder to come back stronger than ever next season!
It has been a season full of highs and lows, and we would like to say a warm thank you to our partners for sticking behind us at all times.
Now it’s time for the team to go back to France and get ready for the steepest track of the year, Val di Sole, in two weeks!