With the downhill race season just around the corner (fingers are very much still crossed), the racers are starting to show their hands at various locations around Europe. The weekend just gone saw Vali Holl and Loris Vergier winning at the Coppa Italia in Sestola. Given this clip, it’s no surprise that Loris came out on top.
Whilst Loris and Vali winning is impressive, a few places down the results sheet is where things get interesting (sorry Loris and Vali) as hiding away in 5th place in the mens is Fabien Barel.
For those who don’t know, Fabien has won multiple downhill world champs and back in the day he was one of my favourite riders. I had his jersey and spent my days dreaming of riding a Kona Stab Supreme (looking back, not quite as an iconic bike as the Stinky but hey ho). I have to admit I don’t know why I idolised him so much, but I remember my first issue of Dirt (issue 62) had a feature with him so I can only think it can be related to that.
Anyway, he officially retired from DH in 2011 to pursue enduro, but evidently still knows how to make a bike go fast, finishing 5th, 3 seconds back on Remi Thirion, a regular on the World Cup podium.
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