Loris Vergier podiums on a ripping fast day in Poland

Loris Vergier recovers from an early mistake to take his first World Cup podium of 2024!

For a brief moment, it looked like Loris Vergier’s World Cup finals run in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, would be undone by a small mistake after the first split. Trying to position himself for a series of S-turns on a fast, loose, and slightly greasy track, his front wheel slipped, and he had to tap his foot on the ground to keep upright. Vergier’s cat-like reflexes saved as much momentum as humanly possible, but he found himself nearly 1.5 seconds out of first place at the second split. 

But Vergier was nearly flawless from that point on. Instead of getting rattled by the early mistake, he steeled himself and set a blistering pace over the back half of the track to finish third. After a somewhat disappointing (by his standards) eighth-place finish in Fort William, Vergier showed off, once again, that he has the speed and skill to beat anyone when he puts it all together.

Loris Vergier making his home back on the podium.

Sacha Earnest on the home stretch of her second World Cup podium this season.

Vergier seemed to thrive at the brand new venue, posting the fastest qualification time and taking second in the semi-finals. There may be no one in the men’s downhill field who is more consistent from start to start in one of the world’s most unforgiving sports. His ability to sight-read courses and recover from setbacks (see: his unplanned endo in Fort William) will put him in contention at every World Cup race the rest of the season.

The Trek Factory Racing Downhill squad had a strong weekend overall. Sacha Earnest took her second straight women’s junior podium, placing third. Bodhi Kuhn continues to impress in his first season as an elite, taking the last spot into the finals, then taking 22nd overall — just 0.6 seconds out of the Top 20 — after being the first man down the hill. Reece Wilson will be disappointed that he missed a finals spot, but we can’t wait to see him get faster every race as he continues his long-awaited return campaign from injury. 

Bodhi Kuhn spent after nearly cracking the Top 20.

Reece Wilson rumbling on Saturday.

Meanwhile, The Union continues to be the pluckiest bunch on the mountain

Lachie Stevens-McNab deserves special kudos today. The 20-year-old finished 5th in semis and had the fastest time of any rider through three splits during finals — up 0.23 seconds on eventual winner Rohan Dunne — before washing out and crashing on a tight, banked bend. The 33rd-place finish on the results sheet doesn’t reflect what Stevens-McNab displayed over the weekend. Bielsko-Biala may have been the coming out party for a new force in the men’s downhill field. 

Ellie Hulsebosch, like Earnest, continues to put herself smack dab in the mix within the junior women’s field, finishing fourth at just 0.75 seconds behind her Kiwi countrymate. Chris Hauser unfortunately suffered another crash in Poland after being forced to bow out of Fort William. The former junior men’s World Cup winner is feisty, however, and will have three weeks to knock the dirt off before lining up for Round 3 of the DH World Cup in Leogang.

Loris is just heating up.

Sacha will look to keep her podium streak alive in Leogang.

The drama never stops in downhill racing. For more from Poland, check out the stories and posts from the weekend on the Trek Factory Racing DH, The Union and Unior-Sinter Instagram pages.