Downhill race drama with victory for Denholm's Phoebe while Reece from Gordon takes a tumble

Racing cyclists from the Borders captured a lot of the attention in round two of the UCI Downhill World Cup series last weekend at Les Gets in the French Alps.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 12:40 pm
Phoebe Gale (picture by Bill McBurnie)

Among those taking part were Phoebe Gale, of Denholm, and Reece Wilson, of Gordon.

Another major taking point was the heavy rain which fell on race day. Conditions were very tough, with few of the riders in a number of categories having ridden the course before in the wet.Phoebe added her name to the list of new winners in world cup events as she pulled a two-second lead over Izabela Yankova in the junior women's racing.

Phoebe's winning time was nearly 30 seconds quicker than her fastest qualifier from the previous day.

Elsewhere, Reece claimed a second consecutive fourth place in the elite men’s qualifying but suffered a spectacular fall during the event.

Almost every rider found it a struggle in the conditions and, although Reece managed to claw back some lost time, his rear wheel hit a fresh hole as he was heading out of the woods, at speed, on to the jump down into the grassy finish section. As he left the ramp at over 30mph, the bike fired him straight over the handlebars. With arms windmilling, he hit the wet grass hard and bike and rider cartwheeled straight into the assembled spectators. Amazingly he got up, collected his bike and got to the finish line – albeit outside the points.

Reece dropped to eighth place in the series but he is still in touch, with the next round in Slovenia in mid-August.