Davoust’s podium finish was the highlight of a weekend of racing in the Colorado high country that also saw him finish fifth in the elite men’s cross-country (XCO) race on his full-suspension Anthem Advanced Pro 29. His teammate Luke Vrouwenvelder also scored some impressive results, finishing seventh in the STXC and ninth in the XCO on his XtC Advanced SL 29 hardtail bike.
“The short track race started just like any other short track… hard,” said Davoust after taking the silver medal. “But the weather decided to add an extra element. Halfway through the race, the skies opened up. I went to the front group and played my one card correctly.”
Wearing his Giant Charge Pro shoes and Rev Pro helmet, Davoust overcame the extreme conditions and sprinted for the second-place finish, just behind the current STXC world champion Christopher Blevins.
Meanwhile in Europe, Antoine Philipp put in a strong showing at the super-competitive French National Championships in Bretagne. Racing his Anthem Advanced Pro 29, the 25-year-old finished fifth in the elite men’s XC race.
“The race started very fast and we quickly formed a group of seven or eight riders,” Philipp said. “After a lot of attacks during the first half of the race, a group of three broke away at the front. I felt good, and I also tried to make some attacks to change up the race, but too many technical mistakes put me in fifth place and I was unable to close the gap. Overall, this race was a great confidence builder for the upcoming World Cup races, as I was racing against some of the fastest riders on the circuit.”
Philipp’s teammate Reto Indergand also had a strong showing at the Swiss National XC Championships in Leysin last month, finishing fifth in the elite men’s XC race. Like Davoust, Indergand had to overcome challenging weather conditions.
“The track was a completely new one and the organizers did a great job building it,” Indergand said. “Most of the track was natural in the forest with a lot of roots, so I chose my Anthem Advanced Pro 29. Hours before the start a heavy storm came down and I changed to my Maxxis Severe mud tires.”
Defending Swiss men’s champion Mathias Flückiger attacked on the first lap, and Indergand got into the first chase group. “I spent most of the race riding with the group in seventh place, but I made a key pass in the last couple laps and finished on the podium in fifth.”
Looking ahead, the XC racers from the Giant Factory Off-Road Team now turn their attention toward the upcoming World Cup races in North America followed by the UCI World Championships in late August.