01 SEPTEMBER 2023
Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Youn Deniaud scored the biggest win of his career, charging to victory at Round 6 of the UCI Enduro World Cup Series in Loudenvielle, France.
Deniaud has been a consistent frontrunner in international enduro racing since he joined the team five years ago, and the win at Loudenvielle marks a breakthrough for the French rider. He came into the race ranked ninth overall in the World Cup and was motivated to score a big result on home turf in France. He finished fifth here in 2022, and was aiming for his first World Cup win.
Racing on his Reign Advanced Pro team bike with a prototype next-generation Giant WheelSystem, Deniaud was consistently fast throughout a long day of racing in Loudenvielle. The race was moved up a day to avoid a rainstorm that was forecast to move into the area on the weekend, and racers enjoyed dry conditions on a challenging day that included five stages for a total of about 37km of riding and more than 3000 meters of descending. The terrain ranged from fast alpine singletrack to technical steeps and bike park terrain.
Deniaud got off to a strong start, finishing third on Stage 1, and then second on Stage 2, which was the longest of the day, dropping 663 meters over 3.1km.
That put Deniaud in good position to aim for the overall win, with his main competition being fellow French riders Louis Jeandel and Alex Rudeau. Jeandel won Stage 1 and Rudeau won Stage 2, setting up a battle among the three French riders in the final three stages.
It came down to the final Stage 5, one of the toughest of the day. Deniaud kept his composure, putting in a strong run to finish fourth, enough to hold on for the overall win by less than 1 second over Rudeau. Jeandel rounded out the podium in third.
Deniaud's teammate Josh Carlson also turned in a strong performance in Loudenvielle, scoring a top-10 in the E-bike enduro race. The Australian rode his Trance X E+ Advanced to an eighth-place finish.
With his win, Deniaud moved up to sixth overall in the EDR World Cup rankings. With just one round remaining, he now turns his attention toward next week's finale in Les Gets, France.