TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2021
Jacob Dickson helped the Giant Factory Off-Road Team close out its 2021 downhill season on a high note, winning the elite men’s DH race at the Irish National Championships to collect his eighth national title on home soil. Dickson’s win capped an impressive late-season stretch for the DH squad, which also included French rider Remi Thirion’s top-10 finish at the UCI World Cup finals in Snowshoe, West Virginia.
Dickson came into the Irish DH nationals at Carrick Mountain in County Wicklow as a three-time elite men’s national champion (2017-2019). Riding his prototype Giant Glory DH bike, the 23-year-old was keen to regain the title and once again fly the colors as Irish national champion.
“This was the first DH race in Ireland since 2019, and it was a blast to be racing on my home soil again in County Wicklow,” Dickson said. “The track wasn’t super technical, and was also very dry and dusty in practices, which isn’t common here. So I knew times were going to be tight.”
Conditions took a turn on the eve of the race. “Of course it rained, and the dry hardpack dirt turned into super slippery grease,” Dickson said. “Then about 15 minutes before my race run it started to hammer down with rain even harder. It was anyone’s race at this point, and it was cool to be the last rider on the hill with the crowd going off at the bottom.”
Wearing his Giant Shuttle DH shoes, Dickson handled the conditions and pulled off the win. “I rode well and I’m super happy to take the win and my eighth Irish national title.”
Thirion Leads World Cup DH Squad
The team also wrapped up its 2021 World Cup season one week earlier, highlighted by Remi Thirion’s third top-10 World Cup finish of the year. The final week of this year’s World Cup took place at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia, where two rounds were held at this year’s only World Cup event in America. Dickson and the 19-year-old American rider Matthew Sterling also qualified for the finals at the last World Cup race of the year.
Thirion, a first-year rider with the team, finished 13th in the first Snowshoe round, and 8th in the second. “Snowshoe proved quite difficult with two World Cup races held during the same week,” Thirion said. “It was hard both mentally and physically. In round one I flatted during qualifying and unfortunately lost out on points for the overall. In the final, however, I finished 13th, missing the top-10 due to a mistake in the final rock garden.”
The Frenchman improved on that result in the second Snowshoe round, where he was seventh in qualifying and eighth in the final. “Times were super tight, and I finished 2 seconds from the lead and 1 second from the podium,” he said.
In his first year with the team, Thirion finished 11th overall in World Cup rankings. “I’m really stoked on my first year with the team, and the new bike,” he said. “I had consistent results around the top-10. I’m already excited for next year!”