A look back at the 2022 Downhill World Cup season with PROPAIN

The 2022 World Cup season is over and after two years of postponed and changed races, a completely normal season was possible again. With eight World Cups and the World Championships, there were many very exciting moments. The Propain Factory Racing Team participated in all the races and the Propain Positive Team was present in almost all races. After this exciting season we want to take a look back and remember the great moments.

Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountainbike World Cup #1: Lourdes

The season started in Lourdes, France. As the first race of the season, it was a good indicator of who had trained a lot over the off-season and who had a good start to the season. With a challenging freshly built track, the riders had their work cut out for them. Our junior Remy Meier-Smith didn’t seem to care much and was able to directly score his best World Cup result of the complete season, finishing in a very strong second place. Elite rider Luke Meier-Smith was able to grab a solid 21st place, while Henry Kerr ended up in 57th place after a crash in his finals run. The new Propain Positive team also competed and had a difficult start to the season. Phil Atwill rode outside the tape in qualifying and Thanasis Panagitsas had an unfortunate crash but was uninjured.

Junior Remy Meier-Smith finished second and secured a spot on the podium.

The Propain Positive Team had a difficult start to the season, but didn't let it take away from their positive mood.

The wonder weapon of the Propain Factory Racing Team: The Rage CF

Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountainbike World Cup #2: Fort William

The second race of the season took place in legendary Fort William and the weather was typically Scottish. However, this did not seem to affect the Meier-Smith brothers. Junior Remy Meier-Smith secured a place on the podium again and finished third. Elite rider Luke Meier-Smith was able to place himself in the top 10 for the first time, finishing in a very good ninth place. Henry Kerr and the Positive Team were unfortunately not lucky this weekend either and could not qualify for finals.

Junior Remy Meier-Smith was able to secure the next podium in a row, finishing in 3rd place.

Luke Meier-Smith bites his way into the top 10.

Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountainbike World Cup #3: Leogang

It continued to be muddy in Leogang and, like the years before, the track was a real challenge for riders and bikes. Junior Remy-Meier Smith narrowly failed to continue his podium streak, finishing fifth despite a crash. Luke Meier-Smith and Phil Atwill rode a solid race and secured 19th and 24th place respectively. After a lot of bad luck Henry Kerr was finally able to ride in the finals again and ended up in 45th place.

Junior Remy Meier-Smith finished in a good fifth place despite a small crash.

Phil Atwill was back in the finals in Leogang and could convince with a 24th place and a lot of style.

Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountainbike World Cup #4: Lenzerheide

The next stop of the World Cup was in Switzerland in Lenzerheide. The teams were able to achieve solid results throughout. Luke Meier-Smith, Henry Kerr and Phil Atwill finished 21st, 22nd and 25th respectively, while Remy Meier-Smith just missed out on the top 5, finishing 7th despite a heavy crash in qualifying.

Phil Atwill always finds the most creative lines on the course.

Luke Meier-Smith showing his aggressive style.

Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountainbike World Cup #5: Vallnord

Vallnord in Andorra offered probably one of the driest tracks of this year. With a lot of dust and many high-speed sections, an exciting race was guaranteed. The sensation of the day was Luke Meier-Smith, who rode into the hot seat and ended up in a terrific sixth place. This was his best result ever in a World Cup. Remy Meier-Smith was on a very good run however he crashed spectacularly on the last bridge before the finish line but fortunately was largely uninjured. Henry Kerr and Phil Atwill failed to qualify, Henry exploding a wheel just after posting a 12th at the 3rd split and Phil with a crash. Fortunately they were both uninjured.

Luke Meier-Smith after a great run in the hot seat.

Full focus was essential on this track.

Henry Kerr as he does everything he can to prevent a hard crash after a broken wheel.

Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountainbike World Cup #6: Snowshoe

After the races in Europe, the Factory Racing Team went to Snowshoe in the USA. There, unfortunately, the team did not have much success. Despite great efforts, the riders were not at their best. Remy Meier-Smith rode to 20th place, while Luke and Henry finished in 36th and 57th place.

Luke Meier-Smith on his way to the finishing line.

The weather conditions this weekend were very mixed and slippery stones caused problems.

Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountainbike World Cup #7: Mont Sainte Anne

After the Propain Positive Team was absent in Snowshoe, both teams were back at the start in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada and hungry for better results than in Snowshoe. Luke Meier-Smith was able to improve his result and rode to a good 20th place. Close behind in 22nd place was Phil Atwill and his teammate Socratis Zotos was able to finish 17th in his first World Cup in the Juniors. Remy Meier-Smith finished 14th and Henry Kerr took 40th place.

Many Canadian fans were gathered this weekend to cheer on the riders.

Henry Kerr has only been able to achieve average results so far, but this was to change in the last two races of the season.

UCI Mountainbike World Championships in Les Gets

The World Championships took place this year in Les Gets, France, and in typical French fashion it was a wild weekend for the riders and the fans. For the Factory Racing Team there were two sensations. Remy Meier-Smith secured the silver medal with an absolutely crazy run. Henry Kerr finally got to show what he is capable of and rode straight into the top 10 with an outstanding ninth place finish, while Luke Meier-Smith remained consistent and finished a strong 19th place. The Propain Positive Team competed without Phil Atwill and represented Greece among the nations with solid results. Thanasis Panagitsas finished 52nd and Socratis Zotos 27th.

Henry Kerr secured ninth place, setting a personal record.

Remy Meier-Smith was able to take home the silver medal among the juniors.

Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountainbike World Cup #8: Val di Sole

As soon as the World Championships were over the final race of the season was upon us. In Val di Sole, Italy, the riders faced a final test for the year 2022. The brutal course was by far the most challenging this year. Also on this day Remy Meier-Smith and Henry Kerr caused a sensation. Remy again made it onto the podium and secured third place. Henry Kerr was on the best run of his career so far and would have been guaranteed a podium finish with that time, however a minimal distraction in the very last corner led to a crash. Luke Meier-Smith had hoped for more in the season finale, blowing his foot off the pedal leading to a crash resulting in a DNF. Phil Atwill mastered the challenging course and finished in 45th place.

Remy Meier-Smith ends the season successfully on the podium in Val di Sole.

Phil Atwill had a solid season and true to his team's team name, was always able to spread positivity along the World Cups.

Overall Standings

Overall, Luke Meier-Smith was able to finish 20th as the best PROPAIN rider in the elite category. After that comes Phil Atwill with 47th place and Henry Kerr ended up in 52nd place. In the junior category, Remy Meier-Smith managed an insane fifth place. The Propain Factory Racing Team was able to finish 16th in the team standings and the Propain Positive Team finished 31st.

The complete Propain Factory Racing Team including all team members.

The complete Propain Positive team with mechanic and manager Malcom Finnie, Thanasis Panagitsas, Phil Atwill and Socratis Zotos.

It was an incredible season with many highs, but also a few lows. We are very happy that no rider has been seriously injured and we are looking forward to what the coming season will bring with all its changes. We can’t wait to see our teams racing on the most challenging tracks in the world next year. The riders deserve a relaxing off-season and we hope to pick up next year where we left off this year. We would like to thank the whole staff of the team and especially team manager Ben Reid. Here are some words about his view of the 2022 season:

The 2022 race season has been one of the most enjoyable and memorable to date. From the riders to the staff everyone knew their jobs and did it well which made for a great atmosphere in the pits and on the road, everyone was determined to deliver their best efforts with the same goal in mind, to win races! Myself and PROPAIN have been building this program together over the past 6 years and a big thanks goes out to them for believing in me and providing the support to make it all happen especially from a product development point of view and listening to the feedback from the World Cup team. For sure the level of their product and that of all our sponsors plays a huge part in the team's success. I Look forward to what 2023 has in store...

Propain Factory Racing Team Manager Ben Reid
Follow the teams on social media to stay up to date and check out the teams’ YouTube channels for videos from the World Cups!
 

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