September 2, 2021
TUHOTO-ARIKI PENE GRABS 14TH IN ITALY.
DEBUT WORLD CHAMPS RIDER TUHOTO-ARIKI PENE STOKED WITH HIS 14TH PLACE
Another rising star, Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, 20, scored a top-10 in his first world championship in the elite grade, returning to the famed Val di Sole downhill test where he won a Junior World Cup race two years ago.
But it was a 20-year-old who showed them how, with Pene displaying skill beyond his years and a liking for the Val di Sole course with an excellent run for 14th placing.
Pene was 47th rider off, and made no mistakes to clock 3:35.640 to take the leader’s place in the hot seat. He remained among the top-three on the podium hot seats for the next 29 riders until he was finally knocked off.
The experience stars of the sport then edged faster with South Africa’s Greg Minnaar, at 39 years, claiming his fourth world title and 13th world championship podium.
“The week started well in practice and then top 16 in qualifying. I felt good all week and it was good to be back at Val di Sol and to finish 14th at my first elite world champs,” said Pene.
“The key to the run today was building up through the week, and getting the processes right, making sure I was eating right, sleeping well, drinking plenty of water, warming up well before practice and therefore not wasting a run.
“I was stoked with the run. I love riding the rocks, it’s sick.
“The plan is to keep riding as I have been. I am happy with how I have been going. Overall, I am stoked. There’s a lot I want to work on in the off-season, getting stronger for sure. And to keep riding and enjoy it.”