The three-time world champion proved last weekend that he is back on form and recovering well from a dislocated patella suffered earlier this season. Barel is the first non-Santa Cruz Syndicate rider to win a men’s world cup downhill this season. He bested Sam Hill and Greg Minnaar on a rough, technical track made more difficult by torrential rains the day before.
"The weekend was really challenging, it was my first time riding in the mud since my knee injury,” Barel stated. “After a 13th place in qualifying, I was hoping for a top 10. But in my race I felt that it was now or never, so I pushed the limits.”
The Barel has been plagued by injuries for several seasons, but this victory proves that the charismatic Frenchman is still one of the best riders in the world. “It is an unreal satisfaction to take first place and be back on top of the international scene so quickly,” he said. “On the other hand, I know I need to improve even more if I want to stay at the top.”