Lunacy: Intermittent insanity, formerly believed to be related to phases of the moon.
| Moon Walker. One giant leap across some lunar rock.|
| Downhill racing is a battle of the mind... Note to self: Lorenzo Suding.|
| And yet the mind is nothing without the body.|
| While some up the ante, others get meditative.... Jill Kintner on black-out before her run.|
| Fitness, mental fortitude, slumber...the use of an insane alter-ego... There's a sea of choice when it comes to race day approach. And by the father, the son and the holy spirit, some may even wait for divine intervention.|
| Whatever your ritual...be like Troy and remember to put on the correct sponsorship socks. Only the green stripes will do today.|
All the preparation goes on ice when there are people to please. The top guys are a class act with the fans. Immune to cringe, they'll give them all the time, autographs and photos they desire.
| 'Call me'... Luke puts the word out to all the babes on Pinkbike.|
| It's funny how fickle the masses can be. Like in so many sports, when Hill was at the top he had a tough time at the hands of the haters. Now as the 'underdog' he's never been more popular, but you can tell he's cautious from those times. Now Gwin's got similar beef to bear off the back of all his successes. Really he's just another good dude.|
| Gwin's still stoked to ride and stoked to meet supporters. Another top 10, why shouldn't he be?|
| Not everyone's got a fan club yet, but Wyn's well on his way thanks to his famous broadcasts and ever-fine spirits. |
| You've got to keep up appearances. People say the supermarket is the best place to meet someone special. In fact, they'll tell you a lot of places... but no one ever says the forest. So let's talk about girls for a bit...|
|I knew I was gonna have to push hard to catch Manon. The track was so gnarly and so long I knew where my strengths would be and where hers would be. So just tried to ride like I know I could. It's so cool how fast the girls are going now, it's incredible. Pompom would have been right up there with me and Manon too if she hadn't caught the girl up in front of her! It was nerve racking.- Rachel Atherton, GT Factory Racing |
| Morgane Charre in deep. None of the main forest sections at Vallnord could be televised... Understandable, it was almost as long as Fort William, but twice the gradient. Pity because they were a lens-peeper's wet-dream.|
| Commencal riders are happy riders in their homeland, Andorra. Third on the day, currently 6th in the series, Nicole doesn't have too far to climb unless she still intends to compete with the title-holder herself.|
| Carpenter got pretty wild knowing what had to be done. She knew she had a shot on the steep stuff and nearly nailed it in the closest match of the year. 2nd, 7th and 2nd puts her 3rd in the series behind Ragot and 230 points behind the girl in black and yellow.|
| Atherton Racing team-talks, trackside.|
| GStaad Scott's Patrick Thome enjoying some roost in the heat.|
| Brook Macdonald's a bit on the sore side right now, but he's still all smiles and looking forward to redemption at Mont Ste Anne in two weeks where he missed the podium by a solitary beard hair last season.|
| So does 10th place mean you're riding badly? Because it sounds obscene to say. His series campaign for the title may be over, but be afraid for Champs.|
| Someone who will be over the moon with 9th... Gutierrez pinning towards an ever more established mountain bike celebrity status.|
| 18 years of racing. 10 World Cup podium appearances (including 2 for Dual Slalom). 5 medals for World Champ podiums (including 2 as a junior). A victory at the third Red Bull Rampage. 440 days in rehab for injuries. And we haven't heard the last of the famous 'flying Frenchman'.|
|I plan to do a lot more filming. And enduro is pretty fun - it's like racing used to be before it got serious.- Cedric Gracia, CG Racing Brigade|
| The world waited nervously and Red Bull had to pull the plug on their super-expense live coverage after Cam Cole took one of the gnarliest spills since his last in Champery 2011. He would finish his run in the helicopter with a broken T7, but the prognosis for full recovery is a relief to us all. Get well soon Cam!|
| It was easy to forget the brilliance of Sam Hill's former protege while out injured, but Troy is legit upper-crust material. Only 10 points behind Bruni, 7th in the series on his second podium of the year already. He's getting up to speed and at this point no one knows quite the pace he might be able to set.|
| A top form Neko Mulally pushes it through the beam.... 3rd at split 1, but couldn't sustain the same level of assault the whole mile.|
| Something woke Brendan up like a wet fish to the face at this world cup... No doubt it was the gratuitous steep 'n' gnarliness of the course. He was seen sharking behind Minnaar at race speed during practice completely ignoring a rear flat and generally acting a menace all week. Although not his former glory, only 5 seconds back is massive leap forward for the purveyor of off-axis airtime.|
| The Vancouver Island vigilante was quietly confident at Vallnord. In the end maybe he went a fraction too light on risk. Second in the series, 203 points behind Atherton is a big ask, but not other-worldly.|
| Sick Mick sweats and reflects after the fight.|
| Run of a lifetime, Remi Thirion, 100m out and eyes on the prize.|
| 'Quel est ce bruit etrange??'|
| Gee looked indestructible on this track and despite his displeasure at the final third of the course he almost made it a hat-trick. Leading out on 680 points you'd have more chance catching Frank Abignail Junior shoplifting. |
|It was good I felt strong on the first two thirds of the course all week. It suited me... the bottom third to be honest wasn't my cup of tea. That steep kind of off-the-brakes chute. I'm not gonna say there's not much to it but it's just steep fast berms that definitely don't suit me and I knew it would be my weakest part of the track... sure enough that's where I lost the time. I'm stoked with second to be honest, because after seeing the course I thought I could easily be further back than that... Second's good and solid points so I'm happy to keep that momentum.- Gee Atherton, GT Factory Racing |
| Stevie offers the 'bro fist' to Remi as the numbers go red on Atherton, the third-last man down.|
| One life. Sharer's of the great South African's yolo philosophy unite.|
| Third here in 2008 and again in 2009, fastest through the speed-trap, Minnaar, slipped off the podium this time, but every chance he still had a superb run. The level's getting out of hand.|
| Remi may have been about to put out Sam's fire, but the embers would still be burning hot and ready to flame back up any minute.|
| Mrs. Hill could hardly bear to watch... us neither.| So Sam congrats, but we thought there might have been more! Was there a mistake up there, we saw you slip a pedal on the live feed?
| Woah it was near...|
Hill: I dunno, I started off alright, nearly threw it away on the first turn getting wild on some loose stuff. From there on got it going pretty good, tried to stay smooth and not over-ride it at all. Kind of got a bit tight towards the bottom 'cause some of the edges were going. Did you still think you might have had it on the final corner?
Hill: I knew I was in touch because the crowd were going pretty wild and there were parts I got faster than the other day. Can you be happy with third?
Hill: Yeah I can…last race I was on the ground in the dust, so an improvement from that, but definitely chasing that number one spot. Does it soften the blow of not ending number 1 today that we had something of a wildcard on top?
Hill: No it doesn’t really bother me who’s winning…Remi put out an awesome run, he’s always riding fast so probably it was something that’s been looming around for while so congrats to him. Every race that comes up it doesn’t matter to me who wins I just wanna try beat them all. I need to try and get on top and close down on the points.
|Incredible! My first podium... First place it's just amazing for me... My objective top 10!- Remi Thirion, Commencal/Riding Addiction|
| Realizing the race was done, Smith and Brosnan go for a last-ditch beard-off in a bid to out-compete the only modestly stubbled Remi. Brook won out. |
| Remi Thirion scored his first ever World Cup podium, in front of the home crowd with his sponsor's head office less than a kilometre away. And on the toughest track of the year. It was a fairytale come true for the Frenchman. |
| If you didn't get even a slight tingle of spinal excitement while you watched all that lunacy unfold then for you, I recommend a trip to your local mental health practitioner...or look, just go and watch the golf.|
| There's something in my eye... No really. Will Hill find comfort on the top step at St Anne, scene of his massive 2010 champs gold? After a torturous 3 years+ without a win, Hill was almost true to the promises made in his top-draw qualifier two days before. He was the real thing back in the day and he remains it now. A true downhill legend. Back. In. This.|