Fort William Day 4 in Photos - UCI World Cup 2012

Jun 10, 2012
by Ian Hylands  
 
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What a day at Fort William! Both Emmeline Ragot and Aaron Gwin started mid pack and held on to the hot seat until the end. Check out the day in photos, BIG!
Track Walk day
Rain over night and a well established track saw a very quiet practice before the Final today. Riders mostly knew their lines and tried to stay loose. Jill Kintner compares notes with Cam Cole at the bottom of the Gondola.
  Rain over night and a well established track saw a very quiet practice before the Final today. Riders mostly knew their lines, and tried to stay loose. Jill Kintner compares notes with Cam Cole at the bottom of the Gondola.

Mick Hannah with a cuppa morning espresso to get the day off with a bang.
  Mick Hannah with a cuppa morning espresso to get the day off with a bang.

Every year you hear photogs and racers bitch about the midges. Most years they really aren t too bad. But an exceptionally mild winter saw them out in clouds on the tracksides particularly down low. Long sleeves long pants and a midgie net were the only ways to stay sane.
  Every year, you hear photogs and racers bitch about the midges. Most years they really aren't too bad. But an exceptionally mild winter saw them out in clouds on the tracksides, particularly down low. Long sleeves, long pants, and a midgie net were the only ways to stay sane.

Every race bike needs a bit of love before a run.
  Every race bike needs a bit of love before a run, even a pink one...

This is what riders woke up to on race morning.
  This is what riders woke up to on race morning.

Race day in Fort William
Race day in Fort William
  ...and this is what it looked like up top. Amazing visibility

Brendog getting whipped out during the am practice session.
Brendog ended up mid twneties today but was once again a fan favorite.
  Brendog ended up mid twenties today, but was once again a fan favorite.

Danny Hart throwin whips for the home fans in the pouring rain.
  Danny Hart throwin' whips in practice for the home fans in the pouring rain.

Emmeline Ragot on track for her win. Ragot flatted--a slow leak--but still managed to ride in for the top time.
  Emmeline Ragot on track for her win. Ragot flatted again, but it was a slow leak, and she still managed to ride in for the top time.

Emilie Siegnethaler pinning it on the motorway.
  Emilie Siegnethaler pinning it on the motorway.

After injuring her shoulder in a spectacular off the bike training crash in Pietermaritzburg Florian Pugin showed that she was feeling it with a fourth place finish.
  After injuring her shoulder in a spectacular off the bike training crash in Pietermaritzburg, Florian Pugin showed that she was "feeling it" with a fourth place finish.

Rachel Atherton lost time in the woods and could not close the gap on the motorway section of the track. But Rachel is definitely back proving that taking Pietermartizburg off in order to allow her shoulder to heal up all the way was a wise choice.
  Rachel Atherton lost time in the woods and could not close the gap on the motorway section of the track. But Rachel is definitely back, proving that taking Pietermartizburg "off" in order to allow her shoulder to heal up all the way was a wise choice.

Short bus Midgie Net...
  Short bus Midgie Net...

Usually this section of track is lined with fans but the midges and the rain seemed to have brought the number of fans attending down significantly.
  Usually this section of track is lined with fans, but the midges and the rain seemed to have brought the number of fans attending down significantly.

Steve Peat checking his start time.
  Steve Peat checking his start time.

Warming up out of the rain meant using an old lift shack. With so many racers needing a place to get spun up competition for a sheltered spot was fierce. Some teams staked out space during the woment s race.
  Warming up out of the rain meant using an old lift shack. With so many racers needing a place to get spun up, competition for a sheltered spot was fierce. Some teams staked out space during the women's race.

Luke Stroble was forced to warm up within the upper Gondola house itself.
  Luke Strobel was forced to warm up within the upper Gondola house itself.

Mitch Delfs launching out of the stary shack.
  Mitch Delfs launching out of the start shack.

You simply cannot open it up on a track like this without clear vision. More than one rider flatted on rocks hidden in the mist or missed lines due to the fog shrouding the track.
  You simply cannot open it up on a track like this without clear vision. More than one rider flatted on rocks hidden in the mist or missed lines due to the fog shrouding the track.

Race day in Fort William
  Joe Smith pedaled his Nukeproof into 7th spot, definitely a move up for the #36 plate.

Fort William super fans. From the 70s.
  Fort William super fans. From the 70s.

I don t even want to know how many midge bites these fans managed to acquire. But likely the beer made it all better Until tomorrow.
  I don't even want to know how many midge bites these fans managed to acquire. But likely the beer made it all better, Until tomorrow.

Race day in Fort William
  Aaron Gwin started almost mid pack after yesterdays crashes in quali's. That meant for a long cold day on the hot seat...

Brook MacDonald had a bad shit race coming home in 69th place 39 seconds down against Gwin.
  Brook MacDonald had a bad race, coming home in 69th place, 39 seconds down against Gwin.

Loic Bruni giving it everything on the sprint sections of the motorway en route to another top 20 showing.
  Loic Bruni giving it everything on the sprint sections of the motorway en route to another top 20 showing.

Race day in Fort William
  Lewis Buchanan gave it a good go, 22nd spot at the end of the day.

Race day in Fort William
  Race day in Fort William, even the rain and the midges couldn't deter the fans from the finish.

Greg Minnaar has owned this mountain in times past. Bit not today. Minnaar finished .067 seconds back.
  Greg Minnaar has owned this mountain in times past. But not today. Minnaar finished 5.123 seconds back in 6th spot.

Mission failed.
  Mission failed.

Sam HIll is finally back on form 4th place on the podium and smiling all week. Watch out at MSA.
Sam Hill is finally back on form though, 4th place, on the podium, and smiling all week. Watch out at MSA.

And the winner is Aaron Gwin. Again.
  And the winner is Aaron Gwin. Again.

Strangest trophies ever
  Strangest trophies ever?

Champagne showers for Gwin and a less than enthusiastic Gee.
  Champagne showers for Gwin and a less than enthusiastic Gee.

Photos by Colin Meagher, Fraser Britton, and Schieck/MTBcut

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162 Comments

  • + 78
 Really happy to see Hill back on the come back trail! Really would have liked to see Hart take it at home too, but 2nd to Gwin ain't bad.
  • + 18
 Likewise bro but Gwinys got the consistancy for sho
  • + 27
 spamming douche ^^
  • + 6
 why is he been neg propped found that useful?
  • + 1
 Because most of the users here hate the Athertons now. They're the new hate bandwagon.
  • + 2
 Whys that?
  • + 5
 Because it's the hot trend right now. And going against the pinkbike hivemind is frowned upon.
  • + 7
 ....the hivemind is frowning.
[Reply]
  • + 30
 Stoked to see all of those guys on the podium. Even more stoked to see Hill back in form and I hope he only gets faster. Hill's raw speed against Gwin's smooth, surgical style would be the showdown DH legends are made of.
  • + 2
 Same here RideItall. Kudo's to all the racers who gave it their all today and congrats on those who podiumed. The best man won today and you cant take that away from Gwin, he earned it outright and I have no problem with that. I have to say that I am really impressed with Sam Hill in top form again and you are right, he is a DH legend who just happens to ride a Specialized Demo.......I just had to get that in there!LOL!
[Reply]
  • + 33
 What in the hell is a midge?
  • + 14
 they're like mosquitos but more annoying.
  • + 34
 please explain how anything could be more annoying that a mosquitoe...
  • + 10
 They show up in much larger numbers
  • + 28
 They seem to swarm in thousands, they pester you constantly.. They only seem to arrive when you arrive also
  • + 1
 Aeroguard should at least stop them a bit. Amazing product. Its strong enough to kill leaches.
  • + 2
 a midget version of a mosquito
  • + 3
 they are so small! on the 4X track, i was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt, there was no hope for me- i looked like i had chicken pox....

www.pinkbike.com/video/261924

anyone see the semi-naked guy running down?! ^^^
  • + 20
 A bit like scooter riders, except they bite!!!
  • + 1
 come here on holiday and you will find out very quickly and run into the nearest house screaming...
  • + 4
 you need avon skin-so-soft. only thing that works at fort bill
  • + 6
 a midge is basically a set of teeth with wings attached which is extremely angry and hungry.
  • + 2
 Tormenting, irritating, biting and infest everything,
My Girlfriend has some 60+ Bites no jokes, she's put up with it for 5 days tops props to her!
  • + 2
 Midges are the worst things ever. Did some trail building the other day and got absolutely eaten alive. If the scottish midges are worse than the north wales midges, i feel sorry for anyone at fort bill!
  • + 1
 they show up when you show up cause they are attracted to the CO2 we produce when we breath, so don't breath, simples!
  • + 5
 Great advice there mp11, everyone who rides a scooter please follow that advice
  • + 1
 Those midges are the worse I've ever seen. We were fully covered, even to the extent of having the free buffs they were giving out on the Camel stand pulled over our faces with eyeholes cut out, and we were still slaughtered. We were on the same campsite as the naked guys which was rife with them (midges). By the time they got back they were legless, so not in any fit state to try cover up, so they must have been in a right state in the morning, unless midges hate the smell of Southern Comfort :-)
  • + 1
 free things? damn, i missed it!
  • + 1
 Is there an equivalent to bug spray that deters them? Does deet not work to keep them away?
  • + 1
 highstreet, anything ive tried doesnt work and just makes you smell... hate to say it but the only midge defence is a friend that smokes 20 a day... gets rid of midgies
  • + 1
 avon skin so soft! Big Grin ive also got stuff which is 99% DEET which kills most things . . .
  • + 1
 @mp11, we tried it mate but they just munched straight through it. It's worked before but Fort William migdes must be like the Bull Mastiffs of the bug world! To be fair it may have been washed off with the rain.
  • + 1
 any light breeze or wind completely gets rid of them too
  • + 1
 so have like an electric fan Big Grin sorted!
[Reply]
  • + 26
 well this just goes to show... you cant spell Gwin without WIN!!!!
  • + 0
 No, spelling is not dependant on race results. That's just the way the english language works I'm afraid
  • + 20
 If you include his firstname, you can also spell Gnar and Won.

Or, if you want to use all the letters:

A Win Organ (because that's his function)
A War On Gin (erm, because drinking and riding downhill wouldn't end well?)
[Reply]
  • + 25
 Mick Hannah looks like Stifler haha!
  • + 2
 glad i'm not the only one that thought that! Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 19
 I just wish Gee wouldn't act like a spoiled brat every time he doesn't win...cheer the fuck up!
  • + 3
 I know what you mean. He seems like an alright bloke but sometimes I get the impression he looks down on everyone.

And I cant stand him using the word "Stoked" all the effin time

Now his brother Dan seems like a good laugh
  • + 14
 To be a world champion in any sport requires a huge amount of self-belief. Riders like Gee don't just THINK the CAN win every race, they KNOW they SHOULD win every race. That massive competitive nature, and the desire to crush every other racer every time is what carried them to the top. If Gee didn't mind coming second (or third or whatever) then he would never had had the determination to become a world champion.

So yeah, I bet Gee does look down on everyone a bit. It's not personal, it's just that he (any every other top 20 rider) lives and breathes every second to beat me, you and everyone else.
  • + 13
 Not sure if its fair to say that hes looking down on everyone or is a spoiled brat just because he looks ticked off after a race. These guys work and train very hard to reach theirs goals, and dedicate their lives to it. And for a guy with talent like Gee, his goal is to win world cup races. We all say he should be happy and third is great, but to him its not. He made a mistake in the woods yesterday and it cost him a win. He pissed about that and there is nothing wrong with that.
  • + 1
 @quat-fro and llarrggee: So I'm not the only one who see's that?

@brit-100 and sino428: I agree that to ride at this level you have to believe in yourself and have huge self confidence. That said then, how do guys like Gwin, Gracia, Hart, Peat, and Minnaar all manage to be so friendly?
  • + 4
 BDKR, it's called Personality Differences. They're not robots. They are individual riders. Some riders can be intense mentally while seeming relaxed and welcoming interpersonally. Others have an intensity that is more thorough. Why should riders meet YOUR expectations on THEIR own personalities? I don't get that at all. People should be free to do whatever they feel helps them race at their best. They are racing to be on the top spot, not to please fans. The fact that fans get to watch is a bonus, not the whole point of it.
  • + 7
 BDKR, Gee IS friendly. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and isn't afraid to show that he's pissed at a missed win, that's all. Nothing unfriendly about that.

Do you remember in Clay Porter's film 'The Tipping Point', when Clay asks Grey Minnaar if he's feeling the pressure at having not won for a few months. Greg looks at Clay like he's about to rip his head off, and snaps "So I suck all of a sudden, do I?" Exact same thing.
All these guys have made a deal with the devil. They gave up their youth, their social lives, mates, girlfriends, careers, all that, so they could have a shot at being number 1. Coming anywhere but 1st must be heartbreaking.
  • + 1
 @brit-100: My comments aren't based on his attitude after a loss. I've seen this kind of thing over and over again in numerous disciplines. My comments are based on how he treats others at times.

Now that's not to say that he's unfriendly in general, but I do agree with a poster above that he seems "to look down on everyone".

@CFOxtrot: I actually agree that people should be free to do and feel however they wish. But nothing comes without consequence! Look at how many of your posts get voted down as a matter of fact.

I recognize that he's intense. However, if he can't recognize that he has fans and a myriad of eyes on him, he's going to suffer observations as such.
  • + 4
 BDKR: I think it's also unfair to paint a guy like Gee as 'unfriendly' based on how he acts around race time or just after. Like I said before, these guys are high level athletes who are super focused on what they are doing. Many athletes in all sports don't show their true personalities during the competition. Look at any sport and take a look at the losing team after the game. Soccer, baseball, football, basketball etc. The losing team is never going to look happy if they just lost a big game.
  • + 0
 Well that's cool. I normally don't say much about Gee and I won't after this point. As a matter of fact, I like Gee and I want to see him do well, which includes win races. That said, I don't care who you are! If you can't treat someone with respect, regardless of your feelings, then it's time to get a grip.
  • + 0
 BDKR:

* I don't think a top rider has an obligation to his/her "fans." I think that's upside-down, honestly. You should go read Ryan Leech's recent essay about the pressures of being a rider with "fans" and who drives the sponsored rider's life ambitions.

* I don't get your point about Neg Props here. I don't post for popularity. I don't post to "win" a popularity contest. I post what are my impressions and thoughts on the entry where I'm posting. If you think the soundness or wisdom of an idea or comment is measured by its popularity, I think you have a lot to learn about humans, the state of knowledge, and the contrast of knowledge vs mere belief. The popularity of an idea or sentiment is not a measure of its wisdom. You should read a book written long ago by Charles Mackay. It's called "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" and it's all about how The Majority can be incredibly stupid and wrong in huge ways.

* I guess I'm thankful I'm not a top DH racer. I wouldn't want to cope with "fans" who think I owe them something. What exactly is the basis for this idea that a rider owes his/her fans something? If I ride well, I do so because of my own abilities -- riding wise, psychology wise. It's all down to me and how I approach the ride. Yet some people think it's about what "fans" want or think. That just sounds ridiculous to me.
  • + 1
 BDKR: I'm not sure what you are saying. Are you saying Gee doesn't treat people with respect? Because I've never heard of that before. Did he ignore Gwin or the other riders and not shake hands or congratulate anyone? Just because he's not happy after a bad race or he isn't talkative at the races doesn't mean he doesn't respect people.

I don't know Gee. All I know about the guy is what I see and read about races, or see in videos, so I have no idea. The guy could be a total A-hole for all I know. I'm just saying its completely unfair to judge a guy simply by his attitude after a bad race.
  • + 2
 @CFOxtrot, the whole point of sponsorship is to make a product look cool or fast. Riders get their money from their sponsors, who in return want them to make people buy it. Why is Cedric Garcia on huge sponsor deals? Because he pleases fans. He's not the fastest guy at the races, but he compensates by being a legend, and Santa Cruz likes this. Gwin is pretty moody and doesn't say much, but he wins so it's ok and trek like that. So riders like Gee need to notice, if they don't win they're gonna have to be popular, or the product won't sell, GT won't be happy, and at the end of the contract they won't sign it again. I met Gee and to be fair he was really grumpy, and since then had a grudge against him.
  • + 1
 I've got to say...very good exchange between all of you above me and everyone made some really good points in their own respects. The fact we are even talking about this proves how popular the sport is becoming. I see the same level of analyzing of professional basketball and soccer (football?) players in their post game interviews. It's good to see such passion for every aspect of the sport and I think individual personalities are what make sports interesting!

Can't wait for MSA!!!!! Go Gwin and Sam Hill ! But really, I just want to see a great race!
  • + 0
 iesubach,

Your answer about what is "the point" of all this is YOUR view, not some ultimate truth.

How about those sharpies? How about those rebadged frames? Remember Minnaar's Haro, a rebadged Intense M-1? Did that mean Intense was sponsoring Minnaar, rather than Haro?
  • + 5
 Got to stick up for Gee here. We watched the podium presentation and went to the pits straight afterwards, the Athertons were already there when we got there (they must have legged it cos we weren't hanging about) signing autographs, chatting to everyone and posing for photos. They were spot on, really friendly with everyone and put a brave face on. Top marks to them. Oh and we had a photo with Gee earlier in the day taken by one of the mechanics and the photo didn't take. Mentioned it to Gee after the race and he went "No way, let's do it again then" and got Dan and Marc Beaumont to join in the picture too Smile
  • + 3
 My comment has turned into quite the conversation! I do completely understand why Gee's a bit cheesed off if he doesn't win. And I in his position would probably feel similarly. BUT Without wanting to sound like a tree hugging hippy, that kind of negative energy will only get you so far - If you're only goal is to kick the crap out of the competition and you never seem to, it'll just grind you down. I just think he needs to lighten up a little bit and enjoy the moment, world cup downhilling isn't going to last you until your retirement.
  • + 1
 I don't know if his only goal is to kick the crap out of his competition. I think it also has to do with how he performs against his own standards. In this race he apparently was ahead and made a mistake in the woods, likely costing him the win, so he was probably understandably frustrated. I've seen other races where he's been beaten but looked upbeat afterward saying that he felt he had a solid run but simply got beat. Its not always about winning, as much as it is performing your best for an athlete. If you go out in any sport and put out your best effort or best run and still get beat its much easier to take than knowing you messed up and cost yourself.
  • + 2
 CFOxtrot:

* Obligation? Where did I use the work obligation? I don't mean to imply an obligation and from what I read, I didn't. That said, my last statement stands. "I recognize that he's intense. However, if he can't recognize that he has fans and a myriad of eyes on him, he's going to suffer observations as such."

* The point of stating how much your comments get voted down was to prove my point. Namely that every negative thing has a consequence. It's that simple! You can go on and on with the rest of that BS there (which I actually agree with to a great degree), but nobody gives a frack if you come over all a$$h0l3!

On this topic, you may also want to stop making ASSumptions about who you are talking too. I too am 45. Music major, computer programmer and systems engineer, gym rat, worked as a prison guard, have lived on 3 separate continents, skated, snowboarded, road raced motorcycles, build turbo cars, and a mad history buff (which forces one to look at things like international finance, sociology, and psychology). If you can't learn to first show a little respect to those you don't know, you'll spend a lifetime fending off derisive attacks.

* Once again, you're ASSuming something. A fan wanting interaction is a by product of liking what he see's in an individual. Perfectly natural. It's also natural for one to show disappointment when that individual is perceived as less then friendly. Conversely, a fan should recognize that there are pressures on that individual as well.

But why am I even talking as it's clear that you are reacting more then actually reading what I'm saying.
  • + 2
 @quat-fro: "...BUT Without wanting to sound like a tree hugging hippy, that kind of negative energy will only get you so far..."

Right on the money mate!
  • - 2
 BDKR,

Nice story.

You take things far too seriously. Stop imagining you know my state of mind. You obviously think I'm redfaced, ranting with spittle flying from my mouth as I holler and scream. Try imagining the exact opposite of that.

As to "reacting rather than reading what I'm saying:" nice ironic projection! That's precisely what you're up to here.

You're not even half-clever enough to "trap" me on the internet, bro. I'm not one of your children on whom you can use "reverse psychology"!

Nice that you're 45. That's pretty old. Why do you think I'm that old?
  • + 1
 Point proven!
  • + 0
 For a dumb person like me, please walk through the steps of the proof. Thanks.
  • + 2
 I totally agree with what you said except the last part. The fans watching IS the whole point! With out the fans (on the pro level) there would be no downhill racing. Pro riders get paid to promote product. They do that by getting results on track but also in other ways, adverts, webisodes...
  • + 1
 Downhill racing would continue without fans. I'd wager sponsorships would happen without fans as well. Sponsors would support riders the same way they do now, for the same reasons. So people will buy their parts/bikes.

People do that (buy parts/bikes) no matter whether they ever have set foot outside the tape as spectators.

I'm sure you know a few small or local frame builders, and small/local bike shops, who sponsor riders and racers well below the pro level. Dig?

I think it's great that riders can ride/race for a living. I envy them despite the work they have to put into things. I'd rather just ride, than have to ride as my job. I think riding-as-paid-rider would take the fun out of it.
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Hill's back!
  • - 23
 no chance, the world is Gwinnn... ! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 12
 I think if Gwin came down later he wouldn't of won, Danny would of had it!
  • + 3
 if that helps you sleep better at night
  • + 3
 Meh, in the interviews that I saw from of the race, Danny didn't mention the mist as giving him problems once, neither did Minnaar or Slugger or anyone else for that matter. It looked worse on the Red Bull footage than it was in real life. These guys know the track and their lines so well that the mist shouldn't really give them many problems.
  • + 1
 All the British riders had been practicing this course for weeks and still couldn't beat Gwin.
[Reply]
  • + 11
 holy shit they drink budweiser in scotland?
  • + 73
 yes! and we also have running water and colour television!!!!!!
  • + 3
 i can't beleive what i just read @prurient-possum
  • + 9
 Hahaha, they just can't speak English up there yet.
  • + 2
 prurient-possum - I can' believe that either

Drinking Budweiser in Scotland is like asking for fish&chips in a restaurant with local food in Italy, like renting a 29" XC racer with narrow bars in Whistler, It's a totaly wasteful disrespect of local fine products... If you're in Scotland and want a beer at least drink the Wee Heavy
  • - 2
 I dont know if you have ever been to Whistler but it has some of the best XC riding in the world and renting a 29er would be a very good idea here.
  • + 4
 o FFS... you know what I meant - I hereby add: to ride lift accessed trails with it... yea this is what Whistler is synonymous with: XC trails - ugh... I'm trying to keep my comments shorter you see, practicising.
  • + 5
 But why would you drink Bud in Scotland? I'm American and would drink that sh1t.
  • + 1
 So what do you drink. Is it European?
  • + 2
 I tried lots of imported stuff from various American small breweries like Sierra Nevada, those beers are well tasty so hold your horses llarrggee - no point in putting the arse higher than what's needed to take a jobby Big Grin
  • + 4
 not all Scottish people sit around in kilts drinking whisky and stroking there ginger beards...
  • + 0
 Oh really? Those who aren't just went to fight over a penny!
  • + 5
 the bud in Scotland is stronger and tastier than the stuff in the USA, but when it comes down to it its still like having sex in a canoe. F****** close to water.
  • + 0
 Innis&Gunn FTW!
  • + 0
 Because the Budweiser was probably on "special offer". That means it's cheap to buy. I know this concept of buying certain items because they're cheaper than other (preferable) items might be incomprehensible to rich/white/upper middles class Americans and Canadians but I hope I've gone at least some way towards helping you understand.
  • + 1
 BrewDog makes some fine beers! If I ever find myself in Scotland, that's a brewery I could spend a lot of time at.
  • + 2
 There is a Brew Dog pub less than 10 min from my flat haha
  • + 3
 BEER. enough said
  • + 0
 Brewdog make shite beers purely based on marketing. Theres nowt wrong with drinking Budweiser, Its a great session beer perfect for long days of solid drinking.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Danny's run was amazing considering how much worse the weather had got and how much the track had been destroyed since Gwin came down. We were sat in the grandstand and it started raining again with about 10 to go, someone near me commented that this could mean the current top 5 were going to be the podium . Pretty much true except Danny smoked it. I really thought he had it. I was staring at the clock and thinking just one more pedal stroke !! Big props to Miami though
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I was hoping to see a shot of Beaumont's whip...
  • + 2
 it was whip of the weekend for sure
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Yes, Aaron Gwin is a beast!!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I can confirm that the beer funnel did help the midge bites untill the next day! Maybe spectating in pants wasn't the best move
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Dont be Gwin's bitch- mission failed- best photo and photo explonation in years. Big Grin Gwin is really really awesome... Altough I used to be a Gee fan before GT bought them.
  • + 1
 Yeah I kinda liked Gee on Commencal ...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sick to see hill coming back ,but I still wish Troy Brosnan was racing because I had a feeling that he would give everyone a run for their money and kick Gwin off the top step!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I thought they would have a better building at the top by now. Good race apart from all the midges, the crap weather, Peaty crashing and Gwin schooling everyone again Razz
The video feed was good, but didn't seem as good as last week. Some of the tables at the bottom seemed too big for 80% of the riders as well, dunno who designed them.
  • + 3
 Im sure in the dry the tables would have been fine for all the riders
  • + 1
 I don't really consider Gwins win "schooling" anyone.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Greg Williamson had a awesome ride! the lad needs a spot on team GB for the championships!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 To all the folk moaning about the coverage, there were cameras up top which were covered in thick mist. Vis was down to 10m at times so probably impacted on the ability of some cameras to see anything.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It looks like this win was sweeter for gwin then the ones in the past. Looking at the podium pic, Gee doesn't look to happy. Glad to see Hill back up there, wouldn't be surprised if he takes a win this year.
  • + 5
 Gee seems to hate everything when Aaron is the winner. In fact, he barely congratulates him for the victory.
  • + 2
 At least he took his helmet off on the podium, unlike his disrespectful sister. It might be ok to do that if you win, but it was fairly obvious she did it because she was upset because she didn't win. If you watch the footage closely you can see that the other girls on the podium were a bit pissed at her for not taking it off, especially the winner Ragot. The Athertons are such sore losers; show a little respect and turn your mouth around.

Also didn't like Warner complaining about Gwins dominance, if it were a Brit dominating he would think it was the greatest thing ever. Gwin is consistently going faster than anyone who has ever raced DH,
  • + 1
 I pushed Submit early, I'm not done with this rant...

What's not exciting about Gwin going faster than anyone ever? Dominance creates excitement in racing and draws in fans. Look what happened to road racing when Lance won 7 tours in a row, it blew the sport up and created interest, same with the dominance of Jeremy McGrath, RC, and many other champions. I would love to see someone have a perfect season and win all the World Cups and Worlds, even if he wasn't from my home country.
  • + 3
 Fair point about Rachel, second is still a great result. Warner did say that he didn't want to be biased, and that he only didn't want Gwin to win it because it would make this season more exciting, and he would probably say the same thing about any rider. Unless it was Peaty..
  • + 0
 Protour, are you suggesting that popularity of MTB is the only reason anyone should ride? That I should quit riding MTBs if they are not popular?

I thought riding was about what it means personally to me, what I get out of it. I didn't realize that it had to depend on public opinion.
  • + 1
 CFO, I was talking about creating spectator interest, which also creates more interest in riding DH. I'm still gonna do it even if it's not popular, but if it grows then there are more places to ride, more people to ride with, etc..

More people on pedal bikes is a good thing, right?
  • - 2
 No, not really a good thing. Crowded, blown-out trails is not a good thing. Having to stop several times in a descent, or on a climb, because the trails are clogged with riders -- not a good thing. "Industry" catering to those who spend lots of $$$ but do not ever ride, driving costs through the roof for "improvements" many don't care about -- not a good thing. All these are aspects of demographic shifts toward "popularity" and it takes a real die-hard Optimism-Only viewer to ignore these bad points.

I don't think anything is quite as simple as "more riders = better world," Protour. Unless one chooses to look only at the surface of things. Which puts one in good company (superficial views are dominant in most human societies), I guess.

I think it's better when fewer people do something, as compared to when The Majority does something. I'm sorta tired of tribalist/extravert attitudes dominating so much of human culture. To an individualist or introvert, "popularity" and Big Crowds are negatives, not positives.
  • + 3
 Whatever dude. I like rough, blown out trails and more people riding means more bike parks in Canada. The crowds aren't a problem, I love going to Whistler and talking to people from all over the world who are stoked to be there.

I understand there are different level of riders and I often have to wait for them but I was once a
beginner also. It's also great to see so many kids out on the trails, it really puts a smile on my face.

Even outside the bike parks more riders is better. Eventually clubs get formed and more trails get built. So yeah, more riders = better world. At least that's the way it is in my world.

Go dominate, Gwin!
  • + 0
 Protour, you seem to be arguing that what's popular is what's best. Where's the room for individuality? All trails should be packed so full of riders you can't go anywhere? The only riding worth doing is lift-served? Sounds like a pretty narrow reality you experience.

I guess wide, blown-out, crowded trails are good for people whose agenda when riding is to Be Seen. Scenesters are so cool. Girl jeans, PBR, "ironic" eyeglass frames with clear lenses... yeah that's the pinnacle of riding right there!

Good thing it's not Protourworld everywhere.

You said, "Eventually clubs get formed and more trails get built"

Sorry to tell you that's wrong. Where I have lived the past 15 years, the trails have simply got more crowded, more blown out, and generally worse overall. No "new clubs" and no "new trails." Just declining quality of riding. Now why would you resort to lying about the outcomes of your preferred "reality," Protour?
  • + 3
 regardless of the interest of the sport, one person dominating the podium all season bores me. Yeah, I'd be more stoked if it were a british rider, but I'd still at least have a bit more excitement (what's exciting about being able to predict the race result?) in the race and have someone else win. I'd be really excited to see Minnaar or Hill get on the top of a couple of podiums. Yeah Gwin is an incredible rider, there's absolutely no denying that, it's just a bit samey (and I'm only saying this partly as a bitter non-american).
  • + 2
 CFO, clubs don't just magically form, you have to make it happen. That means YOU have to take the initiative and do some hard work that will hopefully pay off later. At least it has for thousands of other riders around the world who have made new trails happen. I cant believe you don't know this or have ever realized this if you have been riding 15 years. Your shitty, negative complaining on here will never accomplish anything. And if you think getting kids on mountain bikes is a bad thing you certainly will never change my mind. Good luck starting a club, but you might have to actually have to act friendly to other riders and based upon what I've seen I'm not sure if you are capable of that but I hope you try.
  • + 1
 See, you're still on that Road to Mistakeville.

I've been here 15 years. Was a MTB rider for 10 years before that. So I have a wee bit of experience. The club existed when I arrived. The story was the same then as it is now: US Forest Service doesn't like MTB and caters to hikers and horse people. We spent a decade working with USFS staff, showing them the need for trail repair and new trail construction. We offered free labor. We did everything to take headaches off their hands/desks/agendas. We offered to do whatever they hated, or didn't like to deal with. Same story every time: nope, sorry, can't do it.

I'm glad to hear you know more about the situation here than I and others who have dealt with it for 15 years know. That's good. You must be one of those fortune telling gypsies with a crystal ball and Ouija board.
  • + 1
 @CFOxtrot I disagree with you a little on some of the things you said but you are SPOT ON when it comes to the USFS. They really make getting new and innovative trails difficult. They even destroy "illegal" trails before determining whether they are safe and responsibly built. Why ruin good work if the trail proves to be worth its valor?
  • + 1
 I'm not going to defend the FS but they have approved trails for clubs and allowed originally unsanctioned trails to remain open, so it may be extremely difficult but it's not impossible in every case. I've read about the new legislation in the U.S. that will make it easier for ski resorts to build on FS land so that should help, and I also have heard that in WA state the DNR has approved new MTB trails in at least a couple areas, though they did take down some other trails that were started as unapproved projects. So difficult but not impossible. There are also private land owners and timber companies in some areas. You may try and fail or win but if you don't try or give up you only have failure and a mirror. I know you aren't going to make anything better by spending your energy complaining on the internet, and the sport IS going to continue to blow up, whether you like it or not, so CFO; maybe you should look for some obscure sport like ping pong if you cant take the crowds.
Just to clarify; I prefer tight, rough blown out trails, not wide one's. The big trees stay, with exposed rocks and roots. Also to clarify, you think kids on mountain bikes is a bad thing?
  • + 2
 Man I hope you're not talking to me when it comes to crowds. I'm not that uptight and concerned with everyone else. I love riding my bike and don't care how popular or unpopular it gets. I think Pinkbike has a lot of "static" and its hard to tell what people are getting at sometimes on here and then bickering ensues. Pretty entertaining.

Sidenote: I want to go to Whistler, RIGHT NOW...
  • + 1
 Protour, I'm not really sure why you dilute the question to "kids on MTBs being a good thing or not." That's like asking someone, "so, do you REALLY HATE being alive?" It's a loaded question designed to make the answering person look dumb unless he agrees. It's a cheap BS tactic.

I think kids who WANT TO ride bikes should be able to ride bikes. I do NOT think it is ANYONE's duty to force kids into riding bikes if, for example, they prefer to play with a slide rule or Tonka trucks or dolls or papier-mache. I do NOT think any sport or other activity "needs to grow" and I think all human endeavor should be allowed to evolve naturally, not by external people acting as boosters.

You seem to assume I'm grumpy about kids riding bikes. You assume wrong. Why don't you ask me questions rather than trying to tell me what I think?

As to your ramble about the USFS -- I'm talking about my area. I don't know what they do where you are. The USFS is schizoid and in some parts of the USA it loves MTBers and works with them. In other parts it's half-and-half. Where I am, the USFS doesn't like MTBers at all and works to demonize MTB use as compared to hiker, horse, walker, runner use. It has nothing to do with private/USFS patchwork landholding issues. It has nothing to do with the stuff you mention. You seem to think the example of a place like Post Canyon means I'm mistaken. I'm telling you there is no universal rule to how the USFS treats MTBers and it's idiotic to assume otherwise.

As to crowds and your love of them: great, that's what you like. I don't have to like crowds. There's nothing immoral, wrong, stupid, idiotic, reprehensible, or otherwise negative about being introverted and disliking crowds. Stop acting like a frat boy with your attitude toward me, Biff Protour.
  • + 2
 i'm bored of this now...
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  • + 2
 Me and my best mate are the 70's guys! Just got back from our first time at Fort Bill after a 7-hour journey home, seeing our photo on here is the icing on the cake!
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  • + 4
 No picture of Slugger's whip? A shame.
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  • + 1
 Did any one notice Luke Stroble had his nose plugged while he was on his fluid trainer dose any body know why they do this I've seen Peaty do it as well?
  • + 2
 They put stuff on cotton wool that clears the nasal passages, it ensures maximum airflow on track
  • + 1
 i assume its some sort of menthol thing, like olbas oil. dipping tissue in something like that and then breathing it in would clear your airways alot. just a guess, i cant see what else it would be for
  • + 1
 it also limits you oxygen intake while warming up so when you take them out for your run your body goes into hyperdrive for a bit cos of the oxygen boost
  • + 2
 Def gonna give that a try thanks guys!
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  • + 2
 "Strangest trophies ever?" errr not really... Scottish thistles seem quite fitting for a scottish race.
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  • + 2
 so pissed i missed this!! first time i missed it in 5 years! its always an amazing atmosphere!
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  • + 2
 A highlights video showing all sections of the course for the mens finals: youtu.be/09y6nxb41xo?hd=1
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  • + 1
 anybody know what Sam Hill's bike went for on auction after the race..? or has that happened yet..?
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  • + 0
 Here we go aGwin, another strong season from the ex-motocross-er. Seems to be a stronger sport because who ever heard of him on the moto scene, but now, in mtb... Domination.
  • + 1
 Maybe after dealing with a much heavier MX bike the DH bike feels like he is floating. Sure looks that way. Pretty soon the prices of MX and DH will be the same anyway...
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  • + 2
 Fort will is always an awesome wiping track! Love it!
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  • + 1
 bet gwinger is glad he had a shit quali run now eh !!
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  • + 0
 Stoked to see an AMERICAN get the GWin in Fort William! America!! F- Yeah!!
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  • + 1
 the midges were the size of buses im still finding bites now
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  • + 1
 Go Danny GOOOO !!
  • + 2
 As much as I hate watching boring tabletop jumps, I did like watching him go through them cause he cleaned them the best and made up some time. I bet he'll win here next year.
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  • - 2
 The only thing stopping Gwin again this year is Gwin himself. He is just way to dominate in all aspects.
  • + 1
 Don't you mean "way too dominant"?
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  • - 2
 South Africa?
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  • - 2
 live coverage of the race = absolute garbage.
  • - 18
 Not even worth watching next time
  • + 46
 Calm down Mr. McFuggles, you must need to pay your internet bill because my feed was great. Thanks for making it all happen Red Bull!
  • + 1
 Fuggles has a point... It wasn't just the consistency of the coverage, but the lack of cameras and the audio was very unorganized. I don't like to complain about a free broadcast of a world cup race but theres no way I'm waking up early to watch another one live.
  • + 2
 It's free, live (sort of), and they have Warner. Red Bull needs to step it up everywhere else, imo. Knowing what RB is capable of production wise,
they certainly could put a much better production together.
  • + 1
 Better than no coverage.
  • + 4
 But not as good as Freecaster. Hope they get more cameras at MSA, I got really bored seeing mostly only the boring jump section at the end and then watching slow motion replays of it to pass the time...get some cameras in the technical areas!
  • + 1
 agreed, freecaster was much better. Better coverage, ACTUAL coverage of all the riders outside of the top 30, it was actually live, and from the looks of it, red bull have managed to persuade (ie pay) warner to tone himself down (that's no good thing)
  • + 1
 Yeah the coverage so far has been a bit disappointing. Serious lack of cameras, although some of the coverage chosen to be shown could have been because of the weather. Still though.. expect way more from redbull.
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