La Bresse World Cup DH Finals in Photos

Aug 8, 2011
by Colin Meagher  
 
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La Bresse is a great little track, and very legit as a World Cup venue. It may not have the prestige that a grand track like Mt St Anne or Fort William exhibits, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with just enough technical and awkward bits to make a win here a definite jewel.

In the women’s race, Tracy Moseley put her stamp on qualifying, dominating the field by over two seconds. That’s an eternity on a short track like this, as there is very little room to take risks and make up for errors on the track.

But race day is another day, and the slate is whited clean. Manon Carpenter was the first to put in a solid time, and enjoyed the hot seat for a good long time. But when the top ladies came down, her time in the sun was over. Rachel Atherton was the first “name” rider to claim the hot seat—and that was a bit of a shocker as Rachel slid out of a left hand turn and was off the bike with the finish line all but in sight. An off the bike on a short track like this and you may as well go home.

But there were a number of other fast ladies remaining, including Emmeline Ragot, Myriam Nicole… pretty much the usual suspects. Ragot tried to unseat Atherton, and came pretty close, but five seconds worth of mistakes on the top section were too much to overcome.

“I was happy with the podium, to be honest,” said Ragot, between signing autographs after the event, “this track doesn’t really suit me. It doesn’t have a lot of flow. Steep, and with flow—that’s where I do well. Champery. Val di Sole.”

The old Sabrina Jonnier came out to play here—maybe the “home” crowd? And while Sabo was able to edge out Atherton, she made a few too many errors on the bottom to hold off Floriane Pugin and Tracy Moseley, who claimed second and first respectively. And Moseley put in such a hard charging and dominating run that no one really had a chance against her. This race was won by her fair and square.

In the men’s race, it was Ben Cathro pulling out one of the best races of his life to take the hot seat and stay. And stay. And bust out some polish and shine it up a bit. He started thirty third on the day, and it wasn’t until GT’s Marc Beaumont came down with twelve racers to go that Cathro got the boot. After Beaumont, the times a came a tumblin’ down. Fabien Barel put in an incredibly emotional ride, one that left him fulfilled enough as a racer that Barel announced—following Worlds at Champery—his retirement. And his time was good enough for him to edge past Beaumont. But then came Minnaar. Smashing time: 2:09.611—3.473 seconds up over Barel. Not an easy time to overcome. And with Peaty, Gee Atherton, Steve Smith, and Aaron Gwin to come… Peaty DSQ’d on his run—somehow he managed to roll over a bit of tape? Smith pinned it on the top section. G-man made a couple tiny errors—one in the middle, one near the bottom. And Gwin proved he’s not a machine: the perfect run eluded him here. Making Minnaar the winner.

But his win was bittersweet. A win’s a win. But Gwin put in a solid enough performance that the overall is now his, regardless of how he performs at Val di Sole. Minnaar may be able to claim a win at that Italian monster track, but it will do nothing for the overall title—in some eyes a more worthy title than a World’s title.



So how do you like them apples... Water cooler talk at the SRAM pits this morning about the rain overnight.
  So, how do you like them apples... Water cooler talk at the SRAM pits this morning about the rain overnight.


 You must use the force Spagnolo my young padawan... Barel may have made the decision to retire but that doesn t mean the master is done passing on lessons. The rain overnight made the track a bit of a mess and after Barel and Spagnolo rolled through the mud pit up top they pulled over to discuss line choice.
   "You must use the force, Spagnolo, my young padawan..." Barel may have made the decision to retire, but that doesn't mean the master is done passing on lessons. The rain overnight made the track a bit of a mess, and after Barel and Spagnolo rolled through the mud pit up top, they pulled over to discuss line choice.


Getting buck wild--Devinci s George Brannigan feeling his way through the soft upper track.
  Getting buck wild--Devinci's George Brannigan feeling his way through the soft upper track.


Full gas Brendawg was definitely feeling it. Although having zero ligaments in one knee made things a bit harder on him twelth place was a sign of a solid return to form.
  Full gas: Brendawg was definitely feeling it. Although having zero ligaments in one knee made things a bit harder on him, twelth place was a sign of a solid return to form.


Needles practicing his Moses imitation for the Mondraker team.
  Needles practicing his Moses imitation for the Mondraker team.


Gratuitous roost shot. Nothing more nothing less. Polcster at the helm.
  Gratuitous roost shot. Nothing more, nothing less. Polcster at the helm.


Duncan Riffle came out swinging this season but the SoCal rider has had a rough go of it lately despite deliberately taking the time to train in the NW US mud throughout the winter.
   Duncan Riffle came out swinging this season, but the SoCal rider has had a rough go of it lately, despite deliberately taking the time to train in the NW US mud throughout the winter.


Ivan Oulego may be the second oldest racer punching the clock today but the new Massi El Toro DH sled and his years of wily experience saw him take home 28th on the day. Look for that plate number 114 to drop well below 100 for Val di Sole.
   Ivan Oulego may be the second oldest racer punching the clock today, but the new Massi "El Toro" DH sled and his years of wily experience saw him take home 28th on the day. Look for that plate number 114 to drop well below 100 for Val di Sole.


Elliot Jackson will also see a sharp drop in his plate number for Val di Sole--from 167 overall to 87.
  Elliot Jackson will also see a sharp drop in his plate number for Val di Sole--from 167 overall to 87.


Mitch Delf s sled may have been stolen forcing him to contest the La Bresse event on a borrowed and a size smaller than normal Operater but he came through not too shabby considering the time off the bike to heal up a nasty cut in his hand from the North American leg of the tour. He s still off the form he showed last year but with a bit of luck and some solid training he will likely crack back into the top twenty at Val di Sole.
  Mitch Delf's sled may have been stolen, forcing him to contest the La Bresse event on a borrowed (and a size smaller than normal) Operater, but he came through not too shabby considering the time off the bike to heal up a nasty cut in his hand from the North American leg of the tour. He's still off the form he showed last year, but with a bit of luck and some solid training, he will likely crack back into the top twenty at Val di Sole.


Waving the CG Racing Brigade all by his lonesome is Marcelo Gutierrez CG blew out a knee at French Nationals and will be out the rest of the season. But Marcelo is holding his own finishing 32 in today s race.
  Waving the CG Racing Brigade all by his lonesome is Marcelo Gutierrez; CG blew out a knee at French Nationals and will be out the rest of the season. But Marcelo is holding his own, finishing 32 in today's race.


Markus Pekoll of MS-Evil
  Markus Pekoll of MS-Evil


Ratboy Bryceland was having a barn burner. Until he hit the eject button on the last double. In replays it appears he blew off his pedals. Judging by the high quality sneaks he s sporting--where d he find those things A dumpster --equipment failure in that department may have Bryceland in search of a shoe sponsor for Val di Sole.
  Ratboy Bryceland was having a barn burner. Until he hit the eject button on the last double. See below.


Josh Bryceland had a rough day. He had a blazing run going until the last 50m. he blew his feet off the pedals and sailed off the the finish line gap with no hands or feet on the bars. Luckily Josh was okay and smiling in the pits a few minutres ago pride hurt but body not damaged.
  Judging by the high quality sneaks he's sporting--where'd he find those things? A dumpster?--equipment failure in that department may have Bryceland in search of a shoe sponsor for Val di Sole.


Danny Hart somehow threw it all away on the top section of the track he was nearly three seconds out of the money money but he was four seconds down at the first split.
  Danny Hart somehow threw it all away on the top section of the track; he was nearly three seconds out of the money, but he was four seconds down at the first split.


Barel charging into an emotional finish line. The man will be hanging it up at the end of the season. Look for a more in-depth interview on his decision to step back from the sport at Val di Sole.
  Barel charging into an emotional finish line. The man will be hanging it up at the end of the season. Look for a more in-depth interview on his decision to step back from the sport at Val di Sole.


Andrew Neethling took his Trek wind tunnel testing seriously--it s not often you see a racer this tucked for speed in this kind of a mine field. But when you throw away six seconds on the top of the course you do what you can to try and pull it back.
  Andrew Neethling took his Trek wind tunnel testing seriously--it's not often you see a racer this tucked for speed in this kind of a mine field. But when you throw away six seconds on the top of the course, you do what you can to try and pull it back.


Somehow somewhere Peaty went out off the course and re-entered elsewhere. That s the story anyway but Peaty was unavailable for comment following the race. Look for more beta on that as we get word.
  Somehow, somewhere, Peaty went out off the course and re-entered elsewhere. That's the story, anyway, but Peaty was unavailable for comment following the race. Look for more on this as we get word.


G-Man was back in form and back on the podium today. Somewhere out on the course he gave away nearly a half second to Minnaar--it was enough to give Minnaar the win.
  G-Man was back in form and back on the podium today. Somewhere out on the course he gave away nearly a half second to Minnaar--it was enough to give Minnaar the win.


Gwin was third at the first split and simply could not make up the time on a track this short. Third was where he stayed.
  Gwin was third at the first split and simply could not make up the time on a track this short. Third was where he stayed.


The Men s Elite Podium L-R Barel 4 Gee Atherton 2 . Minnaar 1 Gwin 3 and Cameron Cole 5 .
  The Men's Elite Podium (L-R): Barel (4), Gee Atherton (2). Minnaar (1), Gwin (3), and Cameron Cole (5).


Tracy Moseley coming home for a win.
  Tracy Moseley coming home for a win.


Cam Cole on his finals run.
  Cam Cole on his finals run.


It s been a rough year for Minaar the win here in La Bresse was a welcome won and just offset the sting of Aaron Gwin sealing the deal on the World Cup over all win.
  It's been a rough year for Minaar; the win here in La Bresse was a welcome win, and just offset the sting of Aaron Gwin sealing the deal on the World Cup over all win.


Moseley savored this win. For all of 60 seconds--the amount of time it took her to polish off the entire bottle of champagne.
  Moseley savored this win. For all of 60 seconds--the amount of time it took her to polish off the entire bottle of champagne.
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40 Comments

  • + 19
 Gwin had to lose eventually! and i really wanted to se Gee win and be 1st for once in a while he was been trying really hard lately
  • + 2
 i have to agree with you. though gwin's my man, it kinda made this year's WC a little uninteresting always seeing him win all the time. this time though, i'd like to see gwin win at val di sole and make history by making 5 first place finishes in a season.
  • + 0
 I feel the opposite, seeing a rider blow up and dominate a season was very very interesting to me, regardless of who it is.
  • - 3
 Even though Gwin is number 1 on the 2011 WC, i still find his riding average and rather boring to watch.
  • + 1
 podium every race for gwin is impressive enough
  • - 1
 Explain how being the most technically capable rider down the mountain is "average and boring" fattrick. I don't quite understand how being fast as hell is boring and "average."

PS: Love the username if it's a reference to Patrick from Spongebob. Not being sarcastic, I'm serious. It's an awesome play on the words.
  • + 1
 Dear cyrix, what I am saying here is that his riding look average. Yes he is the fastest and yes he can win. Every race I watch I see him do mistakes. Even himself look often disappointed once down the trail. Looking at Gwin is like looking at a robot cranking like crazy. Maybe next year, with more experience, Aaron will be able to show us a flawless run where he add is own signature down the trail and still shave few seconds off others. That day will be a great day! FYI, my name is Patrick Wink
  • + 1
 That fine and all fattrick, I suppose I just can't see it from your perspective. To me shredding a trail is shredding a trail, and when done it looks fantastic to me. I honestly don't think I can think of a rider I find boring or average. I guess I'm just easily impressed. And I really don't care if it's gwin winning, because honestly....I wasn't rooting for him to win at all the last two races. I was pulling for Peaty. Both tracks just seemed to suit his riding style. I really hope he doesn't retire for a few more seasons. I mean, he's a legend and I really doubt SC would drop him even if he's not performing like a demi god on a bike.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 So happy for Minaar! But to see the top three on the podium is fantastic....just wish Stevie Smith and Peaty were up there too! (my dream podium!) Oh and maybe CG Smile

Tracey cracks me up....60 seconds....she drinks as fast she rides!
[Reply]
  • + 9
 I can't believe Fabien Barel is retiring!! It will be a sad day when he walks away from racing...
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Damn, those are some nice action pics. There are a number of them that could be POD worthy. Mad Props!
Did anyone see the vid (or a pic) of where Peaty supposedly went off course?
  • + 5
 I watched it on Freecaster. He went inside the tape a little right in the top grassy section. It didn't seem that bad, but he did rip the tape going past it...
  • + 7
 You can see it in the freecaster replay, it was an absolute horse shit call, he should've been sitting on that podium in 5th!
  • + 9
 He not only cut the tape but actually went beyond one of the poles holding the tapes. And although just ripping a tape appart could have been fine (let the judges decide if he's gaining time doing it or not), getting beyond a pole is disqualifying, even if in the end he didn't gain any time at all. Can't argue on this point with the UCI judges :/

(the guy from Trek doing the comments on freecaster explained it quite clearly)
  • + 1
 He was really unlucky with the placement of that post - he literally went out 1 bike length ahead of it and back in 1 bike length behind. Looked like his bars touched the post and all! The fact that the times were super tight probably didn't help.

It's difficult because we all know Peaty deserves to be on the podium (even the top step) as much as any of the guys out there, but I think they made the right decision for the other racers... And lets face it Peaty has had many podiums in the past and he's going to get many more in the future!
  • + 2
 regardless, steve peat for his age and achievements is plain awesome! i think he can still do it in his 40's and still be in the top 20.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I'm not sure if that caption is trying to be sarcastic, but from that picture Bryceland has a Stealth rubber soled shoe, not shitty sneaks.
  • + 2
 I think he gets his Nikes resoled at the place in Chesterfield.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This beautiful 4th position of Barel (and what a ride during the ultimate part of La Bresse trail!!) meant at the same time a hard and sade day for French Mountain Bikers, indeed as we know Fabien Barel, Two times World Champ' in Les Gets and Lugano, explained that he will retire after next World Championship in Champery...

I want to pay tribute to this French Rider from Nice, a huge champion (thanks for victory in Les Gets 2004, incredible!), a nice and generous man, a tremendous officer for our sport **Mtb**, and everytime, everywhere, whis a beautiful style of riding despite many injuries. Because this guy constitutes an example of physical preparation and steel mental to win and win again.

I hope you make us dream during last WC round and above all in Champery.
Thank you Mister Barel & Good luck :-)))))))
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Pretty lame that there was only one photo of the women, and not even of them racing. By no means am I a feminist, but that's a bit skewed in my opinion.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 delfs did pretty well considering the wrong bike and the fact he has a massive vagina on his hand.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Gutted Barel is retiring. Gwin looked unstoppable all season, hopefully Hill will be on it next season, and more Danny hart moments, -Smile .
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Damn! 60 seconds!!!! Impressive!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Minnaar is now tied with Nico Vouloz in world cup wins right? or one behind?

Congratulations to Gwynn.
Cheers
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Anyone else pick up on Brendo's helmet.....doesn't look like a D3 to me.....looks more like a pod/d3 hybrid shape.
  • + 1
 New spec carbon helmet perhaps?
  • + 1
 Yeah, it's the new prototype Specialized carbon helmet, Brosnan had one too.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i suspect tracy polished her drinking habits whilst at sheffield uni ...lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This the best "Finals in Photos" thread of the whole season. The depth of field work is incredible. Kudos!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I believe Bryceland is still sponsored by Nike hence the shoes.
  • + 4
 They also have been re-soled with 5.10 rubber by the looks of thing, so grip probably wasn't much of an issue.
  • + 1
 Then Why's his foot half off in the first picture?
  • + 3
 He probably dabbed with his foot of and put it back in that position. He's a world cup racer, he isn't going to use equipment that isn't the best he can get, or that's going to jeopardize his race.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The Ratboy pic is insane - Rodeo anyone?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Them pic's are so cool !! Weldone Minnaar !!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 gWIN does it again, bringin it home son!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Duncan Riffle is not riding pretty good this year
[Reply]

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