Video: Specialized Racing - UCI World Cup DH1 - Fort William

Jun 11, 2013 at 0:08
Jun 11, 2013
by Tyler Maine  
 
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The much anticipated start to the 2013 UCI World Cup Downhill season arrived with round one at Fort William, Scotland. An unusually long break combined with atypical dry conditions on a course known for its difficulty added complexity for riders and support crew alike. Aaron Gwin and Troy Brosnan played it somewhat safe by focusing on regaining their race rhythm and dialing-in bike and equipment setup. Both put in respectable top-20 performances with eyes on the podium in coming weeks.

Video shot and edited on location in Fort William, Scotland, by Victor Lucas and John Lawlor. Produced by Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.
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85 Comments

  • + 78
 Gwin seems to be a really well spoken, down to earth guy. Nice to see he has such a positive attitude.
  • + 45
 I really hope he kick everybody's asses on Val di Sole
  • - 19
 I think Gwin is a superb guy and super racer as well... and he is still the Gwinning-man .... its just the Demo8 bring him down
  • + 21
 He is a pretty awesome guy, I have pictures with him and then I asked for a hug AND HE GAVE ME ONE!!! My life is set.
  • + 16
 I dont think its the demo bringing him down. it's an amazing bike. I personally think for a guy like that, he just needs to get used to his new surroundings. sure its a new bike but its definitely not a bad bike, just different. A new team also with different guys around would also be a big change. once he gets in the groove with specialized i'd be willing to put money on him all year long.
  • + 11
 Ya but didnt he win his very first world cup event with Trek? Didnt take him long to adjust to the Session I guess.
  • + 2
 a hug? I would've been super creeped out if I was him! but seriously he is a really cool guy, met him at nw cup 3 and he's super chill and doesn't seem to have the racer douche attitude so many riders have, as for the demo I'm sure he'll make some changes to it later in the season if he doesn't get used to it, his season should be fine though he probably just had a bad run
  • + 9
 The demo really makes the terrain feel so much more subtle than it is, maybe hes not used to race pace on it yet, maybe the session had more trail feedback, maybe im talking out my bootyhole and i cant believe World Cup season is finally upon us
  • + 6
 Is Troy number 1 now?
  • + 8
 "Aaron Gwin and Troy Brosnan played it somewhat safe by focusing on regaining their race rhythm and dialing-in bike and equipment setup. Both put in respectable top-20 performances with eyes on the podium in coming weeks"

baaaaarrrrgghh ! Trash.
  • + 2
 It's 8 months to dial up the bike..
About 6 months for Gwin himself. ....how long is appropriate? ??
  • + 2
 jmbrit- a top 20 at a WC stop is pretty damned respectable and its the first stop so its the first test they've had on their new rigs so that statement is pretty accurate, I'd say.
  • - 3
 How do you regain your race rhythm by having your worst result in years? That statement is public relations b.s.

Speaking of public relations, I wasn't impressed that Gwin was pissed and left the finish area immediately without talking to anyone or congratulating Gee, who has been so close to the win so many times the last few years and finally got one. It was a little selfish and unprofessional, he has always said he races for fun; it's only fun when you win?
  • + 1
 I do think the bike has something to do with this, The Demo does not pedal very well, it does not accelerate out corner like the Session, and the rear wheel does not track well under braking. When the racing it's so close and every second matters, Sam Hill had 6 or more Wins with the Iron Horse - Sunday, got his Demo and only 2 wins in 3 years and a lot of injuries. I really Hope this is not Gwin's future, he is and amazing rider so will see, next Race should be true test for the Demo and Aaron. This last race was amazing, this season it's looking to be really rad!!!
  • + 6
 If only his Demo LOOKED more like a Session... maybe that would work?
  • + 4
 This is top level competition, not some local fun-race (despite the race for fun b.s. statement). Why are you not impressed that Gwin didn't give Gee a hug? And its not like he was disrespectful either. He had every right to go off and be pissed. I didn't see the whole field lining up to shake Gee's hand either. At this level, you are among the worlds best, and you race to crush your competitors, and when you don't, you should be pissed.
  • + 5
 He raced way before Gee. He would have needed to have come back. I think it would have been classy, but I certainly don't think required for the sake of sportsmanship. Imagine if Gee had a 20th. He'd by sour-pussing it up like a big dog; you can take that to the bank. Maybe he just needed some fire under his ass and maybe the rest of the field has stepped up the pace substantially, especially since many racers just raced there a few weeks earlier. I think it may be good for him to have some humble pie and climb back to the top - that seems to suit him.
  • + 4
 I guess gwin should have gone back up the mountain to congratulate Gee on his future win? Haha didn't know he was a psychic
  • + 1
 @finnrambo When I asked him, we were at the PROGRT in P.A. this year and he said, "Now your making it awkward" *proceeding to hug me. When he did, all the people in the Transition tent, whom were watching from the beginning, heard me ask and they laughed and continued to after the hug.
  • - 3
 He could at have at least congratulated Gee on Twitter, but I don't think he did. I'm don't think I like the ultra competitive attitude that I've seen between some of the competitors the last couple years, the racers should always be friendly with each other at the races. This isn't like motocross where they can cut each other off in corners, they all race their own races so there is no reason to be pissed or resentful towards abother racer. They all share a bond in that they are putting their lives on the line on Sunday for the entertainment of us fans. DH racing started in an atmosphere of friendly camaraderie back in the Repack days in northern California back in the 70's, just a bunch of bro's racing down the mountain and 'repack'in' the peace pipe afterwards, sharing stories about how you you almost wrecked yourself or actually did. I hope the sport still keeps some of that camaraderie at the highest level. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a huge fan and I hope he comes back to form this weekend.
  • + 0
 Ok, looks like I was wrong, Gwin actually did stick around after his run and even signed some autographs for his fans. I got my erroneous information from Vital or Dirt. Gwin is still the man.
  • + 4
 hah, protour looks stupid now. well no more stupid than usual i guess.
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  • + 39
 Maybe a beard can help...
  • + 35
 I would expect Troy to get faster as his beard gets longer.
  • + 12
 It's working for Stevie and Brook.
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  • + 20
 considering all the hype before this race and given the results, gwin's attitude is amazing. i hope the pieces come together for him again.
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  • + 16
 It's really cool to see so many rival companies in one video. For example, Aaron has Fox and RedBull, whereas Troy has RockShox and Monster, but yet they are on the same team in unison. Wink
  • + 7
 I noticed that too. Running different suspension would make things difficult. The riders can't share set-up information and the mechanics need to carry more spares.
  • + 5
 @nigelh good point I never thought about that. Although, there is dedicated suspension support there from Fox as Rock Shoxx.
  • + 3
 energy drink sponsors have no affiliation with suspension companies either
  • + 4
 RedBull and Monster are rivals as to Fox and RockShox.
  • + 1
 i thought you meant suspension-drink sponsor relationships, it IS awesome that these movies, being team driven towards a particular brand, showcase everybody
  • + 2
 Sorry if this comes off wrong but how is it surprising that Specialized (a bike company) doesn't care about what other sponsors (suspension, energy drinks) the athletes on their factory team have?
  • + 1
 Scott, remember Specialized made a few changes to the team program to sign Gwin.. Monster was dropped as a team sponsor, but it allows the individual riders to make some deals on there own, So Troy kept Monster as a sponsor of his own. Gwin's deal was mainly for the frame and tires. It is more of a moto type of deal where you may have riders on a Factory team riding the same bikes, but they all have different sponsor for riding gear, boots, goggles. helmets and more..
  • + 0
 Umm... yeah thanks for pointing out what we already know so I ask again... how is it surprising at all?
  • + 1
 You don't usually see that kind of thing in DH MTB worldcup teams. Teams are usually all sharing sponsors and have the same look with matching kits and such, for example the GT factory team, Nukeproof team, Giant Factory Offroad team, etc... They're all with the same companies. Specialized has allowed the riders to have a "sense" of individuality, of sorts. Making the team a bit different from others in my opinion.
  • + 1
 OK I see what you're getting at now. I've always noticed that teams do partner up with another company like Monster or Fox but never really payed much attention to it other than just something businesses choose to do in order to better support their teams and riders, albeit constrictive to potentially drawing in rising stars with their own sponsorship deals going on that conflict with the partnership.
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  • + 15
 the clock never lies.
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  • + 8
 I think Gwin is top class, laughed my balls off with all the crap thats been written since sunday in comment sections, and the hate is crazy. Don't get me wrong I will cheer and support a UK rider first and foremost on race day but just as much as anyone cheers for their riders. But the hate towards a dude that has trained his ass off and battled to be kick ass at DH and achieved his goals, that I can't stand.

But that said I found specialized's comment in the text "Aaron Gwin and Troy Brosnan played it somewhat safe by focusing on regaining their race rhythm and dialing-in bike and equipment setup" utter B*llS*it !

Troy has been on that bike for multiple seasons Gwin has had it for what 6 months? and raced on it. This is what the off season is for gents, its round 1 your bike should be set up! sure standard tweaks everyone does every race ( suspension/tyre choice/pressure) but they make it sound loads more. If this is bike set up dialling in, what is equipment set up dialling in? did he need to go down a cheek size in his helmet pads? maybe he couldn't decided if the weather was a shorts day or a dh pants day!

And your telling me on race day when your in that start hut and the beeps start you don't give it your all? of course you do your a racer.
Plus the guy that won it was on a bike that he's had for days/weeks, and been testing various protos all winter, enough said.

Can't wait for Round 2, hopefully Gwin will get his form back, could be an amazing season fight till the end.
  • + 2
 Mad props, dude. You definitely said it all!
But then... what should Specialized have said instead? You can't expect them to say their bikes don't work, really.
I always liked Gwin and I still do, but I have to say I'm kinda glad his streak of ridiculous domination has found an end... makes it just so much more interesting.
This season is definitely going to be one of the most exciting ones I predict, in fact, it already is!
There are legends who have been incredibly consistent over the years, then there is the young and hungry folks and then there are also some guys who had a few really bad seasons, but have already shown they have what it takes and are eager to show they still got it... its awesome.
  • + 1
 I thought the same thing. I realize alot of it is marketing BS from specialized but this kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Playing it safe? Dialing in their equipment? Like you said, pure BS. It's the first World Cup, no way they were taking it easy.

And the comments by Troy at the end? What is that nonsense? Saying he and Gwinn were more focused on next week than they were about racing Fort William. Then indirectly trashing the track by stating how much they were looking forward to a 'proper' track next week in Italy.

I'd rather just hear them say that they simply aren't where they need to be and they are excited to get back at it next week. I don't need the excuses about the bike or the track. A lot of guys are riding new bikes this season and everyone is riding the same track.
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  • + 9
 Dear Troy, i have been a big fan for years now and will be in the future, but please stop saying you are "just having fun".
  • + 2
 Exactly... I don't have the skills any of these guys have yet listening to people like Peaty, Minnaar and Gee talking about their riding just shows how far some of the "young guns" who seem to be "just having fun" need to go. Where does a mindset like Gee or Minnaar's get you? 14 Podiums in 17 races over two years for Gee is where it gets you. Minaar was on the podium 86% of the time over a ten year period from 2001 to 2011 (36 out of 42 races!). Was Gee "just having fun" on Sunday? No way.
  • + 15
 Why do you guys care? Not like it affects you. Like Gwin said "it's just bike racing" if they're not having fun then why are they even there?
  • + 4
 Depends if you find winning more fun than just riding i guess.
  • + 7
 If you make doing what you love your job, you'll never work a day in your life
  • + 2
 @blesch Because Sir I would figuratively kill for the chances that these guys have. And were I lucky enough to get the chance Sir, I would put my all into it; for my sponsors, my employers but most of all for MYSELF. These guys have the chance to spend their lives doing what they love and I would try and change places with them at the drop of a hat if I had the skills, which I don't. To just turn up and "have fun" is to me a criminal waste of opportunity. You Mr Brosnan have a chance that 99% of us here would die for. So put your all into it..... for the rest of us!

Listen to Minaar blesch, listen to his intensity, his focus. He is a racer. People just having fun are not racers.
  • + 5
 @orientdave, what a load of durt. How do you know he's not trying his best? I find if you arent having fun it makes it very hard to perform your best. In fact when i put pressure on myself and start focussing only on a result i perform abysmally, when im having fun i ride way better and get better results. It doesnt mean he isnt putting the same effort in behind the scenes. Everyone has a different way of working. Gwin last year clearly focussed on having fun and doing his best and look where that got him.
  • + 6
 If you're not having fun and enjoying yourself you will not race well! And by Brosnan saying he is just having fun does not take away anything from the 110% commitment and dedication he puts into his racing. You can just have fun as well as giving you're all in a race run.
  • + 2
 Then we agree to disagree.
  • + 1
 Everyone is different. Intensity 100% of the time works for some and a focused fun approach works for others. To say that one mental approach is correct for everyone is foolish. Elite gravity sports require an excruciating amount of psychological toughness, much more than the rest of the sporting world. Saying that ANY of these guys has made it to the world cup level without a serious approach to racing is rubbish.
  • + 1
 orientdave- you can still give everything you've got while having fun... I don't understand why you think they are exclusive from each other or that Troy didn't give it his all because he said he was having fun... not really that logical.
  • + 1
 orientdave- one can't assume they want to spend their lives just racing. it's a job and like ANY job people will approach it differently with different motivations and end goals. i think you're allowed to say "you're having fun". their career results speak plenty to their commitment. what would your logic speak of someone like CG? His runs are a fun party top to bottom...
  • + 1
 Gentlemen and ladies, I am an avid fan and follower of the World Cup series and have been for some time. I am neither logical nor prescriptive, however what I am and always have been is an avid observer of people. And of what makes someone a winner.. is there that special something that ties the people who are consistently on the top of the podium? I listen to those people who have consistently been on the top of the podium for years, in some cases decades, the people I have allured to above. We have maybe all seen the movie Seasons when Peaty says he is not interested in second place, third place, he wants to win races. I listen to Gee when he talks about his performances and Minnaar likewise. I have never heard them say they are just "having fun" at a WC race. Sure, some others maybe do want to relax and have fun at a WC since they feel it helps them perform. One could argue Gwin for one who seems very relaxed about it all. He however I believe is an exception. The vast majority of other consistent podium occupants seem to have a much more focussed mentality that underlies their results. So, might it be logical to suggest that such a focussed mentality would bring results? You tell me if you think not Gents.
  • + 2
 I think all of those racers realize they are lucky to do what they do for a living. They may talk of "just having fun" just so they can keep their head on straight on race day, but all of those guys and gals are busting their butts during to off season be on top of the podium on race day. When they hit that start ramp, just having fun goes right out the window.. Except for Cedric...
  • + 5
 ^^ I didn't know we had a couple of mind readers here! Man, it's crazy how they both know the mentality of the racers just from clips of them being interviewed!
  • + 1
 When racers say they just having fun they are essentially just giving a safe generic answer, just sort of a space-filler answer. It's a boring and Un-creative thing to say, but camera interviews aren't easy. They could improve the interviews by showing them a list of questions ahead of time...
  • + 3
 dave- there have been interviews with top dh guys commenting they prefer one course or course conditions because it's "fun". Have you never had an "off" day at a race regardless of preparation? these tiny edits are just that. tiny. It is illogical to judge a person's commitment from a short edit on an off day. might it be logical to suggest Troy and/or Aaron had other thoughts that were not recorded for the edit?
  • + 1
 Scott.. it is amazing what you can tell from people from just a few words you know. Anyways, have you read what I wrote? I have been listening to riders for years. Listen to Brendog for years and you can tell somethings about him. Listen to any of the riders for long enough and they will give you clues as to how they are thinking. The majority of people here are guilty of assuming what other users think and feel from one or two lines of prose; and here right now is no exception.
  • + 1
 Knowing quite a few riders personally racing the world cup this year and over the years also, you cannot judge them on how they come across while on camera whatso ever or by a few words they say. The best way to understand how riders actually prepare, train, focus on race runs and point their attention to races is to actually get to know them on a personal level and race with them. People generally act a lot differently when a camera is pointed in their face
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Aaron Gwin the quiet man nothing wrong with that .people cant handle it they just get to thinking whats this guy up to he or she is too quiet . when i stopped drinking my friends ? were like whats wrong with you what happened or you have been to the doctor something MUST be wrong . well i left them all behind they don't like change where as i like change and new .
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  • + 2
 i was marshaling at the weekend and there a few things about both gwin and troy
both did very minimal number of runs over the weekend on friday practice i saw them twice where as most riders i saw 4 maybe 5 times
their specialised tent was secluded and away from the main crowds, trying to loose attention?
most of all while troy looked like he was pinned and trying hard
gwin looked disinterested and was smooth but nowhere close to the pace the other riders where doing in practice
something is not right at specialized!
  • + 3
 Or maybe they got a secret prototype that no one has seen yet and they have been taken secret night runs for testing....insert ominus music>
  • + 0
 The race organizers must have dissed them and assigned the Team tent that way?
  • + 1
 2 runs friday? That's terrible planning. Friday is the day you want the most runs, then less on Sat to rest up for race day. This might have been why Gwin never got up to speed.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I am guessing Mitch got dropped from specialized world cup team to make way for Aaron Gwins paycheck? Cant see any other reason for him being dropped as he was getting faster and faster at each wc. I also found troys attitude kinda weird he basically said him and gwin werent bothered about racing fort william I cant imagine gwin feeling that way unless he realised a while ago the demo 8 was a dog and knew he was in for a tough time.
  • + 4
 You are part of the insanity world tour, Mitch was given the choice to do the races he wants to do, he will be with the team this weekend. Unreal comments the last few days, but this one was the best.
  • + 1
 Don't see how its one of the best I'm not part of the Gwin bashing crew or troy for that matter in fact I'm a big fan of gwins and don't really blame him for leaving trek . But as an outside observer watching this vid and with Mitch not being there this is how it looks . Mitch was rad last year and its a shame he is not doing all the world cups this season .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looking at some of the slow mo shots from different videos, Gwins rear end really sinks into some of the holes and bottoms out while his front end is riding high and skipping over. Just doesn't look real balanced. I don't recall seeing that on the Session. I wonder how much of his riding style has had to change to handle this different bike?
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  • + 5
 Despite gwin's time, his riding looks super smooth
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Demo is a slow bike, Gwin proved that, he lost his dominance. Sam Hill has also proved that... Let's wait for the next round, if these riders don't make podium, specialized will hire a team to make a great excuse like "Troy and Aaron is still playing it safe..."
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Great video but what happened to Mitch ?
  • + 1
 Not sure why he missed this, but from based on his twitter he is at Val di Sol, so he should be racing this weekend
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  • + 2
 One bad run not up to speed - that's all folks! Val De Sol is Gwin's favorite track too.
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  • + 1
 Cannot wait for this wkend! hope the boys put a smashin run in on the field! good luck
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  • + 2
 that new renthal stem looks sick...
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  • + 2
 someone please tell troy to shave
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  • + 1
 Getting the settings dialed?
It's been 8 months since the switch...
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