Rumble in the Jungle: Practice Photo Epic - Cairns DH World Champs 2017

Sep 7, 2017
by Dave Trumpore  



What the track in Cairns lacks in steep and technical terrain, it makes up for with flat out speed. So fast, that any mistake can cost seconds, but more likely, will end your weekend in an instant. Add the spotty light and loose, blown-out dust that covers every inch of the track, and threading that fine line of control all of a sudden isn't as straight forward as it initially appeared to be.

As racers took to the hill that will decide the World Champion for the first practice sessions, the laid back vibe of previous days at the beach quickly faded. The mini vacation that tropical paradise Cairns provides was over, and serious business was now at hand. The sun was blazing and the dust was certainly flying as speeds progressed and the usual suspects were turning heads. But, with no timed training like we normally see on the first day of a World Cup to confirm observations of speed with fact, it is just speculation as to who's ready to rock right now.

Tomorrow, the clocks will start ticking and they will give us a better idea of where everyone stacks up. So until then, enjoy this visual delight of rock smashing, and roost spraying through the hot and humid Aussie jungle.

Thankfully at this time of year most of the prickly and poisonous critters that call Cairns home have been beaten back by the heat of summer. A stark contrast to our previous two visits to the jungle here.
Thankfully at this time of year, most of the prickly and poisonous critters that call Cairns home have been beaten back by the heat of summer – a stark contrast to our previous two visits to the jungle here.

Rumble in the Jungle Practice Photo Epic - Cairns DH World Champs 2017

The devil is in the details at World Champs as Tracey Hannah adds a sticker of her dog Charlie to the top of her helmet.
The devil is in the details at World Champs. Tracey Hannah adds a sticker of her dog Charlie to the top of her helmet.

Finn Iles and Miranda Miller keep the mood light before the start of their very early 8am practice.
Finn Iles and Miranda Miller keep the mood light before the start of their very early 8am practice.

With a fresh custom kit from head to toe Tahnee Seagrave heads to the top of the track to kick off her World Champs bid.
With a fresh custom kit from head to toe, Tahnee Seagrave heads to the top of the track to kick off her World Champs bid.

A sneak peak into the future of downhill.
A sneak peek into the future of downhill.

Everyday Tahnee s shuttlin .
Everyday Tahnee's shuttlin'.

Rachel Atherton looked up to speed in a hurry and won t be giving up those rainbow stripes without a fight.
Rachel Atherton looked up to speed in a hurry, and won't be giving up those rainbow stripes without a fight.

You can always count on Sam Blenkinsop to bring a little extra style when the good light is popping.
You can always count on Sam Blenkinsop to bring a little extra style when the good light is popping.

Dust Dust and more dust. The minjin switchbacks at the top of the course are just dustbowls and have claimed many riders already.
Dust, dust, and more dust. The Minjin switchbacks at the top of the course are just dust bowls and have claimed many riders already.

Kiwi Junior Josh Oxenham blowing corners to pieces like its his birthday.. because it actually is.
Kiwi Junior Josh Oxenham blowing corners to pieces like it's his birthday... because it actually is.

Josh Button landed on the podium here last year and is looking to find the same form for a world champs medal.
Josh Button landed on the podium here last year and is looking to find the same form for a world champs medal.

Gas To Flat sending it off Mick s Drop.
Gas To Flat sending it off Mick's Drop.


Danny Hart is riding predictably rapid and will be taking no prisoners this weekend.
Danny Hart is riding predictably rapid and will be taking no prisoners.

There s no doubting Brosnan s threat to the rainbows here in Cairns.
There's no doubting Brosnan's threat to the rainbows here in Cairns.

Loris Vergier looked red-hot quick through a lot of the tight spots this afternoon.
Loris Vergier looked red-hot quick through a lot of the tight spots this afternoon.

Sik Mik already getting angry with it up top.
Sik Mik already getting angry with it up top.

Mick Hannah grew up just down the road and will be racing this weekend in front of his family and friends. Having finished third here last year the rainbow stripes are very much a possibility for both Mick and his sister Tracey this weekend.
Mick Hannah grew up just down the road and will be racing this weekend in front of his family and friends. The rainbow stripes are very much a possibility for both Mick and his sister Tracey this weekend.

Aaron Gwin has never had luck on his side at World Champs. Could this be the year he finally gets the monkey off his back.
Aaron Gwin has never had luck on his side at World Champs. Could this be the year he finally gets the monkey off his back?

PomPon making short work of the rock garden
PomPon making short work of the rock garden.

Billy Meaclem was quick to turn things down a few levels.
Billy Meaclem was quick to turn things down a few levels.

Noel Niederberger styling for Switzerland on the ridgeline jumps.
Noel Niederberger, styling for Switzerland on the ridge line jumps.

Keegan Wright is one of many who could very easily slip into the top 20 this weekend to round out his massive season
Keegan Wright is one of many who could very easily slip into the top 20 this weekend to round out his massive season.

Rumble in the Jungle Practice Photo Epic - Cairns DH World Champs 2017
Never bet against Greg Minnaar.

Shania Rawson was keeping thing steady throughout practise but come sunday is likely the Junior Lady to beat.
Shania Rawson was keeping things steady throughout practice, but come Sunday is likely to be the Junior Lady to beat.

Mark Wallace heads into the famous corkscrew corner that has been a part of the track since 1996.
Mark Wallace heads into the famous corkscrew corner that has been a part of the track since 1996.

Laurie Greenland in a true downward spiral.
Laurie Greenland in a true downward spiral.

Some riders stay low over this jump but you can always count on Danny Hart to send it.
Some riders stay low over this jump, but you can always count on Danny Hart to send it.

Just a peaceful bluebird kind of day above the tree canopy.
Just a peaceful bluebird kind of day above the tree canopy.

Hill preps to drop in on his last ever World Champs and indeed last ever downhill race.
Hill preps to drop in on his last ever World Champs and indeed, his last ever downhill race.

It s not just the flat sections where Hill is making the trail bike sing... Are we looking at one hell of a send off for the DH legend
It's not just the flat sections where Hill is making the trail bike sing. Are we looking at one hell of a send off for the DH legend?

Gwin alrready looking aggressive in the moon dust on lap 1.
Gwin already looking aggressive in the moon dust on lap one.

Just one of many hopeful home-soil riders already on the hunt.
One of many hopeful home-soil riders already on the hunt.

Tahnee Seagrave has been on fire at the end of the season and is looking to cap things off with a World Champs title.
Tahnee Seagrave has been on fire at the end of the season and is looking to cap things off with a World Champs title.

Hometown hero Tracey Hannah attacked the rocks with confidence right from the start of practice.
Hometown hero Tracey Hannah attacked the rocks with confidence, right from the start of practice.

Junior favorite Finn Iles cuts through the dust of th tight upper switchbacks.
Junior favorite Finn Iles cuts through the dust of the tight upper switchbacks.

It took a few runs at it but Matt Walker was the first rider to pull up and send Mick s Drop.
It took a few runs at it, but Matt Walker was the first rider to send Mick's Drop.

Miranda Miller imagines the beeps and drops into the dust bowl.
Miranda Miller imagines the beeps and drops into the dust bowl.

Neko Mullaly finding that grip underneath the pow.
Neko Mullaly finding grip underneath the pow.

Walker Shaw doing his best to not get abducted by the Alien Tree.
Luca Shaw doing his best to not get abducted by the Alien Tree.

Amaury Pierron is one form right now and looking pinned in Cairns.
Amaury Pierron is on form right now and looking pinned.

Loic Bruni won here last year and was flying down the track today.
Loic Bruni won here last year and was flying down the track today.

Bernard Kerr is back from injury and racing for the first time since June.
Bernard Kerr is back from injury and racing for the first time since June.

The Bulldog smashing the whoops halfway down the track.
The Bulldog, smashing the whoops halfway down the track.

Exfoliation stations A nasty end to the day for Greenland on the most innocious section - the final sprint.
Exfoliation stations: A nasty end to the day for Greenland on the most innocuous section – the final sprint.

Loic took a big crash on his final run of the day but luckily escaped uninjured.
Loic took a big crash on his final run of the day, but luckily escaped uninjured.

Aaron Pelttari makes some last checks on Troy s stopping apparatus at the Canyon pit.
Aaron Pelttari makes some last checks on Troy's stopping apparatus in the Canyon pit.

Aaron Gwin s virgin steed receives the finishing touches before first contact with the dirt.
Aaron Gwin's virgin steed receives finishing touches before first contact with the dirt.

This is war... Aaron and John size eachother up. Looks like there s WMDs on both sides...
This is war... Aaron and John size each other up. Looks like there's WMDs on both sides...

Monster Redbull or one of the water drinkers... Who s your money on this weekend
Monster, Redbull or one of the water drinkers... Who's your money on this weekend?

The first of four hot and humid days is done and dusted at World Champs in Cairns Australia.
The first of four hot and humid days is done and dusted at World Champs in Cairns, Australia.

Rumble in the jungle day 1...
Rumble in the jungle, day 1...



128 Comments

  • + 207
 Just the thought of Sam Hill winning this gives me goosebumps.
  • - 9
flag nozes (Sep 7, 2017 at 9:08) (Below Threshold)
 Actually the word on the street (or florest) is that he's not looking that fast,avoiding for example Mick's drop.
  • + 15
 @nozes: Maybe he is keeping to himself like he does.
  • + 5
 @nozes: Think he kind of has to. But then again... on his bike it's a higher risk so maybe he's just not risking it in practice. I bet if he's moving good on his race run he'll gap it.
  • + 15
 "last DH race ever" is this confirmed??
  • + 2
 on his enduro bike? i guess we'll see but ive always thought cairns to be quite a gnarly track not sure why he opted for the small bike
  • + 5
 @nozes: I have heard otherwise. He's looking fast
  • + 10
 @hamncheez: considering he's got the EWS overall in his crosshairs, he's probably not gonna risk blowin up and gettin hurt in cairns
  • + 6
 It's just practice. Don't get too carried away...
  • + 4
 After watching practice I think you need that weight and stability only a DH bike can offer
  • + 6
 @ryanandrewrogers: Don't forget, Graves took 3rd couple years ago on his enduro bike. Lot of flats on the bottom that he can make up speed on. Plus it's Hill. he always hides his speed to till race day.
  • + 13
 rumor has it, his been pedaling up instead of using a shuttle, Big Grin
  • + 3
 regardless of outcome, Sam should be given a proper send-off
  • + 6
 @nozes: There's a video of him gapping Micks just fine!
  • + 2
 @nozes: checkout the @nukeproof insta account - vid of Hill hitting Miks drop.
  • + 1
 Should have said, just the thought of Sam Hill gives you goose bumps! Haha Sam ftw!!! Smack Down...
  • + 1
 * for this year ????@hamncheez:
  • + 104
 Hey Pinkbike, whatever you pay your photogs for stuff like this - double it. These photos are too sick. Keep this hot fire coming!
  • + 33
 Funny how we are so inundated w great pictures these days we almost forget to enjoy them. Such a great collection of quality images. Great job to the photographers.
  • + 12
 Word! Some truly awesome pictures in there, and we get them for free race after race. Money shots that could easily make covers or posters. Big up for the photographers! Same level as the top guys who make the podium in the race.
  • + 6
 @dsirl: Came to post the same. Amazing shots with the light..!
  • + 1
 Couldn't agree more the photography is brilliant.
However the comment for the second photo is weird considering its Winter/Spring in Aus, NOT Summer?
A Dry time of year up there.
  • + 98
 Tahnee shakin her head at the boys
  • + 37
 Aha she looks so unimpressed!
  • + 8
 My thought exactly
  • + 11
 Facepalm without the hand. And well deserved. Tahnee sends jumps instead.
  • + 52
 I predict a new face on top of the men's podium this weekend. Loic, Hannah, or Hill. Please be Hill.
  • + 39
 LETS GO SAM HILL!
  • + 9
 how is Loic a new face? he won Worlds before AND won here last year!
  • + 6
 @hamncheez: I should have been more specific. A new face for the 2017 season.
  • + 2
 Boom. Gutted for Hannah. Looking forward to a strong 2018 from Bruni.
  • + 42
 If Sam Hill wins on a trail bike they'll have to take Cairns off the DH circuit and make it an EWS stop.
  • + 11
 Oh man ! I wouldn't wish any rider to do an EWS when it's 30 degrees and 90% humidity. Honestly, I was there last year and just walking up the hill was unpleasant.
  • + 5
 Even if he gets top 5, take it off...
  • + 36
 Everyone is rooting for Sam HIll #fullenduro
  • + 3
 As much as I want him to win it, I also really want to see Gwin take it and get the aforementioned monkey off his back.
  • + 2
 Gwin will win eventually. For now, I'd love to see the man that changed the sport, win one last time. Especially this race Too be fair, I just want it to be an even race against the clock with everyone staying upright. I hate it when riders go down that are really competing at the splits.
  • + 16
 as much as i like sam hill, i really would love to see mik take it -such a sick style. i always felt that if the tracks were all about keeping speed he would have a lot more titles to his name. hill is already alegend he can spare this one -and take the ews instead (or silver in the worlds)
  • + 14
 agree, either of them. Sam or Mik would be awesome to see.
  • + 20
 Why are they so convinced Hill will never race another downhill race?
  • + 19
 Yeah what's up with that? Maybe he got inside information that the DH world cup will always be the same 7 tracks and he was like f%#@ that! Can't blame him, time for Redbull to form its own DH world cup.
  • + 7
 Sam said yesterday, we'll see you never know
  • + 3
 Yeah and what happens if he gets a gold? Still wont race another downhill race?
  • + 3
 @AdamOdh: I mean I wouldn't I 'd end it on that high note haha
  • + 1
 @AdamOdh: He races Monte-Sainte-Anne Worlds 2019 on his Enduro bike
  • + 2
 In WynTV's interview, it went something like... "if you win the stripes will we see you back at a down hill race" Sam - "eh, dunno, to be decided".
  • + 18
 Can Claudio do a cheeky bandit run when the UCI aren't watching please?
  • + 3
 yeah what the heck eh? what's with this "the worlds are different so we gotta get rid of all the good shit like claudio's preview, timed training and broadcasting it everywhere in the world like the rest of the season?!"
  • + 8
 It's a shame that we don't get to see Sam as a regular on the WC circuit. I don't think he's slowed down at all, just a shame he's frustrated with the UCI world cup. It's definitely not an age thing, Greg is in his mid 30's, Gwin is 30, heck Peaty was racing well into his 40's! As much as I want Gwin to win a gold for Sam would bring a tear to my eye!
  • + 8
 The "Gas To Flat sending it off Mick's Drop." pic is the epitome of "Just gonna send it!" Awesome.
  • + 4
 EPIC!!! Just EPIC, it's going to be incredible.

But please tell me why it's free to watch the race on the internet, and it's been free to watch the UCI WC on the BIKE channel all year... but now SKY expect you to have the sports package as it's televised on Eurosport 2 on Sunday morning?

I am so anxious for the racing, action and results.
  • + 2
 its listed on Redbull.tv in the live section so presume its being shown there too
  • + 2
 Its on the BBC red button as well Smile
  • + 2
 Its ib BBC red button and there is a link kicking about for US Redbull page, which is what i intend to use!
  • + 1
 its on bbc interactive
  • + 7
 My heart would love Hill to win but my head says Gwin's bad luck has to run out soon.
  • + 8
 SAM FUCKING HILL....FLAT PEDALS WIN MEDALS!!!
  • + 7
 So excited to see Sam Hill race this one! More Sam PLEASE!
  • + 6
 Sam Hill, on home turf, on a trail bike. Is everyone going to be ok?
  • + 5
 Photo Epics by Dave Trumpore: like walking through an art gallery!
  • + 9
 There are three photographers who make up these photo epics ... It's a group effort
  • + 4
 Sik Mik, Sam Hill and Troy Brosnan. All aussie podium. $50 on that trifecta
  • + 1
 I love how Sam can even be in the running for this, the fact he's actually got everyone thinking that he could potentially do it. He's turned up on his enduro bike having cleaned up the ews, and is still a danger to the gold medal. No idea if he can pull this off against gwin or mick or any of the others but its guna be exciting to witness
  • + 2
 The stanchions on Gwinn's bike look a different finish than the standard Kashima coating, no? More of a gold color than bronze. Am I missing something or is Fox slipping something right under our noses?
  • + 1
 I thought the same for Rachel athertons bike
  • + 1
 It's probably just the light
  • + 3
 Have you not noticed that Kashima has color variance? They just got lighter ones... and it's the light.
  • + 1
 I remember that in the first couple years Fox released the Kashima tech, there were quite a few Kashima forks with color differences even between two stanchions on the same fork.
  • + 1
 The fact is their suspension is different to what we can buy anyway, so it wouldn't surprise me if even the kashima coating is different too.
  • + 2
 I would go ape $hit if my fork, shock, and transfer post weren't all the same color...
  • + 2
 @bluntaaronr: then you clearly don't have any if them...
  • + 1
 I've never paid enough attention on precious bikes and my Insurgent hides the shock so well. Still, I imagine a few people have jumped ship to the Transfer just to be 100% Kashima, only to be disappointed with mismatched finishes.
  • + 3
 My podium guess will be Hill on the top step then Gwin and Troy... Aaron is the man to beat but Sam has home field advantage...both can slip and slide better then the rest..
  • + 2
 No Minnaar?

I think you're missing it there. That dude has been on fire this season. He had a bad finish due to a crash and bad course correction and then a mechanical. Before that blown tire in the last race he was ahead at every clip and in quailies he was faster than Gwin on the bottom... no way he doesn't win with a clean run.

Only way he's not on the podium is a crash or mechanical.
  • + 4
 @onemanarmy: Greg had only passed 1 or 2 splits (out of 4) before flatting, and that was before the part of track where Gwin is notoriously quick. On top of that, Gwin said he left a solid 3-4 seconds on track. I think you're overselling Minnaar a bit by saying "no way he doesn't win with a clean run", especially on a track he's never done very well on.
Both guys could take the win on any track, any day.
  • + 2
 @onemanarmy: last time Greg ran this course he finished like 25th...said it's not one of his favorites.
  • + 4
 Yeeeuuuweeeaaaaaaaahhhh Sam, pedal you gorgeous f**ker! That's all I have to say about this.
  • + 2
 I never really noticed how much the Canyon and the YT look so similar. Until that head to head picture. Great designs start to blend?
  • + 4
 Blenkinsop, the Dirt Jesus.
  • + 1
 Fuck man, I agree.
  • + 1
 This has been the first season I have really followed the DH World Champs, can someone explain to me why they never seem to change the locations and courses? There are thousands and thousands of trails to pick from.
  • + 2
 Money. Plus the UCI sucks big hairy balls!
  • + 2
 The actual resorts/bike parks that host the races bid to host them. So the resort has to pay the UCI to host a race, plus it basically means closing down the park or significant portions of it for a weekend usually in peak riding seasons, so most bike parks have done the math and have decided that paying thousands of dollars to host a race and having to close down trails to paying customers isn't worth the publicity from hosting a race. Sure there are tons of great dh tracks out there, but the resorts don't necessarily want to host world cups on them from a financial perspective.
  • + 2
 Beaten back by the heat of summer? Isn't it just transitioning to spring down there in the Southern Hemi? My phone tells me it's September. Is it lying to me?
  • + 1
 Was thinking the same. It is just a week into spring here. (although Cairns has more or less only two seasons. Wet & Dry)
  • + 1
 Spring started 8 days ago. Northern Australia doesn't really have what you would quantify as Winter.
  • + 2
 Tahnee's get me the hell out of this van face in photo 7 is classic. Pretty similar to her standard face during appearances on WynTV.
  • + 3
 Did something jump out them bushes and get Greenland?! Plus I wanna see some Brook through the woops footage!
  • + 3
 monster, red bull, or one of the water drinkers... lol
  • + 3
 Danny Hart pic - not even sure my leg bends that way...?
  • + 1
 I was looking for this comment!! His legs look crazy weird
  • + 3
 sad that this is Sam Hill´s last DH race. Let´s hope he wins on Sunday!
  • + 1
 Tracey Hannah and Jack Moir to win - I hope. I like a local win. But realistically... Seagrave and Gwin if I were to bet
  • + 1
 Why are Australia's colors yellow and green? Isn't their flag blue, white, and red?
  • + 4
 Had to Google it myself haha - Gold conjures images of Australia's beaches, mineral wealth, grain harvests and the fleece of Australian wool. Green evokes the forests, eucalyptus trees and pastures of the Australian landscape.
  • + 4
 @paddonq: Its also on the Coat of Arms with the Wattle Tree
  • + 1
 PinkBike was all over the 29er DH bike and no mention of the Hannah's new ride? Come on P.B.!
  • + 4
 Too busy pushing ebikes now, ain't got time for that.
  • + 2
 Because it's too ugly to talk about.
  • + 2
 @LCW1: The downhill ones are actually growing on me.
  • + 2
 HELLO MY NAME IS ALIEN TREE
  • + 4
 I LIEK TO WATCH PEEPUL DO SIK WHEEPS ON THER BICYKULLS
  • + 2
 Fantastic shots. Light looks amazing.
  • + 1
 Can't Wait!!!!!!

Anyone know what's going on for viewing out here in North America?
  • + 3
 The event is listed on the redbull page so it looks like they'll be broadcasting it
  • + 1
 @src248: link? i cant find it
  • + 1
 @src248: thank you sir. Any idea what time it's starting?
  • + 1
 redbull tv mate..
  • + 1
 @mbiker35: will see, wasn't up and link on RM didn't work.
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: www.redbull.tv/live/AP-1RA8HCC8N2111/uci-mtb-world-championship times are on that page too
  • + 1
 @src248: looks like it will NOT be streaming in Canada. WTF.
  • + 1
 @atrokz: where are you seeing that?
  • + 1
 Oh, the other article
  • + 1
 Should be a caption contest for the fourth photo down with Finn and Miranda. "Did you really just swipe right there? Wow."
  • + 2
 Troy's bike looks awesome. Best "aussie" scheme in a long time
  • + 1
 Why does Danny have the 1 plate? Im confused
  • + 10
 he won champs last year.
  • + 1
 will also go last iirc.
  • + 1
 He's the World Champ.
  • + 2
 Danny leads in overall UCI DH points, Gwin is number one in UCI World Cup DH points. Just means Danny ran a few more UCI (not World Cup) races than Gwin this season - fairly typical as Gwin does national champs but doesn't run the locals (US equivalent of BDS - that Danny tends to run)
  • + 1
 Wanting to see Brayton put in a solid run
  • + 1
 Any links to timed training or anything?
  • + 2
 Boing!!!
  • + 1
 Yehhh Conna!
  • + 1
 Great pics
  • + 1
 H2O for life.
  • - 1
 Spongebob & Patrick Goes To Kuvukiland

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.079417
Mobile Version of Website