Video: Unofficial 2018 La Bresse World Cup Track Preview

May 14, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  

The last time the World Cup circus went to La Bresse for a downhill event was in 2011. Back then, the course was a mash-up of technical sections and flat-out bombing through open fields. If this preview shows the 2018 track, it looks like the course builders have changed it up and it could suit riders who prefer technical challenges more than flat-out speed.


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81 Comments

  • + 41
 Considering how Croatia was slammed before the racing began I'll withhold judgment. But I'll admit it's not giving me a stiffy.
  • + 3
 Yeah. It's so far out that hopefully that's just where they're going to build the WC course.

I personally wish I could ride them (who doesn't) before commenting.
  • + 4
 Doesn't look challenging but I think it will be pretty entertaining seeing WC racers shred a smaller track.
  • + 5
 Knowing how flat even the steepest stuff looks on a go-pro, this looks pretty steep overall. May make for good racing, especially if it's wet.
  • + 4
 Wait until all the roots, rocks and holes come out, looks loamy now but will be rough AF come race day without a doubt. Suspension set up will play key, so I should change my team to Loic Bruni.
  • + 1
 Wow. That was underwhelming. And I thought Ft William was bad. I hate to knock something before I try it, but please tell me it will be nowhere as easy as it looked. I'm with @cyclo-maniac and @MRLONDON on this one. When I saw Losinj or the last couple of EWS courses, I thought, "Holy crap, I'm glad that isn't me." When I, a young mountain biker nowhere near WC level, watched that video, I thought, "My friends and I would have a heck of a time shredding that track." Possibly on my hardtail. Yeah, racers go faster, but gimme a fully or let alone a DH bike, problem solved. That looked blue square/single black diamond. Not pro-line. That's a problem. I'm eagerly awaiting the final edition...
  • + 29
 None of this track looks like it would challenge a WC racer. One line singletrack, no particularly steep sections, bike park berms... honestly my dad could get down this on his hybrid equipped with a bell and basket full of french baguettes, whilst struggling to attach a photo to a whatsapp message and making a g&t.
  • + 10
 shouldn't the race be the challenge not the track? I'm kind of on your side but it's the same BS every year - too bikeparky, manmade rockgarden, ughhh the final sprint is urban, blablabla
  • + 11
 @K1maxX: Because as much as I love downhill, the bikes have no use in this riding. Its way below what they're suppose to live up to
  • + 3
 Nice looking Enduro stage.
  • + 5
 @fecalmaster: Not even sure it's that cool.....
  • + 8
 Right, last weekend in France looked about 30 times steeper and more technical.
  • + 3
 @Wizard79: let's just wait with judging until we'll see real taped track and i'm pretty sure that after a couple of hundred riders have blown the shit out of this track during practise and quali the track will look a bit different.
  • + 0
 @fecalmaster: no offence, but why do people always try to compare stuff that just can be distinguished? i mean nobody would compare RB hare scramble with any mx race.
  • + 3
 @K1maxX: The GRT courses ive ran this year are way more gnarly than this. They need to step up their game but im also trying not to judge because look at what people thought of Croatia.
  • + 0
 @Wizard79: Nope they posted it. We will judge now. Could ride that on a bloody hard tail.
  • + 3
 Lot's of people thought the original La Bresse WC track was gonna be utter shit from the track preview and it turned out to be a classic in one race, though it was quite obvious it would turn into a great track if you have any idea how much the WC train chews up a track.

Can't say the same here though, doesn't look shit or any thing, just not special, yet ?
  • + 2
 @friendlyfoe: you could but you wouldn’t qualify in the junior women’s class !
  • + 4
 I'm sure La Bresse will be a battle and looking forward to it. Honestly after watching the video from last weekend's Enduro I would bring my DH bike for there, that was some real gnar sending the world's best OTB.
  • + 1
 @Matt115lamb: I probably wouldn't qualify in the junior womens regardless of what I'm riding (actually maybe I would I'm not THAT slow), but I feel like that wasn't quite the point.
  • + 21
 Phil Atwill may run a hardtail again?
  • + 14
 I've been there last week, there are few other options a bit steeper and a bit more technical on the last third of the track. Nothing crazy but for sure not as easy as you would think. And as usual, ride a track top to bottom is one thing, ride it full race speed is another. I wish good luck to people thinking you can charge there with a trail/enduro/hardtail bike.... Wait and see for the final track first...
  • + 6
 That's it right? It sure "looks" like @mrlondon 's dad could get down this on his hybrid equipped with a bell and basket full of french baguettes... But at full speed it will be interesting to see who can keep the gas open and who can get through these corners maintaining speed. Different challenges are good.
  • - 9
flag fecalmaster (May 15, 2018 at 7:46) (Below Threshold)
 At least the rider's nursing injuries will have a smooth bikepark run. Sam Pilgrim should race it on a road bike.
  • + 15
 La Bresse is honestly a good bikpark with nice trails. But I don't think it is suited for a WC DH track.
  • + 10
 Yeah, watching the Preview the first thing that came to mind was, "hey that looks like a fun track, I'd give it a go" . That thought never arises when seeing other WC DH tracks.
  • + 2
 Yea but it works for Redbull TV coverage, remember its all about giving what Redbull wants for TV rather than tracks that actually challenge riders. That said I like the look of the track it looks fun, perhaps not a grade WC track from what a helmet cam says but I am happy to be proven wrong
  • + 17
 RIP World Cup DH tracks
  • + 1
 My trails in Brooklyn are much more Rocky ( I think I saw a pebble or two) and ironically way more steep sections. WC DH BK 20119 hollarations
  • + 11
 I've ridden there. Its fun, but no way challenging enough to be a WC track. The hillside isn't particularly big or steep.
  • + 36
 its a bit of a joke when the French Enduro race is about a million times gnarlier than the WC DH race!
  • + 1
 can we just wait with grouching until we see the real track?
  • + 2
 @K1maxX: Thanks! Been there last week and there are few other options. For sure it won't be like in the Alps, but for sure a challenging track at race speed.
  • + 1
 @K1maxX: I agree but as @hookso said. The hillside doesn't really allow for a crazy WC track.
  • + 10
 Looks like a fun little flow trail..
  • - 1
 Goddamnit submit btn didn't work :s
  • - 1
 @LaurensVR:
I bet its a fun trail to ride with roughly 30 berms, 10 jumps, 3 pieces of woodwork.
1 rocky corner.
Trail bike or Dh bike for the most fun?
  • + 0
 @betsie: I'd for sure bring my trail bike, or even a down country bike would work well
  • + 5
 LOL Everyone here just pumping them selves up in the coments . Who actually judges a track weeks out, not taped and filmed with a go pro. I'm sure by the time race weekend comes it will look good. Swear pinkbike is just full crybaby these days.
  • + 2
 Me, no it won't, stop crying about the haters.
  • + 5
 Its a good place to stop off if your driving out from the UK but not worth visiting in its own right. So many much better venues in the Alps and Pyrenees. Lourdes was wild, bring back Lourdes or change it to somewhere else thats equally challenging.
  • + 4
 agree totally I visited by off chance as it was on my way home. Great for a day but hardly Worldly venue
  • + 4
 I've ridden this track and it's f*cking awesome. I've been to the race in Lourdes... and that track was f*cking awesome. I've ridden Champery too... f*cking awesome.

My point is, that while not as gnarly as Lourdes or Champery, this track will be f*cking awesome (albeit a little short)!
  • + 5
 They should go and do a WC in Lousã, Portugal! One of the best downhill tracks in the world...in the off season lot´s of pro´s (Santa cruz, Commençal, Saracen, etc) go there and they love it
  • + 1
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NiW5htwKyY
Agreed. The Track looks awesome!
  • + 3
 Is it possible that Red Bull is pushing towards more tv-adapted trails for DHWC ? Old school-techy trails are challenging but not the most impressive to watch for non specialists while average joe will enjoy more a bike park track full of jumps and berms

Still let's not judge by this video, the track is far from being finished
  • + 3
 Last EWS in France looked waaaaay gnarier with rocks, technical turns, high speeds and requiring some real skill and balls to push it (Congrats to Richie). I mean, why 200mm of rock'n'drop eating suspension travel for this? That is a freeride line in bikepark ffs...
  • + 3
 Just run the EWS tracks, at least they're genuinely rowdy, enough with the crappy DH! Or should cross over riders on their trail bikes show the UCI how its done?
  • + 4
 No, sorry. That looks like I could ride most of it making it totally unsuitable to test the best riders in the world.
  • + 1
 I get that this isn't the most technical, steepest, fastest or any of the other things that are often referred to when reminiscing about 'old school' tracks or great tracks. However last year everyone asked for different tracks, this is a different track so its a start. There's still things I would like to see change, more races per year and a more evenly structured schedule but the people asked for change and they got it.

Also regardless of what track it is, anyone who's ever gone between the tape at any level knows that a track at full gas is a totally different animal. To win the series you have to be more than accomplished in every aspect of riding it couldn't be more different from Croatia, variety is the spice of life right?
  • + 4
 Bikepark is bikepark. Fun with friends and vacancies but this is not world level dh :/
  • + 5
 this is not a worldcup track!
  • + 4
 Looks like a fun flowtrail..
  • + 5
 that's what she said about Croatia
  • + 2
 @applepie: Nah this is even worse.
  • + 1
 Croatia had rocks, this has classic flow berms for miles.
  • + 2
 It will give some variety to the tracks; need to have a good mix of trails that are rocky, some that are smooth, some steep etc
  • + 4
 i am praying for rain to at least make it interesting
  • + 1
 I've been riding La Bresse several times now (something like 7-8 times maybe), and it was dusty 1 time, and what you can considere as dry 2 times so yes, you can expect that weather will add a little extra for this race !
  • + 2
 enduro tracks looking like dh tracks and dh tracks looking like enduro tracks
  • + 1
 That's an enduro track?
  • + 1
 That bridge in the thumbnail looks hella sketch. Didn’t Peaty cut himself all up on a bridge like that in Val de Sole? I hope they make it safe to race.
  • + 3
 That is one hell of a flow trail.
  • + 4
 ???? ???? ????
  • + 3
 I remember the good old days of wc DH .why is our sport being diluted
  • + 3
 sooo blue trail, some park jumps for tv and back to blue trail?
  • + 3
 Vote One, Vote Champéry!!! please UCI get ya shit together!
  • + 1
 When Whistler and other Bike parks have proper dh tracks this is the one that gets picked for WC DH.....
  • + 1
 More challenging, 2018 Albstadt or 2018 La Bresse? Was there some mislabeling here? Wink
  • + 1
 This track is enough to drive anyone full enduro! No wonder Hill went full enduro.
  • - 8
flag nismo325 (May 15, 2018 at 9:12) (Below Threshold)
 Hill went full enduro because he couldn't keep up with the World cup DH riders. sorry to burst your bubble. Notice how a lot of the top enduro riders are ex DH racers? at any time a top World cup DH racer can enter and win an enduro event without much surprise. When was the last time an enduro rider entered a DH race and won? Enduro is WC retirment.
  • + 8
 @nismo325: In case you forgot, Hill finished 6th at World Champs last year, so I don't think I go so far as saying he can't keep up. Ravanel finished 5th in Croatia, which isn't a win I'll admit, but it's a podium.

And I am actually not aware of any current WC DH athletes showing up to an EWS race and winning. Please feel free to share who has accomplished that.
  • + 0
 @nismo325: Cecile Ravanel?!
  • + 3
 @nismo325: when was the last time a current world cup DH racer entered an EWS and won?
Sam did better at last years worlds on his enduro bike than last weekends EWS. Didn't Graves nearly win worlds on his enduro bike too...
  • + 2
 Lourde was SOOOOOOOO much WC-ish, IMHO.
  • + 2
 Do they only ride Park in Le Bresse?
  • + 1
 This track looks #Gwinnable
  • + 1
 What the fck is that?
  • + 0
 Downhill mountain biking is officially dead

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