Rain, mud, and mountain biking. I wonder if there's anyone out there willing to undertake a study on how, exactly, it is that as soon as you concentrate the best gravity riders in the world, it starts to rain?
With the drumming of the rain on the roof a constant buzz all night long, mechanics dreaded the early morning ritual to come: grab a coffee, grab some wire snips, and start cutting tires.
Yeah, one of those kinds of days...
Mitch Ropelato throws on Storms after 24 hours of rain. Luckily the rig is fully stocked with muds in anticipation of Austria in September.
Mechanics in every tent were tending to last minute mud preparations this morning. Most had their riders' bikes ready to go late last night, so they could use the morning to rig up fenders and mudflaps.
Troy shows off his custom Sam Hill goggle eyebrows this morning. Arts and crafts hour to keep the moisture out of your tear offs.
So many bikes here in Leogang have custom Worlds decorations that Brook Macdonald's mechanic on MS-Mondraker decided to do something special for Brook's bike...
Needles visualizing sunshine outside of the Giant tent vs. the pissing down rain as he warmed up for practice.
Grin and bear it--Greg Minnaar pedaling to the start in a kit guaranteed to be a filthy wreck in short order.
Tahnee Seagrave, muddy but stoked!
Tracy Moseley has been mostly doing enduro this summer. But she sneaked in a few World Cups and qualified highly enough to make the UK team. The DH skills are a bit rusty, but she's a very legitimate threat on this track for a second Rainbow jersey.
Greg Minnaar and Steve Peat discussing lines during women's and junior's practice.
It was extremely foggy up top all day. Bryn takes to the track in limited visibility for his first of many runs.
Mitch Delfs had very little distance to travel to get dirty: first run and only 100 meters into the track and he had enough dirt on him to ruin a laundry machine.
The first corner was getting chewed up pretty badly by 2pm.
Once on track Greg Minnaar had no issues with the bit of rain this afternoon. Ride it like it's dry.
Canadian Kyle Sangers chose the always classy SRAM poncho/cape for his rain gear this morning.
If you're not sure what a proper rain kit should look like, you can stop at Scott 11 and ask!
Tear off's littered the mellower sections of the motorway traverses like ticket stubs outside of an arena after a big game.
Jared Graves said that this afternoons practice was the most fun he has had on his bike in years. Anyone who knows Grubby, knows how much he likes gettin' dirty.
This track is so much fun! Dirty as hell right now, I know; but I'm having a blast today! - Graves
Sam Dale, diving into a wild ride on the rollercoaster of berms up top.
Brook Macdonald was visibly faster than anyone else through the top section this morning. The Bulldog is looking to smash some people this week.
The mud wasn't keeping most people down, and it wasn't killing much speed. Once the rain lets up however, as it is supposed to tonight, things may get gnarly in time for timed runs tomorrow.
The Evil Undead is alive and well... Filip Polc suspension testing on a stump.
It's rained non-stop since Thursday evening in Leogang, so the course was running insanely fast...
Sick Mick could do really well here in Leogang, he's been having a pretty good season so far. Just off the podium at the last race...
Ben Reid may disappear in some of the berms here.
Pinned! Mickael Pascal applying the theory of the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Damian Spagnolo missed the "straight line" memo and opted to use the "pinball the berms" theory of speed on the upper section of the track.
Brook MacDonald. This "bike park" style course has not much in common with the one from Val d'Isere where he grabbed his first world cup win... #justsayinandnothingmore
Scouting for sniper lines in the rain... Sam Hill was the last rider down the hill today.
Holly Feniak contemplating laundry after practice; the gloves were white at the start of the day.