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Mountain Tetris - DH World Cup 6 Qualifying - Leogang

Sep 21, 2013
by Nathan Hughes  
bigquotesTriangles are my favorite shape, 3 points where 2 lines meet... Let's tessellate - Alt J


This afternoon, blocks of riders came flowing down the hill and slotted neatly into place as if in a giant game of mountain tetris, for the final seeding run of the season. Some blocks fitted into place much better than others, most notably, an awkward Atherton octagon came to rest uneasily in third, while a star-shaped Smith settled nicely into top spot. Just 3 points now separate the pair in favor of the Canadian. Mick Hannah goes to bed feeling warm and fuzzy tonight, snuggling in between the two rivals, forming the ultimate man-wich at the top of the pile. Elsewhere, lady Atherton did the business once again, but with Ragot hot on her heels for a second time, under 2 seconds back.

One leg Greg took the win at Leogang last year. We checked in with him to try and discover any inside info on how one goes about winning on this course. Here s what he had to say...
  Poor one-leg Greg took the win at Leogang last year. We checked in with him to try and discover any inside info on how one goes about winning on this course. Here's what he had to say...

bigquotesFor Leogang it's so important to be fast up top, to ride all those switchbacks smooth... You've gotta attack them pretty hard. In the semi-final Stevie Smith rode that top amazingly well. I was up there watching and he really was just hammering down. I think once you can get the momentum going up there you can carry it on down, there's not a lot of places to make up time. As a spectator now it's pretty cool watch with so much on the line with Stevie and Gee it's pretty exciting. There's not going to be much sleep for those guys unfortunately. I'm just waiting to see if I can hold onto a podium overall finish without racing... it's a bit intense we'll see what happens! - Greg Minnaar - Santa Cruz Syndicate


The mountains are celebrating the WC finals with a display of silver and gold.
  The mountains are celebrating the WC finals with a display of silver and gold.

Morgane Charre
  When MS Mondraker's gal, Morgane Charre, shreds she looks more on it than 99% of the male field...

MS Mondraker s Morgane Charre took the win here in Leogang last year. We asked her what it takes to win on this course...
  No wonder she won here in Leogang last year in the ladies. We asked her too what exactly it takes to conquer this course...

bigquotesFor me training was so much fun, that helped me win I think! It's a really complete track... it has all the elements, you have to be good at everything. I have some ideas to make up some time tomorrow... If we are talking about Steve and Gee that's a bit of a high level haha! - Morgane Charre - MS Mondraker


Morgane Charre
  Charre-ging.

Up up and away
  Up, up and away with Blackthorn GT's Zarja Cernilogar. On a high from winning the IXS European Downhill Cup overall, she's aiming to climb the top ten World Cup overall ranks.

photo
  Last round of qualies means everyone is looking for points for the overall title. Trainers spin overtime while riders get ready to drop.

Tracey Hannah seems to have had a few mistakes in her run but still pulled together a top ten finish. Seen here pulling herself out of an almost crash.
  Tripod Tracey Hannah seems to have had a few mistakes in her run, but still pulled together great for a top ten finish.

Myriam Nicole
  12.6 seconds off the pace for Myriam Nicole ensures she'll be out for revenge tomorrow.

Kintner warming up in the frigid morning at 8am.
  Autumn scenes up in the frigid morning at 8am.

Jill Kintner placed third in qualifications and she has been chasing a World Cup podium this season. Hopefully this is the one for the NW local.
  Jill Kintner placed third in qualifications, and she has been chasing a World Cup podium this season. Hopefully this is the one for the NW local.

Rachel Atherton
  If Emmeline Ragot wins (1.6 seconds back), Rachel Atherton has to drop lower than 14th to miss the overall. Still, she will be desperate to clinch the win to round out the season.

Rachel Atherton
  Although she has her own fish to fry tomorrow, Rach admits Gee's success or failure will be weighing heavy on her mind.

Lumberjack
  More riding, more chainsaw...today a little further back from the tape.

Noel knows. Today the junior stomped the top qualifying time after looking unstoppable from the first turn of his inaugural practice run.
  Noel knows. Today the junior stomped the top qualifying time after looking unstoppable from the first turn of his inaugural practice run.

bigquotesI did alright at the top, but I took some small mistakes at the bottom. The full run was alright...good for a qualifying, we'll see tomorrow... - Noel Niederberger - Gstaad Scott


Dean Lucas ripping into the un-Australian earth. With the juniors field pretty wide open the Val Di Sole winner could take it home if Mike Jones has a slight off-day.
  Dean Lucas ripping into very un-Australian earth. With the juniors field relatively wide open, the Val Di Sole winner could still take it home if GB's Mike Jones has an off-day.

Innes Graham
  Innes Graham out sharking after his Norwegian successes, but not quite nailing the quali today.

The South African Morewood lads had all their bikes stolen last night while they were sleeping. The window was smashed somehow without them waking up and they were left bikeless for qualifying. But still smiling. In part. Don t buy any 2nd hand Morewoods at Salzburg airport tomorrow
  The South African Morewood lads had all their bikes stolen last night while they were sleeping. The window was smashed somehow without them waking up and they were left bikeless for qualifying. But still smiling. In part. Be sure to citizen's arrest if someone offers you 2nd hand Morewoods at Salzburg airport tomorrow!

photo
  When mechanics anticipate a mud race and have some time on their hands, expect moto foam in every nook and cranny - anything to make cleanup a little bit easier.

photo
  Some riders freak out and stress before their runs, Troy Brosnan keeps it light and makes sure no one gets any serious photos.

Oldschool
  Oldschool is flying! A top ten qualifier bodes well for at least repeat success levels of Norway.

Brendog cruising the stepdown in practice.
  Brendog cruising the stepdown in practice.

Marc Beaumont
  Marc Beaumont got a little acrobatic yesterday, but held down a tidy 12th quali this afternoon.

Danny had a great weekend at Hafjell and a wet Leogang is his kind of track. Can he repeat last week s success or even take it a step further
  Hart took a bad spill and gashed his hand this morning and sadly has been forced to hang up his clips for the 2013 season early.

Bernard Ker nearly looses it in the netting during qualies.
  Bernard Kerr nearly ended up deadliest catch in the netting on his qualifier.

photo
  Matt Simmonds blasts through the upper woods in the early morning light. 16th for afters.

Connor Fearon held it down for a 13th place qualifying run today.
  Connor Fearon held it down for a 13th place qualifying run today.

Remi slid out in qualifying and still managed to qualify 15th could he pull off another Andorra tomorrow
  Remi slid out in qualifying and still managed to qualify 15th, could we see some more Andorra brilliance tomorrow?

Props to Faustin Figaret he s smashed his Trek well up the ranks this season qualifying 14th today.
  Props to Faustin Figaret, he's smashed his Trek well up the ranks this season, qualifying 14th today.

photo
  Nick Beer is nothing but a blur at the top of the track, rounding out the top ten by the bottom

Marcelo racking in the 9th position for the day. The Colombian has had a solid season and creeping up the ranks. Hope to see him up top on a podium soon
  Marcelo racking in the 9th position for the day. The Colombian has had a solid season and creeping up the ranks. Hopefully he'll be up on top of a podium soon!

Neko Mulally has been gaining momentum all season. Hard work and plenty of focus are paying off. Seventh in qualifying today.
  Neko Mulally has been gaining momentum all season. Seventh shows hard work and plenty of focus are paying off.

Troy Brosnan
  Troy Brosnan only needs to blur a little more to get on the podium tomorrow, with his 6th place qualifier.

Number five plate number five in Qualies Blenky is on point for another podium.
  Number five plate, number five in Qualies; Blenky is on point for another podium.

Loic Bruni putting himself in the 4th spot with Blinky just behind him.
  Loic Bruni stormed just ahead of his elder for 4th.

Sic Mic is hungry. He s pushing hard for the overall points but more than that he wants up on that top step. Second in qualifying.
  Sik Mik is hungry. He's pushing hard for the overall points, but more than that he wants up on that top step. Second in qualifying.

bigquotesIt just happened that I slotted in between Stevie and Gee... I don't think it made much difference if I was in there or not because whoever finishes infront of the other will win the overall. Just 3 points between; them I'm happy for my own sake to be in the mix... I'm 10th in the standings at the moment. Blenky and Bruni are the guys I need to gain a lot of points on to get near the top 5 so I should be able to sneak up a little bit - Mick Hannah, Hutchinson UR


The Schwalbe world cup after-party kicks off tomorrow at their booth. Come and join Sean McCarroll and his en tire posse if you re in town...
  The Schwalbe world cup after-party kicks off tomorrow at their booth. Come join Sean McCarroll and his en'tire' posse if you're in town!

Nothing good ever comes of a guy in a chicken suit with waaaaaaay too much beer in him.
  Nothing good ever comes of a guy in a chicken suit with waaaaaaay too much beer in him. (Especially if he runs into someone who looks like Peter Griffin)

photo
  Gee Atherton waits for the beeps to drop in while Stevie Smith and his mechanic look on. Just under 8 minutes later, Stevie would lead the overall by 3 points.

photo
  Gee Atherton, the World's current second strongest man in the rough stuff.

Steve Smith
  Stevie Smith making Ronnie Coleman look frail through the roots. 'Yeah buddyyy'.

Bike of the day. Stevie tried out his 650B for a short period of time but decided to stick to the Wilson just to be safe.
  Bike of the day. Stevie tried out his 650B for a short period of time, but decided to stick to the Wilson just to be safe.

Gee amp Rach
  Gee - 'Thanks for tucking up your hair and running my qualifier for me today, Rach...' (caption provided by Atherton Racing marketing team)


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78 Comments
  • 153 0
 Son of a bitches who stole the Morewood bikes - Hang them by their balls!
  • 32 0
 they wont have any "more WOOD" after that if you know what I'm sayin.
  • 28 1
 don't steal bikes bro..
www.pinkbike.com/video/107845
  • 4 7
 make sure the can never do that again hang them by their balls and break their knee caps
  • 3 1
 In today's news: "a gang of ball-less men in wheel chairs are on a bike theft spree."
  • 31 1
 The captions just keep getting better!

"Stevie Smith making Ronnie Coleman look frail through the roots. 'Yeah buddyyy'."
  • 14 2
 As a bodybuilder myself I almost lost it when I read that! Right on pb!
  • 11 0
 Light Weight BABY!!!!!! Get em STEVIE SMITH!
  • 13 0
 I didn't think anyone else would get that reference... "ain't nothin' but a peanut"
  • 3 0
 haha big Ron "ain't nothin to it but to do it!"
  • 2 3
 Can we please have a Lexington Steele reference, while we're at it?
  • 7 0
 I would pay so much money to see Ronny on a burly DH bike riding down Leogang. It would be the highlight of my life so far.
  • 9 0
 Errbody wanna be a bodybuilder, butt nobody wanna lift these heavy ass weights!
  • 1 0
 How do i watch this, what time is it in the uk?
  • 22 0
 Great job Pinkbike on providing so many awesome WC photo articles lately.
  • 20 0
 Wish Aaron Gwin could have raced this one! But props to stevie and Gee! and i got to mention Peaty is still in the mix.
  • 16 2
 marc beaumonts picture is a perfect example of why i dont spend more then $60 on a rear mech...
  • 14 3
 Gee very much deserves another World Cup overall, he's shown great consistency all year round (apart from that blip last time out).
Go Gee, kill it man, you know
  • 9 2
 I can't wait for tomorrow's race, it's at 11 am down here in Chile, so after a quick ride I'll go straight ahead to de redbull streming and hopefully I'll watch de race without know the result. GO STEVIE!!
  • 7 0
 the least talked about podium regular this WC season: Troy Brosnan

best wishes to him next year. i foresee some wins
  • 8 0
 Go Steve!!!
  • 3 0
 The foam isn't for easy cleanup. It weighs significantly less than mud. If the foam is filling the void instead of mud at the bottom of the hill it means the bike will weigh less.
  • 5 0
 That second shot of the scenery is amazing. And, what happened to Minnaar's leg?
  • 1 0
 took flight during practice - no word on the actual damage - but sucks he's out - Danny too.
  • 1 0
 Few years back I held my knee and torned ACL on the very same parking lot , not a nice thing. Hope he is gonna be ok for next season.
  • 8 2
 Would like to see Smith rank above Gee. #gocanada
  • 4 1
 epic world cup ending - although im not a big fan of either 2 contenders Smile Hill is out of this race I believe.. So I'm going for Blenki or Bruni on this one.. Lets get it on!!
  • 5 0
 What happened to Sam Hill? No mention of him anywhere. On another note, smash it Gee!
  • 5 0
 It's on like donkey kong going to one sweet race
  • 6 2
 I'm really hoping troy will win, and seeing Gee round out his great season with the overall win would be great!
  • 1 0
 Troy or Ratboy would be mint...somebody that hasn't stood top-box yet in their career. As far as the overall, I'm happy either way as long as the conditions are the same for both...which they should be since they start two riders apart from each other. GAME ON!!!
  • 4 0
 The 3 morewood guys...so shitty that happened yet theyre having fun through all the bullshit!
  • 4 0
 Kintner has been upping her game and chasing the podium. It would be great to see her on it.
  • 4 0
 Win win for redbull. Go Stevie!
  • 5 0
 Go neko
  • 8 4
 Why do the athertons wear such shit looking helmets?
  • 7 2
 Because Redbull pays them to do so. Kind of the whole point of a sponsor.
  • 8 0
 Don't think he meant the Red bull decals. Think he meant the fact that those ONE Industries helmets look like space helmets.
  • 4 4
 possibly becasue theyre sponsored by ONE as well, Dummy. Facepalm
  • 4 0
 Obviously mate. Just don't dig it is all...
  • 1 1
 I just got a One helmet. They are huge!! But they are very comfortable and make me feel very protected! Closer to moto helmets in size.
  • 2 2
 yes, make you FEEL protected, but they are for high speed impacts and dont protect as well against low speed impacts!
  • 1 0
 Yeah my point was aimed at the ONE Industries diving bell that they wear on their heads. Dan seems to be allowed to wear a cool helmet so why aren't the rest of them?
  • 1 0
 @bulletproof Are you suggesting that motocross riders only crash at high speed then? Pretty sure I've seen MX riders hit the deck at sub 10mph.
  • 1 0
 Forget the helmets - the ears tucked into the ball cap bugs the hell outta me
  • 1 0
 Yea team tool, but they hit soft ground at sub speed. Not trees or rocks or that sorta stuff u see in dh
  • 1 0
 @bulletproof I've seen rocks on an MX track too.
  • 1 0
 Also, if i'm hitting my head against a tree or a rock on a dh track, I want a more protective helmet, eg a certified mx lid. Not trying to troll, just don't buy into this idea that a mx lid is bad for dh.
  • 1 0
 its just the fact that the foam in a mx lid crushes under a higher force, (i.e., a crash at >50km/hr) and hitting a fairly sculpted landscape, versus a DH helmet which is designed to crush at a lower, more "pedal bike" relative speeds, therefore reducing the safety at high speeds(>50km/hr) but exponentially decreasing the force on your head in 99.99999% of cases.

helmets reduce forces on your head by crushing, and if your helmet isnt designed to crush at a speed you are going, you may as well have a metal beenie with a jaw protector on because its not going to do much other than stop road rash
now if you are riding the hane train harder than kenny smith, and are hitting speeds of 60km+ on dh track(go hit up the wc circuit, for one), yea for sure, mx lids are the way to go, but i doubt it... (and these values for crush speeds vary by product, and are arbitrary... but this is the general idea on what the difference is.)
-
  • 1 0
 I guess pee wee mx riders should wear dh lids then?
  • 1 0
 There have been studies on this one - pretty sure they were on PB actually and from memory, the findings were that, while it would seem to make sense that moto lids offer more protection and are hence a better choice for dh, the opposite was in fact true.
  • 1 1
 I got neg propped for describing my new lid? Really? Lol.
  • 3 0
 Didn't think anyone would get the Ronnie Coleman joke either ha that's awesome...Light Weight!! Yeaa Buddy
  • 4 4
 Great piccs! Wow UCI is so amazing re saftey, that dude with the chainsaw so professional, no helmet, air muffs, no chaps, no steel cap boots or gloves or eye protection, really on it UCI, I dont care how good you are accidents happen, not good and shows the professionalism of this organisation or lack of it! Unbelievable. Stevie stay on the Wilson, failure to do so will end in failure! This is yours to lose, dont let the mind get in the way! Good hunting!
  • 1 0
 He'd probably rather use a handsaw before having to get air muffs and all that stuff.
  • 1 0
 Rach looking out for Gee; hopefully the lack of pressure she's probably feeling will relieve Gee of some of the intense pressure.

May the best man win. I'm super excited, can't imagine what Stevie and Gee are feeling?
  • 3 0
 That course has some parts that are serious gnar.
  • 3 0
 Wow, all these photos are amazing quality!
  • 4 0
 I love Alt+j
  • 1 0
 I'd love to see Smith win, he deserves it that's for sure... but the old patriotism has kicked in and Gee has my vote. Actually scrub that. I want PEATY TO WIN!!!
  • 2 0
 Picture of Remi is priceless.
  • 1 0
 It's to bad someone ripped those guys off. Now some one has there winter set for sure
  • 1 0
 No rest for the weary. This one's for all the marbles. Both very deserving either way.
  • 2 0
 What a great end to the season , may the best man win
  • 1 0
 i was at leogang a few weeks ago, and rode the world cup track, its sooooo rough!
  • 3 1
 brendog
  • 3 2
 yeah gee your facial hair is nowhere near as good as stevies
  • 4 3
 So Steve finally realized the 26" is faster !
  • 1 0
 Stevie looking at Gee on the line is awesome.
  • 1 0
 Gee can go suck a Dee while Stevie takes the Vee!
  • 2 0
 Alt-j!
  • 2 1
 Stevie smith for the win
  • 2 2
 Marc Beaumont "oh look penny"
  • 1 0
 Go Zarja and Steezie!!!
  • 1 0
 impressive shots!
  • 1 0
 GO STEVIE!!!
  • 1 1
 what happened to greg?







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