Pietermaritzburg World Cup 2012 - Day 2 Timed Training

Mar 15, 2012
by Ian Hylands  

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Day 2 - Timed Training

The first day of practice including timed practice at Pietermaritzburg is over, and the mechanics are working on tuning the bikes while the riders get some dinner and sleep. Some news from the DH world, Cam Cole will not be competing in South Africa due to his broken arm, he's healing up well and he should be ready to go for the second round at Val di Sole in early June, but he's just not ready to ride DH yet.

bigquotesIt has been a long time since I have been able to ride a mountain bike - I only got back on a cross-country bike two weeks ago - just light riding. - Cam Cole

Rachel Atherton will also not be competing as she's still recovering from here shoulder surgery in September. She should be good to go at Val di Sole as well. Rachel had this to say about it:

bigquotesI'm gutted to miss the kick-off, especially after missing Pietermaritzburg last year, but my priority has to be making it though the season without injuring myself further. I'm working with a World Class team - surgeons, physios, soft tissue rehab specialists and performance coach so I'd be pretty dumb not to listen to their advice.

I've been working flat-out with the best in the business behind me and it's awesome to feel myself getting stronger every day. I'd like to say thanks to everyone for the good wishes and amazing support - And you'd better watch out for me in May!
- Rachel

A privateer racer sits in his car in the parking lot at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  Life in the pits as a privateer. I mean in the mall parking lot.

Neko Mulally s new Bontrager tires clipped to roll just that much faster at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  Neko Mulally's new Bontrager rubber got a bit of a haircut before coming out to play on the track today. Lots of tires were clipped, buzzed down, or otherwise altered to roll just that much faster.


bigquotesI don't think that this race is going to be won in the corners so much as by who can maintain the best roll on this track. - Schwalbe Tire's Mike Kull

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  The Blackbox labs are usually in a boiler room deep in the bowels of Rock Shox HQ. This week, they're in a shipping container in the blazing hot sun. Just like home.

Bryn Atkinson rides at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  Bryn Atkinson was back at it on a WC track for the first time since breaking his leg in the Pro GRT back in the USA last spring. Good to see him rocking the new kit aboard the new Norco Sled.

Greg Minnaar rides in practice at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  Greg Minnaar, turning heads.

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  Sabrina Jonnier takes her brand new Labrynth bike for a spin in the upper section of the track.

Eliot Jackson of Yeti rides in practice at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  Eliot Jackson getting in the groove midway down the track. EJ got so much of this pocket berm it looks as if he's dragging his crankset in the dirt.

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  Jared Graves has dropped a ton of weight and is looking good on his carbon DH bike. Can he keep up with the big boys of downhill this week? Only time will tell...

Rat Boy Josh Bryceland of the Santa Cruz Syndicate rides in practice at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  Rat boy getting his game on with a little foot out drifting action.

Last years World Champion Danny Hart rides his Giant in practice at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  Danny Hart going a bit wider than Rat Boy, but carving that turn smooth as butter on his newly clipped Vert Star rubber compound edition Hans Damph Schwalbe tires.

bigquotesI was clipping every fifth transition knob to drop down the resistance just a bit when Danny's cornering hard. - Mechanic Dave in the Giant pits

Oscar Saiz and Andrew Neethling talking in practice at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  Oscar Saiz and Needles talking over how best to attack the steeper section midway down the track. Saiz was instrumental as a test pilot for the Maestro edition of the Giant Glory and has since 'retired' from racing and taken on a coaching role with Giant.

The line above the steep section starting getting a bit blown out by the end of practice riders were shutting it down pretty hard before committing to that run in just over the edge of the hill and out of view.
  The line above the steep section starting getting a bit blown out by the end of practice: riders were shutting it down pretty hard before committing to that run in just over the edge of the hill and out of view.

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  Gee Atherton flies his GT over one of the jumps in the new off camber section high up on the track early in practice...

Gee Atherton in bound and at speed in practice at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  ...and through the rocks later on.

Ellsworth DH prototype bike
  Jack Reading aboard what appears to be that new DH frame Ellsworth is reported to be making.

Cedric Gracia rolling the second step of the steep section in practice at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  Cedric Gracia rolling the second step of the steep section.

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  Curtis Keene 'The American Dream' sends it!

Aaron Gwin rides his Trek Session 9.9 in practice at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  I just can't seem to take anyone seriously with a camera strapped to their helmet--even Aaron Gwin. But the exit speed he was carrying from the steeps was definitely impressive.

Luke Strobel rides a slightly off camber section in practice at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup DH
  Luke Strobel fighting to hold a line while exiting a slightly off camber section of midpoint of the track.

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  Bryn Atkinson heads into the Gully with enough speed to clear the lower tables - it takes balls of steel not to speed check on the way into this.


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  Team KHS hucks together, with Logan Binggeli in the lead.

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  Canada's great hope, Steve Smith, has a little fun on the pedal.

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  When the light's fading, you're sweaty and tired and about to call it quits, you can always count on CG to get you excited. Style for miles over the smallest of hits, with a BRAAAP to go with it.

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  Who needs a seat when you have a bottle? Only in Africa.

Where the dirt wasn t hard baked clay it was loose and loamy. Just the thing to show off the kind of tires people are running here in an effort to carry more speed down the track.
  Where the dirt wasn't hard baked clay, it was loose and loamy. Just the thing to show off the kind of tires people are running here in an effort to carry more speed down the track.

First Ride Vert Star Editions of the Schwalbe Hans Damph tires
  Near that end of the day, I was able to look over the new First Ride Vert Star Editions of the Hans Damphs that Giant, MS-Mondraker, and a few others are running. Everything's identical to the trailstar edition: 2.35 Schwalbe casing (ie, think a Maxxis 2.5), snakeskin protection, etc. Except these tires feature a DH sidewall and a stickier rubber compound on the sides; the middle section of tread is semi sticky to offer lower rolling rsistance, but is made of a rubber compound that offers more damping than the currents HDs. In essence, they stick like glue and likely won't burp if you opt to go tubeless.

Fox Racing Shox dropper seat post.
  Dropper posts were out in force today: I saw everything from Reverb's to Gravity Droppers to this almost ready for production Fox Racing Shox post.

Fox Racing Shox dropper seat post lever
  The dropper works with two levers; one drops the post al ll the way, the other drops it only half way.

Fox is using good old fashioned shifter wire cables to activate their dropper vs SRAM s hydraulic actuated reverb.
  Fox is using good old fashioned shifter wire cables to activate their dropper vs SRAM's hydraulic actuated reverb.

The fox dropper lever mount has 3 mounting positions to better allow riders to place their dropper switch exactly where they want it.
  The Fox dropper lever mount has 3 mounting positions to better allow riders to place their dropper switch exactly where they want it.


Photos and words by Colin Meagher and Fraser Britton


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Author Info:
IanHylands avatar

Member since Jun 23, 2008
588 articles

107 Comments
  • 50 0
 Jared Graves has a good chance to podium on this race.
  • 7 0
 that would be SWEET for my dirt fantasy team Wink
  • 5 16
flag jmbrit (Mar 16, 2012 at 3:28) (Below Threshold)
 don't watch much DH racing do you? OMG haha, Graves is way off the podium pal - he was touted as a bargain in Dirt fantasyand a lot of people will pick him based on this - actually he is quite expensive - Hannah is the same price and twice the man for 2012.

your podium is made of:

minaar, gee, gwin, hart and hannah or peat - there may be a surprise in there, ratboy or another young un.
  • 1 0
 I'm not sure about 'Good chance' but I really would like to see him up there
  • 6 0
 Im gona laugh really hard at you jmbrit if non of those guys get on podium
  • 12 0
 Graves finished 8th 2009 and 13th 2011 and that was after racing 4X the night before. He's one of the most dedicated riders on the circuit when it comes to training!! He'll podium i'll put money on it.
  • 2 1
 jmbrit you're retarded this is probably the track that graves will do best on because of his fitness.
  • 1 0
 @roast-dinner, you really think jmbrit cares? I agree Graves will probably not podium, you think noone else has been training?
  • 1 0
 rbeach, i think you misunderstood me man, i wasn't doubting any riders I was just mearly making a statement about jmbrit
  • 1 2
 i too will piss myself laughing if the podium isnt those guys:

you cant go on quali: BUT - 3 of my 5 are on, 1 is a place away and the young un is Brosnan - not a bad turnout....

and whoever said i was retarded about Graves - yes its pedally but there is a lot more to the RSA track than the open - that is about 35-40 secs from 4 minutes, do the math.....Graves got top ten quali - bloody good result but that's his lot IMO. if he gets top ten on Sunday he has done well.....

bsx racer - how much you willing to lose????
  • 1 0
 so...we've established this much from the mens... question is though, who have you got for the women ? I'd put money on Carpenter being on the podium (looking at her splti times she was flying, though I'm not sure what happened in the final sector) though, T hannah seems to be flying too!?
  • 2 1
 my fantasy league has tracy hannah - pole position so far....would like to pick Manon and stay Patriotic but Hannah is just too good a bet, plus she used to light it up on a 224 and not many people can.......
  • 1 1
 What shoes are Danny using, know they're 5.10's?
  • 1 1
 Why, will you run out and buy them? Got to say I like Tracy Hannah for it, but my knowledge about the womens dh is crap.
  • 28 3
 1 guy 1 bottle haha
  • 2 1
 hell yeah!
  • 3 0
 .....I was eating chocolate.
  • 20 1
 Binggeli straight up sending it!
  • 3 2
 BOKEH!
  • 1 2
 all pictures are required to be viewed dirtjumper
  • 11 0
 I'd put my money on Bingeli, he knows how to pedal in a race since he always races fontana...May surprise some people here!
  • 3 0
 ^ I think it's either going to be Gee, Peat or Gwin near the top but it would be sooo tight to see a local rider up there. Oh and I feel that Graves is going to cause some upsets... can't wait to watch this. Those table jumps look plain ridiculous.
  • 4 0
 ^ Scratch Peat, I mean Cedric, haha. He's been killing the urban DHs this winter.
  • 2 0
 Logan flying!
  • 1 0
 @suicidedownhiller... but Gwin always wins fontana Wink
  • 1 0
 Minnaar will take the win . He doesn't plan on losing in his backyard again. Gwinn surprised him last year - not this year.
  • 2 0
 @ Neimbc. Sorry, but I don't think so. When you win like Gwin did last year....it's no fluke. But I do think it's going to be one of the best year that the WC has seen with such talented riders. I don't think there's going to be "that one rider" who dominates with wins. It's going to come down to who can be the most consistent, unlike years past.
  • 1 0
 We can only wait and see.
  • 1 0
 what shoes is Danny Hart using?
  • 1 0
 ^ That's a tough one man... I guess you could check the top banner of the site...
  • 1 0
 o what 5;10 modle is he using
  • 13 0
 That geeza sittin on the bottle has nerves of steel......if that think shatters, well, its guna be a big ol' mess down there.......
  • 26 0
 Everyone around him is living life on the edge... he's just trying to fit in!
  • 2 1
 hahahah!
  • 1 0
 lol hes gonna need balls of steel if it breaks
  • 13 1
 Oooooo can't wait!! This is gonna be GOODBig Grin
  • 9 1
 wish they posted the times so i can choose my fantasy team wisely !
  • 6 0
 They did in another post today...
  • 4 0
 So can't wait for this season to get exciting after this result
And bring on the dropper posts with kashima coating Razz
  • 13 1
 Fuck yeah - CG!
  • 10 0
 Super stoked to have such excellent coverage of the DH circuit this year!
  • 8 0
 Keep it Canadian!! Go Stevie boy!! Gonna be nice to see how Gee handles his new ride here in SA...that steep section is gnarley!
  • 8 1
 Did Strobel get a team?
I hope he drops hell on everyone's head that pasted him up.
  • 2 0
 He's on Pivot for this season Smile
  • 7 0
 Have these photos been taken with a knife? They are so sharp
  • 7 0
 LOL at the first photo, where the dude's bike is worth more than his car.
  • 6 0
 significantly more... good to see he knows where his priorities lie Wink
  • 1 0
 I'm pretty new to dh in general, this will be my second season following the wc circuit so bear with me... Is there no homologation type rule like in mx where there has to be a certain number of bikes manufactured and available before running it in the race series?
  • 1 0
 I understood the words, just not in that order. What's the homolololologation rule?
  • 1 0
 No homologation rules. Otherwise they couldn't run prototypes like Jared Graves (and I suspect the Giant riders). The WC is a proving ground for proto stuff.
  • 1 0
 where is a pic of Brendawg????? also i ran into one of the fox guys out on the trails a little while ago and he told us a lot about the fox posts. We noticed he had one on his bike and they look like one heck of a seatpost!!!!
  • 1 0
 Got good captures on camera! dropper shocks? So anyone out there know what's the best shock: Fox 40 RC2 or rock shox Boxxer WC!!! I'm an aggressive rider that likes lighter parts without sacrificing perfection of performance and strength..???
  • 3 0
 How is it possible for Cedric to have soo much style? I feel like its not healthy at all....
  • 4 0
 Conner Fearon with a faster practice time than Gee? Did I see that right?
  • 3 0
 cedric gracia has to be one of the most stylish riders ever! always looks so fun!
  • 2 0
 pretty much every picture shows someone riding at mach 5. the flow and high speed of the track astonishes me
  • 1 0
 Anyone notice that Gwin appears to be sporting his own personal Red Bull helmet? Certainly not in-line with the traditional helmet worn by the likes of Atherton, Smith etc.
  • 5 1
 GO GEE GO!!!
  • 3 0
 Is he using a D3?
  • 2 1
 i have a feeling the he will take the win.
  • 1 0
 kinda looks like it
  • 1 2
 No its a One Industries helmet i think
  • 2 0
 its a d3
  • 2 0
 this article was entitled ''Day 2 - Timed Training''...I can see the pretty pics but were is the timing spead ???
  • 1 0
 Still dont know why the pros have to cut the tires every race... is it so difficult for the tire companies to design tires for each track/trail
  • 1 0
 I'll be rooting for Danny Hart and Needles, but I want to see Gwin take it all. I can't root for him in the Olympics (not yet), but this is better anyway.
  • 2 0
 I...am....so......Excited! Go Steve Smith!
  • 2 0
 Glad Gee isn't wearing that hideous ONE helmet. D3 looks ten times better.
  • 1 0
 Cam Cole going to La Bresse this year? Sure? It's cross country only in La Bresse for 2012. Unless it's for fitness purpose?
  • 1 0
 African sun, fresh air, lush green trees and a nice long track to ride! Priceless! Win it Greggy!
  • 1 0
 Here's the video from Gwin's practice run.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K5t6aDBr-E
  • 1 0
 in which the broadcast live page? please
  • 1 0
 That track looks realy nice! Thanks for the great photos!
  • 1 0
 That yellow commencal is stunning
  • 1 0
 is Intense racing in mens
?
  • 2 0
 Cannot wait till Sunday!
  • 1 0
 Some really good photos there!
  • 2 1
 Minnaar's kit is sick! And watch out for the KHS guys there charging.....
  • 1 0
 Team Keene killing it in the SoCal PJ's!!
  • 1 0
 choices of wallpaper! strobel on pivot!
  • 1 0
 I want to see the local guy win it.
  • 1 0
 Eliot Jackson doesn't need a back tire...
  • 2 0
 rat boy on clips...
  • 1 0
 What great photos!!! Makes me so anxious to get back out!!
  • 1 0
 sux to see bryn with out a transition under him.......
  • 1 0
 What's Graves' number mounted on? Anyone else see that?
  • 1 0
 some of these pictures should be a POD!
  • 1 0
 pretty RAD!!!!
  • 2 3
 So much steeze everywhere, putting me to shame with my riding. All that jelly
  • 1 0
 Can't wait for sunday!
  • 2 1
 Harts kit is awesome!
  • 2 2
 These dropper posts...why are people running them for DH events?
  • 1 0
 such a dangerous trail
  • 1 0
 where r the times ?
  • 3 5
 Almost every individual shot features a Fox 40. Where's the love for BoXXers?
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