Pietermaritzburg World Cup 2012 - Day 3 in Photos

Mar 17, 2012
by Ian Hylands  
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Day 3 - Qualifying



Elisabeth Sveum of Norway riding for team Crampfix in the XC or Cross Country race at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  Elisabeth Sveum of Norway, riding for--and I shit you not: team Crampfix--simply could not make up her mind: race XC, or race DH?


Tire tracks in the dirt at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  Track conditions varied from loose duff with sections of minty fresh tacky dirt...

...to hard baked clay.
  ...to hard baked clay.

For Steve Peat it was a simple call Maxxis semi slick.
  For Steve Peat, it was a simple call: Maxxis____

Cedric Gracia s Panaracer tire at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  For Cedric Gracia, it was a Panaracer with a bit more knob. Do the slicks really help all that much? CG beat out Peaty by a second and a half with these slightly haggard hoops.

Mounted police were out in force in the event the venue was going to be overrun by football hooligans.
  Mounted police were out in force in the event the venue was going to be overrun by football hooligans.

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  Danny's at it again, cracking huge whips over the biggest hit on the course.

Danny Hart Timeless.
  Danny Hart: Timeless.

Rob Warner in a bikini priceless or tasteless
  Rob Warner: Tasteless.

Trek World Racing Mechanic Monk gets down to business on Justin Leov s bike.
  Monk Dog, getting down to business on Justin Leov's whip.

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  How do you keep track of multiple start times for multiple riders? Sharpie.

Troy Brosnan is genuinely feeling it this type of track does not favor a smaller rider but Brosnan somehow found an extra gear and hammered home in fourth on the day.
  Troy Brosnan is genuinely feeling "it"; this type of track does not favor a smaller rider, but Brosnan somehow found an extra gear and hammered home in fourth on the day.

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  Aaron Gwin contemplates his number 1 plate at the top of the rock garden huck.


Florian Pugin started first today and she set the tone by aggressively charging the rocks in the upper steep section of the track.
  Florian Pugin started first today and she set the tone by aggressively charging the rocks in the upper steep section of the track.

Emmeline Ragot loves steeps and is not afraid of burying herself deep in the pain cave in the pedaling section at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  But Emmeline Ragot loves steeps and is not afraid of burying herself deep in the pain cave in the pedaling section; Ragot was the closest rider to Tracy Hannah's smoking time of 4:36.853, coming across the line 3.556 seconds down to Hannah.

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  Can the defending World Champ hold off Tracey Hannah? It's looking unlikely as Tracey has come out swinging for the fences this week.

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  Greg Minnaar in his backyard, qualified first and is looking as comfortable as can be on a track he knows like the back of his hand.

Aaron Gwin was looking focused and in control on the track at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  Gwin was looking focused and in control on the track. "The bottom's been giving me a few problems, but I felt I could have raced it yesterday and done as well."

Steve Smith came out swinging with a solid qualifying run at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  Steve Smith came out swinging with a solid qualifying run.

Steve Peat continues to defy time clocking in a time many a young gun would damn near kill for at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  Peaty continues to defy time, clocking in a time many a young gun would damn near kill for.

Cedric Gracia came home seventh on the day after starting in twenty first only 5.055 seconds off the pace set by Minnaar at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  Fit and fast. I guess all CG's moto training and 29er trail riding are paying off: he came home seventh on the day after starting in twenty first, only 5.055 seconds off the pace set by Minnaar.

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  Sam Hill is back and on the gas. He may not have been in the top 5 today, but he is fired up, cracking jokes and looking to push through the pedaling pain this weekend and get back on top of the podium.

Anyone wondering what that new Specialized carbon Demo 8 looks like
  Anyone wondering what that new Specialized carbon Demo 8 looks like?

Cous Cous skipping out on the braking bumps above the Dr Evil gap jump by neatly hipping over the course pole and back into the gully.
  Cous Cous skipping out on the braking bumps above the 'Dr Evil' gap jump by neatly hipping over the course pole and back into the gully.

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  Andrew Neethling is a hometown hero in 'Maritzburg and has been absolutely flying. Needles has the legs for it, so look for him to crack open a big result this weekend.

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  Brendan Fairclough is looking good on his new Scott. 10 seconds after this shot was taken, Brendawg landed the massive hip way down the tranny and detonated his rear wheel.

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  Eliot Jackson heads into the last canyon during qualifying.


Digging deep Logan Binggeli on the red line as he starts pounding the pedals after the table top jumps.
  Digging deep: Logan Binggeli on the red line as he starts pounding the pedals after the table top jumps.

Do not expect Jared Graves to be rocking plate number 105 in Val di Sole. He qualified ninth today.
  Do not expect Jared Graves to be rocking plate number 105 in Val di Sole. He qualified ninth today.

Kevin Aiello rocking the dropper post in a bid to qualify. 73rd on the day...
  Kevin Aiello rocking the dropper post in a bid to qualify. 73rd on the day...

Keep an eye on Richie Rude he was a fore runner last season at Mt St Anne and Windham. As a sixteen year old he s a year older now but just qualified 45th today. In his first World Cup.
  Keep an eye on Richie Rude: he was a fore runner last season at Mt St Anne and Windham. As a sixteen year old; he's a year older now, but just qualified 45th today. In his first World Cup.

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  Brook Macdonald crushed himself on the hip. he crashed so hard he blew the lenses out of his goggles and somehow managed to cut open his face on them. The Bulldog was none the worse for wear and had to fight not to smile in this photo.

Aaron Gwin was down by .008 seconds in qualifying at the Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup
  Down by .008 seconds. Or second fastest qualifier by about 4-5 inches.

bigquotesI sat up after the last jump before the finish. If I'd thrown in a single pedal stoke, I'd have had it (top qualifying position), but I just opted to coast it a bit. - Aaron Gwin

Leov and Gwin looking for lost seconds....
  Leov and Gwin, looking for lost seconds....

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  In Europe the teams have big trucks, lots of spares and all the comforts of home. In Africa, we have EZ Ups and a tarp. Sam Hill gets his internet on on the floor at 4k/sec.

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  It's the end of a long day for the mechanics, and the beginning of another long night. Rain is on the way, there's spikes to be cut, extra wheels to get ready and beers to drink in the process.

With rain in the forecast for tomorrow Mike Kull of Schwalbe discusses tire options with team MS-Mondraker on the African Eden B amp B s patio.
  With rain in the forecast for tomorrow, Mike Kull of Schwalbe discusses tire options with team MS-Mondraker on the African Eden B & B's patio.


Photos and words by Colin Meagher and Fraser Britton


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Author Info:
IanHylands avatar

Member since Jun 23, 2008
588 articles

101 Comments
  • 91 0
 Looks like Rob Warner lost a bet
  • 10 19
flag Joezoidberg1 (Mar 17, 2012 at 1:29) (Below Threshold)
 whens the live broadcast
  • 88 0
 Knowing Warner thats probably winning the bet
  • 10 15
flag Chesterboy (Mar 17, 2012 at 1:49) (Below Threshold)
  • 14 1
 No, no it doesn't. That's the XC.
  • 12 0
 My gf says rob warner has as good or possibly better body than most girls.
  • 2 0
 Is it right that the live feed is going to cover only the top 30 qualifiers?
  • 1 5
flag tabletop84 (Mar 17, 2012 at 4:46) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, sad but true. It would have been better if Red Bull had teamed up with Freecaster.
  • 2 0
 I wouldn't take that to be true, they wouldn't broadcast women's finals and then not do the lower qualified men's, that'd be silly on their part and would drop viewers in the gap.
  • 2 0
 They're showing only the top 10 women (pre-recorded). Then the top men live, although I can't remember how many.
  • 4 1
 Redbull has the rights to air and does their own production/ broadcasting,

They don't need Freecaster.
  • 2 0
 theyre showing highlights of the men from 50th to 30th then from 30th on its live
  • 4 0
 UCI mountain biking events should be shown IN FULL on all channels simultaneously! No escape from the awesomeness Wink
  • 29 12
 "I sat up after the last jump before the finish. If I'd thrown in a single pedal stoke, I'd have had it (top qualifying position), but I just opted to coast it a bit. - Aaron Gwin"

Is it just me or do all of Gwin's comments make him sound like a poor winner AND a poor loser? Last year when he won, he was always like "I could have done better". There's a difference in what you say to your trainers and coaches in order to improve on your own performance and what you say to the media, because the latter portrays what you think of your opponents. You never see a basketball or hockey player who wins a championship game saying anything except "They were a great team and we worked hard and we're just thankful to have come out on top." Maybe that's a bit boring, but better than that pissing the other team off so they wanna cross-check you into the boards or throw an elbow on your when you go for a lay-up.

Otherwise, anyone else surprised to see Gee not right up there on a fitness/pedal track? The guy is super into his body so you'd think he'd be all about the pedally section.

Good luck to all for the finals. Hope Steve Smith takes it!
  • 7 0
 Everytime Gwin took a win an gave an interview afterwards he talked about mistakes.
  • 7 1
 I recall last year after his 5 race wins he only talked about what he did wrong. Gwin is no way a gloating winner. I believe he can be characterized as an introvert, trust me, he's happy inside.
  • 12 3
 Yea Gwin has a rare virtue: he is a humble man. According to all specialists of "business as usual" of image building it is a waste of potential that will not take you anywhere. They will tell you it is characterisric to loosers. You should go around and always say how great you are and how great it is what you do, it as actualy highly advised to lie overexagerating things a bit - you hear it every time you are about to write a CV - sell yourself!

So what were you complaining about? Truth, humility?
  • 5 2
 Its like if i won a race and then right afterwards in front of all my opponents saying " wow, you guys must suck i crashed twice and didn't even pedal hard and i still beat you." That's the way i see it when gwin says that stuff, but thats just my opinion.
  • 7 0
 Hey lads look at Gwins Twitter, he's not to happy about that quote https://twitter.com/#!/AaronGwin1
  • 5 1
 You people should take a look at Gwins facebook/twitter status. May clear a couple things up, don't always believe what someone else typed out.
  • 6 1
 I believe that's what true champions do, always look for ways to improve. That's how he got there and that's how he will remain on top. If he doesn't learn from his mistakes, others will.
  • 5 3
 It's just a quote too. The question could have been- "you were within .008- is there any way you could have managed to pick that time up anywhere??"
It's up to the media to portray people however they want!!!
  • 4 1
 Gwin always comes across as a champion, I love it. To get to the top of any sport you always have to push yourself to be better, that's why he is where he is, and why we're laying around at home talking about it.
  • 4 0
 If you're at the top of your game then your head's above the parapet and ready to be shot at, with everyone ready to dissect your words and read more into it than there truly is. Throwaway comments suddenly take on superior meanings, tongue in cheek taken seriously. Gwin doesn't say the usual tripe and comes across as pretty down to earth rather than arrogant. Confidence and honesty can sometimes be construed as that affliction but in this case that couldn't be further from the truth. If you race in any sport then you can't ever be happy, there always has to be something to improve on, even if you've won. It's the competitive instinct and it's the difference between those who are good and those who are great.
  • 3 0
 Unfortunately, you can't hear the regret in Aaron's voice when he was talking about sitting up; he'd put in a hard effort and sat up just a hair early. The tone that should have come across in the quote was regret, but you can't hear the tone of voice in a written word; that's why I selected the photo I did. The guy's a competitor, through and through; but he's also one of the most genuine individuals I've ever been lucky enough to come across.
  • 1 0
 We are slowly and surely moving Mountain biking into this bigotry that football is. Interpretations of who said and did. Who cares? The stuff that roadies talk about is such a shyte, stupid unnecessary assumptions leading to accusations destroying good people's face. Please leave that away from MTB. If you need such tensions get a beer tell your wife or gf to shut up and watch a match to have some crap to talk about next morning with your buddies at the bookies. Fortunately Gravity mtb media havent yet descended to the shyte level that roadies have, though some XC reports in some papers smell beige
  • 11 0
 Since the olympic committee is already at the race observing the xc, maybe they will stick around to see the real action on sunday. I can't imagine how they thinking xc will attract more viewers than action packed DH racing. In winter olympics does anyone watch the xc skiing??? NO !! They watch the DH skiing because its exciting and dangerous at the same time and that what people want to see. BMX racing and XC made it in so why not DH? DH would rival the bmx race for top spot in ratings.
  • 7 0
 They already have to deal with the uci, do you really want to add the olympic committee to the mix?
  • 2 0
 Well said PLC07! RC
  • 5 0
 @Biggups that's an interesting viewpoint, however you're missing the fact that there are hundreds of thousands more XC fans in the world than there are DH fans. XC (including Trail and AM) dwarfs DH in numbers. And that's a big part of what it's about. So while you and your friends and their friends may all want to watch DH, the numbers really aren't that great in a global biking perspective.
  • 3 0
 Also, I know this might sound stupid/obvious but for DH you need a big ass hill to ride down. XC can make a lot out of only mildly hilly ground, but DH you really need vertical height! For London 2012, you'd have to travel quite a distance to get any hill worth using as a top level course!
  • 2 0
 @Eyon precisely! We'd all love DH to be more popular and well known but it wouldn't work in the Olympics unfortunately Frown Besides it's pretty cool saying you're a DH mountain biker and being able to explain it all to others, feels goooood Wink
  • 1 0
 I disagree with all above statements except the one about it being hard to find a real DH track in each city the olympics being held in. Like london for example obviously no mountains so they could go up north for the event. Thats what they have been doing in the olympics for many years. As long as the event still held in same country the committee will accept it. I been to enough UCI events to see the massive difference between DH and XC crowds. Dh events are like a party on the mountain with people yelling and screaming. Xc people are falling asleep with hands in pockets so you do the math. Biking relates to skiing in alot of ways. XC skiing is a joke in terms of viewers interest and I think xc biking will be no different. Somebody with no interest in biking will watch a DH race because of the action and risk factor. Can't say that about XC. Its just a matter of time so you going to see DH in there sooner or later. The committee is very antiquated but getting better with each olympics, specially with skateboarding and bmx being introduced. Not saying turn olympics into the x games but there are soo many events that absolutely nobody care about. Why not take a sport with huge world following that already has teams from diff countries.
  • 1 0
 Another way to look at it, if they have the space for an xc event a DH track should take up less space. For it to be considered xc they have to be in the mountains already so the argument about finding a place to make a track is void. Any country that considered for olympics has to have some type of mountains somewhere in that country. If you can hold a xc race in the mountains why not make a dh track right next to it and get two races out of it instead all of that work for just xc. Plus covering a xc race is soo much harder than a dh because they covering much larger area.
  • 11 0
 this is a vid of brooks crash i feel for the guy glad he's walking away from it

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b9PwgdbelUc
  • 10 0
 Awesome photography
  • 1 0
 Indeed! Fantastic shots and a great summary of the action.
  • 6 1
 Gwin could have farted once and it would have propelled him past the .87 seconds into the lead. Qualifying doesn't matter that much we see who put it all together on sunday. With that rain coming who knows what the times be like. Might not effect the track that much since it soo pedally, but tire choices could change at the last minute. CG hauling ass hopefully stay in the top 10. It really is a stacked field, the top 30 riders all capable of getting on podium. Can't say that about too many other sports.
  • 1 0
 Yeah so true, can't call this one!
  • 6 0
 atherton's ???
  • 1 0
 Seeing as Dan's not doing world cup DH anymore and Rachel's skipping PMB it out, it's just Gee who came 4th and Marc who came 15th, just behind Sam Hill.
  • 6 0
 get to the chopper!!!
  • 4 3
 ok.. first, please someone give CG some faster rolling tires!!.. second, rob warner ahhh - well nice bike man. what can i say??..third, im with DJ CARY on this one - GO SAM HILL!
  • 4 0
 I love the way Hart enjoying the course, with huge WHIPS...
  • 3 1
 great photo"s but what happened to the video's of training etc. we had when Freecaster was "in charge"?
  • 2 0
 Dirt TV still have videos up.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for all the photos - this is great coverage, and all for free! Nice one Pinkbike & friends.
  • 2 0
 Great set of photos! Thanks.
  • 1 0
 Fair play to brook that's some impact right by there.. dedication that's what separates pro's from the standard rider.
  • 1 0
 my dream is to travel round world with world cup circus as a photographer Smile daaaaaaaamn.
  • 7 1
 My dream is to photo bomb every shot at the world cups.. Smile
  • 1 0
 if i were able to shoot world cups, every shoot would be a photo bomb Razz i thought its kinda obvoious :E
  • 2 0
 Crampfix, a team for women by women.
  • 1 0
 That's an awesome write up/photo journal of the day! So hyped for this now!!!!
  • 2 0
 Let's do this, Sam Hill! Super sick photos
  • 2 1
 Racing Rules it! Freeriding is cute but there's nothing like the cold hard clock!
  • 1 0
 Is it just me, or is that a lack of shock yoke on that Carbon Demo? Suspension freedom?!?
  • 1 2
 Jesus will probably help Aaron cause he is so into downhill,
Jesus twitted yesterday how sweet the new carbon 9.9 frame was, quote "omg this frame is a total game changer, iam super stoked for the guy"
  • 1 0
 damn...I want to watch a live Worldcup race
  • 5 1
 I got the rare oppurtunity to see a WC for the first time last year at Windham. The whole town is transformed into a big festival and the weekend is electric. Me and my buds were grateful . ( We had the Athertons in the condo 2 doors down from us) The buzz last year was that Windham lost it's bid for 2012 after there was no track in place to run the 4x discipline . Apparently the UCI was not happy and that was the last year it would be in Windham. Then next I know, the 2012 schedule was up, the 4x was dropped by UCI and the Windham venue was on schedule for 2012 , June26th-July 1st. I'm probably the only PBer that's grateful to the UCI for dropping the 4x's but If anyone at Pinkbike could offer another explanation how Windham, NY was reinstated, I'ld be interested to hear it..... BUT my point is ..... If you ever get an oppurtunity to get close to a WC location, don't pass it up. Seeing the World's best ride against each other with so much on the line, really charges the event and raises the Drama and excitement. By the time Gwinn made his final run it felt like the mountain top was gonna blow off. Everything is bigger including the crashes.... The level that these guys ride at , really needs to be witnessed in person. I CANNOT wait to get to Windham again this year and cheer GWINN on along with Gee, Hart ,Hill, Brosnan , Peaty on. etc... It's a huge effin party man!!!
  • 3 0
 Having been at more than a couple of world cups, albeit always working of course, I would say that the festival atmosphere can be exciting, but if you really want to watch the race then watching on Freecaster or now Red Bull will show you way more of the race. When I shoot a World Cup unless I'm at the finish line I never even know who's won until I get down to the bottom. And I get to see one section, maybe two, during the course of the race. I'm saying that it would be better to stay home and watch on your computer, but being at a race and watching it the live feed on your phone would probably be awesome!
  • 2 0
 Meanwhile, bromont built a 4x track and they lost the world cup shortly after if I'm not mistaken... Which is quite sad because 4x isn't very popular here so the track is left to rot pretty much.
  • 1 0
 Ian is correct, you are lost to the results until you get down to the podium/big screen score board. From what I remember, though, what's being simulcast is also what's on the jumbo- tron at the finish. You're seeing what the cameras are seeing while Rob Warner is shrieking like an injured banshee. If you start at the top when the pros start and make your way down during the race, you get a sense of the speeds, and the difficulties and the awesome feats at the various obstacles along the way. If you time it right, you can see it all and still be at the bottom to watch/hear the drama of the last 10 riders unfold. By the time you get down, it seems all the mountain's spectators are amassed around the finish in a rip roaring fury. And if you're lucky enough to watch your favorite rider squeek out a win by 2 seconds during the final run of the day in his home country ...it's unforgettable. For those 6 other races this season, I will gratefully be watching live on Redbull.com
  • 1 0
 That is a drag about Bromont. I have friends who are from Montreal . Guys who are bitter about Bromont not being selected for the WC. Ive always wanted to go ride there seeing it's only about an 8 hr drive from New England. I hear it is G-N-A-R-L-E-Y.and EPIC!
  • 1 0
 lol luv it Big Grin thats all i can say
  • 1 0
 will we be able to pause it?
  • 2 1
 Can't wait for the Live Broadcast!!! GO SAM HILL !!!!!!! Watch out now!!!!
  • 1 0
 great photos and captions
  • 1 0
 mad..Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Wish there was a button to fave all photos! Frown So sick!
  • 2 2
 Damn that Specialized Demo Carbon and The scott Voltage looks fast! It will be interesting how brendan is handling it!
  • 4 0
 It's the new Gambler not the Voltage. But I agreed, I think a lot of people are looking to see how it performs.
  • 1 0
 why is Logan Binggeli wearing shimano shoes with 5.10 stickers on them???
  • 1 0
 You've got to love the life of the sponsored rider.
  • 1 0
 They are probably the new 5.10 ravens. They look similar to the shimanos
  • 2 0
 carbon demon ?
  • 1 0
 Mr Neethling is not from PMB his from Somerset West in Cape Town
  • 1 0
 when the live broadcast starts ???
  • 1 0
 Hahaha man in a Bikini, thats classic....
  • 1 0
 Not just any man, Rob Warner, living legend!
  • 1 0
 Is that him? I did not recognize because of his fancy Bikini=)
  • 2 1
 I think I'm going to be holding my breath for the next 24 hours.
  • 1 0
 What's with all the baseball metaphors on the photo captions??
  • 1 0
 so were was the live stream
  • 1 0
 damn, lot's of POD worthy shots. thanks PB!
  • 2 0
 Thanks! Colin and Fraser killed it for us yesterday.
  • 1 1
 Sam Hill is smiling a lot, maybe it's a good sign, this season is gonna be awesome !
  • 1 0
 Are Jackson and Rude running the non Carbon 303, anyone know?
  • 1 0
 go troy!!!
  • 1 0
 BEAUTIFUL PICS! Smile
  • 1 0
 sam skyping the missus
  • 2 1
 Probably not at 4k Smile
  • 1 0
 Fucking awesome photos
  • 1 0
 awesome, great shoots!!
  • 1 0
 Nice set boyos.
  • 1 0
 Awesome Photos!!
  • 2 4
 100 percent positive gee atherton gona win today.
  • 1 2
 Ya they not talking about Gee too much but always a threat at the podium. Thiking he crack top 5 at least. Perfect tires for this track would be 2.35 nevgal front with treads cutt down and a small block 2.35 rear. That would balance out the extra weight from the dropper posts. Surprised nobody using a smaller setup like a 6-7 inch bike. Seems like a giant reign with a boxxer would be a good one or scott voltage. They jumping over everything anyway, might as well have a light weight smaller bike to help with the pedaling section.
  • 4 0
 calm down mate,
  • 1 1
 Yamon they going to hear me yelling in africa. Big weekend of racing with SX Indianapolis tonight then maybe I wake up at 8.30 a.m. and watch this live broadcast with Chip Chereo reporting. Def going on the big screen this time.
  • 1 3
 Live feed now on on Freecaster







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