Val di Sole - Qualifying

Aug 19, 2011
by Fraser Britton  
Photographers are usually the first ones on the lift on qualifying day. This morning s lift ride was entertaining with some of the higher triple digits already smashing out runs as the sun slowly crept into the woods.
  Photographers are usually the first ones on the lift on qualifying day. This morning's lift ride was entertaining with some of the higher triple digits already smashing out runs as the sun slowly crept into the woods.


Last race before worlds means that the juniors are out in force. Most national federations have brought their entire squads out to get them experience. New Zealand has a full compliment of junior girls on track earning their world cup knocks.
  Last race before worlds means that the juniors are out in force. Most national federations have brought their entire squads out to get them experience. New Zealand has a full compliment of junior girls on track earning their world cup knocks.



Another one of the Junior girls. This one got more than a bit off line and almost took out a couple of photographers yours truly included.
  Another one of the Junior girls. This one got more than a bit off line and almost took out a couple of photographers, yours truly included.


Track side tomahawk debris. I can t recall who ate it here but she needs a new brake.
  Track side tomahawk debris. I can't recall who ate it here, but she needs a new brake.


Tomahawk warning... Photographer Sebastian Schieck missed getting flattened by Emmeline Ragot s flying bike by mere centimeters.
  Tomahawk warning... Photographer Sebastian Schieck missed getting flattened by Emmeline Ragot's flying bike by mere centimeters.



Off the bike here is serious business. There were 3 heli flights out yesterday during training. Filip Polc of MS-Evil was able to walk away from his encounter with a tree but course medics opted to play it safe and haul him out on a backboard for a complete evaluation. So far reports are that Polc will be ok.
  Off the bike here is serious business. There were 3 heli flights out yesterday during training. Filip Polc of MS-Evil was able to walk away from his encounter with a tree, but course medics opted to play it safe and haul him out on a backboard for a complete evaluation. So far reports are that Polc will be ok.



The woods were nice and cool compared to any area in the sun expect a lot of these shots from this week.
  The woods were nice and cool compared to any area in the sun, expect a lot of these shots from this week.


Not so great light means today was a day to play. Sometimes playing pays off.
  Not so great light means today was a day to play. Sometimes, playing pays off.


Clawing his way back into contention despite a blown season. Brendan Fairclough in 20th today.
  Clawing his way back into contention, despite a blown season. Brendan Fairclough in 20th today.



Fabien Barel is injured--broken ribs--and will miss this race in an effort to heal up for Worlds leaving Damien Spagnolo and Patrick Thome to wave the Mondraker flag.
  Fabien Barel is injured--broken ribs--and will miss this race in an effort to heal up for Worlds, leaving Damien Spagnolo and Patrick Thome to wave the Mondraker flag.



Sam Blenkinsop had a big off in qualifying today. 1 20th of a second is all this shot took to take and may determine first thourgh third here tomorrow.
  Sam Blenkinsop had a big off in qualifying today. 1/20th of a second is all this shot took to take, and may determine first through third here tomorrow.


Rhe track surface is impeccible loamy duff at its finest.
  The track surface is impeccable: loamy duff at its finest.



The dust hangs in the air here in Italy. A few clouds rolled though some thunder rolled... no rain fell.
  The dust hangs in the air here in Italy. A few clouds rolled though, some thunder rolled... no rain fell.


Emanuel Pombo with the duff trail in qualies.
  Emanuel Pombo with the duff trail in qualies.




Practice makes perfect. Aaron Gwin was mighty relaxed today sussing out lines and generally taking it very easy. Until Qualie time.
  Practice makes perfect. Aaron Gwin was mighty relaxed today, sussing out lines and generally taking it very easy. Until Qualie time.



Aaron Gwin is absolutely flying here today. Another first place qualifyer for the stars and stripes...while wearing a mini US flag cape.
  Aaron Gwin is absolutely flying here today. Another first place qualifier for the stars and stripes...while wearing a mini US flag cape.


Notice the cape. UCI approved--as long as Gwin wears it for his Finals run.
  Notice the cape. UCI approved--as long as Gwin wears it for his Finals run.


Dark woods. Bright open doubletrack to rest the hands... good luck.
  Dark woods. Bright open doubletrack to rest the hands... good luck.




The porcinis are everywhere right now in Italy. The downhillers aren t the only people hiking up and down the track.
  The porcinis are everywhere right now in Italy. The downhillers aren't the only people hiking up and down the track.


Greg Minnaar was flying in practice this morning trying to chase down another win. Young guns filled the top qualifying spots though today. No points for Greg.
  Greg Minnaar was flying in practice this morning, trying to chase down another win. Young guns filled the top qualifying spots though today. No points for Greg.


Protection is a premium. The Bell lid Justin Leov was wearing in yesterday s training has officially been binned but Leov got a complete work up in the hospital and has been cleared to qualify. As a protected rider he opted to cruise his qualie and save the big risks for race day.
  Protection is a premium. The Bell lid Justin Leov was wearing in yesterday's training has officially been binned; but Leov got a complete work up in the hospital and has been cleared to qualify. As a protected rider, he opted to cruise his qualie and save the big risks for race day.



One of the few with a clean run--Steve Smith was blazing fast--a mere 1.27 behind Aaron Gwin.
  One of the few with a clean run--Steve Smith was blazing fast--a mere +1.27 behind Aaron Gwin.



Apologies--a lot of my post is from the rock garden. But with sick light like this and riders like Troy Brosnan killing it it was hard to move around much.
  Apologies--a lot of my post is from the rock garden. But with sick light like this, and riders like Troy Brosnan killing it, it was hard to move around much.



Aussie Will Rischbeith has had a rough season. Multiple major injuries stolen bikes in La Bresse and an ongoing back issue. He qualified mid pack today and is ready to go for Sunday. Get some Will
  Aussie Will Rischbeith has had a rough season. Multiple major injuries, stolen bikes in La Bresse and an ongoing back issue. He qualified mid pack today and is ready to go for Sunday. Get some, Will!


Jill Kintner does not like rocks. Val di Sole is not her style. And an off the bike in qualifying was definitely unsettling. But she s got skills and is a complete pro. Despite the scare she was back on the track during the men s race looking for lost seconds.
  Jill Kintner does not like rocks. Val di Sole is not her style. And an off the bike in qualifying was definitely unsettling. But she's got skills and is a complete pro. Despite the scare, she was back on the track during the men's race, looking for lost seconds.



Full tilt boogy Floriane Pugin qualified first giving Tracy Moseley a bit of a chill for the World Cup Overall. Moseley has the lead but Pugin is not out of the running and anything can happen.
  Full tilt boogy: Floriane Pugin qualified first, giving Tracy Moseley a bit of a chill for the World Cup Overall. Moseley has the lead, but Pugin is not out of the running, and anything can happen.


The last corner that took out Sam Hill at worlds here is even tighter than before but just as fast. There could be a few squirrels getting thrown to the dirt on Sunday it s as loose as ever in the marbles.
  The last corner that took out Sam Hill at worlds here is even tighter than before, but just as fast. There could be a few squirrels getting thrown to the dirt on Sunday, it's as loose as ever in the marbles.


Yes an empty gondola. This was the situation with 30 minutes of top rider training left. Not a one was on the track. Lines were dialed and riders were just taking time to wrap their heads around qualifying on this brutal track.
  Yes, an empty gondola. This was the situation with 30 minutes of top rider training left. Not a one was on the track. Lines were dialed and riders were just taking time to wrap their heads around qualifying on this brutal track.



Ben Reid musing over his run or the hot pie to go Given how skinny this Irishman is it s the pizza.
  Ben Reid musing over his run, or the hot pie "to go"? Given how skinny this Irishman is, it's the pizza.



Boxxer Worlds is more than an athletic endeavor. There is an adult component. One that requires a tolerance of distilled spirits. Evan Warner has his eye on the win that got away last season. Training training training.
  Boxxer Worlds is more than an athletic endeavor. There is an adult component. One that requires a tolerance of distilled spirits. Evan Warner has his eye on the win that got away last season. Training, training, training.



Men's Qualifying:

39079 DHI ME Results Qualifying Round



Women's Qualifying:

39079 DHI WE Results Qualifying Round



70 Comments

  • 51 0
 Steve Smith is the man.
  • 31 4
 I almost don't want Gwin to win just because it would be so.... normal. Go Smith! Or Hart! Or Peat!
  • 24 0
 Or Troy! A junior on the podium! And Loic Bruni in 7th. Juniors are fastttt
  • 9 1
 We got Stevie in 2nd only a second back off gwin, and troyboy back in 4th. Stoked for both of em, and feeling good for smith to hopefully take the win! He deserves it
  • 1 0
 yeah, but 1.2 seconds off first place !!! were talking about blazing fast top level riders here, and gwin is beating them by atleastt a second, thats nuts !!! its should be comming down to tenths if not hundredths of a second !!! tells you how fast these guys really are tho !!!!!
  • 2 0
 stevie has been consistent all season and is up there in the overall, therefore i could see him pushing but staying safe for a top 5 here then going for the win at worlds
  • 12 2
 MAKE IT FIVE GWIN!
  • 1 0
 @alexisonfire93 - Considering the recent qualifying results at the last races where gwin quallied 1st, he was 3-5 seconds up everytime...stevie has a chance, but @BeastlyBrant made a good point, and i think im goin to go with ya on that
  • 3 0
 GO STEVE..!
  • 1 0
 He may be in 2nd and about 1s down, but he was in 7th at the first split, and was 2 seconds faster than Gwin between the 1st and 2nd split! Something must have happened up top. He could have been top qualifier.
  • 1 2
 'MERICA GO GWINNY!!!!!!
  • 26 0
 huge props to jack reading for qualifying 12th!!
  • 7 0
 dang steve was right there! north americas are bringing it!
  • 8 0
 Reading for a top 10 would stoke him out.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, that would be awesome!
  • 9 0
 Go for the win STEVE !!!!!!!! , Troy qualis 4'th !!!!!!! , Bruini 7'th thats nuts. and Hart up there . this race is gona be sick
  • 6 0
 Jack Reading is the nicest man in UK Downhill. I'll be shouting for him for that top ten he deserves!
All you Europeans checkout Eurosport Saturday night for the 4x at 20:15cet and then the DH on Sunday at 17:30cet wherei'll be commentating so i'll make sure i'll give Pinkbike another shout out!
  • 11 5
 GO GWIN.
Know why?
Just to give a big STFU to everyone... LOL

My next choice? STEVIE!
  • 2 2
 +1 bro !!!!!!
  • 6 0
 Pinkbike widescreen Eek
  • 1 0
 When do the rest of us normal people get the use of widescreen for our blogs n that
  • 5 0
 Loic Bruni! The young french guy! Almost a year younger than Brosnan and look at what he does! wow!
  • 6 0
 props to all steve smith fans!!
  • 2 0
 Look at the top ten, apart from Gee there are a load of new (ish) faces there this year. It would be nice to see another new winner as well (Hart especially!) it will be interesting to see if a fully fit Hill can slot back into his 'normal' positions
  • 5 0
 yeah stevie way to represnt canada!
  • 4 0
 That Quali list is all mixed up! So many new faces in the top 20! Some of the big guns are burried deep in the pack....
  • 2 0
 I'm surprised that so many rippers are out of the top 20. Maybe Greg just wanted to spend more time in the Hot Seat on Sunday.
  • 4 0
 Smith always has gas in the tank late in the season, he's a threat tomorrow and at Worlds in a couple weeks! So cool.
  • 6 2
 give some one else some points aaron lol
  • 8 4
 how unamerican of you
  • 1 1
 AMARCUHAA
  • 4 0
 This is Smith's race to take it. Common, Stevie!
  • 5 0
 Hart to win!
  • 4 0
 steve smith is the boss!!!!!! hes da bomb!! hes almost number 1!!1
  • 5 1
 if vegas was takin bets... 1-smith 2-gwin 3-minnaar
  • 2 0
 ^i'd stack it like this for world's too!
  • 3 1
 Sucky quali for the syndicate boys but stoked for everyone who done well (Except Gwin, despite having respect for his talent, I'm bored of him winning everything)
  • 2 0
 Holy bent downtube batman! Check out the M9 in the 5th picture - during Emmeline Ragot's bail!! Is it me, or is that a snapped downtube!
  • 1 0
 What happened to Minnaar and Peaty - Wow, buried in the dust! Even Gee is way back - in seconds. With Gwin , the Overall winner, I'd like to see someone else take the last race.
  • 4 0
 ya steve!!
  • 3 1
 its nice to see Stevie up in the ranks but its always nice to see the stars and bars out front.
  • 3 0
 The stars and stripes were out front. No professional racers ride under the stars and bars, as that was the Confederate flag during the civil war.
  • 1 0
 I'd like to see Gwin take 5 out of 7, but the fact is its anyone's race on Sunday. Get out there and race, boys. May the best man win!
  • 4 0
 SMITH FOR THE WIN!!!
  • 3 0
 Can someone please make an Aaron Gwin T-Shirt so I don't have to.
  • 1 0
 All the gwin, aaron and other fans, where's all the Atherton fans at?? C'mon guys! btw great job to aaron for overall, all be proud!
  • 1 0
 Maple leaf blood is allowed by the UCI.
So Steve you can win without problem!
Before it was Stevie (Peat) now it's STEVE the flying canadian!!
  • 1 0
 although i´m not a huge Gwin fan (but respect the man, a lot) i would like so see him make the # 5 winning man.. would be a prize for the man who deserve it
  • 1 0
 What happened to Riffle? Looks like he lost it between the first and second split.
  • 2 0
 Damn awesome pics, go gee, stevie and peaty. Crank it boys.
  • 2 0
 Whats up with Gee? Hes not having his weetabix...
  • 1 0
 Stevie looks like he might just take the win here, would be even better to see that at worlds. Fuckin kill it stevie!
  • 1 0
 wow the young guns are up their with so much talent, props to Stevie but Danny Hart is just sick and troy is so smooth
  • 2 0
 Great clarity on this pictures, superb photography!
  • 1 0
 Wait till the Aussies wake up this morning then the Troy Brosnan props will come pouring in. He is the Man...!
  • 2 0
 Florian Pugin for the win!
  • 1 0
 Josh Button in 14th! Stoked for Josh, such an under-rated rider, and a nice guy too!
  • 1 0
 today and now.......LOT of rain come down.....
  • 1 0
 Every pic is beautiful, big props.
  • 1 0
 freaking troy brosnan!!!!!! :O
  • 1 0
 looking good for USA and Canada
  • 1 0
 Yeh Troy! Aussie rep-resent! Awesome photos as usual, great coverage!
  • 2 0
 Gwin is so bro.
  • 2 0
 go BLENKY go!!!
  • 1 0
 enjoying the shaved uni brow in the last pic lol
  • 1 0
 What a rough trail if that many people are eating shit...
  • 1 0
 loamy duff
  • 1 0
 gWIN
  • 1 0
 woahhh widescreen
  • 1 0
 Fantastic pictures!

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