Photo Epic: A Brief Intermission While We Get Underway - Day One, DH World Championships Vallnord 2015

Sep 4, 2015
by Matthew DeLorme  
The clouds have been looming. Rain has been sporadic the past couple of days but never any real big deal. In fact the soil had remained relatively dry despite Mother Nature's sprinklings. But the forecast was threatening a cold front with heavy rain, possibly snow. The end of summer. Or so it feels. Thunderstorms moved in during the wee hours of the morning and a thorough soaking commenced. Juniors and women were greeted with a greasy track this morning. Then the rains let up and the dirt started to come good. Excellent even. Just as the elite men were getting into their groove and getting up to speed, mother nature threw a wrench in the works. Heavy rains, large hail. Things became slick, especially the wooden features. An hour and a half before the end of practice a red flag was issued on course as a rider had a bad crash on one of the bridges on the lower half of the track. The helicopter was called in and the rider was air lifted out. With that the day was all but done. Five riders took a run in those last few minutes of practice. Of note on the day, Remi Thirion and Brook MacDonald were charging hard. Loic Bruni took a pretty big spill but is ok and was riding around the pits all smiles. The Syndicate had a party in the pits. With a better forecast on tap for tomorrow look for things to pick back up and riders to start to show what they have in store for us.

Welcome to not so sunny Andorra.
  Welcome to not so sunny Andorra.

Looking up the track to start the day we knew we were in for something special.
  Looking up the track to start the day, we knew we were in for something special.

Pompon radios down to her team mates on track after one run to find out if it s worth waiting a little longer for the weather.
  Pompon radios down to her team mates on track after one brutal first run to find out if it's worth waiting a little longer for the weather.

Nicole s Supreme supremely dirty.
  Nicole's all new Supreme now supremely dirty.

When those around you look like they re headed out for a surf in mid-winter Alaska you know your plans for a nice pleasant day on the hill taking pictures are in tatters... Delorme disappoints.
  When those around you look like they're headed out for a surf in mid-winter Alaska, you know your plans for a nice pleasant day on the hill taking pictures are in tatters... Delorme sorry to disappoint.

Loic NBruni was surprised with a special one off bike hand polished by his mechanic Jack.
  Loic Bruni was surprised with a special one off bike hand polished by his mechanic, Jack.

Laurie Greenland was looking good in a brief bit of sunshine. His eyes are set on one thing. Gold.
  Laurie Greenland was looking good in a brief bit of sunshine. His eyes are set on one thing. Gold.

Andrew Crimmins and Laurie Greenland have been battling it out al season. Come Sunday will he have what it takes to beat the young Brit
  Andrew Crimmins and Laurie Greenland have been battling it out al season. Come Sunday will he have what it takes to beat the young Brit?

Italian junior hope Loris Revelli ditches the Mary s for Dan s after a one run. The switch to muds was pretty much a no-brainer for everyone this morning.
  Italian junior hope, Loris Revelli, ditches the Mary's for Dan's after one run. The switch to muds was pretty much a no-brainer for everyone this morning.

Martin Maes is making an appearance in the Junior race and is definitely a wild card for gold.
  Martin Maes is making an appearance in the Junior race and is definitely a wild card for gold.

Pom Pon was all of Commencal and Andorra cheering her on this weekend.
  Pom Pon has all of Commencal and Andorra cheering her on this weekend.

Tahnee Seagrave in her custom FOX leapord kit. In British colors of course.
  Tahnee Seagrave in her custom FOX leopard kit. In British colors of course.

Jill Kintner of track and doing America proud.
  Jill Kintner of track and doing America proud.

If she pushes hard Tracey Hannah can make the top three.
  If she pushes hard Tracey Hannah can make the top three.

Rachel Atherton is on the hunt for another title. Baring a major mishap it s hard not to see her on the top step.
  Rachel Atherton is on the hunt for another title. Baring a major mishap it's hard not to see her on the top step.

Manon Carpenter through the upper woods.
  Manon Carpenter through the upper woods.

Steve Peat may not be on the World s Team for the first time in decades but he is still here as a course pre runner.
  Steve Peat may not be on the World's Team for the first time in decades but he is still here as a course pre runner.

Andrew Neethling is back in action this week.
  Andrew Neethling is back in action this week.

The Rat takes flight.
  The Rat takes flight.

Stevie Smith doing a little slashing when the going got steep.
  Stevie Smith doing a little slashing when the going got steep.

Aaron Gwin was slapping ruts today before the rains. It s such a good track. I just wanted to keep taking runs but the rain really made things slick. I saw some pretty hard crashes. Gwin is still looking for that World Champ Title and this seems like a track he could do it on.
  Aaron Gwin was slapping ruts today before the rains. "It's such a good track. I just wanted to keep taking runs, but the rain really made things slick. I saw some pretty hard crashes." Gwin is still looking for that World Champ Title, and this seems like a track he could do it on.

Aaron Gwin kept it smooth today trying multiple lines in the slick woods.
  Aaron Gwin kept it smooth today, trying multiple lines in the slick woods.

Danny Hart isn t afraid of a little mud.
  Danny Hart isn't afraid of a little mud.

The chainsaw massacre riding the big berms bare-back.
  The chainsaw massacre riding the big berms bare-back.

The Bulldog was quickly going full smash. Wyn Masters reckons he was up to full speed by his second run.
  The Bulldog was quickly going full smash. Wyn Masters reckons he was up to full speed by his second run.

The dirt here is magnificent.
  The dirt here is magnificent.

Brendan Fairclough giving it full beans on his first run.
  Brendan Fairclough giving it full beans on his first run.

Manon Carpenter more likely to hug a tree than chop it up and make you a new garden shed. Despite the family name.
  Manon Carpenter, apparently more likely to hug a tree than chop it up and make you a new garden shed.

Manon Carpenter is the number 1 and don t you forget it. Looking very solid in practice all morning.
  Carpenter is the number 1 and don't you forget it. Looking very solid in practice all morning.

Remi is back. He was on a burner right from the start. Just think back two years to this track and imagine the possibilities.
  Remi is back. He was on a burner right from the start. Just think back two years to this track and imagine the possibilities.

Isak Leivsson stomping the slippery hard-pack turns out in the open
  Isak Leivsson stomping the slippery, hard-pack turns out in the open,

That s what it s there for...
  That's what it's there for...

Marcello Gutierrez for sure did the most runs today and kept the session going right up to the very close of play.
  Marcello Gutierrez for sure did the most runs today and kept the session going right up to the very close of play.

Sik Mik...for a reason.
  Sik Mik...for a reason.

Smith making all the right shapes on the smaller-than-they-should-have-been CG jumps.
  Smith making all the right shapes on the smaller-than-they-should-have-been CG jumps.

Troy Brosnan is on everyones short list for a title. He and Gwin will be duking it it come Sunday for those stripes.
  Troy Brosnan is on everyone's short list for a title. He and Gwin will be duking it come Sunday for those stripes.

Could Ratty pull off a win here He s had a solid season despite his injury. This is where he could pull one out. Especially if it gets a little greasy.
  Could Ratty pull off a win here? He's had a solid season despite his injury. This is where he could pull one out. Especially if it gets a little greasy.

And then a river began to run through the track.
  And then a river began to run through the track.

Gee Aherton looking to keep the rainbow stripes on his back.
  Gee Atherton looking to keep the rainbow stripes on his back.

Italian national champ Francesco Colombo putting his left in and shaking it all about.
  Italian national champ, Francesco Colombo, doing the hokey-pokey.

Markus Pekoll and Bernardo Cruz on the rain train as two of the few to brave the storm this afternoon.
  Markus Pekoll and Bernardo Cruz on the rain train as two of the few to brave the storm this afternoon.

Bernardo Cruz out in the open during the hail and rain storm.
  No shelter for Cruz out in the open during the hail-storm.

Minnaar was one of the first to walk the track after practice.
  Minnaar was one of the first to walk the track after practice.

Far too much shiny fresh kit got plastered in Andorran filth this afternoon.
  Far too much shiny fresh kit got plastered in Andorran filth this afternoon.

Marcelo Gutierrez was one of about 10 riders to brave the conditions during the tail end of practice.
  Gutierrez was one of about 10 riders to brave the conditions and stick it until the end.

Almost no one who came down in the pouring rain did so without a crash or three
  Almost no one who came down in the pouring rain did so without a crash or three...

Mark Wallace... Filthy.
  Mark Wallace... Filthy.

Sam Hill mid complete track disintegration mission.
  Sam Hill mid 'complete track disintegration' mission.

Andorran dust was stuck to everything at the close of practice.
  Andorran dust was stuck to everything at the close of practice.

Just one run after the rain and the mud was clogging up everything.
  Just one run after the rain and the mud was clogging up everything.

Sam and Bam Hill enjoying some time together in the pits.
  Sam and Bam Hill enjoying some time together in the pits.

After tumbling down the track about 50 meters and getting covered in mud this poor F-stop bag had a pretty rough day.
  After tumbling down the track about 50 meters and getting covered in mud, this poor F-stop bag had a pretty rough day.

What s a little more water when you re already soaked to the bone
  What's a little more water when you're already soaked to the bone?

Peaty raises a mighty beer. The Syndicate had an impromptu after party int he pits when the rains washed out practice.
  Peaty raises a mighty beer. The Syndicate had an impromptu after party int he pits when the rains washed out practice.

Peaty won t back down. From anything.
  Peaty won't back down. From anything.

That s all for today. We return to the steeps tomorrow and more DH madness.
  That's all for today. We return to the steeps tomorrow and more DH madness.




About the Photographers

Matthew Delorme • Age: 40 • Years Shooting: 8
Matthew DeLorme is just one of Pinkbike’s motley crew of World Cup Photographers. He currently lives out of a Ogio bag, and calls the road his home. Delorme works for Trek Bicycle, covering their MTB racing programs. He can usually be found laying in the dirt trackside, cracking jokes and saying things that make little to no sense. He enjoys capturing accessory moments and the journey every bit as much as catching the action shot.


Dave Trumpore • Age: 35 • Years Shooting: 4
Dave spent the bulk of the past 17 years racing professionally before realizing that despite qualifying for the random World Cup final here and there, the next generation was just way too fast and way more talented. Upon hanging up his racing boots in 2010, it would be a few years until Dave picked up a camera and started shooting the odd race here and there as a way to stay in touch with all the friends he had made over the years, and the rest as they say is history. In just a few years time his photos have graced the pages of just about every MTB magazine and major media outlet, while his commercial client list includes a who's who of the cycling industry, and he is lucky enough to shoot regularly with some of the best riders on the planet. Currently at Pinkbike, Dave shoots the Downhill WC and the Enduro World Series as well as contributing to the occasional editorial story.


Nathan Hughes • Age: 28 • Years Shooting: 2
Nathan Hughes was snared as mainstay Pinbike media crew for the 2013 World Cup season and has been trapped behind the lens and the keyboard ever since. In between the biggest bike events of the year Nathan can be found on client shoots, making far-off travel stories and trying to catch a moment to spin the pedals himself. A great appreciation of the wilderness, the fear of a normal life and the quest for the perfect picture will have him hooked and looking to raise the bar for years to come.


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86 Comments

  • + 92
 Wahooooo I have been refreshing my pink bike page for 3 hours waiting for something about the WC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Excellent photos thanks PB !!!!!!!!!
  • + 21
 vitalmtb.com
  • + 63
 "If she pushes hard she can make the top three?" It's Tracey Hannah PB. She always pushes hard. She's given more blood, sweat and tears on course than most other woman. Sorry but thats a comment that your editor should've caught, and your author should've bit his tongue on. Tracey rips.
  • + 36
 I like the content on vitalmtb just fine, but the format is clunky and painful compared to pinkbike.
  • + 14
 True but they're the best at WC updates.
  • - 7
flag bikinbeast (Sep 3, 2015 at 21:02) (Below Threshold)
 Photos are rad and all, but where's the depth? Where's the story? We know it's muddy. Give us more.
  • + 42
 Isnt Brosnon always on the short list?

Ba-dump cha!

Thats for you Brits ,I know how you love the slapstick.
Your welcome.
  • + 38
 I think you are being quite a bit over sensitive. She hasn't been in the top three all year and its going to take some digging deep to match the pace of Rachel Manon Tahnee etc whos pace has been next level lately. The caption seems entirely accurate and truthful, and besides you simply not liking it there is nothing wrong within what the author wrote.
  • + 3
 @cutamerc Glad to see someone mention this about vital, always wondered why it never works smoothly on my computer/pad/phone. Not even sure if they have a comments section....
  • + 4
 @davidsimons vitalmtb freezes on my nearly high-end laptop. These guys really have to do something with their website, the content they produce deserves more.
  • + 1
 how did they got those number plates?
is it based on the standing last year in worlds?
  • + 4
 I always wonder if its just me who gets a shitty connection on Vital. Glad to hear its not me. Yet they still have me waiting around because their slideshows and coverage are second to none.
  • + 1
 The music on vital's slideshow though. It is actually pretty good. I only have problems accesing with the phone, PC is fine
  • + 2
 How can someone say where's the depth with that Peaty shot.
  • + 1
 @dars51 ,

Elite plates numbered according to overall UCI points (not to be confused with world cup points)
  • - 1
 No not being over sensitive. Just think PB should respect the efforts of a rider like Tracey. She has the potential to place first. That's what PB should've said.
  • + 35
 Peaty toasting with foamy beard.... Best pic I've ever seen! Legend
  • + 3
 On top of that it is Belgian beer! ;-)
  • + 2
 duvel is the good stuff
  • + 1
 It's my favourite beer, i can handle quite a lot but drinking a glass like that, oh man....
  • + 2
 @daNI01 Only those who raced bikes for 20 years have such skills Smile
  • + 2
 That is a fine beard indeed Smile
  • + 1
 I love many bike related photos. But I have to agree. Best I've ever seen.
  • + 2
 It honestly hurts me to look at, he's not himself, or at least his old self. not long ago, that would have been a full on, teeth out grin, but he honestly looks like he putting on a face for the camera. Makes me wonder if a certain dirty word called "retirement" is floating around in his head, maybe knowing this is the last race he'll be at as a rider (even if not racing.)

I dunno, maybe it's just me but the expression on his face seems really bittersweet.
  • + 2
 Maybe just a bit pissed, and not the American version.
  • + 23
 Heal up unnamed rider so sorry your season is being cut short
  • + 17
 It's amazing how Sam Hill has taken his little child with him, it must be really hard to be carrying with a boy and racing around the world at the same time. Cheers for him it's an incredible guy and such an amazing rider!
  • + 4
 His wife is there as well.
  • + 17
 Dear Ratboy, please don't overshoot any jumps.
  • + 11
 That's the biggest smile I've seen from Sam Hill. Ever. Must be stoked to have his family with him. Good luck Sam. Stay on your bike. If ever there was a rider who knows how to win big races, that's you. Cheers!
  • + 5
 Bam's got more of a "What are you looking at?" face
  • + 10
 we have had such kickass venues this season!!!! val di sole and andorra in one season? going to be tough to top that schedule next year!!
  • + 2
 couldnt agree more!
  • + 7
 Watching video and seeing pics of the muddy practice makes me think this could be 2011 Champery all over again.....with the exception of Lord Warner now required to turn the volume, excitement and general radness down from 11. Man I miss those days....
  • + 10
 Peatys' beard is epic.
  • + 5
 Awesome photos dudes!

Sam Hill for the win... No, Gwin... Thirion.

And that's the beauty of the world championships.

I hope Danny Hart wins it, but no one deserves it more than "No chain"!
  • + 3
 I'm going to break out my dartboard this race to figure out my pick for the elite men.
  • + 3
 Bruni should have one win this year, maybe champs?
  • + 3
 These pictures make it obvious that fork manufacturers have failed to deliver a key feature, real fenders. It is baffling why fox and rockshox and manitou all fail to offer a good way of mounting a front fender. Not just baffling, it borders on shear idiocy.

All forks should have a dedicated mounting solution for attaching a fender. Snaps, screws, clips, or whatever. The current solution of zip ties or velcro is pathetic compared to the refined technology of everything else on the bike.

Mark my words, all fork manufacturers will figure this out in the next few years. There will be mounting holes and bolt-on fenders that look and function as a real product should.

At least DVO has figured it out already:
www.pinkbike.com/news/first-ride-dvo-diamond-fork-prototype-2014.html
  • + 2
 It makes sense that they'd be the guys to key on that, since the shape of the crown on Marzocchi forks made after '03 was designed to fit this fender www.cheapbikeparts360.com/products/marzocchi-fender-kits

Newer fenders are way better, & mounting at the arch is smarter, but those same guys were thinking about it a long time ago.
  • + 6
 Dave's pan shot of Manon... awesome.
  • + 1
 Yup. Great shot of her peekling out from behind the tree. Smile
  • + 4
 I see a picture of hill, then the next picture is of a nuke proof pulse, and it has mallets....so, that is jones' bike, right?
  • + 2
 Can not imagine otherwise... PB did interesting Hill/clips/Hill sandwich
  • + 1
 Ughhh...mechanics worst nightmare...all that mud and grime. I feel bad for Loic's mechanic. Such a fine job making that bike nice and shiny. He must be in tears after seeing it after one run down the mountain! Amazing pics, can't wait to see the race!
  • + 1
 Random question related to mud gardz (or whatever you want to call those little plastic fenders on the front fork). I had one installed on my Pike with a Magic Mary and I'll be damned if I rode in the mud on 2 separate occasions and the guard itself prevented my wheel from spinning. This was due to mud sticking under the fender. The first time I thought it was a fluke as the tire was brand new. The second time happened a couple weeks ago and I broke it off my bike so I could finish the ride. Am I the only one that had an issue with that?
  • + 12
 You need a 26" wheel
  • + 1
 put the mosh guard above the arch of the fork instead of below. Done that on my Lyrick as well. Works way better!
  • + 4
 The problem is due to your magic mary, they clog with mud where a true mud tire would clear debris from the knobs due to the wider spacing. Not everyone has two sets of tires or rides in mud often enough to warrant buying them, so you might try spraying the underside of your fender with silicone spray to keep mud from sticking.
  • + 2
 pam's cooking spray also works really good Wink
  • + 4
 If the rain stays on all weekend, this race has Danny Hart written all over it. STAY ON YOUR BIKE DANNY!
  • + 1
 This race is going to be insane. We won't know who's really going to tear this track a new one until race day since there's no qualifying run. There's so many riders that have a legitimate chance. I'm happily confused!!!
  • + 4
 Vamos Marcelo Gutierrez !!
  • + 2
 Finally all the "kits" are looking stylish. For a while there some of the designs and colors where horrendous.

Vote for the best kit here.

My vote goes to Troy Brosnan.
  • + 2
 Watching at the bottom of the track yesterday for about 5 minutes, I saw >5 people fall on their arse just walking down the final steep section.

This is gonna be carnage.
  • + 2
 Can't Flippin' wait! 830 Sunday night, swindled a day off on Monday...Case of beer in! We're gonna barbecue whole steers!
  • + 3
 Such an awesome portrait of Sam and Bam.
  • + 1
 wow for the first time i see signs of aging on peaty. Still The most badass. You dont stop riding because youre old, You get old because you stop riding.
  • + 1
 How come none of the riders with Sram brakes seem to use the new centreline rotor?
  • + 2
 What time does the live stream start?
  • + 2
 That's a lot of Dirty Dans!
  • + 1
 Seems like Trek and Devinci boys not getting any custom kits for their Worlds.
  • + 2
 Does Smith have a custom bike? No pictures of it
  • + 1
 Nope - just his normal yellow rig (at least so far)
  • + 2
 Peaty is a real connoisseur. Duvel - one of the best beers in the world
  • + 1
 Forgot everything afetr seeing peats beard.
  • + 1
 nice article! cant wait for the race!
  • + 1
 years..peaty is not so fresh as in past(
  • + 1
 Luckily, it was dry for masters !!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Lets all pray......it doesn't rain!
  • + 3
 Rain or shine, I just hope the track is the same for everybody.
  • + 1
 Screw that, having a mud fest for World's is awesome. Especially on this track!
  • + 2
 Great quality pics
  • + 1
 I WANT THAT BEER!
  • + 1
 That rat is an omen
  • + 0
 9.55 I beg your pardons
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