Photo Epic: Coming to Grips with the New Leogang - DH World Cup Qualifications

Jun 13, 2015
by Matthew DeLorme  
Let's face it. We've all sort of taken the piss out of Leogang these last few years. The track has long been considered to "bike park," and aside from the amazing backdrop has never been a favourite of riders or the press. Things like #notschladming are frequently used in social media to describe the general dislike of the track. This year, there were some changes made, and while it still might not be Schladming, it has the riders on their toes. Watching them struggle to come to terms with the new woods section, the comment was made, "with all these sh*t tracks these days, have they forgotten how to ride roots?"

Aaron Gwin came out and smashed it in qualis today. Connor Fearon and Remi Thirion both had banger runs as well. Rachel Atherton dominated the women's field. Manon Carpenter didn't have the run she was hoping for, but is confident about tomorrow. Loic Bruni was fastest at split one and second fastest at split two. If he can hold it together tomorrow, he could edge out Gwin. Bernard Kerr finished tenth, including a crash in the woods that sent him into the pain cave with some top tube riding action. Connor Fearon took second place on flat pedals. Mike Jones slid out at the bottom of the rock garden, but could still be a contender tomorrow. Brendan Fairclough was inside the top ten. So now the big question is, who has what it takes to master what is now a proper track here in Leogang tomorrow?

Clouds and the threat of rain in the morning eventually cleared out to give us another scorching hot day.
  Clouds and the threat of rain in the morning eventually cleared out to give us another scorching hot day.

Oh sorry are you trying to work here
  Oh, sorry are you trying to work here?

Full speed into the dark tunnel during the early morning practice.
  Full speed into the dark tunnel during the early morning practice.

Atherton heading out on her first run of the day.
  Atherton heading out on her first run of the day.

Tahnee Seagrave continues to step up the pace and the shapes get better and better... Third-last lady down the mountain tomorrow.
  Tahnee Seagrave continues to step up the pace and the shapes get better and better... Third-last lady down the mountain tomorrow.

Tracey Hannah tried to keep it a secret that it was her birthday today but the Polygon UR team surprised her with with the closest thing to a birthday cake they could find in Leogang.
  Tracey Hannah tried to keep it a secret that it was her birthday today, but the Polygon UR team surprised her with with the closest thing to a birthday cake they could find in Leogang.

Emmeline Ragot qualifed second today but she will have to find a good chunk of time out there tomorrow to be Atherton.
  Emmeline Ragot qualified second today, but she will have to find a good chunk of time out there tomorrow to beat Atherton.

U.S. national champ Jill Kintner qualified fifth in her first World Cup of the year.
  U.S. national champ Jill Kintner qualified fifth in her first World Cup of the year.

Andrew Crimmins is on a mission to regain the leaders jersey in the Junior category and he would set the fastest time in qualifying.
  Andrew Crimmins is on a mission to regain the leaders jersey in the Junior category. He would set the fastest time in qualifying.

Jacob Dickson is looking to make up for his crash last week in Fort William and stormed down the track just 1.5 seconds back from the leader in the Juniors
  Jacob Dickson is looking to make up for his crash last week in Fort William, and stormed down the track just 1.5 seconds back from the leader in the Juniors.

Laurie Greenland qualified second today. He wasn t fully on the gas today and knows where to get those seconds in his race run.
  Laurie Greenland qualified second today. He wasn't fully on the gas today and knows where to get those seconds in his race run.

Shark attack on track
  Shark attack on track!

Atherton sets the pace once again this time by over 5 seconds. Of course the woods make Leogang far from a done-deal for Rachel and it s all still to play for.
  Atherton sets the pace once again, this time by over 5 seconds. Of course the woods make Leogang far from a done deal for Rachel and it's all still to play for.

There was a big delay between practice and qualifying but luckily there was a beer stand half way down the track that allowed the media to refuel and carry on.
  There was a big delay between practice and qualifying, but luckily there was a beer stand half way down the track that allowed the media to refuel and carry on.

On a red flag Smith and Wallace scope the upper loam section where riders continue to chop and change lines as the track erodes.
  On a red flag, Smith and Wallace scope the upper loam section where riders continue to chop and change lines as the track erodes.

MacDonald got mighty loose in the cascades section on his quali run. If he can hold his Session in a straight ish line tomorrow we should expect big things.
  MacDonald got mighty loose in the cascades section on his quali run. If he can hold his Session in a straight(ish) line tomorrow, we should expect big things.

Markus Pekoll is as close to a local in Leogang as it gets some of the loudest cheers no matter where he finishes.
  Markus Pekoll is as close to a local in Leogang as it gets some of the loudest cheers no matter where he finishes.

Never count Greg Minnaar out. Sitting in 5th after qualifying he is very much in touch with the leaders and could become the winning-est rider ever if he finds a few more seconds in tomorrow s final run
  Never count Greg Minnaar out. Sitting in 5th after qualifying he is very much in touch with the leaders and could become the winning-est rider ever if he finds a few more seconds in tomorrow's final run.

Connor Fearon has had some solid results at Leogang before. Today the Aussie was on a ripper and qualified second.
  Connor Fearon has had some solid results at Leogang before. Today the Aussie was on a ripper and qualified second.

Ratty qualified sixth today. Lets hope that Bryceland goes off like an atom bomb tomorrow.
  Ratty qualified sixth today. Lets hope that Bryceland goes off like an atom bomb tomorrow.

He simply stares and the rocks part. Is Aaron Gwin a wizard 3 minutes and 35 seconds top to bottom for the number 1.
  He simply stares and the rocks part. Is Aaron Gwin a wizard? 3 minutes and 35 seconds top to bottom for the number 1.

Marcello dipped outside the top 10 in qualies but the way the Colombian looks on track gives us the idea he has plenty more in the tank.
  Marcello dipped outside the top 10 in qualis, but the way the Colombian looks on track gives us the idea he has plenty more in the tank.

Top 10 today for Bernard Kerr.
  Top 10 today for Bernard Kerr.

Gee Atherton has been riding aggressive all weekend and landed himself 4th today.
  Gee Atherton has been riding aggressive all weekend and landed himself 4th today.

Stevie Smith qualified seventh today. Could Smith make his big comeback tomorrow
  Stevie Smith qualified seventh today. Could Smith make his big comeback tomorrow?

George Brannigan is an angry man. Just outside the top ten with team mate Brook look for them to boulder their way onto the top steps together just like last year.
  George Brannigan is an angry man. Just outside the top ten with team mate Brook, look for them to boulder their way onto the top steps together just like last year.

Brook MacDonald getting that rear suspension compressed on his qualie run. Brook qualified twelfth.
  Brook MacDonald getting that rear suspension compressed on his quali run. Brook qualified twelfth.

Remi Thirion was looking brutal out there today. Remi had a minor slip up and still qualified third.
  Remi Thirion was looking brutal out there today. Remi had a minor slip up and still qualified third.

There was a fair amount of carnage out there today. The track is rowdy and for many hard to tame.
  There was a fair amount of carnage out there today. The track is rowdy and for many, hard to tame.

Aaron Gwin never looked super fast in the sloppy and tech woods but his speed everywhere else on track has been incredible. With a win today for Gwin and a crash for Loic Bruni it means he has opened up the points gap a bit more going into tomorrow s final
  Aaron Gwin never looked super fast in the sloppy and tech woods but his speed everywhere else on track has been incredible. With a win today for Gwin and a crash for Loic Bruni it means he has opened up the points gap a bit more going into tomorrow's final.

Brendan Fairclough isn t know for his power but he has been making time in the new tech bits of the track to hold down a top 9th today.
  Brendan Fairclough isn't known for his power, but he has been making time in the new tech bits of the track to hold down a top 9th today.

Loic Bruni had a massive crash today but a look at his splits show that he is on the pace. 1st and split one and 2nd at split two just behind Gwin.
  If Loic Bruni can hold it together tomorrow he will be the man Gwin will have to worry about most.

They call him the Ratboy... The defending champion here in Austria showed some teeth this afternoon with a rowdy 6th. He certainly remains a top contender.
  They call him the Ratboy... The defending champion here in Austria showed some teeth this afternoon with a rowdy 6th. He certainly remains a top contender.

Aaron Gwin has been taking his time in practice stopping to look at lines. In practice he never looked up to full speed but once the clock started ticking it was clear he had things dialed.
  Aaron Gwin has been taking his time in practice, stopping to look at lines. In practice he never looked up to full speed, but once the clock started ticking, it was clear he had things dialled.

The Madison team go over some track sections after qualifying this afternoon.
  The Madison team go over some track sections after qualifying this afternoon.

Sam Dale gets a new shock and the tools to install it himself.
  Sam Dale gets a new shock, and the tools to install it himself.

The World s fastest mechanic John Hall sips on a cold one at the end of top-banana day at the big S tent.
  The World's fastest mechanic, John Hall, sips on a cold one at the end of a top-banana day at the big 'S' camp.

Andrew Neethling had another tough day at the office. After riding week all weekend he had a massive crash on the fastest part of the track and would finish 19 seconds behind the leader and outside the top 80.
  Andrew Neethling had another tough day at the office. After riding solid all weekend he had a massive crash on the fastest part of the track and would finish 19 seconds behind the leader and outside the top 80.

As thunderstorms roll in this evening we wait with baited breath to see how it shakes down tomorrow.
  As thunderstorms roll in this evening, we wait with baited breath to see how it shakes down tomorrow.



Check out all of our World Cup DH pics here.







57 Comments

  • 213 7
 Happy Bday Tracey Hannah. Your cake looks like a Trek Session
  • 6 28
flag pocoyofox (Jun 13, 2015 at 15:50) (Below Threshold)
 leave the session alone :'(


xDDDDDDDDDD
  • 5 26
flag lumpfboldbiker121 (Jun 13, 2015 at 17:12) (Below Threshold)
 Remi Thirion is riding that BOS Fork with black stanchions.. so copied from a session...
  • 6 6
 Rock shox clearly stole that idea from marzocchi.
  • 27 1
 Should we count out Greg Minnaar? It isn't clear.
  • 3 0
 And at the moment I'm too affraid to ask!
  • 24 10
 Let's face it. We've all sort of taken the piss out of Leogang these last few years. The track has long been considered to "bike park," and aside form.....

Haha, missed your killer punchline due spelling. TOO "Bike Park".

nevermind
  • 19 32
flag Alias530 (Jun 13, 2015 at 15:26) (Below Threshold)
 Pinkbike editors do zero proofreading... two mistakes in the first 1.5 lines.

"TO" instead of "TOO"

and

"FORM" instead of "FROM" ("aside 'form' the amazing")
  • 128 5
 with all the money i pay to read these articles i really do wish they would improve their editing. . .
  • 16 7
 Let's face it, it's been bad for a while. If pinkbike wants to be considered as a top media outlet, they need to hire a proofreader!
  • 21 0
 Andrew was riding week all weekend....week or weak or good all week? im confused and expressing this is what comments section is all about. prop away.
  • 3 0
 Exactly!
  • 9 1
 If you’re gonna point out the mistakes, at least catch ALL the glaring ones.

“Watching them struggle to come terms...”

These guys are probably typing this on the lift or in the pits with sun-glare on an iPhone. I’ll cut them some slack, annoying as it may be.
  • 7 0
 Why hire a proof reader when so many people are willing to do it for free...

;-)
  • 18 0
 I vollontear too b cheef prufe reeda .....
  • 7 3
 Two things @jamesroxby. Firstly, it is asinine to suggest that because something is free it is therefore allowed to be bad without criticism. And secondly, value and worth are measured in more than money. Are you saying we should silently put up with badly written articles simply because they are free to read? And you may not pay for them, but people do pay to advertise. You may not care but I'm sure they do.
  • 9 5
 @rbeach. Didn't your grade 3 teacher tell you not to start a sentence with the word and? Although the errors are sometimes prominent they are quite easy to look past and see the word that they intended to write as they were furiously hammering away at their keyboard to give us free users the most up to date information. If the advertisers had a problem with it I am sure they would bring it up with the pinkbike staff. I am very grateful that we are provided with such great FREE news that is updated so frequently. I would rather have a few mistakes then pay for the proofreaders salary. Thanks PB and keep up the good work.
  • 2 1
 Sorry guys - had some technical issues on the old typos!
  • 6 0
 @freeride-fanatic247 Ah the old, "it's free so it's immune from criticism" argument. Frankly I don't care if advertisers have a problem with it, I do. I don't want to read badly written articles even if you're happy to. I have as much right to complain as you do to pronounce your fawning apologetics. And you can start a sentence with and, it's very common practice. I also didn't do "grade 3" as I am not in Canada.
  • 5 0
 @freeride-fanatic247 Think you might want to wash your face after all that butt-kissing. I love your implication that the poor souls are doing it out of the gooness of their hearts. How sadly naïve.
  • 2 1
 @rbeach - I totally understand your view on it, however you have to accept mine too, the article is free for us to read, no money at all, and a few spelling/grammar mistakes do not detract from the article itself. I went on your profile and all I can see in the first few things you've commented on is you correcting people's spelling...
  • 10 1
 I broke 2 fingers riding at Todtnau on my way down to Leogang last week. Wasn't massively bothered when I saw how beautiful a part of the world it was to just mooch around in. Plus the queue for the bike lift was like tťttttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssss long.

Props pinkbike for taking me back to the most gorgeous country on earth. Local boy Rat FTW
  • 9 0
 I've never got the hate against Leogang. It just looks like a fucking ripper of a trail to ride, gnar is great fun too. But this trail just looks like solid fun!
  • 9 0
 Gutted for Needles. He did well here last year.
  • 6 0
 Love these photo epics, thanks for the content pinkbike! Can't wait for the race tomorrow, let's see what Fearon can do yeooowww!
  • 10 6
 Great coverage boys, but no photos of Henry Fitzgerald? At 4th place, he's the top first year junior, as well as the top North American junior qualifier. Would be nice to see more coverage of the guys who are the future of North American/Canadian downhill.
  • 12 1
 Henry had number 73 I believe, so that means he went much, much later than the rest of the top juniors. You cannot expect the photographers to catch every new up and coming rider (that goes down the track a half hour later than the other top riders) when they have so much to do on the day. They were probably busy doing the interviews from Laurie and Andrew as soon as they could. That being said, they did mention him in the quali page, so he is not forgotten, and you can bet that now with his number and standing, and expectation, there will be photos of him more and more.
  • 2 1
 @dhrace507 Fair play man, hyped to see what goes down tomorrow as well! I'm familiar with the media deadlines struggle, and the WC content being put out by PB is superb as per.
  • 7 1
 who's the girl right next to sam dale?
  • 4 0
 Proofreaders cost money, pinkbike is free. Thanks for the excellent cverage..
  • 4 1
 hey pinkbike: gramar-check and spell-check anyone? "...how to be(at) Atherton..." "...been riding aggressive(ly)..."
  • 2 0
 moses parted the red sea and apparently now Gwin parts the rock sea, now we know how hes so quick!
  • 1 1
 Jacob Dickson is one of the only Renthal guys running the carbon fatbar, almost all the rest are still running the alu one...hmmm
  • 4 1
 if you see some close ups of gwins bars and most of the others you'll see that they are in-fact carbon, they've just been painted that colour to look more like their classic alloy bar Smile . I like my alloy ones though Big Grin
  • 4 1
 Ahh that explains it then, thanks. For the record i run both alu/carbon on different bikes and cant fault them
  • 2 1
 All these photos are epic but that photo of Guitierrez is something else! Love these posts! Thank you!
  • 3 2
 Why are points counted in the Qualifying runs?? Should not the actual race be the only way to calculate points.
  • 2 1
 I think only first place gets points. It gives the protected riders incentive to rail in qualis
  • 2 1
 First 20 riders in elite men get points for qually.

Check out cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/MensQualifyingLeogang2015.pdf .

jfkusa is right though, it gives protected riders incentive to push it a bit in their quali run, and also to help avoid tactics like stopping on track to get an earlier start time for finals (as Matti Lehikoinen famously did in Champéry '07 to avoid the rain).
  • 3 1
 "He simply stares and the rocks part" - nice.
  • 2 0
 They all have Renthal bars pretty much. Haha.
  • 4 3
 JOHNNY MOTHERf*ckING HALL!!! THAT"S MY BOY!!!
  • 1 2
 " He simply stares and the rocks part. " / " at the big 'S' camp " - hahahahaha , phenomenal article ! thx. Matt Delorme !
  • 3 3
 Yes! Just like Moses parting the Red Sea! "Out of my way!"
  • 1 2
 Is that guy on the "shark attack" photo, the "nipple boy" from last year? Crazy dude!!
  • 4 1
 can confirm, sharkattack is nippleman
  • 1 2
 Who knew that 'bike park' was now a verb? And a track can do it too? It must be trying to compete with Enduro.
  • 2 1
 Ratboy's kit is sick!
  • 1 1
 Rachel riding 650b front 26 rear? Or am I mistaken.
  • 1 1
 Sam Dale forgot his flipflops at home
  • 2 5
 so im guessing birthday cakes are not a tradition in Leogang! pfft I will never go there for my birthday, but i will definately go there to ride my bike!
  • 4 5
 That Blond girl in the black shirt in Brandons photo is hot!!
  • 2 5
 Your mom looks like a session
  • 5 1
 your mum was a good session ! I'm sorry mum jokes are looooow
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