Photo Epic: Dust and Bones - Windham DH World Cup, Practice

Aug 7, 2015
by Nathan Hughes  
Tyres meet dirt... Dirt meet tyres. With the awkward introductions out of the way, we were set for a long day of all-guns-blazing assault on an increasingly dusty, blown out Windham DH course and it would be Marcello Gutierrez to set the benchmark pace the eager pack will now aim to beat. Two minutes forty-five seconds is the target and by the looks of things today there should be more than a few contenders looking to smash it to pieces, with some brave and borderline-unwise manoeuvres coming from the usual suspects and friends out on track.


Vultures were circling above the open slopes. There must have been a dead animal somewhere.
  Gigantic vultures were circling above the open slopes, hoping to benefit from some of the day's carnage once the dust had settled.

 We re the three best friend that anybody every had ... Devinci wolf-pack hunt.
  'We're the three best friends that anybody has ever had'... Devinci wolf-pack hunt, first run through the top rocks.

Sorry for partying...
  Sorry for partying...

There s a whole lot of legend on that lift.
  There's a whole lot of legend on that lift.

Sam Hill looking pretty in the flowers.
  Sam Hill getting up to a gallop, looking pretty in the flowers.

Rachel Atherton is the fastest women in the world. She was fastest in timed training. She will be hard to beat here in Windham for sure but Tracey Hannah has her sights on that top step too.
  Rachel Atherton seems to be about the fastest woman in the World right now after TT and without last year's victor Emmeline Ragot in the running, things look rosy for the weekend.

Danny Hart twisting the Summum s throttle through the bone-dry roller section.
  Danny Hart twisting his Summum's throttle through the bone-dry roller section looking for some MSA retribution.

Just as you ll find in the animal kingdom black and orange means danger. As ever Troy s a main threat for the top step here in the States as riders gun for the overall.
  Just as you'll find in the animal kingdom, black and orange means danger. As ever Troy's a main threat for the top step here in the States, as riders gun for the overall.

Troy Brosnan was second fastest in timed traing. Troy has many kits. It s hard to keep up with all his kits. His shoes also match his bike. We would like it if he kept his kits in a standard rotation though.
  Troy Brosnan was second fastest in timed training. Troy has many kits. It's hard to keep up with all his kits. His shoes also match his bike.

It is very dry here in Windham. Which is in the Catskills of New York. It s good for roosting we like roost.
  It is very dry here in Windham. Which is in the Catskills of New York. It's good for roosting. We like roost.

CRC had a cracker out here last season with the whole crew finishing in the top 10. Jones goes hunting for the repeat...
  CRC had a cracker out here last season with the whole crew finishing in the top 10. Jones goes hunting for the repeat...

Sic Mic is sick. This is mic doing a scandy flick. Conditions right now are optimum for drifts and Scandinavian flicks. We want to see more of them tomorrow.
  Sik Mik is sick. This is Mik doing a 'Scandi Flick'. Conditions right now are optimum for drifts and Scandinavian flicks. We want to see more of them tomorrow.

Brook MacDonald is a physical rider. He Isn t having any problems with this rough track. In fact he is teaching it a lesson from that big crash he had in finals a few years back.
  Brook MacDonald is a physical rider. He isn't having any problems with this rough track. In fact he is teaching it a lesson from that big crash he had in finals a few years back.

Danny Hart and Gianluca Vernassa head up top for another lap of the dust bowl.
  Danny Hart and Gianluca Vernassa head up top for another lap of the dust bowl.

Sam Blenkinsop wasn t fastest in timed training. He wasn t even top twenty. Timed trying isn t a very good gauge most of the time. Qualification is tomorrow. Qualification is a better gauge. This jump shows good style though so we put it in.
  Sam Blenkinsop wasn't fastest in timed training. He wasn't even top twenty. Timed training isn't a very good gauge most of the time. Qualification is tomorrow. Qualification is a better gauge. This jump shows good style though so we put it in.

Manon Carpenter was third fastest in timed trying. Her plate also has a three on it which denotes she is third in the over all. It s looking like it s going to be a battle between her and Hannah.
  Manon Carpenter was third fastest in timed training. Her plate also has a three on it which denotes she is third in the over all. It's looking like it's going to be a battle between her and Hannah.

George Brannigan can jump a bike. You may recall his winter huckfest edit. George hucked his way to a twelfth fastest timed training result today.
  George Brannigan can jump a bike. You may recall his winter huckfest edit. George hucked his way to a twelfth fastest timed training result today.

Gee Atherton leading Taylor Vernon onto the Tombstone section at a good clip. Gee was third fastest in timed training today.
  Gee Atherton leading Taylor Vernon onto the Tombstone section at a good clip. Gee was third fastest in timed training today.

Neil Stewart digging into some brown pow up top.
  Neil Stewart digging into some brown pow up top.

The mighty GM finds himself the wrong side of Loic and trailing Gwin for the overall but rest assured he s got plans for a quick re-shuffle at the weekend.
  The mighty GM finds himself the wrong side of Loic and trailing Gwin for the overall, but rest assured he's got plans for a quick re-shuffle at the weekend.

Myriam looks awesome on track right now reveling in the dusty conditions and reminding us how great she was riding coming into the season at round 1 in Lourdes.
  Myriam looks awesome on track right now, revelling in the dusty conditions and reminding us how great she was riding coming into the season at round 1 in Lourdes.

First person to comment on the penny this young American was searching for wins the pocket change in question. We will also throw in some used Pinkbike socks to sweeten the deal.
  First person to comment on the penny this young American was searching for wins the pocket change in question.

Josh Bryceland is also known as Rat Boy or Ratty. Josh won the last round at Mont Sainte Anne. He looks back on form we are huge fans of Ratty and his return to the podium.
  Josh Bryceland is also known as Rat Boy, or Ratty. Josh won the last round at Mont Sainte Anne. He looks back on form and ready to remind us all who did the business here last time around..

Who ll take the Devinci crown this weekend is anyone s guess with all three parts of the red and yellow tripod picking up their game of late.
  Who'll take the Devinci crown this weekend is anyone's guess with all three parts of the red and yellow tripod picking up their game of late.

Swiss Syndicate charger Noel Niederberger foot out flat out on an unfamiliar bike for the North American rounds.
  Swiss Syndicate charger, Noel Niederberger, foot out flat out on an unfamiliar bike for the North American rounds.

Tracey Hannah was going fast in practice today. She looked confident in the loose dusty conditions. She was second fastest in timed training.
  Tracey Hannah was going fast in practice today. She looked confident in the loose dusty conditions. She was second fastest in timed training.

Steve Smith was sixth fastest in timed training. He looks like he is on form again. Tomorrows qualification will be a better gauge of where he stands on this track.
  Steve Smith was sixth fastest in timed training. He looks like he is on form again. Tomorrows qualification will be a better gauge of where he stands on this track.

Dean Lucas loves a bit of dust and the 14 plate will be hoping conditions remain as similar to that of Lenzerheide as possible.
  Dean Lucas loves a bit of dust and the 14 plate will be hoping conditions remain as similar to that of Lenzerheide as possible.

Some of the big trade teams are in little weird pits not their european set ups that we have come to recognize. There s a bit of a gypsy feeling here at Windham.
  Some of the big trade teams are in smaller pits, a far cry from their European set-ups that we have come to recognize. There's a bit of a travelling community feeling here at Windham.

MacDonald in attack mode closely followed by a tornado of his own creation.
  MacDonald in attack mode, closely followed by a tornado of his own creation.

AB Devinci s Loris Revelli goes full huck in a miniature sandstorm on his way to the fastest junior TT of the day. Can the young Italian break up the Greenland Trillo Crimmins trilogy on Saturday
  AB Devinci's Loris Revelli goes full huck in a miniature sandstorm on his way to the fastest junior TT of the day. Can the young Italian break up the Greenland, Trillo, Crimmins trilogy on Saturday?

Connor Fearon may not be the take your brain out kind of shredder you might expect... There s no question he has the speed but he admits that the struggle to keep it together mentally when race day comes around remains his biggest challenge. We ve got a good feeling the 13 plate will make it count any day now...
  No question Connor Fearon has the speed, it's simply the age-old struggle to keep it together mentally when race day comes around. We've got a good feeling the 13 plate will make it count any time now...

Finn Iles checking out some practice footy. Or is he thinking about getting into video We don t know. We didn t ask.
  Finn Iles checking out some practice footy. Or is he thinking about getting into video? We don't know. We didn't ask.

American Neko Mulally is very familiar with this track. It s relatively close to his home town and he has been racing here a long time. Could we see him back on his game here
  American Neko Mulally is very familiar with this track. It's relatively close to his home town and he has been racing here a long time. Could we see him back on his game here?

When it comes to Minnaar you really should never count... ah you know it by now
  When it comes to Minnaar you really should never count... ah you know it by now!

Flat-out determination for 111. Lorenzo Suding won t be giving up the fight to get back to where he was in the 2013 season anytime soon
  Flat-out determination for 111. Lorenzo Suding won't be giving up the fight to get back to where he was in the 2013 season any time soon

All the lads...
  How about that ride in? All the lads, Dale, Bryceland and MacD go for a final TT run.

Many wheels were destroyed today. New wheels must be built. This course is eating wheels.
  Many wheels were destroyed today. New wheels must be built. This course is eating wheels.

Loic Bruni is second in the over all. This can be seen by reading his plate. Loic was gapping some rather large sections today. He and Kerr were clearing the most real estate on the open slope section.
  Loic Bruni is second in the over all. This can be seen by reading his plate. Loic was gapping some rather large sections today. He and Kerr were clearing the most real estate on the open slope section.

Photo Epic Dust and Bones - Windham DH World Cup Practice
  Full-gas, Marcelloguvi, was fastest in timed training. The Colombian has been consistently quick lately, will he podium again here?

The undisputed fastest DH bike in the World. Undisputed until tomorrow at least...
  The undisputed fastest DH bike in the World. Undisputed until tomorrow at least...

Two Windham WC wins already to his name Uncle Aaron wants you... to finish behind him at this race.
  Two Windham WC wins already to his name, Uncle Aaron wants you... to finish behind him at this race.



94 Comments

  • + 39
 GO BROOK & GEORGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THAT IS ALL
  • + 7
 YEAH BOY!
  • + 3
 Yooool go the bulldogg
  • + 1
 Let's go Brook, fast and scetchy but still in control.
  • - 3
 Flip off the photographer.........real classy.
  • + 2
 I don't get it...all the guys on CRC are crackers...
  • + 3
 ^Is that a racial slur?
  • + 1
 I'm a premium cracker, or did you mean to say cracka
  • + 1
 Yeow!!! Fuck yeah
  • + 33
 Minnaar's taking this one... This track was made for him... Oh wait... so is every other track on the circuit!
  • + 3
 And of course tomorrow, they'll say, "You can never......
  • + 4
 I thought minaar was better for the longer tracks
  • + 16
 Better is a relative term, on a track that doesn't suit him, Greg Minnaar is still Greg Minnaar.
  • + 25
 I'm gonna say it, Windham is a sick track and gives great racing but it's too short. 2.45 in TT is simply too short for a WC track. Pull your finger out America, let's see a bigger mound.
  • + 16
 The humps, the bumps, the lovely biking lumps.
  • - 1
 isn´t there a bigger track in USA??
  • + 8
 there are MANY tracks that are bigger, steeper, and rougher, but for better or for worse it was Windham that secured a spot on the calendar. If the USA is to showcase a different mountain, there either needs to be interest from a different mountain and more space on the calendar (or it replaces an existing stop).
  • + 48
 How many times do we have to go over this? There are several top notch DH trails/parks in the US, but many just don't want to pay the exorbitant UCI sanctioning fee because in the end the park ends up in the red. Go back and read the previous year's article on Windham. The folks behind the race busted their a*ses to make it happen, and were hoping to at least break even. The problem isn't the US, it's the UCI.
  • + 99
 From Lori Togersen (2014 - Co Director of the Windham Race):

"Every year, the cost of the inscription fee goes up too. It’s basically a contract fee. With that, we are entitled to use the World Cup brand and all of the logos that are associated with it. Swiss Timing is the organization that handles World Cup event timing, which comes with the contract. We also get the television coverage with that fee. There is also no revenue for us from that production, as the UCI owns those rights and sells them off for their own revenue. There are so many additional costs. The whole UCI media crew comes over from around the world and we have to feed them while they are here, plus all of the officials. Included are meals, lodging, and travel within the United States. There’s a 120-page document that details everything, because there are standards that need to be followed. There are specific places for logos and sponsors on posters, and award ceremony formalities with flower arrangements, and champagnes, etc."

And from Nick Bove (2014- Co Director Windham Race):

"It wouldn’t be right to not paint the financial background from year to year, because that's so overwhelming. In 2010, we invested or lost; depending on how you want to look at it, $240,000. Our expenses were 240 thousand dollars more than our income. That was enormous for a community of this size to lose almost a quarter of a million dollars. The good thing there, was what we did early on was that we began to invest in infrastructure. Things like purchasing the finish-line arches and all sorts of things that we wouldn't have to rent in the future. In year two, we brought the losses down to $86,000 and in year three, it was only $36,000. So there was this pattern of decreasing loss from year to year. We really tried to break even this year. The numbers aren’t out yet, but it’s going to be super close. That has been our goal. That drives everything."

So after reading that, what park in their right mind would want to deal with those kinds of numbers? All DH fans should be thanking Windham for being passionate about racing and creating a stop on the circuit. Telling us to pull our finger out is laughable, considering it's European pockets we're lining.
  • + 27
 As @herfield1 says above, most US resorts have little patience for the extortion techniques of the UCI. We have the Rocky Mountains, the Cascades, the NW, even other places in the Smokey/Appalachian mountains at a WC level. However, the UCI just demands too much with an out of line arrogance. Very similar to FIFA , F1 and the International Olympic Committee. We WANT more and bigger WC races and have PLENTY of locations that will easily work and have in the past. That is a big reason we cheer the Enduro World Series who is very successful, in a short time and with a middle finger in the air to the UCI.
  • - 2
 I hate the UCI but not because they have such high requirements for hosting a race. That is what it takes to put on a professional series worthy of global media coverage. But yeah, I'd love to see UCI downhill come to larger and gnarlier mountains in the US.
  • + 6
 Guys, lets take the "country" label out of this conversation, we always argue and complain there is not much mix on the DH Tracks for hte WC, now, take @herfield1 comment, and move it to places where the budgets are even smaller...I bet you there are so many top notch tracks out there, but the cost to put up these event for the UCI regulations and costs put them races to a very few places...and sadly that is the truth...
  • + 5
 Also, geography: if Mt. St. Anne (which everyone loves) is on the calendar, you have to find a US race within driving distance. Having a stop in the Rockies or Cascades is just unfeasible. So that limits the options considerably.
  • + 3
 This also makes me wonder as to why there is no Windham on the schedule for next year then?
  • + 16
 So... would it be fair to say the UCI is basically a pimp? The tracks do all the work and UCI makes all the money.
  • + 1
 I know this might be a bit of an unpopular opinion but I really don't think it gets a whole lot better than the east coast for DH racing. Yes there are bigger mountains out west but from a purely technical standpoint I think the rock formations that we have here make for better rockgardens and overall courses. I've ridden all over the country and I think we've got the goods here. Just my two cents of course.
  • + 4
 Stop it with this argument. There's so much more that goes into hosting a race than the elevation of the hill and length of the track. I would venture a guess that so long as it meets the criteria of DH (as Windham clearly does), the actual track only consists of a very minor part of where a race is held. Anyone complaining about it has the option of getting involved and trying to bring a a UCI DH race anywhere else.
  • + 0
 @Drew-O has the missing piece of the puzzle here. Yeah, you could probably host an event out west, and the resorts there might even be big/popular enough to not lose a ton of money on it, but you're going to have to give up the race at MSA, because I doubt the teams will all be up for spending 2-3 (long) days on the road getting from Quebec to CO/CA. Sure there are parks in the East that have more vertical than Windham, but as @hetfield1 pointed out, the money just doesn't make sense to a lot of parks. Eastern ski resorts aren't generally the big-money operations you see out west, and many of them are pretty far from the nearest population centers.
  • + 3
 Angel Fire New Mexico has a pretty descent "WC" track, it is quite long, too bad Angel fire (the town) and Taos are really small towns, losing a quarter of a million dollars as Windham did once, it would destroy these towns.
  • + 4
 @Idhbaker..I agree with most of what you say. However, I live in Colorado and several resort managers say they have approached the UCI about hosting WC races. Several have in the past as well as WC level ski races that are Way larger is scope. The amount of $$ the UCI demands plus many other concessions is almost laughable. The resorts in Colorado make a ton of cash on actual skiing and don't need the UCI. Most have global, if not high national notoriety. Windham is a smaller ski resort on the US/Canadian scale of things. They have done a great job and deserve all the credit they get. But my guess is they don't make as much cash as the other major resorts. Other resorts could care less about the UCI.

Drew-O. The 'Driving distance' is BS. The WC bounces from Europe ,to South Africa, back to Europe, over to Australian, etc. It isn't really about venue, it's about $$$. Look at Pietermaritzburg, the course is in back of a strip mall in the middle of crop plantations. No lifts, no real hotels anywhere near the venue. Nothing against Minnaar, great rider and a true professional, but someone is South Africa is handing out tons of $$. Yes, it takes a lot of prep to put on a WC. But the UCI is really looking for $$ pay outs.
  • - 5
flag jmbrit (Aug 7, 2015 at 8:58) (Below Threshold)
 @hetfield1 calm yourself down boy.

Yes if it's that hard for an event to be operated for them then they shouldn't hold it. There are plenty of places that make it work in supposed lesser financially equipped countries FFS, rather than showing a shitty attitude towards Europeans and the governing structure you should probably aim your anger towards the local state government or whatever, they should be helping the resort of Windham out if they are struggling so much, the WC brings a lot of extra footfall to the town and area in general along with publicity that it would never have had otherwise, there is now a world that is aware of Windham, a small place that was otherwise unknown, you understand that much don't you? There is more to it than the bottom line of what a WC costs to put on.

It wasn't a dig at Windham either, take your head out of your arse for a moment.
  • + 5
 @bkm303 @Drew-O I don't know if the logistics to having a WC out west would be as big of an issue as people might think. The close proximity of MSA to Windham is nice, and it might be a hassle for some teams but alot of these riders and teams attend crankworx in Whistler anyway. (which is always the following week). Many of the teams are heading out west anyway and making a stop in CO is not really very far out of the way if they are heading to Whistler anyway.
  • - 6
flag hetfield1 (Aug 7, 2015 at 9:35) (Below Threshold)
 Go f yourself
  • + 1
 I agree @Narro2. It would be awesome to see a WC in Angel Fire, but there's no way that place could afford to host an event like this.

IMO, Colorado has to be the best choice for hosting one of these events. Some of the ski resorts in Vail, Breckenridge, etc. bring in huge money year round that should be able to foot the bill to host one of these events. Not to mention that they have a big mountain biking community that would actually come out and make the event a huge success.
  • + 1
 The next US world cup race should probably be somewhere in California simply because many of the US manufacturers are based there and could easily show bigger support at the venue. But I doubt any resort would want to deal with the UCI these days.
  • + 2
 I think the argument is moot. The course doesn't bother me...I like the variety. Test the riders over different types/lengths of tracks. Some of the riders even like the track...imagine that. Besides...we don't get to watch the whole race anyway. Whether it's a 3.5 minute track or a 2.5 minute track, I'm only going to see about 45 seconds of each of the last 20 runs.
  • + 23
 All these photos just confirm that its going to make it worthwhile getting up at 4.30 AM to watch the finals. Beer and nachos at 4.30 AM. WOOOOO!!!
  • + 11
 wait, shouldn't that be staying up until 4:30 for beer & nachos?
  • + 19
 Gee should be seated with Ratboy and Dale...
  • + 0
 Whats the story with that? Heard they were fighting?
  • + 10
 Is it me or does Dale look like Ratboy after he's eaten a few too many pies?
  • - 1
 SAM DALE ALL MALE
  • + 9
 'Uncle Aaron wants you... to finish behind him at this race' - this was a good laugh, thank you pinkbike!
  • + 7
 LooseFEST highlight video just dropped on youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCiUQ_BcUwc

C'mon Pinkbike- keep up with them!
  • + 9
 Glad to see we're back from the wild wild west in this article, yeeehaw!!
  • + 9
 WHERE IS BRENDAN FAIRCLOUGH ??
  • + 68
 I DON'T KNOW. WHY ARE WE SHOUTING?
  • + 44
 LOUD NOISES!
  • - 2
 HAHA...classic movie
  • + 6
 "Brook MacDonald is a physical rider."

Who're you calling a theoretical rider?!? That's fightin' talk, bro!
  • + 0
 Yes very good.
  • + 3
 Virtual riders...you know...the.Pinkbike crowd.
  • + 6
 Who is the American rider searching for beer money ?
  • + 3
 Quintin Kurtz
  • + 6
 Hmm, not a plus sized tire in sight.
  • + 6
 Neko needs a good result here at Windham to get back on form.
  • + 2
 I must say, I love the captions, way to keep it away from seriousness, sports where people cannot distance themselves are terrible. Thank you guys for keeping beige from color palette of DH.
  • + 5
 I'm going for a bike ride, I'll be back in about 2 minutes...,,
  • + 3
 Matthew Delorme writes captions. Usually they are short. Sometimes they are sarcastic. Other times, they might be both.
  • + 4
 Noel Needaburger - great name!
  • + 4
 Go Carlos and Roberto Castillo from Costa Rica!!!!!
  • + 3
 Damn those Demos look really sick on the chairlift. The new bikes really growing on me. Just a clean design.
  • + 2
 Cudos to the unknown up n comers that get no attention...Course sweepers Jr Ex Riders too young for WC...Nik and Steven. Have fun boys. C ya racing next year.
  • + 3
 He's not looking for a penny. He's so hardcore, he's throwing in a double handplant front flip into his race run.
  • + 3
 Hardest part about these pics is picking my new desktop wallpaper.
  • + 3
 The photos are great. The writing needs work.....
  • + 1
 It's like poetry, mate.
  • + 2
 disregard.......................
  • + 3
 Hot damn I want missy giove to dethrone Rachel.
  • + 3
 Oh look a penny!
  • + 18
 with the exchange rate as it is, you've probably just earned yourself a few hundred dollars.
  • + 2
 Open your own hotel?
  • + 2
 Manon is illuminati confirmed
  • + 1
 "Or is he thinking about getting into video? We don't know. We didn't ask."
  • + 3
 Where's Missy?
  • + 13
 Psyching herself up in the Bong Lounge.
  • + 12
 Missy doesn't practice... she wins
  • + 3
 I know with the men they have to be above a certain overall ranking to participate in timed training. I would assume its the same for the women so Missy likely didn't qualify for it.
  • + 1
 Snoop Missile for the win!
  • + 2
 I found my 2 DOLLARS!!!
  • + 1
 Talk about a dust bowl!! Ratboy for the win.
  • + 1
 forza ragazzi fategli vedere la pizza e il mandolino!! a manettaaaaa!!
  • + 1
 Pizza? I'm there!
  • + 1
 no pics of missy rocking out in practice?
  • + 1
 Is that Ramsey Bolton beside Stevie at the lift?
  • + 1
 Great photos. Boy, I miss eastern states summer riding…!
  • - 1
 The commentary/captions are a far cry better than yesterdays windham post...
  • - 3
 For sure. Still trying a bit hard but well done.
  • + 4
 The comments are funny. Because they are so correct. Also they are short. That is the way comments should be.
  • + 2
 While i dont disagree about the comments yesterday, it was just a bit.. overkill a couple years back there was a video from the athertons about coming to the US to race @ windham, and even though folks from the UK typically hate americans, they sure looked like they had fun shooting guns, lighting fireworks, and racing pitbikes...
  • + 3
 Could be a bit more Murican for me.
  • + 1
 See you there!?
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