Fear and Loaming: Practice One - Val di Sole DH World Champs 2016

Sep 8, 2016
by Nathan Hughes  


At long last, after what's felt like an eternity of anticipation and Instagramming, we end the colourful parading of patriotic kit and dazzling trinkets and put these machines to their intended use... Bikes have met the dirt. Paint jobs that might well have cost more than your bike itself were christened today in the Italian loam and root nests, some a little more thoroughly than others. This could be the driest we've ever seen Val di Sole since it appeared on the international scene in 2008, and the lack of any moisture whatsoever, beyond an edge of morning dew, is pulling the course to pieces in spectacular fashion. Lines are changing relentlessly and so is the light... That is, if riders are lucky enough to see through the dust from the rider before.

As the sun tracks across the sky, dark shadows and blown-out sunspots move drastically to reveal or hide the countless man-traps strewn the length of the track. Even supposed 'soft' and 'loamy' sections can often prove false friends, with jagged spikes... sharks if you like, submerged below the 'pow'. Some riders dove head-on into the madness, pumping out six, perhaps even seven runs at considerable pace, while others eased into it and ticked off a couple of laps while deliberating long and hard as to the optimum route. Well, to each their own... they've got time. Let's take a look at the festivities.


That s right they re not just for looking at. Time to put some scratches on all the custom-made works of art out there in the pits.
That's right, they're not just for looking at... Time to put some scratches on all the custom-made works of art out there in the pits.

Miranda Miller... Canada s chosen one.
Golden light kept cropping up throughout the day, fueled by the thick dust. Miranda Miller... Canada's chosen one, trucks on.

Gee Atherton is gutted to have had to make the call not to race here in Val di Sole due to his injured shoulder first tweaked in Fort William some 3 months ago. Bernard Kerr will now step up to the gate with his first practice session tomorrow.
Gee Atherton is gutted to have had to make the call not to race here in Val di Sole due to his injured shoulder, first tweaked in Fort William some three months ago. Bernard Kerr will now step up to the gate, with his first practice session tomorrow.

George Brannigan lets the back end out a big heading into a flat corner comprised almost entirely of roots.
George Brannigan lets the back end out heading into a flat corner comprised almost entirely of roots.

Brannigan hurtling through beams of light in the forest.
Brannigan hurtling through beams of light in the forest.

Early morning sun greats Matt Walker in this Valley of the Sun
Early morning sun greets Matt Walker in this Valley of the Sun

Marcelo drifts through the dust wearing the colors of Colombia.
Marcelo drifts through the dust wearing the colors of Colombia.

Finn Iles dove into practice with the drive of a man on a mission.
Finn Iles dove into practice with the drive of a man on a mission.

This is where things went wrong for Finn. He was carried out on a stretcher. Word is that nothing is broken but no idea on wether or not he will race
Finn Iles shredding in golden light before he hit the deck in brutal fashion later on.

Finn was flying on track in his first three runs but disaster would strike on his 4th trip down the hill.
Finn was flying on track in his first three runs, but disaster would strike on his 4th trip down the hill.

Finn s crash was a brutal as they get.
Iles fall was as brutal as they get.

And injured neck though luckily not broken will sideline Finn for at least one day. He is still not sure if he will or will not race on Sunday.
An injured neck, though luckily not broken, will sideline Finn for at least one day. He is still not sure if he will or will not race on Sunday.

Loris Vergier cutting through the lingering dust.
Loris Vergier cutting through the lingering dust.

Rachel Atherton making it look all too easy.
Rachel Atherton making it look all too easy.

Rachel trying to make sense of the ever changing ruts and dust.
Rachel trying to make sense of the ever-changing ruts and dust.

Manon Carpenter looks the best she has this season on this track.
Manon Carpenter looks perhaps the best she has this season on this track.

Eliot Heap droppin in to kick off the first training session.
Eliot Heap droppin' in to kick off the first training session.

Aaron Gwin has won here before but Danny is going to give him a run for his money.
Aaron Gwin has won here before, but Danny is going to give him a run for his money.

Greg Minnaar catches a little golden light on last runs of the day.
Greg Minnaar catches a little golden light on the last run of the day.

Marcelo looks good in practice sliding about in the moon dust.
Marcelo looked good in practice sliding about in the moon dust.

Laurie Greenland has been pin balling his was down through the rough track with no problems what so ever making rad shapes as he goes.
Laurie Greenland has been pinballing his way down through the rough track with no problems whatsoever, making rad shapes as he goes.

Jackson Frew threading through the boulders.
Jackson Frew threading through the boulders.

Adam Brayton took it pretty chill today. He likes to ramp things up steady as the training days go on.
Adam Brayton took it pretty chill today. He likes to ramp things up steadily as the training days go on.

One very patriotic looking Danny Hart. First run down and already flying.
One very patriotic looking Danny Hart. First run down and already flying.

Team rumors start here. Danny Hart has been spending a fair amount of time in the Trek pits lately.
Team rumors start here. Danny Hart has been spending a fair amount of time in the Trek pits lately.

Brandan sending it over the infamous VDS tentacles.
Brendan Fairclough sending it over the infamous VDS tentacles.

Brendan boosting above the dust and into clean air.
Boosting above the dust and into clean air.

Brendan goes over sections of the track post practice.
Brendan goes over sections of the track post practice.

German national champ Sandra Rubesam had these awesome memorial stickers made for some of the girls. RIP Zarja.
German national champ, Sandra Rubesam, had these awesome memorial stickers made for some of the women. RIP Zarja.

One rider definitely making his name out on track today was Frenchman Alex Fayolle.
One rider definitely making his name out on track today was Frenchman, Alex Fayolle.

Alex Fayolle is loving it out there.
Fayolle is really loving it out there.

Aaron Gwin flipping the warp switch up above the woods.
Aaron Gwin flipping the warp switch up above the woods.

That s team work... Brendan and Neko team up to lay suspicions to rest as to which of the many many line choices are optimal.
That's team work... Brendan and Neko team up to lay suspicions to rest as to which of the many, many line choices are optimal.

Josh Bryceland turned it up a notch today and seemed to be riding more focused than we have seen him all season.
Josh Bryceland turned it up a notch today and seemed to be riding more focused than we have seen him all season.

Danny Hart blowing stuff up GB style.
Danny Hart blowing stuff up, GB style.

After an amazing season Rachel is all smiles here in Val di Sole.
After an amazing season, Rachel is all smiles here in Val di Sole.

Rem Dog was looking solid in practice.
Rem Dog was looking solid in practice.

Loris Vergier cuts across the track to setup for a rutted out corner.
Loris Vergier cuts across the track to setup for a rutted out corner.

Greg Williamson drops into the steepest part of the track in Val di Sole.
Greg Williamson drops into the steepest part of the track in Val di Sole.

Luca Shaw has had a strong finish to the year and is very capable of grabbing a medal on Sunday.
Luca Shaw has had a strong finish to the year and is very capable of grabbing a medal on Sunday.

Aaron was cruising today and mostly checking out lines but given his track record in Val di Sole we imagine he is going to turn in up a notch over the next few days.
Aaron was cruising today and mostly checking out lines, but given his track record in Val di Sole we imagine he is going to turn it up over the next few days.

Seagrave and Hannah have a laugh before dropping in.
Seagrave and Hannah have a laugh before dropping in.

The track goes from dark to light quite often and it is a challenge for riders to see where they are going.
The track goes from dark to light quite often and it is a challenge for riders to see where they are going.

Connor Fearon skims over the roots in one of the many sweet chutes.
Connor Fearon skims over the roots in one of the many sweet chutes.

Pick a lid any lid... Bruni s great protection dilemma.
Pick a lid, any lid... Bruni's great protection dilemma.

Loic Bruni giving it full beans out of the start and enjoying the inaugural smoothness before reaching the chaos of the woods.
Loic Bruni giving it full beans out of the start and enjoying the inaugural 'smoothness' before reaching the chaos of the woods.

Alex Marin is rocking some sweet custom Spanish colors from 100 .
Alex Marin is rocking some sweet custom Spanish colors from 100%.

Danny Hart has been winning practice so far. 8 out of 10 photogs agree. The other two are clearly high.
Danny Hart has been winning practice so far. 8 out of 10 photogs agree. The other two are clearly high.

Commencal Lac Blanc s Amaury Pierron and team mate Tomas Estaque looked on mighty fine form today in the forest.
Commencal Lac Blanc's Amaury Pierron and team mate, Tomas Estaque, looked on mighty fine form today in the forest.

Comparisons made regarding Troy s kit today- God Astronaut Jesus......
Comparisons made regarding Troy's kit today: God, astronaut, Jesus......

Manon would certainly like to end on a high note after going winless all year.
Manon would certainly like to end on a high note after going winless all year.

Nik Nestoroff romping through the well -illuminated Italian woodland.
Nik Nestoroff romping through the well-illuminated Italian woodland.

Val di Sole conquerer 2011 Myriam Nicole.
Val di Sole conquerer in 2011, Myriam Nicole.

Only in Italy do the fans bring the photographers grappa during the break between practice sessions.
Only in Italy do the fans bring the photographers grappa during the break between practice sessions.

Tracey Hannah and many of the Aussies are right at home in the loose dust.
Tracey Hannah and many of the Aussies are right at home in the loose dust.

Tahnee Seagrave is a bit more confident in her line choice after a few runs than she was yesterday during track walk.
Tahnee Seagrave is a bit more confident in her line choice after a few runs than she was yesterday during track walk.

Jack Moire sends it off the top road gap for team Straya.
Jack Moire sends it off the top road gap for team 'Straya.

Loic put down a few fast laps today and is looking like he has every intention of defending his title here in Italy.
Loic put down a few fast laps today and is looking like he has every intention of defending his title here in Italy.

Sniper life in the desert is tough for even the toughest of PB recruits.
Sniper life in the desert is tough for even the gnarliest of PB recruits. At least Delorme still has the spirit to say 'hi.'

Greg Minnaar squashes the big step-down.
Greg Minnaar squashes the big step-down.

 1 Legend is the number plate for this weeks course forerunner Steve Peat.
#1 Legend is the number plate for this week's course forerunner, Steve Peat.

South Africa s most deadly predator the carnivorous GOAT Greg Minnaar on the prowl in the rocks.
South Africa's most deadly predator, the carnivorous GOAT, Greg Minnaar, on the prowl in the rocks.

Markus Pekoll on the attack for team Austria through some super dry VDS loam.
Markus Pekoll on the attack for team Austria through some super dry VDS loam.

Charilie Harrison goes over practice footage with Dan Brown. Harrison could end up with a good result here given his past two world cups.
Charlie Harrison goes over practice footage with Dan Brown. Harrison could end up with a good result here given his past two World Cups.

Visitors welcome... kind of. Nigel keeps the punters clear of his Devinci work station with a single look.
Visitors welcome... kind of. Nigel keeps the punters clear of his Devinci work station with a single look.

Just the one outting for the hot new rides and they re already getting all sorts of love.
Just the one outing for the hot new rides and they're already getting all sorts of love.

Aaron cleans dust out off all the hard to reach places on Troy s bike after practice.
Aaron cleans dust out off all the hard to reach places on Troy's bike after practice.

Ben Arnott applies Copper paste to the titanium bolts to prevent them sticking in the aluminium components at the YT Mob pit.
Ben Arnott applies copper paste to the titanium bolts to prevent them from sticking in the aluminum components at the YT Mob pit.

No rainbow towel to buff Loic s bike Definitely an oversight at the Specialized Gravity Republic Worlds gear planning session...
No rainbow towel to buff Loic's bike? Definitely an oversight at the Specialized Gravity Republic Worlds gear planning session...

Mick Hannah chillin in the shade.
Mick Hannah chillin' in the shade.

That s these loam-eating beasts all fed and watered time to put them to bed for the night before things get really nasty tomorrow.
These loam-eating beasts are all fed and watered, time to put them to bed for the night before things get really nasty tomorrow.



190 Comments

  • + 149
 Hope Fin is okay!!! That kid rips
  • + 32
 Heal up bud! Sucks to see his neck being braced like that
  • - 21
flag fatfingur (Sep 8, 2016 at 19:16) (Below Threshold)
 A neck brace would have helped.
  • + 78
 @fatfingur: internet comments would have helped.
  • + 91
 I really hope he doesn't race. If you crack your shin guard I'd be confident you have a concussion. I think Finn could actually get more press from his sponsors by saying it isn't worth it and bringing it to light. He has a whole career to grab the rainbow stripes ahead of him. I had a concussion last spring from lacrosse and missed the last month of school and rested for the beginning of my summer and I am still getting headaches in school a few months later when I am really working my brain.
  • - 34
flag chyu (Sep 8, 2016 at 20:22) (Below Threshold)
 Letfinnin
  • + 38
 @jfkusa: agreed. don't chance it, just sit it out. he's the youngest kid on the circuit with arguably the most potential. live to fight another day, make the mature decision and sit it out.

on another note, that's a right proper test for that new 100% helmet. I'd say it did it's job pretty well, broke a bit and absorbed some of the impact, while still maintaining a solid enough structure to not completely break off or cave in. Looks like it performed just like it should. Good on them for bringing a quality, safe helmet to market.
  • - 65
flag sean9002 (Sep 8, 2016 at 21:49) (Below Threshold)
 @fatfingur: How the F\/CK will a neck brace help when his helmet snapped at the jaw line. go home pal, your dumb.
  • + 83
 His dumb what?
  • + 22
 @sean9002: I'm not even going to bother pointing out the irony in your 'your dumb' comment!!
  • + 3
 @jfkusa: Good advice buddy. I've read a whole lot about it recently and its one thing I wouldn't take the risk of anymore, those young kids should be even more careful for sure. This one I read the other day got my scared but it might be a good idea for these riders to help em gauge how bad a slam they took.
www.descent-world.co.uk/2016/09/07/helmet-impact-telemetry-a-step-in-the-right-direction
  • + 6
 I'm at the race and just happened to walk by when he was talking to someone about so I stopped and listened. Sounds like he got stretchered off after the crash because he first told the medics when they came up to him it was his back that was in pain so they got worried and just followed protocol. He said he was in the neck brace later just because he wanted to chill and not retweak it. Didn't see the crash not sure if he was out there today but just wanted to put that out there that he seemed to be doing real okay at the end of the day after the race.
  • + 0
 doublepost
  • + 1
 @jfkusa: He'll go through a full medical eval and they won't let him race if he's showing signs of concussion. That's how people get killed on courses like this. It slows down you're reaction time.


Hell of a crash. Helmet failing like that is a sure sign it's doing it's job.
  • + 1
 still a first year junior too, he's got another crack at this
  • + 3
 @onemanarmy: The problem is a "full medical eval" for head/ neck injuries is next to non-existent. Zink pulling the giant 3 after knocking himself out at Rampage would be a prime example of riders pushing on regardless...
  • + 3
 @BeardlessMarinRider: Not really...

This is not Rampage. Do you not recall T.Mac slamming last year and not riding after being evaluated at the hospital? Finn was removed from the mountain by medical staff... in a neck brace... and transitioned to the hospital to be evaluated. It's a completely different event and situation. And Rampage is progressing as well.

Rampage doesn't have an official concussion protocol. They do have medics on-site and evacuation plans in place. But look at Rogatkin. He got up and continued his run WITHOUT an o.k. from medics.
  • + 2
 @onemanarmy: I was making two separate points. One, that it is next to impossible to asses concussion, especially short term (on the spot/ overnight) unless you are really in a bad way and MRI picks up something nasty. The only reasonably agreed point is that if you are knocked out you should have a week+ off to see if symptoms develop and especially avoid second impact syndrome in impact/ contact sports. Which leads on to the second point... that "athletes" usually have a desire to push on regardless and should usually be forced to take precautions because they are not in an unbiased position. You see it all the time in team sports too. "Were you knocked out".. "no guv", "doc did you see him knocked out"... "no I didn't have a clear view"... "right, as you were chaps". Zink is a particularly bad example as there was no getting around the fact he was knocked out pretty bad. The only definite is to be cautious if the rider was knocked out... everything else is keeping on top of mid to long term symptoms an extremely hard to asses. Don't be fooled in to thinking that a "full medical assessment" is anything sophisticated
  • + 1
 @BeardlessMarinRider:

I'm not saying you're wrong. I've lied about getting ko'd myself so I could keep going.

I'm just saying... the world cup is an entirely different animal. And Finn was cleared... and won.
  • + 105
 So many amazing images! Can't wait for race day.
  • + 6
 Bernard Kerr Is back on the GB team, after Gees injury, YEAH BOYYYY.
  • + 0
 Check his instagram
  • + 0
 @davetrump: pics seemed a notch blurry after the grappa...
  • + 91
 Come on Neko!!
  • + 13
 Sh:t I meant to hit the ^ arrow! Will someone who doesn't care up vote this for me. Thanks
  • + 80
 Already missing Sam Hill
  • + 19
 National team selection criteria aside, I feel former world champions should be automatically included thru the UCI without it being a spot on a national team. There's racers that have zero world cup experience racing - some I could possibly beat (p.s. - I'm slow in regards to racing) - out there.

Rant aside, yes - Hill is sorely missed on a track he can punish.
  • + 67
 And all of Canada misses Stevie Longlivechainsaw Go Miranda Go Finn Go mark
  • + 58
 Val Di Sole is like an insanely hot girlfriend who is a psychopath.... Always tries to kill you, but makes really good pancakes.
  • + 35
 reqlly you have a smoking hot girl and all you want her to do is make pancakes
  • + 30
 @mxmtb: Ooooh you dirty dog! You read my mind, she'd probably be great at landscaping too. Good to know you got my back.
  • + 5
 @Travel66: She's particularly fond of floor spice with her pancakes. Not my brand of flavor, but it's a main staple of your local Dennys or IHOP.
  • + 35
 Big up to Gee for stepping down when he knows he's not 100% and giving Kerr a day he'll never forget!
  • + 16
 Absolutely. Gee's a hero without the ego.
  • + 22
 "Josh Bryceland turned it up a notch today and seemed to be riding more focused than we have seen him all season." - yes f*ckin yes
  • + 20
 Troy's kit is dope!
  • + 18
 The new Daft Punk helmet would complete Brosnan's kit!
  • + 15
 Excellent job guys, all of these photos really tell a story almost by themselves.
  • + 15
 Actually, Gee is not racing because Trek didn't give Him a custom paint job.
  • + 31
 Nope. Rachel doesn't want to be compared.
  • + 14
 Did anyone notice the wheel size on Hanna's bike compared to Seagrave's? Is that a 29er?? This photo here: www.pinkbike.com/photo/13919313
  • + 5
 This needs more analysis
  • + 1
 I think it's just the angle - look how Tahnee's bike is leaned over to the left. Here's Tracey's bike: www.pinkbike.com/photo/13914725
  • + 2
 I noticed it right away & thought it has begun. It would have been mentioned though I think if it indeed was a 29er.
  • + 9
 Absolutely no doubt in my mind that it will happen soon. Dh tracks don't have as many tight turns as they used to and tend to be super high speed and super rough. Just where 29 inch wheels excel.
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: I'd bet $100 right now that if Minnaar was on a 29" V10, and on this course, he would win.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: but all you'd be doing is smoothing out the course! So then you gotta find a rougher course,then you'll increase wheel size again yeah!
  • + 2
 Took a 29er down Hamsterly (Danny Harts local) the other day and it worked really well.
Swap the dropper for a normal seat post to give a bit more seat clearance and beef up travel (only had 150mm) and it would be sorted!
  • + 1
 Just the angle and the fact Tracy is clearly quite tiny.
  • + 4
 @ibishreddin: we've all seen Trek and Intense's 29er DH rigs. If there were an advantage, pretty sure you would see their teams on them. Hill doesn't even use the Mega290 in EWS. The larger wheels may help out the less skilled, but the Elite's speed may be too much for the larger hoops. Remember Chainsaw beating the all the brand new 27.5's on 26". It may be a matter of needing more time to work on wheel strength for that size, or else maybe 27.5 is just the sweet spot for DH.
  • + 2
 @Rubberelli: Bingo. People seem to think they alone (and the entire UCI XC field) have some deep secret about 29ers that the entire WC doesn't know about or haven't tested extensively on mules and protos. News Flash: Just about all mfgs and teams have tested them and you aren't suggesting something that wasn't tried months or years ago long before you were brainwashed by the latest industry marketing.
  • + 3
 @atrokz:
@ibishreddin
Yer I'm sure 27 probably is the sweet spot for a lot of DH tracks....but for some tracks (just like EWS) a 29 will probably pay.....especially if your Minnaar size....maybe SC should build him one for some of the tracks!

TBF it seems hard to understand what the pro's opt for sometimes ........some of the top EWS riders seem to ride quite small frames with narrower than one might expect bars (Rude/Graves)...that's hard to fathom given the brutal physical demands of EWS and along with riders that some might consider outliers like Sam Hill (flats on 27 for EWS) and T-Mo (swears by 29ers despite her modest height).
  • + 1
 @Travel66: I'm with @atrokz, there is no way SC has not already proto'd a 29er with Minnaar. For years, fork manufacturers built their 26" crowns large enough for 27.5 wheels so racers could put on the larger wheel up front for rougher tracks. You don't see that ever happening with 29".
  • + 1
 @Travel66: agree. They will test and test and in DH they generally use what works. Trek had 29er protos just this year for the Athertons. There's a give and take with what works and maybe it's still not the ideal size currently when all factors are taken into account. Just funny that people don't think these teams have already tested these. Many have.
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: I would be surprised if they haven't or aren't doing it now. They will run what works, since wins sell bikes.
  • + 2
 @atrokz: Thanks, but reality is not appreciated here in PB-world. Expect to receive a strongly worded letter from several product advertisers.
  • + 2
 @jackalope: It usually isn't, that's for sure, and I thi... hold on, I hear a knock at my door...
  • + 1
 @atrokz: I think a fair few have seen the odd pics floating around, but it seems to take a lot for the manufacturers to move forward....look at DH frame sizes...apart from Santa (Minnaar driven), Pivot and maybe Banshee the rest are all quite limited on size...if they cant' be bothered with big frames why would they commercially green light a big wheel DH rig? (and I would understand if they chose not too given the need to get a return on investment)....
...what I would say is if any of them want to lend me a prototype to try I would give it a go!!! :-)))
  • + 1
 @Travel66: By mentioning Rudes and Graves, you also mentioned two of the guys with more muscle mass than the large majority of competitors. And perhaps as a result, narrower bars work better with their styles and physiques.

As varied as the pro riders are in how they think about going fast, size, and experience, I'm surprised we don't see more variance in what they are all doing.
  • + 1
 @BDKR: Yep, I noticed they are both built. I also noticed that when riding the crazy steep stuff at La Thuile a small compact bike with shorter bars may have helped me, but on the big open crazy fast sections a larger framed big wheeler would be invaluable....
Rude was motoring on his last big crash and seemed to get tied up in the smallish bike. Same for Hill crash as well IMHO....but not suggesting they should switch wheel size on that basis but worthy of note!

I guess with so much choice on wheel size and so much change on geometry and suspension its hard to know what's "best" for every individual and track.
  • + 1
 @Travel66: I can't believe you got a down vote (neg prop) for your comment. PB should make you explain why you are neg-propping.

Anyway....

"I guess with so much choice on wheel size and so much change on geometry and suspension its hard to know what's "best" for every individual and track."

Exactly!
  • + 2
 @BDKR: some can't cope with a discussion.....
  • + 1
 @Travel66: is the race on Saturday or Sunday?
  • + 1
 @jaame: Wednesday
  • + 2
 @Travel66: har bloody har. I was thinking cross country was sunday... but they've already had it apparently.
  • + 11
 Troy is not tall enough to be God or Jesus... I say astronaut!
  • + 9
 Or a virgin Smile
  • + 2
 @irud1: Hopefully he starts a new trend and we can kiss goodbye to all the horrible garish pyjama costumes for a decade or two. All white on the night!
  • + 1
 Also we can see Troy so....
  • + 3
 Jesus was really short, as were nearly all humans until relatively recently. Diets and living conditions really sucked. The Dutch are now one of the tallest nations on earth, but go to a Dutch museum and have a look at suits of armour and shoes etc and they look like they were made for children.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: Good point well made
  • + 7
 Amazing Photography everyone!!!!! Expertly executed both in camera and post. Had to be amazing being there, course looks sick.
  • + 9
 Some say Troy is only missing white helmet and blue lens
  • + 12
 "It's NOT The Stig, but The Stig's downhill cousin!"
  • + 7
 Gutted for Iles and Atherton. Hope they both come back in great shape. That Gwin bike tho....Should be PEGI18 3
  • + 8
 I love that chrome GT Fury - looks sooo 90's (in a positive way!)
  • + 1
 GT ballburnished is a great classic look. I really liked how the inverted that look with chrome stickers on black carbon they had on a Zaskar on a show a while ago so it can still sort of be done on top tier bikes that only come in carbon.
  • + 5
 Heel up Finn
Good call Gee (hope to see u stronger next season)
Keep it clean Troy (you've been unlucky this season)
Go Danny go
Josh get your shit together
and just hand the trophy to the GOAT and go home...;-)
  • + 6
 Gwin's fork does not look like it has Kashima, some new coating? Or when you run it that stiff friction is not a concern?
  • + 9
 It's the lighting.
  • + 8
 Photographers Fault
  • + 1
 though not on any bike here, didn't Fox introduce a new black lowers / black stanchions fork for 2017?
  • + 9
 At least the lowers aren't orange
  • + 1
 @Ride12: Yes, but not on the factory series.
  • + 2
 Go for the French Team Baguette!!!
Bruni, Thirion, Vergier, Vigé, Fayolle, Pierron!
They all have a chance to do something!
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Allez les schtroumpfs !
  • + 1
 yea im concerned he's an animal. cant be doing that :/
  • + 4
 So what if Ratboy has been playing a blinder? taking it easy all season so he can add the gold medal he chucked away in Norway?
  • + 5
 The Austranaut..... Anybody??!?!?!
  • + 2
 Glad Kerr got a spot!! Gonna be a great season ender but us west coasters gotta view at
"Sep 11 Live at 3:30 AM" pull a late night or hella early morning? Either way my Sat ride is gonna be beerwagon
  • + 1
 Watch it on a Roku and you have to watch the replay anyway or else miss the last five riders and you won't see who won!
  • + 2
 Those are some really incredible pictures.....it's really captures how technical that track is and how dry the conditions are.
  • + 4
 Not the same without Sam.. Especially this track.
  • + 3
 The photography and write ups just keep getting better and better. Keep it up PinkBike!
  • + 1
 Not one single picture of Bryceland, whats cracking off really? Since Warner mentioned this may be his last race last week the rumor mill has gone crazy. Can anyone elaborate?
  • + 3
 there is a photo of bryceland.... ^^^
  • + 1
 go on dirt and look at ratboys vid. there are some shiti rumors in that description
  • + 3
 Finn!!! looks like it was absolutely brutal. My heart breaks for the young blood.
  • + 3
 Of course you need to bleed Sram brakes after only one run!
  • + 2
 Gnarliest track of the year - $100,000's dollars spent on custom paint jobs - how much extra spent on rider safety?
  • + 1
 Best comment ever!

DH seems strange! Just as much potential for injury as Superbike or MotoGP (as examples) but everyone turns deaf the moment someone starts up about rider safety.
  • + 3
 For some reason I just don't want to see Hart on a Trek.
  • + 1
 They should put him on y.t...
  • + 3
 It looks like Troy is on the way to his wedding
  • + 3
 MINNAAR the canivorous goat
  • + 1
 in stark contrast to the many beautiful images, that troy lee helmet half way down made me want to gouge my eyes out. is that the ed hardy limited edition?
  • + 3
 What!? GEE!!! You're not going to ride that Blacked Out Trek??
  • + 3
 Healing vibes to Finn!!!!
  • + 1
 Sike questions about the format of WC's and how Redbull Televises it.

Are riders protected? Also who does Redbull Televise? top 20?

Thanks
  • + 4
 carnivorous GOAT- POD
  • + 1
 I feel something more than respect to this guy.
How gay is that?
  • + 3
 Danny bout to get paid! Good on ya, just don't slow down!
  • + 1
 So pros use Ti bolts to primarily save weight? Then they add copper paste that is quite heavy as to not have the bolt get 'stuck'. Hmm
  • + 3
 Good to see he (Gwin) didn't have to run the orange lowers.
  • + 1
 At a bar drinking a beer looking at all this on my phone. Photos are taking forever to upload but the ones that have came through are worth the wait!
  • + 3
 Surely Finn Illes will be told he's not allowed to race?!
  • + 3
 Probably better for him in the long term. Better to have a healed brain and a long career than some rainbowstripes and constant headache or even worse brain problems.
  • + 1
 Will depend on how he checks out. He's young. They might just be being careful. I wouldn't be surprised to see him sit out and I wouldn't be surprised to see him skip a days worth of timed practices and put down one run on qualifying day and then win the whole damned thing. I'm sure if he's questionable they'll keep him out. They're not stupid. He's going to be worth a crap ton of money in the next few years as he transitions in with the big boys.
  • + 1
 Hey Finn, We need no more sad stickers on any bike. Keep off the bike this Sunday !!!! Stay Alive Crack !!!!
  • + 1
 please change the name of this photo set.

there will only ever be one "fear and loaming"
  • + 2
 Troy looks like the stig.........
  • + 1
 Apparently he is the stig....
  • + 1
 Title could have been even better if it was "Fear and Loaming on the Val Di Sole trail."
  • + 1
 Is it just me or in the pic of Gee and Danny, Does Danny look like Vector (the bad guy) from Despicable Me??
  • + 1
 Good luck Finn. Crashed a few years back and still have the helmet with a crack in it. Shit is scary after you see it!
  • + 1
 photo of Brannigan is the best is this lot, i hope PB and Nathan Hughes don't mind me stealing it for wallpaper.
  • + 1
 Can someone explain the number plate system used for world champs? Hart has plate #4, Gwin plate #2?
  • + 0
 Last world champs ranking, i.e. from last year race
  • + 0
 it's based on how you did the year before. unrelated to world cups.
  • + 6
 It's current UCI point ranking not world cup. However defending champion (Loic) always gets #1. So highest ranked UCI rider (Gwin) starts with #2
  • + 1
 @davetrump: Thanks! I was wondering how Gwin got #2, seeing how he was further back at last years worlds after a crash.
  • + 0
 @davetrump: Well that doesnt quite work, unless points are locked in prior to last week.
www.uci.ch/mountain-bike/ranking
Of the top 5 only one has the right number which is Minnaar with 5.
1 (3) Danny HART Great Britain 25 1411
2 (1) Aaron GWIN United States 29 1397
3 (2) Troy BROSNAN Australia 23 1353
4 (4) Greg MINNAAR South Africa 35 1177
5 (5) Loic BRUNI France 22 938
  • + 2
 @mfoga: They take a ranking from a set date prior to the event. A bit further back then three days for logistical reasons.
  • + 2
 That is the most UCI thing I have heard in a long time.
  • + 1
 @mfoga: Perhaps it is WC ranking with Bruni pushed up to #1? Everyone above him in WC then slides down a slot?
  • + 1
 @JBinKC: Then Troy and Danny are flipped. What Dave said is right as before last race Gwin was 1 Troy was 2 Hart was 3 Greg was 4 and all slide down one spot with Bruni. The idea that it's logistically to hard to give the right people the right number 3 after Sunday's race is so UCI. We all know it's really hard to put labels on packets and put out a list lol.
  • + 2
 Techno lion ! in a midnight tropical snow storm! thats a sick helmet!
  • + 1
 Danny is only winning because he's been hanging with Gee...
  • + 1
 Thank god no orange lowers.
  • + 1
 im not a religious man but sweet baby Jesus please let finn ride
  • + 1
 Troy always has the sickest bikes and gear
  • + 1
 "Danny Hart blowing stuff up, GB style." No question about that!!!!
  • + 1
 Tough to see that image of Finn... This sport can be savage.
  • + 1
 I guess I meant Saturday but no edits can do from mobi
  • + 1
 I totally thought that said testacles..
  • + 2
 Fuck yeah Kerr!!
  • + 1
 the most focussed batboy has been all season. This means business
  • - 3
 Hate to say it.. but I think out of the big three... Trek is the coolest.Their bikes trump all at the end of the day.They manage to always sign on the best talent. semenuk, gwin, rheeder, antherons, soon to be hart... all their bikes are uber tick and cutting edge,they were the first bikes to make the split steerer, 148 / boost, split pivot, and soon to come big travel 29er.

Just saying!
  • + 5
 Don't encourage them.
  • + 2
 let me guess.....you ride Trek
  • + 1
 Nice shots guys! Wish I was there.
  • + 2
 Mr Clean ftw
  • + 1
 Finn's helmet though Frown . Hope he can race
  • + 1
 So many number 1s!!!
  • + 1
 Yeah Rem Dawg!!!!
  • + 1
 awesome pictures !!!!!
  • + 1
 amazing set of pics.
  • + 1
 Oh crappe
  • + 1
 I spy Gandalf
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