Finals Photo Epic - Pietermaritzburg DH World Cup 1

Apr 14, 2014
by Nathan Hughes  


GWINNING: Part 2



Sun-baked dirt, boulders, stars and stripes. The 2014 DH mountain bike season just got lit up in the most explosive start to the racing in recent memory. It was the long-awaited return of the all-American king, Aaron Gwin, who tamed a wilder version of the pedal-based beast we use to know. Granted, the race was won with the help of a warranty-voiding, dual crown and enduro bike combination, but this speaks far more to the caliber of the rider than of a failure of the course. Many big names on little bikes fared poorly and many on big bikes scored little. It was all swings and roundabouts. This track pushed riders to speeds found nowhere else on the circuit, while providing technical puzzles that still remain unsolved to the majority. One man had all the answers this time, the only man ever to beat Greg here in years gone by.

Party faces
  It's finals day and everyone in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, has their party faces on.

UCI World Cup 2014
  Team Pivot set off on the long, nervous spin to the bus stop for one last practice.

UCI World Cup 2014
  Connor Fearon staying cool in the shade and getting into the zone.

The shuttles are a huge part of the Pietermaritzburg world cup experience. You ll hear all kinds of conversation in a 40minute journey with 8 riders onboard. Ultimately the shuttle system means riders only get one pratice run on race day after only 3 to 4 runs per day in the week.
  The shuttles are a huge part of the Pietermaritzburg world cup experience. You'll hear all kinds of conversation in a 40 minute journey with 8 riders onboard. Ultimately the shuttle system means riders only get one practice run on race day, after only 3 to 4 runs per day in the week.

Literally always wear a helmet.
  Literally always wear a helmet.

Sam Hill laying down some South African heat.
  Sam Hill laying down some South African heat. Six seconds back and one of the fastest top splits...on flats. Definitely on the hunt for 2014

Local hero Andrew Neethling scrubbing.
  Local hero Andrew Neethling scrubbing perhaps a bit too much speed in the finals.

Josh Bryceland on safari the morning after one hell of a day.
  Josh Bryceland on safari the morning after one hell of a day.

Whips scrubs and pedaling in the air. All in an effort to squeeze as much time out of each section of track.
  Whips, scrubs, and pedaling in the air. All in an effort to squeeze as much time out of each section of track.

This track was the ultimate season opener. If you weren t fit it had moments of hard pedalling that would crush your lungs. If weren t strong it had moments of speed that would blast your hands from the bars. And it had technical sections even the top riders had not mastered by final practice. There are few courses that pose such a range of super-human challenges.
  This track was the ultimate season opener. If you weren't fit, it had moments of hard pedalling that would crush your lungs. If weren't strong, it had moments of speed that would blast your hands from the bars. And it had technical sections even the top riders had not mastered by final practice. There are few courses that pose such a range of super-human challenges.

2014 UCI World Cup - Patrick Thome getting it wrong in the last rock garden ending up in the grass and an exploded seatpost.
  Patrick Thome getting it wrong in the last rock garden, ending up rolling in the long grass.

2014 UCI World Cup - Patrick Thome s carbon seatpost explosion.
  The scientific term for this phenomenon is 'a carbon seatpost explosion'.

After 2 minutes attack though sun-mottled rock gardens in the woods Elliot Jackson is travelling at 67kph setting up for the first of 3 over 40 foot jumps. You are witnessing next level concentration.
  After 2 minutes attack through sun-mottled rock gardens in the woods, Elliot Jackson is travelling at 67kph setting up for the first of 3 over 40 foot jumps. You are witnessing next level concentration.

Isak Leivsson was one of the few riders still throwing down the flat pedal style here in South Africa.
  Isak Leivsson was one of the few riders still throwing down the flat pedal style here in South Africa.

Steve Peat won t back down or slow down any time soon third fastest through the speedtrap and 16th spot.
  Steve Peat won't back down or slow down any time soon, third fastest through the speedtrap and 16th spot.

A south hem summer of destroying the opposition allowed Brosnan to destroy all but 4 of the field across the Indian Ocean.
  A south hem summer of destroying the opposition allowed Brosnan to destroy all but 4 of the South African field.

Marcelo Gutierrez is a powerhouse and pulled back 12 places between splits one amp two but it was only enough to land him in 11th place.
  Marcelo Gutierrez is a powerhouse and pulled back 12 places between splits one & two, but it was only enough to land him in 11th place.

Spanish national champion Antonio Ferrerio sending it over the last jump and catching the last rays of sun into the finish.
  Spanish national champion, Antonio Ferrerio, sending it over the last jump and catching the last rays of sun into the finish.

Pietermaritzburg may be the most demanding of the tracks when it comes to being fit where the bottom half requires an all out effort in order to stay on top. Luca Shaw was feeling the burn after his winning run. Those who won clearly were able to dig deep and push past all the pain that this track dishes out.
  Pietermaritzburg may be the most demanding of the tracks when it comes to being fit, where the bottom half requires an all out effort in order to stay on top. Luca Shaw was feeling the burn after his winning run. Those who won clearly were able to dig deep and push past all the pain that this track dishes out.

Luca Shaw chasing his shadow to get his first World Cup win as a junior. The American rider on SRAM Troy Lee Designs is proving up to a much anticipate season.
  Luca Shaw chasing his shadow to get his first World Cup win as a junior. The American rider on SRAM / Troy Lee Designs is proving up to a much anticipated season.

Luca Shaw followed up yesterday s qualifying run with with an equally strong performance in the finals. All of his hard work in the off-season has paid off. Shaw finished with a 4 15.267 about 2 seconds up on Loris Vergier.
  Luca Shaw followed up yesterday's qualifying run with an equally strong performance in the finals. All of his hard work in the off-season has paid off. Shaw finished with a 4:15.267, about 2 seconds up on Loris Vergier.

The track in South Africa is exhausting and it is plain to see in the riders faces as they cross the line.
  The track in South Africa is exhausting, and it is plain to see in the riders faces as they cross the line.

Emmeline Ragot set the fastest split in the women s race and despite riding a flat tire for the last 30 seconds of the track manged to salvage 5th place and some valuable points.
  Emmeline Ragot set the fastest split in the women's race, and despite riding a flat tire for the last 30 seconds of the track, manged to salvage 5th place and some valuable points.

The moment Jill Kintner clinched 3rd place foe her best ever World Cup result.
  The moment Jill Kintner clinched 3rd place for her best ever World Cup result.

Emmeline Rogot s big wheels only roll faster with air in the tires.
  Ragot's big wheels only roll faster with air in the tires. Jill too, crossed the line with rapidly diminishing pressure.

Newley weds Bryn Atkinson gives Jill Kintner a big hug after getting her first 3rd place in a World Cup to date. Jill said that I actually dreamed about getting 3rd the other night. Some dreams are made to come true..
  Newley weds Bryn Atkinson gives Jill Kintner a big hug after getting her first 3rd place in a World Cup to date. Jill said that "I actually dreamed about getting 3rd the other night." Some dreams are made to come true..

Rachel Atherton had a tough stay here in South Africa while battling a bacterial infection the past few days. Upon crossing the finish line it was obvious that today was a struggle.
  Rachel Atherton had a tough stay here in South Africa while battling a bacterial infection the past few days. Upon crossing the finish line it was obvious that today was a struggle.

Manon Carpenter railing the berm on the way to her win.
  Last year the pressure of Worlds seemed to take it's toll when Manon Carpenter crashed in the first rock garden. This year she sucked up the pressure, took her chance and went full gas to the end.

Manon Carpenter catches her breath after crossing the line to take her first World Cup win.
  Manon catches her breath after crossing the line to take her first World Cup win.

Manon Carpenter had what it took today. Following the theme of making good on qualifying results Manon finished 3.908 seconds up on Rachel Atherton. Atherton has been fighting her way back from an illness this week but she just didn t have the strength to pull ahead.
  Carpenter had what it took today. Following the theme of making good on qualifying results, Manon finished 3.908 seconds up on Rachel Atherton. Atherton has been fighting her way back from an illness this week, but she just didn't have the strength to pull ahead.

Women s Podium
  Female domination hierarchy.

Manon on the top spot.
  Queen Manon, top of the pile.

Sam Blenkinsop coming in hot at the finish nearly repeating Sam Dale s spectacular show. Blenki was 4 043 seconds off the podium today. Certainly not the result he was hoping for but teammate Loic Bruni would carry Lapierre to a fourth place spot. After Hannah threw down the gauntlet everyone that followed did their best to answer the challenge though only one succeeded.
  Sam Blenkinsop coming in hot at the finish, nearly repeating Sam Dale's spectacular show. Blenki was 4:043 seconds off the podium today. Certainly not the result he was hoping for, but teammate Loic Bruni would carry Lapierre to a fourth place spot. After Hannah threw down the gauntlet, everyone that followed did their best to answer the challenge, though only one succeeded.

Sik Mik aggressive as always.
  After Sik Mik's brake failure in qualies, no one knew quite what to expect...other than raw unadulterated pace. After losing out to Greg at the Worlds he had his revenge. But it still wouldn't be enough to gain a reign on Gwin. Mick mentioned that he made a few mistakes in the upper section of the track that cost him a bit of time.

Adding to the strong American showings by Gwin Kintner and Shaw Neko Mulally had his best ever World Cup result today in 8th place.
  Adding to the strong American showings by Gwin, Kintner, and Shaw, Neko Mulally had his best ever World Cup result today in 8th place.

UCI World Cup 2014 Qualifications - Sam Dale 10th
  Qualifying was strong and the racing matched up nicely for the man who has waited so long for a top result. 7th place and inner peace at last for Sam Dale.

Qualifying was strong and the racing matched up nicely for the man who has waited so long for a top result. 7th place and Inner peace at last for Sam Dale.
  Sam Dale made a statement with two things in the final. One was his incredible time, the other his incredible over-the-bars after crossing the finishing line. This is how he looks the right way up.

Troy Brosnan downhill enduoring into the top 5 .
  Troy Brosnan downhill enduroing into the top 5 .

The track in South Africa isn t best suited to smaller riders who often struggle to carry speed into the flat bits. Don t tell that to Troy Brosnan though as he was one of the fastest through the speed trap en route to a spot on the podium.
  The track in South Africa isn't best suited to smaller riders, who often struggle to carry speed into the flat bits. Don't tell that to Brosnan though as he was one of the fastest through the speed trap en route to a spot on the podium.

Loic Bruni flying in through the line.
  Loic Bruni flying in through the line.

Loic Bruni happy to be in the 4th spot with his new Red Bull sponsor and a long career of podiums in his future..
  Bruni happy to be in the 4th spot with his new Red Bull sponsor and a long career of podiums in his future..

Greg Minnar s One Life fans were in full force at the bottom of the track in full support of their local World Champion.
  Greg Minnaar's One Life fans were in full force at the bottom of the track in full support of their local World Champion.

Huge crowds vuvuzelas chainsaws cowbells beers face masks beers and the South African flag. All the ingredients needed to make for a good party.
  Huge crowds, vuvuzelas, chainsaws, cowbells, beers, face masks, beers, and the South African flag. All the ingredients needed to make for a good party.

The crowd in Pietermaritzburg goes absolutely mental when Greg Minnaar is on track. Their energy seems to lift him as he turns on the afterburners in a sprint for the finish line.
  The crowd in Pietermaritzburg goes absolutely mental when Greg Minnaar is on track. Their energy seems to lift him as he turns on the afterburners in a sprint for the finish line.

Josh Bryceland pinned through the last rock garden.
  Josh Bryceland pinned through the last rock garden.

Josh Bryceland had an amazing run yesterday qualifying second but today it just wasn t meant to be. Bryceland was up at the second split but the bottom half of the course took its toll just as it had on so many others.
  Bryceland had an amazing run yesterday qualifying second, but today, it just wasn't meant to be. Bryceland was up at the second split, but his run was scuppered by a mechanical.

American style over the last hip on the way to his win.
  The last man down would outdo everyone through the speed trap and undo Greg for the second time on his home turf.

This is the Aaron Gwin we expect to see at the races. Focused flat out and putting time into his competitors at every split. After a disappointing 2013 it s pretty safe to say that Aaron is back amp on form this season.
  This is the Aaron Gwin we expect to see at the races. Focused, flat out, and putting time into his competitors at every split. After a disappointing 2013, it's pretty safe to say that Aaron is back & on form this season.

PMB is the odd ball of the World Cup tracks but a win here looks promising for the rest of Gwin s season. We knew after yesterday that Troy and I would both be on the podium it was just a matter of where. We have a really dialed team right now and I m stoked to get the win. Now we just need to keep the momentum rolling.
  PMB is the odd ball of the World Cup tracks, but a win here looks promising for the rest of Gwin's season. "We knew after yesterday that Troy and I would both be on the podium, it was just a matter of where. We have a really dialed team right now and I'm stoked to get the win. Now, we just need to keep the momentum rolling."

Gwin leaving chem trails from the melting rubber coming off his tires due to a screaming fast run hitting a top speed of nearly 70kmh and fastest in all the splits.
  Gwin leaving chem trails from the melting rubber coming off his tires due to a screaming fast run hitting a top speed of nearly 70kmh and fastest in all the splits.

It s been quite a break since Gwin looked back on the green. Over 2 seconds up as a result of the fastest downhill mountain biking the World has seen so far and all on a machine that would have seen a less brilliant rider torn apart in the boulders.
  It's been quite a break since Gwin looked back on the green. Over 2 seconds up as a result of the fastest downhill mountain biking the world has seen so far, and all on a machine that would have seen a less brilliant rider torn apart in the boulders.

Sun-baked dirt boulders stars and stripes. The 2014 DH mountain bike season got lit up in the most explosive start to the racing in recent memory and it was the long-awaited return of the all-American king Aaron Gwin.
  A top team, 'the perfect tool for the job' according to team manager Eric Carter, and a certain 'the big guy in the sky' on your side.

Aaron Gwin taking a second to take it all in.
  Redemption.

Parting shot - After a season of turmoil the man is back with a massive attack. How will the rest of the season unfold
  After a season of turmoil, the man is back with a massive attack. How will the rest of the season unfold is anybody's guess.

Gwinny getting engulfed by the consumption of media.
  Gwinny getting engulfed by the consumption of media.

A commanding win at Pietermaritzburg has catapulted Aaron Gwin back into the spotlight. After much speculation he has shown the world just how capable he is of winning. All of us in the media wanted his take on the day.
  A commanding win at Pietermaritzburg has catapulted Aaron Gwin back into the spotlight. After much speculation, he has shown the world just how capable he is of winning.

The tough life of a rock-star bicycle rider.
  The tough life of a rock-star bicycle rider.

UCI World Cup 2014
  The smile of the man with the most friends in town. Greg loves this race... and with good reason, although he couldn't secure a fourth win today, it was an incredibly impressive return after his knee surgery and he was grinning ear to ear.

Men s Podium
  The league of gentlemen.

This weekend was definitely all in the legs.....
  This weekend was definitely all in the legs.....

Aaron Gwin is back at maximum podium altitude.
  These legs. Gwin returns to the giddy heights of maximum podium altitude.

With a few stron finishes by Matt Simmonds and Sam Dale and a win from Manon Carpenter the Madison Saracen team took top team honors this round and will be sporting the coveted yellow number plates a few weeks from now in Australia.
  With a few strong finishes by Matt Simmonds and Sam Dale, and a win from Manon Carpenter, the Madison Saracen team took top team honors this round and will be sporting the coveted yellow number plates a few weeks from now in round 2.

Team America full category sweep with Luca Shaw making his first World Cup win as Junior Jill Kintner putting her feet on the highest step in her downhill career and of course Aaron Gwin making a big comeback.
  Team America full category sweep with Luca Shaw making his first World Cup win as Junior, Jill Kintner putting her feet on the highest step in her downhill career and of course Aaron Gwin making a big comeback.

That s a wrap on the first race of the world cup season. The dust has settled questions have been answered and the victors have been named. Next stop the deadly jungles of Australia.
  That's a wrap on the first race of the world cup season. The dust has settled, questions have been answered, and the victors have been named. Next stop, the deadly jungles of Australia.

Mick Hannah contemplates the day and catching up with family back home in Australia. Cairns just had a massive cyclone hit the area but will be all good to go in a few weeks for the next round of the UCI World Cup.
  Mick Hannah contemplates the day and catching up with family back home in Australia. Cairns just had a massive cyclone hit the area, but will be all good to go in a few weeks for the next round of the UCI World Cup.



115 Comments

  • 203 0
 I just have to say well done to PB for getting such a talented bunch of photographers together. The pictures in this are stunning. Well done.
  • 15 2
 I concur. Great photos
  • 3 0
 dem subtitles.
  • 90 3
 Bryceland lost his chain already at the second big jump right after the 2 spilt, it nothing to do with bottom half tacking its toll
  • 11 2
 You could say the toll was upon his bike and not his fitness , but yeah they could of worded it better.
  • 3 0
 Well it was still not the bottom half that took the tool it was the top then :-)
  • 4 0
 He hit a rock right after the first corner, so he never really got going....
  • 11 0
 Thanks guys. Corrected.
  • 2 0
 Yep gotta give credit where it's due, nothing more Bryceland could have done!
  • 41 0
 Sad for Ratboy's dropped chain, he had all the makings of a podium upsetting run down to that point.
  • 21 0
 I think that fan girl writing her number on his arm will make him forget , for that evening at least Smile
  • 5 1
 She's fourteen... I doubt it Big Grin
  • 3 0
 I did wonder if it may be jail bait Razz
  • 32 0
 "Hittin' the deck harder then an old lady on a cruise ship." Classic Rob Warner. World Cup DH is back!
  • 3 0
 Man I laughed so hard on that one also Smile Definitely Classic Rob!
  • 24 2
 I was really pulling for Sik Mick taking it all...he is due
  • 7 0
 I'd prefer him to drop the win at this round than his home nation's world cup round.
  • 16 4
 Is it a new era of Gwinning? Good to see him back up there, but will he be able to keep it up on the tracks which call for the Demo?
  • 8 1
 Very true, it seemed like last year he had a few issues trying to get the bike ( demo ) set up how he wanted it. I do hope the guy has settled into the team now and has a bike under him that he knows he is happy with. Its fair to say he dominated the sport for a couple of years and I hope he continues to perform to his best, he has to be confident with the machine beneath him tho to be confident in himself. Im a big Sam Hill fan myself and think that wasnt too bad a result at all considering the track and Sams style of riding. Think he really could be challenging this year. I hope we see all the top guys riding to their best obviously, and what about Bryce!!! Im starting to think he could be winning one of these this year. Its great to see possibly the strongest top 10 - 15 riders i have ever watched in recent seasons. I honestly think we could get 5 different winners this year. The title could be anybodys going into the last couple of races. Now that would be good racing....
  • 15 2
 I still cant get over how many people seem to think the Demo, or any bike makes the difference. The Demo is well capable of taking race wins as it has shown in the Juniors consistently. Troy Brosnan has got plenty of top results out of it. Gwin was injured for the second half of last season. Sam Hill hasnt won a race on the Nukeproof either.
  • 5 0
 Yeah I know Gwin was injured for the end of the season, I think he actually got his best result of the year just before that so it did look like he was getting more comfortable on the bike. I just remember that specialized were making quite a few adjustments to the bike for him early in last season because he must have thought it could have been better suited to what he wanted. I have no problem with the demo, have never rode one so I cant judge. Just think that with the changes they were experimenting with earlier in the season looks like he was getting faster on it before he got injured. I know Sam hasnt won on the nukeproof yet either, but im a massive fan of his because of what he has done in the sport in past seasons. Gwin stepped it up a level for all the other riders for a couple of years just like Sam did a few years before by putting in times that were multiple seconds faster than the rest of the field. I think thats why im a fan of Gwin too. Its good to see people just pushing the limits and making everyone else step up their game.
  • 6 4
 The bike definitely makes a difference, end of story. Not to say the demo is a bad bike.
  • 12 1
 @humoroususername, if the bike doesn't make a difference then why was he using an Enduro here?!?!
  • 3 5
 ...Marketing.

(not that I think the bike doesn't make a difference).
  • 5 2
 no... its because the course did not merit a full DH bike. With 180mm and a 40 up front, thats all you need for a jump heavy course like this.
  • 1 0
 Just because Gwin may not be comfortable on the Demo doesn't mean it's a bad bike. It just means that it might not be what suits Gwin. Every bike is a little different and mort top riders can adjust to any good bike. It might just take time. You could see lat season by the frame size changes and then the eventual switch to the most famous (short) chainstays in the world, that he was still adjusting to the bike well into the season.
  • 2 0
 If the bike didn't make a difference Sik Mik would've been on a production frame instead of a brand new prototype. Every racer and company are looking for any little advantage they can get. Even the very best racers still need the most cutting edge gear to stay competitive. With things being so tight at the top of the field, you never know what will make the difference. I've been wrenching for and supporting pro dh racers for the last ten years, trust me when I say they are a fickle bunch who need to know that they have the best tool for the job. Even if its just a perceived advantage, the boost in confidence can be the difference between mid pack and top ten.
  • 5 6
 The Specialized Enduro now has more elite male World Cup wins in the last 5 years than the Demo that was ridden by Hill, Brosnan, and then Gwin last year. That says a lot about the Demo. Or not a lot, I guess. It works ok for Brosnan cause he is short, but even he has washed out the short back end, at World s two years ago:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uOaQPYEAlA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Hill did the same thing on a Demo more than once:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFkMtKtlc1g&feature=youtube_gdata_player

It's not a stable bike for DH racing.
  • 8 1
 The demo has multiple Junior wins under its belt and a world championships. Hill hasnt won a world cup race because he hasnt been even close to good enough over the last 5 years. The Demo was built around Sam and he still couldnt get wins because he was injured for an awful lot of the time. Its not like they werent asking for his input when designing it.
Brosnan hasnt won because he is only 20 and spent his first two years as an Elite injured or recovering from injury. He would not have won a race no matter what bike he was on yet. Gwin has only ridden 4 world cup races on the Demo yet and his form in non world cup races last year was terrible too which indicates to me that he was the problem and not the bike. Bikes not ridden by Greg Minaar, Gee Atherton, Sam Smith or Aaron Gwin haven't really won a lot of races in the last 5 years you will notice. Does that mean all of them are unstable DH race bikes?

The old GT fury was considered by many a heap of junk unworthy of being a DH bike. Then Gee Atherton got on it and suddenly it was a regular podium contender. Hmmm i wonder does that suggest that it was really the rider and not the bike that was making the difference. Notcie how the Commencal has recently become a bike which isnt winning races? Or how about the all conquering Trek 9.9? That is no longer a stable racing platform as it barely gets podiums anymore.
  • 3 0
 Both Sam Hill and Troy Brosnan won world champs on the Demo.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEwGXU5iaHc
  • 2 4
 I never said they didn't. Excuses, excuses, excuses. The Enduro has more Elite Men World Cup wins than the Demo in the last 5 years. Unbelievable. It hasn't even been on the podium a lot. Now go back to making excuses, Specialized fans.
  • 2 0
 I get the feeling you aren't very good on a bike pro tour! I've never seen riders who are good blame their bike.
  • 1 1
 Called out. boom.
  • 3 2
 Oh yeah, he really got me good, I'm completely destroyed. ... and then you followed it up with your stupid cliche "boom" comment, which knocked me down even more. I was standing up and I actually fell down when I read "boom". That was powerful.

You must feel like a man for the first time in your life. Check your underwear and see if you grew any pubes.
  • 1 0
 Ya I guess you're pretty used to taking a lot of shit haha.
  • 8 0
 Sorry the cyclone was only a bit of wind and rain (cat 1), went out today and only a few leaves blown off the trees. Nonetheless, Minjin is waiting for ya Mick, time to tear it up in World Cup #2, GOLD will be yours!
  • 12 0
 Looking real forward to hanging out with the snakes and getting eaten alive by everything on the side of the track Wink
  • 14 0
 Don't worry Paris, they're more afraid of you than you are of them. Except the brown snakes. They're not scared of anything and they're aggressive as hell. Also, the paralysis ticks. And the ants that bite and sting at the same time. Probably best to stay out of the water too....
  • 2 0
 mick's secret army
  • 4 0
 I'm looking forward to seeing these guys ride in person. I think it will be something else.
  • 7 0
 Awesome photos and great race. I do have one request - can we never say Gwinning again? It was clever in 2011 - once. I mean, I think it would be a biG win for all of us if we knocked off of the obvious and overused play on words....
  • 9 0
 Sam Blenkinsop has so much style
  • 12 0
 others ride with gloves, he rides with a watch !So he can check his time during the race !lol
  • 1 0
 ...and so few gloves ;] ...both as usual!
  • 2 0
 "So he can check his time during the race !" So true! And so it can measure how much style he can trow!
  • 4 0
 Haha when Warner screams out " look at the time!!!" He'll be well prepared !
  • 10 1
 No mention of Bryceland's chain guide problem.
  • 1 1
 They probably get paid too much to say it was a chain guide problem, that'd make Shimano look bad haha.
  • 3 0
 dirtmountainbike.com/news/dirt-photo-gallery-finals-2014-pietermaritzburg-world-cup-dh.html

go to picture 30. rider error according to the surprisingly happy rat.
  • 8 0
 Gutted for Mick he deserves that top step at PMB. Or anywhere for that matter.
  • 9 1
 Gwin's bike is pretty sweet, but I dont think its enduro specific anymore....
  • 10 2
 "Aaron is back & on form this season"... my goodness Pinkbike please don't jinx it!
  • 6 0
 Anyone else think bryceland is looking more and more like ross noble??
He's a british comedian for anyone unfamiliar.
  • 2 0
 Totally hahaha!
  • 6 0
 And like Ross Noble, I can't understand a friggen word he says:p
  • 5 0
 I really dont understand why so many people struggle to understand bryceland. There are a lot harder accents out there.
  • 3 0
 It's kind of a running joke Wink
  • 2 0
 I actually thought Eric Idle, but then, that's my age showing through...
  • 4 0
 Why did the podium get dildo's for trophy's???? Please Gwin don't get back on the demo!!!! The status is a better match. Use a frankenstein bike like this one!!!!!
  • 1 1
 Prop for the dildo part.
  • 2 0
 Great to be back watching DH after a long offseason but I still am not a fan of that PMB track. Although the changes sliced things up a bit, as a fan it's just kind of boring. It's also hard I think to draw a ton of conclusions from the race since the track is such an outlier in terms of the rest of the circuit and you had guys riding all different kinds of bikes and weird one off-type setups and such. Still a lot to be sorted out one these guys hit the tougher tracks and everyone's back on the DH bikes.
  • 5 3
 If Sam Hill doesn't get himself up there in the number 1 spot I'm gonna fucking kill someone. We need either Peat, Hill or Bryceland winning at fort William!
  • 2 5
 the song "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson comes to mind.....
  • 3 0
 Disappointed to see Gee so low down (relatively speaking), I hope he can get t together for the rest of the season.
  • 2 0
 I'm surprised there isn't more talk about it. When Gwin went fell off his gwinning ways everyone had something to say about it. Now Gee is off the top and not a mention in any of the articles and almost nothing in the comment boards. I actually think that its silly to extrapolate anything from a single race but that's never stopped PBers before.
  • 3 0
 I think a little bit of chainsaw took the edge off of that last season, so its not as fresh as if he had won the series with no close comp as gwin had done.
  • 1 0
 It's gonna get really interesting when Stevie Smith finally gets to party hard with the top three. After last seasons domination.....this will be a great WC season with lots of surprises.
  • 2 0
 I agree. I'm sure Gwin is a true racer at heart and true racers want to win against the very best. Stevie is definitely one of the best as last year showed. Hopefully he's 100% when he returns.
  • 5 0
 @a-r-c, when you say domination do you mean collectively by gee and stevie or just by stevie himself? As the former is true the latter not so much, no individual rider dominated last season.
  • 1 1
 Take it as you will.
  • 5 1
 It just hit me...Manon looks like Sansa Stark
  • 4 1
 what kind of trophy is that ?!
  • 2 0
 You should see the trophies they handed out at red bull dirt conquers yesterday.
  • 2 0
 They were leftover thermos inners with a head stuck on...
  • 2 0
 Uhhh " STHIL" the new Sponsorship...Amazing and Cool..!!! Greatings from Stihl-Waiblingen / D7 Ludwigsburg/Germany....
  • 3 0
 GO USA.......................
  • 3 0
 oh Ratboy you smooth bastard
  • 2 0
 The chasing the shadow picture was the best. Good seeing a girl on the podium not wearing a sponsors hat and glasses.
  • 2 0
 Awesome recap. Thank you very much !
  • 3 1
 Don't call it a comeback... Fantastic racing tho
  • 3 1
 I hope he wins another round on a demo Smile
  • 4 2
 Josh needs to cut that hair! Egregious.
  • 5 4
 Sorry for my ignorance... but what happened to Steve "Moustache" Smith?!?
  • 2 0
 out with an ankle injury. He might be back for the next round
  • 2 0
 He injured his ankle like 2 months ago
  • 1 0
 He cased a Jump in New Zealand and injured his ankle. If he's not back next race, he will definitely be back after that.
  • 5 4
 Devinci wanted him back on that 650b so he refused to race....
  • 2 1
 absolutely amazing photo report! Love the "gold hour dust" in every photo.
  • 1 0
 gopros in race runs ? how is that possible :/
  • 1 0
 It only seemed to be people with red bull helmets. Redbull have the media rights so they will probs use the footage later
  • 1 0
 but rules are rules are they not lol, the old golden hand shake i bet.
  • 2 1
 Am I the only one who realized Gwin was running a custom enduro?
  • 2 0
 Don't try that at home as it will apparently void warranty. (Nevermind that gwin just proved it works)
  • 1 0
 no you're not. enduro EVO with 40's...that's nice Smile
  • 1 1
 Excellent coverage of the race. Pics are great. The legs pic. The girl on the right. Priceless.
  • 1 0
 Sik Mik must be feeling sick every time he goes 2nd fastest....
  • 1 0
 I'd rather see elliot jackson in the air than in a tuck...please!
  • 1 0
 Anyone know what happened to Ropelato?
  • 1 0
 Stoked on Neko's and Brosnans finish, bummed out by ratboys dropped chain.
  • 1 0
 Time to make downhill olympic sport.
  • 1 0
 Que fotos lindas! TOP.
  • 1 0
 Gwin's back.
  • 2 1
 Gwin is backļ¼
  • 1 0
 where's gee?
  • 3 6
 not a real dh wc if it can be won on a trail bike
  • 2 0
 Not many trail bikes with Boxxers up front and 7" of coil in the rear - peddle that on your trails and let me know how it goes. 27.5? More and more DH bikes are switching - that hardly makes a trail bike argument. But maybe he just won it on his talent and skill, fitness, balls and driven desire to kick ass. Is that possible? I'd say that holds true for all of them.
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