Lenzerheide DH World Cup - Practice Photo Epic

Jul 7, 2017
by Nathan Hughes  



It never ceases to amaze just how fast, those at the top of the game, get up to race speed. Take Mick Hannah this afternoon for example; two attempts coming into the most savage rock garden on the calendar and no cigar. In fact, you could say it looked as bleak for him as any other rider that will struggle to make the cut tomorrow. Then, taking what he learned from attempts one and two, he comes in full tilt with the updated version of his line and cleans it. That's it for the day and that's it for the week, no more problems forecast for that spot at least. That's how it has to be at the World Cups to be competitive. You fly around the world, walk the course, go to bed, the mechanics put your bike together for you and in the morning, you go up the hill and start smashing into sections like it's your local. There's just no time for pussy footing at this insane level.

The timed training produced its usual eye-brow raising clues as to how the week may or may not unfold, with Troy Brosnan setting the benchmark at 3:03.8, with Greg Minnaar snapping at his heals, and Tracey Hannah and Finn Iles also setting the pace in the women's and junior categories - all very reminiscent of Andorra. Quite unlike Andorra, however, are the conditions. Where riders enjoyed tacky dirt and ample grip in Vallnord, here we have an altogether different beast, a far more slippery fish. In the words of Loic Bruni... well, we can't repeat them, but suffice to say, he said grip was a little bit of a challenge. Rocks are getting torn out the ground and stacked up into axle-deep pools on either side of the main lines, threatening to take down anyone careless enough to stray from the beaten path. It's a far dustier and more dangerous environment than what we saw in trackwalk and if the sun stays out for qualies, lord knows the shrapnel is going to fly. It's get fast or crash trying here in the Swiss Alps and there's nowhere left to hide.



two weeks in a row of steep tracks and constant hard braking is taking its toll on rotors.
Two weeks in a row of steep tracks and constant hard braking sure is taking its toll on the rotors.

Markus Pekoll getting prepped for a long day of loose conditions under full sun.
Markus Pekoll getting prepped for a long day of loose conditions under full sun.

Eliott Heap heading up the gondola for another practice run turn around times are quick with racers not under pressure to get the runs in.
Eliott Heap heading up the gondola for another practice run. Turn-around times are quick, with racers not under pressure to get their runs in.

Gee Atherton is back in the game this weekend he s taking it fairly easy though as he gets his body and mind back up to WC speed.
Gee Atherton is back in the game this weekend. He's taking it fairly easy, though, as he gets his body and mind back up to WC speed.

Mr Hart on the warm up spin looking forward to first runs.
Mister Hart on the warm up spin, looking forward to his first runs and memories of his sweet victory here last season.

Alia Marcellini tackling one of oh-so-many Lenzerheide switchbacks.
Alia Marcellini tackling one of oh-so-many Lenzerheide switchbacks.

Lenzerheide DH World Cup - Practice Photo Epic
Ready to drop...

Danny Hart loves to be first man down for every session. And also last man down come to think of it.
Danny Hart loves to be first man down and also last man down, come to think of it.

Sylvain Cougoureux out of the gate and into turn one looking hungry to smash some rocks.
Sylvain Cougoureux, out of the gate and into turn one looking hungry to smash some rocks.

Fresh off her win last weekend Myriam Nicole was looking quick all day.
Fresh off her win last weekend, Myriam Nicole was looking quick all day.

Despite being one of the fastest juniors in 2015 Jacob Dickson couldn t get a factory ride for 2016 so sat the summer out... Now look at the lad doing Giant proud.
Despite being one of the fastest juniors in 2015, Jacob Dickson couldn't get a factory ride for 2016, so he sat the summer out. Now look at the lad, doing Giant proud.

A big crash in the rocks left Tahnee banged up and a bit sore for the remainder of the day.
A big crash in the rocks left Tahnee banged up and a bit sore for the remainder of the day.

Sam Dale trucking towards the first rock garden without a care in the world.
Sam Dale, trucking towards the first rock garden without a care in the world.

Adam Brayton examines the scene of many OTB disasters for a lot of riders over the day.
Adam Brayton examines the scene of OTB disasters for a lot of riders over the day.

Loris Vergier has had the speed all year but not always the luck needed to land on the top step. Could this be the race we things go a bit more his way.
Loris Vergier has had the speed all year, but not always the luck needed to land on the top step. Could this be the race where things go a bit more his way?

Manon Carpenter snakes her way down the steep upper slopes.
Manon Carpenter snakes her way down the steep upper slopes.

It s defintiyl fast here in Lenzerhieide but all the loose rock is making things a bit sketchy in some spots and awkward in others.
It's definitely fast here in Lenzerhieide, but all the loose rock is making things sketchy in some spots and awkward in others.

The rocks were a hot spot for riders without goggles or bikes to hang out in the shade and watch terrible crashes before throwing the dice themselves. For some it seemed like a lot less of a lottery than for others of course...
The rocks were a hot spot for riders without goggles or bikes to hang out in the shade and watch terrible crashes, before throwing the dice themselves. For some, it seemed like a lot less of a lottery than for others.

Dean Lucas bites the dust and survives to tell the tale and ride away.
Dean Lucas bites the dust, and survives to tell the tale and ride away.

Kade Edwards is on an upwards curve taking two thirds places on the trot. He ll begin to start searching for the higher steps.
Kade Edwards is on an upwards curve, taking two third places on the trot. He'll begin to start searching for the higher steps.

The experienced eye of Mick Hannah who is having a great race and looked strong out on track today.
The experienced eye of Mick Hannah who looked strong out on track today.

Great to see Flo Payet back in the game having been sidelined with injury the last few races.
Great to see Flo Payet back in the game, having been sidelined with injury the last few races.

Brook Macdonald dusting himself off after taking a digger through the rocks.
Brook Macdonald, dusting himself off after taking a digger through the rocks.

Speed and style at the world cup is possible friends. Just ask Wyn Masters.
Speed and style at the World Cup is possible, friends. Just ask Wyn Masters.

Greg Williamson arrives at work for the day. He is a professional downhill mountain biker.
Greg Williamson arrives at work for the day as a professional downhill mountain biker.

Brayton tucks into turn 6 or 7 of 60 or 70 in total here on the clearly inappropriately named Straightline course.
Brayton tucks into turn 6 or 7 of 60 or 70 in total here on the clearly inappropriately named 'Straightline' course.

It was at this track last year that Danny Hart really kicked off his season he ll be hungry to get to winning ways but a big crash on his final run was not the way to start hunting for that win.
It was at this track last year that Danny Hart really kicked off his season. He'll be hungry to get to winning ways, but a big crash on his final run was not the way to start hunting for that win.

Blenki smashes on through the boulders in front of the crowds.
Blenki smashes on through the boulders in front of the crowds.

With Tracy Hannah close in points Pom Pon has the overall points chase in sight this weekend.
With Tracey Hannah just 5 points ahead, Pom Pon has her sights fully set on the overall points chase.

Full gas today from Loic Bruni.
Full gas today from Loic Bruni.

The only rain we saw today was at the bike wash.
The only rain we saw today was at the bike wash... Will this ultra dry spell last?

Baptiste Pierron is really producing the goods right now top 15 in Vallnord and top 5 in timed training today... look out for that lad.
Baptiste Pierron is really producing the goods right now; top 15 in Vallnord and top 5 in timed training today... Look out for that lad.

Finn Iles has a pretty commanding lead in the Junior overall over a race in ahead of Matt Walker.
Finn Iles has a pretty commanding lead in the Junior overall, over a race in ahead of Matt Walker.

Keegan Wright had a massive crash through the rocks early in training.
Healing vibes to the Kiwi ripper Keegan Wright this evening. He had a massive crash in the rocks and is thought to have broken his collar bone.

Myriam Nicole will be brimming with confidence after her win last weekend can she take the overall lead
Nicole will surely be brimming with confidence and now has a bog shot of taking the overall lead.

Laurie Greenland is quietly going about his business this season bagging the results and keeping the big dogs on their toes.
Laurie Greenland is quietly going about his business this season, bagging the results and keeping the big dogs on their toes.

Gwin will remember how he got pipped last year. Gwin will want revenge.
Aaron Gwin will remember how he got pipped last year. Aaron Gwin will want revenge.

Aaron Gwin will strive to close that overall gap down although with Troy Brosnan on the rise he may have to keep an eye out behind him too.
As a minimum he'll strive to close that overall gap down, although with Brosnan on the rise he may have to keep an eye out behind him too.

Brosnan and Wallace are working well together comparing and contrasting lines to find the fastest to both rider s benefits.
Brosnan and Wallace are working well together, comparing and contrasting lines to find the fastest to both rider's benefits.

Big props to Kaos Seagrave today throwing a sweet whip on the top bridge every damn time. Those old dogs could learn a thing or too from him.
Big props to Kaos Seagrave today, throwing a sweet whip on the top bridge every damn time. Those old dogs could learn a thing or too from him.

Gaetan Vige had a bit of a moment today and is currently questionable for the race this weekend.
Gaetan Vige had a bit of a moment today and is currently questionable for the race this weekend.

Gaetan Vige smashed his hand pretty hard and his weekend might just be over.
Vige smashed his hand pretty hard and his weekend might be over.

Brook Macdonald had a big off through the first rock garden but he seemed to leave more of a dent on the rocks than the rocks left on him.
Brook Macdonald had a big off through the first rock garden, but he seemed to leave more of a dent on the rocks than the rocks left on him.

Atwill on a surge of confidence after Vallnord and giving it the beans all day.
Atwill, on a surge of confidence after Vallnord and giving it the beans all day.

Number 5 in the series Jack Moir getting sideways with it.
Number 5 in the series, Jack Moir, getting sideways with it.

Marcelo Gutierrez drifts into the tight left hander above the whale tail.
Marcelo Gutierrez drifts into the tight left-hander above the whale tail.

Aaron Gwin drifting about in the dust.
Aaron Gwin, drifting about in the dust.

Salvador s fastest export Maria Salazar hucking the stump jump famously pioneered by Troy Brosnan back in 2015.
Salvador's fastest export, Maria Salazar, hucking the stump jump famously pioneered by Troy Brosnan back in 2015.

Marine Cabirou is looking to land herself back on the podium again this weekend.
Marine Cabirou is looking to land herself back on the podium again this weekend.

Matt Walker on the gas out of the second to last corner.
Matt Walker, on the gas out of the second to last corner.

Lenzerheide DH World Cup - Practice Photo Epic
Ah Switzerland, your mountains are as high as your speeding tickets...

Brendan Fairclough makes light work of one of many flat corners here. The track surface is slippery but that doesn t deter Brendan.
Brendan Fairclough makes light work of one of many flat corners here. The track surface is slippery, but that doesn't deter Brendan.

Tahnee regrouped after her crash in the morning to take a few timed runs later in the afternoon.
Tahnee regrouped after her crash in the morning to take a few timed runs later in the afternoon.

Brook Macdonald getting about as far inside as possible without running through the nasty stuff.
Brook MacDonald, getting about as far inside as possible without running through the nasty stuff.

Greg Williamson leans it in on one of the rocky turns towards the bottom of the track.
Max Hartenstern leans in on one of the rocky turns towards the bottom of the track.

Finn Iles means business here scrubbing hard to maximise speed on the flat out track.
Finn Iles means business here, scrubbing hard to maximize speed on the flat-out track.

Laurie Greenland has had good results here before and seems right at home on the loose surface.
Laurie Greenland has had good results here before and seems right at home on the loose surface.

Laurie Greenland hitting 90 for those Swiss chicas.
Greenland, hitting 90 at speed for those Swiss chicas.

Full speed all day and fastest in timed training as well for Troy Brosnan.
Full speed all day and fastest in timed training as well for Troy Brosnan.

Tracy Hannah was icing a bruised hand at the end of the day after a big crash into one of the barriers near the top of the track.
Tracey Hannah was icing a bruised hand at the end of the day after a big crash into one of the barriers near the top of the track.

All smiles for Troy this morning before laying down a scorcher into the fastest time today.
All smiles for Troy Brosnan after laying down a scorcher to set the fastest time today.

Dust and more dust for a change. Not as bad as mud but it will still keep the mechanics up late tonight.
Dust and more dust for a change. Not as bad as mud, but it will still keep the mechanics up late tonight.



MENTIONS: @natedh9 / @rossbellphoto / @davetrumpore



Posted In:
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58 Comments

  • 79 2
 Get well soon, Keegan Wright. Props to Dave Trumpore for catching that moment. The look in Keegan's eyes says it all, as does the shock of the spectator behind. It's got to be one of the photos of the year.
  • 3 2
 Awesome shot.He looks to be pulling his back brake, bit late for that! Hope he heals up soon.
  • 2 0
 Face says it all:That oh shit moment when you leave the sink running
  • 10 0
 Crash video 1:05 youtu.be/RPKFkP0cQrY so hard
  • 8 0
 @RedBurn: Brutal crash! Then the big boulder coming down to hit him again, just to add insult to injury.
  • 2 15
flag Sontator (Jul 7, 2017 at 0:39) (Below Threshold)
 @metaam: pulling the back brake from n that monent is so the wheel momentum transfers to the bike, the front goes down quicker and you can get your legs faster iver the handlebar and possibly run it out. Thats really deep pro technique i gave you there, your welcome.
  • 3 0
 @ardee: yeah this bitchy rock could break an elbow itself ! No chance Frown
  • 2 10
flag exitus (Jul 7, 2017 at 4:18) (Below Threshold)
 that's what you get for not wearing gloves...
  • 1 0
 @RedBurn: oh fu#k I swear you can hear his collarbone snap in that vid.
I've ridden with Keegan in Rotorua.
Not too many rocks in Rotorua
  • 3 0
 Apparently the collarbone dislocated but didn't break? And he said the crash was caused by an old worn cleat unclipping when he tried to launch off the stump in the background. Must be even more frustrating when you know it was an avoidable error!
  • 3 2
 jeezuz guys, i am sorry he injured himself, too, really, but irony is not fun if it is too easily detected. that was a down vote crusade there for a little silliness. what do you have left for trolls and abusive people then?
  • 2 0
 @metaam: left hand back brake... damn you english guys ahahah Wink
  • 32 1
 Brook is such a gentleman, smashing all those boulders into pebbles for the others. Kiwis looking pretty good so far! Sucks to hear about Keegan though, hope he heals up quick. Got a good feeling about a Kiwi on the podium this weekend!
  • 17 0
 There's a vital raw edit of that rock garden that's cool.
I don't know if it's bad form to mention that site here, but look for when rocks attack
m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=RPKFkP0cQrY
  • 21 1
 No it's fine, we all check pb for photo epics and pointless arguments in the comment section, and vitalmtb is for the raw edits.
  • 16 2
 You have made a terrible mistake... Keegan is Kiwi, not Aussie
  • 16 2
 Fixed! As an Aussie, I couldn't bear to leave that. Smile
  • 20 0
 Sorry mate he's Aussie now. But we'll give you back Russell Crow.
  • 10 0
 yeah nah you can keep him (please)
  • 1 6
flag sicsoma (Jul 6, 2017 at 21:00) (Below Threshold)
 @AJBarlas: can you fix "pipped" ? what does that mean?
  • 5 0
 @sicsoma: Pipped means beaten by a very small margin
  • 1 0
 @sicsoma: lmao, I love the fact that you asked for a fix before you asked what it meant, as in "fix this word I don't understand"
  • 11 0
 Keegan Wright's crash was brutal...they caught it on Vital Raw. Insult to injury with the giant rock/small boulder rolling into the back of his arm after he was down. Healing vibes!!
  • 1 2
 it looked like the rock smash did the brunt of the damage
  • 6 0
 Seriously, when I see the quality of the articles on PB compared to say 5 years ago, I'm amazed. The photos especially, but also the type of article and the coverage of DH/XC/bike checks/Tech randoms/etc. Awesome!!!
  • 9 1
 Mick Hannah... the old estate ambassador for DHI
  • 5 0
 That black and white of Manon makes it look like she's taking a high line into tape! Had to look at that one a couple times.
  • 7 1
 That scrub!
  • 3 0
 Yeah Mick! My friend and my inspiration! And like, 17 years my junior. Cheers, mate!
  • 3 0
 Kegan Wright - if you pizza when your meant to french fry, your gonna have a bad time.
  • 4 0
 Blenki has on gloves!
  • 3 0
 no glove no love
  • 3 0
 Rock garden? That's an effing boulder field! Those poor bikes and bodies!
  • 2 0
 brook is such a madman and clearly not human -always on the edge -always crashes hard -never gets hurt
  • 3 0
 Awesome pictures! Can't wait to see the action this weekend!
  • 4 2
 Big shout out to the photographers. Nothing but quality. Thanks PB for making the space. Legends.
  • 4 2
 Best photographers in the business!!
  • 3 1
 Note to self: Add Swiss Alps trip to bucket list - so beautiful!
  • 2 0
 Blenki wearing gloves?? Is the world out of kilter?
  • 1 0
 The skill and courage of these guys... this is surely the purest form of racing left
  • 1 0
 Gwin looks like an assasin with that look in his eyes. Jesus love is just a cover.
  • 1 0
 I use loo roll, but glad to see Wyn Masters has an alternative method of getting rid of tag nuts......!
  • 3 2
 aussie ripper Keegan Wright is a kiwi!
  • 2 1
 Keegan wright is a Kiwi, not an Aussie
  • 1 0
 Check the vital raw vid for the end of keegans crash. Brutal!!
  • 1 0
 good to see the Norco have a new kit!
  • 1 0
 you know its slippery when Blenki wears gloves
  • 1 0
 That look of steadfast determination in Miriam's eyes though.
  • 1 0
 DH WC = Ultra dry for the last races

EWS = Ultra wet Big Grin
  • 2 1
 Epic photo epic pinkbik
  • 2 1
 Kudos to the mechanics.
  • 1 0
 Go Mariana Salazar!
  • 1 1
 mick polygon still da best.

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