Photo Epic: Black Lung - Windham XC World Cup 2015

Aug 10, 2015
by Matthew DeLorme  
Windham proved to be a wild race. The track was old school, long grueling climbs, and rocky descents. The lack of rain at Windham of late added another element, some of the loosest conditions this season. The red clay soil had been turned into a fine dust that hung in the air well after the pack had gone through. The descents were blown out and it was a struggle to stay upright in the moon dust for many. Then you add in the heat, the conditions were brutal. It you weren't out front, you were breathing earth. The track started out a bit on the short side, so a longer start loop was included to add about four minutes to the race. Most of the racers weren't too keen on the start loop layout and it did cause some shuffling of the field early on. In this race, it was who got out front and away from the get go. Nino Schurter and Julien Absalon fought long and hard but Schurter would be victorious in the end. Pauline Ferrand Prevot got away early and took advantage of her position. One weeks rest should be ample time to for everyones lungs to clear out, shouldn't it?

Victor Koretzky on his way to winning the U23 Mens XC.
Victor Koretzky on his way to winning the U23 Mens XC.

Titouan Carod powering his was up hill to a second place mens U23 finish.
Titouan Carod powering his was up hill to a second place mens U23 finish.

Howie Grotts was the top U23 American in 7th spot here he appears to chase down a miniature DH rider.
Howie Grotts was the top U23 American in 7th spot, here he appears to chase down a miniature DH rider.

Jenny Rissveds once again with a monster win. Rissveds was 3 42 up on second place Moschetti.
Jenny Rissveds once again with a monster win. Rissveds was 3:42 up on second place Moschetti.

Margot Moschetti taking the fast line into Kabush Falls. Margot Finished second in U23 women.
Margot Moschetti taking the fast line into Kabush Falls. Margot Finished second in U23 women.

Annie Last getting limber before the big showdown. She was arguably the best on the descents in the field.
Annie Last getting limber before the big showdown. She was arguably the best on the descents in the field.

Jolanda Neff was focused at the start. Neff got caught in traffic at Kabush Falls and had to dismount which cost her twenty places. If things had gone differently she would probably have another win under her belt.
Jolanda Neff was focused at the start. Neff got caught in traffic at Kabush Falls and had to dismount, which cost her twenty places. If things had gone differently she would probably have another win under her belt.

Womens start all up hill. Then things got wild and the field was blown apart. It made for some very interesting racing.
Womens start, all up hill. Then things got wild and the field was blown apart. It made for some very interesting racing.

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa trying to make the pass on Annika Langvad in the rocks on the first lap unfortunately it didn t go so well and Gunn-Rita was temporarily slowed by the stump.
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa trying to make the pass on Annika Langvad in the rocks on the first lap, unfortunately it didn't go so well and Gunn-Rita was temporarily slowed by the stump.

Catharine Pendrel started out well second to Pauline in the rocks at the top of the first lap but she couldn t keep it up and ended the race in 25th spot.
Catharine Pendrel started out well, second to Pauline in the rocks at the top of the first lap, but she couldn't keep it up and ended the race in 25th spot.

Lea Davison powering her was through Kabush Falls. Davison finish fourth.
Lea Davison powering her was through Kabush Falls. Davison finish fourth.

Jolanda Neff negotiating moon dust and roots.
Jolanda Neff negotiating moon dust and roots.

Pauline Ferrand Prevot owned this race. It was a well deserved win.
Pauline Ferrand Prevot owned this race. It was a well deserved win.

Annika Languid getting low in the rock garden. An early spill didn t spoil her race she held on to finish third.
Annika Languid getting low in the rock garden. An early spill didn't spoil her race, she held on to finish third.

Jolanda Neff had one hell of a ride fighting back from mid pack early on to finish second.
Jolanda Neff had one hell of a ride fighting back from mid pack early on to finish second.

The Stars and Stripes didn t help US National XC Champ Chloe Woodruff she ended up in 24th place.
The Stars and Stripes didn't help US National XC Champ Chloe Woodruff, she ended up in 24th place.

Pauline Prevot has won World Championship titles in Cyclocross and Road Racing and in 2009 she was the Junior XC World Champion. She just took off in this race and never looked back top of the 2nd lap and already almost a minute up on the rest of the field.
Pauline Prevot has won World Championship titles in Cyclocross and Road Racing, and in 2009 she was the Junior XC World Champion. She just took off in this race and never looked back, top of the 2nd lap and already almost a minute up on the rest of the field.

Off line and into the netting.
Off line and into the netting.

Paulie Ferrand Prevot bringing home her first win of the season.
Paulie Ferrand Prevot bringing home her first win of the season.

Annika Langvad went down early and still fought hard to edge out team mate Lea Davison from third place.
Annika Langvad went down early and still fought hard to edge out team mate Lea Davison from third place.

Most of the riders will be hacking up earth for days. For some racers the combination of heat and dust were just too much.
Most of the riders will be hacking up earth for days. For some racers the combination of heat and dust were just too much.

Emily Batty signed her number plate for two of the future generation.
Emily Batty signed her number plate for two of the future generation.

This guy decided that for some reason it was really important for there to be a pink plastic pig on the course.
This guy decided that for some reason it was really important for there to be a pink plastic pig on the course.

Huge shout out to Jay de Jesus he rode lead moto for all the XC races that s a lot of laps
Huge shout out to Jay de Jesus, he rode lead moto for all the XC races, that's a lot of laps!

Mens start Kulhavy leads out.
Mens start, Kulhavy leads out.

Avancini aside Nino Schurter took the lead on the first lap and was never out of the top 3 for the rest of the race.
Avancini aside Nino Schurter took the lead on the first lap and was never out of the top 3 for the rest of the race.

Manny and Nino racing different lines through the rocks. There is only really one line out of the rock garden first one to it wins...
Manny and Nino racing different lines through the rocks. There is only really one line out of the rock garden, first one to it wins...

Sergio Mantecon rode to his first podium since Albstadt when he was on Wild Wolf. The Spaniard has been making steady gains all season and was elated with a fourth place finish.
Sergio Mantecon rode to his first podium since Albstadt when he was on Wild Wolf. The Spaniard has been making steady gains all season and was elated with a fourth place finish.

Manny Fumic had a fantastic ride to third place staying right with the leaders for quite a stretch of the race.
Manny Fumic had a fantastic ride to third place, staying right with the leaders for quite a stretch of the race.

Julien and Nino had many battles throughout the day but Nino would edge out Julien by 0 04 when the dust had settled.
Julien and Nino had many battles throughout the day, but Nino would edge out Julien by 0:04 when the dust had settled.

Julian Absalon takes a turn in the lead
Julian Absalon takes a turn in the lead

The lead between the top three was constantly changing. One and a half laps to go and Absalon leads Schurter and Manny towards the rock garden.
The lead between the top three was constantly changing. One and a half laps to go and Absalon leads Schurter and Manny towards the rock garden.

The climbs on this course suited Dan The Diesel McConnell. He rode to fifth place his best result this season.
The climbs on this course suited Dan "The Diesel" McConnell. He rode to fifth place, his best result this season.

Canadian Raphael Gange rode to an impressive sixth place.
Canadian Raphael Gange rode to an impressive sixth place.

At the top tech zone most racers chose to cool down rather than take on drinking water.
At the top tech zone most racers chose to cool down rather than take on drinking water.

With the dust from the lead three still hanging in the air Daniel Mcconnell chases through the rock garden. Perhaps he s wondering about the pig
With the dust from the lead three still hanging in the air Daniel Mcconnell chases through the rock garden. Perhaps he's wondering about the pig?

Manuel Fumic leads Nino and Absalon through the rock garden. They all went in together and they all chose different lines.
Manuel Fumic leads Nino and Absalon through the rock garden. They all went in together, and they all chose different lines.

Get that dust out as ofter as you can. It was murder on the respiratory system.
Get that dust out as ofter as you can. It was murder on the respiratory system.

Florian Vogel finding his way though the dust cloud.
Florian Vogel finding his way though the dust cloud.

Once again the victor.
Once again the victor.

Just plain spent.
Just plain spent.

While it wasn t as hot as Lenzerheide the combination of heat and constant moon dust proved brutal.
While it wasn't as hot as Lenzerheide, the combination of heat and constant moon dust proved brutal.

Marco Fontana wearing more of Windham s red soil than he would have liked.
Marco Fontana wearing more of Windham's red soil than he would have liked.

Sergio Mantecon greeted team mate Dan McConnell who came across the line about thirty seconds after him.
Sergio Mantecon greeted team mate Dan McConnell who came across the line about thirty seconds after him.


MENTIONS: @mdelorme



77 Comments

  • + 55
 Such a sick track, this was 100% pure mountain biking. Watching all those duels through the rock gardens was awesome, a lot of these dudes were charging like maniacs trying to cut people off at the exit. We got rocks, roots, drops, berms, tech climbs, and all kinds of blown out ruts and bumps. Everything you could want from an XC course!

I would ride that thing all the freaking time if I lived nearby, and it really separated the descenders from the dirt roadies in the amateur races. So glad to see such interesting courses on the circuit!
  • + 3
 Our local trails have that dusty red clay that is mother natures baby powder and it is brutal. I used to not ride in the summer just to avoid it, now we just drop back a bit when we get too close together but not exactly a race strategy. I feel bad for the racers and wonder if later we will find that breathing micron sized dust particles while racing full out is bad for you.
  • + 3
 Yeah man, you could see it from the parking lot before you even got to the mountain. When there were riders on the course there was just this big serpentine dust cloud hovering over the mountain. Even just spectating you ended up covered in it. Worth it though. Killer racing, killer weekend.
  • + 0
 Wow. I kive in the Syracuse and Rochester area for 25 years and never once have I seen dust like this. Must be very different 5 hours south east.
  • + 1
 I was there when they did the first Pro XCT (or whatever it was called) race at Windham in 2008 and I remember the descent being like a powder day when skiing, except the powder was a 8 - 12 inch thick layer of dust.
  • + 1
 @KUNTHER the rock and dirt types are completely different. I live in Syracuse and the only other place I've seen dust like that was out west... it was CO/UT level of dryness out there. I was very surprised; it's not like that region doesn't get rainstorms. Would have expected it to be more like the ADKs, but there must be something else going on there geologically. Whatever the reason, it made for some crazy loose conditions.
  • + 11
 Oh the pain! Man I hate/love climbing hills!!
  • + 10
 jolanda Neff looks real fit!! oh yeah!
  • - 1
 totally...but that voice (cringe)
  • - 6
flag markar (Aug 10, 2015 at 18:22) (Below Threshold)
 oh no shemale? haha
  • + 10
 Lead moto? What is that for?
  • + 5
 To make sure the course is clear for the riders, to make sure any injured riders get first aid, and to make sure that the course is clear for the leaders as they get into lap traffic.
  • + 2
 i didn't know they did this. so will the lead moto pass the riders about to be lapped and tell them to GTFO of the way? seems like things would get pretty tight...
  • + 2
 The moto lead appeared to be a good 3-4 minutes ahead of the lead riders, I did not see them pulling lap traffic off the course, but lap traffic would certainly know the leaders were coming up shortly if they got caught by the moto and to be ready to allow them to get by.
  • + 5
 They do pull lap traffic. its part of the 80% rule. if you are 80% of a lap behind the leaders they pull you out of the race at the start/finish area. That way you do not interfere with the leaders as they will catch you. Lead moto is there to make sure the course is clear, let people know the leaders are coming, and make sure injured people are attended to and out of the way
  • + 2
 As you can see by the photo, the lead moto also tells spectators how many laps are left, and gives photographers a target to shoot to make sure all their settings are right. Plus it's like two types of entertainment at once. Watching Jay rip around the course on the moto, then a bike race hot on his heels.
  • + 1
 I was there watching and it was sweet to see that lead moto navigating some of the technical sections; that guy had mad skills! That guy did like 24 laps on Sunday!
  • + 2
 @tsampson I realize they pull traffic, but thought that was up to the officials, not the dude on the moto specifically to make that call.
  • + 2
 @kickstand1 that is the officials. there was a little stand out of sight just before the finish line with some officials and a clock. If the moto catches you you are definetly too far behind!
  • + 1
 The moto was ridden by one of the guys from EWR bikes. He actually rode his own motorcycle with a bike strapped behind all the way from PA, I say 6 hours each way.
  • + 8
 Xc beasts are hard to come by these days outside their natural habitat... very motivating none the less Smile
  • + 8
 Did the person who wrote these captions actually watch the race?
  • + 17
 totally agree, didn't even mention Nino's flat, and that Fumic lead a couple laps, and the oh-so critical final pass from Nino on Absalon in the rock garden (inwhich Absalon took Nino's original line--trying to block him out--and Nino changed it up and took Fumic's line to pass Absalon...for the Win! Epic race!). good pics, though.
  • + 6
 Yeah photos were sick but the captions didn't do justice to the level of drama in this race
  • + 6
 Indeed. Plus Pendrel trying to go with Prevot and atomizing in the process. When Neff has a good race it'll be an epic ding dong of a battle with Prevot. Looking forward to that. That slow-mo they showed of Fumic drifting into that dusty left turn was mountain biking defined. How those guys ride like that with seats up their asses blows my mind.
  • + 2
 gimme some of that moon dust! haha... sick skills from manny, no doubt. come val di sol, i think nino won't even have to podium to grab the WC title. vallnord is a different matter altogether. arguably, the last two races may be the two most epic this year. what a season!
  • + 7
 Great weekend of racing. Best DH and XC round in the last couple of years, I'd say.
  • + 3
 Awesome to see Manny @ the front, he and Marco are the only ones racin in baggies. Very nice guys as well. My wife and I marshaled just below the rock garden and the crowd was fantastic, every USA racer got a huge cheer whatever his position in the race even DFL. If you live within a day's drive of Windham, you owe it to yourself to come to the next WC whenever it is, there's just nothing like being there.
  • + 1
 No more windham, according to rumors I have heard.
  • + 1
 2016 XC Pros have Olympics. Conflicts with getting to NY is only reason it is off the schedule for 2016. City will re-bid for 2017 for sure. Up to the UCI and the teams to vote Windham, NY back in.
  • + 6
 Been waiting all day yesterday and this morning for this!
  • + 2
 I don't understand why windham organizers keep overlapping the xco wc race with amateur dh or whatever is called.
During the pro races, plenty of dh amateurs on the ski lift were yelling comments on the pro riders and spectators. Obvious from the lift, not on ground.

the amateur dh race is just a drag without any real jumps or rocky sections. riders on 5-10k bikes going so slooowww... I bet the xc women under 23 (mentioning because they are the slowest) with their hardtails would go way faster then those wannabes on the mini dh course they ride.

And the dh vs xco etc problem is just a North America / Anglophile countries phenomenon.
This is a jocks and missed football player behavior.
  • + 5
 Bravo Raphael Gagné!
Amazing result!
  • + 5
 Manny Fumic getting a podium while rockin' baggie shorts!! Represent!
  • + 1
 Yeah props for the baggies. I don't understand the nylon vest though - Gwin was wearing one as well - is there some function to wearing another less-breathable layer on the outside? Confused.
  • + 5
 Pretty sure Gwin's black vest is the World Cup leader's jersey...
  • + 0
 @PAmtbiker oh it is? OK makes sense then, thanks.
  • + 0
 And btw, the women race should be shorter. If the men race is 7 laps, women should be 4 or 5. Women are so hardcore pushing 120%. At the end of races there are always plenty of riders that collapse, some fall off the bike while still clipped in.
  • + 3
 Nice photos! I love seeing all things mountain bike being covered. Especially when it's World Cup and in North America.
  • + 2
 Amazing photography. Prob the first time my snobby freeride butt has ever scrolled and read an entire XC post!!!
  • + 1
 You would have loved heckling the XC racers in the rock garden. It was a legit garden for an XC race and there was some good action in there.
  • + 3
 dropper posts in a lot of photos... xc dudes and dudettes know whats up.
  • + 6
 Only Matthias Fluckinger, as far as I can tell.
  • + 6
 Matthias Fluckinger and myself. Thats all in these two rounds. I dont understand why there aren't more at this point. Our race bikes are way more fun with droppers
  • + 1
 How do you say to yourself (after practice laps for a few days prior) ...I think the hardtail is going to be an advantage today?
  • + 0
 Riders will ride what the industry and sponsor want them to ride. Courses are designed to follow suit. That said, I do see more rear flats with full suspension that I did with hardtails. Compare to last season where most riders were on HT, this year the number of flats is tripled.
  • + 2
 That looks not so fun with all of the dust kicking up. Otherwise looks pretty raw, brutal and amazing.
  • + 3
 great coverage PB!
  • + 1
 Any idea what surrounded the naming of Kabush falls? Was this related to the great Canadian cyclist?
  • + 1
 Great pics Ian and Matthew!
  • + 1
 New JET 9 under Woodruff?
  • + 1
 Awesome, please more XC @ Pinkbike! Big Grin
  • - 1
 That Canadian National Champs jersey is hideous. We can't come up with a nicer design, looks like it was made 25 years ago and never changed.
  • + 2
 The wearer gets to decide on the design. "We" is the racer, his team, and sponsors. Has little to do with Canada or Canadian Cycling.
  • + 1
 Correct to a point, his team can decide to design him a custom national champs jersey or you can go with the "stock" design from cycling canada which is what that is. They just screened on the rocky mountain bikes logo and a couple of other sponsors.
  • + 1
 Amazing photos. I can smell the dirt!
  • - 2
 Why are bar ends no longer used ?

They are such an advantage in climbing and decending - allowing bars to be further back - Bar ends further forward
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.051240
Mobile Version of Website