Lenzerheide Qualifying - The Legacy of Brutality Continues

Jul 4, 2015
by Matthew DeLorme  
The serpentine track that is Lenzerheide seems to have come alive. Its loose dust and rock surface is in a constant state of metamorphosis with each run. Get a line nailed down in one run, only to find it has disappeared by the next; blown-out by the hundred riders that came down the track after you. Traction is a fickle mistress here, and few have seemed to tame her. Lenzerheide is quickly becoming a favorite among riders. It's fast, it's rough, and it's chewing riders up and spitting them out.

Loic Bruni was one who had come closest to taming the writhing beast today, qualifying first. He was less than half a second up on Aaron Gwin. Connor Fearon had another solid qualifying performance in third place, followed closely by Josh Bryceland. Emmeline Ragot was fastest for the women, two seconds up on Atherton. Manon Carpenter looks like she has had a change of luck with a third place result today. Laurie Greenland was fastest for the junior men, followed by Alex Marin and Charlie Harrison.

At the time of writing this blog, a brief rain shower has moved in over Lenzerheide. To be honest, it will hardly be enough to keep the serpent from attacking tomorrow.

Lots of big bike park berms on offer but the smart line is to go as straight as possible on the inside.
  Lots of big bike park berms on offer but the smart line is to go as straight as possible on the inside.

It looks pretty easy from a distance but once ground level the track in Lenzerheide is a completely different animal.
  It looks pretty easy from a distance, but once ground level the track in Lenzerheide is a completely different animal.

Almost can t see the wood for the trees here in Lenzerheide.
  Almost can't see the wood for the trees here in Lenzerheide.

Loose rocks have been rolling and at time tumbling down the hill and into the racing lines. This fine example rolled into a berm part way through junior men s qualifying
  Loose rocks have been rolling (and at times tumbling) down the hill and into the racing lines. This fine example rolled into a berm part way through junior men's qualifying

Fin Iles is the official course forerunner so it was only fitting for him to lead a train of riders into the epic light to kick of the days opening practice session
  Fin Iles is the official course forerunner so it was only fitting for him to lead a train of riders into the epic light to kick of the day's opening practice session.

The highs and lows of World Cup racing. Emmeline Ragot qualifying in first while team-mate Innes Graham crashed out breaking his collarbone in 3 places. And on his birthday Get well soon Innes
  The highs and lows of World Cup racing. Emmeline Ragot qualifying in first while team-mate, Innes Graham crashed out, breaking his collarbone in 3 places - on his birthday. Get well soon Innes!

Laurie Greenland qualified first today. With a little luck he might be up on the top step tomorrow.
  Laurie Greenland on the gas in the woods. With a little luck, he might be up on the top step tomorrow.

Laurie Greenland may have qualified first amongst the juniors but his run was nit without incident.
  Laurie Greenland may have qualified first amongst the juniors, but his run wasn't without incident.

This track is in a constant state of flux where lines are changing from run to run. If you aren t careful it s going to bite you.
  This track is in a constant state of flux, where lines are changing from run to run. If you aren't careful, it's going to bite you.

It was great to see Charlie Harrison finally putting together a strong qualifier to take 3rd in the Junior division just 2 seconds back.
  It was great to see Charlie Harrison finally putting together a strong qualifier to take 3rd in the Junior division, just 2 seconds back.

Alex Marin was back on the pace today in the Junior s and would qualify 2nd
  Alex Marin was back on the pace today in the Juniors and would qualify 2nd.

Up at both splits Andrew Crimmins crashed hard near the bottom of the track to eventually land in 18th. Word from the Kona camp is that he may have chipped a bone in his elbow and his status for finals is questionable.
  Up at both splits, Andrew Crimmins crashed hard near the bottom of the track to eventually land in 18th. Word from the Kona camp is that he may have chipped a bone in his elbow and his status for finals is questionable.

Emmeline gets the all-clear for early practice from head Mondraker mechanic Andy Ward.
  Emmeline gets the all-clear for early practice from head Mondraker mechanic Andy Ward.

Early morning light and some early morning big air for Group B to contend with and get dialled before qualies. Despite extending the lip to reduce the gap and smoothing the landing this beast would still claim several victims over the day.
  Early morning light and some early morning big air for Group B to contend with and get dialed before qualies. Despite extending the lip to reduce the gap and smoothing the landing, this beast would still claim several victims over the day.

Rachel Atherton hangs ten on the huge step-down. Tomorrow is set to be quite the battle between her and Ragot.
  Rachel Atherton hangs ten on the huge step-down. Tomorrow is set to be quite the battle between her and Ragot.

In contrast to Rachel s quali run Emmeline Ragot was riding very aggressive. She got a bit loose heading into this corner as her body position shows but would hold it together to set the fastest time of the day
  In contrast to Rachel's quali run, Emmeline Ragot was riding very aggressively. She got a bit loose heading into this corner as her body position shows, but would hold it together to set the fastest time of the day

Emilie Siegenthaler doing it for team Switzerland and romping into a radical 5th spot.
  Emilie Siegenthaler doing for team Switzerland and romping into a radical 5th spot.

Manon Carpenter qualified third she had a couple small mistakes out there and reckons she can tidy up her run to gain some time.
  Manon Carpenter qualified third, she had a couple small mistakes out there and reckons she can tidy up her run to gain some time.

Rachel Atherton qualified second today two seconds and change off of Ragot. At this point this one might be too close to call.
  Rachel Atherton qualified second today, two seconds and change off of Ragot. At this point, this one might be too close to call.

Tracey Hannah has the speed but id still looking for the form she began the season with. 4th today but still quite a few seconds from the top
  Tracey Hannah has the speed but we're still looking for the form she began the season with. 4th today but still quite a few seconds from the top.

Aaron Gwin took second in qualifying. Will he go off like a firecracker tomorrow and take an all American win on the fourth of July
  Aaron Gwin took second in qualifying. Will he go off like a firecracker tomorrow and take an all-American win on the fourth of July?

If you aren t already thinking that Bernard Kerr is a threat you should be. Kerr qualified eighth today. Kerr keeps gaining ground one race after the other.
  If you aren't already thinking that Bernard Kerr is a threat, you should be. Kerr qualified eighth today. Kerr keeps gaining ground, one race after the other.

On a track that forces mistakes pretty easily Loic Bruni has looked nothing but smooth and fast all week so it is no surprise to see him top the list in qualifying.
  On a track that forces mistakes pretty easily, Loic Bruni has looked nothing but smooth and fast all week so it is no surprise to see him top the list in qualifying.

Mike Jones is always a podium contender but has been struggling the last few rounds to hang with the front runners. 2 seconds down in qualifying means he is going to have to dig deep if he wants to be on the podium tomorrow.
  Mike Jones is always a podium contender but has been struggling the last few rounds to hang with the front runners. 2 seconds down in qualifying means he is going to have to dig deep if he wants to be on the podium tomorrow.

Aaron Gwin takes 5 minutes to burn some roots out of his line with his stare.
  Aaron Gwin takes 5 minutes to burn some roots out of his line with his stare.

Max Warshawsky soldiering his way to fourth fastest junior.
  Max Warshawsky soldiering his way to fourth fastest junior.

2nd at the speed trap and first at the top twp splits Josh Bryceland would slip just a few tenths at the bottom of the track to end the day in 3rd. with the top 5 riders just 1.5 seconds apart tomorrows race is going to be a wild one
  2nd at the speed trap and first at the top two splits, Josh Bryceland would slip just a few tenths at the bottom of the track to end the day in 3rd. With the top 5 riders just 1.5 seconds apart, tomorrow's race is going to be a wild one.

Greg Minnaar qualified sixth with a dab in the lower woods section. He could be in line for another win here tomorrow.
  Greg Minnaar qualified sixth, with a dab in the lower woods section. He could be in line for another win here tomorrow.

Wyn Masters winning the unspoken super-boost contest off the final step-down.
  Wyn Masters winning the unspoken super-boost contest off the final step-down.

When fractions of a second matter no detail is left to chance. Here Same Blenkinsop and his mechanic chat about tire cuts in an effort to balance the fine line of grip and rolling resistance
  When fractions of a second matter no detail is left to chance. Here Same Blenkinsop and his mechanic chat about tire cuts in an effort to balance the fine line of grip and rolling resistance.

Harry Heath proved his strength on this fierce kind of course this afternoon with another appearance in the top 20.
  Harry Heath proved his strength on this fierce kind of course this afternoon with another appearance in the top 20.

Brendan Fairclough has had a rough week and went down hard once again this time in his qualifying run. He was down for the count as he hit his head pretty hard but luckily seems to be unhurt. Back in the pits is was all smiles for Brendan who as a protected rider is guaranteed a spot in tomorrow s final
  Brendan Fairclough has had a rough week and went down hard once again, this time in his qualifying run. He was down for the count as he hit his head pretty hard but luckily seems to be unhurt. Back in the pits is was all smiles for Brendan, who as a protected rider is guaranteed a spot in tomorrow's final.

Connor Fearon is on a tear. A third place result today for the Aussie. Can he grab another podium tomorrow
  Connor Fearon is on a tear. A third place result today for the Aussie. Can he grab another podium tomorrow?

Not just an angry man on a bike... True to his 5 plate Remi layed down a scorcher this afternoon to come in fifth. If you re a Red Bull Replay skipper - absolutely do not miss his run tomorrow.
  Not just an angry man on a bike... True to his 5 plate, Remi layed down a scorcher this afternoon to come in fifth. If you're a Red Bull Replay skipper - absolutely do not miss his run tomorrow.

King of qualies Loic Bruni goes into warp and comes out on top the day before once again.
  King of qualies, Loic Bruni goes into warp and comes out on top the day before once again.

Sometimes it looks like Marcelo has a throttle on his bike
  Sometimes it looks like Marcelo has a throttle on his bike.

Connor Fearon proves he can handle the pressure of being a front runner and put together a fantastic run to take 3rd just a half second down
  Connor Fearon proves he can handle the pressure of being a front runner and put together a fantastic run to take 3rd, just a half second down.

Aaron Gwin at 66 kilometers per hour was the fastest through the speed trap and second fastest on the clock in qualifying
  Aaron Gwin at 66 kilometers per hour was the fastest through the speed trap, and second fastest on the clock in qualifying.

Gee Atherton qualified tenth today and was quick to get back up for a track walk after qualifying to look for those precious seconds.
  Gee Atherton qualified tenth today, and was quick to get back up for a track walk after qualifying to look for those precious seconds.

Greg Williamson separated his shoulder yesterday and admittedly was happy just to qualify after riding in a considerable amount of pain.
  Greg Williamson separated his shoulder yesterday and admittedly was happy just to qualify after riding in a considerable amount of pain.

Sam Blenkinsop has looked strong on this course all through practice he qualified ninth today.
  Sam Blenkinsop has looked strong on this course all through practice, he qualified ninth today.

Danny Hart was was given a rerun after being held up by Brendan Fairclough s massive crash and would end up in 12th just 3 seconds back.
  Danny Hart was was given a rerun after being held up by Brendan Fairclough's massive crash, and would end up in 12th, just 3 seconds back.

Joe Smith traveling over 60k and and leaned harder into this turn than anyone else
  Joe Smith traveling over 60k and and leaned harder into this turn than anyone else.

Ratty. Is. Back. Fastest at splits 1 and 2 just 0.8 seconds back.
  Ratty. Is. Back. Fastest at splits 1 and 2, just 0.8 seconds back.

Sam Hill wasn t on a barn burner but he made the cut and he was still running all the inside lines. It s just good to see him back at the races.
  Sam Hill wasn't on a barn burner, but he made the cut and he was still running all the inside lines. It's just good to see him back at the races.

Danny Hart boosting into the first rock garden like no other. Hart qualified twelfth.
  Danny Hart, boosting into the first rock garden through a cloud of dust.

Mike Jones is clearly amused. Sam is amused that Mike is amused.
  Mike Jones is clearly amused. Sam is amused that Mike is amused.

A little post-race run social media before heading up for a track walk in the Madison camp.
  A little post-race run social media before heading up for a track walk in the Madison camp.

The umbrellas are out but it s not raining. It s getting hot here in Switzerland. Not that we are complaining. It s much better than the frigid sideways rain.
  The umbrellas are out, but it's not raining. It's getting hot here in Switzerland. Not that we are complaining. It's much better than the frigid, sideways rain.

Tracey Hannah s mechanic celebrated his birthday today so she made sure to bring him his favorite food in the whole world.
  Tracey Hannah's mechanic celebrated his birthday today so she made sure to bring him his favorite food in the whole world.

Birthday boy Jamie Tilbury takes a break from washing Tracey Hannah s bike to celebrate with some broccoli
  Birthday boy, Jamie Tilbury takes a break from washing Tracey Hannah's bike to celebrate with some broccoli.

Different shim stacks run better or worse at different temperatures. Loic Bruni s mechanic has installed a temperature gauge on his rear shock so they can monitor the effect of adjustments on rougher tracks.
  Different shim stacks run better or worse at different temperatures. Loic Bruni's mechanic has installed a temperature gauge on his rear shock so they can monitor the effect of adjustments on rougher tracks.

Neko Mulally took a hard spill in his qualifying run. He still made the cut at 58th. He s been looking good in practice now he needs to keep it upright in the moon dust.
  Neko Mulally took a hard spill in his qualifying run. He still made the cut at 58th. He's been looking good in practice, now he needs to keep it upright in the moon dust.

Craig Evans the 82nd man. Headed for a top 40 he crashed in a dust explosion just a few bike lengths from the line missing the insanely tight cut for qualies. Only 12 seconds separate Bruni and the last place qualifier.
  Craig Evans, the 82nd man. Headed for a top 40 he crashed in a dust explosion just a few bike lengths from the line, missing the insanely tight cut for qualies. Only 12 seconds separate Bruni and the last place qualifier.

Rob Warner out on track seeing who s got it so he knows what he s talking about when the big day rolls around.
  Rob Warner out on track seeing 'who's got it' so he knows what he's talking about when the big day rolls around. And that day will be here before we know it. Until then...

About the Photographers

Dave Trumpore • Age: 35 • Years Shooting: 4
Dave spent the bulk of the past 17 years racing professionally before realizing that despite qualifying for the random World Cup final here and there, the next generation was just way too fast and way more talented. Upon hanging up his racing boots in 2010, it would be a few years until Dave picked up a camera and started shooting the odd race here and there as a way to stay in touch with all the friends he had made over the years, and the rest as they say is history. In just a few years time his photos have graced the pages of just about every MTB magazine and major media outlet, while his commercial client list includes a who's who of the cycling industry, and he is lucky enough to shoot regularly with some of the best riders on the planet. Currently at Pinkbike, Dave shoots the Downhill WC and the Enduro World Series as well as contributing to the occasional editorial story.


Matthew Delorme • Age: 40 • Years Shooting: 8
Matthew DeLorme is just one of Pinkbike’s motley crew of World Cup Photographers. He currently lives out of a Ogio bag, and calls the road his home. Delorme works for Trek Bicycle, covering their MTB racing programs. He can usually be found laying in the dirt trackside, cracking jokes and saying things that make little to no sense. He enjoys capturing accessory moments and the journey every bit as much as catching the action shot.



Nathan Hughes • Age: 28 • Years Shooting: 2
Nathan Hughes was snared as mainstay Pinbike media crew for the 2013 World Cup season and has been trapped behind the lens and the keyboard ever since. In between the biggest bike events of the year Nathan can be found on client shoots, making far-off travel stories and trying to catch a moment to spin the pedals himself. A great appreciation of the wilderness, the fear of a normal life and the quest for the perfect picture will have him hooked and looking to raise the bar for years to come.



49 Comments

  • + 128
 [Slow clap]

Stunning photos. Someone else said it on another pic thread, but these guys are as good (or better) than any other action sport photogs out there. Pure dirt pr0n
  • + 24
 Pinkbike photo coverage is just mega these days. Some stunning pictures with the early morning sun!
  • + 1
 Fantastic job on the photos men
  • + 2
 Where Stevie Smith?? Did I miss something??
  • + 86
 Remember 3 days ago when people were complaining this track was too bike park? It looks savage now.
  • + 2
 how do a rider become a protected rider and is guaranteed for a spot in the finals??
  • + 7
 @dars51 the top 20 riders based on their standings are "protected" and only need to trip the starting timer in order to make the finals.
  • + 3
 @ka-brap thanks just new here
  • + 53
 12 seconds between 1st and last qualifier is absolutely insane!
  • + 15
 I don't even care if he wins but from a Canadian standpoint I would love to see Stevie back contending, near or on the podium and at least making it back into the pics!
  • + 12
 Damn, Greg Williamson rides with a separated shoulder. when I separated mine I was out. Crazy
  • + 10
 Minaar's green-yellow-grey color scheme is so stylish. Seems like guys are getting the most out of not being obliged to run certain jerseys and shorts.
  • + 10
 I really wouldn't want to be the guy picking the British world champs squad!
  • + 8
 LOOK AT THE TATS!!!!!!
  • + 3
 I rally want to know what Mike Jones is looking at in that picture of Sam laughing at him. Seriously looks like he's saying a naked girl for the first time
  • + 3
 No mention of the sender. Like st Anne. Stevie could do it here
  • + 1
 I might be crazy or maybe is cause is a bit compressed but the yoke conecting the shock and the swingarm seems longer than usual on bernard's pivot.
  • + 3
 That shot of Finn is epic.
  • + 1
 I think DH bikes should just be designed without a seat and put a rodeo saddle instead
  • + 1
 Does anyone know how that temperature gauge on the shock works? Can consumers buy them?
  • + 6
 Probably like the ones our mother placed on our heads in the 80s. Or the strips they use in Data Centers.
  • + 4
 I've seen them used in the auto racing world to measure the temperature of oil coolers, suspension components, etc.

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003YOMP9S/ref=s9_dcbhz_bw_g263_i2_bs
  • + 1
 It looks pretty neat doesn't it. It looks pretty straight forward in it's creation - with modern processing techniques I'm hardly surprised they've managed to print what is basically a thermometer-sticker much like an RF security label just sticks onto a product in a retail store. I wonder how accurate they are though.

edit: a quick google has shown they're pretty cheap and widespread actually.

www.google.com.au/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=adhesive%20thermometer
  • + 2
 it's a liquid crystal sticker. they're like $5 on amazon.
  • + 1
 it looks like a sticker, similar to the ones that measure pressure. a quick google search will yield good results
  • + 2
 what macross87 said - search "Adhesive Strip Thermometer"
  • + 2
 They're also available from your local CAT dealer, part number is 8T-2844
  • + 1
 You can even geo ones for aquarium's in pet shops
  • + 1
 Fantastic photos, an explaining whats been goin down! No chian....no brakes=66k MERICA!
  • + 1
 If rat wins on this track, especially with Peaty's input into the whole thing, it would be so awesome
  • + 2
 Lots of left forearms have been suffering...
  • + 6
 nobody's using armour these days ...
  • + 4
 And Blenki still not even using gloves! Makes me nervous just watching him ride...
  • + 2
 I love these photo epics. Keep it up!
  • + 1
 What kind of shim stacks do you think they use the most on the world cup races ?
  • + 1
 Let's get ready to RUMBLEEEE!!!!
  • + 1
 well well well looks like downhills' cool again
  • + 1
 Argh I'm in holiday and cant watch it live! Its gonna be epic!
  • + 1
 Sam Hill on a bionic left leg?
  • + 1
 Fuck yeah Burns !!! Nice work bro.
  • + 0
 hahaha that "cake" of brocoli
  • + 1
 FEAR the FEARON!!
  • + 1
 osom pics! good job.
  • + 1
 Good job ; )
  • + 1
 what aboot steve smith!
  • - 2
 What a mans course
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