Swiss Made: Lenzerheide DH World Cup 2016 - Track Walk

Jul 6, 2016
by Dave Trumpore  





After a much needed month away from World Cup competition for many racers, the traveling circus is back together once again in Lenzerheide. After weeks of rain in the Alps through most of June it was refreshing to arrive in Switzerland under sunny skies and mild temperatures. After a quick thunderstorm passed through Tuesday night, the forecast for the duration looks just perfect. As for the track, not much has changed from last year other than a few bermed turns right out of the gate and a wooden boardwalk in place of the massive off camber that previously led down to the rock garden. A few clever taping jobs now open some corners up extra wide, and close down others, and that is really all that is different on the surface of things. The biggest change, however, might just be the condition of the dirt that riders will be hammering on all weekend. This year ample rain has packed everything down firm and there seems to be a hardpacked and grippy line down the whole track. It might be a bit one line in spots but perhaps some sneaky inside lines will develop once riders brush the loose rocks off. This is a far cry from the blown out, loose and sketchy conditions racers faced last year so we expect to see times extra tight times this weekend as there really isn't any major challenge that is going to set people apart. In a word the track here is rather basic, but often times that makes for excellent racing and very high speeds, so we'll just have to wait and see how things progress. And who knows, if the sun stays out and the dust starts flying it might just get crazy once again.

No such thing as bad view here in Graubuenden.
No such thing as bad view here in Graubuenden.

How very Alpine...
How very Alpine...

Tahnee Seagrave s mechanic Matt putting the finishing touches to her Transition racing sled.
Tahnee Seagrave's mechanic, Matt, putting the finishing touches to her Transition racing sled.

Token cow and snow-capped peaks Switzerland shot.
Token cow and snow-capped peaks Switzerland shot.

Welcome to Lenzerheide where things go downhill fast.
Welcome to Lenzerheide, where things go downhill fast.

No bikes allowed... Not today anyway.
No bikes allowed... Not today anyway.

The new start comes in at an angle and leaps over a berm into the bikepark track for a series of berms instead of the old mix of off camber rocks and grass.
The new start comes in at an angle and leaps over a berm into the bike park track for a series of berms instead of the old mix of off camber rocks and grass.

Tahnee Seagrave about to drop in .
Tahnee Seagrave about to "drop in".

Begin here.
Begin here.

All hail the beautiful mountain scenery of Switzerland.
All hail the beautiful mountain scenery of Switzerland.

Tahnee Seagrave and her posse examine the brutal top rock garden which remains much the same as last year if not a little more savage and eroded.
Tahnee Seagrave and her posse examine the brutal top rock garden, which remains much the same as last year, if not a little more savage and eroded.

Finn Iles surveys the zig-zagging upper berms.
Finn Iles surveys the zig-zagging upper berms.

Gone is the off-camber rocks and open piste. In it s place are smooth berms. Bike park for days.
Gone is the off-camber rocks and open piste. In its place are smooth berms. Bike park for days.

Another World Cup track falls prey to Bikeparkification. Things are looking rather smooth compared to last year.
Another World Cup track falls prey to Bikeparkification. Things are looking rather smooth compared to last year.

With a back drop like this it would be nice if the track looked equally rugged.
With a backdrop like this it would be nice if the track looked equally rugged.

The bridge jump that offers the best chance of a tasty whip.
The bridge jump that offers the best chance of a tasty whip.

Two thirds of Atherton racing and a Matt Delorme cross the upper table-top bridge huck.
Two thirds of Atherton racing and a Matt Delorme cross the upper table-top bridge huck.

A couple of dense root nests spice up the hardpack in a few places but it would have been nice to see a couple more and maybe some loam...
A couple of dense root nests spice up the hardpack in a few places, but it would have been nice to see a couple more and maybe some loam...

Loic is here in Lenzerheide walking the track and supporting his team mates. He is nearly healed and will back on it come MSA.
Loic is here in Lenzerheide walking the track and supporting his teammates. He is nearly healed and will back on it come MSA.

Get your huck to flat on.
Get your huck to flat on.

Last minute weed whacking. Not sure why this area needs it but what the hell.
Last minute weed whacking. Not sure why this area needs it, but what the hell.

Hopefully the weed whacking guys make it to this portion of the track. There is a gnarly big stump hiding in the tall grass just to the left.
Hopefully the weed whacking guys make it to this portion of the track. There is a gnarly big stump hiding in the tall grass just to the left.

Rachel leaps of Troy s trunk Brosnan s majestic stump huck from last season . This year it looks easier to ride and might see a lot more action.
Rachel leaps off of Troy's trunk (Brosnan's majestic stump huck from last season). This year it looks easier to ride and might see a lot more action.

The only sign of the super heavy rain from yesterday remains in the middle woods but chances are it will be all clear by the morning.
The only sign of the super heavy rain from yesterday remains in the middle woods, but chances are it will be all clear by the morning.

Gwin and Alonso wade through the long grass before the maintenance crew finishes the tidy-up.
Gwin and Alonso wade through the long grass before the maintenance crew finishes the tidy-up.

The last big sender of the course below the flowers.
The last big sender of the course below the flowers.

You can t beat Lenzer lake life on a hot summer s day.
You can't beat Lenzer lake life on a hot summer's day.

The huge step down of last season s track has been scaled back slightly to make it safer.
The huge step down of last season's track has been scaled back slightly to make it safer.

Last year s Lenzer champ walking the final bridge jump into the finish area.
Last year's Lenzer champ walking the final bridge jump into the finish area.

Gee Atherton getting the set-up right with mechanic Polish Pete.
Gee Atherton getting the set-up right with mechanic Polish Pete.

Gwin s new orange Forties await the gold service alongside those of MacDonald Dale and Bryceland.
Gwin's new orange Forties await the gold service alongside those of MacDonald, Dale and Bryceland.

The man the myth the legend supervising his bike build.
The man, the myth, the legend supervising his bike build.

Freshly shaped berms await riders right out of the gate.
Freshly shaped berms await riders right out of the gate.

Some ultra-wide taping should help to mix things up in the top turns but it s hard imagine the inside lines going to plan without some ruts.
Some ultra-wide taping should help to mix things up in the top turns, but it's hard to imagine the inside lines going to plan without some ruts.

Under the bridge and into the same miniature rock garden jump from last time round.
Under the bridge and into the same miniature rock garden jump from last time round.

Markus Pekol chillaxes on the top of the woodwork of Peaty s plank.
Markus Pekoll chillaxes on the top of the woodwork of Peaty's plank.

Danny Hart peers off the edge of the plunge guaranteed to see some gnarly dismounts over the weekend.
Danny Hart peers off the edge of the plunge, guaranteed to see some gnarly dismounts over the weekend.

The whale-tail step down and some much appreciated blue skies overhead.
The whale-tail step-down and some much appreciated blue skies overhead.

Manon Carpenter scopes out the newly shaped finish step-down.
Manon Carpenter scopes out the newly shaped finish step-down.

Dean Lucas had the run of his life to hit the podium here last time around. Still recovering from his severe heel fracture he will race albeit tentatively.
Dean Lucas had the run of his life to hit the podium here last time around. Still recovering from his severe heel fracture he will race, albeit tentatively.

Gee and Taylor look at line choices in the rock garden.
Gee and Taylor look at line choices in the rock garden.

Rachel switched things up and jumped behind the lens on track walk today.
Rachel switched things up and jumped behind the lens on track walk today.

If anything this track will be quick. Motorway quick.
If anything this track will be quick. Motorway quick.

Where there was loam last year there is a lovely bed of roots.
Where there was loam last year, there is a lovely bed of roots.

This is a nice little tire shredder right in the line. It appears to be part of an old snow board.
This is a nice little tire shredder right in the line. It appears to be part of an old snowboard.

The big ol triple.
The big ol' triple.

Rachel cleans of some dirt off what will be a slick high speed ramp. That catch net will have it s hands full on first runs tomorrow.
Rachel cleans of some dirt off what will be a slick high-speed ramp. That catch net will have it's hands full on first runs tomorrow.

This high line will be crucial to make the ninety degree left hander after with any speed.
This high line will be crucial in order to make the ninety degree left-hander that follows with any speed.

Back flips and tail whips
Back flips and tail whips?

High-power drills and flip-flops... what could go wrong. Mark Wallace in it for the thrill.
High-power drills and flip-flops... what could go wrong. Mark Wallace in it for the thrill.

Devinci mechanic Nigel with Mark Wallaces old ride - he will be an all-black steed this week.
Devinci mechanic Nigel with Mark Wallace's old ride - he will be an all-black steed this week.

Ben Reid playing housewife at the Dirt Propain pit.
Ben Reid playing housewife at the Dirt Propain pit.

Evan Warner putting fresh decals on Troy s fork.
Evan Warner putting fresh decals on Troy's fork.

It s a busy day at SRAM. Troy Brosnan s suspension is in for a service.
It's a busy day at SRAM. Troy Brosnan's suspension is in for a service.

Ben Arnott going over the finer details on Angel Suarez s bike.
Ben Arnott going over the finer details on Angel Suarez's bike.

Reg goes over Slugger s bike with a fine tooth comb.
Reg goes over Slugger's bike with a fine tooth comb.

All this will be a bike in no time.
All this will be a bike in no time.

When there are this many milk jugs and cow bells about you can only be in Switzerland.
When there are this many milk jugs and cow bells about you can only be in Switzerland.

One thing Lenzerheide surely isn t lacking in is is views.
One thing Lenzerheide surely isn't lacking in is views.


MENTIONS: @natedh9 / @mdelorme / @davetrump




88 Comments

  • + 103
 There's something about Sam Hill. Hes an intense looking individual. Kind of a bit more mysterious than some of the other riders. Always looks like hes thinking about something intently. Scary in a way. Dunno if the tatts add to the ensemble but he always looks like he means business. So hope he gets back to his old form. The term inside line was never more applicable to a riding style than as it is to his. Foot out flat out. Love it. Some dh riders will go down as legends for their longevity and overall results like Minnaar, Peat or Anne-caro. Some others for just ripping tracks a new one and changing our approach to dh racing. Hills one of those. Legend!
  • + 31
 If Sam Hill was going to win anything this year, I just wish it would be in Val Di Sole. Just this one race.
  • + 4
 Sam hill really rocks
  • + 9
 Ride safe boys and girls and good luck! We can't wait to watch!
  • - 8
flag ShreddieMercury (Jul 6, 2016 at 18:11) (Below Threshold)
 Me too, but I doubt he will with all the smooth bike park stuff. Probably boring to ride, def. boring to watch. Not the mans forte.
  • + 5
 @ShreddieMercury: Schaldming was always a bike park track, although not as steep, its actually very similar to this: lots of turns with inside lines, and roots and rutted out woods section with tons of line options, and not tons of pedaling. Sam always killed it at Schaldming.
  • + 5
 I think the intensity comes from his eyebrows. If he's not smiling, those caterpillars make him look like his brow if furrowed and he's deep in thought.
  • + 21
 People get too caught up in results. I'm more excited about guys who are just brutal on the bike. Riders like Macdonald, Ratboy, Hart, Fairclough, or Hill.

They don't win all the time like sponsors want but watching them ride gets me stoked and blows me away just how good they handle bikes even if they don't win.

Shredding the wheels off the bike > winning
  • + 11
 @poozank: I think you need to add Fearon to that list these days.

@p0g0: My wife wants to trim my caterpillars but I refuse because Sam Hill.
  • + 4
 Well said @slowrider73. If I'm not mistaken Hill has 13 WC wins and 5 world championships (2 junior titles). Only Gwin, Nico, Peat and Greg are ahead of him in WCs. I think he is the greatest technical track rider out there. Fabien Barel thinks he's the best.
  • + 1
 Could not have said it better. Nice guy as well. Love watching him when ever he rides
  • + 8
 We had Sam at our local state series XCO race on Sunday gone in Perth. He came 7th in A grade on a HT with flat pedals (As usual) against some pretty fit guys indeed. Sam is a great guy who is extremely modest considering how successful, innovative and incredible he has been on his bikes over the years. He goes about his work with little desire for attention and lets his riding do the talking.

Whether he wins again or not he is already down in history as one of the all time greatest MTB riders I am sure you will all agree. I freely admit to getting a little star struck excited when ever he comes to our local XCO races Smile .

Great luck on the weekend Sam and all the best to you and the family. Pin it....aye
  • + 1
 @poozank: So True... 100+ props to you, my friend!
  • + 5
 My fav quota from Sam Hill after coming third in the EWS " just riding me bike with my mates" sums him up. The guy is freak on a bike, just before the last WC he KOM all our local black diamond trail in one ride, that's like a 50km ride with around 20 km of segments at full focus, the mental and physical strength he has the pull that off is insane... I just want to see him podium one more race...
  • + 2
 @ShreddieMercury: Shreddie you surely must have mercury poisoning if you think this will be boring to watch. Only 8 sodding events, man..... any of which is umpteen times better to watch than basically any other alternative. After a month off we're back at it! STFU and get stoked already!!! This isn't TDF it's f'n downhill mtb!
  • + 66
 im sick of complaining about WC tracks, i feel like one of those annoying internet trolls that gets an unhealthy amount of enjoyment in criticizing shit. I guess its time to embrace the irony of WC tracks becoming paved road ways in countrys that are famous for their beautifully rugged mountains. I mean i can only hope this isnt going to be an ongoing trend in the future, because as bikeparks slowly remove more natural and challenging terrain in favor of more berm and jump style trails, it fairly likly that WC dh will probably continue to become more and more sanitized. After all its pretty clear that all the vocal frustration thats being expressed over these kinds of tracks becoming more and more common place is doing nothing to change the situation. Im not trying to be that annoying paranoid person. but the idea of dh racing becoming less about who can throw down on the gnarliest terrain imaginable, to who can keep their front wheel from washing out on a stupid loose berm is scary. Keep dh RAW
  • + 6
 Well said
  • + 4
 I agree.
  • + 9
 MSA is pretty much the same track the last 20 years and everybody loves it because it's NATURAL. Screw this bike Park stuff.
  • + 8
 thanks for expressing those thoughts in that way. i think you speak for most of us. horrible changes! a wooden bridge instead of off-camber, berms instead of open turns.
  • + 5
 Well said..thanks god val di sole will save our prayers..
  • + 35
 PB doesn't like the "bikeparkification" of courses either!! To bad neither they nor any of us commentators have a say :/
  • + 27
 Bike parks need to have both "natural trails" and bike park trails. I know it's probably cost prohibitive, but changing everything to super smooth motorways with gigantic jumps is not my idea of a great time.
  • + 10
 @streetfighter848: so true, yet it's becoming the norm, what was once decent rocky track is fastly becoming smooth crap everywhere. What kills me is they rent DH bikes to ride that stuff. Those trails are killing the DH bike - you can't justify that suspension and technology on snowboarder trails, they call mountain bike trails in the Summer.
  • + 8
 I keep imagining how the world would look like if Pinkbikers had a say...
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: you should NEVER do that!!
  • + 13
 @shakeyakey: we would all look like that: www.pinkbike.com/photo/13631295 and all churches would be converted to Sam Hill's temples. Stadiums would be covered in tons of Dirt and converted into Rampage sites and before each event we would have executions of E-bikers. Wild animals like Grizzlies would tear them apart. XCers on 29ers and Fatbikers would not have a nice end either, there would be public trials before each World Cup. I am not sure if Aaron Gwin and Gee Atherton would make it, they'd be probably sent to some gulag where they would be forced to be stoked and sign autographs with smile. All world cup tracks would look like Hard Line, Dan Atherton would be voted Seargant General, the decent Atherton. Danny Hart for minister of education, Loic Bruni for Crown Prince, Peaty for Secretary of the state. People at Trek and Sram would be executed in worst of ways, slowly stretched between two drop outs, finally cut apart using 50t chainring. Blood Eagle executions would be performed as well. There would be 20mm axle day instead of Easter and "26" for life" day on 4th of July. I am terrified to imagine what would happen with Specialized staff... hunted down and impaled or hung from short chainstays. Oh yea and the prices of bikes would drop, secret Police would seek marketers of big companies responsible for 10k bikes. Pinkbike staff wouldn't make it either... I don't really know, who would... is there something positive that could happen? Cloning Stevie Smith... oh crap too far...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: so how do i protect myself against bears again.... lie still... punch them in the nose?.. wait that might of been sharks?! im doomed Frown
  • + 25
 Bryceland aka Mouseboy haha
  • + 10
 Is that first B&W photo by Ansel Radams?

sry....
  • + 1
 Um... yeah... Actually I think Ansel would have appreciated both the pun and the pic.
  • + 8
 The look on Loic's face; He's been taking a lot of pain killers!
  • + 5
 This track is completely un-appropriate.. Wayy to bikeparky!
Just great keep adding this lame side to side berms yay!????
  • + 5
 Completely in-acceptable.
  • + 7
 Needs more cowbell
  • + 6
 This course looks really fun. 10/10 would like to ride.
  • + 1
 On a trail bike
  • + 3
 Watching Peaty's and his "Holy Cow" bike fly off of that plank is going to be priceless.
www.substance.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/flying-cow.jpg
  • + 5
 Rachel should wear those shorts more often.
  • + 4
 So uhmmm hate to break it to ya but its Angel Suarez not Alonso...
  • + 0
 Gwin and Alosno???? I thought his name was Angel? maybe that is the man in the maintenance crew lol? Some one please correct me if im wrong but that seems a little disrespectful PB.......like come one that kid is rad AF atleast get his name right!
  • + 4
 Cute girl in lumberjack shirt.... rider or someone's GF?
  • + 1
 Thought I was the only one wondering
  • + 3
 Saw that devenci and automatically thought it was Stevie Smith's then reality hit Frown #longlivechainsaw
  • + 3
 Mmmmm, to much bike park and not enough bike ffaaarrrrkkkk?
  • + 2
 Looks like it should be a great race. Track looks awesome, and holy crap, those views. Wow.
  • + 3
 Amazing photos. Thanks for sharing team!
  • + 1
 That SRAM servicing sheet
Sponsor?: Yes/ No
I wonder if they do a really shitty job if you aren't sponsored hahaha
  • + 2
 Damn! Sambo really goes hard on his suspension :o
  • + 2
 Sick, Sick, sick......lovin those orange lowers.............
  • + 2
 Looks great! Can't wait to see all the action this weekend
  • + 2
 Ill be there! Cant wait for this!!!!
  • + 1
 Wow they even black out their cleaner spray cans so no one knows what they are using!
  • + 2
 Excited!!! Hope Claudio is OK, that was quite the dirt bath.
  • + 2
 Gwin having orange Fox 40s on his red YT?
  • + 2
 Was thinking the same! Let's pray for another paintjob on his tues
  • + 1
 @mdmake: Should go well with a black YT, although I always find the red one pretty cool looking.
  • + 1
 @MTB-Colada: but actually he's still running the red one. Looks like yt doesn't care much about some different frame colors.
  • + 2
 Well....let's get the party started !!
  • + 1
 Orange 40 on a red yt thats just yuck
  • + 1
 OMG!!! Thanks PB for THIS!
  • - 1
 It's a really gnarly track and it has a little bit of everything, not to mention some nuts jumps. Idk why they hatin
  • + 1
 Less cowbell
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