Practice - Leogang DH World Cup 2016

Jun 11, 2016
by Dave Trumpore  



With lots of chatter on the airwaves and in the pits about the status of this years track in Leogang, today was finally the day that tires were put to dirt and speculation came to an end. Leogang has always had a storied history as one of the more controversial tracks and each year the organizers seem to make an effort to improve on things. While this year those improvements are a bit odd, they do seem to be working.

The early morning "B" group had the worst of it in training as the soggy ground and lack of ruts through the fresh cut sections had riders slipping and sliding all over the track. Reports from the first few riders to make it down the track were that some sections were just unrideable. Not exactly the news you want to hear, but luckily the UCI does in fact listen now and again; after a few quick alterations to the troublesome sections things began to improve.

Add to that a day of beautiful hot sunshine and the track dried out completely from the sloppy mess we walked just one day ago. Ruts had formed, the loose top layer had been pushed off to reveal a seemingly endless bed of roots below, and riders were absolutely flying down the track. Even the biggest critics were smiling and having a good time.

That was today...

Tomorrow looks to be a completely different story as the weather forecast is calling for a 100% chance of rain, light and heavy, all day. And with Sunday looking much the same, things are going to get messy. Really, really messy. Many riders were seen practicing alternative lines though the roots in anticipation of the deluge, and others are holding their breath that the track will hold up a bit better than the way things started today in the wet. Either way, we are in for a wild one here in Austria this weekend.

It was a spike tire affair most of the day and while things dried up towards the end of the day they are not expected to stay that way.... Hold tight the rain is most definitely on it s way.
It was a spike tire affair most of the day, and while things dried up towards the end of the day, they are not expected to stay that way.... Hold tight, the rain is most definitely on it's way.

Brendan s mechanic Big Ben trimming another set of Dirt Dans down to size ready for the mixed up conditions.
Brendan's mechanic, Big Ben, trimming another set of Dirt Dans down to size, ready for the mixed-up conditions.

Procores in place on Blenki s bike and ready to soak up the sharp edged hits this Austrian hillside has to offer.
Procores in place on Blenki's bike and ready to soak up the sharp edged hits this Austrian hillside has to offer.

Sam Hill s mechanic Jaycee sorting the messed up laces on his trusty Five-tens before practice gets underway.
Sam Hill's mechanic, Jaycee, sorting the messed-up laces on his trusty Five-tens before practice gets underway.

Mud tyres were go today in all the pits... but were they needed Not particularly. We ll enjoy it while it lasts...
Mud tires were go today in all the pits...but were they needed? Not particularly. We'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Propain s Isaac Leivsson dangles a leg mid-air and shows off his three balls.
Propain's Isaac Leivsson dangles a leg mid-air and shows off his three balls.

Tracey Hannah is riding with confidence after her second place last weekend and took the fastest time in times training today.
Tracey Hannah is riding with confidence after her second place last weekend, and took the fastest time in times training today.

Alex Fayolle goes full plaid on panshotfriday
Alex Fayolle goes full plaid on #panshotfriday

Mitch Ropelato made into the A practice group after his result in Fort William and was seen smashing out lots of laps all afternoon.
Mitch Ropelato made into the "A" practice group after his result in Fort William and was seen smashing out lots of laps all afternoon.

Finn Iles with the 1 plate as the current leader of the Junior series.
Finn Iles with the #1 plate as the current leader of the Junior series.

Devinci s Mark Wallace warping into tunnel number 1 in preparation for his assault on the top ten on Sunday.
Devinci's Mark Wallace warping into tunnel number 1 in preparation for his assault on the top ten on Sunday.

GT s Brook MacDonald parting the boulders up top.
GT's Brook MacDonald parting the boulders up top.

Third place for Remi Thirion here last year second fastest TT this afternoon. The place clearly suits him and you can bet he s ready to tear the Leogang course a new one if it rains.
Third place for Remi Thirion here last year, second fastest TT this afternoon. The place clearly suits him and you can bet he's ready to tear the Leogang course a new one if it rains.

Marcello Gutierrez never fails to go hard in TT and today ride to 5th.
Marcello Gutierrez never fails to go hard in TT and today rode to 5th.

Mick Hannah hasn t raced here since 2013 due to injuries but if you look back through the results you ll see he took 3rd that year. With a fourth in timed training he looks to be on pace once again in Leogang.
Mick Hannah hasn't raced here since 2013 due to injuries, but if you look back through the results, you'll see he took 3rd that year. With a fourth in timed training he looks to be on pace once again in Leogang.

One of these days Sam Hill is going to finally uncork one. With lots of rain in the forecast we will keep our fingers crossed.
One of these days Sam Hill is going to finally uncork one. With lots of rain in the forecast we will keep our fingers crossed.

Mark Wallace scrubs into the chute above tunnel number two.
Greg Williamson scrubs into the chute above tunnel number two.

Wyn Master s injured his knee last week in Fort William and is sitting this one one unfortunately. But that didn t stop him from stealing his brother s moped for a ride to the top to cheers on his friends.
Wyn Master's injured his knee last week in Fort William and is sitting this one out, unfortunately. But that didn't stop him from stealing his brother's moped for a ride to the top to cheers on his friends.

Look out Warner s trying to ride bikes again and even thinks he could show certain members of the top 80 some lines.
Look out--Warner's trying to ride bikes again and even thinks he could show certain members of the top 80 some lines.

Gee Atherton looking to terminate some heavy lines through the rocks and roots. As ever he was holding the throttle wide open all day.
Gee Atherton looking to terminate some heavy lines through the rocks and roots. As ever, he was holding the throttle wide open all day.

Aaron Gwin on the lookout for golden line as the lesser numbers try their best in the roots. And everyone else is a lesser number. What kind of Gwin special could be on the cards this year
Aaron Gwin on the lookout for golden line as the 'lesser numbers' try their best in the roots. And everyone else is a lesser number. What kind of Gwin special could be on the cards this year?

Today was a surprise summer holiday... one everyone is happy to take ahead of the weekend.
Today was a surprise summer holiday... one everyone is happy to take ahead of the weekend.

Mondraker s Laurie Greenland was hard at it in the roots today and will be pushing harder than ever to bring that plate number inside the top ten starting tomorrow.
Mondraker's Laurie Greenland was hard at it in the roots today and will be pushing harder than ever to bring that plate number inside the top ten starting tomorrow.

Josh Bryceland speed of a mongoose style of a rat in front of Leogang s mighty peaks.
Josh Bryceland; speed of a mongoose, style of a rat in front of Leogang's mighty peaks.

Fire in the hole... Eddie Masters practices his tuck ready for tomorrow in the last of the tunnels.
Fire in the hole... Eddie Masters practices his tuck ready for tomorrow in the last of the tunnels.

Mike Jones full gas around the classic giant wooden berms before the woods for a storming 3rd fastest TT lap.
Mike Jones full gas around the classic giant wooden berms before the woods for a storming 3rd fastest TT lap.

Great to see Tahnee Seagrave back on track although not yet at full strength.
Great to see Tahnee Seagrave back on track, although not yet at full strength.

Atherton didn t lay down a serious time this afternoon but do we really need any more convincing she is unstoppable
Atherton didn't lay down a serious time this afternoon, but do we really need any more convincing she is unstoppable?

Suns out... you know what to do. Gee puts on the 4 o clock gun show at the Atherton pit..
Sun's out... you know what to do. Gee puts on the 4 o'clock gun show at the Atherton pit.

Harry Heath and manager Todd Schumlick reflecting at the end of a long day on the hill.
Harry Heath and manager Todd Schumlick reflecting at the end of a long day on the hill.

Is Adam Brayton on the edge of something big Let s not jinx him with speculation but hopefully with enough ham sandwiches he might be able pull out another heroic result here in Leogang.
Is Adam Brayton on the edge of something big? Let's not jinx him with speculation, but hopefully with enough ham sandwiches he might be able pull out another heroic result here in Leogang.

Are you sponsored
Are you sponsored?

Fastest in timed training through the first few splits was Brendan Fairclough. Unfortunately he had a mechanical at the bottom so we never got to see his time on a full run.
Fastest in timed training through the first few splits was Brendan Fairclough. Unfortunately he had a mechanical at the bottom so we never got to see his time on a full run.

Mike Jones took a massive slam last week at Fort William but somehow he is okay and riding well enough to post one of the fastest times in timed training.
Mike Jones took a massive slam last week at Fort William, but somehow he is okay and riding well enough to post one of the fastest times in timed training.

It s always good to see Steve Peat out shredding Word Cup tracks on what is to be his final season.
It's always good to see Steve Peat out shredding Word Cup tracks, on what is to be his final season.

Guillaum Cauvin moster trucks through the roots just above to fireroad.
Guillaum Cauvin monster trucks through the roots just above to fireroad.

Danny Hart at the Mondraker pit getting ready to take on the ruts up the mountain.
Danny Hart at the Mondraker pit getting ready to take on the ruts.

Sam Blenkinsop shows off his new paint with some classic Kiwi sayings and Mauri artwork.
Sam Blenkinsop shows off his new paint with some classic Kiwi sayings and Maori artwork.

After finishing just 1.2 seconds from the podium in Fort William we all know what Luca Shaw is after this weekend.
After finishing just 1.2 seconds from the podium in Fort William, we all know what Luca Shaw is after this weekend.

Ratboy has broken out the flat pedals this weekend in anticipation of the slipping and sliding that will likely be going down tomorrow and Sunday.
Ratboy has broken out the flat pedals this weekend in anticipation of the slipping and sliding that will likely be going down tomorrow and Sunday.

Josh Bryceland leans it into the off camber and rooted out clear cut section of the track.
Josh Bryceland leans it into the off camber and rooted-out, clear cut section of the track.

It took Remi Thirion about one run to get up to speed and after that is was full gas all day. He was on the podium here last year and is looking for the same in 2016.
It took Remi Thirion about one run to get up to speed, and after that is was full gas all day. He was on the podium here last year and is looking for the same in 2016.

Eliot Heap is having fun and riding relaxed. We expect to see his on a Junior podium very soon.
Eliot Heap is having fun and riding relaxed. We expect to see him on a Junior podium very soon.

Gee Atherton into tunnel number one.
Gee Atherton into tunnel number one.

What new challenge will Leogang serve up for Aaron Gwin this year you ask Well it look like its going to be a heavy dose of rain and mud which has never been his forte but he has overcome worse here so you really never know.
What new challenge will Leogang serve up for Aaron Gwin this year, you ask? Well it looks like it's going to be a heavy dose of rain and mud which has never been his forte, but he has overcome worse here before, so you really never know...

Bernard Kerr goes horizontal on the big wall ride.
Bernard Kerr goes horizontal on the big wall ride.

Last Weeks winner and now 5th overall pinned through the middle part of the track.
Last week's winner, and now 5th overall, pinned through the middle part of the track.

After a solid day of rain yesterday it was nice to see some blue sky peek through to start the day.
Enjoy this view, because it's the last blue sky we expect to see this weekend.



64 Comments

  • + 59
 I really missed the photo epics at Ft Bill last week. The live red bull race footage is great, but these photo epics are much more intimate and get me super excited for the WC! Next best thing to being there Smile
  • + 13
 I do miss all the video edits we got last year though after every day
  • + 5
 @Waldon83:
Yeah mate it sure feels like they skimped out on a ton of videos a lot less coverage..
This is the world cups we only get a handful of races bring on the Intel!!
More coverage
  • + 12
 Could the photography get any better? Lets see, this is just practice...
  • + 5
 @MJ4LIFERIDER: it's the same level of coverage as we havnt changed anything up from last year. Perhaps the articles are just hitting the homepage at different times. All daily video comes from Red Bull at World Cups as they conteol the rights to daily and race day video overage.
  • + 1
 @davetrump: I feel like we used to see multiple edits from different people.
Now we only see what is posted here, and then the team edits after the cup.....

Maybe because I only really look on Pinkbike rather than trawling the web
  • + 1
 I really hope nobody gets explosive diarrhea in the middle of the race on sunday.
  • + 2
 Do I dare suggest Vitalmtb.com ?
Sorry pinkbike but their sideshows and raw footage cannot be beaten it seems!
  • + 1
 @Waldon83: Me too but den some nice pics^^
  • + 39
 Geez oh man. That photo of Minnaar is absolutely classic. Great job @davetrump
  • + 9
 Agreed. The light gleaming on the helmet, the eyes beneath the visor, the perfect form, classic is right!
  • + 3
 100% agree - that shot is amazing, init!
  • + 2
 It epitomizes all that is dh racin. Pinned. Mountains and the goat!!
  • + 1
 Agreed! Eyes on the prize as well as the rest of the body. It is fascinating to see how far ahead they are looking when riding. One thing: his cleats seem to be mounted so close to the center of the shoe. Or is it just a pic?
  • + 0
 that pic of Tracey as well, very stylish
  • + 24
 Dave Trumpore take a bow - some absolutely spectacular photos from Leogang :-)
  • + 3
 Absolutely! Nothing better than coming in from a muddy ride this morning to sit down and scroll through this batch of goodies! Big Grin
  • + 16
 I'm starting to think I should have put Thirion in my top three pick..
  • + 8
 Pro tip: always wait til right before the deadline to post your top picks.
  • + 1
 @lennyandcarl: therion though was a bit of a wildcard with that injured wrist early in the season
  • + 7
 photos are absolutely amazing!
  • + 7
 Came here to look at the pictures...left with a dozen wallpapers.
  • + 6
 Yes! More sick images to consume!
  • + 6
 ADAM BRAYTON Or HANNAH FTW !! Imagine how great this would sound
  • + 5
 I laughed my ass off at Gee's photo..... attempting to murder some roots with his gaze. Awesome photos.
  • + 4
 10 points to the person who is fanboy enough to know what the 256 means on Blenkys helmet Smile
  • + 27
 It was his number plate when he won his first - and currently, only - world cup in Schladming, 2008 Wink
  • + 2
 @brownies: true fan!
  • + 4
 @brownies: on a Yeti, along with teammates Aaron Gwin, Justin Leov and Jared Graves...
  • + 1
 is it the number of times he got loose like ya mum?
  • + 2
 @djm35: I think that went over their heads haha but I seen it.!
  • + 4
 I want to be a mechanic now
  • + 1
 Go for it!
  • + 3
 Cmon Mr Hill. Lets see some flat pedal mud wizardry
  • + 1
 Looks like Gwin is running those Maxxis look alike Onza prototypes once again. It will be very interesting to see what kinds of new tyres Onza comes out with.
  • + 1
 Wanna see Warner on a bike again for sure!! He did the xc course preview why not the dh!!
  • + 1
 Just watched vital raw: this course has got more craters than moon, mars and venus combined!!
  • + 2
 It would be awesome to see Adam lay down another great result
  • + 2
 Tracy getting almost full fork travel in a turn .
  • + 2
 Looks like Sam Hill is "uncorking" his tire in that turn
  • + 2
 Love that wall ride shot of Mike Jones, awesome work!
  • + 2
 Sad to see Danny Hart shaved off his sweet look stache.
  • + 8
 Yeah, but what about Hannah's - looks good and fast on him.
  • + 2
 It's like a burger, greasy but good.
  • + 2
 So many sweet shots. Wicked job Nathan and Dave.
  • + 1
 It's Mike Jones, not Elliot Heap in the 6th to last picture! Great article, though!
  • + 2
 Yeah awesome photos! Great job!
  • + 2
 Adam Brayton's forearms Eek
  • + 1
 Sam Hill not racing! Went down hard yesterday.
  • + 1
 Isaac Leivsson... was that a typo or intended gravity pun? Smile
  • + 0
 Sweet pics. Just a little bit of proofreading your captions would go a long way.
  • + 1
 So is Gwin running the Onza mud tire?
  • + 1
 Tracey Hannah must be pinned. Fork looks it's bottomed.
  • + 1
 So good to see her healthy, confident, and attacking.
  • + 1
 Those photos with the mountains as a backdrop are sweet.
  • + 1
 No scrolleffects for title image this time?
  • + 1
 That sam hill uncorking comment is lame
  • + 0
 So Sam Hill won't be able to race again. Frown
  • + 1
 Give us a mudrace!!
  • + 1
 ESKI BOOOOIIIIIIIIII
  • + 1
 brilliant photo set!
  • - 1
 I think Rachel is gonna crack under the pressure.
  • + 1
 A fan of crack, are you?

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