Qualifying Photo Epic: Austrian Autobahn - Leogang DH World Cup 2019

Jun 8, 2019
by Dave Trumpore  



Photo Epic presented by Five Ten

Cold temps and cloudy skies kicked off a day hot action on the slopes of Leogang as riders took to the track for their qualifying runs. While rain threatened all day, not a drop ever fell from the sky leaving the track parched, dry, and dusty. Conditions that were likely a welcome change after the previous two rounds in Maribor and Fort William where qualifying went down in the rain. In fact, this would be the first World Cup of the season where the conditions remained exactly the same for all racers across all classes throughout the day. No last minute storms spoiled the dry track as in Maribor and there was certainly no wind, fog, and rain blowing in and out as it did last weekend. Just a nice level playing field for everyone.

For the Juniors, it was back to business as usual for Vali Holl who would decimate the field by 18 seconds. Series leader Anna Newkirk would come second with Mille Johnset right on her tail in 3rd. Thibaut Daprela would top the junior men ahead of some names we have not seen near the top this year. The second spot would go to Frenchman Matteo Iniquez, and third to Joey Foresta from the USA. The usual suspects like Kye A'Hearn and Ethan Shandro finished further down the list.

Tracey Hannah continued her qualifier winning streak to take the top spot ahead of Rachel Atherton. Tracey is now three for three in qualifying wins but has yet to back it up in the final. After being up on Rachel last week until the final split, we know she has the speed if she can just dig a bit deeper at the end of her race runs. Third would go to Nina Hoffman while Marine Cabirou and Raphaela Richter would round out the top five.

In the men's race, the resurgent Greg Minnaar would silence all the doubters about his form by taking the top spot ahead of a youthful bunch. Aging like a fine wine, Greg proved that he just keeps getting better, and still has what it takes to stick it to riders more than a decade younger. Loris Vergier showed that his speed this season is consistent and walked away with second spot, the same place he finished in the finals just one week ago in Fort William. Third would go to another very very consistent rider in Troy Brosnan who piloted his number one plate down the track with a time that puts him right into the mix. Fourth would go to Amaury Pierron who just didn't look his usual self on track after some big crashes in training, and 5th would be a bit of a surprise with Slovenian Jure Zabjek throwing down a great run. The rest of the top 10 would be a list of the usual suspects Like Danny Hart, Aaron Gwin, and Loic Bruni, but some fresh faces are lurking in there too. Most notably Connor Fearon in 6th and Greg Williamson in 9th.

Tomorrow is going to be a hot one both on and off the course. With nothing but sunshine in the forecast, the track is going to be running super fast, and the finals will see dust flying through the air for the first time this season. Hold on to your hats, this is going to be a good one.

What a difference a day makes. Cold and cloudy but thankfully not a drop of rain.
What a difference a day makes. Cold and cloudy but thankfully not a drop of rain.

The overall World Cup leader looked relaxed and comfortable before dropping in for his qualifying run.
The overall World Cup leader looked relaxed and comfortable before dropping in for his qualifying run.

Aaron Gwin contemplates the upcoming 3 minute and 22 seconds once out the start gate.
Aaron Gwin contemplates the upcoming 3 minute and 22 seconds once out the start gate.

Wheel and bike prep in the Saracen pits before the big show.
Wheel and bike prep in the Saracen pits before the big show.

Tracey Hannah getting warming up before winning her third qualifier of the season.
Tracey Hannah getting warming up before winning her third qualifier of the season.

Mick Hannah warming up the engines.
Mick Hannah warming up the engines.

The thousand yard stare from Marine Cabirou as she awaits her turn in the start gate.
The thousand yard stare from Marine Cabirou as she awaits her turn in the start gate.

Those of you that have followed EWS racing closely should recognise the name Raphaela Richter. She s giving the whole downhill thing a go and qualified 5th. Not bad Rapha
Those of you that have followed EWS racing closely should recognise the name Raphaela Richter. She's giving the whole downhill thing a go and qualified 5th. Not bad, Rapha!

Moody weather hung overhead during Mille Johnset s 3rd place qualifying run.
Moody weather hung overhead during Mille Johnset's 3rd place qualifying run.

With zero moisture in the track all week things are getting loose and blown out all over the place.
With zero moisture in the track all week things are getting loose and blown out all over the place.

Rider s haven t spent a lot time on this kind of surface this week but the gesture is certainly appreciated if only for a short section to mix it up.
Rider's haven't spent a lot of time on this kind of surface this week, but the gesture is certainly appreciated if only for a short section to mix it up.

Thanks for the roost Reece.
Thanks for the roost, Reece.

Greg Minnaar once again showing the next generation how it s done.
Greg Minnaar once again showing the next generation how it's done.

Loic heads into the unknown and 11th in qualifying
Loic heads into the unknown and 11th in qualifying

Iles and Bruni were both a little behind on the clock today but rest assured Iles lost no time on the step-down.
Iles and Bruni were both a little behind on the clock today, but rest assured Iles lost no time on the step-down.

Finn Iles scrubbing time into 18th after a few mistakes further up the hill.
Finn Iles scrubbing time into 18th after a few mistakes further up the hill.

13th for number 13 Dakotah Norton who also finish 13th last week in Fort William. Consistency comes in Many Forms
13th for number 13 Dakotah Norton who also finished 13th last week in Fort William. Consistency comes in Many Forms

Connor Fearon is never not killing it here in Leogang but he ll need to squeeze out a couple of extra milliseconds to hit the podium again. 6th today.
Connor Fearon is never not killing it here in Leogang, but he'll need to squeeze out a couple of extra milliseconds to hit the podium again. 6th today.

Danny Hart has a little bit of time to find if he wants to be at the sharp end come tomorrow afternoon.
Danny Hart has a little bit of time to find if he wants to be at the sharp end come tomorrow afternoon.

Last weekend s winner Anna Newkirk slotted into a distant second behind Holl.
Last weekend's winner Anna Newkirk slotted into a distant second behind Holl.

2nd today for series leader Rachel Atherton
2nd today for series leader Rachel Atherton

Tracey Hannah went fastest today by a hair over Rachel Atherton.
Another qualifying win for Tracey Hannah

Having Mitch Ropelato back between the World Cup downhill tapes is great news for the photographers on the hill.
Having Mitch Ropelato back between the World Cup downhill tapes is great news for the photographers on the hill.

the youngsters might be all about the scrubs but the veterans like Gwin know that nothing beats a good speed tuck.
The youngsters might be all about the scrubs, but the veterans like Gwin know that nothing beats a good speed tuck.

Jamie Edmondson rounded off the top five in qualies with more in the tank for tomorrow s final.
Jamie Edmondson rounded off the top five in qualies with more in the tank for tomorrow's final.

Shout out to Wyn Masters for the Privateer Awards idea
Shout out to Wyn Masters for the Privateer Awards idea!

Second fastest today Loris Vergier is always within reach.
Second fastest today, Loris Vergier is always within reach.

Amaury Pierron is the danger man tomorrow.
Amaury Pierron is the danger man tomorrow.

Sometime you one with the bike and others times you one with the track.
Sometimes you're one with the bike, and others times you're one with the track.

Not the best day for Melanie Chappaz.
Not the best day for Melanie Chappaz.

4th in juniors for Kye A hern.
4th in juniors for Kye A'hern.

With times as tight as they are here in Leogang and 20 riders occupying just 3 seconds in qualifying every inch of track matters.
With times as tight as they are here in Leogang and 20 riders occupying just 3 seconds in qualifying, every inch of track matters.

After a shaky start in Maribor it looks like Greg Williamson has the bit between his teeth now. Today s 9th place qualifier.
After a shaky start in Maribor it looks like Greg Williamson has the bit between his teeth now. Today's 9th place qualifier.

Troy Brosnan plugging away and picking up solid points at every opportunity. He ll be looking for the big points though and to add another win to his tally.
Troy Brosnan plugging away and picking up solid points at every opportunity. He'll be looking for the big points though and to add another win to his tally.

Nina Hoffman looks solid for the podium once again here in Austria. 3rd today.
Nina Hoffmann looks solid for the podium once again here in Austria. 3rd today.

Loris Vergier is an animal and just 0.16 seconds back on team mate Minaar.
Loris Vergier is an animal and just 0.16 seconds back on teammate Minnaar.

You can never discount this man. Greg Minnaar laying down the gauntlet today.
You can never discount this man. Greg Minnaar laying down the gauntlet today.

Joseph Foresta riding to 3rd place in the loam today in the juniors.
Joseph Foresta riding to 3rd place in the loam today in the juniors.

Today was one hell of a statement from Vali Holl she s out to make sure last week was just a one off.
Today was one hell of a statement from Vali Holl, she's out to make sure last week was just a one-off.

I m not surprised to see Matteo Iniguez up in second the French junior has been catching our eye this season with his sick style.
I'm not surprised to see Matteo Iniguez up in second, the French junior has been catching our eye this season with his sick style.

Jure Zabjek had an awesome run to take 5th.
Jure Zabjek had an awesome run to take 5th.

Out front once again for Thibaut Daprela.
Out front once again for Thibaut Daprela.

Over 5 seconds back and the likes of Brook MacDonald found themselves in 20th place and beyond.
Over 5 seconds back, and the likes of Brook MacDonald found themselves in 20th place and beyond.

69 and jeans. Privateer Johannes von Klebelsberg rode to 16th place.
69 and jeans. Privateer Johannes von Klebelsberg rode to 16th place.

Camille Balanche s results have been steadily on the up. She ended up 6th today only a couple seconds back from that magical top 5.
Camille Balanche's results have been steadily on the up. She ended up 6th today, only a couple seconds back from that magical top 5.

The times on track were the only things closer than the gaps between the riders and the trees in the bottom woods. Sadly Henry Fitzgerald would be one of the many fast riders who failed to qualify on a track that saw only 9 seconds separate 1st from 60th.
The times on track were the only things closer than the gaps between the riders and the trees in the bottom woods. Sadly Henry Fitzgerald would be one of the many fast riders who failed to qualify on a track that saw only 9 seconds separate 1st from 60th.

Ethan Shandro and team manager Ryan Gaul look at the splits and find where time can be made up.
Ethan Shandro and team manager Ryan Gaul look at the splits and find where time can be made up.

Bruni disappointment personified.
Bruni; disappointment personified.

Tracy Hannah may have taken the qualies by half a second but this thing ain t over.
Tracey Hannah may have taken the qualies by half a second, but this thing ain't over.

It s been a while since Greg has gotten all the attention at the end of a run but he certainly knows how to handle the extra pressure.
It's been a while since Greg has gotten all the attention at the end of a run but he certainly knows how to handle the extra pressure.

After losing to his teammate by just 0.16 Loris Vergier was more than keen to spy on Greg s set up.
After losing to his teammate by just 0.16, Loris Vergier was more than keen to spy on Greg's set up.

Greg Minnaar s Santa Cruz V10 will be the last bike down the hill tomorrow.
Greg Minnaar's Santa Cruz V10 will be the last bike down the hill tomorrow.



MENTIONS: @natedh9 @davetrumpore @mdelorme @andy9 @rossbellphoto @FiveTen



Regions in Article
Leogang


33 Comments

  • + 78
 A guy in jeans with the #69 plate in 16th?
Where do I click to know more?
  • + 53
 Is that a cell in his pocket!? I guess when you're a privateer you can't afford to miss a phone call... Or is he also trying to top the Trailforks leader board, you know, gotta make that trip to Leogang worth it?
  • + 27
 Randy!
  • + 3
 @Primed: Stats I guess
  • + 10
 Its Ronnie Mac.
  • + 5
 @Primed: I always raced with my phone. Gotta keep track of time somehow when you’re alone
  • + 13
 Johannes von Klebelsberg should get the privateer money this week. So he can buy some proper DH pants
  • + 3
 @Primed: KOM
  • + 18
 @enduroNZ: those are proper DH pants. Everyone else is riding sponsor trousers.
  • + 64
 Jeans, 69, 16th. Find that man Wyn.
  • + 3
 It’s like all that fancy gear doesn’t really make much of a difference
  • + 23
 Anyone else mind blown by that picture of Connor on the wall ride? The timing required to get a shot like that with the speed in that section
  • + 2
 The wall ride is finally good for something.
  • + 16
 I, for one, want an interview with the guy in jeans.
  • + 9
 Shots look extra crispy today!
  • + 7
 The weather are awesome and still cant get over from Bruni and Loris zebra pants
  • + 9
 Vergier: "Stop calling them Zebra pants, it's WHITE TIGER!"
  • + 1
 Apik pancene mas
  • + 2
 @mtnrush666: white tiger? This is not las vegas mate.
Proper tiger or no tiger.
  • + 5
 And hell yeah, amazing photos
  • + 5
 Gwin knows scrubs better than most..
  • + 5
 1, these photos are absurdly good. 2, mitch's form is...is...help
  • + 5
 Quality pics! thank you.

" but this thing ain't over" chuckle!
  • + 3
 Another stellar recap. All contributors to these recaps are simply killing it! Thank you! Go GM!
  • + 3
 Minnaar on DHR front and rear, no Assegai.
  • + 1
 Right tool, right job.
  • + 1
 Love these photos! Thanks a lot!
  • + 1
 Finn running a blacked out DHF?
  • + 4
 DHR rear and DHF front (check out the scrub photos) Supposedly this is because Specialized doesn't have a 29 DH casing Butcher yet..
  • - 1
 But they're running 27.5 wheels on the rear. Maybe they got sick of the Specialized GRIP-NON tires.
  • + 1
 Top Notch Epic there boys... Pumped & Ready...
  • + 0
 Loris Vergier Finished third in finals last week not second.
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