Photo Epic: Qualifying - Val di Sole DH World Championships 2021

Aug 27, 2021
by Dave Trumpore  



It's one thing to look fast in practice and nail all your lines at pace, but it's a completely different animal to tame the track when the clock starts ticking and the pressure of World Champs weekend begins to set in for real. Some thrive in such an environment and raise their game, while others struggle to perform when it counts, knowing the clock never lies no matter how fast you think you may be on track.

Qualifying today in Val di Sole was the first time racers took to the track with intent and could see in black and white exactly how they stacked up. Sure, some may not have pushed one hundred percent, while others may have decided to roll the dice for real. No one on the outside really knows for sure, and there are always head games going on at World Champs as no one wants to give away that special line just yet or play their full hand, but regardless, the result sheet still gives an idea of who the key players will be for Sunday's final.

Vali Höll and Loris Vergier took top honors which given their current form should come as no surprise, but hot on their heels were also the usual suspects we've seen in the mix all year. Times were incredibly tight across the board and as racers fight for seconds in tomorrow's extra practice day, you can be sure everyone's pace come Sunday will be turned up a notch.

The fight for the rainbow stripes is on.

That Italian dirt though... Almost as good as the espresso
That Italian dirt though... Almost as good as the espresso.

It was another dry and dusty day in the valley of the sun.
It was another dry and dusty day in the valley of the sun.

Seventh for Marine Cabirou but a whole 10 seconds back. Tomorrow s another practice day to trim some time off.
Seventh for Marine Cabirou, but a whole 10 seconds back. Tomorrow's another practice day to trim some time off.

Greg Minnaar is a man on a mission here. 40 years old and just 1.5 seconds back in 4th
Greg Minnaar is a man on a mission here. 40 years old and just 1.5 seconds back in 4th.

Junior Men s World Cup leader Jackson Goldstone in 2nd
Junior Men's World Cup leader Jackson Goldstone in 2nd.

Crisp morning air and sunshine for another day of bouncing around in the woods.
Crisp morning air and sunshine for another day of bouncing around in the woods.

Defending World Champ Camille Balanche would qualify in 3rd
Defending World Champ Camille Balanche would qualify in 3rd.

Carrying the form from his win in Maribor two weeks again Lorids Vergier topped the time sheet in qualifying
Carrying the form from his win in Maribor two weeks again, Loris Vergier topped the time sheet in qualifying.

Danny Hart s qualifying run was ruined by a rear flat.
Danny Hart's qualifying run was ruined by a rear flat.

Antoine Vidal turned some heads today finishing just 1.5 seconds back in 3rd
Antoine Vidal turned some heads today finishing just 1.5 seconds back in 3rd.

Antoine Vidal on an absolute heater third place was his reward.
Vidal on an absolute heater, third place was his reward.

Jess Blewitt rock hopping into 8th place in elite women.
Jess Blewitt rock hopping into 8th place in elite women.

Loic Bruni had a brutal crash up top but somehow ended up unscathed.
Loic Bruni had a brutal crash up top but somehow ended up unscathed.

Vali Holl on top once again in qualifying. But can she keep it together when it counts in the final Grabbing the rainbow stripes sure would be a great way to take her first elite win
Vali Holl on top once again in qualifying. But can she keep it together when it counts in the final? Grabbing the rainbow stripes sure would be a great way to take her first elite win.

Matt Walker ended the day inside the top 10 but with some ground to make up
Matt Walker ended the day inside the top 10 but with some ground to make up.

4th is Junior Women for Sophie Gutoehrle
4th is Junior Women for Sophie Gutoehrle.

Jordan Williams had a huge crash in practice but is still in the mix amongst the Junior Men
Jordan Williams had a huge crash in practice but is still in the mix amongst the Junior Men.

Val di Sole is steep and rough top to bottom and never lets up.
Val di Sole is steep and rough top to bottom and never lets up.

Benoit Coulanges 7th in qualifying
Benoit Coulanges, 7th in qualifying.

Finn Eels as commentators across the globe insist on calling him landed in 10th despite his dubious hand strength.
Finn 'Eels' as commentators across the globe insist on calling him, landed in 10th despite his dubious hand strength.

Unfortunately American Kailey Skelton had some troubles in her run and didn t make the final despite being pinned on track all week.
Unfortunately American Kailey Skelton had some troubles in her run and didn't make the final despite being pinned on track all week.

14th for Dakotah Norton
14th for Dakotah Norton.

Lucas finding his line through the brown pow and boulders.
Lucas finding his line through the brown pow and boulders.

4th place won t get Minnaar another lump of precious metal for his trophy cabinet... Efforts will be doubled maybe tripled for Sunday.
4th place won't get Minnaar another lump of precious metal for his trophy cabinet... Efforts will be doubled, maybe tripled for Sunday.

Many near-crashes were saved many were executed in the fully brutal fashion we have to expect here in Val Di Sole. Our cover star scoops himself back up unscathed.
Many near-crashes were saved, many were executed in the fully brutal fashion we have to expect here in Val Di Sole. Our cover star scoops himself back up, unscathed.

Luke Meyer-Smith continues his rampage between the tape with 13th for qualies.
Luke Meyer-Smith continues his rampage between the tape with 13th for qualies.

Ireland s freshly acquired Henry Kerr is one to watch - 15th today to back up his top 20 last race.
Ireland's freshly acquired Henry Kerr is another Propain rider to watch - 15th today to back up his top 20 last race.

First place American Luca Shaw narrowly got ahead of Dakotah Norton for 12th.
The fastest American, Luca Shaw, narrowly got ahead of Dakotah Norton for 12th.

Veronika Widmann into sixth on home soil.
Veronika Widmann flew into sixth on home soil.

Just into the top ten today is Matt Walker.
Just into the top ten today is Matt Walker.

Vali Holl is your top Women s qualifier with Myriam Nicole hot on her heals. She s been everything but perfect on race day so far this year.
Vali Holl is your top Women's qualifier with Myriam Nicole hot on her heels. She's been everything but perfect on race day so far this year.

Benoit Coulanges was looking very fast indeed bettering his plate by one in his qualie run.
Benoit Coulanges was looking very fast indeed, bettering his plate by one in his qualie run.

5th for Monika Hrastnik
5th for Monika Hrastnik.

Davide Cappello has shown flashes of pace this season but saved the best for home soil with a third placed qualifier.
Davide Cappello has shown flashes of pace this season but saved the best for home soil with a third placed qualifier.

Just a few seconds back in 5th for Thibaut Daprela
Just a few seconds back in 5th for Thibaut Daprela.

Hometown hero Ele Farina sent it to 4th today but will give it all she s got to better her Maribor performance on Sunday.
Hometown hero Ele Farina sent it to 4th today, but will give it all she's got to better her Maribor performance on Sunday.

Oisin O Callaghan is defending Junior champ and he took the top spot in qualifying
Oisin O'Callaghan is defending Junior champ and he took the top spot in qualifying.

Nina Hoffmann is no doubt saving her strength for Sunday today rolling in a casual by her standards 10th.
Nina Hoffmann is no doubt saving her strength for Sunday, today rolling in a casual (by her standards) 10th.

Izabela Yankova storming the junior women s qualie win for team Bulgaria.
Izabela Yankova storming the junior women's qualie win for team Bulgaria.

Marine Cabirou is still getting back up to speed after her injury.
Marine Cabirou is still getting back up to speed after her injury.

Gracey Hemstreet gets to grips with the new technical rock section.
Gracey Hemstreet gets to grips with the new technical rock section.

MacDonald on the attack shortly before a massive bail into the biggest garden.
MacDonald on the attack shortly before a massive bail into the biggest garden.

Disturbing scenes but already Brook was telling medics to let him up because he was okay.
Disturbing scenes, but already Brook was telling medics to let him up because he was okay.

High on adrenaline from the huge bail at the time the soreness unfortunately caught up with Brook in time for qualies.
High on adrenaline from the huge bail at the time, the soreness unfortunately caught up with Brook in time for qualies.

Veronika Widmann will have her eyes set on a medal on home soil.
Veronika Widmann will have her eyes set on a medal on home soil.

Troy Brosnan in the green and gold ready to ditch the former on Sunday.
Troy Brosnan in the green and gold, ready to ditch the former on Sunday.

Mr Consistency Troy Brosnan in 6th and in the hunt for the medals.
Mr. Consistency in 6th and well in the hunt for the medals.

Laurie Greenland and Val di Sole are a match made in heaven. P2 today and just under a second back from Vergier.
Laurie Greenland and Val di Sole are a match made in heaven. P2 today and just under a second back from Vergier.

A cruisy type of run and second place finish. Can Greenland keep a level head and gently turn it up to 11
A cruisy type of run and second place finish. Can Greenland keep a level head and gently turn it up to 11?

a second back and in second place for Myriam Nicole
A second back and in second place for Myriam Nicole

Can any body stop this man this weekend besides the speed police 1st place one more time for LV.
Can anybody stop this man this weekend besides the speed police? 1st place one more time for LV.

It s all up here. Loris Vergier knows the fastest way down the mountain once again.
It's all up here. Loris Vergier knows the fastest way down the mountain once again.

Here we are 20 years on after Greg s first World Champs medal and still he is thirsty for more and well in touch of any medal.
Here we are 20 years on after Greg's first World Champs medal and still he is thirsty for more and well in touch with any medal.

The post qualifying debrief going down in the Santa Cruz pits.
The post qualifying debrief going down in the Santa Cruz pits.

What a day. Brook s head no doubt spinning slightly after the crash. Hopefully his mind and body let him give his all for the big show.
What a day. Brook's head is no doubt spinning slightly after the crash. Hopefully his mind and body let him give his all for the big show.

Loris Veggie catches up with fellow Frenchman and third placed qualifier Antoine Vidal.
Loris Vergier catches up with fellow Frenchman and third placed qualifier Antoine Vidal.

Reece Wilson on the puzzle bus just outside the top 20 but no way he ll let that jersey slip without a battle.
Reece Wilson on the puzzle bus just outside the top 20, but no way he'll let that jersey slip without a battle.

Another sleep and all your favorite mountain bike superstars will be back out in the rocks and dust all over again for the final day of practice.
Another sleep and all your favorite mountain bike superstars will be back out in the rocks and dust all over again for the final day of practice.



21 Comments

  • 12 0
 Great photos as always and shoutout to the Bulldog after has hard fall - he will be back and more determined than ever to do well here...this is going to be a race of the survival of riders vs the track may the best man and woman prevail!
  • 10 0
 If there was one photo we needed... It was Loic tipping over 45 degrees over the front end straight into another feature. Photographers slapping themselves for not sitting on that section during Loic's bucking bronco routine. Legend for rolling out of that healthy...
  • 13 0
 Poor Greg, I bet he's a little tired of people and media always mentioning his age.
  • 6 0
 Yeah l know, what is he, 40?
  • 1 0
 not any more! I bet it's the other kids who don't like hearing Greg's age now lol
  • 7 0
 If you’ve not seen loic Brunis crash on Instagram. Go watch it. How he is walking away from it is a miracle.
  • 1 0
 Yikes! Lucky landing :-/
  • 3 0
 That’s why he’s Super Bruni! Anyone else would be in a full body cast.
  • 6 0
 Has any checked if the mountain is ok from Bulldog hitting it?
  • 2 0
 Seeing the Bulldog down gives you the shivers, eh! That poor hill... Guy's a Terminator!!
  • 4 0
 Going to be an epic race, Laurie for the win ( fellow Bristolian)
  • 1 0
 Greg's secret ? His wheels spin in total synchrony. Check those valve stems at 5 o'clock !
  • 1 0
 So Loris is the Title Components poster boy (after Rheeder is suppose) but hes not running their stem...hmm.
  • 2 0
 Shoe stylin to boot Vali!
  • 2 0
 Jess Blewitt currently not on PB Fantasy DH Radar?
  • 1 0
 Is it just me or should Sophie Gutoehrle definitely cut her bars?
  • 1 0
 Maybe rather relocate her brake levers
  • 1 2
 There is no cut at Worlds - all go to the final.
  • 1 0
 There is ... They don't
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.009974
Mobile Version of Website