Practice Photo Epic: Off Camber Dancers - Lousa World Cup DH 2020

Oct 29, 2020
by Andy Vathis  




Photo Epic presented by Five Ten

In much the same fashion as the previous World Cup rounds we've had this short season, there was a fair bit of moisture in the air surrounding the Louzan Bike Park this morning. If we'd had to guess, rain gear and tear-offs would have been the official uniform for the first day of action above the small town. However, to our excitement, the sun wanted a peek at what we've all waited since March to see. As soon as rubber met the dirt, the sentiment of this being a one line track vanished and in came awkward tries and inside lines and doubles until ruts formed at an unprecedented levels.

The track was a different beast in the afternoon hours of day one and riders were making the most of the elaborate tape job done by the organizers. It was a game of where to actually not cut inside as some ruts weren’t able to hold the amount of traffic they were subjected to. Some say it has opened up a slew of new lines, others argue the track is deteriorating fast. All we do know is that it’s fast and loose out here. Better yet, the weather should hold for at least the first round and that means the tacky dirt and clay will turn into a dusty affair. All hell should be breaking loose soon in Lousa.

This season’s final timed training revealed what we’ve already known about veteran racers. They’re simply not afraid of steep chutes and roots. Tracy Hannah and Greg Minnaar both won practice and not just on the time sheet. They had a no drama approach to the very natural course, adapting the changing conditions without any issues. This track does need a full commitment mentality while still being able to tip toe across slippery elements without losing speed. Tomorrow’s qualifier might push those on the edge just that much further over.



Take it all in folks the last of the mist and the wet for the season. Fingers crossed.
Take it all in, folks; the last of the mist and the wet for the season. Fingers crossed.

Shuttles ran endlessly up the tight twisty road. The Saracen boys getting a private lift to the top.
Shuttles ran endlessly up the tight, twisty road. The Saracen boys getting a private lift to the top.

Believe it or not no sooner had it stopped raining we could have done with a bit more moisture on track which clearly hadn t seen much moisture over the summer season.
Believe it or not, more wetness. We could have done with a bit more moisture on track though, which clearly hadn't seen much over the summer season.

Junior World Champ Lauryn Chappaz unwraps her Commencal steed from the uplift.
Junior World Champ, Lauryn Chappaz, unwraps her Commencal steed from the uplift.

Loic Bruni was looking comfortable the earliest from the rest of the start list.
Loic Bruni was looking comfortable from his first lap.

All sorts of Scooby snacks found track side here.
All sorts of Scooby snacks found track side here.

Jerome Caroli boosting to the moon. He s a motivated man this weekend.
Jerome Caroli boosting to the moon. He's a motivated man this weekend.

Big tables and even bigger views over Lousa.
Big tables and even bigger views over Lousa.

Dakotah Norton with a peak but still feeling shy.
Dakotah Norton riding with a peak for a change, but still feeling shy.

It s been a short and weird season in many ways but one thing s for sure all that has had zero effect on Loris Vergier sporting the number one plate.
It's been a short and weird season in many ways but one thing's for sure, all that has had zero effect on Loris Vergier sporting the number one plate.

Still a little surreal to see World Cup racing go down with autumn colours in the woods.
Still a little surreal to see World Cup racing go down with autumn colours in the woods.

Finn Iles watching different line choices intently. He s been no slouch getting on with proper practice laps Lousa.
Finn Iles watching different line choices intently. He's been no slouch getting on with proper practice laps Lousa.

Classic euro-steeze from Charlie Hatton.
Classic euro-steeze from Charlie Hatton.

Eleonora Farina looking to take some more names here in Lous .
Eleonora Farina looking to take some more names here in Lousa.

Phil Atwill taking the maximum available turn.
Phil Atwill taking the maximum available turn.

Tracey Hannah celebrating her last days at the World Cup with some good old-fashioned roost and the fastest TT lap.
Tracey Hannah celebrating her last days at the World Cup with some good old-fashioned roost and the fastest TT lap.

Jure Zabjek finding his stride on this steep course.
Jure Zabjek finding his stride on this steep course.

Ruts began to form early on all over the track. By the time A practice ended it was a whole different course.
Ruts began to form early on all over the track. By the time A practice ended, it was a whole different course.

Finn Iles on pace and relishing the many line choices of the middle woods.
Finn Iles on pace and relishing the many line choices of the middle woods.

This track is all about the grinning and the gurning as demonstrated by Brendan Fairclough.
This track is all about the grinning and the gurning as demonstrated by Brendan Fairclough.

Despite some very broken trust in the weather it held up immaculately throughout the timed training session.
Despite some very broken trust in the weather, it held up immaculately throughout the timed training session.

Thibaut Daprela has had a breakthrough season to remember and the rampage continues here in Portugal.
Thibaut Daprela has had a breakthrough season to remember and the rampage continues here in Portugal.

Kade Edwards holding it down for Trek this weekend and is doing a damn fine job of it.
Kade Edwards holding it down for Trek this weekend and is doing a damn fine job of it.

Real life clone tool for when other squids find themselves in the background of your shot.
Real life clone tool for when other squids find themselves in the background of your shot.

Charlie Hatton taking a pretty drastic inside line up top that didn t quite pan out as hoped.
Charlie Hatton taking a pretty drastic inside line up top that didn't quite pan out as hoped.

Camille Balanche and the whole Dorval team looked strong on track from the outset.
Camille Balanche and the whole Dorval team looked strong on track from the outset.

Kerr and Fairclough talk close calls and bombed-out turns.
Kerr and Fairclough talk close calls and bombed-out turns.

Troy Brosnan took sneaky inside lines wherever he can to shave whatever he can off this already physical track
Troy Brosnan took sneaky inside lines wherever he can to shave whatever he can off this already physical track,

Hopefully this man can keep his visor on for the rest of the weekend.
Hopefully this man can keep his visor on for the rest of the weekend.

Aaron Gwin and Neko Mullaly getting into the swing of this complex track.
Aaron Gwin and Neko Mullaly getting into the swing of this complex track.

Title
The last of the Lousa moisture.

George Brannigan is hanging on just about but will have to save full heat runs for when the clock is ticking due to his injured hand.
George Brannigan is hanging on just about, but will have to save full heat runs for when the clock is ticking, due to his injured hand.

Matteo Iniguez tore the track apart today making all the right shapes.
Matteo Iniguez tore the track apart today, making all the right shapes.

Riders finally hitting the dirt in the Portuguese trees. The track is changing with every shuttle drop off.
Riders finally hitting the dirt in the Portuguese trees. The track is changing with every shuttle drop off.

Mick Hannah almost over-cooking one of the berms that was almost completely destroyed after only a couple of hours practice.
Mick Hannah almost over-cooking one of the berms that was almost completely destroyed after only a couple of hours practice.

This was fresh dirt only a few hours before the photo was taken.
This was fresh dirt only a few hours before the photo was taken.

Privateer Jamie Edmondson is looking pretty convincing in many sections. Here s hoping he can put a strong run together this week and turn a few heads.
Privateer, Jamie Edmondson, is looking pretty convincing in many sections. Here's hoping he can put a strong run together this week and turn a few heads.

Geatan Ruffin and Myriam Nicole working on inside vs outside lines.
Geatan Ruffin and Myriam Nicole working on inside vs outside lines.

Morning mist and light rain greeted the riders making morning conditions slick.
Morning mist and light rain greeted the riders making morning conditions slick.

Gaetan Vige is lovin it out here in Portugal even in privateer mode without team support.
Gaetan Vige is lovin' it out here in Portugal, even in privateer mode without team support.

Luca Shaw in witness protection.
Luca Shaw in witness protection.

Kaos Seagrave making pink and green work for him.
Kaos Seagrave making pink and green work for him.

Millie Johnest goes for the smooth and safe first landing of the three.
Millie Johnest goes for the smooth and safe first landing of the three.

Another day of smooth calculated riding for the other Syndicate muskateer Luca Shaw.
Another day of smooth, calculated riding for the other Syndicate muskateer, Luca Shaw.

Despite the morning moisture the dirt was good today.
Despite the morning moisture, the dirt was good today.

Myriam Nicole spent the day paying close attention to the many many tough line dilemnas with a lot of stopping and scoping on track.
Myriam Nicole spent the day paying close attention to the many, many tough line dilemmas with a lot of stopping and scoping on track.

Adam Brayton about to take flight. The ski jump is not for the faint of heart.
Adam Brayton about to take flight. The ski jump is not for the faint of heart.

Tahnee Seagrave was one of the last riders on the hill today taking her time to figure out the secrets of the steeps.
Tahnee Seagrave was one of the last riders on the hill today, taking her time to figure out the secrets of the steeps.

Answering a Danny Hart FAQ... he simply sits right down on them anyway.
Answering a Danny Hart FAQ... he simply sits right down on them anyway.

The sun was already exiting stage left while the last riders cleared the course at the end of the day.
The sun was already exiting stage left while the last riders cleared the course at the end of the day.

Kerr 8th in the TT session and time for style.
Kerr, 8th in the TT session and time for style.

Man of the moment Matt Walker took the second fastest TT of the day just 0.8 behind Minnaar.
Man of the moment, Matt Walker, took the second fastest TT of the day, just 0.8 behind Minnaar.

Fastest in timed runs and with style to boot Greg Minnaar is not afraid of pushing on a natural track.
Fastest in timed runs and with style to boot, Greg Minnaar is not afraid of pushing on a natural track.

The tracks is well bedded in after only one day of abuse. Lines are changing and so are the conditions. Roots are poking out in the off cambers catching riders off guard.
The tracks is well bedded in after only one day of abuse. Lines are changing and so are the conditions. Roots are poking out in the off cambers, catching riders off guard.


Regions in Article
Lousã


44 Comments

  • 55 1
 "Answering a Danny Hart FAQ... he simply sits right down on them anyway." - GOLD
  • 34 0
 Dear Red Bull TV - Please show us the tech sections and not the straights. Thanks
  • 2 0
 Could be worse. Crankworx broadcast has the start gate, one tech section & the finish.
  • 4 1
 @brandaneisma:
Could be worse. NBC, in the USA, could step in and state that they own all things cycling that is see in the USA so you have to pay their $65 fee to watch the world champs race. What a crock of s#*t.
  • 1 0
 @vjunior21: Shhhhhh dont give them any ideas
  • 1 0
 @brandaneisma:
Nah. They have a s#*t show of a presidential election to cover this weekend. We should be all good. Only time I will say hooray for politics. LOL
  • 1 0
 @vjunior21: Fair enough. I would hate to see NBC take rights to the entire series.
  • 1 0
 @brandaneisma:
It is nonsense. They show the Tour De France and then claim the rights to all cycling shown in the USA if they choose to exercise that. I love the fact that they had the worlds permanently Geo Blocked on Red Bull so you can even go back and watch it after the fact. Lame
  • 1 0
 But people want to see DH racers pedal across a doubletrack and the crushed gravel section, it is soooooo exciting Frown
  • 2 0
 I bet they'll have a sick truck follow cam on the flat pedalling section.
  • 27 0
 Never ever ever ever count Greg out!!!
  • 1 0
 Yes, rooting for him!!
  • 7 0
 @likehell: I would love to see Greg get another win.
  • 1 0
 why does Minnaar have a yellow plate?
  • 2 0
 @audric: syndicate leading in the team ranking, so they have yellow plates
  • 1 0
 @likehell: danke schoen
  • 2 0
 Now that worked out pretty well! Again on sunday!
  • 12 0
 So why does a regular season end before fall?
  • 10 0
 Because the UCI sucks
  • 1 1
 more predictable weather in the summer?
  • 8 0
 Will minnars finnese and experience do it. I think it might
  • 8 0
 Greg Gee Gwin This is my hope for the top 3
  • 1 0
 That would be awesome
  • 3 0
 @neimbc: maybe it’s cause I’m around the same age as these guys. I am I living through them?
  • 2 0
 @slayersxc17: Nah - remember for awhile it was just Greg and Gee battling - then Gwinn and Greg - that MInnaar guy just can't seem to go away!
  • 2 0
 @neimbc: Dude, I was pretty close
  • 2 0
 @slayersxc17: I so wanted Minnaar to win. Even if Vergier didn't flat, I don't think he would have beat Greg. I was glad to see Gwinn up in it again too - good boost of confidence for him. As for Gee - I just can't figure it out. He's fit as hell, has mad skills and balls - his bike? BTW - my last bike was a Slayer SXC 50 - loved it.
  • 1 0
 @neimbc: loved my RM too. Been awhile now though.
  • 3 0
 Those Scooby Snacks will put you on the moon. Slight misrepresentation. Nice pics though.
  • 1 0
 Imagine riding those jumps under pantherinic syndrome.
  • 2 0
 Aminita Muscaria if i'm not mistaken?
  • 1 0
 @hhunterr: Yup, a textbook one.
  • 1 0
 @hhunterr: yeah, you see them a lot on the sides of tracks around here.
  • 2 0
 Shuttling with a Mercedes ML? That's brave!!!
  • 1 0
 Damn. Absolutely frothing at some of the special edish Fox kit. DAMN. That Kaos kit, and Finn's are both epic.
  • 1 0
 Look at Kades helmet. Looks like a prototype. Looks like a mashed together trijecta and aircraft.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a trajecta but I don't believe that its dh certified
  • 1 0
 Fall racing is so good. Except when you're high up in the mountains I gather.
  • 1 0
 Going to be interesting to see how people put together a complete race run. Looks tricky for sure.
  • 1 0
 atwill looking so on point in all the coverage of this race so far, ya love to see it
  • 2 0
 Seeing Brendog there, makes this season complete. GO DOG!
  • 2 0
 Go Brendog go!!!
  • 3 0
 nice

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.013478
Mobile Version of Website