Photo Epic: Qualifying - Lenzerheide World Cup DH 2021

Sep 3, 2021
by Nathan Hughes  




With a little less to chew on here in the Swiss Alps than the extensive puzzle-fest that is Val di Sole, it can only mean one thing for any rider with their eyes on the prize, more raw speed and aggression on track. It's a theory that seems to be holding up here after qualifying day. That's not to say there isn't stuff to think about and sniper lines that still haven't been snapped by the masses, but still it's evident that the Lenzerheide course requires a different type of riding.

Loris Vergier's time to beat of 2:49.7 is scorchingly fast and rest assured he will plan to push beyond that for the big show. He will have to with fellow countrymen queuing up behind him. 4 out of the 5 podium spots are currently occupied by French fire. One of which is Amaury Pierron, who has endured tumultuous times of late and appears poised to let loose, perhaps like we saw back in 2019 when he took the win ahead of Minnaar and Bruni. Either of those men is a likely candidate for victory, as is anyone circling the top 7 or 8 spots right now. How long will Troy Brosnan hold the hotseat is also anyone's guess having taken the first two splits before crashing out for the day.

Meanwhile, the French dominance continues in the women's race, with reinstated World Champ, Myriam Nicole, riding to a near 5-second margin once again, ahead of a back-to-form Seagrave. Watch out for Vali Hoell though, who might just have cooled things down for qualies to break her curse as last rider down the hill and we mustn't rule out 2019 winner, Marine Cabirou, or Camille Balanche on home soil. Whichever way you slice it, finals will be one heck of a show and extremely difficult to predict even before we contemplate the possible role of weather. Let's hope at least for fair fight for all; Les Gets was more than enough madness for one season.



Nothing beats a crisp mountain morning.
Nothing beats a crisp mountain morning.

Marine Cabirou won here last time out. 6th today but don t expect that she won t go for the win.
Marine Cabirou won here last time out. Don't expect that she won't go for the win.

Sixth for Marine Cabirou in today s qualie.
Sixth for Marine Cabirou in today's qualie.

Charlie Harrison tucked away in a quiet corner of the gondola hall for his qualifying warm up.
Charlie Harrison tucked away in a quiet corner of the gondola hall for his qualifying warm up.

Tahnee Seagrave proved to be Myriam Nicole s closest challenger today.
Tahnee Seagrave proved to be Myriam Nicole's closest challenger today.

As much as this track holds a bike park feel there are still snippets of natural bits ready to grab hold of a wheel.
As much as this track holds a bike park feel, there are still snippets of natural bits ready to grab hold of a wheel.

Fresh off the junior gold medal Izabela Yankova rode to first in qualies by an enormous 18 seconds.
Fresh off the junior gold medal, Izabela Yankova rode to first in qualies by an enormous 18 seconds.

Monika Hrastnik slotted into fifth in a stacked women s field.
Monika Hrastnik slotted into fifth in a stacked women's field.

A little bit more cloud cover to start the day but still very fair.
A little bit more cloud cover to start the day, but still very fair.

Give any of the top riders a turn and they will refuse it. Cheat lines everywhere.
Give any of the top riders a turn and they will refuse it. Cheat lines everywhere.

Third for Gracey Hemstreet with finals going down tomorrow.
Third for Gracey Hemstreet with finals going down tomorrow.

Pau Menoyo Busquets ruling the roost in the junior mens but only 0.2 to play with.
Pau Menoyo Busquets ruling the roost in the junior mens, but only 0.2 to play with.

Tahnee Seagrave gets her blood pumping in the open air before go time.
Tahnee Seagrave gets her blood pumping in the open air before go time.

Camille Balanche is on home soil this weekend and will want a big result for the Swiss support that are here.
Camille Balanche is on home soil this weekend and will want a big result for the Swiss supporting her here.

Dan and Gee Atherton get ready for work on this fine and sunny day.
Dan and Gee Atherton get ready for work on this fine and sunny day.

Greg Minnaar in his fresh threads for the first time.
Greg Minnaar in his fresh threads for the first time.

Jackson Goldstone had to settle for second best today luckily for him the big show is tomorrow.
Jackson Goldstone had to settle for second best today, luckily for him the big show is tomorrow.

Finn Iles still trucking on with another top 10 today despite his injury.
Finn Iles still trucking on with another top 10 today despite his injury.

Another race another look same one of a kind fella. Dean Lucas.
Another race, another look, same one of a kind fella. Dean Lucas.

After a Worlds medal Kine Haugom is still hungry for more. 2nd today in junior women.
After a Worlds medal, Kine Haugom is still hungry for more. 2nd today in junior women.

Finn Iles into ninth with more in the tank for tomorrow.
Finn Iles into ninth with more in the tank for tomorrow.

Kade Edwards s morning yoga routine.
Kade Edwards' morning yoga routine.

Reece Wilson getting in the zone for his 10th place worthy qualifying run.
Reece Wilson getting in the zone for his 10th place worthy qualifying run.

Vali Holl would lay down the 3rd fastest qualifying time less than a tenth off Seagrave but nearly 5 seconds back from Nicole.
Vali Hoell would lay down the 3rd fastest qualifying time, less than a tenth off Seagrave but nearly 5 seconds back from Nicole.

Just outside the top 10 for Dakotah Norton today.
After a disastrous Worlds, Dakotah Norton was just outside the top 10 for today.

Dakotah just outside the top 10 but ready to go harder and probably with less airtime tomorrow.
Norton will be ready to go harder for the big show and bring that plate down to size for the end of the season.

An unfortunate spill had Brendan Fairclough airlifted just before practice end. We wish him the best and a speedy recovery.
A rough day for Brendan Fairclough, crashing and landing on an extremely sharp boulder, resulting in a severe flesh wound to his thigh and a heli-evac.

Ethan Craik sails into third for the Juniors.
Ethan Craik sails into third for the Juniors.

Young British talents Joe Breeden and Matt Walker get in the zone.
Young British talents, Joe Breeden and Matt Walker get in the zone.

Mille Johnset skipping across the roots into eighth.
Mille Johnset skipping across the roots into eighth.

Another relaxed run for Laurie rolling into 8th but he only has his eyes on the top prize tomorrow.
Another 'relaxed' run for Laurie, rolling into 8th, but he only has his eyes on the top prize tomorrow.

Remi Thirion slotting into 7th.
Remi Thirion is having a super consistent season, slotting into 7th.

A solid sixth for David Trummer which sets him up nice for finals.
A solid sixth for David Trummer which sets him up nice for finals.

Thibaut Daprela right at the sharp end of things again he ll be the 5th last man down the hill tomorrow.
Thibaut Daprela right at the sharp end of things again, he'll be the 5th last man down the hill tomorrow.

Loic Bruni is riding pretty injured so only managed 4th. It ll do for qualies.
Loic Bruni is riding pretty injured so only managed 4th. It'll do for qualies.

The times are tight at the top. Loic Bruni was 2 seconds back in 4th.
The times are tight at the top. Bruni was just 2 seconds back.

3rd today for dark lord Danny Hart.
3rd today for dark lord, Danny Hart.

Hart hit the podium here last time and is on for a good one this year too.
Hart hit the podium here last time and is on for a good one this year too.

Man-buns for the win. Alright then second place. Pierron is right back in the mix like he never left.
Man buns for the win. Alright then second place. Pierron is right back in the mix like he never left.

Pierron has missed this World Cup stuff and we ve missed him too.
Pierron has missed this World Cup stuff, and we've missed him too.

What a roll Vergier is on. Despite having never had much luck here in Switzerland he will be the last man down the mountain tomorrow.
What a roll Vergier is on. Despite having never had much luck here in Switzerland, he will be the last man down the mountain tomorrow.

Loris Vergier just cracking the 2 50 mark. Fastest qualifier and a force to recon with in the final.
Loris Vergier just cracking the 2:50 mark. Fastest qualifier and a force to reckon with in the final.

Myriam Nicole ready to take her gold medal winning steed for a top qualifying run.
Myriam Nicole ready to take her gold medal-winning steed for a top qualifying run.

Myriam Nicole isn t playing around now she has the 1 plate and the rainbows today putting almost 5 seconds on 2nd place.
Nicole isn't playing around now she has the 1 plate and the rainbows, today putting almost 5 seconds on 2nd place.

The fast Frenchies catch up after qualifying. Vergier was fastest followed by Pierron with Bruni in 4th.
The fast Frenchies catch up after qualifying. Let's not forget about Daprela, Thirion and most likely Coulanges all wanting to join the top 10 fun for the big show.

The skies grew more dramatic as the day went on but thankfully no rain appeared.
The skies grew more dramatic as the day went on, but thankfully no rain appeared. Fingers crossed for the big day.



20 Comments

  • 25 1
 Unless they've had radical plastic surgery, I'm not really sure that's Dan and Gee Atherton in that pic...
  • 17 0
 Pretty sure Nathan was being sarcastic
  • 1 0
 Dan and Gee when they were young!
  • 1 0
 Defo not. I saw Dan at Dyfi this week...was amazing to see him riding.
  • 17 0
 Man, how laid down is Amaury in this picture. He's back boys !
  • 9 1
 Few things:

- Scrolling through this on my 5k ultrawide monitor was a pleasant f*cking treat and I did not expect to enjoy that so much. Always love a tasteful touch of lightroom added grain to photos, it does so much subtle good and sometimes the imperfection is perfection. Also goddamn love the 70-200 focal squeezing everything into the photo at the longer zooms. Perfect lens for these venues where you have all that beautiful mountain shit going on in the backroom. Solid f*cking photos Nathan.
- I was wondering if Kade was gonna race cause he was just at audi nines doing backflips and shit. That guys a goddamn monster on a bike and he might be the craziest crossover between like tricking shit and racing I've seen so far, I can't think of anyone else who is as good in both disciplines as he is.
- Myriams paint job on her bike is f*cking rad and those colors are giving me serious 90's vibes and I dig it
- Dark Lord Danny LMAO
  • 2 0
 I have to agree!! Amazing article, Dan and Gee 2.0! Good shit.
  • 10 0
 Jean Girard for the win!
  • 7 0
 Have a feeling Finn's gonna lay down a good one tommorrow. Would be nice to see him podium.
  • 3 0
 Did I read and see that Emilie Siegenthaler failed to qualify for the finals tomorrow?
  • 2 0
 Yeah, she had a flat tire and missed out by .5 Major bummer.
  • 2 0
 This sucks. It's her home course & final season isn't it?
  • 2 0
 Would love to be in on that conversation with the 3 crazy fast french cats. Even though I wouldn't even understand what they were saying...
  • 3 0
 I thought skinsuits weren’t allowed :/
  • 4 0
 They’ve been getting closer and closer. Not sure how the actual rule is written, but interesting to see if anyone gets busted for it in the future. Seems like some teams are using smaller than stock helmet visors too.
  • 3 0
 Commencal wins the tightest pants award. Again.
  • 1 0
 Awesome
  • 1 0
 Go Loris!
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