Photo Epic: Reminiscing - Maribor's Classic World Cup DH Venue

May 2, 2020
by Dave Trumpore  



As the theoretical World Cup season rolls by with events being cancelled left and right, and with racers and fans alike being sidelined to their couches, we'd like to give a little shout out to what we are all dearly missing. A retrospective of sorts to highlight some of the action from a past round and help stoke the fire and keep us all excited for the day we can ride and race again.

First up is the Maribor World Cup DH that was originally scheduled to take place this weekend. Originally, the plan was to highlight photos and stories from previous rounds, but seeing as the 2019 round was the first time there since 2010, we were unable to format the now decade-old photos into the modern format you see here on the website now. But have no fear, we have included links to previous Pinkbike coverage from Maribor at the bottom of this photo epic so you can reminisce even more. For future stories like this from more seasoned rounds, you can expect to see us reaching back into the archives from at least the past 4-5 seasons.

For anyone who has followed racing for years, Maribor is a familiar name, and even for newcomers to the scene it still holds clout similar to other classic venues such as Schladming. It's somehow a classic despite only being raced on the World Cup a handful of times simply because it is just that good. A track almost entirely in the woods and on the freshest of dirt, steep and fast the entire way down with never-ending flow. It is the kind of track we all dream of racing or simply just riding for fun. Throw in some massive roots, a rock garden whose full commitment is not for the faint of heart, and lots of natural gaps and rhythm sections to get creative with line choice, and you have arguably one of the best tracks on the World Cup circuit.

Everyone was excited to return here in 2020 but that simply is not in the cards right now. But if we all play it safe and do our part, perhaps we can pick up where this photo epic leaves off once again in 2021.


Downtown Maribor.
Downtown Maribor.

Opener

Raw and real

A close up of the infamous Maribor rock garden.
A close up of the infamous Maribor rock garden.

Yes that is the track. So fresh in spots that it is covered in loam and leaves.
Yes that is the track. So fresh in spots that it is covered in loam and leaves.

Lots of turns through the woods all with plenty of roots to keep things interesting.
Lots of turns through the woods, all with plenty of roots to keep things interesting.

The top part of the track is the oldest and with much of the soft dirt washed away over the years it is now hard pack and roots most of the way.
The top part of the track is the oldest, and with much of the soft dirt washed away over the years it is now hard pack and roots most of the way.

Steve Peat and Greg Minnaar trying to make sense of it all.
Steve Peat and Greg Minnaar trying to make sense of it all.

The newly formed Trek Factory Racing team. Fresh faces and big plans were in the works for this crew.
The newly formed Trek Factory Racing team. Fresh faces and big plans were in the works for this crew.

The ever calm Charlie Harrison and not so calm Recce Wilson doing their respective things.
The ever calm Charlie Harrison and not so calm Recce Wilson doing their respective things.

The Never ending energy of Kade Edwards.
The never-ending energy of Kade Edwards.

Tracey Hannah drops in
Tracey Hannah drops in

Close of play line dilemmas in the gnarliest rock garden on the circuit for the two of the fastest Frenchmen.
Line dilemmas in the gnarliest rock garden on the circuit for the two of the fastest Frenchmen.

Gee Atherton chatting to his helmet. Losing the plot or course preview Time will tell.
Gee Atherton chatting to his helmet. Losing the plot or course preview? Time will tell.

Thirion soaking up that view in the early summer sun.
Thirion soaking up that view in the early summer sun.

Charlie Hatton making shapes on his first descent of the day.
Charlie Hatton making shapes on his first descent of the day.

Charlie Hatton fully committed into the final woods
Charlie Hatton fully committed into the final woods

Thibaut Daprela burning around corners on his way to win last year s first round.
Thibaut Daprela burning around corners on his way to winning last year's first round.

Junior Thibaut Daprela squeezing through the trees on a winning run
Junior Thibaut Daprela squeezing through the trees on a winning run

Vali Holl was in the driver s seat to start off her last junior season.
Vali Holl was in the driver's seat to start off her last junior season.

Neko Kovarik Mullaly coming in hot to the first woods Maribor 2002.
Neko 'Kovarik' Mullaly, coming in hot to the first woods.

Neko Mulally s throwback Fox kit in honor of Chris Kovarik
Neko Mulally's throwback Fox kit in honor of Chris Kovarik

Still number one but not the last man down the hill tomorrow. Will Pierron ride the hotseat until the end
Still number one, but not the last man down the hill tomorrow. Will Pierron ride the hot seat until the end?

Danny Hart digging into a rooty compression before the rains came.
Danny Hart digging into a rooty compression before the rains came.

Danny Hart was pinching every inside and hoping over everything he could but just fell short on finals day.
Danny Hart was pinching every inside and hopping over everything he could, but just fell short on finals day.

Danny Hart blurs his way on to 2nd on his 29 27.5 wheel combo
Danny Hart blurs his way on to 2nd on his 29/27.5 wheel combo

Tahnee looks relaxed smooth and aggressive on track. After a few years of running the number 2 plate win her bike she had her sights set on the top spot for 2019.
Tahnee looks relaxed, smooth, and aggressive on track. After a few years of running the number 2 plate win her bike, she had her sights set on the top spot for 2019.

Tahnee Seagrave making light work of the Maribor roots.
Tahnee Seagrave making light work of the Maribor roots.

All sorts of shapes from Dakotah Norton.
All sorts of shapes from Dakotah Norton.

Dakota Norton chin low elbows out in qualifying.
Dakota Norton, chin low, elbows out in qualifying.

The savage Maribor track is quite the contrast to the quaint woodland that it runs through as Dakotah Norton discovers.
The savage Maribor track is quite the contrast to the quaint woodland that it runs through as Dakotah Norton discovers.

Matteo Iniquez finding the smoothest way through the rough stuff.
Matteo Iniguez finding the smoothest way through the rough stuff.

Rachel Atherton battled it out with Tahnee Seagrave in what was a dramatic final for the women s field.
Rachel Atherton battled it out with Tahnee Seagrave in what was a dramatic final for the women's field.

Marine Cabirou occupied the hot seat for a while before finishing fourth in what would be a big season coming for her.
Marine Cabirou occupied the hot seat for a while before finishing fourth in what would be a big season coming for her.

Whether pulling for long doubles or getting low in the steeps Forrest Riesco s style is timeless.
Whether pulling for long doubles or getting low in the steeps, Forrest Riesco's style is timeless.

Hugo Frixtalon emerges from the dark woods and out into the open ski slope under cloudy skies and some perfect bright but soft light.
Hugo Frixtalon emerges from the dark woods and out into the open ski slope under cloudy skies and some perfect bright but soft light.

Hugo Frixtalon styling his way out of the berm-to-double.
Hugo Frixtalon styling his way out of the berm-to-double.

Sam Blenkinsop bringing home in 2019.
Sam Blenkinsop bringing home in 2019.

Sam Blenkinsop s run wasn t what he was looking for but luckily he is a protected rider and will still go through to the finals
Sam Blenkinsop's run wasn't what he was looking for, but luckily he is a protected rider and will still go through to the finals

Loic Bruni looked flamboyant and confident on track all weekend and it proved to be quick on the stop watch too.
Loic Bruni looked flamboyant and confident on track all weekend and it proved to be quick on the stop watch too.

One of the biggest shocks of Maribor in 2019 was Greg Minnaar failing to qualify.
One of the biggest shocks of Maribor in 2019 was Greg Minnaar failing to qualify.

Aggressive body language from Laurie Greenland.
Aggressive body language from Laurie Greenland.

Laurie Greenland knows how to get that Mondraker through the rough stuff.
Laurie Greenland knows how to get that Mondraker through the rough stuff.

Tracey Hannah was up to speed quickly and looking confident right from the start
Tracey Hannah was up to speed quickly and looking confident right from the start

Just in time for qualifying runs the dark clouds began to roll in
Just in time for qualifying runs the dark clouds began to roll in

When fresh first mixes with fresh rain things get really messy in a hurry
When fresh first mixes with fresh rain things get really messy in a hurry

What a run for Canadian Mark Wallace who made short work of the rain to qualify first ahead of Aaron Gwin.
What a run for Canadian Mark Wallace who made short work of the rain to qualify first ahead of Aaron Gwin.

Mark Wallace storming through one of the roughest root sections.
Mark Wallace storming through one of the roughest root sections.

The final corner ends just past the tree line making it extremely slippery for riders already leaned over and fully committed. Sadly this crash resulted in a very broken wrist and we wish the riders a speedy and strong recovery.
The final corner ends just past the tree line, making it extremely slippery for riders already leaned over and fully committed. Sadly this crash resulted in a very broken wrist, and we wish the riders a speedy and strong recovery.

Easily one of the fastest in practice Alex Fayolle dodged a bullet in his qualifier. After a run marred by crashes he would finish as lucky number 60 to claim the final spot on the start list
Easily one of the fastest in practice, Alex Fayolle dodged a bullet in his qualifier. After a run marred by crashes he would finish as lucky number 60 to claim the final spot on the start list

DO NOT USE
Full commitment in through the rocks

The rock garden has claimed many victims.
The rock garden has claimed many victims.

Finn Iles battling it out with the roots in the first section of woods
Finn Iles battling it out with the roots in the first section of woods

A crash would end Finn Iles hope of a win this weekend
A crash would end Finn Iles' hope of a win this weekend

From Brendog with love.
From Brendog, with love.

Vali Holl whipping her way into the dark of the woods towards the end of practice last year.
Vali Holl whipping her way into the dark of the woods towards the end of practice last year.

Benoit Coulanges keeping it low but far from slow.
Benoit Coulanges keeping it low but far from slow.

Matt Walker ripping the top turns a new one on his way to his first podium finish.
Matt Walker ripping the top turns a new one on his way to his first podium finish.

Loic Bruni racing down into Maribor.
Loic Bruni racing down into Maribor.

Loic Bruni tucks his shoulder in for a tight line.
Loic Bruni tucks his shoulder in for a tight line.

Rachel Atherton skimming over the roots.
Rachel Atherton skimming over the roots.

Rachel Atherton making quick work of some nasty looking roots. They stayed dry today but that may not be the case for qualifying or Sunday s final.
Rachel Atherton making quick work of some nasty looking roots. They stayed dry today but that may not be the case for qualifying or Sunday's final.

Tahnee rode the rocks like a boss
Tahnee showing the rocks who's boss and taking the win

The Bulldog fanclub get the clip.
The Bulldog fan club gets the clip.

This man. We can t wait to see the Bulldog race again.
This man. We can't wait to see the Bulldog race again.

One more of Brook MacDonald because he has the determination and spirit to get back to racing as soon as he possibly can.
One more of Brook MacDonald because he has the determination and spirit to get back to racing as soon as he possibly can.

17th for Remi Thirion
17th for Remi Thirion

Mr. Consistent Troy Brosnan matched his number plate for third.
Mr. Consistent, Troy Brosnan, matched his number plate for third.

Troy boosts the final jump en route to a strong 3rd place finish.
Troy boosts the final jump en route to a strong 3rd place finish.

Troy Brosnan just never has a bad day at the races. 3rd place for the fastest Aussie in the game.
Troy Brosnan just never has a bad day at the races. 3rd place for the fastest Aussie in the game.

Vergier is a danger man on any track. Today he went down hard and took himself and his peak out of the running.
Vergier is a dangerous man on any track. Today he went down hard and took himself and his peak out of the running.

Amaury Pierron s finish was uncharacteristic finishing outside of the top five.
Amaury Pierron's finish was uncharacteristic, finishing outside of the top five.

Name that rider with signature WC move.
Name that rider with signature WC move.

Gwin on the roots

AG engaging Apache helicopter mode in the finish area.
AG engaging Apache helicopter mode in the finish area.

Is Aaron happy He s in the assesment phase . Ask again later.
Is Aaron happy? He's in the 'assessment phase'. Ask again later.

Tahnee Seagrave would take home the spoils from round 1 in 2019.
Tahnee Seagrave would take home the spoils from round 1 in 2019.

The start of one hell of a 2019 season for Loic Bruni.
The start of one hell of a 2019 season for Loic Bruni.

Still the roots got the better of Brook in TT.
Let's hope we can all pick ourselves up, help out our communities, and get back at it real soon

Previous Coverage

2010 WC

Practice & New Specialized DH bike, Yeti Prototype and Intense M9 Prototype
Qualifying
Finals

2018 iXS Cup

Know Your Roots - IXS European DH Cup 1

2019

Track Walk
Practice Photo Report
Qualifying
Race Day
Through An Analogue Camera


8 Comments

  • 12 0
 That wrist break photo looks like the best scrub attempt ever
  • 2 0
 Was gonna say the same!
And while on the topic of scrubs:

m.youtube.com/watch?v=-L3MXWKuQa8
  • 7 0
 Man i miss world cups. The anticipation for the weekend, the photo epics, everything
  • 2 0
 goosshhh makes me want to see the world cup season beeing back asap!!!
  • 1 0
 That's easy, Mick Hannah with the sui.
  • 1 0
 Full screen HD photos are impossible to watch.
  • 1 0
 T.H. looks like SWAT getting ready to raid that track!
  • 1 0
 Kin hell. Reminds me how shite my photos are.

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