Photo Epic: Timed Training on the Slopes of Slovenia - Maribor DH World Cup 2020

Oct 14, 2020
by Nathan Hughes  



Photo Epic presented by Five Ten


The inaugural day of many here on the mountainside above Maribor went off without a hitch in idyllic conditions. Although the leaves may be hanging by their final threads, the pleasant autumn feel under blue skies was a most welcome contrast after the disastrous atmospherics athletes faced back in Austria. There were also some familiar faces back at it that we haven't seen for the best part of a year. Those who didn't get their chance to do battle for their country in those deep muddy trenches of Leogang; Gee Atherton, Adam Brayton, Mille Johnset and Kade Edwards to name a few.

As anticipated, this hard pack track is fast in the extreme. The undulating terrain is like a haggard, high-speed pumptrack to the world's fastest. It’s well worn in the entire way down and appears not to have felt a shovel since the opening round of the 2018 season. While a healthy collection of roots and jagged rocks reach out ready to grab at wheels that find themselves a little off line, by the end of the day sneaky doubles were beginning to emerge and the classic pulls were starting to come easy for some. Keep in mind, however, that once again buckets of rain are waiting in the wings for qualies and possibly race day. That will certainly change how riders approach the more natural sections, those untrustworthy off-camber roots in particular. It’s about to get loose in Slovenia.



Camille Balanche looked on pace in this morning sun. The World Champ will be trying to back her performance from Leogang.
Camille Balanche looked on pace in this morning sun. The World Champ will be trying to back her performance from Leogang.

Myriam Nicole enjoying the rays. This is technically her second World Cup in two season s after coming back from injury. Expect full gas when the clock starts to tick.
Myriam Nicole enjoying the rays. This is technically her second World Cup in two seasons after coming back from injury. Expect full gas when the clock starts to tick.

A beautiful bluebird day here in Pohorje bike park if only it would stay...
A beautiful bluebird day here in Pohorje bike park, if only it would stay...

Between light and dark there is only Kaos. Sure sounds profound but it s quite literal.
Between light and dark there is only Kaos. Sure sounds profound, but it's quite literal.

Matt Walker took his first podium finish here last year and looks just as comfortable this season.
Matt Walker took his first podium finish here last year and looks just as comfortable this season.

Without the knee-deep mud of last weekend riders were up to warp speed on their first laps.
Without the knee-deep mud of last weekend, riders were up to warp speed on their first laps.

Head torches would have been a good call at the end of timed training today as the light dipped hard.
Head torches would have been a good call at the end of timed training today as the autumn light dipped hard.

Team Canyon looking glorious decked out in their royal red kits.
Team Canyon looking glorious decked out in their royal red kits.

You can always rely on Dakotah Norton to turn on the style.
You can always rely on Dakotah Norton to turn on the style.

Martin Maes getting acquainted with the many roots on this course.
Martin Maes getting acquainted with the many roots on this course.

The Seagrave siblings out for a lap on this beautiful autumn day.
The Seagrave siblings out for a lap on this beautiful autumn day.

Awesome to see immense talent Kade Edwards getting between the tape once again.
Awesome to see immense talent Kade Edwards getting between the tape once again.

Kye A hern looking to impress on his first and especially short season in elite.
Kye A'hern looking to impress on his first and especially short season in elite.

Thibaut Daprela was putting in work today. He s one to watch as we get closer to race day.
Thibaut Daprela was putting in work today. He's one to watch as we get closer to race day.

Charlie Hatton loves a high-speed bit of hard-pack. 7th in the TT.
Charlie Hatton loves a high-speed bit of hard-pack. 7th in the TT.

Eleonora Farina didn t have much luck in the carnage of Worlds but is riding strong as exemplified by her third place timed training today.
Eleonora Farina didn't have much luck in the carnage of Worlds, but is riding strong, as exemplified by her third place timed training today.

Kaos Seagrave adding flair wherever he can.
Kaos Seagrave adding flair wherever he can.

If Tahnee Seagrave could have a clean run here she can very well do some damage.
If Tahnee Seagrave could have a clean run here, she can very well do some damage.

Trummer s team mate Angel Suarez could be one to watch on this super fast running track.
Trummer's teammate, Angel Suarez, could be one to watch on this super fast running track.

Danny Hart not letting team changes and rumours get in the way of his preparation cracking on at 100 from the very first run.
Danny Hart not letting team changes and rumours get in the way of his preparation, cracking on at 100% from the very first run.

Loris Vergier is one of the fastest if not the fastest riders at the moment but things haven t quite fallen into place for him so far... Can he get on top in Maribor
Loris Vergier is one of the fastest if not the fastest riders at the moment but things haven't quite fallen into place for him so far... Can he get on top in Maribor?

Sic Mic indulging in a little root bombing.
Sic Mic indulging in a little root bombing.

It was only a matter of time before things started falling into place for Reece Wilson. Believe me when I say his performance last week was no flash in the pan he s hungry and capable of much more.
It was only a matter of time before things started falling into place for Reece Wilson. Believe me when I say his performance last week was no flash in the pan, he's hungry and capable of much more.

Loic Bruni gets a bit of slalom practice in between the poles. Expect him to turn up the wick tomorrow.
Loic Bruni gets a bit of slalom practice in between the poles. Expect him to turn up the wick tomorrow.

Marine Cabirou emerging from the darkness on her way to the fastest time in timed training.
Marine Cabirou emerging from the darkness on her way to the fastest time in timed training.

Tracey Hannah with the number 1 plate strapped to her bike once more will she be able to carry on her form from last season
Tracey Hannah with the number 1 plate strapped to her bike once more. Will she be able to carry on her form from last season?

Seth Sherlock will be hoping to turn up the heat again and get back on that podium.
Seth Sherlock will be hoping to turn up the heat again and get back on that podium.

Brook MacDonald prowling in the bottom woods.
Brook MacDonald prowling in the bottom woods.

Last years winner Tahnee Seagrave will hope to repeat that feat again this year her splits at World Champs last week suggest that she s more than capable of doing that.
Last year’s winner Tahnee Seagrave will hope to repeat that feat again this year, her splits at World Champs last week suggest that she's more than capable of doing that.

Monika Hrastnik seems keen for more than just one podium this year - sliver at Worlds and now racing on home soil she took 2nd in timed training this afternoon.
Monika Hrastnik seems keen for more than just one podium this year - sliver at Worlds and now racing on home soil she took 2nd in timed training this afternoon.

Tracey Hannah repping the precious pink 1 plate.
Tracey Hannah repping the precious pink 1 plate.

Greg Minnaar holding the throttle open into the root nests mid-track.
Greg Minnaar holding the throttle open into the root nests mid-track.

Junior number 1 Luke Meier Smith will be out for retribution after a distastrous World Champs.
Junior number 1, Luke Meier Smith, will be out for retribution after a distastrous World Champs.

Troy Brosnan looked fast from the first runs to the end of the day. He could very well take this one if he keep it up.
Troy Brosnan looked fast from the first runs to the end of the day. He could very well take this one if he keeps it up.

Will Remi Thirion be rampant on confidence after his bronze medal on Sunday
Will Remi Thirion be rampant on confidence after his bronze medal on Sunday?

The Devinci boys discussing line variations before dropping into the bottom of the course.
The Devinci boys discussing line variations before dropping into the bottom of the course.

Loic Bruni looks like he s wiped last week from memory and back to attacking everything he aims for.
Loic Bruni looks like he's wiped last week from memory and back to attacking everything he aims for.

Aaron Gwin more at home without the water-logged axle-deep ruts salting his game.
Aaron Gwin more at home without the water-logged, axle-deep ruts salting his game.

The pressure washers look set to be even busier tomorrow.
The pressure washers look set to be even busier tomorrow.

Finn Iles looks to have good track speed here and will have his eyes fixed on the podium positons.
Finn Iles looks to have good track speed here and will have his eyes fixed on the podium positons.

When Hugo Frixtalon tell you to go shoot somewhere you don t ask questions and just do it.
When Hugo Frixtalon tells you to go shoot somewhere you don't ask questions and just do it.

Loris Vergier throwing his weight around all day. He won practice and there is no surprise there.
Loris Vergier throwing his weight around all day. He won practice and there is no surprise there.

Sunshine cast on the rolling Slovenian landscape will be short lived according to tomorrow s forecast.
For better or worse this beautiful sunshine cast on the rolling Slovenian landscape will be far too short-lived according to the forecast.



40 Comments

  • 89 0
 I always get a nice chuckle out of captions for the practice and quali photo epics. Basically an exercise in rephrasing "This person is fast, wants to win, and if they go faster than everyone else on race day, they may pull it off!" as many ways as possible. I feel it though, not much else you can say. Pics are money as usual
  • 57 0
 Haha this is our biggest struggle especially after midnight when we’ve gone completely brain dead. We need a Pinkbike caption generator app
  • 13 1
 @nathanhughes: sometimes who's the rider is enough
  • 26 0
 @nathanhughes: I enjoyed that "between light and darkness, there is only Kaos" caption. You guys are really creative. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @nathanhughes: Please use markov chain generator once, just for fun you know Big Grin
  • 5 0
 @nathanhughes: Pre-submit them with 'caption-this' and let us comment and vote, the results will be a disaster I promise! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @nathanhughes: Totally understandable haha. There are usually a few gems mixed in as well. I'll try to think of creative ways to get it done while I'm couped up with this ACL recovery.
  • 1 0
 @nathanhughes: It must be an immense challenge, and is very much appreciated! Of course they can't all be enlightening, but more often than not they provide context and/or make you stop scrolling and think about the picture. Keep up the good work!
  • 17 0
 Nice pics! I want to hear more about that Hugo Frixtalon shot... did he say something like "stand over there and shoot this way and I'll make it worth your while?" Great move and photo.
  • 4 0
 Style for miles !!!!!!
  • 17 0
 Beautiful picture's!
  • 7 0
 Looking forward to the fisticuff's!
  • 6 0
 How come nearly everyone seems to be on white Fox 40's and 49's? Is white this season's orange?
  • 3 0
 It's the new signature color for this model year, so yeah you're pretty much right. Assuming they want most of the pros to run it.
  • 1 0
 @JakeMartell: White forks are so 2008! OK I'll get some white forks then.... Smile
  • 1 0
 @notphaedrus: Hah! True that. It's supposed to be "Battleship Grey" but I think they missed the mark.
  • 3 0
 One of my favourite things when I look at these amazing photos is to see who runs their front brake on the right and who runs theirs on the left.
  • 1 0
 on that note, ktm seems to be sponsoring some people this year too - mainly Austrians I believe (no surprise)
  • 2 0
 @mtbmaniatv: KTM bike and KTM moto are VERY different companies for the record. Also, KTM bike sponsors the Austrian cycling federation. Not so sure what you are seeing is actual personal KTM sponsorships, but could be wrong.
  • 2 0
 Thought it was funny that in the Minnaar pic with the caption about him having the throttle open it looked like he was mashing the break, didn't even notice it was his rear on left, like the southern-hemi toilet swirl!
  • 1 0
 @ccrida-pnw: Errr, UK runs the front on the right and rear on the left. It's the way it should be, that's how it is on a motorbike.
  • 3 0
 @melonhead1145: Last I checked, the rear brake lever on a motorbike is near the right foot peg, not on the handlebars. Should we apply that concept to mountain bikes just because motorbikes do it?
  • 1 0
 @srjacobs: that's true but the front brake on the right is a moto thing. Same with scooters with no clutch.
  • 5 0
 Frix / Kade / Kaos / Dak : serious speed & style contenders.
  • 3 1
 I am kind of surprised that the teams didn't get rainbow jerseys ready somehow. Shit Tour de France teams get new yellow bikes made overnight.
  • 4 0
 Wow, beautiful photos of our local hill! Greetings from Maribor.
  • 3 0
 Another killer photo shoot.....thanks again for all you guys are doing!
  • 2 0
 This course alone is worth the trip, even if other bike park tracks are in ruins.
  • 1 0
 Last week seems to have everyone completely obsessed with the possibly of rain.
  • 2 0
 Great photo set guys!
  • 1 0
 Is it me or does that dirt look near perfect!?
  • 3 0
 Believe me, Maribor's dirt is always near perfect. One of the best places to ride.
  • 1 0
 2 days of racing, looking forward to it!
  • 1 0
 @nathenhughs: where‘s a pic of the silver man Trummer??
  • 1 0
 Dakotah, Kaos and Hugo. they won practice.
  • 1 0
 Isn’t it Sik Mik?
  • 1 4
 stoked for a fair fight. Fingers crossed the weather holds.
  • 2 0
 It was a fair fight last week. We want to see a downhill champion, not a good weather, easy track champion.

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