Qualifying Photo Epic: Wild N' Wonderful - Snowshoe DH World Cup 2019

Sep 7, 2019
by Dave Trumpore  



Photo Epic presented by Five Ten

It's always exciting to be at a new venue and all the unknowns that it brings. After the fresh and untested track puzzled more than a few riders during the training yesterday, the pace began to pick up significantly during today's training and run up to qualifying. A few riders showed their cards in timed training, but for the most part everyone was yet to play their hand and show what kind of speed they able to harvest from the West Virginia woods. But once the clock began to tick over for real there would be no place to hide.

First up would be the junior men and women and newly crowned world champs Vali Holl and Kye A'hern. Kye is racing in the rainbow jersey for the first and only time as he moves up to elite at the close of the season. When the clocks were stopped it would be the two World Champions who would lead the charge with the fastest times, and they will be looking to close out their junior racing career on a high note. The second and third spots would go to Anna Newkirk and Mille Johnset for the junior women, and Janosch Klaus and America's own Matthew Sterling in junior men's.

With no points up for grabs at the final round, qualifying meant a bit less for the elite men and women, but that didn't mean riders weren't charging. Hard efforts are always put in so that racers can analyze split times and break the track down to find sections where they need to find time vs. sections they can know they have their lines dialed. Pushing in qualifying and learning from the result is a big part of putting together a winning run on race day.

For the women, it would be Tracey Hannah who would best her rival in the points, Marine Cabirou, by just over 2 seconds to set up a showdown in tomorrow's final that will come down to the final two runs of the season. World Champ Myriam Nicole would come third with Vero Widmann and Sian A'Hern rounding out the top 5.

In the elite men's qualifier Danny Hart would pip World Champ and World Cup points leader, Loic Bruni, by 0.25 seconds to take top honors, while American racer Charlie Harrison would take a crowd-pleasing third. The always consistent Troy Brosnan would come 4th, just ahead of Greg Williamson. We will have to wait another day to see how the rivalry between Loic and his rival for the overall, Amaury Pierron, plays out as Amaury finished well down the list in qualifying at each split.

The Americans racers did not disappoint the hometown crowds either, as they claimed 4 of the top 9 positions. Charlie Harrison as previously mentioned came down in third, followed by Luca Shaw and Dakotah Norton in 6th and 7th respectively, and a career-best 9th for Bruce Klein. You can rest assured the local crowd will have plenty to cheer about tomorrow.



It was a dark and foggy morning in snowshoe and things were looking quite ominous as training got underway. Luckily it was short lived as the rest of the day saw nothing but sunshine
It was a dark and foggy morning in Snowshoe and things were looking quite ominous as training got underway. Luckily it was short-lived as the rest of the day saw nothing but sunshine

The sun began to burn away the morning fog just as the first riders were taking to the track for the early morning training session
The sun began to burn away the morning fog just as the first riders were taking to the track for the early morning training session

Spare a thought for the man Brook MacDonald in the middle of his spinal injury struggle. Send him a message to keep his spirits up in hospital in Quebec
Spare a thought for the man, Brook MacDonald, as he begins his spinal injury recovery. Send him a message to keep his spirits up in the hospital in Quebec!

A click here and a click there. The fine tuning sometimes makes all the difference when the times are as tight as they are here in Snowshoe
A click here and a click there. The fine-tuning sometimes makes all the difference when the times are as tight as they are here in Snowshoe.

Tracey Hannah has one more run to go as she tries to take home the number 1 plate for the first time in her career
Tracey Hannah has one more run to go as she tries to take home the number 1 plate for the first time in her career.

Myriam Nicole ready to get stuck into the morning practice action.
Myriam Nicole ready to get stuck into the morning practice action.

A foggy first run of the day for Thibaut Daprela. He would later lead at all the splits by nearly 3 seconds in his quali run until a crash in one of the last corners pushed him down to 6th
A foggy first run of the day for Thibaut Daprela. He would later lead at all the splits by nearly 3 seconds in his quali run until a crash in one of the last corners pushed him down to 6th

Its still soft out thee in spots and the ruts are no joke
It's still soft out there in spots and the ruts are no joke.

Greg Minnaar very much on touch in 8th
Greg Minnaar very much in touch in 8th.

Hugo Frixtalon once again put in a strong top 20 run
Hugo Frixtalon once again put in a strong top 20 run.

Dakotah Norton flying sideways and into 7th
Dakotah Norton flying sideways and into 7th.

12th for young German racer Max Hartenstern
12th for young German racer Max Hartenstern.

Charlie Harrison backed up his pace from timed training to take 3rd
Charlie Harrison backed up his pace from timed training to take 3rd.

Danny Hart looked fat out in practice and carried that pace into his qualifying run to take the top spot
Danny Hart looked fast in practice and carried that pace into his qualifying run to take the top spot

Kye A Hern wearing the rainbows for the first time and riding right to the top of the result sheet in junior men
Kye A'Hern wearing the rainbows for the first time and riding right to the top of the result sheet in junior men.

Myriam Nicole has some 10 seconds to find ahead of the big show tomorrow.
Myriam Nicole has some 10 seconds to find ahead of the big show tomorrow.

It was the first outing on track for Myriam Nicole in her freshly acquired rainbow stripes. She will be third from last down the hill tomorrow.
It was the first outing on track for Myriam Nicole in her freshly acquired rainbow stripes. She will be third from last down the hill tomorrow.

Luca Shaw could be on for his best showing of the 2019 season. He s in the mix for the podium positions.
Luca Shaw could be on for his best showing of the 2019 season. He's in the mix for a podium position.

Marine Cabirou breaking right down Tracey Hannah s neck in both qualifying and the overall point chase
Marine Cabirou breathing right down Tracey Hannah's neck in both qualifying and the overall point chase

Aaron Gwin has some work to do if he wants to fight for the podium tomorrow
Aaron Gwin has some work to do if he wants to fight for the podium tomorrow.

Kirk McDowall showed what he is capable of today with one of his strongest showings qualifying in 11th place.
Kirk McDowall showed what he is capable of today with one of his strongest showings, qualifying in 11th place.

Troy Brosnan will in the mix as usual. He ended up 2 seconds off the pace in 4th.
Troy Brosnan, in the mix as usual. He ended up 2 seconds off the pace in 4th.

Loic Bruni on the gas and showing he has the speed needed to hold onto the leaders jersey
Loic Bruni on the gas and showing he has the speed needed to hold onto the leader's jersey

No point on offer today but Loic Bruni is one step closer towards that World Cup overall.
No points on offer today but Loic Bruni is one step closer towards that World Cup overall.

Bruni all guns blazing for 2nd place but with no extra points scored for the overall it won t settle his nerves much.
Bruni, all guns blazing for 2nd place, but with no extra points scored for the overall it won't settle his nerves much.

Tracey Hannah boosting the big rock double en route to the fastest time in qualifying
Tracey Hannah boosting the big rock double en route to the fastest time in qualifying

Martin Maes is safely into the big show tomorrow will he endure a lengthy stint on the hot seat tomorrow
Martin Maes is safely into the big show tomorrow, will he endure a lengthy stint on the hot seat?

Young American Joseph Foresta has had a mixed season but is onto a good thing here. A top ten today bodes well.
Young American, Joseph Foresta, has had a mixed season but is onto a good thing here. A top ten today bodes well.

Anna Newkirk will surely come out swinging tomorrow on American soil.
Anna Newkirk will surely come out swinging tomorrow on American soil.

Emilie Siegenthaler has ramped things up after a steady start to 2019 8th today she has a shot at the podium.
Emilie Siegenthaler has ramped things up after a steady start to 2019; she finished 8th today.

Crash up top pushed Amaury down the order but if you look at the time gaps between his lower split times you can see he is very much on the pace to give everyone a run for it
A crash up top pushed Amaury down the order but if you look at the time gaps between his lower split times you can see he is very much on the pace to give everyone a run for it

Amaury Pierron might have stacked it today but all that means is tomorrow is an all or nothing kind of day.
Amaury Pierron might have stacked it today, but all that means is tomorrow is an 'all or nothing' kind of day.

Laurie Greenland s qualifying run didn t go to plan with a crash on the bottom half of the course. He lives to fight another day as a protected rider.
Laurie Greenland's qualifying run didn't go to plan with a crash on the bottom half of the course. He lives to fight another day as a protected rider.

Greenland went for a bit a loose run today which by his standards is a little scary. He hit the deck and now we can t be sure where he sits among the top contenders.
Greenland went for a bit of a loose run today, which by his standards is a little scary. He hit the deck and now we can't be sure where he sits among the top contenders.

Greg Williamson can taste his first podium from here... Come on G Willy
Greg Williamson can taste his first podium from here... Come on G Willy!

Atherton stretching to the absolute limit off the first rock of the double drop.
Atherton stretching to the absolute limit off the first rock of the double drop.

Brendog following Shaw into the open before the ultras steep chute.
Brendog following Luca Shaw into the open before the ultra steep chute.

4th for Patrick Laffey as he pushes hard to try and get back in to the top 3 in the overall junior men s rankings
4th for Patrick Laffey as he pushes hard to try and get back into the top 3 in the overall junior men's rankings

Tahnee Seagrave was fastest at the top splits but had some issues lower down in her run to evenyaully finish back in 6th
Tahnee Seagrave was fastest at the top splits but had some issues lower down in her run to eventually finish back in 6th

The home crowd will be cheering on Matthew Sterling in the junior category tomorrow after he qualified third fastest.
The home crowd will be cheering on Matthew Sterling in the junior category tomorrow after he qualified third fastest.

A track of immense contrast. Only the best all-rounders will cope with the huge hucks variable gradient and technical difficulty of this Snowshoe course.
A track of immense contrast. Only the best all-rounders will cope with the huge hucks, variable gradient and technical difficulty of this Snowshoe course.

Veronika Widmann with another strong showing in 4th. Another podium would be a good conclusion to her season.
Veronika Widmann with another strong showing in 4th. Another podium would be a good conclusion to her season.

After a strong MSA performance Sian A Hern laid down a top run for qualies here south of the border with 5th.
After a strong MSA performance, Sian A'Hern laid down a top run for qualies here south of the border with 5th.

Bruce Klein has been a total animal on this track all week and it translated to on track performance. 9th place for the American.
Bruce Klein has been a total animal on this track all week and it translated to a 9th place for the American.

Millie Johnset was pipped into second by Anna Newkirk it s pretty tight between them though so it s all to play for on race day.
Millie Johnset was pipped into second by Anna Newkirk, it's pretty tight between them though so it's all to play for on race day.

Vali Holl has one race left as a junior and will depart the start gate last tomorrow.
Vali Holl has one race left as a junior and will depart the start gate last tomorrow.

Dakotah Norton was another top performer of the American crew taking 7th today.
Dakotah Norton was another top performer from the American crew, taking 7th today.

Janosch Klaus got his first podium in Lenzerheide and clearly wants more. He came down into 2nd place just 1 second back on Kye A Hern.
Janosch Klaus got his first podium in Lenzerheide and clearly wants more. He came down into 2nd place, just 1 second back on Kye A'Hern.

Thomas Estaque doing what Thomas Estaque does best getting wild on the steeps and tech.
Thomas Estaque doing what Thomas Estaque does best, getting wild on the steeps and tech.

A very happy Tracey Hannah just one run away from a World Cup title
A very happy Tracey Hannah just one run away from a World Cup title.

What a ride form Bruce Klein to finish the day in 9th after a very up and down season.
What a ride from Bruce Klein to finish the day in 9th after a very up and down season.

Charlie Harrison can smell his second podium and on home soil too.
Charlie Harrison can smell his second podium, and on home soil too.

The puzzle is certainly real this season for AG but if it was easy... well you know the rest. His spirits are up and he ll be nothing but stoked to race in front of the home crowd tomorrow.
The puzzle is certainly real this season for AG, but if it was easy... well you know the rest. His spirits are up and he'll be nothing but stoked to race in front of the home crowd tomorrow.

Intro outro leaves
The sun was shining all day and the woods are slowly drying out. If it stay like this the finals wipe be run in prime conditions

That s a wrap from qualifying day here in Snowshoe.
That's a wrap from qualifying day here in Snowshoe.

The party continues tomorrow... And yes they picked this up and carried it out
The party continues tomorrow... And yes, they picked this up and carried it out

No words needed
No words needed.



26 Comments

  • 88 1
 No mention for UK rider Joe Breeden? His bike was lost by the airline, and he spent half a day begging and borrowing parts to make up a bike to ride. He came in 14th on the rental bike that he only did a couple of training runs on. Commitment?
  • 23 1
 Great to see a new track on the circuit! I'm so bored of the usual MSA, Fort Bill, Leogang tracks. Although I'm interested to know how a small resort like snowshoe found the large suitcase of cash that is required to pay the UCI mafia to host an event.
  • 6 0
 Snowshoe is owned by an even bigger mafia, Alterra Mountain Company. They own 14 resorts and The Ikon Pass.
  • 4 0
 I think they are doing just fine in the winter.Probably a few suitcases of cash to be had.
  • 23 0
 Wow. Tracy doing the stunt gap. Scary
  • 15 0
 Love how when the WC series goes to a new track, there is always a ton of different folks in and around the top 10, keeps the racing exciting!!
  • 5 0
 Great pics. Go Tracey. Brook in my fantasy team in 2020, there’s mountains to crush.
  • 5 0
 Hahahaa Eric with the last pic. Yeah Zero G racing!!
  • 4 0
 Tracy is flying high!
  • 1 0
 Tracey on the rock gap is a great pic , I would have much rather watched Cathro film that area and how riders transition from the gap jump
  • 2 0
 Hats off to the photographers and to Pinkbike for bringing these stunning images to us. Cheers!
  • 1 1
 Required viewing: “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia”. That way these references make sense! Boone County mating call, anyone?
  • 3 0
 We were just referencing th stage motto written on the WV license plates. Just coincidence there's a documentary of similar name
  • 1 0
 Why were there no points given for qualifying? Did I miss a rule change?
  • 8 0
 I think this is the usual system for the last round. It's to make sure that the overall winner is decided by the main race and not the qualification.
I'm not 100% on this though
  • 2 0
 First year no points. They changed it so that a close run championship isn't decided in the qualification run. What if Amoury crashed and Loic got enough points to make it mathmatically impossible to lose, therefore all the build up and suspense of that last final run just disappears, and then you tune into RedBull and Rob tells you that Aaron Gwin is champ....which is exactly what happened a couple of years ago...championship was decided on Qually day.
  • 2 0
 @handynzl: Last year was the same, no points for quali. Can't remember if it has been like this the years before 2018.
  • 1 1
 @handynzl: that's not right. Not right at all. The races need to be equal. If they aren't equal making a series has no merit. This world cup is no different to the rest. It shouldn't be treated any differently. If somebody crashes in quali and that decides the championship? Well, in the words of Bob Kelso, tough t****s Turkleton.
  • 2 0
 @themop: You do realise that todays race would have had no suspense if there had been points in qually, right? This was how Danny Hart lost the overall the year he won three in a row (if memory serves). And every rider goes into the season knowing the rules. Its not like they got into the start hut for quallies and were told during the countdown that there were no points
  • 1 0
 @handynzl: would that be such a problem if it was decided by quali? It's about being the best over a season, quali included. It might improve the final race depending on how quali shakes out... There's so many potential permeations, I just find it sad when an outcome tries to be forced. It could be a nail biter, it might not be a classic, it's sport, the seasons still incredible if a rider is so good they can wrap it up a round early.
  • 2 0
 Brook in 2020!
  • 5 0
 It’s tuff to come back from an injury like that. I bung my neck a bit at a box track in the late 90’s, I guess I lost my reckless abandon and didn’t jump the same for 15 years. Maybe I’m just being an old puss puss though.
  • 1 0
 Yeehaw!!
  • 1 0
 Can't wait ¤~¤
  • 2 1
 MERICA!!!
  • 1 2
 Box track? Bmx, whatever.

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