Photo Epic: Sore Lousãs - Qualifying Lousa World Cup DH 2020

Oct 30, 2020
by Nathan Hughes  





Photo Epic presented by Five Ten



Two days into the action and still with three hard days in the saddle looming ahead, racers need to hang tough and keep their eyes on the prize and the light at the end of the tunnel. That light is quite possibly a flashing red-alert for a long winter of Covid lockdown, so let's appreciate our good fortune in getting to see this one out. It's certainly shaping up to be one fine way to sign off the short-lived 2020 race season. The Lousã course has been shape-shifting before racer's very eyes. Lines in the soft dirt continue to distort and break down or build up at an unprecedented rate under duress from an overload of fast moving rubber. What might have been the line of choice for the podium yesterday is perhaps tomorrow’s big time-sapping pitfall, a flat tyre or a crash. There's a lot to think about all the way down this 'true racer's' track.

The inside line always holds strongest appeal, but naturally, to make it work in your favour will take bicycle heroics. These line-choice dilemmas are old school. Maybe that's why we have Myriam Nicole and Tracey Hannah on top in the women’s and Minnaar and Thirion sharking for a podium or better in the men’s. What about Loris Vergier you say? Well the 24 year old Frenchman simply appears to be the fastest off-road pedal biker on the planet right now, whatever the course, whatever the conditions. Maybe Reece Wilson would have something to say about that, maybe Amaury Pierron too, but then there's also a pack of hungry race wolves ready to prove the theory wrong tomorrow morning as we charge head-on into the first race of two here in Portugal. Bring the action.




Very moody mornings so far lower down on course.
Very moody mornings lower down on course.

Monika Hrastnik delving deep into the misty last forest section.
Monika Hrastnik delving deep into the misty last forest section.

Camille Ballanche parked up to figure out yet another steep inside line.
Camille Balanche parked up to figure out yet another steep inside line.

Tahnee Seagrave back in the mix after qualies. Third place today and hoping to better than tomorrow.
Tahnee Seagrave back in the mix after qualies. Third place today and hoping to better than tomorrow.

A small dose of sun for qualies but more to come for finals and race 2
Lousa was stuck in the cloud for the majority of the day, but was finally released to qualie runs.

Luca Shaw will look to shut down his team mates tomorrow and if not just join in the Syndicate podium party.
Luca Shaw will look to shut down his teammates tomorrow and if not, just join in the Syndicate podium party.

5th place for Loic Bruni and more than 3 seconds to shave to be in contention for the win tomorrow.
5th place for Loic Bruni and more than 3 seconds to shave to be in contention for the win tomorrow.

Unlucky number 13 might be playing a little role here for Danny Hart finishing outside the top 10 in qualies.
Unlucky number 13 might be playing a little role here for Danny Hart, finishing outside the top 10 in qualies.

Baptiste Pierron looking good and going hard on the bike as we ve come to expect.
Baptiste Pierron looking good and going hard on the bike, as we've come to expect.

Ben Cathro creating in-depth track side content for your viewing pleasure.
Ben Cathro creating in-depth trackside content for your viewing pleasure.

Well something ain t right.
Well something ain't right.

Another big spill for Elenora Farina is definitely sign of how hard she wants this. The rutted road gap landing was causing problems for a few of the top women and also caused an explosive crash for Hoffmann.just before qualies.
Another big spill for Elenora Farina is definitely sign of how much she wants this. The rutted road gap landing caused problems for a few of the top women and an explosive crash for Nina Hoffman just before qualies.

No doubt on of the most beautiful tracks we ve been lucky to have a World Cup at.
No doubt one of the most beautiful tracks we've been lucky enough to have hosted a World Cup DH.

She may very well be retiring after these two rounds here in Portugal but Tracey Hannah isn t going out without going all in.
She may very well be retiring after these two rounds here in Portugal, but Tracey Hannah isn't going out without going all in.

Marine Cabirou has time to find if she wants hang on to her beloved number one plate.

Schralping one of the more tenacious turns of the track.

What a ride from Portuguese junior Goncalo Bendeira snatching the top qualie spot off favourite Oisin O Callaghan.
What a ride from Portuguese junior, Goncalo Bendeira, snatching the top qualie spot off favourite Oisin O'Callaghan.

Nina Hoffmann isn t having the easiest week so far trying to tame this track. There is enough debris sticking out of the countless ruts ready to grab hold of anything out of line.
Nina Hoffmann isn't having the easiest week so far trying to tame this track. There is debris sticking out of the countless ruts ready to grab hold of anything out of line.

Myriam Nicole checking out the deteriorating track in hopes to find ways to further improve her time over the rest of the women s field.
Myriam Nicole checking out the deteriorating track in hopes to find ways to further improve her time over the rest of the women's field.

Uncharacteristic result for Oisin O Callaghan coming into second place. The Junior Men s battle is alive and well.
Uncharacteristic result for Oisin O'Callaghan coming into second place. The Junior Men's battle is alive and well.

Luca Shaw has taken his time to get back to the danger level he was sniffing around at throughout the 2018-19 seasons. Third today.
Luca Shaw has taken his time to get back to the danger level he was sniffing around at throughout the 2018-19 seasons. Third today.

Troy Brosnan digging into an inner bern shaped purely by bicycle.
Troy Brosnan digging into an inner bern shaped purely by bicycle.

Dakotah Norton is proving well his talents go far beyond good style with another top 10 run.
Dakotah Norton is proving well his talents go far beyond good style with another top 10 run.

Series leader Leona Pierrini in second place today but with time to find for the big show tomorrow
Series leader, Leona Pierrini, in second place today but with time to find for the big show tomorrow,

Finn Iles in touch as ever 3.85 adrift in 8th spot.
Finn Iles in touch as ever, 3.85 adrift in 8th spot.

Thibaut Daprela pipped his senior team mate for a podium-esque 5th place.
Young gun, Thibaut Daprela pipped his senior team mate for a podium-esque 5th place.

Myriam Nicole back in poll position for tomorrow after a near 5 second advantage this afternoon.
Myriam Nicole back in poll position for tomorrow after a near 5 second advantage this afternoon.

Aina Gonzalez Grimau slotting into third today yet still 16 seconds back from Chappaz.
Aina Gonzalez Grimau slotting into third today yet still 16 seconds back from Chappaz.

No repeat of yesterday s fastest lap of the day but 4th will do nicely for the Goat.
No repeat of yesterday's fastest lap of the day, but 4th will do nicely for the Goat.

Kade Edwards getting pitted in the Lous dirt.
Kade Edwards getting pitted deep in the Lousã dirt.

Laryne Chappaz taking a 12.9 second junior women s victory in the rainbow stripes.
Lauryne Chappaz taking a 12.9 second junior women's victory in her rainbow stripes.

Eleventh for the privateer in green Phil Atwill.
Eleventh for the privateer in green, Phil Atwill.

The dirty shoulder tells the story for Mille Johnset. She s wasn t the only one to hit the deck today.
The dirty shoulder tells the tale for Mille Johnset. She's wasn't the only one to hit the deck today.

A top 20 won t be enough for AG in finals. Does he have more wizardry up his sleeves
A top 20 won't be enough for AG in finals. Does he have more wizardry up his sleeves?

Pretty in pink. Remi Thirion is still going fast and he doesn t care who knows about it. 6th for qualies.
Pretty in pink. Remi Thirion is still going fast and he doesn't care who knows about it. 6th for qualies.

San Diego shredder Dante Silva hitting second place in the junior men.
San Diego shredder, Dante Silva, hitting second place in the junior men.

Thibaut Daprela continues to impress. Seventh today and you know he s not done yet.
Thibaut Daprela continues to impress. Seventh today and you know he's not done yet.

Matt Walker matching his plate in qualies. Could this be his race He s one of two to stay within the four minute mark.
Matt Walker matching his plate in qualies. Could this be his race? He's one of two to stay within the four minute mark.

Matt Walker is absolutely on one the closest to reach Loris Vergier s back wheel.
Walker is absolutely on one; the closest to reach Loris Vergier's back wheel.

Aubergines on top. Series leader Loris Vergier kept the racing elite humble once again with a 3 59.48
Aubergines on top. Series leader, Loris Vergier, kept the racing elite humble once again with a commanding 3:59.48.

And just like that the scene is set for one helluva finals days tomorrow.



47 Comments

  • 33 0
 I had a dream last night, that predicted the winner of this race. I dunno if it could be counted as cheating with this info, but make sure u change your fantasy team to include Sylvester Stallone.
  • 3 0
 whos that, doesnt sound so french to me
  • 3 0
 Sounds as French as Loïc Bruni.
  • 3 0
 @Korbi777: It does if you read it as "Selvs Stallohh"
  • 8 1
 Cool to see some racers puzzlin' on tires even in the dry. Loic on cut Assegais, Cabirou and Remi on the still yet to be released updated Shorty. And Cabirou running Wet Scream out back too! Deep loam.
  • 3 0
 If you are talking about Remi Thirion, he is on cut Dirty Dans, you can see the tyre writing in the picture. It's hard to tell from the photo of Loic but I think that's a minion DHRII up front, probably the same in the rear. Most people seem to be running front and rear Minion DHR IIs, or Assegai front and DHR II rear, Schwable riders seem to mostly be on Magic Mary front and rear.
  • 1 0
 many racers will just use the spikes as a starting point then have the mechs cut them the perfect tire out of it. Name doesn't mean much when world cup mechs can redesign knobs in the pit
  • 6 1
 Why did Baptist take Viagra during qualies?
  • 2 1
 Ahhaaha
Comment of year Men!!!!

The Lousã track have a lot holes he need a lot viagra!!!
  • 2 1
 There must be an easier way to stiffen up the suspension...
  • 5 0
 Really appreciate the effort put into the captions guys!
  • 4 0
 Luca looking dangerous in the all black kit!
  • 3 0
 Petition to get all world cups in future to be double headers!
  • 2 0
 And about fall season. Dry conditions are over rated!
  • 3 1
 Dante Silva was 3rd not 2nd. But go USA ! ????????
  • 1 0
 This is great timing- I get to watch race 1 - women and men - with my coffees before work tomorrow.
  • 1 0
 Can we get a shot of the Syndicate team bikes? Particularly the crank please.
  • 1 0
 Eleonora, la Farina c'è già, metti un buon lievito e il risultato sarà sicuramente ottimo!!
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know what's attached to Nicole's & Daprela's forks?
  • 3 1
 Looks like a shockwiz or something, records fork performance for tuning purposes.
  • 2 0
 @kingsruneast : data Acquisition system, it helps the tune they’re suspension and can be useful for developing new bikes.
  • 2 0
 Looks the shizzle...
  • 2 1
 Phil Atwill a privateer now?? Can someone tell him.
  • 5 0
 I believe the Cube team didn't go because of covid. So he's racing, but doesn't have the support of the cube team there. Just like a privateer would.
  • 1 0
 @Johanvdb: well I think Rob Warner said something he shouldn't have in todays race, hart to cube.... so maybe Phil is now unemployed Frown
  • 1 0
 Stoked for some more racing!
  • 1 0
 Lot of top racers running DHRII's up front.. again.
  • 1 0
 Yeah I noticed that too, thought this track would suit an Assegai more, as slightly more like a spike, probably better for the soft ground, but I guess not
  • 1 0
 @melonhead1145: The DHR2 is working better because there's more of an open channel to allow the sideknobs to dig deep. Could definitely see a cut spike working well but they're probably not that popular because of the extra rolling resistance on the sprint and motorway section.
  • 1 0
 DHRII is the GOAT tire
  • 1 0
 Loris is so fast he needs a sag indicator on both stanchions
  • 1 0
 No Photos of the pits and Bikes ?
  • 2 0
 Pits have been closed off to media, so only riders and teams in the pits.
  • 1 0
 @melonhead1145: okay thanks
  • 1 0
 Perhaps if Team Atherton switched tires they would kick it up a notch....
  • 1 0
 Seeing "qualies" written out makes me cringe.
  • 1 0
 What has Greg got on his forks? Telematics in a qualifying run?
  • 1 0
 Kade just looks so damn good on a bike
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