Qualifying Photo Epic: 'Til Dust Do Us Part - Maribor World Cup DH 2021

Aug 14, 2021
by Andy Vathis  




As impossible as it may seem after what was felt yesterday, it was that much warmer and even a couple steps looser out on course. The drought has deteriorated the track to yet another level, forming new lines in the fresher bits while exposing more hard packed highway in others. The riders know it, too. They've reached ludicrous speeds between the tape and it's come down to a game of mistakes versus inches.

In the women's field, Vali Höll took the fastest qualie time and did so by a decent margin. She's well on the hunt after being oh-so-close in the first two rounds and is looking to take this one by the horns. Turning to the men, Loris went fastest again after winning practice yesterday yet is joined by Thibaut Daprela in the exclusive under 3:10 club. Keep in mind that Daprela had all green splits until the last one today.

Needless to say, there will be no cooling off before tomorrow's final. It's relentless for the three-plus minutes it takes to get down, if you make it down at all. Summer's finally here in Europe and the scorcher is just getting started.

Much improved scenes after the muddy horror show of the Maribor World Cup last Autumn.
Much improved scenes after the muddy horror show of the Maribor World Cup last autumn.

Qualifying day. Time to shine
Qualifying day. Time to shine

Fresh rotors for another day of scorching temps
Fresh rotors for another day of scorching temps

Gone are the quiet track side afternoons experienced during the 2020 season.
Gone are the quiet track side afternoons experienced during the 2020 season.

Warp speed is engaged quite often on this track
Warp speed is engaged quite often on this track

Last rider down and straight into the top spot for tomorrow. Gracey Hemstreet was on it today.
Last rider down and straight into the top spot for tomorrow. Gracey Hemstreet was on it today.

Jordan Williams would top the result sheet amongst the junior men
Jordan Williams would top the result sheet amongst the junior men

Leona Pierrini through the rock garden and into second for today s qualie.
Leona Pierrini through the rock garden and into second for today's qualie.

Lachlan Stevens-McNab qualified second albeit over 6 seconds back from Jordan Williams.
Lachlan Stevens-McNab qualified second, albeit over 6 seconds back from Jordan Williams.

Slovakian junior Simonka Kuchynkova powering into 3rd.
Slovakian junior Simonka Kuchynkova powering into 3rd.

Ethan Craik is back at it in juniors after missing the first few races and is right on the pace in 3rd
Ethan Craik is back at it in juniors after missing the first few races and is right on the pace in 3rd.

A thick layer of dust floated around the woods all day.
A thick layer of dust floated around the woods all day.

Mille Johnset steezing morning practice.
Mille Johnset steezing morning practice.

Kiwi national champ Jess Blewitt firing on all cylinders riding to 7th place.
Kiwi national champ, Jess Blewitt, firing on all cylinders, riding to 7th place.

You can expect to see Tahnee Seagrave move up the order tomorrow.
You can expect to see Tahnee Seagrave move up the order tomorrow.

Euro-champ Monika Hrastnik won t be happy with just another podium on home soil tomorrow.
Euro-champ, Monika Hrastnik, won't be happy with 'just another podium' on home soil tomorrow.

Fourth for Eleonora Farina today.
Fourth for Eleonora Farina today.

World Champ Camille Balanche with the number 1 plate on her bike for good measure. She ended the day third fastest.
World Champ Camille Balanche with the number 1 plate on her bike for good measure. She ended the day third fastest.

Myriam made some big mistakes on her qualie run and was well in touch with Holl today. This should be quite the race more wide-open than ever in the womens field.
Myriam made some big mistakes on her qualie run and was well in touch with Holl today. This should be quite the race, more wide open than ever in the women's field.

Vali Holl winning qualifying once again
Vali Holl winning qualifying once again

An ant-sized Ben Cathro drops back in on his WC race career.
An ant-sized Ben Cathro drops back in on his WC race career.

Lucas Cruz being anything but cruisy.
Lucas Cruz being anything but cruisy.

Back from his broken arm in Leogang Chuck Harrison illuminating his surroundings with some chrome pink.
Back from his broken arm in Leogang, Chuck Harrison illuminating his surroundings with some chrome pink.

Bad luck for Benoit Coulanges as he blows out a tire right above the rock garden.
Bad luck for Benoit Coulanges as he blows out a tire right above the rock garden.

Remi Thirion cutting through the dust clouds just outside the top ten.
Remi Thirion cutting through the dust clouds just outside the top ten.

Full effort from Phil Atwill
Full effort from Phil Atwill

Luke Meyer-Smith backed up a strong TT with an excellent 15th place qualie.
Luke Meyer-Smith backed up a strong TT with an excellent 15th place qualie.

13th for Andreas Kolb
13th for Andreas Kolb

Reece Wilson made a few mistakes in his qualifying run so expect to see him further up the back tomorrow.
Reece Wilson made a few mistakes in his qualifying run so expect to see him further up the back tomorrow.

Brook has flicked the switch animal mode engaged.
Brook has flicked the switch; animal mode engaged.

Kade Edwards setting the table for lunch.
Kade Edwards setting the table for lunch.

Luca Shaw ever solid with tenth.
Luca Shaw, ever solid with tenth.

crashing... as seen at 1 13th of a second
Crashing... as seen at 1/13th of a second

David Trummer slid inside the top 10 today.
David Trummer slid inside the top 10 today.

Loic Bruni looking to get back on pace. Eighth today with some work to do.
Loic Bruni looking to get back on pace. Eighth today with some work to do.

Mark Wallace doing his best to dodge the massive holes
Mark Wallace doing his best to dodge the massive holes

Rain or shine Troy is always in the mix.
Rain or shine, Troy is always in the mix.

Danny Hart in striking distance for the podium tomorrow.
Danny Hart in striking distance for the podium tomorrow.

Matt Walker s usual Maribor form continues he ll be looking for a podium finish tomorrow.
Matt Walker's usual Maribor form continues, he'll be looking for a podium finish tomorrow.

Greg Minnaar looked to be on pace in practice and would come down in 4th
Greg Minnaar looked to be on pace in practice and would come down in 4th

Greenland will be ready to go for war tomorrow after his 3rd place qualifier but will have to be careful not to push too much in these ultra-dry conditions.
Greenland will be ready to go for war tomorrow after his 3rd place qualifier, but will have to be careful not to push too much in these ultra-dry conditions.

All green splits until the last Thibaut Daprela will be pushing hard tomorrow.
All green splits until the last, Thibaut Daprela will be pushing hard tomorrow.

The man of the match Loris Vergier taking qualifying today by a couple of tenths.
The man of the match, Loris Vergier, taking qualifying today by a couple of tenths.

Loris Vergier has certainly been on front running pace this year but misfortune has stood in his path so far. Will tomorrow change that
Loris Vergier has certainly been on front running pace this year but misfortune has stood in his path so far. Will tomorrow change that?

Myriam Nicole ready to turn up the heat tomorrow in pursuit of another World Cup win.
Myriam Nicole ready to turn up the heat tomorrow in pursuit of another World Cup win.

Laurie s on one... third place with an apprently quite reserved run for the Bristolian wild man.
Laurie's on one... third place with an apparently quite reserved run for the Bristolian wild man.

Greg the GOAT will certainly have his eyes on World Champs VDS but why not ease into it with a win here first
Greg the GOAT will certainly have his eyes on World Champs VDS, but why not ease into it with a win here first?

Lots of work continued through practice on suspension settings. This track is brutal and finding a good balance will be critical
Lots of work continued through practice on suspension settings. This track is brutal and finding a good balance will be critical

This track is taking a toll on bikes. Full rebuilds are far too commonplace this weekend.
This track is taking a toll on bikes. Full rebuilds are far too commonplace this weekend.

Wheels are also taking an absolute beating here.
Wheels are also taking an absolute beating here.

The haze continues as the temperatures are set to rise once again Sunday.
The haze continues as the temperatures are set to rise once again Sunday.



20 Comments

  • 27 0
 @pinkbike Could you guys do an article about how much work and parts a mechanic uses on a typical world cup weekend? would be cool to know
  • 5 0
 Better not. So we won't end up with restriction on number of used part for the season like in f1 or motogp.
  • 8 0
 This 1/13sec black and white crash picture should be photo of the year! So representative of all the investment this sport requires!
  • 6 0
 Absolutely incredible selection of photo's here, nice work in the woods!
  • 3 0
 that pic of valli in the rockgarden says it all gor me - she just hanging there in the air with no visible spot go land on…these riders do magic
the one pic with the crash looks like some weird xray
great work photogs
  • 1 1
 What is the incentive for protected riders to push during qualifying? Assuming the weather is consistent, isn't the earliest possible running going to give them a track most similar to their training/qualifying experience? I can't help but feel like starting the race run last is going to disadvantage the rider because the track may have evolved from all the others riding it prior.
  • 14 0
 Puntos
  • 8 0
 @Jimmy0: Ahhh I didn't even realize there was points in qually. Gracias
  • 2 0
 You get points
  • 2 0
 You get on the live feed if you qualify top 30 which is great for sponsors.
  • 1 1
 I think it would be cool if the top 20 qualifiers could cite and determine if they want to go first or last in the day. Imagine the top 20 guys avoiding getting rained out and actually being able to push hard versus getting caught out by the rain and losing series points to riders who have no chance in the overall.
  • 2 0
 maybe a silly question, but its bloody hot there, why no shorts and short sleeves?
  • 2 0
 Watch Bernard Kerr's YouTube series from this race, he jokes about how skin suits are banned but now the style is skinny clothes there's a advantage to wearing the new style slim fit trousers and tops. Plus you look more factory! Probably.
  • 2 0
 This is my favourite action real ever. Honourable mention to the Trek anodized bling bikes!
  • 1 0
 is there any rain in the forecast?
  • 1 0
 Yes, but after 5 pm.
  • 1 0
 Actually, there's 74% chance of thunderstorms at 3pm, and knowing how fast the weather changes here in Slovenia, I can tell you, I wouldn't be surprised if it starts pouring like crazy. We shall see
  • 2 0
 @StefanPsy: another Fayolle?
  • 1 0
 I need some pink chrome in my life.
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