Photo Report: Qualifying - La Bresse World Cup DH 2018

Aug 24, 2018
by Dave Trumpore  



It wouldn't be a World Cup without some curve balls, and La Bresse certainly threw a few at the riders throughout the qualifying day. What started as just a damp track due to an overnight storm progressed to a muddy slip and slide through training as the dirt began to get sticky and more and more roots began to show themselves. More than a few riders were caught out on various corners and off cambers and could be seen covered in dirt from crashes.

By qualifying runs the weather took it one step further as the temperature plummeted just in time for some heavy and cold rain, saturating the track with a fresh coat of wetness. That added bit of moisture actually helped to clean the rocks and roots off while allowing the bikes to roll quite a bit quicker. Many riders claimed after finishing their runs that the track was almost riding as fast in the rain as when it was dry.

In the women's race, Tahnee Seagrave did what she needed to do and placed first, 8 seconds ahead of Rachel Atherton. With the elite women's title being the only one still up for grabs, Tahnee could take it all tomorrow if she wins and Rachel finishes outside the top 4.

As for the men, there can be no change at the front of the order as Amaury Pierron wrapped the title up last round, but there is still plenty of points to fight over for the rest of the top 5. But in qualifying it would be a resurgent Gee Atherton who would turn more than a few heads to slot in ahead of Pierron and the usual front-runners on the timing sheet. Even with the war already won, Gee is looking to end the final battle with a victory that has been elusive the past few seasons.

With even colder temperatures and continued rain forecast, it will be a mental and physical battle on race day as riders try to handle both the elements and the pressure of the World Cup season's final race runs.

Plenty of clues first thing this morning as to the type of day it was going to be.
Plenty of clues first thing this morning as to the type of day it was going to be.

Final details double checked as bikes are prepped in the pre-dawn hours.
Final details double checked as bikes are prepped in the pre-dawn hours.

Just try not being cosy in one of these bad boys.
Just try not being cosy in one of these bad boys.

Myrian Nicole warming down or simpy staying warm after the second major wet WC in a row.
Myrian Nicole warming down or simply staying warm after the second major wet World Cup in a row.

Hot tea to kick things off on a cold day for Tracey Hannah s mechanic.
Hot tea to kick things off on a cold day for Tracey Hannah's mechanic.

Tracey Hannah limbering up for a slippery day on the hill.
Tracey Hannah limbering up for a slippery day on the hill.

Tahnee Seagrave was relaxed and didn t seem too phased by the overall title battle during her morning warm up. Her qualifying time would also back that sentiment.
Tahnee Seagrave was relaxed and didn't seem too phased by the overall title battle during her morning warm up. Her qualifying time would also back that sentiment.

Heavy rain overnight eradicated the dust that riders were ripping through all of yesterday.
Heavy rain overnight eradicated the dust that riders were ripping through all of yesterday.

overnight rain turned the loam to mud and the roots to ice.
Overnight rain turned the loam to mud and the roots to ice.

Tahnee Seagraves mechanic gives her Kade Edwards and Jamie Edmondson an E-Bike lift up the long hill from the pits to the chairlift.
Tahnee Seagraves' mechanic gives her, Kade Edwards, and Janie Edmondson an e-bike lift up the long hill from the pits to the chairlift.

Vali Holl leaving the open and heading into the dark of the woods.
Vali Holl leaving the open and heading into the dark of the woods.

Slawomir Lukasik speeds through the trees up top.
Slawomir Lukasik speeds through the trees up top.

Even in the slippery morning mud Amaury Pierron seemed to be riding with a level of confidence well above anyone else. Smooth Aggressive and fast he looked like the one to beat.
Even in the slippery morning mud Amaury Pierron seemed to be riding with a level of confidence well above anyone else. Smooth, aggressive and fast he looked like the one to beat.

Pierron not content with already having taken the series is also taking his line choices pretty seriously here in La Bresse.
Pierron, not content with already having taken the series, is also taking his line choices pretty seriously here in La Bresse.

Although there aren t any qualifying points at this final round Rachel Atherton won t be happy at the time gap to Tahnee Seagrave ahead.
Although there aren't any qualifying points at this final round, Rachel Atherton won't be happy at the time gap to Tahnee Seagrave ahead.

Kade Edwards was back on form in the junior men s qualifier to take the top spot ahead of Henry Kerr.
Kade Edwards was back on form in the junior men's qualifier to take the top spot ahead of Henry Kerr.

9th in the mud today for Mike Jones.
9th in the mud today for Mike Jones.

Expect a better scoe than unlucky 13th out of Troy Brosnan tomorrow.
Expect a better score than unlucky 13th out of Troy Brosnan tomorrow.

A bit too much throttle for Danny Hart during last runs before qualies.
A bit too much throttle for Danny Hart during last runs before qualies.

Myriam Nicole is looking to move up a few places in the overall tomorrow but to do so she will need to turn it up a few notches from her 4th place qualifier.
Myriam Nicole is looking to move up a few places in the overall tomorrow, but to do so she will need to turn it up a few notches from her 4th place qualifier.

Connor Fearon was hot on the heels of Atherton and Pierron at the head of the field before a slow last sector dragged him down to 7th. He has more pace in the bag for tomorrow.
Connor Fearon was hot on the heels of Atherton and Pierron at the head of the field before a slow last sector dragged him down to 7th. He has more pace in the bag for tomorrow.

It s great to see Remi Thirion back at the sharp end obviously enjoying the conditions close to home.
It's great to see Remi Thirion back at the sharp end, obviously enjoying the conditions close to home.

Henry Kerr en route to a second place qualie in the juniors.
Henry Kerr en route to a second place qualie in the juniors.

Finn Iles getting a bit buck wild as some new slippery roots made their way to the surface during the morning training.
Finn Iles getting a bit buck wild as some new slippery roots made their way to the surface during the morning training.

Laurie Greenland scrubbing the second of four big jumps near the top of the track.
Laurie Greenland scrubbing the second of four big jumps near the top of the track.

Adam Brayton gassing it to flat as per usual.
Adam Brayton gassing it to flat as per usual.

Mick Hannah squashes one of the big jumps out in the open.
Mick Hannah squashes one of the big jumps out in the open.

It s great to see a return to form for Gee Atherton after the last few seasons have been blighted by injury.
It's great to see a return to form for Gee Atherton after the last few seasons have been blighted by injury.

Eddie Masters has been killing it this year in both downhill and enduro after missing Mont Sainte Anne and picking up another EWS podium he returned to downhill with a bang ending up the day 8th fastest.
Eddie Masters has been killing it this year in both downhill and enduro. After missing Mont Sainte Anne and picking up another EWS podium, he returned to downhill with a bang, ending up 8th fastest on the day.

Marine Cabirou will start 6th form the end in tomorrow s final.
Marine Cabirou will start 6th form the end in tomorrow's final.

Less than 7 seconds back left riders like Blenki outside the top 20.
Less than 7 seconds back left riders like Blenki outside the top 20.

11 seconds back in 3rd for Tracey Hannah.
11 seconds back in 3rd for Tracey Hannah.

Danny Hart in tuck mode between the big tables. He ll look to make up some positions tomorrow after qualifying in 15th.
Danny Hart in tuck mode between the big tables. He'll look to make up some positions tomorrow after qualifying in 15th.

Joe Smoth backed up his strong timed training run with a 5th fastest seeding time could he land himself on the podium tomorrow
Joe Smith backed up his strong timed training run with a 5th fastest seeding time. Could he land himself on the podium tomorrow?

It got real dark cold and wet just in time for qualifying runs
It got really dark, cold, and wet just in time for qualifying runs.

Wetter than your average otter s pocket.
Wetter than your average otter's pocket.

11th for Aaron Gwin in his first World Cup race since since Leogang.
11th for Aaron Gwin in his first World Cup race since Leogang.

Mark Wallace dodges the raindrops out in the open motorway section mid track.
Mark Wallace dodges the raindrops out in the open motorway section mid-track.

After finally taking his second WC win last time out Loic Bruni will have a taste for the champagne again. Well and truly in the hunt tomorrow.
After finally taking his second World Cup win last time out, Loic Bruni will have a taste for the champagne again. Well and truly in the hunt tomorrow.

Luca Shaw holding it down in the savagely messy qualie conditions.
Luca Shaw holding it down in the savagely messy qualie conditions.

The newly crowned UK national champ Katy Curd couldn t make it to MSA but jumped straight back into things with strong pace and a 5th place qualifying time.
The newly crowned UK national champ Katy Curd couldn't make it to MSA but jumped straight back into things with a strong pace and a 5th place qualifying time.

Tahnee Smashed the women s field to win qualifying by 8 seconds.
Tahnee smashed the women's field to win qualifying by 8 seconds.

Man of the match Gee Atherton having the last word on the nay-sayers after significant time away from the top of the game with injury.
Man of the match Gee Atherton, having the last word on the nay-sayers after significant time away from the top of the game with injury.

Miranda Miller bossing out a race run nac-nac. Props to the World Champ.
Miranda Miller bossing out a race run nac-nac. Props to the World Champ.

A tricky run for Thibaut Daprela put him back in 5th after a big near miss here before the steep drop to the road.
A tricky run for Thibaut Daprela put him back in 5th after a big near miss here before the steep drop to the road.

France s Mathilde Bernard hit 2nd place on home soil today in juniors.
France's Mathilde Bernard hit second place on home soil today in juniors.

Jack Moir has a strong mud game but as no points were at stake for qulaies he ll have been biding his time for finals.
Jack Moir has a strong mud game, but as no points were at stake for qualies, he'll have been biding his time for finals.

Last round winner Loic Bruni came down in the rain and mud for 6th.
Last round winner Loic Bruni came down in the rain and mud for 6th.

The Bulldog was on it once gain and would end the day in 4th.
The Bulldog was on it once again and would end the day in 4th.

Not many riders went for the tree-dodger rock huck in the pouring rain. Dean Lucas was one of the committed crew who still sent it.
Not many riders went for the tree-dodger rock huck in the pouring rain. Dean Lucas was one of the committed crew who still sent it.

Dakotah Norton had a rough one in qualifying but was able to squeak into the final in 44th.
Dakotah Norton had a rough one in qualifying but was able to squeak into the final in 44th.

17th for Brendog.
17th for Brendog.

The Bulldog stoked on yet another good day in the office.
The Bulldog stoked on yet another good day in the office.

Gee Atherton has found his form once again and played down a blistering run to finish first in qualifying just ahead of Amaury Pierron and Remi Thirion .
Gee Atherton has found his form once again and played down a blistering run to finish first in qualifying, just ahead of Amaury Pierron and Remi Thirion.

While Gee Atherton qualied first it was team mate Charlie Hatton at the opposite end qualifying in the last available slot 60th place.
While Gee Atherton qualified first it was team mate Charlie Hatton at the opposite end, qualifying in the last available slot; 60th place.

Second position and ready to pounce on the win in the big show infront of the home crowd.
Second position and ready to pounce on the win in the big show in front of the home crowd.

Pierron s Supreme with her war paint on.
Pierron's Supreme with her war paint on.

From the looks of it Riders are in for another cold and wet one for tomorrow s finals. Be sure to tune and and bring your tear offs.
From the looks of it, riders are in for another cold and wet one for tomorrow's finals. Be sure to tune and, and bring your tear-offs.



64 Comments

  • 34 4
 I love that you guys mentioned Rachel being bothered by the gap between her and Seagrave.... but then also mentioned no points for qualification. Rachel has saved for her race runs regularly over the years. In a situation like this I'm not surprised at all by the gap. We'll see come race day. This is the big one to pay attention to. For the mens group I'm mainly interested to see how Gwin does on the 29, how Minnaar looks and hoping Gee wins.
  • 5 1
 Gwin is not going to risk it, he has the rainbow jersey in his mind
  • 3 1
 Agree with that, I think he is just going to cruise, get used to the big wheeler, and come in top 6-7 to keep his spot in the overall. Also checking the competition for the Worlds, the master tactician.
  • 1 0
 @RedRedRe: i think it depends if we gonna see a wet race or dry. but his main sight is definitely set on the stripes.
  • 4 0
 @striveCF15: He has been known to shock people in the worst conditions like last season, but don't think he going full bore this time.
  • 4 0
 He's a racer, he'll be flat out!
  • 1 0
 @ShempHoward: i know the epic MSA race run. what i ment was that AG isn't probably going flat out in the rain to minimise the risk of crashing and gettin injured/re-injured before worlds. there isn't much to gain with the WC already decided. but i hope he takes the win, would be an amazing comeback.
  • 2 0
 @striveCF15: I hear you and that would be the smart move , playing it "safe" and coming in 5th but you really never know as we have seen. That is why we are on the edge of our seats every time he drops in.
  • 1 0
 @ShempHoward: amen to that!!
  • 20 0
 whoa, did you see the compression on Hart in that corner - his coil over is tweaked, his fork is squashed and he's on the bars. ouch. this from a guy that can leg press a small vehicle. I'd be crushed like a grape if i hit a corner with that much g-force. dang. these people blow my mind.
  • 3 1
 A small vehicle?
You mean something like a moped?
  • 22 1
 #WENEEDMORERACES !!!!! This is a bummer !! I WANT MORE!!
  • 10 0
 Next year there is a possibility of wc race in Maribor...
  • 10 0
 we need a USA world cup,there are so many great places,i know windham's a great rather short course but think about the potential.
  • 7 1
 @jo1212man: Agree. Problem is, almost none of the major ski resorts care to pay the ridiculous fee and accommodations (bribes) the UCI demands for a WC DH?XC race. I know a few folks out here in the Colorado ski industry and the major mountains can afford it, but don't need it. They have plenty of demand for the tourist ski season and other major summertime events bring in decent money without the crazy expenses of a UCI race. There have been a few in the past and the resorts can look at what they have to pay vs. what they get out of it...It isn't worth it.
  • 2 0
 Would like to see some footage of that track wet as all I've seen is bone dry. It's short but you see how insanely close the times are. This one is a real mental game, one root , rock, unscrubbed jump ( that is a word now) and it's over. That would make me nervous knowing you have to be beyond perfect. Going to be a tight one tmrw!
  • 2 0
 @bman33: The other problem is that most of the CO resorts are on FS and need permits to build anything, which makes a temporary WC course features impractical.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: Great point, forgot about that. I am sure the FS bureaucracy is a nightmare to navigate. That only adds to the fact about it just not being worth it.
  • 1 0
 @jo1212man: do a little digging and you will find that windham is already printing brochures claiming to be hosting 2019 world champs. Im assuming they wouldn’t be dumping money into marketing if this wasn’t a sure thing at this point. I hope.
  • 3 0
 @pargolf8: Ste Anne is hosting lol
  • 1 1
 @bman33: my small bug-bear about this is that WC races/events (of any sort) shouldn't be left up to individual resorts or locations to host. These events are not only good for the venue, or the surrounding area, but also for the sport as a whole. There's an opportunity going begging for development and growth of the sport on a much broader level. And not just a few pennies in the pockets of the resorts owners...
  • 1 0
 @sarah-maude: so they have a regular stop there and then going back for world champs? Show me proof or im calling fake news, sarah
  • 1 0
 @sarah-maude: damnit, i found it Smile
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8:

Cheated
I'm from Mont Sainte Anne Wink
  • 13 0
 "Miranda Miller bossing out a race run nac-nac"

I had to laugh at this because in that picture it's obvious she has come unglued and is just barely holding on. She was lucky to ride it out.....well, maybe not lucky just skilled enough to bring it back in.
  • 14 2
 A Nac Nac that ain’t.
  • 7 0
 Big respect for throwing out that banger Miranda, and in the rain. One footer, definitely not a nac nac but you still get the points because the rear tire doesn't look very comforting there to say the least.. Scrub on!
  • 9 1
 So happy for Gee. Dedication and commitment.
  • 4 0
 Zero daylight between Dean Lucas' handlebar and that tree... at race pace and in those conditions... man I love WC DH racing!

(granted the photo perspective may make it look closer than it actually was)
  • 5 0
 So excited to watch the race and so excited to see Gee on the top for qualies!
  • 5 0
 Any indication that some of the top contenders took it easy because there are no qualifying points? Strange results.
  • 3 1
 How bout a nod to all the team mechanics that not only dial these bikes in after every run as well as replace tires, rebuild wheels, suspension and everything else that riders need. In addition, almost all these photos make these bikes look like they are brand new every run regardless of conditions. Nice job mates!!
  • 2 0
 I wonder how effective a front fender would be for keeping the mud off the goggles? I ride a small one year round (admittedly at trail bike speeds) and rarely get spray onto my riding glasses.
Still, props to the photographers, rain and mud make it seem really moody and intense. I'd imagine the state of the their gear may look similar to some of the bikes. Roll on tomorrow.
  • 5 0
 That shot of the kestrel is wild!!
  • 6 1
 Atherton and Atherton for the wins please ☺
  • 1 0
 ☺☺☺
  • 6 0
 But Luca's moving into XC for other reasons... Wink
  • 4 1
 Delighted for Gee, great to see him back at the very sharp end of things. Those pics of Loic are outstanding too- His fom is ridiculous!
  • 5 0
 Idea: start an ebike towing/shuttle service...
  • 2 0
 I said it: probable muddy conditions will please our fellow Brits: Gee did it!!! Congrats to him and let it be till the end. That course won`t be boring; for sure, it`s gonna be fla-bber-gas-ting Smile
  • 5 2
 Nice nac Miranda! Go Gwin, get those roll offs dialed.
  • 3 0
 Like a boss!
  • 8 0
 Looks more like a sac-nac of you look closely
  • 28 0
 @leviatanouroboro: I think you mean a clam slam.
  • 12 0
 @leviatanouroboro: beaver banger
  • 1 0
 Was that just poor timing of the photograph? Looks like a one footer to me
  • 6 0
 @steelpolish: cooter booter
  • 1 2
 Bum scrub
  • 3 0
 Gwin raced at Val De Sole too...
  • 4 1
 Gee is back... Thirion too.
  • 4 0
 Gee man back on form.
  • 3 0
 Both Hannah’s qualified. My day is made
  • 3 0
 Damn! Finn Iles copying my style!
  • 3 0
 Its lovely to see Gee shreding it again
  • 3 2
 I believe Aaron Gwin on a 29er will take the win 100%
  • 1 0
 Gwing is using a magic marry?
  • 1 0
 Magic Mary on Gwin’s bike !?!
  • 1 0
 How good are those pics. Epic.
  • 1 0
 Nice.
  • 4 3
 Gwin for the Win! USA
  • 1 0
 Epic pics as always
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