Qualifying Photo Epic: Starting From Zero - Maribor DH World Cup 2019

Apr 27, 2019
by Ross Bell  




Photo Epic presented by Five Ten

With a fresh season comes fresh opportunities. The previous season is swiftly forgotten and everyone starts from zero. Qualifying day in Maribor gave riders their first opportunity to get points on the board in a long season where consistency will reap rewards come World Cup finals in September. There’s always a buzz of nervous excitement at the first round of the year, the great unknown of who’s hot and who’s not… Today we were given our first clues. Although that said, our first indication of the pecking order may still remain somewhat blurry.

The word “rain” has been muttered up and down the pits all week, it wasn’t a case of if, it was a case of when. Having practiced on a dry track all weekend, in true World Cup fashion mother nature threw a curveball minutes before the start of elite qualifying as the heavens opened and soaked the track, changing the dynamic of the qualifying session in doing so. Those outside the protected places would have a nervous wait in the start hut as they contemplated rain-soaked roots and hardpack sections more akin to an ice rink than a mountain bike track. Plenty of big hitters would be caught out, atop the list was the man who won last time Maribor hosted a World Cup. Greg Minnaar will not take to the start ramp tomorrow. It’s days like these that protected riders sigh in relief.

The two riders to master and adapt to the changing conditions the quickest were Tracey Hannah and Mark Wallace who’ll both have the honour of wearing the leader's jersey as they drop in last tomorrow. In behind Wallace is Gwin who’ll be hungry to return to the top step given it’s been over a year since he stood on the 1st place step, but he’s not the only one knocking on the door. Names like Iles, Greenland, Vergier, Brosnan, and Harrison follow in quick succession. Tracey Hannah seized the initiative today in the worsening conditions and looks comfortable wet or dry, and whilst it’s no surprise to see Atherton and Seagrave hot on her heels, it’s the rider down in 15th position who had eyebrows raising the furthest. Marine Cabirou was going green and up at all the splits until she hit the dirt in the final sector. She looks to be relishing her move to SCOTT and will be one to watch all season. In the junior categories, it was the two that dominated 2018 who got out the blocks the quickest, Holl and Daprela starting this season where they left off at the end of ‘18.

Just a little off the top.
Just a little off the top.

Slovenian storms seem to be swirling around leaving tomorrow s forecast a mystery.
Slovenian storms seem to be swirling around leaving tomorrow's forecast a mystery.

Brook and Luca sharing their shoulder trauma stories.
Brook and Luca sharing their shoulder trauma stories.

The man. MW.
The man. MW.

Loic Bruni enjoying the view before the inevitable clouds rolled in.
Loic Bruni enjoying the view before the inevitable clouds rolled in.

Name that rider with signature WC move.
Name that rider with signature WC move.

Danny Hart digging into a rooty compression before the rains came.
Danny Hart digging into a rooty compression before the rains came.

Jamie Edmondson was having a rough mourning.
Jamie Edmondson was having a rough morning.

Another local going well is Devinci s Jure Zabjek his 2018 was plagued by injuries but it looks like he s back up to speed now.
Another local going well is Devinci's Jure Zabjek, his 2018 was plagued by injuries but it looks like he's back up to speed now.

It s good to see George Brannigan back swinging off a downhill bike. After a while on the sidelines with injury he returns and qualifies 10th.
It's good to see George Brannigan back swinging off a downhill bike. After a while on the sidelines with injury, he returns and qualifies 10th.

Anna Newkirk has some good support behind her this season and slotted into second just under 10 seconds back from Vali Holl.
Anna Newkirk has some good support behind her this season and slotted into second, just under 10 seconds back from Vali Holl.

Greg Minnaar will be resigned to spectating tomorrow but you can count on him to come out all guns blazing in Fort William. A very happy hunting ground for Minnaar.
Greg Minnaar will be resigned to spectating tomorrow but you can count on him to come out all guns blazing in Fort William. A very happy hunting ground for Minnaar.

Tracey Hannah looked fastest in practice and backed it up with a win in qualifying. With points being awarded in qualifying that means she is now the current Series leader.
Tracey Hannah looked fastest in practice and backed it up with a win in qualifying. With points being awarded in qualifying that means she is now the current Series leader.

Just off the top 10 and in 11th for Jacob Dickson
Just off the top 10 and in 11th for Jacob Dickson

Nina Hoffman found some extra in the tank for fourth place.
Nina Hoffmann found some extra speed in the tank for fourth place.

Easily one of the fastest in practice Alex Fayolle dodged a bullet in his qualifier. After a run marred by crashes he would finish as lucky number 60 to claim the final spot on the start list
Easily one of the fastest in practice, Alex Fayolle dodged a bullet in his qualifier. After a run marred by crashes he would finish as lucky number 60 to claim the final spot on the start list

Sam Blenkinsop s run wasn t what he was looking for but luckily he is a protected rider and will still go through to the finals
Sam Blenkinsop's run wasn't what he was looking for, but luckily he is a protected rider and will still go through to the finals

Kye A Hern ended up 3rd when the clock stopped ticking albeit 5 seconds back on Daprela.
Kye A'Hern ended up 3rd when the clock stopped ticking, albeit five seconds back on Daprela.

The rock garden has claimed many victims both bikes and bodies.
The rock garden has claimed many victims, both bikes and bodies.

Legends of Maribor s past.
Legends of Maribor's past.

Cathrovision getting the scoop on the best-thought-out lines in the biz.
Cathrovision getting the scoop on the best-thought-out lines in the biz.

Charlie Harrison stoked on today s result and ready to get to racing tomorrow.
Charlie Harrison stoked on today's result and ready to get to racing tomorrow.

A solid start to the season for Tahnee Seagrave who ll look to go two better tomorrow.
A solid start to the season for Tahnee Seagrave who'll look to go two better tomorrow.

Laurie Greenland wasn t hesitating through the rock garden it showed in both his riding and qualifying result.
Laurie Greenland wasn't hesitating through the rock garden, it showed in both his riding and qualifying result.

Troy Brosnan takes sixth in qualifying today.
Troy Brosnan takes sixth in qualifying today.

Charlie Harrison had his first ever top ten qualifing result. Harrison takes 7th.
Charlie Harrison had his first ever top ten qualifying result. Harrison takes 7th.

Loris Vergier kept it fast and smooth in the grease to qualify fifth today.
Loris Vergier kept it fast and smooth in the grease to qualify fifth today.

A strong showing for Monika Hrastnik so far on home soil she s been getting some of the loudest cheers from the crowd.
A strong showing for Monika Hrastnik so far on home soil, she's been getting some of the loudest cheers from the crowd.

Another World Cup and another winning qualifying run from Vali Holl
Another World Cup and another winning qualifying run from Vali Holl

Marine Cabirou was flying down the course set for the fastest time according to the splits. Unfortunately that was all taken away near the bottom.
Marine Cabirou was flying down the course and was set for the fastest time according to the splits. Unfortunately, that was all taken away near the bottom.

3rd in juniors for Mille Johnset
3rd in juniors for Mille Johnset

What a run for Canadian Mark Wallace who made short work of the rain to qualify first ahead of Aaron Gwin.
What a run for Canadian Mark Wallace who made short work of the rain to qualify first ahead of Aaron Gwin.

Still number one but not the last man down the hill tomorrow. Will Pierron ride the hotseat until the end
Still number one, but not the last man down the hill tomorrow. Will Pierron ride the hot seat until the end?

A top 10 for Bruni and rainbow stripes today.
A top 10 for Bruni and his rainbow stripes today.

How hard did Rachel Atherton push Certainly not as hard as she always does on Sundays...
How hard did Rachel Atherton push? Certainly not as hard as she always does on Sundays...

Daprela s still on top for 2019 - 2.83 seconds up on Shandro this afternoon.
Daprela's still on top for 2019 - 2.83 seconds up on Shandro this afternoon.

Neko Mullaly roosting off into the deep dark woods.
Neko Mullaly roosting off into the deep dark woods.

The round 1 winning machine could only take the first two splits and had to settle for second today.
The round one winning machine could only take the first two splits and had to settle for second today.

Despite a crash on on of the open turns near the top Gee Atherton was able to make it down in 33rd.
Despite a crash on one of the open turns near the top, Gee Atherton was able to make it down in 33rd.

At the very top of Maribor lay a pot of gold.
At the very top of Maribor lay a pot of gold.

When rain starts to fall on hard packed sections of track things pretty much turn into an ice rink. The riders who came down before the rain saturated and softened things up a bit definitely had their hands full.
When the rain starts to fall on hard packed sections of track things pretty much turn into an ice rink. The riders who came down before the rain-saturated and softened things up a bit definitely had their hands full.

Things on track turned from heaven to hell in a matter of moments.
The track turned from heaven to hell in a matter of moments.

2nd in qualifying for Rachel Atherton behind Tracey Hannah
2nd in qualifying for Rachel Atherton behind Tracey Hannah

The final corner ends just past the tree line making it extremely slippery for riders already leaned over and fully committed. Sadly this crash resulted in a very broken wrist and we wish the riders a speedy and strong recovery.
The final corner ends just past the tree line, making it extremely slippery for riders already leaned over and fully committed. Sadly this crash resulted in a very broken wrist, and we wish the rider a speedy and strong recovery.

Brook MacDonald has a lot more to show tomorrow having slid out in the second turn.
Brook MacDonald has a lot more to show tomorrow having slid out in the second turn.

Finn Isles was on fire today and took third in quallies.
Finn Iles was on fire today and took third in qualies.

Mariana Salazar was fastest through the speed trap en-route to 9th place.
Mariana Salazar was fastest through the speed trap en-route to 9th place.

A strong start to World Cup life for Ethan Shandro in second.
A strong start to World Cup life for Ethan Shandro in second.

Loic got the rainbow stripes dirty for the first time win 2019
Loic got the rainbow stripes dirty for the first time win 2019

And then things started to get really dark.
And then things started to get really dark.

25th fot the defending champ Amaury Pierron.
25th for the defending champ, Amaury Pierron.

Tracey Hannah s new World Cup leaders vest
Tracey Hannah's new World Cup leaders vest

Loic was fastest in timed training yesterday and kept things dialed back a bit in the wet. 9th on the day with lots of speed in reserve
Loic was fastest in timed training yesterday and kept things dialed back a bit in the wet. 9th on the day with lots of speed in reserve

Looks who s back. George Brannigan s back. 10th first WC qualies back after a long injury hiatus.
Looks who's back. George Brannigan's back. 10th in his first WC qualies back after a long injury hiatus.

Today was a hard one to swallow for many. Not only did crashing mean first year elite Henry Kerr failed to qualify it left him with some pretty nasty battle scars too.
Today was a hard one to swallow for many. Not only did crashing mean first-year elite Henry Kerr failed to qualify, but it also left him with some pretty nasty battle scars too.

One of those days for more than few names big and small.
One of those days for more than a few names, big and small.

When fresh first mixes with fresh rain things get really messy in a hurry
When fresh first mixes with fresh rain things get really messy in a hurry

The sun came out once the day was done but it was still raining. With more of the wet stuff in the forecast for tomorrow the finals might get a bit wild.
The sun came out once the day was done, but it was still raining. With more of the wet stuff in the forecast for tomorrow, the finals might get a bit wild.


MENTIONS: @natedh9 @davetrumpore @mdelorme @andy9 @rossbellphoto @FiveTen




51 Comments

  • + 113
 The crash shot looks like the all time best scrub lol!
  • + 11
 I actually thought it was a scrub from the thumbnail...the all time best it would have been.
  • + 5
 Lowest-stylest-one-handed scrub ever.
  • + 102
 The look on George Brannigans face is wholesome, so happy to see him back up there. Good day for the Canadians too, Mark in 1st and Finn in 3rd - Stevie would be proud.
  • + 16
 I’m genuinely happy for both Mark and Finn. That’s a big performance for Mark and great to see him getting up into the mix, and it’s nice to see Finn get a taste of success in the big leagues.
  • + 12
 #longlivechainsaw
  • + 3
 Stoked to see George back too, just hope he keeps it rubber side down for the race!
  • + 79
 Rider 59 is not just a number, he is, according to the entry list (www.pinkbike.com/news/entry-list-maribor-world-cup-dh-2019.html), Eliot Rossignol, a French junior.

Speedy recovery Eliot.
  • + 45
 Am I the only one to quickly scroll passed some really great pics to get to that click-bait shot!?

I feel guilty.
  • + 11
 I always fast forward to the money shot. I feel dirty.
  • + 9
 Was about to do so, but all these shots are so epic I had to stop and stare at each one of them !
  • + 3
 @watchmen: you're Welsh you are dirty lol
  • + 11
 Fucking elbow pads! Seriously. They do work. It took me about 20 years of the wife yelling about bloody sheets and then capped it off with a week in hospital to get to that perspective.
  • + 8
 I ALWAYS wear them on park or shuttle laps. Can't understand, why so many racers don't.
  • + 2
 I was thinking the same
  • + 3
 @Werratte: I think for a lot of riders (myself included) elbow pads give them really bad arm pump. I find that in order to get them tight enough that they don't slide down when riding, the blood flow to my forearms and hands gets choked off and my arms get burn up really quick.
  • - 1
 @eblackwell: arm pump... on a 4 min. run
Have you ever done a MX-race? Ok, a 20 min. ride down a mountain is pretty much the same, but for you and me, it is very difficult, to compare different pads under such conditions.
For you, me and at least 99% of the other readers here.
On the other side, there are sponsored riders. Sponsored by: manufacturers of ellbow pads, etc.
By not riding with their stuff, they bring me the message: This stuff doesn't work!
So, what do we pay (by buying their products) these manufacturers for, if they don't care for functional products?
  • + 10
 That photo of a rider 59 going sooooo sideways is just brutal
  • + 9
 Rider 59 is doing the world's greatest scrub over that jump.
  • + 7
 I’m guilty of scrolling down to the click bait shot as well... but man I have to give kudos the the photo guys this season! Awesome!
  • + 8
 The photos this season so far are just TOP NOTCH!
  • + 7
 Local man Jure making Slovenia proud!
  • + 5
 Man, and I thought Brook's arms looked bad... poor Kerr!
  • + 6
 Why don't racers where elbow/forearm pads? Do they really feel like they're going to slow them down? Is it just not the habit/style now?
  • + 1
 @MarcusBrody: It’s funny how cumbersome they can feel. I wore them religiously up until three or four years ago. I’m not sure what changed.
  • + 2
 @MarcusBrody: Yeah I remember full Dainese suits and so on. Perhaps there's so few races per year, they feel can go quicker and risk injury, then heal in time?
I'm not sure to be honest, but I'm surprised there isn't more protection, mind you, perhaps it ain't cool like skinsuits. I mean it's not like they race against the clock or anything....
  • + 1
 Savage. Maybe they can graft some skinning on from old mates arse in the Friday Fails...
  • + 2
 Noticed hardly any riders using neck braces anymore. Has it finally been proven they dont work or is it just not cool these days?
  • + 2
 Yeah I noticed that, even Danny Hart who has been one of the main advocates has dropped his. Could just be too distracting? I've never worn one by some look to be pretty compact.
  • + 1
 @danlovesbikes: Yeah its interesting. I had one years ago and hated it. What has always interested me is how most of the bigs names in the mtb industry didnt design their own. I heard from a good source that a big name brand did their own research into neck braces and found they could actually cause even worse injuries than they were trying to prevent. If they really did work i am sure all the big brands would have their own and it would be as common as knee pads and gloves.
  • + 1
 @Matt76: yeah maybe, or could be a sleeping giant like knee pads. In 20yrs we'll all be wearing them!
  • + 1
 @danlovesbikes: possibly
  • + 1
 A lot of ski cross and downhillers use an air bag for protection now. Would these be applicable to mountain bike DH? Dianese make one called D-air.
  • + 1
 @Someoldfart: I feel like they would be to unpredictable. They do go off when they detect a crash?
  • + 3
 Sad for the racers who came down in shit conditions, and didn't qualify. Thats racing. Heal up quick!
  • + 2
 59. Shot of the year. Not so great for the rider unfortunately. Can't wait for the race.
  • + 2
 Wasn't it raining through qualifying? Looks dry bar a couple of photos.
  • + 1
 I think a bunch of the shots are from practice.
  • + 1
 Great to see Anna Newkirk getting some coverage at last. She’s got a great future ahead of her.
  • + 1
 Anyone know what happened to Magnus? Heard he was doing well at 1st splits but then dropped.
  • + 1
 "And then things started to get really dark".. but his mum made him wear his hi-viz socks..
  • + 1
 That Bubba Scrub didn't end well.
  • + 2
 59 photo is awesome!!!
  • + 1
 #59... THAT SCRUB!!!! That beat Peaty's from Ft Bill last year! Wink Eek
  • + 1
 Unfortunatelly that ended bad, it's a great pic though!
  • + 2
 amazing pics.
  • + 0
 Fantastic shots of all the Heros !
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