Pinkbike Poll: Could You Make it Down a World Cup Downhill Course?

Jun 8, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
The World Champ just hanging in the ether.
Danny Hart doing what he does best.

If you were to take a poll of all the fans at an American football game I bet you'd find that many of them can barely remember the last time they actually played football (or ran further than from the couch to the refrigerator for that matter). Conduct the same poll at a mountain bike race and I'm fairly certain you'd have very different results - spectators at a mountain bike race tend to be regular participants in the sport themselves, even if it's not at the level of the athletes that they're watching.

Now, I've long since accepted the fact that that I'll never, ever be able to dunk a basketball, throw a football farther than ten feet, or make contact with anything other than a slow pitch softball. For that reason, when I watch any organized team sport I'm firmly in the role of a spectator. There's no part of me that thinks, “Put me in coach – I could do better.” Put on a downhill mountain bike race and it's a different story, and before long I'm sitting at the edge of my seat, imagining what it would be like to be there.


Kade Edwards went second in juniors just 1.5 seconds behind newcomer Thibault Daprela.
Looking for smooth, flowy trails? You won't find them here.


Of course, that's pure fantasy – World Cup DH tracks are waaay gnarlier in real life than they appear on the screen. Take Fort William, for example. I remember thinking that it didn't look that hard based on the photos and videos I'd seen over the years. Those white rocks almost seemed smooth, a cobblestone sidewalk that wound its way down the mountain. No big deal, right? Wrong. I had the opportunity to check out the race as a spectator a few years ago, and the brutality of the track took me by surprise. The sound of rims being smashed into oblivion was the first hint that it was rougher than I'd envisioned, and then a closer look revealed just how nasty that course truly is. It's full of punishing, jarring rock sections, and even if it was in my backyard I'm not sure that I'd want to ride it more than a few times a year.


After taking the top spot at the first two Enduro World Series rounds just a few weeks ago Cecile Ravanel landed herself on the podium at her second ever Word Cup DH race.
Would you send it?


That's the case with many of the World Cup tracks – even the ones that armchair commentators call out as being too 'bike parky' are full of frighteningly fast sections, big jumps, and sections that are much, much steeper than what the average mountain biker would feel comfortable riding.

That's the basis of this week's poll – if you were given the chance to drop into a World Cup DH track, would you?



Could you make it down a World Cup downhill track?




289 Comments

  • + 459
 Those people who think they might be able to qualify are either extremely fast or extremely deluded. The skill required to be among the top 60 at an event like this goes far beyond being a top dog on strava on your local trail network. Anyone in the top 60 would likely destroy 99.9% of the pinkbike audience on their local trails. And the top guys are an order of magnitude above that.
  • + 70
 nail on the head
  • + 13
 vimeo.com/205251673

This is enduro but point proven haha
  • + 4
 And at the time of my comment there's 77 people who have answered with the first option...
  • + 47
 I'm going to run with "extremely deluded".

If you could qualify for a WC with 'a little practice' I'm guessing you would do just that.

And it's one thing to be fast as hell, and quite another to put it all on the line among the worlds' best and actually perform to your capability at that very moment in time.
  • - 10
flag Dustfarter (Jun 8, 2018 at 12:30) (Below Threshold)
 True. Although here in Souther California there are quite a few trails where top pros have run Strava and judging off that some of the locals are pretty handy on their local. Not that Strava is dead accurate or anything but being within a second or two faster or slower is still fairly impressive and it would be hard to tell who was fastest if you just watched them ride by.
  • + 7
 120 lyers to date... Wink
  • + 4
 @airsoftesneeto: I had watched that when it came out, but upon rewatching the speed he carries through corners is insane. I would be skidding all over the place where Richie doesn't appear to even slow down.
  • + 26
 95%+ of people who set foot on a bike couldn't clear a 5 foot gap let alone ride a DH course. Pink Bike's demographic might be a bit different.
  • + 6
 i think there should be an answer in between the first and second options probably those guys who feel in between went for the first
  • + 20
 @Dustfarter: I'm willing to bet that the top guys know when to turn on "race mode" and put it all on the line... and that they aren't doing that when out for a ride on the weekend.
  • + 15
 Thats a lot of people on drugs.
#Mmmkaay
  • - 2
 i rode it but i certainly wouldn't qualify for the next 7 years at least
  • + 38
 As a cat 1 DH racer, I think I could get down the course without too much issue. I also think would have a hard time matching the top woman's times.... Pro men and women are on another level!
  • + 4
 @scofflaw23: He makes it looks smooth too. I could hang for the first two corners maybe then he'd drop me, and I'd probably nail a tree trying to keep up.
  • + 13
 So true. I’ve done valnord and champery. A lot harder thank you think, braking all the way down! In redbulltv seems só easy...
  • + 27
 I think I'd have decent chances to qualify among junior women, does that count?
  • + 52
 @kram: remi metailler tried to qualify many times and failed; if regular Pinkbike users think they are faster than him they indeed are extremely deluded.
  • + 8
 @scofflaw23: That's what blows my mind. Sure I feel alright about hammering through bumpy stuff going straight, but cornering like that is wizardry.
  • + 1
 @Dustfarter: I'm guessing those trails are nowhere near as difficult as fort bill
  • + 5
 @Trevorjn: lots of pros hide their best times too and some even have alternate profiles with fake names.
  • + 12
 @makripper: yup. Check out “Marshawn Lynch” in the Seattle area. Consistently in the top 3 on almost any segment. I’ve got no idea which pro he is, but I’m quite sure it’s not actually the Marshawn Lynch who plays football for the Seattle Seahawks.
  • + 42
 +1 this.

Brendan Fairclough rode my local DH trail here in Switzerland last year - when I watched the video, I was speechless at just how mind blowing his riding was. He was not just an order of magnitude above even the quickest guys on the course, it was another universe.

I had to laugh as I broke my wrist on one section 2 years ago - a bad pedal strike sent me cartwheeling... Brendan took that section at 1.5 meters altitude on a line I'd never even conceived of in maybe 100 runs...
  • + 2
 @DrPete: I was following one i assumed was neko Mullally. Not to sure. He had the fastest a line lap for quite a while but was based out of somewhere in the Midwest.
  • + 13
 Drunk. I lied.
  • + 3
 @Dustfarter: i'm just as fast on a local trail as a german broduro champ. It's a 45s trail with little to no technical parts. Maybe i should take the First Option instead of Option three...on Strava i usually am top 5 to 10% with a little practice. On a DH Eurocup Level i'm usually top 95%. Anyone who can qualify at a World Cup DH race is a god on two wheeles.
  • + 0
 I think many of us fall under , * would make it down easy ( not in any fast time ) but would never ever qualify for A WC event*

I'd love to ride leogand on my meta v4 and I'm 90% I'd make it down without putting A foot down , but probably in like 10mins if not more
  • + 2
 @kram: even with the talent to do it, the dedication it takes most to qualify within the top 60 isn’t always worth it, especially when you’re at an age where you need to choose between school and racing
  • + 3
 @DrPete: bro lynch is not a seahawk anymore.
  • + 6
 @cool3: some PB users have raced world cups Wink
  • + 8
 @Trevorjn: For reference, on a local trail, a top local put down a 4:10 time. In the EWS race, Jesse Melamed, put down a 3:30
  • + 7
 @ScandiumRider: they also think their penis is more then 6 inches long.
  • + 1
 I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of people that are that fast but have no interest in racing or just simply couldn’t afford to race at that level. But yeah I agree the majority of people who said yes are probably dreaming. But there are some really fast casual riders out there.
  • + 40
 I rode with Loic Bruni on my local trails in Canada...He said : "Go ahead, it's the first time I hit this trail, you'll be faster". But I wanted to see him ride so I decided to let him go first. I was FULL SPEED and risking it on trails I rode 100 times and he was just playing around like it was nothing! And I'm one of those guys who's got good times on Strava (so it REALLY means nothing). These guys are there for a reason...
  • + 5
 @jscyr: Ha, how modest of him.
  • + 6
 @jtayabji: ah, you’re right. That’s what giving zero f**ks about football gets me.
  • + 65
 I passed Ratboy during a race when he got a flat, my proudest racing accomplishment so far.
  • - 10
flag Jsmoke (Jun 8, 2018 at 15:13) (Below Threshold)
 a lot of fast people don't go out and race because they don't like racing... The best in the world at any given sport may not actually be the best if you lined everyone up...... food for thought.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: Oh man that's awesome!!
  • + 2
 @Jsmoke: There might be a couple, but think of all the bikers you've ever seen. How many would say are at the top 50 in the world level? I've ridden at Whistler a lot, and no amateurs I saw could even think of keeping up with the world's elite.
  • + 5
 I'm going with deluded.

I've ridden a dirt bike around Washougal, doesn't make me a top tier MX racer. Surviving =/= racing.
  • + 0
 I made it down the old Windham course on bike and skis, not Gwin like admitted. The Croatia track looks like MT Creek to me, rock on rock. Hell no I wouldn't qualify but have ridden with the likes of Hill, Needles, Atkinson etc. Def not on their level but double diamond runs on the regular. Honestly riding with those guys is way more humbling than the local pro's, but yes making it thru no doubt.
  • + 0
 @jtayabji: he will always be a seahawk!
  • + 7
 Steve Smith still holds some fast Strava times on my local trails here in Nanaimo. I have struggled to beat his times and I consider myself to be a fit and fast rider. I should also mention that the segment times that I am pushing to beat are on the uphills, World Cup guys are incredibly fit and fast.
  • + 1
 @airsoftesneeto: In the 80s we'd ride that trail full-rigid, but there wouldn't be wooden bridges or ramps. We'd dismount, cross the gullies or deadfall trees, then stick our feet in the toe-clips and go some more. When you jump full-rigid, you learn to land smoothly.
  • + 1
 @Marc2211:
He rides some of our local spots and the lines he takes are mental
  • + 5
 I could if I had 3 years of practice on the course... 5 years ago.... there's a reason you don't see many if any local shredders who aren't regulars on the circuit making the finals at these stops. I would say if you're consistently top 10 in your country, you could do it. If you're a casual racer or someone who only looks fast in edits after multiple attempts, you're full of shit.

In 2006 I had the experience of riding a shorter but steep segment of the Canadian DH course in Whistler at WC pace (according to Tyler Morland's opinion) and the next time I tried that same line at that speed, I tomahawked into the woods and was lucky to walk away without a broken back. These guys are f*cked up fast and consistent, which is the biggest factor.
  • + 1
 @airsoftesneeto: lol I watched that... At first I was like "Whaddya mean? That isn't that fast." Then just before 0:40 he opened it up and I went... "Oh." Rest of video = "So that's what he meant. Holy crap."
  • + 37
 That’s actually not a bad idea for a pink bike video series: Race a Local. Get pro racers to race locals on their own local tracks.
  • + 4
 Go race Fontana and see how stack up. Gwin is there all the time@Dustfarter:
  • + 8
 So true. Normal riders think I'm fast and I do have some top 10 starvas on my local trails. But then I go to an enduro race and I'm near the bottom... and that's just local enduro. It's weird switching roles on group rides between being one of the fastest and being one of the slowest.
  • - 9
flag DaFreerider44 (Jun 8, 2018 at 17:55) (Below Threshold)
 if I had a downhill bike and practiced I probably could
  • + 1
 @DrPete: hahahaha !! love it !!
  • + 0
 I used to be a mid pack pro racer, you're right, @Zaeius. In the end, some people just don't have the gears to make it happen.
  • - 2
 You fuggazi riders couldn't go thru a paper bag. Swag all over your crew.
  • + 1
 @tiagomano: I concur
  • + 0
 @DrPete: I dunno, dude does have some skills youtu.be/tffrDU1b_DI
  • - 2
 I got pay your mama billz skillz, YouTube can't hang. Pretty formidable on a bike also. Hey I just work here!
  • - 1
 @fecalmaster: shhh don't tell them that Wink that's the trick
  • - 3
 @makripper: I ain't said nuthin while saying something,,, you dig?
  • + 5
 @Jsmoke: totally disagree. Maybe 20-30 years ago, but the dedication given by professional athletes these days is not healthy. I truely think you have to have a mental problem to put in the hours and discipline required these days.
  • + 3
 @pbuser23411: top 30 uci xco rider held KOM on a local uptrail so my friend set to beat his time, he rented spec ebike, put it to turbo mode and rode straight up the road (our uptrail is based on a steep dirt road that we have made smoother with many extensions around steep parts)... He improved the time by 2s...
  • - 6
flag fecalmaster (Jun 8, 2018 at 23:38) (Below Threshold)
 The top 30 can never get dirty, my dills slick from the squirty,,, who want to compare wins to my flirty.
  • - 9
flag gjedijoe (Jun 9, 2018 at 2:19) (Below Threshold)
 I ride Aaron Gwins favorite track all the time, rockier and steeper than any UCI event. Redbull hardline on the other hand I wouldn't touch
  • - 2
 Never say never
  • + 2
 @gjedijoe: LOL so you got to ride the Hardline trail and all UCI DH stops, eh?
  • + 1
 I feel like more stipulations are needed. Is this on a DH bike? Is it allowed to follow people over sections to learn the speed for the jumps and get shown the lines? I feel like on a DH bike with enough time to learn the track and following people I probably could ride it top to bottom. But on my trail bike with limited practice I definitely couldn't do it without riding around bits.
  • + 1
 @winko: Good job!
  • + 1
 @airsoftesneeto: that landing at around the 2:05 mark.....yeesh.
  • - 1
 @Jsmoke: don’t see all the hate your right it’s an extremely expensive sport to compete in. I think people forget that sometimes there are plenty of poor riders out there that are extremely fast.
  • + 2
 @DrPete: i saw "president trump" in my area
  • + 1
 Neko is Ricky Morningwood on Strava I’m pretty sure. Doesn’t post much anymore @makripper:
  • + 2
 @kram: You know it man, I've been there and done that putting it out there with the best in the world.
I once qualified w the best in the World but, didn't dare check that I thought I could now.
EVERRYTHING in your life has to be on point and pointing towards that goal to actually do it.
It's like telling everyone you a badass... Pointless, because if you truly are a badass Pro
they already know. So hopefully the guys who checked that box are currently or have recently
actually done that feat Qualify with the best in the World.
You have to be perfect on every local trail and get the PR every run to be consistent enough
to bring that on a given day against the Best!
  • + 1
 @kram: Much like their careers in Pro Porn I Imagine..or they imagine.
  • + 0
 Can you not read? I said I wouldn't touch hardline. I would die. World Cup tracks I'd absolutely ride as I ride steeper rockier tracks regularly. Would I qualify? I have no clue. Don't know what the top 60 is like. @scott-townes:
  • - 2
 And gwin himself says that the track I'm speaking of is the most technical race of the year, which is why he always shows up and wins mid UCI season @scott-townes:
  • + 2
 @gjedijoe: curious which track you’re on about
  • + 2
 @luis-beri: me too! Vallnord wc on an enduro bike, made it to the bottom but almost end my life on the steepest parts; also track walk at lourdes, what a gnarly track! the pro lines are just insane.
  • + 2
 I'm 35, I'm not married, I have no kids, and really, no life prospects. I could get down with my low inhibition to 'succeed' at life, but qualifying.... yeah, maybe for the under 10's. And that's a not very confident maybe.
  • + 2
 Cheer up, you still have 5 years to loose your virginity.
  • + 1
 but the top 60 women....
  • + 0
 @TuckerBikes: Lose my virginity to all top 60 woman..... can I have a rest in between ?
  • + 1
 Pretty sure it's the only Pro GRT event gwin attends every year, so it shouldn't be hard to find out. My point is mainly that too many tracks are lacking rocks. Losinj(?) is more what I like too see. Not flowy park runs with maybe 1 bumpy section. The old school tracks were better. @kleinblake:
  • + 1
 @gjedijoe: your line saying “most technical track of the year” threw me for a loop. He’s definitely referring to US races only. Mountain Creek has nothing on most World Cup tracks
  • + 103
 My WorldCup nickname would be "RideAound"
  • + 11
 can I be RideAround2
  • + 7
 @Three6ty: You can be Chicken Little Line. They call me Sketch.
  • + 4
 Title of your sex tape!
  • + 8
 That’s what Down Country is: ripping chicken lines with pride aka average pace championships. Racers fight for the best time, Down Countrists have lots of time.
  • + 95
 We all remember that dude who grabbed Adam Brayton's bike and tried to ride it down the rest of the way at Cairns.... Didn't go so well for him. Don't be that guy.
  • + 8
 In his defense, allegedly that had a lot more to do with the brakes being reversed to what he was used to.
  • + 29
 that dude was obviously hammered
  • + 8
 @kram: Australians and Brits use the same side for the front brake
  • + 32
 @kram: in his defense that was big bottle of whiskey he had for breakfast.
  • + 12
 @kingtut87: nah, its the same side for the back brake
  • + 4
 @kram: otherwise he would’ve won lol
  • + 11
 He was the kind of guy who answered #1 haha ...
  • + 1
 @scottyrides5: @oscartheballer: lol Thanks for the clip. That guy had no idea what the heck he was doing, bad positioning...he ate it OTB so hard... LOL.
  • + 6
 @oscartheballer: Did....did that guy die?
  • + 8
 @Macdo159: nope, he made a full recovery. Tbh that whole thing was crazy;

Adam Brayton hit a tree and broke his leg, he and the tree (or was it his bike) hit a spectator who also broke their leg... Then another guy rode down on Adam's bike, to the result we just saw. I believe they all ended up in the same ambulance...
  • + 2
 @Macdo159: iirc he broke his back but then recovered
  • + 71
 Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would've been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.
  • + 41
 I used to be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile
  • - 1
 @greasecheese7: I don't understand what you're talking about. What's a state? Mile? Pigskin?
  • + 8
 I could throw a football over that mountain
  • + 13
 Al bundy. 4 TD's. Polk High 1966
  • + 3
 @greasecheese7: livin in a big ol mansion, sitting in my hot tub
  • + 3
 Every London Taxi driver ever will tell you they had a trial at Tottenham or Chelsea or another top London football team. He would have made it if he hadn't tied his shoe laces too tight/sun was in his eyes etc
  • + 2
 @greasecheese7: Is that a flying pig skin?
  • + 59
 I walked the Fort William course on Sunday from top to bottom (by the side of it, obvs) and looking at some parts of it, I was mostly
f*ck.
That.
Shit.
Everyone that races on terrain like that, with the lines they take, at the speeds they reach, has skill by the f*ckton.
  • + 22
 Youtube vs. In Person...haha. Night and day.
  • + 8
 @w0dge always though I was a fairly good rider but rode Fort Bill around 6 years ago and was totally humbled. Best time was around 6.30 mins and only managed one complete run in two full days without needing to stop for arm pump. ????
  • + 6
 Fort Bill isn't that hard technically but it's long and hard on the hands for sure. It's a bit bumpy in places too. Can't wait to see Andorra for world masters.
  • + 3
 "Long and hard on the hands" hehehehe
  • + 57
 I could win the whole series... but I would rather watch from my computer instead because its more comfortable
  • + 3
 haha Wink
  • + 2
 Classic
  • + 2
 No doubt, I'd win too, but I'm keeping it real, riding just for the love.
  • + 3
 I've got a dog that always pisses on the curtains, so I have to stay home to watch him........ but otherwise.....
  • + 33
 no box to tick for - yes I could make it down but I might pull over for a rest a couple of times
  • + 10
 My poor, poor hands
  • + 9
 I'd make it down no prob. Not sure I'd be able to stop falling long enough to rest though.
  • + 27
 The thing about many of the world cup tracks is that they can be ridden by lots of people, but the speed that the pros ride them at is what sets them apart. Not taking away anything from the pros obviously
  • + 34
 yes, but you need that type of speed to clear a 50fter.
  • + 11
 Yeah, this. I've ridden MSA and Bromont and they are really fun tracks. The flat-out speed big jumps I'm okay with, but it's the doubling in to rock faces and those serious consequence lines where I back off and ride it safer. If I had four days to just lap a track, work on sections and get comfortable I reckon I could add some of those lines, but never even close to the standard needed to qualify for a WC.
  • + 19
 There's no option that says "Having never seen a WC cup course up close, I have no idea. I think I could, but odds are i wouldn't fare very well." That's my answer. I would definitely give it a shot though, I have good insurance.
  • + 19
 Gwin is lucky I’ve got better things going on
  • + 18
 In a tank. Or an escalator. Or a zip line. Or an ambulance.
  • + 3
 @jakewashere : Definitely an ambulance!
  • + 2
 I could get down after destroying the track with an excavator for a few days
  • + 17
 I rode Fort Bill in the Endurance DH at 60 years old :-)
  • + 31
 It says you are 38 on your Pinkbike page...
  • + 109
 @dzembi: he used to be older.
  • + 12
 @dzembi: with our lower average life expectancy that's about the equivalent.
  • + 4
 @dzembi: classic bait and switch
  • + 8
 @scottzg: those were the good old times
  • + 6
 @dzembi: Face book does not list my age as far as I can see. Born in 1957 so work it out for yourself. I have a 36 year old daughter so being 38 is a long forgotten memory :-)
  • + 1
 @scottzg: hahaha that one got me. Thanks...haha
  • + 0
 @MysticMCyclist: He said "Pinkbike page" not facebook page. If you're telling the truth then you fudged something when setting up your pinkbike profile. It says "Male / 38" right below your user name on your profile.
  • + 1
 @scottzg: jajaajaj hi Benjamin
  • + 7
 @srjacobs: so he did. I did not even know Pinkbike had that info. 1/1/1980 looks like the default so I have reset it. I ride in the 60+ class in Scottish Enduro so I hope those guys don't look at pinkbike :-)
  • + 2
 @MysticMCyclist: pinkbike not facebook, and I see 60
  • + 11
 it's alright guys. PB now says he's 60. story checks out.
  • + 27
 @srjacobs: It all makes sense to me. 60+, confused between facebook and pinkbike, using fake profile for protection, sounds about right.
  • + 4
 @dzembi: ever hear of Benjamin Button?
  • + 8
 @t1000: ok fair cop ........ :-)
  • + 3
 A/S/L?????
  • + 16
 @splsce: dude, he's 60. Of course he doesn't know the difference between Pb and FB , it's just "the internet" to him.
  • + 1
 @cmcrawfo: don't kid yourself.. My 93 year old grandma kills Insta story and still golf's a solid nine holes plus drinks her craft beers specializing In double Ipa's! Ha
  • + 2
 @cmcrawfo: remember many years ago I was working for small company selling internet service to local companies where we built them a website also. This one cat i called on that owned a used car dealership said he had just one question after my sales pitch, " Do i get the whole internet, or just some of the internet?" LOL. Will never forget that response
  • + 14
 I destroyed a multi time world champ on my local trails a few years back, i was surprised how sketchy he looked to be honest. Not surprising, he was a darts world champ.
  • + 9
 Now fly Eddie Masters around to the local riding spots of those who think they could qualify and race them on their home turf. Would be very entertaining. Be cool for people to see the level these pros actually ride at.
  • + 1
 Not to mention, watching Eddie Masters in general is great viewing. If there was a 'fireplace' or 'fish tank' channel, but it was Eddie Masters, I'd watch it. Wow, that escalated fast.
  • + 7
 I consider myself to be an average rider, But no, I won't be trying the road gap at fort bill any time soon. One of my mates is a top 50 wc rider. I have occasionally gone for a ride with him. Whist I was having the run of my life he would be pissing about at his slow pace and still drop me. The level of skill and spacial awareness involved to be at that level is insane and only attained through a level of dedication and genetic predisposition held by very few people.
  • + 7
 Certainly there are sections rideable by even a moderate downhiller. Sure, bigger Rock gardens, drops and jumps may be ridden slowly or skipped entirely but that’s worth itstocsay you’ve ridden a World Cup DH course. Even if it meant a walk around here and there.

I don’t think anyone would argue that the pace in which the pros get down in unbelievable.

In a world where amateurs are saying I’d give it a whirl to where the pros are battling for milseconds... it’s different e da of the spectrum.
  • + 7
 I try Champery WC track in the Alps and it was OK,only a big crash in one of the steepest part in the middle of the trail. My bike continue the ride without me like 60 meters and I ran like mad very worried about her health but she was fine. I was wondering how Hart can jump and take off the google protector,if you see the place...there is a fall straight to Champery village on the right just a few hundred meters bellow. 100% respect for WC DH riders .I am years light away of that level.
  • + 4
 Many of us rode down that thing, its actually ok track to just ride down but to ride it at speed, no way... I also felt like dannys drop is doable, then I saw it in person and just said: f*ck that shit
  • + 2
 @winko: totally agree, one thing is ride the track,other thing is WC level&crazy speed...Going down ripping that track is not for average weekend warrior....
  • + 2
 Try ride down Champery WC track in the wet that would be a challenge?
  • + 1
 @aljoburr: that day was all wet,not raining but clouds all day till the sky opens. We were trap in a bar in the middle of nowhere for 2 hours or so. In the Alps,the terrain dry very fast but the weather is crazy.
  • + 1
 @winko: Shit looks a lot bigger when you're on top of it, and even bigger on top of your bike....
  • + 8
 There is a difference between riding it and riding it well. I could probably ride most of the tracks...no way I could ride any of them well.
  • + 4
 Yeah I've got down both fort bill and leogang and I'm a pretty mediocre rider but to make a comparison with world cup riders is a waste of time. While I did technically ride the whole track apart from the bigger gaps I was pretty much going at a snails pace and there was no way in hell I was getting anywhere further than a few hundred metres at a time before needing to take a break.
  • + 5
 330 people think that they are quicker than top 60 riders in world, less obviously if they are ladies....... ??????
Seriously????
How many trees do you need to hit your head on? how many mushrooms ? ...........Man alive............
  • + 2
 Lol it's up to 600 now. There's a lot of phonys on here, BIG FAT PHONYS.
  • + 0
 @BorisBC35: Lady here. I wish I could have picked the”I could qualify” and the “but i’ll probably still go around things” option.
  • + 2
 @BorisBC35: maybe people don't take this too seriously...
  • + 3
 @Braindrain: Or maybe lots of them are just full of shit
  • + 8
 Did Champery - it took about 30 minutes with lots of rest stops to figure where to go and the odd crash!
  • + 6
 First time I rode it was 2007 in the wet. Wait, did I say rode it? I meant to say I slid on my ass most of the way down. The track has been taimed since then but I will never forget that fear.
  • + 5
 I got to ride Val Di Sole one year right after the race. The tech sections were quite tough, and I rode around a few of the bigger lines, but they were not totally insane. The jumps were huge and way out of my league. The biggest challenge for me was the sustained fitness required. I stopped 3-4 times to recover and catch my breath. Far more physically demanding than I was expecting.
  • + 4
 I read an article in Powder magazine once about rookie DH ski racer who was racing the Hahnenkam course for the first time. This course has killed several racers and takes a suicidal level of commitment to win on. He said when he entered the start shack the current WC leader and former Hahnenkamm winner was in the corner crying before his run because he might die if he hung it all out there. I think the level of skill is one thing but the level of commitment to risk it all at those speeds is a huge factor in what it means to be successful at that level. Serious mental strength.
  • + 4
 I would die, no joke. I would try, but corner 3 and my front wheel slips on this one damn rock which is looking like a super villian, my head is smashing on the ground and my weak neck cracks like twigs in the wind. give me a chance to ride a wc track and mark my words
  • + 4
 Yeah but no, I think it took me around 20mins+ to get down fort william on a AM bike thats including one nice shin gash and one attempt to castrate myself on the back of my saddle.
  • + 3
 I have ridden down the Windham World Cup track on my trail/enduro bike. I sent nothing, gapped nothing and rode around some things but made it down in one piece. Then you watch the POV of Gwin/Claudio and it's straight up insanity.
  • + 2
 That was a good course preview rapid,But i would like to see GAStoFlat do them , back in the day he used to do track walk previews with 6 Pack . those two guys are the funniest thing since slice bread and f*cking rapid to boot www.youtube.com/watch?v=csVjyqYYaAo
  • + 4
 Rode the sainte-anne and Bromont WC tracks in 2008-2009 , had to skip and walk down the gnarliest sections. People are delusional. Cheers
  • + 2
 did Hafjell track. not sure how much it corresponds to the actual race track but it said WC DH in the name and was a black trail. I even cleared the top jumps, but obviously in every bit of technical sections I sucked. So I think yes I can ride a WC track but surely with no hope of anywhere near WC racing speed.
  • + 2
 Charlie Sponsel (team robot) had a pretty cool blog about what its like to race at world cup level. I can't remember the interview or blog. But it was legit. Charlie was no slouch, watching him in the northwest cup and other events. If you can find it it is definitely worth a listen.
  • + 2
 I've ridden the WC track at Fort Bill minus the road and river gap, I think without those features it's well within the capabilities of a lot of riders. I had a look at the old WC track when I was riding in Pila. There is no way I'd even attempt some of the sections on that one.
  • + 3
 I rode Champéry several times, it is great experience and you feel you get better with every lap, clearing more jumps and ride faster, but those wolrd cup racers speeds are different universe..
  • + 1
 Which course?
Current WC tracks still differ quite a lot. And some can be ridden by the public as part of the surrounding bike parks. Others can also be ridden year round but have features added that a hobby rider won't clear easily, like in Fort Bill last week.
Some tracks and trails, when I first saw them I nearly shit my pants, like that incredibly steep bit in Andorra. Others don't look that gnarly... Until you try to go at any speed that is in the remote vicinity of "fast".
  • + 1
 Rode over both Leogang and Val Di Sole track. with REALLY REALLY REALLY soft legs after both descents. and avoiding the biggest features. there a special aura when going down a track where you know the best of the world have battled...
  • + 2
 I’d love to think I could do a full World Cup run top to bottom. I could probably make threw all the rock gardens, but at a fraction of the speed! And some of those jumps and drops would be a big nope.
  • + 3
 and Who am I kidding, I’d probably walk some of the rock gardens. They get pretty gnarly on the worlds tracks!
  • + 1
 I'll go out on a limb here and say that qualifying has more to do with dedication than pure innate talent. To treat everyday on the mtn as training, and to try to log as many of them as possible, always thinking about pinning things, always riding at your limits. Then to put in the time and effort everywhere else for the gym time and diet and saving the money to make it possible... the vast latter half of the qualifiers are privateers, just fast dudes who put it all on the line to try to accomplish the dream... yes the podium is going to require a whole different level of talent. But I think most of your local speed freaks would stand a good chance of qualifying if they put as much into it as these guys do. I just think that for most that level of work/risk isn't worth the reward of qualifying just to watch your time get stomped by the true talents of Gwin, Minnaar ect... I don't think there's nearly as many rat boys out there as people think, just drinking partying, giving no f*cks and rock up with a solid race run. That's definitely not the guys I've seen racing the majority of these races, they guys making it through qualifiers are paying their dues in ways most people here would never be willing to.
  • + 1
 I straight up walk down many of the trails in my local area. No possible way I would make it down or even attempt a world cup downhill course. ON a mountain bike. Decades ago I was able to SKI down some world cup downhill ski courses. Mountain biking is much scarier.
  • + 1
 Last season at Killington, I followed a girl and her BF, both are sponsored DH racers. I couldn't match the insane speeds at which they were rollin.... Black Magic and Blue Magic... Watching Windham and Mtn Creek events.... These guys are as fast as motcross racers w/o the engine. ScaryFasT
  • + 1
 I attempted to follow Christopher Mcglinchey when he was a Chain Reaction team rider a few years ago here in Bulgaria at a UCI1 DH race.. he absolutely railed two berms and was gone, further down even his dust had settled... yes, i got down, and i thought i was reasonably quick.... the reality ? Snail !
  • + 2
 Haha should see hime on a road bike these days, faster still!
  • + 1
 @doe222: I still follow his exploits, he is doing really well ! Great lad, and he definitely could ride a bit... and eat hahaha, his appetite was huge....
  • + 1
 I did Fort William way back in 2007, just after world champs there. It was doable, but my wrists and ankles took a severe beating. At that time I also rode the Willingen, Germany track, but them crazy jumps on top took some tries before doing them. Yeah, those WC track can be ridden, but I do know that with al the amount of practice I would never ever qualify!
  • + 5
 Where is the option for top of the podium? Hit me up sponsors
  • + 1
 Today’s WC courses are just nuts! Back in ‘the day’ I raced on a few World Cup courses, but they usually had a B line setup for the lessor classes. The last WC level course I saw had some gap jumps that were just insane. Could I survive one these days, yes... but I’d be a solid answer 3 for sure!
  • + 1
 I could make it down with a dh rig and hit MOST of the features (Losing looked terrifying), but i wouldn't be competitive even against the women. Im also not getting paid by an energy drink company to risk my body/life either. When you're young, its your job, and its expected of you i think it becomes a lil easier to let go. A better question would be "could you make it down Dan Atherton's Hardline Course?" Hit all the jumps? HELL NO... Make it down the whole thing alive? MAYBE....but crashing and walking would be involved.
  • + 1
 I've seen Cairns track with my own eyes and I walked it. Many parts are rideable for a noob like me, but no money/prize/argument would make me try to ride the rock garden. It is an inevitable and painful death. I'd rather risk the whoops.
  • + 2
 If you could qualify for a WC, you would be doing just that, or at least attempting it when funding was available. I think a lot of you going with #1 are deluding yourselves haha
  • + 4
 does tripoding all the way down count?
  • + 1
 I followed Gwin at Big Bear once. He was just cruising but was somehow able to boost huge vertical on all the jumps while I was struggling to not case them. I was quite baffled.
  • + 3
 I would need all my wits just to make it through the corrugated tunnel tubes.
  • + 5
 In a bodybag
  • + 4
 Does the pre-race trackwalk counts?
  • + 0
 I feel pretty confident in my ability to make it down a world cup course fairly quick. But, having ridden with and timed myself against pros over the years on the same courses I know that there is no way in hell that I can cover ground with the same velocity that they do.
  • + 1
 I've been to Windham when they hosted the WC and must say the speed these riders carry is amazing. Its unbelievable how fast one can go on a bicycle through sections lined with trees.
  • + 1
 DUMB poll, You maybe able to get down most of a world cup coarse but at what speed? I retired from racing DH when my times were twice that of top riders so know how fast & skillful they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 916 People think they could qualify top 60 hahaha
Well it's a fact that atleast 856 duesch bags
probably more since I doubt all 60 of the guys
currently/actually qualifying for Leogang have
not responded to this silly poll.
  • + 0
 interesting topic. Having raced at Fort william a few times I can conclude it is a total adrenaline rush. I was a long way off the winning times. but fared quite well in my age category.
However, to throw a spanner in the works. In 2013 a week before the Fort William WC race, there was a national race at Innerleithen. With many of the "worlds best" in attendance. Some struggled to get to grips with the short techy and very tree lined race track. 2 locals took the top 2 spots... Adam Brayton and Lewis Buchannan
www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/Innerleithen-BDS-FInals,5737/Mens-Podium,56463/mdelorme,825
  • + 4
 Downhill tracks. Completed it mate.
  • + 5
 Nope I only ride park
  • + 1
 A group of us spent a day at fort William a few years ago. The challenge we set was to get down in twice the time it took RACH Atherton. We managed that but no way would we qualify
  • + 1
 As a point of how good his skills are, don't forget Martyn Ashton (former trials world champion) now "confined" (if anyone will walk again when they shouldn't, he will, doing some very inspiring things in the saddle still!)
  • + 1
 I sometimes ride with the dad of one of the junior women WC racers. A few years ago she came along too, she wasn’t very fast going up, but left us all for dead on the descent.
  • + 1
 I would attempt to ride it but it’d be at a much slower pace. I ride Bromont regularly and they still have their old World Cup track open. Scares the sh*t out of me every time I drop in
  • + 3
 Dear Pinkbike, I have intentionally attempted to sabotage each and every one of your polls to date. Love, Some Guy
  • + 1
 I've got a fairly respectable 7 minutes 30-ish down the Fort William world cup course. Still miles off qualifying though. My Champery time on the other hand starts with a 2...
  • + 2
 Plenty of people can go down leogang wc track or cairns. A lot less of them can ride the whole way down of champery...
  • + 1
 could you, or would you? fort bill can easily kill a pair of rims, for a privateer that pays for their own stuff that gets kinda annoying.
  • + 1
 I ride the hardest trails at Whistler (Canadian Open Dh, In Deep, Upper Whistler) so I could ride them, but no one on this site could qualify.
  • + 3
 hold my beer, this shouldn't take too long...
  • + 3
 So, this question splits the men from boys and egos and wisdom...
  • + 1
 I’ve raced Fort William at the SDA’s for years. Age and a family mean I’d roll the biggies but would get down in one piece, I used to so why not now?
  • + 1
 Im sure id make it down any wc track though no way id make a competitive time tho.Should be an anwser between the first and second 1 imo....
  • + 1
 for sure i can ride those WC trail but i have friend who ride in WC and theyre way faster than me.. so yeah i could ride those track but ill never quali for sure
  • + 1
 if it was leogang the only part i can whilst still looking like somewhat of a pro is probably the motorway. In saying that i would take the shorter route
  • + 1
 I say yes, because i love to ride technical trails, but i would definatly skip the huge jumps. I'm slowly progressing to bigger jumps but nothing in the likes of dh wc
  • + 1
 I think I could do it, avoiding a good half of the jumps, but my best time would probably be worse than the slowest of the junior Girls.
  • + 1
 Interesting question. For me its the jumps, total commitment, racing speed or not at all. In my case easy decision, the latter.
  • + 1
 i see what you did there
  • + 1
 Where is the disclaimer on getting to use a different bike? Like it matters. Would I try it...absolutely! Would I complete it...no way.
  • + 3
 I think I could do it on skis.
  • + 3
 I second this. Way more confident sending it on skis than a bike.
  • + 3
 skiing steep terrain is easier than riding the same slopes on a bike.
  • + 0
 Dude, how are you going to ski over all those rocks and roots and loose gravel and shit?
  • + 1
 I would need to have a DH bike first to even think about trying to go down one of those tracks and I would walk many sections I'm pretty sure.
  • + 1
 I walked Windham, which is pretty short. I don't know how many of our bodies could take the beating of a run down a WC course. My hands and forearms would fall off.
  • - 1
 I've ridden two caliber world cup trails and while I did them, I did crash a couple times but that was when I had ~10 hours on my DH rig, maybe now with 100 i'd be way better.
  • + 1
 Of course I can, and I have! However nowhere near racing speed and not even close to the elegant flow these guys have.
  • + 1
 Just to clarify, I was talking about making it down a WC DH track, not qualifying Big Grin
  • - 2
 Jumps look fun!!! I've only met one person faster than me on my hill.... the day arron gwin showed up. I think he found out I was trying to catch him. Two corners later hes like 50 yards ahead of me. Pros know how to pin corners like no other!!!
  • + 1
 "Yes, but it wouldn't be pretty, and I would definitely skip all of those big jumps and super gnarly sections"
  • + 1
 Id make it down after falling off my bike the bike would still be at the top and id be rolling down the hill lol
  • + 1
 I have beat some qualification times down certain tracks. If you practise you get perfect
  • + 1
 tbf I have ridden the World Cup trail at Windham. Its scray but definitly rideable
  • + 1
 Considering I’ve actually had this opportunity at Mt Snow c1997... a lot of walking. That shit is crazy
  • + 1
 No problem. I bet I could even qualify with a little practice. I'M A BELIEVER.
  • + 1
 So ~ 1 of 17 respondents are WC DH racers?

LoLoLoLoLoLoLoL

Let us know when you all move out from your parents basements.
  • + 0
 Of course. That's why they make rollers. But seriously, the wolrd cup lines at Angel Fire and Park City were a little more tame than I expected.
  • + 1
 Angel Fire WC DH is pretty tame, but it hasn't been used as an actual WC course in over a decade. I'd imagine that current courses are much gnarlier.
  • + 1
 Are any Whistler trails--or even sections--comparable to an easier WC track?
  • + 1
 Yeah, my WC track experience is only fort bill and leogang which aren't the most tech but there's definitely stuff in the bikepark that's comparable if not more gnarly than a lot of stuff on those tracks.
  • + 0
 Ya I could make it down, even hit all the big air. But qualify? Not likely. Besides, they don't even have a class for my age group.
  • + 2
 Pffttt...not only is it no problem, with 29" wheels, I'd win.
  • + 1
 Race on the 2009 World Cup Track once per year in Canberra. Jump everything but WAYYYYYY off the qualifying times lol
  • + 2
 I'm VERY confident I could ride exactly two thirds of a WC DH track.
  • + 1
 I'd rally that ramp at the very start for sure....
  • + 2
 I didn't know a lot of pro riders participate in pinkbike polls.
  • + 2
 Or there were that many Pro riders...
  • + 1
 No chance I could ride that nonsense. But unlike Kazimer, I can still dunk. So that's something? Right?
  • + 1
 We are racing trail and Enduro bikes down Angelfire WC this weekend, so yes, folks can make it down. Pretty? Hell no.
  • + 1
 I've ridden the Vail World Cup course non-stop. Of course that was a course from 1994 :/
  • + 1
 Hahaha hell no! I feel pretty awesome doing average on my local Nebraska trails lol
  • + 1
 Yes. But doing so would void my life insurance policy. So, no.
  • + 1
 I’d get down it, but if the pros hit 4 mins I’d take 12...
  • + 1
 Edit. I’m talking in the dry. In the wet, forget it, I wouldn’t get down ;-)
  • - 1
 Having followed gee and Racheal down the course at Whistler in 2010 I know I would never qualify but I could get down without issue and pass the average boi
  • + 1
 yes, but not in a competitive time
  • + 1
 EWS courses are tougher on half the bike
  • + 1
 I only have a hardtail..and am not all that skilled, so................No.
  • + 2
 on a hardtail!
  • + 2
 Not a chance in hell
  • + 1
 Making it down is one thing, racing it is another.
  • + 1
 Where is the..... YES on a stretcher option?
  • + 1
 740 (so far) must cool their boots.
  • + 1
 I shat my pants just watching the practice runs at Leogang.
  • + 1
 100%. Via helicopter ride to the hospital.
  • + 1
 I could run down it with a 15 pound road bike on my shoulder.
  • + 1
 The start hates have my name all over them. After that? game over.
  • + 1
 By now, 287 / 4479 = 6.4% of pinkbike is liar.
  • + 1
 By "Make it down", do you mean alive or just reach the bottom?
  • - 1
 give me a downhill rig and i could get in the qualifiers with some more strength training
  • + 1
 slow, very slow!
  • + 1
 No
  • - 1
 can ride FW but not the WC course additions like the water & road gap.
  • - 1
 I think I could do it but I know in a couple years I definitely could.
  • + 1
 Keep dreaming as unless your improving faster that top riders not going to happen
  • - 2
 Your mom can go down really fast.

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2018. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.143627
Mobile Version of Website