Pinkbike Primer: World Cup DH Round 3 in Maribor, Slovenia

Aug 10, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

After a bit of a hiatus left by the cancelation of Fort William, World Cup DH racing is returning. Riders are headed to Maribor as they approach the midpoint of the World Cup season. With Leogang and Les Gets in the books, riders should be hitting their stride right about now and will be in top form this week. After this, they'll head over to Val di Sole for World Champs, then straight into Lenzerheide before crossing the pond to the season finale double-header at Snowshoe, in the USA.

Riders will no doubt be hoping for some consistent weather this week after the changing conditions in Les Gets made things extra tricky for the last riders down the hill at the last round. In the end, Thibaut Daprela came out on top in the men's field despite having smashed his face just one week before, followed by Max Hartenstern in second and Baptiste Pierron rounding out third place, all three riders having their career-best World Cup results. In the women's race, Tahnee Seagrave put down the cleanest run and took the win, followed by Myriam Nicole, who lost a bit of time in a crash but still managed to pull together a strong race run, and Camille Balanche, who continues to show what she can do in all conditions.

We can expect to see all the riders bring their A-game this weekend for the last World Cup before the rainbow stripes are decided.

The Track

The 2.1km track will likely be similar to the iXS Downhill Cup track last week as seen above in the course preview from Greg Minnaar and Luca Shaw, with the main difference being the finish area. There's a new finish area this time at the World Cup, so riders will ride past the old finish to a new drop, which leads down to the new finish zone, where there's plenty of space for spectators and fanfare.

With a good mix of tech and speed, the track runs fairly quickly when dry, but can be downright nasty in the wet. Inclement weather at the iXS Cup last week slowed the top riders down by roughly 20 seconds. With the ground saturated, but sun in the forecast all week, it'll be interesting to see how the woods look by the time practice rolls around.

iXS Downhill Cup Results

Greg Minnaar fell back in qualifying today but will be back with a vengeance tomorrow.
Greg Minnaar came out on top at the iXS Downhill Cup.

The iXS Downhill Cup can be a great opportunity for riders to gauge their speed before the World Cup. This year, while many big names were noticeably missing at the midweek event, some of the top riders came out to test themselves and sneak in some extra time on the track. Greg Minnaar came down fastest in both his qualifier and final runs, taking the win by nearly three seconds over Henry Kerr. On the women's side, Vali Höll qualified fastest by more than 15 seconds over Mille Johnset, with the rest of the top five qualifying women within three seconds of Mille Johnset. In finals, a poorly-timed flat tire meant that Vali missed her start and it was Mille who opened a gap over the rest of the field, clocking in nearly 20 seconds ahead of Abigail Hogie.

Elite Men

1st. Greg Minnaar: 3:26.507
2nd. Henry Kerr: +2.874
3rd. Adam Brayton: +3.707
4th. Luke Maier-Smith: +4.040
5th. Luca Shaw: +4.810

Elite Women

1st. Mille Johnset: 4:04.787
2nd. Abigail Hogie: +19.713
3rd. Anna Newkirk: +20.631
4th. Izabela Yankova: +26.526
5th. Lisa Gava: +30.487

Previous Winners

Maribor has been host to eleven previous rounds going all the way back to 1999. With a new guard of strong riders coming up alongside the veterans, this weekend could be anyone's race.


Elite Men: Nicolas Vouilloz
Elite Women: Anne-Caroline Chausson


Elite Men: Nicolas Vouilloz
Elite Women: Leigh Donovan


Elite Men: Steve Peat
Elite Women: Anne-Caroline Chausson


Elite Men: Chris Kovarik
Elite Women: Anne-Caroline Chausson


Elite Men: Sam Hill
Elite Women: Rachel Atherton


Elite Men: Sam Hill
Elite Women: Sabrina Jonnier


Elite Men: Fabien Barel
Elite Women: Sabrina Jonnier


Elite Men: Greg Minnaar
Elite Women: Rachel Atherton


Elite Men: Loic Bruni
Elite Women: Tahnee Seagrave

2020 double-header:

Elite Men: Loris Vergier, Loris Vergier (again)
Elite Women: Marine Cabirou, Nina Hoffman

Weather Forecast

Unlike the 2019 and 2020 Maribor races, this might be a dry one. The week ahead looks sunny and warm, with slight chances of precipitation but nothing forecasted is quite like the downpours we've seen in years past at this venue. However, riders will be battling the heat this year. With temperatures forecasted to climb above 30°C each day, riders will have to prioritize taking care of their bodies to manage exhaustion, especially those from cooler climates.

Skipping over the roots and into second place for the Junior Men is Dan Slack.
Weather makes a big difference in Maribor.
Friday, August 13 - Practice
Rather cloudy // 31°C // 7% precipitation // wind 9km/h // 11km/h gusts

Saturday, August 14 - Qualifying
Mostly cloudy and very warm // 32°C // 25% precipitation // wind 7km/h // 11km/h gusts

Sunday, August 15 - Finals
Mostly cloudy and very warm; a thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon // 30°C // 40% precipitation // wind 9km/h // 26km/h gusts

Weather forecast as of Monday August 9. Live updates from Accuweather.


Matt Walker with a strong ride into 4th place he looked comfortable on the track wet or dry.

Thursday, August 12
• 08:30-11:00 // Downhill Course Inspection by UCI
• 13:00-14:00 // On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - Elite Teams
• 14:00-16:00 // On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - All Riders

Friday, August 13
• 08:45-11:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 11:30-12:45 // Official Downhill Training - Groups A & B mixed
• 12:45-15:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group A
• 15:30-17:00 // Downhill Timed Training Session (World Cup Top 60 Men Elite, Top 15 Women Elite, Top 10 Men Juniors, and Top 3 Women Juniors)
• 17:00-17:45 // On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - Riders and Teams

Saturday, August 14
• 08:45-10:015 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 10:15-11:45 // Official Downhill Training - Group A
• 12:15 // Seeding Run - Junior Women
• 12:30 // Qualifying Round - Junior Men
• 13:30 // Qualifying Round - Elite Women
• 14:00 // Qualifying Round - Elite Men

Sunday, August 15 - Note: The junior race times have been changed as of August 13. The schedule below reflects the changes.
• 08:15-09:15 // Official Downhill Training - Junior Women, Junior Men, Elite Women
• 09:35 // Final - Junior Men
• 10:20 // Final - Junior Women
• 10:50-11:05 // Official Downhill Training - Elite Women
• 11:05-12:05 // Official Downhill Training - Elite Men
• 12:30 // Final - Elite Women
• 13:30 // Final - Elite Men
• Awards to follow

Note: All times are local and subject to change by the UCI or the event organizer.

How to Watch

Tahnee Seagrave was back as her old self today carrying speed through the entire track. Second place in qualies for her.

Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our team of photographers in Slovenia this week. Tune in to Pinkbike to catch photo epics and results from the track walk Thursday, timed training Friday, qualifying Saturday, and finals Sunday.

For the Elite Women and Elite Men finals, tune into Red Bull TV on Sunday, August 15 from 12:30 CEST.

Here’s a breakdown of what that means in these locations:

• 03:30 Sunday // Vancouver, Canada (PDT)
• 06:30 Sunday // Washington DC, USA (EDT)
• 11:30 Sunday // London, UK (BST)
• 12:30 Sunday // Berlin, Germany (CEST)
• 20:30 Sunday // Sydney, Australia (AEST)
• 22:30 Sunday // Auckland, New Zealand (NZST)

Note: These times are subject to change. Please check with your local provider.

Fantasy League

fantasy dh 2021

Don't forget to complete your DH Fantasy team before Friday! Participating is way more fun than watching from the sidelines.

Pinkbike Fantasy Downhill League in association with Retallack.


Author Info:
alicialeggett avatar

Member since Jun 19, 2015
728 articles

  • 27 0
 That DirtTV clip is gold, they all look like such kids (and Troy at 3:20ish looks like a baby overdue for his nap!).
  • 18 1
 I miss Dirt, they really were the downhillers magazine. Earthed films are still legendary, and their world cup videos like this one were great. Their bike reviews were good too. Shame they just disappeared, they just couldn't do the full transistion to digital
  • 3 0
 Parkin Gold.
  • 6 0
 @melonhead1145: yeah I loved Dirt. Long time subscriber. It was really interesting what James said on the last (or maybe one before last) podcast about when they got bought out and made massive changes.
Dirt really represented you if you were a downhiller. It was so cool ( maybe that's just me!) if you were walking through town but you saw someone else with a Dirt tee on. Its like some secret Masons shit. You both know! Smile
Mike Rose , Steve Jones ,
  • 5 0
 cappuccino Steve!
  • 1 2
 @pen9: People talk up Steve jones and Dirt but they didnt have shaft distro for product and stole stuff too. IO have first hand experience to that.
  • 1 1
 @konastab01: more info? I do know that there may have been some shady stuff with the Dirt 100, and companies essentially paying for their product to be put in it. Still the vids were great and the reviews seemed decent.
  • 3 0
 The bikes are tiny, seats are high and all of the riders are kids!
  • 1 0
 @melonhead1145: Years ago I had a small company, Steve offered to review a set of i9 wheels for us that we were just bringing in. Gave him wheels fully built (i9's on 823 with Comp 16's) only to be never seen again and avoided when when they were never reviewed or returned. years later I learned others had the same issues and they invoice the magazine and with threats of court of they weren't returned and they got money or the products returned.
  • 1 0
 @pen9: Yes, Dirt was the only mag i think for downhilling, the only insight into tech and racing. I always thought Steve Jones was a bit of a bullshitter so to speak, well you can see that today even on that GMBN Youtube channel, but he does seem to have a strange endearing quality about him.
  • 1 0
  • 13 0
 I really hope it's a dry race with equal conditions for everyone this round! That track is so technical and fast, I think it is a fantastic showcase of skill to ride at full speed. We've also had enough wet races for one year already...
  • 10 0
 03:30 Sunday, coffee, many many coffee.
  • 5 0
 06:30 one coffee and get the dog out for a dump should be good.
  • 10 0
 06:37 - Meh, will pickup the dog shit later
09:43 - Lots of swearing
09:44 - Shoe cleaning
  • 8 0
 That time I'm likely to give my dog a coffee and then walk outside and take a dump.
  • 1 0
 @t1000: That's gold!
  • 9 0
 3:30 PST? That's Replay territory for me, you animals.
  • 52 2
 I lived with PST for six years and from like 2014-17 when Bryceland ascended and Gwin re-dominated, I couldn't miss the races so to make it easier to get out of bed I'd roll a spliff and make a dank snack like an Italian club and light some candles and get completely absorbed in the racing, with zero distractions in those wee hours. Probably the most indulgent thing I've ever done and my partner thought it was funniest thing she'd ever seen. Highly recommend.
  • 4 1
 @gemma8788: this better be in the running for comment of the year!
  • 2 0
 @gemma8788: dude that sounds amazing haha. Same thing here, PST, and I've only seen parts live while going to bed late on a Saturday. I've got to try your technique, joint + sandwich and all.
  • 2 0
 @gemma8788: absolute legend.
  • 1 0
 make sure you log on to pinkbike before watching it so you can have a good moan about them spoiling the result for you
  • 2 0
 @gramboh: Why stop there? Let's give him GOAT status if we're throwing around superlatives!
  • 4 0
 Funny story...99' Anne Caro won, but Leigh Donovan got 2nd place, she forgot her goggles at the start and the Oakley dude was not up there, her bad, ooops, watery eyes and into the finish, hot seat, but ACC as usual spoiled a win, Leigh did come back in 2000 on her Schwinn Straight 8, not the crappy pullshock bike and won...was rad. Schwinn went bankrupt by mid summer and we were all left high and dry with team credit card not working and were in Japan world cup, trying to get home! Old days!
  • 2 0
 The legendary Stickman! One of my buddies bought one of Leigh's bikes after the season, complete with the prototype Dorado. Took it to the Manitou service tent at a NORBA National and was told that if he ever brought the fork back they would confiscate it. Good times!
  • 2 0
 @northwoods1: They couldn't have done that anyway, but, you know how people like to Flex
  • 3 0
 Just had a baby boy so I’ll definitely be awake for it. Dirt was cool, I was there at that race so I scanned the dirt edit to see if I was in the background but no such luck.
  • 1 0
 Congrats, dude! You poor devil
  • 1 0
 You're not wrong. Ha!
  • 1 0
 WHEN will we finally see UCI DH in the western US again?!?!? I know it means in Europe they'd be watching at 9, 10 at night or whatever. But how is that any worse than those of us who have to catch the European races at 4-5 in the morning here?? Same with western Canada. Personally I think it's time we start pushing on UCI to have a few races out here in the west again occasionally!!!
  • 7 3
 Big question is.... will Vali make it round the last corner!
  • 1 2
 Or even to it?
  • 1 1
 No question in my mind.
  • 2 0
 Yeah man she's having a tough go of it this year and it appears to be mostly mental or just purely bad luck. She definitely has the most speed out there right now. Though we haven't really seen a healthy Tahnee or a healthy Marine...
  • 2 0
 @onemanarmy: I will be surprised if she doesn't win. Pompon, Tahnée and Camille in any of the next 3 spots.
  • 2 1
 @onemanarmy: A first (Crankworx DH) a second at the opening round and a 7th at round two...oh and a flat tire on the way to start hut is 'mostly mental'?, in first elite season of world cups? I've seen worse.
  • 1 0

A flat on the way to the start gate. Going down twice on the last turn. Yeah mental. Watch any of her interviews over the last 18 months? Actually watch the races?

I mean it as a compliment. She's had bad luck and possibly some mental lapses.
She's got the speed and the talent hands down. Never said she was doing poorly.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: Not a bad place to bet.

Can basically toss these in the hat for this course and you'll get the top 5 in some order. Tahnee. Holl. Pompom. Camile. Marine.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: Breh - Stikman is a legend. LOL
  • 1 1
 @suspended-flesh: doesn't mean I have to agree with him. I know in this current society it's not o.k. to have an opinion but I'm just fine with agreeing to disagree. Legend status or not.
  • 2 1
 @onemanarmy: yeah, she’sa superb rider and will definitely be dominant. The question is how soon can she call her nerves and lay it down. Good luck to her, will be exciting racing!
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: Of course it is! It's mandatory to disagree, just saying that #legends like the jobsan of one of the most successful US racers ever likely actually watches racing

  • 1 0
 @notphaedrus: You're nervous.
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: you're probably not wrong.

So foot in mouth on that bit. But I stand by my statement that someone dumping in the last corner twice and getting a flat BEFORE her run is either nerves or bad luck or both. Both are excusable and have nothing to do with her ability as a racer. She's been up there with the fastest for a couple years now. Even as a jr her times where in the top 5 in elite pretty much every race. She can and likely will still take the overall this year. She's as good as I've ever seen at this point in her career in women's racing. And I hope she stays focused on racing though her interviews the past couple years have left the door open for one to wonder. If she does she'll end up in the GOAT discussions. She's that talented... not that the world doesn't already know that.

I think it's kind of wild that 2 youngsters could win the overalls this year. It's great for racing.
  • 2 0
 @onemanarmy: I agree with you, seems like Vali is in her head a bit. It is completely normal for young athletes to take some time to get the mental game of the big show under control. She has many years of riding in front of her and she will win lots, no question about that. In the mean time I have really been enjoying watching the elite woman so far this year. Both the competition and waiting for her to jump out.
  • 2 2
 Dak Norton is out, stung by a pre-flight covid test according to YT facebook
  • 2 1
 Man that's a shame - he was really getting in the groove this season. Hope it's a smooth ride for him.
  • 3 19
flag ReeferSouthrland (Aug 11, 2021 at 4:28) (Below Threshold)
 That really sucks he got pinched by the fake test kit going around the world.
  • 4 0
 Thanks - he was on my team!
  • 1 0
 @ReeferSouthrland: I think you meant to say 'across' the world
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: What is this the grammar rodeo, you get a blue ribbon!
  • 4 0
 @ReeferSouthrland: Well, it makes more sense given that the earth is flat.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: Don't fall off , scary out there mo
  • 4 3
 Val Holl must be going around the bend thinking of the first elite win .
  • 2 2
 That Dirt Tv video shows just how much the bikes, riding styles and kit has come on in a few short years
  • 2 0
 3.11 baby brosnan
  • 1 0
 Who is going to win ?
  • 2 0
 Wide open turns, Troy Brosnan comes to mind.
  • 1 0
  • 2 3

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