Practice: Plain Sailing - Lenzerheide World Cup DH 2019

Aug 9, 2019
by Nathan Hughes  



The sodden nightmares of yesterday are but a distant memory and all is forgiven. Today saw a return to full summer mode and there wasn't a waterlogged set of Vans insight. The Lenzerheide lake, far below the signature switchbacks of the World Cup track, shimmered under the golden light. The meadow flowers swayed gently in the breeze and little birds could be heard chirping optimistically as they began their young lives. All that was interrupted quite regularly with the sound of metal on rock and aggressive swearing as riders tested the crash netting, bent the odd pedal and buzzed the rear wheel as the Straitline course came to life.

Group B had the raw deal today, no question, and the cruel fact of the matter is that it includes those least equipped to deal with such savagery. First thing this morning, the track was still extremely muddy and in some sections slicker than an oyster in an oil spill, the fresh forest section in particular. The traffic was so backed up for this section some riders even decided to avoid it completely and ride around it on the bike park track, wishing and waiting for tyre-gripping ruts to develop through the Group A session and for it to be ready for tomorrow.

This track is a rare hit with the vast majority of racers, for the most part agreeing that this is how a race course should be in the modern day. The variety is truly there this year on the Swiss course. There's a chance for riders to flex their style with the plethora of well-built jumps, whilst also keeping the grey matter pulsing with the bountiful line choice dilemmas at great speed. Most importantly, the scrubs and whips were absolutely flying, much to the delight of the media and any man, woman or child trackside with a phone, or better yet, a set of eyeballs.

Who won practice? Limited though it may be, the timed training session provided some answers. Troy Brosnan is a man never not killing it and this afternoon set the fastest lap at a fiery 2:57, closely followed by previous Lenzerheide winner, Danny Hart. Dean Lucas was the only other rider to go under the 3-minute mark and he looked good doing it, pushing his style into new realms. As for the elite women, Tracey Hannah laid down the quickest time of 3:32. The only other woman to put down a serious lap time was Italian champ, Eleonora Farina, 9 seconds back. Meanwhile, Vali Holl and Kye A'Hern set the junior pace. An almost entirely dry course looks set to face riders for qualies, quite the contrast from Val Di Sole. God bless the sunshine.



Quite the upgrade on yesterday s sorry state of affairs.
Quite the upgrade after yesterday's sorry state of affairs.

Lenzerheide back to business as usual a sight for sore eyes.
Lenzerheide back to business as usual, a sight for sore eyes.

Tracey Hannah gets a little RedBull TV time before practice kicked off this morning.
Tracey Hannah getting a little RedBull TV time before practice kicked off this morning.

Laurie Greenland s mechanic Party Mark dialling in the number 6 rig for the big days ahead.
Laurie Greenland's mechanic, Party Mark, dialling in the number 6 rig for the big days ahead.

Danny Hart stopped by Fox first thing this morning. He s hungry for that stop spot especially after last weekend s puncture.
Danny Hart stopped by Fox first thing this morning. He's hungry for that top spot, especially after last weekend's puncture.

Super Bruni getting his vision dialled in for the forest blitzing to follow.
Super Bruni getting his vision dialled in for the forest blitzing to follow.

Kenta Gallagher is another of the tests inside the overall test that is the Cannondale DH program. The kind of test inception depicted is presumed to be a measurement test of some kind.
Kenta Gallagher seems to be another one of the tests inside the overall test that is the Cannondale DH program. The kind of 'test inception' depicted is presumed to be a measurement test of some kind.

Lenzerheide was shrouded in cloud this morning but it burned off quickly once the sun flooded into the valley.
Lenzerheide was shrouded in cloud this morning, but it burned off quickly once the sun flooded into the valley.

Anna Newkirk jumping right into it.
Number two junior, Anna Newkirk, jumping right into it.

Pierron hitting warp on lap 1 of his Lenzerheide visit.
Pierron already hitting warp speed on lap 1 of his Lenzerheide visit.

Charlie Harrison was laying down some mean whips in practice. He s having fun and going fast too he was hungry for it this afternoon banging in 3 runs in timed training.
Charlie Harrison was laying down some mean whips in practice. He's having fun and going fast too. He was hungry for it this afternoon, banging in three runs during timed training.

Mark Wallace launching into the final section of track.
Mark Wallace launching into the final section of track.

A healthy layer of fog to start the morning.
A healthy layer of fog to start the morning.

Veronika Widmann will be out looking for a little Swiss redemption after what could have been a bigger score for her on home soil last weekend.
Veronika Widmann will be looking out for a little Swiss redemption after what could have been a bigger score for her on home soil last weekend.

Troy Brosnan was fastest in timed training but he knows very well that the true test begins tomorrow in qualies.
Troy Brosnan was fastest in timed training, but he knows very well that the true test begins tomorrow in qualies.

David Trummer continues to impress with his number plate being one away from single digits.
David Trummer continues to impress with his number plate being one away from single digits.

Monika Hrastnik is looking to get her season back on track after injury.
Monika Hrastnik is looking to get her season back on track after injury.

Clouds and fog draped the top of the mountain for most of the morning until the sun burnt it all away.
Clouds and fog draped the top of the mountain for most of the morning until the sun burnt it all away.

Jure Zabjek on the edge on the entry to the woods. It stayed pretty slick in here all day.
Jure Zabjek on the edge of the entry to the woods. It stayed pretty slick in here all day.

The power of denim. The people s champ Johannes Von Klebelsberg floating on by.
The power of denim. The people's champ, Johannes Von Klebelsberg, floating on by.

The Kestrel hovering like a... predatory bird of some kind.
The Kestrel hovering like a... predatory bird of some kind.

Danny Hart ripping up the loam through one of the fresh sections in the woods. The track was running perfect in the afternoon after drying out a little.
Danny Hart ripping up the loam through one of the fresh sections in the woods. The track was running perfectly in the afternoon after drying out a little.

Troy Brosnan clearly will be taking no prisoners this week already going 3 seconds under 3 minutes.
Troy Brosnan clearly will be taking no prisoners this week, already going 3 seconds under 3 minutes.

Lots of bugs on the ground in Lenzerheide after the rains.
Lots of bugs on the ground in Lenzerheide after the rains. Spiders are one thing, but look out for the angry ants if you're outside the tape.

Seth Sherlock was looking mighty sharp out on track this afternoon. Not many riders went this high and sideways.
Seth Sherlock was looking mighty sharp out on track this afternoon. Not many riders went this high and sideways.

Lots to take in but surely a doddle compared to the Val Di Sole puzzle.
Lots to take in, but surely a doddle compared to the Val Di Sole puzzle.

Brook Macdonald enjoying some air time.
Brook MacDonald enjoying some air time.

Greenland looked absolutely on point all day long.
Greenland looked absolutely on point all day long.

Dakotah Norton and Luca Shaw discussing line choices in the wet roots.
Dakotah Norton and Luca Shaw discussing line choices in the wet roots.

The future is sideways... flying with Vali Holl.
The future is sideways... flying with Vali Holl.

Remi Thirion is now juggling racing and family life after becoming a dad at the start of the week.
Remi Thirion is now juggling racing and family life after becoming a dad at the start of the week.

Loic Bruni heads into the steep new section where riders were puzzling over line choice most of the day.
Loic Bruni heads into the steep new section where riders were puzzling over line choice most of the day.

Mille Johnset is fresh off her first WC win last week in Val Di Sole. A repeat performance would be ideal but there s a lot of track to learn in front of her.
Mille Johnset is fresh off her first WC win last week in Val Di Sole. A repeat performance would be ideal but there's a lot of track to learn in front of her.

Millie Johnset on the charge after her VDS victory.
Johnset on the charge after her VDS victory.

Loris Vergier s timed training result is nothing to go by for predicting tomorrow s qualies.
Loris Vergier's timed training result is nothing to go by for predicting tomorrow's qualies.

New Zealand s fastest export of the junior variety Tuhoto-Ariki Pene who took the win last week.
New Zealand's fastest export of the junior variety, Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, who took the win last week.

Baptiste Pierron looking to slim that plate right down to size this weekend after a top 10 last weekend.
Baptiste Pierron, looking to slim that plate right down to size this weekend after a top 10 last weekend.

Dakotah Norton looks to have good track speed here in Lenzerheide.
Dakotah Norton looks to have good track speed here in Lenzerheide.

Tracy Hannah floating like a butterfly stinging like a bee on route to the quickest female time of the day.
Tracey Hannah floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee on route to the quickest female time of the day.

Brook Macdonald makes light work of the plunge on his way to 6th in time training.
Brook Macdonald makes light work of 'The Plunge' on his way to 6th in time training.

Kye A Hern went fastest today in the juniors and will want to carry that through to qualifying and the race.
Kye A'Hern went fastest today in the juniors and will want to carry that through to qualifying and the race.

Amaury Pierron has a battle on his hands if he wants to defend the overall this year.
Amaury Pierron has a battle on his hands if he wants to defend the overall this year.

Neko Mullaly twisting throttle in the upper switchbacks.
Neko Mullaly twisting throttle in the upper switchbacks.

Finn Iles looks at his best when throwing it sideways. Savage.
Finn Iles looks at his best when throwing it sideways. Savage.

Charlie Hatton boosting off the mid-track ladder road gap.
Charlie Hatton boosting off the mid-track ladder road gap.

Fantastic that the loam is back in Lanzerheide.
Fantastic that the loam is back on the menu in Lenzerheide.

Spot the rider.
Spot the rider.

Mike Jones is on one ladiers and gents.... the 4th fastest TT let s hope he puts a solid score on the board under the clock tomorrow.
Mike Jones is on one ladies and gents.... 4th fastest TT, let's hope he puts a solid score on the board under the clock tomorrow.

Hugo Frixtalon weaves through the pole slalom on the piste up top.
Hugo Frixtalon weaves through the slalom on the piste up top.

Marine Cabirou had a crash in her timed training run and rolled down the side of the track back to the pits.
Marine Cabirou had a crash in her timed training run and rolled down the side of the track back to the pits.

Brendan Fairclough never one to disappoint.
Brendan Fairclough never one to disappoint.

Kaos Seagrave adding some flavour to B practice.
Kaos Seagrave adding some flavour to B practice.

Thibaut Daprela on the ragged edge as usual.
Thibaut Daprela on the ragged edge as usual.

Loic Bruni happy with his day on the hill.
Loic Bruni happy with his day on the hill.

Troy Brosnan charging to the top spot in timed training.
Troy Brosnan charging to the top spot in timed training.

Camille Balanche sending one for Switzerland at the close of play.
Camille Balanche sending one for Switzerland at the close of play.

Camille Balanche is another privateer killing it this year. She got her first podium last weekend and will want a repeat on home soil this weekend.
Balanche is another privateer killing it this year. She got her first podium last weekend and will want a repeat on home soil this weekend.

Lozza and Brook check some lines captured from the hill ready for qualies tomorrow afternoon.
Lozza and Brook check some lines captured from the hill ready for qualies tomorrow afternoon.

Appropriate footwear choice by Nina Hoffmann.
Let's hope neither Nina Hoffmann nor anybody else won't be needing this kind of footwear for finals day.

Gute Nacht alle. Bis morgen.
Gute Nacht alle. Bis morgen.


Regions in Article
Lenzerheide Bikepark


35 Comments

  • + 13
 That shot of Brook is Wild! Lots of great stuff.
  • + 10
 I would pay money for full-resolution versions of some of these images, like that incredible one of Brook. What use is a large desktop monitor without awesome bike shots for wallpaper?
  • + 2
 @showmethemountains: You should message the photographers on Instagram pages, I know the boys pretty well and they are top lads, see what they say and what price they will do for you? :-)
  • + 12
 Fucking great photos!!!
  • + 8
 Some of these shots showing the steeps..... Great captures! When it looks steep in photos, it has to be absolutely insane in person.
  • + 8
 the sea to sky kids are coming in full force. soooooooooo many more rippers will be flooding the race scene soon. so cool.
  • + 8
 Once again ..Great coverage PB!!
  • + 6
 Sitting with my suitcase in the office right now, will head to Lenzerheide later today. Can't wait to be on site!
  • + 5
 Quit and go now
  • + 3
 More bikes less job
  • + 6
 Just scroll back up and have another look at Laurie’s scrub..
  • + 3
 That‘s an absolute piece of art, the scrub of course and the pic also
  • + 4
 love the shadow on brooks scrub pic
  • + 4
 Man these some contrasty ass imagez
  • + 1
 @natedh9 loves the contrast and vignetting
  • + 2
 Fantastic photography again! I'd like to know how they manage to capture it so well - must have pretty high shutter speeds to get shots of the wheels sp perfectly still?
  • + 1
 1/1000 sec or faster for sure
  • + 2
 "Bro, What do you do for a hobbies?"
"Ride bikes and take photos"

Checks out Pinkbike world cup coverage....

"I suck, my life is empty"

haha
  • + 2
 Someone tell me whats happening on Loic's fork in that first pic?!?
  • + 2
 The collection of data
  • + 3
 new external damper
  • + 2
 @xBLASTOFFx: That's where he keeps the unicorns brah!
  • + 2
 That shot of JVK, off the hook!
  • + 4
 Great he found a chef!
  • + 3
 the moment you realise that you can never not race in denim
  • + 5
 @kerberos: I think he was looking for a chef so he could go to World Champs? Don’t know if he has found one for that period.
  • + 1
 @svenie: I went back to VdS WynTV Finals and you are right. Hope he'll find a good substitute!
  • + 2
 @tobiusmaximum that would be @sickmick83‘s job
  • + 2
 why no privateer of the week for Balanche?
  • + 1
 Someone needs to encourage Kaos to suicide his race run..
  • + 1
 The light is incredible, nice shots
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