Practice Photo Epic: Virgin Soil - Snowshoe DH World Cup 2019

Sep 5, 2019
by Ross Bell  


Photo Epic presented by Five Ten

It was a busy day beneath the green forest canopy on Snowshoe Mountain as riders got up to speed on the latest addition to the World Cup track roster. The nervous excitement was heightened last night after a quick but heavy downpour ensured it'd be a bit of a greasy start to the action here in West Virginia. It wasn't wet by any stretch of the imagination, but there were plenty of slick rocks and roots lying in wait for the riders.

There were murmurings yesterday of a few riders thinking about backflipping the first jump out the start gate... It was Kaos Seagrave who stepped up to the plate first this morning followed by Brendan Fairclough in the afternoon. Quite possibly a first at a World Cup downhill? The other big news from the hill today was, unfortunately, that in the form of crashes and injuries. Home soil hopeful Neko Mulally has a confirmed fractured fibula, and while we await more details, it sounds like a possible injury for Finn Iles too, he went down in the early moments of practice and didn't resurface during the remainder of the day. In timed training, it was Charlie Harrison and Tracey Hannah who laid down the benchmark for the others to chase.

The World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne are in the past. The attention has now turned to the small matter of settling the World Cup overalls. Tracey Hannah versus Marine Cabirou. Loic Bruni versus Amaury Pierron and Troy Brosnan. Who will come out on once the clock starts ticking on Saturday?

First morning of practice on the fresh West Virginian track was met with lingering fog from last night s rains.
First morning of practice on the fresh West Virginian track was met with lingering fog from last night's rains.

The new junior World Champ looked extremely confident and comfortable once he got out on track.
The new junior World Champ looked extremely confident and comfortable once he got out on track.

Charlie Harrison is one of the US rider looking for a strong showing on home turf.
Charlie Harrison is one of the US rider looking for a strong showing on home turf.

World Champ done. Now to get that illusive World Cup overall signed and sealed.
World Champs done. Now to get that elusive World Cup overall signed and sealed.

Lots of wheel are being prepped in anticipation of getting smashed in the rocks of Snowshoe
Lots of wheels are being prepped in anticipation of getting smashed on the rocks of Snowshoe

Mick Hannah has his two sons Duke on the left and Rowdy on the right here to watch their first ever World Cup event.
Mick Hannah has his two sons, Duke on the left and Rowdy on the right, here to watch their first-ever World Cup event.

Greg Minnaar and Jordi Cortez discussing suspension settings just before the start of practice
Greg Minnaar and Jordi Cortez discussing suspension settings just before the start of practice

Dakotah Norton s bike has been modified to carry all the essentials needed for t day out in the West Virginia woods
Dakotah Norton's bike has been modified to carry all the essentials needed for a day out in the West Virginia woods

Tahnee Seagrave was just a second off the win last weekend in Mont Saint Anne and would love to end the World Cup season the way she began in Maribor. With a win
Tahnee Seagrave was just a second off the win last weekend in Mont Saint Anne and would love to end the World Cup season the way she began in Maribor.

Locked and loaded Danny is always first on the hill.
Locked and loaded, Danny is always first on the hill.

Kaos Seagrave figured the best way to see the the track was from a birds eye view from high above
Kaos Seagrave figured the best way to see the track was from a bird's-eye view from high above.

Barnard Kerr throwing some style off the big jump right out of the start gate
Bernard Kerr throwing some style off the big jump right out of the start gate.

Brendan Fairclough flipped the big start hip right off the bat no test runs.
Brendan Fairclough flipped the big start hip right off the bat, no test runs.

Not all riders can pull the style out the bag on the first hit like Hart.
Not all riders can pull the style out the bag on the first hit like Hart.

Marine Cabirou s jumping skill has come on leaps and bounds this season.
Marine Cabirou's jumping skill has come on leaps and bounds this season.

Martin Maes playing with big bikes before heading out to Zermatt in a few weeks.
Martin Maes playing with big bikes before heading out to Zermatt in a few weeks.

Loris Vergier sending the huge road gap up top for the first time.
Loris Vergier sending the huge road gap up top for the first time.

It s a proper whirlwind of trees and rocks out here.
It's a proper whirlwind of trees and rocks out here.

Danny Hart launching straight over the rock without any hesitance on his first venture down the track.
Danny Hart launching straight over the rock without any hesitation on his first venture down the track.

Follow the leader. First runs were exploratory with few riders hitting all the features first time.
Follow the leader. First runs were exploratory with only a few riders hitting all the features their first lap.

Loris Vergier has had an up and down season but will be looking to end on a high in Snowshoe.
Loris Vergier has had an up and down season but will be looking to end on a high in Snowshoe.

Marine Cabirou ready to battle it out with Tracey Hannah for the overall title
Marine Cabirou ready to battle it out with Tracey Hannah for the overall title

Gee Atherton threads the needle through the trees
Gee Atherton threads the needle through the trees

Thomas Estaque loves wet and muddy tracks so it is no surprise to see him up to place in the slick woods
Thomas Estaque loves wet and muddy tracks so it is no surprise to see him up to place in the slick woods

Amaury Pierron deep in the foliage. Hopefully for him the split times stay just as green.
Amaury Pierron deep in the foliage. Hopefully, for him the split times stay just as green.

Loic Bruni lining up the tricky exit out into the berms.
Loic Bruni lining up the tricky exit out into the berms.

Danny Hart was skipping stones across the bottom of the course looking unbelievably fast at every turn.
Danny Hart was skipping stones across the bottom of the course looking unbelievably fast at every turn.

Troy Brosnan is due for one. He s been in touch too many times this year.
Troy Brosnan is due for one. He's been in touch too many times this year.

Charlie Harrison was P1 in timed runs. Clearly on a mission for the U.S. of A.
Charlie Harrison was P1 in timed runs. Clearly on a mission for the U.S. of A.

Brosnan letting her buck on the double rock drop under the lift.
Brosnan letting her buck on the double rock drop under the lift.

The toads came out to see what all the fuss is about in their neck of the woods.
The toads came out to see what all the fuss is about in their neck of the woods.

Not dry or muddy but just slick enough to give riders a headache through the rocks and roots
Last night's thunderstorm definitely softened things up a bit

The World Champ couldn t make the timed training session because of her plate number so she came down to the woods for some line scoping.
The World Champ couldn't make the timed training session because of her plate number so she came down to the woods for some line scoping.

A fantastic mix of the natural and the sculpted here at Snowshoe.
A fantastic mix of the natural and the sculpted here at Snowshoe.

Seth Sherlock is locked in a title battle for third place in the junior overall he ll have to fend off Lucas Cruz and Patrick Laffey this weekend.
Seth Sherlock is locked in a title battle for third place in the junior overall, he'll have to fend off Lucas Cruz and Patrick Laffey this weekend.

It s hard to get back in the racing groove mid season will Aaron Gwin fair better in Snowshoe than he did in MSA
It's hard to get back in the racing groove midseason, will Aaron Gwin fare better in Snowshoe than he did in MSA?

Bruce Klein is a powerhouse and was muscling his way throve the rocks and roots during training. He hasn t has the best of seasons but sure does look good so far in Snowshoe
Bruce Klein is a powerhouse and was muscling his way throve the rocks and roots during training. He hasn't had the best of seasons but sure does look good so far in Snowshoe

Laurie Greenland boosting the big double up top that very few riders hit on their first few runs
Laurie Greenland boosting the big double up top that very few riders hit on their first few runs

Tracey Hannah came out swinging to win timed training
Tracey Hannah came out swinging to win timed training

Greg Williamson put together a fast timed training run to go 7th.
Greg Williamson put together a fast timed training run to go 7th.

Laurie Greenland was pinned today and is definitely looking like he has something to prove after a puncture in MSA ruined what was certainly a medal worthy run
Laurie Greenland was pinned today and is definitely looking like he has something to prove after a puncture in MSA ruined what was certainly a medal-worthy run

Amaury Pierron can t control what Loic Bruni does this weekend all he can do is to put himself in the strongest possible position should Bruni have any dramas.
Amaury Pierron can't control what Loic Bruni does this weekend, all he can do is to put himself in the strongest possible position should Bruni have any dramas.

Thirion always kills it when the going gets steep.
Thirion always kills it when the going gets steep.

Fresh off a World Champs win Kye A hern in for P1 in timed.
Fresh off a World Champs win, Kye A'hern in for P1 in timed.

Monika Hrastnik weaving her way down towards the rock gardens.
Monika Hrastnik, weaving her way down towards the rock gardens.

Luca Shaw getting up to speed deep in the forest.
Luca Shaw getting up to speed deep in the forest.

No matter what happens this weekend David Trummer has had one hell of a season in 2019.
No matter what happens this weekend David Trummer has had one hell of a season in 2019.

Dean Lucas finds the grip limit through one of the many lower rock gardens.
Dean Lucas finds the grip limit through one of the many lower rock gardens.

Thibaut Daprela still has the number one plate on his bike but it has been a while since we have seen him win in the junior race.
Thibaut Daprela still has the number one plate on his bike but it has been a while since we have seen him win in the junior race.

Vero Widmann about half way through the the massive rock garden that makes up most of the lower track
Vero Widmann about half way through the massive rock garden that makes up most of the lower track

Dakotah Norton is on home soil this weekend and looked very comfortable on track it showed in his timed training result too.
Dakotah Norton is on home soil this weekend and looked very comfortable on track; it showed in his timed training result too.

Hugo Frixtalon swinging off the back in the lower section of the track. There s a little bit of everything here and it ll be a hard race run to piece together.
Hugo Frixtalon swinging off the back in the lower section of the track. There's a little bit of everything here and it'll be a hard race run to piece together.

Vali Holl had already wrapped up the junior overall but will want to go out with a bang before she moves up to elites next season.
Vali Holl had already wrapped up the junior overall but will want to go out with a bang before she moves up to elites next season.

Tahnee Seagrave spent a while scoping out the lines in this section before subsequently nailing it straight after.
Tahnee Seagrave spent a while scoping out the lines in this section before subsequently nailing it straight after.

Rafael Gutierrez lets the back end get loose across some massive roots
Rafael Gutierrez lets the back end get loose across some massive roots

Bruni nearly wiped out at some speed in the lower rocks but bench-pressed it out like a champ. A World champ at that.
Bruni nearly wiped out at some speed in the lower rocks, but bench-pressed it out like a champ. A World Champ at that.

Charlie Hatton lost in the forest.
Charlie Hatton lost in the forest.

Johannes Von Klebelsberg will be looking for some redemption here in the USA after a champs gone wrong last weekend.
Johannes Von Klebelsberg will be looking for some redemption here in the USA after a World Champs gone wrong last weekend.

After missing a few rounds due to injury Patrick Laffey is lookin got close out the season with a podium finish in the junior race.
After missing a few rounds due to injury, Patrick Laffey is looking to close out the season with a podium finish in the junior race.

Mark Wallace wearing the opposite of camouflage in the lush green West Virginia Forest
Mark Wallace wearing the opposite of camouflage in the lush green West Virginia Forest.

Matt Walker flaming through the boulders
Matt Walker flaming through the boulders.

Vali Holl out for a rip during the timed training session.
Vali Holl out for a rip during the timed training session.

A ride up through the green trees in the fresh air is great way to finish the day Vallnord and Snowshoe currently the only tracks on the circuit with pits at the top.
A ride up through the green trees in the fresh air is great way to finish the day; Vallnord and Snowshoe are currently the only tracks on the circuit with pits at the top.

Laurie Greenland unleashing his inner American after being in full British mode for Champs.
Laurie Greenland unleashing his inner American after being in full British mode for Champs.

When the pressure mounts some people just stay naturally cool. Amaury Pierron is naturally cool but the glasses keep the temp way down.
When the pressure mounts some people just stay naturally cool. Amaury Pierron is naturally cool, but the glasses keep the temp way down.

Ready for another one tomorrow Vali taking it easy after practice.
Ready for another one tomorrow, Vali taking it easy after practice.

The weather looked imposing at the end of the day but there shouldn t be anymore rain this weekend if the forecast is to be believed.
The weather looked imposing at the end of the day but there shouldn't be any more rain this weekend if the forecast is to be believed.



53 Comments

  • 50 0
 Duke & Rowdy. Nice one.
  • 2 0
 Sure does look Rowdy.Classic
  • 8 0
 Duke looks like Tracey with a bad hair day
  • 2 1
 I love that image. I got two boys my self just a little bit older Smile
  • 28 0
 thanks for the great pics, i miss the appalachian hardwood forests and the splintered light that filters through to the bottom. i watched neko's test run the other day and heard them hoot and the sound echo through the woods off the thick leaves, you don't get that in pine forests. i grew up going to work with dad in rural WV logging jobs bangin down the road in a pick-up truck, and these pics remind me of the smell of ground-up root-exposed earth tilled from skidders and freshly fell trees. thanks for the pics.
  • 20 0
 I hope Brendog flips the start jump on his race run Smile
  • 16 1
 - What does your dad do?
- He's a software engineer, and yours?
- My is a plumber
- Hey kid! And yours?
- Well, my father is A MOTHERF...ING DOWNHILL WORLD CUP RACER!!!

Now that may cause some peer pressure
  • 11 0
 and my name is Rowdy motherf@#$rs!
  • 12 0
 Rowdy Hannah. What a name
  • 15 0
 “Mr Hannah, we can’t seem to control your son in class”


“Which one?!”
  • 7 1
 Gutted we aren't there but stoked to watch the action. Photos are unreal. Among the best shot all season given mix of terrain and varied features. Sick track! Good luck to all teams + riders.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. Pretty close to home for me but other plans got in the way. Awesome to see these great photos with some of my fav riders in my backwoods! Hope they can bring UCI World Cup back in the future.
  • 9 1
 JVK is not racing due to a concussion
  • 5 0
 The amount of attention the juniors have been getting lately is awesome!!
  • 5 0
 Bruce Klein should be on the Fantasy roster! Smile
  • 5 0
 is pompon related to bruce campbell?
  • 5 0
 Fairclough is a legend. But this track has Minnaar written all over it.
  • 1 0
 I think he has been struggling a little on rock gardens. However it's since the start of the season I'm waiting for his 22th win. He deserves it so much at 37 y/o
  • 3 0
 @dirt2g: he destroyed the rock gap into the burm. I saw allot of top competitors end up in the woods on that one. Going to be such a good race!
  • 6 3
 I sincerely hope no toads will be hurt in the filming of this production.

(and no I am not a vegan)
  • 4 16
flag colincolin (Sep 6, 2019 at 2:10) (Below Threshold)
 Let's hope lots of vegans are butthurt by your comment. They've got no point in Muhrica. Now bring on the double pounders.
  • 9 2
 @colincolin: I do not want another lecture from a German backpacker about how we don’t appreciate the National Park system.
  • 5 2
 So what if you were a vegan? What is wrong with having compassion for animals, bettering your overall health, and doing something good for the environment?
  • 2 3
 @sino428: It is by no way better for your overall health, everything is healthy in moderation, in fact, meat is necessary, but in moderation. And you dont have to be vegan to have compassion for animals. In fact, the new trend is what some vegans do in taking their “comparison” the extra level by turning their pets vegan, and putting them within one inch of their life. In any case, this is not the place to argue veganism. I just wanted to clarify where I stand, that’s all.
  • 4 2
 @Dulaim: You have no idea what you are talking about, on any of your points. Just clarifying where you actually stand.
  • 1 3
 @sino428: No I know nothing about it, nor does humans know for as far back as humanity has existed, nor any animals for as far back as animals have existed either. Only vegans do.
  • 2 1
 @Dulaim: Well you clearly don't because saying that "meat is necessary" is just stupid and uninformed.

There hundreds of thousands of of vegans in the world living perfectly healthy lives. This includes people of all walks of life including professional athletes at the highest levels. NFL players, NBA all stars, World cup soccer players, bodybuilders, weight lifters, sprinters, marathoners, tennis players, boxers, UFC fighters, cyclists. You name the sport there is someone at or near the top of it who is vegan.

These are all people who are in better shape and performing at a higher level that any of us every will, yet with all that evidence right in front of your face, still sit here and say dumb shit about how humans need meat. They don't. And most people know that (including yourself most likely) but would rather keep telling themselves some bullshit about cavemen so you can remain ignorant and keep enjoying your bacon cheeseburgers.
  • 2 1
 @sino428: Why you feel good about the vegan diet is probably because you switched from chugging soda and factory farmed meats down your throat every day. Add the psychological factor and you surely would feel better after ridding yourself from such a diet. But, why not compare your diets benefits to one who has access to a free range farm (such as myself and many meat-lovers who actually care for their health) and you’d notice that your vegan diet is not all that great.

What will make you notice that your diet is not all that great even further is when -after a while- you and your fellow vegans, go do some lab tests and realize how deficient in lipids and hormones you are. 83% of vegans are B12 deficient compared to 5% Omnivores, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Add to that all the FACTORY produced supplements you have to take to be able to operate.

Maybe the vegan diet worked for one or two, athletes as well, but a vegan will never be as healthy as an omnivore who eats meat in moderation.

Next thing we will see is a guy saying plants shouldn’t be killed cuz they shoot off runners and they are siblings and it would be equal to homocide, absolute nonsense.
  • 1 0
 @Dulaim: You know absolutely nothing about my diet now or any other time in my life. There simply are no "benefits" to your diet. You can include meat in your diet and still be very healthy, but there is nothing more healthy about it. B12? Come on man. You think I don't here the same dumb shit from everyone who tries to make these same arguments? What did you spend like 10 minutes on google and think you know everything now. You can get plenty of B12 with a vegan diet if you eat the right foods, and if you don't just take a vitamin. And its not 1 or 2 athletes. Maybe try doing some research on the subject (which you currently know nothing about) and you might be surprised by some of the names you see who are vegan. Your statements that a vegan diet will never be as healthy as one that includes meat are simply just baseless nonsense. And finally, "plants shouldn't be killed"? You really went there in the anti-vegan argument? That just solidifies that you are really clueless on the subject. Now you are just embarrassing yourself.

Also another note about B12. Most of what you get through eating animals comes from supplements anyway. The antibiotics that are given to most livestock kill off all the natural B12 they have anyway and they are just fed the same supplements to replace it. So your theory is its better to eat an animal that has been pumped full of B12 supplements instead of just taking the supplement yourself? You don't realize how dumb that is?
  • 1 1
 @sino428: B12, dietary supplement of B12 to a ruminant animal is completely destroyed by the rumen microflora, so that’s your argument out the door. You’re right in one case only(which I’m sure you know but failed to mention.) is when the animal is when the animal is sick or very young.

1. When sick the antibiotics stop the micro flora from doing its job of destroying the dietary b12 , so B12 can actually be utilized.

2. When the animal is young (90 days) the rumen is not fully mature and therefore needs B12 supplement WHICH IT GETS FROM ITS DAM’S MILK

Mate, I surely don’t know enough about Veganism, and I surely googled this, and yes it only took me 10 minutes to debunk your argument. Imagine if someone actually invested in exposing your misguidance. All you say is do some research, got a 20min topic for me I could research about?

Psst: I’d love to see Richie rude race on a vegan diet, hell, he’ll be first on the finish list, flipped upside down.
  • 1 0
 @Dulaim: You have completely missed the point. You have only addressed one part of the equation which is the straight B-12 supplementation. While much of it is destroyed by the rumen, it is not "completely" destroyed (as the one article you found that was written by a cattle farmer stated). There is a reason that animal feed is still fortified with B-12 and that 90% of the B-12 supplements produced today are ultimately fed to animals.

What you ignored is that livestock diets are also heavily supplemented with cobalt, which the need in order to for their own bacteria to produce B-12. This includes your free range and grass fed animals as the soil in many areas is depleted of the necessary amounts needed. Whether it be B-12 supplements themselves or cobalt supplements, we are going to great lengths to artificially maintain meat as a proper source of B-12 when we we could simply just take the supplements ourselves. This is which ridiculous when you think about it. Besides the fact that the supplemental form of B-12 is much more efficient and better absorbed by our bodies.

As for your Richie Rude comment, I really don't know what to say. That's just pure ignorance at its best. Like I said look up some vegan athletes and tell me how they can all be successful in all kind of sports from ultramarathons to olympic powerlifting, yet Richie rude would somehow finish last if he stopped eating meat and cheese.

I'm done with the back an fourth here. If you ever want to have a serious conversation about about any of this feel free to send me a message, I'd be glad to have a friendly discussion about it. Trust me, I used to be just like you, and say all the same kind of things. I have a perspective from both sides of this which you don't.
  • 3 0
 @sino428: As always, the vegan way is the only way, and even when a vegan reverts from veganism he “didn’t do veganism right”. Your invitation is much appreciated, I’m a student and I’m not above learning from anyone, despite differences, I happily accept your offer.
  • 2 0
 Absolutely love that photo of the riders queuing up to check out the big jump!
  • 2 0
 That place looks awesome! I'm gonna throw in that Dak makes the podium ????
  • 1 0
 I'm pulling for him, too.
  • 3 0
 Pompon not in timed training? Eh??? What planet are the UCI on?
  • 1 0
 does Remi Thirion have a multitool bolted to the visor on his helmet? that would be a method I've never seen before!
  • 1 1
 roll off visor system on the goggles.
  • 2 0
 If I'm not mistaken it's a gps, all the commencal team use it.
  • 3 1
 Why do writers keep calling the last race of the season "mid season"?
  • 2 0
 Bernard Kerr stylish one foot with clipless pedal? WOW.
  • 2 0
 Clipped back in mid-air. True story.
  • 2 0
 Oh Brendog Brendog... you’re such a legend!
  • 1 0
 It takes some guts to hit everything on your first run down before anyone else. Danny is damn brave.
  • 2 0
 Paddle faster I hear banjo music
  • 3 2
 Toads aren’t vegans either
  • 1 0
 4th photo:

Captain Jack... Bruni "Bring me the horizon...."
  • 1 0
 That's not Rowdy, that's....Rowdae.
  • 1 1
 Hold on, wasn’t Loris on crutches?
  • 1 0
 Walking stick. Near enough. And half a cast on his wrist..
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the coverage!

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