Qualifying Analysis - Les Gets World Cup DH 2019

Jul 12, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Hugo Frixtalon scribing the final road gap on track

Let's take a look at some of the numbers and talking points from a hectic qualifying session:

Sector Times

Sector 1
1. Amaury Pierron - 37.567
2. Danny Hart +0.713
3. Mike Jones +1.071
4. Bernard Kerr +1.077
5. Thibaut Ruffin +1.108

Sector 2
1. Amaury Pierron - 45.907
2. Loic Bruni +0.059
3. Troy Brosnan +0.484
4. Danny Hart +0.653
5. Greg Minnaar +0.981

Sector 3
1. Troy Brosnan - 37.515
2. Amaury Pierron +0.211
3. Loic Bruni +0.354
4. Finn Iles +0.741
5. Dakotah Norton +0.761

Sector 4
1. Davide Palazzari - 38.411
2. Amaury Pierron +0.003
3. Connor Fearon +0.085
4. Loic Bruni +0.101
5. Noel Niederberger +0.144

Sector 5
1. Hugo Frixtalon - 19.365
2= Finn Iles +0.059
2= Loris Vergier +0.059
4. Troy Brosnan +0.094
5. Luca Shaw +0.101

Perfect Lap


Fastest Run


Sector 1
1. Tracey Hannah - 42.601
2. Marine Cabirou +0.198
3. Nina Hoffmann +1.497
4. Mariana Salazar +2.091
5. Eleonora Farina +2.266

Sector 2
1. Tracey Hannah - 54.029
2. Marine Cabirou +0.894
3. Eleonora Farina +1.223
4. Camille Balanche +2.586
5. Nina Hoffmann +3.277

Sector 3
1. Marine Cabirou - 44.170
2. Nina Hoffmann +0.649
3. Tracey Hannah +1.211
4. Eleonora Farina +1.430
5. Mariana Salazar +1.551

Sector 4
1. Tracey Hannah - 43.106
2. Marine Cabirou +0.570
3. Nina Hoffmann +1.101
4. Mariana Salazar +1.543
5. Eleonora Farina +1.695

Sector 5
1. Tracey Hannah - 22.056
2= Marine Cabirou +0.215
2= Mariana Salazar +0.215
4. Sian A'Hern +1.958
5. Agnes Delest +2.063

Perfect Lap


Fastest Run


The Story of the Session

By time

By position

By time

By position

Talking Points
The men's qualifying times were super tight

Full commitment and no brakes down this steep chute for Loic Bruni

What a tense session! A lot of riders who missed the cut will be rueing tiny mistakes as the margin for error here in Les Gets was miniscule. Just 10.869 separated the fastest man on the hill, Amaury Pierron, with the qualifying cut off in 60th. With 50 riders within 5 seconds between 10th and 60th, it was even closer when you get deeper into the ranks. Look at some of the lower sectors especially and there's virtually nothing to pick between even the fastest riders. This isn't actually the closest qualification of the year, that honour is still held by Leogang, where 9.546 seconds separated Greg Minnaar in 1st from Phil Atwill in 60th.

Pierron's first sector time was huge

Amaury Pierron wait patiently for the second lift to start running before practice this morning.

In one of the tightest qualifying sessions of the year, Pierron made a real statement in the first sector. Pierron is clearly a fan of grass turns as he was fastest through the bottom sector in Vallnord by nearly a second and fastest through the top here by 0.713, with only Danny Hart able to get within a second of him. Much like Bruni and Atherton in Vallnord last week, the hard work was done at the start of the run and he just had to manage his gap from there on down.

It's going to be an exciting battle between Cabirou and Hannah tomorrow

Marine Cabirou went fastest in times trainig for the women. Two seconds up on Tracey Hannah

Tracey Hannah and Marine Cabirou were almost inseparable as they came down the Les Gets course, locking out the top 2 in every sector. Yes, Hannah won four of those splits, but Cabirou put in a great time in the woods and was ahead of Hannah at the halfway point. These two look to be clear favourites for the win with an 8 second gap back to third-placed Mariana Salazar but it's anyone's guess as to who will triumph between them. Keep an eye out for Nina Hoffmann though, she was running third but crashed on the same jump as Rachel Atherton yesterday. She's protected, in the finals and will be ready to put things right tomorrow in racing.

Daprela and Holl continue to harry the elites

Thibaut Daprela on the flat out grass turns in Les Gets this year.

Once again, Thibaut Daprela and Vali Holl put in times to worry the elite fields. For Holl it was a 3:33.523, good enough for third, and Daprela a 3:04.856, slotting in just behind Finn Iles in tenth. Keep an eye out for top 10 times from these two again tomorrow.

Regions in Article
Les Gets Bike Park


  • 8 5
 I wonder if Pierron's time are partly due to the high pivot (or to which extent), non withstanding his riding skills of course.
On these grassy, off-camber turns, if his rear wheel loses grip the wheelbase will get longer which probably helps to get grip again, while a normal bike's wheelbase will get shorter and potentially lose even more grip. If I get my physic right.
  • 9 23
flag PeaFunk (Jul 12, 2019 at 10:24) (Below Threshold)
 What does the wheelbase have to do with grip in offcamber turns? You are overthinking this.
  • 6 3
 I would also guess that he is heavier than the others in the top five, which is a definite advantage on the fast grassy off cambers.
  • 2 2
 @PeaFunk: Haha maybe, I have a tendancy to extrapolate the processus going on to stupidly high values to visualise what's going on, think about what happen, then bring it back to scale, but I may be wrong in what I interpret. What I meant is that at those speeds, losing grip will quickly release the weight of the rear wheel, extending the suspension a bit, which will lenghten the wheel base a bit, until it catches grip again.
I mean it's not much but they're always at the limit, so between a wheel goign forward and another going rearward by a few millimeters, it may make a difference.
But there may be other factors like weight as Hypermoto says.
  • 2 3
 @hypermoto: its all about how can you get to terminal velocity and yes heavier riders may have a weight advantage but there so many other variables
  • 2 3
 @jerome: also heavier riders can push their tires into the dirt a lot easier
  • 1 0
 Certainly saw certain bikes handling the course better. I'm still buying the new Scott Ransom, but their wheel/tire/frame setup ended up in a lot of rear end traction loss.
  • 2 3
 @hypermoto: And stronger, put down pressure = traction.
  • 3 0
 He has some pretty good cornering technique based on videos he has put out this season!!
  • 7 3
 @hypermoto: More weight is never an advantage turning. This is most basic physics. F1 cars and Moto GP bikes are as light as can be for this reason.
  • 1 0
 @Slapnutz: Yes! His cornering technique is spot on. That is why he was fastest in those sections. Though I am a big fan of rearward travel bikes and I'm sure his Supreme DH didn't hurt him.
  • 2 2
 @EarIysport: That's a poor analogy, as F1 and Moto GP aren't trying to push knobby tires down into a loose/unpredictably grass off-camber. I can assure you that weight can help in these situations. He's not 'turning', he's leaning/carving, which requires more pressure on the knobs to maintain bite in the track surface.
  • 2 0
 @EarIysport: F1 cars also have huge spoilers that create massive downforce which pushes the tires into the ground for better traction.
  • 1 0
 The wheelbase will get longer only if more load is applied to the rear wheel - i.e. more suspension compression - so I don't think losing traction will lengthen his wheelbase.

The Commencal Supreme is one of the less stiff bikes available. I suspect this improves traction on flat turns.

Another variable: Maxxis and Schwalbe riders were using a wide variety of dry tires, intermediates, and cut spikes.
  • 1 0
 There is a lot of bad logic going on here. Pea funk is correct and gets negged. Loadsa wrong comments get massive props. I think the bike prob is helping pierron on these flat corners, but mostly due to its lateral compliance.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: Yeah I mixed up my explanation with what I was trying to picture in my head xD. What I mean to simplify is with the high pivot the more weight on the rear (so to some extent the higher risk to lose grip) the longer the wheelbase.
  • 5 0
 So cool to see top times in sectors from lesser-known riders, shows how deep the WC field is.
  • 5 0
 Beers At The Crack Of Dawn - Pink Floyd
  • 4 1
 What does making riders protected mean?
  • 2 0
 If they fail to qualify they still get to race because they're protected
  • 7 1
 They're awarded a prophylactic based on their overall ranking, and they are not removed from the start hump based on poor performance or mechanical dysfunction during qualifying.
  • 7 0
 @spankthewan: Username checks out
  • 13 0
 @DPfilms : Some knee pads, neck brace and sh*t
  • 1 0
 That within a certain number of past races they have enough points to be considered for a top qualifying spot in spite of one bad result in either qualifying or racing. For example, Minnaar was not protected and didn't qualify earlier this year simply because he didn't have enough podiums and qualifying run rankings. You'd have to look up the UCI rulebook and compare that to the last 18 months of race results to get a truly clear picture.
  • 1 0
 This is going to be a good race!
  • 1 0
 CanĀ“t wait for the race 3
  • 2 1

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