Qualifying - Leogang World Cup 2016

Jun 11, 2016
by Dave Trumpore  




Rain, mud, ruts, and roots were the predominant themes of the day as the predicted storms rolled into Leogang just in time to wreak havoc on both the track and the riders. While yesterday we all worked on our suntans as the track dried out to perfection, today everyone was left scrambling for umbrellas, rain jackets, and most importantly some fresh tires of the spiked variety.

With a plethora of ruts laid down during practice, and most of the fresh dirt already scraped clean, the track rode incredibly well despite the near constant rainfall throughout the day. The open clearcut section was by far the most difficult with its exposed roots and multiple off cambers, but for riders who could thread the needle and stay out of the holes, it was an area where lots of time could be gained. Get it wrong however and you would lose that time tenfold.

As is the case whenever the weather acts up, we were graced with a bunch of new faces at or near the top spots once the clock started ticking and riders set off to do battle in qualifying. The first true test of who had the speed versus who needed to go back to the drawing board. First up it would be the Junior men, who at the midpoint of the season have quite a competitive battle on their hands for the top spots. And to drive that point home even further we saw a new face out front in Elliot Heap, and a rider we have not seen much from in second by the name of Sylvain Cougoreux. Current series leader, Finn Iles, would finish back in 6th with the usual suspects filling in the spots between them and the leaders.

For the women, it was all about Rachel Atherton once again in the top spot, but this week her closest challenger is Tahnee Seagrave. After sitting out Fort William, Tahnee is still not operating at 100% but is obviously feeling up to the fight this weekend. Manon Carpenter slid into third followed by Canadian rider, Miranda Miller, who is always a podium threat when she turns up to a World Cup. Tracey Hannah rounded out the top 5 with a run that she reckons left a lot of room to improve on.

The final battle of the day was the Elite Men on a track that at this point had been truly battered and beaten, and with the weather deciding to add to the fun by turning up the rain just a little bit higher. To many it was a surprise to see Aaron Gwin come out on top as rain and mud have never treated him well, but as champions do he raised his game for the occasion. The biggest surprise, however, came from second place finisher Loris Vergier who laid down the fastest top three splits before catching Josh Bryceland in the bottom rock garden, in turn losing a few seconds through the bottom bit. Keeping with the theme of fresh blood threatening the podium it was Mike Jones in 3rd, followed by Hart, Minnaar, and Fairclough. Lots of protected riders like Ratboy and Connor Fearon had big crashes and finished way down the order, while a few other top performers from last week struggled to make it into the top 20 here in Leogang.

With more scattered weather forecast for tomorrow and a deteriorating track that may struggle to hold any more moisture, you'd be a fool not to skip work, or sleep, or your significant other's birthday to log in and watch it all go down live tomorrow afternoon. Will anyone knock Rachel off the top spot or will she make it 10 wins in a row? Will we see our 4th winner in as many races in the men's? Your guess is as good as ours.

At some points on track riders looked more like soldiers calling through the trenches and mud at the Somme than racers at a World Cup.
At some points on track riders looked more like soldiers crawling through the trenches and mud at the Somme than racers at a World Cup.

Saving Private Needles... It was a war zone out there today.
Saving Private Needles... It was a war zone out there today.

Eddy Masters with a point to prove after his Highlands yolo run . The pressure will at least be off tomorrow with a more casual 35th qualie.
Eddy Masters with a point to prove after his Highlands 'yolo run'. The pressure will at least be off tomorrow with a more casual 35th in qualifying.

Keagan Wright was all smiles and loving the sloppy conditions.
Keagan Wright was all smiles and loving the sloppy conditions.

Mitch Ropelato was another rider swallowed up by the mud in qualifying and will be watching from the sidelines tomorrow.
Mitch Ropelato was another rider swallowed up by the mud in qualifying and will be watching from the sidelines tomorrow.

Reece Wilson watches his time slip and slide away.
Reece Wilson watches his time slip and slide away.

Elliot Heap has been looking on point all year so it s good to finally see him qualify in the top spot amongst the Juniors.
Elliot Heap has been looking on point all year so it's good to finally see him qualify in the top spot amongst the Juniors.

Nick Nestoroff kept it consistent for another 5th in the Juniors.
Intense Factory Racing's Nick Nestoroff kept it consistent for another 5th in the Juniors.

Those rocks are as big as they look but Aaron Gwin doesn t let them slow him down one bit.
Those rocks are as big as they look but Aaron Gwin doesn't let them slow him down one bit.

Aaron Gwin is looking to leave his mark on Leogang for the second year in a row.
Aaron Gwin is looking to leave his mark on Leogang for the second year in a row.

Slipping by unnoticed in black rain gear during practice Vergier was out hitting all the right lines at speed. Like top top speed.
Slipping by unnoticed in black rain gear during practice, Vergier was out hitting all the right lines at speed. Like top, top speed.

CRC s Mike Jones in smash mode taking the inside rut line. Clearly he kept a good thing going for qualie and came in 3rd with super strong middle splits.
CRC's Mike Jones in smash mode, taking the inside rut line. Clearly he kept a good thing going for qualies and came in 3rd with super strong middle splits.

An alternative angle of Mike Jones smashing the bomb hole. How he rode this out is one of life s great mysteries.
An alternative angle of Mike Jones smashing the bomb hole. How he rode this out is one of life's great mysteries.

Rachel Atherton had a shocker up there today only managing to take the qualie win by 8.5 seconds. A poor performace we re sure you ll agree.
Rachel Atherton had a 'shocker' up there today, 'only' managing to take the qualifying win by 8.5 seconds. A 'poor' performance we're sure you'll agree.

Manon Carpenter gets up to pace on the greasy track and it s oddly placed manmade rock gardens.
Manon Carpenter gets up to pace on the greasy track and its oddly placed man-made rock gardens.

2012 Leogang destroyer Morganne Charre on route to 6th.
2012 Leogang destroyer, Morgane Charre, on route to 6th.

Tahnee s back no doubt about it. 2nd place for the FMD Racing superstar.
Tahnee's back, no doubt about it. 2nd place for the FMD Racing superstar.

Loris Vergier came second in qualifying today but Loris Vergier was held up by Josh Bryceland for his final split. Loris Vergier appears to be insanely fast. Look out for Loris Vergier tomorrow.
Loris Vergier came second in qualifying today, but was held up by Josh Bryceland for his final split. Loris Vergier appears to be insanely fast. Look out for Loris Vergier tomorrow.

Brendan Fairclough backing it in and smashing through the toughest parts of the track. He is currently seeded in 6th and we are all crossing our fingers that he lays down a podium run tomorrow.
Brendan Fairclough backing it in and smashing through the toughest part of the track. He is currently seeded in 6th and we are all crossing our fingers that he lays down a podium run tomorrow.

The mighty Brendawg on a rip-roarer for 6th place after a slow ish start to his run.
The mighty Brendawg on a rip-roarer for 6th place after a slow(ish) start to his run.

Lac Blanc s Thomas Estaque G-ing out of the horrendously muddy cascades section.
Lac Blanc's Thomas Estaque G-ing out of the horrendously muddy cascades section.

Those safety ladders were just about anything but safe this afternoon.
Those 'safety' ladders were just about anything but safe this afternoon.

Was qualifying tough You re goddam right it was tough...
Was qualifying tough? You're goddamn right it was tough...

Danny Hart s shoes tell the tale of a day out on the mountain most would rather forgot.
Danny Hart's shoes tell the tale of a day out on the mountain most would rather forget.

As usual Remi Thirion was doing his own thing and riding his own line though the rock garden.
As usual, Remi Thirion was doing his own thing and riding his own line through the rock garden.

Remi Thirion on the drift of a lifetime getting swapped the full 180 coming into the cascades section.
Remi Thirion on the drift of a lifetime, getting swapped the full 180 coming into the cascades section.
You are correct in you assumption that he did not ride it out...

Remi Thirion still alive and still smiling. Bring on tomorrow
Remi Thirion, still alive and still smiling. Bring on tomorrow!

Silicone spray works wonders but you know it can only do so much...
Silicone spray works wonders, but you know it can only do so much...

George Brannigan shows you just how slick and off camber the newly deforested grass and stump field is.
George Brannigan shows you just how slick and off camber the newly deforested grass and stump field is.

Matt Simmonds had his best qualifying result on the year with a 9th.
Matt Simmonds had his best qualifying result of the year with a 9th.

Soup anyone
Soup anyone?

Qualifying - Leogang World Cup 2016
Qualifying - Leogang World Cup 2016

The only part on the bikes with no mud
The only part on the bikes with no mud

How much extra weight do you think riders were carrying on board today
How much extra weight do you think riders were carrying today?

All that loam is not so loamy anymore.
All that loam is not so loamy anymore.

Troy was a bit further back than he would have liked but it very much in the fight here in Leogang.
Troy was a bit further back than he would have liked but is very much in the fight here in Leogang.

A glorious welcome back to Canadian racer Miranda Miller romping through the ruts to a 4th place qualifier.
A glorious welcome back to Canadian racer, Miranda Miller, romping through the ruts to a 4th place qualifier.

Tracey Hannah didn t have a smooth run and retcons she should be able to pull back some time tomorrow when it really counts.
Tracey Hannah didn't have a smooth run and reckons she should be able to pull back some time tomorrow when it really counts.

Looney Toons tunnel action with Sylvain Cougoureux of the Les Gets-Intense team smashing a second place in the junior qualies.
Looney Toons tunnel action with Sylvain Cougoureux of the Les Gets-Intense team, smashing a second place in the junior qualies.

That early morning eject feeling.
That early morning eject feeling.

Giant s Marcello Gutierrez is no stranger to a tropical thunderstorm coming out of central America but he was left just outside the top 10 this afternoon.
Giant's Marcello Gutierrez is no stranger to a tropical thunderstorm coming out of South America, but he was left just outside the top 10 this afternoon.

Mondraker s Laurie Greenland had a bit of a nightmare up there on track today coming off and riding home dead last... Not the end the end of the world though as a protected rider. Tomorrow its on.
Mondraker's Laurie Greenland had a bit of a nightmare up there on track today, coming off and riding home dead last... Not the end of the world though as a protected rider. Tomorrow it's on.

Qualifying - Leogang World Cup 2016

Danny Hart put the laps in like a mad man once again in the horrific conditions this morning and it seemed to pay off. Fourth spot for qualie.
Danny Hart put the laps in like a mad man once again in the horrific conditions this morning and it seemed to pay off. Fourth spot for qualie.

Radon Magura s Johannes Fischbach finally laid down the kind of run he s capable of this afternoon smashing through the front door of the top ten for 8th place.
Radon Magura's Johannes Fischbach finally laid down the kind of run he's capable of this afternoon, smashing through the front door of the top ten for 8th place.

Just as practice got underway the rain drops began to fall and Finn Iles began to make the mud fly
Just as practice got underway the rain drops began to fall, and Finn Iles began to make the mud fly.

Matt Walker and Finn Iles have a great battle shaping up for the Junior title and after both having off days in qualifying the points gap only got closer.
Matt Walker and Finn Iles have a great battle shaping up for the Junior title, and after both having off days in qualifying the points gap only got closer.

Riding on a high after last weeks result in Fort William Gaetan Vige matched the number on his race plate to take 3rd in qualifying.
Riding on a high after his result in Fort William, Gaetan Vige matched the number on his race plate to take 3rd in qualifying.

Mick Hannah charged through the rain drops to 15th.
Mick Hannah charged through the rain drops to 15th.

After a promising result last week first year Elite rider Alex Marin struggled in the mud of Leogang today.
After a promising result last week, first-year Elite rider, Alex Marin struggled in the mud of Leogang today.

Still struggling to find the pace that has put him on the podium in years past Sam Blenkinsop would have to settle for 55th today.
Still struggling to find the pace that has put him on the podium in years past, Sam Blenkinsop would have to settle for 55th today.

Time for the mechanics to get everything clean while the riders head back up in the rain without bikes to see where it went wrong... or right.
Time for the mechanics to get everything clean while the riders head back up in the rain without bikes to see where it went wrong... or right.

Cool calm and collected. Loris Vergier has the right head for racing and won t be stressed at all about being the second to last man off tomorrow.
Cool, calm and collected. Loris Vergier has the right head for racing and won't be stressed at all about being the second to last man off tomorrow.

Long time childhood friend and fellow racer Guillaume Cauvin stops by the Specialized pits to congratulate Loris on a job well done.
Long time childhood friend and fellow racer, Guillaume Cauvin stops by the Specialized pits to congratulate Loris on a job well done.

Greg Minnaar and Steve Peat review footage with their team filter to go over lines and look for those precious extra seconds.
Greg Minnaar and Steve Peat review footage with their team filter to go over lines and look for those precious extra seconds.

All smiles for Troy in the pits after surviving to take 7th in qualifying.
All smiles for Troy in the pits after surviving to take 7th in qualifying.

Troy Brosnan s mechanic Aaron in the middle of a big Demo strip-down to clean out the huge amount of grit and moisture the bikes were exposed to this afternoon.
Troy Brosnan's mechanic, Aaron, in the middle of a big Demo strip-down to clean out the huge amount of grit and moisture the bikes were exposed to this afternoon.

One of those days...
One of those days...

A huge crash ruined Laurie Greenland s run but besides a few bruises he s doing just fine.
A huge crash ruined Laurie Greenland's run, but besides a few bruises he's doing just fine.

Rather rinse repeat... Such is the life of a mechanic when the mud is flying.
Rather, rinse, repeat... Such is the life of a mechanic when the mud is flying.

Judging by the results this party should be seeing quite a few newcomers tonight.
Judging by the results, this party should be seeing quite a few newcomers tonight.

Keep those umbrellas out... It looks like we are in for more rain tomorrow.
Keep those umbrellas out... It looks like we are in for more rain tomorrow.


Posted In:
Stories



87 Comments

  • + 127
 @David Trumpore Thankyou on behalf of the DH community!!!!!!
Love the absolute coverage and epic photos!
You make the DH circuit Come to me when in reality it's across the globe!
Love it
  • + 35
 ...& Let's not forget Nathan Hughes for absolutely crushing it! Smile
  • + 7
 Gwin's goggle strap snaps at start gate. went down and win.
  • + 8
 @danyul: it's all about teamwork with these photos epics.

Thanks for the kind works guys !!!
  • + 1
 @davetrump: just want to add my thanks too. For such a small sport, all this excellent coverage makes it seem like a huge family and like I'm really there. so thank you
  • + 70
 I dont think there are many people that can say they were held up by Ratboy...
  • + 22
 Loris is an absolute savage on the bike. I've literally stopped in panic in the middle of a trail, thinking there was a heli right above me, only to look back and see Loris bombing down the trail, making his bike do all kinds of insane noises. Even back when he was just a junior, he rode with an aggression that most Elite guys don't have.
  • + 5
 To be fair, ratboy had a crash
  • + 59
 Looks like they could do with some Scottish weather...
  • - 22
flag fecalmaster (Jun 11, 2016 at 17:56) (Below Threshold)
 Weather or not the creame rise to the top. Rachels competitors I feel sorrry for but hopefully Gwin allows a close contest. Basically give my man a new chain and let the divots fall
  • + 0
 Anyone have the link for race replay?
  • + 37
 Colombia is not "central America".
  • + 6
 We all know North Americans and geography don't mix well together :-P
  • + 7
 @mrbrownstone: well it was a Brit who wrote the caption so there goes that theory ;-)
  • + 22
 Race conditions sponsored by Jello Chocolate Pudding
  • + 2
 Looks delicious, dunnit!
  • + 2
 it riddles me that none of the teams are considering using "never wet" or something similar to keep the bikes mud free.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7is6r6zXFDc
  • + 2
 @thestraightline: it's not durable (against abrasion). I tried using some hydroponic coating on my shoes this winter and it lasted like 2 rides...
  • + 2
 Hydrophobic*
  • + 2
 @thestraightline: Was discussing exactly this with one of the team mechanics at Fort William, they stick to silicon spray and waxes as they're known not to damage seals or carbon etc. It's also a hell of a lot cheaper!! He said they were having trouble last weekend with the dust sticking to anything remotely sticky, meaning just as much cleaning as if it were muddy.
  • + 2
 @HpSauce: also tried on my shoes and as you say it wears off, but considering all the one off things the mechanics do when it comes to race time you would think that neverwet would work on certain parts of the bike. Take underneath the downtube as an example or even the rims. As for damaging seals or damaging carbon @DaMilkyBarKid I don't really see that being a big problem, they spray this stuff on the inside of electronics and I would think that is more sensitive.
  • + 20
 So hope brendog podiums. STYLE!
  • + 2
 Amen. Praying for him to see something he deserves everything!!
  • + 18
 I can't wait for tomorrow , so much better than watching a bag of wind being booted about for 90 minutes. I also REALLY hope Gwin does well, he deserves it after last year.
  • + 0
 Love seeing all the results mixed up - great to see different skills come to the fore. But what's truly amazing is that you can shake the results up so much and Gwin comes out on top! Really looking forward to seeing Mike Jones,Phil Atwill and Danny Hart this afternoon - I would expect Josh to have an exciting run too given that the conditions look just like the Macc training grounds look all year.
  • + 11
 This is going to be one wild race! It could be anyone's race to win
I hope rob warner gets wild in the booth Jailbreak
Brendawg you better get on that podium!
  • + 3
 Brendog.
  • + 7
 I wonder which "onza" tires is Gwin riding. He won on shortys and rode dhf's last weekend. What kind of publicity does onza get when their best rider uses maxxis to achieve results?
  • + 0
 They could always pull a specialized and rip off the tread. Or bontrager I guess
  • + 2
 Dont unserstand why gwin doesnt ride with the e13 tires !!!! He IS sponsored by e13.... And has the rims.....
  • + 4
 Loris Vergier came second in qualifying today, but was held up by Josh Bryceland for his final split. Loris Vergier appears to be insanely fast. Look out for Loris Vergier tomorrow... Yes... That's his name... Loris Vergier... Stop typing it out. It's weird. Just use his first name.
  • + 0
 or rattie might have been taking in the scenery and riding reeeeallly slowly, sandbagging for the finals...Wink
  • + 1
 @markdavid Lol, my thoughts exactly.
  • + 4
 Please stop writing that Gwin does not do well in mud and rain. He does just fine, aside from some mechanical mishaps. Better than I could do anyway Wink .
  • + 1
 I don't like that they cut down so many trees. For what? Mountain biking is about being one with nature and these organizers destroyed it and left all the evidence for us to see. Pretty poor decision making for some monetary incentive.
  • + 8
 apparently they have a beetle problem.
  • + 5
 pine bark beetles.....
  • + 10
 @ad15: bike park beetles?
  • + 4
 Come to Wales and see that most of our trails are nude thanks to Phytophthora Ramorum disease killing all the Japanese Larch planted here, Like gclarida says, there's sometimes another reason the trees are gone.
  • + 4
 I heard Brook Mcdonald went crashing thru there like a bowling ball and knocked all those trees down.
  • + 1
 Outstanding photos! Fairclough had tons of coverage in the vids. Good luck to all just to make it down tomorrow on two wheels. Excited!! Have to hope for Danny for the win. It's going to take a run we know Danny can do to beat "the gwinner".
  • + 4
 Awesome pictures, cheers. It's gonna be exiting race for sure, getting pumped!
  • + 3
 RATTY was in VERGIER's way for the end of his run!!!!!! While there was no one in front of gwin to slow him down !! VERGIER CAN DO IT!!!!!!!
  • + 0
 m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10154850503904688&id=546734687

4:45 I don't know if he was "holding him up" but we will see tmrw.
  • + 1
 @jfkusa: wow, that video really made it look like he was right on his tail, if you look at the splits loris was first for every single one until the end as well
  • + 1
 @Albatrosse: yea I think if loris felt held up but maybe not. He seems to be all smiles and I will definitely be rooting for him tomorrow.
  • + 1
 It could have certainly been an advantage from only a speculation standpoint as well. When you see the person in front of you, it motivates you to ride faster and harder, so you 'catch' them and ultimately maybe pass them. Rat went down which is why vergier caught him. And again, perhaps rat motivated vergier to ride faster and harder to catch him, and then ride his pace down the hill. Not knocking on either one's speed. The situation is just unknown and could be anything.
  • + 3
 Yeah, It is definitely easier to ride fast when you have another rider in your sights. Easier to gauge your own speed, and push the limits just enough to gain on them, rather than having no idea how you are doing so just going as fast as you can and making mistakes.
  • + 1
 @jfkusa: Lori's said he wasn't worried about passing as he knew he would qualify so just rode in Josh's back wheel and hit the final jump side by side for fun. It wasn't until he crossed the line that he realized he had been on such a fast run.
  • + 6
 Nice one Fischi!
  • + 3
 I'm happy to see Sandra RĂ¼besam on 8th spot as well!
  • + 1
 After watching a bunch of races live, I still think the 30 second interval for qualifying is a bit of an issue. Just like they do the 3 min gaps they might want to think about changing the top 20 ranked til a 60 second set up.
  • + 4
 From one extreme to the next. The weather is what makes this sport. Every race is completely unpredictable.
  • + 22
 It would be more unpredictable if there where more stops *coughcough*
  • + 6
 @MDHunter117: too right,, can't believe we're "half way through the season" already... after just a few races...

motogp has 18+...
  • + 2
 @MDHunter117: Aye. We need a change. It's a pitiful amount of rounds for a cycling event. We need a proper referendum. #votemore
  • + 4
 Haha so awesome, the dry ..dusty rider from so.cal qualifies first!
  • + 5
 Go Miranda go!
  • + 3
 I really hope specialized signs a contract longer than a year with loris.
  • + 1
 Don't always assume it's the manufacturer who wants to end a contract. There are always 2 parties involved and a contract termination could happen from either side.
  • - 1
 Are these bike parks, Ft. Bill and here, totally unaware of what cutting new trails or deforesting does to soil and how long it needs to "set"? Silly me, I thought they knew how to build trails! Seriously, this is a total joke. Good luck to all the lads and lets get the hell out of Leogang next year.
  • + 5
 It's not a track for mortals, but it's going to make for one hell of a WC round.
  • - 3
 @mpeagan +100 mate.
When I watched Claudio Caluori's presentation run I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that gutted forest. Environmental f*ckup of the most epic proportions IMHO, and am sort of getting fed up with this whole "let's rip another trail" approach...
  • + 6
 @UncleGroOve: It had to be done. Some beetle infestation where you can't stop it unless it's cut off. Friday thread talks a lot about it.
  • + 1
 @LulikZ: Tx for that. will double-check that thread...
  • + 1
 I'm so excited to see Vergier killing it. Nobody deserves a win more than him
  • + 3
 Not even Wyn?
  • + 2
 GO BRENDOG!!! I hope he makes it on the podium as well!
  • + 1
 If Laurie Greenland makes it into the top 10, he'll be the midget with the little digit!
  • + 2
 it's brits party tomoz .. Hart Jones Gee
  • + 2
 That would be sweet - but I think Gee's too banged up still.
  • + 1
 "not so loamy anymore" loam is loam brother! shred it all
  • + 1
 Great shots and coverage as always guys!
  • - 2
 Really fun to see as a spectator but this course is really unsafe and looks awful. Pretty alarming to see huge stumps in the most off camber effed up part of the track. What are organizers thinking?
  • + 8
 it's DH, not road racing...
  • + 1
 Aaron in front! Oh boy! Here we go agwin.
  • + 1
 I was wondering who Crazy Frog and Wanker are?
  • + 2
 Crazy frog would be a Frenchy I guess Wink
  • + 1
 OMG, such brilliant photos!!!
  • + 1
 brosnon always new he was a little "special" running yank style brakes
  • + 0
 After seeing the civilized world there is no turning back.
  • + 1
 ..and pink trousers
  • + 1
 Can't wait
  • + 0
 Deluge in the Leogang - today on all screens. RedbullTV.
  • + 0
 Has anyone notice that Miranda has her cell phone in her pocket? Classic
  • + 3
 STRAVA!!!!
  • + 0
 Awesome

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