Qualifying Photo Epic: High Stakes - Lenzerheide World Cup DH 2019

Aug 9, 2019
by Ross Bell  




Photo Epic presented by Five Ten


The rain from earlier in the week is all but a distant memory here in Lenzerheide. Things have steadily been heating up both in terms of temperature and on-track action as race day looms ever larger. Danny Hart laid down his claim for the throne today fueled by frustration and motivation on recent close calls. He's been on it all season and a near-permanent fixture on the podium, just not on the step he so desperately craves. A puncture when in the running for the top few places in Val di Sole will only add to that hunger. He could only pull a tenth on Bruni however with the Frenchman seemingly an immovable object at the top of the overall. Troy Brosnan was just 0.8 back and happy after switching back to a full 650b setup this weekend. In behind him were Minnaar, Pierron, Vergier, Trummer, Norton, Iles, and Lucas rounding out the top ten.

Tracey Hannah didn't dwell on last weekend's defeat to Marine Cabirou and will once again come down the hill last. Nina Hoffmann ran her the closest, under two seconds back. Nina lost a little momentum in the last few races with some fairly big crashes but it doesn't seem to be slowing her when she stays rubber side down. Cabirou was back in third, then there's a bigger gap to Widmann, Siegenthaler, Farina, and Balanche. Things are super tight between fourth and eighth places, which bodes well for an intense podium battle - as we've come to expect this year.

Unfortunately, there was the unmistakable buzz of the rescue helicopter early this morning for Group B practice. Last weekend's junior winner Mille Johnset had a big crash and needed to be airlifted off the hill. Thankfully, it sounds like she's just battered and bruised and it doesn't look too serious - we wish her a speedy recovery. That left Vali Höll and Anna Newkirk to do battle atop the junior women with Vali coming out on top. Anna followed in second with Nastasia Gimenez rounding out the top three. In junior men, Thibaut Daprela came out on top with Kye A'Hern a couple of seconds back, while Seth Sherlock continued his impressive season in third. Daprela will be looking to get back on top after a couple of crashes in his recent race runs. A'Hern is no slouch though and will be all out gunning for that top spot. Although there are plenty of other juniors who can get in the mix tomorrow.

With only World Cup finals in Snowshoe remaining once Hart crosses the line tomorrow afternoon, overall points are at a premium and it's Bruni and Hannah who have a strong grip on the number one spot. They've clawed even further ahead today, but they're certainly not going to have it easy tomorrow. Times are tight and the Lenzerheide track is a toughie to race flat out on. Who'll find the right formula on race day?


The sun is still shining and all is right with the world.... but for how long The forecast indicates great potential for storms for finals.
The sun is still shining and all is right with the world.... but for how long? The forecast indicates great potential for storms for finals.

A note of his racers start time is never far away for Trek mechanic Grant Sides.
A note of his racers' start times is never far away for Trek mechanic Grant Sides.

Vali Holl heads back to the pits before her final practice run this morning.
Vali Holl heads back to the pits before her final practice run this morning.

Cathrovision asking the number 1 where the line really is.
Cathrovision asking the number 1 where the line really is.

Kye A Hern went fastest in timed training yesterday but could only manage 2nd today.
Kye A'Hern went fastest in timed training yesterday but could only manage 2nd today.

Johannes Fischbach back between the World Cup race tapes and into the main show.
Johannes Fischbach is back between the World Cup race tapes and into the main show.

Kate Weatherly versus the fastest berm on the Straitline course.
Kate Weatherly versus the fastest berm on the Straitline course.

Dakotah Norton tastes the dirt in this morning s practice.
Dakotah Norton tastes the dirt in this morning's practice.

Tracey Hannah get to grips with the track conditions this morning.
Tracey Hannah get to grips with the track conditions this morning.

That number 1 looks to be staying on the front of Loic Bruni s Specialized for the remainder of the season.
That number 1 looks to be staying on the front of Loic Bruni's Specialized for the remainder of the season.

Danny Hart won t be happy with anything else apart from the number 1 spot tomorrow.
Danny Hart won't be happy with anything else apart from the number 1 spot tomorrow.

2.5 seconds up today Thibaut Daprela will want to keep it rubber side down tomorrow after crashing in his last two race runs. Will we see a more cautious approach tomorrow
Thibaut Daprela, 2.5 seconds up today. He'll will want to keep it rubber side down tomorrow after crashing in his last two race runs. Will we see a more cautious approach tomorrow?

Last weeks junior winner Pene rode to 4th very narrowly off the top 3 for podium.
Last week's junior winner, Pene, rode to 4th today.

Vali H ll on her way to an 8 second advantage over Newkirk.
Vali Höll on her way to an eight-second advantage over Newkirk.

Thibaut Daprela got the job done today but getting it done tomorrow when it matters is a whole other ball game.
Thibaut Daprela got the job done, but getting it done tomorrow when it matters is a whole other ball game.

Second in seeding for Anna Newkirk. She ll have to push hard tomorrow to get close to Vali s pace.
Second in seeding for Anna Newkirk. She'll have to push hard tomorrow to get close to Vali's pace.

With a podium spot up for grabs in the junior women in the absence of injured Millie Johnset Nastasia Gimenez stepped up to claim 3rd place.
With the absence of injured Millie Johnset, a podium spot up for grabs in the junior women. Nastasia Gimenez stepped up to claim 3rd place.

Marine Cabirou arrives at the top to start her warm up before her qualifying run.
Marine Cabirou arrives at the top to start her warm-up before her qualifying run.

Tracey Hannah took another step closer to the overall win today. Just 2 races left.
Tracey Hannah took another step closer to the overall win today. Just two races left.

Camile Balanche has a great shot at the podium here on home soil and based on today she only has 2 seconds to find to be on pace.
Camile Balanche has a great shot at the podium here on home soil. Based on qualies, she only has two seconds to find to be on pace.

Hoffman Hrastnik and Widmann spinning towards their qualie runs.
Hoffman, Hrastnik and Widmann spinning towards their qualie runs.

Eleonora Farina finished with her warm up routine and almost ready to drop.
Eleonora Farina finished with her warm-up routine and almost ready to drop.

Emilie Siegnthaler was the top Swiss rider landing in a podium position for the qualies.
Emilie Siegenthaler was the top Swiss rider, landing in a podium position for the qualies.

An ant sized Eleonora Farina tearing her way towards a podium position. 6th for the Italian today.
An ant-sized Eleonora Farina tearing her way towards a podium position. Sixth for the Italian today.

Tracy Hannah powering towards the fastest female time of the day a 3 25.
Tracey Hannah powering towards the fastest female time of the day, a 3:25.

Marine Cabirou departs the start gate on her way to third in qualifying.
Marine Cabirou departs the start gate on her way to third in qualifying.

Vero Widmann looks good for a top result this weekend 4th place today but times are admittedly tight.
Vero Widmann looks good for a top result this weekend with 4th place today, but times are admittedly tight.

Marine Cabirou was a few seconds back off the pace but still managed to qualify third.
Marine Cabirou was a few seconds off the pace, but still managed to qualify third.

Amaury Pierron into 5th today just 1.5 seconds back.
Amaury Pierron into fifth today, just 1.5 seconds back.

American national champ Neko Mullaly has looked rapid throughout training and today bagged an admirable 14th place.
American national champ, Neko Mullaly, has looked rapid throughout training and today bagged an admirable 14th place.

Deanos Machineos pressing out a fine top 10 performance with much more in the tank tomorrow.
Deanos Machineos pressing out a fine top ten performance with much more in the tank for tomorrow.

Finn Iles cracking the top ten today.
Finn Iles cracking the top ten today.

Seth Sherlock doing it for Canada third in Juniors.
Seth Sherlock doing it for Canada, third in Juniors.

Amaury Pierron on the charge in the steepest bit of track we ve seen in a long time. Second in qualies for the fast Frenchie.
Amaury Pierron on the charge in the steepest bit of track we've seen in a long time. Second in qualies for the fast Frenchie.

Loic Bruni may not have qualified fastest today but he s more than happy with his days work having extended his overall lead again.
Loic Bruni may not have qualified fastest today but he's more than happy with his day's work having extended his overall lead again.

Neko Mulally getting limber with it during the lift station warm up session.
Neko Mulally getting limber during the lift station warm-up session.

Last weeks number one getting in the zone before the beeps.
Last week's number one getting in the zone before the beeps.

Minnaar takes a moment to connect with his inner speed which he found again pretty easily this afternoon.
Minnaar takes a moment to connect with his inner speed, which he found again pretty easily this afternoon.

Full trust in the front tyre right out of the gate for Hart. You d expect nothing less from the top qualifier.
Full trust in the front tyre right out of the gate for Hart. You'd expect nothing less from the top qualifier.

Henry Fitzgerald was five spots away from the top 30s. Great ride from him today.
Henry Fitzgerald was five spots away from the top 30s. Great ride from him today.

Nina Hoffmann second today behind Hannah.
Nina Hoffmann second today behind Hannah.

Sixth place qualifier Loris Vergier has got to find at least two seconds and change in tomorrow s final but he s definitely due for one.
Sixth place qualifier, Loris Vergier, has got to find at least two seconds and change in tomorrow's final but he's definitely due for one.

The only course on the circuit where you can descend on the lift in almost perfect sync with a rider below and watch pretty much the entire run.
The only course on the circuit where you can descend on the lift in almost perfect sync with a rider below and watch pretty much the entire run.

Finn Iles has had an up and down season but things are starting to look up for the young Canadian 9th place for him today.
Finn Iles has had an up and down season but things are starting to look up for the young Canadian, 9th place for him today.

On the fringes of the top 10 was Luca Shaw in 12th.
On the fringes of the top ten was Luca Shaw in 12th.

Needless to say the GOAT really is one of mountain biking s greatest treasures. 4th place in qualies for the only man to win at this venue more than once.
Needless to say the GOAT really is one of mountain biking's greatest treasures. Fourth place in qualies for the only man to win at this venue more than once.

If there s a gap to be sent Loris Vergier isn t going to stay bound to the ground. 6th for the Syndicate top ranked rider this afternoon.
If there's a gap to be sent, Loris Vergier isn't going to stay bound to the ground. Sixth for the Syndicate's top-ranked rider this afternoon.

Fun fact 10th place qualifier Dean Lucas has a hair and make-up team accompanying him at every round to keep his highlights as vibrant as possible.
Fun fact: tenth place qualifier, Dean Lucas, has a hair and make-up team accompanying him at every round to keep his highlights as vibrant as possible.

2nd place at split 1 Brook MacDonald front flatted and finished in the 90s. As a protected rider it s no drama and we ll still see him go for the top spot in the big show.
Second place at split one, Brook MacDonald front flatted and finished in the 90s. As a protected rider it's no drama. We'll still see him go for the top spot in the big show.

David Trummer inside that top 10 once again what a season for the Austrian.
David Trummer inside that top ten once again, what a season for the Austrian.

Reece Wilson gripping and ripping the lower berms well inside top 20 speed.
Reece Wilson gripping and ripping the lower berms well inside top 20 speed.

Will we see Amaury Pierron drop all the power to put down one of his mastecrclass runs for finals tomorrow 1.4 seconds off first place the day could easily be his.
Will we see Amaury Pierron drop all the power to put down one of his masterclass runs for finals tomorrow? The day could easily be his, only 1.4 seconds off first place.

Dakotah Norton picked himself up after is crash dusted himself off and smashed it into 8th place.
Dakotah Norton picked himself up after his crash and smashed it into 8th place.

Troy Brosnan has switched back to a full 650b setup this weekend and it looks to be paying off.
Troy Brosnan has switched back to a full 650b setup this weekend and it looks to be paying off.

Laurie Greenland settled for 11th today after some mistakes on his top splits. Tomorrow it s on.
Laurie Greenland settled for 11th today after some mistakes on his top splits. Tomorrow it's on.

Loic Bruni would love to add another yellow band to his top tube.
Loic Bruni would love to add another yellow band to his top tube.

Lewis Kirkwood making sure Henry Fitzgerald s horse is fine tuned for finals.
Lewis Kirkwood making sure Henry Fitzgerald's horse is fine-tuned for finals.

Bulldog TV coming soon.
Bulldog TV, coming soon.


MENTIONS: @natedh9 @andy9 @rossbellphoto


Regions in Article
Lenzerheide Bikepark


14 Comments

  • 19 0
 Brook with his "don't mess with me" forearms. yikes
  • 17 0
 Regarding Bulldog's arm. You should see what happened to the ground.
  • 2 0
 They say it was airlifted to the hospital and is in stable, but serious condition.
  • 15 0
 Dean "the Scene" Lucas
  • 10 0
 Man the Bulldog's forearms are nearly as scary as his calves! The man is an animal and has me feeling some type of way. Hope to see him on the podium!
  • 10 0
 The shot of Illes in full lean with laser eyes is epic! Hope he has a clean run tomorrow.
  • 9 0
 was that neko or the grudge?
  • 2 0
 I'm still laughing days after... You deserved more props for this one haha
  • 5 0
 Absolutely beautiful fotos, I almost feel as though I am there. Great job on capturing the moment photographers.
  • 3 0
 Let the photographers sell their photos on the site and take a cut. Win, Win, Win. Including the fans who get a great photo they love.
  • 1 0
 rootsandrain.com
  • 3 0
 & did Greenland actually fly to the lake? ????‍????
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the fantastic women Race coverage!
  • 2 0
 #BullDog4Rampage

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