Qualifying Photo Epic: Snowshoe World Cup DH #2 2021

Sep 18, 2021
by Nathan Hughes  




Here we are on the dawn of close of play for the 2021 season. In an unbelievable bout of bad luck for Thibaut Daprela, the title has slipped from his hands and will now fall to Loris Vergier or Loic Bruni, with a remote chance for Reece Wilson. A devastating crash in the rocks of the lower fresh section has blown the season wide open at the last moment. A massive blow to Thibaut and his team, of course, a god-send to those incessant rivals who have been nipping at his heels. With no points on the line today it's hard to know how seriously the qualifying results should be taken, but rest assured Loic Bruni will be looking to repeat his decisive win tomorrow and give himself the best chance of running away with the overall.

The womens title looks much safer for one rider. Myriam Nicole is way out in front of the pack, almost one hundred points clear of Balanche, although she and Höll could still clinch it if Nicole was to overcook it and repeat the crisis from her last race. Actually, it would take more like a DNF or a flat to spoil her season, perhaps a safe run is in order, but it's doubtful we will see that if her near 5-second margin for qualies is any kind of indicator. Tomorrow it will be one for spectators. What a showdown it shall be.



Troy Brosnan darting through the lush green of West Virginia.
Troy Brosnan darting through the lush green of West Virginia.

Third for Troy he would love nothing more to end the season as he began it.
Third for Troy, he would love nothing more to end the season as he began it, with some light-hearted crushing of the competition.

Fair skies in the am before they went grey by day s end. A little bit of moisture might make things spicy tomorrow.
Fair skies in the AM before they went grey by day's end. A little bit of moisture might make things spicy tomorrow.

Myriam Nicole looking to make up for the disappointment of Wednesday.
Myriam Nicole looking to make up for the disappointment of Wednesday.

Myriam Nicole showing her speed once again taking the qualifier by a few seconds. She just has to keep it smooth in finals this time around.
Nicole showing her speed once again taking the qualifier by a few seconds. She just has to keep it smooth in finals this time around.

Thomas Estaque was gutted to miss out on the first race after a big mistake in qualifying. He cleaned it up today and came down in 12th.
Thomas Estaque was gutted to miss out on the first race after a big mistake in qualifying. He cleaned it up today and came down in 12th.

All day every day. This business has become a quite conventional 9 to 5 here in Snowshoe.

What does Laurie Greenland have up his sleeve for tomorrow
What does Laurie Greenland have up his sleeve for tomorrow?

The newest World Cups winner Reece Wilson looking relaxed before a solid run into 9th.
The newest World Cups winner Reece Wilson looking relaxed before a solid run into 9th.

All American Ella Erickson ripping into 2nd place junior women.
All American, Ella Erickson, ripping into 2nd place junior women.

Tuhoto-Arike Pene ready to end his elite break-out season on a high.
Tuhoto-Ariki Pene ready to end his elite break-out season on a high.

Luca Shaw found ways to smooth out the rock gardens and qualified sixth.
Luca Shaw found ways to smooth out the rock gardens and qualified sixth.

Bad luck for Charlie Harrison today who was on pace before a front flat.
Bad luck for Charlie Harrison today who was on pace before a front flat.

Matt Walker into a lofty fifth position for qualies.
Matt Walker into a lofty fifth position for qualies.

Marine spinning before dropping in on qualifying.
Marine spinning before dropping in on qualifying.

Cabirou rides into second place but has 4.9 seconds to find for the big show.
Cabirou rides into second place, but has 4.9 seconds to find for the big show.

Siel Van der Velden en route to the junior qualifier victory.
Siel Van der Velden en route to the junior qualifier victory.

Ele Pocahontas Farina.
Ele Farine hiding behind a wave of hair.

Eleonora Farina in contention for the podium positions tomorrow.
Farina in definite contention for the podium positions tomorrow.

Vali calm and collected before go time.
Vali calm and collected before go time.

Camile Balanche firing on all cyclinders for third.
Camile Balanche firing on all cylinders for third.

A massive crash for MacDonald today all water off a bulldog s back of course.
A massive crash for MacDonald today; all water off a bulldog's back of course.

Dakotah Norton throwing it sideways at any opportunity.
Dakotah Norton throwing it sideways at any opportunity.

American steeze masterclass for DN.
American steeze masterclass for DN.

Vali Hoell finally with win numero uno under her belt.
Vali Höll finally with win numero uno under her belt.

Fourth for Vali Holl in qualies today after taking the first of two races in this double header. Can she make it two for two here tomorrow
Fourth for Höll in qualies today after taking the first of two races in this doubleheader. Can she make it two for two here tomorrow?

Jordan Williams seems to be getting on well with the track in Snowshoe and backed up his win a few days ago with a fastest qualifier.
Jordan Williams seems to be getting on well with the track in Snowshoe and backed up his win a few days ago with the fastest qualifier.

A little off the pace today was Benoit Coulanges back in tenth. He ll be going for it tomorrow as he gets one last chance at the podium.
A little off the pace today was Benoit Coulanges back in tenth. He'll be going for it tomorrow as he gets one last chance at the podium.

Fastest ride of round 5.
Fastest ride of round 5.

Tahnee Seagrave limbers up for battle.
Tahnee Seagrave limbers up for battle.

Myriam Nicole gets to grips with the rocks in morning practice.
Myriam Nicole gets to grips with the rocks in morning practice.

Amaury Pierron will be frustrated with 8th today but remains a major danger man.
Amaury Pierron will be frustrated with 8th today, but remains a major danger man.

DJ Kolb warming up the crowd.
DJ Kolb warming up the crowd.

Just outside the top 10 was Andreas Kolb. He s showing promise for a good one tomorrow.
Just outside the top 10 was Andreas Kolb. He's showing promise for a good one tomorrow.

Oisin O Callaghan would love to sign his junior career off with a win.
Oisin O Callaghan would love to sign his junior career off with a win.

Fastest American Luca Shaw riding to 6th this afternoon with more in the tank.
Fastest American, Luca Shaw, riding to 6th this afternoon with more in the tank.

Loris Vergier into fourth today and with it the prime spot with the overall as main rival Daprela sadly crashes out of contention.
Loris Vergier into fourth today and with it the prime spot with the overall as main rival Daprela sadly crashes out of contention.

Ethan Craik was fractions of a second back from taking the top qualie spot. All out on the line for tomorrow.
Ethan Craik was fractions of a second back from taking the top qualie spot. All out on the line for tomorrow.

Izabela Yankova was ousted from the top spot in junior womens, but can she really be kept at bay in the final?

Thirion puzzling his way into 7th place.
Remi Thirion puzzling his way into 7th place.

Remi Thirion has been lighting up the track in practice. He qualified 7th today.
No surprises Thirion has been lighting up the track in practice.

Finn joins flat earthers and takes second place for qualies time behind Loic.
Finn joins the flat-earthers and takes second place for qualies time behind Loic.

Full commitment and fastest lap of the day for the man they call Super Bruni.
Full commitment and the fastest lap of the day for the man they call Super Bruni.

A contemplative Tahnee hoping to figure out why she s shedding so much time in the rocks before it s too late.
A contemplative Tahnee hoping to figure out why she's shedding so much time in the rocks before it's too late.

Witness protection at the races.
A Snowshoe silhouette on the penultimate day in the West Virginian woods.

An unfortunate end to Thibaut Daprela s season after a huge crash in the new section of track.
An unfortunate end to Thibaut Daprela's season after a huge crash in the new section of track.

A World Cup overall campaign in tatters. A sad and frustrating day for the man who has carried since round 2 in Les Gets. Heal up Thibaut
A World Cup campaign in tatters. A day as rough as they come physically and mentally for the man who has worn the jersey since round 2 in Les Gets. Heal up Thibaut!

Another day down in Snowshoe. It all comes down to tomorrow...
Another pretty brutal and certainly memorable day down in Snowshoe. It all comes down to tomorrow...



13 Comments

  • 36 0
 Nathan's photo of Bruni going through that corner is awesome! It is a business of mm and that handlebar is a mm from having a good day to a bad day in the office. So amazing to watch what these athletes can do on a bike.
  • 4 0
 Thought the same,this shot is epic ! SUPERBRUNI !!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Looks like 760 width
  • 4 0
 How the hell do they even do that..
  • 4 0
 Not uncommon to see Motocross racers do this when the traction is really good, but they have the engine power to go from oversteer to understeer in milliseconds. On a DH bike this is only possible with truly 'dialed' suspension and 'inch perfect' execution. Wow, Super Bruni indeed.
  • 11 1
 Daprela 2022 = revenge!!!
  • 5 0
 Nice to see Remi Thirion finally found his pace with the Giant team, many great results with his Glory, very consistent season
  • 3 0
 Saw Daprela on the stretcher towed by a 4 wheeler coming down mtn below us on the ski lift. Awful to happen here at the end.
  • 4 0
 The shot of Loic dragging bar is SO rad
  • 2 0
 Wow, riding photos are great but Nathan's off-bike portraits are stunning. Adding a lot of emotion and story to what is, otherwise, just havin fun on bikes.
  • 1 0
 Anyone know who got air lifted out from top of the world? Spectator? Rider? Happened before quallies yesterday, assuming around the time practice was going on.
  • 2 0
 how about that scrub photo by Dakota? holy shit, that's a career photo right there.
  • 2 0
 Loic and loris both on dhr2s. Nice

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