Qualifying Photo Epic: The Essence of Wetness - Maribor DH World Cup 2020 Round 1

Oct 15, 2020
by Nathan Hughes  



Photo Epic presented by Five Ten


Derek Zoolander once said that wetness might well be considered the 'essence of beauty', but things had already turned ugly here in Maribor before first wheels had even hit the ground. It was a dark and damp start to proceedings with heavy rain continuing throughout the day, creating a very different race track for the riders to tackle just as we're getting towards the sharp end of the weekend. The riders had time for a couple of gloomy practice runs this morning to try and dial in the conditions before the stopwatches came out for the first time in this extremely delayed and disrupted 2020 World Cup season.

It was last year's overall winner Tracey Hannah and last weekend's World Champs winner Reece Wilson who adapted best to the conditions and stole a march on their rivals, both laying down commanding runs to break free from the chasing pack, Tracey by over 5 seconds and Reece by nearly 3. Tracey Hannah was followed in by Myriam Nicole, Monika Hrastnik, Eleonora Farina and Camille Balanche whilst Reece had Thibaut Daprela, Matt Walker, Loris Vergier and Remi Thirion in behind him. In juniors, Anastasia Thiele and Oisin O'Callaghan will get their first chance to be the final riders down the hill tomorrow as they go in pursuit of their maiden World Cup wins.

Whilst the track conditions and overall weather are set to be nowhere near the level we had last week, things are still looking unpredictable which means we've got another frantic race in prospect tomorrow. Will Hannah and Wilson hold out to take the glory or will someone lurking behind them spring a surprise? Time will tell.



Remi Thirion pulling off the rain and dirt had him seeing fifth place.
Remi Thirion pulling off the rain and dirt which had him seeing fifth place.

What is this waterfall for ants It certainly was a moist one.
What is this, a waterfall for ants? It certainly was a moist one. Again.

The continuing rain seemed to keep the rocks clean and grippy for riders until the end of the session.
The continuing rain seemed to keep the rocks clean and grippy for riders until the end of the session.

At least it s not snow... about the only positive it s possible to take from a day this dark and wet here in Pohorje bike park.
At least it's not snow... about the only positive it's possible to take from a day this dark and wet here in Pohorje bike park.

The first time the rainbow stripes were put on in between the tapes for Reece Wilson.
The first time the rainbow stripes were put on in between the tapes for Reece Wilson.

Wyn Masters nipping at the heels of Hugo Frixtalon in the steeze-stakes.
Wyn Masters nipping at the heels of Hugo Frixtalon in the steeze-stakes.

Loic Bruni a little further back than you d expect today but come tomorrow you ll know he ll turn that around.
Loic Bruni a little further back than you'd expect today but come tomorrow you know he'll turn that around.

Danny Hart kept it low-key with a time just outside the top 10 in the driving rain.
Danny Hart kept it low-key with a time just outside the top 10 in the driving rain.

The discovery that people do actually read the captions has hit us hard. The pressure is now too much. Here s some wet leaves.
The discovery that people do actually read the captions has hit us hard. The pressure is now too much. Here are some wet leaves.

Reece Wilson testing the limits of grip this morning needless to say he found them and was able to dial it in for his qualifying run.
Reece Wilson testing the limits of grip this morning, needless to say he found them and was able to dial it in for his qualifying run.

Sixth this aftenoon for Tahnee Seagrave and we have to assume she is saving her full tilt runs for when it counts.
Sixth this afternoon for Tahnee Seagrave and we have to assume she is saving her full tilt runs for when it counts.

Troy Brosnan always there knocking on the door.
Troy Brosnan always there knocking on the door.

Danny Hart enjoying his morning practice.
Look at the whip! Danny Hart enjoying his morning practice.

Jack Moir again obsessing over sixth place finishes.
Jack Moir again obsessing over sixth place finishes.

Matt Walker seems to really gel with the track in Maribor he got his first podium here last year and slotted into third in qualifying.
Matt Walker seems to really gel with the track in Maribor, he got his first podium here last year and slotted into third in qualifying.

Brook MacDonald had some predicatably loose moments on the hill in the slop and came in a little down the order.
Brook MacDonald had some predictably loose moments on the hill in the slop and came in a little down the order.

Deadiest catch Myriam Nicole escaping the netting.
Deadliest catch, Myriam Nicole, escaping the netting.

Remi Thirion back in the mix this weekend. Good to see him back at the sharp end of things once again.
Remi Thirion back in the mix this weekend. Good to see him at the sharp end of things once again.

Anastasia Thiele took a comfortable fastest qualifier in the junior women can she replicate that tomorrow
Anastasia Thiele took a comfortable fastest qualifier in the junior women, can she replicate that tomorrow?

We re still waiting to see Aaron Gwin go back into beast mode and despite the parallels of 2017 Mont Sainte Anne with today he didn t quite flip the switch and rolled into 19th.
We're still waiting to see Aaron Gwin go back into beast mode and despite the parallels of 2017 Mont-Sainte-Anne with today, he didn't flip the switch and safely rolled into 19th.

The opened section above the rock garden was a river this afternoon. Mille Johnset navigating through the ski poles.
The open section above the rock garden was a river this afternoon. Mille Johnset navigating through the ski poles.

Tracey Hannah carrying on her form from 2019 and looks to be the one to beat this year.
Tracey Hannah carrying on her form from 2019 and looks to be the one to beat this year. 5 seconds up on the women's field today.

Ruts began to form by day s end from all the rain.
Ruts began to form by day's end from all the rain.

Big result from the ever stylish Dakotah Norton. Eighth in a very wet qualie.
Big result from the ever stylish Dakotah Norton. 8th in a very wet qualie.

Loris Vergier about to launch it into the rock garden.
Loris Vergier about to launch it into the rock garden.

Oisin O Callaghan was another new World Champion ahead of the pack today. First place by just under 2 seconds and sketchy overtake of the junior who started before of him.
Oisin O'Callaghan was another new World Champion ahead of the pack today. First place by just under 2 seconds and sketchy overtake of the junior who started before of him.

Jure Zabjek is home on this track in any weather. 15th for him today.
Jure Zabjek is home on this track in any weather. 15th for him today.

Morning practice kicked with a slippery track waiting to be bedded in by riders.
Morning practice kicked off with a slippery track waiting to be bedded in by riders.

Last year at Maribor if you remember Greg the Goat had a bit of a nightmare and failed to qualify. Today he kept it steady and upright for 20th place.
Last year at Maribor, if you remember, Greg the Goat had a bit of a nightmare and failed to qualify. Today he kept it steady and upright for 20th place.

Eleonora Farina in the hunt for the podium positions once again she was just 3 tenths back on third-placed Monika Hrastnik.
Eleonora Farina in the hunt for the podium positions once again, she was just 3 tenths back on third-placed Monika Hrastnik.

Mille Johnset watching a quick selection of memories from her entire life.
Mille Johnset watching a quick selection of memories from her entire life.

Ending with fine nac-nac save.
Ending with a fine, nac-nac save.

Thibaut Daprela was green in split two settling for second once down the hill.
Thibaut Daprela was green in split two, settling for second once down the hill.

Squids taking cover however they can in the deluge that was today.
Dark, cold and raining. Summer this ain't. Nathan suited and booted for the extreme Maribor wet.

Camera settings made for grim reading today.
10,000 ISO and night becomes day... Just without any detail and a whole lot of fuzz. Camera settings made for grim reading today.

Monika Hrastnik safely through the slalom stream into third today.
Monika Hrastnik safely through the slalom stream into third today.

Reece Wilson proved he s no one hit wonder. First in qualies by a sizable margin in the worst possible weather and track conditions. Hats off.
Reece Wilson proved he's no one hit wonder. First in qualies by a sizeable margin in the worst possible weather and track conditions. Hats off.

Good one today for Finn Iles just outside of the top 10.
Good one today for Finn Iles just outside of the top 10.

That s no way to treat a new jersey Camille Balanche.
That's no way to treat a new jersey, Camille Balanche.

Quite the contrast to yesterday s conditions.
Quite the contrast to yesterday's conditions.

Foot out flat out for Myriam Nicole into a second fastest qualifier albeit 5 seconds back on Tracey Hannah.
Foot out flat out for Myriam Nicole into a second fastest qualifier, albeit 5 seconds back on Tracey Hannah.

Loris Vergier skimming across the river placing fourth.
Loris Vergier, skimming across the river, placing fourth.

Just in case you didn t know it was very moist indeed.
Just in case you didn't fully realise... it was damp.

And with the autumn weather the motocross theme continues... The finish jump has seen better days.
And with the autumn weather the motocross theme continues... The finish jump has seen better days even before the first race day tomorrow.



60 Comments

  • 107 0
 the wet leaves one actually had me laughing
  • 4 0
 The captions were awesome. Especially the two on zmille and the leaves. But the high ISO photos take the cake. The Tuition seems to be prescient for the season.
  • 1 0
 +1, LOLed at the wet leaves text
  • 53 0
 I read every caption. Every time.
  • 34 0
 Danny Hart has obviously read the “toptube testicular support device” comment on the story about him being dumped by his team.
  • 4 0
 @lewiscraik Looks like he's sending a not so subtle message to me.
  • 4 15
flag ReeferSouthrland (Oct 15, 2020 at 15:55) (Below Threshold)
 They said " Look at the whip! Danny Hart enjoying his morning practice." What whip that is called a bar hump for decades.
  • 4 0
 Danny Hart, stoked he's not on a Liteville.
  • 15 0
 Remember Thibaut Daprela is first year elite?

Definitely one of the best transition from junior to elite for a while, hopefully weather let's him have a ride he deserve to show what he can do.
  • 8 0
 He is even better in the dry. Gonna be scary in the next few year
In the french riviera they called him "the next vouilloz" when he was 14/15yo
Wait and see
  • 15 0
 The essence of wetness is moisture.
  • 13 0
 ...and wetness is the essence of beauty.
  • 11 0
 @fudgedredd: Can't believe no one else caught that 'specially with the "waterfall for ants" caption. Ha
  • 1 0
 So bummed I missed the clock on that one!!!
  • 14 0
 I wanna see the sketchy overtake by Oisin they're talking about....
  • 4 0
 And he still topped the list by two seconds - amazing to see. Hope they get some good footage of his race run.
  • 13 0
 ISO 10,000, holy crap bring tha noise!
  • 2 0
 Unless you're using a sony--I'm now comfortable at ISO 12,800... NOT happy about it, but ok with it.
  • 3 0
 And f=2.8, ready to shoot in Mordor
  • 4 0
 Could be worse.....I think they are happy that its not a roll of Fuji Velvia 50 in that camera anymore.
  • 5 0
 @nkrohan: Bah, you can get good results from a Sony at 25,000.
  • 11 0
 Hats off Reece!
  • 2 0
 He appears to be the muck master. Does the UCI give him 50 rainbow jerseys at a time?
  • 9 0
 Its all in the mind once you win you know you can win, more rain Please.
  • 7 0
 We need to see Oisin's overtake! They can get pretty rowdy in Jr's especially
  • 11 3
 Should being Scottish be considered cheating when it rains?
Discuss
  • 8 0
 By that logic being from California should be considered cheating if it's sunny and warm...?
  • 2 0
 More accurately a "leg-up"
  • 5 0
 Not this year. It was sunny for so many weeks. Not a spot of rain all summer. Reece did go to Champery in the wet though for some practice...
  • 3 0
 @betsie: it was a lovely summer in Scotland where for 5 straight days you couldn’t see your own breath first thing when you wake up.

Balmy.
  • 5 0
 I just realized how much I've missed the World Cup photo epics. Such an awesome job! Even the wet leaves! Smile
  • 4 1
 epic dirt! Wink
grip is awesome!
oh, and it is usually dark that time of the year where we are riding.
I think, the whole DH/EWS should be this time of the year and the XC/Road racing in the summer.
  • 5 0
 Danny, stay on your bike!
  • 4 0
 How many more Photo Epics until PB realizes the past 2 from Maribor have been titled as "World Champs DH Practice"
  • 6 0
 No more, thanks to you Wink I've corrected this one and the last one.
  • 3 0
 World Cup on a work day dilemma. Go in late or go in early and chance it on the 80” flat screen in Conf. Rm.

I already booked the room as a precaution.
  • 1 0
 Would it be legal / allowed to coat your clothes and bike with water repellent? Just thinking it might have helped a bit with mud shedding (at leats not sticking to the bike so much) last week at Leogang. Your clothes should be easier to clean afterwards. Could be useful on goggles.
  • 1 0
 It's actually pretty common to do this
  • 3 0
 "Mille Johnset watching a quick selection of memories from her entire life." - Good one!
  • 4 0
 so moist
  • 3 0
 This is why I own a kayak.
  • 1 0
 "Mille Johnset watching a quick selection of memories from her entire life."
Hahaha one of the best caption I've seen in a while!
  • 2 0
 Nice pictures ! Good luck, everyone !
  • 2 0
 Some of these look straight out of a war zone! Beautiful shots as usual!
  • 2 0
 these photo epics are becoming my favorite articles on PB.
  • 1 0
 LOL at all the PB commenters saying it isn't fair cos rain... Alpine conditions Get on with it Exciting racing Real Racing
  • 1 0
 Anyone know if this final races are being live streamed on redbull or anywhere else?
  • 1 0
 anybody noticed the prototype devinci rear end?
  • 1 0
 Have i been living under a rock or is that a new Devinci Wilson?
  • 1 1
 Waiting to be bedded
  • 1 3
 Organasing a eace in such conditions is the most idiotic thing one can do during a global pandemic
  • 2 4
 WTF?!? World Cup is AFTER the World Championships?!?
  • 1 0
 Pandemic rules.
  • 2 0
 Same as last year too.
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