Qualifying Photo Epic: Time To Get Serious - Leogang DH World Champs 2020

Oct 10, 2020
by Ross Bell  



Photo Epic presented by Five Ten

Qualifying day at World Champs usually doesn't have much significance. There's no World Cup overall points on offer and it doesn't actually decide the running order for the race. So what's different this year? Well, this morning the UCI addressed the elephant in the room which was the questionable weather forecast for Sunday which suggests Leogang is set for a decent dump of snow overnight and through the day. Their back up plan for Sunday should it be too bad to race is use the today's seeding runs to determine the results which meant riders had no option but to hang it out today. Getting a clean run down this track is hard enough, never mind with the added pressure of the stopwatch.

Vali Höll and Loris Vergier took the top honours today but we'll have to wait and see whether their crucial qualifying runs will end up taking them both to their first elite World Champs title. Tracey Hannah ran Vali closest but behind them there was a big gap to Myriam Nicole and Tahnee Seagrave who had messy runs meaning there's plenty of time on the table for them if they get the chance to redeem themselves on Sunday. Loic Bruni was a second back on Vergier and the time gaps then began to stretch with Finn Iles, Remi Thirion, and Thibaut Daprela following in behind. We've got a fresh crop of juniors who are cutting their teeth on the World circuit this year, and it was Leona Pierrini and Matthew Sterling who took top honours there.

Now we wait. What will the weather do and what will the UCI decide to do on Sunday morning? Will Vergier and Höll be our World Champs for 2020? If we do get to race on Sunday, there are plenty of riders hiding away deep in the results sheets who have good track speed but couldn't quite get the run together when it mattered. Keep an eye out for them surging forward to challenge Loris and Vali.


The track has continued to cut in and rut up. What state will it be in on Sunday
The track has continued to cut in and rut up. What state will it be in on Sunday?

Angel light before the storm to come.
Angel light before the storm to come.

The lingering clouds took a while to burn off.
The lingering clouds took a while to burn off.

Into the morning mist.
Into the morning mist.

B Practice was something of a mare with many riders littering woods all the way down. Tahnee Seagrave waits for the traffic to thin.
B Practice was something of a 'mare with many riders littering woods all the way down. Tahnee Seagrave waits for the traffic to thin.

The lower woods slowly beginning to emerge from this morning s inversion.
The lower woods slowly beginning to emerge from this morning's inversion.

Morning glory.
Morning glory.

Reece Wilson looked damn good in the steeps all morning. Maybe one too many observers tipped him for a medal because come qualifying he seemed jinxed.
Reece Wilson looked damn good in the steeps all morning. Maybe one too many observers tipped him for a medal because come qualifying he seemed jinxed.

Laurie Greenland was down on luck this afternoon and dislocated his thumb. He will still try to race finals but will most likely need ligament surgery next week.
Laurie Greenland was down on luck this afternoon and dislocated his thumb. He will still try to race finals, but will most likely need ligament surgery next week.

Just outside the top 10 for Hugo Frixtalon in 11th.
Just outside the top 10 for Hugo Frixtalon in 11th.

Vali Holl absolutely focused in on the task at hand.
Vali Holl absolutely focused in on the task at hand.

There were chunks of the track flying in every direction. This is not one you want to be going down blind.
There were chunks of the track flying in every direction. This is not one you want to be going down blind.

Louis Gaillet in the mix for the medals on Sunday.
Louis Gaillet in the mix for the medals on Sunday.

Leona Pierrini up by almost four seconds today in the junior women s field.
Leona Pierrini up by almost four seconds today in the junior women's field.

Laurie Greenland takes to the skies in morning practice.
Laurie Greenland takes to the skies in morning practice.

Condtions update still moist.
Conditions update: still moist.

Christopher Cumming dropping into P2 in junior men.
Christopher Cumming dropping into P2 in junior men.

Third fastest today was Goncalo Bandeira.
Third fastest today was Goncalo Bandeira.

6.4 seconds the winner in junior men... America s Matthew Sterling.
6.4 seconds the winner in junior men... America's Matthew Sterling.

There was plenty of riders taking samples of dirt home with them today.
There was plenty of riders taking samples of dirt home with them today.

Finn Iles keeping his wheels well away from the slimy stumps and roots.
Finn Iles keeping his wheels well away from the slimy stumps and roots.

14.2 seconds off the pace but still good enough for bronze pace... Still that won t bring the defending champ any comfort.
14.2 seconds off the pace but still good enough for bronze pace... Still that won't bring the defending champ any comfort.

Tahnee Seagrave weilding the unlukcy number plate through the grease into 4th place.
Tahnee Seagrave wielding the unlucky number plate through the grease into 4th place.

Marine Cabirou was another top female to crash on her qualie run. It s hard to gauge her pace if she could keep it clean for finals.
Marine Cabirou was another top female to crash on her quali run. It's hard to gauge her pace if she could keep it clean for finals.

Tracey Hannah is the top threat behind H ll 2.6 seconds adrift.
Tracey Hannah is the top threat behind Holl, 2.6 seconds adrift.

Benoit Coulanges takes the last spot in the top 10.
Benoit Coulanges takes the last spot in the top 10.

Nina Hoffmann safely into ninth today on a relentless track.
Nina Hoffmann safely into ninth today on a relentless track.

Myriam Nicole slotted into third. The field is stacked this weekend.
Myriam Nicole slotted into third. The field is stacked this weekend.

An incredibly common sight this year in Leogang. Few World Cups or Champs have ever claimed this many peaks.
An incredibly common sight this year in Leogang. Few World Cups or Champs have ever claimed this many peaks.

Most excellent to see Remi Thirion right back in the mix thriving in the steep gnar riding off the main line.
Most excellent to see Remi Thirion right back in the mix, thriving in the steep gnar, riding off the main line.

Additional crash netting added overnight.
Additional crash netting added overnight.

Plenty of golden moments in Leogang this time around. Andy Vathis capturing the carnage-based nugs.
Plenty of 'golden' moments in Leogang this time around. Andy Vathis capturing the carnage-based nugs.

A very fast Remi Thirion skipping roots into fourth. He s definitely one to watch here.
A very fast Remi Thirion skipping roots into fourth. He's definitely one to watch here.

Not a good afternoon for Charlie Harrison who was looking decent in practice.
Not a good afternoon for Charlie Harrison who was looking decent in practice.

Today s most common body position.
Today's most common body position.

Jack Moir is carrying some serious form and is in contention for a medal.
Jack Moir is carrying some serious form and is in contention for a medal.

Bruni on the charge on a last training run before the qualie.
Bruni on the charge on a last training run before the quali.

That s gonna hurt.
That's gonna hurt.

Ed Masters sending it to 12th and number 2 in the all rounder stakes just behind Jack Moir.
Ed Masters sending it to 12th and number 2 in the 'all rounder' stakes, just behind Jack Moir.

No foreground No problem.
No foreground, no problem. Pinkbike photographers do not condone this kind of activity. And never do it. Not ever.

Anastasia Thiele may have muddied up her bright whites but managed to hold on to third in junior women.
Anastasia Thiele may have muddied up her bright whites, but managed to hold on to third in junior women.

Siel Van der Valden gunning for a silver medal on Sunday in junior women.
Siel Van der Valden gunning for a silver medal on Sunday in junior women.

Finn Iles has the bit between teeth this year going on today and results in some other European races.
Finn Iles has the bit between teeth this year.

The sole g-force inducing wallride in Leogang this year.
The sole g-force inducing wallride in Leogang this year.

Loris Vergier has looked good all weekend and has been on form in the races he s been able to take part in this season. Will he be this year s World Champ
Loris Vergier has looked good all weekend and has been on form in the races he's been able to take part in this season. Will he be this year's World Champ?

Myriam Nicole came down early and didn t have a clean run her 14-second deficit doesn t reflect her true potential.
Myriam Nicole came down early and didn't have a clean run, her 14-second deficit doesn't reflect her true potential.

Eleonora Farina sliding it into 5th.
Eleonora Farina sliding it into 5th.

The defending champ holding it wide open and coming home second on the day.
The defending champ holding it wide open and coming home second on the day.

Greg Minnaar got faster as the track went on which bodes well for Sunday.
Greg Minnaar got faster as the track went on which bodes well for Sunday.

Danny Hart has time in the bag for Sunday.
Danny Hart has time in the bag for Sunday.

Camille Balanche has solidified herself at the front of the women s field these days she ended up 6th today.
Camille Balanche has solidified herself at the front of the women's field these days, she ended up 6th today.

Impressive ride for Angel Suarez making the top 10.
Impressive ride for Angel Suarez making the top 10.

Monika Hrastnik made it through today in eighth.
Monika Hrastnik made it through today in eighth.

Troy Brosnan trying his best not to get swallowed by the huge ruts on course.
Troy Brosnan trying his best not to get swallowed by the huge ruts on course.

Thibaut Daprela doing the business in the elite ranks. 5th place for the young Frenchie.
Thibaut Daprela doing the business in the elite ranks. 5th place for the young Frenchie.

Man of the match Loris Vergier. A big mistake on the triple stump before the motorway but still with a second to spare suggests he will be very hard to beat if we see a finals run from this man.
Man of the match; Loris Vergier. A big mistake on the triple stump before the motorway, but still with a second to spare, suggests he will be very hard to beat if we see a finals run from this man.

A crash resulted in a dislocated thumb for Laurie Greenland.
A crash resulted in a dislocated thumb for Laurie Greenland.

What is going through Loris Vergier s head tonight
What is going through Loris Vergier's head tonight?

A cold wind blows from the north... presumably. The current forecast suggests that today s results may stand as final come Sunday.
A cold wind blows from the north... presumably. The current forecast suggests that today's results may stand as final come Sunday.



54 Comments

  • 62 0
 Does it feel like December 24th to anyone else or is that just me? CANT WAIT!
  • 21 2
 Well tomorrow is going to be disappointing LOL
  • 3 2
 Perhaps I can't make out the shoes and pedals, but I swear it seem like a fair number of riders are still on clips in that friction-free slime. Having ridden both a fair bit, I wouldn't be riding clips at that track with a gun at my gourd.
  • 11 0
 @jackalope: I guess many of us would not be „riding“ at all in that slime, no matter if clips or flats
  • 3 0
 @jackalope: in the rooty steeps once the foot’s off the pedal your in trouble regardless, in which case it can be easier to have the remaining foot clipped in as you can still drag the bike around a little better, if still incredibly awkwardly
  • 4 0
 @Rainozeros: That is not an alternative fact, but a true fact rather. I guess a better way to say it would be: I would prefer flats so I could my naturally eject off the bike and walk to the nearest (outdoor) bar. Track is mental.
  • 51 0
 Time isn't the only thing Danny has in his bag. The other thing stops him from sitting down though.
  • 27 6
 So can we all agree now that white is not a great color for MTB?
  • 19 1
 Whoa, easy there...
  • 4 0
 @dexterfawkes: don't get me wrong I like it, but I've tried and it just looked like I jumped into a pile of poop.
  • 2 4
 @noplacelikeloam: yeah yeah I get it... Same here.... But, just watch Brendan semunuks japan vid
  • 17 0
 I love that this is the track and these are the conditions for champs. Very 2020. Hoping against hope that we get a full race on Sunday.
  • 17 0
 beautiful pictures thank you. It must have been nasty for the filmers .....mad respect.
  • 10 1
 I really hope they race even if it snows, I would hate for these Quali's to be the winning runs because it was never a true race!
  • 3 0
 In 2020 fashion.
  • 5 0
 @learningcycles: one more kick in the dick...
  • 1 0
 @learningcycles: 2016 doesn't seem so bad now, does it...
  • 9 0
 Always love these Pinkbike photo epics.....thanks for doing them!
  • 3 0
 No problem
  • 5 0
 Anyone know how Widmann is doing after her serious crash? Media don't really seem to covering it.
  • 3 0
 Taken to hospital by helicopter and is ok just recovering in hospital
  • 2 0
 Rookie Question: Is there any way to change the viewing mode on chrome so that I don't have to scroll to see the photos completely? I like that PB do massive pics that fill the screen but the problem for me is that they are too big and I can't see get complete photo to just fill the screen. It's only a mild inconvenience I know, but it bugs me. I tried changing the zoom on Chrome but that just makes the text smaller.
  • 6 0
 Go Finn!!
  • 3 1
 Is it me or does that picture of Finn Iles jumping the stumps look like he is on an old Kona Stinky at first glance? Asking for a friend........
  • 2 0
 If you squint
  • 4 0
 I'm calling it now. Spoiler Alert - Remi Thirion will pin it and win it.
  • 4 0
 Finally his suspension got dialed.
  • 1 0
 Photo Epic. Checking this website every day tends to make me desensitized...but wow so many fantastic photos crammed into this page. Thank you very much @nathhughesphoto and @rossbellphoto for the lovely images.
  • 2 1
 I guess when you oversize a photo it is supposed to mean it is a good picture, rather than just a picture of someone's head inside a helmet.
  • 3 2
 Dude with the ferns going for the artistic shot. Definitely with PB on that one. No no.
  • 1 0
 Don't worry, if it doesn't turn out it'll just get desaturated and become artistic B&W
  • 2 0
 Bruni with speed holes in the nuber plate. Drillium!
  • 1 0
 "Morning glory" is by far the best poc ive seen in a loooong time. POY count me up.
  • 1 0
 Thats why Bruni is so fast. he drilled holes into his number plate. Aero... :-)
  • 1 0
 Big respect to David Vasquez and builders for the track changes, can't wait for finals fingers crossed about the snow.
  • 1 0
 these photos are INSANE. so crisp! Really liked the shot of Benoit Coulanges.
  • 1 0
 That BW photo of Laurie and the rock spires in the background is incredible.
  • 1 0
 Just like Coronvirus... snow will you f*** off please!
  • 1 0
 I've missed those full page spreads...thank you guys so much!
  • 1 0
 beautiful
  • 1 0
 Is it on Redbull TV?
  • 1 0
 Live on BBC online, app and I think TV which is cool.
  • 1 0
 @danielstutt: beeb only showed XC last year DH may have been available online can’t remember but they are obsessed with Olympic sports so if it’s not they don’t give a shit
  • 1 0
 @Molesdigmyjumps: no it legit is on BBC, I saw the schedule on their website, they are showing both xc and DH today
  • 1 1
 I think the lower wood section will be unrideable on sunday
  • 1 4
 Tracks where trees have been cut leaving giant exposed stumps riddled down a steep muddy track are a recipe for a serious spinal or hip injury. Best of luck to all in avoiding such a horrific type crash!
  • 2 1
 May as well just wrap yourself in cotton wool then?
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.015907
Mobile Version of Website