Welcome to the Dust Bowl: Qualifying - Vallnord DH World Cup 2016

Sep 3, 2016
by Matthew DeLorme  



It's been dry and dusty here in Andorra. What is easily the best track of the season has been loose and wild. Practice has been some of the best we've seen all season with roost explosions everywhere, and qualies were even better. We have seen brown pow explosions everywhere and we can't get enough of it. It seems the best has indeed been saved for last. It was an interesting day of racing as well. Gee Atherton took advantage of rider protection with his shoulder aggravated again after yesterday's crash, and Tahnee Seagrave took a trip to the hospital today after a big off, both hope to race tomorrow.

Troy Brosnan was at home in the dust and went fastest today, but Gwin was hot on his heels. Remi Thirion took third and, no doubt, has his sights on winning again here in Andorra. Pom Pon and Gaetan Vige also carried the torch for Commencal today, taking first and third in qualies. Finn Iles took the top spot for the juniors and Eliot Heap took second. Rachel Atherton was a bit off the pace today with an injured back and Tracey Hannah was on pace for second. The women's race will be a tight one tomorrow. Danny Hart has been a force this second half of the season and took seventh today, he has been looking like a shoe-in for the win this week. Amaury Pierron and Ferran Jorba had stellar runs today taking fourth and fifth. The chance for a top spot by a wild card tomorrow looks great. Hopefully, the rain forecast tonight doesn't change conditions too drastically and we get another day of wild loose racing for this final World Cup of the season.

we are surrounded by some massive moutains here in Andorra.
We are surrounded by some massive mountains here in Andorra.

So much dust that the tapes will soon be brown.
So much dust that the tapes will soon be solid brown.

Finn Iles roaring to the biggest margin of his amazing season so far.
Finn Iles roaring to the biggest margin of his amazing season so far.

Matt Walker drops in during the morning golden hour. He would take 5th later in the day in junior qualifying.
Matt Walker drops in during the morning golden hour. He would take fifth later in the day, in junior qualifying.

Finn Iles boosting into the sunrise during the early morons practice session.
Finn Iles boosting into the sunrise during the early morning's practice session.

Gaetan Vige took third today in the men juniors. The Junior French champ will be bringing the heavy artillery tomorrow for another win.
Gaetan Vige took third today in the men juniors. The Junior French champ will be bringing the heavy artillery tomorrow for another win.

With no points for qualifying in juniors 3rd place for Gaetan Vige today won t affect his chances of snatching the title from Iles... Having said that he is still a whopping 9 seconds adrift.
With no points for qualifying in juniors, today won't affect Vige's chances of snatching the title from Iles... Having said that he is still a whopping nine seconds adrift.

Elliot Heap parting the sea of red sand in the forest on route to second place for qualie.
Elliot Heap parting the sea of red sand in the forest en-route to second place.

Jackson Frew getting loose on his way to fourth place for the juniors.
Jackson Frew getting loose on his way to fourth place for the juniors.

Matt Walker drops in during the morning golden hour. He would take 5th later in the day in junior qualifying.
Matt Walker drops in during the morning golden hour. He would take fifth later in the day, during junior qualifying.

Tracey Hannah has been looking fast everywhere and would take 2nd on the day just 0.40 back.
Tracey Hannah has been looking fast everywhere and would take second on the day, just 0.40 back.

Tracey Hannah getting closer to that 2nd place in the overall.
Tracey Hannah getting closer to that second place in the overall.

A huge crash for Seagrave after a front wheel wash-out early in her run caused a big hit to her sternum and a hospital visit to end the day. FMD s finest still hopes she ll be in the gate tomorrow.
A huge crash for Seagrave, after a front wheel wash-out early in her run, resulted in a big hit to her sternum and a hospital visit to end the day. FMD's finest still hopes she'll be in the gate tomorrow.

Manon
Fourth for Manon Carpenter. She has done well in Andorra in the past and could pull off a top three tomorrow for sure.

Miranda miller had a strong run for 8th
Miranda Miller had a strong run for eighth.

Eleonora Farina had a mighty fine day on the hill and landed in fifth set for her first assault on the podium tomorrow.
Eleonora Farina had a mighty fine day on the hill and landed in fifth, set for her first assault on the podium tomorrow.

10th today for Vaea Verbeek.
Tenth today for Vaea Verbeek.

Rachel Atherton has had an injured back this week and dialed it back a touch today. She qualified third today.
Rachel Atherton has had an injured back this week and dialed it back a touch today. She still qualified third.

Myriam Nicole takes the top spot right in Commencal s backyard.
Myriam Nicole takes the top spot right in Commencal's backyard.

The Gwizard... Your 2016 season champ unless Danny stomps the win and he goes missing on the way down tomorrow.
The Gwizard... Your 2016 season champ unless Danny stomps the win and he goes missing on the way down tomorrow.

We ll be hearing a whole lot more from this 1997 born US national. ..11th for Charlie Harrison.
We'll be hearing a whole lot more from this 1997 born US national. ..11th for Charlie Harrison.

Charlie Harrison getting it done on and off the track today.
Charlie Harrison, getting it done on and off the track today.

Drifting about and having fun is what Ratboy is all about this weekend.
Drifting about and having fun is what Ratboy is all about this weekend.

Bruni kept it steady to take 9th.
Bruni kept it steady to take ninth.

Brook MacDonald on a wild and rowdy one during qualies.
Brook MacDonald on a wild and rowdy one.

Bernard Kerr set quite the hot lap time yesterday in the TT and he and his squad Fearon and Jackson landed next to eachother just outside the top ten today.
Bernard Kerr set quite the hot-lap time yesterday in the TT and he and his squad, Fearon and Jackson, landed next to one another, just outside the top ten today.

Jack Moire is clearly benefitting from more Morzine laps than you ve had hot dinners this year... right on track with a top 20 qualie today.
Jack Moire is clearly benefitting from more Morzine laps than you've had hot dinners this year... right on track with a top-20 qualie today.

Greg Minnaar would finish the day 10th but we know never to count him out.
Greg Minnaar would finish the day tenth, but we know never to count him out.

Greg Minnaar wasn t taking his time in the dust today he took 10th.
Greg Minnaar wasn't exactly taking his time in the dust today.

Adam Brayton brapping through the brown pow in today s morning session.
Adam Brayton brapping through the brown pow in today's morning session.

Fairclough will be disappointed with a qualie outside the top 20 after riding like such an animal all week... Tomorrow it s on.
Fairclough will be disappointed with a qualie outside the top 20 after riding like such an animal all week... Tomorrow, it's on.

Brendong smashing corners harder than anyone else.
Brendawg smashing corners harder than anyone else.

Troy cut inside to avoid the holes and barely held this one up.
Troy cut inside to avoid the holes and barely held this one up.

If it ain t broke... No need for a strip-down tonight says Troy s mechanic Aaron. Things are just perfect and time is the only proof you ever need.
If it ain't broke... No need for a strip-down tonight says Troy's mechanic, Aaron. Things are just perfect and time is the only proof you ever need.

Troy Brosnan had a burner of a run today to take first.
Troy Brosnan had a burner of a run today to take first.

Florent Payet cuts through the dust.
Florent Payet cuts through the dust.

Will Luca Shaw be following up his MSA podium with another here in Andorra His 6th place today suggests it s possible.
Will Luca Shaw be following up his MSA podium with another here in Andorra? His sixth place today suggests it's possible.

Luca Shaw has some pretty insane consistency on the go right now... 6th place and less than a tenth behind today s podium speed.
Luca Shaw has some pretty insane consistency on the go right now... less than a tenth behind today's podium speed.

Danny Hart has been winning in practice and we think he could easily take another win tomorrow.
Danny Hart has been winning in practice, and we think he could easily take another win tomorrow.

Remi Thirion charging hard through the dust and angel beams to make his way to third place. Count Remi in as a candidate for the top step tomorrow.
Remi Thirion charging hard through dust and angel beams to make his way to third place. Count Remi in as a candidate for the top step tomorrow.

Loris Vergier loving the dust.
Loris Vergier, loving the dust.

Conor lost a few points in his battle for 5th overall by only getting points for 12th in his qualifier.
Conor lost a few points in his battle for fifth overall by only getting points for twelfth in his qualifier.

Full aggression from Remi Thirion.
Full aggression from Remi Thirion.

Once a winner here Remi Thirion is right in the mix with a 3rd in qualifying.
Once a winner here, Remi Thirion is right in the mix with third in qualifying.

Aaron put two seconds into Troy at the first split but would make a few mistakes in the bottom woods to eventually finish in 2nd. A mere .001 back.
Aaron put two seconds into Troy at the first split, but would make a few mistakes in the bottom woods to eventually finish in second, a mere .001 back.

14th for Eliot Jackson and one of his best results to date.
Eliot Jackson 14th, and one of his best results to date.

Ferran Jorba Prats
Ferran Jorba Prats had an impressive fifth-place ride today. Photo kindly supplied by Moritz Zimmermann.

What a run for Amaury Pierron.
What a run for Amaury Pierron.

Amaury Pierron went and did it again... Fourth on the day and all set for that hard-earned podium season sandwich .
Amaury Pierron went and did it again... Fourth on the day and all set for that hard-earned 'podium season sandwich'.

Amaury Pierron started the season with a 5th in Lourdes before breaking both wrists in Cairns. Today he backed that result up by qualifying 4th despite missing much of the season.
Amaury Pierron started the season with a fifth in Lourdes before breaking both wrists in Cairns. Today he backed that result up by qualifying forth, despite missing much of the season.

Things always seen a bit more entertaining when Mayhem Media shows up possibly the only man more stoked on World Cups than Boris Beyer.
Things always seen a bit more entertaining when Mayhem Media shows up. Possibly the only man more stoked on World Cups than Boris Beyer.

It was a rough day at the office for gear but it was certainly epic.
It was a rough day at the office for gear, but it was certainly epic.

Troy Brosnan throwing all the knock-out punches this afternoon... Straya represent.
Troy Brosnan, throwing all the knock-out punches this afternoon... 'Straya represent.

Commencal rigs getting a little love post race.
Commencal rigs getting a little love, post race.

The YT Mob was celebrating their first year in style. Nothing but the finest Joselito ham. Melt in your mouth goodness that s aged four years.
The YT Mob was celebrating their first year in style. Nothing but the finest Joselito, ham. Melt in your mouth goodness that's aged four years.

A fitting tribute to an amazing human and friend. Thanks Martin Whitely for the tribute. Cheers Monk you are sorely missed.
A fitting tribute to an amazing human and friend. Thanks, Martin Whitely, for the tribute. Cheers Monk, you are sorely missed.

We havea touch of rain forcast tonight but it s looking good for more nice weather when the racing gets going tomorrow.
We have a touch of rain predicted tonight, but it's looking good for more nice weather when the racing resumes tomorrow.



37 Comments

  • 41 1
 Stoked for Eliot Jackson
  • 14 0
 Luca shaw with a great qually too.
  • 12 1
 @jrocksdh: Americans have actually been doing pretty well this year.
  • 11 1
 Yeah Eliot! Always pumped for to see him qualify.
  • 29 0
 How was that pic of Brosnan not a crash, that's one hell of a recovery!
  • 23 0
 The Monkey quotes....RIP to a great...I remember him working with Missy G (I think)
  • 3 0
 Glory days haha.
  • 20 0
 Fantastic photos as always guys. Keep up the good work! Pumped (also sad) for the last WC DH race this regular season.
  • 19 1
 Oh man. That ham.
  • 2 8
flag hamncheez (Sep 2, 2016 at 21:06) (Below Threshold)
 Isn't it prosciutto? Looks amazing
  • 16 1
 Hats of to Martin for the tribute poster. RIP Monk Dawg.
  • 12 1
 The shot of Thirion! 'Attack mode' doesn't even do it justice. Trail murder.
  • 10 0
 Brendong??? wtf can't the spell
  • 2 0
 I kinda like it. made me chuckle!
  • 9 3
 theirs simply nothing like a world cup dh weekend. The excitement and anticipation is unmatched. Enduro is cool, but it will simply never compete with the awesomeness that is WC DH. At least from the spectating standpoint. And i can only imagine the huge potential that exists with the broadcasting, Obviously money greatly limits the amount of time/ cameras/ technicians, etc. that can go into broadcasting a current WC event. Redbull does a good job from what they have to work with. But hopefully in the future DH racing becomes more and more popular and the budget increases. And its really in every mtbers best interest for this to happen, as DH is really the only format conducive to live coverage.And as the sport gets more and more exciting to watch due to greater coverage,more cameras, better placemnt of cameras, it would become a very powerfull tool to get people interested in mtbing.I mean can you imagine seeing 60 or 70 percent of the race runs ? It would be tough to pull off. But it's really the only way to get a true sense of the race.But untill then ill keep dreaming.
  • 1 0
 Limited automation and POV cameras will be the answer to that. Won't need as many crew of the editing studio can jump to on-rider cameras, or drone shots to make up a lot of that coverage.
  • 5 0
 As a 'keep your gear clean' photographer... That shot of the Nikon covered in dirt makes my stomach hurt. Great shots as always boys!
  • 5 2
 cool to see more shots of the females and the "not top 10"...
  • 2 0
 they always have a huge variety of shots. One of the reasons pinbike coverage is considered so good
  • 3 0
 5:30 AM beer on the pacific coast it is.
  • 1 0
 Hey, the rider who is at the photo of ferran jorba isn't him, is another rider!
  • 2 0
 Nice spot @lluc999 - correct image in place now Smile
  • 4 3
 Sucks that no mention of Mariana Salazar who took 6th in qualifying and has been steadily climbing up the ranks
  • 2 0
 C'mon Danny! One more for the road!
  • 5 5
 Rachel Atherton "dialed" it back... And still qualified within .8 a second of first. BEAST!
  • 2 3
 Her hair looks almost gray.. dust and backlight?
  • 3 1
 Elliot Jackson!
  • 1 0
 Beer-stabilizer ftw. The photo ain't clearer, but you don't care anymore.
  • 3 1
 Monkey!!!!!!!!!!!! Frown
  • 1 0
 Great photos! Thanks for taking me to the races today.
  • 2 0
 That ham...
  • 1 0
 Strange, now the link is removed. Rb always makes th3 replay so hard to figure out/find.
  • 1 0
 Why is Peter Sagan fixing Commen├žal bikes?
  • 1 0
 Nice write up.
  • 1 1
 8th for Miranda. Bet she was cruising.
  • 2 1
 Hammer down Chuck!!!





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