What a beginning... What a sign of things to come. At long last, all the prophecies and wild speculation of the off-season can be laid to rest because Judgement Day has been and gone, sorting the good from the bad, the weak from the strong and dealing out some ugly crashes along the way. The crowds swelled and buckled rims and horns deafened, as all of mountain biking's most loyal French followers gathered together to witness a real life downhill miracle.

With a now dry, but hideously mutilated path through the woods our riders found themselves flying at twice the pace of yesterday, but not without confusion as their previous days of training had become somewhat obsolete. In the end it was a true mix of experience and fresh-blooded enthusiasm that would prosper. Canadian, Finn Iles, dominated the juniors, Rachel Atherton bounced back from her second place qualifier, and despite Loic Bruni's very best efforts, Aaron Gwin came down from above like hellfire to set the 2016 season fully ablaze.



Still a bit muddy today but not nearly as thick as we have seen it during practice and qualifying.
Cut spikes for life... or at least for this entire gruesome week of World Cup action.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Some Lourdes accommodation only for the most committed of pilgrims.
We thanked the Lourde when we awoke to clear skies this morning.
Unfamiliar rays of golden light shone down from the heavens.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Keeping warm and dry this time in Lourdes was a bit like, let's see... peeing into the wind. Until today.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Sunshine was a welcome way to start things off and while the air was still cold, at least things could finally began to dry up.

Matt Walker was flying through the mud and would take 2nd in the Junior Men s race.
In the juniors, Great Britain's Matt Walker obliterated his way through the mud to claim second.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
American newcomer, Nikolas Nestoroff, tore this track a new-one to land in third.

Finn Iles had a commanding run today and fended off the locals to take his first win as a junior.
Finn Iles had a commanding run today, but also had some luck on his side as top qualifier, Kevin Marry, crashed out at the last split on a real burner.

Finn Iles just moments from claiming the win in his first WC race.
Iles just moments from claiming the win in his first WC race.
And that s how you make an entrance to the Word Cup stage. Congrats Finn Iles we have a feeling we will be shooting a lot of photos like this over the next few years.
Congrats Finn, we have a feeling we will be shooting a lot of photos like this over the next few years.

Emilie Siegenthaler had a solid ride to fifth place today.
Emilie Siegenthaler had a solid ride to fifth place today and will look to get comfy on the podium for the whole season ahead.

Tracey Hannah went massive off the final bridge en route to 4th.
Tracey Hannah went absolutely massive off the final bridge en route to 4th.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Manon Carpenter held things together nicely all weekend, but for the first time found herself lagging behind Tahnee Seagrave and by a big margin.
Fastest qualifier Tahnee Seagrave was on it again today but was just not quite fast enough to knock Rachel from the top step.
Fastest qualifier, Seagrave, was on it again today, but in the end couldn't up the pace enough in the dry conditions to match Rachel.

Rachel Atherton was keeping cool while warming up before her race run.
Rachel Atherton cooling down on her warm-up.

Another race and another victory for Rachel Atherton but this one was hard fought and definitely did not come easy.
Another race and another big victory for Atherton, but this one was hard-fought and definitely did not come easy.

Rachel Atherton dropping down to the finish area.
Rachel dropping down to the finish area with the fastest time of the day.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Hucks and hugs, all on GoPro.

Rachel Atherton started off another year with a bang. Tahnee Seagrave has made great strides forward and took second. Manon Carpenter was third followed by Hannah and Siegenthaler.
Lourdes and ladies 2016.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Steve Peat was loving being back on the World Cup circuit after missing most of last season with an ACL injury.
Steve Peat was enjoying the atmosphere is the World Cup circuit after missing most of last season with an ACL injury. It s hard to believe this will be his last though.
It's hard to believe this will be his last.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Remi Thirion wasn't at full strength today after a big crash in practice, but wanted to put a result down thinking ahead to the overall.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
The Lourdes title-fight rematch was on: Bruni Vs Gwin, part II.

Aaron Gwin kept it upright on the ever-changing track to take the win today. Gwin conceded that it will be an interesting season between he and Loic considering the Frenchman was very close to edging him out today.
Gwin never showed much in the way of his cards during practice and his crash in the qualies muddied the water further still. What kind of pace was last year's champ on exactly?

It s good to see Martin Whitely enjoying himself after the amazing start to the season for Aaron Gwinn and his new team
If somehow you don't yet know the result of the battle it's too late to look away now. It was to be more than a fine day to remember for Martin Whitely and YT Industries.

Devinci had an excellent showing with Stevie in second and Mark Wallace in 8th
Devinci had an excellent showing with Stevie in second and Mark Wallace in 8th
Top 10 and in the mix of things for Brendan Fairclough.
Top 10 and in the mix of things for Brendan Fairclough.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Roosty goodness through the off-camber as the mud baked harder and the grass flew.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Bonjour l'equipe des Smurfs.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Connor Fearon parting the crowds, flying into 9th position.

Gee Atherton muscled his way down to 7th and while that s not the result he hoped for it gives him very solid points going into what will no doubt be a long and hotly contested season.
Gee Atherton muscled his way down to 7th, and while that's not the result he hoped for, it gives him very solid points going into what will no doubt be a long and hotly contested season.

Stevie Smith came out swinging and showed us that he might soon be back on the top step. Second place for the Chainsaw Massacre.
Stevie Smith came out swinging and showed us that he might soon be back on the top step. Second place for the Chainsaw Massacre.

The Canadian Chainsaw is right back where he left off after 2013. No more injuries... Just podiums.
The Canadian Chainsaw is right back where he left off after 2013. No more injuries... Just podiums.

These wet conditions were favorable for Danny Hart today. He took third place
When the mud comes out, Danny's about.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Another massive result for Hart on this holy hillside - third place for the Redcar Rocket.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
Holy moly was Ratboy's run a wild one. It didn't seem to translate to an outrageous result, but better believe he's still got it.

Troy Brosnan s ability to let his bike float over terrain took him straight to fourth place.
Troy Brosnan's ability to let his bike float over terrain took him straight to fourth place. We'll have to wait and see what home soil can help deliver in two weekend's time.

For the third year in a row Aaron Gwin has won t the opening round of the World Cup series and has set the bar that other must now push to meet if they want to contest for the overall.
For the third year in a row, Aaron Gwin has won the opening round of the World Cup series, and set the bar at a new level that others must now push to meet if they ever want to contest for the overall.

Aaron Gwin charging into the finish area.
Aaron Gwin charging into the finish area on yet another insane run.

Amaury Pierron was one of many French that shook up the field today. Pierron came across the line in fifth place.
Amaury Pierron was one of many French that shook up the field today.

Images from Lourdes DH finals 2016
It was a massive result for the up and coming Lac Blanc-Commencal team sender.

All phones and eyes were trained on Loic Bruni as he came across the line to a hero s welcome. In the end it just wasn t his day.
The arena atmosphere was both electric and deafening as all phones and eyes were trained on Loic Bruni.

After being almost 3 seconds up at the last split it was a shocker to everyone to see Loic cross the line more than 7 seconds behind Gwinn.
After being almost 3 seconds up at the last split it was a shocker to everyone to see Loic cross the line more than 7 seconds behind Gwin.

This is why Loic is the people s champion. Moments after crashing out of a winning run he was celebrating in the finish area with the thousands of fans who had cheered him on all weekend.
This is why Loic is the people's champ. Moments after crashing out of a winning run he was celebrating in the finish area with the thousands of fans who had cheered him on all weekend.

With less than 20 seconds to go it all came unraveled for Loic Bruni today.
With less than 20 seconds and only a handfull of turns remaining, it all came unraveled for Loic today.

Logic s fans will stand by him no matter what and he was greeted at the finish line by a hero s welcome.
Loic's fans will stand by him no matter what, and he was greeted at the finish line with a hero's welcome.

Gwin wasn t about to let Loic steal the spotlight and with setting the fastest time of the day he was in high demand among all the fans.
Gwin wasn't about to let Loic steal the spotlight, and with setting the fastest time of the day he was in high demand among all the fans.

Welcome to the podium Amaury Pierron.
Welcome to the podium club, Amaury Pierron.

There has been much speculation as to how Gwin would begin this season and we now have the answers to all of our questions.
The man to beat. Again. It's on.

So long from Lourdes - until next time.
From the holy steeps of Lourdes for another year... over and out.


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167 Comments

  • 216 3
 I get the draw of "enduro" as the racing version of all mountain riding; I think it's what most of us relate to best as riders. But as a spectator, World Cup Downhill is so much more fun to follow. Here's to the beginning of another exciting season.

And I might as well get this debate started: did Gwin win this race, or did Bruni lose it? I have my opinion but I'm going to keep it to myself for now!
  • 102 3
 You can make arguments for both sides. Personally, I think not crashing is the most important part of riding fast. But it's easy to wonder what could have been if Loic had stayed upright.
  • 37 2
 @The-dirt-farmer: Gwinn won the race. Loic was at the ragged edge of a running course. But, of course, we will see what happens in the next few races.
  • 115 1
 I think Loic figured he was off pace after he put his foot down in the top section. Had he of known he was still up he probably would have ridden safer but he thought he was behind and probably just let it all hang out after that. Gwin won with a safer run and cooler head imo.
  • 73 18
 One last thought - You either win or you don't. Gwin won, Loic lost. Don't give me the "what if he didn't crash". He did. End of story. But, that being said, I am looking forward to the next race. Who will win, who will lose?
  • 25 1
 @steelpolish: I wanted Loic to beat Gwin so bad but at the end of the day the run doesnt end until the finish line. I was on the edge of my seat the whole last run and thats worth the price of admission alone. One things for sure, its going to be a cracker of a season!
  • 43 2
 They are all awesome dudes. I'm super happy for all of them except the unfortunate Bruni. Gwin must have been sweating looking at those splits. Good on Gwin too, swapping bikes and putting it straight on the top step. One must have to look pretty hard now to find a reason not to buy a YT. AWESOME for Smith and Hart too. They've both tasted success and been brought down by injuries. To see em back on it is pleasing. Tahnee is coming, too. I think she's hard as nails and a real bike handler. Atherton is going to have to watch out.
  • 9 3
 @steelpolish: To clarify. Nothing to be taken away from Gwin hes just the reigning champ and for that ill be rooting for the other guy.
  • 35 5
 If you watch carefully. Gwin's first comment to Loic, in the finish corral, is "You're Number 1 (pointing at Loic) ....!" he knew he was beaten. But Gwin has also learnt the hard lesson of winning the losing race on more than one occasion.
  • 6 0
 @ReverseKanga: Easier said than done as we saw with Brosnan last year. Pace doesn't equal wins, but Bruni has the pace right now. I think he's going to need Gwin to have a throwaway result, but if he does, Bruni for the overall is my bet.
  • 14 0
 I remember after the world champs win Bruni said that a reason he won is because he rode above his limit (paraphrasing). He rode a pace he wasn't fully in control of. It looks like that's what he did again today only it didn't pay off as well for him. Once he does get that pace down though he could raise the bar even higher and I can't wait to see how he pulls it off
  • 5 17
flag abzillah (Apr 10, 2016 at 21:51) (Below Threshold)
 @Tmackstab: I was thinking the same thing. Maybe they could put a device on the handle bars that stays green if he's ahead, and turns red when he's falling behind the leader. Or in large green writing show his time ahead or behind.
  • 10 1
 To all: Its going to be a great DH season! So fun to watch people that ride way better than me!!!
  • 17 0
 If you look at gwins split time and speed he is always 2nd or 3rd but everyone else varies quite a bit. He seems to be the most consistent over whatever section he is riding.
  • 27 2
 I mean, same thing happened to both sam hill and rat boy 2 yrs ago at champs, on burners, hill went OTB, ratboy overshot the sh*t out of the bridge, and people were saying gee didn't deserve the win, gotta stay on the bike, first rule in winning...
  • 4 0
 @Airfreak: yeah, lots of guys had faster top speeds. He must be just crazy consistent.
  • 3 0
 @abzillah: Nah! thats part of the fun, they had to be at their best. win won he put a solid run, a fast run within his capabilities; Loic had to stretch his capabilities and thats when he failed, being reckless, Gwin won, as in Loic didn't has his pace, he was reaching far.
  • 35 2
 @jaame: no point buying a YT, Gwin is the difference proved over 3 brands he can win Trek Spesh YT

Not the bike it's the rider
  • 4 1
 If Bruni can ride like that all year, then yes, Bruni lost the race. But if he was merely riding a little too hard and on the edge, then Gwin gwon again for a solid and in-control race run.
  • 8 0
 @enduroFactory:
why not its will be the cheapest of the 3.
  • 6 11
flag steelpolish (Apr 10, 2016 at 23:26) (Below Threshold)
 @chixdh: Who cares if it is cheaper? Unless you are a total Hosier, buy what you want, when you want, and ride the sh$t out of it. Live life to the fullest!
  • 2 0
 Sam Hill almost won several times too. Until he crashed (on separate occasions). Point is that staying on the bike is part of the overall game I guess. Didnt see the race live; only live timing here on PB. After the 3rd split I thought Bruni already won it. I was surprised to read the comments that he lost.
  • 18 0
 Gwin won because even though the pushed it, he held back just enough. I even disagree with Gwin telling him he had him beat. I’m sure he could have hung it out there even more and rolled the dice. But, racing isn’t just talent and preparation but wisdom, too. They both know far better than we do how much they can push it and that beyond that you’re taking chances. Can’t win if you don’t finish.
  • 12 0
 @enduroFactory: I mean to say the YT is capable of winning at the highest level, and it's also half the price of the competition. A third the price of a Session, ffs!
  • 1 3
 @cdkozeluh: but whose run would you rather watch, gees or ratboy and hill??
  • 16 1
 the only debate who won or lost is by people who dont know racing, the only winner is he she who crosses the finish line fastest, the rest is BS, thats racing accept it and grow up, woulda coulda shoulda does not belong in racing, period! History proves it and nkthing changes but those who are able to deal with it, Gwin knows how to win, others are still learning, I wish he would apply this to World Champs instead of bitching about the formatt maybe he might win a rainbow or two! Saying that Im stoked he and YT showed the world and kicked arse, F yeah! legit....
  • 12 1
 "Winning is winning", as Toretto would say...
  • 10 2
 Last I checked, you have to cross the line with the fastest time in order to win. A lesson Loic learned the hard way. Bring on Cairns!
  • 12 1
 Win Gwon the race.
  • 2 0
 @abzillah: I reckon looking at your bars is the last thing on your mind down a course like that. It's just survival. Must be a blur. But it's an interesting idea.
  • 8 2
 Bruni lost, no question. He had the win until he crashed. That's the definition of losing it. But that's how it goes. There is an element of luck for every rider on every run, and it wasn't with him on this run. Bruni was faster as the splits show, even Gwin knows it. Being the fastest doesn't always equate to being the winner.

So it depends on how you look at it. If you are the "a win is a win, today is all that matters" kind of fan, then Gwin is the man today. But if you are looking ahead to the season, like both Bruni and Gwin are, then this was not a great day for either one. Bruni needs to work on safely maintaining his pace, and Gwin has to find more speed.

No doubt all eyes will be on these two as long as they stay healthy.
  • 3 1
 @steelpolish: must be nice to have unlimited cash or credit. For some of us, the struggle is real.
  • 1 7
flag doe222 (Apr 11, 2016 at 6:52) (Below Threshold)
 @jaame: wait until he snaps one halfway through a race run
  • 6 0
 I think we can thank 'enduro' bike sales for the fact that Transition, Intense and YT are in the show
  • 2 0
 Bruni's run I was screaming at the telly "wind it in son!" no doubt he was on the ragged limit. As soon as the screen changed an Bruni appears, anyone could see he had no chance on making that corner... Looked like his front was allready sliding? If he did.. He woulda fked it over that rock drop an into the roots! No point being fast an loose unless you can make it work, be relaxed like Josh, B'dog or Mac Donald.
Consistentcy wins the long game
  • 5 1
 if my grandma had balls she would be my grandad
  • 4 1
 @Tmackstab: Next racer innovation. HUD in bluetooth goggles that show simple red and green lit dots after passing split time areas.
  • 2 0
 Loic's run was mad, man...on the edge of control, dude is flat out and paid the price. Gwin always composed and only takes risks he knows will pay off...Loic is so young, dude will be winning soon enough..couple more years.
  • 3 0
 Loic has yet to prove he can win and ride within the limits of not crashing. Gwin has not only shown us all he can win again and again, but he can also step it up a notch and just blast down the course at a visibly faster pace than everyone else; and NOT crash.
I'm a hack and I (and a lot of other amateurs) could probably let go of the brakes and be faster than a lot of those racers down most of those courses on my enduro 29er for large sections of the course......
....... Yet I would most likely crash and prolly be killed after a few turns or a rock garden
That's why these guys a pros
They can go fast w out crashing(sometimes)
And that is why Gwin is the "Man"
He's faster and he rarely crashes
Loic is super fast, but he crashes
When he is on a pace equal or above Gwin( or other winning riders)
Loic's time is coming you can see it
  • 2 1
 I think people are interpreting the question in a different spirit than it was asked. Of course Gwin won it, he put down a great run.

I think the question of "did Gwin win this race, or did Bruni lose it?" is more about " Is Bruni fast enough to race with a top form Gwin, & ride safely enough to keep himself out of trouble, or does he have to put himself in danger to best Gwin.

My opinion is that his split times prove that he can race with Gwin. he was up by over a second, IMO that means he could have held back slightly & still beat Gwin's time.
  • 2 1
 @groghunter: Exactly. There is no question Bruni is every bit as fast as Gwin. My money is on Bruni to come out on top this season in fact.

To be a top rider you have to put yourself "in danger" every single ride. This whole "oh he was outta control" nonsense is hilarious. We are talking about the fastest DH riders on the planet...THEY ARE ALL OUTTA CONTROL!

It's especially hilarious when talking about Aaron Gwin, one of the craziest most on-the-edge riders in the sport. That's the style that has gotten him to where he is and it's the style that will carry him through another great season, assuming his new bike can keep up.
  • 3 0
 @krazieghost: They did that with WRC and it killed it for me... Imagine Hart`s run in Champery or Gwin in Val di Sole if they knew they had it before time...
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Gwin was not having -obviously- a throwaway result here, yet Bruni nearly had him by 3 secs...
  • 1 0
 @krazieghost: i thought of that too...make it and patent it!!
  • 3 0
 Gwin won it hands down. He stayed on the bike. To be honest I was surprised Bruni didn't go down sooner in his run. Have to say what Gwin said when he was interviewed that he didn't win that everyone knows Bruni was going to win was pretty classy.
  • 1 0
 loic pushed harder then gwin hence why he was up at the splits. he pushed a smig to hard and the course bit back.
  • 6 1
 Winning is winning and winning is bitching
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: Yeah, he was off the ground when he entered the corner, no way he was going to make it. Bruni could have won it, he even made back time on the last split. Unfortunately he made a mistake, and the race went to the best rider of the day. Gwin is far better at knowing what the limits of the terrain are, and it pays off.
  • 1 0
 @dropoffsticks: gwining is gwinning!!!
  • 2 0
 @Turboute: Ratboy's!!
  • 3 0
 @doe222: somehow doubt it, look at the abuse their freeriders like Andreu and Cam Zink put those frames through
  • 1 0
 I read alot of posts lately related to redbull coverage of the top 10 juniors and have to agree. Look at Luca Shaw first time out had very respectable showing in pro cat. I remember when they didn't show the pro females. Trust me you can put the entire event pro men, women and juniors and we would watch it all.
  • 2 1
 @dirtjumper771: I can see what you mean about him riding above his limit. Reminds me of old school Sam Hill, crash or win.
  • 1 0
 @fecalmaster: I wouldn't. I'd rather watch an extended highlights show, an hour with no replays. They don't half drag the time out.
  • 1 0
 Hey enough about you lets talk about you.
  • 63 0
 When my whole state is talking about The Masters and I'm just over here awake at 3 A.M. watching some dudes ride some highly-engineered metal down a big hill.
  • 28 0
 dont forget the plastic
  • 6 0
 @kjl12

black aluminium Wink
  • 4 0
 oh you're talking about the guys who smack plastic spheres with metal sticks in hopes that they fall into those tiny holes in the ground, right?
  • 2 0
 @rocky-mtn-gman: working behind the bar in a golf club ive been hearing a lot about this too
  • 8 0
 Bruni bogeyed the last hole when a par might have won it. Might have - we'll never know. Can't wait till next round
  • 61 4
 I never thought i'd say this but i had a mental breakdown at 2 in the morning after Bruni crashed.
  • 21 0
 me too, i was hitting the table, scared the dog and he ran out of the room. poor little man
  • 21 1
 @russthedog: is his name Russ?
  • 4 0
 @colincolin: Or are we talking to the dog, and he scared his human out of the room?
  • 58 3
 Gutted for Bruni...but beyond stoked for STEVE SMITH!!!! f*ing world cup messing with my emotions
  • 1 0
 so good to see him back on the podium! go stevie
  • 56 9
 Loic maybe the Pope, but Gwin is Jesus. Flame on!
  • 30 5
 The offense to my religious sentiments was far outweighed by the wit and humor of your comment Smile
  • 10 0
 Lourdes is the perfect setup for Gwin's vibes
  • 14 0
 I was honesty surprised. With all the team shakeups I thought Minnar and Ratty would have done much better. Different teams and different bikes didn't make anywhere near the difference I though it would.
  • 12 0
 Interesting that SC have made their carbon bikes look out of this world by painting them the colour of metal!

I thought Ratty was on it when he flew into that gully up top. Sadly not.

What happened to Hill?
  • 2 0
 @jaame: Sam Hill was further down the results list, I noticed his name on the list of runs they didn't show when watching the replay. Can't remember where he finished, but he did race
  • 17 0
 Bracing myself for all the uses of the word “gutted.”
  • 16 3
 honestly I think Gwin won that race, Bruni crashed and that's that. But more importantly STEVIE F*CK YEAH!!!!! I really hope Stevie can get a win or three this season, rootin for you!
  • 2 0
 Steve had a great ride as did Mark Wallace, Wallace is young too. Only get faster. that's a team to watch out for.
  • 15 0
 Just two more weeks. Great Lourdes coverage pb!
  • 8 1
 Looks like it would even better to be there than look at videos and photos online- so why so many people go there and then film it on their phone is beyond me. That means they're looking at something on a little screen that is happening right in front of them. It makes no sense! I'd just watch it and then check out all the epic footage and photos from the professionals afterwards!! Looking forward to the rest of the season.
  • 5 1
 Its a sad part of the human condition.Same at gigs full of idiots on their tabs and phones missing the whole experience for a shite video.The eyes are the best type of recorder Smile
  • 1 0
 @Ger09: You might be amazed but people can actually hold a phone up toward something and watch said thing with their eyes at the same time... Oh and jump and cheer too!
I will never regret being able to relive a moment when something spectacular happened and I was right there in the midst of the incredible atmosphere!... Memories fade unfortunately... Footage/photos live forever... Wink
youtu.be/kZwsJDqv91M
  • 2 0
 @SGTMASON: Its also cool to capture it the way that you saw it.
  • 1 0
 @SGTMASON: true bud the ould memory may not last Smile good have pics too but what I'm getting at is people who'd spend the duration of an event or gig with their phones or tabs up in front of them and everyone else's view.
  • 9 0
 What about Pierron??? He sat in that hot seat for a long time. And landing on the podium with that group of guys on that course?!?! Dude must be over the moon. Good on him.
  • 1 0
 Was he fourth or 5th? Regardless, a helluva result.
  • 1 0
 @src248: 5th behind Brosnan I believe. Yeah, insane result on that track.
  • 1 0
 Congrats to him, but hey... He's french and had 6 month to train and train and train Wait and see the coming eve in unknown countries
  • 14 5
 That photo of Loic, the fans and the Pope Loic sign is honestly the Photo Of the Year! What a hero!
  • 6 0
 What a race to start the season. I avoided all media until I watched MotoGP, put the racing on and thought there was no way Bruni would get close to Gwin's time. Bruni reminds me a bit of Hill, but looks like he was riding close to 100%, whereas as Gwin showed maybe 95% was actually the fastest.
Rachel smashed it too, I was really surprised to see her launch the last jump as well, nailed it.
  • 6 0
 Gwin is gonna be battling all season with steve and Loic..that being said If Gwin was on a pogo stick he would probably still win one of these races Smile Gonna be a great season and I am personally delighted to see Gwin take that win it might shut some mouths about his choice in the off season.Looks like he's doing alright to me Smile
  • 5 1
 Loic is a great racer but he still lacks one key skill. Vouillouz seemed to always know where in time he was on course and this skill, along with his impecable preperation, was the reason he won 10 world champs in 11 years. You need to have this skill with time and effort to ride the ragged edge without going over, knowing when to hold back and when to let it run. Loic is almost there. Gwinn has it, Smith pretty much has it, other riders seem to get it from time to time. When Loic gets this it will be another level of racing yet again.
  • 1 0
 Wait, hold up. Bruni lacks skill? HE HAD A CRASH. CRASHE'S HAPPEN.
Remember when Aaron crashed in world champs? Does Aaron now lack skill?
It doesn't matter what pace you're going at, it's inevitable you will crash. You should be commending him for being over 2 seconds up when last season he was forever in Gwins shadow coming second 4 times...
  • 7 0
 super rad photo of Nick Nestoroff!
  • 2 0
 What a great result for Nick!
  • 7 0
 Thank you Pinkbike for not spoiling the results like... Other, websites.
  • 2 0
 we have worked a long way to get to this point.
  • 7 0
 massively bummed out for the GOAT Minaar
  • 2 1
 Already this season Gwin can beat Minnaars nr of won World Cups. He just needs more luck with World Champs than Peaty. Not taking anything away from Greg, he's amazing to watch, I got moist watching him ride the worst bit of Val Di Sole track as if he was playing on a pumptrack, but I don't think fans giving him titles helps him in any way. Once you get a sticker, you have something to prove.
  • 6 2
 Even though Loïc was the fastest, Aaron was the best just because he crossed the Line after an amazing run. To be honest I almost cried when lolo bas crashed but I'm pretty sure the battle will be epic against gwin !!
  • 8 0
 Schtroumfs not Smurfs !
  • 2 0
 Ha! My wife who his French told me that too. Its such a great word!
  • 3 0
 il manque un "p" -> Schtroumpfs
  • 2 1
 @mrpilsen: Ich liebe Schlumpfine!
  • 1 0
 Los patufos !
  • 4 0
 I think Gwinn is a real class act for telling Loic that he was #1 and he beat gwinn. Such a graceful winner......I on the other hand would have shoved that shit in his face, that's why I'm not a world cup winner.
  • 1 0
 I can't imagine the feeling of being that good and that fast. To know that you are the best in the world at something as demanding as DH must be unreal. I don't see how you couldn't be cocky!
  • 4 0
 Anyone else notice how Gwin struggled to stop in the finish area (feet out and everything)? Brakes cooked? Still getting those TRP ones working correctly?
  • 8 0
 Tweet from the infamous MTB_Jesus:

It's not that @AaronGwin1 didn't touch his brakes it's just that they don't work.
  • 1 0
 I was TRPing on the awkward -not seeming quite on purpose- nose wheelie myself....I'm mean it might as well have been me, for gods sake. But then we may be overthinking it.
  • 5 0
 Anyone know what happened to Mr. Hill?
  • 4 3
 Thoughts:
1. Hardest part of downhill is being able to pin it at the bottom full gas when all you've done from the top was full gas too. Splits don't matter if you can't maintain pace. You can tell the section Bruni went down in was hazardous traction. Muck for days.
2. Bruni has crashed out a lot, so is he learning what pace is right to win or is he being stubborn and going full gas and his win was just managing to stay up.
3. Since he's only managed to put down a single run that won (Worlds), maybe he just still hasn't learned what it takes to win a race: pace, thought process, mindset, where to go hard and where to conserve.

Best sport with the most variables...evuhhhhhh!!!!
  • 1 0
 Gwin's mega fast, that's expected and no surprise. Surprise or not it's still hella entertaining to watch him shred. But now the bullseye's on his back, and there are a few guys who are gonna have something for him, Loic and Stevie in particular I think will put the most pressure on all year barring injuries.
  • 4 0
 im always for Minnaar! even on medioker runs like this...
  • 2 0
 Ya he had an off day but hopefully can pull off a better result in 2 weeks
  • 3 0
 @wvanlogg: man, i love the guy since i red about him in mbuk, somebody said back then that he rides a bike like he stole it Big Grin
and as an birthday gift, my fionce asked him to wish me a happy birthday, he did so, in a video ^^ made my year!!!
  • 3 0
 Great crowd there in France! Awesome to see so many people out and supporting DH racing.
  • 3 0
 @davetrump Epic lighting on the photo of Rachel riding over that rock. So nice.
  • 1 0
 I know you guys are trying to do interesting effects on photos in articles these days, but I gotta say, that title photo legitimately gives me motion sickness. maybe just me, but thought I'd offer it as a data point.
  • 2 0
 What a start to the season! I was refreshing pinkbike all day for this photo epic. As always, amazing photography.
  • 3 0
 I raise my 40 to all the gutted punters.
  • 4 1
 Anyone know anything about Sam Dale? All I see is that he dns.
  • 3 1
 I cant.. cant.. cant to stop admiring by the photographers! Impressive shots! Again and again they do a magic.
  • 1 0
 I agree! the photogs did a big magic for sure!
  • 3 1
 Please win it all Bruni! What a run he was on. Such a shame! This lad is going to be something else!!!
  • 1 0
 Haha those smurfs in the gwin fan shot don't look to stoked for gwin. There man bruni will be back to the top in no time thats for sure though. Smurfs rule!
  • 1 0
 The track looked a lot dryer on Red Bull TV than these pictures show. It had obviously dried up but still looks to have been very slippery indeed!
  • 1 0
 Every time I see Gee in the Trek uniform and the Red Bull helmet I think it's Brook MacDonald. This is going to take some getting used to.
  • 2 0
 ahhhhh the photos bring such feels, i need to get back to the mountains!
  • 1 0
 I'd like to know how Rachel Atherton switched from pants to shorts in the middle of her run
  • 2 0
 She had so much advance, she stopped, took a coffee or two and then decided to dress another way to finish her race.
More seriously:
1. I would have watched (all) women live
2. Did you take a look at how much men are in the first 40sec of quali compared to the number of women in the first minute during finals ?
Worrying though...
  • 2 0
 in all honesty there are about 6 girls with a real chance of winning the races, the rest of the field is waaaay back
  • 6 0
 @JoseBravo: After watching the race, seems more like there is 1 girl with a chance of winning and 5 girls who have a chance of winning if that 1 girl crashes.
  • 2 0
 @JoseBravo: Really it's just Rach right now, the battle is for second.... Oh, what he said ^ Razz
  • 1 0
 Yeah when the mud comes out, so does Danny. Could of swore it was a dry race on Sunday.
  • 5 0
 Danny came out? Maybe I have a chance after all.
  • 1 0
 Brilliant start to the season, epic ride from everyone. great way to chill out during work. bring on round 2 Smile Smile Smile
  • 2 0
 Y.t showed up, an blew it up!
  • 2 0
 The growing cemetery header photo is tripping me out.
  • 1 0
 I could listen to Danny Hart, I'm fascinated by that kid after the Wynterview.
  • 1 0
 Photos these days are truly incredible....well done pinkbike
  • 1 0
 Perfect photo coverage,thank you!
  • 1 0
 Where is Mik Hannah? Wheres the Sik Mik...
  • 1 0
 51st for Hannah
  • 3 0
 According to his instagram he had a tire leaking air. So bummed for him. Love that guy! I hope he kills it in cairns since it's his hometown.
  • 2 0
 @drjohn: The Hannah curse just rolls on.
  • 2 0
 @neimbc: I'll pray it'll be broken in Cairns and both Hannah's will stand at the top of the podium! Boom! Haha...
  • 5 5
 Everything about Loic and Gwin .........but Steve was second..............????
  • 1 0
 Wallace and Finn too. Canada is looking good.
  • 1 0
 Revelation? What? should have title this article "Déjà vu"! Wink
  • 2 1
 Loic Bruni - Future Legend.
  • 4 2
 Already is!
  • 1 0
 Last few years Sam Hill is always getting injured!
  • 1 0
 Photography on point as always! Great job guys!
  • 1 1
 Gwin is the best today, Bruni will become best tomorrow Wink
  • 1 1
 Smurfs are Belgian btw... wtf...
  • 1 0
 Why Tea?
  • 1 1
 red bull spunk all over.
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