Track Walk: Midsummer Night's Stream - Lenzerheide World Cup DH 2019

Aug 7, 2019
by Nathan Hughes  



A short time-out and we're right back at it. The World Cup travelling circus has had a couple of days to relax, debrief and think about the madness that was Val Di Sole 2019. It wasn't much of a summer holiday it must be said - early August in the European Alps has been pretty hostile so far, with evil dark skies and hammering rain. There are gaps in the cloud on the radar for the days ahead however and we can look forward to a dry timed training, qualies and possibly even finals.

The track is perhaps the best ever version of the Straitline course we've been treated to. Much to the delight of the majority, gone is the infamous rock garden of the upper slopes. Many a victim was claimed over the seasons in this section. A simple and short enough technical part of the old track, but one of the riskiest and hardest to dial in, causing a lot of big crashes in summers past. Instead, we have a detour that still gives racers something to think about. It includes a bunch of rocks and roots lurking in the long grass, sure to be excavated by the practice sessions of the coming days. The loamy forest section in the lower half of the course that was introduced for World Championships last year is still looking prime, although currently flowing with white water from the heavy rains. Several monotonous switchbacks following the road gap have been bypassed to accommodate a fresh, ultra-steep, widely-taped pitch through the forest that will certainly have riders guessing during the first practice session.

It's wetter than wet right now here in the Swiss Alps and much like Val Di Sole last week, riders able to adapt quickly to the drying conditions will get off the best start tomorrow and lay down times to beat in the timed training session. All eyes will surely be on all 4 virgin victors of the last round. Can Greenland keep the French revolution at bay? Can Cabirou claw back more points over Hannah in the overall Tomorrow we'll get some answers, but for now, pray for sun before everyone gets tendonitis in their umbrella holding arm. It's mighty moist.


The drive over from Val di Sole took in some impressive mountain passes.
The drive over from Val di Sole took in some impressive mountain passes.

Checking for redlining Lamborginis on the 50 switchbacks below.
Andy Vathis checking for red-lining Lamborghinis on the 48 switchbacks of the Stelvio Pass below.

Whisps at the 3000m ski resort of Stilfserjoch.
Last-light cloud-wisps at the 3000m ski resort of Stilfserjoch.

Introducing the Poppins 360 flip .
Kick flip at altitude with a hint of Poppins.

Pylons never looked this good.
Pylons never looked this good.

Andi Vathis with more than a couple of turns left to go on the Stelvio pass.
Who needs a V8 high-performance vehicle? Andy with more than a couple of turns left below him on the second-highest road in the European Alps.

Arrival at the summer mountain-haven of Lenzerheide has been more welcoming in the past.
Arrival at the summer mountain haven of Lenzerheide has been more welcoming in the past, it must be said.

It s pretty much been raining flat out since we ve arrived in Lenzerheide the track conditions are going to be very interesting.
It's pretty much been raining flat-out since we've arrived in Lenzerheide. The track conditions are going to be very interesting.

Charlie Hatton thinks about making a dash for it.
Charlie Hatton thinks about making a dash for it.

Vergier s mechanic PA gets that tyre milk distributed.
Vergier's mechanic, PA, gets that tire milk distributed.

Charlie Harrison inspects the track from the dry comfort of the gondola.
Charlie Harrison inspects the track from the dry comfort of the gondola.

Back in Lenzerheide bike park.
Back in Lenzerheide bike park.

This should all dry out reasonably quickly if the rain stops and the sun comes out.
This should all dry out reasonably quickly if the rain stops and the sun comes out.

The MS Mondraker crew out for a romantic stroll in the sweet summer rain.
The MS Mondraker crew out for a romantic stroll in the sweet summer rain.

Another solid result for Reece Wilson last week as he continues to knock on the door of that top 10.
Another solid result for Reece Wilson last week as he continues to knock on the door of that top 10.

The umbrella train chugging down the rain rut of the upper meadow.
The umbrella train chugging down the rain rut of the upper meadow.

The first 100m of the course remain unchanged from the last couple of years.
The first 100m of the course remain unchanged from the last couple of years.

The rock garden is gone up top in it s place a fresh off camber turn.
The rock garden is gone up top, in its place a fresh off-camber turn.

Neko Mulally and Jack Moir attempt to keep it rubber side down a section of slick mud up top.
Neko Mulally and Jack Moir attempt to keep it rubber side down a section of slick mud up top.

The wide open turns have a little added spice this year with the extra moisture.
The wide-open turns have a little added spice this year with the extra moisture.

Out of the mist and shortly back into the next thick cloud.
Out of the mist and shortly back into the next thick cloud.

The Lenzerheide rocks have pretty minimal grip especially with a thin layer of slimy mud covering them.
The Lenzerheide rocks have pretty minimal grip especially with a thin layer of slimy mud covering them.

The heavy rain showers drifted in and out throughout the day.
The heavy rain showers drifted in and out throughout the day.

We normally get blessed with blue skies and sun in Lenzerheide not this year.
We normally get blessed with blue skies and sun in Lenzerheide, not this year.

This is always one of the trickiest parts of the track and this year it looks no different.
This is always one of the trickiest parts of the track and this year it looks no different.

After Val Di Sole the Swiss root nests seem somewhat tame.
After Val Di Sole the Swiss root nests seem somewhat tame.

It was very atmospheric out there today. Things look a little drier and brighter for tomorrow.
It was atmospheric out there today... Tomorrow things are looking up.

Mountain weather report it s damp.
Mountain weather report; it's damp.

There isn t a massive amount in the way of tech but it s still a tricky course to race flat out.
There isn't a massive amount in the way of tech but it's still a tricky course to race flat out.

The undisputed man in Val Di Sole. Can he keep a good thing rolling into these last rounds
The undisputed man in Val Di Sole. Can he keep a good thing rolling into these last rounds?

The mid-track road gap remains included for 2019.
The mid-track road gap remains included for 2019.

Brook MacDonald walks the steep woods down to the road gap which now sees a slower forced turn on entry keeping speeds steady.
Brook MacDonald walks the steep woods down to the road gap, which now sees a slower, forced turn on entry to keep speeds steady.

It s more than slick in spots.
It's more than slick in spots.

The second prolonged switchback section no swings a left and heads into some mighty steep woods.
The second prolonged switchback section now swings left and heads into some fresh and mighty steep woods.

There s a fresh section in the woods which looks steep and super slick it ll be carnage in there tomorrow morning.
There's a fresh section in the woods which looks steep and super slick. It'll be carnage in there tomorrow morning.

Dakotah Norton taking in both the lines and fresh misty mountain air.
Dakotah Norton taking in both the lines and fresh misty mountain air.

Bruce Klein and Thomas Estaque scope out the plunge which has claimed it s fair share of victims over the years.
Bruce Klein and Thomas Estaque scope out 'The Plunge' which has claimed its fair share of victims over the years.

It s a washout ladies and gentlemen.
It's a washout ladies and gentlemen.

The Swiss hope Camille Balanche with an important few days ahead of her.
The Swiss hope; Camille Balanche with an important few days ahead of her.

This was put in for World Champs last year and remains largely unchanged.
This loamy woods section was put in for World Champs last year and remains largely unchanged.

A river runs through it. The lower woods that is.
A river runs through it. The lower woods that is.

The catch netting came in handy
The catch netting came in handy

This is with any luck the last of the moisture for the week. The forecast shows a dry couple of days coming up but maybe suspect skies for finals.
This is with any luck the last of the moisture for the week. The forecast shows a dry couple of days coming up, but maybe suspect skies for finals.

Wet slabs headed to towards the final switchbacks before the finish area.
Wet slabs headed to towards the final switchbacks before the finish area.

The black snakes weren t left in Val di Sole.
The black snakes weren't left in Val di Sole.

The overall leader Loic Bruni heads back to the safety of the pits after track walk.
The overall leader Loic Bruni heads back to the safety of the pits after track walk.

A little bit of pole slalom towards the bottom of the track.
A little bit of pole slalom towards the bottom of the track.

More akin to a British music festival than a World Cup race track.
More akin to a British music festival than a World Cup race track.

The slippery landing of the final hip jump shot from the trees.
The slippery landing of the final hip jump shot from the trees.

Moir and Zwar scope the huge Redbuyll drop into the finsih arena.
Moir and Zwar scope the huge Redbull drop into the finish arena.

The final dash to the line.
The final dash to the line.

The floating head of the 2018 champ Amaury Pierron on his way for an early trackwalk.
The floating head of the 2018 champ, Amaury Pierron. The man's still well in the running for the overall this year.

Vali H ll grinning at the prospect of some laps in the rain.
Vali Holl grinning at the prospect of some laps in the rain.

Magnus Manson preps some spikes for tomorrow s slop.
Magnus Manson preps some spikes for tomorrow's slop.

Loris Vergier isn t too shabby in the wet and will fancy his chances this weekend.
Loris Vergier isn't too shabby in the wet and will fancy his chances this weekend.

Greg Minnaar Brook Macdonald and Dean Lucas catch up in the pits after a moist track walk.
Greg Minnaar, Brook Macdonald, and Dean Lucas catch up in the pits after a moist track walk.

In the pits it was somewhat damp on account of the relentless torrential rain.
In the pits it was somewhat damp on account of the relentless torrential rain.

Until we see the sun we won t believe it s still in this part of the World. Fingers crossed for sunrise tomorrow.
Until we see the sun we won't believe it's still in this part of the world. Fingers crossed for sunrise tomorrow.


Regions in Article
Lenzerheide Bikepark


29 Comments

  • 41 0
 Outstanding coverage PINKBIKE !!! Thanks ~ Just blows me away how fast this comes out & the quality ! Smile
  • 7 1
 That sign with the person digging.....are the throwing up onto a pile of dirt?.......Or, are they a Giant standing over an erupting Volcano?
  • 8 1
 Your not really trying to tell us that is a 360 flip are you.......
  • 6 0
 It was kick flip... corrected now, but he did land a couple of 360 flips earlier that day.
  • 5 0
 @natedh9: Ha just bustin' your balls.
  • 7 0
 Those roots look like something out of ‘Stranger Things’
  • 5 0
 Opening photography is brilliant. Builds up the article nicely. Well done Nathan and Ross. So stoked for this weekend!
  • 3 0
 This track seems like a lot of fun! If I could ride at that level I'm sure I'd enjoy this one, and in the meantime I'm really going to enjoy watching it
  • 5 0
 Amaury Pierron a french Josh Bryceland.
  • 2 0
 he's so fucking chill I love him
  • 3 1
 Why is no one wearing some solid hiking/mountaineering boots for the trackwalk? Good grip and dry feets...
  • 2 0
 A few are. But its probably not cool enough for the DH crowd. I'm actually surprised noone is wearing white (=brown) addidas sneakers.
  • 3 0
 I think that pic is more Gene Kelly than Mary Poppins
  • 2 0
 When did Loris decide to go back to 650b? Doesn't seem to be any mention of it anywhere.
  • 1 0
 That first pic behind the title..just put a bike in there somewhere and call it pic of the year
  • 3 1
 midsummer's night stream...was r kelly invited?
  • 2 0
 Holy crap steep. Has Ken Block hit that insane road yet?
  • 5 0
 I really hope he doesn't. The road is already overcrowded with bikes, cars and motorcycles after Top gear named it ''the best driving road in Europe''.
  • 2 6
flag jorgeposada (Aug 8, 2019 at 0:13) (Below Threshold)
 @FRKA: Are you serious, he and red Bull will buy that road for a shoot. Hahaha over sensitive safety monitors will be more than satisfied know what i sayin.
  • 5 1
 @jorgeposada: Ken Block and RedBull? nah...
  • 2 3
 @theunknowncustodian: Oh sorry lady I meant monster the other deer piss flavored crap.
  • 3 1
 Too many Steveweisers will cause a midsummer's night stream
  • 2 1
 Great photos. Very Peter McKinnon style to them.
  • 3 1
 I’m very much a heterosexual, but I can’t get over that black and white portrait of Reece Wilson. What a stunning photograph.
  • 1 0
 @DRomy: His new Tinder profile pic for sure. No worries bro, it gave me wood too and I love the ladies; they rev my engine
  • 2 1
 First you push e bikes on us and now skateboards.
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