Track Walk Photo Epic: 2 For the Price of 1 - Maribor DH World Cup 2020

Oct 13, 2020
by Ross Bell  



Photo Epic presented by Five Ten

We've barely had time to process the madness that took place a couple of days ago in Leogang with the attention already swinging to the opening round of the 2020 World Cup downhill "season" which, like last year, will take place in Maribor, Slovenia. Riders and teams didn't have long to get ready for the action to kick off again with a Covid test each side of the border and a 5 hour drive in between before attention could even switch to setting up and focusing fully on the race week ahead.

It's a unique schedule with the UCI keen to make up for lost time and cramming as much in as they can, this week will see a double header event with a race taking place on both Friday and Sunday. It'll be the same plan for Lousa in a few weeks time. The track remains largely unchanged between the 2 races aside from 4 different sections where the the tracks split from one another for a brief time which will help to keep things that little bit fresher and more interesting.

Track action kicks off tomorrow and it looks to be dry with good track conditions but that looks like it's set to change on Thursday with some more rain forecast. It shouldn't quite be on par with Leogang levels though...


Covid O clock here in Maribor...again. Man are riders and media tired of having their nostrils pillaged.
Covid O'clock here in Maribor... again. Riders and media are getting tired of having their nostrils pillaged.

Anyone who has been tested is sure to concur... those swabs go in way too far.
Anyone who has been tested is sure to concur... those swabs go in way too far.

Many questions floated around about the fate of the 2020 season. Safe to say Maribor is a go.
Many questions floated around about the fate of the 2020 season. Safe to say, Maribor is a go.

A little piece of history being packed away complete with the mud gathered on that wild winning run.
A little piece of history being packed away complete with the mud gathered on that wild winning run.

Bernard Kerr gets his daily quota of wheelies in.
Bernard Kerr gets his daily quota of wheelies in.

What can the new World Champion do this weekend with a lot of extra attention on him
What can the new World Champion do this weekend with a lot of extra attention on him?

 Snow from yesterday - the translation of a German expression meaning old news . But this actually did fall yesterday at the top of the track.
'Snow from yesterday' - the translation of a German expression meaning 'old news'. But this actually did fall yesterday at the top of the track.

It really won t be long till these are back in action with winter looming large.
It really won't be long till these are back in action with winter looming large.

Autumn is taking hold of the Slovenian forests.
Autumn is taking hold of the Slovenian forests.

Things kick off just a they did last time around in 2019.
Things kick off just as they did last time around in 2019.

Greg the Goat out line-hunting for some muddy redemption
Greg the Goat out line-hunting for some muddy redemption

Wyn kicks off the walk of this curious dual course arrangement.
Wyn kicks off the walk of this curious 'dual course' arrangement.

Tracey Hannah was riding strongly in Leogang but like so many others her speed was hidden by a crash. She ll be out for revenge here.
Tracey Hannah was riding strongly in Leogang but like so many others her speed was hidden by a crash. She'll be out for revenge here.

The first split in the 2 tracks is right at the entry to the woods.
The first split in the 2 tracks is right at the entry to the woods.

Distinctly Maribor. The Slovenian venue has its own unique taste.
Distinctly Maribor. The Slovenian venue has its own unique taste.

Both versions of the track will be open tomorrow for practice. Not exactly ideal for photos or video and pretty confusing for riders.
Both versions of the track will be open tomorrow for practice. Not exactly ideal for photos or video, and pretty confusing for riders.

Upset alert Martin Maes loves nothing more than to pull the rug from under the feet of the dedicated DHers.
Upset alert! Martin Maes loves nothing more than to pull the rug from under the feet of the dedicated DHers.

Gotta love pumpkin spice season.
Gotta love pumpkin spice season.

4 different sections have been taped differently to offer variety between the 2 races.
4 different sections have been taped differently to offer variety between the 2 races.

Many a gap and many an off-camber root landing.
Many a gap and many an off-camber root landing.

Snakes and ladders out of the woods.
Snakes and ladders out of the woods.

The Cabirous might be on different race teams but they still team up for tactics.
The Cabirous might be on different race teams but they still team up for tactics.

Cometh the hour cometh the man. Reece Wilson the freshly crowned king.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Reece Wilson, the freshly crowned king.

One of the very few sections of track outwith the woods. It s also one of the more urban feeling venues on the circuit.
One of the very few sections of track out of the woods. It's also one of the more "urban" feeling venues on the circuit.

A most refreshing sight after the horros of Leogang a perfect dirt bobsleigh.
A most refreshing sight after the horrors of Leogang; a perfect dirt bobsleigh.

On top of the world Cam Ballanche.
On top of the world; Cam Balanche.

Will the rainbow high bring out another top step performance from the Swiss champ.
Will the rainbow high bring out another top step performance from the Swiss champ?

Finn Iles will be keen to lay down a run that ll show off his strong form at the moment World Champs didn t go his way but he can easily turn that around here.
Finn Iles will be keen to lay down a run that'll show off his strong form at the moment. World Champs didn't go his way but he can easily turn that around here.

Maribor s main theme undulating smooth dirt with rooty interuptions.
Maribor's main theme; undulating smooth dirt with rooty interruptions.

The roots await the heavy rain in the forecast for Thrusday.
The roots await the heavy rain in the forecast for Thursday.

Last year s winner Loic Bruni will be hoping to repeat that same success.
Last year's winner Loic Bruni will be hoping to repeat that same success.

Root nests for landings all the way.
Root nests for landings all the way.

George Brannigan and his bust pinky. Shakas for all.
George Brannigan and his bust pinky. Shakas for all.

Track conditions are looking good for the moment but there is rain in the forecast.
Track conditions are looking good for the moment but there is rain in the forecast.

There s certainly no shortage of roots in Maribor.
There's certainly no shortage of roots in Maribor.

The final split section for the 2 races will use a fresh cut section over the traditional line on the right.
The final split section for the 2 races will use a fresh cut section over the traditional line on the right.

The infamous rock garden half way down the Maribor course is the stuff of legend.
The infamous rock garden half way down the Maribor course is the stuff of legend.

Crash on this course and be torn apart by the wolves. Alright it s actually the Suntour team dog.
Crash on this course and be torn apart by the wolves. Alright, it's actually the Suntour team dog.

The Santa Cruzes take a gander at the rockery.
The Santa Cruzes take a gander at the rockery.

Florent Payet inspects the infamous Maribor rockgarden.
Florent Payet inspects the infamous Maribor rock garden.

The rock garden is out to claim as many bikes and bodies as it can.
The rock garden is out to claim as many bikes and bodies as it can.

The deep woods.
The deep woods.

The man with the wildest run in Leogang last week Quite possibly. Remi Thirion is back at his brilliant best.
The man with the wildest run in Leogang last week? Quite possibly. Remi Thirion is back at his brilliant best.

That s a sizeable gap right there. Riders will either be able to double or triple this section if they re feeling brave enough.
That's a sizeable gap right there. Riders will either be able to double or triple this section if they're feeling brave enough.

They ll need to.
They'll need to.

Loic Bruni points out a line to his mechanic Jack Roure. Quite a few sections of the Maribor track feature wide taping which will help riders get creative.
Loic Bruni points out a line to his mechanic Jack Roure. Quite a few sections of the Maribor track feature wide taping which will help riders get creative.

No one gets hurt in the air... Brook and the Greg put a plan together.
No one gets hurt in the air... Brook and the Greg put a plan together.

It really soothes the eyes to see a course that isn t waterlogged or ripped to shreds.
It really soothes the eyes to see a course that isn't waterlogged or ripped to shreds.

Andy Frix Vathis gives us a preview of things to come tomorrow.
Andy 'Frix' Vathis gives us a preview of things to come tomorrow.

Tahnee Seagrave had a hellish time trying to get down the new Leogang course last weekend. Time to turn on the gas here through the natural terrain.
Tahnee Seagrave had a hellish time trying to get down the new Leogang course last weekend. Time to turn on the gas here through the natural terrain.

More massive dirt rollers. More roots.
More massive dirt rollers. More roots.

The classic senders mid course giving riders a quick pause from this tough track.
The classic senders mid course giving riders a quick pause from this tough track.

David Trummer was quiet during the walk. He s got big plans for the end of this season
David Trummer was quiet during the walk. He's got big plans for the end of this season

Sneaky inside line will be forming by end of the first practice day. They ve changed the tape but creativity will prevail.
Sneaky inside line will be forming by end of the first practice day. They've changed the tape but creativity will prevail.

The Canyon team looking at what root to hop off of vs when to stay planted.
The Canyon team looking at what root to hop off of vs when to stay planted.

If it does rain the off camber sections will be tricky. Add some roots in and it might turn into an ice rink.
If it does rain, the off camber sections will be tricky. Add some roots in and it might turn into an ice rink.

Danny Hart was one of the first down for inspection. He ll be looking to redeem himself on this track after a tough Worlds.
Danny Hart was one of the first down for inspection. He'll be looking to redeem himself on this track after a tough Worlds.

The closing section of track is more manmade and features lots of rollers jumps and berms.
The closing section of track is more manmade and features lots of rollers, jumps and berms.

Benches in place of the grand stands at the finish. Definitely different times at the races for the foreseeable future.
Benches in place of the grand stands at the finish. Definitely different times at the races for the foreseeable future.

The finish line will see double the action this weekend.
The finish line will see double the action this weekend.

The city of Maribor sprawls out below the forested mountainside the hides the World Cup track.
The city of Maribor sprawls out below the forested mountainside that hides the World Cup track.



77 Comments

  • 86 46
 I've been tested via swab 20+ times - it's nothing at all. Spreading fear that the swab penetrates your frontal cortex are exaggerated and really unhelpful. It wasn't smart to include unnecessary fear-inducing commentary in the article.
  • 58 2
 I really didn’t mean to suggest anyone was lobotomised for a Covid test. It’s not the nicest feeling, but everyone was fine and understood it had to be done, just that 3 tests in a week is a lot, not to mention quite expensive.
  • 36 10
 @nathanhughes: No worries - some people (even my co-workers) aren't getting tested because they're scared. I was being too righteous with my signaling. It's real easy where i live - I just drive up and get probed and drive off and it's free. I would NOT be happy to pay for the experience. I'd want a reach-around at least.
  • 6 0
 @suspended-flesh: maybe you can get one from @endlessblockades
  • 2 4
 @ceecee: Well well we've got a regular Sherlock Holmes here! But yes, that's my only hope at this point.
  • 3 1
 Yeah, i did it and isn't wasn't nearly as bad as it looks.
  • 3 0
 Also most tests don't even use the deep swab anymore. At least not in the US.
  • 9 1
 Unnecessary fear-inducing commentary seems to be part of our ordinary life lately
  • 3 0
 @nathanhughes: what is wrong with lobotomy??
  • 2 0
 I've been tested around 10 times in different countries, Americans got it easy! They are barely up there! Just a sniff, maybe a cough and your off. The ones in Norway man, they are f*cking you up Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @nathanhughes: good job the swab isn't in the other end eh
  • 2 0
 @skorp: ankle grabbing?
  • 3 0
 @powpowpow: i domt srree ansy probbmlem he4ee
  • 35 1
 Come on Mark Wallace!!
  • 27 1
 Seems like everyone is terrified of rain now. Even if it rains its hard to imagine the track being as bad as last week. Seems like that was mostly due to that one section being newly fresh cut. A track that is already bedded in for the most part shouldn't be that big of an issue even if it there is some heavy rain. It should be still be ridable.
  • 3 9
flag scott-townes (Oct 13, 2020 at 14:20) (Below Threshold)
 naw, fresh cut trails hold up the best in rain........
  • 8 0
 It's the wet roots
  • 11 1
 @scott-townes: its almost as if - and hear me out on this - different types of soils handle moisture in different ways
  • 2 1
 @scott-townes: in some cases but def not last weekend.
  • 1 0
 World's was the muddiest race ever, maybe this will at least be the rootiest race ever.
  • 1 0
 "The final split section for the 2 races will use a fresh cut section over the traditional line on the right. "
I thought about Leogang fresh cut section in the rain when i read this.
  • 3 1
 @knarrr: its almost as if- and hear me out on this - sarcasm is a thing!
  • 13 0
 I am kind of digging the autumn circuit. Feels more “real” and raw for some reason. It’s mtb after all and less then perfect dry summer conditions just seems right.
  • 9 0
 So races are friday and sunday that means they are two qualys¿ thursday and saturday¿ can someone explain
  • 1 0
 Does anybody know? I couldnt find any info
  • 7 0
 @tetopluz: You explained it correctly yourself. Qualy on Thursday & Saturday with 2 separate finals on Friday and Sunday. They are doing it because they wanted more races given all the cancellations and Maribor agreed to host a double header. Same as how NOve Mesto hosted an XC double header a couple weeks ago.
  • 1 0
 @tetopluz: you're right, qualis thursday and saturday afternoon. You can find the full schedule here : www.worldcup.si/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Program_2020.pdf
  • 3 0
 Although both versions of the tracks will be practised on tomorrow (wednesday) just to keep us, and Ben cathro, on our toes
  • 2 0
 cool. i didn't understand either. kind of a cool concept IMO.
  • 12 3
 Can't express how much I am looking forward to some real downhill racing this weekend :-)
  • 10 1
 Now I feel spoiled! 3 races sooo close together!
  • 7 1
 I know. It's like a dream - only it has Covid to thank for it.
  • 1 2
 Would have preferred more races, less often. 3 for the whole year is brutal for my viewing sensors...
  • 2 0
 @jgainey: It's not done yet - we get another double-header 30th Oct and 1st Nov from Lousã
  • 4 0
 Saw Trummer a couple of times training in Maribor this summer and winning the Slovenian "open" nationals race. Surely he'll be one of the favourites.
  • 3 0
 Anyone else praying for rain after last weekend and the last few years of dry races?

Those roots, off camber and the rock garden could be spicy if it rains.

Rain please Smile
  • 1 0
 Exactly what I was thinking. Those roots in the wet look spooky.
  • 1 0
 Dry weather for one race and rain for another would be ideal, there would be two really different races then, even if on the same track!
  • 1 0
 @Slabrung: I quite like that idea. Ski resorts have snow machines. Let's get them rigged up to some hoses. Smile
  • 1 0
 @betsie: haha brilliant! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I was so freakin' pumped to watch the race untill i came across information that the spectator tickets will be 100eur per person (Pits are closed for the public). Can anyone confirm if it's true? Redbull TV might be a much less expensive solution this year.
  • 1 0
 Back to the roots. I remember old mtb movies that had World Cup scenes in Maribor. And some of the riders are still riding today. To be honest I'd love to see another XC World Cup there.
  • 1 1
 Does anyone know if you can change fantasy teams between races? I'm guessing not but its going to catch some people out with team lockdowns on Thursday? and racing Friday and Sunday.
  • 1 0
 you should be able to change them, you could last year but who knows
  • 1 0
 They should not have both tracks sections open during practice, that's just asking for trouble. These tracks are looking great though.
  • 2 0
 I was hoping for some pictures of the roots in this article....maybe next time.
  • 1 0
 What is the red paint on the rock garden? Wouldn't think you need it at this level but maybe I'm wrong?
  • 33 0
 It's blood.
  • 1 0
 Probably makes it easier to identify ones to avoid for line choice
  • 2 0
 Is this race going to Geo-Blocked in Canada?
  • 17 0
 I think geoblocking only happens for World Champs, so you and the bears should be able to watch without a VPN.
  • 5 0
 @antennae: thanks for reminding me to cancel my vpn subscription
  • 1 0
 Does anyone have an entry list? And how will Fantasy work? Will it be possible to change teams between the two races?
  • 2 1
 This track looks a lot of fun!
  • 3 2
 Can't believe they'd pack Reece WIlson's bike all muddy like that...
  • 14 0
 that bike will never be washed
  • 5 0
 They might keep it like that forever. Why not eh, a little piece of history.
  • 5 3
 @Roguee: Never ridden again either which seems a bit of a shame (I get why, just seems a bit wasteful...)
  • 1 1
 It'll be better to let it dry muddy, then strip it and clean it in maribor rather than wash it properly and have to pack it wet. It only did one run (albeit terrible conditions), so the bearings etc should be relatively good condition.
  • 2 0
 @chrish: no that bike is headed back to Wisconsin so all the Trek employees can look at it while they eat lunch.
  • 1 0
 preying for broadcast? any one know 4 sure?
  • 1 0
 weather forecast says no rain on sat & sun Smile
  • 2 0
 I'm a meteorologist, just took a quick look at the weather (Europe's higher resolution icon-EU model and GFS model, and both are in agreement)... heavy rain Thursday and Thursday night, light rain Friday, Saturday is looking good, light isolated showers Saturday night, Sunday looking great. Guessing the soil is loam due to the forest, so it should absorb the rain alright. If there are quails on Thursday, they'll be trash.
  • 2 0
 @TheLoamDeranger: So my incompetent comment is verified now Smile
  • 1 0
 @mitch32: And it looks like the forecast is panning out as expected so far.
  • 1 0
 ..so we can come in the forest cheering loud?
  • 1 0
 Back to the roots . . . .
  • 1 0
 One of the best tracks, no doubt.
  • 5 4
 Come on Danny sooooon!
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