Track Walk - Lošinj DH World Cup 2018

Apr 19, 2018
by Nathan Hughes  



Oh hello, DH fans... Didn't see you there. Welcome back. The long wait is over; the downtime is done. Round one of the UCI World Cup is finally upon us once again, after a half-year hiatus. Coming out of a soul-destroying, snowy hibernation or more likely, winter training in far away lands, your favourite gravity mountain bike racers have congregated on an upper corner of the Mediterranean and there's good news... This venue as a place to grab a wonderful calamari dinner, or to do battle by bike, is unlikely to disappoint.

Beginning 245m above the harbour finish line, we'll be starting with some generously proportioned jumps on coarse gravel, before plunging straight into the belly of the beast. And boy does it look like a monster... It's possible you've never seen rocks quite like this in your mountain bike career, so jagged and plentiful they are. Littered with large drops, gaps and only wheel destroying savagery in between, rest assured bikes will not be spending much time on the ground. The final third of the course offers a little more dirt as it ploughs on through evenly spaced trees and some smaller features, but speeds are kept running high. Riders then arrive at a road crossing that delivers them into much-discussed, final urban section. With few turns and only a couple of obstacles in the narrow alleyways, there won't be much deviation in the times here, but it'll be mighty fast and an interesting twist from a set-up perspective.

It's a completely new season and a totally new track... Who's your money on? Why not call it now before everyone gets a glimpse of who's on it tomorrow for training...



Leaving mainland Croatia behind.
Leaving mainland Croatia behind.

Riders and teams have enjoyed a relaxed start to proceedings taking in the Quaint coastal harbours below the track.
Riders and teams have enjoyed a relaxed start to proceedings, taking in the quaint coastal harbour below the track.

American Bruce Klein ready to rock out to some jagged rocks on his shiny new Commencal
American, Bruce Klein, ready to rock out to some jagged rocks on his shiny new Commencal

Colorful Veli Losinj.
Colorful Veli Losinj.

Losinj Croatia... you d like it here.
Croatia by the sea... You'd like it here.

Brendan s ex mechanic Benoit Vergnaud is now wrenching for the boys in blue... Brook MacDonald to be precise.
Brendan's ex-mechanic, Benoit Vergnaud, is now wrenching for the boys in blue... Brook MacDonald to be precise.

Fire in the hole.... The lethal AG is on a fresh ride and ready to rip out throats on track once again.
Fire in the hole.... The lethal AG is on a fresh ride and ready to rip out throats on track once again.

Eddie Masters doesn t quite know what to do with all his free time this year after switching up his role as team owner and manager for the cushy job of factory rider.
Eddie Masters doesn't quite know what to do with all his free time this year after switching up his role as team owner and manager for the cushy job of factory rider.

TV Taylor stoked with his Unno race beauty. If you re a fan of black you will love this team...
TV Taylor stoked with his Unno race beauty. If you're a fan of black, you will love this team...

A serene cruise in what could be considered an old folks bus gets you up top.
A serene cruise in what could be considered an old folks bus gets you up top.

It s not too often a World Cup DH starts in a place like this. Welcome to Veli Losinj.
It's not too often a World Cup DH starts in a place like this... Cairns is surely one, but this view might just take top spot.

The Intense Factory boys salute before the drop.
The Intense Factory boys salute before the drop.

The views from the top are stunning as riders drop into a brand new track here in Croatia.
The views from the top are stunning as riders drop into a brand new track here in Croatia.

The first fight for grip is a lengthy motorway of large jumps on very course dry gravel.
The first fight for grip is a lengthy motorway of large jumps on very coarse, dry gravel.

Emilie Siegenthaler spots the distant landing on one of the massive senders.
Emilie Siegenthaler spots the distant landing on one of the massive senders.

New season new sponsor... The World Cup just got classier.
New season, new sponsor... The World Cup just got classier.

The majority of this track is just full-on unfriendly.
The majority of this track is just full-on unfriendly.

Loris Vergier soaks in the sun as he makes his way down the first track walk of 2018.
Loris Vergier soaks in the sun as he makes his way down the first track walk of 2018.

When the entire track is filled with shard and jagged rocks you d best be paying attention to the select few painted bright orange.
When the entire track is filled with shard and jagged rocks, you'd best be paying attention to the select few painted bright orange.

The aptly named Pinball section.
The aptly named Pinball section.

Hopefully these nets won t have too busy a weekend ahead.
Hopefully these nets won't have too busy a weekend ahead.

Aaron Gwin s mechanic John Hall trying not to think about what all those rocks might do to tires and wheels this weekend.
Aaron Gwin's mechanic John Hall trying not to think about what all those rocks might do to tires and wheels this weekend.

Rocks on rocks on rocks on rocks.
Rocks on rocks on rocks on rocks.

There s some loose rock to be found out there too.
Rocks of all shapes and sizes up on this hill.

A lovely and extremely rare soft patch... worth showing off.
A lovely and extremely rare soft patch... worth showing off.

Brosnan s never not keen. First race of the season he ll be keener than ever.
Brosnan's never not keen. First race of the season, he'll be keener than ever.

Got hucks This track has... and you d best not mess them up because it s going to hurt.
Got hucks? This track has... and you'd best not mess them up because it's going to hurt.

The trail surface is varied the rocks are razor sharp in places and smooth slab in others.
The trail surface is varied, the rocks are razor sharp in places and smooth slab in others.

Rachel Atherton always one to laugh and smile in the face extreme gnar.
Rachel Atherton, always one to laugh and smile in the face extreme gnar.

After a few minutes of rocks racers will blast though a small section of trees with multiple line options.
After a few minutes of rocks, racers will blast through a small section of trees with multiple line options.

Florent Payet is one for an audacious line or two and there are a few to be found on the Croatian hillside.
Florent Payet is one for an audacious line or two and there are a few to be found on the Croatian hillside.

Mark Wallace shows Gee some pics of his new lid...
Mark Wallace and Gee Atherton never let hats come between them.

A soft grassy patch for a nice gentle land.... ah nevermind.
A soft grassy patch for a nice gentle land.... ah nevermind.

Tracey Hannah is one of many pro riders who have tested here in the off season and even still isn t fully convinced of which line through the rocks gets you to the bottom the quickest.
Tracey Hannah is one of many pro riders who have tested here in the off season, and even still isn't fully convinced of which line through the rocks gets you to the bottom the quickest.

For all the Atwill fans out there... here s the man himself.
For all the Atwill fans out there... here's the man himself.

Rachel and protege Millie Johnset striding down a canonball section in the sun.
Rachel and protege, Millie Johnset, striding down a canonball section in the sun.

Dry as a bone and zero chance of rain this week in Croatia.
Dry as a bone and zero chance of rain this week in Croatia.

Sissy she ain t... Hit this gap she will.
Sissy she ain't... Hit this gap she will.

Aaron Gwin and Neko Mullally trying to make sense of it all.
Aaron Gwin and Neko Mullally trying to make sense of it all.

Presenting the one and only berm on the entire track. Here she is.
Presenting the one and only berm on the entire track. Here she is.

The final stretch to the finish line is a new concept in Losinj. Have no fear through it is fast and steep and will definitely not be a sprint.
The final stretch to the finish line is a new concept in Losinj. Have no fear though, it is fast and steep and will definitely not be a sprint.

Its safe to say this is a first on the WC circuit. I finish on the city streets between a cafe and a sailing school just meters from the sea.
It's safe to say this is a first on the WC circuit that finishes on the city streets between a cafe and a sailing school, just meters from the sea.

There s plenty of colour on the Croatian coast.
There's plenty of colour on the Croatian coast.

All kind of badass bikes are lurking in the pits ready to be unleashed on track.
All kind of badass bikes are lurking in the pits ready to be unleashed on track.

Brook is extra hungry for those wins on a bike he already knows and loves. His last and indeed only WC victory was aboard a Summum in 2012.
Brook is extra hungry for those wins on a bike he already knows and loves. His last and indeed only WC victory was aboard a Summum in 2012.

Sik Mik eats his sandwiches like he rides his bikes.... real mean.
Sik Mik eats his sandwiches like he rides his bikes.... real mean.

Got shocks It woudn t be a downhill race without them. Let s keep it that way with more savage rock action like we re about to witness at this fresh venue.
Got shocks? It wouldn't be a downhill race without them. Let's keep it that way with more savage rock action like we're about to witness at this fresh venue.

Jack gets the World Champ s bike ready to battle some Croatian rocks.
Jack gets the World Champ's bike ready to battle some Croatian rocks.

Bike candy ready for application at the IFR pits.
Bike candy ready for application at the IFR pits.

Number 1 and dont you forget it.
Number 1 and don't you forget it.

The scene is set and we re certain big things are to come from this incredible venue. Goodnight from Croatia.
The scene is set and we're certain big things are to come from this incredible venue. Goodnight from Croatia.



64 Comments

  • + 57
 FUCKING! About time! Claudio took a hard spill on the dome unit, I hope RedBull still releases the video. I am so pumped, can't get enough! GWIN RULES!
  • + 5
 He said on fb that it would be posted.
  • + 33
 bro you're so pumped I can hear you through my laptop
  • + 3
 @Chingus-Dude: I heard him, too! Through my window.
  • + 2
 @Ron-C: w00t! w00t!
  • + 4
 @Chingus-Dude: bro, dude, man.... Smile
  • + 8
 RAILING RUTS AND NAILING........ Ducks . .
  • - 9
flag MJ4LIFERIDER (Apr 19, 2018 at 21:07) (Below Threshold)
 Gwin for the WIN!! Like always! Make America proud Gwinny!
  • + 45
 Tahnees cheek doh..
  • + 18
 She saw the postcard and felt the need to fit in. I'm not complaining.
  • + 26
 Sparkle Motion? I doubt your commitment.
  • + 16
 Random thoughts;
Sik Mik gonna crush some sandwiches, Mille gonna break some hearts, Atwills going to scare everyone, Gwizzard heading for disaster, bulldog going to break some shit, Brosnan shakes, Moir's gonna make some creepy faces, Rachels gonna suck some air with a nice chianti, and Super Bruni for the win.
  • + 1
 Cathro reporting Loic's injured his elbow in practice. Sad times...
  • + 3
 Damn. OK, flip Gwin and Bruni predictions then. @sourmix:
  • + 10
 My grandparents are from Veli Losinj—so stoked to see WC downhill here. Would love to hear what they’d have say about bikes charging between those rock walls...

Beautiful place, looks like a sick track, have fun fans and don’t drink all the Karlovačko without me!
  • + 1
 how do you pronounce it? Losinee?
  • + 13
 "Bububububut it's not a proper downhill track"
  • + 21
 Says all the pb pros who have never ridden it Smile
  • + 4
 How can it not be? It starts up a hill and you ride "down" hence the word, downhill....
  • + 9
 Half of the photo's, I can't even tell where the track is and where it isn't...... Rock fever
  • + 7
 @FTOD: you mean like sea otter?
  • + 4
 I expect the track to change a lot during training and qualifying, lots of rocks and gravel will be thrown out of the main line.
  • + 11
 ( I ) ( I ) ( I )
  • + 9
 Jeezus Gee's arms... he must have very little body fat
  • - 15
flag yupstate (Apr 19, 2018 at 19:33) (Below Threshold)
 Little body fat but big teeth ????????
  • + 6
 Gwin's arms
  • + 4
 Like two veiny dicks.
  • + 8
 Atwill's like "Hmm, wonder if I can get the hardtail down to the street section?"
  • + 8
 Well it's no Camp Fortune.
  • + 2
 Nice! Fortune has spades of rock for sure! awesome....
  • + 2
 Lived in Ottawa for a year and miss that sweet little hill... rockiest place I've ever ridden back then... hope they haven't dumbed it down since then.
  • + 1
 @CONomad: Don't worry--still lots of fun, rocky gnar on both the XC and DH side.
  • + 1
 best place to ride
  • + 8
 High five for the Donny Darko reference.
  • + 5
 I love short shorts. Yes i'm a perv
  • + 5
 Perfectly groomed concrete
  • + 5
 That painted rock has so many faces in it...
  • + 4
 And I thought my Park Tools travel case and tools were sweet...Them Pedros tools and cases are sweet!
  • + 4
 Eddie has something in his teeth.
  • + 4
 whatever opinions you have on the track, that is one beautiful town
  • + 4
 after seeing the second photo... r der toplez laydeez?
  • + 10
 Yez, alwayz toplez in Crotia. Iz Normalz.
  • + 12
 Its not weird at all to see boobs at the beach here in Europe because you know, its just a human body... If you move a bit out of most crowded beaches you will also see naked people and nobody would bat an eye...
  • + 0
 Holy crap! Who is going to win this one is anybody’s guess. I’m second and third guessing my fantasy league choices. This track can lay low the world’s best as it looks like a place that eats wheels for breakfast. 1 mechanical is all it takes to ruin a race run. Got a feeling we’re gonna see lots of that! Stay safe everybody please. We love this sport, we love all of you. This one looks the gnar.
  • + 4
 All things aside i do like that picture of tahnee..
  • + 2
 Very nice piece! Well written and sick shots!! Thank you! So STOKED racing is back on!
  • + 3
 This A Gwinn guy might have a chance
  • + 2
 So excited to watch the footage of the race! That finish line is definitely interesting
  • + 3
 Those are some beautiful photos.
  • + 2
 looks like commencal aren't taking chances on running out of tyres...
  • + 2
 It’s been a long winter. Thankful for the return of DH
  • + 1
 Super pumped and hoping for no crashes.......this course is a body smashing, flesh-grater! Go Brosnan(top pool pick)
  • + 2
 Woo!!!
  • + 2
 Heal up Claudio!
  • + 1
 Rumor has it Atwill is going to run a hardtail
  • - 2
 Anyone notice gwins hair? Looks like he's been enjoying the time off letting things go. I think the long hair don't care is gonna bite him in the ass-e-gai? Might be the difference between first and second place.
  • + 1
 Gwin’s forearms in the last pic put my legs to shame ahahaha
  • + 1
 Little hoarse from yelling in excitement, anybody got a Lošinj?
  • + 1
 nice
  • + 0
 Crank it up F*#@%!$
  • - 3
 Looks like a jacked up BMX sidewalk.
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