The Teddy Bear's Picnic - WC Leogang - Practice

Jun 13, 2015
by Nathan Hughes  
A dark and damp scene greeted racers today as the gondola fired up, but a thick inversion layer soon burnt off and racers in Group B began to try and tackle the extremely soft and slippery new sections of the course. The natural terrain riders had been dreaming of quickly morphed into more of a nightmare for most, and by the time the big names were out on track the first woods were nothing short of absolute carnage. Mobs of riders built up as they stopped, started, hucked and crashed their way down the axle-deep ruts between the trees. With more storms on the forecast it looks like we may have a repeat situation from last weekend in the highlands, with riders throwing the dice into the depths of a wet and wild forest and hoping for the best.


The torrential downpours of yesterday afternoon left riders concerned with what might be laying wait up on track for them in the mist this morning.
  The torrential downpours of yesterday afternoon left riders concerned with what might be laying in wait up on track for them in the mist this morning.


Yesterday s hail left small craters in the mud.
  Yesterday's hail left small craters in the mud.


Such is the life of a World Cup mechanic where the building of wheels never comes to an end.
  Such is the life of a World Cup mechanic where the building of wheels never comes to an end.


The mood in the pits was a bit gloomy this morning as riders awoke to thick clouds and fog. Little did anyone know things were quite different at the top of the hill.
  The mood in the pits was a bit gloomy this morning as riders awoke to thick clouds and fog. Little did anyone know that things were quite different at the top of the hill.


It was all sunshine at the top of the mountain and once the low level clouds burned off it was nothing but blue skies all day long.
  It was all sunshine at the top of the mountain, and once the low-level clouds burned off it was nothing but blue skies all day long.


First runs of the day up above the clouds.
  First runs of the day up above the clouds.


Rachel Atherton rails the first turn out of the gate high above the inversion layer of clouds in the valley below.
  Rachel Atherton rails the first turn out of the gate high above the inversion layer of clouds in the valley below.


Mirander Miller isn t looking so armless these days... More like a threat on track.
  Miranda Miller isn't looking so 'armless these days... The Specialized sender could be real a threat on this track.


Jill Kintner got a little rowdy right out of the gate on her first run.
  Jill Kintner got a little rowdy right out of the gate on her first run.


Wyn Masters gets the win for epic Scenery boosting today.
  Wyn Masters gets the win for epic Scenery boosting today.


Blenki was looking positively rambuncious on track today smashing his bike around on loose terrain being his favorite game.
  Blenki was looking positively rambunctious on the track today, with smashing his bike around on loose terrain being his favourite game.


After being DQ d here last year Bernard Kerr is definitely on the hunt this weekend.
  After being DQ'd here last year, Bernard Kerr is definitely on the hunt this weekend.


Aaron Gwin holds the points lead will the fastest American keep it this weekend
  Aaron Gwin holds the points lead, but will the fastest American be able to keep it after this weekend?


Loic Bruni has is on the hunt for his first win. He s come close here before could this weekend be it
  Loic Bruni is pushing hard for his first World Cup win. He's come close here before, and this could his weekend.


2015 the year Leogang got loam. Rachel tucks into a fresh helping.
  2015, the year Leogang got loam. Rachel tucks into a fresh helping.


Andrew Neethling was fourth fastest in timed training today. Will the South African climb up on the podium this weekend
  Andrew Neethling was fourth fastest in timed training today. Will the South African climb up on the podium this weekend?


Austria s great hope Markus Pekoll swooping down into the rooty abyss.
  Austria's great hope: Markus Pekoll swooping down into the rooty abyss.


The Bulldog smashing through the rocks up top. Brook was fourteenth in timed training today.
  The Bulldog smashing through the rocks up top - don't forget that he took a podium here last time around...


Can Greg Minnaar pull off another win here in Leogang
  Can Greg Minnaar pull off another win here in Leogang to make it a hat-trick?


Wynn Masters had his best ever WC result last weekend and is looking fast and determined to finally break into the top ten on Sunday.
  Wyn Masters had his best ever World Cup result last weekend and is looking fast and determined to finally break into the top ten on Sunday.


Neko taking stock of the new open root section that caused more than a few problems on first runs.
  Neko taking stock of the new open root section that caused more than a few problems on the first runs.


Alex Marin Trillo is once again looking like the junior to beat this weekend.
  Alex Marin Trillo is once again looking like the junior to beat this weekend.


Finn Isles is here as a pre runner since he is still too young to race at the World Cup level. Training and traveling with his Lapierre teammates should help him to have to have a bit of an edge when he lines up in the start gate for real next season.
  Finn Isles is here as a pre-runner since he is still too young to race at the World Cup level. Training and traveling with his Lapierre teammates should help him to have to have a bit of an edge when he lines up in the start gate for real next season.


Remi Gauvin s helmet hovering mysteriously above his new carbon Rocky Mountain.
  Remi Gauvin's helmet hovering mysteriously above his new carbon Rocky Mountain.


Into the woods we go. Gone is the moss and loam from track walk and in its place we now have massive ruts and hundreds of slick roots.
  Into the woods we go. Gone is the moss and loam from the track walk, and in its place we now have massive ruts and hundreds of slick roots... Adam Brayton jumps in.


It was to be a long day of close-up soil analysis in the upper woods.
  It was to be a long day of close-up soil analysis in the upper woods.


Remy Thirion lives for this sort of riding and it was evident to everyone standing track side that he is one to keep an eye on this round.
  Remy Thirion lives for this sort of riding, and it was evident to everyone standing trackside that he is one to keep an eye on during this round.


Troy spent a long time pushing the woods today well aware that much like Fort William the brief woods section will be make or break for this race.
  Troy spent a longtime pushing the woods today well aware that, much like Fort William, this brief section could be make or break for this race.


The Chainsaw cuts through the last of the roots that lead to the fireroad jumps. Steve Smith has won here before and he is no starnger to mud roots and loam.
  The Chainsaw cuts through the last of the roots that lead to the fireroad jumps. Smith has won here before and he is no stranger to mud, roots, and loam.


Matt Simmonds reclines and contemplates whether he prefers his slick roots on or off-camber.
  Matt Simmonds reclines to contemplate whether he prefers his slick roots on or off-camber.


Marcelo is rising with an aggression we have not seen from him in some time. He looked amazing through the woods and we know he can throw down the power so it was no surprise to see him top the list during times training.
  Marcelo is rising with an aggression we have not seen from him in some time. He looked amazing through the woods and we know he can throw down the power, so it was no surprise to see him top the list during timed training.


Remi Thirion master of the off-camber taking a moment to kick back. Even the heroes fall.
  Remi Thirion, master of the off-camber, taking a moment to kick back. Even the heroes fall.


Neko Mullaly will be looking to get a solid result here in Leogang. The New sections of track are suited to his style.
  Neko Mullaly will be looking to get a solid result here in Leogang, especially because the new sections of track are suited to his style.


Gee Atherton was one of the few who was running consistently well in the new woods section. He was also smooth on the exit where many floundered. He was second fastest in timed training.
  Gee Atherton was one of the few who was running consistently well in the new wooded section. He was also smooth on the exit, where many floundered. He was second fastest in timed training.


Great to see Lorenzo Suding back in the woods with a helmet on after his car accident last year and an injury before Lourdes. He s now back on the gas and managing his own team HS Racing.
  Great to see Lorenzo Suding back in the woods with a helmet on after his car accident last year and an injury before Lourdes. He's now back on the gas and managing his own team, HS Racing.


Innes Graham is back from injury and looking really good out on the track.
  Innes Graham is back from injury and looking really good out on the track.


Remy Morton already loved the old Leogang track and is even more keen on the updated version. So much so that he banged out 6 runs in the limited morning practice session.
  Remy Morton already loved the old Leogang track and is even more keen on the updated version. So much so that he banged out six runs in the limited morning practice session.


Guillaume Cauvin romping through the trees. Team aare on the rise.
  Guillaume Cauvin romping through the trees. Team Giant are on the rise.


Riders that can t hold the line on the off camber inside are pulled wide and into this tree making the following 90 degree turn that much harder to negotiate.
  Riders that can't hold the line on the off camber inside are pulled wide and into this tree, making the following ninety degree turn that much harder to negotiate. Dave McMillan cuts it fine.


Brook Mac never one to ease off the throttle when the going gets tough.
  Brook Mac, never one to ease off the throttle when the going gets tough.


Loris Vergier has not had the best of luck this season and is as hungry as ever to start making his mark in the senior ranks
  Loris Vergier has not had the best of luck this season and is as hungry as ever to start making his mark in the senior ranks


Kiwi national champ George Brannigan is a wild man making light work of all the most savage sections.
  Kiwi National Champ, George Brannigan, is a wild man who makes light work of all the most savage sections.


Rachel was handling all of the track here in Leogang with no problem. She was fastest in timed training.
  Rachel was handling all of the track here in Leogang with no problem, laying down the fastest practice lap at a 4:18.


A handful of flat pedal riders like Joe smith are looking absolutely pinned in the slick woods. Where many riders look tight the ability to drop a foot with ease means these guys are riding with a relaxed and confident style.
  A handful of flat pedal riders like Joe smith are looking absolutely pinned in the slick woods. Where many riders look tight, the ability to drop a foot with ease means these guys are riding with a relaxed and confident style.


The off-camber roots into the last woods are where riders find out just how comfortable they are outside of their comfort zones with plenty of buck-wild action. Dean Lucas tames the beast.
  The off-camber roots into the last woods are where riders find out just how comfortable they are outside of their comfort zones, with plenty of buck-wild action. Dean Lucas tames the beast.


Brendan put down a hot lap this afternoon with a 3 35.3 to go third fastest.
  Brendan put down a hot lap this afternoon with a 3:35.3 to go third fastest.


After a second place last weekend for Tahnee Seagrave there is just one position left to her to reach.
  After a second place last weekend for Tahnee Seagrave, there's just one position left to her to reach.


Tracey Hannah had a few mistakes and crashed throughout the day hitting the ground more than a few times. But she was able to end training on a solid run and ended up 3rd on her timed run.
  Tracey Hannah had a few mistakes and crashed throughout the day, hitting the ground a couple of times. She was able to end training on a solid time, though, with run worthy of a 3rd place on her timed run.


Manon s not afraid to get her stripes dirty. The World Champ took home the bacon last year... Can Wales s finest female export make it two in a row
  Manon's not afraid to get her stripes dirty. The World Champ took home the bacon last year... Can Wales's finest female export make it two in a row?


Last years number one qualifier and almost winner Loic Bruni is going to win one of these things real soon and historically Leogang has suited him very well. Could this finally he the young Frenchman s weekend
  Last year's number one qualifier and almost winner, Loic Bruni, is going to win one of these things real soon. Could this finally be the young Frenchman's weekend?


Gee wants the win bad this weekend after coming so close in Fort William. Second spot in timed training means Gee is on the gas in Leogang.
  Gee wants the win bad this weekend after coming so close in Fort William. Second spot in timed training means that he is on the gas in Leogang.


The man who came last place in timed training. No one knows what AG s got but you d be mad not to worry if you re between the tape on Sunday.
  The man who came last place in timed training. No one knows what AG's got, but you'd be mad not to worry if you're between the tape on Sunday.



Check out all of our World Cup DH pics here.




About the Photographers

Dave Trumpore • Age: 35 • Years Shooting: 4
Dave spent the bulk of the past 17 years racing professionally before realizing that despite qualifying for the random World Cup final here and there, the next generation was just way too fast and way more talented. Upon hanging up his racing boots in 2010, it would be a few years until Dave picked up a camera and started shooting the odd race here and there as a way to stay in touch with all the friends he had made over the years, and the rest as they say is history. In just a few years time his photos have graced the pages of just about every MTB magazine and major media outlet, while his commercial client list includes a who's who of the cycling industry, and he is lucky enough to shoot regularly with some of the best riders on the planet. Currently at Pinkbike, Dave shoots the Downhill WC and the Enduro World Series as well as contributing to the occasional editorial story.


Matthew Delorme • Age: 40 • Years Shooting: 8
Matthew DeLorme is just one of Pinkbike’s motley crew of World Cup Photographers. He currently lives out of a Ogio bag, and calls the road his home. Delorme works for Trek Bicycle, covering their MTB racing programs. He can usually be found laying in the dirt trackside, cracking jokes and saying things that make little to no sense. He enjoys capturing accessory moments and the journey every bit as much as catching the action shot.



Nathan Hughes • Age: 28 • Years Shooting: 2
Nathan Hughes was snared as mainstay Pinbike media crew for the 2013 World Cup season and has been trapped behind the lens and the keyboard ever since. In between the biggest bike events of the year Nathan can be found on client shoots, making far-off travel stories and trying to catch a moment to spin the pedals himself. A great appreciation of the wilderness, the fear of a normal life and the quest for the perfect picture will have him hooked and looking to raise the bar for years to come.



43 Comments

  • + 151
 Sam hill we miss u
  • + 38
 I was thinking the same thing...totally the type of track that Hill could absolutely rip apart
  • + 29
 Exaclty.... Off cambers and wet roots, flat pedals ftw
  • - 1
 Coook a cake, blow the soup
  • + 4
 Shame only a little bit of it is in the woods though
  • + 7
 If DH was meant to be televised in prime time on a station like Eurosport or ESPN, there would be no wooden sections, everything would go on open field so that it is easy to setup cameras and see the rider all the time. Most features would be artificial like most of the stuff in Leogang. Jumps double as big and insame speeds so that numbers on speedometer look impressive. Everybody wanting the growth of the sport - think twice
  • + 2
 I don't necessarily agree here - each run receives so little camera coverage there is still plenty of room for wide open sections that look impressive on camera along with wooded or tech sections that appeal to the racers and spectators who actually ride and appreciate it. Lourdes and Fort Bill are examples of courses that riders and spectators both love.
  • + 62
 all weekends should have WC rounds !!!!!!!
  • + 32
 2 months.. way too long between races.. Can't say I don't mind 1 week between races, but some healing time is necessary. Can't we find Goldilocks schedule, UCI?

Regardless, stoked for the rooty challlenge of an alpine WC!
  • + 31
 austria is one of the most beautiful places in the world
  • + 8
 The hills are alive!.....with the sound of SHREEEDINNG!!!!!! *Double bass and Guitar riffs intensifies*
  • + 29
 Man is it awesome to see the Chainsaw back in the mix.
  • + 2
 I hope sam hill is there to I miss you sam!
  • + 24
 I love this shit, so many who can win. Can't wait. Disappointed that Peaty, Hill, and Hart won't be in the mix though.
  • + 20
 Sick photos. Kudos to all the dudes bringing this to life in all corners of the world.
  • + 10
 Big props to the UCI/ bikepark/ track builders for changing up the track to what it is now.... obviously I'm not there but it looks like they've listened to the fans and racers Big Grin
  • + 10
 I just asked my wife if we could pack our 3 kids up and move to Leogang. She said YESSS!
  • + 9
 DAMN, so many amazing photos in one thread. im no photographer....but wow!
  • + 3
 The Jill Kintner sideways pic was really a good shot.
  • + 5
 Thanks for giving credit to the wheel builder!!! Nothing like a well built wheel. Gotta respect that!
  • + 5
 gawd those photos really are gret, bring on the racing - looks epic!
  • + 3
 That's a fierce looking A.G.
  • + 4
 Neko!
  • + 2
 No mention of Ratboy? Is he healed up and racing this weekend? He did win here last year...
  • + 3
 too fast mate, by the time the guys got out their camera's ratboy had already crossed the line
  • + 2
 Amazing photos! So many great photos and I'm not normally one to say that. They make me want to go for a ride right now.
  • + 2
 Where's the rat?! He miss last round as well? Hhmmm...
  • + 1
 top three Gwinn, Gee and Minarr..With Luca Shaw and Neko Mullany...The end...
  • + 0
 I was mesmerized more by the mud pic and the mountains above the clouds pic than I was by the riding.
  • + 2
 I am liking this
  • + 1
 Lorenzo Suding is back ! goo !
  • + 2
 Come on Conna!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Top mans.
  • + 0
 what happened to GWIN during timed practice?
  • + 11
 he stops mid run a lot
  • + 1
 Braaaaapp
  • - 1
 Minnaar needs Loic Bruni's kit. Yowza!
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