The Essential Guide to the La Bresse DH World Cup 2018

Aug 20, 2018 at 10:38
by Farah Ahmed  

“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories."
- Michel de Montaigne, 1533-1592

The end of the 2018 World Cup DH season has almost come to pass, and similar in a way to how it started out at Losinj - a new location for the international circuit - the bookend of the season sees us in La Bresse in northeastern France, which for some will be a wholly new track but for others - the old guard - it has an air of familiarity to it.

The last time we saw international UCI downhill racing in La Bresse was back in 2011, and before that in 2009. For the former, these were the days of the domination of Gwin and Moseley on Trek, and in respect to the latter it was only Minnaar who managed to steal away two out of a total of seven rounds from Gwin that year, and La Bresse was one of them. La Bresse also holds dear to many a Frenchman’s heart too. It was here back in 2011 that on the podium, a fourth-placed finisher Fabien Barel announced his retirement from competitive downhill racing.

So will an old guard track be conducive to the old guard pack? No doubt there will be a fair few changes to the 2011 version, but will we see the likes of Gee Atherton and Minnaar shine? Or will the new breed make their mark on the revised track? How will the new overall champion want to race? Will Pierron want to race for the sake of racing or does he have his eyes on a new prize... the World Championship? Then again, this is his ‘home’ race so no doubt the hunger to win will be there.

With the title wrapped up for the Elite Men’s race, the women are still battling it out for the spoils. With Nicole still not right after her big injury in Val di Sole, the race is now between Seagrave and Atherton. Atherton showed her cards at the last round in Mont-Sainte-Anne, blowing everyone else out of the water, including what looked to be an on-form Seagrave. Judging by her social media posts, Seagrave has put the whole thing down to a learning experience and looks to have her mind-game on point going into La Bresse. It’s worth noting that although not having raced in the World Cup back in 2011, Seagrave did race the European Cup there a few months prior. With only 110 points behind Atherton and no points available for qualifying this last round - they’re rolled into the final race run points - it’s going to be a close run thing between the two*.

Someone to look out for this weekend is Mathilde Bernard who recently announced she’ll be racing at La Bresse. Those of you who follow Crankworx will remember Bernard as being the rider who managed to topple Jill Kintner in the Les Gets pumptrack competition a few months back. We’ve seen the resurgence of the men of France, so could we start seeing Bernard building on that momentum here in La Bresse and give Valentina Höll a run for her money?

Note * = there are many computations as to how Seagrave could deny Atherton the overall. Generally speaking it would mean Seagrave would have to win and Atherton would have to finish no higher than 6th place for Seagrave to take the overall. However all Atherton would need to do is to finish higher than Seagrave and the World Cup would be hers. Let battle commence!

The Track

We don’t know much about the new track for 2018. If the old track was anything to go by, it had multiple steep off camber sections but some riders remarked how it lacked the flow of other tracks during that era, so hopefully things have changed somewhat.

An unofficial POV course preview has been doing the rounds on the internet for a few months but until we actually get boots on the ground, the shape of the track is largely guesswork. So the guesswork is: lots of tight twisty sections in the woods, a few tables in an open section beside the woods, and then the track gets progressively steeper back in the woods as it winds itself down to the finish line area. There's a section in the open right before the finish line so it should be a pretty good spectacle for the fans behind the tape.

Credit: Pierre-Charles Georges, Team Commencal/100%

If you want to also see an alternative view of the track - or at least parts of it - here’s Rémi Thirion ripping it to pieces in this product video. Did I mention that La Bresse is Thirion’s hometown?

Credit: Slicy Products

What Happened At The Last Round

In the Elite Women’s race everyone was waiting to see what would transpire between the British riders Tahnée Seagrave and Rachel Atherton. Before we get on to what happened there, let’s rewind earlier in the finals when Carina Cappellari took to the course and although sliding out on the rocks and crashing, she secured a time that afforded her the hot seat for a while. It wasn’t until Monika Hrastnik took to the track and started to improve on Cappellari’s time, eventually crossing the line with 16 seconds to spare. It wasn’t long before Hrastnik would be bumped off the hot seat. First it was Mariana Salazar, then Marine Cabirou, and then Tracy Hannah (who managed to do it while suffering a mechanical in the final section).

Riding a World Cup race for the first time since coming back from injury a few races earlier, Myriam Nicole would end up crashing early on, and a wonky seatpost would mean she would have to retire. Then the British riders were next. Atherton had an exceptional run and lit up the splits green by a massive margin to Hannah’s time, and crossed the line with a 20-second margin. When Seagrave took to the track it was clear she wouldn’t be able to get close enough to Atherton’s time, and she crossed the line - albeit with a big smile - 5 seconds behind Atherton.

Credit: Red Bull

Rachel Atherton rose to Seagrave s qualie challenge taking the win by a convincing 5 seconds.
Atherton Seagrave Hannah Cabirou and Salazar on top of the box.

In the Elite Men’s race, Amaury Pierron had suffered a huge crash in practice earlier in the day, and everyone was wondering whether he would be in shape to snatch the overall title which was within his grasp. To secure his title he would have to finish ahead of Vergier.

Onto the actual race and it was Gwin’s teammate Angel Suarez who sat proudly in the hot seat while other riders tried their best to better his time. It was only until Charlie Harrison crossed the line did Suarez relinquish the seat. Harrison didn’t have to wait long until a threat in the form of Minnaar took to the track, but to huge gasps, the South African had a tumble in one of the tricky sections of the track, and lost all that time he had managed to have to his advantage.

With a bucketful of other riders going through that section, it was beginning to claim a few more victims, namely Iles and Macdonald. However it was Loris Vergier who managed to sail through the big holes and cross the line to bump Harrison off the hot seat. Vergier didn’t have long on there though, as Brosnan would scrape just over 3 seconds off the Frenchman’s run, leaving him to now wait for the final few men down the track. Despite being bruised and a bit roughed up, Pierron took to the track and showed consistency against Vergier’s time and slowly he would take the edge, crossing the line up on his compatriot and into World Cup history. The celebrations had to wait though - out of respect at least - there were still two riders out on track; Bruni and Hart.

Bruni was next up and he managed to carry his speed and precision all the way down, edging closer to beating Brosnan’s time. The last section was catching a lot of people out though as time after time riders seemed to lose out on the bottom half of the track. Not for Bruni though. He had managed to find enough time in the top section to lose at the bottom and he crossed the line up from Brosnan. While the jubilation from the Frenchman contained, everyone looked towards the screens as they saw Hart take to the track. However, Hart wasn’t able to best Bruni’s time and slotted into third place, and with that the French went wild; Bruni for the win and Pierron for the overall.

Credit: Red Bull

Bruni giving it the Blenkinsop treatment full bore down to the line through the huge MSA crowds.
Step 3. Celebrate.

Rider Standings

1st // Amaury PIERRON // FRA // 1088 // The bossman and overall 2018 winner
2nd // Loris VERGIER // FRA // 781 // -307 // No change
3rd // Danny HART // GBR // 776 // -312 // Moves up from 5th
4th // Troy BROSNAN // AUS // 776 // -312 // No change
5th // Luca SHAW // USA // 648 // -440 // Moves up from 6th
6th // Laurie GREENLAND // GBR // 646 // -442 // Moves down from 5th
7th // Loic BRUNI // FRA // 573 // -515 // New to top 10
8th // Brook MACDONALD // NZL // 522 // -566 // Moves down from 7th
9th // Aaron GWIN // USA // 481 // -607 // Moves down from 8th
10th // Samuel BLENKINSOP // NZL // 442 // -646 // Moves down from 9th

1st // Rachel ATHERTON // GBR // 1226 // No change
2nd // Tahnée SEAGRAVE // GBR // 1116// -110 // No change
3rd // Tracey HANNAH // AUS // 905 // -321 // No change
4th // Monika HRASTNIK // SLO // 689 // -537 // Moves up from 5th
5th // Myriam NICOLE // FRA // 640 // -586 // Moves down from 4th
6th // Marine CABIROU // FRA // 637 // -589 // No change
7th // Emilie SIEGENTHALER // SUI // 476 // -750 // No change
8th // Mariana SALAZAR // ESA // 436 // -790 // Moves up from 9th
9th // Cecile RAVANEL // FRA // 375 // -851 // Moves down from 8th
10th // Carina CAPPELLARI // SUI // 305 // -921 // New to top 10

Points available for final round are: 1st = 250, 2nd = 200, 3rd = 170, 4th = 150, 5th = 130, 6th = 111, 7th = 94, 8th = 82, 9th = 70, 10th = 60, etc…

What Happened Here Last Year

Nothing because there wasn’t a race here last year. So let’s go back a few more years to 2011...

Although small in stature, La Bresse at the time was a legitimate World Cup track thanks to it being full of technically challenging sections that kept riders thinking.

In the Elite Women’s race, we would see a young Manon Carpenter sitting in the hot seat for a long while until the creme of the crop started their decent. Atherton took the hot seat from Carpenter despite sliding out on one of the turns close to the finish line. Nevertheless, her time was still good. Atherton would watch on as Ragot would try to beat her time, but the Frenchwoman couldn’t do it thanks to a couple of mistakes higher up the track. Likewise, Jonnier fell to a similar fate but it was only Pugin and Moseley that would unseat Atherton, with Pugin eventually taking second, behind an on-form Moseley who took the top step.

In the Elite Men’s race, we would see Ben Cathro (you know, he’s the guy that does all those cool videos now), sitting in the hot seat after what was arguably one of his best World Cup results after starting the day off in 33rd place. It wasn't until Marc Beaumont crossed the line did the finishers start beating one another. The soon-to-announce-calling-it-quits Barel would knock Beaumont off the hot seat but it wasn’t long before he was knocked off himself. Next up was Minnaar who found an extra 3.4 seconds on track compared to Barel. Minnaar looked on as Atherton, Smith and Gwin tried to improve on his time, but they simply couldn’t. It wasn’t Gwin’s day - not this time, but history will say otherwise for the overall - and Minnaar was announced the winner.

Views: 4,401    Faves: 59    Comments: 6

Elliot Jackson will also see a sharp drop in his plate number for Val di Sole--from 167 overall to 87.
Gwin was third at the first split and simply could not make up the time on a track this short. Third was where he stayed.

Ratboy Bryceland was having a barn burner. Until he hit the eject button on the last double. In replays it appears he blew off his pedals. Judging by the high quality sneaks he s sporting--where d he find those things A dumpster --equipment failure in that department may have Bryceland in search of a shoe sponsor for Val di Sole.

Previous Winners

2011 // Greg MINNAAR // RSA
2009 // Steve PEAT // GBR
2011 // Tracy MOSELEY // GBR
2009 // Sabrina JONNIER // FRA

The Weather Forecast

The fog lingered in the middle of the track all morning until the first of two thunder storms rolled in and added a twist to proceedings.
Thursday 23 August - Practice
Very warm and partial sunshine. // 28°C // 25% precipitation // wind 7km/h // 15m/h gusts

Friday 24 August - Qualifying
A lot cooler. Some sun in between the clouds // 19°C // 25% precipitation // wind 9km/h // 17km/h gusts

Saturday 25 August - Finals
Cloudy and rain in the afternoon // 14°C // 60% precipitation // wind 7km/h // 13km/h gusts

Weather forecast as of Monday 20 August. Live updates from Accuweather.

Watching It In Person

Tracy Moseley coming home for a win.

If you want to watch the racing action in person then there is a fee for this round. A day ticket will set you back €15 per adult, or a multi three-day ticket will set you back €30. Kids under 14 go free and there are no concessions. Sadly for those of you wishing to splash out and buy a VIP experience, there are none to buy.

Must Know, Must See, Must Do

The town of La Bresse is in the largely rural Vosges region of the ‘Grand Est’ in northeastern France. The Vosges region is named after the Vosges mountain range and consists of 17 districts and 507 towns with La Bresse being one of them. The land the region covered was once blanketed in vast swathes of woodland but as time went on people started to make the area their home, turning the plentiful woods into agricultural land, as well as mining areas for precious minerals in Saxon times. One of La Bresse’s sister towns of the Vosges region - Domrémy-la-Pucelle - is where Joan of Arc was born when the area was ruled under the Holy Roman Empire.

During its time, the area and its surroundings have seen a lot of bloodshed on its ground. In 58 BC Julius Caesar crushed the Germanic tribe under Ariovistus in nearby Alsace. Ariovistus and his tribe wanted to seek new ground in Gaul during the Gallic Wars but Caesar and his six legions were having none of it, and in fact, wanted a bit of Germania for themselves. In 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars, a new Battle of Vosges took place - and actually in the shadow of the Vosges mountain range - between the Revolutionary Forces of France and the Allied Coalition (Prussia, Saxony, and Habsburg Austria). The French won the battle in the end but both forces were relatively stagnant about the whole thing. Down the line the French forces would eventually capitulate in the Franco Prussian War of 1870-1871, the northeastern area of Vosges area annexed to the German Empire.

A couple of decades later and Vosges would see horrific and seemingly never-ending fighting during the First World War. In the aftermath, most of the area was returned to France under the Treaty of Versailles. The area saw once again the pity of war, when at the end of 1944, during the Second World War, it saw fighting between Allied and German forces. That same year the British Special Air Service’s (SAS) ill-fated Operation Loyton took place where a troop of men were parachuted into the Vosges mountains. It would have been ok had it not been for the Germany army swarming the area in readiness for the Allied’s Third Army advance. The Germans raced to capture the SAS men and on orders from Hitler himself (he didn’t much like the plucky Brits and their annoying SAS so issued a ‘Commando Order’ which sanctioned the killing of any Allied commando without trial, even if they were in proper uniforms or if they attempted to surrender). Sadly in their attempt to retreat, 31 men of the original 91 SAS team were captured, interred in the only concentration camp established by the Nazis on French territory (which was in the Vosges mountains), and executed. Unfortunately, others who were caught up in the German Army’s fulfilment of Hitler’s orders, including over 200 local residents who would be sent to concentration camps, where less than half of them would survive.

Thankfully the region recovered in the post-war years, and given its lush green spaces in the late 20th century two large areas were given protected status; the Parc Naturel régional des Vosges du Nord and the Parc Naturel régional des Ballons des Vosges. The area is now a great location for leisure seekers from both France and neighbouring Germany.

There’s plenty to see and do while you’re in the area, including taking a look at the remains of a Roman fortified town in Grand. There’s an amphitheatre and a temple dedicated to Apollo. Given the area’s history, there are lots of forts to see, particularly ones that date to the latter half of the 19th century, including Bourlémont, Uxegney, and Bois l'Abbé. There are lots of museums too in La Bresse itself, including one dedicated to the French Resistance and their allies during the Second World War, as well as monuments and military cemeteries dotted around the area.

There’s a brewery museum in La Bresse which offers guided tours. There are several lakes to enjoy, as well as hikes up the mountain, plus La Bresse Bike Park itself. Food and drink wise you’ll be spoilt for choice in town as there are lots of traditional eateries as well as the modern fast food joints.

Aston’s Predictions

“All my money is on Pierron for the final victory of the season. The French pinner appears to have the best pace of 2018, plus the home soil motivation and the lack of pressure to take the overall, if his injuries are healed from his brutal MSA OTB, we should see his real potential. The fresh French soil and recent results are pushing me towards a French 1-2-3, Vergier following his adopted brother, Bruni, for an unforgettable season ender.

I'll admit being completely off the boil with my MSA winner, I thought Rachel had now become the underdog after Tahnée's recent form, but the devastating five-second blow dealt with apparent ease from Atherton shows that she is still the Queen. I think we will see Nicole back in 2nd, again with the home soil help, with Tahnée rounding out the podium."

Paul Aston
Pinkbike's World Cup Predictionator

1 // Amaury PIERRON
2 // Loic BRUNI
3 // Loris VERGIER
1 // Rachel ATHERTON
2 // Myriam NICOLE
3 // Tahnée SEAGRAVE


The Schedule

Tuesday 21 August
• 15:00-16:00 Downhill Course Walk by Broadcaster

Wednesday 22 August
• 08:30-11:00 // Downhill Course Inspection by UCI
• 11:00-12:00 // Downhill On Board Course Preview
• 13:00-14:00 // On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - Elite Teams
• 14:00-16:00 // On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - All Riders

Thursday 23 August
• 08:00-11:30 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 11:45-15:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group A
• 15:30-17:00 // Downhill Timed Training Session
• 17:00-17:45 // On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - Riders and Teams

Friday 24 August
• 08:00-09:45 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 10:00-11:45 // Official Downhill Training - Group A
• 12:15 // Seeding Run - Junior Women
• 12:30 // Qualifying Round - Junior Men
• 13:30 // Qualifying Round - Elite Women
• 14:00 // Qualifying Round - Elite Men
• Followed by // 30 minutes On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - Riders and Teams

Saturday 25 August
• 08:00-09:00 // Official Downhill Training - Junior Women, Junior Men, Elite Women
• 09:45 // Final - Junior Women
• 10:15 // Final - Junior Men
• 11:00-12:00 // Official Downhill Training - Elite Men
• 12:30 // Final - Elite Women
• 13:30 // Final - Elite Men

Note: All times are local and subject to change by the UCI/event organiser.

The Coverage

Harrison enjoying a fair spell in the hot seat.

After a couple of week’s break from World Cup racing, the world’s mountain bike media - including our very own crew - will soon be arriving in La Bresse, and ready to provide you with photos epics and results as they come in. We’ll also have WynTV and Inside The Tape from Ben Cathro.

For the Elite Women and Elite Men finals, you can watch the action on Red Bull TV on Saturday 25 August at 12:30 CEST (Elite Women coverage) and 14:00 CEST (Elite Men coverage).

Here’s a breakdown of what these times mean in these main locations (w = Elite Women’s coverage, m = Elite Men’s coverage):

• 03:30 (w) // 05:00 (m) // Saturday // Vancouver, Canada (PDT)
• 06:30 (w) // 08:00 (m) // Saturday // Washington DC, USA (EDT)
• 11:30 (w) // 13:00 (m) // Saturday // London, UK (BST)
• 20:30 (w) // 22:00 (m) // Saturday // Sydney, Australia (AEST)
• 22:30 (w) // 00:00 (m) // Saturday // Auckland, New Zealand (NZST)

Note: These times are subject to change. Please check with your local provider.

Click here to enter Pinkbike's Fantasy Downhill presented by Trek.

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MENTIONS: @Fahhhmed / @paulaston / @davetrumpore / @natedh9 / @rossbellphoto / @meagerdude / @metalfreak / @tahneeseagrave / @AaronGwin1


  • 69 1
 HOW IS THIS THE LAST ONE?!?!?! #WeNeedMoreRaces
  • 6 1
 There are still 5 iXS Downhill Cups (2 of them broadcasted as well) and 3 European 4Cross Series races (1 of them broadcasted).
  • 2 0
 @Flo356: When you say "broadcasted", does that mean they are available for online streaming like the UCI world cups? Or is this just local television coverage?
  • 4 1
 I just can't wait for the timed training runs, screw the race.
  • 1 0
 @fecalmaster: My money is on Danny Hart. I'm sure he will want to celebrate his winning the TIMED TRAINING MEANS EVERYTHING Overall Champion.
  • 33 0
 I don't know if I'm excited or stupidly gutted it's the last round of the year!! Mixed emotions going on right now....
  • 1 0
 its always mixed emotions until I realize spring's around the corner down here!!
  • 32 0
 I'm wondering if @luca_shaw is gonna make his move into XCO before the season ends xD
  • 7 0
 dude has been spending some times in xco pit.
  • 11 0
 Luca is smart and has definitely a good taste Wink
  • 4 13
flag joepax (Aug 21, 2018 at 13:00) (Below Threshold)
 @martin737: Woah! Luca got to meet 1997 Justin Timberlake with the highlighted Top Ramen hair? Lucky!
  • 1 3
 @joepax: haha top man !

Indomie should be her helmet sponsor
  • 4 2
 na mate he is flirting
  • 3 2
 @maxy16: he likes to play with his noodle and she wants some chopsticks.

triggering millennials without any sense of black humor 101
  • 28 2
 PB is killing it with these guides... especially with the history, culture and recreation bits at the end. Way to go the extra mile and put together something truly informative and useful. Bravo!
  • 2 0
 Thank you Pinkbike for providing information the UCI fails to provide, like entrance fees, time schedule, sick background infos etc.

For me as a La Bresse visitor vital info was rl hard to get. Not properly thought through, UCI, not cool! At least their webpage could provide some decent infos.

But what am I moaning about?

"Saturday is gonna be a great day" - Larry Enticer.
  • 22 0
 Ah the good old days when Yeti had a DH team...
  • 3 0
 And DH bikes. The 303 has gone "sorry, the number you dialed is unavailable".
  • 18 0
 I just spent some time in Quebec watching the race live. Here is my essential guide. Pack a bag full of beers and some snacks, munchies etc. Get to the top of the course and start drinking and eating whilst making your way down the course cheering on all the racers. Stop, yell, heckle, have another beer. Get to the finish line and keep cheering. Go to the podium awards and have another beer or two. I guarantee you will have a good time.
  • 3 0
 one of the good thing at mont ste anne is that you don’t have to pay 15€ entry fee. 15€ = 22,50 can$ so it good enough for a 12 packs of pilsners and munchies
  • 13 0
 I think Aston forgot Gwins back racing.
  • 7 0
 2 goats on the track this round
  • 2 0
 @kkmb: yup.
  • 10 2
 Aston will be surprised by the results. They will be huge results - the best results.
  • 11 3
 The track is completely new. its even on the other side of the hill in the bikepark.. So has nothing to do with the old one from 11...
  • 1 8
flag Balgaroth (Aug 21, 2018 at 23:58) (Below Threshold)
 @Fahhhmed I came here to say that as well, absolutely nothing in common with the old track making most the "The Track" and "What happened last year" completely irrelevant and wrong, you definitely need to do your homework better before pumping such article out ...
  • 16 1
 @Balgaroth: Woah there.
OK let's track back (excuse the pun).
1. The track is in the same vicinity of the old track, so there's an element of familiarity about it. I don't get flown to these events beforehand so I can only go on what is available knowledge from a distance. If you would like more precise detail then please do let PB HQ know so they can fund me to do the due diligence that you seek for EGs covering the World Cup, EWS, and Crankworx. Until such a time, I'm hoping that my capture of the track given the latest information we have on it via the unofficial POV and Thirion's video is good enough for most interested parties.
2. The Trailforks track is based on the details that I and the Trailforks team were given directly by the organisers. Like I said, until we get boots on the ground, we can't say for sure the precise details of the track but at least it gives you and fellow PBers enough information to keep you going until such a time the PB photographers can provide further detail in their Track Walk Photo Epic.
3. What happened last year. Like I said clearly at the start to the subsection, there wasn't a race last year. Instead I went into what happened the last time the track was raced as a World Cup, which I've done before in previous articles where there wasn't a race a 365 days before the one coming up. I thought that would be easier than changing the title, which generally speaking I like to keep consistent each Essential Guide. I don't think my coverage of what happened in 2011 was "wrong" nor irrelevant. It gives contextual history. But maybe that's not your bag.
4. Generally speaking my teachers always gave me good marks for my homework. I only got detention once for not doing my homework, and that was for French class ;-)
  • 2 2
  • 9 0
 Aston over here sleeping on Troy Brosnan smh
  • 6 0
 who can forget Nathan Rennie's yuge crash on that natural stepdown towards the bottom. The old school track was so great to watch!
  • 3 15
flag Wizard79 (Aug 21, 2018 at 10:21) (Below Threshold)
 what the hell is yuge
  • 6 2
 @Wizard79: is smart people understand that phenomena known as a “typo” and were fully able to deduce that the word was supposed to be “huge.”
  • 9 2
 @CaliCol: actually none of the above. It's enjoyment / making fun of how Trump says things but people aren't quite sure what he said. Yuge/Huge and Bigly
  • 10 1
 @Wizard79: also, you're a wizard, you should definitely be able to figure this out.
  • 5 2
 Yuge is huge in Trump's America.
  • 2 13
flag crowgj (Aug 21, 2018 at 11:55) (Below Threshold)
 @connorjuliusjohnson: Or maybe it is just a freaking typo as the OP has already stated. Take a quick look at your keyboard and pay close attention to the location of y vs h.
  • 12 1
 @CrowSD: Or maybe it is freaking making fun of Trump as the OP has already stated. Take a quick look at who posted what and pay close attention to the username
  • 4 2
 @connorjuliusjohnson: You are right. Mixed you and OP up. Now neg me to your hearts content.
  • 1 2
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: great example: min”is” was supposed to be “us” by my auto correct does silly things.
  • 7 2
 That's the course? I've seen more lines on an albino zebra! Jeez. Maybe there will be some wide and creative taping, but if that's it, verbatim, thats brutal to call that a WC track.
  • 3 3
 Agreed. The course looks like a third rate enduro track. When you consider the number of awesome DH tracks on this planet its sad that the worlds best are stuck riding that garbage.
  • 4 0
 Back in 2009, i remember that an gopro footage was released a few months before the race, and everyone was critizing how flat and boring it would be ... And in the end, race was amazing to watch !!!

If you had a look at Bike Park La Bresse Instagram during the last weeks, you would have seen plenty videos of Jey Clementz and some locals trying WC track sections with differents line, and beleive me they taped it really wide and line choice will be interresting (for Mr Cathro pleasure) !

After the french champ, maybe we will see a WC in Morzine in the years to come (That would be awesome !!!)

Anyway, as @joshua22 adviced, i will be on the track side with beers and enjoy this race !!!!
  • 3 0
 Only people who don't have functioning eyes and previous knowledge of how cut up tracks get at WC events thought it would suck, can't say the same thing for this track tho, it's mainly looks like a quite flat bit of woods with bike park berms dotted through out, hope I'm wrong! Pretty sure it won't be half as unique or good as the originaltrack tho, was one of my fave WC tracks ever that one
  • 6 0
 Bank holiday and World cup DH final, i'm going to have a thick head come Monday.
  • 9 0
 Could you explain that in American English? You guys get drunk when the banks are closed?
  • 1 0
 just leaving a message since i am also interested on knowing what Bank Holiday is.....
  • 2 0
 @drunknride: @Narro2 Bank holidays are public holidays in the UK during which most businesses and shops will be closed, not just the banks.

An exception is the pubs, which will still be open since a lot of people won't have to go into work on Monday and so can stay out getting drunk on Sunday, as well as on Friday and Saturday.
  • 2 0
 @Smevan: I envy all the euro holidays. I think every country there has at least twice the holidays we have and most sound like partying holidays!
  • 4 0
 @drunknride: Twice as many holidays, but we forget half of them from the drink, so it all balances out in the end Wink
  • 2 0
 @Smevan: Bit like a Brexit, although that's permanently closed for the banks.
  • 1 0
 @drunknride: You got hammered on a holiday weekend and was hung like a big dog come monday.
  • 3 0
 @drunknride: you've pretty much hit the nail on the head there dude, around 5 times a year(i think?) we finish work early Friday after noon and survive on a diet of larger and kebabs for 3 straight days and awaken Monday morning broke, and hung over. the brave ones attempt to fight down another beer in the afternoon trying to cling on the that bank holiday spirit. you can spot them a mile off, shaking with a pint of fosters in their hand.
Then we pull it all together and the country functions as if nothing ever happend come Tuesday morning.
Ahhh Blighty
  • 1 0
 Lets not forget all the Catholic holidays too. Even though no one goes to mass, we will drink until we end up on our ass.
  • 1 0
 @Smevan: nice
  • 8 2
 Looks like a 1 line track. Hopefully they will tape it wide in some sections
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the exact same thing
  • 7 2
 This track looks too tame for a season finale. Save the gnar for last UCI
  • 2 0
 I rode the track two weeks ago, the top is super fast and bike park flowy but not tech, then there's some moto jumps, before it gets a bit steeper, but nothing too challenging for world cup guys, then into the open into the finish. The track I reckon might even be sub 3 minutes top to bottom - so hopefully some tight exciting racing as the times will be close
  • 4 0
 Rode bits of it a few weeks ago.. Shortest world cup course ever? And flattest??
  • 9 0
 Grouse Mountain, BC, 2001, barel's time : 1:52 .. time to beat lol

I speak about that with a friend a couple of weeks ago, He rode the track and yeah, honestly, it's tame .. tame, short and flat. After that, don't blame them too much, compare to the go pro preview, they gonna open some fresh wide section at the very top and at the bottom so with the mix of fresh and fast bike parky section, It's probably gonna be very enjoyable on the live, race is gonna be close ..

He told me that the FFC went only one place, and they can't make a XC course on the old 09' 11' place .. + the fact that it's more easy with the chairlift, the place around the bike park is bigger for car parking etc etc ..

But yeah when you have tracks like Meribel, Les Carroz, Morzine in one country it's quite .. disappointing to watch that
  • 3 0
 Also La Bresse home to one of the finest motorcycle trials parks I've ever seen. I know. Nobody cares. But you should. It's like downhill, but uphill.
  • 1 0
 Mmm, I'm sure it will be a great event but a 1.4 km track with 272m descent is more like what I'd expect from a local to me enduro rather than a WC DH track. That said, I'm looking forward to the course preview. Perhaps this will be a good one for Claudio to restart his career.
  • 3 1
 I'll bet all of Aston's money on Pierron winning, too. But a few of my own dollars would go on Minnaar and Gwin to remind everyone what's what.
  • 4 0
 I think Gwin said he is going to take it easy to get up to speed for World Champs.
  • 18 0
 @employee7: Gwin taking it easy. What does that mean? Only win by a few seconds???
  • 5 0
 @employee7 I think he's going to take his chain off to keep speeds in check... Oh wait.
  • 2 0
 What a bunch of beauties in that top 10! It's been a great season and massive thanks to Pinkbike for getting the Fantasy going. It's been fun.
  • 2 0
 I've never played any fantasy sport in my life but I joined up halfway through this season and I love it. I hope they do it next year.
  • 2 0
 2011 actually occurred in 1997 (based on those pictures) meaning MTB years are pretty close to dog years, and my trail bike is already 14 years old.
  • 2 0
 The video of the course looks super fun. A bunch of jumps, some drops and wide open slopes to rip up....Oh yeah, and a small drop out the gate.
  • 1 0
 you know that's the old track right?
  • 2 0
 @laxguy: Yes, I read that. But the course in that video still looks fun no matter where they are having the world cup this year. My statement still stands as such and I am willing to testify in a court of law, I will be representing myself as my own attorney as I am very experienced in bird law and thus can translate those skills to the court of public opinion.
  • 2 0
 @DaveJube: bird law you say? bird law in this country is not governed by reason!
  • 1 0
 I was riding here last fri, they had taped most of the WC track and built the start hut next to the chair lift. Looks fun, some decent jumps at top and the lower end drops into really steep greasy woods. Its not 5 min plus but it is still a fun and challenging looking ride
  • 2 0
 @laxguy: But since I am a Sovereign Citizen I make my own laws....I say.
  • 2 0
 If you get bored, there is also the Lac Blanc bikepark. I used to go there on a weekend, saturday La Bresse and sunday Lac Blanc.
  • 3 0
 Brook is right, where has the year gone? Be winter soon. Boooo.
  • 2 0
 Summer is still long, the problem is that World Cups already stop in August. They could easily ride till the end of Oct
  • 4 0
 The series should finish in California in October. Perfect weather. In Big Bear.
  • 2 0
 @drunknride: sorry to hijack the topic but i’m having a stress - - anyone noticed sept 9th world champs coverage doesn’t appear in the redbull schedule? Anyone know what the go is with a live stream? Was there the same thing last year with some late deal making going on?
  • 3 0
 DH season only about to start here in NZ!! They should have a final round here at Queenstown in September @ skyline. You’d get a better track than most on the calendar at the moment ....
  • 1 0
 @Prh: They should just follow summer around the globe and have a year round 24 event season (two a month).
  • 1 0
 by winter I think you mean ski season. I'll survive.
  • 2 0
 A little home-field biased, eh? I mean, never bet against the French, but still...
  • 1 0
 I spoke before I saw the final part where it was wet. those wide open sections turned into mud bogs. Some of that stuff looked pretty sketchy.
  • 1 0
 Who is wrong?

UCI ( ) and Pinkbike do not have the same ranking?

Can someone enlighten me?
  • 2 0
 And Barel announcing retirement there i do believe
  • 3 1
 Snowlevel around 1700m on Sat/Sun...hehe...winter attack. Have fun kids!
  • 3 0
  • 2 0
 I think most if not all ews stages are harder than this track
  • 2 0
 I agree with your reflection, nevertheless it is not an obligation for a DHWC track to be horrifically hard and plenty of mine fields. I think the POV - not that shabby french video - shows how funny it can be, and tricky as well. I think we will see some great flows through that circuit. Also the terrain can be a bit sketchy, it is a humid zone, big knobs recommended, the Brits will appreciate, and that might be a good spectacle anyway, probably funnier than the last year`s Cairn performance, for instance... Smile
  • 2 0
 Aaron Gwin on a 29er kicking some @$$
  • 1 0
 1 Brosnan 2 Gwin 3 Minaar The old guard on top this weekend if I had to guess
  • 2 0
 It's pretty cool to see old pics of Gwin riding my current bike!
  • 2 0
 Can't wait.
  • 1 0
 What bike is at 00:53? Is that an old Evil?
  • 1 0
 Yep, looks like an old Evil Revolt
  • 2 0
 @Fahhhmed: Yep Brook was on an Undead at that point.
But the one Nathan points out, is a Revolt. If you look at the chainstay, the Undead is almost completely straight, where as the Revolt has a kink before the end at the axle.

But wasn't the Undead relased early in 2011?
  • 1 0
 Wait is it on Saturday in France or just Saturday in North America?
  • 1 0
 Saturday in France
  • 1 0
 what a way to send off the world cup season.... with that
  • 1 0
 Anyone knows where I can buy tickets if I want to see it live?!
  • 2 0
 You can buy them on site when you arrive.
  • 1 0
 @Fahhhmed: thanx mate. Will arrive on Friday there and wasn't sure about this.
  • 1 0
 why no quali points on final round? Has this always been this way?
  • 1 0
 will cecil ravanel race dh at la bresse ?
  • 1 0
 Anyone got an address for the track, or directions from lax Gerard?
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