Day 1 - 2013 World Champs - South Africa

Aug 28, 2013 at 10:43
by Tyler Maine  
African dance show during the opening ceremony.
  African dance show during the opening ceremony.

While the pits are coming to life today there life of a different sort behind the pits where volunteers and security camp out for the weekend. It s an unusual vibe here in South Africa.
  While the pits are coming to life today, there life of a different sort behind the pits; where volunteers and security camp out for the weekend. It's an unusual vibe here in South Africa.

A stark departure from the flash of the other World Cup venues here in Pietermaritzburg. Most teams are in these plain white tents set up by the venue. Feels more like a level playing field this way.
  A stark departure from the flash of the other World Cup venues here in Pietermaritzburg. Most teams are in these plain white tents set up by the venue. Feels more like a level playing field this way.

Who knew titanium springs came in paper bags from Ace Hardware
  Who knew titanium springs came in paper bags from Ace Hardware?

While most of us have fancy team media and tech passes FOX s Darren Garrison looks like he had his made at Kinkos. If they have those here.
  While most of us have fancy team, media and tech passes, FOX's Darren Garrison looks like he had his made at Kinkos. If they have those here.

Devinci s Gabe Fox and Gianluca Vernassa get some pre-Worlds jitters out with a bit of pit fisticuffs.
  Devinci's Gabe Fox and Gianluca Vernassa get some pre-Worlds jitters out with a bit of pit fisticuffs.

The stage is set and as of now it s dry and dusty. There are going to be some unique bike set ups for this course. Will it come down to weight fitness or a combination of both We will know the answer in five days.
  The stage is set, and as of now, it's dry and dusty. There are going to be some unique bike set ups for this course. Will it come down to weight, fitness, or a combination of both? We will know the answer in five days.

Muahahahahahaaahaaaa
  Muahahahahahaaahaaaa!

Deep in the jungle of South Africa Pinkbike has found a new species of track walker.. compared to here to the common Homo sapiens..
  Deep in the jungle of South Africa Pinkbike has found a new species of track walker.. compared to here to the common Homo sapiens..

Once thought extinct.. we have documented two females thought to originate from somewhere deep in Canada..
  Once thought extinct.. we have documented two females thought to originate from somewhere deep in Canada..

Micayla Gatto and Casey Brown. Casey s barefoot track walk influence has caught on and her experiment found that the track holds about 1 moisture in the dirt.
  Micayla Gatto and Casey Brown. Casey's barefoot track walk influence has caught on and her experiment found that the track holds about 1% moisture in the dirt.

Stevie s pink glasses match perfectly with his ironic hipster stash.
  Stevie's pink glasses match perfectly with his ironic hipster stash.

Justin Leov is taking on a coaching role here at Worlds giving the TWR boys help in picking lines and race strategy.
  Justin Leov is taking on a sort of coach role at Worlds giving the TWR boys help in picking lines and strategy for race day.

Dust dust and more dust. With only a slight chance of rain forecast for Friday be prepared for things to be loose and wild.
  Dust, dust and more dust. With a slight chance of rain only forecast for Friday be prepared for thing to be loose and wild.

South African walking sticks are a must to fight off snakes lions and whatever else hides in the bush.
  South African walking sticks are a must to fight off snakes, lions and whatever else hides in the bush.

Aye mate Can ya spot the landing
  Aye mate! Can ya spot the landing ?

Suns out guns out. Blazing hot spring weather down here although it is a better option than rain. Any rain means the course will turn into virtually a mudslide.
  Suns out guns out. Blazing hot spring weather down here, although it is a better option than rain. Any rain means the course will turn into virtually a mudslide.

You would think after doing course walks for so many years you would remember to not wear sandals.. Sam Hill and the Nukeproof guys sliding their way down the course.
  You would think after doing course walks for so many years you would remember to not wear sandals.. Sam Hill and the Nukeproof guys sliding their way down the course.

Rocky Roads.. Gee checking out the last bit of rock.
  Rocky Roads.. Gee checking out the last bit of rock.

Shuttlin up
  Shuttlin' up

Pretty sleepy day here in PMB. Short Junior practice and track walk.
  Pretty sleepy day here in PMB. Short Junior practice and track walk.

Mark Wallace
  Mark Wallace

In true Kiwi fashion Wyn masters gets out and slays a lap of the XC course in flip flops and a hat with Blinky close behind.
  In true Kiwi fashion, Wyn Masters gets out and slays a lap of the XC course in flip flops and a hat with Blinky close behind.

The first couple days have been pretty slow at PMB. Track walk took place today and practice has been for juniors only up to this point. The big dogs have certainly had some down time and are chomping at the bit to get out on the track.
  The first couple days have been pretty slow at PMB. Track walk took place today, and practice has been for juniors only up to this point. The big dogs have certainly had some down time and are chomping at the bit to get out on the track.

Making the final adjustments on Ragot s World Champs bike.
  Getting the final touches on Ragot's World Champs bike.

Today was all about checking out the course and getting settled into things in South Africa. Stay tuned for updates all week as racing gets underway.


125 Comments

  • + 190
 XC track looks gnarlier than the DH
  • + 51
 im excited to see who rides what though. bikes, wheel sizes, shocks - going to be interesting
  • + 20
 O rly?
  • + 66
 "The 2013 UCI Downhill mountain bike World Championships have been won on Specialized's prototype, 36", fully rigid, fat bike piloted by one Mitch Ropelato, who has more experience than anyone else winning on new wheel sizes."

take that all you "trendsters" on 27.5
  • + 1
 Ouch!
  • + 63
 "LOOK AT THE WHEEL SIZE!!!"
  • + 9
 well its hard to tell when theres more pictures of peoples feet then the track...
  • + 72
 I always wondered why all the pro's where the same uniform during track walks. I finally figured it out! Here is a little-known rule I dug up from the UCI rulebook:

UCI section 10.1.2:
Elite downhill men category is required to don the proper attire for track walks, which includes flat pedal shoes, mid cuff black socks (dress socks are acceptable given their similarity), black shorts, bright color t-shirt with team logo, huge sunglasses, Monster/RedBull hat two sizes too big (MUST cover the top part and only the top part of your ears), 12 ounce plastic water bottle manufactured only by Arrowhead or Crystal Geyser. Any violation of these rules will result in a five minute penalty or deduction of World Cup points at the UCI's discretion.
  • + 0
 i c wut u did thur
  • + 3
 you sir, hit the nail on the head..
  • + 9
 Cut-off sleeves are permitted if the temperature exceeds 20 deg C/70 deg F
  • + 3
 Official UCI Course Marshalls will be on hand with flimsy tape measures to ensure hat size differential prior to track entry.
  • + 47
 Keep yer pimp hand strong and your pornstache classy. Stevie Smith FTW!!! Vancouver Island represent!
  • + 7
 difficult not to like Smith for this one. the fit guys will do well: Gee, Mick, Smith, Minnaar, but im still rooting for Brook and Hill also. too many good riders to root for.
  • + 3
 marcelo has pistons for legs
  • + 31
 Steve Smith proves that when you win world cups, you can do what ever the f**k you want and people will still respect your style.
  • + 24
 all my money is on Graves on his enduro bike.

really....all of it.


about 8$...

seriously...i dont see anyone else win this, maybe Stevie since he is on such a roll, nothing can touch him. BUt on this course?! ...J.Graves FTW.

Dont get me wrong, my heart says get it Stevie,...it's yours bro!
  • + 6
 Graves has the physical power to destroy this course, but part of me doesn't want to see a dh race won on an enduro bike with beefed up forks and drivetrain if you catch my drift...
  • + 31
 @TomWatkins: No, maybe it'll be a good thing. It'll prove that this is a track not appropriate for world downhill races.
  • + 14
 let alone the Championships
  • + 7
 You know what, you're right... I guess it'll proove a point
  • + 5
 I agree. Switch Pietermaritzburg for Champery is logical choice ! I would say next year - Fort William - Canadian open (whistler) - Val di sole - Champery - Hafjell - Vallnord
  • + 2
 Almost like Mitch's win earlier this year on the 29er? If this is a repeat of Fontana or Sea Otter, it may be time for a venue change... The fact that so many riders and teams are juggling gear, shocks, tires etc. not normally suited for a DH course should speak for itself. Apparently,
  • + 18
 You boys need to come to the sunny side of the world. This weekend is going to be epic. Chants and tribal dance. Nothing beats the African skies. Go Worlds!!
  • + 12
 "hipster stash." yeeaaahhhhh righhttt!!!!! stashes have been around for ages!!! c'monnnn
  • + 4
 and i never really understood why they're labeled as "ironic". sure, i guess its not super in style anymore and kind of out of place, but it doesnt mean they somehow don't belong or are unexpected. so many people rock these dorky mustaches they're no longer ironic.
  • - 9
flag panzer103 (Aug 28, 2013 at 11:34) (Below Threshold)
 Hipster stashs look... uh kinda faggy. Sorry but its true.
  • + 8
 I knew about ironic hipster stashes before you were born.
  • + 3
 Nothing ironic about that
  • + 5
 I think he meant "iconic".
  • + 2
 sh!t, i've had the stash since most u were born
  • + 3
 But see you're probably not a poser like a lot of these dipshits running around nowadays. God I sound old.
  • + 3
 I've had a stash since I was born. Wait, hang on.
  • + 7
 Graves will win on a XC bike. Everyone will laugh, and I'll be so stoked because I own said bike. Plus graves is a weapon! Go grubby!
  • + 9
 They Really need to phase this track out, it is not DH WC level
  • + 3
 Well it is WORLD cup after all.
  • + 4
 He did say track, rather than country to be fair.
  • + 8
 god damn ! he's riding without helmet and he's not penalized ! wtf
  • + 14
 It's south africa there's no rules here.
  • + 7
 Gatto and Casey are really getting a feel of the track. Shoes simply just get in the way of the tracks natural vibes.
  • + 3
 I'd like to think that Sick Mick will finally uncork the ride of his life for this one. Otherwise, the stripes will stay with Minnaar. Home-town boy defending the title - going to take something special to take Greg out, methinks.
  • + 3
 This is Afriiicaaaaaaa guys - its unlike anything in the Euro/America's. Its hot and very dry in winter, but can still snow if you're high enough. There is no loam, just dust and grass fires and big air. Cant wait to watch the finals live on Sunday...
  • + 7
 1) Smith
2) Atherton
3) Minaar
4) Hannah
5) Gwin
  • + 1
 Graves has a chance to podium - I'd put him at six though amongst this field
  • + 4
 1) Atherton
2) Hart
3) Peat
4) Fairclough
5) Bryceland
  • + 3
 I see what you did there haha
  • + 0
 Crap, we can only do that with Gwin, Mullaly, Strobel, Ropelato, Rude - not quite the same caliber field LOL. Only one can make it into the top ten at any given race and he isn't even doing it that much this year. Didn't the states invent mtn biking? Just like our math and science scores, we're also lazy with our hobby sports now!
  • + 1
 We only need Smith Wink

There are a bunch of other Canadians, but they aren't at the same level.
  • + 1
 The British invented the bike I'm sure but the Americans invented the skateboard and cheese in a can
  • + 0
 It's alright, I wouldn't expect a teenager to be familiar with gary fisher and tom ritchey. America also invented the pet rock, Snuggies, and Spanx - you can't forget about those masterpieces.
  • + 0
 Yeah , Gary fisher was a famous cyclist that made his own bike company that is now well , not great . Also ever heard of Raleigh ?
  • + 1
 HAHAHA Raleigh is now well , not great .
  • + 1
 they own diamond back
  • - 2
 What about Gary Turner, the namesake of the now powerful Fury that the very British Atherton phenomenons ride? American, dear boy. And I'm not going all Hoo-Rah or anything, I just found the obvious oversight ironic, considering the amount the two of you are blathering on about who made what. Who cares? We're all human; there's no reason to insult Gary Fisher or any of the greats in your search for righteousness. Jeez, boys.
  • + 3
 we were messing around . no butt hurt here
  • + 2
 totally messing around. all good
  • + 7
 Indurain ftw
  • + 6
 I hope Gravesy wins on the little bike.
  • + 4
 OK! Lets start a poll on the predictions for whos gonna be the top 5 ! ANYONE! ? I think -minnar-mick-gee-smith-an-gwin! Who's yours?????
  • + 1
 5 Gwin 4 Minnaar 3 Smith 2 Atherton 1 Hannah or maybe not...
  • + 2
 I think Gwinner could take the cake. He has done really well here in the last few years.
  • + 3
 I would like to see Gwin take at least one 1st after last year. That said Gwin Smith gee Hill Remi!
  • + 0
 i like Gee, Mick, and Minnaar for top three
  • + 4
 Alright alright! Anyone els? I would love to see gwin get a worldchamp win! USA 1
  • + 4
 1. Sik Mik, 2. Gee, 3. Smith, 4. Minnaar, 5, Gwin.
Mik's been strong on the pedals all season, Gee has the bike and is hungry for a big win after the 'drought'. Minnaar is in his back garden but Smith is just that younger and more determined (IMO) and Gwin has been getting stronger. All split by less than 4 seconds at the line.
  • + 3
 Hill for the win, it would be brilliant to see him take the win on a track such as this. Also he made up time in the pedal at Fort bill last year!
  • + 2
 Yeah guys! Gonna be siiiiiiiiicccccccccccckkkkkkk close race! AHYEAH!
  • + 3
 I think Graves might be a surprise podium finish.
  • + 2
 1:Graves 2:Hannah 3:Hill 4:Atherton 5:Smith

Only a little biased, go Aussies!
  • + 4
 How pissed would Gee, Greg, Stevie be if Graves turned out to be world champ on an SB66 this year, all while racing enduro all year LOL
  • + 1
 I wan to see Gwin or Minnar get this one. Hill would be awsome but probably to pedally for him.
  • + 0
 I would say in reality GWIN deserves this win, it would be increadibly awesome!!! But i hate but have to say might be minnar or mick!?
  • + 2
 C'mon gee !!!!
  • + 2
 Yeah! That would be cool to.
  • + 3
 Good luck to all participants specially to my "kababayans" Aky Nolasco and Parrabane Mendoza from the PHILIPPINES. First ever DH World Championship contingent.
  • + 1
 I want to see Gwin take it. Just because I want to see the interview. Last year he didn't seem to give it as much credit as the World cup. I'd like to see him backtrack on that. also, I just want to see him win...
  • + 3
 Why are riders making their bikes livery in the country they come from just for this one race ?
  • + 4
 Why not ?
  • + 1
 Yeah but why not all the races ?
  • + 1
 Cause this is world champs. Country seems to matter more here. World Cup seems to be more about the teams. Hate to draw the paralell, but i guess it would be compareable to soccer's premier league vs World Champs.
  • + 5
 Micayla G Twerkin' it!
  • + 7
 Gattobooty
  • + 2
 Word of the day in action!
  • + 3
 Will Be a gerat Event and my Personal favorite is the bulldog
  • + 2
 Stevie's going to win it on the 160mm 650b prototype that was under Nick Beer in the CWorx Air DH....I can feel it! :p
  • - 1
 I feel if this track is to be considered an official//approved UCI down hill track, then i feel the rules should state that all riders//teams should be mandated to use the same Type of DH bike for all "official" DH events for the season...I enjoy watching REAL down hill bikes being ridden and performing in All conditions..Its helps showcase frame design efficiencies....i could give a $hit for watching fast guys on trail bikes......boring..........let's see which DH frame designs perform the best..
  • + 3
 The Photos are really good. The comments are really bad.
  • + 3
 I'm ready to watch Graves send those big tables on his SB-66!
  • + 2
 Its supposed to rain there on saturday. Should make it a good weekend.
  • + 2
 That's Sam hill and his wife walking down the track.
  • + 2
 Anyone notice something special about the lapierre boxer? Wink
  • + 2
 How about Stevie's reduced travel BoXXer? Wink
  • + 2
 I'd like to see the Trials World Championships... talk about skills.
  • + 3
 no lions ?
  • + 24
 Last place gets fed to a lion.
  • + 3
 Go Richie Rude Good Luck !!!!
  • + 2
 minaar, blenki, gee, bulldog, graves
  • + 2
 How do I go about catching this on Live television?
  • + 2
 Not sure about television but it will be aired live on redbull.tv.
  • + 2
 As long the winner has 26" wheels.... all is good.
  • + 2
 WILL IT HAVE ANY LIVE STREAM? where?
  • + 2
 Streaming will be live on redbull.tv
  • + 3
 Keep it zef.
  • + 2
 That table top is freaking huge !
  • + 2
 Show us the trials sections!
  • + 1
 lets get some picts and words on Forrest!
  • + 1
 When will the live broadcast?
  • + 1
 Graves on the top spot he will pin it to win it!
  • + 2
 nice undies Brook
  • + 6
 Why does he always wear those crazy short shorts? They're like Daisy Dukes
  • + 3
 He's a man-babe. He can wear whatever he wants Wink
  • + 1
 I think troy brosnans gonna surprise us all
  • + 1
 Ahhhhh! My favorite times of the year, x-mas ha an worldcup/champs!
  • + 1
 looks soo sick
  • + 1
 #1 surprise but sex xD
  • + 0
 Where's Bottle Man...?
  • + 0
 Resident evil 5
  • - 1
 on crackkk
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