Track Walk - Lenzerheide DH World Champs 2018

Sep 5, 2018 at 15:53
by Dave Trumpore  



Even with the World Cup series wrapped up and the trophies all handed out, there is still one more race left with all the stakes to play for. The coveted rainbow stripes and the title of World Champion. No series, no overall points, just one day and one run for all the glory. It's a race over the years that has provided plenty of surprises, one hit wonders, and legendary runs that have left more than a few scratching their heads in disbelief. And it is this potential for such a wild card performance that makes World Champs just a little more special.

This year, the battle will take place on the familiar track in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Despite not looking overly technical at first glance, it's a venue known for tight racing and a tricky, loose track. Add a little rain to the forecast and things should be plenty spicy by race day as well.

Riders like Greg Minnaar and Aaron Gwinn who have missed out of World Cup glory due to injury will be extra motivated to leave their mark on 2018. The same can be said for the dominant riders of the past few months like Amaury Pierron, Rachel Atherton and Tahnee Seagrave. And in a World Cup season that saw many first time winners and podium appearances across all categories, World Champs could certainly be a roll of the dice, and anyone's race.


After a weekend of full-on winter, the clouds have parted and with any luck, the weather will hold out until Sunday.

The Straightline course in and out of the forest under the lift all the way down already has 3 World Cups under it s belt.
The Straight-tline course, that goes in and out of the forest, under the lift all the way down, already has three World Cups under its belt.

9 years ago he was king out in Canberra. Nowadays Steve Peat has to settle for just being a legend.
Nine years ago he was king out in Canberra. Nowadays, Steve Peat has to settle for just being a legend in the rainbow club.

Will the purple dream-boat finally break the curse and make it happen for AG
Will the purple dream-boat finally break the curse and make it happen for Aaron Gwin?

John Hall is certainly ready to see the 10 plate turn gold on Sunday.
John Hall is certainly ready to see the 10 plate turn gold on Sunday.

Special Worlds bikes means a long day on the tools for the mechanics.
Special Worlds bikes means a long day on the tools for the mechanics.

There are some big mountains in Lenzerheide but the DH track only goes down about a third of this one.
There are some big mountains in Lenzerheide, but the DH track only goes down about a third of this one.

Mick Hannah his wife and baby Miya dropping into the World Champs track.
Mick Hannah, his wife, and baby Miya dropping into the World Champs track.

Finn Iles surveys the scene infront of him above the track where he took the win last season as a junior.
Finn Iles surveys the scene in front of him, on a track where he took the win last season as a junior.

Seagrave and Edwards out for a romantic stroll with trainer Kilmurray third wheeling.
Seagrave and Edwards out for a romantic stroll with trainer Kilmurray third wheeling.

The Lenzerheide Freeway
The Lenzerheide Freeway.

Connor Fearon just one of the many dangerously fast Aussies gunning for the top step.
Connor Fearon, just one of the many dangerously fast Aussies gunning for the top step.

Matt Walker and Max Hartenstern scoping another course after a great weekend of results in La Bresse.
Matt Walker and Max Hartenstern scoping another course after a great weekend of results in La Bresse.

MS Mondraker walk the unchanged top section down to the road crossing.
MS Mondraker walk the unchanged top section down to the road crossing.

One last chance to see your favorites race reason to smile.
One last chance to see your favorites race; a reason to smile.

Once again everyone is puzzling over what line will be fastest in the top rock garden.
Once again everyone is puzzling over what line will be fastest in the top rock garden.

Another year of harsh weather and hard riding have made the rocks even less friendly to two wheels.
Another year of harsh weather and hard riding have made the rocks even less friendly to two wheels.

Brook and Lozza think hard at the infamous rock garden.
Brook and Lozza think hard at the infamous spot.

The rain has packed the dirt down on track and instead if the usual loose dust the track is tacky and rather smooth.
The rain has packed the dirt down on track, and instead of the usual loose dust, the track is tacky and rather smooth.

Will anyone take this inside line rather than the berm along the outside
Will anyone take this inside line rather than the berm along the outside?

Nik Nestoroff will be bringing the SoCal speed this weekend for team America.
Nik Nestoroff will be bringing the SoCal speed this weekend for team America.

The fastest part of the track has seen it s fair share of gnarly crashes over the years.
The fastest part of the track has seen its fair share of gnarly crashes over the years.

MacDonald leads the way across the classic whipping bridge.
MacDonald leads the way across the classic 'whipping' bridge.

Brosnan s famous stump jump may be out but the following section is still a thinker.
Brosnan's famous stump jump may be out, but the following section is still a thinker.

Two members of Team America and two members of Team Australia in one of the two tree sections on track.
Two members of Team America and two members of Team Australia in one of the two tree sections on track.

As the track has worn the big roots have come through.
As the track has worn, the big roots have come through.

Left turn right turn repeat... it sounds simple but for most it won t be.
Left turn, right turn, repeat... it sounds simple, but for most it won't be.

It s a bit slick in some of the woods.
It's a bit slick in some of the woods.

Dirt Who needs it
Dirt? Who needs it?

Rumor has it there will be more than just this single puddle on track after the next few days.
Rumor has it there will be more than just this single puddle on track after the next few days.

Changes ahead...
Changes ahead...

Riders hit this steep chute in the trees flat out and the fast line is just a few centimeters wide.
Riders hit this steep chute in the trees flat out, and the fast line is just a few centimeters wide.

The big road gap half way dow the track is back once again.
The big road gap half way down the track is back once again.

South Africa 2012 wasn t easy on Bulldog but the pics were worth it.
South Africa 2012 wasn't easy on Bulldog, but the pics were worth it.

With the exception of two small wooded sections the track stays out in the open for almost its entirety
With the exception of two small wooded sections, the track stays out in the open for almost its entirety

One of these rocks may have sliced open Aaron Gwinn s tire while on a podium run last year.
One of these rocks may have sliced open Aaron Gwin's tire while on a podium run last year.

Chunky rocks litter some of the faster parts if the track.
Chunky rocks litter some of the faster parts if the track.

The track in Lenzerheide is getting a bit old and the big rocks are starting to come through in the lower turns.
The track in Lenzerheide is getting a bit old and the big rocks are starting to come through in the lower turns.

Like your roots Lenzers got em.
Like your roots? Lenzerheide's got em.

The Plunge has been reworked this year and unlike in 2017 the B-line will not be faster.
The Plunge has been reworked this year, and unlike in 2017, the B-line will not be faster.

Now the Motorex Plunge the drop look cleaner but will get tougher as a huge hole grows on the landing.
Now the 'Motorex Plunge', the drop looks cleaner, but will get tougher as a huge hole grows on the landing.

Mercedes-Benz has claimed the smaller of the two road gaps.
Mercedes-Benz has claimed the smaller of the two road gaps.

Norway s finest Brage Vestavik is ready for a bit of mayhem between the tape.
Norway's finest, Brage Vestavik, is ready for a bit of mayhem between the tape.

Hawk-eyed Moir clocks a change in the taping he saw from the lift on the way up.
Hawk-eyed Moir clocks a change in the taping he saw from the lift on the way up.

A big step-down takes riders into the finish arena.
A big step-down takes riders into the finish arena.

The finish drop is a little more than curb-sized.
The finish drop is a little more than curb-sized.

You are here. For the fourth time if you follow the World Cup circuit.
You are here. For the fourth time if you follow the World Cup circuit.

The two-time World Champ and La Bresse 2nd place on the sidelines for this weekend. Just sayin .
The two-time World Champ and La Bresse second place will be left on the sidelines for this weekend. Just sayin'.

Precision tuning and perfect posing at IFR.
Precision tuning and perfect posing at IFR.

Because riders have to be super precise too.
Because riders have to be super precise too.

And now back to a little more of this before practice hits tomorrow...
And now back to a little more of this, before practice hits tomorrow...



50 Comments

  • + 232
 Been using pinkbike for at least 10 years now and I'm still blown away by the level of photography we get for free. Top notch
  • + 11
 so true!
  • + 12
 What’s more amazing is this level photography nowdays is paid 1/3 of 10 years ago...
  • + 8
 Nothing is free
  • + 13
 PB is not rich and the photo cats really do do it for the love of the craft and sport. So much mad respect.
  • + 7
 It is good, but nothing is free. Y'know what they say, if you can't see the price tag, the product is you.
  • + 11
 @RedRedRe: hmmmm... I don't know where these facts are coming from. Photography and visuals are at the highest demand ever.
  • + 1
 12 years here, still the best.
  • + 61
 I think the mechanics should get custom tools and cases to go with the team bikes.They sure do deserve them.
  • + 31
 I'm not a Gee fanboy but damn it's a damn freaking shame he is not racing this weekend!! I hate seeing when ANYONE who 100% should be racing/competing is left out because of some procedural/political. BS I tell ya..
  • + 14
 #GeeForWorlds: f*ck you very much British Cycling
  • + 5
 He's out of the team because he didn't have good enough results before the cut-out day. That's no political BS.
  • + 7
 @Whipperman His results were still better than others who made the cut, at the cut off point.
  • + 5
 Let’s be honest before qualies the other week did anyone have gee in their fantasy team?
  • + 1
 Should be a rule on UCI, podiums riders from last 2 rounds WorldCup have wild card to Worlds. As easy as this... who wants a worlds without ALL the best riders?
  • + 1
 yea unfortunately, these spots aren't tenured. just ask Brendog.
  • + 2
 He is on the start list, as a substitute. He has a bike at worlds, did a track walk, and may even be taking training runs. Not wishing ill-will on anyone. If one of the British guys has an issue, Gee is next in line. I'm hoping to at least see track preview from him!
  • + 21
 Road gap into sign? Nice shot.
  • + 1
 Guessing they take it down when it's open. Keeps pochers out..hopefully.
  • + 1
 or landing under it ? haha
  • + 2
 @mtbmaniatv: Its stays. Riders we complaining the track was too much bike park so they are spicing it up a bit.
  • + 6
 Troy Brosnan FTW!!!
  • + 4
 angels bike looks bbb badass
  • + 2
 ''Seagrave and Edwards out for a romantic stroll with trainer Kilmurray third wheeling.''

So, are they together now?
  • + 4
 Havent they been for some time now?
  • + 0
 @winko: Only thing I can recall is Wyn teasing Tahnee about it and her awkward reaction.
  • + 0
 @pyromaniac: I din’t remember that, what Wyn TV is that in?
  • + 1
 @winko: All of this season and probably part of last season?
  • + 3
 but will kade flip the drop?
  • - 1
 Don’t get why everyone keeps mentioning that Gee isn’t racing. Yeah he had some good results recently but hasn’t been top notch prior. I think, but I’m not certain, that a lot of thought goes into grooming upcoming talent. I hope to see him duking it out for the rainbow stripes next year.
  • + 39
 Couple good results? He was 9th in the overall this season... leaving a top 10 guy out for Phil Atwill down @ 34th and Mike Jones @ 30th in the name of "grooming upcoming talent"... sorry that's just stupid. GB Cycling messed up by making the decision WAY too early. They have Walker, Wilson and Greenland for young guns on the team, Gee should have been in place of Atwill or Jones this season and there's no rational way to argue otherwise.
  • + 11
 ^^^ This.....and 2x World Champ previously. One would think that some seniority and experience in addition to the race results would be part of the consideration process. Seems like the selections were made by a suit in a posh office while he was focused on watching TdF replays.
  • + 1
 Its a pity because Gee is on form right now, he planned to peak for champs, assuming he'd make the cut for the national team like usual but his results earlier in the season let him down. Tough break for him and GB.
  • + 5
 @ckcost: When they picked the team Atwill had hardly qualified in the Top 60 this year. I love Atwill as a rider, but Gee was still in a solid position in the standings and hadn’t failed to qualify. British Cycling, similarly to the UCI, don’t understand any forms of MTB and use similar outdated selection methods that they use in track and road.
  • + 1
 @gramboh: This- couldn't have said it better. British Cycling looks really bad right now. It will blow over, but their image is suffering immensely.
  • + 2
 @Nathan6209: Just glad to see the spotlight off USACycling and all its politics for once. Phew!
  • + 1
 You are here. For the fourth time. Also you have been reincarnated as a bicycle wheel.
  • + 1
 Trumpmore you do good work sir
  • - 2
 We don't need any more Trump but I'm always up for more Trumpore and let's not forget Hughes. Nice work.
  • + 1
 I like a good whipping bridge
  • - 3
 Gee's been finding hard to be high placed for a while now. It's only these few races past he's actually done well considering. BC obv were looking for current consistency in the squad.
  • + 3
 Usually, the ones who finishing the season strong carry on and go deep into the playoffs.
  • + 2
 Um, if BC were looking for current consistency then Gee would be in the squad. BC picked their squad months ago. Dills.
  • + 1
 @ColquhounerHooner: you call a few races consistent?
  • + 1
 @EthanThomson: l did say current consistency, Gee is back on it at the moment, it's a pity he is not in the squad.
  • - 3
 Not the most sensible idea, walking down a track of any description with a baby on your back. Hope the start gate was as far as they ventured, hmm

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2018. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.056341
Mobile Version of Website