Pinkbike Primer - Maribor World Cup DH 2019

Apr 25, 2019 at 7:50
by Ed Spratt  
Photo: Rick Schubert

The first World Cup of 2019 is finally here. It has been a long time since Loic Bruni and Rachel Atherton took the rainbow jerseys in Lenzerheide last September. There have been plenty of team changes and some exciting announcements during the off-season like Gwin moving to Intense, the Athertons starting their own bike brand and Cannondale returning to downhill the racing so we're looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. For the opening round of the 2019 season, the World Cup will be returning to rider-favourite Maribor. After a nine-year break, it is great to be back at this classic venue. Let's get you primed and ready for the weekend.

The track

We expect the 2.6k long track will stay pretty similar to last weekend's iXS European DH Cup, which saw riders tackle a loose and rooty course with plenty of deep compressions, sniper roots and a tricky rock garden. The uncertain weather forecast could shake things up and remove any advantage the riders that trekked over to Maribor a week early had.

iXS Results

Photo: Rick Schubert

The iXS race last weekend was a World Cup in all but name. Apart from a handful of big-names sitting the event out, a large portion of the elite field was in attendance, getting some extra time on track. In the Elite Men's race, Matt Walker would just take the win over teammate Danny Hart in an incredibly close race. Americans Charlie Harrison and Dakotah Norton would finish third and fourth. Rounding out the Elite Men's podium was Phil Atwill who looks to be back from the injury that plagued him for the 2018 season.

The Elite Women's race was missing Tahnee Seagrave and Rachel Atherton but there was still some great racing with Tracey Hannah taking the win by almost four seconds. German National Champion Nina Hoffmann would put almost a second into Monika Hrastnik and could be a rider to watch this weekend. Eleonora Farina and Veronika Widmann would complete the podium in fourth and fifth position.

Elite Men

1st. Matt Walker: 3:10.017
2nd. Danny Hart: +0.086
3rd. Charlie Harrison: +1.000
4th. Dakotah Norton: +2.136
5th. Phil Atwill: +3.085

Elite Women

1st. Tracey Hannah: 3:41.094
2nd. Nina Hoffmann: +3.996
3rd. Monika Hrastnik: +5.058
4th. Eleonora Farina: +7.401
5th. Veronika Widmann: +8.256

Junior Men

1st. Thibaut Daprela: 3:14.500
2nd. Ethan Shandro: +4.147
3rd. Kye A'Hern: +4.386
4th. Emile Rilat: +8.175
5th. Simon Chapelet: +8.382

Junior Women

1st. Vali Holl: 3:43.176
2nd. Anna Newkirk: +11.603
3rd. Mille Johnset: +18.269
4th. Ottilia Johansson Jones: 1:02.620

Previous winners

Maribor has been host to eight previous rounds going all the way back to 1999. Could a previous winner take the win again this weekend?


Elite Men: Nicolas Vouilloz
Elite Women: Anne-Caroline Chausson


Elite Men: Nicolas Vouilloz
Elite Women: Leigh Donovan


Elite Men: Steve Peat
Elite Women: Anne-Caroline Chausson


Elite Men: Chris Kovarik
Elite Women: Anne-Caroline Chausson


Elite Men: Sam Hill
Elite Women: Rachel Atherton


Elite Men: Sam Hill
Elite Women: Sabrina Jonnier


Elite Men: Fabien Barel
Elite Women: Sabrina Jonnier


Elite Men: Greg Minnaar
Elite Women: Rachel Atherton

Views: 14,993    Faves: 170    Comments: 31

Weather forecast

The forecast for this weekend is mixed and it's looking quite likely that we will see wet conditions on track. The opening grass turns will definitely be interesting if the heavens decide to open and the start of the track could become very reminiscent of La Bresse's final corners from last season.

The gondola is the best place to hide from the storms rolling over the mountains.
Friday, April 26 - Practice
Periods of cloud and sunshine // 24°C // 5% precipitation // wind 18km/h // 33km/h gusts

Saturday, April 27 - Qualifying
Spotty showers // 17°C // 60% precipitation // wind 7km/h // 11km/h gusts

Sunday, April 28 - Finals
Periods of rain // 13°C // 66% precipitation // wind 13km/h // 18km/h gusts

Weather forecast as of Thursday 25 April. Live updates from Accuweather.


Photo: Rick Schubert

Thursday 25 April
• 08:30-11:00 // Downhill Course Inspection by UCI
• 13:00-14:00 // On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - Elite Teams
• 14:00-16:00 // On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - All Riders

Friday 26 April
• 08:30-11:45 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 12:00-15:15 // Official Downhill Training - Group A
• 15:30-17:00 // Downhill Timed Training Session (World Cup Top 60 Men Elite, Top 15 Women Elite, Top 10 Men Juniors and Top 3 Women Juniors)
• 17:00-17:45 // On Foot Downhill Course Inspection - Riders and Teams

Saturday 27 April
• 08:30-10:00 // Official Downhill Training - Group B
• 10:15-11:45 // 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

Sunday 28 April
• 08:15-09:15 // 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.

How to watch

Photo: Rick Schubert

Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our team of photographers in Slovenia this week. Tune in to Pinkbike to catch photo epics and results from the track walk on Thursday, timed training on Friday, qualifying on Saturday, and finals on Sunday.

For the Elite Women and Elite Men finals, you can catch the World Cup chatter the day before the race Red Bull TV and then watch the main event on Sunday 28 April from 12:30 CEST.

Here’s a breakdown of what these times mean in these locations.

• 03:30am Sunday // Vancouver, Canada (PDT)
• 06:30am Sunday // Washington DC, USA (EDT)
• 11:30am Sunday // London, UK (BST)
• 12:30pm Sunday // Berlin, Germany (CEST)
• 20:30pm Sunday // Sydney, Australia (AEST)
• 22:30pm Sunday // Auckland, New Zealand (NZST)

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

Fantasy League

Don't forget to complete your DH Fantasy team before the Elite Women's qualifying starts on Saturday. If you don't know who to pick, check out our 2018 season breakdown and our Form Guide that takes a look at who is looking good coming into the season. Here are all the highlights videos from previous years' races.

The Fantasy Downhill League is Presented by Trek and SRAM.

MENTIONS: @trek / @SramMedia


  • + 38
 It's incredible how money can't get me out of bed at 3:30am but World Cup DH can!
  • + 32
 Looks like I'm getting up early on Sunday! 6:30 am! Can't freaking wait!!! Best sport in the world, period.
  • + 3
 4:30 for me!
  • + 2
 No other comments needed.
  • + 13
 Friend:Who's your favorite soccer player?
Me: Aaron Gwin Wink

MTB is the best sport in the world, period.
  • + 8
 Dear Pinkbike, Classic footage of a previous race at the venue is now a requirement before every event going forward. Thank you.
  • + 4
 Can we replace Claudio with Cedric?
  • + 2
 @rezrov: I’m with you!
  • + 4
 Damn, never realised we were a day and two hours ahead of Australia....has Aussie moved to Europe or something? Or has NZ spun around the world
  • + 1
 2010 was such a great season, the list of capable riders was immense, is it just me or did it seem happier times ? maybe less pressure, more natural tracks.. and beer.. Mmmm, maybe it is just me.
  • + 3
 I'm going there to watch it live! Just wanted to share that, if anyone wanted to know...
  • + 2
 It seems to me the bikes in the video are short, high and twitchy and the guys are quite a bit slower than nowadays.
  • + 2
 Dude, we dedicated fans on the west coast need to be up at 3:00am, go stuff "early" up your dropper post!
  • + 1
 that's the 3rd race/timings in a row that Matt and Danny have been 1st/2nd in that order! consistency is strong!
  • + 2
 I’m going to be up before you. Ha ha
  • + 2
 Every time I watch this vintage I think wow. Narrow bars, small bikes.
  • + 1
 Local forecast is rain on sunday!
  • + 1
 Mike Jones is confirmed to be doing the rain dance
  • + 1
 Oh my sweet sweet vali holl
  • + 1
 What does Spotty rain look like?
  • + 4
 Being from Scotland I would think that you know what every kind of rain looks like!
  • + 1
 @catweasel: Your thinking about the west coast of Scotland the east is not that wet at all, but dont get Spotty rain here that is for sure!
  • - 2
 2010 - The last year Gee was happy Gee. before he became lord bummer
  • + 1
 leogang 2013, the chainsaw had destroyed his last hopes ..

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