Your Essential Guide to the Lenzerheide DH World Cup 2017

Jul 3, 2017 at 11:21
by Fraktiv  

Straight outta…

the One Winners’ Club.

Troy Brosnan finally broke out of the One Winners’ Club last weekend at Vallnord, taking his second-ever Elite UCI DH World Cup victory. In doing so, he even made the usually cool-headed G.O.A.T—who had been in the hot seat up until then—utter a few words of frustration as he saw Brosnan cross the line a mere 0.22 seconds up on his time. Someone who seemed just as stoked as Brosnan was Loïc Bruni, who not only managed to be competitive on his bike despite his significant leg injury in Leogang, but was buttery smooth on his race run, leaving him just a few steps off the top in fourth place. Edging Loïc out of the top three was Danny Hart, who threw down one of the wildest runs we’ve seen in a while. Truly epic stuff.

We also saw the fourth different winner in four rounds in the Elite Women’s race, with Myriam Nicole taking the top step from Tahnée Seagrave by 2.99 seconds. The surprise and welcome third step went to France’s Marine Cabirou, whilst an easy-does-it Rachel Atherton found her way back to racing speed after her Fort William crash, in fourth. Tracey Hannah’s obvious frustration at coming undone in the Vallnord woods early on in her race run will only make her more determined for a clean run come this weekend.

Troy Brosnan had been in this position before last year in Andorra only for the rain to ruini his chances. It almost looked liked a repeat might be on the cards but at the end of the day the fastest man on the hill one.

Toe to toe racing the whole way down but ultimately Troy Brosnan edged it by a whole two tenths...
After qualifying in pole position the rain salted Brosnan s game here last season well not this time.

The track

Welcome to Lenzerheide where things go downhill fast.

Gone is the off-camber rocks and open piste. In it s place are smooth berms. Bike park for days.
The bridge jump that offers the best chance of a tasty whip.

A new bike and some fresh kit for Adam Brayton this weekend.
The bottom turns are fast but also oh so loose

Greg Minnaar. What can we say Absolutely killing it. Third place in qualis.

Lenzerheide isn’t your everyday bike park track, thanks to the World Cup trail crew working with Steve Peat a few years back, to ensure the shortest track on the 2017 calendar is packed with features that will challenge all comers, and entertain the ranks of supporters.

In preparedness for Lenzerheide hosting the World Champs next year, the designers have been hard at work changing things at the upper and lower ends of the course. The start will revert to its 2015 format—Lenzerheide’s first year as a World Cup venue—by having a more direct route down, removing the steep, wide berms. The Graubden Rock Garden remains; it’s a 20m long rock garden that will have the riders guessing as to which is the best line through.

Out of the woods, riders follow the treeline and get to a 14m Shimano Full Gas Step Up, followed by the GoPro Jump Line, which features a 16m table. After a few turns, we’re into Peaty’s Plank, a 7m long, 3m high road gap off a wooden feature (high enough for a marshal to walk underneath, right Rachel?).

In the run up to Tschäffs Plunge (into the woods), riders will have to get through a series of technical turns before they take on the most uncomfortable looking 1m drop over and onto a technical root section. There’s not much room for error and its size belies the number of riders who get more than a little hung up here, but soon enough, they’re back out into the open, hauling themselves over the Red Bull Wave road gap (a mere 5m long, 3m high feature), followed by the Mitas Wall and Lenzerheide Edge, which is the steepest part of the track.

Towards the finish there are a few changes, including some fast turns and a 4m drop after the Ochsner Sports Cabin Hit, then it’s full gas to the finish line.

What happened last year?

Rachel Atherton qualified second today but you can bet she will be on it for the winning run tomorrow.

Connor Fearon had a 3rd place qualie here last year but wiped out in the finals. 5th fastest TT shows he still means business.
Tahnee Seagrave Number 1.

Last year we saw a nail-biting race under sunny Swiss skies, and one many fans were dying to see happen for a long while; it was the race where Danny Hart secured his first World Cup victory—five years after his famous World Champs win at Champery—and the beginning of his 2016 winning streak. It was this run that set Danny up for the thrilling fight at the end of last season between himself and Aaron Gwin.

Talking of which, Gwin qualified a disappointing 19th in Lenzerheide last year, but managed a clean run on race day, putting him in the hot seat with a time of 3:05.8, whilst other riders came and went, trying to better his time. As the field streamed down, it looked like it was going to be a clean sweep for the American. Greg Minnaar ended up 1.6 seconds shy of beating Gwin’s time, with just New Zealander George Brannigan and Danny Hart to drop. Brannigan had trouble on track and slotted into ninth place with just Danny to go. Sure enough, the Redcar Rocket did what everyone was hoping, pedalling like fury, scrubbing tables and smashing berms, taking the win with 0.09 seconds to spare.

In the Elite Women’s race, it was a battle between the British riders. With Manon Carpenter sitting in the hot seat for a good while, Tracey Hannah took to the track but washed out in the deep dust, ending her hopes of being on the podium. Myriam Nicole was next and despite a steady run to the bottom, she took the hot seat. All eyes looked up the mountain as Rachel Atherton took to the track; could she better her qualifying time and lay down the challenge to Tahnée Seagrave, the last rider on the hill? Atherton looked fast and was fast, crossing the line a massive five seconds up from Nicole. It was all down to Seagrave, alone on the mountainside. With the pressure on, Tahnée had an excellent run, shaving five seconds off her qualifying time but sadly it wasn’t enough, crossing the line 0.7 seconds back from Atherton. A comparative hair’s breadth of a margin, but a win nevertheless.

Tickets please

Down at the splits it looked like Danny was going to end up 2nd yet again today but as he crossed the line the lights went green and the win was his by a very slim 0.09 seconds.

Spectator tickets can be purchased online via Lenzerheide’s information/tourism offices prior to the event or on the day. Tickets cost 16CHF (Adult) or 10CHF (Child) for a day pass on Saturday or Sunday, or 26CHF (Adult) or 16CHF (Child) for a weekend pass. Tickets include a trip up the mountain railway’s first section (up to the Scharmoin middle station). If you’re feeling particularly swish with funds, there’s a VIP package that will get you up-close to the finish line, as well as other little luxuries, like an executive shuttle to the venue, a VIP lounge in a luxury hotel, and a pass for the mountain railway. VIP package start from 199CHF for a day or 359CHF for the weekend.

The weather forecast

WC R5 Lenzerheide Weather 2017

Current standings


WC R4 Vallnord Standings W 2017


WC R4 Vallnord Standings M 2017


WC R5 Lenzerheide Predictions 2017

bigquotesThe racers think they have it tough, but predicting another weekend's racing after barely making it through last Saturday's live feed still breathing and heart beating, leaves me playing nothing more than a guessing game. Both fields are wide open in what could be one of the most competitive seasons in downhill racing ever. Both categories have multiple riders with genuine chances of being on the top steps on Saturday.

Judging by her run in Vallnord, Rachel's shoulder is not playing ball, and the chance of it improving drastically within a week is low. Lenzerheide's steep and rough slope is no stroll in the park. Myriam Nicole will be flying on a high, and Tahnee will be too, but Tracey Hannah will have the anger driving her down the track after that small mistake in Andorra which cost her the win

The Elite Men's field is wide open too. Everyone is on form and a lot of riders are frustrated; small bobbles on track cost hundredths of valuable seconds... dashing hopes. Speeds are closer than ever and this will only lead to more mistakes and more crashes as everyone pushes their limits. I think Greg Minnaar's experience will help him stay true, with Gwin in second and Brosnan in third. But I could happily swap any of those names for a Danny Hart, Loic Bruni, Jack Moir or Loris Vergier—all of whom will be in contention on Saturday.
Paul Aston, Pinkbike's World Cup Crystal Ball Gazer

Previous podiums


WC R5 Lenzerheide Historic Results W 2017


WC R5 Lenzerheide Historic Results M 2017

The fastest Ladies in the world.
The five fastest men in Lenzerheide.

Time to tune in

Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our hardworking team of photographers in Lenzerheide this week. There’ll be the usual stunning photo epics from the track walk on Wednesday, practice on Thursday, qualifying on Friday, and finals on Saturday, as well as tech reports and WynTV throughout the weekend. For a full rundown of the racing schedule, check it out here.

For the Elite Women and Elite Men finals, you can watch the action live on Pinkbike via Red Bull TV, or via a local broadcaster (e.g. The Bike Channel in the UK) from 13:00 local time/CEST on Saturday 8th July (12:00 BST // 04:00 PDT // 07:00 EDT // 21:00 AEST // 23:00 NZST).

Greg Williamson unfortunately had a mechanical on his run but will be on the hunt for his first podium tomorrow as a protected rider.

MENTIONS: @fraktiv / @natedh9 / @paulaston / @davetrumpore / @YTIndustries / @trek / @TransitionBikeCompany / @tahneeseagrave / @ms-racing2 / @Specialized / @Canyon-PureCycling / @ridingaddiction1 / @redbullbike


  • + 37
 I use aston's predictions to make my bets, at least I know who wont win
  • - 3
 Let's see your predictions then.
  • + 7
 @bigburd: I don't see a section on Benito-Camelas's predictions every WC race.
  • + 6
 Aston starts out the gate being wrong 40% of the time, since he never seems to pick Gwin to win.
  • + 0
 Not many people get it right. I am interested in Paul Aaron's predictions. If you are not interested, don't read that bit!
  • + 3
 @paulaston: Never thought of this man. Racer just go ride, you truly have it tough doing predictions. Just know I'm rooting for you man. Even if you have it wrong I'll forgive you.
  • + 13

If I picked Gwin to win every time I would be 75% wrong out of the gate, Gwin has won 1/4 races this year. Over the last two seasons 3/12 UCI race wins for the Gwinner.

Danny Hart has more wins than Gwin (4) in the last two seasons not choosing him for the win every round makes would make me more wrong?

My prediction hit rate was 50% for male winners in 2016. In the last two years I predicted 4/12 of Gwins results correctly, and the last time I predicted he would win he let me down with a second place! 2017 hasn't been my year, but funnily, the only correct male prediction all this year has been Gwin's 3rd in Fort William.

  • + 4
 Get these types all over the boxing and mma forums, twats who slate other people's predictions but don't have the nuts to put their own up for the world to see and slate
  • + 1
 @bigburd: right on. put up or shut up.
  • + 1
 @paulaston: Perhaps I was being overly swayed by you not predicting Gwin would win Leogang since he had won there the previous two years and once without a chain. It certainly seemed like the easiest prediction one could make. Your 50% average is not too bad at all given the large field of competitors, injuries and weather variances.
  • + 1
 @bigburd: Did you just start reading PB? Every WC race, PB gives away something (a bike, drivetrain etc) to the reader that correctly predicts the podiums and thousands of readers publicly state our predictions.
  • - 4
flag Benito-Camelas (Jul 5, 2017 at 8:51) (Below Threshold)
 Oh I'm really good at making predictions, but if the world wants to see and praise the world must pay for it, so now you know, pay or shut up
  • + 1
 @Benito-Camelas: come on buddy, give us your predictions.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Maybe he did on the TLD contest for predictions. He's not going to waste it here when he can possibly win some sweet new neon kit!
  • + 26
 So women have been racing the mens category all year .....

Wahoooo that's 2x Saturday nights in a row of AWESOME DH racing !!!!!! Much better than watching on a sunday night or early Monday morning here in NZ .... tired eyes at work !

Come on Brannigan ~ Keep it together this time ! Smile
  • + 4
 Yeh it actually works out nicely for us for once!! perfect saturday evening!
  • + 3
 managed to go out drinking then get home in time for the mens race! wish it was on a saturday night everyrace!
  • + 16
 That's pretty neat that Tracey Hannah is leading the Men's overall as well as the Women's!
  • + 16
 Random dude: Girls don't go big
Rachel Atherton: hold my beer
  • + 7
 Typical Swiss standard of "here is our VIP package"...all I want to know is in which parking lot can I pass out in and not be bothered by the police?
  • + 10
 I love lamp
  • + 6
 Do you really love the lamp, or are you just saying it because you saw it?
  • + 4
 Go PomPon, also not usually rooting for an Aussie, but MTB is different, be great to see Brosnan back up from last week and take the top spot! Bruni was not just smooth, his suspension esp that fork just looked incredible how it handled Vallnord, if they can keep that going and Specilaized can develop the Demo some more, then watch out, that suspension just looked light years ahead of the competition, Demo not so much! I'd almost like to see Bruni go up a frame size!
  • + 3
 I love how they have named/sponsored pretty much every feature on the track. Troy needs to get a name plaque on that massive three stump he was hopping over last year!
  • + 3
 Am I the only one surprised to see only ONE Brit in the top 10 this year...? That being said, props to the Aussies!
  • + 4
 i'm overdosing on dh and slopestyle events. and i like it.
  • + 3
 Danny Hart! Blow the bloody doors off son!
  • + 3
 Danny had 0.096s to spare, not 0.9 Smile
  • + 2
 Hoping for another good result from Wallace, has gone through a lot this past year excited to see him putting up results
  • + 4
 Minaar !!
  • + 3
 .096 win for Danny not .9sec. Watch your own vid. Smile
  • + 1
 Very good season so far lots of variables ,different winners , and the wheel thing adds a bit aswell .roll on Saturday c'mon Danny boi
  • + 2
 Men's overall standings;
  • + 1
 my $20 is on Hart. his riding style just seems so adaptive much a the time.
  • + 0
 current standings pics appear to be from the last 2 rounds for women, no men shown.
  • + 1
 (high enough for a marshal to walk underneath, right Rachel?)
  • + 1
 Hell yeah three Aussies in the top ten rankings!
  • - 2
 1 more week of rehab for Rachel will mend her enough that she will almost definitely take the win. I don't have strong feelings one way or another about that--it just seems obvious.
  • + 2
 Very hard to rehab and be race fit...two very different training schedules. Too many variables in mountain biking to say a timeline for fitness....look how long it took Nicole to get back on top and be consistent after her shoulder went Kablamo!
  • + 1
 @sean9002: Rachel was 8 seconds off the pace last week, but she proved to herself she could return to racing--on a *for real* course--without her arm falling off her body. And the injury only happened in early June--another week is a huge chunk of additional healing time since then. All of the fast women seem likable and worth rooting for, and anything can happen, but I think Rachel's got this one.
  • + 0
 Why do they keep switching between saturday and sunday race days?
  • + 3
 XC racing is on sunday, other WC so far this year apart from Vallnord have been sundays because they did not have XC events
  • + 2
 Yep..I missed it last week as I set aside my Sunday Arvo for this....and then realised i'd missed it and watched it on repeat (much to the delight of my Missis and lilt one)
Still.....can't wait !
  • + 3
 @CornishKiwi: yeah I was so excited about the race last Saturday I was rushing around all day getting my shit done, and totally forgot about the rugby! f*ck!

Still, Danny Hart's run was worth it.
  • - 2
 If SC let Loris off the big wheels he'll win !
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