Your Essential Guide to the Leogang DH World Cup

Jun 6, 2017 at 15:03
by Fraktiv  
The GOAT is back.

All hail the GOAT.


2017 is turning out to be quite a season. With Greg Minnaar (the Greatest Of All Time—GOAT) schooling the rest of the field in how to tame a mountain last weekend, the downhill circus motors across the European continent to Leogang in Austria, for the third instalment of the UCI DH World Cup this Sunday.

While one G.O.A.T shines, another licks their wounds. Rachel Atherton had to have her shoulder popped back in track-side after taking a tumble in the treacherous woods during Sunday’s practice at Fort William, leaving her unable to race, and putting an abrupt end her incredible winning streak.

Elsewhere, riders from down under shone brightly, with Tracey Hannah making the Fort William course look easy (and being notable in being able to clear the big motorway tables near the finish line as if they were mere bumps in the road), and in the process, taking the win in Elite Women. Her countryman, Jack Moir, succeeded in achieving his best Elite Men’s result ever, taking second place behind Minnaar and in front of Aaron Gwin. Advance Australia Fair.


Last Weeks winner and now 5th overall pinned through the middle part of the track.

Great to see Tahnee Seagrave back on track although not yet at full strength.
Fire in the hole... Eddie Masters practices his tuck ready for tomorrow in the last of the tunnels.




The track


2014 Leogang WC DH images

See these beautiful woods just waiting to be ridden through
Leogang World Cup DH 2016

This section has been used year after year in Leogang without incident but organizers have now decided that this year there needed to be safety ladders to get down the pair of 1 meter drops.
There isn t much rock here naturally so the track builders in Leogang have constructed four of their own rock gardens.

What new challenge will Leogang serve up for Aaron Gwin this year you ask Well it look like its going to be a heavy dose of rain and mud which has never been his forte but he has overcome worse here so you really never know.

Like a fine wine, Leogang’s World Cup track gets better with age. For too long it was the leading light of the ‘bike park’ style track, but with some major adjustments over recent years, the track is maturing, with plenty of tricky technical features on offer that will test the riders’ abilities, especially in the wet.

The track was first used by the UCI for DH World Cups back in 2010 and has been used ever since, excluding 2012, when it was used as a World Championship track. Open to the public all year round under the moniker, ‘Speedster’, this 2,524 metre-long World Cup track is only a few paces short of last weekend’s track.

Most of the track weaves down and along the mountainside in the open, making it a great venue for spectating. It’s super fast and full of tables which could be a pleasant relief to some of the riders who reached their limit on the endless technical rock gardens and root sections at Fort William. With a few sections in the wood, on bright sunny race days, riders will have to cope with the extreme changes of light as they enter the dense pine forested sections full of drops and off-camber exposed roots. Tough going at any time but at speed, it's even more demanding on skill and fitness. The final section of the course features a big fade-away (should I mention #TapeGate?), with the run out zig-zagging across the freeride park and into the finish corral. It’s an impressive natural amphitheatre.



What happened last year?

Last year saw a weekend of heavy rainfall which brought a massive challenge to the riders for qualifying on Saturday. Rachel Atherton secured pole position despite suffering from an elbow injury that saw her out of contention at Fort William, Tahnée Seagrave took second spot, with Manon Carpenter in third. In the Elite Men’s, the weather closed in and the rain factor got dialled to 11.

With Mother Nature throwing its worst at the Austrian hillside, Aaron Gwin proved he was just as capable in the mud as in the dry and secured the spot to be the last man down the hill on race day. A few people were caught by surprise when young-gun Loris Vergier took second in seeding but after catching up with a tangled Rat in the bottom section, he lost valuable seconds. Next in line was Mike Jones, Danny Hart, and Greg Minnaar, all finding it tricky in difficult conditions to make their flow stick throughout their time on track.

Come race day, we saw the track drying out, leaving most riders struggling to remember what it was like to ride Leogang in the dry. With little to no training on a tacky track since practice on Friday, those fast on their feet took the initiative, including the likes of Troy Brosnan, who kept the hot seat warm for a while. It wasn’t until Loris Vergier that Brosnan was displaced, leaving the crowd and Vergier looking up to see whether Gwin could put down a perfect run. Gwin had a point to prove. Not content with managing to get down without a chain the previous year, Gwin set to his task and his blistering time saw three seconds between him and Vergier at the finish line, handing him the victory.


Meanwhile, in the Elite Women’s race Rachel Atherton secured her 10th back-to-back victory, bringing her grand total at that time to 30 career wins. Tahnée Seagrave overcame her elbow injury to take second place but with a five second deficit between herself and her fellow Brit. Miranda Miller was the surprise third placed finisher.





The weather forecast

WC R3 Leogang Weather 2017




Entry list





Tickets please

Tickets at Leogang are reasonably priced, with €15 getting you entry on the day of the race. Tickets with (limited) gondola access are €22, and there are other options available, including VIP passes and weekend passes. For more information visit the Saafelden Leogang ticket page here.

In for the Kill Finals - Leogang DH World Cup 2016




Aston's predictions

WC R3 Leogang Predictions 2017

bigquotesThe notoriously ‘too easy’ and ‘too bike parky’ track at Leogang might be relieved of criticism this year from the pros after the almost impossible wood section at Fort William last weekend.

That woods section cost Rachel Atherton a dislocated shoulder and more than likely her hopes of competing in Leogang. With the winning door left open, I expect Tracey Hannah to start her own mini-winning streak running on adrenaline and confidence. Tahnee Seagrave will put the power down to take second and a currently quiet Manon Carpenter in third.

In the men’s field, who would bet against Minnaar here after last weekend’s rain-blurred run? He has never finished off the podium at Leogang in seven previous rounds and those big wheels should be an advantage again.

Danny Hart was also beaten by the woods at The Bill, but don’t let that make you think he’s off the pace. I predict he’ll take second. Third place must go to some small wheels to keep the #2754life crew breathing; I think we’ll see Gwin in third, but he’ll be beaten fair and square by the first two juggernauts.
Paul Aston, Pinkbike's World Cup Crystal Ball Gazer



Previous podiums

ELITE MEN

WC R3 Leogang Historic Results M 2017

ELITE WOMEN

WC R3 Leogang Historic Results W 2017

Note * denotes World Championship year.



Time to tune in

Pinkbike will be providing you with the best daily coverage from our awesome team of photographers and tech wizards in Leogang this week. There’ll be the usual eye-candy photo epics from the track walk on Thursday, practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and finals on Sunday, as well as a smattering of tech reports throughout. For a full rundown of the schedule, check it out here.

A full schedule is available to download here. For the Elite Women and Elite Men finals, you can watch the action live on Red Bull TV or via a local broadcaster (e.g. The Bike Channel in the UK) from 13:00 local time/CEST on Sunday 11th June (12:00 BST // 04:00 PDT // 07:00 EDT // 21:00 AEST // 23:00 NZST).

And what a run it was.

143 Comments

  • + 190
 Everything you need to know about Leogang- it's not Schladming.

#BringBackSchladming
  • + 38
 same for Lenzerheide, stop the bikeparky tracks. Bring on Verbier !!!
  • + 57
 Schladming and champery need to make a return, the UCI and redbull clearly dont know what they are doing
  • + 32
 @rossfr: you mean, the uci doesn't know how to charge €1,000,000 for a venue to hold a race?

I think it knows exactly what it is doing. Vernier and Schladming are welcome to host races, if they pay the €1,000,000.

It is a bit steep though. If they dropped it to say, €750,000, maybe we could have a ten race season.
  • + 10
 I like Leogang since it's always an exciting race and a very fast track. But please keep Lenzerheide off the schedule after they host the world champs. Also, bring back Hafjell and Meribel
  • + 74
 @tim-from-pa: A campaign to bring down the fees to host a race would be an excellent and worthy cause.

Save costs by scheduling races in Europe in a line, physically and chronologically. Eight races in ten weeks from Italy or Slovenia up to Norway via Austria, France, Switzerland, Germany, Wales and Scotland.

Then we just need two in Canada, one being Crankworx, and one in America. Start the season with one each in NZ, Aussie and Indonesia (teams arrange transit in Asia between Oceania and Europe anyway, might as well make it Denpasar and have a race there), and Bob's your uncle. A full season with probably not more cost for logistics than we have now.
  • + 11
 amen to that. #BringBackSchladming
  • + 33
 @jaame
Couple things to point out:

- It's not a million euros to host a race. It's way less than that.
- Saying we need a campaign to reduce the fees is like asking for someone to create money out of thin air. What needs to be addressed are things like the UCI having 50-60% of all marketing rights, being a pain in the a** when it comes to sponsor selection, asking for 30k simply to place the bid for a world cup; the length of the races (a wednesday-sunday race week can be too much to handle for a city's infrastructure - some streets can't be cut off for 5 days), the fact that 2 different companies are in charge of signage on track (UCI contractor for the series sponsors vs. race organisers for the venue sponsors), RMBH having all media rights, the organiser having to provide VIP treatment to all UCI sponsors, and having to pay for prize money(WTF?) and anti-doping costs.
- Wanting a world cup at Crankworx is ludicrous and will never happen. Whistler will never pay for 5 days of losing money (reduced access for people who actually pay for lift passes). They don't need the publicity, all the pros already go there at the end of the season anyways.
- As for the schedule you suggest, I wholeheartedly agree. I like to think that Crankworx is going to expand a lot more over the years, and create some sort of series that is more efficient, on a more regular basis, more fun, and less corrupt than the UCI world cup. #MakeDHGreatAgain
  • + 2
 @mecagoenvuestrosmuertos: Well then, I'll take two.
  • + 8
 @jaame: Crankworx in whistler will never be a worldcup. You're mad to think MSA should be off the list of places for a race. Anyone whos ridden that track top to bottom knows its one of the hardest tracks out there. Canadian open doesnt even compare to MSA
  • + 8
 What pisses me off the most is that of all of the places that can host a UCI World Cup DH race, it's Schladming. Schladming is home to one of the most insane and popular FIS ski races of the year, a single race that brings in about 60,000 people in just one day. They have the infrastructure to deal with huge crowds, tons of hotels, loads of cash, and let's not forget one of the most (if not the most) amazing tracks in DH. But the most important thing that they lack is the desire to host a bike race. Most ski areas in the Alps are so over it by the time summer comes, they just run the lifts because they have to. They see biking as a complete side business that has very little ROI. Hopefully they see the potential that biking has and this can change for the better... I won't hold my breath though.
  • + 1
 @ka-brap: does that really hold for Schladming? They had the IXS cup for several years, in fact this year it is just one week after Leogang.
@fabdemaere: Creekside does have the potential for a great track and it would barely interfere with the regular bike park operation.
  • + 1
 @tim-from-pa: Agreed it might be a bit tame but is good for TV, Fort William on the other hand is beyond dull
  • + 1
 @RedBurn: Yes! So Yes!!!
  • + 1
 Let's all just dream at the idea of a WC season where they race Lourdes - Schladming - Fort Bill - Champéry - Val di Sole - Mont Sainte-Anne - Méribel... On can only dream
  • - 2
 If the uci brings down the fees, surely more resorts would consider bidding. I suggested two races in Canada, one of which would be crankworx. The other could be MSA. My point is, renting a van for a week is cheap. Much cheaper than flying across an ocean.
  • + 4
 @ka-brap: I did a road trip around Austria last summer, so many bike parks! great place to ride a bike, we did one day at leo and pack up and went straight to Schladming; Schladming is much better leo only had one section we liked the rest was like riding a motorway it's not hard enough to be a world cup track not even close.
  • + 4
 @jaame: Just gonna throw out there that Quebec to BC is a 60 hour drive..... if you go non-stop.
  • + 0
 @jaame: just so you know msa and whistler are 5350 km from each other.
Canada is a very large country it's not like Europe.
  • + 5
 @CrazyHorse4: what? Same country man. You telling me Bob in Vancouver doesn't know Jim in Toronto?
  • - 1
 @dxfox: yes thanks for that boys. If I ever want a reason why not to do something I'll give you a call.

I am just thinking aloud. They could make it better by adding some rounds. I doubt you're suggesting that seven rounds is enough.

Also, is MSA the only good track in Canada? I would bet it's not. I know Canada is big. My point is totally unspecific and simply states that the costs of transportation could be made smaller by scheduling rounds that are closer together both geographically and chronologically. Is it that hard to grasp? You guys should be telling me it's an excellent point, because it is, rather than telling me Canada is big, because it is.
  • + 2
 @jaame: FWIW - I've always wanted to drive across Canada. Hopefully, some day.
  • - 1
 @teamtoad: well they drove across America in a couple of days in Need for Speed and Canada is the same size, so there's no reason why you can't.
  • - 1
 @jaame: I totally agree with you that a better logistic would reduce the cost but,
you just choose the wrong country by assuming that.
also there is not only the track but everything else that has nothing to do with dh racing like:
hotel rooms,service accessibility and so on.
most wont spend the money.
we use to have dh world cups and the masters in bromont québec but they figured the cost was to high.
yeah I agree with you.
Ritchie rude would probably race dh with yeti in dh instead od ews.
  • + 1
 @dxfox: business is about money and everyone wants to make some, I get it.

If the uci reduced their fees, more resorts might be able to turn a profit.

Twice the number of rounds at half the cost and the uci could still have their slice of the cake at huge benefit to the sport ad a whole and the credibility of the "world cup" series.
  • + 2
 @Ride12: I think your forgetting andorra
  • + 1
 @RedBurn: have ridden both tracks last season, without offence, compared to lenzerheide schladming DH is a flowtrail. I still love Schladming, my favourite track but in my opinion too "easy" for a WC racetrack (pls believe me, i haev shaped the track for three seasons), even the hidden root sections wich are just open for races do not come close to what i have seen in Lenzerheide (i mean the technical bits). the rest of lenzer heide is quite bikeparky, you are right.
  • + 1
 @K1maxX: While I have never ridden Lenzerheide, I would agree that Schladming is not the most difficult track- that honor would most likely go to Val di Sole. But, as you say, Schaldming is arguably the "best" track, which is something different. There's a reason why on the Monday after Leogang that every race team flocks to Schladming and 99% of them will say it's their favorite track. It's challenging (but not death-defying) with awesome corners, and it's steep. It's simply awesome and I bow to your track shaping mastery. Cheers!
  • + 1
 I might be mistaken but I think that they replaced the finish area in Schladming with a parking lot. I might be wrong though...
  • + 1
 @JustYourAverageJoey: Parking lot is not new, been there for a long time. They often change how the race comes down the piste and "finishes" though but it will end at the parking lot.
  • + 84
 Considering the past two years I think its hard not to consider Gwin as the favorite, especially with the pace he showed bar that mistake at Fort William, but that's just my humble opinion
  • + 15
 Hart showed pace before he crashed too. A guess a lot of guys did. You can't win if you crash, at least not in the men's.
  • + 4
 the guy responsible for predictions is so so bad haha... minnar wont win but Gwin will
  • + 18
 @RedBurn: It is really awfull how much effort they put in the prediction to conclude that the 29 wheels will give the victory... OMG... so obvious and sad... and nothing in all the results and numbers of last race and years is supporting it...

2017 Minnaar wins FW due to Gwin crash (he was much faster), and all the sudden Minnaar should win this cause of a non proven 29 theory? Razz
2016 Minnaar wins FW (same margin as this year), Gwin wins big time in Leogang...
2015 Minnaar wins FW by 1 second only from Gwin, Gwin wins Leogang without a freaking CHAIN Wink

Marketing: the art of letting you buy with a magical feeling what you don't need at all....
  • + 8
 @jaame: I couldn't agree more. Mistakes cost you victory. Gwin may have been "faster", but because of his mistake, it still took him a few more seconds to get from the start gate to the finish line than Minnaar. Period.

Same with Rachel Atherton. What she has accomplished is nothing short of f*cking incredible. But whether you like it or not, it was also her own mistake that cost her a shot at continuing her streak.
  • + 7
 @MTBrent: to finish first, first you have to finish.

If ifs and buts were candies and nuts we'd all have a merry Christmas.

The results sheet shows who won, not who might have won if they didn't crash.

Right now the results sheet says 29ers are faster. I don't know why anyone would deny it. I haven't had a even one ride on a 29er in my life and only switched to 650b in October... I'm in no way a 29er fanboy. Still, it seems pretty obvious it's not just marketing.
  • - 2
 @MTBrent: @jaame: Did he crash at Leogang last years? Your logic is so way off....
  • + 2
 @jaame: nope... it doesn't say 29-ers are faster... cause than all 29-ers should be faster than all 650b's.

It says that some riders with a 29 bike were faster than some riders on 650b's. Also there are riders on 650b that have a better result than riders on 29-ers... and to make it even easier.. last years winner was on a 650b with the same little timeframe between him and the #2 of the race.... so... there goes your logic...
  • + 15
 @jaame: Minnaar has won fort Bill 7 times now. You think this one time it was definitely because of his 29" wheels?

As for Gwin, he's always been a razor's edge kind of racer. Often it feels like he's trying to either take #1 or crash trying.
  • + 0
 @WaterBear: it s not the only reason obviously, but it probably played a part even if just increasing his confidence. I don't think was just about confidence though.

All those teams would not have built 29ers just for fun. They obviously believe they have an advantage. Hell, a few riders who haven't got them yet are also saying they are faster, or at least intoning to that.
  • + 5
 Were Minnaars last 6 victories at Fort William and his other 19 just flook until he had the big wheels?

Who cares if there is an advantage, everyone has the opportunity to exploit this advantage. Is there an advantage if you run different brakes or suspension? Possibly, but no one kicked off when Sram brought out their 220mm rotors which enable later braking...
  • + 3
 @RedBurn : fast track and big wheels. I think there's a good argument for Minnar to win. Good argument for Gwin to win too...
  • + 4
 @Trailstunter: Can you explain how Gwin was "much faster?" Minnaar was less than 1/2 a second back at split 2... They were pretty damn close. I think its fair to say that if Gwin didn't crash it would have been a toss-up. Both guys looked a step above everyone else IMHO.

I do see how 29" is a marketing thing... SC and all these companies wouldn't be spending significant dollars and time on the 29" one-off DH bikes if their testing didn't indicate it was faster. The racers get paid to do well and I doubt they would discount their salary because some guy in the marketing department wants to push 29" DH bikes...
  • + 2
 @Trailstunter: Get your head out of the gutter, Minnaar is an incredible rider regardless of wheel size. Stop fanboying over Gwin and stop demonizing anybody who dares to use different equipment.
  • + 4
 We all love Greg, but I'd swap that prediction to Gwin, Hart, then Bruni or Brosnan. WCDH 2 weeks in a row?!?! Life is good sometimes, gonna be amazing.
  • + 1
 @Trailstunter: Perfect amigo, just perfect.
  • - 1
 @davek86: Lots of people say the bigger wheels have an impact, but here's the funny thing: All other factors being equal, bigger wheels are *harder* to accelerate. For the same input force, you should expect a slower resulting speed.

If you think about it, bigger wheels also equate to a taller gearing. (Their circumference is larger, so one rotation of a 29er equates to more distance traveled than a single roll of a 26er, for instance, even if they both have the same gearing otherwise).

I honestly wonder if the 29er "advantage" is just taller effective gearing.
  • + 2
 @davek86: My Hope Ti-6 front brake on a Fox40 uses a 220mm rotor and it's 12 years old.
And yeah, it's lurvely!
  • + 3
 I believe the men's will come down to GWINNAART
  • + 3
 Yeah, I'm going with the guy who won there last year and the year before without a chain...
  • + 2
 @WaterBear: First paragraph correct. Second paragraph incorrect.
  • - 1
 @dhx42:
You think a crash cost only half a second?
He must have been way faster...

And no... it has been all build up... first presentationnof the fox 29 fork... all the sudden a sc dh sled on big wheels... all marketing steps... sc didnt rebuild, just rear triangle.

Most imortant for a brand is sales, if a bike is not slower and new sales can be made, it is profit.
Riding is only one part of the sponsorcontract of a rider ... dont be naive...
Racing is a marketing and testi g tool, nothing more.. sales and marketing are the leading edge of a company. But marketing has no value if it cannot prove boosting sales .... do I really need to explain how a private company works?
  • + 3
 @Trailstunter: Well maybe if Gwin was going a bit slower he wouldn't have crashed. Maybe if Greg was going a bit faster he would have crashed. Gwin was slower from top to bottom and that's all that matters.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: ...how? Maybe I am, but it bears explaining.
  • + 2
 @RedBurn: I'm with you ill go on record that he can blow those predictions out his ass
  • + 2
 @WaterBear: Gearing is irrelevant as 2 teeth difference on the chainring will make the same difference.
  • + 2
 It's easy to piss on other people's ideas. Not so easy to think of good ideas by oneself. When you win the fantasy comp, I'll give you a big thumbs up.
  • - 1
 @panaphonic: but that you cannot relate to the wheelsize. That is where de discussion is about ????
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: I see. I didn't realize it was that small a change.

So it's probably something else, then; Rollover or moment of inertia.
  • + 2
 @Trailstunter: At last split before Gwin crashed, Gwin was up less than half a second on Greg. I'd say that's pretty close. Greg ended up beating Gwin by 3.8 seconds. Given that Gwin didn't have any mud on his jersey, I'd say it was a minor crash and losing 3.8-4.3 seconds is very reasonable. I'd say they were pretty damn close. Gwin was on a great run for sure and its a bummer he went down.

I would never begin to assume what the most important metric is for a brand... They all have different objectives from top line growth to margin - they are very different. While you are correct that DH is a marketing and testing lab, the marketing aspect only works effectively if the riders do well. This is why the Syndicate has been such an asset to SC. So why would they change a winning DH bike just to market a new product, if it was going to be slower and lead to worse results...

Thanks for providing me a lesson on how business works while leaving out half of the aspects of a business that make it work...
  • + 2
 @dhx42: didn't Greg also say he f*cked part of it up? It was not a clean run?
  • + 2
 @jaame: Yeah I think so...
  • + 2
 @Trailstunter: Yes, I'm sure you know more than Greg Minnaar, Danny Hart, and well, anyone who is a pro about what size of wheel is faster for them.
  • + 1
 @dhx42:

You come with seconds (facts) and start making assumptions on what crash it was... not so strong...
Without profit, a brand cannot exist my dear dhx42... How much, that is a different thing.

Given that SC is owned by a Dutch company, and I know the Family behind PON (the owner of SC) pretty well... I can say that profit is the biggest goal for the company. They own the VW and Audi rights of import and Gazelle, a Dutch brand of bikes... Profit and status, those are the key's of this family, in fact they are clients of me... so please stop your assumptions and go back to your room Wink

It is simple... SC has chosen a few of the best riders in the world.. before and now... those riders make the brand cool or not... and fast of not... riders should live up to the brands values...
And that is in their contracts too... be sure of that...

Now why should they change a winning bike to market a new product... well... think for example...

26" to 650b is all new standards and new bikeframes... all has to be changed... so a biiiiiiiiig new revenue...
and same trick is 650b to 29"..... biiiiiiig new revenue...
As long as they keep on winning and not getting slower than the rest or just marginally... it will be seen by the groupies like you, that it is because of technical innovation... and they start throwing money at their screen...

The most funny thing of all is, they will never notice any difference as the level of your riding and the consistency is not there... Good luck with that Wink

Oh... and I am the owner of a business... but you are right... I don't how how it works...
  • + 29
 Rode the track on Sunday.... all hard sections are gone leaving it a merely freeride-track. Definitely not a DH worldcup track...sad to watch this progress for Leogang.

Let´s went back to SCHLADMING Smile
  • + 3
 At least one new section is being added for the weekend based on recent World Cup rider feedback.
  • + 14
 Wyn's GoPro video on Facebook makes it look like 2 minutes of Dirt Merchant/A-Line with a couple 100 meter long woods/technical sections. WTF, was better last year?
  • + 2
 @gramboh: both Red Bull Bike and WynTV social media shares both say that there are improvements coming for the race.
  • + 1
 Haven´t seen any new sections or parts of the track....but they may work on it right now
  • - 1
 @fraktiv: Unless it's a completely new track, I doubt some new sections are going to make a huge difference. Watching WynTV's run, the calls that its a bikepark track ring true. It really is.
  • + 1
 just saw the video, WHAT THE FCK!!!! I hope its a joke.... its a trail for hardtails..... BS !
  • + 10
 That park has been making efforts to flatten out it´s trails for years now in order to make it appeal to the average enduro weekend warrior (aka dentists). They bridge root sections with wooden bridges, they add ramps to enable rolling down steps in the dh-track and removed the rock gardens which most people struggled with.
The dh-track is nothing more than a fireroad with some tables in it and i don´t see where they will put those ominous new sections since the terrain and layout of the track simply do not allow for any drastic changes.
It´s a shame really.
  • + 1
 @gramboh: thought the same, take a HT
  • + 29
 #longlivechainsaw
  • + 1
 Amen
  • + 4
 Legit pang of sadness seeing his name on the previous results list.
  • + 18
 Greg is the king of Ft. William but this is Arron's track. How can you not pick him to win here.
  • - 19
flag jaame (Jun 7, 2017 at 1:29) (Below Threshold)
 Minnaar has 29" wheels and Gwin hasn't.

Minnaar has won here a couple of times, no?
  • + 8
 @jaame:
2017 Minnaar wins FW due to Gwin crash (he was much faster), and all the sudden Minnaar should win this cause of a non proven 29 theory?
2016 Minnaar wins FW (same margin as this year), Gwin wins big time in Leogang...
2015 Minnaar wins FW by 1 second only from Gwin, Gwin wins Leogang without a freaking CHAIN !!
  • + 2
 And before that was Gwins "Special" years.
  • + 14
 Gwinny to win on a Jeffsy
  • + 4
 @jaame: Gwin has won 50% of the races he has done at Leogang.
  • + 3
 @Trailstunter, @jaame:

We've had this conversation already haven't we?
  • - 1
 @WaterBear: I don't know. They seem to all merge into one. I haven't copied and pasted though.
  • + 4
 @jaame: You don't have to copy paste to be repeating yourself.
  • + 1
 @darrank:

Now that would shake shit up!
  • - 3
 My dick has 29" wheels, I'm sure you'd jump on that too@jaame:
  • - 2
 @dro-cfr: @pinkbike is that a banable comment?
  • + 0
 ????@jaame:
  • + 14
 Gwin on Yeti, Trek, Specialized and YT on the results sheet. I'm guessing it's not the bike.
  • + 12
 Hard to bet against a man who can win without a chain, wagon wheels or no wagon wheels.
  • + 9
 29 doesn't automatically win. Had Gwin not crashed there would have been at most tenths of a second between him and Minnaar on Sunday, and there's no guarantee who would have been first or second. Bigger wheels always win doesn't hold true in XC or Enduro, so why do people think it will here?

Minnaar doesn't think larger wheels are automatically faster just because, they have to suit the size of the rider for overall fit. Hart on 29" wheels is a wee bit ridiculous then isn't it? Is anyone worried about him not being able to handle it though? Didn't think so. Gwin is 5'9" and without crashing could have won on Sunday. Gwin WANTS 29" wheels too.

So boys and girls, where does that leave us?

Who f#&$ing cares how big their wheels are. Just like everything else we've wasted our money on in the past few years, it's the industry using as as willing R&D participants and all of us drinking the Kool aid because our egos can't handle not having the emperor's new clothes.

Now, I'm going to shut the hell up, throw this soap box in the fireplace, and start saving for a 29" YT Tues that I hope exists by next spring.
  • + 11
 Gwin is going to win this, more than likely, and Paul will be left scratching his head wondering how a 29er didn't win....
  • + 9
 Nothing against Minnaar, but doesn't Nicolas Vouilloz own the 'G.O.A.T' title?
  • - 2
 As much as I am a fan of Minnaar I'd have to agree... I feel to be more accurate that Minnar is the GCC (Greatest Currently Competing).
  • + 4
 @Skootur: Minnaar is a legend. To use moto analogy Minnaar is like Chad Reed or Kevin Windam sure they have been constantly been at the pointy end of field for a longer career, but they still aren't the GOAT, Ricky Carmichael is...
  • + 2
 @AntN: I argued for Vouilloz until recently, but now Minnaar has more first class wins so he is clearly in front in my opinion.
  • + 4
 @jaame: true though would a 'GOAT' of any sport have finished 2nd/3rd so many times on the overall championship tally. Vouilloz flogged everyone. Though it was Minnaars first overall win to dethrown Nicholas...but I guess for me for someone to get GOAT status they need to dominate a sport.
  • + 2
 @AntN: I get your point. The thing is, Vouilloz dominated the world championship event. I don't think he dominated the world cup. There were seasons when he got a hiding. Albert Iten was it? Rune Hoydahl? Francois Gachet I know had Vouilloz whipped until he broke his leg off.

Nico had seven senior world champs titles, which means he had about 13 world cup race wins... in ten years.

For me it's about length of career and number of total wins as much as dominating the competition.

Vouilloz was an absolute weapon... but he definitely had a focus on the world championship above the world cup and for me, the world cup is a lot more prestigious than the worlds.
  • + 0
 I stand corrected.

Nico had 16 world cup wins and seven world titles giving a total of 23.

Greg has 20+3 (23).

Greg is not the goat yet... but he could be on Sunday.
  • + 3
 I think @WAKIdesigns is the undisputed GOAT
  • - 1
 @DaySleep3r: obviously not, since we are disputing it here!
  • - 2
 Pfffft Alexandre Fayolle is obviously G.O.A.T.
  • + 2
 nico retired early from dh greg is still racing dh at 35 while I think nico retired at 25 from the wcdh. it can be compared.
  • + 1
 Seems pretty clear cut now that Minnaar is the GOAT. Sorry Nick, Fast and French but no f@cks given...

lol

Look out its CG again.
  • + 1
 That's not even possible. He had 7 World Champs titles. It's not like he was racing elite at 18 @dxfox:
  • + 0
 @leopaul: I have a very interesting bit of trivia about that actually.

At the 1994 worlds in Vail, he already had two junior golds.

He was given the option to compete in elite but he chose not to.

It turned out to be a good decision because Gachet had the fastest time. From memory Nico would have finished second in elites by less than a second.
  • + 9
 We're railing berms in LE O GANG LE O GANG LE O GANG
  • + 7
 We flat-land in LE O GANG.
  • + 5
 It would be interesting to know if Mannaar could achieve the same on 27.5 bike that fits him instead of going to 29 .
I.e. Something like a Geometron based bike, which even in trail version in size long ( never mind XX longest) has a reach and wheelbase longer than an extra large SC V 10 ?!!
  • + 3
 Or, if the wheels really do make a difference for everyone, whether adding enough weight to 27.5 wheels that they have the same moment of inertia as a 29er makes up the difference or the rollover really is a thing. I'm glad someone else knows that for Minnaar the 29er thing is an issue of fit and not wheel preference.
  • + 5
 Minnaar is The King of Fort William no matter what he rides but this being a shorter course, I can see the margins being a lot tighter so the 29" won't be an obvious advantage like it was on Sunday.

Gwin looks up for it and if Bruni can stay on, they'll be at the top.
  • + 9
 It's shorter by 307m. In no way an absolute deal breaker. The race is up for the taking, irrespective of wheel size.
  • + 1
 @Odinson: its shorter and steeper, no pedaling and weird flat section.
  • - 1
 I can't comment on gear choices. All I can say is Greg is a mighty capable rider and chances are fair he'll win. Both Greg and Danny have a track record of doing well in adverse conditions where others might struggle. I view Aaron as a master in generating speed from the ground (pumping) so if the terrain is dry, hard and smooth, that's where he'll shine. But by no means I'm saying one of these top riders is incapable of doing quite decent in any condition.
  • - 1
 I didn't see any advantage of the 29 last weekend!! Your forgetting Tracy smoked that 29er by 10 seconds on her 27.5
  • + 6
 Pumped to see Tahnee take her first win this weekend - Tracey may have won the fort, but I'm predicting a UK winner still in the womens
  • + 3
 I'm not hating on Minnaar but how can you say he is the GOAT? He is 35 and has been racing in world cups for 17 years, starting in 2000. He has 20 WCW and over 70 podiums and 3 overall titles, don't get me wrong that is absolutely amazing but take a look at Gwin's numbers. 29 years old and started world cup racing in 2008 when he was 20. He has been racing for 9
just nine years and has 16 world cup victories and 3 overall titles already. I guess all I'm trying to say is what defines GOAT? Minnaar is still competing so it's hard to call him the GOAT when he career isn't over and there are other riders that are on the same track to accomplish what he has accomplished or even exceed what he has accomplished.
  • + 4
 That's the thing. He's on the same track but not quite there yet.
Minnaar being the GOAT is due to the fact he kept winning for such a long timeframe which no other racer has accomplished yet.
Now Gwin imho sure as hell is on a way to dethrone Minnaar at some point, but you never know until it happens. Maybe he'll quit next year? Maybe his performance will drop significantly? Maybe he'll do a Ratboy?
As of now, Minnaars status is due to a lot of factors, not only the percentage of race wins in a given timeframe.
Gwins as well as Vouilloz records do hold value in their own way. You simply cannot compare those achievements with one another.
  • + 0
 @Loki87: True, you never know - look at Tiger Woods - he was a preordained GOAT who went to the scrap heap before catching Nicklaus or whoever.
  • + 2
 @Loki87: @Loki87: The thing that sways me towards Minnaar is the fact that he's won races/overall titles thru several eras (Peat, Hill, Gwin) and is a constant on the podium on any kind of track.
  • + 4
 Okay, so Greg wins at FW again, by a similar margin to last year while Gwin who trounced the field on this track last year is relegated to third in PA's predictions. Mmmmm.
  • + 4
 Oh yeah, call it bike park track or not, it's my favorite track to watch because it delivers action and interesting races all the time!
  • + 1
 I think Gwin owns this track the same way Minaar owns FW, but it's gonna be tough this year between them here, as Gwin has the raw speed (winning with no freakin chain?..), but MInaar rolls the wagons, for which this track is perfect
  • + 4
 Who's this Leo and who's his Gang anyway???
  • + 4
 #ED4RAMPAGE AND #ED4THEWIN
  • + 2
 There's only 1 Goat and that's Ricky Carmichael........Stop with all the bullshit!
  • + 2
 I think Hart is going to pull it out of the bag here
  • + 1
 So many great riders, it`s all to play for..... My monies still on Gregg, but my hearts with Danny.
  • + 2
 Strategic "Predictions"
  • + 2
 Gwin for the win!!
  • + 1
 world Cup at whistler
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