Video: Danny Hart Previews the 2020 Lousa World Cup Downhill Track

Dec 5, 2018 at 1:52
by James Smurthwaite  

In 2020 Lousa, Portugal will be joining the World Cup party and Danny Hart has been over for some winter sun on his Saracen Myst 29er.

Although it has never been on the World Cup circuit before, Fox traditionally held their pre-season testing here so a lot of the riders will know it well. It also hosted the European Championships last year (won by Francisco Pardal and Monika Hrastnik) and will do again next year, so there's plenty of opportunity to get practice laps in. It's hard to tell much from a helmet cam but in terms of structure, the track is reminiscent of Vallnord with a flowy, fast top section that gives way to steeper rutted corners to the bottom.

bigquotesTake a run down the World Cup track here in Lousa. I have come out here because the weather back home was really starting to do my head right in. So I came and joined Brett Wheeler of Wheelers MTB Holidays. I have been riding my Saracen Myst 29, it has been good to ride on a different style track to what we have back home. I am made up with the 29er and think we can go even further and make it even better as time goes by leading up to the World Cup season.Danny Hart



129 Comments

  • + 108
 I love how it looks much more like a local trail than all the other wc tracks
  • + 27
 yes, but its steep, very steep! Wink
  • + 24
 I was thinking the same thing. its like seeing a model without her makeup all done
  • + 2
 Angles video in Croatia, the track looked pretty raw before it was race ready. During Dannys run I was curious of what they might change. I bet a lot of those self supported berms will be get to blown out. Also, I hope they keep the line options.
  • + 4
 Yes! Hopefully they keep it raw and rutted kike that. Looks like a luge for most part
  • + 1
 I believe the track actually continues but I do have mixed feelings about the last 1 minute..
youtu.be/4NiW5htwKyY?t=260
  • + 62
 Nice enduro stage. Martin Maes is gonna love this.
  • + 38
 ...Aaaaand queue the same crap as was spouted about Croatia last year based on some helmet cam footage. Have been there and ridden the parts a mere mortal like me can manage, and while it is a very different beast from the Hafjell WC track in nature, it is still very much a full on a DH track. We should all know much better by now than to pass judgement on helmet cam footage alone. That gap at 2:04 for example is a very very different thing in person.
  • + 42
 Gotta love how you are able to judge a track based on some footage. Kinda reminds me of what was written about Andorra back when they moved to the current venue. I know that track and I can assure you that 90% of the keyboard warriors here on PB wouldn't even be to walk it, let alone ride it.
  • + 23
 I'd also add that I'd bet Maes can be a top 10 (or even podium) threat at any WC track.

As for the track itself, I was gonna say I'd like to take a crack at it, but based on the above, it sounds like I'd be melting rotors and hiking/falling down certain parts. Sounds legit to me!
  • + 4
 Keyboard warriors lmfao !!!!
  • + 9
 @fferreiraleite:
Just thought the same thing....we've been there three times, and this track is just nuts...even compared to tracks we have here like schladming,lenzerheide.....
It's gonna be a hell of a wc race,for sure!
  • + 8
 Didn't look like much pedaling to me.
  • + 3
 @SonofBovril: only the very top out of the start gate is flat so it makes it hard to clear the first couple of jumps then it ramps up and up and up, sick track for a race, I can’t wait to see it taped!
  • + 7
 @fferreiraleite: i should hope that 90% of people on pb couldnt ride it, it is a world cup after all.
  • + 8
 @motojames: Judging by all the hate I’d say pinkbikers are all super qualified World Cup racers. Lol.
  • + 2
 @spoochypants: i feel like everyone needs to go to a world cup track in person after watching a helmet cam, its insane how much the gopro smooths out and flattens the track.

i watched the claudio helmet cam of mont sainte anne before going and thought some of the gaps looked mellow and fun to ride, but when you get there everything is 3 times bigger and two times steeper then on video. on video the gap minaar did last year looks cool but in person its incomprehensible. now I know anything that looks moderately steep on POV is insane IRL
  • + 1
 Didn't you notice that the trees in most places are NOT perpendicular to the ground?
  • + 2
 Looks too smooth and too many berms for Enduro, once you cut your teeth in Dh you can move up to Enduro these days Smile
  • + 2
 @spoochypanta Yeah the comments on Hafjell track many years ago were when I stopped giving any credibility to people judging stuff based on a video... i am surprised this still goes on.
  • + 1
 Looked like quite the suspension and body workout to me. That should be a good race.
  • + 31
 Is he still filming with a tomtom or is this the new gopro? Weather seems to be good, quality is just bad.
  • + 50
 Looks like he filmed it with a potato
  • + 16
 Nokia 3310 pro
  • + 8
 @DasRadcon: Maybe a Potakia 3310?

I'll show myself out.
  • - 6
flag Bergsmannen (Dec 5, 2018 at 8:42) (Below Threshold)
 @chyu: ????
  • - 7
flag Bergsmannen (Dec 5, 2018 at 8:43) (Below Threshold)
 @chyu: My thumb up became 4 ?
  • + 6
 @jackalope: GoProtato Hero 4
  • + 4
 @DasRadcon: Thats me!
  • + 15
 Fox has been going there for a couple of seasons now to do pre-season testing, my guess is it`s not just because of the weather.
  • + 10
 I mean, you all do have pretty great weather, food, wine, ecosystems, and cities/towns.

The mountain biking must be decent, I guess
  • + 3
 I think Hugo might be on to something here
  • + 2
 Back in the days when both Danny and the track were younger. So fresh, so naive, so virgin
www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgG3BUycNdo
  • + 10
 For all of you that are saying that this track is not good enough for a WC, then you should try to explain why many of the WC riders come here to train during pre season. Also this footage doesn't do justice to the track, I have been there multiple times and can say that is quite a gnarly track.
  • + 1
 The track actually looks mint, people are holding on to a view of what Dh once was when it was raw, gnarly, rocky, lack of flow and berms. Personally where it is now looks much better for the viewer and is more fun for the rider.
  • + 12
 keyboard riders gonna hate , pros gonna love...

and i bet all my bikes that all this haters bitchs cant make a full run in this track Big Grin
  • + 5
 Let's get that in writing please, I love this track, but for all your bikes? I'll troll a little and take a vacation to go ride
  • - 8
flag dragan-diogoboaventura (Dec 5, 2018 at 11:30) (Below Threshold)
 @patrickbatemanworldtour89 someone ask you somenthing ?! come back to your pokeball...
  • + 1
 What you got? I’ll giver...
Nah, not gonna make that gap. Sorry. You win.
  • + 1
 I can't. Cheers from Castanheira de pêra if you remember.
  • + 8
 Looked like too many berms at top , but then the lower half looked freakin MINT!, Roots, Fresh Dirt, Tight Turns, looks like its gonna be a cracker
  • + 4
 The top section looks tacked on to get it to WC length. Once you cross the road things seem to get real.
  • + 8
 @nouseforaname: the top section is similar to Andorra and Val di Sole . Flat out fast to ease you in to the absolute carnage that awaits after the bridge. This track is new school and old school. The newer berms bike park track for the first minute then tech and gnar for the next 2 minutes and then what you don’t see is the last 1 minute 20 that the Louzan park are building with both big fun jumps and finishing with steep to bring you into the finish arena. The track will be close to 4min30 when finished.
  • + 1
 @Wheelersmtbholidays: Nice, can't wait to see it. It's definitely not fair to judge an unfinished track.
  • + 1
 @Wheelersmtbholidays: Is it similar to Andorra, I hope not as that is all about the pedal and some tight ledges.
  • + 9
 When will the World Cup finally return to western Canada?
  • + 5
 there were rumors this summer that a world cup track as being flagged and planned somewhere in creekside
  • + 6
 @calconniff: I'm pretty sure that was an article on pinkbike.. I'de say more than a rumour.
  • + 2
 @gnarnaimo: yeah there was even a little video of it being scouted and they said please dont try to find it haha
  • + 1
 @santacruz-ing: A few people posted photos of working on the flagging and line - definitely being built just not sure Whistler needs another circus in town!
  • + 6
 At first I thought "the natural tech" dudes are gonna poopoo this track...then he chops down off the side cliff. \m/

I like it can't wait to see the race.
  • + 3
 What cliff? Do you mean the small drop at 2:00? I'm sure they'll put in some bigger jumps come race day but there's basically no gnar. Definitely steep though racing it should be down near suicidal.
  • + 4
 @friendlyfoe: “Small drop”. I’d love to see you hit it. LOL

www.pinkbike.com/photo/15730655
  • + 2
 @friendlyfoe: from about 2:05 to 2:30 looks pretty hectic ....not berms and jumps like the top section.
  • + 0
 @fferreiraleite: I'm pretty sure the jumps they'll build will be way bigger than that.
  • + 1
 @AntN: Doing a full speed race run is always insane, but none of that looks challenging compared to the harder tracks.
  • + 1
 the guys that say this is easy or no dh, i bet they would shit their pants ahah i have been to andorra track, and its easier than this in one lousã, this track is steep guys, very steep and with killer roots, you have no ideia by the cam footage.
  • + 4
 Looks like a really nice track. Probably also a lot steeper than the GoPro footage makes you think.
  • + 2
 Looks really good to me too, love the steep turns, love how it's more raw and local looking.
  • + 1
 That trail looks like an absolute blast. The last time I said that about helmet cam footage of a DH course, said course turned out to be one of the courses Luca and Neko trained on.... It took me four tries to make it to the bottom of said course without crashing.... Said course broke three collarbones on one jump in an hour on race day....
  • + 1
 Because it was dangerous? Yeah I remember that being discussed as well
  • + 4
 Oh dear so many people with no idea what this track is like! The tracks are wild! Keyboard warriors!
  • + 5
 2020? Still plenty of time to turn it into a bike park then
  • + 1
 So little you can actually tell with POV footage. Higher frame rate needed to be setup on the camera. But GoPro stuff makes things look way smoother than they are. That being said the track actually looks freshly cut and blown out at the same time. It looks soft like it was dug last week as in roughed out, unfinished. But then parts look eroded. Odd. Maybe that’s just the flavor of it?
  • + 1
 Nice video. I can’t help but think of the poor guys that don’t get the opportunity to ride these tracks before race week. So impressed they can show up, learn, and ride these tracks at speed... all over the course of a race week.
  • + 1
 So when are these WC tracks actually gonna be more like hardline? I understand that the tracks are way harder than they look on a head cam, but I feel hardline is one of the only DH races that actually pushes the limits of what the riders are capable of. Since it's the worlds best DH racers that ride WC's, I this they should at least make the tracks a bit more like hardline.
  • + 1
 Hardline is like a progression of old tracks from back in the day, its not really a race track as such for 2018/2019. Its great to have a showcase of what is possible, see the top guys struggle on the rocky sections as they are not flow sections and also see some top guys pull out, but people then get injured and watching someone go flat out at MSA is far better than someone nadger down bits of hardline.

Its all riding in the end of the day, there should be 1 super tech Dh race in the calendar though I think. Like Hardline, something that us normal people couldnt ride.
  • + 1
 This is the place where it looks familiar but once you go there and ride it you will be real amazed and bring back to reality where your setup it just sucks ,cause the terrain is a f*cking nightmare to the suspension and the rider it is almost like where the f*ck do those ruts and rocks and ,it’s just scary cause it makes you gonna go fast but at the same time wanna catch you ,it’s just very peculiar,can’t wait to 2020
  • + 4
 Make no mistake, Lousã roots will try to kill you at any time.
  • + 4
 Nice, looks like a proper Track.
  • + 0
 If Danny can smash down it at that speed on an uplift/training day then the majority of world cup riders will too. i dont know the track so its hard to judge BUT I want to see more techy tracks that even the top pro's struggle to get down clean. They are the best riders in the world, their skills should be put to the test, to me thats not just who can stay off the brakes down a 60kph piste
  • + 1
 This trail looks super fun - for me, as a civilian on my enduro bike. Admittedly cams don't show it all but this doesn't look too testing at all, especially not for the pros.
  • + 1
 I thought I read some thing a few weeks ago that the uci would not let 29ers race next season, but you can use mixed wheel sizes for the 1st time
  • + 1
 I hate seeing videos like this when i am at work it makes me wanna ride SOOOOO BADLY !!!! Such good riding, Such a good trail, and Such good conditions!
  • + 3
 Still no comments about Danny's balls....I'm surprised!
  • + 2
 ...he is completely in control, but i still think "stay on your bike, Danny!!"
  • + 2
 Very loamy - if it rains, it'll be a lot slower and one heck of a rutted mud fest.
  • + 5
 www.facebook.com/amaurypierronmtb/videos/lousa-ta%C3%A7a-de-portugal-downhill/1612485718799869

it's not the exact same full track, but it looks like than in the wet
  • + 2
 @tiagomano: Seem a very different track, with decent footage!
  • + 2
 @Becciu: it's a variation of the track, cross the bridge and pass next to the road and the track diverges .
either way, that was to show how it is ie wet as it is the same hill,with the same dirt.
but this far ahead they can end up running either track or doing new sections, i think that 2019 will be a hosting year for the European championship again, as well as a national race, so there will be a lot of racing there until then, with a lot of pros attending
  • + 2
 @tiagomano: yeah, i guessed it; my comment was just to point the fact that, while in crappy Danny's footage I can't really feel the steep (only guess), in Amaury's (much better video) it's much clearer that it's steep as fk
  • + 1
 Get him a GoPro or Rylo sponsorship... 2005 called and wants the gopro 2 back... ugh, painful to watch... can't tell if that is corn on the cob all over the trail or what.
  • + 2
 Ah yes, here we go again. Let's remember what people were saying about Losinj this time last year.
  • + 7
 I always suck losinjes when my throat hurts
  • + 3
 It’s a Bastard of a track
  • + 2
 Yeah nice holes and gullies all over. Looks easy at his pace, but I bet it’s rough as fook with any more than one mistake!
  • + 1
 hahahahahah cool track for sure, mid way gets very steep and technical but what was with the sudden ending?
Battery life gone? Good fun!
  • + 1
 Hi nikoniko. There was no need to show anymore. There is still over 1minute of track at the end of this video but the club of louzan park are building some big jumps and gnarly steep to bring you to the finish line. So we was not able to ride the rest of the track.
  • + 1
 Oh Ok that makes sense now! Thank you buddy!
  • + 3
 Only a Hardtail category this year though!
  • + 1
 Bridge looks fucking horrible. The mid section that opens up is going to be interesting. Speeds there will be quite high.
  • + 1
 It’s a tough old track fast and long just wait it will be a favourite with the riders and a hell of a World Cup for sure
  • + 2
 Where are all the rocks??
  • + 1
 Looks pretty cool for me, steep, jumpy and dont hâve ah the moment this lifted look alike face!
  • + 2
 The track looks fast, or at least when Danny rides it.
  • + 2
 ill be seeing these guys without red bull tv!!
  • + 1
 Looks amazing; perhaps those suggesting that it looks a bit on the flat side haven't watched 1:50 onwards?
  • + 1
 is it just me but Brett Wheeler is missing...here...on the video??
  • + 1
 Yeah not quite the same as trying to keep up with Brett.
  • + 2
 @oldfaith: thanks. I was trying to keep up with Danny. After 2 minutes he was pulling away
  • + 1
 Bridge remains or they ll close the road for the race?
  • + 1
 the bridge it's there since they build the track, so should be there for the race
  • + 1
 that camera is prety terible i cant see shit
  • + 1
 Seems like smacking one of those trees is a distinct possibility !
  • + 1
 MAES
  • + 0
 I mean uhhhhh that´s it?
  • + 1
 @MrFen nope. There is still another 1.30 of track that is being built to bring you to the finish. Don’t let the camera fool you into thinking this is an easy track. Andorra is the closest of this track. Fast, steep, long and gnarly
  • + 0
 maes going to ride his enduro bike on that track.
  • + 1
 Huh...
  • + 1
 Donwhill
  • + 1
 Leogang?..
  • + 0
 I've seen better trail maintenance at Plattekill.
  • + 1
 Schladming return
  • - 1
 That's what a World Cup track looks like in 2019 huh.
  • + 2
 2020
  • - 2
 looks fast....but it looks too easy for WC track....any way it will be sick to watch high speed DH race....
  • - 1
 Bring out the big wheels for this track boys and girls!
  • - 3
 Might as well take that asphalt road down...
  • - 3
 Flatter and wider than a EWS track....weak
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