Finals Photo Epic: Time Is Money - Leogang DH World Cup 2019

Jun 9, 2019 at 16:13
by Nathan Hughes  


Photo Epic presented by Five Ten

There aren't many races on the circuit where 4 seconds off the top pace sets you back outside the top 10. Leogang is a track where the riders stack up on the same second like nowhere else and those dastardly 'what ifs' play on the mind of racers more than ever. The slightest drag of the brakes, a pedal too many here or a pedal too few there; these are the things that will have Greg Minnaar and Troy Brosnan lying awake tonight having ridden to the same second as Loic Bruni. Actually, there's no way Minaar's even trying to sleep, the bar's not going to drink itself dry.

Conditions had riders walking a tight-rope of pushing ever harder to squeeze out the milliseconds, but not so much as to overcook on an extremely dry and untrustworthy surface beneath their tyres. Indeed in many sections, the Austrian Autobahn may have been the loosest we've seen it for several seasons in terms of dirt. Taping, on the other hand, was probably the tightest riders have encountered and many were punished for their lack of precision either on the clock or with explosive crashes.

Time is money here in Leogang, just a little more than usual and it was Bruni, Hannah, Daprela and Holl making bank across the categories. However tight the times were, the cream always rises to the top. We now adjourn the competition until Andorra 3 weeks from now.

Summer days in the high mountains.
Summer days in the high mountains.

Go time in Austria.
Go time in Austria.

The only way is up. Joseph Foresta ride the elevator up to the lift for first laps.
The only way is up. Joseph Foresta ride the elevator up to the lift for first laps.

Vali Holl settling into her pre-race routine.
Vali Holl settling into her pre-race routine.

Vali Holl preparing to take back what was once hers on home turf.
Preparing to take back what was once hers on home turf.

Millie Johnset would ride to 3rd place less than second behind rival Newkirk.
Mille Johnset would ride to 3rd place, less than second behind rival, Newkirk.

Anna Newkirk in the series leader s jersey took 2nd in the junior women s race.
Anna Newkirk in the series leader's jersey took 2nd in the junior women's race.

Vali Holl is the undisputed queen of Leogang once again.
Vali Holl is the undisputed queen of Leogang once again.

Your top 3 Junior Women. 1st Vali Holl 2nd Anna Newkirk 3rd Mille Johnset
Your top 3 Junior Women. 1st Vali Holl 2nd Anna Newkirk 3rd Mille Johnset

Showing yesterday was no flash in the pan Matteo Iniquez seizing 3rd and his first podium.
Showing yesterday was no flash in the pan, Matteo Iniquez seizing 3rd and his first podium.

Kye A Hern matching his number plate with a number two spot on the podium.
Kye A'Hern matching his number plate with a number two spot on the podium.

Thibaut Daprela once again took the top spot in the junior men s race.
Thibaut Daprela soaking up the vista en route to the top spot in the junior men's race.

Thibaut Daprela is a force to be reckoned with 1.9seconds in the clear today.
Daprela is a force to be reckoned with; 1.9seconds in the clear today.

Rachel Atherton in the zone.
Rachel Atherton in the zone.

Raphaela Richter couldn t quite match her 5th place from yesterday but 6th at your first world cup is still one hell of a ride.
Raphaela Richter couldn't quite match her 5th place from yesterday but 6th at your first world cup is still one hell of a ride.

Best result yet for Kate Weatherly taking home third.
Best result yet for Kate Weatherly taking home third.

Marine Cabirou had a strong performance today. Just .2 shy of third place.
Marine Cabirou had yet another strong run today, just 0.2 shy of third place with a crash.

Nina Hoffmann has got a taste for the podium now and went one step higher than last week and into second.
Nina Hoffmann has got a taste for the podium now and went one step higher than last week and into second.

Two podiums on the bounce for Vero Widmann let s see if she can muster the three-peat.
Two podiums on the bounce for Vero Widmann, let's see if she can muster the three-peat.

A dark day for Rachel Atherton in Leogang.
A dark day for Rachel Atherton in Leogang.

With the dry weather and heat the track became unpredictably dusty and slippery in the upper sections catching many riders off guard. Rachel was one of many victims today.
With the dry weather and heat, the track became unpredictably dusty and slippery in the upper sections, catching many riders off guard. Rachel was one of many victims today.

Tracey Hannah has shown that she has thew speed all year and today it finally all came together.
Tracey Hannah has shown that she has the speed all year and today it finally all came together.

Tracey Hannah claims her third career win.
Hannah claims her fourth career win, her last being Fort Bill 2017.

The queen of Leogang this time around Tracey Hannah.
The queen of Leogang this time around, Hannah, salutes the crowd.

She s been riding with confidence all season and was finally rewarded today.
Hannah's been riding with confidence all season and it was finally rewarded today.

What a beautiful day in a beautiful place.
What a beautiful day in a beautiful place.

Aaron Gwin s mechanic giving the brake levers just a bit more feel before training.
Aaron Gwin's mechanic giving the brake levers just a bit more feel before training.

Danny Hall and Jordi Cortez review some helmet cam footage while discussing the the parts of the tracks that had Danny looking to adjust his suspension setup a bit.
Danny Hart and Jordi Cortez review some helmet cam footage while discussing the parts of the tracks that had Danny looking to adjust his suspension setup a bit.

The Canyon gang heading up to tackle the loose and dusty track one last time.
The Canyon gang heading up to tackle the loose and dusty track one last time.

Laurie Greenland putting in the final touches on his race rig. Unfortunately no amount of fine tuning can prevent an untimely crash.
Laurie Greenland putting in the final touches on his race rig. Unfortunately, no amount of fine tuning can prevent an untimely crash.

The best watching the best during the last lap of practice. The last rut before the motorway was a key point of interest.
The best watching the best during the last lap of practice. The last rut before the motorway was a key point of interest.

That s more like it from Luca Shaw. He got steadily quicker as the track went on ending up in 9th.
That's more like it from Luca Shaw. He got steadily quicker as the track went on, ending up in 9th.

Luca Shaw scrubbing the final jump into 9th.
Luca Shaw scrubbing the final jump into 9th.

Charlie Harrison sends it to seventh place.
Charlie Harrison sends it to seventh place.

Harrison Walker and Wilson watch the riders get wild on the big screen.
Harrison, Walker, and Wilson watch the riders get wild on the big screen.

Not Greenland s day out there with a massive crash up top.
Not Greenland's day out there with a massive crash up top.

Loic Bruni conducting business on and off the bike.
Loic Bruni conducting a little business on and off the bike.

What a turn around after qualifying. Loic Bruni went home scratching his head yesterday but found all the answers today.
What a turn around after qualifying. Loic Bruni went home scratching his head yesterday but found all the answers today.

Loic Bruni dropped in with ten riders to go in front of him. He mentioned having some difficulties trying to figure out the course over qualies. It s safe to say he managed just fine.
Bruni dropped in with ten riders to go in front of him and after having some difficulties trying to figure out the course over qualies, it's safe to say he managed just fine.

Loic Bruni through a sliver of light coign does into the finish area.
Bruni through a sliver of light down into the finish area.

Super Bruni absolutely flew today. No one could touch the champs time.
Super Bruni absolutely flew today. No one could touch the champs time.

Mark Wallace just missing out on that top 10 in 11th place.
Mark Wallace just missing out on that top 10 in 11th place.

Dakotah Norton went for style own the final jump after crashing further up the track.
Dakotah Norton went for style on the final jump after crashing further up the track.

It wasn't the all-out blistering run we are used to seeing from Gwin here in Austria, but it was everything he needed to do after a disastrous Fort Bill.

The 4 time Leogang destroyer 30 yards from the line.
The 4 time Leogang destroyer 30 yards from the line.

Aaron Gwin s luck has turned around a bit. 5th place today. Hopefully the momentum will carry on to Andorra.
Aaron Gwin's luck has turned around somewhat. 5th place today. Hopefully, the momentum will carry on to Andorra.

And the pressure eases for AG as his first podium on the M29 comes at round 3.

Jure Zabjek is beginning to fire on all cylinders again after last year s injuries. 10th place on the day for the Slovenian.
Jure Zabjek is beginning to fire on all cylinders again after last year's injuries. 10th place on the day for the Slovenian.

Most excellent to see Remi Thirion crushing his demons here in Leogang and riding to 15th place.
Most excellent to see Remi Thirion crushing his demons here in Leogang and riding to 15th place.

just 0.10 off the podium in 6th for Amaury Pierron.
Just 0.10 off the podium in 6th for Amaury Pierron with a knee injury potentially holding him back from top pace.

Not exactly the repeat podium performance for young Finn Iles this weekend. He ll be looking for redemption in Andorra.
Not exactly the repeat podium performance for young Finn Iles this weekend. He'll be looking for redemption in Andorra.

Mathieu Dupelle doing the final checks on Connor Fearon s sled.
Mathieu Dupelle doing the final checks on Connor Fearon's sled.

An eighth place finish after qualifying in sixth for Connor Fearon.
Fearon speed tucking with only one jump to go.

Connor Fearon did it again with yet another Austrian top 10.
Yet another Austrian top 10 for the Aussie.

Danny Hart finished win the podium for the third time in three world cups.
Danny Hart finished with the podium for the third time in three world cups.

Danny Hart tucked for speed into the finish jump. Hart placed 4th today.
Hart as tucked as can be for max speed into the finish jump.

Troy Brosnan a.k.a. Mr. Consistent dropping the landing gear. Troy finished third yet still leads the points race going into the break.
Troy Brosnan, a.k.a. Mr. Consistent, dropping the landing gear. Troy finished third yet still leads the points race going into the break.

Troy Brosnan throws it over the line for a third place finish.
Troy Brosnan throws it over the line for a third-place finish.

19th with a crash and 6 seconds of the win for Loris Vergier. There was at the very least a podium there for Vergier.
19th with a crash and 6 seconds off the win for Loris Vergier. There was at the very least a podium there for Vergier.

Disbelief for Vergier losing the front with only one and half turns to go.
Disbelief for Vergier losing the front with only one and a half turns to go.

Loris Vergier was within reach of Bruni s pace before sliding out on the last flat corner as you drop into the arena. Loic wasted no time running over and comforting him.
Loris Vergier was within reach of Bruni's pace before sliding out on the last flat corner as you drop into the arena. Loic wasted no time running over and comforting him.

Loris Vergier was quite rightly gutted. He was on podium pace but how far up he would have featured is hard to gauge.
Quite rightly the man was gutted. He was on podium pace, but exactly how far up he would have featured is hard to gauge.

Greg Minaar is always up there in Leogang but hasn t managed a win since his 2012 gold. Today he so very nearly wen the distance.
Greg Minnaar is always up there in Leogang but hasn't managed a win since his 2012 gold. Today he so very nearly wen the distance.

It was oh so tense in the hot seat but the lengthy wait was worth it in the end for Loic Bruni.
It was oh-so tense in the hot seat, but the long wait was worth it in the end for Loic Bruni.

Greg Minnaar almost had it. At 38 years old his riding is as impressive as ever. Second place today.
Minnaar almost had it. At 38 years old his riding is as impressive as ever.

Win number 2 of the season for Loic Bruni.
Win number 2 of the season for Loic Bruni.

Pumped on second by just a fraction the GOAT celebrates. Better believe he s back.
Pumped on second by just a fraction, the GOAT celebrates. Better believe he's back.

Good mates Bruni and Minaar hug it out infront of the crowds and cameras.
Good mates Bruni and Minaar hug it out in front of the crowds and cameras.

Let's see what the Gwizard can pull out heading to the next round in Andorra with a bit more time for his ankle.

Two absolute legends and tip-top sportsmen.

The fastest men in Leogang
The fastest men in Leogang in front of the masses.

Never one to hold back with the celebrations Bruni shares the champers.
Never one to hold back with the celebrations, Bruni shares the champers.

Not the weekend Amaury Pierron was looking for after a heavy crash and the resulting knee pain. 6th was damage limitation as he drops further behind Troy Brosnan in the overall. You can guarantee he ll come out fighting in Andorra.
Not the weekend Amaury Pierron was looking for after a heavy crash and the resulting knee pain. 6th was damage limitation as he drops further behind Troy Brosnan in the overall. You can guarantee he'll come out fighting in Andorra.

Cheers Leogang. What a day.
What a day up against the clock.

Bottoms up Loic.
Bottoms up, Loic.

Words to live by Loic stayed true to them today.
Words to live by, Loic stayed true to them today.

Tracey Hannah once wears the leaders jersey after three rounds of racing.
Tracey Hannah once again wears the leaders jersey after three rounds of racing.

Moir and old teamies Harrison and Lucas talk the talk after two very different weeks of mixed fortunes at the races.
Moir and old teamies, Harrison and Lucas talk the talk after two very different weeks of mixed fortunes at the races. Onto the next.

Austria you ve been good to us. Time to fly away home.
Austria, you've been good to us. Time to fly away home.



MENTIONS: @natedh9 @davetrumpore @mdelorme @andy9 @rossbellphoto @FiveTen




71 Comments

  • + 47
 A hell of a season thus far.
  • + 28
 Between Bruni, Pierron and Vergier, it's a hell of season for the French
  • + 19
 I have trouble with super high speed sections more than with steep or gnar. Call leogang bike parky if you want but it looks damn intimidating!
  • + 21
 That is one top tier men's podium! All legends.
  • + 21
 No one has said anything about Dakotas gap to the walk ride. Spectacular.
  • + 1
 Wall*
  • + 2
 @Pisgah4life: I saw that last year and thought wow. That was unreal. Missed it this year. I must have been wandering around at that second.
  • + 1
 @jaame: put your phone out of reach when watching dh. ;-)
  • + 4
 @xice: if only red bull could send someone round to put my kids to bed when watching DH!
  • + 1
 Wyn has a POV video of it on his Instagram
  • + 2
 @geeKayy: holy balls
  • + 1
 When he was still a privateer, he once crashed directly next to me after slipping his front wheel on some slick wood on the second wall ride during a practice run. I dragged him out of the course, badly bruised and shaked, he still somehow managed to ride finals (not even a "bad" result if I remember correctly)....
  • + 13
 Troy is Mr. Consistent.. You got yo think he's going to end up at the top of the podium at least once this season.
  • + 8
 If Gwin doesn't get the overall (not looking good for him) I hope Troy can pull it off. His consistency over the years is impressive.
  • + 0
 @westeast: I think Gwin is done myself. I doubt he will win many more races, if any. The momentum has heavily shifted away from him and onto other riders over the past 18 months. He doesn't even look to be close to a win to me.
Maybe he will prove me wrong, like Minnaar has done. Let's hope so. It would be good to see him win the world championship at some point.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Honestly I was thinking the same. Seems like some riders peak & then get injured have a hard time getting back on the top step. I thought the same with Rachel but she proved us wrong. Maybe Gwin will do the same.
  • + 4
 @jaame:

Gwin was less than 2.5 back, got a podium, and qualified 2nd in round 1. I think he's pretty much on pace. The days of domination are gone tho with such insanely fast young talent going balls to the wall every race. I guess that's what you're saying though.

I'm predicting 3 Frenchies in the top 4 come September with Brosnan thrown in there somewhere. He's got as good a chance as any ending up in the top spot overall.

Awesome season so far! 4 more weeks now..... Frown
  • + 3
 To me it looks like Gwin hasn't figured out the M29 yet. Flashes of speed, but nothing consistent yet.
  • + 1
 @salespunk: we will have to wait and see. He used to be a few seconds up on second place, now he's always a few seconds down on second place. That's a big shift in his relative pace.
  • + 8
 Some of the sends on the last jump were out of this world...top one for me was Kerr whipping to flat on what must have been a 120ft of hellsend ahaha
  • + 4
 Almost dropped my beer when I saw that. Mental!
  • + 7
 Not sure who captions the photos (author of the article or the photographer), but Tracey Hannah has four career World Cup wins (Schladming 2007, Pietermaritzberg 2012, Fort William 2017, and now Leogang 2019), not three.
  • + 9
 And I think Greg Minnaar is 37, not 38.
  • + 9
 Great shots and fantastic to see Tracey on the top spot!
  • + 2
 It's been a decent while that we've had to wait all the way until the top qualifier crossed the finish line to determine who won men's. Hope it keeps up, makes for quite exciting racing when the entire race is still up in the air til the last man crosses the last line.
  • + 6
 Australia says Hello!!
  • + 0
 "Rachel Atherton in the zone"

So sitting there with both hands on a cell phone is being in the zone? So when I ride by the bus stop I can get excited to see everyone IN THE ZONE? When I go to the motor vehicle department I know I'm in a special place because everyone there is IN THE ZONE? Or when I'm at a concert and the band isn't playing a hit song I can look around and see all those people IN THE ZONE? Or when I'm driving and my wife isn't even looking at the scenery I can know in my heart that she is IN THE ZONE...and not screwing around with social media or games online?

Oh...ok.
  • + 3
 Aaron Gwin's mechanic using his DIY kit for upgrading basic brake levers to Hope brake levers.
  • + 3
 Hey, what's happening with Atwill? Used to see a lot more from him last season.
  • + 1
 He's amazing on a bike. When he's in the zone he can make it do anything at will.
  • + 3
 seems to be media/social media .. seeing almost nothing from Atwill, Blenki, Brendog, couple others that I cant think of right now..
  • + 2
 @laxguy: Blenki back home after Fort William about to be a dad, and Brendan out with shoulder injury the past two rounds
  • + 1
 @laxguy: There's a Brendog vid on the front page now
  • + 3
 To all the photographers: Great job!!! Awesome pictures!
  • + 3
 Does anybody else hate airpods?
  • + 4
 Hated them... until I got some
  • + 5
 What is an airpod?
  • + 2
 How do you care of that?!
  • + 3
 Since when Danny Hart wears Troy Lee helmets?!
  • + 3
 I thought that too. Madison must have picked up distribution of them in the UK. I always thought those Lazer helmets looked a bit unstylish.
  • + 1
 He's been running them since beginning of the year/offseason.
  • + 2
 On dry tracks is it better to qualify lower in the field so your race run isn't on such a blown out track?
  • + 2
 Interesting strategy. Could even use that for when rain is forecast late in the day? Do you get points for qualification runs?
  • + 2
 @jeremiahwas: yes but not nearly as many as for the win/podium
  • + 2
 Top qualifier gets 50-points. Race winner gets 200-points. So it is well worth going for it in qualies, since an early start in the final does not guarantee any more points.
  • + 2
 How many 10th/sec did not being able to take that blown out line in the woods section cost Greg etc. At the end of the day no one cares if you qually first and don't win.
  • + 1
 @AntN: no, no one cares but the world cup is a series in which the rider with the most points at the end wins. Qualifying first and then finishing third or fourth at every race would probably be enough to win the overall. And people do care about that, more than individual race wins in an inconsistent season.
  • + 2
 @jaame: good point, I guess that why they have points for qually to stop silly buggers being played.
  • + 3
 @AntN: that's exactly it. They want the fast guys in the last ten starters every race.
  • + 2
 No Denim Destroyer coverage?
  • + 2
 French national anthem.... AGIN'!
  • + 2
 Loic seems to have a dhr ii rear as well?
  • - 1
 The mens podium photo, Danny Hart has some serious moose knuckle going on. WTF dude!
  • + 13
 You're the one looking
  • + 0
 Careful with what you say. You never know who you might offend. Danny might be going thru chemical or personal changes and wants to break the barriers in “men’s” racing.
  • + 1
 What happened to Finn?
  • + 1
 *Escalator
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