Practice - Meribel DH World Cup 7

Aug 21, 2014 at 17:17
by Nathan Hughes  
The first riders of the day line up at the start.
  The first riders of the day line up at quite possibly the most idyllic start line the World Cup Series has to offer.

Look Ma no hands Jill Kintner heads up on the first run with her bike right beside her. Riders share the seat with their bikes though there were no reports of bikes coming off the chair.
  Look Ma, no hands! Jill Kintner heads up to get started with her bike half on top of her. Riders share the seat with their rides, but there's no reports of anyone's bike getting off early. Yet.

Throughout the day hang gliders lazily circled above the track.
  Hashtag morning commute.

Neil Stewart taking the high line in the roots.
  After the classic tentative start to the race week, things took a turn for the rowdy... Neil Stewart takes the hospital line in the roots,

Ratboy was fastest in timed training today. He seems unstoppable right now.
  Before checking the times, Ratboy seemed to think his TT run was less than average... In the end it was the fastest descent of the day. He looks unstoppable right now.

Smith boosts the earlier rock lip to clear the farther in a rad maneuver a fair few riders tried out today on the steep and loose open section.
  Smith boosts the earlier rock lip to clear the farther, in a rad maneuver a fair few riders tried out today on the steep and loose open section.

No clues from today s training as to Loic s love level for Meribel but we won t be surprised if he puts his run of bad luck to bed tomorrow with a top qualifier.
  No clues from today's training as to Loic's love level for Meribel, but we won't be surprised if he puts his run of bad luck to bed tomorrow with a top qualifier.

Rachel Atherton and Taylor Vernon take a quick peek down track before heading out on their first run.
  Rachel Atherton and Taylor Vernon take a quick peek down track before heading out on their first run.

Just a kiwi smashing a corner.
  Just a kiwi smashing a corner. Berm Roosting Thursday always follows Wheelie Wednesdays for Wyn.

Innes Graham is back after a long season out with injury.
  Good to see Mondraker's Innes Graham is back after a long season out with injury.

Rock hucking 101 in the upper bit of track. The course almost has everything on it. From Steep rock sections loose corners roots and even mud.
  Rock hucking 101 with Ben Cathro in the upper section. The course almost has just about everything going on it... Steep rock sections, dry loose corners, roots, big drops, wet mud, off-camber and a even couple of little creek gaps.

Harry Heath dropping in from the start.
  Harry Heath dropping in from the start.

Sam Hill rounding out the third fastest down today and absolutely looking pinned on this track.
  Sam Hill hucking into third fastest down today and absolutely looking pinned on this track, overtaking all kinds of folk during TT

Loic Bruni was fully on the gas today.
  Bruni was looking deadly in woods and up top in particular, but surely has even more up his sleeve.

Your team.
  There's team Bruni and there's team Bruno... and the latter roots for Sam Hill.

Greg Williamson
  Greg Williamson rounds out what has been a super strong Trek World Racing team for 2014 and will be keen to lay down another top result before champs in Norway two weeks from now.

Steve peat was charging hard today. He looked comfortable and fast on the new course.
  Steve peat was charging hard all day long, looking fast and comfortable, running trains on the new course with Ratboy.

Peaty
  Peaty is unprotected for the first time in just about ever... No messing tomorrow for Old School.

Aaron Gwin dropping in on the french North Shore.
  Aaron Gwin dropping in on the French North Shore. Gwin's been mixing up the main line and the insides, carrying amazing speed in some sections while struggling in others.

Loris Vergier is on a new bike and home soil chasing a win this weekend and the Jr. overall title.
  Loris Vergier is on a new bike and home soil chasing a win this weekend and the Jr. overall title.

Talor Vernon throws a little style into the road gap. Vernon was fastest in timed practice today.
  Taylor Vernon throws a little style into the road gap. Vernon was looking insanely quick and went fastest in timed practice today.

Taylor Vernon was fastest in times training for the Jr. Men and is coming off of a win in Windham. Though a long shot mathematically he could still take the overall from Luca and Loris.
  Coming off of a win in Windham, mathematically, Taylor could still take the overall from Luca and Loris.

Tahnee loves a classic Alps descent with Morzine for a home. Look for the series number 6 to chase down the big guns tomorrow.
  Tahnee loves a classic Alps descent with Morzine for a home. Look for the series number 6 to chase down the big guns tomorrow.

Just 70 points down Emmeline Ragot wants nothing more than to win both the qualis and the finals here this weekend.
  Just 70 points down, Emmeline Ragot wants nothing more than to win both the qualies and the finals here this weekend to rob the crown from the English in her home territories.

Rachel Atherton dives in on her first run. Ultimately she was fastest in timed training.
  Rachel Atherton dives in on her first run. Ultimately, she was fastest in timed training.

Danny Hart getting twisted in the rocks. Hart said he hadn t walked the track untill this morning and he still had a line or two to work on but that he was loving the track.
  Danny Hart getting twisted in the rocks. Hart said he hadn't walked the track until this morning, and he still had a line or two to work on, but he's loving the terrain and getting down to business.

Greg Minnaar roles out to the start line with his superfan in tow.
  Greg Minnaar rolls out to the start line with his superfan in tow.

Remi Thirion was ridden and tested here before and it certainly showed today. He was easily the first one up to speed and was charging everywhere. Remi is certainly the wildcard pick for this weekend.
  Remi Thirion has ridden and tested here before and it certainly showed today. He was easily the first one up to speed and was charging everywhere. Remi is certainly the wildcard pick for this weekend.


Meribel is a proper multi-line track. The main racing line is 10 feet to Troy Brosnan s right as he chooses to straighten the corners via one very rooty off camber.
  Meribel is a proper multi-line track. The main racing line is 10 feet to Troy Brosnan's right as he chooses to straighten the corners via one very rooty off camber.

With multiple lines everywhere and no clear fastest line teammates could be seen riding in trains all day as they tested the different roots through each section.
  With multiple lines everywhere and no clear "fastest" line, teammates could be seen riding in trains all day as they tested the different routes through each section.

Sam Blenkinsop looked good all day and his 5th in timed training proves that he is definitely on the pace here in Meribel.
  Sam Blenkinsop drops the mossy boulder huck for fifth in timed training. He is definitely capable of anything here in Meribel.

Blenky was taking things relatively easy today by his standards but rest assured he ll be ripping out throats tomorrow afternoon for qualies.
  Blenky took things relatively easy most of the morning, by his standards, but rest assured he'll be ripping out throats tomorrow afternoon for qualies.

Remi Thirion drops into the final open section of the track. The valley floor below gives some perspective as to how steep the track is.
  A pinned Remi Thirion drops into the final open section of the track, all guns blazing. The valley floor below gives some perspective as to how steep the track really is.

Riders covered in dirt from multiple crashes was a common sight to see as the track pushed the riders limits today.
  Riders covered in dirt from multiple crashes was a common sight to see as the all-new venue pushed riders' limits to breaking point.

Tracy Hannah hot off her Crankworx Candian Open win last week and aiming for more.
  Tracy Hannah hot off her Crankworx Canadian Open win last week and aiming for more.

The biggest complaint riders had today was not being able to see where they were going in the woods. A mix of harsh sun spots and dark ground made spotting lines and slick roots extremely difficult at race speed.
  The biggest complaint riders had today was not being able to see where they were going in the woods. A mix of harsh sun spots and dark ground made spotting lines and slick roots extremely difficult at race speed.

Outside with Danny Hart or inside with Brook MacDonald. Which was faster wasn t entirely clear.
  Outside with Danny Hart or inside with Brook MacDonald. Which was faster wasn't entirely clear.

Or take option three and just send it right down the middle like Gwin and Minnaar.
  Or take option three and just send it right down the middle, like Gwin and Minnaar.

Let s hope Elliot and crew make it up on the hill tomorrow. Their van broke down again at the base this evening and are still unsure of it s situation.
  Let's hope Elliot and crew make it up on the hill tomorrow. Their van broke down (again) at the base this evening and they are still unsure of it's situation.

Gee Atherton was second in timed training today. No doubt he wants on the podium at the last race of the season.
  Second in TT, Gee Atherton, leads out Mark Beaumont in the first quarter.

While young guns have raise eyebrows lately Meribel is track where experience could really pay off. Line choice and speed discipline will be key here and Gee Atherton is a master of putting it together as the saying goes. He ll want to lay a tumultuous season to rest with a win in the final round.
  While young guns have raised eyebrows lately, Meribel is a track where experience should really pay off. Line choice and speed discipline will be key here and Gee Atherton is a master of 'putting it together', as the saying goes. He'll want to lay a tumultuous season to rest with a win in the final round.

Brendog
  Brendog was loving life today just as expected. Will he be loving the results sheet on judgement day tomorrow?

The Sam Hill Line vs. The Main Line. Sam was seen chopping whole sections of track off today that in a race could equate to some big time savings.
  The Sam Hill Line vs. The Main Line. Sam was seen chopping whole sections of track off today that in a race could equate to some big time savings.

Windham didn t go Sam Hill s way but the track here is just his style. Could we see him take another win here
  Windham didn't go Sam Hill's way, but the track here is just his style. Steep, rooty and balls to the wall moto.

What can you spot in this photo that s unusual Just one hint... Troy has been learning something from Sam Hill.
  What can you spot in this photo that's a little unusual? Just one hint... Troy seems to have been learning something from his old mentor.

Flashes of unruly brilliance once again today from big Mac Brook a definite podium threat here in France.
  Flashes of unruly brilliance once again today from big Mac Brook, a definite podium threat here in France.

Brook MacDonald boosts for the crowd. The amount of spectators on hand today was really rather impressive. Horns and noise makers of all kinds could be heard nearly the whole way down the track.
  MacDonald boosts for the crowd. The amount of spectators on hand today was really tres impressive... Horns and noise makers of all kinds could be heard most of the way down the track.

An up and coming Patrick Thome shreds the golden hour for team France.
  An up-and-coming Patrick Thome shreds the golden hour for team France.

Cut spikes and fresh brown dirt. We wish this was more a common sight than an endangered species at the World Cup level.
  Cut spikes and fresh brown dirt. We wish this was more a common sight than an endangered species at the World Cup level.

It s winner take all this weekend between Luca Shaw and Loris Vergier.
  It's winner-takes-all this weekend between American Luca Shaw and French Loris Vergier.

Seconds place in juniors at Mont St Anne it s Evil Jack Iles riding sideways at sunset.
  Second place in juniors at Mont St Anne, it's Evil Jack Iles riding sideways at sunset.

The pressure may well be on Manon but she has held the 1 plate most of the season so we reckon she will handle it just fine.
  The pressure may well be on Manon, but she has held the #1 plate most of the season so we reckon she will handle it just fine.

A special new something adorns the good ship Carpenter. Apparently we may say no more at this point...
  A special new something adorns the good ship Carpenter. Apparently we may say no more at this point...

After a long day and riders taking many more runs that usual it is going to be a long night for the mechanics.
  After a long day and riders taking many more runs than usual, it's going to be a long night for the mechanics.

Alright y all... Time to get washed up for business time tomorrow. Sleep tight
  Alright y'all... Time to get washed up for business time tomorrow. Sleep tight!


Trailforks.com


87 Comments

  • 105 3
 This is going to be the best race of the season !!!! Yeeeeweeeee Cant wait !!!!!!!!! Ratboy Vs Hill !!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 1
 That's it buddy the two best kicking @ss
  • 21 3
 +1 for Hill !
  • 5 1
 Danny Hart to be a shock contender i reckon as well, that top 3 will make me vary happy
  • 6 0
 Flat medal for pedal!
  • 3 1
 oh yeah Hill and Rat boy...both will pin it... my vote is for SAM!!! let it rip
  • 3 0
 Simmonds on top for quallies
  • 1 0
 Cant look into quali's to much when you look at the split times Hill had the 4th fastest split 1, 2nd fastest split 2 then let right off and has a 55th split 3 3rd split alone times Ratboy 41st Thirion 99th Gwin 82nd Hart 79th Seems none of the big guns wanted to be last down and let off the last split makes tomorrow interesting
  • 2 0
 Ignore me, what i thought was third split was actually speed trap, im talking crap
  • 2 0
 Gwin, Brosnan, Atherton, there are like 10 guys who could realistically win this weekend. I think it is hasty to pick just two.
  • 47 0
 Troy on flats huh...interesting.
  • 8 1
 Not a bad idea seeing as how all the straightest lines down are covered in slick, off camber roots. Dabbing the foot is going to be well worth it risking those lines.
  • 6 1
 Plus not much pedaling involved on this either. I'm surprised more people who are comfortable ripping flats during past races aren't rocking them. Who knows on this though, it's a crapshoot and it's awesome.
  • 37 8
 Flat pedals win medals
  • 2 1
 What I can't tell is if he's on flats in the picture higher up... Looks to me like to switched halfway through the day.
  • 5 0
 Hope Gee's brought his this time...
  • 1 0
 Troy switched the shoe are different, the one he had on the first pic were the clip ones ;-)
  • 3 3
 Where are the Renthal carbon bars? I thought they had been released now. None of the Renthal riders have them I don't think. Is it out of choice?

I'm loving all the Dirty Dans out there. It must be a hell of a track. I can't wait to see what happens. Hill, Hart or Bryce for the win would be great. Just not Gwin, please!
  • 1 0
 Anyone know why Hill is using the old 5.10s and not the new impacts? He used the new ones for one race and since then has been on the old ones.
  • 1 0
 all the new 5.10s are a little bit slimmer in design, he prbably likes the big old chunky ones
  • 16 0
 Neko testing out the prototype squid lid!
  • 9 1
 Aerodynamically optimised helmet...
  • 1 0
 I wonder if it had a helmet-cam on before the crash that sheared off his visor, because he sure doesn't have a helmet-cam on in that pic.
  • 10 0
 Gloves compulsory again? I hate seeing Blenki caged up in those mitts
  • 6 0
 cardboard elbow & back protectors aswell !!
  • 8 0
 Is Minnaar saying "smell my finger"?
  • 2 0
 Either that, or "Pull my finger". It's not easy to make out from that angle.
  • 1 0
 By the way, who is this "superfan" he's always with?
Almost everytime I see him, he's half naked and screaming at everyone.
  • 2 0
 Is that the mankini dude from South Africa, seen blowing a horn in the trees?
  • 1 0
 Yeah. Also the same guy at 3:54 in this vid:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B_pVcgGDmU
  • 5 0
 Why does it seem like riders only choose between 2 lenses; iridium or clear. You hardly see rose lenses on the world cup circuit which is a great lens for shadows and woods but hey that's just my opinion.
  • 6 0
 Totally. The lens they want is Oakley G30. Huge advantage in dappled light.
  • 3 0
 Such a great track. I can't wait to watch the finals, but I fear very little of the course will be broadcast, which is a bigger shame than usual. Especially with so many cool riders in the mix. As much as I like the Syndicate crew, you can't deny the awesomeness of this course combined with Sam Hill in top form. If he can hold it on the edge, it's going to be spectacular.
  • 10 0
 17 cameras...
  • 4 0
 don't play with my heart jclnv
  • 1 0
 It's true apparently.
  • 2 0
 Different for this one, as posted above Red Bull have got 17 different camera positions for this one, seems like everyone is getting hyped up for this. Considering we get to watch it for free is a mssive well done to red bull from me
  • 2 0
 please be true
  • 3 0
 Hope Ratboy Bryceland doesn't get those mutagens and turn into Master Splinter come raceday!! No mutagens for Hill - he's Nukeproof!! Tape them wide and let it rip Sam Hill!! Good luck!
  • 6 0
 Remi Thirion was ridden and tested here before
**has

big difference!
  • 5 1
 Does Fairclough get a new TLD kit every race? The jersey he was wearing today looks sick!
  • 3 3
 They need to provide him with nice kit so he stands out when he's coming in in the mid 20's. His racing doesn't cut it anymore.
  • 3 0
 ouch!
  • 3 0
 Still better overall than Peat.
Whats with everyone bullying Brendog lately?
  • 4 1
 They're just hating because they can't even touch top 20s in the WC, clear ridiculously huge canyon gaps, whip beside Vanderham on Crabapple, throw nac nacs like they're going out of style, do no footed manuals for days, land jumps sideways at mach 1, get free shit from big companies...need I keep going?
  • 1 3
 Nah, not hating, he's an over rated racer, fantastic rider with style for miles, but since his knee injury he just doesn't cut it.
  • 3 0
 He's having fun riding his bike just as ratboy did a couple of years ago. He rarely trains in the gym sense but still does well considering the top 40 probably have personal trainers and eating plans that they follow religiously. Brendog is one of my fav riders and with a little fitness training he'd be a podium contender every weekend.
  • 1 1
 But surely that's the point, we shouldn't be saying "if he put the effort in" he should be putting the bloody effort in. He's talented, and supported, and the rest is up to him. Clearly a natural like Bryce but one of them is putting the effort in and the other isn't.
  • 1 0
 If the sponsors are happy with how his preforming and he does a great job of advertising their products then he has nothing to worry about. The day the sponsors sit him down and say we want better results I have faith he'll step up the training and produce them. Right now everyone seems happy.
  • 2 0
 SO MANY POD's, SO MUCH EPIC GOODNESS... CAN'T... HELP... THE... EXCITMENT... GOING... TO... EXPLODE... YAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....
  • 3 3
 imo - This is a race to ride flat pedals. Why? Super high technical difficulty means crashes and washouts on slippery, off camber corners are going to cost a whole bunch of riders a podium chance. With very little pedaling in Meribel (unlike Cairns sp? where flats were a good bet) the advantages usually associated with being clipped in are brought pretty low. I think the top-contenders (we can assume they are all comfortable at race speed clipped-in or on flats, right?) should think about flats. Especially if it is wet, but even if it's dry.
  • 3 0
 That's the thing about personal preference
  • 4 0
 some people feel more comfortable, even on high tech stuff clipped in. imagine hauling through those roots and slipping a pedal. and i feel like people have this idea that with clips you can't dab, i dab all dam day in my clips and i'm sure these guys can too.
  • 2 0
 If you're actually good at riding your bike, getting unclipped and clipping back in again isn't a problem.
  • 6 0
 each to their own...clips / flats, shorts / trousers, gloves / no gloves, sram / shimano, flat bars /risers, curry / chinese, lager / ale, pink / brown...etc, etc
  • 3 0
 Its cool to see Sam finding some nice lines, but I hope he's able to keep some of them a secret until race day.
  • 4 1
 I hope Bruni is finally gonna smash it ! Deserves a victory for all this seasons efforts...
  • 2 0
 such a sweet track! all world cup courses should look like this.
  • 2 0
 Finally we get to see a DH track on the calendar Smile Lets go France
  • 2 0
 So many new wallpapers. Awesome photos as always, thank you Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 sam showing how its done !!!! sam for the win rat for the overall and either of them two for world champs
  • 1 0
 Thirion looks so shy when he faces a camera, but when it comes to ride such a track, it's all about devastation!
  • 2 0
 Pardal in 4ยบ and not a single photo!!
shame on you PB
  • 1 0
 does peaty have black stanchions on those 40s?
  • 1 0
 Nope, just the lighting in the photo.
  • 1 0
 Man this race is gonna be awesome .!!!!
  • 3 1
 Ratboy or Hill ???
  • 4 1
 Hill for the win, Ratboy for the overall Wink
  • 1 0
 What time is the race coverage this weekend?
  • 1 0
 If I was a stripper I would Rock the same gear as RATBOY...........
  • 1 0
 Never been as excited for a race before!
  • 1 0
 Troy's wearing flats?
  • 3 3
 So exited for this last race! Hopes up for a return with the Athertons!
  • 1 0
 Seems like it
  • 1 0
 I want the new lapierre!
  • 1 0
 I love cock
  • 1 3
 ratboys recent rise to the top has come off the back of him predominantly running clips.
  • 1 0
 It can't hurt to have legends as teammates either. He's been flirting with this level for a few years, but he finally tapped into the well of potential that lies within.
  • 1 0
 was he on flats last season? thats quite a difference if true...
  • 1 0
 a certain increase in wheel size too...........
  • 2 1
 He's always been clipped in, and he was on 26 when he won in Leogang, and 2nd in Cairns, etc. Don't believe the hype!
  • 2 0
 Ratboy's recent rise to the top is due to his getting his head together and figuring out how to harness his talent, and that is the only reason. It's not because he switched to clips this year, because he started running them in 2012, as I recall (95% sure that's the first time he did). He has not always been clipped in, he most definitely ran flats as a junior and for his first few years in elites as well.
  • 2 0
 Well, I remember he was riding clipless in 2011, and switched to flats one race and crashed blaming the pedals. You're right as a junior he was on flats. The point is, it's the rider, and not the pedals or wheel size.
  • 1 0
 Exactly.
  • 1 3
 where is the replay to this any links ?

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