Norway Day One Photos - UCI World Cup 2012

Sep 13, 2012 at 10:53
by Keith Valentine  
this morning at 6am awoke to this..check the moon in the background...what do they say about red sky in the morning
  I awoke this morning at 6am to this.. check the moon in the background... what do they say about red sky in the morning?

...
the weather was touch and go this morning - i call this one gondola s in the mist
  The weather was touch and go this morning - I call this one gondola's in the mist.

...
Too bad the track here in Norway doesn t really have any views that include riders. PLenty of views that don t on the 20 minute walk tot he start line though.
  Too bad the track here in Norway doesn't really have any views that include riders. Plenty of views that don't on the 20 minute walk to the start line though.

sometimes you forget to look at the views when your shooting the best riders in the world go past you.....but not this time.
  Phunkt didn't get that memo though and tried to find something...

The track is very rough and physical. Only three riders did three timed runs. Matt Simmonds was one of them and stopped the clock at 3 47 608 second fastest time of the day.
  The track is very rough and physical. Timed training was today, but only three riders did three timed runs. Matt Simmonds was one of them and stopped the clock at 3:47:608, second fastest time of the day.

he was fastest in timed practice by 1 second...without a doubt the fastest in the rock garden....outside bet wouldnt rule him out just yet
  Peaty was another of them that rode the whole track, and was fastest in timed practice by 1 second. Without a doubt the fastest in the rock garden. Outside bet? I wouldn't rule him out just yet

Aaron Gwin
  Aaron Gwin on his new black and chrome bike, check out more photos of it here here. Aaron has already won the overall, regardless of how he places here.

he seems to like the new steed... but he did have a big off in the rock garden today..ouch
  It seems he liked the new steed, but he did have a big off in the rock garden today... ouch!

Morgane Charre didn t want to show us her new jersey.
  Morgane Charre is the new women's World Champion, but she didn't want to show us her new jersey today.

Greg Minnaar was also hiding the new stripes .
  Greg Minnaar was also hiding the new "stripes".

looking fast as usual but not seen him in the orange kit for sooooooo long why its so much better than the black one.
  Gee looking fast as usual. We've not seen him in the orange kit for sooooooo long, why? It's so much better for photos than the black one...

had his first pod the other week...he s hungry for more....everyone loves the ratboy....
  Josh Bryceland had his first POD the other week, and he's hungry for more.... everyone loves the Ratboy!

all the marshal s seem to be blonde....just saying
  All the marshal's seem to be blonde... just saying

First rock garden has started to bed in and there are plenty of lines starting to show up.
  First rock garden has started to bed in and there are plenty of lines starting to show up.

MItch Delfs in his Giant banana suit on the upper jumps. Today was huck extravaganza 2012.
  Mitch Delfs in his Giant banana suit on the upper jumps. Today was huck extravaganza 2012.

Brendan Fairclough is back Was good to see him doing laps with his old team mate Sam Hill.
  Brendan Fairclough is back! It was good to see him doing laps with his old team mate Sam Hill.

This time wearing gloves because of the temperatures not the UCI commisares.
  Blenki wore gloves in France as well, but this time it's because of the temperatures, not the UCI commissaires.

Andrew Neethling back in blue and white kit.
  Andrew Neethling, back in blue and white kit.

Bernard Kerr is always ready to entertain
  Bernard Kerr is always ready to entertain!

Isak Leivsson local s favorite
  Isak Leivsson, the local's favorite!

kinda story of the day - just read it and think well yeah or nae - i dont want to get involved in the politics too much
  This was kind of the story of the day - just read it and think well yeah or nae - I don't want to get involved in the politics too much

check the riders with blue armbands out loads supporting on track.....awkward uci awkward
  But check the riders with blue armbands, loads of them out supporting on the track.....awkward UCI awkward

she was fastest in timed practice by over 7 seconds.....looks like her back is feeling a bit better.moto like a guy and weaaring that blue armband in support of the cause.
  Rachael was fastest in timed practice by over 7 seconds, it looks like her back is feeling a bit better. Motoing like a guy and wearing that blue armband in support of the cause.

the scott11 pits getting ready for saturday nights piss-up with the disco glitter ball all ready to boogie
  The Scott11 pits getting ready for Saturday nights piss-up, disco glitter ball all ready to boogie!

missing danny hart here but scotty shares the style awards
  Missing Danny Hart here, but Scotty Mears shares the style awards

looking very loose all day in the best kit on the hill.
  Ben Reid looking very loose all day in the best kit on the hill.

Some riders went around this rock in the second woods but the fast line was directly over the biggest rock and the roots behind it. Gee demonstrates.
  Some riders went around this rock in the second woods, but the fast line was directly over the biggest rock and the roots behind it. Gee demonstrates.

Mick Hannah was sending it all day. This berm to step down gets bigger and bigger the faster you go. Mick has his eye on the prize here this week.
  Mick Hannah was sending it all day. This berm to step down gets bigger and bigger the faster you go. Mick has his eye on the prize here this week.

Eliot Jackson cruised into the step down and pulled up hard on his very first run on this track. No big deal. He was smooth as silk into the landing.
  Eliot Jackson cruised into the step down and pulled up hard on his very first run on this track. No big deal. He was smooth as silk into the landing.

This is what happens when you come up about 3 feet short on the mega stepdown huck. One Deemax down.
  This is what happens when you don't make it and come up about 3 feet short on the mega step down huck. One Deemax down.

The entry to the biggest rock garden isn t even the hardest part...
  The entry to the biggest rock garden isn't even the hardest part...

Sam Hill and Brook Macdonald discuss line options into the rocks. Riders were all over the place whether on purpose or not and it paid to hang out a bit and see what was working best.
  Sam Hill and Brook Macdonald discuss line options into the rocks. Riders were all over the place (whether on purpose or not) and it paid to hang out a bit and see what was working best.


The exit to the rocks wasn t exactly a cake walk either. People were getting launched into the trees off of the few greasy roots that littered this section.
  The exit to the rocks wasn't exactly a cake walk either. People were getting launched into the trees off of the few greasy roots that littered this section.

Beaumont shows everyone how it s done. Pin it and go straight. Easy.
  Beaumont shows everyone how it's done. Pin it and go straight. Easy.

This guy didn t pay enough attention in Mr. Beaumont s classes.
  This guy didn't pay enough attention in Mr. Beaumont's classes.

High speeds are all over the show on this track. Even the easiest bits are balls to the wall.
  High speeds are all over the show on this track. Even the easiest bits are balls to the wall.

Steve Smith slides his way through the grass off camber corners at the bottom of the track. Old school style.
  Steve Smith slides his way through the grass off camber corners at the bottom of the track. Old school style.

The last rock garden has a super fast entrance. You can actually boost your way into it if you have the right line.
  The last rock garden has a super fast entrance. You can actually boost your way into it if you have the right line.

Grip it and rip it - right into the rocks.
  Grip it and rip it - right into the rocks.

bryn in fun mood today had an iffy corner in the woods though
  Bryn in fun mood today, despite an iffy corner in the woods.

showing of his helmet nuff said
  Brook showing of his helmet, nuff said

Photos and captions by Fraser Britton, Vanja Kodermac, and Keith Valentine.



Must Read This Week

96 Comments

  • + 44
 It amazes me how much pace Peaty still has! He still has a win in him yet... what a weapon!
  • + 12
 it would be so sick for him to take a win here!!!! Big Grin
  • + 1
 peaty stil reaping for the uk on his wolds bike still legedary bro. but i see hill or peaty taking the win here!
  • + 2
 Stevie FTW! Also, this looks like by far the most fun WC track I've ever seen!
  • + 28
 I'd love to see Gee or Brendog take a win here.
  • + 25
 i'd love to see brendawg back at the top again, it's been a while!
  • + 1
 Me too, or I guess me three. If it rains someone on flats might have an advantage. Wet rocks+ slippery rocks = disaster waiting to happen, sometimes.
  • + 1
 Actually B-dawg was on top of the podium last week, but he has never won a World Cup.
  • + 6
 SAM HILL! ... nuff said
  • + 3
 Steve smith!!!!!!!!
  • + 11
 I was here on practice day. these guyes are really proffessionals. i went through the track and belive me some parts are realy hard to walk not even to race o them. this track is very hard i gues. cant wait for the race.
  • + 7
 What exactly is UCI proposing for a women's placement on a team to be 'worth' less in placing points?? This means teams are going to put less priority into having women on a team and less women will participate in racing, and probably the sport (cause it wont get the publicity it perhaps would get, if women are racing at a top level). This is really super bad news. I know the girls are not as fast (generally, our physiques quite different and guys will have more power and strength than most girls), but they are still racing the same tracks and train as hard, put in the same effort (and passion) for the sport as the guys. I really hope UCI rethinks whatever it is that they may be implementing and realize that it could have a very detrimental effect on the future of our sport. In summary, instead of encouraging an area for growth potential, they discourage it?? UCI need to wake up.
  • - 19
flag jaame (Sep 14, 2012 at 4:17) (Below Threshold)
 Who cares? Female sport is an unfortunate sideshow in almost all cases. Less shielas racing is a good thing if you ask me. I mean, they don't add anything to it, none of them are hot or even feminine, and they're shit at riding compared to the blokes. Who cares if they're there or not? Not me. Maybe they could get some hot ones to be cheerleaders or something, and to give the champagne out. As for giving out less points to them, if they think they're worth the same points just race against the men. Girls should be there on merit, not just because they're girls and they're trying hard. That's a joke. The rule for inclusion should be fast or hot. If you're not fast and you're not hot, you're welcome to leave as far as I'm concerned.

Get some!
  • + 6
 @ jaame - you must be very popular with the women.
  • + 2
 I smell troll
  • + 1
 So who gets to decide if they're "hot" enough?
  • - 4
flag jaame (Sep 15, 2012 at 3:26) (Below Threshold)
 I'm married with 2 kids and my wife is hot. I don't care about offending girls by telling the truth because I've already got the one I want.

Girls who do extremely masculine pursuits such as DH MTB are not attractive, I have absolutely no interest in them. I don't watch the girls' races because they are slow and crap. If they were slow and crap but hot I'd still watch it, but they aren't hot either. As I see it they have no redeeming features. They're doing a masculine sport, but they can't do it properly because they're too weak and uncoordinated. I'm not trying to stir up a response, that's just factual information.

They aren't trying as hard as the boys in training either - their physical condition is testament to that. If they were training as hard as the boys they would look even more manly than they already do. Cancelling female racing altogether would do everyone a favour. The blokes wouldn't have to hear about it all the time (yawn... the winner was 1m23s down on the winner of the men's race) and it would free the girls up to do something worthwhile like dancing, aerobics or tennis. I'm not saying girls have no value, but they have little value in a male sport like this one. That's the truth.

A well known female DH racer rocked up to a trendy bar in Miami. The doorman stopped her and said "Sorry man, come back when you've had a hair cut."
  • - 2
 Jaame, at first I was offended by your comments, but then I thought about what I did everytime I watched a Red Bull World Cup replay this year: I fast-forwarded through all the female racing and went right to the guys. I want to watch the fastest racers who take the craziest lines, and those are the guys. The one exception to this was ACC, who would regularly beat a fair amount of the guys, but those days are over.

Girls shouldn't complain, they have many more opportunities in this sport than guys do, percentage-wise. They don't get equal coverage, but considering how few of them are actually really into it, they get more than their fair share.

Seeing Mick Hannah ride down with that blue crap attached to his kit made me sick; yeah, I get it Mick, your sister races on your team and you want as many points for it as possible, how sincere. Otherwise that simple-minded Christian would give a sh*t.
  • - 3
 *Meant to write wouldn't give a sh*t.

I won't comment too much on the appearances of women who race DH, since there are some whom I think are attractive. But not as attractive as they would be in a skin-tight lycra XC kit.
  • - 3
 Saying Sick Mick is simple minded may be accurate, as would saying he is totally devoid of charisma, but that wouldn't do his speed on a bike justice. I have become a big fan of his this year. Dropped by GT, picked up by his friend, had a great season and ripped every course apart. I think he's a hero. Totally robotic, but a hero nonetheless. As for the girls who may be attractive, or more so in a skin tight lycra kit, they still aren't a patch on an actual hot chick. Take Nicole from Pussycat Dolls, or my wife in fact, because they look similar, and put them in a bike race and there goes your idea that any girls currently in it are attractive. We men always look for the hottest one wherever we may be, but in an MTB race paddock, that one will always be a true case of the best of a bad bunch.
  • - 3
 As for fast forwarding through the girls to the boys, actually I normally just watch the last ten men or so. I'm just so bloody busy wiping my little boy's arse and playing with my daughter's barbie dolls to waste three hours watching some people ride down the same hill. Don't get me wrong I'd love to have time to watch it all, true my wheels and relube my gear cables all day on a Sunday arvo but those days are long gone. Hopefully to be replaced in a few years with getting my lad into bikes of all kinds. As for my daughter, she's not going near a bike race except as a spectator. I wouldn't have her doing something mannish like DH racing. I'm all for buying her a horse though, or having dance classes. That's what any self respecting girl would be into.
  • + 4
 god, won't you be quiet?
  • + 1
 OMG, I can't believe what I just read in the responses above. Jaame, I feel sorry for your daughter.
  • + 1
 yeah, she will grow up with a very low opinion of herself because of her father nice one jaame
  • + 0
 Au contraire. She'll grow up thinking she's a princess thanks to me. Why would you think encouraging her to do girly things and avoid masculine pursuits would give her a low opinion of herself? Totally unrelated things champ. Repeatedly telling her she's shit would give her a low opinion of herself, which is something I will never do. Encouraging her to try her best and always supporting her will do the opposite. I very much doubt she would ever be interested in bike riding, but if she is, I doubt she'll stick with it for long. She's not mannish enough to compete with the he/shes who are into that sort of thing.
  • + 9
 Anyone notice Gwinny isnt running the proto shimano lever that failed at the world champs!
  • - 21
flag Protour (Sep 13, 2012 at 17:57) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, but I'm not convinced it was the levers that failed, especially since Shimano is still as silent as their new rear derailleurs on the subject. Sabotage is still suspected, as is the possibility of Monk failing in his duties as a mechanic. The fans that pay the salaries at least deserve an explanation, and if necessary an investigation. Maybe the UCI needs to get involved here if sabotage is suspected. Two experts recently came to that conclusion in an online forum, something still smells fishy. I spoke with Shimano headquarters today and they were noncooperative with my investigation, only adding fuel to the fire of a controversy that has engulfed the entire worldwide cycling community (even Velo News mentioned it). It continues to be a hot topic in Norway, even as the racers try maintain focus on this brutal track. Is it just a coincidence Gwin crashed, or has he lost faith in his mechanic and or Shimano, and is psychologically directed as he tries to focus on the rock gardens?

Nice pictures and comments, PinkBike, but how about a little critical investigative journalism while you are over there, maybe a uncomfortable interview with Monk or some of the stone-wallers under the Shimano tent? Lets not let this issue linger into next season, the sport needs some closure on this matter so we can start fresh next year. Quit focusing on the tinsel-town color of Gwin's bike, and focus on the elephant in the room nobody wants to acknowledge, the questions that are in the back of everyones mind. Do the right thing, help me get to the bottom of this so everyone can get some sleep at night.
  • - 12
flag Protour (Sep 13, 2012 at 18:06) (Below Threshold)
 * I meant to ask if Gwin was psychologically distracted, not directed.

I hope Warner talks about this issue during the race, he could use his influence to put some heat on Shimano. What if that safety net wasn't there, or if Gwin hit a tree, it could have ended budding career, or worse.
  • + 42
 What are you, the DH police? Calm down, nut bag.
  • + 13
 I can't see Monk (an extremely experienced mechanic) failing that badly, nor can I see Gwin losing faith in him. Riders crash, its what we do, no matter how skilled you are you're still going to have crashes now and then, we shred bikes down the gnarliest terrain possible trying to go as fast as we can. He is getting used to a new bike and a new track, I doubt it has anything at all to do with the break failure at all.

Not only that but bringing that up to Monk or Shimano at a world cup event would not be a good idea at all, think of the controversy that would unfold if interviewers started putting them on the spot like that. It would mean no more interviews with the trek team or shimano for a long time.
  • + 1
 if you notice to that on gregs bike he has prototypes still just like down at his rotor
  • + 0
 Protour, you're still talking sense. If only more PB users were into real journalism. How hard is it to write captions for these photos? The bloke that did it doesn't even understand how to use apostrophes. Anyone can do that. We need some awkward questions and real investigation so we can get closure on "Gwingate". How else will we be able to sleep at night?

Callum79 I'm with you too. I also doubt it has anything at all to do with the break failure at all.
  • + 1
 I also find the brake story pretty wierd, actually only as both would have simultaneously failed. That is a strange coincidence, but who knows. Coincidence happen.

Protour forget about some medias trying to get info (real ones) from Shimano, or anyone else. If you happen to be a bit of an "insider" (I've mixed to pros and medias for a week, short but enough to learn) you'll hear about things you will NEVER read anywhere. It is a community where elements (brands, riders, media) take advantage of being friend with each other. Fair enough. But there are some truth you will never hear. That's it.
  • + 3
 buahah real journalism, you mean asking dumb, rude questions for entertainment of few at the cost of hurting interviewed ones feelings? Aaron - is there any chance that your mechanic could have made a mistake? Aaron - many people speculate that you are lying about the brakes failure, what do you have to say to them? Some people believe they deserve to know

Some people deserve to be told to f*ck themselves...

There is no value in asking difficult emotion raising questions, anyone can do that - there is value in asking wise ones that can make you learn something from them. Nothing good will come to anyone from investigating that case so drop it - ask yourself what is it actualy you can get out of such question?
  • - 5
flag Protour (Sep 14, 2012 at 1:10) (Below Threshold)
 Waki, had Gwin ended up like Cedric Gracia, I don't think you would be making those completely irrelevant comments, and he very well could of had his brakes failed in another part of the course.

If you don't think there is any value in knowing about what is going on in the world, that's your narrow minded, simplistic, anti-educational prerogative, but don't be surprised when you get bit in the ass by something you are completely clueless about.

Enduro maniac, sometimes you have to ask uncomfortable questions to arrive at the truth, and it is every good journalists responsibility to pursue it. How do you think Bush's disasterous Iraq war came about? Journalists didn't ask the tough questions, and now trillions have been wasted and lives sacrificed for nothing in return but sorrow. This is only mountain biking, but someone came close to being injured, a dream season was lost, fans hearts were broken, the World Championships were not as exciting as it should have been, and it ended on a sour, awkward note. The fans deserve to know the truth about "Gwingate", and if the Japanese continue to stone-wall, similar to how they did after the earthquake and the nuclear disaster that ensued, this will be a conspiracy that will not go away, and it certainly will fester at Gwin and Shimano as long as he isn't World Champion.

This is the worst public relations disaster for any company in mountain bike history, World Championships or otherwise, and the legacy of it will continue to haunt Shimano for as long as they pretend it didn't happen, which seems to be their ill-fated strategy. It's not going away Shimano, YOU were responsible, and YOU are responsible for telling the people who pay your salaries the truth! You've had enough time to examine the brakes, and we, the fans, have had enough of your stone-walling.
  • - 5
flag Protour (Sep 14, 2012 at 2:09) (Below Threshold)
 Well, here we go again, looks like another night of no sleep because of this issue. Milk, beer, chamomile tea, herb, melanoma, nothing works when something is in the back of your head and you really don't want to talk about it but deep down you know you need to...so I'm just gonna day it, I'm just gonna throw this theory out there and you can respond as you wish, but please hear me out. Here is the theory:

Gwin lied.
It pains me to say that because we are both born again Christians, and I'm his #1 fan, but for Christs sake, listen to the evidence:

1. How come he continued down the trail at a relatively high rate of speed after both of his brakes allegedly simultaneously failed? If the brakes both failed him already, why would he trust them at speed again?
2. I know in the video footage it looks as if he didn't have adequate brakes into the corner, but what if he was just too amped after hearing about Minnars fast time and thought he had to make up time somewhere, and this corner was one of those spots? Keep in mind he didn't qualify that well, maybe this track didn't suit him but he desperately wanted to win World's after last years failure.
3. The reason he might lie, instead of just admitting he took to much heat into the corner? He didn't want to have to admit he blew it at World's two years in a row, because he has so much pride in his ability, so after his crash he makes a rash bad decision, decides to blame it on the "prototype brakes"(an easy culprit), and does goon jumps down the course to let everyone know he isn't trying.
4. Shimano's silence. They've examined the brakes, they are fine, but they are in an awkward position because they don't want to call their #1 racer and test rider dishonest...so they must remain silent. Consider that other racers are still using the prototypes.

I hope I'm wrong on this, but use your own judgement.
  • + 3
 do any of you goons actually think about what your saying before you post it? Sabotage? how the f*ck would anyone do that, only the mechanic and shimano would have access to be able to do that and that seems unlikely doesn't it. i personally would like to shake the hand of anyone who can miraculously sabotage two brakes 1.30mins into a run. i doubt they both failed at exactly the same time without warning he would have reached the bottom with no brakes hoses for that to happen. in conclusion, it was likly a faulty set of protos and YOUR ALL A BUNCH OF JUMPED UP GOONS HIDING BEHIND FORUMS AND SPOUTING CRAP
  • - 1
 Protour - I am not going to talk to you or anyone here about my approach to "journalism" and "education", few weeks ago I would, but lately I understood it is pointless. PM me if you want to discuss education and simplisticity, I am tired of making this place a personality and IQ show

Your desire to ask uncomfortable questions about truth - what truth man? Here's some way to the truth: do you want know because you care for riders (Aaron particularly) and Shimano as a company or... curiosity. Uncomfortable questions - like approaching a fat girl on a buss stop and asking here: why do you eat so much? - do it, you might change her life! Before you become the one righteous here think if Cedric wants to ask the same question, especially that he is running Hope brakes... and if you were Shimano - wouldn't you like to investigate in case there is some fault threatening all people with XTR /Saint brakes out there? So far no reports of others having trouble, and that's almost 2 years with tens of thousands of people riding them, no recall calls so far...

Make sure you care for the quality of your life asking those uncofmy questions as you care for this case - a clue: you are here on PB asking those serious questions
  • - 1
 Gwin lied - go fight your own troubles, you certainly have plenty of them. Look, I am going to try to talk to him tomorrow, I'll tell him all the shit people like you write and that I am disgusted with such assholes, looking for faults in good people, having a ton of shit in their own backyard, but they need to try to lower other people to feel less shitty. I'll ask him how feels about it - mainly about being called a liar - and I'll comeback to you, I bet he'll be happy. I am sure you wouldn't say it in his face you asshole, use the mirror more often
  • + 0
 @protour: i heard that gwins brakes quit the service in practice, too.
  • + 2
 It's a possibility he lied. You may think you're insulting Gwin by admitting the possibility that he lied, but you're insulting yourself by categorically ruling it out. Protour gets some stick from a lot of you but he makes good points. If the brakes really failed, we should be told about why. I don't want to spend a hard earned day's pay on a set of Zee brakes next month if I think they might fail on me. If munkdog f*cked up, then I can set my mind at rest. If Gwin crashed because he was a little bit over the limit, I can set my mind at rest. If they were sabotaged, I can set my mind at rest. If Shimano didn't make them properly I'll get some Avid brakes instead.

The point is, they know what happened. Tell us so we can know it too and stop arguing about it like a bunch of prepubescent teens getting shirty because shit is being said about someone we wish we were friends with.

Waki, those questions you suggest aren't rude or obnoxious at all, they would be good starting points for an interviewer with any skill. The problem is, journalists in the fringe sports are fans of the sport first and journalists second. Until we get real journalists, that kind of direct questioning will never happen. The journalists themselves don't want to ask that kind of questions because they too want to suck up to the riders and be good buds with them.

No one is trying to put anyone down. Some people aren't satisfied with the media blackout of what actually happened (if anything). I'm starting to fear now that Gwingate will never be put to bed.

@bottomley "you're" means "you are", "your" means "your".
  • + 0
 For the f*cks sake nothing happened - there is no case, protour is blowing one out like 12yr old trying to put a condom on for first time in his life - who gives a fk? Someone wants to ask Sam Hill why he crashed in Val Di Sole? The real journalism, yea I hear about real architects all the time, bladi fkn bla and the real nazis didn't agree with Hitler. I like it that those "journalists" are being friends with riders instead of feeding on controversies (or making them up) to provide idiots with brain tissue softeners
  • + 1
 You bring up a good point. There are alot of paranoid lunatics riding mtn bikes. Any time a top pro crash it must be the mechanics fault. If Michael Jordan miss a jumpshot its Nikes fault for making cheap shoes right. Gwin need to hire me for security to watch out for tweakers in the pits, real talk.
  • + 3
 First of all, ProTour, "melanoma" is a type of cancer. Perhaps "melatonin" is what you took to try to sleep.

Secondly, if Gwin really had made a mistake and blew that corner, he would have said so. He would never have implicated his sponsor for something that was his fault. Your notion that Shimano is hiding the "truth" for Gwin's sake is ridiculous.

Show us a picture of your tinfoil hat, mate. What other conspiracies have you got for us?
  • + 3
 And for the thir time........protour. shut up and go for a long nice ride, you need it, or better, go your church and find some relief at your troubled head.
  • + 1
 Waki, first of all, I never said Gwin lied. I only put it out there as a theory, one that I was very uncomfortable presenting, and I made it very clear that it was only a theory. If anything, you are a liar for lying about what I wrote. I already assessed your first post, Jaame completely dismantled your next posts, and you haven't really said anything of value since them, just more meaningless personal insults, which verifies that you nothing of value to contribute to this conversation. If you want Gwingate to go away, then you essentially want the same thing as Jaame and I do: The Truth. That's all it will take, but it will require uncomfortable questions to acheive this goal we all want. It's not going to go away until that happens, it will continue to be a public relations disaster for Shimano, and a psychological distraction for Aaron Gwin; one that he cannot afford on a track they are racing on this weekend. Only the truth will set us free from Gwingate, and we all need to pursue it.

I forgive you for your insults.
  • + 1
 mnorris; sorry about your inability to read and that you don't understand the meaning of the word "theory". Good luck furthering your education; you obviously need some more basic language skills.

The possibility that he lied does seem very slim, but since there was some evidence of it being a possibility, and since Shimano is still silent on the issue, I threw the theory out there. No stone can go unturned, as any good detective knows. If Shimano publicly stated
that they were going to examine the brakes, then why not share the results with the public? There is no justification for this secrecy; they simply need to state what happened.
  • + 0
 morris, you have once again exposed your lack of proficiency in basic reading ability. I never said I was a detective, just using an analogy. Oh, wait...sorry, I'm quite sure you don't know what that word means. You should quit embarrassing yourself, get off the internet, and go back to school and demand that they teach you some basic reading skills which you have obviously missed out on.

Gwingate goes on. If Gwin does poorly tomorrow, you can put the blame directly on Shimano and the bad karma they created for him with their stone-walling, cover-up, and culture of Japanese-style silence.

I won't be surprised if Smith wins tomorrow, taking away Gwin's already lost momentum and creating a changing of the guard going into next season; so much of racing is psychological.
  • + 1
 I could remember wrongly, but I don't recall Gwin ever actually saying anything about the brake failure. I think that was written up on Pinkbike as something in the comments of a thread - something along the lines of "word is, Gwin's brakes failed". It is meaningless if it doesn't come from the horse's mouth. If it has come from the horse's mouth, I must have missed it.

I think we could all forget about Gwingate and move on if Gwin himself, Munk or a Shimano representative went on the record and was quoted or filmed saying that there was definitely an actual brake failure. I'd also like to know which brake it was, or both.

As it is, all we have is hearsay, and hearsay isn't worth a lot in the real world.

Waki, it is not rude to simply ask a question to another person about an event. It happens in every other sport all the time. Just because he's fast at riding a bike doesn't mean he isn't a normal person (even he says so) so why do you think he should be excused from a perfectly reasonable line of questioning?

I'd like to throw another theory out there, a possibility if an outside one: Gwin had been doing a lot of practice on his motorbike (with the brakes the right way round) the week before. Then he jumped on his DH bike (with the brakes the wrong way round) for his finals run. When everything started going at warp speed, his brain stopped thinking and he fell back on his instinct - which told him right is front and left is rear. That's why the front brake didn't work - because he was pulling the wrong lever. No one would admit a mistake like that.
  • + 1
 The current crop of interviews are all completely boring and totally lacking insight. "How was your run?" must be one of the most boring and pointless questions and yet it is the one the interviewers use the most. It would definitely be improved through the implementation of actual targeted questioning about something that normal people, and not just fans of that particular rider, can get something out of. I'd suggest using a "21 questions: Sam Hill" or whatever the number is, where fans can submit their own questions to riders for them to ponder. And they should be chosen at random so "awkward" questions would not be filtered out. That would make our sport infinitely better. If they did that, we would soon see that "Is it true your brakes failed?" is not rude at all. Like the ones where a decent interviewer asks a difficult question to a politician repeatedly because they keep trying to dodge it. That is what we need to finally put Gwingate to bed.
  • + 1
 Good one Morris. You really showed him!
  • + 0
 Morris, who is the troll who keeps coming back here to essentially say nothing? That would be you.

How many hours did you have to spend on the internet to learn what the word analogy meant? At least you attempted to be creative, though it came out lame. Probably instead of spending your time on the toilet as you usually do; wondering what your turd is going to look like and critically analyzing the smell to determine it's association with what you ate the day before, you actually attempted to think of something original for the first time in your life. Congratulations for the effort, but you still lose.

Jaame, thanks for wacking Waki in his wacked out brain one more time; you make valid points which cannot be denied.

So, the season ends, with Gwin as a quitter on arguably the toughest track on the circuit; and it seems to me that that the mantle of fastest man on a two wheel pedal bike downhill has been passed, at least psychologically, to my brave fellow countryman Steve Smith. Gwin fans can blame Shimano for his psychological distractions and crashes, but I'm no longer a Gwin fan. F#CK that religious bullsh*t, I'm over it, does nothing but warp your mind. Look forward to seeing Stevie continue his domination next year
  • + 1
 I'd have to say, were Gwin a real racer like the MotoGP guys, he would have ridden anyway. Obviously motorbike racers are harder than anyone else in the world, and being a fan of that sport for 30 years makes me take this "hurt my hand" stuff with a pinch of salt. Having typed that, I bet Gwin would have ridden if he still had to go out and win the series.

Steve Smith did dominate at Hafjell. Who knows what the new year will bring? The wave of confidence Gwin has been riding for the last two years has broken, but I think he trains harder than anyone else in the off season so I wouldn't be surprised if he came back next year and won first time out. I don't think he's a shoo-in for the overall again next year though. It could be one of many, but I'd have to say Minnaar for the overall would be a good bet. My guess is Minnaar, Gwin, Gee Man, Hart, Smith in that order. I'd love to see someone with a bit more personality up there though, Bulldog, Brendog, Brycedog or Coledog. Cant see it happening over a season though.

Get some!
  • + 5
 wish dhart was around for this track. the neethling shot almost fooled me for a second that hart was back. hill or smith for top spot!
  • + 8
 Gee for the win!!!!!
  • + 2
 So where are all the kids saying this track is too easy and not good enough for the WC level? Hahaha

and that folks is why judging a track solely based off a singular edit or helmet cam footage is incredibly foolish.

This is going to be a good one.
  • + 1
 I was one of those people and I am willing to admit I am wrong. I still don't think its up there with the most demanding courses on the circuit but its definitely worthy.
  • - 1
 I don't think anyone said that it was the most demanding... haha.
  • + 1
 Looks tougher than I thought. I knew that after talking to more people, then seeing these photos confirmed it.
  • + 1
 No scott, but I had thought it looks extremely weak, and like I said I was wrong.
  • + 1
 I'm really excited about this track, it seems to have the extremes of everything, huge jumps, massive gap jump, endless rock gardens, and a classic old school grassy corner.. hope the camera footage is in some good locations Smile
  • + 4
 "NO IMAGE SET" How about Rat Boy and that NICE back ground ! Big Grin Or the blonde, just saying Wink
  • + 2
 Not many guys sporting the blue arm band... Just saying! But except the Morewood guy (at his hip, is that Couscous??) I did not notice any other, not even Gee!
  • + 3
 Smith did that one for CG i guess, showing of his dirty moustache while he does the oldschool drifting..
  • + 4
 That's my impression or Brook is more blond?????
  • + 3
 Sam Hill Brendan Fairclough 1-2 called it
  • + 3
 Gwin had another spill? Come on Gwin i still got faith!
  • + 2
 He had to start having some falls and proving he's actually human at some point. Still has the overall in the pocket already even if he crashes face first out of the startgate though.
  • + 1
 When you go that fast, that long, and take so many chances it's bound to catch up with you eventually. Sam HIll dominated for years, then had a big spate of injuries and crashes. That's racing.
  • + 1
 And how are we hoping that he gets back healthy and smashing again. It'd be cool to see Sam Hill back in full strength race Gwinn.
  • + 3
 That Session is the sexiest bike I've ever seen.
  • + 1
 Gwin's new custom build?
  • + 1
 i think
  • + 1
 If that's what we're talking about, then hell ya!! Such a sleek and fast looking bike!
  • + 2
 That Red Bull helmet is sooooo sick
  • + 2
 ...personally, i really like Gee's black kit
  • + 1
 I seriously hope gee has some padding underneath that top, otherwise I sense a strange man-crush starting...
  • + 1
 "Red sky in the morning sailor take warning, red sky at night sailor's delight"
  • + 1
 RED MORN...SAILORS BE WORNED...For some GNAR and lots of Rippin' and Tearin'!!!
  • + 1
 This should be a damn interesting race! Can't wait!!
  • + 1
 Stevie finally wearing some red and white!
  • + 2
 Go brendawg!!
  • + 1
 As always, go brook!
  • + 0
 That Red Bull helmet is sooooo sick
  • + 0
 I hope Slugger gets a podium!
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