2011 UCI World Champs Downhill Training 17

Course builder, Ben Walker, and UCI Technical Delegate, Chris Ball, celebrate the tough life we all have to deal with at World Champs in Champery! Photo by Gary Perkin

The edge of traction, the limit of grip, light on dark, sticky rubber loose dirt...man what a course! Photo by Gary Perkin

This may be a bit obscure for some, but for me it sums up a day in dry Champery. Crazy, loose, steep, drifty turns mixed with wet slimy turns! I'm glad I'm on this side of the tape! Photo by Gary Perkin

While it may not look like it, this is one of the toughest turns on the Champery course. You can go deep like Andrew Neethling of Giant Factory Team here, or cut inside over the mess or roots to his left. Ben Walker in audio. Photo by Gary Perkin

Number 1 with point to prove after almost a full season away from the action. It's great to see Sam Hill smash it in Champery! Photo by Gary Perkin

To tell you the truth - this is not an image I expected to capture in Champery this week. Loose rocks, talcum powder roost hanging in the air after riders smashed through turns...delicious. Photo by Gary Perkin

If medals were awarded to those on pace quickest, Brendan Fairclough of Monster Specialized would have a brace already. Luvverly stuff from the lad! Photo by Gary Perkin

If you want the inside scoop on whats happening in the pits, Doug Hatfield is your man. Just don't expect him to divulge his secrets to all and sundry. At least not before Sunday! Photo by Gary Perkin

You need a big set of nuts to smash it down Champery and maybe the odd loose bolt! Some are better at it than others. The Kiwis like Sam Blenkinsop of Lapierre here are on it. Photo by Gary Perkin

Fabien Barel of Mondraker Factory Team said he would take it easy until timed runs. So much for that. He pounded out run after run today! The man is a downhill animal and we love him for it. Photo by Gary Perkin

The schedule here affords a lot of downtime for downhillers. Mick Hannah and Marc Beaumont of GT put it to good use by squeezing in some exploring of the local scenery. Photo by Gary Perkin (HOLY CRAP!)

The full carbon V10 gets lighter by just sitting there! -Gary Perkin

Needles - big mountains, big jumps. -Sven Martin

Going on an XC ride with the Scott11 crew after DH practice isn't much different than DH practice. -Sven Martin

Moody Tuesdays. Another perfect day of riding in the Alps, just like it has been the last few weeks here. But rest assured weather can change quickly in the back of this valley and it will sometime this week. -Sven Martin

World Champs is all about the country and Aaron Gwin is representing the Stars and Stripes here at Worlds. Check out the thick n trick goldleaf work. -Sven Martin

The other side...-Sven Martin

Fastest man on track today had to go to Damian Spagnolo. Smooth and fast, he will be a danger man for the box come the weekend. -Sven Martin

The carcass 'copter made two flights by my calculations...not as many as in 2007, but at Worlds you have a lot of riders and juniors who would not usually ride at the World Cup level. And this has to be one of the toughest Worlds track in years. -Sven Martin

This was one of the fastest girls on the track today, but like Richie Rude from a few weeks ago, Tahnee Seagrave is still too young to race in the junior category. 2012 will be an exciting new season with plenty of new talent joining the ranks. -Sven Martin

Gee Atherton off the brakes and in the air. You can check out the steepness with the gondola coming almost vertically straight up. Ben Walker in audio. -Sven Martin

Tracy Moseley is pulling double duty here this week. She will be racing XC team relay tomorrow for Great Britain on the short, but technical XC track. Hats off to her for a great year and her overall love for the bike no matter what style. -Sven Martin

These two Americans are racers through-and-through. Iphone MX games are the hot ticket during downtimes in the pits. I think their free time would be better spent in studying the historical museums or eating raclette, but that's just me. -Sven Martin

Ben Walker, course builder, discusses the nuances, of the Champery downhill track. If you go skidding your way through life, you may miss some important details. -Sven Martin

Not a bad view for a race venue. Real mountains, real tracks, you gotta love it. Riders were mostly taking it easy today, but expect track speeds to pick up for tomorrow and onward. -Sven Martin

Welcome back Sam. We have all missed you!. Although I'm sure Sam would prefer to be back here feeling 100%, he is a fighter and gives it his all every time the six beeps count down. -Sven Martin

Downhill riders get on course for their first day of training in the 2011 UCI World Championships of Mountain Biking in Champery, Switzerland.
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  • t.odd

    8/31/2011 3:48 PM

    more shadows and roost and abstract shots! -semi-hack photographer

  • veach

    8/31/2011 10:48 AM

    Roost + talcum powder at Champery!? I do enjoy this news. Its going to turn greasy by the sound of it. Maybe it's because I really love building trails, but those insights from the trail crew add alot to the race. Come race day, I'm definitely going to be watching people's line selection.
    Great work guys!!

  • BeigeWolf

    8/31/2011 10:40 AM


  • OCsponger587

    8/31/2011 5:42 AM

    the dirt and DH course the most important news worthy story of any race

  • rayhaan

    8/31/2011 2:28 AM

    this is so awesome!

  • lev

    8/30/2011 11:27 PM

    These photo montages tell such a great story. Thanks

  • Pininator

    8/30/2011 10:35 PM

    I want a bike that can lose 4/100 of a pound in less than a minute. I want one very much!!

    @VitalRider - it's only Tuesday. They've only just begun to scratch the surface!

    @Skidz - That helmet is mega-awesome-radaliciousness at its finest!

  • Mr. P

    8/30/2011 9:55 PM

    Thanks for your clarification, and I appreciate where you are coming from. But all other media are going to pick up the same story. What makes these photo/clips/whatever so great is that they get into the lifestyle, the feel, the essence of being in the circuit for half a year, on the side of mountain for 10 hours at time, the close friendships that form in that environment, be it wrench, rider, photog or fan. It's the not obvious story, and IMHO, its the real gem, it captures me every time. I dig the duct tape 'staches & the pillows of dust in the light, as I can relate to them as a rider - it's what makes me love riding - it's so much more than just the trail/course.
    - Former pro photog :-)

  • VitalRider

    8/30/2011 9:28 PM

    I'm not suggesting all creative/obscure shots be cut. That's what makes Vital rad. Keep them, but add in some more 'content filled' images. Creating art with photos is great, but this is a 'news' site and should also have as much info as possible in the photos. If you look at PinkBike's day2 update, it's got great images that tell more story. You can have both. I want to see Vital keep pushing the limits with photo quality and info. In saying all this, I do agree that Sven and Gary do a fantastic job and are excellent photogs. -Former photo editor

  • Mr. P

    8/30/2011 9:18 PM

    Sven, keep the "obscure" shots coming. The more abstract the better. All other media will cut them with impunity - their mistake in mediocrity - embrace what you have here. Bring it!

    With arms wide open
    Under the sunlight
    Welcome to this place
    I'll show you everything
    With arms wide open
    With arms wide open
    @91001 lol
    Could be worse, could be Winger.

  • Skidz

    8/30/2011 8:38 PM

    Gwin's helmet is the single greatest thing I've ever seen.

  • sspomer

    8/30/2011 8:28 PM

    @hayden, the first 4X practice is on weds.

  • Hayden_Wright

    8/30/2011 7:53 PM

    More 4X!

  • mattyj

    8/30/2011 7:43 PM

    Looks like Fairclough is on an S WORKS demo!

  • OCsponger587

    8/30/2011 6:57 PM

    if you've read one typical boring ass mountain biker comment you read them all. i want moar roozt

  • VitalRider

    8/30/2011 6:40 PM

    Your photos are top notch for sure. But please... no more roost shots. Show us the course from a wider angle, the scene, the oddities, the dynamic nature of the event and venue. We've seen 37 dirt roost/close up dirt/tread shots this season. You've seen one, you've seen them all.

  • 91001

    8/30/2011 5:45 PM

    Apparently, the Swiss still listen to Creed. On behalf of all Americans, I'd like to apologize for letting them beyond our borders...

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