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2011 UCI World Champs Downhill Training

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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