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Breaking Ground: Norway World Cup Action Takes Off

<b>James 'Dodzy' Dodds, R.I.P. This weekend, we honor our fallen brother...</b> -Sven Martin

<b>A new day dawns on Hafjell, Norway, site of the last 2012 World Cup and the 2012 Industry Race!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Best morning commute ever. We stay near the top of the track and have 1000ft of vertical to the pits on sweet, sweet trails. Joe Bowman, camera bag and committed.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>As the official course walk wrapped up and the slightly-annual Industry Race was about to get underway, the heavens opened up and added a bit more moisture to the mix. The rains have been a daily occurrence here but the dirt in Norway takes to it quite well without giving up too much traction.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Chris Ball and Sven Martin worked with the Hafjell DH crew to put on an Industry Race for all those who've worked behind the scenes at the 2012 World Cup. Using part of the real DH track, the riders raced and chugged a beer at the finish to see who took the win!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>And wouldn't you know it, our very own gorilla with grit, Sven Martin, leaned in and won the Industry Race by just .09 over Nigel Page. YEW!!!</b> -Sebastian Shieck

<b>(Steve Peat in audio) Mr 29er himself, Chris Ball, getting stuck into a beer as he tries to challenge Sven's winning time. A huge thanks to both Sven and Chris for making this highly entertaining race possible!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>On the official result sheet, Rob Parkin, finished dead last in the Industry Race. Though the unofficial word on the street says he actually finished 4th after a last-minute mechanical caused him to start out of order.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Matti Lehikoinen giving pro line tips to the guinea pigs (aka Industry Racers) on the finish line jump.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Vital supplied the beers for the Industry Race. It was the least we could do for the die-hard crew behind the epic 2012 World Cup this year!! Here's to a great final weekend, everyone!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Mark Maurissen of Factory GT Racing does not do cheap, shitty Vital-supplied beer, however. He takes his in a glass and from one brewer only, Duvel. Beaumont lends moral support. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>The Industry Race track walk took us off the main WC DH track for a bit, Boris The Blade, Tim *Tallboy* Lake and Mono *Factory* Bartlett talk lines and style.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>UCI Technical Delegate, Chris Ball styling a carbon 29er to a podium position in 3rd. If it were not for Sven's beer chugging prowess, Chris may have finished a few places higher.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Mono Bartlett, filmer for MTB Cut, had no pre-run and raced a foreign bike all in the name of fun. A fitting end for all the-behind-the-scenes workers of this long and arduous World Cup season.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Sven says, "I felt bad cause i spilled some beer in my race run today, but then I saw this pic of Nigel Page who I eeked out by 0.09 sec for the win and saw he made just as big a mess as me. Fair play." </b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>You don't get more Norway than this. Hafjell local, Mads "Makken" Haugen, clicking one early this morning on Rollercoaster trail before the official UCI schedule kicked off. I feel like I'm not going to get much sleep this week if I can squeeze in runs like this before and after practice.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Bryn and Marcelo eye up one of the few mental rock gardens on the track while the Hoff wishes he had a stick for his new point-and-shoot.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>This is downhill. Questions were raised about the legitimacy of the track early on last week with many people throwing the "bike park" comment about. Once you enter the first wood section here, any doubts are silenced!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Red catch netting lines the steep sections of the track where riders would risk landing on other riders if they were to come in too hot or experience *minor mechanical* issues!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Suding and Cunningham discuss the finer details of this fresh World Cup track. Both with very different styles and approaches, but look out for both to do well here. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>No details were spared in prepping this track for a World Cup thrashing. We can't confirm the rumor, but we heard Colin Bailey has been hired by the Norwegian government for stump tread pattern design work.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Octopus sushi root section. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Greg isn't entirely new school after scoring his second World Champs in just under 10 years. By Peaty's standards that's still pretty fresh on the scene. So what's that make Bryceland? Pre-school? Potty training?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Marc and Gee aren't sponsored by Five Ten, can you tell? Start hut slip and slide. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Looking out of the start gate to the grins of Bryceland, Dale and Stock. Hafjell has a history of big jumps with ANTI Days of Thunder and it looks like they're wanting to bring that to the DH track!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>A grass roof that is the envy of the neighborhood does not simply grow itself.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>After World Champs, Rachel Atherton is feeling like she needs a little love. The rocks mid course oblige for her. Good luck Rach.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>It's hard not to be a tourist when you travel to a new World Cup venue. Norway is special for so many reasons, giant Trolls are just one of them.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>There is much more to Hafjell and Norway than just the race track. On the *other* side of the mountain is a network of trails just begging for attention. Anka Martin getting some Trans Provence training in during the changing weather conditions. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Kiwi, Bryn Dickerson, whips one out for Dodzy yesterday on one of the other many trails here in Hafjell.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Even Needles can't resist the fun trails around here and wasn't afraid to bust out a day before official practice starts. Cleaning his cleats in the lake.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Hafjell Bike Park, where the light is golden, the beer is dear and the nights cold.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Sunset over Hafjell and the end of day one. With DH Finals on Saturday, I have a feeling this week will fly by. Stay tuned for more and <a href="http://www.vitalmtb.com/features/Win-a-RockShox-BoXXer-and-TLD-SE-PRO-Bike-Kit-Vital-OTB-2012-Hafjell-World-Cup,368" target="_blank"><font color="#ffff00">place your Vital OTB prediction</font></a> for your chance to win a RockShox BoXXer and Troy Lee Designs kit!</b> -Duncan Philpott

A brand new World Cup venue full of epic riding and racing potential has everyone smiling. The Industry Race takes place and the DH track inspection is now over as the sun sets on the first day of the World Cup in Hafjell, Norway.

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