CALM BEFORE THE STORM, Val di Sole World Cup Action 6

<b>Italy's silent assassins. Trek World Racing's legendary mechanic, Monk, in audio.</b> -Turman

<b>Most people are banging wide here into the catch rut. Sam Hill brakes early and cuts it inside to fly into the final steep chute with serious momentum. Sam's Team Manager, Nigel Page, in the audio.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Aaron Gwin is looking a lot quicker in today's practice than he has all week. It can only mean one thing...</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Lots to think about for tomorrow. Gee reflects on a long, hard week but at least his nipples aren't getting chaffed. #sixpack</b> -Sven Martin

<b>LOL WHAT???</b>

<b>Less than a handful hours for Brook to prove himself on one of the most favorable tracks for him this year.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>The track here is challenging enough to warrant yet another day of slow runs and watching lines. Morgan Charre can do well here and she's making sure she doesn't miss a trick.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>4X Pro Tour finals also proved dramatic with the two leaders, Prokop and Slavik, crashing over the final drop, leaving 3rd and 4th to freely run through. </b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Sender Stevie Smith going for the second backside past the roots. #youhavenoidea</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Since this is an in-camera dual exposure and not *digital art,* we will allow it on Vital. The only reason this is here to show you the two line options for the infamous second last turn.</b> -Sven Martin

Apparently some snakes have been seen by the river. One way to cool down after training is to dip in the glacial waters. #shrinkage</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Yes, we have our favorites on Vital and Connor Fearon is definitely one of them. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Some notice the temperature. Others notice the time. Either way we baked out there today.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Fresh outta high school, Bubba Warren has been quietly flying under the radar. 30th place in Fort William and 25th qualifier against a field full of Val di Sole veterans. #gobubs</b> -Lee Trumpore

<b>Cameras tend to flatten perspective, but make no mistake, this track is steep and the holes are huge. It's taped wide, but the margin for error is razor thin. Wyn Masters cuttin' like a Norelco thanks to modern technology.</b> -Lee Trumpore

<b>An unidentified Junior rider does his best Predator impression in the first woods section, despite being too young to understand his own caption.</b> -Lee Trumpore

<b>Andrew Neethling moto madness.</b>

<b>The XC race was a dead heat even after the examination of the photo finish, so they decided the race on a good old fashioned dual slalom shootout. Nino took another win for 650B or 27.5 depending on what side of the pond you live.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>My favorite part of shooting XC on a Saturday are the pans to be had. 1/13th of a second for 3rd place rider and Olympic Champ, Jaroslav Kulhavy.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>This is about the wettest you will see the dirt all week. A random spring sprouted for a second but quickly dried up. It's going to be fast, dry and loose tomorrow. Sam Blenkinsop in audio.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Luke Strobel flying the monster-trucking American flag high. #sidewards</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Rather than resting up for race day, Sick Mick was putting in the runs today to get lines dialed in time for finals. Will the strategy pay off?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>If you didn't watch DirtTV's vid and Remi Thirion at 5:01, then you're blowing it. For that move alone Remi will get a shot on Vital every day for the rest of his life. (Link to DirtTV vid in description below the slideshow)</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Watching that Remi Thirion .gif too many times will leave you looking like this.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>When World Cups are still a new thing, even the fire road from the gondola can be shredded for some fun! Taylor Vernon playing up for the lens.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Loic Bruni had played it safe during qualifying due to not being protected. Considering that, a top 10 is impressive! Camera clean required in 3... 2...</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Troy Brosnan looking comfortable on the bottom of the track where a lot of riders are fading from over 3-minutes of abuse.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Exploding loam, a common sight in most corners. A lot of riders don't get to ride this sort of dirt very often. #davecamus</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>With the qualifying cutting out a lot of men outside the top 150, the B practice felt pretty empty and the top women had a chance to get uninterrupted runs.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>The XC race had quite the crowd today. Competitive racing down the last lap made quite a spectacle. #29ersgalore</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Joe Smith is feeling the effects of riding fast on a brutal track for three days.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>One Life Crew. Every time this particular member has been present Greg Minnaar has won.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Emmeline Ragot appears to be the main challenger to Rachel Atherton and was also putting in a lot of runs today.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Body armor worn over clothes? $150. No knee pads? $0. Inability to get to the chairlift. Priceless. I watched this pair get their rentals stuck in the turn gate for a good 5 minutes. #itsnoteasytomtbsometimes</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>"Dude, XC guys use XX1? SRAM is going to love this shit! The foliage will provide excellent foreground bokeh, too!" Victor Lucas and Sven know to pay the bills. They shoot XC.</b> -Tim Bardsley Smith


<b>Tempting fate or saving seconds? Wyn Masters squeezes by.</b> -Turman

<b>Who will be in the spotlight tomorrow? We're all eager to find out. Stay tuned for race day results and coverage on Vital MTB. Thanks to Sven, Duncan, Joe, Lee and Brandon for the best World Cup story-telling on the web.</b> -Turman

One last day of practice, plenty of nerves and an ever-changing track. The Val di Sole World Cup downhill will soon come to a close, but not before our questions about who is fastest are answered.

DirtTV Qualifying Video with Remi Thirion magic move GIF in the comments
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  • JohnnyK

    6/16/2013 11:42 AM

    pure awesomness

  • reubenshaul

    6/15/2013 10:50 PM

    amazing shot that XC panning one, but not slow enough as duncan's....

  • Stiksandstones

    6/15/2013 10:12 PM

    vital slaying it again, superb...even if there is way too much of this Wyn guy.

  • Big Bird

    6/15/2013 7:44 PM

    I have a request to make for all and/or just one of the Vital MTB photo contributors. There's always talk of how much the course changes during a race weekend at a World Cup. What if one of you was to build a set camera mount a la (I forget which film where they shot the same trail in all four different seasons and blended them all together with washes to make the seasons chase the rider down the hill.) so that you can come back to the same spot and shoot the same angle of the track. That way we could get a time lapsed view of how the track is changing as the loam is scrubbed away by the riders. That'ed be sweet. Can't wait till 7:15 tomorrow morning! Bake on brothers. Everyone loves bacon.

  • MCFlow

    6/15/2013 7:15 PM

    Another superb slideshow by the Vital crew!

  • Pininator

    6/15/2013 7:03 PM

    Stoke is topped-off...thanks!!

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