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Welcome to the 2012 UCI World Championships in Leogang, Austria

<b>The stars align and shine down on the 2012 UCI World Championships of Mountain Biking in Leogang, Austria.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Out with the old in with the new. Last week's bikes were so 2012. This is World Champs!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Mike Redding (Fox Head) and Monk Dawg (Gwin's Mechanic) drop some knowledge in this long chat about the World Champs over the next handful of slides. Their combined World Champs experience equals over 136,469 hours.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>A sneak into what I'm calling the PEATY PROJECT. 20 years of World Championships. It'll be on Vital soon and maybe Monk and Mike can witness Peaty win in person this time.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Here is looking at your first straight, right out the gate. Rather groomed, rather wide, and rather bermed. Unfortunately a lot of the track looks like this. Hopefully the rain will make it more interesting. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>The SRAM guys were still setting up as the evening sun set behind the mountain ranges around Leogang. In addition to being a portable work space, these pits will host the 2012 BoXXer World Champs!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Contrary to what you may think the FOX Racing and RockShox ultra-nerds are quite friendly. They are comparing ride stories, Justin's in Austria and Jon's in Colorado Springs, yesterday.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>This was usually a big crux section and it probably still will be when the traffic and weather gets on it. The area used to be nice and moody in the woods but half the trees have disappeared. For better TV viewing? Who knows.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>There is always still a little natural beauty on every DH track, you just have to look past the manicured trail to find it here this year.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Some big scenic backdrops abound here and some of the jumps have been lengthened with new kickers. Rachel reckons she might come up this short. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>We stashed these beers in a stream nearby the track last year, and forgot about them. Well the snow has melted and they are still waiting for us tomorrow.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Brendan Fairclough will not be here this weekend. It's a pity for him too, as he has a new mechanic.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Jason Marsh making sure the little details on Greg Minnaar's bike are sorted. Trust him when he says Minnaar rides way harder than you do.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Duncan Philpott is bringing out the big guns to World Champs. This is a GoPro on a stick on steroids. It unfortunately fell off the roof, and caused some damage to the car in the background.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>This is how you breed future champs and a Legacy of Aussie Downhill domination for generations to come. Jared Rando with a pack full of ringers!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Troy Brosnan is back racing, hungry for victory. If you are following him on Instagram and been checking Vital you would have already seen this new lid. <a href="http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/New-Kits-and-Gear-for-2012-World-Championships,4244/Neko-Mulallys-Custom-Kabuto-Helmet-for-World-Champs,41648/sspomer,2" target="_blank"><font color="#ffff00">Check out more World Champs Bikes and Kits</font></a></b> -Sven Martin

<b>Some custom new colors for this one-off Worlds Race. It's a bit easier for GT when all the riders are from the same country. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>These British racing green Freeriders are to grace the feet of Sam Dale this weekend. Shame this colourway won't be available next year.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Finishing touches being down all around the event today. Tomorrow is first official day on the schedule. We can't wait as Gee talks about his last experience in Leogang. <a href="http://www.vitalmtb.com/videos/member/Gee-Atherton-Soil-Sample,13564/sspomer,2" target="_blank"><font color="#ffff00">Watch the crash here...if you dare.</font></a></b> -Sven Martin

<b>Lots of tape measures were out and about in the pits today. New frames being checked against old ones. Neethling on a stock 2013 Giant Production bike here! </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Myriam Nicole, sidelined and she doesn't really remember why.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>The ominous mountains surrounding the bike park as seen through one of the many advertising banners.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Mike Redding of Fox with Ratboy, showing off the new kit and shootin' the shit. Josh is on a roll right now and we're pulling for him this weekend!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Driving to Leogang via Morzine from Shropshire after the 5th round of the British Downhill series is no minor task. Marshy drove through a couple of nights, negotiated road races and blocked roads to get us to Leogang in just under 48 hours, field to expo area.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>With a full moon illuminating the valley lay quiet as the riders, mechanics and fans all sleep, dreaming of what's to come. Stay tuned to Vital for the incredible World Champs action!</b> -Duncan Philpott

The biggest one-race event of the year is upon us and the best riders in the World have gathered to see who can withstand the pressure and be crowned World Champion.

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