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Smiles for Miles: Hafjell, Norway World Cup DH Action

<b>Three generations with Steve Peat anchoring them all. Bryceland, Steve and SPS rider, James Swinden. Legacy. Peaty possibly pulling your leg in the audio as fastest timed practicer.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>The photographer warm up walk is about 15 min from gondola to the start of the track. I can't help but think how Gary Perkin would pass the time. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Boom. No lip. No proper landing to speak of. This is the big natural gap. I love it when courses like this allow for a small amount of the riders to try stuff out of reach of the masses. Well done, Aaron Gwin and Hafjell.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>With the series locked up and the #1 plate on the front of his bike, all eyes were on Aaron Gwin <a href="http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/Aaron-Gwins-2012-World-Cup-Champion-Trek-Session-9-9,4309/Is-this-the-Sickest-Custom-Build-Ever-Aaron-Gwins-2012-World-Cup-Champion-Trek-Session-9-9,42485/bturman,109" target="_blank"><font color="#ffff00">and his custom Trek Session</font></a> while he flew through this gnarly and steep rock garden...</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>...but immediately after making short work of the rock garden before, Gwin stuck his front wheel in a hole on a tricky off-camber and was sent straight over the bars. Even the best in the business are being challenged by the new track here in Norway. </b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Robin Wallner not only has the biggest wardrobe of sweet, matching race kits but he also has a matching team van, trailer and one of the best styles in the business. I can shoot the Are Bike park team all day long...#scannerpride.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>It feels like ages since we last saw Brendan Fairclough at a World Cup and I'm sure it won't be long before we see photos of tear-offs being pulled mid-jump if we get some rain...</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>...Almost! Too dry and and too soon into the run to pull a tear off. @Brendog_1 does the "Photographer Point" as the next best thing. The manual to seat bounce over the next roller into the second jump was equally impressive but more of a video thing.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Matt Simmonds was pinned all day here in Norway, and if his 2nd place in timed training is any indication of the pace we may see on race day, the young British racer may deliver on his true potential this weekend.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Sam Hill making a splash in the awkward exit to the rock section and not even phased by the rotor-eating orange rock..</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>See? The track in Hafjell took a beating all day today from the world's best but the rocks are still holding their ground and catching out riders who venture off their chosen line. YES!</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Local talent! Current Norwegian National Champion, Isak Leivsson, has some serious style. Not sure about landing with a foot on the crank arm though! #scannerstyle</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Rich Thomas, Remi Thiron and Richie Rude (who learned the headslap from John Reynolds).</b> -Joe Bowman

<b>It's hard to believe that a current World Champ operates their pits out of the back of a car! Morgane Charre's previous experiences include having to pay a Scottish bike shop to service her bike every day at Fort William...</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>...but it doesn't phase her one bit. Two weeks ago not too many people knew about Morgane, but now she no longer comes in under the radar when flying down the track.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Fresh off his win at World Championships, Greg Minnaar was wasting no time in getting up to speed and squashing the jumps at the top of the track. <a href="http://www.vitalmtb.com/videos/member/This-Is-Peaty-1-Hafjell-Helmet-Cam,15318/joebo,1905" target="_blank"><font color="#ffff00">Watch him blast the course with Steve Peat!</font></a></b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Greg says he is racing for the win as always, not racing to protect his second place overall which he isn't too fussed about. Its always for the win. The rest is secondary. Iron Fist indeed. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Scott 11 team boss Claudio Calori isn't racing this weekend but was on track shooting helmet cam footage and audio commentary. Stay tuned for the result.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Remi Thirion's body position might give a hint to how off-camber this section is. When there's loose, wild sections to watch, Remi will always be one to put on a show!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>George Brannigan hits warp speed just below the massive step down on his way to the 4th fastest time in timed training.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>These two (Eliot Jackson and Bernard Kerr) hit more of the track's big lines than 95% of the field on their very first run. Suicide the first jump and blind huck on the Boom-Boom-Huck-Stepdown...all first run. Impressive and crazy.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>A far cry from the rocks and roots, Needles rails a pristine 180 berm. </b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Sam Blenkinsop is all smiles here in Norway. He's having fun on the track and gunning for the podium on Saturday to end a disappointing season on a high note. </b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Colin Jones from Anthill is happy with technology, these days. You don't even have to do anything to get the shot. Look out for some World Cup work coming from the powerhouse production company soon...#boosh!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Morning mist and unique room with a view. #TIN. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Graeme Pitts from the USA is out here remembering the good times he had at Whistler in Whip Off Worlds. Not a bad start to a World Cup track, barely 50 meters in. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>The women's title race is still up for grabs and both Emmeline Ragot (pictured) and Rachel Atheton, who are only separated by 80 points, will be giving it their best. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>In Switzerland they have cows with big bells in. In Norway...</b> -Sven Martin

<b>#1 in timed runs mate, take that! Now fook off...LOL.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>To clear the Boom-Boom-Huck-Jam gap, you have start cranking it up about 30 seconds earlier. Gee does just this while one of the Trumpore triplets works his way into background props.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Sam Hill loves this track. You know what that means. gordo knows because Sam is his bet in <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">Vital OTB</font></a>!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Normally as the day progresses, riders get more confident and we see bigger and bigger whips being thrown. However this hip leads to the huge, natural step down so we began to see riders squashing and even shifting gears in mid air over this jump in prep for the gap. Marc early in the day with the whips!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Not the lowest but Harnstrom aiming to carry some speed across the hip.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>"You can take mah lines, boot you'll never take mah freeedom!" says Scottish Junior, Fraser McGlone, as he blasts past a crowd of riders trying to work out the awkward rock section.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>As a potty trainer in the educational line up of the Syndicate, Miami Bryce leads out through the jumps on their first run of the day.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Alternative to the moto whip. Why not take off your foot ala Romaniuk, as Canuck, Matthew Beer, shows us.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Focus, speed, style and determination is what makes a great World Champ and it will take that to win here on Saturday. One last wide open shot of Morgane Charre before she takes her first run in the rainbow jersey in qualifying tomorrow.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Stay tuned for more great action from Norway! The forecast for qualifying is for temps to be near 0-degrees Celsius! Get out the tire warmers 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">make your Vital OTB prediction now!</font></a></b> -Duncan Philpott

The best downhill mountain bikers on the planet get their tires dirty on the fun, fast and diverse Hafjell, Norway World Cup course. Plenty of air, plenty of rocks and faces full of smiles at the last event of the 2012 season.

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