Accessibility Widget: On | Off

Photo

The World Cup track in Lourdes has quickly become both a rider and fan favorite, and with good reason. The track is relentless from top to bottom, and it offers up a formidable challenge to anybody trying to ride it at race speed. The 2016 edition of the race saw an additional ingredient thrown into the mix as the weather moved in and made things extra interesting. We hung out at the top rock garden during morning practice on qualifying day and we took the opportunity to snap the top riders as they navigated a tricky corner near the exit. This corner comes right after a full-on line through a huge, slippery boulder field, and although it offers some support it's far from easy to rail - especially when your bike is either trying to buck you off or slip away from under you. Dive into the shots below and see how the world's best take on this particular little piece of nastiness.​

Junior World Champ Laurie Greenland joined Mondraker for 2016, and by the looks of it, he's well on his way to following in Danny Hart's footsteps (check Danny in the title image above): knees out - check. Nasty lean angle - check. Eyes on the prize - check.

Photo

Marcelo Gutierrez is always a pleasure to shoot, he was looking good on the bike all week although he'll probably be a bit disappointed with his 17th place in the finals.

Photo

Loic Bruni was beyond any doubt the fastest rider on the track, and it showed in this tricky spot too. Lots of lean, two tires off the ground, full commitment.

Photo

Gwin went looking for some French enduro lines...

Photo

...but he cleaned it all up eventually.

Photo

Troy Brosnan rarely looks like he on the edge, he's always smooth and light on the bike with little excess movement. And everybody knows, smooth is fast...

Photo

Minnaar was struggling at times in Lourdes, but his classic style never changes.

Photo

We chose a later frame for Rat, so you can better admire the hair.

Photo

Atherton, unflappable as always. It takes more than a few slick rocks to phase the Gee-man.

Photo

George Brannigan is always up for getting extra wild...

Photo

...while team-mate Thibaut Ruffin kept calm and held it down the inside. Check how far behind his saddle he gets to clear the step even as he's entering the turn, us mere mortals can learn a lot from seeing just how active the top pros are on their bikes.

Photo

Pure aggression from Sam Dale.

Photo

Perfect Form, starring Brook "Bulldog" MacDonald, now playing at a track near you.

Photo

Perfect Form 2, the sequel with Harry Heath. Hips don't lie...

Photo

Stevie Smith calm, cool, collected, and on his way to an eventual 2nd place finish just behind Gwin in the Finals. Chainsaw is back...

Photo

Team mate Mark Wallace gets the nod for the attack in this particular turn though. He'd go on to finish in a very respectable 8th place, showing he's right there behind Stevie.

Photo

Innes Graham took his 105 plate right up to 33rd in the finals. It takes more than a little mud to throw a Scotsman off his game...

Photo

Adam Brayton didn't send it to flat but was stoked to land in 27th. He was on it through the rock garden from the start.

Photo

There you have it, trackside at a world cup is the place to be to see the best bike handlers in the world do their thing. Throw 'em all together and you get a full dose of radness:

Catch more rad content from the Lourdes World Cup RIGHT HERE.


Photos and feature by Johan Hjord

Create New Tag
3 comments
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment