Archives: World Cup

Hafjell – PL40

This time last year I was lucky enough to be in Hafjell riding the world cup track with 10 mates over a long weekend which was only made possible by the generosity of our friend, Piers Linney. As part of his 40th birthday celebrations he whisked us all away to paradise, hired us bikes to ride and rented the pimpest pad any of us had ever stayed in. Having our personal chef and life coach, Lars, on hand was one of many added bonuses.

I’ve previously written about our experience but one of the lads, Noel Hines, has just released his edit of the footage he took while we were there. Its a brilliant video but 19 minutes long, so if you’re time pressed check my personal highlights:

  • 0:00 – The Intro
  • 1:30 – Our faces on walking in to Lodgen
  • 2:20 – The beauty of Hafjell
  • 5:30 – First night excesses
  • 6:50 – Rodders look of fear when faced with a angry 2 metre penis
  • 18:10 – Piers managing to snap his boxxers

Thanks again Piers, it truly was the experience of a lifetime.

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Leogang World Cup – Saturday

Leogang World Cup – Saturday

Today has been interesting, haven’t been allowed to take where i was photographing yesterday since i don’t have a valid uci vest which is €50 to rent, world cup newbie error however i was fine with just a press pass at fort william and 2 days of photography here. Oh and my card has been blocked.. fantastic.

Anyhow, some of the riders seemed to be having a bad day too..

Here’s one taking a “rest” against a tree

Nice view of Leogang in the backdrop of this one.

Very few riders were getting this section right and rumor is it is going to be simplified for racing tomorrow. Gee Atherton seemed to have no issues consistently ploughing through.

Some of the women were on it in qualifying..

Something a little different.

So lets hope tomorrow goes a little better!

Leogang Friday 5 a Day

Leogang Friday 5 a Day

So, the 5 a day returns for Leogang. The weather was kind to us for the most part of the day fair skies for downhill practice however once it came to 4x qualifying the heavens opened and on this instance i retreated to the press centre to finish off work.

So anyhow, on with the photos..

These first two really count as one and if there was one guy today who really stood out it was Cedric Gracia.

Here CG pulls a huge one foot table in front of some epic scenery

And here are a few other things i caught him doing

Moving on from Cedric now to someone who didn’t quite get on with the track today.. washing out in style

The women weren’t looking to comfortable on the natural rooty sections however they really opened it up in the bikepark-style stuff

Matt Simmonds riding through one of those more natural sections with many riders keenly watching his line

Simmonds’ teammate Lewis Buchanan also tackles a technical section with ease.

How the riders cope tomorrow with all the rain will be interesting.. maybe a couple of crash shots to be expected tomorrow

02/06/2011 18:30

02/06/2011 18:30

18:30 Thursday the 2nd of June… I walk out of my last exam and into a van. With Sheffield disappearing behind us Ed, Pip and myself head through the Peak District and emerge into a surprisingly traffic free Glossop. The trip to Fort William had begun well.

We carried on driving well into the night… once in scotland the sun never seemed to fully set as the time-lapse shows.

And without further ado here are some photos, if you find black and white boring, you may not want to continue.

An early start and we leave our mountain surrounded visitor centre car park and depart past Glen Coe. The Drive takes in some of Scotland’s best landscape and it would have been great to have the time to stop and take a couple of proper landscape photos.

Tight and twisty roads lined with trees and not a car in sight at 5am.

Some traffic now but the views opened up to reveal mist-filled vistas.

It didn’t feel like long but after a few hours in this landscape we arrived! Time to get down to photo business and avoid sunburn. Friday enjoyed bright sunshine and low winds all day. Perfect.

Big camera out now and the first few runs of the day saw the majority of riders sticking together in their teams for line discussion and support. Here Neethling is followed by Duncan Riffle through the flowy top corners, looks like i’m getting a death stare in this one:

Further down the track things start to get a bit rockier. This is probably one of my favourite shots from the 3 days shooting. Eventual winner Greg Minaar emerges through the poles and rocks.

I recently invested in a new lens and its panning IS mode makes things a whole lot easier when it comes to tracking riders through trees.

You may have seen this photo before but I just had to include it again. Matti was throwing down some of the biggest whips all weekend. Maybe they need to start writing things on the bottom of his frame.

I say “some” as Danny Hart was putting in some good competition. This particular shot was taken during the qualifying runs. Some people reckon that without this he would have qualified ahead of Gee Atherton who was 0.001 seconds ahead.

Part of my work at Fort Bill included shooting some lifestyle photos, the signing sessions held on the Saturday and the Sunday attracted huge queues of people and it would seem the riders enjoyed the attention too.

Saturday afternoon saw the 4x take place. Huge crowds gathered and lined the course. Competition was tight.

The beginning of Sunday and the riders seemed to have regrouped in their teams again. A couple of runs before racing seemed to be the average for most teams. Here you can see the track winding down the hillside.

Troy is a pinner, there’s no doubting that. He was the fastest man on his team in qualification at Fort William, ending some of the superstition about small riders not being able to carry speed on “big manly courses”. With a little more riding consistency it shouldn’t be long before we see him on the podium.

Punctures were a common sight on the Hill, here Josh Bryceland has to walk past the road gap since the “pit stop puncture stop” had run out of tubes.

In the woods no rider looked as good as Sam Blenkinsop, he seemed completely at ease with the bike squirming over rocks finding a natural line.

Jill Kitner seemed lonely riding on the Transition team, with teammates out due to injury her confidence and ambition seemed unaffected.

The CRC boys looked fast all weekend, why they don’t podium is beyond me. Nonetheless that does look good in photos.

The Monster road drop was the most popular place for the crowds other than the finish line. Many riders safely rode across however some felt the need to stylishly send it.

Brook McDonald took the whole of Fort William by surprise and held the hot seat for ages. Only Greg Minaar and Danny Hart could beat him. Here we see Greg and McDonald exchanging appreciation for eachother’s run.

With every man down the hill Greg Minaar bursts into celebration. Riders congratulate him and he is the center of media attention. However in the left hand side of the frame we see Gwin distant and clearly dissapointed with his own run. 5 seconds faster than Greg at the last split a small crash on course lost him another monumental win.

On the road again we leave Fort Bill for Dover. Once on the other side we adopt driving on the wrong side of the road and activate the sat-nav. Our journey duration started at just over 10 hours and this estimate didn’t include traffic.

The drive consisted of hour upon hour of straight, efficient and dulll motorway. However there were a few interesting road side sights on the way…

With 2 hours of driving left to go we finally reach some “hills”!

Upon arrival camp was set and we passed time by hunting down a suitable power socket to charge many batteries. It wasn’t long before we grabbed some sleep. The view out of the “bedroom window” sure beats high rise student accomodation.

Wednesday is 4x track walking, the Anthill films team were floating about grabbing the odd filler shot here and there.

And well, that brings us up to now. Wednesday afternoon. I’m now settled in a chalet sharing with half the british 4x force out here in austria. The 5 a day will resume on friday and I should hopefully have a couple of track head cams online before then.

If you’ve managed to read the whole thing to here then thanks for taking the time to do so!

Final 5 – Fort Bill

Final 5 – Fort Bill

Well, its taken a while but here are my last few shots from fort bill.

Gee applies some style for the Anthill films boys who were out shooting the whole weekend.

ThisiSheffield’s own Jack Reading doubles up some rocks higher than any other i’d seen.

The Monster Energy drop attracted large crowds throughout the whole of the final runs.

The girls were looking faster than ever, pinned through the rocks here.

Finally Sam Blenkinsop enjoying the rocky, rooty and wooded sections of the course.

Next few will be from leogang!

Fort Bill is done…..

Fort Bill is done…..

…and I think I am still hungover.

Just a few snapshots of one of the most epic, strange and slightly worrying nights out I have ever had. Sitting in a Scottish curry-house round a table made up of the entire Santa-cruz Syndicate was surreal to say the least, but when Sessler got rowdy on the company card, and the drinks flowed, I started to feel more at home……We then went to a pub and the camera was pointed at stuff…..

Pull my finger….

Kathy Sessler can drink you under the table. Fact. She is also more of a legend than you may realise…this is stole from an interview with Kathy that I found on Dropmachine….

”In 1972 when I was 14 years old I saw the movie On Any Sunday, since I loved riding dirt bikes. Seeing the kids ride bicycles in the movie prompted me to make a race track on two vacant lots on my street in Seal Beach, California and promote bicycle races. Also, I had a friend named Scot Breithaupt who had just started putting on bicycle races in Long Beach, just about 5 miles away (he is considered the father of BMX).
At my track I dug the water holes, made the berms, and built the jumps, the biggest was an entire 18 inches high. I made flag banners out of red, white and blue crepe paper and stapled them to string around the track. I made paper plate number plates with our local motocross hero’s numbers on them. Many kids around the world were doing the same thing, but what set me apart from the rest is that I grabbed my dad’s 8 mm movie camera and took movies of my races. I have about 20 minutes of footage. This historic footage can be seen on the Sprung 5 DVD, and Joe Kid on a Sting Ray.
Once I took our team over to Scot’s track, and I helped him keep score. A motorcycle publication called Cycle News came out to cover the event, and I believe they coined the term BMX, in that article. There is a photo of Scot and I standing on a hill at the race. Probably the first article ever published on this new thing, BMX.
Enter mountain bikes in 1990. I was 32 years old, happily married to Chuck, had two small girls, Christie and Cori, and we had just moved to our home in Murrieta,California. There are miles of trails just outside my door, and one day I hopped on my husband’s $50.00 mountain bike and rode off into the hills. When I got home, with a grin from ear to ear, I said to Chuck, “This is what I’m going to do now, race mountain bikes!”
I raced my first race at the Fall Classic at Big Bear that year, then raced the California State Championship Series in 1991. In 1992 I raced downhill in the Pro class and raced pro downhill until World Champs in 1997, which was my last race. I was 3-time National Champ Veteran Women in 1992, 1993, &1994. I was a World Championship Veteran Women’s Silver medalist in 1992, Bronze in 1994 and Gold in 1996. In two other World Championships (’93 & ’95)I was the fastest veteran woman in the Senior’s race, but our class was disqualified due to only 4 countries being represented instead of the required 5 (which still makes me upset to this day).
I competed in the Winter X-Games in 1997 and went 67 miles per hour in the snow. I raced down Pike’s Peak in Colorado, and raced in the Reebok Eliminator down the Kamikaze at Mammoth. My best pro finish was 10th at the UCI World Cup at Mammoth in 1994.
I was the first pro to ever race an Intense Cycles frame. Jeff Steber made the frame on his kitchen table for me. I was the first Maxxis girl. I was also the first pro to ever race the Intense M-1, and that first race was the 10th place finish at the UCI World Cup in Mammoth in 1994.
In 1997 while still racing, I started doing stunt work for a TV show called Pacific Blue, which was a show about cops on bikes at the beach. I doubled all the girls on the show for three years, and worked in over 40 episodes. I’ve done a few commercials and a few stunts for some B-movies. I’ve been raped, shot and killed in a bank robbery, tackled bad guys to the ground from the bike, jumped the cop bike over a Hummer, done a wicked stair fall, and tons of chase scenes. If you thought racing was the cool, let me tell you that doing stunts was off the hook!!”

Then for  hangover cure we rode the ‘Red route’, which is incidentally one of the best bit of trails I have ever ridden. Little bike monster trukin’ FTW.

I lost a shock bolt low down on the trail…..10mins later and a bit of bodging had us back on the b-line esque lower section of trail….

So there we go….Fort Bill of over, wish I was heading down to Leogang with PhilPOD, but have to get back to Chamonix for work on Thursday…..Hard life I know….I would however like to thank bigstone for the trip up, Hannah Barnes for guiding us to some hidden loamy hillside and to Kathy Sessler, and Peaty. Without them I would not have been anywhere near drunk enough to lock myself outside my hotel in my underwear, while vomiting, and therefore would not have had to saunter back through the hotel lobby, still in said underwear, disturbing guests and night porters to reunite myself with my section of hotel room floor.

5 A day – Fort William World Cup – Saturday

5 A day – Fort William World Cup – Saturday

Today the riders stepped things up a gear, sending gaps and styling jumps to please the crowd!

Matti Lehikoinen was no exception and was getting as flat as anyone else, Matti qualified in 11th and is good positions to advance on that tomorrow

The top section is all about rocks and the riders love it.

Another pan and not the sharpest from the day however the colours were just leaping out and as a photographer i had to include it.

Manon Carpenter qualified in fifth and looked pinned all day, not bad for one of the youngest female racers on the circuit.

Finally, Danny Hart, qualifying in third against the best in the world and showing style like this in that qualifying run. Best of luck to Danny tomorrow, could it be his first world cup win?

For the full qualifying results see:

More photos tomorrow with all the racing action

5 A day – Fort William World Cup – Friday

5 A day – Fort William World Cup – Friday

Here’s a little snippet from the sunny action today at Fort William

The new start hut looks like the big brother eye…

Blenky should probably consider wearing gloves considering his hands were frequently this close to the rocky ground

Fabien Barel riding one slack machine!

Danny Hart forcing the bike round the corner against its will.

Jack Reading approaching a rock garden in an unconventional manner

Right, more tomorrow!

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