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La Bresse World Cup News Feed Update #2

La Bresse World Cup News Feed Update #2

Billy Thackray Billy Thackray

Keep an eye on this continually updating post for all the latest news from La Bresse, France.

Update #2 Scroll to the bottom for the latest news!


Bad news this morning, thieving scumbags broke into the unmarked Kona team van and made off with all the team bikes.
Mitch Delfs and Matti Dupelle have dashed off to Geneva to try and get some spare bikes sorted for the weekend.

Track walk starts at 14.00pm today.

Stanny, Reidy and Ali.

Just got to say thanks to Stanny, Reidy and Ali for the lift over in Thundertruck MKii AKA Vampire Deluxe.

Word on the street is that the MS Evil team will be on the Evil Undead carbon bike this weekend.

La Bresse is a small town with a river running down the middle of it. Pit space is tight, so expect to see teams setting up on pavements and driveways.

A compulsory body armour rule will be in force this weekend.

The French Cycling Federation are insisting riders wear back protection and elbow protection for this race. We’ll have to see how riders who don’t normally wear body armour interpret this rule.

Danny Hart has a stealth new paint job on the Glory.

Is this a new lighter V3 that Myriam Nicole and the Ruffin Bros will be riding?

Adam “Gas to Flat” Brayton’s brother Sam caught this massive whopper of a trout in the river that flows through town. For the techies amongst you, I think he used a spinner.



It wouldn’t be a World Cup without rain. Today, Friday, the first day of practice and the rain has begun to lightly sprinkle down.

The La Bresse uplift.

Ben Reid-Fruit and Fibre

It’s going to be interesting to see how the riders interpret the body armour rule this morning.

Dirt Norco rider Ben Reid wasted no time at all in getting the scissors and cardboard (Fruit n Fibre-750g) out to fashion a pair of “elbow guards”.

new V3

Gee Atherton has a new bike. A lighter version of the V3. Same geometry just about 1lb lighter.

Brendan Fairclough

Brendan is running the new Renthal direct mount stem.

New saint caliper?

Aaron Gwin is running what looks to be a new prototype Saint brake. All mechanic Monkey would say was “whoop, these things are powerful!”


Sun’s shining on La Bresse hillside today for WC qualifying.

Sunday Race Day

Race day at La Bresse. Rained all night and still spitting down now.

  1. OliC

    “dashed off to geneva”!?!? Poor guys thats a good ol’ drive. french way, french cross country or swiss motorway.

  2. dirt dodger

    I reckon the protection rule will be interpreted how it was in the Mega this year with pieces of cardboard chucked in here and there. TBH a back protector isn’t a bad thing with all the modern gear available but F.F.S these are Pro riders @ WC level and with careers, shouldn’t they be able to decide this for themselves???

  3. Andy

    Is it that much of a hardship for them to wear it, i think not. Other sports require you to wear certain protection, some people may not like it, if they don’t hard luck.

  4. Loonie

    Fox truck got pinched now Kona’s actual race bikes? Those posh trailers need a few better padlocks or maybe a few more people who a not ‘totally-stoked’ and actually have their wits about them considering they are hauling 1000’s of pounds worth of kit about.

  5. dirt dodger

    Andy i don’t think you will get much support with that comment buddy, safety is a good thing but we can’t compare sports can we? Do we make sprinters wear ankle supports? what about horse riders-do they have to wear protection other than a pisspot lid? Some riders may never have worn a back protector or elbow guards in their life, they take getting used to if you want to wear them so how is it fair to drop it on them on race weekend??? It’s not, now if the UCI had issued orders pre-season or even pre-event it’s a different thing – I suppose only WC teams will be able to answer that for us. DIRT?

  6. craig

    look at the full finger glove rule. daft as a brush UC not in touch I. one word.. Blenki

  7. stooky

    personally I totally agree with the back protector however as dirt dodger says. It can’t happen for one race at the end of the season.

    It must be really hard working for the UCI so many changes recently and I can’t see one that the WC riders like. Please enlighten me if there is.

  8. dhdave

    I ALWAYS steal and I never wear any protection. Dont even stick on those jimmy hats when im nailing your family members gayyyyboyyyyz. DHdave for the win owwwww

  9. Dirt HQ

    I don’t think the UCI are to blame on this one. This is a French thing. They insist on back protection. It may have something to do with insurance or liability, but all the riders should have been aware of this from the start of the season. Most have known about it for a while.

  10. stooky

    I stand corrected…. uci still not in my good books….:-)

  11. Kenny

    isnt there a story of Rob Warner racing in france and getting through all of qualification to be told in his final run that he couldnt race unless he had a back protector on! its all well and good moaning about it but wearing a back protector for one race isnt going to hurt!!!

  12. carrot

    carbon demo this weekend?

  13. rh

    Baltic the Bus is looking sweet man!

  14. vice

    mandatory protections is a rule subject to changes depending on each local federation for WCs which is written down on WC rules every year. any race organised in france is under responsability of the FFC, back protectors all the way down here (from france)

  15. MJT

    France is not the only place in the world where a rule like this exists. In Quebec, Canada it is mandatory for all people racing or just riding to wear elbow, knee and back protection while riding downhill. I know for the Mont Ste Anne world cup they did not enforce it on the world cup racers but anyone else riding there had to wear it. For all other races in Quebec they enforce the rule.

  16. Redride

    either way… look at the Hans system in F1. compulsory!

  17. TimBud

    What qualifies as a back protector? There’s a loophole that will be exploited, just like at the Mega.
    Don’t know what all the neck brace riders will do if its properly enforced though.

  18. obi

    Thats good they are getting them to wear body armour there going so fast any crash is going to hurt !

  19. Spooky

    Never understood the need for a back protector, sure it helps if you happen to be sliding on your back but most bike related back injuries come from compression, and a wee plastic spinal board aint gonna do anything in that respect.

  20. TimBud

    Hans is compulsory in F1, because its been proven to save lives in car racing. In mtb its all inconclusive, so far anyway

  21. Joe

    mmmmm maybe true Spooky, though what are you basing that on? Anecdotal evidence or published literature?

    Either way, I’m happy to wear a dainese board and elblows. I was glad I had that on when something punched a hole most of the way through it in a slam and crushed all the aluminium honeycombing over my C7ish vertebrae. Horses for courses innit.

    Unless the governing federation stick their oar in…

  22. Tim Lake

    I’m sure the riders will get used to this rule just like they have to get used to any other rule set out by the governing body. They either wear armour or don’t race. Pretty simple…

  23. Downhilldan

    I wonder if Mr Gas to Flat still has his pizza box he used for back protection at an SDA this year

  24. Leo

    @downhilldan I was at that race, pissed myself when I heard about that

  25. Spooky

    @Joe. I’m basing my opinions on experiences from myself, friends and what i’ve read on the net. My mate broke his back riding 10years ago, landed on top of his head and compressed 2 vertebrae. I’m not saying spinal boards dont work, i’m just saying that whenever i’ve heard of people breaking their backs riding, its been a compression fracture. Armour is good for stopping severe abrasions but generally, if you’re going down hard enough to break bones, 9 times outta 10 you’re gonna break them regardless of what you’re wearing.

  26. Gobbler

    Why are people quoting the Mega as a benchmark for requiring a back protector?

    In 8 years of doing it I, nor none of my friends have ever even been checked, or told to wear one?

    The only ‘rule’ is long sleeves or elbow pads, but they can’t even be bothered to enforce that.

  27. TimBud

    A back protector will surely only protect you from back impacts and serious twisting of the spine (vertically).
    How often do you hear of riders landing on their back first in a crash?
    As I figure, it will generally be head first and as your head is so heavy it puts a huge pressure on the spine (mainly at the top). However back protectors don’t offer much neck support and are very often not compatible with neck braces.
    As recent popularity suggests, riders and races much prefer a neck brace to armadillo armour.
    I find this rule quite old fashioned especially as current thinking seems to favour neck protection first….

  28. Sam

    Will this be the end of Blenkinsop’s glovelessness?

  29. Daniel DH

    Bing on Old school style!

  30. Phil

    Super-shitty news for Mitch and Matti. DirtCamp is thinking about you boys!

  31. ddmonkey

    Surely a proper back protector is more comfortable that a bit of cardboard shoved down your top? What’s that all about?

  32. Andy

    @dirt dodger

    Yeah, fair enough, it shouldn’t be sprung on them just for that race if they didn’t know about it beforehand.

  33. Med

    Whats with all the bike theft, here, the fox truck, maddison factory…… are there a bunch of mtb riding mafia guys out there getting stolen stuff to order!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Redride

    off topic.. seems mike montgomery’s bike’s stolen too…

  35. Decade99

    Is Sam Hill back for this weekend?

  36. Cord

    Come on Billy, this “constantly updating post” hasn’t changed. I’m in work bored sh1tless, checking every 7 seconds and need an update!!!

  37. Mr

    Tell you what I like, how British cycling do nothing and don’t send any reminders or notifications to British WC riders informing them the need armour and we get here and were pretty much screwed, cheers bc

  38. Pedro

    Blenky stay at home :)

  39. billy

    Soz Cord, all a bit quiet today, plus I’m feeling a bit ropey! Will get on the ball for you tomorrow!

  40. farmer

    bravo Adam for the trout.

    will see if Peaty can win again.

    obviously protection are useless if you don’t fall problem is you never know when you will eat rock. ( I remeber th efall of mr Miamy Brice on a Rock section when he was over motivated )

  41. Calum

    i wear a back plate for racing, and i obviously agree armour is a good idea, BUT i still think it should be the riders choice, especially the glove rule. i mean say u have a wee off in practice at a wet race and get mud all over gloves, you just want to take them off, stick them in your pocket and get on with the rest of ur run! but then again if its for insurance reasons then thats different.

  42. Eoin

    Any chance of some chit chats? I’ve come to enjoy them more than the riding videos!!! (except for dirttv’s satruday practice videos of course, pure pleasure condensed into video form)

  43. Big G

    I agree that it should be riders choice to wear whatever armour they want (apart from a full face – thats a no brainer!), but surely takin the piss out of the rule by wearing cardboard on your back is just daft, how stupid are you going to look if you actually crash and mess your back up! Not going to be laghing when your getting airlifted to hospital on a spineboard are you!!!!!

  44. carrot

    is that glory lacking welds?

  45. carrot

    looks carbon to me

  46. wICK

    yhea?? is it ?…
    looks like it doesnt have welds, but still lloks like alloy tubing.
    it’s nice anyway.
    and i tought the Evil guys were already on Undead ?…i guess not.

  47. cool hand luke

    size of that fish!!!! well done gas to flat junior

  48. Cord

    Cheers Billy, much appreciated!

  49. Loonie

    Biily the man!

  50. Joe

    These thiefs are pretty bloody proffesional! Maybe they should be dealing with the seriousness that bikes are being stolen and how they should bring an end to it. Rather than focusing on the whole body protection theme.

  51. gweggy

    I think it’s a good thing, that worldcup riders have to wear some protection for this race. I agree, that it’s their own problem, if they don’t wear protection and get injured, but all of these pros are role models to many amature riders, who don’t have the skills or experience the pros have and who should better wear protection. But if they see their idols winning races and surviving crazy stunts without wearing anything but a helmet and the newest Troy Lee kit, they’ll likely do the same

  52. Toby

    gloves? thats fucking bullshit way to fuck with all the kiwis heads just as they start to do well, why can the ama motocross run what ever they like but not downhillers

  53. Jarod
  54. Nathan

    I’m also of the opinion that it’s not such a bad thing. Do think that in the interest of both the riders, those who look up to them & most importantly the sport, it would be good to see a ruling in place requiring the compulsory wearing of a proper spine & kidney protector at all levels of formal DH racing. Possibly the compulsory use of gloves too. It would be fair to say that BMX racing is even more heavily regulated than DH racing, yet DH riding exposes the rider to far greater potential for injury- but then there’s very little in place as far as mandatory protection requirements are concerned despite this. It’s something that has actually baffled me for the last 7yrs of racing here in Aus. What I find most concerning about the trend is that it also perpetuates this mentality of aspiring pinners(& their parents) to spend $400-$600 on neck braces yet foregoing even just some basic body armour that protects the thing a rider is most likely, based on probability, to cause the most amount of problematic injury- the torso. I’m not bagging out neck braces by any means, in fact I’d regarded it as the single greatest innovation to have come to the sport in the last 5yrs, however I am incredibly frustrated by the numbers of junior & relatively inexperienced racers turning up to events with full face helmets, neckbraces yet no other upper body protection whatsoever.

  55. Joe

    Also you gotta think, its not just bones you break in a crash, you can tear and rupture organs too…

  56. Joe

    So a bit of coverage over a really important area ain’t a bad thing…

  57. Tim

    > FAO Billy <

    please can we change the WC news to a new link, so that it's WC news and not an armour debate? Lets stop moaning about armour and get excited about high speed action instead. Thanks.

  58. eoin

    hahah good man ben.. get yourself disqualified..

  59. Alan Jones

    @tim and @billy
    I second that notion…nuff is enuff

  60. Gavos

    Looking forward to the race, but surely there should be minimum requirements for uplifts when using vehicles ie crank trailers and mini buses, this is the World Cup not a backyard race.

  61. DH Daniel

    I think tha the armour debate is a really important thing…I myself find it uncomfortable to wear but I know that it has saved me from serious injury on more than one occasion. I have also not worn it and payed the price. Racers do need to set an example but I think that with the new armour technology and ‘soft’ shell alternatives everybody should be able to find a level they are comfortable with. I feel sorry for the privateers to now have another cost to cover.

    I do feel however that the movement restriction that is inevitable with the wearing of armour could actually deteriorate the level at which you are in control of your bike.

    Hmmm tricky.

  62. Deirdre

    The armour debate is very interesting…..

    I don’t want to get hurt, ever, I wear a Leatt/Dainese back plate/knee pads….I sometimes wear elbow pads, but not really sure how effective they would be…..but this is not about me, it’s about the right call….well I guess the French don’t like the idea of spending money fixing broken riders, so it’s their perogative.

    Can someone explain why there are riders putting cardboard armor on? Surely that would be more distracting than a well fitted dainese piece ….

  63. Whipless

    Tour de France.
    That’s the race where people should wear body armour, not this one.

  64. Big Al

    Funny thing is ‘armour’, is the French word for love.

  65. Phil

    Close, but no cigarillo Big Al. The french word for love is ‘amour’.

  66. zac

    eat the fish.

  67. Pete

    I thought for a minute Gwin was using the old Hope 4 pots haha

  68. Farmer Giles

    Good old Baltic, doing what he does best.
    King of the bodge!

  69. Cord

    Is that an Ice-tech rotor in 6 bolt as well??

  70. ed@dirt

    Cord…they’ve been in the shops for a while now!

  71. Cord


  72. Leon

    Personally I think it should be mandatory in all WC DH racing .
    The amount of injuries you can prevent from ever happening greatly out weighs any mild un-comfort or sweat it may cause .
    I don’t think a back plate is as uncomfortable as having to have bit of your spine fused back together and I doubt need elbow pads are as annoying as a cracked elbow and 2 months of the bike.

  73. Leon

    * no idea why I put the word ‘ need ‘ in there near the end.

  74. stacy kohut

    i thought be reid was sponsored by troy lee?. i just checked the website, and i don’t see any cardboard elbows guards in their 2010 or 2011 online catalougue.but i do see a couple well engineered and developed elbow guard options.
    weak sauce ben reid, weak sauce.

  75. stacy kohut

    i hope the uci insurance program mandates full armour for every world cup event in dh from now on.
    nico wore pads, palmer wore pads.
    wake up racers.

  76. stacy kohut

    then again, i also believe that the uci should mandate that all world cup dh facilities have a chairlift or gondy.
    shuttles in trucks for a wc? so weak. makes the sport and the event look less than world class.

  77. stacy kohut

    heres a post for you billy……….
    fluffy bunnies.
    warm fuzzy feelings.

  78. r_mac

    stacy speaks the truth.

  79. John

    Really no excuse nowadays for not wearing at least knee pads and some kind of back protector. Now they’re all made of that magic custard stuff you hardly even know your wearing one. Just seems like there’s a lot of people thinking it makes them look bad ass or something not wearing any. Then again I guess it’s real bad ass to break yourself and then not be able to work and have no money isn’t it?

  80. VonDH

    Split my shin to the bone, 1 month off the bike and confidence all to fook.
    Bought shin and knee guards following day.
    also use pot noodle pots for shoulder pads :-)

  81. nozes

    Sit down for a minute and think: Is this the top level of a 30 year old sport? Fashion over function AND security?
    No one wants to think about the worst,but it happens.But it’s not the WC racer’s I’m worried about,with all their expensive insurance and doctors to fix the problems,I’m worried about the kids in my local races,trying to be the next Brosnan and getting some broken bones or worst by not using the armour.

    Grow the f*#k up,what’s this cardboard cutting shit on a downhill World Cup race? If the body armour your sponsor makes is unconfortable,tell them to make it better!

  82. zac

    i still think the fish is the best thing before the racing starts !

  83. addicto

    in the swimming pool in morzine you had to wear speedo’s. board shorts weren’t allowed. bastid uci.

  84. John

    I hear Barrymoore is buying aa place near the pool in morzine, I think you’d want to use more than a bit of cereal box down the back your speedo’s though pal!


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