For the 2012 World Cup season we're proud to tell you that we have not one but two superstar photographers onboard. Sebastian Schieck joins Victor Lucas to bring you 20 amazing World Cup images.
Jared Graves new Carbon DH bike - its light, stiffer, stronger and hopefully faster! There are only two of these in existence... [audio:http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Damion.mp3]
This is the main new section to the track, instead of a swinging sharp left across these rocks, it drops steeply over some gnarly boulders but then turns sharp right and holds height and speed across the hill. This is rough...[audio:http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Chris-Ball.mp3]
Right now the course is amazingly smooth and beautifully sculpted. The riders should be flowing through this lot at warp speed. Unless the weather turns bad and the track gets shredded by a million runs of spike tyres.
This is the flat-out run into the pedally motorway section, holding max speed through these huge MX jumps is vitally important. Some riders reckon this is where the race will be won.
and last but not least... introducing Dirt's new web photo contributor - Sebastian 'The Hoff' Schieck. I think he has been listening to a lot of Black Sabbath this winter but has promised his usual clean cut look will be back soon.
The flat pedal has a new hard-packed gravel surface that should help riders carry speed, even if things get a bit damp.
The new Red Bull camera crew were in action today, either that or some guy was going to blast Gee with a rocket launcher. Gee is pretty fired up for the race. [audio:http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Gee-pmb1.mp3]
Each team pit was neatly marked out with tent, tapes and sign boards - only problem for the CRC guys was that their spot need a bit of excavation work before they could make themselves comfy.
Danny Hart is obviously keen to get going at his first World Cup in the Rainbow jersey. He's put in the work and is ready for it...[audio:http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Danny-pmb2.mp3]
Seems like everyone who has the option will be on an adjustable seat post of some type this year. Any way to save the legs and spin out the high gears on the mid-section is worth a try.
On the bottom part right next to the track, you can still see the remains of the old 4-Cross track covered in grass. A reminder that we won´t see any rider to rider action anymore at the World Cups. Seb Schieck
The pedal section at least has got a new hard packed gravel surface for this year, so it should roll much better, especially under rainy conditions that we could see in the next couple of days. Seb Schieck.
Richie Rude and Jared Graves checking out the entrance to the Gully section. The flat out high speed part the riders are flying through just before they hit the two massive tables.
Putting up the new outfit for 2012.
Marc Beaumont, Dan Brown and the two Team GT mechanics arriving in South Africa at the airport in Durban.
The road to Pietermaritzburg. For the third time after 2009 and 2011 it will be the World Cup opener. Seb Schieck.
Here we go. The start of our World Cup coverage this season. Seb Schiek
It´s hard to describe how painful and exhausting it will be on race day to get through that endless pedal section in the middle of the track. This view probably gives you a better clue.
There weren´t a lot of bikes around today. Nigel Page gives us a quick look on the new colours the Chain Reaction Team will be flying this year. Seb Schieck