ENTER THE DUSTBOWL
Lenzerheide World Cup practice and timed training
New venue, new track. When you consider the country and its covering of steep mountains you realise it was never going to be that much of a gamble. After day one of practice here in Lenzerheide there are smiles all round; riders are having a load of fun and those of us watching on are being treated to some remarkable riding.
Alright, we had a slight sunstroke-and-kebab-related grump on initial inspection of the course in Track Walk, but judging by riders’ reactions Lenzerheide are onto a winner here. Practice got off to a wild start with those who were a tad too keen bailing over the tops of dust-filled berms left, right and… well, mainly at the finish area. We witnessed some massive crashes, not least the three-in-a-row pile up over the final bridge jump. It may be ‘bike park’ but there’s no doubting that Lenzerheide is a test of nerve and skill.
The big moments of the day include Aaron Gwin winning timed training having looked ridiculously fast and smooth all day, Brook MacDonald sending the huge triple in the middle of the course, Rachel Atherton nearly landing on a spectator, Sam Hill terrorising the insides of turns and a general positive vibe surrounding the whole event.
With the desert-like conditions set to remain until race day we are now off to dunk in a cold mountain lake before emptying our bank accounts on the cheapest food going then retiring to a dark room to attend to third degree sunburn.
Stay tuned for our qualifying gallery and remain positively glued to our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for live updates, photos and video
Photos by Seb Schieck and Ben Winder