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Racing

Back to the bikeparks

Lenzerheide track walk

From frigid rain to baking sunshine; from steep, woody tech to wide open bike park trails and from Andorra to Switzerland. A lot has changed in four days.

Photos: Seb Schieck

Another World Cup, another 360 degree panorama of unreal views

After a mad dash through the Alps (including a day’s riding for most teams) we’ve landed in Lenzerheide for round five of the 2017 World Cup series. The series are shaping up nicely for thrilling finales with just five points separating Hannah and Nicole in the women’s field and Aaron Gwin attempting to chase down Greg Minnaar in the men’s.

Lenzerheide is due to host the World Championships next year so we’ll be keeping a beady eye out for new tech as well as anyone who’s looking strong before the big race. Track wise, it seems pretty settled in now¬†with the usual formula of big berms cascading underneath the chairlift punctuated with brief woods sections to be hit at high speed. It may be hardpack but its steep and marbly, meaning there’s plenty here to challenge a rider. Full commitment is needed if you want to get down it, never mind do well.

The big news comes at the bottom of the course with a new bit of woodwork that only seems to have been finished this morning. Riders are estimating it at 12 metres – safe to say it wouldn’t be out of place in Hardline.

Here’s a full look at the Lenzerheide track:

The Lenzerheide lake brings a unique flavour to the Swiss pits
The new Hardline feature is suitably huge. They'll be flying off it like lemmings tomorrow
The biggest change this year comes in the form of the new wooden drop that was only finished this morning . It's going to cause some weak knees come first practice tomorrow.
The ususal open-piste, flat out features under the chairlift are back
One of two woods sections on track. This is probably the less technical one but the high speeds and dappled light still make it tricky
Tschaff's Plunge has claimed plenty of victims in the past. The taping has been changed coming into it and riders are speculating the B-Line may now be quicker.
The chairlift and the track run in parallel to each other, great for lazy journalists who don't fancy a hike.
The triple is far less scary this year with a nice case pad for anyone who doesn't quite get the other end. A bit disappointing really.
Blink and you'll miss them. This track is about hardpack and rocks, roots are a valuable commodity
You heard the man
Mike Jones is coming back after a springtime hidden away in the valleys - there aren't many like this in Wales though!
Tactical pic or Instabanger? Finn Iles' mechanic soaks it in
The Lenzerheide track is the shortest of the year starting at the top of that brow.
The woodwork all feels a bit... last minute
We're expecting plenty of moves on the bridges again this year
The Intense lads spot a rare fidget spinner among the rocks
Could Troy 'do a Danny' and start racking up the wins in the second half of the season?
Gwin was second here last year but reckons he threw away the win in the final two flat corners, he'll want to right that this year.
Tahnee took her first win on bike-parky Leogang. Time for the repeat in Lenzerheide?
It's baking hot here in Switzerland - a total contrast to the Pyrenees just four days ago
Danny's back on it and at the track he took his first win at last year
Manon slipped off the podium for the first time last weekend. She'll be keen to rectify that asap
Number one in the world and the winner of the first world cup here. Minnaar, as always, is a threat.
Finn may be feeling safe in the junior rankings but will be eyeing another top ten elite time here in Lenzerheide
Pompon will be coming in full of confidence after her win
Matt Walker has admitted before that he doesn't like it here but he'll have to find a result if he wants to keep up with Iles in the overall
Loic look so composed in Vallnord and will be looking for smooth lines once again here.
Gee's back from a dislocated hip already, basically hard as nails.

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