That's how Aaron Gwin described the Losinj course. It was a track where you never felt like you were going fast enough, where you were always being pushed off line and struggling for speed. The best way to conquer was to cruise in fourth through the rocks, keeping it smooth and tidy, not straying too close to the line, then opening it up in red zone sprints at the top and bottom. Like riding a highrope on a unicycle, the margin for error was minuscule and the consequences humongous.
In the junior women, we saw a new star born. The elites have two years to collect themselves because there's a storm coming in the form of Vali Holl. She demolished the rest of the field with a time good enough for sixth in elites at the age of 16. She was also the first ever Austrian woman to take to the top step of the podium at a World Cup downhill.
It was another first year junior taking the spotlight in the junior men as Thibaut Daprela stepped up in his first ever World Cup. The young Commencal rider had Max in raptures in the finish area. Another first year, Kye A'Hern, also announced himself on the scene as he finished third. Britain's Kade Edwards was second, after being the man in waiting last year this must surely sting a little. Still, a second is a good result in anyone's book and there's plenty more to come.
On to the women and we finally got a chance to see Rachel racing fully fit and racing again after her dislocated shoulder in Fort William last year. She had laid a marker in qualies but on race day Myriam Nicole put down a champion's run to claim gold. The French were dominant across the board with three podium places including one from Cecile Ravanel who was diving straight in at the deep end as she embarks on a full season of dh racing.
Finally the big show and the men. Agony and ecstasy in equal measures as the riders threw down under the fierce heat. Gwin moved himself one step closer to the all-time wins marker and there were huge results for Dean Lucas, Dakotah Norton, Sam Blenkinsop and Luca Shaw. If this race is anything to go by, the new generation are starting to make their presence felt and we're in for a corker of a season.
Check out all the action in the gallery below:
This was the second career visit to the podium for Marine Cabirou who is quickly establishing herself among the bigger names in women's downhill. Much like her compatriot Nicole, she clearly loves the techy tracks as the other podium came in Vallnord last year.
An absolutely stunning day for the Commencal team and a new face that demands your attention. Thibaut Daprela looks the spit of Loic Bruni on the bike and is clearly a hot prospect. Expect a huge duel between him and Kade Edwards for control of the junior series.
The junior women's series may just have found it's first superstar. Vali Holl's time would have seen her just off the Elite podium at the age of 16
We had Kade nailed on to dominate the juniors this year but a wave of fast first-years has reset the odds. A good fight for the overall could be the making of the young wildman though.
Throwing shapes through the rocks wasn't quite enough for Rach despite having some of the fastest splits. Is this the first genuine defeat a fully-fit Atherton has suffered since her winning streak? Whether it was or not, this was one of the most exciting women's races in years.
The triple-double-double that spooked so many riders on day one quickly became child's play as the lines bedded in. WYn Masters bringing the party to the Zarja Section.
Probably not the weekend Tahnee came for but a solid third isn't a disaster by any stretch of the imagination. She'll be raring to go for Fort Bill in a month's time.
Tucking seemed to be the way to go down through the streets and the riders were probably glad for it after the battering they'd had just moments before
The finish corral
The first ever canoes at a World Cup? We reckon so
Absolutely gutted for the Bulldog. He was second fastest of anyone through the top two splits and absolutely charging even as he went down. He leaves with a broken collar bone and sore ribs but will be back fighting in Fort Bill, a track he's been second on in the past.
Sniping through the alleys on his way to a stunning result
All the sprinting in the world couldn't save Finn Iles after his second crash of the weekend on the rock garden triple
Snarling like a caged lion and an absolutely manic sprint out of the gate, Laurie wants it bad this year.
The Syndicate sail back from Losinj as the top ranked team thanks top tens for Loris and Luca and a 13th from Minnaar despite a puncture.
Luca was leading the Syndicate charge this weekend. This is only the second time he's been the highest place rider for Santa Cruz, the other time being the rain affected race in Mont Sainte Anne last year.
Inches from disaster, those super wide dh bars momentarily don't seem like such a good idea
Victory in sight
It wasn't first but it was bloody good from Lucas, a podium and no rain involved this time. This Intense team means business.
Elite women's podium
Riding three minutes of rocky hell? No bother. Water up your nose? Not on your nelly.
One podium under God
What a weekend for the Americans! Three stars and stripes on the podium.