Welcome in race fans for the 2014 MTB World Championships here in Hafjell. The Norwegian summer is in full swing and ready to host this winner takes all competition. With everything on the line for everyone, riders are taking no chances and putting 110% into winning this one. Last year saw Greg Minnaar take the jersey in South Africa, but with an inconsistent season from him, it could be anyones game. Maybe he passes it over to his team mate Josh Bryceland who has been setting some serious numbers of late. With the women also stacked up, it's anyones game. Head inside and see what they are all up against!
It would be rude not to capture that quintessential Hafjell view that makes this place so famous. The skies are blue and the lands are dry and prime. Conditions for this year's race are at an all time perfect. Not sure if we need the thermals and jackets that we all packed!
Growing year after year, Hafjell's Bike Park is definitely one to boast about. Long lift access trails with plenty of variety. Would easily bring my bike next time and spend some time here. Always love the Euro bike attire thought!
Beers in the cooler already...come on its World Champs after all, if there is one reason to party, its the last big race of the year!
Smiles all round, with the track running sweet and the sun beaming down it's hard not to. Everyone is keen to throw a leg over and get some riding done. Neil Stewart one of four Brit hopefuls looks to hit the boxes at their first Worlds!
Rolling into this Norwegian landscape and up away from the Fjords and into the surrounding ski hills. Last years World Cup was great success which was partly down to the great infrastructure that Hafjell has to offer, lift access, tech areas and expensive beer.
World Champs is always the perfect time to really represent your country colours. Most teams make a special effort to do something a little different, and the bikes always some special treatment. The new colours are popping up all over the place. Rachel Atherton will be sporting her very blue GT, looking for a second consecutive World Champs win.
But we are here to see the DH track that will crown a new Champion. No riding today, just a casual walk through the woods to inspect her turns and bumps.
Out of the gate and into those infamous big booters. No changes here, but after a year of weather and riding, they have matured nicely and will be running super fast. Expect some big shapes over these in practice tomorrow.
Madison Saracen with their new World Champs colour adds a new spice to their black bikes. With the team feeling strong after some solid results at the last World Cup round, they will be looking to come away with medals this year.
Signs that weather hasn't been too great keep popping up. A torrential storm at the start of the year saw half the hillside washed away causing big issues for the resort. Not much effect to the DH track thought which was a relief to everyone. Masters World Champs the previous week turned into a bit of a muddy one though, creating ruts and holes in spots down the track.
But the track has baked out and dusted up. Out of the jumps and diving into the first wooded section, there isn't really any changes. Straight line through the rocks, a few bounces and out. A couple of creative lines started to appear here last year, with the option of a big hop there too.
A bike to match a personality, wild cat Josh Bryceland, 'fresh' off of his World Cup overall achievement will come into this race with either all the pressure in the World on him, or relaxed knowing he has already had his best ever season riding a bike. Dougie Hatfield puts the final touches on his one of kind V10!
Taking the Junior Women's World Champs win in PMB last year, Tahnee Seagrave will be looking to hit the Elite field hard. A couple of great podium results through out the year has proven Tahnee to be quite the opponent, despite her age. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/13_audio.mp3"]"
Although sections of this track are very bike park like, the rough stuff is rough! All hand built right into full natural section give the track great diversity. A track for a well rounded rider that can tackle all obstacles.
Just so you know, this next section of track is 'Hard'! That's if you meant hard packed...
Letting the natural stuff go wild, the bike park sections have become even more rounded. The berms have been made taller, the track wider and the fast section faster! Will make for some tight racing that's for sure.
At least you can still find a bit of fresh brown pow on the track. The trail crew have worked tirelessly after Masters Worlds in order to get the track up to order for this week, but it won't be long until their patches start to spring leaks again.
The middle of the track is a roller coaster of flat out berms and big fade aways thrown in with a couple of booters and you have your self a glorified A-Line. Crankworx were calling and asked for their Whip Off back!
We sure do. The World Cup rounds just got better and better, and to top off the season with a Worlds in Norway couldn't be any better. Its just great to be sat down on the river side with you £7 cup of coffee!
Out of the fast stuff and back into the rough. The big game changer rock garden that can really make or break a run for many riders. Plenty of options and high level of technicality will see only the best put quick times through here. Matt Simmonds contemplates lines as he look on for a big result this round. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/20_audio_01.mp3"]"
The smooth boulders up top soon turn into sharp jagged spikes towards the bottom of the track with the final section of rocks being the perfect place to send some packing home in tears.
Troy Brosnan headphones on and solo track walking today. Gathering his thoughts ahead of one of the biggest races of the season. Last round undoubtably not going his way, he will be looking to make amends and show what he means.
But with some teams opting for the more secretive approach with their World Champs bikes. I'm sure plenty will rise to the surface over the next few days!
Rolling into the finish area off of the flat out last few corners. All the same down here, just the with the feeling of World Champs in the air. Final touches being put on before action kicks off tomorrow. Jump in with us then for all of the practice mayhem.
"20_audio_01". Released: 2014.
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WORLDS IS HERE!
September has rolled round again and that means one thing, World Champs! It's the last race of the season and we are all set for an amazing weekend of racing. The track is pretty much the same as it has been at the previous two races, some sections are wider and smoother but whatever the track is like we know that everyone is going to let it all hang out come race day.
This track has only seen one World Cup Men's winner and he isn't here this year, Steve Smith is out. After his ankle injury then re-injury this season Smith isn't going to be able to challenge for the win. There are enough other riders hungry for the stripes though!
RatBoy is coming in relaxed but high on the World Cup overall whilst his team mates hit the track with some considerable experience, of both winning and losing. For others this means more, Troy Brosnan and team mate Aaron Gwin will be both gunning for the win. Aaron hans't had much luck at Worlds in the past but could this be his year? Brosnan was so close to the title all year but let it slip and Josh took the win. Hill, what can I say? Sam Hill is back and he means business to say he is one to watch seems obvious but he is!
Others to watch? Well there's a bunch. Gee, Brook Mac, Matt Simmonds, Mick Hannah, Loic Bruni the list goes on and they all have a chance. If you want to let us know who you think will take it then click your vote into our poll right here. Practice will be interesting to see who is up to pace but it's all down to that one run on Sunday to make it all count.
Dirt will be there all weekend beaming out content and if you want to check out what has gone on so far in the Syndicate pits we've got that covered too.