Welcome to the Pyrenees. According to the organisers from Lourdes VTT the hill of the race was also covered deep in snow as little as six weeks ago. Fortunately things are looking good weather-wise right now...

Lourdes World Cup 2015 | Track Walk Gallery

Well, well, well. Here we are then. After a right old palaver getting here, we have landed in Lourdes, France, for round one of the 2015 UCI Downhill World Cup. (Due to the strikes in France we ended up with the lovely prospect of a 20-hour drive, but enough of our whimpering, we got here and we are fully amped, pumped and psyched for the start of the 2015 season!)


For those without the attention span for words, scroll down to get straight to the goodness of Seb Schieck's gallery

While the Dirt van was trucking its way south through the flatlands and towards the welcoming sight of the snow-capped Pyrenees, fortunately we already had a man on the ground getting the scoop on proceedings in the run up to the race in the form of this superb gallery of highlights from the day. Stay tuned for photo galleries from Seb and updates from us as the event plays out.

The Lourdes pits looking pretty good. There are some proper big rigs floating about these days.

Thursday was track walk day and a chance for the world’s best downhill racers to inspect what can only be described as double bonkers – it was already single bonkers when we came to preview the place late last year (read it here). With some thinning of the trees and a couple of straight lines where there used to be turns, things are looking fast, wild, and scary from top to bottom.

It was busy out on track walk with riders checking what (and who) they will be up against this weekend.

There have been some monster jumps added into the mix, the odd hole filled to further increase the potential speed, but generally we think it is fair to say that Lourdes remains rowdier than the large proportion of tracks in existence. It’s going to take courage to get down here fast and experience to make it in one piece.

Good luck to all the riders who will be out on course tomorrow, with official practice starting at 8 a.m. for the women.

Also, a round of applause should be heard for the numerous volunteers who have slaved away preparing this track by hand throughout a tough winter. It’s looking top notch, that is for sure.

All photos by Sebastian Schieck.