2017

UCI mountainbike world championships Cairns/ Australia

UCI mountainbike world championships Cairns/ Australia

2017 UCI MTB world championships- medal opportunities slipped thru our fingers


With the UCI world championship the 2017 race season is in the books. After the world cup season finals in Val di Sole/ Italy we traveled all the way to Cairns/ Australia on the other site of the globe to attend every seasons highlight: the mountain bike world championships.

World championships differ a little bit to the world cup as this special event is a race with a national federation background, which means that the riders have the support thru the factory teams, but race for their Nation. Furthermore you are not racing for points, a good standing or a place on the podium- you race for one goal and one goal only, which is the rainbow jersey. In the cycling world this jersey is the highest award and it is the aim of every athlete to win the jersey at least once.

Qualies MSA 433

2016 was our year and MS Mondraker’s Danny Hart won the world champion title and the jersey just ahead of team member Laurie Greenland. For sure this got us in the extended circle of favorites, but the statistics of the races here in Cairns told us something different- a 21st place and an 11th place of Danny in 2014 and 2016 and a 15th place of Laurie in 2016 show that they would have to pull a fabulous run out of their sleeves to be on the top box of the podium. For Markus Pekoll it was the last appearance on top international level and with a 15th place of 2014 in his pocket, there was a small chance for another top 10 result at the end of his career.

The first training started horrible for the MS Mondraker team- both Laurie Greenland and Markus Pekoll crashed hard in the unique conditions of the very fast track in Cairns. While Laurie suffered some bigger abrasions, Markus crashed on his head, broke his helmet and had to skip a full on timed training run to recover for the race. Danny came thru the training session without bigger crashes and was able to work out a good setup for race day.

 

 

Instead of a qualification run at worlds riders just do a timed trainings run and while some riders show some others hide, which made the results a kind of irrelevant. Nevertheless the circle of favorites was clear and even we did not have those great results on this track in our bags, both Danny and Laurie had the potential to redo what they did in 2016.

Laurie Greenland in a true downward spiral.

Laurie Greenland in a true downward spiral.

 

With the unlucky number 13 Markus Pekoll was the first to come down. Affected by the crash a few days before, Markus showed a good run, but with the thought of the last race in his mind, he did not risk his neck in his very last race- Markus finished in 51st position.

Cairns Finals-1221

Laurie Greenland was next to come and the first split time wasn’t too promising and indicated a crash scenario in the top section. This assumption proved true in the finish arena- Laurie slid out just after the last turn in the top part, which buried his ambitions to be on the podium again- Laurie finished in 21st place.

Cairns Finals-1259

Last of the MS Mondraker Team to come down was again Danny Hart. He was second last rider to come down and later world champion Loic Bruni as well as local hero Mick Hannah, who already set times, which we know they will be hard to beat. Under the pressure to defend his title, Danny tried the almost impossible to defend his titles, but missed the chance to beat some of the strongest pedallers on the circuit- Danny got 16th.

Cairns Finals-1553

Results:

1. Loic Bruni
2. Mick Hannah
3. Aaron Gwin

 

 

 

Below the line we are looking back to a season, which was not as successful as we have been in 2016. For sure we came to the world championships in Cairns to win the rainbow jersey or at least a medal, but this is racing- sometimes you win and sometimes we lose. Before 2016 we tried and were close sometimes and not winning the title doesn’t make us stop- we will come back and try again.

See you next year and keep following us during the offseason on instagram and facebook to not miss the latest news!

 

 

 

Val di Sole- 2017 world cup finals

Val di Sole- 2017 world cup finals

That went thru quick- 2017 world cup season is over and ended with emotional moments for the MS Mondraker Team.

Val di Sole is and always was a season highlight since we are racing in this small Italian village in the Trentino region.

The track in Val di Sole is maybe the hardest and roughest track on the circuit, but loved by all the riders. They call it a real downhill track, a track for the best riders of the world and this is what they want to race on.

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We came here with the best memories as Danny Hart won the world championships in 2016 and Laurie got 2nd with an incredible run in his first elite season. We haven’t had a really good season so far and we wanted to show once again that you always have to count with us.

The qualification didn’t went thru like planned. Danny was 5 seconds of the pace and finished in 8th position and Laurie crashed and ended in 14th position with a cruising ride to the finish. For Markus Pekoll it was the last world cup qualification run of his career and he was nervous to not qualify because of a crash or a mechanical, but he did and finished in 24th.

VDS Finals-1023

Markus went into last world cup race and had a good run without big mistakes. The crowed and the speaker celebrated him on his was down and afford him a worthy farewell. With tears in his eyes and a good 30th place he said goo by to the world cup family.

VDS Finals-2403

Laurie was next to come down and based on his 2016 success on this track we almost expected another top result and he didn’t disappointed us. He was again on a “flyer” and impressed with his incredible style. He crossed the finish line with comfortable lead and set into the hot seat. In the end he missed the podium by just 0.4 seconds and got 6th.

VDS Practice-600

Danny knew he had to risk to repeat his 2016 result. For sure he didn’t have the confidential as in 2016 where he won 3 race in a row before, but he knew that he can repeat the result if he takes the risk. Unfortunately this time this strategy didn’t pay off- Danny crashed in the top part and had to dig his hopes for another podium in the 2017 UCI MTB world cup.

Even our season was not as successful as in 2016 and even we had some bad luck, which badly affected the overall season result we are happy. We end up in 5th position in the world cup team ranking, Danny got 6th in the overall, Laurie 9th and Markus in 28th position in his last world cup season. For sure we know what we have to do to comeback stronger in 2018 and this is what we will work for in the offseason.

 

Now we are heading to down under for the last big race this season and maybe we have the chance to have again a big results- keep your fingers crossed!

 

 

Mont Sainte Anne- 6th round of the 2017 UCI world cup

Mont Sainte Anne- 6th round of the 2017 UCI world cup

Déjà-vu of Lourdes: rain became again the grinch of world cup racing. Danny Hart again 3rd


The world cup in Mont Sainte Anne kicked off with a very bad start already with traveling. Almost everybody was struggling with canceled flights, delays, lost bikes and packages.

Practice MSA-1

 

When we finally arrived we had very good and dry weather, the track was in perfect conditions and the world cup venue as usually well prepared. The course was picked with detail changes, but the riders couldn’t wait to be back on the maybe fastest track of the world cup circuit.

Qualies MSA-1525

MSA = wheel destruction = wheel building = hard labour and headaches for the mechanics.

 

As the track is very fast and rough mechanics and riders have to do little adjustments on the material, but even that the track is very hard on the material. We had in general a very good setup already before so it just took some little tweaks to be ready for this track.

All the riders looked very good in the training sessions even Markus Pekoll had some issues in the last training session before his qualification run. He crashed in one section, pushed back up to try again, but suffered then from a front flat tire- but this was it regarding issues.

Qualification was a kind of ho-hum- Danny had a pretty good run and ended up in 4th position. His run was not 100% and he had some potential left for his race run. Laurie’s run was picked with small mistakes here and there, but he knew where to gain time for his race run- he ended up in 18th position. Markus had some little mistakes as well and finished in 29th position.

Qualies MSA-207

 

For race day bad weather was forecasted. We got the information for heavy rain showers in the late afternoon hours, but for some reason, the organization and the UCI risk the same scenario as we had in Lourdes, where we also knew in advance that we would suffer from heavy showers during the race.

Markus Pekoll came down first of the MS Mondraker team. He had good and almost dry conditions, but wasn’t fast enough to overtake the hot seat when he crossed the finish line- with a little bit of weather luck he finished in 29th position. Pretty soon after Markus’s run the weather changed to what was forecasted- heavy rain and we saw a Déjà-vu of what has happened in Lourdes at the beginning of the season.

Practice MSA-777

Laurie already came down in heavy rain and it was obvious that he had to fight with a problem. As it turned out afterwards he struggled with his vision as water came between the lens and the roll-off system, which normally should help to have a good vision in rainy conditions. Laurie could hardly see in the last section of the track, but managed to come down in one piece- unlucky 59th place.

Finals MSA-1201

As everybody already thought the race is over Jack Moir crossed the finish line in 4th, which was a ray of hope for us. The conditions of when Danny left the start hut reminded of the conditions when he had his famous race run at world championships in 2011. Danny was the first who came down with just being up and down a few tenth of a second and missed the top spot by just 3 tenth of a second.

Finals MSA-2120

With only three more riders to come the podium was a sure thing, but there was a ray of hope for another top 3 result. Current overall world cup leader came down with problems and also Loic Bruni couldn’t beat the time of Danny. Last to come down was Aaron Gwin, who suffered from a mechanical at the last round in Lenzerheide on a winning run. He was hungry for the win and managed to set the final best time in these unreal conditions. Danny finished in 3rd, which took him into 4th in the world cup overall.

We are now heading back to Europe to prepare for the final round of the 2017 UCI MTB world cup in Val di Sole/ Italy- stay tuned for the finals!

 

full results:

Lenzerheide- 5th round of the 2017 UCI world cup

Lenzerheide- 5th round of the 2017 UCI world cup

The MS Mondraker Team did a double podium with Danny Hart and Laurie Greenland with 3rd and 4th place in Lenzerheide/ Switzerland. This is the first Elite podium for youngster Laurie Greenland and the second podium in 2017 for double world champion Danny Hart.


Lenzerheide/ Switzerland hosted the 5th round of the 2017 UCI MTB world cup. We came here with good memories as in 2016 this was the place of Danny’s first ever world cup victory and we were super excited to race here again.

Lenzer Practice-640

As usual we had good and very warm weather in Lenzerheide. The track was very dusty which in combination with a hard track surface and rocks made the track very slippery. The track itself didn’t change a lot from the year before apart from a new finish jump and a few little things- in total the track was again a warrantor for tight and exciting racing.

We started into the week with some little issues concerning our setup, but with the help of the race support of our sponsors we get everything sorted. Danny crashed once on Friday where he ripped open his hand palm and Laurie crashed twice in practice, but without any injuries.

Lenzer Practice-460

Danny had a good qualification run, which took him into 6th place. Laurie went into his qualification run without the normal warm up procedure. He suffered from a crash in the morning and just wanted to cruise down the track as he was protected anyway. This cruising run put him into 13th place, which was pretty promising for the race. Markus Pekoll struggled in his qualification and had some mistakes in his run- he ended up in 36th position.

Lenzer Qualie-348

A thunderstorm during the nighttime packed the course a little bit. The track was still slippery, but not as in the days before. Markus Pekoll was the first rider of the MS Mondraker team. Already the first split time was a sign for that he wasn’t on a good run. There were no obvious big mistakes, but it wasn’t a good run in general and he crossed the finish line in 20th position and end up in 52nd.

Lenzer Qualie-830Laurie Greenland was next and he came down in his typical manner. He was on a wild run and he was the first who was able to undercut the 3 minute mark. Laurie jumped into the hotseat and even there were a few more riders to come it looked good for him to enter the top five. Last Man to come down was Danny. Like in Andorra on the weekend before Danny was again on a “flying” run. Not wild but very precise and fast he made it into the finish without big mistakes and finished 3rd in the end.

Lenzer Finals-1232

 

The double podium of Laurie and Danny put us into the 2nd place of the today’s team ranking and we made up 2 positions to rank 4 into the overall ranking.

Lenzer Finals-1847

We are super happy with this results and now we are going into a well-deserved 3 week world cup break and will be back in Mont Saint Anne/ Canada for the 6th round of the 2017 UCI MTB worldcup.

Stay tuned and follow us on our facebook site as well as on our instagram account.

 

 

Riders statements:

Markus: ”I am shocked. I thought I was on a good run. I was just 71st in the first split time and I have no explanation for this. I feel a bit tired after 6 weeks of racing and I am happy to have some time to refresh- hopefully I can come back for the last 3 races of the season.”

Laurie: “I can’t be more happy. First Elite podium… I am stoked! The week didn’t start too good for me as I was struggling a bit with my setup. I crashed twice in practice and I just cruised down in my qualification run. It seems like I am able to work my way up…”

Danny: “well… another podium result which is good. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to repeat my victory from 2016. I struggled a bit. It was slipper all week long and I crashed once, where I ripped open my hand palm- that’s far from being optimal… but it’s good to be back on the podium!

 

full results:

Vallnord/ Andorra-  4th round of the 2017 UCI world cup

Vallnord/ Andorra- 4th round of the 2017 UCI world cup

The 4th round of the 2017 UCI world cup in Vallnord/ Andorra was a race with mixed feelings for us… while Markus and Laurie were unlucky and crashed in their race runs Danny was back on the world cup podium with a hell of a run…


Coming to the place of our biggest success in 2016 was exciting. In 2016 Danny won his 3rd race in a row and with both Markus and Laurie in the top 10 we were able to win the team overall world cup by 1 point.

Vallnord Practice-1342

All the riders love the track of Vallnord as it has a little bit of everything: technical parts, very fast sections and it has a lot of natural elements- this mixtures is what riders want to see and don’t complain about. The track is pretty steep in some sections and rough and for sure it separates the wheat from the chaff.
From the very beginning of the training sessions the MS Mondraker squad showed that the rest of the fiield has to count with them. Laurie’s showed up with top split times in the trainings, Markus looked very confident and fast and Danny set the first best time 0,3 ahead of future winner Troy Brosnan.

Vallnord Practice-1109

The qualification didn’t go as good as we expected after the performance on the first day. Markus and Laurie had some bad luck and crashed in their qualifications runs. Markus ended up in 51st position, but Laurie finished in 18th spot even he had a big spill. Danny needed a solid run to qualify- nothing crazy or pushing to hard as he had to see the finish to qualify for the race. He ended up in 6thposition and was able to collect some points for his overall ranking.
Markus and Laurie knew that they were missing some seconds to be in the very top and both were working hard with our line checker to find the one or other second.

Vallnord Practice-745

Markus was the first to come down and was about 2,5 seconds ahead of the current leader Johannes Fischbach till the second last corner before the finish, where Markus slipped out and crashed again. Being on a good run, with being 2,5 seconds ahead of the current leader could have taken him into the top 30. Unfortunately the crash cost him several places and so he end up in 49th place.

Next of the MS Mondraker squad was Laurie. He came into the first split with the overall 9th fastest split time, but also he slipped out and crashed before the second split time. Unfortunately this spill buried his hopes for another top ten result- Laurie finished in 43rd position.

 

Danny was the 6th last man to come down and immediately show up with top split times with being more than 6 seconds ahead of the current leader Mark Wallace. Danny was on a hell of a ride. He knew he had to push to be on the podium and he did- Danny ended up in 3rdposition.

The results of this race turned the positions in the overall ranking quite a bit. While Danny moved from 25th into 10th place, Laurie lost 2 positions and is now in 11th and Markus dropped into 31st position.

Vallnord Qual 425
The racing was tight and we saw a lot of crashes, but this made this race so special and exciting. It was a fair race without any lottery sections and we saw a hard earned winner!

Next stop is the 5th round of the 2017 UCI MTB world cup in Lenzerheide/ Switzerland upcoming week – join us there or follow us on instagram profile or our facebook page.

Leogang- 3rd round of the 2017 UCI world cup

Leogang- 3rd round of the 2017 UCI world cup

Back to back racing- with just a few days in between and coming from more than 2000 km away, we race the 3rd round of the 2017 uci mtb worldcup this weekend in Leogang/ Austria. With the feedback of 2016 the organizer gave the track a small overhaul, which was again polarizing the riders field.


We looked forward to this race as we did not perform on the level we have been used to from 2016 and we were willing to step back up. Leogang is the perfect spot to do so as we always saw tight and fast races on a track with some technical difficulties.

 

Leogang Qualies-493

All the riders were fired up- Laurie because of his ascending performance, Markus because of his status of the local hero and Danny simply because he wanted to strive off the bad luck from the previous races.

A lot of riders were struggling during the training days and we saw a lot of bad crashes, but luckily non of the MS Mondraker riders was effected by crashes or mechanicals. Unfortunately the organizers had to re-tape some sections and they also had to reshape the finish jump after a horrifying crash of Frenchmen Remi Thirion in his qualification run, just after Laurie has finished his qualification run in 7th place.

Leogang Qualies-337

 

Markus Pekoll had to do a re-run as he was just on track when Thirion crashed which cause a “race stop” situation. All further runs got postponed by 45min, which caused a lot of concerns in the rider’s field. In the end Markus finished in 25th and Danny in 9th position.

On race day Markus Pekoll was the first to come down of the MS Mondraker squad. He looked very confident and fast in the top part, but he had a blackout before the second wallride, missed his line and was not able to carry enough speed for the following section- Markus ended up in 41th position. Next to come was Danny- feeling a little up and coming performance he started with some hard pedal strokes out of the gate and unfortunately snapped his chain at the second stroke. Knowing that he still could end up in a good position and carry some points he fought hard and finished in 11th position- maybe not what he hoped for, but more than solid if circumstances are considered. Last to come down was Laurie, who’s form curve is rising at the moment. Laurie had a good but not flawless run. He lost some tens of a second in the highway section and finished 6th just 0,16 off the podium and 1,8 seconds off third.

 

Leogang Qualies-1025

For the overall worldcup this means Laurie kept his 9th spot, Markus lost some positions and is now 22nd and Danny made up some space from 53rd to 25th in the world cup overall.

Results of the weekend and the overall…

 

Now we have a week off before we travel to Innsbruck for the first ever Crankworx there- join us there or follow us on facebook and instagram.

 

 

 

Fort William- 2nd UCI worldcup stop 2017

Fort William- 2nd UCI worldcup stop 2017

Racing at it’s finest in the 2nd round of the 2017 UCI MTB worldcup in Fort William. The MS Mondraker team pointed out with some highlights, even the necessary ounce of luck was missing for a good team overall result.


Fort William is apart from Mont Sainte Anne THE classic track in mountain bike world cup downhill racing and this is the 15th worldcup edition on this infamous track. The track is very well know for its characteristics such as length, the woodless and hand build top section as well as the last section called the highway. The venue is also known for that it’s well attended and this year they had to stop ticket pre selling as they were already 15% over the previous year bookings.

 

Fort Bill Quals-853

The MS Racing program can’t really look back on many top results here in Fort William apart from Brook MacDonald’s 3rd place in 2011 and Emmeline Ragot’s victory in 2012. To keep the track attractive during all the years, the organizers always try to keep us entertained by changing parts of the track very year. The year one of the new sections caused a lot of controversial opinions and not all the riders weren’t happy about how this sector might change during the days.

 

Apart from this discussion the use or not use of 29” wheel bikes was the dominating topic in the pits. Quite a few teams were working on their version of 29” wheel fitting bikes and they got tested in Fort William in the British Downhill series race 3 weeks before the world cup. With a victory of Danny in the pocket we decided to insert the one bike we have got to keep up in the battle of material with one rider,. Laurie was testing in a different direction with a lock-out shock and Markus kept his current setup, which he felt confident on.

Fort Bill-105

While it was expected that the field will be dominated by a 29” wheeled Laurie shocked the competitors with a time of 4:42:318 1,6 seconds ahead of 2nd place and 2,1 seconds ahead of the first 29er.

Unfortunately after this promising time- which was the fastest of the weekend- things went different than we hoped for. Laurie crashed in his qualifications run, Markus had a puncture and had to repair the tire to be able to finish his qualifying run and Danny simply didn’t had the perfect run you need to finish the qualification in first position.

Fort Bill Quals II-59

The finals showed a similar picture: Markus the first to come down struggled in the top part and almost got kicked off the bike. Laurie was a little bit handicapped because of his crash on the day before. He managed to clear the very difficult and controversial wood section and a clean run flushed him into 9th place. Danny came into the wood section with one of the fastest split times, but crashed at the entry of the wood section and another time in the woods- luckless he ended up again in unsatisfying 59th place.

Fort Bill Quals-174

 

These results set us back to the 7th place in the team overall- we have to buck up now and strike back. Stay tuned for the 3rd round of the 2017 UCi world cup, which takes place in Leogang next weekend.

 

Results & rankings:

 

1st round of the 2017 UCi mountainbike worldcup Lourdes/ France

1st round of the 2017 UCi mountainbike worldcup Lourdes/ France

 

7 month since our best worldcup season in 13 years we spend the winter time with training and material testing to be ready for the 2017 worldcup season, which started with the race in Lourdes/ France- a venue which is more know for it’s religious tourism, than being a destination for downhill riding.

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At that time of the season you have to expect everything from super hot to wintry conditions and this time we had the full range.

When we arrived it was super cold with snow at the start of the worldcup track. It dried up pretty quick and we had a few days in warm conditions with a bone-dry track.

Lourdes-1734

The main question was not too much about the track conditions or the fitness level of the riders, but more about the upcoming innovation of using bigger wheels for downhill racing. While most of the teams are using 27,5” wheels since the 2013 one team came up with the bigger 29” wheels, which caused a lot of discussions on speculations, if this will provide a significant advantage in the race. We didn’t mind too much as our 2017 team bike was based on the 2016 winning bike and with the new components of Shimano and Fox the bike was ready to go:

Lourdes-498

 

Already in the timed training runs, it was clear that the riders on 29” wheels are fast and even Danny set the second best time of the day, we knew that the bigger wheel size will be a factor, which was fleshed out by the qualifying results. 3 riders with 29” wheel in the top 6 and 2 ahead of Danny who finished in 4th.

Laurie as well as Markus had good but not perfect qualification runs and so they finished within the reach in 18th and 21st place.

Lourdes-832

While we preparing for race day, the weather forecast turned into a nightmare. In the morning the weather was still okay, but the French police thought about shutting down the event because of wind forecasts around 120km/h. The organization kept running the show and pushed thru race after race. It seemed like the weather will stay constant and the men’s race got started as planned. While riders like Markus and Laurie came down it absolute fair conditions on a dry track the weather change badly into unsporting conditions. Heavy winds and rain effected the top qualifiers pretty bad. Danny and all the other top qualifiers form the day before haven’t been able to beat the times, which have been set in the dry and so the race ended with a more than unexpected podium and Danny in 76th place as apart from the unreal conditions he crashed in the last section.

 


 

 

Even with Laurie in 11th and Markus in 12th we left Lourdes pretty unhappy as the weather conditions and the bad result of Danny will effect the rest of his season. We don’t know yet if we will be able to go for our ambitious goal to fight with Danny for the UCi overall world cup title.

 

Next world cup stop is Fort William in about a month- stay tuned for more news about international non-world cup races in between- follow us on our instagram profile or our facebook page.