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:

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.




Cairns- 2nd UCI worldcup stop 2016

Cairns- 2nd UCI worldcup stop 2016

Solid race for the MS Mondraker team: Danny Hart in 11th place, newcomer Laurie with his 1sttop 15 result and Markus Pekoll within the reach…



Round two of the 2016 UCi MTB world cup took place in Cairns/ Australia- the host of the 2017 UCI MTB world championships. Coming from Lourdes we expected very different conditions in comparison to France. Based on the experiences of 2014, we were prepared for a typical race in Australia’s rain season.


From the moment of the course walk it was clear that the track conditions would be far of the ones in 2014, were we faced a mud battle. The track was bone dry during course walk and just changed for one afternoon with some rain. Usually the rain would be healthy for a dusty track like we saw during the course walk, but because of the special soil the surface became black ice, which result in a crash series during practice.


With a little too conservative run after a crash in his last training session Markus became 41st in the qualification. Laurie Greenland went fully motivated in his quail run since he knew about his pace, proved two weeks ago. With a little technical handicap Laurie managed to qualify in 29th position. Also Danny was fully motivated after his first podium in Lourdes since 2014, even the track in Cairns was’t one of his strongest, but he qualified in solid 7th position.


All riders knew that they would have more in the tank for the race and so they weren’t too worried about their qualifying results. Markus Pekoll was the first to come down this time and crossed the finish line with the feeling of a decent run, but the view on the timing board was sobering- Markus finished in 37th.
Laurie was again on a pinning run with the fastest splits thru all sections, but lost some time in the last pedaling section just before the finish line- newcomer Laurie finished in 15th position in his 2nd elite mountainbike world cup.
Danny was the first rider after a while coming down with top split times in the reach of the current leader Joshua Button, but didn’t had the faultless run you have to have to win a tight race like this. In the end Danny became 11th with 1.1 sec off the podium.


Without a podium the results maybe don’t look as successful, but we are happy with the overall result: Danny kept his 4th overall position, Laurie is now top 20 in the overall and we made up some positions in the overall team ranking. In the end it was not a bad race for us at all. We have the pace, we know what we have to work on and we are looking forward to the upcoming events to close the gaps even more- stay tuned.


Check out The full results on www.uci.ch

Val di Sole- 7th and final round of the 2015 UCI world cup

Val di Sole- 7th and final round of the 2015 UCI world cup

Val di Sole- the grade finale of the 2015 UCI MTB Worldcup.


Even it’s hard to believe, the 2015 worldcup season is in the books and there is just one more race to attend, which is the world championships in Vallnord/ AND.

The last stop of the 2015 UCI MTB worldcup took place in Val Di Sole Italy. This venue was in the race calendar for several years and is now back after one-year brake. Val di Sole offers one of the most technical and hardest tracks on the circuit and Danny showed from the very beginning that he likes that kind of track.

Val Di Sole Practice-375

Fridays qualifying reflected the performances of the season- Brosnan, Gwin and Bruni in a package 3 seconds ahead of the field and the rest of the top 10 within 5 seconds. Danny finished his qualifying run in 6th place and Markus in 24th. Both riders had their moments on the track and weren’t happy with their line choices and their mistakes. There was room for improvement and we know that Markus is fast enough for the top ten and Danny could make a podium.

Since Emmeline was out after her crash in Mont Sainte Anne we were focusing on the men’s race and even Emmeline couldn’t race she came to Val di Sole to support her teammates. Markus already came with a big deficit into the first split as he crashed in top section. He went off the track, has to carry back his bike to the spot were he exit the course to complete the race. He crossed the finish line with a big gap and ended up in 73rd.

Val Di Sole Practice-784

In the men’s race the top spots where almost carved in stone: Brosnan, Gwin and Bruni qualified within 1,3 seconds and 3 seconds ahead of the field. We knew it will be hard to break into this package, but Danny was very committed this weekend and spend some time in his last trainings sessions to test some different lines. Danny came into the first split with almost 2 seconds ahead of the current leader Brook MacDonald and was still 1,6 seconds ahead at the second split. Unfortunately Danny crashed just before the last section and gamed away a save podium spot and maybe a top 3 result.  Danny finished 25th and was able to make up one spot in the overall ranking. Watch the replay of his run.



Apart from the racing we had another big moment in Val di Sole. Emmeline announced her retirement in the Red Bull pre live show and on the podium after the worldcup overall tribute: “I can’t keep breaking myself like this, it’s time to stop.”

Val Di Sole Finals-608-2

Here is the statement of Emmeline:

Today is a big day….

I think there is a time for everything, it has been 13 year that I’m racing and I now take the heavy decision to stop. It‘ s time for my retirement- I will not be racing in 2016.

I’m really happy to be part of the Downhill mountain bike family and I will keep amazing memories from over the year.

I was a great sport career with 60 world cup podiums and some amazing wins and great fun and for sure couple of good crashes, but it‘ s part of the game.

I would like to say a big thank to Rach for the great battle over the years.

I remember our first battle in 2004 at the European champ when we were junior J

Thanks to all the people and sponsors and family, friends that help me since the start.

I will not disappear completely. I’m looking to join a team for next year as a physio, so I can look after the riders at this time.


Read the complete story of Emmeline’s retirement on Redbull.com

Val Di Sole Finals-624-2

“Emmeline, it was always a pleasure to work with you. Together we went thru ups and downs and we will always have good memories with you. You retired like a pro, as you know, when it was time to stop. We wish you all the best for you further career and hopefully it will not take too long till we meet again!”


We had a tough worldcup season with a lot of injuries and lost points. Here our season in numbers:


+ 4 podiums in 4 races, 1 victory, 2 3rd places, national champ

– 5th overall (missing the last three races)- with her points average from the former 4 races a 2nd place would have been more than possible.


+ 4 top ten results in 6 races, 1 worldcup podium, national champ

– 7th overall (missing the worldcup in Leogang)


+ 2 top 15 results in 6 races

– 36th (with Lourdes and Fort William Markus was missing 2 worldcups)


+ 1 top 20 result in 3 worldcups

– 83rd (missed Lourdes, Lenzerheide, Monte Sainte Anne, Windham and Val di Sole)



– 4th overall- we missed 3rd place by 28 points.

– We had 17 of 28 possible race runs (4 riders, 7 races, total 28 race runs)


For sure the whole team is a little bit gutted, as we had a good start into the season. We hoped for more and the constellation with Danny, Emmeline, Markus and Innes was more than promising. For sure we could be proud about the fact that we as a private race team have been able to compete with the big factory programs, but we are here for racing. This is our passion and we will work hard to be prepared to fight back next season…


3rd round of the 2015 UCI world cup

3rd round of the 2015 UCI world cup

Yes, here we are: 3rd round of the 2015 UCI MTB worldcup in Leogang/ Austria. Coming to Leogang feels like coming home to us and we are always full of hope and expectations. This time we knew that we would be handicapped as Danny suffered from a massive bruise after a crash in Leogang and Markus was strained after not getting qualified in Fort William because of a crash.

One of the first things we had to do in Leogang was another check of Danny in the hospital to balance the options. Even Danny was distorted and full of pain, he was willing to ride and we had to make sure that in case he won’t risk his health. Even Danny did the course walk and tried to ride his bike we had to throw in the towel to not risk too much.

Leogang 15 Prac-369

For sure having Danny not racing was a big lost, but we had three more aces up the sleeve. Emmeline came to Loegang to strike back after her 3rd place with an unlucky crash, Markus has some good Leogang memories and Innes was fully motivated with a 17th place in his pocket.
The conditions were the total opposite from Fort William: coming from 10 – 14 degrees and permanent rain to 30 degrees and more and sunshine does not just mean an enjoyable weather change, but also a lot of work as we had to change the bike setups quiet a bit.
Till the qualfication round nothing special has happen. It was business as usual with finding the right bike setup. With a 2nd place in qualification Emmeline showed again her expertness again, Innes got 67th after a crash in his trainings session and Markus completed his mission to qualify with a save but solid run.

Leogang 15 Prac 148

The positions of Markus and Innes maybe didn’t look too good, but with a thunderstorm forecast for Sunday 15:00 we saw our chances in good start times.
As usual Emmeline was the first to race. Emmeline came into the first split with the fastest time, but a little mistake in the rock garden throw her back. She ended up in third- with 0,135 off 2nd for sure not 100% satisfied, but happy about points and defending her second place in the worldcup overall.


With a top split time Innes was on a flyer and on the way to point out again, but after a wrong line choice he had to bury his hopes for another top result- he finished in 74th position.
Last to come down was Markus. With an early start time we hoped for better weather conditions, but the wind was already squally and it looked like it could start raining every minute. Not 100% in shape yet and without real race practice Markus’s priority was to get down a good result to improve his overall ranking. With a 20th place in the end Markus started his way up to come back in the overall.
Team wise we lost one position in the team ranking, but we are still in reach of first place and so we will strike back in the next round in Lenzerheide/ Switzerland. In the meantime we are going to race the European IXS cup round of Schladming/ Austria.


world cup webisode #1

world cup webisode #1

This is the webisode from our 1st world cup in Lourdes/FRA… what a weekend for us… Emmeline 1st, Danny 4th and top spot in the team ranking…

one of the downs of this weekend was the crash of Markus Pekoll… H looked fast in all trainings sessions, but crashed in his qualifying run… result: 4 broken rips and at least a break of 3 weeks- check out his crash.

We will see Markus back for the world cup round in Fort William

1st round of the 2015 UCI world cup

Spot on! Emmeline 1st, Danny 4th and best team of the day- we can’t ask for a better start into the season.


Coming into the 2015 season we had some big changes: Danny Hart joined the team, Emmeline came back, some sponsors changed and so on. We had a lot of work to do to get into the season and even the preparation didn’t stop until a week before the first worldcup we were prepared.


It’s the first time that we have been racing in Lourdes and so we had no experiences or knowledge we could come back to. After the course walk it was clear that this round would not be an easy one. The course designers made a good job and as typically for France the track was pretty natural in comparison to tracks like we know from Fort William or Leogang.

Markus Pekoll came from a perfect preparation during the offseason where he went to Chile to work on his settings with Marzocchi/ Pedro. He looked fast and all signs were that we could expect a top 10 result and maybe more. Unfortunately Markus crashed hard in his qualification run, broke 4 rips and squeezed his lung. After a check in the hospital it was clear that he would not be able to race.

Danny Hart came straight from a test session with Marzocchi in San Remo. The track suited him from the very beginning even he was struggling a bit with his wheel/ tire setup. Going thru some flat tires him and his mechanic Christian managed to find the right solution for his race run. Danny lost some seconds in the upper part, but had a real good time in the last half of the track- 4th place 0,4 seconds of third.



Emmeline also came directly from the test session in San Remo. She struggled a bit with the balance of her bike, but her mechanic Andy as well as Marzocchi technician Pedro managed to get her on an awesome setting for race day. After a 4th place in her qualification run Emmeline was in the position to attack and so she did. She had some little mistakes in the top section, but was then on a flyer thru the last half of the track- 1st place in her comeback race for the MS Mondraker Team and now overall leader in the womens worldcup- we can’t ask for more!


check out Emmelines’s winning run


Last but not least the team became “team of the day” based on the results of Emmeline and Danny. We are really happy about this victory as we have been far of this position in the last two years and this win shows that we were working to come back and that we are now in a good pace to accomplish more.



Thanks to all our sponsors for their trust, the help and dealing with last minute requests thru out the preparation time.

Stay tuned for the webisode of Lourdes (footage of Markus’s crash included!)




photo credits: Andreas Ehrensberger

photo credits header picture: Nathan Hughes

5th and 6th world cup round- MSA and Windham

5th and 6th world cup round- MSA and Windham

After a not really successful season we were really looking forward to the oversea races in Mont Sainte Anne and Windham. We had good, but also really bad memories connected with both venues and especially Damien had an unfinished business with the track in Windham…

Retrospective Windham 2012: Emmeline crashed on the finish jump, Brook crashed in Rock garden and Damien came into split 1 with the fastest split time of the day and flated right after that.

…but then the shock: After the worldcup in Leogang Damien had another check with his doctors, who prognosticate another damage on his harmed wrist. The doctors commended to not send Damien to the oversea races to prevent him from a live long suffering.

So Markus Pekoll was the last man left of the already chipped MS Mondraker program. Markus had a “soso” season so far. He started good with a 14th and a 15th place in Pietermaritzburg and Cairns, had a little setback with a 22nd and a 26th place in Fort William and Leogang and came back with his national title. This upcoming result let us hope for more and for sure the motivation was there.

Mont Sainte Anne is a track Markus really likes- technical, long and rough, which separates the wheat from the chaff. Unfortunately Markus had quiet few mistakes in his race run and ended up 22nd.

Disappointed but motivated for a strike back we went to Windham, with a track, which differs quiet a lot from the track on MSA. The track is short and fast with no room for mistakes at all. Close time gaps were forecasted and so it came. The track took its toll and so there were quiet a few prominent victims including Markus. He had some mistakes, which added up to a big time gap, which put him into 37th position.

Markus is still in 15th place overall, which is a standing we can be proud of, but which is not the maximum we could have caught.

Without any exaggeration we can call this season is a year of plague. Even we all try hard to compete on highest level and even all riders try their best to represent the colors of our program, we are missing that little piece of luck, which puts us on the wave of success.
Now we are heading back to Europe for the worldcup finals in Meribel and the world championships in Hafjell/ NOR. In Meribel we will be back with the full team linup and we hope for more luck there… stay tuned.

mondraker bikes Marzocchi suspension Alpinestars SRAM Mavic e thirteen Schwalbe Renthal Formula SDG crankbrothers HTML Map



4th world cup round Leogang

Leaving behind a not ideal weekend of Fort William, we head back to Central Europe for the 4th worldcup round in Leogang/ Austria. We arrived in good mute as an upcoming race is always a new chance and a race in Austria means a home race for the MS-RACING as well a home race for Markus Pekoll as he is sponsored by the Leogang Bikepark.

The organization in Leogang did again a good job in preparing the venue and they changed some of the parts on the track, which had been criticized in the past. With the changes in different sections the track became fast and challenging and the commentators did not fear the comparison with some of the famous parts of the well known Hahnenkamm Ski race- everything served for a thrilling race.

Damien came to Leogang and suffered again from his hand injury in 2013. Even he came well prepared and fit into the season the old injury still holds him back from showing his full potential. The rough track of Leogang was in some sections simply to hard for him and so he didn’t qualify first time since he is racing mountainbike worldcup. His disappointment about this fact was not to hide and so he headed back home to have another check with his doctors.

Being used to the short home trainings tracks, Andrew mentioned already in the training that it will be hard for him to qualify, which has not happened in the end. He missed the top 30 by 1,7 seconds, but even he had not qualified we strongly belief in his talent- it maybe will take another year or two, but we are sure he will work his way up.

So Markus Pekoll was our ace in the race and the men who kept the flag flying for the MS Mondraker team. Markus qualified in 15th position, which was very promising as he already entered the top 10 in Leogang in 2012s world champion ships.
In qualifying it already turned out that it will be a tight race and so it came. One corner with a little off camber section in the upper part was already one of the keys for a top time. Markus came into split time with the 4th best time, but a big mistake where he hardly could avoid a crash. This mistake buried his chances on a top result- Markus ended up in 26th position.


For sure the result of the weekend is not what we hoped for, but one thing we will not do is sticking our heads into the sand. We race because we are driven and we are there to succeed and this is what we will work for in the upcoming weeks.



mondraker bikes Marzocchi suspension Alpinestars SRAM Mavic e thirteen Schwalbe Renthal Formula SDG crankbrothers HTML Map