Lourdes World Cup special.

A peek in to the psyches – and lunch boxes – of all the top racers as they prepare for the opening round of the UCI World Cup Downhill in Lourdes.

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1. Uh-oh. Rachel Atherton‘s been struck down by a nasty cold. Here’s hoping this jar of expensive bee poo does the trick. Get well soon Rachel..!

2. No such misfortune for Tahnee Seagrave. Here she is putting some pseudo miles in on the turbo trainer, whilst precariously pinching on to a handy can of Red Bull…

FINALLY! Let's do this! โœˆ๏ธ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

A post shared by Tahnรฉe Seagrave (@tahneeseagrave) on

3. The Main Man himself. Whilst the whole bike industry bubble is banging on about 29in wheels in Downhill, Mr Hart has been bashing out laps on 20in. Good lad…

4. Another one on the drop bar death machines, here’s Manon Carpenter putting in some miles on her road bike. Nice use of caged SPDs. Clearly a mountain biker through and through…

Easy Sunday spin to lunch on this speed machine ๐Ÿ˜Ž @radonbikes #spire @rideshimano Di2 shifting a dream ๐Ÿค—

A post shared by Manon Carpenter (@manoncarpenter) on

5. The weather is not playing ball down there in Lourdes it seems. Doesn’t seem to worry one of the favourites too much…

Snow on the hill ready for track walk today! It's cold, wet and gonna be muddy! #lourdesslipandslide

A post shared by Troy Brosnan (@troybrosnan) on

6. Excuse me? How slack?! Maybe it’s just the way the bike is leaned and/or framed by the camera. Then again, it is a Mondraker Summum so it could be even slacker than it looks here..!

7. Now correct me if I’m wrong but those aren’t 29in wheels. Although Messrs Peat and Minnaar are approximately 10ft tall apiece so it can make judging wheel size pretty tricky…

Its been a tough off season training, @stevepeat always around to back me up ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿผ

A post shared by Greg Minnaar (@gregminnaar) on

8. Whilst World Cup racers don’t really mind a bit of mud and slop, it’s the cold temperatures that often find them moaning a bit. Here’s a great pic of Gรฉraldine Fink looking suitably naffed off…

9. Florent Payet playing with a goat. Er. Sorry. Not, not like that…

Just arrive in Lourdes city! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ @ride100percent @50to01

A post shared by flopayet (@flopayet) on

10. Gotta love a classic bit of hand-shape throwing on a track walk…

11. If you’ve not watched Laurie Greenland’s course preview with Claudio Caluori – watch it now

12. Ah, the special relationship between racer and mechanic…

"Just tuning her up boy" ๐Ÿ˜„ @jessewigman #two15

A post shared by Greg Williamson (@gregwilliamson1) on

13. There ain’t many riders on the hill with more races under their belt than Sick Mick Hannah. The Marzocchi Monster T forks give the game away that this pic might not *quite* be from this week…

14. Now then. Bernard Kerr. He doesn’t pop up on to podiums much in the World Cup season. He’s more of a specialist at events like Red Bull Hardline and various Urban DH madness races. It would be great to see him turn it up a notch on the World Cup scene this year…

Just waltzing through the woods… @pivot_cyclesusa team ๐Ÿ”ฅ@maddogboris ๐Ÿ“ท

A post shared by Bernard Kerr (@bernard_kerr) on

15. See, it’s not just Greg running big hoops for the Syndicate this year…

@santacruzbicycles #V1029 is my weapon of choice this weekend!

A post shared by Luca Shaw (@luca_shaw) on

16. See..?

No filter babe ๐Ÿ’˜ #JS7

A post shared by Loris Vergier (@lorisvergier) on

17. Everyone loves a good custom painted lid innit. No one more than Mr Gas To Flat himself…

18. Great to see David Trummer is still into a bit of digging and spadework. Nice bit of cross-training for the race we suppose…

new landing #sundaymorning #workout ๐Ÿ’ช

A post shared by David Trummer (@daveboy94) on

19. There’ll be no missing Jack Moir on the tracks this year. Not only is his Intense race bike totally dayglo, he’s not shy of the techno pyjamas either…

Just hit France for World cup #1 ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ“ท: @nathhughesphoto

A post shared by Jack Moir (@jackmoir_) on

20. Bruni’s none-more-fresh new whip…

#Fastlife is out on @redbullbike ! Mint bike, Mint everything ! Link in bio

A post shared by Loic Bruni (@loicbruni29) on

21. Just as well Nicolai Geometrons are so long, the real estate is needed for all of Jack Reading’s decals…

22. Gratuitous shot of one of the idler-equipped Commenรงal bikes. Just because…

New ride for the 2017 season ! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ love u @commencalbikes @ride100percent @100percent_bike

A post shared by Thomas Estaque (@thomasestaque) on

23. Some racers have been bashing out road bike miles, some will have been braaaping their motocross bikes around in pre-season. Not Monsieur Pierron. He’s been doing doubles on an e-bike

Petite matinรฉe dans le jardin avec mon Ebike ๐Ÿ‘Œ @mondrakerbikes #jump #bike

A post shared by Baptiste Pierron (@baptiste_pierron_8) on

24. Have the competition taken their eyes off Gee? They shouldn’t have. He will never, ever stop. The Terminator of Downhill…

Eyes on the prize this weekend… #ucidhworldcup #lourdes. Pic: @svenmartinphoto

A post shared by Gee Atherton (@gee_atherton) on

25. Ooh, handbags! Check out that hashtag – #itsnotafriggen29er…

26. Squids in the pits…

Matching tattoos. โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿฆ‘๐Ÿ™ @maddogboris ๐Ÿ“ท: @andresjb

A post shared by Rafael Gutiรฉrrez Villegas #6 (@rafaelgutierrez6) on

27. Oh yeah, this guy…

It's finally World Cup race week! #businesstime ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ“ท @danseversonphoto

A post shared by Aaron Gwin (@aarongwin1) on

Thatโ€™s all the Instabangers for this week. See you next week for gorgeous, inspiring, interesting and amusing piccies!