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Top 16 Lourdes

World Cup racing happens in the Summer, but apparently no one told the weather...snowy peaks all around this morning.

Welcome to the first of eight looks back on the 2016 World Cup season!  The Top 16 is a simple premise of 16 shots I am fond of from each event.  I’ve lightly captioned them as to why I find them notable if that is of interest, otherwise just click-through and enjoy the annual retrospective:

The opening race of 2016 was cold, snow-capped, and slick.  The fast track and uncooperative elements made for some wild displays of athleticism.  It was an exceptionally exciting start to the season, here are my Top 16 from Lourdes:

Showing that he is human after all, Gwin coming up a few cents short of a dollar.

The big ruts and high speeds made for some sweet shapes on the bike. Joe getting some speed wheelie action out of a hard left.

Lourdes was a cold one, but the track-side banter helped the weekend move along. Luisa was well prepared for the inclement weather!

The natural framing and light bounce in the tunnel acting as a natural flash made for a wicked shot. It just so happens to be Rachel too, which is fun.

This corner was a deep one, and Connor found some extra degrees of lean which I think looks wicked.

The mixed weather and weird temperature fluctuations meant the track was treacherous all weekend, Stanislav with the example.

This was the moment we all knew Loic was going to be a contender in 2016. This outside gap was done at full-speed, and he hit the exit corner just as hard. So rad.

Can’t go wrong with a funny candid of Peaty!

From course sweeper to spotlight, Finn took the pressure of the first race of his World Cup debut in stride, taking the win and setting the tone for the year.

The road gap was big enough, but the holes in the landing were the real story. Hidden in shadow, each leap into the dark was a dice roll. Rachel was unphased though.

The first race of Peaty’s final season. It was a treat to see the legend between the tape in 2016.

I just really like the feel of this panshot of Loris. The visor flare, the color spread, the shadow – it works for me..

Steve’s return to form in Lourdes was breathtaking. 2nd place and looking like himself renewed, it is a fond memory I’ll carry with me.

The French always race well at home, and Loic was determined to win. He crash, but was up by so much, the crowd reacted as if he’d won.

That’s racing. Loic wouldn’t have to wait much longer to find the top step though.

One of the raddest podiums. Gwin winning on a new bike, Steve back on the box, with Danny in tow, Troy nipping at the heals of the podium, and Amaury in 5th in front of his home crowd. Tremendous opening race of the season.

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