A good start to the weekend as Rachel takes the quals win with Kade and Mille both securing seconds and solid 14th and 22nd for Gee and Charlie
Friday’s timed practice was hot, dusty, rough and rowdy! All the riders were loving getting to grips with the beast of a track and despite spills for Mille, Kade and Gee all survived to fight on for qualifications! Rain had been forecast all week but there were no signs of it on Friday and Saturday dawned as sunny as ever. Spirits were high as Mille was the first rider to head up the hill.
Mille was pretty happy with her run, at 5.38. 5she rode smoothly, with just one significant mistake coming off the boardwalk in the new woods section. Mille said “I’m happy, very relieved that I didn’t go over the bars in the woods!’ Vali Hll put in an absolutely blistering run ( which would have seen her podium in the Women’s Elites to take the win by 20 seconds.
In the Junior men Kade surpassed top-ranked Thibault Daprela to cross into first but Kye A’hern went 0.5 seconds up on the very next run.
Kade said “I’m super stoked, I had a really solid chilled run, great to feel so comfortable and still be mixing it up with the times, now I need to get the motorway dialed and start squashing those jumps! “
Waiting for the start of the women’s race Rach’s mechanic Joe messaged from the top that the skies were dark and ominous, but still the storm held off…Rach was first out of the gate setting an unbeatable pace that made her intentions this weekend very clear.
After the race Rachel said “ Tired, but happy! I made a couple of mistakes in the top section but otherwise it was Ok.”
By the time the men were on track the rain had started in earnest. Gee took it steady expecting the track to have got slippery but crossing the line he said that it was even grippier than in practice. Gee said “ I was a bit cautious, actually the track was sick!” He crossed into 11th – enough for an eventual 14th.
Charlie finished 22nd today despite a very close call on the first right hand corner after the road gap. Charlie said “My front wheel washed out. I was sitting on the stem thinking I can’t go down here!” He recovered himself, rolled the next double then finished in attacking style 4.42.27, 22nd today. Luca Shaw took the quals win.
1 Vali Holl 5.18.319
2 Mille Johnset 5.38.75 +20.43
3 Anna Newkirk 5.43.134
1 Kye A’hern Canyon Factory Downhill Team 4.43.485
2 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 4.44.021 +0.53
3 Henry Kerr Propain Dirt Sixpack 4.45.904 = 2.41
4 Thibault Daprela Commencal/Vallnord 4.46.898 +3.413
5 Jamie Edmondson Transition bikes/Muc-off 4.53.149 +9.664
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 5.07.824
2 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 5.09.76 +1.9
3 Tahnee SeagraveTransition bikes/Muc-off 5.16.90 + 9.08
4 Tracey Hannah Polygon UR 5.16.98 +9.15
5 Cecile Ravanel 5.22.39 + 14.57
1 Luca Shaw Santa Cruz Syndicate 4.33.78
2 Danny Hart Madison Saracen Factory Team 4.33.87 + 0.8
3 Loris Vergier Santa Cruz Syndicate 4.34.89 + 1.12
4 Troy Brosnan Canyon Factory Downhill team 4.35.03 1.24
5 Greg Williamson Unno Factory Racing 4.37.34 3.5613
14 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 4.42.27 + 8.49
22 Charlie Hatton Trek Factory Racing DH 4.42.27 + 13.69
pics Sven Martin