Another wild day in the field, as qualifications got underway in the downhill and once more TBS was there to capture the action. Aussies faired well overall, as they quickly adapted to the hard and fast track at Val Di Sole. Luke Ellison bounced back from his crash riddled race at Fort William and has seeded fifth in juniors whilst third place getter at the Fort, Dean Lucas, has seeded in ninth (despite having faster splits than all above him??)
In Elite Women it was once more the Rachel Atherton show, with a fat six second lead on Emmeline Ragot with Mannon Carpenter just behind, a near identical showing of last weeks top three. Tracey Hannah sits in a comfortable seventh in Elite Women, whilst Dani Beecroft and Tegan Molloy (with a over the bars) sit in third and fourth in junior Women or 37th and 38th in Elites.
Gee Atherton took out the men’s qualifying albeit not as spectacularly as his sister, with a hungry Aarron Gwin hot on his heels, a little more than a second off the pace. Gwin will be looking to settle the rumours that have picked up in the week since the Fort and really, he has won here before, he can do so again… Behind him stands the bulk of last weeks top ten, with Steve Smith, Brook MacDonald and Sam Hill in third, fourth and fifth.
The rest of the Australian rider contingent are Troy Brosnan (19th) Conner Fearon (36th), Jack Moir (54th), Joey Vejvoda (83rd), David McMillan (84th), Mitch Delfs (93rd), Lachlan “lobster”McKillop (143rd) Sean McCarrol(148th) and Chris Barlin (152nd). Jared Graves did not start as did Bryn Atkinson after a concussion and several crashes, saw it a better idea to sit out.