Photos by Colin Meagher
and Fraser Britton
In what has become almost expected, Aaron Gwin has qualified fastest at La Bresse. He's followed by Steve Smith, Gee Atherton,and Steve Peat, all over two seconds back. Brook MacDonald has been a regular fixture in the top 10 this year however he flatted and finished 195th, but as a top 20 rider he still gets to race tomorrow. In the women's qualifying it was no surprise with Tracy Moseley qualifying first ahead of Floriane Pugin two seconds back, and then Sabrina Jonnier at six seconds back. Rachel Atherton crashed in practice and chose to sit out qualifying, she's in the top 20 so she's protected and will race tomorrow in the final.
Day one in the pits saw a fair number of cut spikes taking to the track; the grass and rain earlier in the week meant softer turf and a need for some extra grip. Once the track started to burn in many riders swapped out the spikes for more all conditions tires like the Maxxis Minion or the Schwalbe Muddy Mary tires.
Beaumont is one who could put it all together here in La Bresse. It's a short track with more than a few 'interesting' bits that mean making mistakes here will punish a careless racer with a shit time vs glory.13th in qualifying.
Peaty's won here before. And his last race showed that 'Sheffield Steel' is by no means ready to retire. 4th in qualifying.
Blenki heads into the last section of track full speed during timed training on Friday. If you can carry speed into this last few tight corners you can absolutely fly into the finish steeps.
Brook MacDonald and the rest of the young guns will be the ones to take chances here. And on a short track like this, that's either going to mean going big, or blowing up--there truly is very little room for mistakes here, and there are a lot of places with potential for errors on this track, despite it's abbreviated length. Brook flatted in qualies but will race tomorrow.
Young guns? What young guns. Greg Minnaar is worried about only one thing: winning. 5th in qualies
Eliot Jackson was one of the first riders go get a bit wild on his way into the second steep section, double up the rocks hidden in the grass and pinning it into the rocky corner.
Aaron Gwin was the other rider absolutely pinning it into this section, he skipped across eveything on the way in, and dropped into the middle line here, avoiding most of the chunder and holes. Whatever he did on track it worked, qualifying fastest by 2 seconds.
Can you say "PROtotype"? Aaron Gwin is not rocking a standard XTR master cylinder on his Session.
Nor is Gwin rocking a standard Saint rear caliper.
Gee Atherton is another racer who's struggled with bad luck this season. But the sheer grit he exhibits as well as his power and technical prowess will likely see the G-Man stepping back onto the box. 3rd in qualifying, can he keep it together in the final?
Sabrina Jonnier's tailbone injury has continued to plague her. Originally injured in February, Sabo has most definitely had a "off" year. But the time off to heal up since Windham could very well see her return to form. And a "home" crowd will definitely be pushing a motivated Jonnier. 3rd in qualifying but 6 seconds back on a short track...
38738 DHI ME Results Qualifying Round38738 DHI WE Results Qualifying Round
Danny Hart is most definitely a threat to derail other riders dreams of glory; he performs well under pressure and his ability to both see lines and his willingness to take chances make him damn near a lock for podium. 10th in qualifying