Even the overnight thunderstorms were no match for the blazing Austrian sunshine as riders tackled the newly reworked Leogang track in near perfect conditions. The fresh new bits really only needed the morning to bed in, and by mid-afternoon riders were lighting up the track. And while the track has certainly been slowed down in a few key spots the majority of it still sees riders coming down full gas.
It's the type of track that the majority of the riders look comfortable and up to pace on so it's difficult to tell who the real standouts are during practice. But if you were looking to place your bets, the riders on the podium last weekend in Fort William are certainly the ones riding with an air of confidence around them here in Leogang. However, with it not being the gnarliest of tracks, don't be shocked to see some suprise faces in the mix. And when you consider the variety of riders that have been on the podium this year in all classes, many for the first time, it really is hard to rule many people out.
Timed training surely proved that with a different list of names in the bunch with Mitch Ropelato sneaking in to the top five and the always quick Bernard Kerr taking top honors in the men's. Both the women's categories saw the usual suspects in a fairly predictable order, but the junior men's results were full of names we've not really been used to seeing before.
Tomorrow the click ticks for real though, and when qualifying times come flying in we will have a far better idea of who's who and what's what on the dry and dusty track here in Leogang.
: @natedh9 @davetrumpore @andy9 @rossbellphoto