Yeeeehaw! It's go time at the big-bike rodeo here in the high mountains of the Swiss Alps and boy, is it going to be one helluva sight to behold. The Straightline course is ironically all about the switchbacks and damn, we almost forgot the insane speed of this place.
Heavy rain on the preceding days left the dirt tacky, with optimum grip levels this morning as elite women and juniors took to the course. After a few hours of hard sun, the skies clouded over and there was some light rain to see out the men's session; moisture that is expected to return with a vengeance tomorrow in time for qualies.
While Vali Holl and Thibaut Daprela are strong favourites in the junior categories, elite women is little less clear-cut in the ever-tightening battle between Atherton and Seagrave. Meanwhile Nicole and Hannah will be right there snapping at their heels, and Miller will enter the ring to defend her stripes. In the elite men, there's too many contenders for gold to pick one with any real confidence, all the more with Minnaar and Gwin's true speed status up in the air after a season of injury. Pierron is here to take his 4th win of 2018, Bruni's out to stop him and defend the rainbows, while Hart goes for the three-peat. Chuck the rest of the big names into the mix; Brosnan, Shaw, Vergier, Greenland.... Macdonald and the wildcards and it's about as wide open this year as it ever gets. And that surely makes for some mighty fine viewing.
Strap yourselves in folks... this is guaranteed to be a ride to remember.