After a delicate start to proceedings out on the hill last week, on an ultra-slippery Black Snake, today was just the opposite with riders seeming to take no time at all to start slapping and shralping the La Massana course. Even a fair dose of torrential rain did little to dampen the spirit of shred in the timed training as riders, already well-familiar with the unchanged track, began to flex and show what could be done at race pace.
While the majority are well acquainted with these Andorran steeps, we're seeing the deepest ruts ever as tyres continue to dig deeper into the ground and catching handlebars on hanging roots become a genuine concern in the turns. The jump and berms of the open section always makes for great viewing and this afternoon produced the goods with occasional explosions of shale. Rachel Atherton was the only female rider to make a serious bid on the TT session in the women's field, while the men saw a continuation of Amaury Pierron's dominance, 2.5 seconds up on Loic Bruni, with 4:20.7 the time to beat so far.