Another morning of rain left things pretty wet and wild up on track once again for training, but luckily things let up in time for qualifying runs in the afternoon. Riders finally got a chance to shed their waterproof jackets and extra base layers just in time to race the clock for those all-important qualifying spots and the series points that come with them.
In the Elite Men, Loris Vergier would set the fastest time down the mountain, his time would look untouchable for most of qualifying and only last years winner Amaury Pierron would get within four seconds of his time. Troy Brosnan would cross the line third, only 4.596 seconds off the pace. Reece Wilson would get fourth after putting down a great run, he will look to repeat his breakout performance from last year. Wet weather specialist Danny Hart took the final podium spot just over five seconds behind Vergier. After not qualifying at the first round, Greg Minnaar secured himself a top ten position here in Fort William, a mountain that has treated him very well over the years. On the other side of the coin would be the likes of Aaron Gwin who would nurse his injured ankle down outside the top 20, and Loic Bruni who crashed in a big way during his qualifier. Additionally, Dean Lucas, Charlie Harrison and Laurie Greenland will be thankful they are protected as each had various difficulties during their runs and otherwise would not have qualified.
With current series leader Tahnee Seagrave out with an injury sustained in practice, it was all to play for in the Elite Women's qualifying. Tracey Hannah would make the most of this opportunity and would lead the women by four seconds over Marine Cabirou who put down a great time. Rachel Atherton was up at split one but lost a massive amount by split two, indicating she had some troubles on track during her run. She would slowly make her way down the rest of the course for third but it's safe to say she will have a whole lot more to give during tomorrows final. Nina Hoffmann is having a great season so far and she would get another great result just over 10 seconds back from Hannah, while Kate Weatherly would complete the Elite Women's podium 17.125 seconds off the pace in 5th
In the Juniors, it was no surprise to see Thibaut Daprela and Vali Holl top the standings once again. The Junior Men's field would see some great competition with the top 10 within eight seconds of each other and some fresh faces near the front end of the finish order. In the Junior Women, Mille Johnset would back up her fast timed training result to slide in 15 seconds behind Vali Holl.
By the close of the day things had dried out considerably, and if the rains hold off tomorrows final will go off in prime conditions. However it's a World Cup weekend in Fort William and of course, that means the forecast is calling for more storms, perfectly timed to arrive around the same time that the racing is scheduled to get underway.
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