Qualifying day at World Champs usually doesn't have much significance. There's no World Cup overall points on offer and it doesn't actually decide the running order for the race. So what's different this year? Well, this morning the UCI addressed the elephant in the room which was the questionable weather forecast for Sunday which suggests Leogang is set for a decent dump of snow overnight and through the day. Their back up plan for Sunday should it be too bad to race is use the today's seeding runs to determine the results which meant riders had no option but to hang it out today. Getting a clean run down this track is hard enough, never mind with the added pressure of the stopwatch.
Vali Höll and Loris Vergier took the top honours today but we'll have to wait and see whether their crucial qualifying runs will end up taking them both to their first elite World Champs title. Tracey Hannah ran Vali closest but behind them there was a big gap to Myriam Nicole and Tahnee Seagrave who had messy runs meaning there's plenty of time on the table for them if they get the chance to redeem themselves on Sunday. Loic Bruni was a second back on Vergier and the time gaps then began to stretch with Finn Iles, Remi Thirion, and Thibaut Daprela following in behind. We've got a fresh crop of juniors who are cutting their teeth on the World circuit this year, and it was Leona Pierrini and Matthew Sterling who took top honours there.
Now we wait. What will the weather do and what will the UCI decide to do on Sunday morning? Will Vergier and Höll be our World Champs for 2020? If we do get to race on Sunday, there are plenty of riders hiding away deep in the results sheets who have good track speed but couldn't quite get the run together when it mattered. Keep an eye out for them surging forward to challenge Loris and Vali.