All the fuss about the smoothness of the track: Unnecessary. The wheels of these riders have barely touched the ground since they powered up the timing. It's more a case of buckling up, spinning out the gate and bouncing down 50% airborne... albeit with an extremely high degree of precision, aggression and in some cases, style. Without a real-life front row seat, the speeds through, over and into the rocks are genuinely unimaginable, especially to those less familiar with the sport. The crashes and the bicycle brutalization have been leaving what few spectators that have so far arrived and most marshals, stunned. And how about those times!?
11 riders completed the course in 2 minutes 33 seconds. 14 riders on a 2:36. So many great racers didn't make the cut, we're on the brink of setting up a charity to express our sympathy on a race gone mad. Cough up your pennies. At Mont St Anne the last man down without an obvious crash was 48.4 seconds off the pace.... Here the last place qualifier was allowed just 13.1 seconds before getting the boot. Yes MSA is longer, but certainly not 4 times as long. Alright, this isn't quite up to par with geek stats, but that guy doesn't shoot and write as well. And thank God for that. Most interesting though, is the biggest gaps in time were at the very top... Bryceland, Gwin +0.73, Mulally +1.69, Brosnan +2.41 and Bruni +3.25. There are plenty of others lurking in the shadows with secret lines or seeding run mistakes who could turn things on their head and there's no way a track this tight could reproduce the same ranks in the race. When the East Coast sun rises in the morning just about everything could change.
|Tomorrow's a big day, I heard a rumor that we did pretty good on the track this afternoon... Yeah Josh got first qualifier so I am really stoked for him. Now I'm going through all the preparation applying tubular tire glue to his training rims, making sure the spare tires are good and making sure his race wheels are fast for tomorrow. There's been very little carnage on this track, I better knock on wood for that. I've been looking around the pits and the mechanics haven't got quite as much work as in Mt.St.Anne luckily, so this track is a whole lot better for us - Doug Hatfield - Santa Cruz Syndicate Mechanic|Trailforks.com
|As a mechanic in this situation now I try to go with the flow. It has been amazing for Josh to ride to the second spot now and a lot of people think that he could do it for the overall this season. He has to prove himself and he is doing it... It is an amazing story. For me it's business like usual, but there is always a little bit of pressure. The art is maybe to make sure that the riders don't feel any themselves and I just need to be relaxed, that's the whole thing. Tomorrow should be good and I'm looking forward to it - Doug Hatfield - Santa Cruz Syndicate Mechanic|