There are probably a great many parallels to be drawn between the 'complex and vigourous' traditional Scottish dance and riding your bike down Fort William. Of course, the latter must always be done outside at the mercy of the weather and the insect life, which was where most people's minds were drawn today. Instead of a nice polished wood floor, riders also need to perform across a disastrous mass of boulders, chicken wire and weathered oak, which can be problematic... But what do we care, all we want is bike related drama, and today, the best place for that was absolutely in the forest. You'll have to go check that out yourself though, we'll be steering clear another day longer... Don't forget your smoke flare and bee-keeper's suit.
As ever, the world's fastest racers wasted little time bringing things up to the boil with an available maximum of 15 years World Cup practice to build on, and don't forget the BDS race that went down just weeks before. Of course, no one likes to not show any cards quite like Aaron Gwin during practice... okay maybe Sam Hill, but he has to prove himself now or miss out on a final World Champs hurrah in Australia this September.... he can't afford to hold back too much for too long with such a stacked Aussie field desperate to make the cut.
Laurie Greenland was the surprise turn-up of the day, coming out absolutely swinging to remind us why he took home a silver medal at Val di Sole and pipping the likes of Bruni, Minnaar and Hart to the day's quickest run. Not forgetting that scrutiny of the timed training results sheet is only of limited worth, what the numbers most certainly do show is who doesn't suck.... Does 27.5 suck? Too early to tell. Does Rachel Atherton need a bike to win? Not so much at the moment, but Tracy Moseley is back on a DH bike as a pre-runner, and no one likes to get smoked by an old timer even if they aren't competing. You can bet your last wee dram 'o whiskey that the women's field haven't given up the quest to knock her off her perch, and based on the last race up in these parts, Carpenter will be the first to try.