It wouldn't be a World Cup without a cube ball or two thrown in, and in proper fashion, Lenzerheide did just that on the eve of the race. After days of blistering heat and a track that was literally crumbling to pieces under the riders, the rains came. Thunderstorms, on and off through the night, made sure to throw a spanner in the works of the riders and mechanics who had worked so hard to setup bike and suspension for grip in the loose stuff. Slimy in the morning dry in the middle of the day and back to loose and drifty by the afternoon. A day of constant change in what riders faced for the finals and those who could adapt quickly were the ones who triumphed.
First to tackle the challenge would be the junior men, where once again Finn Iles would show the field why he wears the rainbow stripes of a World Champion. With Matt Walker out due to a crash and concussion, a win would mean Finn could wrap up the overall title with two rounds to go. And today that's exactly what he did. Up at every split and well clear of the field, Finn is definitely in a league of his own.
The Women would take to the track in absolutely perfect conditions, and after the close times in qualifying a day earlier it was clear the final was going to come right down to the wire. Tahnée Seagrave looked on pace to be the first threat for the win, but a washed front wheel right at the bottom lost her valuable seconds and a few steps on the podium by the time she crossed the line. Then it was Emilie Siegenthaler racing in front of her home crowd who would raise the bar with the strongest run we've seen this year from the Swiss rider. Tracey Hannah came close but it wasn't until Myriam Nicole crossed the line that Emile was knocked from the hot seat with one rider to go. Rachel Atherton was up at the first few splits but slowed towards the bottom, and as a result handed Myriam Nicole her second win in a row by just half a second. In addition to winning the race, Myriam now leads to World Cup overall with just two rounds remaining.
Last up it would be the Elite Men. As the temperatures soared, the massive crowds descended along the course and dust once again began to fill the air. As the cheering got louder and louder, the riders got faster and faster, and the times began to fall. The first competitive time would come from Laurie Greenland and rider after rider tried but failed to topple it. After some crashes from riders like Loris Vergier and Mick Hannah, it wasn't until Danny Hart came down that things really began to get wild at the sharp end of the race. First Loïc fumbled and then it was Minnaar's turn. A winner here in 2015 in similar conditions every rider knew Greg would be dangerous in the finals, and once again he proved them all right. Up split after split, Minnaar sailed into the hot seat with what looked to be an unbeatable run. Unbeatable that is until Aaron Gwin hit the course. Aaron was visibly riding sections faster than anyone and by the bottom third of the track was well clear of the competition and looking like he could cruise home for the victory. Then disaster struck. As the track had dried, many of the rocks were starting to come loose once again, and one would seal Gwin's fate in an instant. A puncture with the finish line in sight was heartbreaking and cruel, and it's safe to say just about everyone in attendance felt a bit deflated after such a tight race.
Greg Minnaar now has a more comfortable lead in the overall ahead of Troy Brosnan, but with a second place today, Troy definitely limited his losses. With two rounds to go, it's going be a close one all the way to the end.