The grand stand's filling up more and more each day and with the racing action under way and the expo area in full swing there is plenty to do and see down here. Everyone always goes all out when the World Cup is in town.
And out of no where really, Troy comes in a pushes Blenki off the hot seat and steals it for the rest of the day. Fast run with a convincing 1.1 seconds up on Danny. A dark horse to watch come race runs.
After qualifying first at the National here a few weeks ago and first last year, we all knew Danny was capable of putting it down when he wants. 2nd today in quali with only 3 seconds splitting up the top 5. Danny just needs to put it all together tomorrow and bring home a podium.
Peaty didn't put together the run he wanted to today and after a mare of a run he came across in 38th. It was though the best quali position the Syndicate had today after Ratter and Minnaar both flatted out in their runs.
Another quali result to be proud of today. Blenki sits nicely in 4th only 2.2 off the pace. Consistently riding well over the last few rounds, he is quietly making his way up through the ranks.
Mike Jones came into this round with a great national result where he podiumed and got first place quali. All the time riding lines with Hill has seriously paid off, placing himself 10th in quali. A big result considering he is straight out of Juniors last year!
Matching his Cairns results today, Gee Atherton takes 6th. Minnaar and Hill are the only two riders to win here two years on the trot but will Gee be able to do the same?
Good to see Brook Mac back up in the top 10 on the results sheet after a bad start to the season. 9th in qualis today he will be looking good coming into racing tomorrow.
Back off of injury and although looking strong on his new Devinci, we didn't know what Stevie Smith was riding like until today. A little back off of last year which was almost expected but still throwing big punches and score 7th in qualy.
Series leader Aaron Gwin missed out on some vital points today where he could have really have done with. Falling back to 5th but with only 2.3 off, its still all to play for especially with several riding able to snatch the leaders jersey off of Gwin this round.
Big media boom here at this round with Fort William always being a ot spot for photographers and film makers to get creative, including Clay Porter, and his team, the magicians behind Steve Peat's "Wont Back Down" on track working on a new project with Giant.
Manon pushed it hard in qualy today and it showed with her impressive 10second lead on 2nd place Myriam. A role reversal run for her and Rachel. Is Manon the new girl on the block?
Ragot coming in tight behind Myriam by only half a second. 3rd in quali on the new bike, that being said she has won here once before on this bike only a few weeks at the British national.
Myriam Nicole putting down here best quali result all year with 2nd place just up above Ragot by a second. Looking colourful in her new kit this week she will be on for a good ride on Sunday.
Current series leader Rachel Atherton led out the pack of women today in qualis. Here recent illness showing the cracks of what not riding for 4 weeks does to you. Off the pace by 16 seconds and back down in 5th, not a Rachel performance at all.
The crowds all started to fill in today with the weather and time changes not seeming to put anyone off. If the weather stays good for tomorrow, you can only expect every inch of this famous track to be laced with screaming fans.
The current Junior leader Loris Vergier came down a bit off the pace which left the door open for heel snapper Luca Shaw to pick up the first here in quali. A second up on 2nd place and 7 up on Loris.
The big hype that has surrounded Laurie Greenland over the past couple of months is enough to get the knees shaking under pressure to perform. Up in 7th in quali but left having to fight back some vital seconds come race day.
Junior rider Martin Meas, straight off the back of EWS, his main discipline, getting briefed by team trainer Alan Milway. Martin shocked us all today with his quali run, first ever WC DH race and he manages 2nd. Really sticking two fingers up at the opposition.
Juniors first up today to kick off the racing here in Fort William. Home soil Scots man Frazer McCubbing in amongst a mash of Scottish Juniors in 19th place with Sam Herd and Drew Carters either side. The brits should look at putting down good times here in Fort Bill, at least the Scots should!
Blowing a right state up in the top section, but the sun beaming down the racing begins. First up Juniors followed tightly behind by the women and men. The gusting wind in the top section making it a real battle for the first minute or so where the head wind turned tail wind then a side wind, riders were having to keep it turned on.
Manon acting as wind-o-meter. As you can tell by the sideways nature of her hair...it was windy at the top. Coming into qualis with high hopes she was looking for a good result.
The elite men had quite some time to wait from 10 when they got to the top till 12.30 when they were racing. Chilling out, All the Lads have a giggle and coffee before dropping in.
Bikes and people littered all over the top station. There just wasn't enough space to house everyone at the top. A tough decisions was made to do this and at this point or at any point in the day for that matter the gondola hadn't even closed once.
Trying to keep warm in such windy conditions isn't easy. Big down jackets, gloves and hats were all the rage.
Or you could even all squeeze inside one of the spare gondola pods that were lying around out side. Be lucky to sit your turbo up in here but enough to keep warm and have some lunch.
Or hiding away in the unused ski lift stations for your warm ups. I think there are a few more spaces in here!
Most people faced the wind head first and cracked on with their warm ups out side.
The top of the hill now becoming the new pit area. Warm up bike, spare wheels, turbo trainers, mechanics and tools were at the top for pretty much all riders. But with the wind still howling away, riders had to get creative with their chosen spot!
Full to the brim gondola's come swinging into the top station. Three bikes six people and a bunch of kit were all being jammed into each pod. That or queue up another hour for the lift.
Big queues for the gondola before racing today as everyone was told the lift was going to close at 10 so ALL riders and mechanics had to be at the top of hill in time. Sure enough to say this caused havoc with people rushing around to get all the kit to the top, all whilst wrestling through the crowds of people. All I'm going to add is...the lift never closed!
With practice ending at 9 and then no racing beginning until 11, everyone retreated to the warming hut at the top of the hillside. That mixed in with all the fans, then with all the riders added on top made it the place to be. Media hang out, caffeine regeneration and race time checks.
A splash of morning practice before the racing starts. Everyone mixed in together making the track busy with a big skill variation, that added with the prevailing winds made practice this morning a bit pointless. 1 run for most riders just to get the legs spinning and check out the track.
The rescheduling due to the predicted bad weather was a kicking for everyone. 5.30am rise for 6am warm up and ready for practice. I don't think many riders can say they get up this early to train on their DH bikes, but I must say we were all sat wondering why it was so early considering the weather was prime!
Crowds of people coming in by the bus load this morning all ready to kick the weekend of racing off with style. Warm enough for shorts and enough wind to keep the mosquitoes away leaves it prime for the fans. Get on the beers and come join in on the action.
The view of hillside this morning. Not so much the storm that the organisers predicted. Either way, we are all awake and keen to go race some bikes. Lets jump into some qualifying action.
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Laurence has been up on the hill today at the 2014 World Cup Fort William qualifying, and even if we had to all get up at daft o'clock to make sure practice was done before the weather closed in it was worth it. Banging photos from the day and some top results mixed things up a bit. Martin Maes posted a stellar ride coming down in 2nd at his first World Cup DH race, and another young gun Troy Brosnan landed his first win in quali too. Manon Carpenter took the Women's and if you want to check out your favourite rider then hit the link below.