Friday here in Val di Sole and today brings sunshine…really really hot sunshine…dusty trails and qualifying! Who has made the top spot…come in and find out!
The crowds are starting to flood into Val di Sole, and considering it's a Friday the turn out was good for qualifying. We can only expect the track to be laced top to bottom come Sunday…thats if the weather holds.
There was a bit of XC training to warm the cockles today before Saturday's racing. This small reminder for the riders was telling them that it's about to get serious. Rocks, logs and some dust face the riders on this section!
We were almost expecting Danny Hart to do a repeat qualifying win but this time he falls into 6th place. It's still a fast time but he is going to have to turn up the gas to secure the win on Sunday. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/4_audio1.mp3"]
Mic 'Sick Mic' Hannah lays down a 12th place on the number 7 board whilst his sister in crime Tracey on the number 12 board puts down a 7th place qualifying spot…freaky!
Having come 2nd to Rachel at Val di Sole back in 2012, Myriam Nicole will be looking to one up herself and stand upon the top of the podium this year. She'll have to go some though.
Noel Niederberger finishing in 2nd place in Junior qualifying, but coming off the win in Fort William he will surely be confident he can pick it up come race day. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/7_audio1.mp3"]
Rachel Atherton taking the win in the women's qualifying with an impressive 6 second lead on 2nd place qualifier Emmeline Ragot. A brief chat with her mechanic Andy Lund revealed that she was on a 'slow one'…so who knows what else she has in the bag?
Madison Saracen young gun, Phil Atwill pips Noel to the post by winning Junior seeding by half a second. Phil has been looking lit all week. He tells us how he feels and what he thinks of the track... [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/9_audio.mp3"]
Morgane Charre flat out here into the final section in her fetching UCI coloured champs jersey. She will be looking to hold onto this come South Africa, but in the mean time she will be hunting for the WC overall. She puts down a 4th place run today. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/10_audio1.mp3"]
The track here at Val di Sole claimed a few riders today. A few went off in ambulances but most just dusted themselves off. Harry Molloy here perfecting the duck and roll as he gets bucked over the front on a steep section which put him into a wicked roll down the hill…lucky he was okay and managed a 30th in qualifying
After having a crash in Fort William on his qualy run and a little mess up today on track, Josh Bryceland will be looking to pull it together come race day. He has the speed and the motivation, he just needs to pull it all together on this ever changing track. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/12_audio.mp3"]
Another British rider to see himself through to Sunday's racing is CRC pinner Joe Smith. Calmed and relaxed in the pits, he managed a respectable 29th. With all the team through to the next round, and all up in the top 30th, team managed Nigel Page must be pleased.
Sam Hill's pink kit certainly hasn't slowed him down this weekend. After his result last weekend in Fort William and his 5th in qualifying here today it's clear that he's once again a serious force to be reckoned with and it feels like it's only a matter of time before he gets back to his winning ways.
Steve Peat has raced here for many years but here he explains how he isn't having such a great weekend this year. He still managed 27th in qualifying though, but he wants to be playing with the young guns! [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/15_audio.mp3"]
Winning here last year by an impressive margin of almost 8 seconds, Aaron Gwin will be looking to take the win here again, but the one man standing in his way, Gee Atherton, wont go down without a fight. Gwin comes in 2nd today behind Gee, 1.36 seconds adrift.
Brook MacDonald is starting to show some great consistency. 2nd last weekend in Fort William, and now 4th in qualifying here in Val di Sole. Can he keep this kind of result up come Sunday? [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/17_audio.mp3"]
Gee and Rachel Atherton made it an Atherton double in Fort William and then they've gone and done the same today in qualifying here. Is this their season? Gee explains how his day went and how he is looking forward to Sunday... [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/18_audio.mp3"]
Rob Warner plus Gee Atherton plus Beer plus electricity equals some really 'Dirty Business'. Rob's up to it again, getting innocent people involved. Try drinking a beer he says…try it whilst you get electrocuted he says…turns out you get a little bit on you! [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/19_audio1.mp3"]
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Make sure you keep an eye out for the audio clips in the gallery!