Gary "Flipper" Perkin will be sending us his 5-a-day from the WC in Canberra. Here's day 1:

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Despite my 'world traveller' image, this is my first time in Australia - land of Kangaroos (which I have seen 2 of), beers (which I have drunk a few of), Utes which have seen a lot of, and all kinds of nasty things that apparently kill you if you look at them funny (which I thankfully haven't seen yet). This was my first pic of Oz - arriving into Sydney after 19 hours of travel - which according to some of the people who travelled here was nothing!

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Not much happened today on the course - according to most this is normal for Canberra as a whole. DH track walking took place in the PM with a number of riders heading down the track in the obligatory black hoodie. Here we have locals Jared Rando and Ben Cory leading their posse down the first rock section. The start of the DH is just next to the antennae on the right.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Just in case the Sydney aerial shot and the dry, dust rock section wasnt enough to tell you this was Australia .. this flag should set you straight - unless of course you mistake for the remarkably similar New Zealand effort. With the seven pointed Commonwealth Star being the clincher.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Maybe the fisheye shot exaggerates the flatness of the place, or probably its just that is pretty flat when compared to something like Champery or Schladming. But in all things it is good to celebrate diversity and this course is different to anything we have seen this year - unless of course you raced Canberra previously! The World Cup requires racers to adapt to any course or condition and this will be a better test than some this year when it comes to finding levels of grip or getting the timing right through the various sections as any small mistake will be magnified by short length of the course.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

The big plus - if you can call it that - after the bush fire that swept away the forest part of the Stromlo Forest Park is that you can see almost the entire course from pretty much anywhere on the hill. there's going to be some cool long shots of dust trails stretching all the way down the hill.

g.

Canberra WC:Flipper's 5-a-day