Victor Lucas is back on his five a day prescription, here are his pick of the pills from Thursdays action at Schladming

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

First day of practice and it's fun and games in the Syndicate pits with Steve Peat and Kathy Sessler. But you can be damn sure things will get serious on race day.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Cruising the easy lines in practice, Sam Hill looked his usual calm and confident self. He has a fairly simple mission here - put in a blistering run and hope the opposition crack under pressure.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Greg Minnaar means business in Schladming. It might sound easy for him to make it into the top 5 and win the series overall. But with times so close these days, it would only take a small mistake to put him off the podium. Surely his best strategy is to go all out for the win.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Gee Atherton could easily win here in Schladming, but for Gee to win the overall, it would take some kind of cruel disaster for Hill and Minnaar. Nothing is impossible at this level of racing.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Rachel Atherton has only two other riders to worry about in the race for the overall win - Tracy Moseley and Sabrina Jonnier. The points gap is enough that these 3 are guaranteed a top 3 overall, but the final order will depend on who can take the pressure and cope with the roots and mud of Schladming.

Words and photos: Victor Lucas.

Victors Schladming 5-a-day