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Downhill

Baptism

Report and action from race day at Lourdes

Deadly. There’s no other way to describe the conditions the top qualifiers came down in yesterday. The rocks were slippier thanĀ a cattle shed floor and survival was the only option.

Photos: Seb Shieck

These black clouds were hanging just outside the race venue all day. The sun could only hold them off for so long

It’s a shame that the weather played such a big part in yesterday’s race but to put Fayolle’s win purely down to the conditions is unfair. His time was within 0.1 seconds of Vergier’s quali on a track that was riddled with holes by the time finals came around and he still finished more than three seconds clear of anyone who came down wet or dry on a sub three minute track.

7 seconds up on the hotseat time, Fayolle’s run was a scorcher even before the weather set in

Having said that, we can’t help but wonder what a race we would have had if the rain had started falling a couple of hours earlier or later. So many stories, so much build up and so much excitement washed away in a 30 minute downpour.

So what are we left with? Familiar faces taking the glory in the women’s and the juniors’, joy for Fayolle and Polygon and everyone else with their sights set on Fort Bill. Expect it to kick off. Big time.

Aero tucking Kaos Seagrave
Finn Iles looks better on a bike than any 17-year-old has a right to
Matt Walker suiffered a puncture up top. We're still yet to see where he stacks up against Iles this year
The moment of truth for Iles and Seagrave
Young Kaos waiting for his first ever podium
Don't forget these three making history as they take to the junior women's podium
Tracey looked super comfortable up on track today. We reckon there's more to come from her this year
New bike, same old Atherton. that's 14 World Cups in a row now.
Pompon got one of the biggest cheers of the day as she secured a solid fourth place. In the mix for the rest of the season
Another weekend, another win. What more can you say?
Not the start Brosnan will have wanted on Canyon, another casualty of the rain
A best-ever result for Rupert Chapman. One place off the podium and kicking off his Pivot career nicely
Lourdes veteran Laurie Greenland avoided the worst of the weather and finished 11th
What can you say? So much respect to the top guys for still putting their bodies on the line in awful conditions
Intense are taking things very seriously this year. Moir paid them back with a 14th place finish in rancid conditions
Mark Wallace kicking off Canyon's World Cup story with second place. It's great to see him charging with intent once again
Marcelo was absent from the podium last year. We doubt this will be his only visit in 2017
Fayolle had a bar mounted lock out on his shock. Where on Earth was he using that?!
A stretched out Summum delivered Payet onto the podium
Gee was probably the last rider to miss the rain but still battled gale force winds. He'll be satisfied with 11th and some great splits
Ride of the day probably goes to Fearon who wrestled his new Kona into fifth. It's a big coup in his overall fight
A trophy of bread to complete the most raucous and unpredictable podium ceremony in years
Last word has to go to the fans
There was no dampening this party

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