Bouncing off the limiter
Mont Sainte Anne practice action
"If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough"
Modern bikes mean the pure speeds of Mont Sainte Anne aren't as intimidating as they once were but the roughness of the freshly exposed rocks are leading to battered bodies and bikes. It's a four minute pummelling with the only rest coming through the cafe after the first turn. Fitness, skill, courage, machinery - they're all coming together this weekend to form the perfect test for racers. Plus, there's a storm brewing.
Bruni was fastest on the day yesterday but it's by no means a sealed deal. Hart and Gwin were both faster through certain splits and many riders' runs were plagued with mechanicals. One glance at the sheets will tell you that the Syndicate, as ever, will be a force to contend with here. A roadblock on the top five, it's hard to imagine the podium not being graced by a Santa Cruz this weekend. So as we head into qualies it's as wide open as the riders' brakes. Plus, there's a storm brewing.
Marine Cabirou showed a clean pair of heels to put nearly five seconds into the rest of the women's field. The young Frenchie is coming on fast and it won't be long before she's threatening for wins. Rach is continuing her rapid rise back to form and there were great splits from Myriam Nicole and Tahnee. It was Tracey Hannah who was fastest of all until the final split though - a good three seconds clear of everyone else. Plus, there's a storm brewing.
And so we head into qualies. This is where it really starts to count. All the way down the leaderboard, overall points are starting to bunch up so every position counts. It's going to be wild, it's going to be tense and it's gong to shake things up.
Plus, there's a storm brewing.