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Downhill

Green and pleasant land

Training action from the Bill

Controversy in the woods, spills left right and centre and 27.5 wheels going one and two. Fort William may be well worn in but it still has the potential to surprise.

From start to finish, Rachel was supreme yesterday

Qualifying today could be a nervy affair, as opposed to the usual procession for the fastest riders, the pressure is really on. Gwin, Bruni, Brosnan, Hart, Vergier, Minnaar, there are a lot of potential banana skins here. One puncture and your overall challenge is pretty much done for the year.

Alexandre Fayolle won’t have to sweat today, first to set off and protected no matter what

The woods were the main focus of the day.¬†After complaints to the organisers during B practice (of which PomPon was the most vocal) a root was cut out and a chicken run taped in. Don’t think it’s easy now though, even the A Practice bunch congregated around it, watching, scoping, waiting. You aren’t likely to win the race on this 20 second section, but you could definitely lose it.

Laurie Greenland skipped over the rocks fastest to lay down a marker in the men’s while the Atherton/Iles juggernauts rolled on in the other categories. Check out all the quali action below:

The sun was out yesterday and despite a couple of brief showers at the start of A Practice, riders were baked on the lopes of Aonach Mor - don't expect it to last.
Eyes meet prize, prize meet eyes. Rachel tends to win by big margins at Fort William, she warmed up with eight seconds yesterday
The win is still eluding Manon here after a couple of years of bad luck. We'd love to see her turn that around.
She's back! It was so rad to see Tracy Moseley course sweeping on the track where she claimed five wins. She looks in fine form and we wouldn't be surprised if she still has podium pace.
Robocop tint for Tahnee yesterday, it really was sunny!
PomPon was not happy with the woods yesterday, describing it as unridable, after a few course changes she looked a lot more comfortable in the afternoon
Finn's been here a couple of weeks but still took plenty of time to scope lines, especially on the low speed entry to the woods
Kaos is on fire at the moment, he put down some scorching splits and was second fastest young 'un on the day
Flying Finn upholding his untarnished reputation. Soaring past Loch Eil to claim fastest time of the day in the juniors
Danny Hart got the fastest first split of the day yeserday, is there more to come from the Redcar Rocket?
Luca Shaw looked cruisy all day yesterday, he's clearly not worried about going too quick just yet
Loris Vergier only took one timed run yesterday and ended up catching Rachel Atherton on the motorway. There's a lot more to come from Lourdes' fastest qualifier this weekend
Flying under the radar on the standard Mondraker this weekend, Laurie Greenland laid down a big marker today.
Marcelo loves rough, fast tracks like this. He's sitting pretty in the overall at the moment so will be one of the few top boys who won't be getting sweaty palms at the thought of today's qualies
Gwin was up to his usual trick of going as slow as possible in timed training yesterday - 6 minutes off the pace, mission accomplished
We'd love to see Brayton lay down another barnstormer this year
Not content with the 57 plate, Brosnan was right back up there yesterday. Sixth for the former winner
We can't remember the last time a World Champion had such a high number plate, Lourdes really was a total freak event. Expect Danny to start chipping away at the standings starting from this afternoon.
National Champ Greg Williamson is a consistent top ten finisher here at Fort William.
Alex Fayolle must have been feeling the pressure yesterday, a number of spills and what looked like a snapped brake lever left him a bit shaken up
Danny was really cracking on yesterday, enough to even take a spill at one point

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