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Downhill

Touch gloves

The one fight that matters this weekend

It’s all a bit tense out here.

Photos: Seb Schieck

McGregor vs Mayweather may have all the tabloids wagging this weekend but there’s only one fight that matters. The rumble in the rubble, the duel in the dust, toe-to-toe in Trentino.

That’s one focussed face.

The World Cup year started with swirling mistrust, the Syndicate brought the new wheels to the table and blew the 29er doors off the World Cup. Now, four months on, the pits are once again a whirlpool of suspicion. Deals are being done, product is being obscured from view and everyone knows that one mistake on the track could blow a season.

Gloves on for Blenkinsopready for the fight

Of course, everyone is focussing on Gwin and Minnaar but all down across the track mini battles are being fought – none more so than rider vs track. Thankfully, it look like riders won’t be battling the weather. The skies are blistering blue and there’s not a whiff of moisture in the air, it’s going to be a fair fight for the top.

Relentlessly consistent, whatever happens this weekend you can’t help but admire this man

Minnaar, Nicole and Walker were fastest yesterday but today is where the business really begins. Touch gloves, Come out swinging.

Walker yet again showed pace yesterday on the 29er, can he carry it through to qualies today?
Not many freeride opportunities for Edwards here in Val di Sole, low and planted through the ruffage seems to be the answer
Sylvain Cougoureux has greatly impressed in both his junior years, expect a big team for him next year
Are we looking at the greatest junior rider ever? One more race to go for Finn to prove his credentials
Iles hops round his bike like a spider monkey, it's incredible to watch someone so nimble behind the bars
Rach was rapid through the bike parky top turns
Seagrave will be aiming for two on the trot in Val di Sole, you’d be brave to bet against her too.
Emilie Siegenthaler has been having a stellar season and would love to hold on to that top five plate on Saturday afternoon
Nicole has been keeping her head down all weekend, she knows a decent qualifier and a podium will be enough to secure the overall. Can she hold it together?
If the Square One is anything to go by, Hannah's new downhill bike will rip on a course like this. We can't wait to see what she brings on Saturday as she chases down Nicole
It's steep and wild on this track that's been hewn out of the hillside
Jack Moir rocking a new carbon beauty
He loves it here. Laurie Greenland ready to throw the nose in
Fastest on day one and looking to defend from the high ground for Mr Minnaar
The fresh berms are already turning loose and marbly
Troy is calling himself the underdog this weekend. He can still win it but he's cleverly managed to avoid the pressure being squeezed on the other two
Super Bruni is smouldering on his new custom Demo, practically the last man on the hill yesterday and second fastest to boot
Brayton was on top form yesterday bullying the rocks out of his path
Hart on the attack

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