Lourdes World Cup 2015 | Qualifying Gallery
Stunned. The display put on by the world’s best yesterday in qualifying here in Lourdes, France, for the World Cup opener, was simply gob-smacking.
(Scroll down for Seb Schieck’s full gallery of delights)
When faced with a fierce course they simply laugh it off. When riders are falling to their doom left, right and centre, they are unfazed. When there’s a rock, they huck the hell out of it. It’s hard to believe what you are seeing when the racers here in Lourdes are putting everything on the line in every single section of the track – there is no lack of action, that is for sure.
There were a few spills in qualifying, namely Aaron Gwin who was subsequently disqualified (the course tape on his bike giving a hint) and Gee Atherton, who took the fastest first section split befor positively exploding in the lower sections. It wasn’t pretty, but with a bit of icing and a spot of true grit Gee will be racing today. Gwin is a protected rider so will also be up there, and judging by his meticulous approach to learning the course he might just pull one out the bag.
The men’s top five was a right old mix, with a French 1-2 from favourite Loic Bruni and Remi Thirion, a not-quite-fully-healed Josh Bryceland in 3rd, Scott’s latest signing Neko Mulally proving he has what it takes in 4th and Devinci’s Dean Lucas, who has looked blisteringly fast from the outset, in 5th.
Women’s was a mix up too, with Tracey Hannah demolishing the field and showing the course no fear, Rach Atherton rightfully up there in 2nd, French duo of Myriam Nicole and Emmeline Ragot 3rd and 4th and reigning champion Manon Carpenter rounding it out. It’ll be all to play for today and we should think that mix might change its order.
Juniors are looking as promising and talented as ever, especially for the Brits with Laurie Greenland swiping 1st, Aussie Andrew Crimmins 2nd and Spain’s Alex Marin Trillo 3rd.
Open Gallery18 Images
Now, get yourself superfanning and hit up all the social media feeds and live stream of the race, we’ll be on the hill screaming! Stay tuned for our finals gallery later.