[related_articles]WHOA there! This is pretty much a dream result for many spectators present here in Lourdes. Loic Bruni has looked superb throughout practice - riding clean, fast and with plenty of style - and his compatriot Thirion has clearly been loving the many opportunities to get wild and dangerous on this hill.

Loic Bruni in practice. The Frenchman has looked fast and dangerous yet cool and calculated throughout training.

Good and bad news for the Brits as a certain Bryceland proves he still has it (let's see what he can do later this season when he's had more time to recover and find his feet, so to speak), on the other hand Gee Atherton, who has been dominating in practice, has crashed out and word is that it ain't pretty. We'll keep you updated on that one.

Neko Mulally - what a boy. On a track this steep and pedalling-free you'd be a fool not to put money on the king of chainless runs. And then there's Dean Lucas, who looked blisteringly fast from the very get-go in practice. It's good to see that transfer into a quali result and Devinci must be mighty happy.

We'll be back with the full results at close of play.

Title photo by Seb Schieck.