It was a double fistful of British steel on the track in qualifying today with both Steve Peat and Tracy Moseley taking the top qualifying spots.
Steve Peat knew he had a good, solid, fast run, and taking the top qualifying spot was just icing on the cake.
“Yeah, I just felt ‘on’ during my run,” claimed Peaty. “No major mistakes, just ‘on’.”
No real surprises in the rest of the men’s field, other than the number of injured riders taking the track and the number of riders getting taken by the track: injured and riding? Greg Minnaar, Ben Reid, and Kyle Strait. Taken by the track? Mick Hannah. Word is a concussion and a damaged shoulder, possibly a broken collarbone.
In the Women’s DH race, Sabrina Jonnier had a bit of a rough go, coming home 11.27 seconds off the lead pace set by Tracy Moseley. Sabo wasn’t particularly focused on this morning’s qualifying, as a protected rider she’s automatically in the finals, and would need to finish less than fifteenth not to win the overall. Consequently, her main focus is a week away. However, coming in eleven seconds down was a bit of a slap, so look for Jonnier to have a bit more focus on Sunday. In her absence, Emmeline Ragot—who likes tight, twisty single track in the woods—was more than willing to challenge Moseley, but was still 4.51 seconds back from the powerful Trek rider, proving how much pedaling and carrying your speed on this track can make a difference.
As for Moseley, it’s been a long time coming, and the Trek rider is coming into form just in time for one of her favorite tracks, Mt St Anne. But a win at Windham would definitely be a good confidence booster heading into Worlds.
The other news of today’s qualifying: Greg Minnaar raced to fourth despite a hyper-extended elbow suffered in yesterday’s practice. That position had the Syndicate rider coming home one spot ahead of Gee Atherton—good enough to pick up three valuable UCI points on Gee, but not enough points to re-take the lead before heading into Sunday’s finals
For all the Sam Hill fans: Sam Hill did race, but the Monster Specialized rider is still stretching his legs, so to speak, as he attempts to come back from that nasty shoulder injury suffered back in late May at Fort William; Hill came home in thirty first position, but was a long ten seconds and change off the front. On a short track like this, that’s miles away from a podium.