With a forecast of 60% chance for precipitation, riders arrived to the steady drumming of rain on the team tents in the pits this morning. The popular question became, “Does that mean it will rain 60% of the time?” It turned out to be about that. The constant moisture was a drain to riders. Gee Atherton spoke for all racers en route to a final practice run with a succint, “I am soooo over this wet.”
However, the weather tipped to the 40% non rain part of the forecast just before the 2 pm qualifying round. Sabrina Jonnier lit up the course first, with a 3:14.05; but she played it a bit conservatively on her run, and that time didn’t hold up. Rather, the top spot was claimed by the very hungry Tracy Moseley, coming home in 3:07.43. That time would likely have been a bit faster had Moseley not had an issue with a stubborn tear-off, but fastest qualifier—and the all important 50 UCI points—was a welcome confidence boost for the Trek rider. She was followed by a very fast Emmeline Ragot, in at +00.14, Floriane Pugin (+5.64), and Mio Suemasa (+6.13). American Kathy Pruitt was tenth on the day, and Melissa Buhl came down in seventeenth place.
“I think I made a few mistakes on the top,” said a pleased Ragot. “I know I can go faster. I failed to pedal all the way on that little up hill, and I slipped out once up top.”
The fastest man home today in qualifying was Fabien Barel at 2:38.32. Sam Hill, the “local favorite”, as he’s been living and training in Bromont since Maribor in June, qualified second with a mostly clean run, +.52 to Barel. Greg Minnaar was third in qualifying at +1.36, with Dr Steve Peat in fourth (+1.43), and Gee Atherton (+2.12) rounding out the top spots.
The fastest Americans were Aaron Gwin coming home in eighth, followed by Kyle Strait placing eighteenth, and then Duncan Riffle taking the twenty-fourth fastest qualifying time.
Tomorrow’s final should see much improved weather, making for a faster track.