Qualies are in the rear-view mirror for the DH race, with Sam Hill taking the top spot by a resounding seven seconds over Steve Peat. Syndicate teammate Greg Minnaar suffered a front flat and was forced to rely on his “protected” status as a top-20 rider to get into the final tomorrow.
Other top riders included Gee Atherton (third), Sam Blenkinsop (fourth) and proving that a blown knee can’t keep a good man down, Fabien Barel came home for fifth. Mick Hannah looked solid but came in seventh. The big question fans are wondering, though, is what about the comeback kid? Well, Palmer qualified. It wasn’t pretty, but he squeeked in with the seventy-sixth spot.
The ladies were rocking, with Sabrina Jonnier kicking some tail. She came home in a solid 5:28.34; edging out Mio Suemasa for top honors in qualifying; Suemasa was back by .81 seconds. A smoking time for Mio! Celine Gros took third, five seconds and change back, followed by Floriane Pugin (+6.35) and then Emmeline Ragot (+8.07). Tracy Moseley had a cruiser run, taking sixth in qualifying.
Look for the lost seconds on the day to be hard to find during finals: the forecast calls for rain—potentially quite heavy.