Words and images: Zach Faulkner
The heat was up and the sun was out; Quite the day here in Canada!
Once riders settled in, the pace was raised to a full, “WHOA” and things got interesting.
The gaps were sent, corners were demolished, and heckling was plentiful – I’d say that’s a great start to the event!
Jackson Davies' (of #Vanzacs fame) Demo is 25% faster thanks to this sticker.
Tracey and Casey, the dynamic duo always seen training together, get in some sunny early morning laps before the heat settled in.
The iconic MSA start abruptly exits the gondola station, and spits rider into the mayhem.
Now a World Cup winner, Laurie is looking ahead at the bigger picture. First in TT, by a lot, and looking on point everywhere.
Crimmins is still the leader after a tough Swiss round, and he certianly has his work cut out for him this weekend, as a certain Trek Junior is going warp speed everywhere on track.
Emmeline was on her lines all day and looking strong, but if timed training is anything to go by (meh), she'll be putting in the work tomorrow before qualies (2nd, 14 back on Rachel).
Rachel is all smiles and laughs this weekend. First in TT by a lot, she's certainly looking to keep her streak alive.
Veronique Sandler has been making steady progess all season, and has been looking especially strong here in MSA.
Third in TT, Manon is looking like the rider we are used to seeing from last year. Looking for a podium, keep an eye out for her tomorrow.
Troy was clearly on a mission during track walk, and brought the intensity to the first day of practice. 2nd in Timed Training and a serious threat to the top step this weekend.
Phil is loose, and yes, he rode this out with his feet up.
Goon-riding is always acceptable, especially when you're Sam Blenkinsop - still managed 4th in TT with silliness like this all morning.
The Lizard aka Dan Meilink (yes, another #Vanzac obviously) is looking comfortable out on track and on pace to mak the big show for Saturday.
Jackson's sticker speed can be seen here as he blazes the rocks.
One screen or another, the media crew makes sure to at least look busy during the lunch-time-lull.
Matt Walker (re: #Vanzacs) was looking both fast and stylish today. The Kiwi has been on the cuspt of making the big show all year, and MSA is looking like a suitable place to put down the big run.
Aaron was looking fast. His method of execution seemed to be, "Run it over or gap it" - entertaining to say the least.
The Hero Corner.
We were all commenting on how Mark seemed to have found another gear on track, and a 9th in TT is putting some numbers out there for proof.
Josh looked almost too casual today, but frankly that doesn't mean anything...so, watch this space.
Craig Evans knows how to get into a gallery. A rarely-seen table for steez out of the awkward drop corner.
You felt the ground tembling when Brook came through this section, it was wild.
It takes real skill to drift, it take more skill to drift each tire in a different direction; Wyn, putting on a clinic.
Luca Shaw won here last year as a Junior, so he knows what it takes to do well here at MSA.
I adhere to the belief that one doesn't really need a reason to include a shot of Sam Hill, espcially at MSA (he's the winnest Male rider at this venue).
Joe Smith is a hammer, and was bringing the Flat Pedal Thunder (FPT) each run, anihilating corners like this consistantly.
DW favorite, Benoit Coulanges is looking great on track as usual.
Danny is looking back to himself this weekend, and this technical little huck proves the point.
Steve "The Longest Nickname" Smith seems to be finding his pace of old again here at a track he knows well and has won on before.
Neko was walking the track at the end of the day and only had good things to say. The big man has the potential to put a scorcher down on this iconic course. Don't forget, he got second at Junior Worlds here in 2010.
Loic wants to win worse than anyone else, that's a fact. Third in TT and showing no signs of slowing.
What's there to say about Greg at this point? The limo driver can win here, and his relaxed riding today bodes well for what's to come.
Looking to remind people that he's won an Elite race, as well as a Junior Worlds Gold (at MSA), Brosnan isn't messing about.
Phil Atwill is a wild man, and I'll just leave it at that.
There is footage of this, and that will be included somewhere here at DW, because seeing is believing - you have no idea how hard and fast he hit this corner...
We're not sure what was more impressive today: this guy giving the whols ski run a hair cut, or the fact that he was doing in 26C heat all day.
Nathan Hughes gives up a little track analysis.
...too bads it's pouring out right now and isn't showing signs of stopping.
Top TT runner today, MGV is on a mission.