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Cairns Day 2: The Waiting Game

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  •  Reportage, World Cup DH

It's hard to describe how gnarly this is, but suffice to say, Benoit Coulanges is the only rider getting this exceptionally sideways. So rad!

Above: It’s hard to describe how gnarly this is, but suffice to say, Benoit Coulanges is the only rider getting this exceptionally sideways. So rad!We were greeted in the morning by 27C temps, and the sun – things were looking up. Kicking off right at 8am, this was an early affair for the riders. Once out on track, it was all dry and dusty; not bad! That was short lived though, and the weather moved in mid-morning and stayed for the day, intermittently raining and providing just enough rain to make the track sketchy.

The track was dry for a little while... The track was dry for a little while…

There were unfortunately some red-flag-inducing incidents, which I won’t go into here, but suffice to say, the event organisers and the UCI need to get their act together for World Champs, and it’s shameful that things were so out of order today.

...but that was rather short-lived. By 10am, the rain had changed the track. …but that was rather short-lived. By 10am, the rain had changed the track.

That 2-hr delay aside, the riding was loose and wild, as the track was ever-changing, but the speeds remains rather high. Once it’s time to race, it is going to get properly hectic out there on the hill!
See how the day and Timed Training shook out below:

The day kciked off birght and early with an 8am start, and 27C tempts. The day kicked off bright and early with an 8am start, and 27C tempts.

MarcThe uplift shuttles were a cramped affair, and very warm to boot. Marc Beaumont knew to be in the back with a window seat.

StartThe start gate dudes are stoked, are you?

B RiderThe B practice saw a lot of enthisiastic riding at the start.

Danielle BeercroftLeaning it over at the start, Danielle Beercroft will likely be extra stoked to be riding in front of the “home crowd”.

Tahnee FlagUnfortunately, yellow and red flags were the most common sight all day.. Tahnee Seagrave, pensive.

The success rate in the rock garden was very, very low. Innes Graham was unhurt after this tumble.

The success rate in the rock garden was very, very low. Innes Graham was unhurt after this tumble.Traffic 2
You know it’s hard when the top riders in the world have to walk the B Line.

Marc 2
It’s great seeing Marc back to racing this year, though it is a little surreal seeing him out running with the B’s currently. This is a two time WC winner….

Jackson
Jackson Frew is another rider on “home turf”, but Cairns is anything but the usual Australian experience for most of the Aussie riders.

TrafficThe main rock garden was an absolute mess, and everyone was bottled up.

Brandan

Brendan Fairclough was one of the first riders to give the section a go in the wet, and clean it.Loic
The reigning World Champ knows how to huck his meat. Loic Bruni, space testing the S-Works Rocket.

Dave
Vanzac and social media sensation, Dave McMillan is out here shredding the track to bits.

Clouds
The scenery has only been ominous, and nothing else.

Ruaridh

Neko

Top: The Alien Tree sectin was another nightmare for riders – it was slick and loose, right to the bitter end. Ruaridh Cunningham made it work though. Bottom: Neko Mulally knows how to ride in the awful conditions here, and it looking strong. 17th in timed training.Josh
Josh Bryceland catching some of the few rays that shone all day.

Her winter training, hucking in Queenstown NZ, is certainly showing - 2nd in timed training. Manon Carpenter looking very comfortable in the air.

I heard Tracey Hannah on the radio driving to the venue at James Cooke University (where she attends), which I thought was cool. Clearly the home-town hype is only moticating her - 8 seconds ahead in first.

Looking focused and on form, Tahnee Seagrave is carrying a lot of momentum from Lourdes.

Top: Her winter training, hucking in Queenstown NZ, is certainly showing – 2nd in timed training. Manon Carpenter looking very comfortable in the air. Middle: I heard Tracey Hannah on the radio driving to the venue at James Cooke University (where she attends), which I thought was cool. Clearly the home-town hype is only motivating her – 8 seconds ahead in first. Bottom:Looking focused and on form, Tahnee Seagrave is carrying a lot of momentum from Lourdes.Hart
5th in timed training, a looking quietly confident, Danny Hart is one to watch.

Brook
If there is one rider who will always muscle his way out of trouble, is Brook MacDonald.

Gwin
It is really hard to tell how Aaron Gwin’s day is going. He’ll stop and start all morning long, and then in timed training he turns it up to 11. It’s wild to witness.

Dean Lucas
Dean Lucas isn’t 100% after some ill-fated gymnastics in France, but he seems to be getting on just fine.

Troy
Let’s just say this: Troy Brosnan is looking so fast, it doesn’t really register when he rides by…2nd in timed training

Eddie
Cracking on with it, smile and all, Eddie Masters didn’t fair much better than most other riders, but he did it a lot more casually.

Steve
Riding healthy and confident, Steve Smith knows he can win, and that motivation is clear to see.

Steve

Gee

……Steve is riding inspired, and his speed-tuck/scrub position is looking very effective – 4th in timed training. Bottom:Looking collected and relaxed, Gee Atherton has been riding well, right into 9th in timed training.Morgane
THE EYES! Morgane Charre, lazer-like as usual. 4th in timed training.

Rachel

Showing the boys how it’s done Rachel Atherton is keeping it low and fast here, into 3rd in timed training. Plenty more to come.Brendan
You can tell which riders send a lot of time jumping. Brendawg, doing what he does best.

Connor
He might be an Aussie, but Cairns is a long, long way from Adelaide; Connor Fearon coming to terms with the not-so-home soil.

Matt Walker
The Matt Train. Simmonds leads Walker over the monster – both hit it BIG.

Adam

Tenth in timed training and looking fast everywhere, Adam Brayton is looking rock-solid. #top20rewards

Gwin

This will seem facitious, but I’m serious: some rare style eminating from Aaron Gwin. We know it’s in there, he just doesn’t floss it much!

Guillaume

Article ender sender alert! Guillaume Cauvin is in the running for “most boost” after today.

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