After a little bit of overnight rain here at Mont Sainte Anne the track was a little slick first thing this morning. B practice riders had the early morning session from 8-11am and were pumping out the runs thanks to the quick turn around time of the gondola. This trail dries out really well and the only evidence of the rain were a few puddles, it was super moody with a thick blanket of fog rolling higher and higher up the mountain. Overall it was shaping up to be a nice day…
Well, Mother Nature has a thing or two to say about racing bikes at Mont Sainte Anne, it seems every year a major weather event rolls through and today was the day. An epic rain storm with thunder and lightning began just as the first Elite men and top Juniors dropped in, most photographers scrambled to keep their gear dry as there was only a 30% chance of rain forecast.
All the athletes began descending down the hill after about 15 minutes of deluge and it seemed like we might of been in the clear, the sun even made a brief appearance and a light drizzle had settled in which was easy to manage for both rider and media.
Just before 2pm it started raining buckets of water and the track turned into a river (much like last years final), the lightning had come closer which forced the gondola to close and put a hold on practice. 2 hours later, Marshalls were driven back up the mountain and the track reopened for a timed training session, unsurprisingly Danny Hart took 2 of the top 3 times of the day, with Loic Bruni and Brook MacDonald not too far behind. Rachel Atherton and Tahneee Seagrave were the only two women to record a time but they were up around the 20 minute mark so there was no knowledge to be found there.
Fingers crossed its the only weather event of the week as I don’t think my camera gear likes to play in the mud…
Qualifying is tomorrow which will give us a true indication of who has found the right balance of flow.
Be sure to check back tomorrow with all the Qualifying action!!!