GT Factory Racing’s Downhill Team smashed their respective seeding and qualifying runs runs today with firsts for Rachel and Taylor with Gee in second by 0.17 seconds. Team mate Marc Beaumont came off on the top section which meant he starts in 41st tomorrow but he isn’t badly hurt and is as excited as the rest to get back on his brand new GT Fury.
Today’s times were exceptional for a qualifying round on the dusty and super-fast track and the crowds are already super-excited.
Taylor was first up for Junior seeding where he took the first by 2.4 secs from Noel Neiderberger, Loris Vergier came in third. Taylor said – “I got held up on my timed practise run yesterday so loads of riders had gone down before me. I dint feel like I was going that fast – it was just super smooth and the sun was shining and the crowds were loving it, I was just laughing the whole way down because of all the people shouting my name and styling it up on all the jumps.”
Rachel came next for the Women’s and was first down the hill in a scorching 5.13.738, that’s 6.129 seconds faster than Emmeline Ragot and 9.436 clear of Manon Carpenter. Rachel said “Having done a good timed run yesterday really helped me to have a good time this afternoon – there’s this long straight going into the woods where I was having so much fun with the crowd, and again when I came out the other end I came into the step down nice and slow everyone was cheering and I was shouting too”
In the Men’s Elite Gee was first down setting a tough 1.01.19 at the first split in a rough and rocky top section which demanded very precise riding. He made short work of the tight turns in the woods to set a time of 4.05.542 and burst out to the berms and jumps of the lower section power down to the finish. His times stood up to the next ten riders down the hill but Danny Hart stole 0.17 seconds to snatch the lead, Sam Blenkinsop finished third.
Gee said “That was a smooth run, I was pleased with that – few tiny things to sort for tomorrow but a lot of fun.”
1st Taylor Vernon GT Factory Racing 4.54.689
2nd Noel Neiderberger Gstadd- Scott 4.57.116
3rd Loris Vergier Lapierre Gravity Republic 4.57.98
1st Rachel Atherton GT Factory Racing 5.13.738
2nd Emmeline Ragot Lapierre Gravity Republic 5.19.867
3rd Manon Carpenter Madison Saracen 5.23.174
1st Danny Hart Giant Factory off-road team 4.41.094
2nd Gee Atherton GT Factory Racing 4.41.27
3rd Sam Blenkinsop Lapierre Gravity Republic 4.42.275