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2012 UCI World Cup, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa - Day 2, Timed Practice

<b>Aaron Gwin was on it from first run today. Start as you mean to go, I reckon! Smashing turns and riding at a pace only wished for by mere mortals. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Everybody's favorite commentator is locked in again for another year of entertainment. Things will be a little different, but with Warner some things can never change. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>Myriam Pom Pom Nicole on a flash Commencal, another one of the flat pedal riders bending the rules here at PMB. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>Sam is looking relaxed fit and fast, which is a good way to start a new season, floating over the rock section up top renamed Canon Corner. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>Pietermaritzburg, Pascal, Pink. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Here a picture truly is worth a 1000 words. This, folks, is how you build an XC track! by Gary Perkin</b> <i>HECK YES!</i>

<b>Rob, or should we say Red, Parkin had to manufacture some custom mods for the latest Orpheus Productions acquisition. Lock-on grips, Leatt Brace parts and a modded monopod...Trick! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Local PMB hero, Tim Bentley, breaks loose in the loam. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>Fresh off a summer of racing in New Zealand, Justin Leov didn't take long to get his lines dialed today. Not sure if the Red Ravens will see some massive roll off mud action this weekend though! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>The tables are massive. So were some of the cases today, too. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Don't let Tracey's size or the color of her bike fool you. She claims pedaling is her weak point and this will be her hardest race, but I have a feeling she has nothing to worry about. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>Marc Beaumont tagged a tree this morning in the new off-camber wood section. It's not a slow section either, so he is nursing a big impact bruising and muscle damage. But if Bond can ride so will Marc. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>It's great to see Bryn Atkinson back in full flight, charging as only he can. I'm expecting big things from the Aussie here this weekend...and the rest of the season for that matter. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Pretty much a local here (and all over the world) frequent flyer, Fabien Cous Cous Cousine, easily boosts the jumps leading into the N3. -Sven Martin</b>

<b> It may be ghetto, but it works and it sure beats hay bales and a removal truck. This Is Africa. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>This is what riders have been contending with here in Pietermaritzburg. For our Northern Hemisphere readers who may not have seen this for a while, it's roost! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Spare a thought for Florent Payet. He heads down here from Reunion for the almost-local World Cup and he gets taken out by the wind on the big rollers after the Gully and breaks his collarbone. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Flying the tricolore with pride, Italian champion Lorenzo Suding, got up to speed really fast today, if you'll pardon the pun. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Danny's first official day in the rainbow jersey. It was not slowing him down either. His coach, Alan Millway, talks about the role he plays in Danny's training. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>Build, pack, rain, heat. Rinse and repeat. No this isn't a local jump track it's the first of the lips leaving the flat-out Gully section. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>If the rain comes, tire choice will become a huge decision. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>After years of searching for the Dew on the World Cup circuit, Clay Porter manages to track down his nectar about 150m from the finish line in PMB. See everyone, this IS the chosen land! Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Greg Minnaar and Steve Peat looked focused during practice today. They made every run count. Greg cut practice short, not wanting to over-ride the course which is easy to do as the riders are finding it pretty fun. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>Josh Bryceland wears some of the brightest kit, but still tries to hide away sometimes to be alone with his tight pants. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>A short year ago Aaron put in the groundwork towards earning that number 1 plate here in PMB. Will he hold on to it after this weekend? If he takes his helmet cam off, maybe. -Sven Martin</b>

<b>Can't see the Riffle for the trees. New ride, new kit, new colors for a large number of riders this year. It takes us a bit of time to get up to speed with the who's who in the DH zoo. Photo by Gary Perkin</b>

<b>Andrew Neethling quietly clocked the second fastest timed run today (behind Cedric). Not a big deal in the grand scale of things this early, but one step closer, knowing your preparation is on track. -Sven Martin</b>

World Cup downhillers final get in the dirt with the first runs of the 2012 UCI World Cup season. The refined downhill course of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa proved to be a success and timed practice runs pushed riders into the low four-minute range with Cedric Gracia moving the fastest.

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