New Day Rising: The Eve of the 2013 World Championship Elite Downhill Finals 2

<b>The result of run one at 7am this morning...fresh tracks in the damp dirt. Despite a reasonable amount of rain overnight, the dust still lurked beneath the moisture. Nigel Hicks in audio.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Supernova Stevie stormed the timed session this morning. Feeling comfortable on the new rig, he reckon's there's still more to come for race day! It shows brilliant foresight from the Devinci team, getting the right bike for the job developed and delivered.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>(Stevie continues) It's a numbers game out there.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Who would have thought that a 29er on these carbon XC rims and single ply tires could be on the verge of winning a DH World Championship? EIther bikes have come a long way or DH tracks have taken a massive step backwards? Or a bit of both. Smashing job by Mitch Laughalotto, nonetheless. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Second in the timed session for Ropelato raises a lot of questions. Is it the bike or the rider? We've high hopes for Mitch in the finals!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>The long, green mile and Gee has yet to even begin the pedaling section which is triple this length of track you see here (and flatter). Will Gee be able to throw the power down on the longer travel, heavier DH bike compared to Steve and Mitch on snappier more efficient machines with bigger wheels?</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Greg Minnaar makes a mockery of the World's biggest race track tabletop for #allthelads from the Thistle while Marshy, his mechanic, runs off the media.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Sam Hill went down in his seeding run and coasted it out, so I'm sure we can expect some fast splits from him tomorrow.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Nick Beer with a solid 8th in timed runs. Feeling comfortable on the bike he raced on A-line.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>I don't think I've seen Mick Hannah with his fingers covering his brakes at any point over the past few days. Death grips and tucks day in and day out. He's saving that energy for one explosive finals run and won't surprise a single, solitary soul if he's the winner on race day.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Tracey Hannah on one of the new jumps designed to take a bit of the pedal out of the pedal section.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Rachel Atherton in the new British colors during seeding run. She pulled a massive 8-second gap on the top sector and a further 8 on the next two sectors. Impressive and seemingly in a class by herself.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Smile for the camera, Rachel.</b>

<b>If there's one rider thats incredibly comfortable at the high speeds on the track, it's Sam Blenkinsop. Totally focused and chasing that top step tomorrow.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>27.5 equally successful on the XC track today as it was on the DH. Was it the wheels or was it the rider? With World Class talents like Nino Schurter and Steve Smith we will never truly know.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Practice is too early when the moon is still present. Do I sound bitter about my 5:30 start?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Graves looking like he's at an Enduro World Series round. If his top section time improves, a podium should be within reach. From 21st at Split 1 up to 7th by Split and 7th overall in timed runs.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Graves could stomp a hole straight through your chest!</b>

<b>Marcelo not afraid of double-branding on the Red Bull jump. 9th for the Colombian Crusher.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Two generations of downhill heritage right here. Steve and Josh discuss their social media habits and the one who's more addicted may surprise you.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Is it race day yet?!</b>

<b>With his third puncture in 2 days, Gwin looks for the next rider in the distance. Could we be seeing a case of World Champs bad luck for Gwin again?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Dew you like this photo?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Caroline Buchanan looking like she is in her native Australia amongst the Eucalyptus tree plantation. 4th in timed runs here for the BMX World Champion. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Markus Pekoll always seems to slip under the radar, but the quiet Austrian always delivers when it counts. Top 10 in timed runs today. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Classic Steve Peat, always looking good in turns and looking good in custom kit, helmet and bike. You can thank Steve for raising the profile and professionalism in DH while still having a laugh.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Troy Brosnan fared well here last year with a solid top 10 result. The small rider has stuck with the "small" wheel option in the Specialized pits.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Sometimes the arms give out a little at 7am during your first and only practice run of the day.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>As the early morning light hit the trees, first on the track was Emilie Siegenthaler. Surprised by the amount of traction she, and the rest of the female field, got in their only practice run of the day in the tepid 10-deg C air.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Morgane Charre, defending World Champ, 3rd in timed runs and 18-seconds behind. There's work to do on race day.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>The view of 69 World-class competitors speeding past you to kick off the Cross Country World Champs is an impressive sight from the media room desks.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Moisture lingered on all vegetation. Nothing like getting a damp ass at 7:30am to start the day! Do I still sound bitter?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>11th in the timed session, Danny Hart seemed to do most of his damage in the top split.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Seriously, am I still sounding bitter about the early morning start?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Who knows what will be 12 hours from the writing of this caption, as a face-off of nationalities, amounts of travel and wheel sizes gets underway with the 2013 World Champs DH race. Here's to the action, the racers and Sven, Duncan and Joe!</b> -Duncan Philpott

A 7am start, one practice run, one timed run and moisture on a previously dusty track is what World Championship downhill racers had to look forward to on the eve of the race day. During timed runs, Steve Smith took his prototype 27.5-inch wheeled bike to the top spot with Mitch Ropelato taking his 29-inch wheeled trail bike into 2nd place. The mind games are in full swing with a handful of hours left before the competitors and the clock decide who is the fastest man and woman downhillers in the world.

Thank you Sven, Duncan and Joe for the in-depth, personal look at our sport!
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  • Big Bird

    8/31/2013 7:53 PM

    Bitter is the new sweet.

  • Pininator

    8/31/2013 6:37 PM

    Bitter much?

    Seriously, though...thanks for the excellent coverage as always. Let the wheel-size e-spec begin/continue............!

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