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Cairns World Cup Downhill Qualifying Slideshow - Passenger or Pilot?

<b>It's wet riding and Sam Blenkinsop is the man to beat come finals. The time between Gwin and Blenki was tight, but back to 5th was a sizable 7-seconds.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Eddie Masters celebrating a 4th place qualifier in style.</b> -Boris Beyer

<b>Rachel seems to really thrive when the conditions turn south...must be her Welsh upbringing. 18-seconds up today with a less-than-flawless run.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Foot out, flat out Rachel Atherton. Roots and ruts like you have never seen before. Yeah, nice.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>If you're on a 30-inch monitor, hit fullscreen to see this guy in actual size, I kid you not.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Fastest seeding Junior, Loris Vergier, would have placed 11th in the Elite Men. Despite the Juniors racing their own race, it's good to see they'd still be competitive in the main field.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Connor Fearon ran a Top 10 qualifier time, but he also had a not-so-small "moment" in his run. Without this, you may be looking at your fastest rider on track today. Just sayin'.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Yeeuh Kahnuh! Those two words are repeated every time Connor Fearon passes by any crowd. Back on flats, he's looking to steal someone's thunder this weekend with flat-out, rowdy riding.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>There are some dirty ruts forming on the bottom of the track. The combo of deep ruts, sticky clay and slow speeds proves challenging.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Neko Mullaly, impressive all weekend and feeling right at home. Fastest by far in this section and one of the fastest in the rocks just above. I'm calling for his first podium tomorrow if the stars align. #earnedit </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Mud means fun. The Never Wet spokesmodel?</b> -Boris Beyer

<b>Rhys Atkinson and crew should be applauded for a job well done on the DH course. We saw he was a DNF in quali's and hope everything is ok. If you know, leave a comment.</b> -Tim Bardsley-Smith

<b>Aaron Gwin was one of only two or three riders that rode the "Alien" chute without dabbing or getting probed. This does not mean it was easy going keeping those Stars and Stripes clean though. 2nd place qualifier by just .7-seconds.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Mr consistent, Greg Minnaar, can perform on any track and in any condition. Unlike others, he didn't seem to struggle too much running clips. Overalls are won with consistency at the most difficult races.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>First runs of the day and low level cloud was encountered. Although, in this case, our gear not being able to deal with the humidity is also partially to blame.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Sam Dale proving that his South African result was no fluke. The powerhouse kept the horsepowerdown through the goop for a Top 10 qualifier. The trimmed beard is paying off. #nomuddreads #allthelads</b> -Sven Martin

<b>For the second race in a row, Sam Dale is the top British rider with Gee Atherton trailing by a gnat's whisker. New-found confidence from PMB should hopefully carry into tomorrow's race run.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Luca Shawn, 2nd in Juniors today, 9-seconds off Loris. The devil is in the details, however. His top split was 4-seconds faster, which was the third fastest top split in the Elites, too. If he cleans up his bottom section on race day, he will be on fire.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Marcus Pekoll plowed into the crowd further down the course in his qualifier. No double tape for spectators or media. It really is a rumble in the jungle.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Gee is looking for size UK 10.5 Five Ten shoes for tomorrow as he doesn't want to get his Nike Airs dirty. Flats worked for Eddie and the bottom section is so caked up that cleats become packed and useless. If you have some, drop them off at Atherton Racing and I'm sure they will reciprocate with a date with Rachel Atherton. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Manon Carpenter fell into second place with two crashes in her run. Throughout the male and female field crashes were the norm.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Brendan Fairclough, back on the DH bike and a not-too-shabby 13th position considering the physical bottom section of the track. He is also back on flats.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Gee Atherton using the lower line into one of the tight switchbacks up top.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Danny Hart ran a Top 5 split up top. Let's see if he can put it together on the bottom and "Champery It" to a podium finish tomorrow. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Today's Spider sports orange accents on the legs, a mean looking abdomen and some wet web bokeh.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Miami getting Steve Peat up to speed first thing in practice. Steve had to complete a madatory two laps in order to race qualifying since he was out yesterday with back pains.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>On only his third run down the hill Peaty managed a 24th place qualifying result. Top Banana.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>It has become normal to see Loic Bruni in the Top 10. 8th in qualification, he'll be looking to step it up to the podium.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>This is what happens when you go down in the mud. It's very difficult to continue on a race run with grips and hands like this. Tahnee Seagrave, #dontletgo</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Glastonbury festival without the drugs?</b> -Boris Beyer

<b>#cairnage as coined by Vital member chris.burich</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Myrium Nicole, 1st at split 1, 5-seconds quicker than Rachel and 2nd at split 2. Promising stats for a run with winning potential.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Wet weather racing brings a greater sense of community to the World Cup scene. Washing areas become points where riders get a chance to catch up with each other.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Eddie, Eddie, Eddie.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Your fastest rider down the mountain today. Sam Blenkinsop.</b> -Boris Beyer

<b>From the dry confines of the press room, the XCE-finish-line-panning-shot contest got competitive amongst Sven, Damian Breach and myself.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>This is the view as I type this caption. #moarrainmorebetter, we'll see you shortly as the riders drop in for their race runs!</b> -Sven Martin

Were you a passenger or a pilot? That's what qualifying came down to at the UCI World Cup Downhill in Cairns, Australia. Extremely heavy and slippery mud caused the course to be unpredictable and difficult to negotiate. Most riders survived while a handful thrived. Sven Martin, Duncan Philpott, Boris Beyer and Joe Bowman capture the battle of this damp, daring downhill.

Watch Vital RAW from Friday practice

PIT BITS - Cairns World Cup


DH Qualifying Results


Take a run down the Cairns DH course with Claudio Caluori


Win a SRAM X01 DH drivetrain with Vital OTB, Cairns


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