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Calm Before the Storm: MSA Saturday

<b>Heavy overnight rain changed the track from a dust bath to near perfect conditions. While workers filled in breaking bumps, Chris Ball made the call to delay practice to make sure the track is in the best condition for racing tomorrow.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>As soon as practice finished, dark storm clouds rolled in from the ocean and heavy rain drenched the track and the pits. Needles was quick to get out the iPhone and start Instagraming to let the world know. Is there any need for us photographers any more?!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>I thought they said 4X wasn't part of the World Cup anymore. XC today. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>John Dawnson on his 16th MSA World Cup in a row. The course stays brutal, the fans have thinned out and the memories are always unforgettable.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>This is straight out of Sven's camera which was rallied like a rental car by Boris in VDS and Fort William and then given to Duncan Philpott at MSA to use. The camera straps still smells like a Scottish pub and the midges must have eaten the sensor. Sorry Bryceland</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>GT's Muscles from Brussels with a metric double backlip (which equals about 1.66 American double backflips).</b>

<b>Syndicate tech master, Doug Hatfield, tells of years past at MSA. He's been coming since 1995! Thanks to modern carbon technology, wheel duty has become manageable. A few years back with Rennie, Peaty and Minnaar only aluminum rims, he had to replace or repair 30 wheels one weekend!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Camera students going crazy: Minnaar, Peaty and Lopes. The only pro is Joe Bowman. Tomorrow we'll debut the results of Greg and Peaty's photojocking, so stay tuned.</b> -Hoshi Yoshida

<b>The Zip Loc bag keeps Ben Reid's sandwich clean and fresh. Which is a good thing if you are near Sven.</b> -Hoshi Yoshida

<b>Chris "The Menace" Kovarik using the media center for a wallride during the XC TV press conference.</b> -Hoshi Yoshida

<b>Sagerian got some medium format film processed after qualis. Do you believe me?</b> -Sagerian Media Dynasty

<b>Dry and dusty conditions early in the week more resembled Mitch Delf's home in Western Australia, but having spent a few summers living in Quebec, he had no trouble getting up to speed in the mud.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Ben Reid was the last man down the mountain today, winning practice with his usual speed and style over the *other* hip jump. </b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Sorry, it's Chris again but we can't get enough of him. Especially because he is not racing tomorrow's finals. He was fast all week, but had the misfortune of two mechanicals in his qualifier.</b> -Hoshi Yoshida

<b>Danny Hart was 3 seconds back in qualifying and was out walking the track before anyone else this morning and was the first rider down the hill. His Muddy Mary's left their mark on the fresh MSA mud.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Mechanics have their work cut out prepping the bikes for tomorrow. The unpredictable weather could mean a mudbath or perfect conditions tomorrow morning. Sleep tight podium chasers!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>The faces of MSA today. Fog hung in the muddy woods up top, and despite their bright orange warning signs more than a few riders were caught out by the wet roots in towards the bottom. Out on the open slope it was business as usual, loose and rough.</b> -Dave Trumpore

<b>Aussie junior, Jack Moir, doing Rando and Amiel proud by making the big show and ripping the final berms in the rain during practice today.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Dan Brown, GT/Atherton Racing chef, about to let me out the fridge and make some omelettes.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Spectators from NZ, Wyn and company, well known for their *avant garde* fashion and hairstyle. </b> -Hoshi Yoshida

<b>Evan Warner from SRAM with his bag of tricks. Everything you need for a World Cup right here. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Love life. Are you living the dream? If not, make some changes in your life. No excuses. D. Riff. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Early morning catch up with friends old and new. Monk Dawg, J-Frey, and Lopes. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Claire is still out there and will be flying the Kovarik racing flag tomorrow.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Marc Beaumont on the finish line jump. Expect to be inundated with various views of this final feature as we all stay close to the closing action tomorrow.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>I've learned to use in-camera cropping to get rid of the pesky helmet cams. Gwin training for the win.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>It official according to Facebook. These two are off the market. Sorry boys and girls.</b> -Sven TMZ Martin

<b>Quebec City lights up the St. Lawrence River as the storm clouds head to MSA. After a week of high temps and high humidity it was really only a matter of time before thunderstorms rolled through to dump more than an inch of rain overnight. We'll see you tomorrow for DH finals at Mont Sainte Anne!</b> -Dave Trumpore

A little rest, a lot of rain, a couple runs and a lot of course study. In a matter of hours, the downhill final at the 2012 Mont Sainte Anne World Cup will be underway. See how the competitors are preparing. Photos by Sven Martin, Hoshi Yoshida, Dave Trumpore, Duncan Philpott and Sagerian.

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