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Meribel World Cup Downhill Qualifying Slideshow

<b>Matt Simmonds, pure class. What a ride today. I hope he can pull it off again tomorrow. He has been working so hard to get to this point the last few years and his dedication is paying off. Will Longden in audio. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Atherton's aggressive airtime adventures among the Alps. 1st place qualifier by just .662.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Life Cycles 2? Nope, Greg Minnaar, navigating the gnar in practice this morning.</b> -Joe Bowman

<b>Greg Minaar's rear flat put an end to his qualifying run. Although the cause was down to elements outside of his Marshy's (Greg's mechanic) control, many hours will be spent ensuring the same doesn't happen come finals.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Manon Carpenter is in the driver's seat tomorrow.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>New, almost-production RAD FOX shock seen on Manon's bike today. RVS - Rad Valving System perhaps? Really Voluptuous Suspension? Rocking Vital Slideshow?</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Portugal's Francisco Pardal blowing minds with a 4th place qualifier today. Well done.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>"Franko" Pardal and the two riders he claims helped him achieve his 4th place in qualifying this weekend. It's great to see new riders in the mix.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Josh Bryceland on the middle line during qualifying today. A small tip over kept him off top spot that he will surely want to finish the year off with tomorrow. Fox Head's Mike Redding in audio.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Sven's first photo collage and it's a gem! Naturally-developing "berms" are the best kind of berm. Kathy Sessler discusses the Rat.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Early morning moody moisture as Sessler continues.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Most people jump off this rock but Sam Hill jumps over this rock from the one behind. I think he will expect to go even better tomorrow. Nigel Page in audio.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>While in hot pursuit of Manon Carpenter for the overall, Emmeline Ragot fell short in beating her today and the points gap opened up a little more.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Gee Atherton taking a bar to the ribs.</b> -Alberto Armada

<b>There is a lot of hype around Loic, a French champion in France would be an ideal story for the national TV crew following him. Thankfully he has time for Vital.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Interview answer of the year? Loic crushing on course and off.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>14th place in qualifying is a little surprising for the series leader, Luca Shaw. A big crash in his final practice run led to a very painful and limited elbow.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>On the edge of traction with a rear flat, Troy was trying greatly to limit his losses.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Aggressive, focused and riding a cut above the rest of the Juniors, Loris Vergier sits in the top spot.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>British Junior National Champ, Laurie Greenland, hasn't had the best success on the World Cup circuit, but a 2nd today looks promising for race day.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Stunning views from any angle on this course.</b> @maddogboris

<b>A little off the back at the first split, Gwin made up time towards the bottom. Anyone in the Top 10 could improve on their run and shuffle the results. #textbookform</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Loris Vergier up top early this morning. Tomorrow they expect 50,000 spectators.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Ragot always has a smile on her face and always has time for her fans, signing autographs after qualifying. She still has a shot at the title tomorrow if Manon slips in any significant way. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>8th place in Junior qualifying is a good start to the weekend for Ireland's Jacob Dickinson. Getting rowdy in the top turns because he can.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Brendan Fairclough, just 3-seconds off first place today. I'm sure there are many people hoping to see him on the podium. Do or die time.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Connor Fearon, fearin' nothin' before qualifying.</b> -Joe Bowman

<b>Blenki had a massive crash just before qualifiers, tweaking his knee. He said it held him back but he will give it his all tomorrow. Expect him to bump into the Top 5 if his knee is better. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Privateers keeping the sport alive. Emyr Davies scrubbing up top.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Brook MacDonald was another rider who gained pace as the course progressed. He's found his form in the last few races and is a definite contender.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Warm up is essential when your start to the day is as chilly as it was here. Manon has done enough today to mean a 5th or better finish is enough to secure the overall.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Token sunglass lens reflection shot.</b> @maddogboris

<b>@remithirion's Instagram quote was, "Good qualification for me today I finish 6th!! I'm ready to take pleasure on my bike tomorrow." We're ready to watch you take pleasure on your bike tomorrow, too. GO REMI!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Casey Brown, too sexy for the catwalk before quali's.</b> -Joe Bowman

<b>Chris Seager charges his video camera batteries with the energy from his scooter tailwhips.</b> @maddogboris

<b>Rachel really rallies right-hand roots relentlessly.</b> @maddogboris

<b>Danny Hart during his qualifier. Fast, off-camber and rooty. Just the way he likes it.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Dan Brown of Atherton Racing runs the numbers, stats, spilt times, sector times and points all in one custom made spreadsheet. It's all coming down to the wire tomorrow.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>As the track dries out, it can become more unpredictable as bigger holes develop. Wyn Masters taking Bulls bike by the horns.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Tracey Hannah was a little startled by the cold this morning however her 4th place qualifier was well deserved.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Gee rounding out the Top 10 yet only 2.8-seconds off the mark, losing most of that speed in the bottom split. In the finals, anyone who gets three consistent splits will probably be the winner.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Taylor Vernon in the gnarly, slippery rocks during qualifiers.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Tahnee Seagrave giving it a little scrub off the road gap. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Rachel's mismatched nail polish. These girls are gnarlier, faster and stronger than you.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>With another day of sun, the track is no longer damp but a dusty, loamy heaven. It's going to be an epic race.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>The landscape here makes me want to pull out a PENCIL and do some sketching. In just a few hours, we'll be using a permanent marker to write down the results of the 2014 UCI World Cup Downhill overall. We can't wait. Stay tuned for the action and give Sven, Duncan, Boris and Joe big virtual high fives for their hard work! </b> -Sven Martin

There are no more downhill qualifiers left in the 2014 UCI World Cup season. That means there is one timed run left for anyone left in the game. That timed run will determine the Meribel World Cup race winners, but also the overall World Cup winners. Qualifying was a cracker today under beautiful conditions on a stellar track and the riding action has been pushed to the limit. Sven Martin, Duncan Philpott, @maddogboris and Joe Bowman put you between the tape with the best downhill mountain bikers in the world as we approach the end of the 2014 season. Get out your q-tips because you'll need to get the loam out of your ears!

Watch Vital RAW from Thursday Practice at Meribel


Meribel DH Practice Slideshow


Vital Power Rankings, Meribel


Qualifying Results


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