"Australia’s Troy Brosnan (SA) has set an exciting stage for Saturday’s downhill final after he produced the fastest qualifying time at the Cairns 2016 UCI MTB World Cup on Friday afternoon.
World number three Brosnan scorched down the hair-raising 1.9km Smithfield Regional Park course in a time of 3:30:47, with Cairns’ local Mick Hannah (QLD) (3:31.069) just 0.3secs off Brosnan in second. Brosnan, the reigning national champion, was pleased with his ride as he searches for his second World Cup win after victory at Fort William in 2014.
“That was hard did a lot of pedalling but it was clean and got all my lines so really happy, ” the South Australian said. “Now I got to back it up.”
Hannah’s local knowledge, and parochial crowd support on Fan Free Friday, aided his smooth run down the tricky course.
“I just had a great smooth run, the track has dried up heaps now and I felt good,” said Hannah. “It is amazing to race at home, so great to race on this track having grown up in the area.
“Tomorrow should be fun.”
World number one Aaron Gwin (USA), who took out the first round of the UCI World Cup in France two weeks ago, finished third in a time of 3:31.952secs. Reigning world champion Loic Bruni (FRA) was fourth (3:32.126), with 2014 Cairns World Cup winner Gee Atherton (GBR) in tenth. Connor Fearon (AUST) gave Australia three top ten finishers with a ninth place.
In the elite women’s event, reigning world champion Rachel Atherton (GBR) dominated the qualifying with the fastest time by over five seconds. Atherton, who recorded the win on the same course in 2014, clocked a time of 4mins 05:870secs to finish ahead of Manon Carpenter (GBR) (4:11.681).However Atherton revealed she might still have some left in her for Saturday’s final.
“At one point I was running behind my bike, hands still on the bars and jumped back on, landed on the pedals and carried on just before the rocks,” Atherton said.
She wasn’t the only one to come off the bike, with Cairns hometown favourite and world number three Tracey Hannah (QLD) also taking a spill as she posted the third fastest time of 4mins 12.200secs.
“It was all going good until the little off there at the bottom,” Hannah said. “I think there’s more left for tomorrow.”
Danielle Beecroft (NSW) was ninth fastest (4:39.303)
The Downhill finals will be held from midday on Saturday. Tickets from TICKETEK.
The 2016 UCI MTB World Cup will feature 330 riders from 32 nations contesting the downhill and cross country events from April 22-24.
The World Cup will be broadcast live on SBS 2 on Saturday from 1430-1630 and Sunday from 1100-1300, and 1400-1600. It is also live online at Red Bull TV http://beta.redbull.tv/live/AP-1KR6GZYJW1W11/uci-mountain-bike-world-cup"
2016 Cairns WC 2 Qualifying Results Men's
- Troy Brosnan
- Mik Hannah
- Aaron Gwin
2016 Cairns WC 2 Qualifying Results Women's
- Rachel Atherton
- Manon Carpenter
- Tracey Hannah
2016 Cairns WC 2 Qualifying Results Junior Men
- Matt Walker
- Harry Bush
- Remy Morton