Troy Brosnan went fastest in qualifying for the first time ever at an elite World Cup today in Fort William while Manon Carpenter opened up a huge gap to top the women’s rankings.
Australian Brosnan dropped in 8th and took the lead ahead of Britain’s Danny Hart and fellow Aussie Sam Hill with a time of 4:40.830.
He had a long wait for confirmation of his victory however with defending overall champion Stevie Smith running in 81st spot having recently returned from injury.
Everyone says it’s a big man’s track but I’m here to prove them wrong!
However, the Canadian could only manage 7th place, in his first race of the season, leaving Brosnan as the man to beat in Sunday’s finals race.
And the 20-year-old is confident he can repeat his run when it matters and stun the favourites by winning his first World Cup race.
“It’s definitely one I think I can win. I’ll try my best,” he said. ‘Everyone says it’s a big man’s track but I’m here to prove them wrong!”
“This is where I wanted to be for years ever since I came off of juniors. I’ve only qualified first in a national round so to do it in a World Cup and be the fastest rider in the world in qualifying is definitely a massive confidence booster.
“I’ll take it in but keep a level head and just keep having fun. I really like Fort William and it’s nothing like what we have back home.
“Its pretty rough and it’s a long track as well so the fittest dude is going to come down and win it.”
In women’s qualifying Manon Carpenter put down a fantastic run to finish over 10 seconds ahead of Myriam Nicole and Emmeline Ragot with a time of 5:09.915.
Defending overall champion Rachel Atherton began proceedings as the overall leader following her victory in Cairns and came down in a time of 5:26.759.
It was cool to hear the crowd. I had a grin on my face going down!
But Carpenter stunned the Fort William crowd by crossing the line moments later, 16.8 seconds ahead of her British rival, and says she is now raring to go ahead of the finals.
“It’s nice to come down with a gap and I’m relaxed a bit because I was quite nervous at the top,” she said.
“It all went well and I got all my lines and I’m buzzing for tomorrow now. I don’t really know how the other girls runs went and you never know what's happened.
“It was cool to hear the crowd. Normally I kind of zone out a bit but I heard them shouting all the way down the track and I had a grin on my face going down!”
Men's Qualifying Results Top 20
1. Troy Brosnan: 4:40.830
2. Danny Hart: +1.109
3. Samuel Hill: +1.194
4. Samuel Blenkinsop: +2.386
5. Aaron Gwin: +2.386
6. Gee Atherton: +3.279
7. Steve Smith: +5.314
8. Matthew Simmonds: +5.668
9. Brook MacDonald: +6.523
10. Michael Jones: +6.767
11. Markus Pekoll: +7.577
12. Greg Minnaar: +7.577
13. Ruaridh Cunningham: +8.113
14. Patrick Thome: +8.718
15. Remi Thirion: +8.738
16. Joseph Smith: +8.917
17. Brendan Fairclough: +9.528
18. Marc Beaumont: +9.676
19. Connor Fearon: +9.766
20. Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas: +10.121
Women's Qualifying Results Top 10
1. Manon Carpenter: 5:09.015
2. Myriam Nicole: +10.736
3. Emmeline Ragot: +11.300
4. Tahnee Seagrave: +12.219
5. Rachel Atherton: +16.844
6. Tracey Hannah: +17.165
7. Emilie Siegenthaler: +23.018
8. Jill Kintner: +28:813
9. Morgane Charre: +36.807
10. Micayla Gatto: +39.673