UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Round 1 – Vigo – Friday

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This morning saw us recovering from some beers and paella from last night, oh and some Downhill practise! A good chance to see who is up to what. Check it out here.

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We have been in Vigo now for around 24 hours, and it has been rammed with plenty of activity. A lot can happen in a year, and there have been plenty of changes at Vigo. Phil Saxena has been involved in some major changes here; looks like he has used more than just a bobcat! Yesterday evening had some 4x practice on what has to be the most mammoth of 4x courses, the thing is huge! Very downhill at the top with lots of rocks and natural jumps, then towards the bottom there has been a massive clearing made anf the course gets very BMX track like. Its an awesome mix and very different to what anyone has seen before. It will favour the downhillers too, but will they be able to upset Prokop? Some of the big jumps kept people entertained on the first evening and I finally managed to get a roast pork baguette from the bar – it's only taken me a year!  The weather isn't as sunny as we were hoping for, but its still dry, and the beer is cheap. A great start to the UCI World Cup.

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A view through the trees to from the top of the 4x Track, its huge

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Even Pros talk about whats going to happen in Eastenders

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Phil Saxena – Track Alchemist – Looking on at his creation

Downhill practice got underway this morning. Again, there have been a few changes have been made to the course this year. The jumps and drops are bigger, there has been some felling in the middle parts of the course, so the major tight section has been replaced with some high speed open corners and few hips thrown in and a huge jump out of the woods into the open. The huge rock slab has gone, probably for the best as some rain is forecast and now at the top of the rock there are a few more corners into an off camber rock section with about a hundred lines you could take. It's here where most of the riders have been sectioning all day, trying to get it dialled. The course ,on the whole, is still super-fast and the conditions at the moment are dry and dusty with all the top contenders looking quick. Bryceland is following Mr Peat everywhere down the course, or vice versa, hopefully this will gun him to a top result this weekend. Oh and he is out-whipping everyone on course! Dan Atherton, as ever, has some super-sneaky lines which no one else sees and probably never will. If he gets it pinned in his race run, he could be on for a good result. Tracey Mosley is also looking pretty darn swift, hopefully she'll be on to win this event two years running.

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Dan Atherton – Team Animal Commencal

Brendan still has his hand niggling him and isn't racing, which is a shame seeing as it is his first World Cup on his Honda. Rachel was looking super super fast all day but unfortunately came down hard late in the afternoon and has had to go to hospital. The British presence here again is awesome, both male and female. I would say we far outweigh any other nation with representation out here. Everyone is looking quick, Sorrell, Ball, Braithwaite, Holbrook, Emily Horridge, Sue Mahoney, all ripping it up for the UK.

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Rachel Atherton – Team Animal Commencal – unfortunately paid the price for pushing so hard, she would have won for sure. Get better soon Rach.

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Jon Holbrook – Flying off the Ewok Village Jump.

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Ben Reid – Team Iron Horse

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Sam Dale – Team Solid / Electric – Always photographs well

Right, 4x qualifying is on. Remember, keep checking here for all the results – they'll be up shortly after they happen. Oh, and I need some more beer. I'll take loads of pit photos a bit later on, but they'll mostly be the same as the Sea Otter ones. It doesn't all change in a week, kids!

Keep it on the wheeeeeels……..

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