Rachel Atherton’s dreams of winning the iXS European Downhill Cup in 2012 have got off to a great start after she qualified in first place with an impressive time of 5:29.814.
The Red Bull-backed GT Factory Racing rider traversed the long and difficult Monte Tamaro track nearly 12 seconds faster than her nearest rival Emmeline Ragot (5:41.664) and just ahead of the third-placed entrant Emilie Siegenthaler (5:42.681).
Watch Emilie tackle the course armed with her GoPro helmet camera here!
Meanwhile, the men’s downhill qualifiers saw Labyrinth Shimano’s Remi Thirion topping the leaderboard with a time of 4:43.245. His nearest challenger, Damien Spagnolo from MS Mondraker, came in just a few seconds behind at 4:46.516, while CK Racing Santacruz’s Pascal Mickael grabbed the third spot with a time of 4:50.162.
The main downhill races kick off at Monte Tamaro later on today.