Rachel Atherton Top of the Pile at Fort William

Riders in the UCI MTB World Cup downhill series take to the hills of Scotland in round three.
British rider Rachel Atherton makes a great start in Val Di Sole.
Back with a vengeance © Sven Martin 2012
By RedBull.com team

Qualifying got under way at the third downhill event of the 2012 UCI MTB World Cup season today and the full-tilt rides on display promised much for tomorrow's finals.

There were no surprises in the women's event as Rachel Atherton raced into a staggering 10-second lead over her rivals.

Prior to qualifying the British rider tweeted about the Fort Wiliam track, saying she "thought Fort William might seem a little smoother after Val di Sole last week, but not happening! It's as rough as a week-old kebab!" It obviously didn't hamper her performance, though.

In the men's event, there was drama as Val Di Sole winner Aaron Gwin crashed twice on his qualifying run. Taking advantage of Gwin's misfortune, Marc Beaumont made easy work of a track he thought looked tough yesterday and notched the day's fastest time.

Team-mate Gee Atherton and Danny Hart made it a British Top Three with impressive runs, while last week's runner-up Greg Minnaar came in sixth and Brook Macdonald tenth.

Women's qualifying times

1. Rachel Atherton 5:15.146
2. Myriam Nicole 5:25.106
3. Floriane Pugin 5:26.745
4. Emilie Siegenthaler 5:33.701
5. Tracey Hannah 5:36.466

Men's qualifying times

1. Marc Beaumont 4:42.440
2. Gee Atherton 4:43.480
3. Danny Hart 4:44.480
4. Stevie Smith 4:45.369
5. Sam Blenkinsop 4:45.655

Click here to watch the live finals from 2.15pm BST (3.15pm CEST) on Sunday June 10.

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