The men’s and women’s downhill qualifying runs took place on Friday in readiness for Sunday’s final runs at a very dry and dusty track at Mont-Sainte-Anne.
With Mont-Sainte-Anne having one of the longest courses on the UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup circuit, riders were able to build up high speeds while out on the course. Italy's Lorenzo Suding got up to 61.8kph on his run while Emmeline Ragot and Jill Kintner managed to get over 57kph on their runs.
Rachel Atherton once again showed her scintillating qualifying form of recent World Cup rounds with a blistering time of 4:47.334 and will be last out of the gate at Mont-Sainte-Anne.
After her run, Rachel tweeted that she was a little bit "shell shocked" at the speed of the track but said her run was fun if a “bit scary”.
Rachel was four seconds faster than second placed Myriam Nicole. Fellow French woman Emmeline Ragot was third in qualifying but she will be hoping to repeat her win at Fort William where her final run was faster than Rachel's.
France’s Floriane Pugin was the one major casualty of the qualifying run as she did not finish the course. She will take no part in Sunday's final run.
Men’s qualifying saw American Aaron Gwin nail the Mont-Saine-Anne track to qualify in first place with a time of 4:12.303. His time was two seconds faster than South Africa’s Greg Minnaar.
Current World Champion Danny Hart qualified in third with Brook Macdonald in fourth.
Gee Atherton suffered a heavy fall in practice after going nose-heavy off a step down but still recorded a fast time in the qualifying run to qualify sixth. Home favourite Steve Smith qualified in seventh.
Women's qualifying times
1. Rachel Atherton 4:47.334
2. Myriam Nicole 4:51.504
3. Emmeline Ragot 4:53.006
4. Tracey Hannah 4:55.981
5. Emilie Siegenthaler 4:59.414
Men's qualifying times
1. Aaron Gwinn 4:12.303
2. Greg Minnaar 4.14.357
3. Danny Hart 4.15.498
4. Brook Macdonald 4:18.698
5. Justin Leov 4:19.302