Today we finally got to see some hard times put to paper, and it was worth the wait. The Elite Women have a legitimate battle for the top spot brewing between Tracy Hannah and Rachel Atherton – just .597 between them. Junior Men saw a cool upset, with “local” Andrea Bianciotto taking the top spot in Seeding, a full 2.256 ahead of the field. He would have seeded in 18th in Elite Men – just for a fun fact. Elite Men saw a similar spread, with Danny Hart putting in 2.464 into everyone, but times are not really tight like we’ve seen before (in any of the categories). The track has strong degraded, but the idea of it seems to be messing with riders’ heads more than their physical abilities. It’s a daunting run from top to bottom, and then doing it as fast as possible without stopping is something almost cruel in these conditions.
The bench-racing is at a season high, with wild speculation taking place left, right, and center. But as we saw during the regular season, the fields are deep with talent, and the number of riders that can win is at an all-time high. It’s going to be a game of who can cope with the changes the best and make the least amount of mistakes – it’s not about who can go the fastest out-right here, per se, as it’s easy to override this track and/or bobble is the powdery and loose conditions.
Sunday may very well produce one of the more eventful World Championships Finals we’ve seen recently.