Atherton & Hart Set Fastest Times in World Championships Timed Session
Downhill racing began on Saturday at the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy, with the seeding runs for Junior Women and Men, and timed session for Elite Women and Men.
Defending world champion Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) continues to lead the Elite women's field, as she has all season, setting the fastest time of four minutes and 20.191 seconds for her run. However, Australia's Tracey Hannah was only 0.597 seconds behind Atherton, and the British rider usually has a lead measured in multiple seconds. Myriam Nicole (France) finished third, at 9.760 seconds.
In the Elite men, Great Britain's Danny Hart has been on a winning streak for the past two months, taking three consecutive World Cup victories, and now setting the leading time in the timed session. Hart, the 2011 world champion, finished with a time of three minutes and 35.603 seconds, 2.464 seconds ahead of defending world champion Loic Bruni of France, who has made a strong returned from injury. Bruni's French team mate Florent Payet was third, 2.971 seconds behind Hart.
In the Junior categories, Shania Rawson of New Zealand was far ahead of the rest of the women's field with a time of five minutes and 32.328 seconds. Rawson's time was a whopping 24.748 seconds faster than Beatrice Migliorini of the host Italian team. Melanie Chappaz of France was third, 25.703 seconds back.
The Junior men's seeding run saw Italy's Andrea Bianciotto set the fastest time of three minutes and 48.782 seconds, 2.256 seconds ahead of American Nikolas Nestoroff and 3.074 seconds in front of World Cup champion Finnley Iles of Canada.
The world championships finals will take place on Sunday; follow all the action live on our website.