Canadians are flying early on in the Maribor, Slovenia round of World Cup downhill.
Unexpected rain on Saturday morning required quick adjustments to line choices and race plans, and Vancouver Island’s Mark Wallace proved most adept at managing the changing conditions in Maribor. Wallace set the fastest time in the elite men’s race, 1.852 seconds faster than American downhill legend Aaron Gwin. Finn Iles is showing early speed in his second season as an elite racer, qualifying third on the same second as Gwin.
In the junior men’s race, Vancouver’s Ethan Shandro set the second fastest qualifying time, with Lucas Cruz joining in the top 10.
Elite Men – Qualifying
It was a Canadian affair in qualifying at Maribor, Slovenia, with Mark Wallace (Canyon Factory Racing) setting the fastest time, followed closely by Finn Iles (Specialized Gravity). Only American Aaron Gwin (Intense Factory Racing) could get between the two Canucks.
Ben Wallace started his first season as an elite with an impressive 19th place in qualifying, making him the next fastest behind Wallace and Iles. Forrest Riesco (Commencal) placed 37th, earning himself a spot in Sunday’s final.
On top of determining start order, Wallace and Iles earn valuable points towards the series overall with their qualifying results. Wallace starts the season with a bonus 50 points and Iles 30.
Canadian national champion Magnus Manson (Canyon Factory Racing) was riding fifth through the first two splits, but was 137th by the time he crossed the line, meaning he will miss Sunday’s final.
Elite Women Qualifying
In the elite women’s race, Tracey Hannah (Polygon UR) set the fastest time. She was followed by Rachel Atherton 2.48 seconds later, with Tahnée Seagrave a full four seconds back.
Rachel Pageau was the lone Canadian entry, and finished 22nd. Since only 15 elite women qualify for finals, Pageau will have to wait until next round.
Junior Men Qualifying
Ethan Shandro (Trek Factory Racing DH) set the top Canadian time in the junior men’s race, ranking him second behind Commencal / Vallnords Thibaut Daprela. Pemberton’s Lucas Cruz (SRAM / TLD Racing) qualified sixth.
Elliot Jamieson (Norco Facotry Racing) qualified 15th and Ian Milley 17th, earning them both spots in Sunday’s final. Their results mean four of the 20 junior men’s final spots went to Canadians.
Junior Women Seeding
With fewer entries, the junior women were racing for seeding order in Sunday’s final, not qualification. Reigning world champion Vali Höll wasn’t waiting for finals, though, setting the fastest junior women’s time on Saturday.
Qualifying results: Maribor World Cup DH – Elite Men
Qualifying results: Maribor World Cup DH – Elite Women
Qualifying results: Maribor World Cup DH – Junior Men
Startlists: Maribor World Cup Downhill
Startlist: Maribor World Cup DH – Elite Men
Startlist: Maribor World Cup DH – Elite Women
Startlist: Maribor World Cup DH – Junior Men
Startlist: Maribor World Cup DH – Junior Women