Cycling News

Fort William semi-finals: Iles sits second in razor-thin finish

Finn Iles leads Canadians in Lenzerheide DH qualifying

Semi-finals are done and, in a rare twist for Fort William, dusted. Dry conditions made for fast and tight racing, with less than one tenth of a second separating the top three elite men’s times.

Two elite Canadians are through to Sunday’s finals. They’ll be joined by another five Canucks in junior men’s finals. Unlike the absent live-feed of semi’s, finals are still scheduled to be broadcast live on, in Canada, FloBikes.

Elite men: Iles among trio too close to call favourites

Finn Iles (Specialized) earned a second second-fastest time on Saturday, but behind a different rider. After Loic Bruni (Specialized) set the fastest qualifying time, it was Troy Brosnan (Canyon Cllctv) SpeedSuiting his way to the fastest finish in semi-finals. Bruni was third, but there’s really no calling favourites for Sunday’s final. Just 0.071 seconds separated the top three men after 4:14 of racing. That’s wildly close for one of the longest and most physically demanding tracks on the World Cup circuit.

In more good news for Canadian fans, Bodhi Kuhn (Trek Factory Racing) is looking exceptionally comfortable in his elite debut. After squeaking through qualifications in the 50s, Kuhn jumped up over 30 places to finish with the 20th fastest semi-final time. That gets the Rossland, B.C. racer through to finals in his first elite World Cup. Impressive stuff.

While Canadian national champ Lucas Cruz was injured earlier Saturday, Norco will be represented in the finals. Greg Minnaar just sneaks through below the 30-rider cut-off with a 29th place in semi-finals.

Elite women: Höll starts hauling

Valentina Höll (YT Mob) appears to be lifting her pace as the weekend moves on. After a quiet qualification run, the young Austrian set the fastest time in semi-finals. Tahnée Seagrave (Canyon Cllctv) stayed closest, finishing second 2.355 seconds back. Camille Balanche (Dorval AM) and Nina Hoffmann (Syndicate) are third and fourth ranked going into Sunday’s finals.

Gracey Hemstreet (Norco Race Division) finishes 15th in semi-finals, ending her Fort William weekend.

Juniors: Quintet of Canucks on to…

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