It's a long track in PMB with the highest average speed for any World Cup track visited throughout the year. Aaron Gwin (69th) burped his rear tyre off the rim but with a bit more pressure in there he sounds confident for finals.
Mick Hannah (4th) was keen to improve on his fastest top split in PMB last year and was flying for timed practice. With only two races left of the World Cup season riders were putting the power down on this track, laying it all on the line to be in with a chance of taking the rainbow stripes home with them.
Mitch Ropelato (2nd) has been winding riders and the internet experts wild with his choice to ride a 29er at Worlds almost as much as Graves (7th) with his choice to ride his Enduro bike, albeit with a few component changes. Both riders have made the choices down to personal preference rather than an expectation of speed. Graves has been killing it in the Enduro World Series and decided to ride the bike he is used to and knows he is fastest on and Ropelato took the choice after this being the bike he rides most back home and enjoyed in Whistler as well as some recent US races. Mitch put it best saying "at the end of the day the bike can only do so much, the rider's gotta control it so maybe I get a little credit"
It was Steve Smith who clocked the fastest time in aboard a very special Devinci bike, shorter travel and 650b wheels. Whatever the bike was Steve has been on form recently, after taking the triple at Crankworx he is clearly fit right now. Come finals he will no doubt be ready to hit the track hard and from the interview in here he has a plan but that could all change depending on the weather!