How much more exciting can this year's World Champs get?!

Some expected names in the top spots. Some pleasantly unexpected names too. The start of a changing of the guard?

>>> Schedule and predictions for this weekend’s Mountain Bike World Championships

Elite women’s qualifying top 5

1. Rachel Atherton – 3:38.076
2. Tahnee Seagrave +0.668
3. Myriam Nicole +4.867 (DSQ due to going off track but she will race on Sunday, time TBC)
4. Tracey Hannah +5.449
5. Cecile Ravanel +9.704
6. Marine Cabirou +12.010

Elite men’s qualifying top 5

1. Brook MacDonald – 3:03.206
2. Loris Vergier + 0.609
3. Connor Fearon +1.781
4. Martin Maes +1.843
5. Aaron Gwin +2.180

Junior women’s qualifying top 5

1. Vali Holl – 3:59.029
2. Mille Johnset +12.328
3. Anna Newkirk +14.709
4. Mathilde Bernhard +21.974
5. Paula Zibasa +35.435

Junior men’s qualifying top 5

1. Kade Edwards – 3:11.171
2. Patrick Butler +8.202
3. Kye A’Hern +9.914
4. Thibault Daprela +10.611
5. Giacomo Masiero +12.128

The Elite women’s qualification results are very much as expected and follow the tale of the World Cup season, with Tahnee Seagrave hot on the heels of a resurgent Rachel Atherton. Seemingly a two horse race. Even Myriam Nicole is relatively well off pace. Maybe her DSQ quali was a result of trying too hard?

But… this is the World Champs. Anything can happen – and often does. Remember Miranda Miler’s victory last year?

The Junior women’s quali is a given. As is the race itself. We are officially in the Hoff Era already.

The Elite men’s qualification results offer up arguably the most interesting and intriguing battle. Who isn’t excited to see The Bulldog (Brook MacDonald) in the top spot?

Just look at the complete top 10 qualifiers: Brrok MacDonald, Loris Vergier, Connor Fearon, Martin Maes, Aaron Gwin, Danny Hart, Luca Shaw, Jack Moir, Adam Brayon (our outside bet by the way) and Loic Bruni.

Any one of them could all win it and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

Not only that though, check out these candidates too: Laurie Greenland down in 39th. Greg Minnaar in 30th. Troy Brosnan in 25th. Reece Wilson in 19th. Amary Pierron in 17th. Finn Iles in 14th.

And how about Kade Edwards qualifying first in Junior men’s? Way to go Kade!