Loïc Bruni and Valentina Höll topped qualification for the men's and women's elite events ©Getty images

France’s Loïc Bruni and Austria’s Valentina Höll have topped the qualification phase for the men’s and women’s elite events at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Mountain Bike World Cup in Lourdes.

Bruni finished first after completing the course at a time of 2min 49.271sec, which was 1.183 sec quicker than his closest rival, fellow Specialized Gravity rider Finnley Iles of Canada.

The hosts then dominated the standings below with French bikers claiming third, fourth, fifth and sixth.

Amaury Pierron and Thiabut Dapréla trailed Bruni by 1.503 and 1.705 sec, respectively.

Benoît Coulanges was next in the standings after being 1.819 sec slower while Loris Vergier followed by being 2.336 sec behind Bruni.

Pierron and Coulanges were dubbed as potential favourites before the competition started.

The finals of the Mountain Bike World Cup will be held tomorrow ©Getty Images
The finals of the Mountain Bike World Cup will be held tomorrow ©Getty Images

The women's event saw Höll record a much closer victory at the top of the qualification standings with a time of 3:19.449.

This was 0.524 sec quicker than France’s Myriam Nicole in second, but an astounding 4.462 sec faster than Britain’s Tahnee Seagrave, who previously succeeded at the track in 2017, in third.

Coming below were Switzerland’s Camille Balanche and Italy’s Eleonora Farina, who were 4.713 and 7.816 sec slower than Höll, respectively.

In the men’s junior event, Jackson Goldstone of Canada completed the race fastest with a time of 2:58.544.

Jordan Williams of Britain was second after being 0.486 sec slower while Remy Meier-Smith of Austria was 1.121 sec behind Goldstone.

The seeding round of the women’s junior event saw Britain’s Pheobe Gale top the standings thanks to a time of 3:40.893.

Gracey Hemstreet of Canada claimed second after being 1.678 sec slower and France’s Lisa Bouladou finished third, coming 7.232 sec behind Gale.

The finals of the World Cup event will be held tomorrow.