Aaron Gwin impressed in qualification in Austria ©Getty Images

Aaron Gwin posted the fastest time in qualifying as the International Cycling Union (UCI) Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup continued today in Leogang.

The American, winner of last season’s overall World Cup title, ending the course in a time of 3 min 10.271sec.

He was followed by in-form South African Greg Minnaar, who posted the first time of the day, setting the mark at 3:12.519.

Australia’s Troy Brosnan and France’s Loic Bruni achieved impressive times, ending in 3:13.176 and 3:13.494 respectively.

The women’s competition did not feature Rachel Atherton, with the Briton having failed to recover quick enough from a dislocated shoulder to take part.

Her two-year unbeaten streak was ended last week at her home leg in Fort William, when a crash in qualifying forced her to withdraw from the competition.

Australia’s Tracey Hannah topped the qualification by finishing in a time of 3:40.314, backing up her Fort William success.

The British challenge looks set to remain strong, as Tahnee Seagrave and Manon Carpenter completed the top three.

Seagrave ended in 3:42.727, while Carpenter finished narrowly adrift of her team-mates time on 3:46.397.

The finals at the Bike Park Leogang in the Saalfelden Leogang region of Austria tomorrow.