No matter how many times the world cup returns to Mont-Sainte-Anne, the track never gets old and the high-speed course remains a favourite with riders and spectators alike.
It’s history steeped in epic rides that have created legends in all sorts of circumstances. Think Sam Hill, Stevie Smith and of course Troy Brosnan who won as a junior there, and nailed a 2nd place there on the weekend.
After taking on a muddy and stormy practice, Brosnan took off in the qualifying and finished 6th with a time of 4m 23.335s which he was happy with.
The track had managed to dry out nicely by the time finals came around, but the rain had made the ruts and holes on course huge and the high-speed track the roughest it’s been for a long time.
“I WAS EXCITED TO GET TO MONT SAINTE ANNE, I KNEW THE TRACK WOULD BE ONE I COULD DO WELL AT AND COULD BE ON TRACK FOR A GREAT RESULT. IT WAS A REALLY HARD WEEK, I HAD A CALL THE NIGHT BEFORE PRACTICE SAYING MY GRANDAD HAD PASSED AWAY WHICH WAS TOUGH TO RIDE WITH OVER THE WEEKEND, BUT I KNEW HE WOULD BE RIGHT BEHIND ME WITH THIS RACE. PRACTICE WAS HARD IN THE WET MUD AFTER A STORM, BUT I HAD FUN AND WAS EXCITED TO JUST RIDE. THE TRACK DRIED FOR QUALIFYING AND WAS REALLY FAST WITH A LOT OF BIG HOLES, I HAD A GOOD RUN, PRETTY SMOOTH AND NOTHING CRAZY FOR 6TH.”
Watch the highlights package below, or keep on reading for more vids, photos and results.
Coming into the penultimate stop of the Mercedes Benz UCI World Cup here, the rivalry between British riders Tahnée Seagrave and Rachel Atherton was at a peak, as the race to secure points for the overall title closed in.
As the battle of the Brits got underway, it was second fastest qualifier Rachel Atherton who took to the course first. Riding on the edge, she was already 12 seconds up on Hannah’s time by Split 2, and an aggressive and faultless run saw her lead extend as she made her way down the hill.
With massive margins on her split times, Atherton put in a blistering run that saw her cross the finish line with a huge 20 second advantage.
Pressure was now on fastest qualifier Tahnée Seagrave. The last woman to leave the gate was flying down the hill, but was unable to challenge Atherton’s split times. Styling her way down the course and getting loose as the rocks kicked her bike around, Seagrave came over the line in second place, five seconds adrift of Atherton’s time.
UCI DH World Cup Mont-Sainte-Anne Women’s results
|1.||Rachel Atherton||4m 51.443s|
|2.||Tahnée Seagrave||4m 56.530s|
|3.||Tracey Hannah||5m 11.723s|
|4.||Marine Cabirou||5m 13.144s|
|5.||Mariana Salazar||5m 14.137s|
Amaury Pierron went into the race knowing that he could wrap up the World Cup overall title after a good qualifying performance on the Friday. However the talk up at the start area was whether the French rider would elect to race at all after suffering a heavy crash in the last practice session, just hours before finals.
One man who definitely wasn’t racing was Laurie Greenland. The Brit rolled his ankle badly on a run the previous day and with the World Championships just a few weeks away, he chose not to go down the mountain. Aaron Gwin wasn’t there either, but it was his team-mate Angel Suarez who occupied the hot seat for a good while, before American Charlie Harrison knocked him off it.
Gee Atherton was racing his 100th World Cup race and was close to overcoming Harrison’s time, but wasn’t quite as quick in the latter section of the track and slotted into second place.
In his first race back after a long injury lay-off, Greg Minnaar had been modest about what would be a good weekend here. He clearly had been understating it, as he was flying down the track on a run of serious note. He was up on Harrison’s time, but he crashed on the turn into the ‘Le Tarzan’ drop and dropped out of contention. The same turn also claimed Finn Iles and Brook Macdonald as victims.
Harrison was finally knocked off the top spot when Loris Vergier bettered his time. The Frenchman’s time at the top was however short lived, as Troy Brosnan beat his time by an incredible 3.1 seconds in a thrilling run. Luca Shaw failed to make an impression on Brosnan’s and Vergier’s times and slotted into third on the podium for the time being.
Champion in waiting Pierron showed strong mental and physical toughness by deciding to go for his run. He had to finish ahead of Vergier to take the World Cup overall with a race to spare. The Frenchman carried good speed in his run, switching between being ahead and then behind Vergier’s time at the splits. One final effort in the finish area saw him just better Vergier’s time to go into second, and with that he was crowned the 2018 World Cup champion.
Even if Vergier scores the maximum 250 points available at the last round in La Bresse he won’t be able to catch Pierron as there is a 307 point gap between the two going into that race
There was still the little matter of the race result to decide before Pierron could begin his celebrations, though. Loïc Bruni and then Danny Hart were still left to go. Defending world champion Bruni had the measure of Brosnan’s time on his way down, and was up on the Australian’s stellar time by 1.192 seconds by the third split. Bruni was super smooth and though he lost a little time towards the end of the run, he crossed the finish line with the new fastest time.
Watch Loïc Bruni’s winning race run in the video below:
Hart wasn’t able to make an impression on Bruni’s time, but did go into third, as Bruni and Pierron were left to celebrate an incredible day for the French at the finish.
UCI DH World Cup Mont-Sainte-Anne Men’s results
|1.||Loïc Bruni||4m 12.713s|
|2.||Troy Brosnan||4m 13.034s|
|3.||Danny Hart||4m 14.036s|
|4.||Amaury Pierron||4m 16.010s|
|5.||Loris Vergier||4m 16.181s|
You can watch the full replay right here thanks to Red Bull