After two years absence from the Mountain Bike World Cup scene, Mont-Sainte-Anne has returned with a bang! The gruelling terrain surrounding this beautiful resort has yet again pushed the competitors to their limits.
From four minute plus DH runs, that were filled with technical and deadly turns, jumps and rock-gardens, to the physical XCO course with its famous section, ‘La Beatrice’ that caused headaches and heartaches. Mont-Sainte-Anne came back with all the energy that it’s remembered for!
Featuring the longest downhill track on this years UCI MTB calendar, the 2.9km descent brought carnage to the overall standings in both the Men’s and Women’s Elite categories. The gnarly track made itself known to riders through its intense physical features.
Camille Balanche was made to sit out the weekend after crashing in one of her practice runs. Meaning all eyes now shifted onto Myriam Nicole, who seemed to be have been granted an overall win in the Women’s Elite if she managed to put in a superb weekend!
With the track conditions changing and proving unpredictable, Nicole managed to put in, an insane upper section, carrying a split time of 5.8s before suffering a rear flat and having to cruise down the track and finish 13th.
In amidst of all this drama, Valentina Holl of Rockshox Trek Race Team, pulled together the winning run that helped her secure the top spot on the podium. This winning race run, has bumped Nicole down to 3rd in the overall standings and put Holl just 119 points shy of Balanche with just one race!
The Men’s Elite held its own surprises. Canada’s very own Finn Iles, secured his first ever world cup win. With a dramatic yet remarkable race run, that saw Iles drop his chain in the latter part of the run, he took the win by just a split of 0.238 seconds.
This podium finish means the race for the overall Men’s elite is continuing on, to the final round in Val di Sole. With Amaury Pierron failing to put himself into the points this weekend, only a repeat of these events in Val di Sole will help Finn Iles secure the overall win in the Men’s Elite.
As the downhill events brewed up a storm in the standings, the XCO didn’t shy away from doing the same. Right off the start line, Emily Batty who looked to be in for a big performance this weekend in the Women’s Elite XCO, was involved in a crash. A toss-up between the leaders meant the pack stayed together for a short period before the rain showered unleashed themselves on Mont-Sainte-Anne.
Jolanda Neff of Trek Factory Racing seized her opportunity and attacked off the front. Suffering a few scary moments as her bike was set-up with dry tires that were now riding a very wet Mont-Sainte-Anne, she crossed the finish line with a 56sec winning-margin. Now her fourth win at Mont-Sainte-Anne equaling the record of Julie Furtado and Catharine Pendrel.
In the Men’s Elite XCO, Tituon Carod secured a win as the BMC rider went alone early and opened up a huge gap on his rivals. Crossing the line with a 1min 41sec margin to second place Filippo Colombo, this is the French national champions first elite world cup win.