Photos: Matt Stetson
The longest running venue on the World Cup circuit, Mont-Sainte-Anne delivered dramatic racing action for another year during Saturday’s downhill finals.
A wave of French talent has been rolling through the World Cup stops all season, and the track side support in Quvec must have helped. Three French rides were finished in the top-5 in the Men’s final, including race winner Loic Bruni (Specialized Factory Racing). Amaury Pierron (Commencal Vallnord) threw down an impressive run to finish fourth, despite taking a nasty crash in one of the track’s rock gardens during Saturday morning practice. The result was enough to clinch the World Cup overall for Pierron, even with one round of racing remaining. That makes the final World Cup round in La Bresse, France, the perfect venue for what will effectively be Pierron’s victory lap. Troy Brosnan (Canyon Factory Racing) finished second, Danny Hart (Madison Saracen) third, and Loris Vergier (Syndicate) fifth.
Mark Wallace (Canyon Factory Racing) was the top Canadian in the Elite Men’s field, finishing 13th. Young Canadian talent Finn Iles (Specialized Factory Racing) was on pace for a fast run before a crash in a tricky new section, added to the classic course this year, sent Iles sliding down the leader board to finish 25th.
Forrest Riesco finished 40th, Hugo Langevin 45th, former Canadian national champion Kirk McDowall 48th, and Henry Fitzgerald in 56th.
After dropping two rounds to Tahnée Seagrave (FMD Racing) this year, and one to Myriam Nicole (Commencal Vallnord), Rachel Atherton (Trek Factory Racing) seemed intend on stamping her authority on the Quebec track. Atherton won the MSA World Cup round in dominant fashion, finishing five seconds ahead of Seagrave, and a huge 20 seconds up on Tracy Hannah (Polygon UR) in third.
World champion Miranda Miller (Specialized Factory Racing) moved back into the top-10, finishing eighth on her home course.
Canada sent a large squad of Junior racers to MSA, looking to make the most of racing on home soil. Piper Allman led the young riders, finishing fourth in Junior Women. Elliot Jamieson, in his first World Cup appearance, snagged a very impressive sixth in Junior Men. Ben Wallace followed in 11th, with Lucas Cruz close behind in 13th, Justin Clements 15th, and Logan Merringer 19th.