The UCI mountain bike World Cup will return to Mont-Sainte-Anne for the 26th time from Aug. 5 to Aug. 7. For the world’s elite cross country racers headed to the summer Olympics, it will be their final chance to participate in a World Cup event before Rio. MSA will at the same time be hosting the UCI downhill World Cup.
The Canadian national team’s roster for the Olympics will be revealed at the end of June. Raphaël Gagné currently sits 17th in the UCI world rankings and is a rider to watch at the World Cup. Gagné has a good chance of being named to the national team for Rio.
Some 1,000 amateur and professional athletes from more than 25 countries are expected to race at MSA. The amateur competitions and activities are part of the Vélirium program that offers mountain bikers the opportunity to race a 30-, 60- or 80-km Vélo Mag Raid event. (Registration opens April 1 at velirium.com.) The Pumptrack Epic, Duel de la Côte and the Véli-Kidz children’s race held at the family site also return and will provide excitement for mountain bike enthusiast of all ages. An exhibitor’s village will feature the latest gear and mountain bikes. The Lounge Tremblay parties return with the full program launching soon.
The Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup is the longest-running event on the mountain bike World Cup calendar. MSA has hosted the world championships twice, in 1998 and in 2010. The Beatrice, a very technical jagged rock garden descent, has been a fixture of the courses since 2009 when it was first introduced to the cross country race. Marie-Hélène Prémont won three gold medals at the MSA World Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Steve Smith won the first Canadian downhill gold medal in 2013.