Bring the heat or get beat; Mont Sainte Anne
Mont Sainte Anne, the classic brutal track has been well documented over the years. This mountain has been on the circuit every year since 1993. Because of its brutal nature and its reputation of being a “mans track” it’s the one everyone wants to win at or prove there worth.
Day one was a wet practice session for all of the riders. For some reason the UCI schedule timed practice on the first day when many riders aren’t used to the track. Doesn’t seem to make any sense to me, anyway Danny Hart took top honours. Overnight saw the heavens open again and the track was even wetter on day 2. The vast majority of riders were opting for cut spikes for qualifying.
Minnaar took the top spot; he was back at the 1st split but had a storming lower section to take the win and the all important 50 points. Minnaar and Gwin seem to be having the same battle that Minnaar and Gee were having last year. Josh threw down a cracking result getting a solid 3rd; Bryce seems to riding a wave of confidence after his win at the BDS last weekend which was great to see. Cam Cole returned to form with a solid 4th place and Danny Hart was right in there with 5th place. Brook Macdonald lurking down in 9th and definitely poised for a good result.
Race Day came around and saw the track dry significantly, all of the riders had switched back to dry tyres and the track was running fast and drifty. With a track so long and rough it always claims many riders with punctures and crashes. Justin Leov was the first rider to really blaze a hot time and enjoyed a good stay in the hot seat. Before Needles up rooted him. Then came the young Aussie Troy Brosnan, slayed a sensational time putting himself into the hot seat and so close to his first world cup podium ending up 6th. I’m sure the guy hasn’t even had a shave yet but still flying. Maybe this isn’t a mans track after all. Brook Macdonald was next and absolutely ripping, way faster at the split than Brosnan. ET’in the last jump straight to the hot seat. Danny came through off Brook’s time by a couple of seconds. Josh was next up and knowing how much he’s chasing the illusive podium everyone was going crazy as his splits were right there. He crossed the line just in front of Brook and with only two riders left to go everyone knew he was going to get that podium and the crowd went crazy. Was really awesome to see, Josh’s grin was ear to ear Gwin was on track and flying, just pipping Josh by half a second. All eyes then went to last man on the mountain Greg Minnaar. Greg’s first split was almost identical to Gwins. Halfway through the first rock section Greg got slightly off balance and clipped a tree sending him over the bars. Greg recovered for 18th place but this is going to make it very hard for him to take the series with over a 150 point deficit. I must wrap this report up now because Josh and Sam Dale are in the room and urging us to go to the After Party!
Will report back after Windham…