After two dead years, the mythical round of Mont-Sainte-Anne is finally back! With, as the first important deadline this Friday, the qualifications for the downhill finals. Info and results:
Three years. Three long years since the world circuit had stopped at Mont-Sainte-Anne, due to the health crisis… And even four years if we are talking about the World Cup, since 2019 was the year of the world championships in the famous Quebec resort. . An edition that had smiled on the French and saw Loïc Bruni as well as Myriam Nicole leave with the coveted rainbow jersey.
It will be recalled that Mont-Sainte-Anne is a real pillar in the history of mountain biking, the round having appeared on the world calendar without interruption from the very first edition of the XC World Cup in 1991, the addition of the DH doing two years later.
To mark this big comeback, the track got a little facelift. Exit the famous (and much appreciated) ultra fast portion in the first half of the descent, which is replaced by a new slower and more natural technical section. What increase a little more the duration of a run… Mont-Sainte-Anne does not remain less faithful to its reputation: it is always long, fast and brutal!
We have also witnessed a festival of punctures from the first training sessions, but also, alas, a few injuries such as that of Camille Balanche yesterday, of Loïc Bruni who dislocated his shoulder this Friday and of Loris Vergier who he also injured his shoulder. All three had to withdraw for this weekend.
After this little detour through the infirmary, place to the results of the qualifications:
Let’s not go four ways: Vali Holl atomized the competition in these qualifications! It will obviously remain to be confirmed in the final, but the Austrian seems untouchable at Mont-Sainte-Anne for the moment, being almost… 14 seconds faster than Monika Hrastnik2nd, while Nina Hoffman3rd, is 16 seconds behind.
In advance to the first intermediate, Myriam Nicole then fell back sharply following a fall and finally finished 4th, at 18 seconds. Jessica Blewitt completes the top 5 of these qualifiers ahead of two Italians: Eleonora Farina (6th) and Veronika Widman (7th).
Melanie Chappaz just made the top 10 and Siel Van der Velden takes 12th place.
Unlike last week, Amaury-Pierron won’t be the last to get into the final (and keep the suspense going until the last second!). Two drivers this time proved to be faster than him in qualifying: Finn Islands and Greg Minnaar, decidedly still as competitive from the height of its 40 springs. Author of the 2nd time, Minnaar is 3.240s from Iles while Pierron, 3rd, is almost 5 seconds behind. Significant differences already!
Behind this trio, Troy Brosnan is 4th and clocks in at 5 seconds while Bernard Kerrwho seems to be continuing his momentum after his 2nd place in Snowshoe, takes 5th place by just over 6 seconds.
Benoit Coulanges (6th), Andreas Kolb (7th), Loris Revelli (8th), Aaron Gwin (9th) and Thibaut Daprela (10th) complete the top 10.
We will also remember the 11th place of Dylan Levesquethe 13th place of Sam Blenkinsopthe French grouped fire ofAntoine Vidal, Hugo Frixtalon and Remi Thirion in places 16 to 18, as well as the 23rd position of Laurie Greenlandwhereas Dakotah Norton and Connor Fearon are among those who have not completed their run.
As we indicated above, Loic Bruni and Loris Vergier were non-starters after injuring their shoulder during practice.
We expected Jackson Goldstone at home, but he is his rival Jordan Williams who is in the lead at the end of his qualifications. And quite a lot since he is practically 6 seconds ahead of everyone!
Jackson Goldstone was however ahead in the 2nd and 3rd intermediates, before falling slightly behind in the 4th split and finally failing more than 10 seconds on the line, with a 4th time in the key. Just behind him, the Frenchman Alix Francoz again posted a good performance by taking 5th position.
Finally, among junior girls, it’s a nice gap that separates Phoebe Gale other drivers in the category. The Briton indeed signs the best time with more than 12 seconds ahead of Izabela Yankovareigning world champion, while Gracey Hemstreetvictorious at Snowshoe a week ago, takes 4th place 22 and a half seconds behind Valentina Roa Sanchez.
It will be specified that Jenna Hastings is absent after breaking her thumb last weekend and there was no Frenchwoman at the start.
Now it’s time for the XCC this Friday evening, before the downhill finals tomorrow and the XC on Sunday!