Race Report: World Cup Rd. 5. Mont St Anne.

Aug 14, 2014

Race Report: Mont St Anne, Canada, 2014 World Cup Round 5

A dramatic weekend for the GT Factory Racing DH team in Mont St Anne, with Rachel missing out on the win by just 0.7 seconds, Taylor scoring a solid 5th and Gee posting a “very respectable” 10th despite a wrist injury sustained in practice.

A torrential afternoon downpour wasn’t the only drama to hit practise day at Mont-Sainte-Anne, last year’s victor Stevie Smith ruled himself out of racing for the weekend with a damaged ankle and Gee took (another) spectacular MSA tumble that left him with torn tendons in his wrist.

Fridays qualification runs were also hit by Quebecois’ fluctuations in the weather. Rain and mud, mist and baking sun all made an appearance to test riders (and their mechanics) to the max. Riding with a strapped wrist Gee was pleased enough with his 11th place; Marc was fourth fastest through the speed trap but qualifying in 19th meant he’d have 15 seconds to find to match fastest qualifier Josh Bryceland’s time of 4:19.56 come Finals.

Junior Taylor Vernon had a misty run to qualify in 6th place with a time of 4.39.24. When he started his Finals run the sky was blue and track conditions were perfect, Canada’s Jack Iles was in the hot-seat with a time of 4:30.416. What could Taylor do? He looked fast and comfortable but he was down at split 2 and crossed the line in 3rd place with 4:33.406. Ferran Jorba Prats went faster pushing Tay back into 4th. Finally fastest qualifier Luca Shaw was on course, up at split 1, up at split 2 and up at the finish – crossing the line in 4:27.529 to take the win.

Taylor said “Could have, Should have, Would have … the bike was amazing, I was riding well but I crashed out in my run, ending up in 5th. Bummed out but I know that the speed is there… bring on Windham.”

Rachel had qualified in 3rd to Manon and Emmeline Ragot, she’d led at split 1 but mistakes in the lower section left her with almost 6 seconds to find in her Finals run.

When Rachel came on course Tahnee Seagrave was in the hotseat. Rachel blasted through the first split, held her advantage at split 2 and went into the lead by an amazing 15 seconds. Only Emmeline and Manon were left on course. Emmeline couldn’t match Rachel, but it was close; she was 3.3 seconds back at split 1 but made up time on the lower sections, crossing the line just 0.05 seconds back. Only Manon remained on course. 4.3 seconds back at split 1 it looked as if things were going to go Atherton’s way at last, Manon was still down at split 2 (by just 0.3 seconds) but a powerful finish meant that she crossed the line 0.7 seconds up on Rachel.

Rachel said “ What an awesome race – I can’t believe that the three of us were within 0.8 seconds! The top section felt so good but I lost a lot of time at the bottom, congratulations to Manon and to Emmeline as well.”

In the men’s race Marc crossed the line in 8th – enough for an eventual 24th. When Gee reached the start hut Loic Bruni had taken the hot-seat from Remi Thirion by 3 seconds in a run that looked as stylish as it was fast. Gee got to within 0.6 seconds of Loic even with his wrist strapped and painful, crossing the line in 2nd. But the top ten qualifying riders were fast, only Andrew Neethling didn’t manage to top Gee. Sam Hill had qualified sixth, he put in a 4:10.566 and none of the next 5 riders could match him – though Josh Bryceland looked close when he went up at split 1 by 0.1 seconds. Hill took the win – his first World Cup since 2009.

Photos: Sven Martin

Results

Men’s Elite

1 Sam Hill  Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof 4:10.566

2 Josh Bryceland Santa Cruz Syndicate 4.11.807, +1.241

3 Danny Hart Giant Factory Off-Road team 4:12.205, +1.639

4 Troy Brosnan Specialized Racing DH 4:12.555, +1.989

5 Sam Blenkinsop LaPierre Gravity Republic 4:12.715 , +2.149

10 Gee Atherton GT Factory Racing 4:15.080, +4.514

24 Marc Beaumont GT Factory Racing 4:22.285, +11.719

Elite Women

1 Manon Carpenter Madison Saracen Factory Team 4:47.285

2 Rachel Atherton GT Factory Racing 4:48.009, +0.724

3 Emmeline Ragot LaPierre Gravity Republic 4:48.056, + 0.771

4 Tahnee Seagrave FMD Racing 5:03.193, +15.908

5 Tracey Hannah Hutchinson UR 5:04.462 , + 17.177

Junior Men

1 Luca Shaw SRAM/TLD Racing 4:27.529

2 Jack Iles Evil Vengeance Tour 4:30.416 , + 2.887

3 Loris Vergier LaPierre Gravity Republic 4:31.777, + 4.248

4 Ferran Jorba Prats Spain 4:31.902 +4.373

5 Taylor Vernon GT Factory Racing 4:33.406, +5.877