There are a handful of tracks and venues that have become classics in our sport at one time or another, but none more so than Mont Sainte Anne. No single place has held a World Cup or World Champs longer, and with this weekend marking the 25th consecutive year it isn't just a classic. It is legendary. Of course every racer dreams of winning a World Cup, but winning Mont Sainte Anne is simply next level, and the feather every rider wants to have in their cap.
Having first held World Cup racers when racers were simply riding fully rigid xc bikes and through the era of development and specialization that gave way to the modern downhill bike, the race tracks here have also been in a constant state of change. What started as simple high speed fire roads eventually turned into technical woods, more rocks, and even higher speeds. There was even a period in the early 2000's that saw the tracks shortened and some questionable jumps and features added, much in line with some of the questionable (and now regrettable) bike designs of the same era. Mont Sainte Anne has always been on the cutting edge of track design and in both 2006 and again in 2010 it would see major changes. The first of which created the now iconic hip jump and chicane under the gondola, and the second would double the length of the technical woods at the bottom of the track. Change is good, so long as it is not simply for the sake of change but rather to improve and to evolve into something even better. And it is on that note that we take a look at the newest version of the legendary Mont Sainte Anne DH track.
Gone is that iconic hip under the gondola, as well as the fast and rough corners that followed. In its place we now have an entirely new route through some off camber hillside that feeds into one of the biggest cliff faces ever seen on a World Cup. Will this new section be able to fill the shoes of its predecessor? We will just have to wait until tires hit dirt to find out, but regardless we can be certain things are going to be very very different this year.
Further down a few berms have been leveled and it's back to the sports roots with flat and off camber corners, rocky ledges, and raw rough trail that will keep riders on their toes the entire time. Add to this mix the classic Mont Saint Anne high speed open sections that contrast with frequent detours into the dark woods, and there is literally no where to rest or let up. As always, many bikes bodies, and egos are going to leave battered and broken as they have in each of the previous 24 World Cups held here.About the PhotographersDave Trumpore • Age: 35 • Years Shooting: 4
Dave spent the bulk of the past 17 years racing professionally before realizing that despite qualifying for the random World Cup final here and there, the next generation was just way too fast and way more talented. Upon hanging up his racing boots in 2010, it would be a few years until Dave picked up a camera and started shooting the odd race here and there as a way to stay in touch with all the friends he had made over the years, and the rest as they say is history. In just a few years time his photos have graced the pages of just about every MTB magazine and major media outlet, while his commercial client list includes a who's who of the cycling industry, and he is lucky enough to shoot regularly with some of the best riders on the planet. Currently at Pinkbike, Dave shoots the Downhill WC and the Enduro World Series as well as contributing to the occasional editorial story.
Matthew Delorme • Age: 40 • Years Shooting: 8
Matthew DeLorme is just one of Pinkbike’s motley crew of World Cup Photographers. He currently lives out of a Ogio bag, and calls the road his home. Delorme works for Trek Bicycle, covering their MTB racing programs. He can usually be found laying in the dirt trackside, cracking jokes and saying things that make little to no sense. He enjoys capturing accessory moments and the journey every bit as much as catching the action shot.
Nathan Hughes • Age: 28 • Years Shooting: 2
Nathan Hughes was snared as mainstay Pinbike media crew for the 2013 World Cup season and has been trapped behind the lens and the keyboard ever since. In between the biggest bike events of the year Nathan can be found on client shoots, making far-off travel stories and trying to catch a moment to spin the pedals himself. A great appreciation of the wilderness, the fear of a normal life and the quest for the perfect picture will have him hooked and looking to raise the bar for years to come.
/ @davetrump / @natedh9