5 Things We Learned at Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Champs 2019

Sep 4, 2019
by Ed Spratt  
Fine weather all day over the straights and this legendary mountainside.

The World Champs in Mont-Sainte-Anne provided some legendary racing, here are five things we noticed from the sidelines.

1. Loic Bruni has won as many World Championships as he has Elite DH World Cups.

Loic Bruni laid down an incredible run last weekend that saw him secure his fifth World Championships title (four Elite, one Junior) and his third title in a row since 2017. Despite riders like Troy Brosnan and Amaury Pierron putting everything on the line in their final run, Bruni seems to have an incredible ability to perform at the World Champs.

With his fifth title secured Bruni is now half way to Nicolas Vouilloz's record of ten World Champs victories.

One box ticked. Now focus turns to the World Cup overall at the final round in Snowshoe this coming weekend.

2. Time away from racing served Myriam Nicole and Tahnee Seagrave well.

After both riders sustained injuries early in the season it was a massive effort for both Myriam Nicole and Tahnee Seagrave to return by World Champs. While they have been away both Tracey Hannah and Marine Cabirou have ridden super strong, and everyone had their eyes set on Mont-Sainte-Anne to see if one of them could take the title.

While neither Myriam nor Tahnee appeared to expect the top results, they went 1st and 2nd respectively. There's a school of thought that says some athletes are overtraining during the regular season, and maybe the forced time off during injury did them good. Come race day Myriam Nicole was down early with a blistering time that was unbeatable. We can't wait to see a nearly complete Elite Womens race this weekend in Snowshoe.

Myriam Nicole and Tahnee Seagrave are back. The rest of the women s field should be very worried

3. This year's crop of Juniors will make next year's racing absolutely wild.

Vali Höll took another World Champs title this weekend and finished with a run that would have placed 6th in the Elite Women. With one race left as a Junior, all eyes are going to be on the Austrian as she heads into the Elite category next year and will definitely be a force to be reckoned with. Next year we'll have her battling it out with a healthy Rachel Atherton, Myriam Nicole, Tahnee Seagrave, Marine Cabirou, Nina Hoffmann, and Tracey Hannah. Wild.

In the Junior Men, Thibaut Daprela was unstoppable at the beginning of the season but then dropped off the pace—but he got fifth at Worlds after losing his derailleur in the 3rd turn. We expect absolute fireworks at Snowshoe from him, and we're excited to see what he can do in Elite—over his career as a Junior Daprela has only ever dropped outside of the top 2 positions five times. Another standout result came from the Canyon Factory Racing rider Kye A'Hern, who secured the rainbow jersey in one his best results and the first win since Fort William and Leogang in 2018. He will be another one to watch in 2020, and with a good result this weekend he will secure a second place in the Junior World Cup overall.

Vali Holl securing the rainbow stripes for yet another year. Bring on Elites.

4. The track was brutal.

The Mont-Sainte-Anne track has always been brutal, but this year the mix of high speed and rough rock gardens was especially violent with Brook MacDonald, Reece Wilson and Kate Weatherly all sustaining serious injuries during practice. The course seemed to be more dangerous than ever, possibly because the Masters World Champs held the week before had torn up the track in places and made it even rougher than normal.

In finals, Dean Lucas took a horrible over the bars crash in one of the rock gardens that ruined a fast run for the Australian rider. We wish all the injured riders a fast recovery.

Tracey Hannah was pushing hard in training and found the edge.

5. Mid-season World Champs didn't slow any riders down.

This year we had World Champs taking place before the final round of the World Cup, and with the titles still to play for some expected the leading riders to take it ever so slightly easier to ensure they can still fight for the overall. But that was not the case as rider after rider pushed the limits on the Mont-Sainte-Anne course, and the top riders clearly putting everything into their runs. It was an amazing spectacle to watch, and sets the table for a super exciting showdown in Snowshoe.

Amaury Pierron was disappointed in his run after making two big mistakes and being so close to the win

Regions in Article
Mont-Sainte-Anne DH Park


  • 90 3
 Such a wild race, but i would keep the champs for the end of the season...
  • 14 7
 I agree. Why is it in the middle of the season this year?
  • 10 1
 Yup. It would be more interesting. Mid season is a mind fuck. Some riders playing it more conservative so they don't ruin their world Cup season standings with an injury
  • 18 9
 @wpplayer18: Come on buddy, since when the ``middle`` appears near the end?
  • 12 0
 Ha ha like top 4 really rode conservatively @makripper:
  • 5 2
 @wpplayer18: Middle? There is one race left out of 7.
  • 9 1
 @fredhay: I just meant in between the first race and the last.
  • 3 6
 @flyingfox49: i wouldn't even say Loic was riding at his best. He was flying but he wasn't balls out death wish flying like say Greenland was. I believe the top guys had more in the tank.
  • 3 0
 @makripper: As Greenland said he needed to calm his riding down not so wild as he has been in the passed. Hence is better overall performance this season. Greenland I think fell back to his old ways and it probably hurt him. Wild may look fast but it has proven not only in Mt. Biking but most forms of racing that it is not.
  • 4 0
 Bruni doesn’t need to ride balls out , he’s in total control all of the time . A few years back he used to ride like Greenland and always made mistakes . His racing is the sum of all parts @makripper:
  • 1 1
 @dhrracer: agree! Some racers are so smooth that they don't look fast, so the balls to the wall thing is ,to a large degree, BS.
  • 2 1
 @Franzzz: Since America! Fuk yaaaaaaa!

  • 3 1
 @Franzzz: Who cares? My question never got answered in the first place. Why isn't Worlds after the regular season? Is that better?
  • 1 0
 @m1dg3t: Excellent Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @Franzzz: When there's only three races in a season?
  • 2 0
 @makripper: It appears to me that Bruni has learned how to ride fast AND not crash as much. He pretty much seemed all "win or bin" before.

In the last couple of events they've both talked about being more consistent. Greenland event talked about head attitude and body placement changes after Val Di Sole, but honestly he looked like he was back to his wild ways at MSA.
  • 69 0
 Other things we learned: How to use a VPN to hack RedBull TV so we could watch in the US
  • 2 0
 Still learning. Show us(me) how!
  • 3 0
 I came here just to up-vote the VPN hack and lack of RedBull coverage in the US (and other countries).
  • 10 0
 I learned that XC world champs reruns apparently take precedent over live DH coverage in the world of NBC Sports. Not sure what was the point of claiming the license just to prevent people from watching.
  • 4 1
  • 1 0
 NordVPN for the win!!!
  • 2 0
 @mtbjuky: I couldn't do it either. Damn you Red Bull, damn you Argentina
  • 1 0
 @mtbjuky: A couple commenters mentioned Private Internet Access as a good VPN provider in a thread last week, so I used them to watch the race. They're not free--no idea whether you get a better product for the money vs. a free option. But just go to their site and follow their instructions--it worked for me. When you're using the VPN, you'll need to pick an IP address in a country that isn't blocked.
  • 2 0
 @mtbjuky: Windscribe will give you 10gb/month of Free VPN (Virtual Private Network): essentially it masks your IP address so you appear to be logging into the interwebz from Canada, Jamaica, Norway, etc. Its a necessary step if you want to use torrents, use facebook in China, or order grenades from Russia. Not that I've ever done all three of those
  • 2 0
 Opera browser has an integrated VPN, with a click you can turn it on, works like a charm
  • 1 0
 that pesky licensing
  • 1 0
 @phile99: All the paid options do is configure the system for those that aren't capable of / don't feel comfortable doing it themselves.

I used freevpn.me one of my dev boxens and the performance was just as good as a paid option on my Firestick.
  • 2 0
 @teor: That's pretty rad actually. I'm going to have to check it out. Here's to hoping I can get it via apt-get.
  • 1 0
 @teor: Opera VPN lagged like crazy for me. Video was barely streamable. Epic Privacy Browser did the trick for me and Comcast/Charter.
  • 1 0
 @DhDWills: make sure you have the correct location, you can choose between Asia Europe or americas, it could be that it just randomly choose a distant location
  • 2 0
 @mtbjuky: get yourself Opera as a web browser and it comes with a free VPN that is super easy to use. Works a treat when I need to swap countries.
  • 32 0
 No mention of tuhoto in the junioirs?

Kids a weapon current oceanic champ. Won his first world Cup at Val di Sole and then 3rd at world champs.. All with out factory support!!

Someone give the kid a ride and some coverage!
  • 7 1
 Yeah nah definitely
  • 2 0
 Absolutely, from his short interviews he seems like a humble kid that's stoked to be there as well.
  • 6 0
 Awww shit yeah
  • 2 0
 @guytherev: That post race interview was hilarious LoL
  • 10 0
 I'm not sure if injury was good to tahnee and myriam. I have a feeling that they would have smoked everyone else by much bigger gaps if they were healthy.
  • 18 12
 This is the issue I have with world champs, it’s a brilliant race, I love the custom bikes, trchband all the amazing racing, but it really detracts from the consistency and mental toughness of riding at the very top of the sport for a full season, dealing with mechanicals, mingling injuries and the different aspects of every course. Bruni is now a 5 x world champion, and that is insane as Gwin has never worm the rainbow stripes. I love Bruni, and everything he stands for as a rider at the top of the sport, but the fact he is 5 x world champ and has only won the equivalent amount of races compared to Gwin who spent countless seasons absolutely laying waste to every other rider by insane margins yet the history books will no doubt show Bruni to be the undoubtedly better rider. Is that really fair? Thoughts?
  • 16 2
 Yes it is fair. World champs is one race, one run to represent your country. It is a different animal than the overall. Each are impressive achievements, as is winning any individual World Cup.
  • 7 2
 While I do agree with you, there is something to be said for winning when it counts, Gwin hasn't been able to do that for some reason?? I personally wish Gwin could get back on track but at this point I have my doubts while trying to remain positive. Kinda seems he's a bit more about the money than being a champion...
  • 18 2
 Let’s not forget that gwin is 5x overall World Cup Champion
  • 7 1
 @vialdemo: but a bridesmaid at World Champs.

He really needs one before he calls it quits.
  • 4 2
 @vialdemo: for some reason that just doesn’t count as much. Steve Peat is a legend amongst us, but for years he was in Nico’s Shadow even when he was beating him because the one thing Nico always had was 10 frigging World Champs jerseys, and until 2009 Peat had won it once.
I’m a massive Peaty fan, but because I stated riding in 1994/5 and remember the Nico domination he’ll never be the man in the way that mr Frenchy is. Same goes for Gwinny and Bruni, but don’t worry, Bruni will won a few overalls too before he’s done.
  • 1 0
 @Samarius The world champs are absolutely a big part of the season for the very reason that it’s not about season long strategy backed by endless pots of sponsorship gold. Even the commentators point it out often that it’s a chance for riders from all corners of the world to compete on a grand stage because they’re the best in their country. Granted the big names with the big sponsors always seem to win but it’s a big deal for all those who get t to represent their country. As for Gwin, I put that down to pure bad luck. He may not be at his best right now but when he has been at his finest he simply suffered misfortune. At the sharp end of the sport you need that 1% luck to bolster your 99% talent.
  • 15 3
 Gwin is riding Kenda tyres, give him a break for God’s sake... wait...
  • 5 1
 I think we all understand the difference between World Champion and World Cup Champion and take a grain of salt with the "World Champion" designation. I know I hold the WC Champion in MUCH higher respect than World Champ.
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: no. Its typical Gwin cycle. He claims bike is unrideable. Does horribly. Redesigns bike. Asks for truck load more money. Wins. Gets truckloads more money. Wait till next season with the new intense and Gwin magically wins every race.
  • 3 1
 @makripper: Praise Jeebus!
  • 3 4
 @Samarius I could not downvote this enough. World Champs is the greatest one day event in cycling, a coveted prize...an achievement few can accomplish, you have no idea.
  • 3 1
 @code26: World Champs have always been held in higher regard than the World Cup series, only fans of riders who haven't won it yet seem to disagree with the truth, ask Peaty what means more to him, his 3 overalls or his 1 champions medal.
Everything on the line for 1 run, the pressure that goes with that as opposed to being able to make up for a bad result means riders push their limits way more than a world cup round, the riders themselves mention this all the time.
  • 1 1
 3 x world champ , Nico Voulliez is the only 5 x world Champ winner .
So I wouldn’t put it past Bruni to sup-pas that mark in the future.
This current crop of french riders are going to be on top for the next few years , it’s their time now . Just Gwinn , he peaked just like Bruni is now .
  • 2 1
 @flyingfox49: Good point. I just remember watching Hill take both World Cup and World Champs, sitting chilled on hot seat in Fort Bill. Then the 2nd in Champery in the rain, looking totally pissed off that he didn’t win. I thought to myself: this is “New”, that bloke is different. Then watching Gwin win with Minnaar in Windham by 2secs where Minnaar had an absolutely stellar run, and thinking: this is something new. That is a new kind of force. And the same feeling lately watching Amaury in Les Gets. That footage where you think it’s sped up and then you check the time on youtube and go... oooooh fk... and now Loic going full Minnaar. It doesn’t look super fast, it doesn’t look spectacular but... it’s fastest.

So yeah, I think we can speak of French era now. I think Gwin grew up, started reflecting on things and can’t go fullgas. He may have that last blow like Minnaar and Peaty, but that’s even more rare than a Junior doing well in Elite.
  • 2 1
 @hillman-hunter: Being a racer myself and having competed in many multi-race series', it is my opinion that a series championship is much more difficult than a one time race win. This is my opinion and you should recognize it as just that.
  • 1 0
 @code26: don't worry, I do recognise it as only you're opinion, just like I recognise that the racers competing in the series you're talking about hold the opposite opinion to you.
  • 1 0
 God is learning French as we speak .@WAKIdesigns:
  • 2 1
 @hillman-hunter: WOW, you've talked to ALL the racers in the series. Congratulations!
  • 1 0
 @code26: the same way you've talked to ALL of pinkbike?
Quote: "I think we all understand the difference between World Champion and World Cup Champion"
Slightly more impressive, now run along
  • 9 1
 The track was brutal, OK, but it was a real world championship track, not like Cairn. Extreme sports need extreme conditions.
  • 1 0
 Cairns is still a difficult track to go fast on, it's just a tad too flat because when it was designed it was designed to be long but that sacrificed speed and steepness
  • 6 0
 We also learned that Rob Warner is a great mtb commentator and NBC should have hired him. Their people absolutely SUCKED.
  • 5 0
 Yup, their broadcast was embarrassing. Lack of knowledge and provided zero insight. It’s like the entire production was an afterthought done by the JV squad. If you’ve ever complained about a Red Bull broadcast, I urge to watch NBC’s. You’ll never complain again.
  • 10 0
 Best part (around rider 25-23) went something like:
Claudio: how have you done racing here?
Rob: I think I went on the podium once.
Claudio: that’s right, you were 5th.
Rob: how do you remember?
Claudio: well, I was fourth...
Gave me a good laugh from them two...
  • 2 0
 Ive seen in time and time again in sports - breaks do athletes good, unfortunately for most, they need to 'forced'...injury, sickness, burnout, etc. It's tough to force yourself into sittings things out and laying low, intentionally...
  • 3 0
 Except for the 1st section (1st split), the course of the masters of the previous week was not the same as Elite. It's more likely that qualifying after Friday's rain destroyed some section of the course.
  • 4 0
 What did I learn? PomPon likes to drink and is quite entertaining when doing so. (See Wyn's Interview.)
But hey...... Victory Deserves Revelries!!!
  • 2 1
 6.- The top 10 Pinkbike Fantasy Athletes suffered in MSA.

Only @lizashirley scored more than 700 pts, 705 to be precise. Snowshoe is a bit of an unknown for most of the Pinkbike Fantasy Athletes, which will be the real test for these athletes who have been battling all year round and already need some rest after a long season and so many injuries.
  • 3 2
 “The course seemed to be more dangerous than ever, possibly because the Masters World Champs held the week before had torn up the track in places and made it even rougher than normal.”

With all due respect to the older riders, the UCI could take a page from the PGA Tour: no other (lesser) events the week before a major on the major venue itself, and ideally the Masters WC would have been held somewhere else entirely. You need to privilege track conditions for MTB’s biggest stage.
  • 3 0
 The course is savage judging by footage alone. Very high speeds and horrific compressions. I’ve seen at least three slabs where going over the bars equals stopping near instantly after fall from a few meters. Those open grass fields like in Les Gets, your front wheel washes off, your face hits the ground and you may never remember your mothers face. Then the section where Dean Lucas crashed. Awwww. If you go to VDS there are savage boulders in there, but also plenty of soft loam all over the place.

So In a way, yeah, nice to have a clean track but then, this thing is savage anyways.
  • 1 0
 Fair point. Very true. Just seems startling - even with MSA’s tough rep - how many world class riders got badly injured. Never nice to see anywhere.
  • 3 0
 Yes and also have proper first aid available and that includes a helicopter!
  • 3 0
 The master track wasn’t the same as the elite one apart from the top part before the " tarzan drop"
  • 1 2
 Understood. Just to be clear I’m certainly not directly blaming any Masters Class riders - they raced their race as they well should. As WAKI put it well, crashes and brutality have lots of causes. I’m concerned about great talents getting injured, and I’m also making a larger point about the need for the type of stand-alone safekeeping and attention that MTB’s premier event deserves. True professionalization, where MTB is on par with the other major sports in the public sporting consciousness and in terms of earnings, etc., will only come from a hundred little such organizing gestures in combination. It’s the collective details that count. The elite athletes in MTB’s various disciplines have earned the right to expect as much. Separating venues would also arguably make it less likely that the Masters (or XCO) events would be overshadowed by Elite Downhill.
  • 4 1
 I don't know why the Rainbow Stripes aren't awarded to the World Cup overall winner
  • 5 0
 Any news from Brook?
  • 3 0
 Yeah bud check his Instagram. Very positive. He's standing up a little and what not already. I'm sure it's a long road but still not as bad as it could have been.
  • 3 0
 I learned that I was robbed by NBC when will my footages be returned to me
  • 2 0
 Red Bull, why did you black out the Replay in New England Area? Been trying to watch the replay for days
  • 1 0
 mbr learned 9...
  • 2 3
 What I learned is, ride fast and pass the gas. Skkkkkirt.
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