Nerding Out - Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Champs 2019

Sep 2, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Things looked good for Danny Hart until the last split where he d slip behind Pierron missing out on a World Champs medal as a result.

Worlds always delivers and Mont-Sainte-Anne was no exception. France locked out the top spots with Loic Bruni taking his 4th title in 5 years and Myriam Nicole delivering a Sam Hill-esque comeback from injury to claim gold in the women's race.

Bruni must surely now have Vouilloz's 7 senior World Champs titles in his sights. It was once talked up as a near-impossible task for any rider to even get close to that total but Loic could easily do it before he's 30.

What a comeback it was for Myriam. Her and Tahnee claimed the two top spots in the women's race against a field that we thought may have caught them up in their absence. Early indications are that these two, and probably Rachel Atherton on her return, still have the measure of them for the moment.

Mont-Sainte-Anne was hosting its third World Championships, becoming the first venue ever to do so, and what an event it was. The track was rougher than we've seen it for years and the mixed weather only added to the challenge. Let's get straight into the numbers to see who went fast and where on this brute of a track:

At a Glance
Sector Times

Men
Sector 1
1. Dean Lucas - 49.392
2. Loic Bruni +0.079
3. Greg Minnaar +0.466
4. Troy Brosnan +0.470
5. Loris Vergier +0.554

Sector 2
1. Loic Bruni - 1:19.017
2. Troy Brosnan +0.343
3. Laurie Greenland +1.239
4. Amaury Pierron +1.270
5. Greg Minnaar +1.344

Sector 3
1. Danny Hart - 39.896
2. Troy Brosnan +0.111
3. Loic Bruni +0.147
4. Laurie Greenland +0.192
5. Amaury Pierron +0.702

Sector 4
1. Amaury Pierron - 49.122
2. Loic Bruni +0.169
3. Troy Brosnan +0.289
4. Kirk McDowall +0.482
5. Mark Wallace +0.669

Sector 5
1. Amaury Pierron - 27.151
2. Charlie Harrison +0.128
3. Aaron Gwin +0.297
4. Troy Brosnan +0.334
5. Danny Hart +0.452

Perfect Lap

4:04.578

Fastest Run

4:05.544


Women
Sector 1
1. Myriam Nicole - 58.036
2. Tracey Hannah +0.987
3. Marine Cabirou +1.012
4. Tahnee Seagrave +1.126
5. Emilie Siegenthaler +2.125

Sector 2
1. Myriam Nicole - 1:34.414
2. Tracey Hannah +0.116
3. Marine Cabirou +0.302
4. Tahnee Seagrave +1.312
5. Eleonora Farina +2.015

Sector 3
1. Myriam Nicole - 46.818
2. Emilie Siegenthaler +0.286
3. Veronika Widmann +1.216
4. Marine Cabirou +1.338
5. Tahnee Seagrave +1.586

Sector 4
1. Tahnee Seagrave - 59.620
2. Myriam Nicole +0.719
3. Marine Cabirou +1.118
4. Eleonora Farina +1.555
5. Emilie Siegenthaler +1.798

Sector 5
1. Tahnee Seagrave - 31.518
2. Tracey Hannah +0.405
3. Marine Cabirou +0.744
4. Carina Cappellari +1.416
5. Emilie Siegenthaler +1.443

Perfect Lap

4:50.406

Fastest Run

4:53.226


The Story of the Session
Men

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

Sector 1 From the start gate, through the cafe and down the first grassy section.
Men ≈ 50 seconds, Women ≈ 60 seconds

Sector 2 Into the woods for the tight bermed corners including some drops and gaps then back into the open for the high-speed section. The speed trap is taken on split two.
Men ≈ 80 seconds, Women ≈ 95 seconds

Sector 3 Starts with the riders coming onto the screen in the broadcast with a high speed straight and some grassy corners. Includes La Tarzan and the Stevie Smith drop and ends with the turns under the chairlift.
Men ≈ 40 seconds, Women ≈ 47 seconds

Sector 4 Covers the second half of the chairlift section and the majority of the infamous Mont-Sainte-Anne Les Dalles rock gardens.
Men ≈ 50 seconds, Women ≈ 60 seconds

Sector 5 The bottom four cross section with its big bermed turns and jumps down to the finish line.
Men ≈ 27 seconds, Women ≈ 32 seconds

Men
Loris Vergier throws down some style after some mishaps up top in his run.

Any suggestion that the top riders would be taking this one easy to save themselves for the World Cup finals next weekend was well and truly blown out of the water as we witnessed a hectic race in Quebec. The familiar faces locked out the top spots once again and there was full commitment from the whole field.

Pierron was the only rider to win more than one split and was the fastest rider through the bottom third of the track but mistakes up top cost him the chance of a more precious metal round his neck. Instead, both Brosnan and Bruni emerged as the pick of the field and were able to master all facets of this varied track to put together incredible runs with Bruni claiming yet another World Championship title.

If there was a disappointment this weekend, it would have to be Martin Maes. It had been a year since he left the world of downhill reeling with his smash and grab in La Bresse and Lenzerheide, but his much-hyped return after a doping suspension fizzled out in the end.

Let's take a look through all the numbers to find out where the time was made and lost for the top racers:

Canadian Magnus Manson flies the red white and blue into the finish area

Sector 1
From the start gate, through the cafe and down the first grassy section.


Dean Lucas always starts well and Mont-Sainte-Anne was no exception as he fired himself into an early lead with Loic Bruni less than 0.1 behind. The rest of the field are all at least 0.4 behind with Minnaar and Brosnan leading them out. Loris Vergier was on a good run at this point but took a big crash in the next sector and ended his race early. Further down the results sheet, Pierron only managed 13th through this sector, he looked visibly annoyed with mistakes in his run and they cost him 1.5 seconds in this sector alone.

Sector 2
Into the woods for the tight bermed corners including some drops and gaps then back into the open for the high-speed section. The speed trap is taken on split two.


Loic Bruni forged a lead on the longest sector of the track but Brosnan kept him honest 0.3 behind. The rest of the field all lose at least 1 second as Bruni and Brosnan applied the hurt. Greenland was the best of the rest as Pierron recovered from his tough first sector and Minnaar was consistent as ever in 5th. Dean Lucas wasn't able to keep up his first sector form and slipped back to 10th fastest in this sector.


If we combine splits 1 and 2, Bruni already has a lead approaching 1 second over Brosnan in 2nd. Lucas slipped back 4 places as Minnaar and Greenland overtook him. Vergier, 5th at the first split, crashed and fell out of contention. Pierron's recovery saw him move up from 13th to 8th.

Sector 3
Starts with the riders coming onto the screen in the broadcast with a high speed straight and some grassy corners. Includes La Tarzan and the Stevie Smith drop and ends with the turns under the chairlift.


Four riders were the clear class of the field here with Hart leading out Brosnan, Bruni and Greenland. Pierron and Minnaar would normally expect to find themselves in this company but only managed to lead out the rest of the field more than half a second back. For a lesson in fortitude, take a look at Loris Vergier, who still put in a time fast enough for 16th despite knowing his race was a write off.


Bruni put another slither of time into Brosnan but these two were now comfortably clear oaf the chasing pack. Greenland, Hart and Minnaar were all closely grouped around the 2 second mark. Pierron's march up the rankings continued as he claimed another 2 places to sit 6th. Dean Lucas fell to eighth and his race was about to come to an abrupt halt in Les Dalles.

Sector 4
Covers the second half of the chairlift section and the majority of the infamous Mont-Sainte-Anne Les Dalles rock gardens.


Pierron was really up to speed now and was the fastest rider from here to the bottom of the track. Who was right behind him though? Bruni and Brosnan, of course, who stuck to him like a limpet. Canadians Kirk McDowall and Mark Wallace were the next fastest through this section, cheered on the vocal, local crowd. Greenland had his worst sector of the race so far here. We know he picked up a puncture somewhere near the bottom of the hill and this seems to be the first signs of it affecting his race run.


Bruni and Brosnan still led but it was all change behind. Greenland's puncture saw him slip four places, which allowed Hart to take third. Pierron's charge continued and he's now fourth, just one place off the medals after his rough start. The rest of the top 10 were all in their finishing spots with just a short bike park section to the line to go. The big winner in this split was Kirk McDowall, who leaped from 27th to 16th after a great split through the rock gardens.

Sector 5
The bottom four cross section with its big bermed turns and jumps down to the finish line.


Pierron claimed his second sector win and was the only rider to claim more than one sector in the whole race. It was a real mix up behind him as Charlie Harrison and Aaron Gwin found themselves up at the sharp end of the results for the first time in the race. There wasn't much to pick between riders here though with 1 second separating 1st from 15th. Bruni didn't have a great split and loses time to Brosnan but his lead was big enough for it not to matter.


Bruni takes it! That's a fourth Rainbow Jersey in his young career with the promise of many more still to come. You can't help but feel sorry for Brosnan who pulled off one of the runs of his life but just fell short. Pierron's recovery was complete as he moved up to 3rd, nipping past Hart in the final sector to claim the bronze.

Women
Sian A Hern with her eyes firmly latched on the step up over the XC course tunnel. Sian put together a strong ride and slotted into 9th.

We suspected Tahnee and Myriam would come back strong in Mont-Sainte-Anne but not many people expected a 1-2. In their absence, we thought the rest of the women would have grown in confidence and speed but this result indicates there may still be daylight between the top women and the chasing pack. That being said, the gap at the finish line was tight, especially between Cabirou and Seagrave, and the rest of the women had the small matter of the World Cup overall to think about next weekend.

Let's take a look through the splits to see who was going fast and where:

Seagrave in her GB glad-rags romping towards a silver medal after her time out with injury.

Sector 1
From the start gate, through the cafe and down the first grassy section.


Myriam Nicole was fastest out of the blocks and took her first of three sector wins. She put a second into almost everyone and was already looking like a strong contender for the win. At this point, Hannah and Cabirou were just ahead of Seagrave but it was still close, as it would be for the entire race run. Siegenthaler sat alone in fifth while Widmann led out the rest of the field.

Sector 2
Into the woods for the tight bermed corners including some drops and gaps then back into the open for the high-speed section. The speed trap is taken on split two.


Sector 2 was much tighter but Nicole took it once again. This time Cabirou and Hannah were right on her tail, both less than half a second back despite it being the longest split on course. Seagrave took fourth again but lost more than a second on her rivals.


Myriam Nicole maintained her lead of about a second from Hannah and Cabirou but Seagrave slipped back and is now nearly 2.5 seconds behind. Siegenthaler held on to fifth but now has Widmann and Farina breathing down her neck.

Sector 3
Starts with the riders coming onto the screen in the broadcast with a high speed straight and some grassy corners. Includes La Tarzan and the Stevie Smith drop and ends with the turns under the chairlift.


Myriam Nicole took her third sector win of the race and proved herself to be totally dominant over the top two-thirds of this course. Her foot apparently still hurt when doing full runs but she had enough advantage in the bag to carry herself through to the finish. Siegenthaler was 2nd fastest through this sector and was the only rider to get within 1 second of Nicole. Widmann is 3rd and pushed Cabirou, Seagrave and Hannah into the unusual positions of 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.


Myriam Nicole's lead has extended out to 2.5 seconds and she was fully in command of this race. Cabirou overtook Hannah for second while Seagrave held fourth, but watch out, she's about to engage the afterburners.

Sector 4
Covers the second half of the chairlift section and the majority of the infamous Mont-Sainte-Anne Les Dalles rock gardens.


Seagrave took her first split of the race and, like Pierron in the men's race, was the fastest rider from here to the bottom. Myriam was 2nd here, ensuring she didn't lose too much time. Tracey Hannah had an uncharacteristically weak split and could only manage 6th.


Seagrave starts her move forwards and overtook Hannah to sit 3rd, just a quarter of a second behind Marine Cabirou. Nicole still leads and has 3 seconds to play with before the line, which even gives her enough leeway to miss the final jump to protect her foot. Veronika Widmann, running sixth up until this point, crashed and fell out of the top 10.

Sector 5
The bottom four cross section with its big bermed turns and jumps down to the finish line.


Seagrave took another sector win and crucially she beat Cabirou by 0.7, which fired her into the silver medal spot. Myriam Nicole elected to miss the final jump and it seemed to cost her around 2 seconds. Tracey Hannah recovered from a weak fourth sector to come 2nd on this one.


Myriam Nicole collects her first-ever Rainbow Jersey by more than a second in an incredible comeback ride. Tahnee's final sector heroics slot her into second, just beating Cabirou in the push for the line. Tracey Hannah will have to settle for fourth, just outside the medals, and in the end a fair way back from the front 3.

Regions in Article
Mont-Sainte-Anne DH Park


56 Comments

  • 40 10
 What a shame no pictures at all first part of the track where many things are happening... RedBull can't put a flying helicopter or advanced drone for last 15 riders and see full length runs ?? Soon or late we must have it...
  • 8 10
 we got the funny guy of the class
  • 43 1
 Well... they could always start with a regular helicopter on hand, in case somebody gets hurt.
  • 25 0
 Based on something Rob Warner said during the coverage, I’m pretty sure RedBull didn’t provide the coverage(cameras/setup) this year on the mountain. Someone else sent the feed to them, and they rebroadcast it. Rob and Claudio were in the RedBull hangar, in Austria.
In all actuality, this week’s coverage showed how good RedBull has been at covering the races. (Unless I’m totally wrong. Then feel free to bash me!)
  • 2 0
 It was not a Red Bull production team at MSA. They were totally dependent on a feed from another broadcaster.
Rob Warner said it at least twice during the Women's event alone.

The UCI was the controlling entity of the broadcast rights and someone had posted something about the on-site production team being selected locally (MSA/Quebec). Maybe one of our Canadian posters will chime in with more details on that portion.

I agree it was a shame not to be able to see more of the top section but the point remains, Red Bull had no control over what portions of the race where being shown.
  • 3 0
 This was not a redbull show or production FYI
  • 1 0
 @Augustus-G: Pretty sure that the host nation has their state run tv network have first crack at broadcasting. All of it was live on cbc.ca, which is the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. Redbull just piggy backed of them and there was about a 5 second delay. Listened to about 2 min of the cbc feed but had no idea who was doing the commentary. One had to be Canadian (eh) and the other sounded like a NZ accent, but I could be wrong.
  • 1 0
 @Augustus-G: The local cycling body(Cycling Canada) that won the rights to host the event gets to choose the production company or that is how it worked when I last worked a world champs which was a few years ago now. The UCI just take the money from the highest bidders and make sure their logo is on the screen.
  • 2 0
 @TOU93: @downhere67 Thanks for filling in the dark edges of the map. I read it somewhere but couldn't relocate it quickly. As soon as I read it I figured that's why Rob & Claudio where sitting in Salzburg.

Ah yes the good ole' CBC, I used to love the "Red Green Show". Our local PBS channel used to carry it.
I wonder if he's still trying to Duct Tape the Ontario–Quebec border? LOL
  • 2 0
 Not sure how they'd make the coverage work, with the gaps between riders starting out and a five minute track, if they had coverage of the whole thing. Would take some epic dynamic director skills...
  • 3 0
 @sourmix: They'd have to do split screen with dual commintating if you had more than one rider on the track at a time. I think that would end up a fine ball of confusion & comedy of errors.
  • 2 0
 Is RB really doing a stellar job !? We can't tell until other companies step in too - if RB has the monopoly they will try to get away with ridiculousness, as they often do;

Was the broadcast great !? Debatable, as I don't know how many times said company covered a DH race;

I tell ya one thing - it there was two companies covering this at the same time, I'd go with the underdogs and support something different being reported...........

.......... Unless watching with the lads and have a drinking game where you drink everything Claudio says "that looked fast......"
  • 1 0
 I thought the non-RB substitute did a MUCH better job this year than in Australia 2017--that was terrible. (I'm blanking on Lenzerheide, must've been so-so.)
  • 2 0
 @phile99: Last year was great overall coverage. They did the Team Relay, both U23's en totum.
I thought the track coverage of the DH was better too.
  • 12 1
 What a race! Brosnan's run looked perfect, absolutely perfect, and the raw emotion he displays when finishing his race with one man to go is beautiful to watch. But the one guy to come down the hill is Bruni, an equally deserving winner. One day, Troy. Snowshoe is going to be a bonus World Championships. Qualifying matters. Finals matters. What a season.
  • 4 0
 the last round of the World Cup has 0 points for qualifying, so it will be all or nothing in the race, one epic final battle!
  • 2 0
 @bjmtb: Really? That will be nuts! I wonder if it’ll be a tactic to race mid pack so you can bosh out a good run instead of the mind games up top. But then it doesn’t seem to effect Bruni anyway.

I’d love for Brosnan to at least win the race even with the overall a faint hope. Greenland too is cementing his place in the top 5-7 riders
  • 1 0
 @dubod22: I suspect it gives them a little bit more of a relaxed feel about qualifying, however equal amounts more of focus towards their race run. It's always fascinating to see the internal psychology/thought process the riders have towards their capability to put down a winning run.

Mr consistant deserves a win, I suppose the challenge is always holding that little bit back, if you haven't seen eh outspoken interview with Troy an Loic I suggest you watch it. . . the competition and depth of field is one of the strongest ever, so many capable riders and the level of consistency this season in particular has been phenomenal
  • 10 0
 Dean "The First Split Machine" Lucas
  • 2 1
 Dean seems to be in a good place. He’s due.
  • 4 0
 Dean has been winning first split quite awhile.
  • 1 0
 he was flying, literally
  • 7 0
 Loic just knows how to put down a perfect race run. Amazing.
  • 6 0
 Watched Loic run again and again....his bike is the most well setup, balanced and tires always stuck to the ground.
  • 2 0
 This is certainly not only a matter of bike setup. Just look at how the upper body moves so little. He's also a physical monster, but it's not just about raw power. He can tame down the movements of his bike like no one. Very impressive. That plus the mental strength: last on the hill, Worlds, and the overall still not locked. Very very impressive.
  • 2 0
 Loic is the definition of bike, body and mind all coming together. He obviously has each piece of it dialed. Understands the importance of testing and bike setup. Physically one of the strongest riders out there and mentally has the confidence to stay calm and collected under pressure. Pierron is similar in that respect. Definitely maturing as a complete rider as well. Maybe cracked slightly under the pressure of Worlds. Single race prep and mentality is different than going for a series overall. Look at Gwin's struggles chasing the rainbow stripes. He says it is not important to him, but there is a cloud hanging over that part of his racing resume compared to the success he has had with WC overalls. Brosnan is the Phil Michelson of the cycling world. If he decides to take a few more risks in his runs it will be amazing. He is the rider that stays within his limits on every run which always puts him in contention. Unfortunately other riders like Pierron are willing to cross the line. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but most of the time they get away with it and knock him down to 2nd or 3rd.
  • 3 0
 Wow, just half a second after over 4 minutes of racing to separate Troy and Loic. They both gave it absolutely everything they had, with Troy making ground over Loic on two splits (to Loic's three). Incredible scenes and both deserving the win.

I want to see both of their runs ghosted as per Cathrovision Big Grin
  • 3 0
 At least Maes and Troy got to walk/ride away. The most disappointing thing was the cracked vertebraes and concussed brain cells.
  • 7 2
 #lovenerdstats
  • 7 9
 Why the hashtag and no spaces between words?
  • 13 1
 @t1000: Because # Loven erds tats doesn't have the same ring to it.
  • 1 2
 @t1000: #FROG_SQUAD
  • 1 0
 @endlessblockades: Please stop hurting my feelings
  • 1 0
 @t1000: Aw sorry, man. I saw an F1 race on Montreal once and thought it was a lovely city. Hope that helps a bit.
  • 4 0
 What a comeback of A. Pierron, 13th after the 1st split and finally 3rd!
  • 2 0
 I remember Claudio saying something like you can't take back 1.3 sec to Minnaar without some kind of magic."

And boom ! The gap closed and closed till Minnaar got beaten by these "damn frenchies" again Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Enjoyed this article--insightful and well written ("For a lesson in fortitude, take a look at Loris Vergier...")
  • 1 0
 Anyone else not able to watch replay on red bull tv? Will not load for me on any device.
  • 1 0
 Fine for me, but you might be in a restricted region. If that's the case maybe try to find a VPN.
  • 1 0
 @Seamarsh Hola! VPN is your friend. Easy to get plugin for Chrome. Free from the Apps Store.
Install, Enter the URL, Select a Non-Blocked Country (I used Germany) and away you go. Enjoy.
  • 1 0
 @Augustus-G:

Thanks, you were right.. blacked out in US. weak sauce
  • 2 0
 What were the top speeds through the 'speed trap'?
  • 4 0
 Bruni was the fastest at 71.9 kph.

Can't really remember the rest, but most of the top guys were a fair way off Bruni ... More like mid 60s. I think Brosnan might have been high 60s.

I remember one of the very first guys out of the gate was 58. Found it interesting how it looked so "slow", but I would be shitting myself at that speed.
  • 2 2
 @BigAlfonz: 45mph...holy god damm!!
  • 5 0
 Just rewatched some runs. My memory is shite! Minnaar 69.4 Hart 70.0 Brosnan 69.5 Greenland 66.1 Pierron 70.6 Bruni 71.9
  • 2 0
 @BigAlfonz: excellent work, cheers for posting.
  • 1 0
 Nicole totally lost her time in sector 5 but still managed to win. Tahnee was pretty slow in the opening sectors.
  • 2 0
 That is totally expected since she skipped the last jump on purpose. The incredible thing was that her run was so strong and dominant to overcome that
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