One Last Dance: XC Finals - Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup 2016

Aug 8, 2016
by Matthew DeLorme  


There was one last XC round to go in the World Cup before the games in Rio next week. This stop, the legendary Mont-Sainte-Anne. Many of the top riders had already headed to Brazil and will be resting up and letting the efforts of their training settle before the biggest event in four years. For those who headed to this round, they were greeted by humid weather with off and on rain showers. Notably missing were Schurter, Rissveds, and Neff.

Catharine Pendrel got out fast and all but walked away with women's race. Gunn-Rita showed she is in touch heading into the Games with a solid second place performance. Emily Batty rode to third place in front of an ecstatic home crowd. Julien Absalon wasn't afraid to keep racing right before Rio and found himself battling for the better part of three laps with Mathias Fluckiger. Mathias would have to settle for third after being overtaken by Victor Koretzky. Now we have to wait a week and see just who comes away with the big gold in Rio.

With Saturday's dust still settling from the downhill races, Mont-Sainte-Anne started to get ready for another day of racing. The women's U23 field had been rescheduled to start two minutes after the women's elite field. Due to this we have a slightly reduced exposure for the U23 field as it makes it very difficult to get all the images we'd love to take.

09.00 AM sharp and the men s U23 field charges up the hill.
9:00 AM sharp and the men's U23 field charges up the hill.

Titouan Carod took off with a pace no one was able to follow.
Titouan Carod took off with a pace no one was able to follow.

Antoine Bouqueret Carod s teammate finished in second.
Antoine Bouqueret, Carod's teammate, riding in second position.

Lukas Baum of Germany took third place in the U23 mens race.
Lukas Baum of Germany took third place in the U23 men's race.

It was hot today. Dunk bottles were key for keeping core temps down.
It was hot today. Dunk bottles were key for keeping core temps down.

Sina Frei dominates in the women s U23 field.
Sina Frei dominates in the women's U23 field.

After a couple of consistent third place finishes Anne Tauber now claims second.
After a couple of consistent third place finishes, Anne Tauber now claims second.

Chiara Teocchi has been in the hunt all season today she took third in U23 women.
Chiara Teocchi has been in the hunt all season, today she took third in U23 women.

What would Mont-Ste-Anne be without its volunteers Finishers were offered a selection of drinks and food.
What would Mont-Ste-Anne be without its volunteers? Finishers were offered a selection of drinks and food.

The women s elite racing is getting more and more exciting. Even with the Olympics around the corner most riders made their way down to fight for glory.
The women's elite racing is getting more and more exciting. Even with the Olympics around the corner, most riders made their way down to fight for glory.

Catharine is hitting her peak just right. now we know she certainly is a medal contender for the games.
Catharine is hitting her peak just right. Now we know she certainly is a medal contender for the Games.

Mt St Anne World Cup 2016

The Women head out for their five laps.
The women head out for their five laps.

Sabine Spitz had a tough day out there as a crash and mechanicals threw her back in the field. After fixing her bike -and herself- she continued the race. True racer s spirit.
Sabine Spitz had a tough day out there as a crash and mechanicals threw her back in the field. After fixing her bike -and herself- she continued the race. True racer's spirit.

Annika Langvad and Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa fought as Catharine Pendrel took off. Langvad seemed to be heading towards Pendrel at one point but faded afterwards. Gunn-Rita is impressive to say the least. Second place for her.
Annika Langvad and Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa fought as Catharine Pendrel took off. Langvad seemed to be heading towards Pendrel at one point but faded afterwards. Gunn-Rita is impressive to say the least. Second place for her.

Gunn-Rita is no slouch. She powered her way to second today against a few solid foes.
Gunn-Rita is no slouch. She powered her way to second today against a few solid foes.

Batty has had good luck before at MSA. this time she took home the bronze. Hopefully she keeps up the momentum to the games.
Batty has had good luck before at MSA. This time she took home the bronze. Hopefully she keeps up the momentum to the Games.

Anneke Langvad wasn t able to get away this round. She finished fourth and retains the overall title.
Anneke Langvad wasn't able to get away this round. She finished fourth, and retains the overall title.

Pendrel Taking the express way down Beatrice.
Pendrel taking the express way down Beatrice.

Katerina Nash was on it today she rode to fifth place.
Katerina Nash was on it today, she rode to fifth place.

Catharine Pendrel rides into the finish adding another incredible result to her palmares. Her mom and dad witnessed the moment.
Catharine Pendrel rides into the finish, adding another incredible result to her palmares. Her mom and dad witnessed the moment.

Catharine and Gunn-Rita congratulate each other at the finish.
Catharine and Gunn-Rita congratulate each other at the finish.

The fans are fanatical for Emily.
The fans are fanatical for Emily.

It warming up was well warm.
Warming up was, well, warm.

With big names like Nino Schurter and Jaroslav Kulhavy missing the men s elite field might just be even more fired up as riders are eager to move up the ranks.
With big names like Nino Schurter and Jaroslav Kulhavy missing, the men's elite field might just be even more fired up as riders are eager to move up the ranks.

Mens start.
Men's start.

Mathias Fluckiger was on fire today with an early lead that was eventually taken by Absalon.
Mathias Fluckiger was on fire today with an early lead that was eventually taken by Absalon.

Mont-Ste-Anne claimed its victims today.
Mont-Ste-Anne claimed its victims today.

Matthias Fl ckiger opened up the race as he sped away.
Matthias Fluckiger opened up the race as he sped away.

Absalon didn t take the lead until around the third lap. After that he didn t look back.
Absalon didn't take the lead until around the third lap. After that, he didn't look back.

Jordan Sarrou had the ride of his season today finishing in fifth place.
Jordan Sarrou had the ride of his season today finishing in fifth place.

Absalon closes the gap on Fluckiger.
Absalon closes the gap on Fluckiger.

Although temperatures dropped slightly the air felt thick in Mont-Ste-Anne. A relentless course made even the best riders suffer. Maxime Marotte was no exception.
Although temperatures dropped slightly, the air felt thick in Mont-Ste-Anne. A relentless course made even the best riders suffer. Maxime Marotte was no exception.

Matthias Stirnemann in a bit of dark woods on his way to fourth place.
Matthias Stirnemann in a bit of dark woods on his way to fourth place.

Victor Koretzky had a great day out today taking second place in the last race before the games.
Victor Koretzky had a great day out today taking second place in the last race before the games.

Julien Absalon s list of victories keeps growing.
Julien Absalon's list of victories keeps growing.

Jordan Sarrou made his way up to the front of the race. Matthias Fl ckiger briefly faded but came back strong to finish in third.
Jordan Sarrou made his way up to the front of the race. Matthias Fluckiger briefly faded, but came back strong to finish in third.

Reading a book. No better way to kill time in between laps.
Reading a book. No better way to kill time in between laps.

Not an easy victory but concluded in true Absalon style as he pulled away from the competition.
Not an easy victory, but concluded in true Absalon style as he pulled away from the competition.

3rd for Matthias Fl ckiger.
3rd for Matthias Fluckiger.

Manny Fumic didn t have the day he was looking for. He finished in 16th.
Manny Fumic didn't have the day he was looking for. He finished in 16th.

MSA isn t an easy course. It burns some more than others.
MSA isn't an easy course. It burns some more than others.

Bottles wait to be uncorked.
Bottles wait to be uncorked.


MENTIONS: @mdelorme / @ikeizer




47 Comments

  • 37 0
 These guys have some balls to be riding that type of terrain on the bikes they use, impressed, especially as they do it as flat out as possible and while fatigued to hell!
  • 8 0
 Awesome pics ..and great course coverage by red bull live....even the haters can't but love this level of XC racing....those hills were brutal,mane the descents scetch...especially when you think of no dropper and bike with angles for climbing and attacks...and then there was the rain in the women's race...what a race
  • 1 0
 Absalon was on a dropper post.
  • 8 1
 Catharine Pendrall dominated yesterday. She was up by close to a minute going into the final lap. Unreal performance. Batty's off the bike running pass of Langvad on the final lap was sweet! A great showing by the Canadian ladies.
  • 3 1
 Langvad wasn't too impressed with that maneuver, either. She had cross words with her after, the mic just about picked up 'hey Emily, it wasn't cool...'
  • 2 1
 @zorba73: not surprised to hear that. It was a cheeky move but it did get her on the podium.
  • 3 0
 @zorba73: Langvad couldn't stay on her bike, Emily did the only thing she could do. She rode Langvad into the ground.
  • 2 1
 @zorba73: I thought I heard that too....thought I was the only one. I really don't know if Batty passed her slightly off course, but it seemed fair enough to me.
  • 9 0
 The pics remind of how thankful I am that dropper posts were invented!
  • 6 0
 Killer track! It was a good series all around. The rain during the women's race made it real interesting.
  • 6 0
 Thanks Pinkbike for the awesome WC XC coverage!
  • 4 0
 Batty running Maxxis? Niiiiice. I se Trek tried to take some black marker to the sidewalls though.
  • 1 1
 They looked wider than usual too. Either the tires have changed or the rims have gotten wider.
  • 1 0
 The men's race was a little lacking without Nino but the women's race was spectacular. Congrats to Pendrall on a dominate race. I'm a big fan of Langvad and hope she can bring it back together for the finish of the season. The course looked desperately difficult. Hope for spectacular action in Rio.
  • 2 0
 Fantastic photos on here covering the race. I still can't believe how the pictures still can't convey just how steep and miserable this course is... These riders are incredible!
  • 5 2
 The track looked respectable - certainly more tech than a usual XC course - can only hope it keeps getting more technical.
  • 22 4
 I can´t see the point of it to get even more technical, there is dh and enduro for that. I think that XCO should not become extremely hard technique-wise, as it already is extremely hard as a whole. It tests you as a complete mountain biker. The riders can barely see after tough ascents and then they have to tackle as tough descents. Have you seen any of the world cup tracks in real life? There are some really scary parts already, which are good as they now are.
  • 5 11
flag cottonmouthdug (Aug 8, 2016 at 8:36) (Below Threshold)
 @Woodwhistler: xc used to be way more technical and entertaining and popular. Enduro was given life when roadies destroyed xc by making the track so dull. I loved xc but now im out because they made it boring to ride and watch. Hopefully they will have timing on the uphill sections of enduro and i can have mountian biking back
  • 6 0
 @Woodwhistler: I partly agree....xc does not need to be as tuff as technically as enduro descents...but some of the current WC courses are just too boring...the level of tech at my Saint Anne and Maribor make for amazing xc racing...dare I say that the watching the xc race both men and women was as exciting as the Dh race the day before.. And the credit for that goes to a good course...where as some of the German / Austrian xcd courses are nothing more then fire roads....bringing more mtb sant Anne level courses to the xc WC will for sure increase the fan base....shit I was off my couch screaming at the tv when batty was making a move for third Smile .., but then again maybe that's because I am Canadian Smile
  • 3 0
 I lost interest in racing XC when courses became boring and dull. Now at least there is a decent variety in world cups. Not everyone has a mountain like Seymour or Whistler to practice on so its makes sense that their is some diversity in tracks. Having said that I love watching Schurter and Neff school the roadies on the techy downhills.
  • 2 0
 The women's XCO in Rio is wide open: Neff, Langvad, Rissveds, Pendrel - and if they're on form - Ferrand-Prevot and Wloszczowska!
The men's will be Schurter's to lose.
  • 2 0
 Awesome coverage as usual! Another gnarly looking World Cup course with some intense competition. Can't wait for the Olympic XC event next!
  • 1 0
 Hopefully, one day, when he grows up, the younger Flückiger can keep it together for a full race and finally take the win he deserves!!
  • 9 7
 This wasn't a proper race without Nino Schurter!
  • 8 1
 Yeah Olympic year makes the xc world Cup kind of weird
  • 5 0
 Kinda agree...weird that the UCI would hold a WC when the teams are already supposed to be in rio or at least should have the option to attend the opening ceremony..many have worked their whole life for their day at the olympics
  • 1 0
 What bike is Sabine Spitz on?
  • 1 0
 @MTBrent Pretty sure she is still on Haibike
  • 1 0
 Wow! Amazing photos, Matthew Delorme is The Boss!
  • 1 1
 Maxxis Icon tires seem to be dominating...
  • 1 2
 Remy Absalon, those forearms... What a beast
  • 9 0
 Ummm... those would in fact be the forearms of Remy's slightly more famous and successful brother.
  • 1 0
 @Ginsu2000: you are most propably very correct... Silly me. The forearms however, omg Wink
  • 1 4
 I thought only the current series leaders got the orange Fox forks, or maybe they're just doing that only for downhill?
  • 4 0
 ???? That goes for Fox sponsored riders regardless of their position.
  • 1 0
 @bosnianrider: I've only seen Rachel and Aaron with them at dhwc.
  • 1 0
 I think it has more to do with the availability because all of the Fox riders are using it in XCO.
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