Photo Report: Practice - Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Champs 2019

Aug 29, 2019
by Dave Trumpore  



After a night of rain, many riders took an apprehensive approach to the first day of training here at Mont Saint Anne, and very few were looking up to speed by the close of practice. With an extra day of training on the schedule and no stress over points in qualifying or making the final cut for Sunday's race the vibe seemed quite relaxed. Riders only did three or four runs and were spending quite a bit of time scoping out lines and getting things dialed. And with no timed training there really is no way to know who is up to pace just yet.

Tomorrow the timers will fire up for seeding and that should reveal a bit more of who will be the riders to watch over the weekend, but until then we can just speculate. For the men it is obviously the French force of Loic Bruni, Amaury Pierron, and Loris Vergier that will favorites, but there's also the spoiler in Laurie Greenland who has also won a round this year. Greg Minnaar has been on form all year and had won here before, and with Aaron Gwin coming back from injury on a track that has suited him in the past we have a whole bunch of potential winners.

For the women, Tracey Hannah and Marine Cabirou are the obvious favorites based on World Cup performances recently, but with Myriam Nicole and Tahnee Seagrave back in the mix things just got a whole lot more interesting.

Stevie Smith always present here in MSA
Stevie Smith, always present here in MSA

So much for all that dust. Shortly after track walk it began to rain hard for the majority of the nigh
So much for all that dust. Shortly after track walk it began to rain hard for the majority of the night.

The rain rolled out this morning and the track dried throughout the day.
The rain rolled out this morning and the track dried throughout the day.

View of the Saint Laurence from the top. It s humid here and that would explain why.
View of the Saint Lawrence river from the top. It's humid here and that would explain why.

Loic Bruni looking to three-peat as World Champ this weekend
Loic Bruni looking to three-peat as World Champ this weekend

Lori Greenland excerpted to get World Champs under way
Laurie Greenland, excited to get World Champs underway

Myriam Nicole drops back into downhill action here in MSA.
Myriam Nicole drops back into downhill action here in MSA.

a little mud and slick roots greeted racers after a night of heavy rains
A little mud and slick roots greeted racers after a night of heavy rain.

Canadian Partick Laffey is a favorite to medal in the junior Men s race
Canadian Partick Laffey is a favorite to medal in the junior men's race

Loris Vergier is one of a host of riders who has shown they have the speed to win this season.
Loris Vergier is one of a host of riders who have shown they have the speed to win this season.

Wyn Masters back on a proper bike after racing his e-bike yesterday
Wyn Masters back on a proper bike after racing his e-bike yesterday.

The skethy shark fin is a disappointment to watch with 99 of riders... not the case with Dakota Norton however.
The sketchy shark fin is a disappointment to watch with 99% of riders... that's not the case with Dakotah Norton however.

Finn Iles resplendant in Canadian themed threads from Fox this week.
Finn Iles resplendent in Canadian-themed threads from Fox this week.

Elliot Jamieson is one of the many Canadian Juniors who will be on the hunt for gold this Sunday.
Elliot Jamieson is one of the many Canadian Juniors who will be on the hunt for gold this Sunday.

Marine Cabirou already looking confortable and aggressive on track this morning.
Marine Cabirou already looking comfortable and aggressive on track this morning.

Amaury Pierron doesn t have a World Champs medal to his name. Yet.
Amaury Pierron doesn’t have a World Champs medal to his name...Yet.

Alex Marin tackling the slab in the fresh woods section that was added last year.
Alex Marin tackling the slab in the fresh woods section that was added last year.

Brook MacDonald enjoying a rare moment of relative smoothness on this savage course.
Brook Macdonald enjoying a rare moment of relative smoothness on this savage course.

A good day in the woods for AG getting back up to pace after missing out on much of the summer.
A good day in the woods for Aaron Gwin as he got back up to pace after missing out on much of the summer.

Charlie Harrison attacking the techerous bedrock of the upper woods.
Charlie Harrison attacking the treacherous bedrock of the upper woods.

It only took a few runs before random bike parts were littering the side of the track
It only took a few runs before random bike parts were littering the side of the track.

Tahnee Seagrave is back to racing just in time for the biggest race one of the year
Tahnee Seagrave is back to racing just in time for the biggest race one of the year.

Martin Maes finished second at World Champs last year and has made this race a big focus this season.
Martin Maes finished second at World Champs last year and has made this race a big focus this season.

Finn Iles flying the flag for the home country of Canada this weekend.
Finn Iles flying the flag for the home country of Canada this weekend.

Vali Holl is looking to seal the deal on her second Junior World Champs title before moving up to elites next season.
Vali Holl is looking to seal the deal on her second Junior World Champs title before moving up to elites next season.

Tracey Hannah could well be the favourite for the win here but she ll face some strong competition from the likes of Cabirou Seagrave and Nicole.
Tracey Hannah could well be the favourite for the win here, but she’ll face some strong competition from the likes of Cabirou, Seagrave, and Nicole.

This section was new last year and is definitely gnarly in the wet
This section was new last year and is definitely gnarly in the wet.

Neko Mullaly did more laps than most this afternoon and looked good doing it for team USA.
Neko Mullaly did more laps than most this afternoon and looked good doing it for team USA.

Greg Williamson on the approach to shark fin number 2.
Greg Williamson on the approach to shark fin number 2.

Vive la France Vergier scopes his line on the slipperiest section of bedrock.
Vive la France; Vergier scopes his line on the slipperiest section of bedrock.

Amaury Pierron looking to snatch the rainbows off his rival for the overall title.
Amaury Pierron looking to snatch the rainbows off his rival for the overall title.

Dean Lucas has been having a stellar season and could certainly be a threat to medal at MSA
Dean Lucas has been having a stellar season and could certainly be a threat to medal at MSA

Aaron Gwin piloting his prototype through the deep dark woods.
Aaron Gwin piloting his prototype through the deep dark woods.

MSA rocks
MSA rocks.

Great to see Tahnee Seagrave back in the mix
Great to see Tahnee Seagrave back in the mix.

Brook Macdonald coming in for a back wheel landing on the fastest part of the course.
Brook Macdonald coming in for a back wheel landing on the fastest part of the course.

Danny Hart hasn t taken a World Cup win so far in 2019 but a World Champs win would more than makeup for that.
Danny Hart hasn’t taken a World Cup win so far in 2019 but a World Champs win would more than make up for that.

Jack Moir doing battle with some slick rocks
Jack Moir doing battle with some slick rocks.

Hugo Frixtalon flattening things out the best way he knows how
Hugo Frixtalon flattening things out the best way he knows how

World Champs always brings out the best in Greg Minnaar what does the G.O.A.T have up his sleeve in Mont-Sainte-Anne
World Champs always brings out the best in Greg Minnaar, what does the G.O.A.T have up his sleeve in Mont-Sainte-Anne?

Loic Blueni hovering over the XC course.
Loic Bruni hovering over the XC course.

Remi Thirion is on an upward trajectory once again and could be a threat for the podium position on Sunday.
Remi Thirion is on an upward trajectory once again and could be a threat for the podium position on Sunday.

Kye A Hern is one of many junior men that are capable of taking the rainbow stripes home this weekend.
Kye A’Hern is one of many junior men that are capable of taking the rainbow stripes home this weekend.

Luca Shaw smashing the granite of MSA Which these days is starting to rival the rocks of Fort William in spots
Luca Shaw smashing the granite of MSA, which these days is starting to rival the rocks of Fort William in spots.

Aaron Gwin is back between the tape and on a track that has treated him well over the years
Aaron Gwin is back between the tape and on a track that has treated him well over the years.

Dakotah Norton keeping it low
Dakotah Norton keeping it low.

Miranda Miller back on the big rig in her home country.
Miranda Miller back on the big rig in her home country.

Mark Wallace sharking for a Canadian medal.
Mark Wallace sharking for a Canadian medal.

George Brannigan escorting his kiwi themed Fury down the mountain.
George Brannigan escorting his kiwi themed Fury down the mountain.

Suspension being lubed and prepped over at SRAM.
Suspension being lubed and prepped for another day of battle over at SRAM.

Amaury in good spirits to start the day.
Amaury in good spirits at the close of the day.

It might be World Champs but the rocks don t care. Wheels were being destroyed faster than they can be built.
It might be World Champs but the rocks don't care. Wheels were being destroyed faster than they could be built.

World Champs Buck is already sporting the stripes for Sunday s showdown.
World Champs Buck is already sporting the stripes for Sunday's showdown.

Brendan made the worlds team and a bet made before Les Gets was lost. Does anyone have a Sharpie
Brendan made the worlds team and a bet made before Les Gets was won. Does anyone have a Sharpie?

There they go... Steve Peat and Brendan Fairclough see off Sven Martin s eyebrows at close of play.
There they go... Steve Peat and Brendan Fairclough see off Sven Martin's eyebrows at close of play.

A good nights sleep pancakes for breakfast and the World s finest will be right back at it.
A good night's sleep, pancakes for breakfast and the world's finest will be right back at it.



56 Comments

  • 69 1
 Norton and Frixtalon won the worlds already, congrats guys, the going fast part of the race is now cancelled due to textbook tables being executed to a degree that all viewers are satisfied.
  • 15 1
 Frix is one of the most stylish out there
  • 3 44
flag chainspotting (Aug 29, 2019 at 23:57) (Below Threshold)
 Not sure racing is for you. Pretty sure that's not the fastest way down the hill and neither will win!
  • 10 0
 Damn right! We could make a diner on that Frix Frix Table!!
  • 1 3
 What am I missing here? Could someone explain what this is in reference to?
  • 5 0
 @chainspotting: Not sure sarcasm is for you.
  • 36 11
 I’ve gotta pull for Gwin to finally earn himself some stripes.
  • 3 4
 now or never
  • 2 1
 @chyu: get it done, Gwinner.
  • 1 0
 Looks like he's riding the 279 proto and not the 29er. So I take it his custom world champs bike won't see the track this weekend. That's an expensive wall ornament.
  • 1 0
 @chriskneeland: yes unless something goes wrong he'll be riding the proto.
  • 1 0
 More details on that proto rig please
  • 14 0
 What a shot of Hugo !! amazing style
  • 1 0
 looks like his back tire is on fire Wink
  • 14 0
 Best photo by far...the first one. Stevie. Powerful stuff.
  • 11 0
 Thanks Dave and Mr. Ross ,Nathan , Andy for all the photography !! making us feel we right in it >> some amazing images Smile
  • 10 0
 Lori Greenland... I’m sure he prefers Laurie...
  • 5 0
 Go have a check at the Vital RAW, absolutely slaying it already, most of the guys are flying. Also figured out why Gwin rides with earplugs, his rear hub sounds like a swarm of bees on steroids. this is going to be one hell of a race, who wants it the most!
  • 3 0
 Hahaha... I wonder what John Hall put in those E13 hubs instead of grease?! Lighter fluid?
  • 1 0
 @Altron5000: probably not fluid at all, at the end, they just need it to work this weekend.
  • 1 0
 @Altron5000: lightly oiled would be my guess.
  • 9 0
 "...back on a proper bike after racing his e-bike yesterday"
correct
  • 6 0
 Haha! Brendog and Sven..!!
  • 7 2
 1.Gwin.2.Bruni.3.Maes...gonna be a sick race man!
  • 4 3
 So stoked for this race. The women's race hasn't been this interesting in awhile. If Seagrave is back in form she's got this. Otherwise Cabirou. Men's is wide open too. Talking 6 or 8 dudes could win this. Gut says Bruni will be impossible to beat but Gwin and Maes both shut it down and trained for this. Hart and Minnaar and Brosnan and Vergier all fast too. And Laurie... dudes gotta be a favorite for a podium. Gonna be so damned good.
  • 5 1
 Dunno about Bruni. On Ben Cathro's video he did appear to be concerned about the amount of risk he was willing to put in this world championship race considering the overall is not yet in the pocket and he has already won worlds twice.
  • 1 0
 This is the hardest fantasy team to pick yet!
  • 3 0
 I'd say Gwin, Maes, and Laurie are the ones to beat given Bruni's and Amaury's overall WC goals. But you just never know with those crazy Frenchies!
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: 3 times...
  • 1 0
 @jzPV: oh yeah my bad.
  • 2 0
 Dark horse could be Sik Mik, World Champs seem to bring out the best in him.
  • 1 0
 One man army you’ve described it perfectly! Impossible to pick a winner!
  • 5 0
 Finn Illes as Duke Caboom
  • 3 0
 I can’t remember a time in recent history where there have been so many racers capable of winning in every category. The level is amazing at the moment
  • 3 0
 "The sketchy shark fin is a disappointment to watch with 99% of riders... that's not the case with Dakotah Norton however."
Damned that's harsh analysis!!
  • 2 0
 Well it's not the fault of the riders. The landing was awful when it was built 4 or 5 years back and it hasn't been touched since so most riders stay low with a safety pencil. It's a shame because it could be a great feature to shoot for everyone...
  • 6 1
 Ten quid on Greg to get the win he’s been looking for all season..
  • 3 0
 Canadian colours looking good. Canadian juniors have a strong chance of multiple top 5 finishers if the day goes well... a whole group of youth inspired by Stevie.
  • 5 1
 Time for Brosnan to do some frog stomping and bring home the gold.
  • 4 0
 Watch out frenchies! Gwins back in town with something to prove......
  • 5 0
 I think I want him to win. Hope my passport doesn't get revoked.
  • 4 0
 Great photos
  • 1 0
 This is going to be super exciting! If dry though, this got Pierron written all over it.
  • 1 0
 It will be dry by sunday!
  • 2 0
 Danny boy!!!! Man I hope he wins.
  • 2 0
 those shots of Dak and Hugo are nasty!
  • 2 0
 photo of Martin Maes is sick! killer shot.
  • 2 0
 I'm pulling for Buck - solid photo epic!
  • 2 1
 NEKKO - YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO ... USA
  • 2 1
 Go get the gold, Martin!!
  • 2 5
 I can see Amaury Pieron gaining 3 secs on the grass sections alone.
He ll probably miss out on the overall to Bruni so he’ll go balls out for this one hope for the win .
Personally can’t see Aaron taking another win he’s way off the French 3 s pace now.
  • 1 0
 I have to agree with you. I don’t think he will ever win another cat 1 race. I hope he wins the worlds one time in his career. He deserves to win it for what he did for the sport, or rather how he elevated the level. He was a hall of famer after about four full seasons. No one else can match his stats for 2010-2012.
  • 1 0
 Shots are extra crispy today! You guys had good light!
  • 1 1
 Lori Greenland??
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