Finals Photo Epic: Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2018

Aug 12, 2018
by Nathan Hughes  




'All or nothing' is more of a World Champs vibe, but today had that same unmistakable flavour as riders took their shot for the top steps. The shadiest of starts in the worst of conditions at the outset somehow morphed into one of the most gripping finals all season - pun fully intended. Savage thunderstorms and axle-deep river rapids of the first day became a distant memory as bone-dry grass and granite, and the huge Québécois crowds turned the Velirium festival spirit up to eleven.

While the battle for dominance in the women's race appeared to be something of a two horse race in the ever-growing rivalry between Seagrave and Atherton, the men's was absolutely wide-open. Unusually tight qualifying times suggested it was all to play for after series leader Amaury Pierron took a massive crash as the last man on the hill during morning practice. Of the many great candidates for the win, it would be World Champion, Loic Bruni, charging to victory on a run so fast and precise, it was positively ninja-like. 'Checkers or wreckers' is Bruni's mantra, and today his stars finally realigned, narrowly shutting down Troy Brosnan's bid to get back on top, and Danny Hart's chance to take back 2016 glory.

Meanwhile in the junior races, Vali Höll put the best part of a minute into the competition to go six for six, while Thibaut Diprala once again claimed the top spot, with Kade Edwards and Henry Kerr in hot pursuit. Moving onto the final round in France, the elite men's series may now belong to Pierron, but there's plenty of pride at stake and overall podium spots to fill. The elite women's and junior men's winners are both TBC and we can hardly wait to reconvene across the pond in a fortnight. For now, it's 'au revoir, Québec', it's been a wild ride.



Vali Holl dropping and rolling towards her biggest winning margin so far 45 seconds.
Vali Holl, dropping and rolling towards her biggest winning margin so far; 45 seconds.

A solid second place for the US National Champ Samantha Soriano.
A solid second place for US National Champ, Samantha Soriano.

Mazie Hayden rounded off the junior women podium in 3rd.
Mazie Hayden rounded off the junior women podium in 3rd.

Vali Holl continues her domination. Her gap today 45 seconds.
Holl continues her utter domination and is set for a perfect season heading to the final round in France in two weeks.

Vali Holl Samantha Soriano and Mazie Hayden close out the Junior Women.
Vali Holl, Samantha Soriano, and Mazie Hayden close out the Junior Women.

Kade Edwards has missed the podium perhaps more often than he should have but this time he nailed it and took 2nd by just 0.9 seconds.
Kade Edwards has missed the podium more often than he should have, but this time he nailed it and took 2nd by just 0.9 seconds.

Thibaut Daprela is really starting to get into the swing of things in juniors but Kade Edwards kept him honest.
Thibaut Daprela is starting to get into the swing of things in juniors, but Kade Edwards kept him honest.

Henry Kerr smashing the rocks hard enough for third in the Juniors.
Henry Kerr, smashing the rocks hard enough for third in the Juniors.

Thibault Daprela up top for Junior Men. Kade Edwards was close behind before Henry Kerr.
Thibault Daprela up top for Junior Men. Kade Edwards was close behind before Henry Kerr.

Commencal s Myriam Nicole and Thibaut Daprela get stuck into their morning warm up.
Commencal's Myriam Nicole and Thibaut Daprela get into their morning warm up.

Myriam Nicole s return to racing ended in a crash and a DNF. She s healthy though and can focus on taking a win at home next time out.
Myriam Nicole's return to racing ended in a crash and a DNF. She's healthy, though, and can focus on taking a win at home next time out.

Another fresh face to the podium this year. Mariana Salazar has been knocking on the door for a while and finally things came together for her.
Another fresh face to the podium this year. Mariana Salazar has been knocking on the door for a while and things finally came together for her.

Mariana Salazar had the ride of her career to make the podium for the first time.
Salazar had the ride of her career to make the podium for the first time.

Tracey Hannah limbers up for a day on the hill.
Tracey Hannah limbers up for a day on the hill.

Tracey Hannah ran into some mechanical troubles however managed to pull off a third place.
Hannah ran into some mechanical troubles, but managed to pull off a third place.

Hannah pumping her way down to the finish arch without a chain.
Pumping down to the finish arch without a chain.

Tracey Hannah was up against it when she broke her chain guide high up on track.
The carnage that explains the cavernous 15-second gap back to third place.

A return to the podium for Marine Cabirou which bodes well with the final round coming up at home in France in a few weeks.
A return to the podium for Marine Cabirou which bodes well with the final round coming up at home in France in a few weeks.

Seagrave last woman down the mountain went green at the first split but couldn t keep pace with Atherton.
Seagrave, the last woman down the mountain, went green at the first split, but couldn't keep pace with Atherton.

The physical beast took it s toll on riders by the bottom. Tahnee Seagrave with her head in her hands watching that overall slip a little further into the distance.
The physical beast took its toll on riders by the bottom. Tahnee Seagrave with her head in her hands, watching that overall slip a little farther into the distance.

Rachel Atherton rose to Seagrave s qualie challenge taking the win by a convincing 5 seconds.
Rachel Atherton rose to Seagrave's qualification challenge, storming to victory by a convincing, 5 seconds.

Atherton back in domination mode one step closer to taking the series.
Atherton crushing it, back in domination mode, one step closer to taking the series.

Atherton Seagrave Hannah Cabirou and Salazar on top of the box.
Atherton, Seagrave, Hannah, Cabirou and Salazar on top of the box.

First time chamoagne showers for Mariana Salazar.
First-time champagne showers for Mariana Salazar.

The aftermath of Pierron s crash. Initially it looked pretty severe and suddenly the overall was blown open again.
The aftermath of Pierron's huge crash during the final run in training. Initially, it looked pretty severe and suddenly, the overall was blown open again.

It took Amaury 5 minutes to gather his thoughts again before rolling back to the pits. To bounce back to 4th after binning it so hard is incredible.
It took Amaury five minutes to gather his thoughts again before rolling back to the pits.

Amaury Pierron had a nasty spill down a rock face in practice. It took him a few long minutes to gather himself before reaching the bottom under his own power. He came back with a vengeance this afternoon.
Hard to believe Pierron was still able to come back with a vengeance this afternoon.

Bruni looked convincing from the get-go here in Quebec and looked deadly in morning practice.
Bruni looked convincing from the get-go here in Quebec and deadly in morning practice.

Greg Minnaar was on course to re-aquaint himself with the top 10 but sadly hit the deck and will have to wait for La Bresse for his comeback.
Greg Minnaar was on course to re-acquaint himself with the top 10, but sadly hit the deck and will have to wait for La Bresse for his comeback.

Phil Atwill stripping the rubber off his rim bu lucky for him this was during practice.
Phil Atwill, stripping the rubber off his rim. Lucky for him, this was during practice.

Finn Iles was up by a sizeable margin until split 3 in his run. He made a costly mistake but being nearly 2.4 seconds up just shows what he s capable of.
Finn Iles was up by a sizeable margin until split 3 in his run. He made a costly mistake, but being nearly 2.4 seconds up shows what he's capable of.

Angel Suarez was another rider to achieve a personal best. After so much bad luck over the past seasons he finally hit the top 10.
Angel Suarez was another rider to achieve a personal best. After so much bad luck over the past seasons, he finally hit the top 10.

Gee Atheton is back and it s quite possible he plans to stick around in the top ten or a while longer.
Gee Atherton is back and it's quite possible he plans to stick around for a while.

100 World Cups for this man and finally back in the top 10 to boot. Congrats to Gee Atherton.
100 World Cups for this man and finally back in the top ten to boot. Congrats to Gee Atherton.

Charlie Harrison fully pinned on the ride of his life for 7th place.
Charlie Harrison, fully pinned on the ride of his life for 7th place.

Harrison enjoying a fair spell in the hot seat.
Harrison enjoying a fair spell in the hot seat ahead of Atherton and Suarez.

Mark Wallace always comes good with the style and you can count on a solid result.13th for the 13 plate.
Mark Wallace always comes good with the style and you can count on a solid result. 13th for the 13 plate.

Sun s out Buds out.
Sun's out, Buds out.

New British National Champ Matt Walker took the Union Jack sleeve to a 12th place finish in its first outing.
New British National Champ Matt Walker took the Union Jack sleeve to a 12th place finish in its first outing.

Jack Moir s come-back race went right to plan climbing the splits all the way down to finsih in 11th.
Jack Moir's come-back race went right to plan; climbing the splits all the way down to finish in 11th.

Hugo Frixtalon keeping it low for another strong finish. One to watch for the future.
Hugo Frixtalon keeping it low for yet another strong finish. One to watch for the future.

Unfortunately for Laurie Greenland he would not start come finals. The foot injury was just too much to fight.
Unfortunately for Laurie Greenland he would not start come finals. His ankle injury was just too much and he now slips down the ranks to 6th.

Brook Macdonald rolling through the line with less psi in his rear tire than he d like.
Brook MacDonald gutted to be rolling across the line with less PSI in his rear tire than he'd like after a 5th place qualie.

Dean Lucas warp speed to the finish line. Who knows what great a season he would ve had had he not gone down in Fort William.
Dean Lucas, warp speed to the finish line for 10th. Who knows what great a season he would've had had he not gone down in Fort William?

Connor Fearon buttering into the arena.
Connor Fearon, buttering into the arena.

Plenty of reminders out here of the legend that was SS.
Plenty of reminders out here of the legend that was.

Luca Shaw kept it upright but missed out on the podium in 6th.
Luca Shaw at full tilt and keeping it upright, just missing out on the podium with 6th.

Shaw checking back on the time after a crash free run at last.
Shaw checks back for the time after a crash free run at last.

Amaury resurrected just in time to take the overall on the season.
Amaury, resurrected just in time to take the overall on the season.

Vergier proving style is fast afterall.
Vergier showing style is fast after all on a stunning run for 5th place, 3.4 seconds back.

Troy Brosnan attacking across the grass and bedrock for his best result of the season.
Troy Brosnan, attacking across the grass and bedrock for his best result of the season.

Brosnan hucking big on the final double to score that podium he so narrowly missed here in 2017.
Brosnan hucks big on the final double to score the podium he so narrowly missed here in 2017.

Keeping to himself before the flower ceremony Troy Brosnan thought he had it in the bag after putting on a heater.
Keeping to himself before the flower ceremony, Troy Brosnan thought he had it in the bag after putting on a heater.

Bruni giving it the Blenkinsop treatment full bore down to the line through the huge MSA crowds.
Bruni giving it the Blenkinsop treatment, full bore down to the line through the huge MSA crowds.

Loic Bruni on the last charge to the line.
Loic Bruni on the last charge to the line.

Step 1. Cross the line to riotous noise.
Step 1. Cross the line to riotous noise.
Step 2. Check the time is good.
Step 2. Check the time is good.
Step 3. Celebrate.
Step 3. Celebrate.

Super Bruni about to take off.
Super Bruni about to take off.

Despite missing out on the win Danny Hart was happy with how he d rode after going faster than his qualifying time.
Despite missing out on the win, Danny Hart was happy with how he rode after beating his qualifying time.

Danny Hart seeing all reds after a rowdy run. The best he ll do is third.
Danny Hart seeing all reds after a rowdy run. The best he could manage was third.

Top qualifier Hart smoking into the finish area infront of the best MSA crowd in a few years.
Hart smoking into the finish area in front of the best MSA crowd in years.

3rd place number 2 for the 2018 season for Hart.
3rd place number 2 for the 2018 season for Hart.

After a massive stack in the morning training session it was all the more impressive Pierron was able to get on the podium and wrap the season a round early.
After a massive stack in the morning training session it was all the more impressive that Pierron was able to get on the podium and wrap the season a round early.

Finally Malene Degn s turn to congratulate her World Champ.
Finally, Malene Degn's turn to congratulate her World Champ.

3 Frenchmen a Brit and an Aussie soaking up the podium spots here in Quebec.
Three Frenchmen, a Brit and an Aussie soaking up the podium spots here in Quebec.

Is it though Podium chugging has become customary.
Podium chugging has become customary.

King Pierron raised to the rafters ruling the 2018 season.
King Pierron raised to the rafters, ruling the 2018 season.

No reward without consequence. A well deserved prize for Commen al.
No reward without consequence. A well-deserved prize for Commencal.

The North American stop to the circuit did not disappoint.
The North American stop to the circuit did not disappoint. France, here we come.



37 Comments

  • + 34
 Pinkbike should interview Max Commencial the big companies have a lot to learn. Max has been for a long time behind so much good talent with engineering & athletes.

A good job for RC.
  • - 3
 I think there will come a time when all companies go direct to consumer, even Trek, Specialized, and Giant. The only reason they are not yet is because of the huge dealer network that is currently in place, something Commencal never had (they were getting kicked out of every shop and why they were able to go DTC so easily). But, when these companies finally do, their buying power will really be obvious and smaller companies like Commencal will be under pressure once again.
  • + 9
 @ka-brap: which may be true but has nothing to do with having an eye for picking the right athletes to ride your obviously very well sorted bikes.
  • + 1
 @hubertje-ryu: I'd say the big companies also have a good eye for talent and engineering some pretty kick ass bikes. Their success also proves this.
  • + 2
 @ka-brap: To me the best way of a DTS is Trek's way. You order a bike through their site and pick it up at the LBS (I know it works in the US and just a few others). That way you can also try bikes which you can't with Canyon and YT only has a few test events. And I think I know why Commencal was moving from a shop to a shop.
  • + 7
 @ka-brap: Trek and Santa Cruz certainly have a good history. Specialized seem to throw money at whoever is already on top and hope it all goes well, which it never does because they don't seem to have a plan beyond 'buy off athlete, give athlete bike,'
  • + 0
 @vid1998: agreed. Trek seems to have a good model. Spesh theoretically also had those concept stores but ironically they blow their owners by selling to everybody while concept store is obliged to sell exclusively spec stuff.
  • + 1
 @vid1998: Trek's model is simply providing customers who shop online with an avenue to buy online. They are trying to appease online shoppers and LBS at the same time, but their model still sells bikes at full retail, whereas the real DTC brands are selling to end consumers at dealer cost. I totally see their reasoning for keeping shops in the loop but it is only a stepping stone to going full DTC eventually.
  • + 4
 @Fix-the-Spade: To say it "never" goes well for Specialized isn't very accurate. People love to hate on them and think they curse athletes, but they have claimed many World Championships, some WC overalls, and a healthy amount of WC wins with the Demo. Two of Gwin's most famous runs are with the Demo. Could it go better for them? Of course. Are they never successful? Not true.
  • - 2
 FSR takes another win!
  • + 1
 @ka-brap: I don't know what are LBS prices in the US but at least in Slovenia LBS prices for Treks are a lot closer to YT or Canyon than to Spesh, a Remedy 8 (GX eagle, Lyrik and other quality kit) goes for 3k€, 500€ less than an Enduro or Scott Genius with worse components.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I know one store that is labeled as Specialized elite store and they have also other brands in it (the outside of the store has massive spesh signs).
  • + 1
 @vid1998: so you're saying the DTS brands just need to step up their demo tours to drive the last nail in the coffin for these overprice dealer-brands? Seems doable to me..in fact, far more doable that Trek et al finding a way to be price competitive with the likes of YT et al.
  • + 1
 @vid1998: Serious question: how does that model benefit the consumer. I think Knolly touts that as the best of both worlds, but I don't see it; I still have to go to the shop, pay the shop markup, and I still can't try a bike without committing to buy it. And Trek dealers are definitely stocking even fewer bikes than they used to.

So I have a minimum wage high school kid put it together, that's supposed to be a benefit? I don't get it. It really seems like the "bike shops are charities" model - they don't add any value to the deal, but Trek throws them some money and you're supposed to feel better about it.
  • + 1
 @Weens: I don't know how it's like in real world as here in Slovenia we don't have that model so I could know from first hand how it works for consumers and dealers. I like it as it could/should keep LBSs in the process which, at least here, contribute a lot to the mtb comunity. In my country because it's small (2 million of us) we don't have a number of shops holding the same brands and only one Trek dealer that has 2 shops for the whole country and a decent number of test bikes and the same a shop with Speshs.
  • + 1
 @islander: Yes, they could maybe have more demo tours or concept stores in strong mtb (or other bike disciplines) regions that would have test bikes and also could have some spare parts and help with warranty issues. But they would not sell bikes. I know the concept store concept probably can't be realised due to high costs (test fleet, place and wages) but maybe it could rise the sells.
  • - 1
 @Weens: exactly. That’s the issue. Factory shop is often all mouth and no trousers. You may find a test Remedy at Trek but you won’t find Top Fuel or Slash. And defo not in S or XL size. But the bottom of it is that test ride itself is bollocks anyways, it is like bike fit for free after purchase. Unless you womder between teo close bikes, Remedy or Fuel ex, It’s sole purpose is the shopping experience, it’s for you to feel better about the purchase. If it’s about Stumpy vs remedy the test ride
Is completely not about making a more informed choice. It creates an illusion that you make a better choice. The choice itself is more often than not, a rather irrational action. Hence you may as well go for the direct sales.
  • + 32
 Massive respect to Troy Brosnan putting it together after a difficult week. Was really routing for him!
  • + 24
 Nice to see Gee making his way back up the sharp end Smile
  • + 19
 Pierron getting back on his bike to take the over all says allot, well deserved world cup over all.
  • + 9
 Nothing to do with direct sale. Max is a survivor (Sunn) also the French Federation has been very forward sighted in support of MTB athlete development & training since the 1990s.

Awesome work Max cool you sold out 2 production runs.
Buy yourself a Bugatti.
  • + 4
 Affording a Bugatti by selling DH bikes. I am affraid the straight face won’t happen
  • + 1
 Going DTC is what is definitely a contributing factor enabling him to sell through 2 production runs of bikes. This was not happening when he was selling through a retailer network when Gee and Rachel were crushing it on Supremes. A lot of things have to come together and DTC is a sizable factor.
  • + 1
 If Bugatti made lawn mowers that might be an option. But a nice Evo, STI, or vette would probably fit the budget!
  • + 12
 Three races and three different frenchies on top of the box!
  • + 5
 @Eaz , yes ,you'll need to be handicapped if this continues lol
  • + 8
 Sad to see any pictures from the carnage turn section... they can name it the "how to kill 29ers" section....
  • - 1
 I'd be pissed about this weird new section if I were Brook, Greg, or Finn...
  • + 4
 I get the feeling that once Finn Iles wins one race he’s going to win a lot
  • + 4
 Hey Polygon, here's an idea...put a proper chainguide on our bike maybe?
  • + 3
 They should just have all the races at MSA. Both the DH and XCO have amazing tracks and competition.
  • + 0
 It was a great race with some interesting competition. I can say Luca seems to not handle the pressure of race day well compared to Loris or many of the other top competitors. Time will tell but for now these guys are putting it all on the line during their race run and it is amazing to watch.
  • + 4
 Incredible Photos once again - Thanks PinkBike!
  • + 0
 As Claudio said during the RB Live: « What is going on with the Frenchies this year!? » ????
  • + 0
 What happens to Iles ? when he was in Junior he scored times that could get in him in the top 5 and now not much.
  • + 1
 He's for sure got the speed and talent, there's just a lot of pressure on him I think. A lot of it is self-inflicted I imagine.
  • - 2
 Tahee Seagrave?

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