Qualifying - Mont St Anne DH World Cup 5

Aug 2, 2014
by Nathan Hughes  


YEAR OF THE RAT




Actually our friends in China tell us that was 2008. There's another one due in 2020 so this could be quite a few years premature, but it really does look like Josh 'Ratboy' Bryceland could be about to rewrite the rule book. It seems slightly insane that someone as chilled out and rock 'n' roll in looks might be able to run away with the title, but after qualifying first on the burliest version of this iconic track we've ever seen, it's clear the Ratboy knows more about going fast than anyone else on the planet right now. It's that straight forward. Nothing like Mandarin.



overnight rian meant the mud was flying as riders took to the track for training in the morning.
  There's some hyper-active weather going on in Quebec. The full spread of icy fog, pelting rain and baking sun were all in the mix once again. And just when you thought you were in the clear, those little black infamous MSA flies came out to feed on you.

Aaron Gwin making sure he has a clean line of sight through the mud.
  Aaron Gwin makes sure he has a clean line of sight through the mud...although you do get the feeling he could race with a bucket over his head and still come at least mid-pack. DELORME photo

Flat tires and smashed wheels were a common sight in qualis today.
  The prolonged roughness of this course means mistakes are punished in full. Flat tires and smashed wheels were all the rage this afternoon with countless riders opting to run Gwin's questionable Leogang set-up. That would be Cole, Fearon, Dale, Cunningham and MacDonald to name just a small percentage of the inflicted.

Into the void of the MSA mist.
  Into the MSA void.

There is no room for error in the dark and slick woods that make up the bottom of the track. Many a rider has been taken out in the rocks and roots this weekend.
  There is no room for error in the dark and slick woods that make up the bottom of the track. Many a rider has been taken out in the rocks and roots this weekend.

Gutierrez
  Marcelo taking in the sights and smells of the forest. That'll be essence of wet moss and a bunch of riders tomahawking across it.

Foot
  Foot out, not so flat out. It's a damn shame we won't get to see Smith defend his MSA title tomorrow.

Bryn Atkinson putting some eggs and bacon on this pan.
  Bryn Atkinson putting some eggs and bacon on this pan.

Bryn Atkinson qualified 40th and is looking to put together a solid race run tomorrow.
  The long-time World Cup pinner qualified dead-center in 40th today, and is feeling good about a solid race run tomorrow on this notorious raceway. DELORME photo

Sven Martin master of camera balancing.
  Sven Martin, master of camera balancing, raced here back in the day (the 80s?), but never had too much luck with the track. It was all punctures and crashes he says...just as it was for so many riders today.

Rob Warner was right Josh Bryceland is the man to beat right now. He qualified first - 1 710 up on Brosnan. Ratboy just might run away with the season if he keeps it up.
  Rob Warner was right, Josh Bryceland is the man to beat right now. He qualified first - 1:710 up on Brosnan. Ratboy just might run away with the season if he keeps it up. DELORME photo

Steep rough and unrelenting would best describe the track that greated riders for qualifiying.
  Steep, rough and unrelenting would best describe the track that greeted riders for qualifying.

Trim
  Mont St Anne can cut anyone down to size. The RedBull crew clear the view ready for the live feed.

Fastest in timed training and looking strong in every training session Danny Hart played it safe after the rain in qualies and will start 7th from the end tomorrow.
  Fastest in timed training, and looking strong in every training session, Danny Hart played it safe after the rain in qualies and will start 7th from the end tomorrow.

Dean Lucas dropping through the ever so rare natural light from the day.
  Dean Lucas dropping through the ever so rare natural light from the day.

Ratbot stoked on the track his new bike and of course taking the top spot in qualifying today.
  Ratboy stoked on the track, his new bike, and let's see... taking the top spot in qualifying.

Luca Shaw smashed his quali run and sits atop the jr. results by a big margin.
  Luca Shaw smashed his quali run and sits atop the junior results by a big margin.

high up
  What birds see.

Pompon acquired a wrist injury and won t be racing although she did roll through the start gate for qualifying to keep points up.
  Sadly Pompon acquired herself a wrist injury today and won't be racing although she did roll through the start gate for qualifying to keep points up. She knows how to do well here, her best result a second place in 2012, so a great shame for her and the Riding Addiction team.

Minnaar rocks
  A ninth qualifier for Minnaar is far too quiet...6.9 seconds back won't mean much come finals time.

Aaron Gwin qualified fourth but Gwin didn t seem to be showing his full pace just yet. He did seem to be getting comfortable with the new S - Works Demo today.
  Gwin may have qualified fourth, but he doesn't seem to be showing his full pace just yet. DELORME photo

Harry Heath
  Harry Heath charging into an East Coast top 20 scenario.

Micayla Gatto spreading the water like Moses.
  Micayla Gatto parting the water like some kind of female Canadian Moses and riding to an awesome fifth place qualifier.

Troy Brosnan is running a new bike so is Gwin and Bryceland. Will it come down to who ever gets up to speed on the new rig quickest
  It's a battle of the new bikes; Brosnan and Gwin versus Bryceland and Minnaar. Will it come down to whoever gets up to speed on their new rig quickest? DELORME photo

Gwin and Gutierez on the gas.
  Gwin and Gutierrez on the gas... as you'll typically find them.

Mountain Biker Racing
  Blenky was riding with unbelievable aggression all day and its no surprise he hit fastest in the speed trap.

Marcelo brapping up the good soil of MSA. After a night of heavy rain the track surprisingly stayed loose and tacky.
  Marcelo brapping up the good soil of MSA. After a night of heavy rain the track surprisingly stayed loose and tacky only for it to make an untimely return.

Pouring rain at the start had Gwin s maechanic scrambling for a lst minute tire change right before Aaron junoed in the gate.
  Pouring rain at the start had mechanics scrambling for a last minute tire change right before they jumped in the gate.

Beersies
  The Swiss national champ tackling the slab sections of the deep Quebecois woods.

Kyle Thomas double hammering a Monster Beer combo.
  Kyle Thomas double hammering a Monster/Beer combo wizard stick.

Fischi hip
  A good day for the German champ, RRP's Johannes Fischbach. Looking pinned and riding to 14th, he's in touch with the top ten for sure.

Luca Shaw far up from the rest of the pack and gunning to win another.
  Luca Shaw qualified first 1:456 seconds up on Amaury Pierron, while Vergier took a fall high up after a rush to the start gate. Now Shaw has a clean shot at taking back the number one plate tomorrow on North American soil.

Edward Mastering the light and style of the day.
  Edward Mastering the light and style of the day, but sadly ducking out, unprotected with a flat.

Ed Masters down right dirty.
  All is not lost, Eddy still maintains his high Tinder match potential.

While many of the top riders suffered flats today Bren Dog made it down with both tires and wheels intact for a 13th place qualifying result.
  While many of the top riders suffered flats today, Brendan Fairclough made it down with both tires and wheels intact for a 13th place qualifying result.

Brendog getting swarmed by the local MTB media.
  Brendog getting swarmed by the keen local MTB media.

Brendog plowing through a field of traction.
  Plowing strong through a field of traction and loving life as usual.

Slugger out for a home run.
  Fourth fastest in the speed trap, but with 15 seconds still to find Slugger will be out pushing for a home run tomorrow.

Bulldog
  Bulldog Brook wasn't too stoked to join the five thousand strong with a flat, but will of course get his chance to fight it out again tomorrow as a protected rider.

Canada
  A Canadian junior on the hunt for bounty on the mounty.

Taylor Vernon headed into the mist.
  Taylor Vernon headed into the mist chasing down his American and French rivals for team GB.

Ratboy and Sam Dale ridin up for another..
  BFFs Ratboy and Dale ridin' up for another Quebexico rodeo...

Nathan Hughes checks the track out from a high perspective.
  Climbing up the topsails I lost my leg... Nathan Hughes shipping up to Boston. DELORME photo

Elliot Jackson following Bernard Kerr duo of style.
  Elliot Jackson following Bernard Kerr in duo of butt-shot style.

Loic Bruni had a qualifying run crash today but has been looking smooth and fast in practice so far. He s still on the hunt for that top spot will it happen in MSA or will he have to wait a little longer
  Aside from a crash in qualies, Loic has been looking nothing but smooth and fast in practice so far. He's still on the hunt for that top spot, will it happen in MSA, or will he have to wait a little longer? DELORME photo

Matt Simmonds
  While Dale flatted, Simmonds delivered in full with a fifth spot qualifier. It's clear he has the power.

Alawys a sneaky one Sam Hill has all kind of inside line here at MSA.
  There's the line of the main herd and the line of the wild Sam Hill. The frustration of landing on the same second as 3rd place, but coming 6th today, will only have spurred Hill on one further for finals.

Danny Helmet
  Fastest in TT and 3rd here in 2012, a Danny special is still thoroughly on the cards.

First riders down after the rain was Troy Brosnan but it didn t seem to faze him as he went 2nd overall.
  First rider down after the rain was Troy Brosnan, but it didn't seem to faze him as he went 2nd overall.

Troy Brosnan staying fluid and anxious to keep his number 1 plate.
  Troy Brosnan staying fluid over the slabs and anxious to keep his number 1 plate. Second today will have him pulling out all the stops for finals like never before.

Luca Shaw
  And what exactly the weather has in mind for finals is anyone's guess.

Gwinner
  Gwin had, only by his own standards, a nightmarish run with some problems bedding in fresh brakes, but is apparently already super comfortable with his new S-Works Demo and stoked to find the form of years gone by in Quebec.

Gwin was holding his cards pretty close to his chest all morning nit reall showing his true speed until in mattered.
  Gwin was holding his cards pretty close to his chest all morning, not really showing his true speed until it mattered.

Aaron Gwin has been on point all weekend and one out of many who could easily win here tomorrow.
  On point in training all season and with his track record here he's a top pick for the win here tomorrow.

John Hall preps Aaron Gwin s new one sided Demo of for tomorrow with pure perfection.
  John Hall preps the new one-sided Demo ready for the big day. A day when only perfection will suffice.

Loic had a big crash in the lower woods during qualis but was all smiles while reviewing the video footage soon after. His speed hs been amazing here in MSA and he can definitely challenge Josh for the win.
  Loic had a big crash in the lower woods during qualies, but was all smiles while reviewing the video footage soon after. His speed has been amazing here in MSA and he can definitely challenge Josh for the win.

Emmeline Ragot heading to a second place qualifying result. It remains to be seen wether or not she can best Carpenter.
  Lapierre's lady, Emmeline Ragot, dancing through the rocks to a second place qualifying result. It remains to be seen whether or not she can best Carpenter and bite deep into her title hopes. DELORME photo

Mannon Carpenter qualified first today 4 216 seconds up on second place Emmeline Ragout.
  Manon Carpenter qualified first today, 4:216 seconds up on second place Emmeline Ragot. Undoubtedly a super decisive race in the women's season. DELORME photo

Manon Carpenter continues her hot streak and is the woman to beat once agian this weekend.
  Manon Carpenter continues her hot streak and is the woman to beat once again this weekend.

Rachel Atherton cuts through the fog during the early morning training session.
  Fastest in the top split, Rachel Atherton somehow found herself just under 6 seconds off the fastest pace by the finish line... Lady Atherton has it all to do in the final in the fight to defend her title.

And the cleanup begins. It is going to be a very very long night for all the mechanics this evening.
  And the cleanup begins... It is going to be a very long night for all the mechanics this evening.

Ely Woody checking that everything on Brook MacDonald s bike is tip top for race day.
  Ely Woody checking that everything on Brook MacDonald's bike is tip top for race day. DELORME photo

Needles roost
  Third fastest man of the day, Andrew Neethling, turns 30 tomorrow and would love to be blowing out the candles from the top step.

Congrats to Ratboy this year for starting out with a number 24 plate and ending with 1
  Ratboy is on fire from his last win in Austria and could not be hungrier for more. Today he smoked to a 1.7 second lead over Brosnan and if he comes out on top again tomorrow, the most relaxed rider on the circuit will take the series lead whatever happens in the Specialized camp tomorrow.


By Nathan Hughes


62 Comments

  • 47 0
 these photos make me realise waking up at 4:00 AM to watch the race is going to be well worth it. Great job.
  • 7 0
 Good to here I won't be the only one.
  • 7 0
 4am checking in...
  • 7 0
 By the time the Live Feed has finished it should be light enough to go ride!
  • 4 1
 that's what suck about time diferences, here it will be at 7 pm, so have time to ride and then come and see the race
  • 7 0
 or at the very least it'll mean a good hour between sunrise and the first beer!
  • 3 0
 Here it s at 8:15 pm :p just perfect ! Link here live.redbull.tv/events/358/2014-uci-mtb-world-cup-7-mont-sainte-anne-dhi
  • 1 0
 what time for britain anyone?
  • 1 0
 7.15, same as Portugal, i think that are the only 2 country's with this time fuse
  • 1 0
 okay cheers man
  • 4 0
 Damn, starts at 2:15am and finishes at 4 here in Perth, work tomorrow is really gonna suck...
  • 24 0
 Ratboy for prime minister!
  • 23 2
 Ratboy > obama
  • 14 1
 Sam Hill's line through those corners - freakin' awesome.
  • 1 0
 I thought that was a sick photo, then i saw that his line starts above the braking bumps which is even sicker.
  • 1 0
 thats looking down the hill, turned out to be a common line for the top guys.
  • 9 0
 Ratboy is national champ already... If he could take the overall and win World Champs then he would've completed the treble C'MON RATBOY
  • 8 0
 Seems it's going to be a tough and fun final race! Keep it up everyone! You all are the best!
  • 8 0
 Come on Ratboy just f##king have it
  • 6 0
 The picture of Stevie broke my heart. Think I'll just go build some trail in his honor today.
  • 4 0
 amazing photos, the pans are ridiculous! I love the photos of people in the pits afterwards, its a nice change from just riding shots. Bring on the racing, woo!
  • 5 0
 Amazing photographs as always!!
  • 4 0
 ratboy aboard his new steed, level playing field, he's guna smoke em
  • 4 0
 Why no Carbon Renthal DH bars on Brosnan's rig...??
  • 3 0
 I noticed a ton of non-carbon handlebars. Interesting to say the least, I thought carbon was the wonder material for all applications?
  • 1 0
 i thought that was pretty odd too. especially as some teams have been running them for ages and i dont think ive ever seen a snapped set at a wc
  • 1 0
 Even gwin using normal renthal bars.... i dont get it...
  • 1 0
 Aluminum bars have more flex. Much better feel when riding. That's why for a long time motocross riders used the bars with no crossbar. Much smoother ride. Now many of them are back to cross bars but with clamps that actually have a couple mm of suspension in them. Carbon doesn't flex.
  • 1 0
 i get what youre saying...but thats not what the renthal marketing man says
  • 1 0
 haha well carbon does make you faster. Its science. Just ask specialized!
  • 3 0
 now i know what a wizard stick is after a quick google :-)
  • 8 6
 Gwin should get some Shimano brakes. He wouldn't get this kind of problem anymore... ;-)
  • 3 2
 Hé was riding with Saint while he was by trek ! He should have keep that
  • 4 1
 louis- You mean the same Shimano brakes that failed on him during the 2012 Worlds @ Leogang?
  • 3 1
 Good memory ka-brap! I had Formula, Sram, Hope, Magura... And issues with all of them. The worst is Sram. Now i have xt for my trail bike and saint for the dh, not a single issue. I will stick to Shimano...
  • 2 4
 @ka-brap: are you speaking about gwin s race run ? If yes there wasn t any brakes problem, he crashed at the top in the woods and thats why he stopped pushing after... See here m.youtube.com/watch?v=3kccKG6uCKw The crash wasn t filmed by the "official" camera s so nobody really knew what was happening at this moment
  • 2 1
 RedBurn, his brake failed. He blew through the turn because his brake failed. He crashed because he was flying into a turn and couldn't slow down so he went into the netting. He rode the rest of the run with only one functioning brake. Just showing how it doesn't matter what brand he uses- mechanicals happen all the time, that particular time it was his prototype Shimano brake.
  • 1 0
 he said both brakes failed at the time. at least i read that somewhere. always thought it was odd that both failed at the same time. theyre two seperate systems. i could believe one failed causing the other to overheat but that would have taken a while to take effect.
  • 5 1
 #gattobooty that is all.
  • 2 0
 I would like taking in the sights and smells of a wet moss myself. I bet anybody here would tomahawk across her...
  • 1 1
 hard to predict gwin will show his true speed in 5 hours brosnan one fast rider ratboy he ride his bike likehe stole it hill so smooth it's like he ride a track all buffed with no roots, no rocks
  • 1 0
 the new demo 8 might be faster than the old one but is it faster than a rat I don't think so. bring it home josh mate you got this one like a rat down a drainpipe.
  • 1 0
 lots of flats this year. has been a trend throughout the whole season really. has anything changed about the setups being run this year?
  • 1 0
 Can't wait to watch this in the flesh! Perfect weather so far this morning. Not too hot, nor cool and clear skies so far. MSA, I know you won't let us down!
  • 3 0
 GO GWIN!!!
  • 2 0
 I love reading BFF `s hahaha that picture is even funnier. Go Josh!!
  • 2 0
 Sven Martin looks like a hitman for the Russian underworld.
  • 3 0
 great shots nathan
  • 2 0
 That picture of Gwin with the goggles is absolutely hysterical
  • 2 1
 The new V10 must be working pretty well for Ratboy!
  • 2 0
 Needles!!!! Smile
  • 1 0
 Hey will there be an ''afterbang'' MSA?? please
  • 1 0
 What's with the Pivot team butt-shots?
  • 1 0
 YASSSS GET IN RATBOY!!!! AN HOUR TO GO LADS!
  • 2 1
 ratboy to win
  • 1 0
 No Gee?
  • 1 3
 Probably realised he had no chance against ratty and quit MTB haha
  • 4 0
 Gee has been top 3 overall in 5 of the last 6 years. He has a good chance of beating anyone on the planet.
  • 1 0
 go TROY......
  • 1 0
 wow!!!

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