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

Aug 11, 2018
by Ross Bell  



When dawn broke over Mont-Sainte-Anne today the track was a bit of an unknown quantity, what condition it'd be in was anyone's guess. As riders and teams made their way to the pits yesterday's moody skies had vanished, and in their place was a bluebird day, the sun doing what it could to burn off the last off the lingering water. Practice was somewhat unrepresentative of the track the riders would tackle for the remainder of the weekend, with the first few exploratory runs revealing extremely greasy track conditions. Riders had to adapt to an ever-changing track as the day progressed - Mont-Sainte-Anne certainly doesn't make it easy.

The great thing about this season has been the unpredictability. The racing has been wide open, with a whole host of riders fighting to stake their claim on World Cup glory, and today was no different. Danny Hart and Loic Bruni squeezed ahead of overall leader Amaury Pierron, both of them on the hunt for another elusive World Cup win. The top 3 were separated by just seven-tenths of a second on over four minutes of track. In fact, even 7th placed Loris Vergier was only 2.5 seconds back, well and truly in touch for tomorrow.

For the women, it was the two atop the series who rejoined battle, with Tahnee Seagrave getting the upper hand on Rachel Atherton by two and a half seconds, and more crucially, clawing ever closer to Atherton, who currently has the lead in the overall points race. Returnee Myriam Nicole took a distant third as she eases her way back from injury; the long MSA track is fragmenting the women's field a little with the top two setting a scorching pace at the front of the pack - can anyone close in when it matters tomorrow? Juniors Kye A'Hern and Thibaut Daprela had a game of split time ping pong before Kye ultimately came out on top by half a second, while Vali Holl continued her unbelievable start to her WC career a full half minute up on the rest of the field.

Qualifying strongly, of course, doesn't directly translate to your race result. With half the battle done there'll certainly be a few nervous minds this evening, some tentatively thinking about that top step while others scratch their heads about the time they'll need to find in the morning to put themselves in contention. All questions will be put to bed very, very soon...


Big disappointment for number 3 in the series Laurie Greenland injuring his ankle badly in morning practice and having to cruise qualies.
Big disappointment for number 3 in the series, Laurie Greenland, who injured his ankle badly in morning practice and had to cruise qualies.

Black and white is the only option for a sad scene like this... Aaron Gwin s mechanic John Hall with nothing but time on his hands. Hopefully we ll be seeing AG back for France.
Black and white is the only option for a sad scene like this... Aaron Gwin's mechanic, John Hall, with nothing but time on his hands. Hopefully we'll be seeing AG back for France.

Go time.
Go time.

Nik Nestoroff takes the plunge onto the legendary raceway.
Nik Nestoroff takes the plunge onto the legendary raceway.

Unfotruntaely Vaea Verbeeck had less than no luck today on home soil flatting as an unprotected rider.
Unfortunately, Vaea Verbeeck had an unlucky day on home soil, flatting as an unprotected rider.

The course was super soft in places and doesn t look like it ll be completely dry for finals tomorrow.
The course was super soft in places and doesn't look like it'll be completely dry for finals tomorrow.

The upper straight away had about one meter visibility yesterday. The sun brought with it a harsh light but at least everyone kept dry.
The upper straightaway had about one meter of visibility yesterday. The sun brought with it a harsh light, but at least everyone kept dry.

Vali Holl skipping stones during morning s practice.
Vali Holl skipping stones during morning's practice.

Series leader Thibaut Daprela is just 0.4 seconds adrift of today s junior winner Kye A Hern.
Series leader, Thibaut Daprela, is just 0.4 seconds adrift of today's junior winner, Kye A'Hern.

Rachel Atherton is up some 14 seconds on Myriam Nicole but has 2.5 to find to catch Seagrave tomorrow.
Rachel Atherton is up some 14 seconds on Myriam Nicole, but has 2.5 seconds to find to catch Seagrave tomorrow.

Tahnee Seagrave fastest today on the drying course.
Tahnee Seagrave fastest today on the drying course.

A great ride from Eleonora Farina seen her stop the clock 5th fastest can she take another podium
A great ride from Eleonora Farina saw her stop the clock 5th fastest - can she take another podium?

Kye A Hern took the spoils in the juniors but can t hang around tomorrow with Thibaut Daprela hot on his heels.
Kye A'Hern took the spoils in the juniors, but can't hang around tomorrow with Thibaut Daprela hot on his heels.

Piper Allman has a good chance of making Canada proud tomorrow riding to 3rd in the junior womens.
Piper Allman has a good chance of making Canada proud tomorrow, riding to 3rd in the junior women's category.

It ll take more than a wonky number board to keep Kade Edwards off the podium tomorrow - he just needs to find less than a second on Henry Kerr.
It'll take more than a wonky number board to keep Kade Edwards off the podium tomorrow - he just needs to find less than a second on Henry Kerr.

Shaving a single second could put Marine Cabirou podium tomorrow as things stand.
Shaving off a single second could put Marine Cabirou on the podium tomorrow as things stand.

Tracey Hannah ended up in 4th albeit a second or so off 3rd placed Myriam Nicole but it looked like she had some issues in her run.
Tracey Hannah ended up in 4th, albeit a second or so off 3rd placed Myriam Nicole, but it looked like she had some issues in her run.

A solid return from injury for Myriam Nicole in third although she is a fair chunk off the top 2.
A solid return from injury for Myriam Nicole in third, although she is a fair chunk off the top 2.

Despite the blue skies and fair temps today evidence of yesterday s downpour is still present in a number of sections of the track.
Despite the blue skies and fair temps today, evidence of yesterday's downpour was still present in a number of sections of the track.

After qualifying fastest multiple times this year Luca Shaw is yet to take the top spot in finals. A lower key start might see him spring a surprise tomorrow.
After qualifying fastest multiple times this year Luca Shaw has yet to take the top spot in finals. A lower key start might see him spring a surprise tomorrow.

Fresh off the back of taking the national champs title in the UK a few weeks ago Matt Walker qualified in a strong 12th.
Fresh off the back of taking the national champs title in the UK a few weeks ago, Matt Walker qualified in a strong 12th.

Brook MacDonald letting it fly on the high paced straight where speeds touch close to 70 kilometres an hour.
Brook Macdonald letting it fly on the high-paced straight where speeds touch close to 70 kilometers an hour.

Finn Iles taking the leap off the new rock roll in the woods. The young Canadian is on good form on home soil coming in 9th.
Finn Iles taking the leap off the new rock roll in the woods. The young Canadian is on good form on home soil coming in 9th.

Troy Brosnan is simply never not on it . 6th place today but second at split one shows anything is possible for him in finals.
Troy Brosnan is simply never not 'on it'. 6th place today, but second at split one, shows anything is possible for him in finals.

Connor Fearon was on for a top 10 finish until disaster struck but of course he still makes the big show as a protected rider.
Connor Fearon was on for a top 10 finish until disaster struck, but of course he still makes the big show as a protected rider.

Charlie Harrison has shown his ability to kick it with the top dogs all year today getting super close to holy grail top 10 territory.
Charlie Harrison has shown his ability to kick it with the top dogs all year, today getting super close to holy grail top 10 territory.

2.5 seconds behing Danny Hart put Loris Vergier all the way back in 7th a tight margin on a track as epic as this.
2.5 seconds behind Danny Hart put Loris Vergier all the way back in 7th, a tight margin on a track as epic as this.

One man who looked on it no matter what the conditions yesterday was this man it was no surprise to see Danny Hart end the day as fastest.
One man who looked on it no matter what the conditions yesterday was this man, it was no surprise to see Danny Hart end the day as fastest.

MacDonald floating like a butterfly stinging like a bee to hit 5th place. Are we about to see Brook back on the box tomorrow
Macdonald, floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee to hit 5th place. Are we about to see Brook back on the box tomorrow?

Loic Bruni qualified second today and will be looking for more tomorrow.
Loic Bruni qualified second today and will be looking for more tomorrow.

Finn Iles has gone from undisputed top junior to a top 10 elite in just one season.
Finn Iles has gone from undisputed top junior to a top 10 elite in just one season.

Fairclough was on the move climbing up the ranks in the splits today and in the end arriving in 13th.
Fairclough was on the move, climbing up the ranks in the splits today and in the end arriving in 13th.

Greg Minnaar simply classer than class... 10th place after missing 5 rounds.
Greg Minnaar went into this weekend without any wild expectations, but still qualified a very respectable 10th place after missing 5 rounds due to injury.

Amaury Pierron kicking up dust.
Amaury Pierron kicking up dust.

A strong showing for Gee Atherton in 8th although a little bit off the pace of the tightly bunched top 7.
A strong showing for Gee Atherton in 8th, although he was a little bit off the pace of the tightly bunched top 7. Then again, he is racing with an injured hand.

Blenki and the Bulldog catch up after qualifying. Brook had a strong ride into 5th whilst Sam had some issues but will race as a protected rider tomorrow.
Blenki and the Bulldog catch up after qualifying. Brook had a strong ride into 5th, while Sam had some issues but will race as a protected rider tomorrow.

Some sort of analysis going on in the Polygon UR racing related or not...
Some sort of analysis going on in the Polygon UR. Racing related? Who knows...

Last year Troy missed out on the podium by less than a 10th and with another 6th place today you know he ll be going HAM out the gate tomorrow.
Last year Troy missed out on the podium by less than a 10th, and with another 6th place today, you know he'll be going HAM out the gate tomorrow.

Mark Wallace reflecting on his quali run with his mechanic Nigel Reeve. He has a few seconds to find if he wants to break into that top 10.
Mark Wallace reflecting on his quali run with his mechanic Nigel Reeve. He has a few seconds to find if he wants to break into that top 10.

Eliot Jackson back at the races with Fresh Prince stylings.
Eliot Jackson back at the races with Fresh Prince stylings.

Counting those clicks for race day at the IFR pit.
Counting those clicks for race day at the IFR pit.

Lots of work being done post race to get everything dialed in for tomorrow s final. I
Lots of work being done post-race to get everything dialed in for tomorrow's final.


MENTIONS: @natedh9 / @rossbellphoto / @andy9




13 Comments

  • + 104
 Shout out to Vali Höll who lent bike to Monika Hrastnik becouse she broke hers.
  • + 8
 “Some sort of analysis going on in the Polygon UR. Racing related? Who knows...”

Lol - more likely one of them has been sent a comedy porno on whatsapp ????
  • + 0
 Pretty much spot on! Just what I was thinking!
  • + 6
 What was Kona Fearon’s disaster? I’m hoping a mechanical and nothing worse.
  • + 1
 signing with Kona
  • + 2
 Flat tire
  • + 1
 flatted on the landing of the stevie smith drop
  • + 0
 Surprised I didn't get more upvotes. That Kona Factoryteam is a factory joke. That bike company has sucked since its inception. Steal other companies suspension, execute it half assed, and never sniff a podium. Canyon and YT show you how much you suck! Put some real effort into designing bikes or just go away. Kona sucks out loud!
  • + 2
 rebuilding a new wheel with the casette on like a mad man!! Even just doing a rim swap it takes 3 seconds to take a casette off
  • + 1
 Why take it off when you don't need to.
  • + 1
 Is Valid Holl in a yt team? I don't see her in their team videos
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