Practice Photo Report: Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2018

Aug 10, 2018
by Nathan Hughes  




As the Quebecois sky flickered alongside the continuous crackle and booming of thunder there was a strong sense of déjà vu out on the hill today in Mont-Sainte-Anne. Last season the rains took longer to show up, appearing just in time for the top 20 to drop and of course ready for Aaron Gwin to go into beast mode and jet ski his way to victory. At least riders had some inspiration this afternoon as heavy fog quickly turned into the far more aggressive atmospherics of a practice session that will now enter the hall of fame for most horrendous weather alongside other greats like Fort William in 2015.

Unrelenting lightning and torrential rain shut the lift down just as the first batch of group A riders had reached the top. A short respite was followed by apocalyptic rain and while most teams managed one or two tentative laps, the organisers pulled the plug at around 2:30pm and abandoned the practice session, taking all marshals off the mountain. With the conditions eventually calming, timed training was announced with a later start than usual and riders were forced to reapply their soaking gear and get back out there to turn up the heat ahead of qualies tomorrow. Only Tahnee Seagrave and Rachel Atherton turned up from the women's field for the TT session, but neither set anywhere near a race time, while in the men's category Danny Hart landed the first punch of the weekend with a 4:38 in the swamp conditions, just ahead of Bruni and MacDonald.

MSA weather can be topsy-turvy at best, the most we can hope for is a fair fight as Rachel Atherton attempts to stave off Tahnee Seagrave and Amaury Pierron does his best to run away with the series before heading back to the home soil of La Bresse in two weeks time.




Canada is all pick-up trucks and Devincis as you d expect...
Canada is really all pick-up trucks and Devincis just as you'd expect...

The fog lingered in the middle of the track all morning until the first of two thunder storms rolled in and added a twist to proceedings.
The fog lingered in the middle of the track all morning until the first of two thunderstorms rolled in and added a twist to proceedings.

A roll off kind off day. Hopefully that should be the last we see of them for the weekend.
A roll-off kind of day... Hopefully, that should be the last we see of them for the weekend.

It was unbelievably wet today with storms rolling in back to back.
It was nothing short of unbelievably wet today.

Jamie Tilbury tinkering with Tracey s Polygon war horse after first laps.
Jamie Tilbury tinkering with Tracey's Polygon war horse after first laps.

Amaury Pierron has the chance to wrap the season with one round left to spare... he just needs to beat Loris Vergier and the season is his.
Amaury Pierron has the chance to wrap the season with one round left to spare... he just needs to beat Loris Vergier and the season is his.

Riders and mechanics had to get creative in order to fight the mud. However after all that rain I m not sure anything would be that effective for long.
Riders and mechanics had to get creative in order to fight the mud. However, after all that rain, I'm not sure anything would be that effective for long.

Wallace s custom Mark the shark graphics by his mechanic adorning his new neon ride.
Wallace's custom 'Mark the Shark' graphics by his mechanic adorning his new neon ride.

The Canadian champ Vaea Verbeeck getting a rear shock tune-up from Jordi Cotes.
The Canadian Champ, Vaea Verbeeck, getting a shock tune-up from Jordi Cotes.

Monika Hrastnik cranking out the start hut.
Monika Hrastnik cranking out the start hut.

Marcello Gutierrez hops from one section of waterlogged trail to the next.
Marcello Gutierrez hops from one section of waterlogged trail to the next.

The latest entrant to the World Cup winners circle. Can Loris Vergier make it two in a row
The latest entrant to the World Cup winners circle... Can Vergier make it two in a row and keep Pierron at bay?

Moir finally back in the mix and loving it.
Jack Moir finally back in the mix and loving it.

Thirion in the middle of an all-French fun train down through the MSA swamps.
Thirion in the middle of an all-French fun train down through the MSA swamps.

Watch your step it s mighty damp out.
Watch your step, it's mighty damp out.

Rudi Cabirou finally back in action after a long recovery from an early season injury.
Rudi Cabirou, finally back in action after a long recovery from his early-season injury.

Adam Brayton speeding down across the
Adam Brayton speeding down across the classic MSA medley of slabs and roots.

Rachel Atherton getting a once over before heading back up into the mist.
Rachel Atherton getting a once-over before heading back into the mist.

Atherton with the telemetry set-up for the clues she needs to hang on to the 1 plate.

Matt Walker apprehensive at the thought of getting his fresh union jack sleeve wet and muddy.
Matt Walker, apprehensive at the thought of getting his fresh union jack sleeve wet and muddy.

Mark Wallace Kye A Hern and Magnus Manson heading up for another try at the rutted course.
Mark Wallace, Kye A'Hern, and Magnus Manson heading up for another try at the rutted course.

Luca Shaw stayed quiet in the TT... qualies are more his domain of course.
Luca Shaw stayed quiet in the TT... qualies are more his domain of course.

Forrest Riesco in tight on this difficult course.
Forrest Riesco in tight on this difficult course.

Tracey Hannah didn t appear in the afternoon s timed training session perhaps not seeing the need to ride in what looked to be some pretty unrepresentative conditions for what we ll race on.
Tracey Hannah didn't appear in the afternoon's timed training session, perhaps not seeing the need to ride in what looked to be unrepresentative conditions for what we'll race on.

There weren t enough tear offs in the world to help with the vision today.
There weren't enough tear-offs in the world to help with the vision today.

Blenki s signature gloveless style seems to be weatherproof.
Blenki's signature gloveless style seems to be weatherproof.

Saturday s showdown is creeping up quick
Saturday's showdown is creeping up quick!

The IFR crew had one hell of a time here last season after Lucas took second and Moir showed what could really be done in the rain.
The IFR crew had one hell of a time here last season after Lucas took second and Moir showed what could be done in the rain.

Laurie Greenland will be looking to drop his number board even lower this weekend.
Laurie Greenland will be looking to drop his number board even lower this weekend.

Henry Fitzgerald shaking the bugs out.
Henry Fitzgerald shaking the bugs out.

It s not only bikes that need attention but bodies too. Finn Iles gets prepped for what turned out to be an arduous day in Mont Sainte Anne.
It's not only bikes that need attention, but bodies too. Finn Iles gets prepped for what turned out to be an arduous day in Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Kaos Seagrave serving up pancakes this morning.
Kaos Seagrave serving up pancakes this morning.

It absolutely poured all afternoon.
It absolutely poured all afternoon.

The media struggle against the moisture.
The media struggle against the moisture.

A dense fog hung around keeping visibility super low until all hell broke loose for A practice.
A dense fog hung around, keeping visibility super low until all hell broke loose for A practice.

Kaos and Jake enjoying their stay at the water park.
Kaos and Jake enjoying their stay at the water park.

Standing water on the straight would have made visibility near impossible fortunately for the riders the session was cancelled when the second wave of lightning hit.
Standing water on the straight would have made visibility near impossible, fortunately for the riders, the session was cancelled when the second wave of lightning hit.

Wyn Masters enjoying his summer holidays in Quebec.
Wyn Masters enjoying his summer holidays in Quebec.

MacDonald heads out to take 3rd in timed training after the storm shut down the fun.
MacDonald heads out to take 3rd in timed training after the storm shut down the fun.

In a difficult day to read it was Danny Hart that seemed to look the most comfortable on a treacherous track.
In a difficult day to read, it was Danny Hart that looked the most comfortable on a treacherous track.

A few riders have really been able to show their potential this year one of them being young Frenchman Thomas Estaque who always looks flamboyant on the bike.
A few riders have really been able to show their potential this year. One of them being young Frenchman Thomas Estaque who always looks flamboyant on the bike.

With the lifts restarting Jack Moir puts his mud-soaked jersey back on for timed training.
With the lifts restarting, riders reluctantly got their mud-soaked jerseys back on for timed training.

Danny Hart going for a tear off on the first of the wildly fast straights.
Danny Hart going for a tear-off on the first of the wildly fast straights.

Benoit Coulanges pulling up in the slick roots.
Benoit Coulanges pulling up in the slick roots.

It didn t take long for the track to resemble a river in places.
It didn't take long for the track to resemble a river in places.

By the time the storm had passed massive puddles had formed all over the track Troy Brosnan quickly set to work clearing them out.
By the time the storm had passed, massive puddles had formed all over the track. Troy Brosnan quickly set to work clearing them out.

Super Bruni ready to get stuck into the super swamp-like conditions.
Super Bruni, ready to get stuck into the super swamp-like conditions.

Loic Bruni is brewing for a big result he placed well in timed training half a second back from Hart.
Bruni is brewing for a big result, he placed well in timed training, half a second back from Hart.

The trecherous journey to the bottom of the hill with only a small ration of lembas bread.
The treacherous journey to the bottom of the hill with only a small ration of lembas bread.

Luca Shaw putting his trust in his tires on the off camber rock. Will this finally be his weekend
Luca Shaw putting his trust in his tires on the off camber rock. Will this finally be his weekend?

The Atherton siblings putting their feet up whilst waiting for the track to reopen.
The Atherton siblings putting their feet up, waiting for the track to reopen.

Brook Macdonald will be hungry for another podium after getting a taste again last time out in Andorra.
Brook MacDonald will be hungry for another podium after getting a taste again last time out in Andorra.

Greg Minnaar returns to WC racing although is still showing the signs from that crash in Fort William.
Greg Minnaar returns to WC racing, although is still showing the signs from that crash in Fort William.

Already right back up to speed Greg the Goat Minnaar hit sixth in timed training.
Somehow right back up to speed, the GOAT hit sixth in timed training.

No.1 plates look good dirty.
No.1 plates look good dirty.

The long MSA track should suit Marcelo Gutierrez s physical strength.
Smashing down the MSA cascades. The lengthy track should suit Marcelo Gutierrez's physical strength.

Myriam Nicole peering through the clouds back on two wheels.
Myriam Nicole peering through the clouds, back on two wheels.

Tahnee Seagrave is hot on the heels of Rachel Atherton in the overall and will want to seize the momentum going into the final round.
Tahnée Seagrave is hot on the heels of Rachel Atherton for the overall and will want to seize the momentum going into the final round.

Amaury Pierron already hunting the seconds to shut the season down ahead of time.
Amaury Pierron, already hunting the seconds to shut the season down ahead of time.

The bike wash was overworked and overbooked all day.
The bike wash was overworked and overbooked all day.

B to the dawg taking it easy before group A take to the track.
B to the dawg pondering one of the wettest days on the hill at the World Cup this season.

These might be dry by La Bresse.
These might be dry by La Bresse.

Oh Canada..
Oh, Canada...



59 Comments

  • + 212
 Boring to say this I know....but tear offs have been banned in a lot of motorcycling events in the UK, because they don't degrade. Everyone has started to take plastic waste seriously now...so we should in the MTB community too. Riders can use roll offs; still have clear vision and not leave plastic about the place :-)
  • + 48
 What really pisses me off is people that use tear offs at local tracks, our nearest local has 30-50 second runs yet some twats every winter feel the need to throw this shit on the floor, must be looking for those vital 10ths of a second on their 30 second race run ...

Didn't some MX company come up with biodegradable tear off made from potato starch or some thing ?

I simply just don't use the things, they are really annoying when you get water between the layers and you end up biffing the whole lot anyway.
  • + 7
 Same thing for supporters leaving their stuff, plastic or not.
  • + 7
 you can get bio degradeable tearoffs now i tried one out in the garend and it degraded pretty fast
  • - 26
flag NCByron (Aug 10, 2018 at 5:05) (Below Threshold)
 What is the mountain bike community, as well as many others, do when zip ties are banned? Bio-degradable string just isn't as effective.
  • + 26
 @NCByron: The point about tear offs is that they are ripped off in the heat of a race run, then left to blow away or get crushed into the dirt. No one's stopping to pick them up. However no one deliberately rips a zip tie mid ride and throws it into the environment. When cut, they can be taken home with you. Taking your rubbish home with you or putting it in the right trash can is an easy battle to win.
  • + 11
 @NCByron: I had never really thought about the impact to the environment when I cut zip ties off my bike in the middle of a ride and throw them on the ground, thanks for pointing me in the right direction
  • - 13
flag NCByron (Aug 10, 2018 at 6:10) (Below Threshold)
 @bartonw: Out of sight out of mind I guess. They go into a trash bin and the usually into the ground. Much like those pesky plastic straws.
  • + 6
 my dads been picking up tear offs on our 80 acres of trail & tracks for 20 years... they're banned from our place but still tend to show up somehow... straight up plastic waste being tossed into the woods.
  • - 12
flag NCByron (Aug 10, 2018 at 6:18) (Below Threshold)
 @Nilsson84: maybe you should stop doing it. You might actually end up with a decent run.
  • + 6
 I know that they actual pick them up while they go down the course a take down the course tape/poles in Mont Sante Anne. It is such a narrow area that they don't really go very far. Besides, there are so many fans and enviro responsible Canadians on the courses...nothing gets left behind. A cross country water bottle is like finding a Tim Horton's gift card one years worth of free pountine. LOL


The TV crews pick up also. Y wouldn't believe how much TV cable and how many power boxes are on the sides of the course for this race and removed right after. If you get lost on course at MSA, just follow the four to eight black tv cables they place two feet to the left of the course for the week.

Hope that makes you fee better about MSA at least.
  • + 2
 @NCByron: I've been wondering about getting some velcro straps for my mud guard, pretty cheap on the bay AND re'usable. Should work for number boards too.........
  • + 8
 Not boring mate, responsible. They should be banned,
  • + 8
 The EWS doesn't allow tear offs.
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: check your packaging, they usually come with velcro. Although, not as effective as zip ties for snugging the guard up against the crown.
  • + 5
 Nah, i throw my carbon frame out after every run
  • - 1
 Nah, i throw my carbon frame out after every run
  • + 3
 @vjunior21: how would you like it if you slipped out and crashed on tear offs during your race run?! should be banned because of this alone
  • + 1
 @makripper:
I would probably like it.
  • + 41
 Watching Pinkbike´s photo report is like going to an art gallery
  • + 27
 Man I love Pinkbike for stuff like this. Gorgeous full screen pictures. No clicking through multiple pages to view all the content. Only 2 small ads at the top of the page and are mountain bike related. Really refreshing in a web so full of trash these days.
  • + 13
 i always knew it minnaar is a borg -that brace looks so badass
  • + 19
 Terminnaartor!
  • + 9
 So many really rad shots in crazy conditions for cameras. Hats off the to PB crew really really well done!
  • + 9
 @natedh9
Nice LOTR reference, almost missed that Wink
  • + 6
 Nice day for a white Fox kit.
  • + 1
 Could someone please tell me the exact purpose of the arm tape that pro racers are using? noticed a long while ago but i keep forgetting to ask. is it supposed to fight arm fatigue or increase blood flow or something? if it fights your hand getting numb i want some, right hand goes to sleep lately on long climbs or downhills.
  • + 1
 It's to tighten injured muscles...
  • + 1
 @mollow: ah, ok thanks
  • + 4
 the pic of Shaw on the wet rock messed with my equilibrium. Could almost feel the tires sliding out . . .
  • + 2
 Rain, racers, and great photography make for excellent photos! These riding shots are fantastic! Can't wait for race day. It's gonna be a wet one!
  • + 4
 It's gonna get as twisted as Gee's right cleat
  • + 2
 Question guys I am in bossard quebec . Do anybody know were is this park saint Anne address park? Thanks million
  • + 1
 Find the 20 and head east for roughly 3 hours. When you reach Quebec you look for the 138 east to Ste-Anne-De-Beaupre. Don't be scared to get lost in Quebec...
  • + 2
 It's been an awesome season. I'm actually really up for watching a soaking wet mud round Smile
  • + 1
 Won't be.. sunny from now on
  • + 1
 @t1000: booooooo
  • + 1
 Seeing how much attention the elite get, really makes you appreciate what the privateers are up against. Any privateer cracking top 20 should get recognized.
  • + 0
 So those zip ties that I strap to my carbon frame, carbon handle bars are causing all kinds of trouble. What about the chemicals in my tubeless tires. Can we recycle carbon.....i screw it, let's go ride
  • + 1
 Is John Hall sure that some duct tape and zip ties won't fix Gwin's thumb issue?
  • + 1
 Tough riding but that weather makes for some awesome pics. Heard from a friend out there that the sun is out today
  • + 1
 I forgot to put Shark Attack back on my team.
  • + 1
 Oooh, so did I. If he does really well, we'll be brothers in screwedom. Otherwise... (Mark, please save the awesomeness for next time). Big Grin
  • + 0
 @mtbikeaddict: shark attack is Jack Moir. Smarten up
  • + 1
 @mollow: So I momentarily confused two people I was reading about at like 4 am this morning. Mehhhhhhhhhh.
  • + 0
 Kaos Seagrave : "I like to wear my sister's race kit, I feel like I go faster"
  • + 1
 He probably wears her underwear as well...
  • + 1
 mont st anne 10 years ago: www.pinkbike.com/video/7869
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