Rattling the Cages: Qualifying - Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup DH 2016

Aug 5, 2016 at 20:09
by Matthew DeLorme  



Today was an another day of hot temps and high humidity on the lump of granite that is MSA. Light rain the night before didn't keep the dust down and the track started letting loose rocks of all size and shapes, and the ruts got deep once practice got rolling. The changes that have been made to the track mean more speed, but MSA hasn't been dumbed down. Nearly every rider will tell you that this is a, "real track," a "proper track." It's been a bit of time since MSA has been bone dry, and the beast has been giving the riders wild ride the last couple days. The day was filled with washouts and crashes, as riders tried to find grip at warp speeds.

Today saw Aaron Gwin take qualies by three seconds on Danny Hart. Danny is on a tear and is looking to back up that win in Lenzerheide. His riding today showed he's hungry. Troy Brosnan floated and skipped his way to third, and could take a win - if Gwin makes a mistake. Greg is in the mix, as always, and is always a candidate for the top of the box. His riding the last couple days has been so precise, always on his line and looking super smooth. Rachel Atherton built a lead of over twelve seconds on second place Manon Carpenter. Miranda Miller took third, and we are pumped to see what she does in finals tomorrow. Tahnee Seagrave had a big off that sent her in the hospital. We will see if she makes it to the start house tomorrow. Finn Iles had a small mistake in qualies, but still took first. Elliot Heap took second and Gaetan Vige took third place. Now that we've written about the dry conditions, an evening thunderstorm has rolled through and dumped a bit of rain, but it's probably going to be insignificant. The dust should be back tomorrow.




John Hall s book of top secret data from years of working with Aaron Gwin. How many riders wish they could get their hands on this stuff.
John Hall's book of top-secret data from years of working with Aaron Gwin. How many riders wish they could get their hands on this stuff?

Way out front and with more in the tank. Gwin set the bar very high today.
Way out front, and with more in the tank, Gwin set the bar very high today.

With all the high speeds and excessive heat the riders brakes are taking almost as big of a beating as the wheels.
With all the high speeds and excessive heat, the riders brakes are taking almost as much of a beating as the wheels.

Nigel Reeve getting his build on chez Devinci.
Nigel Reeve getting his build on chez Devinci.

Gwin s Mont Sainte Anne victories in 2011 and 2012 were by margins of just 0.47 and 1.3 seconds but you have to wonder if today s run 3.6 seconds up was just a warning shot before something a whole lot wilder.
Gwin's Mont Sainte Anne victories in 2011 and 2012 were by margins of just 0.47 and 1.3 seconds, and you have to wonder if today's run, 3.6 seconds up, was just a warning shot before something a whole lot wilder.

Sam Hill still has a deep amount of respect for this track.
Sam Hill still has a deep amount of respect for this track.

This course has been dealing out bumps and bruises to riders and bikes alike. The mechanics were busy keeping wheels at the ready today.
This course has been dealing out bumps and bruises to riders and bikes alike. Mechanics were busy keeping wheels at the ready today.

Aaron not as psyched about rebuilding another wheel as Troy is about qualifying in 3rd today.
Aaron, not as psyched about rebuilding another wheel as Troy is about qualifying in third today.

Even a crash mid course can t seem to derail Finn Iles.
Even a crash mid-course can't seem to derail Finn Iles.

Gaetan Vige just 1.7 behind Finn Iles.
Gaetan Vige just 1.7 behind Finn Iles.

Finn Iles fluffed up his run with a small crash but held it down to finish over a second up on Elliot Heap.
Finn Iles fluffed up his run with a small crash, but held it down to finish over a second up on Elliot Heap.

Elliot Heap rode to second place in junior mens qualies today.
Elliot Heap rode to second place in junior men's qualies today.

Kaos Seagrave had his best qualifying run of the year in Juniors for 5th.
Kaos Seagrave had his best qualifying run of the year in Juniors for fifth.

Nick Nestoroff had a bit of an off day today to finish back in 7th in juniors.
Nick Nestoroff had a bit of an off day today to finish back in seventh in juniors.

GB s Joe Breeden riding to a first time top ten performance in juniors.
GB's Joe Breeden riding to a first-time top ten performance in juniors.

Miranda Miller only rode one World Cup this season so far and came third. Today she had another crack on home soil and landed the same amazing result for qualies.
Miranda Miller only rode one World Cup this season so far and came third. Today she had another crack on home soil and landed the same amazing result for qualies.

We do hope Miranda Miller gets to more World Cups this year and in the years to come. After a podium at her last race in Leogang she qualified 3rd in MSA and might just play the spoiler.
We do hope Miranda Miller gets to more World Cups this year and in the years to come.

Calm focused and faster than everyone else.
Calm, focused, and faster than everyone else.

Rachel Atherton was once again fastest. This time by over twelve seconds.
Rachel Atherton was once again fastest. This time by over twelve seconds.

Manon is back in the mix taking second position but with a 12 second gap between her and Rachel she has a lot of work to do if the wants to break up the current leaders winning streak.
Manon is back in the mix taking second position, but with a 12 second gap between her and Rachel, she has a lot of work to do if she wants to break up the current leader's winning streak.

Tahnee had a massive crash in her run and injured her shoulder. Her status for the final is still up in the air after spending much of the evening in the hospital.
Tahnee had a massive crash in her run and injured her shoulder. Her status for the final is still up in the air after spending much of the evening in the hospital.

Tracey had a rough day in timed training and cruised it in today for 4th... quite a bit off the pace.
Tracey had a rough day in timed training and cruised it in today for fourth - quite a bit off the pace.

Marine Cabirou finding her way through the ferns for 6th.
Marine Cabirou finding her way through the ferns for sixth.

Morgane Charre bouldered her way down to slot into 5th only 1 second behind Hannah.
Morgane Charre bouldered her way down to slot into fifth, only one second behind Hannah.

Gwin heads onto the final open stretch with the Saint Lawerence Sea Way in the back ground.
Gwin heads onto the final open stretch with the Saint Lawrence Seaway in the background.

It seems like ages since it s been this dusty at MSA.
It seems like ages since it's been this dusty at MSA.

Clearly on pace after winning the TT session yesterday Troy Brosnan now has a chunky 5.6 seconds to discover for finals.
Clearly on pace after 'winning' the TT session yesterday, Troy Brosnan now has a chunky 5.6 seconds to discover for finals.

Luca Shaw ripping out throats on the rocks to claim 7th.
Luca Shaw ripping out throats on the rocks to claim the seventh spot.

Loris Vergier has been on top form as of late and qualified 6th and very much in the running for another podium appearance.
Loris Vergier has been on top form as of late and qualified sixth, and very much in the running for another podium appearance.

14th for Brannigan who is looking to move up a few spots in the overall and into the protected top 20.
14th for Brannigan, who is looking to move up a few spots in the overall and into the protected top 20.

Wyn Masters making speed look good.
Wyn Masters making speed look good.

Even a rock garden and max speed can t deter Remi Thirion s perfect form.
Even a rock garden at max speed can't deter Remi Thirion's perfect form.

Bruni twisting the throttle pushing 70kph.
Bruni twisting the throttle pushing 70kph.

Sam Blenkisop has been looking back on form this weekend. today he qualified eighth. Lets hope he can have a good run tomorrow as well.
Sam Blenkisop has been looking back on form this weekend. Today he qualified eighth. Let's hope he can have a good run tomorrow as well.

Adam Bryaton is proving he s not just a flash in the pan. He qualified ninth today.
Adam Brayton is proving he's not just a flash in the pan. He qualified ninth today.

Flo Payet took tenth place today in qualifying. The tall Frenchman has been on the move this season.
Flo Payet took tenth place today in qualifying. The tall Frenchman has been on the move this season.

The Bulldog is making gains. He qualified 12th and could make it into the top ten tomorrow.
The Bulldog is making gains. He qualified 12th and could make it into the top ten tomorrow.

Greenland ripped his saddle off during his qualie run and almost lost a couple of very important parts in the process. An 80th place finish meant he would have qualified by the skin of his... err teeth even he wasn t a protected rider.
Greenland ripped his saddle off during his qualie run and almost lost a couple of very important parts in the process. An 80th place finish meant he would have qualified by the skin of his... err teeth, even he wasn't a protected rider.

Sam Hill showing a bit of venom out on the MSA course he last claimed back in 2014.
Sam Hill showing a bit of venom out on the course he last claimed back in 2014.

Today was Andrew Neethling s Birthday so he decided to act like a kid and play in the dirt half way down the track.
Today was Andrew Neethling's Birthday so he decided to act like a kid and play in the dirt half way down the track.

Mick Hannah was a good teammate and didn t want Needles to celebrate all alone.
Mick Hannah was a good teammate and didn't want Needles to celebrate all alone.

Greg Minnaar has been looking fast and precise in practice. He qualified fourth but could he best Gwin tomorrow
Greg Minnaar was looking fast and precise in practice. He qualified fourth, but can he best Gwin tomorrow?

Mark Wallace sending it on the open piste.
Mark Wallace sending it on the open piste.

Greg Williamson looks amazing on track so don t count him out his poor quail run. Hopefully he got the crashing out of the way today and will be in the mix for the podium again tomorrow.
Greg Williamson looks amazing on track, so don't count him out for his poor quail run. Hopefully he got the crashing out of the way today and will be in the mix for the podium tomorrow.

The Bulldog smashed ricks and probably felled a few trees on his way to qualifying in 12th.
The Bulldog smashed rocks and probably felled a few trees on his way to qualifying in 12th position.

Pekoll hammering the savage MSA runway and crossing the line 13th.
Pekoll hammering the savage MSA runway and crossing the line, 13th.

No luck for last years champ in the woods today suffering a mechanical high up on course. Perhaps some significant hotseat time is on the way tomorrow
No luck for last year's champ in the woods today, who suffered a mechanical high up on course. Perhaps some significant hot seat time is on the way tomorrow?

Danny Hart has Lenzerheide fresh in his mind. he was riding loose and fast on his way to second place.
Danny Hart has Lenzerheide fresh in his mind. He was riding loose and fast on his way to second place.

Gee had done his home work coming into qualies today. Atherton took fifth in qualies.
Gee had done his homework coming into qualies today. Atherton took fifth.

Even a flat tire couldn t keep Loic from raining though the main rock garden.
Even a flat tire couldn't keep Loic from railing though the big rock garden.

Marcelo was happy with his day. He said he wasn t going a full tilt but he felt good out there.
Marcelo was happy with his day. He said he wasn't going a full tilt, but he felt good out there.

Gee gives his rig a once over before it s put up for the night.
Gee gives his rig a once-over before it's put up for the night.

Which way to the nearest NASCAR race bubba
Which way to the nearest NASCAR race, Bubba? We will see you back here tomorrow.


Author Info:
mdelorme avatar

Member since May 11, 2011
186 articles

46 Comments
  • 53 3
 Wow. Something about these shots, even better than usual. That Luca Shaw pic is pure destruction
  • 13 1
 Couldn't agree more, I like the Sam Hill shot in the pits. Simply badass!
  • 4 0
 I came to write the same thing. That pic is epic.
  • 1 0
 @MTBrent: ditto! That shot of Luca is awesome!
  • 30 3
 What a beast of a track. Awesome memorial for Stevie as well. #longlivechainsaw
  • 9 2
 STEVIE #1
  • 24 3
 Sam Dale should fully commit to this look, swapping out the GT truck for an old caravan on bricks, the pit area for a few bits of plastic patio furniture, and his race jersey for a string vest.
  • 11 2
 Sam dale and the GT boys have the spirit of the 90's downhill all the way. No fuvks given
  • 14 4
 Hope Gee has a good one. Doesn't seem like he's had much to smile about since the move to Trek so i hope he cracks it onto the podium this weekend! Cmon Gee man!
  • 4 14
flag Pichy (Aug 6, 2016 at 2:23) (Below Threshold)
 In every Vital Raw video I've seen over the season you can hear "yeah! [rider's name]" when somebody passes by except for Gee. So much hate for this guy.
  • 12 2
 @Pichy: Not here. He's a favorite at our house.
  • 10 1
 Love that Steve Smith rock drop. Proper MTB.
  • 5 0
 That must have been an especially hard rock that cut the bulldog's shin, as an Australian it pains me to say that NZ has some of the coolest riders on the DH circuit at the moment.
  • 35 2
 As a North Korean, it pains me to say that Kim Jong Un's latest attempt to breed unbeatable downhillers has failed drastically. Watch this space though, Un's downhillers are coming.
  • 3 1
 @Joebro1995: And you can guarantee that they will ride Specialized... lol
  • 5 0
 @Joebro1995: how were you able to access pinkbike let alone the internet? Internet is strictly monitored in NK. I hope for your sake, your dictator doesn't catch on to you.
  • 4 0
 Rip in pepperonis Joebro, was nice to meet you.
  • 9 1
 Best Gwin pic ever...
  • 6 0
 Hannah crashed like that and still managed to quali 11th, only 10 seconds back. Here's hoping he stay's on today.
  • 6 0
 I laughed at the captions for Neethling and Hannah.
  • 5 2
 If I had Gwin's top secret book I could probably win world cups also.
  • 6 2
 what's interesting is that it goes all the way to 2018 Smile
  • 20 1
 @MasterOfStone: Gwin has already won all the titles up to 2019. He's just turns up to keep the fans happy.
  • 24 2
 When Gwin pedals, he doesn't propel his bike forward, his tires dig in, and rotate the earth....backwards.
  • 2 1
 @Triber66: the new chuck norris...?
  • 1 0
 Looking at the "atomic energy act" part on the coversheet, I'd say you could probably take over the world...
  • 3 0
 Any one know what happened to Brendog ?
  • 5 0
 On FB he said he had a crash and mechanical, but he's ready for finals.
  • 3 0
 Mick and Needles - can these guys have any worse luck?.
  • 2 0
 and tracy...
  • 3 0
 I think Gwin can lock down the overall with a win in the finals.
  • 1 0
 Two things. Never discount Minnaar, he is the most consistent rider in WC history and damn I want Bulldog to win something soon, that guy is so entertaining to watch.
  • 3 2
 Too many new Desktop pictures to choose from! More coverage gold, cheers boys!
  • 13 11
 Woohoo, 1st time for 1st comment ever
  • 18 1
 Yeah buddy!
Keep it up....;-)
  • 8 1
 You made it good one!
  • 7 0
 when I grow up I want to be like you, tell us what you eat!
  • 2 0
 the Gwin photo looks like it was shoot on film
  • 3 1
 My first time at MSA and I have to say this track is insane.
  • 1 0
 Just curious what is the small red thing on Joe Breeden's fork leg?
  • 2 0
 Probably a transponder for the timing equipment, most of these bikes have one on the right fork leg.
  • 1 0
 Is Mick Hannah riding flat pedals with cleated shoes??
  • 1 0
 oops dumb question, mallet pedals
  • 1 0
 Proper downhill track. This is what it's all about.
  • 1 0
 Great stuff guys. Raising the bar once again!
  • 1 0
 nice pics







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