Over one quarter of a century later and here we are once again on the eve of another legendary Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup in Quebec, Canada. Infamous for its long and ragged nature, pushing riders to the edge of endurance, to this day the track remains a raw and violent causeway from start to finish. Over the years the course has taken many deviations in and out of the forest, but this summer it remains almost unchanged from the year prior, except for an early detour between the tables, chairs and poutine of a mountain cafe terrace.
Conditions wise, we're talking mighty hot and dry... damn dry and what little dirt remains between the bedrock and cruelly positioned boulders won't be offering much in the way of grip without some significant downpours, which while we're on the subject, appear to be on the menu later in the week. Without any moisture scheduled before tomorrow, however, we can be sure the shrapnel will be flying fast and furious for timed training.
So what's to play for this season? In a word; 'plenty'. While Finn Iles may have the overall title wrapped up, pride and points are at stake for the other juniors vying for the top spots, not least Matt Walker who is more than capable of putting time into the Canadian who has soaked up so much of the glory. The women's field remains wide open, with Myriam Nicole out in front, but Tracey Hannah and Tahnee Seagrave snapping at her heels and looking to repeat their victories from earlier in the season. 160 points clear of the competition, Greg Minnaar is running away with it on big wheels in elite men, all the more after Aaron Gwin's disastrous Lenzerheide tyre slash, but any mistake will surely be capitalised upon by the US champ or Troy Brosnan sitting second in the overall. Last year it was of course, Danny Hart who did the business so it would be madness to rule him out of a blazing dash to victory. Tomorrow it's on and we'll have some more valuable clues to stoke the fire of speculation under the Quebecois sun.