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Québec Singletrack Expérience 2017 Day 2 Saint Raymond to Vallée Bras-du-Nord – Report, Results, Photos

by Paul Craig

August 01, 2017 (Quebec City, QC) – Day 2 took us from Saint Raymond to Vallée Bras-du-Nord and our 35km adventure started with an air-conditioned bus ride to the start line in Saint Raymond. Entering the town the heritage of the wood industry was evident in the picturesque homes and buildings lining the streets.

 ©  Québec Singletrack Expérience

In recent times the local population has taken to tourism to bolster their economy. The local trail builders and companies promoting all thing outdoors have done a wonderful job putting together a fun and challenging network of mountain bike trails.

Stage start with bikes racked for pickup  ©  Paul Craig
Today’s race consisted of riding two distinct trail systems, Mount Laura and Le Suisse Mountain with a section of challenging double track connecting the areas. The timed climb came early while legs were fresh and the temperature was still cool. It consisted entirely of single track with switch-backs all the way up the side of Mont Laura.

The trail was ideal as it has some good flow with plenty of options for passing. Eventhough we are 2 days into a 7-day race it seems there are plenty of riders willing leave it all out on the trail for a taste of the podium. The timed descent which followed 3km later put a smile on the face of every rider.

 ©  Québec Singletrack Expérience
Fast swooping berms and pump-track style sections were super tacky allowing for maximum speed and enjoyment. The trail finished up with a section of what seemed like a dozen perfectly built table-tops. For those wanting to let it fly there were plenty of opportunities for serious air. Riders that were wanting to keep both wheels firmly planted on the ground had the option of rolling up and over them at a controlled pace. I chose to take a few chances and was able to secure second place on the stage and 2nd in GC in the race for the quickest descender for Men 50-59.

 ©  Québec Singletrack Expérience
The stage finished with a number of climbs and decents on the manicured trail system at Le Suisse Mountain. The countless hours of labour that went into these trails made them a pleasure to ride. Whether racing a 29er hardtail or a full suspension bike riders were flying down thee trails grinning ear to ear.

 ©  Québec Singletrack Expérience
The highlight of the race for me was getting it a group of four riders within the first 3Km of the race and staying together until the finish. The memories and bonds we formed en route are what keep riders like me coming back to events like this. In our group each rider had their strengths and weaknesses but as a group we were stronger, we rode faster and had more fun than any of us could have done on our own.

 ©  Québec Singletrack Expérience
We encouraged one another on the climbs, along with huge cheers and shout-outs on the descents. We even worked on some sweet synchronised arm waving choreography for the feed zone that was blasting some fantastic tunes. There was no time to make formal introductions during the race nor could you remember anyone’s name…so for 2.5 hrs we were “Boss”, “Buddy”, “Man” or whatever else we could think of.

Great venue with beer garden on a terrace overlooking the finish  ©  Paul Craig
At the end of the race we congratulated each other and learned each other’s actual names. Many thanks to Mark and Bill (Wyevale, ON) and Bevin (Toronto, ON) for making it a most memorable day. I continue to hold onto my 3rd place on the GC in the Men’s 50-59 as well as 2nd place in the quickest descender category for my age.

My favorite sign seen today on the terrace at the finish line! BEER and POUTINE
Bikes are handled with care and individually separated with cardboard for the transfer to the next stage  ©  Paul Craig
There was a lot of movement atop the Men’s Solo category today with Greg Day suffering a mechanical that had him running the better part of the last 10km. Sarah Kaufmann once again took the women’s victory.

Results here.

Tomorrow’s stage is said to be epic with 100% of the trails raced on Mont Sainte-Anne. We also received a surprize during the stage preview tonight as we will ride our last few kilometers on the MSA World Cup XCO course and end our stage under the official World Cup finish banner.

Full results here.

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