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UCI MTB World Cup DH #4 – Preview

June 25, 2005 (Mont Ste-Anne, Que.) – It’s a long way down tomorrow for the DH-ers racing event number four of the World Cup downhill series. Racers are starting at the top of the mountain and dropping 650 metres over 3.2 kilometres.

The course is in good condition, according to riders, and it includes a good mix of fast, steep and technical sections. The consensus among racers is that it’s going to be tiring because it’s so long.

Justin Brown (CAN, Norco), who placed third at last weekend’s National Downhill Championships, is aiming for a clean run. He said his podium at Nationals has “given me a lot of confidence,” which he hopes will turn into a top-30 result. Brown is a little concerned about the ongoing threat of thundershowers that never materialized today, but may happen at any time. The new section at the top of the course (which was left out of Nationals) will get really slick with even a little bit of rain, he said. Last weekend’s slippery conditions played a huge part in the outcome of the race, with most of the race favourites crashing.

Mathieu Laurin (CAN, Devinci-Daredevil) is happy with the work done on the course, which was ravaged by the traffic from the National Championships. He was 24th last year in the World Cup here and is looking to better that result.

Along with the world’s top-ranked female downhillers like, Sabrina Jonnier (FRA, Intense), Vanessa Quin (NZL, Intense) and Tracy Moseley (GRB, Kona-Les Gets), five Canadian women will launch through the start gate tomorrow. Claire Buchar (CAN, BeOne-Merlanduo), Danika Schroeter (CAN, Giant), Katrina Strand (CAN, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects), Brook Baker (CAN, Norco) and Mylene Fortier (CAN) will giver’ in the downhill semi-finals, which beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow. Finals begin at 1:30 p.m. Top of the top, Anne-Caroline Chausson (FRA, Commencal-Oxbow) did not make the transatlantic trip.

For the men, top guys like South Africa’s Greg Minnaar (RSA, G-Cross-Honda), Sam Hill (AUS, Iron Horse-Mad Catz) and Nathan Rennie (AUS, Santa Cruz Syndicate) will rip up the course and vie for precious World Cup points. There will also be 17 Canadian men in the semi’s , including Laurin, Brown, Louis-Philippe Leonard (CAN, Norco), Geoff Pendrel (CAN, Devinci-Daredevil) and Philippe Menard (CAN).

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