The event is a true classic of mountain biking for both cross-country and downhill, famous for its root-filled technical courses and superb organization – it is one event that every rider wants to have on their resume.
Cycling Canada is sending a very large team to compete at the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup stop in Mont-Sainte-Anne, QC, with the presentation of both cross country and downhill events. The weekend races are the only North American competitions on the 2013 UCI MTB World Cup calendar.
The cross-country races will all be held on Saturday, while the Downhill seeding runs will take place Friday, with the finals showcased on Sunday. All races take place at the Mont-Sainte-Anne ski resort, located near Quebec City.
Cross-country Course – Significant Changes
The cross-country course has had the most significant changes; shortened by almost 20% with the removal of the usual long opening climb and the famous ‘Beatrice’ rock garden descent. After the start loop, riders now head straight into what was the second main climb of the circuit, the ‘Zig Zag’. They then hit the first of many wooded singletrack sections as they traverse the top of the course before dropping into singletrack descent back down to near the start/finish area.
After passing through the technical/feed zone for the first time it is back into the woods for almost the entire second half of the lap. Stretches of fast, smooth single track are interspersed with rocky and rooty sections. At the far end of the course, the riders hit a loose and steep chute descent followed by a steep switchback climb, and then more singletrack back to the technical/feed zone for a second time before finishing the lap.
While not as technical as previous years, riders can get into serious difficulty if they aren’t paying attention in the singletrack. One mistake and gaps can open that will be hard to close.
Return of Catharine Pendrel
MSA will see the return to competition of 2011 World Champion and defending World Cup champion, Catharine Pendrel (Luna), after her broken clavicle in June. It is expected that newly crowned Canadian Champion, Emily Batty of Brooklin, ON (Trek Factory Team) will be on the start line as well. Sandra Walter, (Coquitlam, BC) Liv/Giant, who earned her first National medal this year taking home the silver, is also contending along with veteran Amanda Sin, (Collingwood, ON) SCOTT-3 Rox Racing and rising young talents Mikaëla Kofman, (Toronto, ON) SCOTT-3 Rox Racing and Andréanne Pichette, (Québec, QC) Opus-OCG.
World Cup leader Tanja Zakelj (Unior Tools), with two wins this season, won’t be threatened for the overall lead, but was put under pressure at the last round in Val di Fiemme, Italy, barely making the podium. Pendrel’s teammate, Katerina Nash, is still looking for her first World Cup win after coming so close in Vallnord, Andorra, last month, and Maja Wloszczowska (Giant Pro) will be a big threat as usual, as will round one winner Eva Lechner (Colnago Sudtirol), second in the overall standings.
The women’s field will be missing two big names – Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida and round four winner Sabine Spitz (Ger) Sabine Spitz Haibike.
On the men’s side, we can expect to see a resumption of the continuing battle between World Cup leader Nino Schurter (Sui) Scott Swisspower and Julien Absalon (Fra) BMC. Schurter is looking for his fourth consecutive win of the season, which will lock up the title. However, Absalon is determined to take his first World Cup win this year, after a mechanical put him out of contention in Andorra, which also happened to him in Albstadt, Germany at round one. Others who could do well on this faster MSA course include Cannondale riders Marco Fontana and Manuel Fumic.
Three-time Olympian Geoff Kabush (SCOTT-3 Rox Racing) of Courtenay, BC and teammate Derek Zandstra of Trenton, ON, recently crowned Canadian champ, will be racing with their pro trade teams. Two-time Canadian Champ Max Plaxton of Victoria, BC (Sho-Air-Cannondale) is coming off a recent US Pro XCT win and Raphael Gagné of Québec, will be racing in front of his home fans, friends and family.
Also competing are recent Canada Games Champions Frédérique Trudel (Breakeyville, QC) and Léandre Bouchard (Alma, QC). Bouchard is a triple medallist with Team Québec at the Canada Games and won the eliminator Canadian title, while Trudel also won the cross-country Canadian title in the espoirs (U23) category in the cross-country race.
Downhill: Speed versus Control
The Downhill has not had the same changes as the cross-country, however, riders are noticing the difference. Some of the previous rocky sections are now smoother and faster, and jumps have been added to the bottom, which finishes further up the hill than previously. Recent rain – and the expectation of more through the weekend – have made it very fast and very slippery. Riders will have balance on the ragged edge of speed versus control.
For the women, it is still a question of whether Rachel Atherton (Gbr) GT Factory can be beaten following three straight wins on three very different tracks – Atherton is having a superb season. The rider who has come closest is her countrywoman Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen); she was the only one to come less than ten seconds behind Atherton at the last round. Micayla Gatto of North Vancouver, BC (Cycling BC) is the current Canadian Champion, and heads up a strong contigent of women DH racers who will test their mettle this weekend at fabled MSA.
Atherton’s brother Gee (GT Factory) was beaten at the last round in Vallnord, by first time winner Remi Thirion (Commencal/Riding Addiction) but still holds a commanding lead in the overall standings.
Canada’s DH riders will be looking to post good results. Steve Smith of Casssidy, BC (Devinci Global Racing) has podiumed twice at the three previous World Cup DH events this year. His Junior teammate Mark Wallace of Duncan, BC (Devinci Global Racing) is another strong contender – both won their respective classes at the Canadian DH Championships at Panorama Mountain Resort earlier this summer.
Former world champion Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate and Sam Hill (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles.com/Nukeproof. Minnaar and Hill both have multiple wins at Mont-Ste-Anne.
For more information on the 2013 MTB World Cup at Mont-Sainte-Anne click here.
Team Canada XCO – 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup – Mont-Sainte-Anne, QC
– Mathieu Bélanger-Barrette, (Québec, QC) National Team
– Raphael Gagné, (Québec, QC) Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team
– Cameron Jette, (Toronto, ON) SCOTT-3 Rox Racing
– Geoff Kabush, (Courtenay, BC) SCOTT-3 Rox Racing
– Max Plaxton, (Victoria, BC) Sho-Air/Cannondale
– Jean-Philippe Thibault-Roberge, (Orford, QC) National Team
– Andrew Watson, (Barrie, ON) Norco Factory Team
– Derek Zandstra, (Trenton, ON) SCOTT-3 Rox Racing
– Emily Batty, (Brooklin, ON) Trek Factory Racing
– Rebecca Beaumont, (Alma, QC) National Team
– Annick Chretien, (Aston-Jonction, QC) ADF Ultime Vélo
– Mandy Dreyer, (Dundas, ON) Tuf Rak Racing
– Mikaëla Kofman, (Toronto, ON) SCOTT-3 Rox Racing
– Cindy Montambault, (Val-David, QC) CVM 2 Vals
– Catharine Pendrel, (Kamloops, BC) Team LUNA Pro
– Andréanne Pichette, (Québec, QC) Opus-OCG
– Amanda Sin, (Collingwood, ON) SCOTT-3 Rox Racing
– Sandra Walter, (Coquitlam, BC) Liv / Giant
Espoirs (U23) Men
– Mitchell Bailey, (Barrie, ON) Trek Canada Mountain Bike Team
– Emmanuel Boily, (Alma, QC) National Team
– Léandre Bouchard, (Alma, QC) Cyclone d’Alma
– Antoine Caron, (Stoneham, QC) Specialized Racing Canada
– Patrick Chartrand, (Piedmont, QC) Les Yables
– Julien Gagné, (Sherbrooke, QC) National Team
– Evan Guthrie, (Peachland, BC) Norco Factory Team
– Andrew L’Esperance, (Halifax, NS) Norco Factory Team
– Kevin Massicotte, (Toronto, ON) National Team
– Jérémy Martin, (Boischatel, QC) Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team
– Evan Mcneely, (Ottawa, ON) Norco Factory Team
– Steven Noble, (Glencairn, ON) Opus-OCG
– Marc-Antoine Nadon, (Timmins, ON) National Team
– Davis Ross, (Wyevale, ON) National Team
– Alexandre Vialle, (Prévost, QC) National Team
Espoirs (U23) Women
– Rosalie Auger, (Landrienne, QC) National Team
– Laura Bietola, (Greenwood, ON) RealDeal Gears/Fieldgate
– Cayley Brooks, (New Lowell, ON) Trek Canada MTB Team
– Katlyn Dundas, (St. Catharines, ON) National Team
– Catherine Fleury, (Alma, QC) Cyclones d’Alma
– Karlee Gendron, (Winnipeg, MB) Trek Canada MTB Team
– Laurence Harvey, (St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, QC) National Team
– Andréane Lanthier-Nadeau, (Québec, QC) Rocky Mountain Bicycle Factory Team
– Kristina Laforge, (Alma, QC) National Team
– Frédérique Larose-Gingras, (Lac Beauport, QC) National Team
– Valérie Meunier, (Chicoutimi QC) Devinci
– Elyse Nieuwold, (Newmarket, ON) National Team
– Maghalie Rochette, (St-Jérome, QC) PowerWatts-Nord
– Haley Smith, (Uxbridge, ON) Norco Factory Team
– Frédérique Trudel, (Breakeyville, QC) Specialized Racing Canada
Junior (U19) Men
– Félix Belhumeur, (Québec, QC) National Team
– Félix Burke, (Mont-Tremblant, QC) National Team
– Peter Disera, (Barrie, ON) National Team
– Charles Faucher-Robert, (Québec, QC) National Team
– Marc-André Fortier, (Victoriaville, QC) National Team
– Guillaume Larose-Gingras, (Lac-Beauport, QC) National Team
– Trevor O’Donnell, (Barrie, ON) National Team
– Matthew Turcotte, (Québec, QC) National Team
Junior (U19) Women
– Gabrielle April, (Québec, QC) National Team
– Alexandra Bernier, (Québec, QC) National Team
– Sarah-Claudie Dostie-Ménard, (Gatineau, QC) National Team
– Haley Golding, (Newcastle, ON) National Team
– Gillian Hague, (Whitby, ON) National Team
– Siobhan Kelly, (London, ON) National Team
– Marine Lewis, (St-Sauveur, QC) National Team
– Kayla Morin-Blanchette, (Val-David, QC) National Team
– Rachel Pageau, (Chicoutimi, QC) National Team
– Anne-Julie Tremblay, (Chicoutimi Nord, QC) National Team
– Stéphanie Tremblay, (Alma, QC) National Team
Canada Team Downhill – 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup – Mont-Sainte-Anne, QC
– Adriano Digiancinto, (North Vancouver, BC)
– Rob Fraser, (Pickering, ON)
– James Frost, (Collingwood, ON)
– Remi Gauvin, (Nanoose Bay, BC)
– Hans Lambert, (St-Bruno, QC)
– Julien Laramée, (Ste-Melanie, QC)
– Kirk Mcdowall, (Anmore, BC)
– Forrest Riesco, (Gibsons, BC)
– Benoit Rioux, (Cowansville, QC)
– Kyle Sangers, (Kingston, ON)
– Sidney Slotegraaf, (Hamilton, ON)
– Samuel Thibault, (Chambly, QC)
– Kristen Courtney, (Ottawa, ON)
– Micayla Gatto, (North Vancouver, BC)
– Jaime Hill, (Pemberton, BC)
– Vaea Verbeeck, (Grandby, QC)
Junior (U19) Men
– Chris Bennett, (Calgary, AB)
– Benjamin Després-Morin, (Montreal, QC)
– Alexander Geddes, (Whistler, BC)
– Matt Hardwick, (West Vancouver, BC)
– Jack Iles, (Whistler, BC)
– Bowen Irvine, (Whistler, BC)
– Lee Jackson, (Squamish, BC)
– Hugon Langevin, (Ste-Catherine, QC)
– Mitchell O’Keefe, (Calgary, AB)
– Mckay Vezina, (Newbury Park, CA)
– Dan Proulx, Head coach
– Ian Hughes, Development coach
– Tara Lazarski, Physiotherapist
– Adam Trotter, Mechanic
– Andy Anchuff, Mechanic