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MTB : UCI DH – Mont-Sainte-Anne Recap

Mont-Sainte-Anne produced some of the best racing of the season. Watch the winning runs and read the report from a thrilling sixth stop of the UCI DH World Cup in Canada right here.

No matter how many times the world cup cohort return to Mont-Sainte-Anne, the track never gets old and the high-speed course remains a firm favourite with riders and spectators alike.
Crowds gather at the Mont-Sainte-Anne downhill race 2018.
After a wet qualifier, the track had managed to dry out nicely by the time finals came around, but the rain had made the ruts and holes on course huge and the high-speed track the roughest it’s been for a long time.
Scroll down to find out what went down in the penultimate round of the Mercedes Benz UCI MTB World Cup from Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Women’s Finals

Coming into the penultimate stop of the Mercedes Benz UCI World Cup here, the rivalry between British riders Tahnée Seagrave and Rachel Atherton was at a peak, as the race to secure points for the overall title closed in.
Rachel Atherton in a gondola heading up to the top of the Mont-Sainte-Anne track.
The long, tough ride was creating big gaps in the Elite Women’s field and as the top 10 qualifiers prepared to come down, it was Carina Cappellari in the hot-seat, despite washing out on the loose rocks and crashing in her run. She held the spot until Monika Hrastnik started her run. On the back of a sensational year the Slovenian rider lit the splits up with green, and she danced over the rough terrain to take the hot seat with a 16 second lead.
Salazar riding at Mont-Sainte-Anne finals 2018.
Times on hot seat were short-lived, though, as each rider down managed to beat the race times. Hrastnik was shunted from the top by Mariana Salazar and then Marine Cabirou.
Cabirou rides at MSA during the 2018 finals.
As Tracey Hannah started her run it was obvious she was about to take time out of the field. Extending her advantage as she made her way down the hill, Hannah was having a sterling run until her chain jammed. Bravely hitting the final big jumps without any pedalling ability, Hannah still crossed the line in first.
Tracey Hannah rides at the MSA finals 2018.
Myriam Nicole marked the start of the final three women, making her comeback ride after an injury sustained at Val di Sole, Italy. Admittedly still trying to get back up to race speed, Nicole pushed hard out the gate but after a crash near split 1 and a bent seatpost she made the decision to call it a day resulting in a DNF. 
As the battle of the Brits got underway, it was second fastest qualifier Rachel Atherton who took to the course first. Riding on the edge, she was already 12 seconds up on Hannah’s time by Split 2, and an aggressive and faultless run saw her lead extend as she made her way down the hill.
Rachel Atherton rides at MSA downhill finals 2018.
With massive margins on her split times, Atherton put in a blistering run that saw her cross the finish line with a huge 20 second advantage.
Pressure was now on fastest qualifier Tahnée Seagrave. The last woman to leave the gate was flying down the hill, but was unable to challenge Atherton’s split times. Styling her way down the course and getting loose as the rocks kicked her bike around, Seagrave came over the line in second place, five seconds adrift of Atherton’s time.
Heading into the final World Cup round in La Bresse, France, the battle for the overall title is now in Atherton’s favour, as she holds a 110 point gap over Seagrave.
Women's podium MSA 2018 downhill finals.

UCI DH World Cup Mont-Sainte-Anne Women’s results

1. Rachel Atherton 4m 51.443s
2. Tahnée Seagrave 4m 56.530s
3. Tracey Hannah 5m 11.723s
4.  Marine Cabirou 5m 13.144s
5.  Mariana Salazar 5m 14.137s

Men’s Finals

Amaury Pierron went into the race knowing that he could wrap up the World Cup overall title after a good qualifying performance on the Friday. However the talk up at the start area was whether the French rider would elect to race at all after suffering a heavy crash in the last practice session, just hours before finals.
Amaury Pierron riding during at Rd 6 of the UCI DH MTB World Cup 2018 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada on August 11, 2018.
One man who definitely wasn’t racing was Laurie Greenland. The Brit rolled his ankle badly on a run the previous day and with the World Championships just a few weeks away, he chose not to go down the mountain. Aaron Gwin wasn’t there either, but it was his team-mate Angel Suarez who occupied the hot seat for a good while, before American Charlie Harrison knocked him off it.
Charlie Harrison riding during finals at Rd 6 of the UCI DH MTB World Cup 2018 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada on August 11, 2018.
Gee Atherton was racing his 100th World Cup race and was close to overcoming Harrison’s time, but wasn’t quite as quick in the latter section of the track and slotted into second place.
Gee Atherton riding during finals at Rd 6 of the UCI DH MTB World Cup 2018 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada on August 11, 2018.
In his first race back after a long injury lay-off, Greg Minnaar had been modest about what would be a good weekend here. He clearly had been understating it, as he was flying down the track on a run of serious note. He was up on Harrison’s time, but he crashed on the turn into the ‘Le Tarzan’ drop and dropped out of contention. The same turn also claimed Finn Iles and Brook Macdonald as victims.
Greg Minnaar riding during finals at Rd 6 of the UCI DH MTB World Cup 2018 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada on August 11, 2018.
Harrison was finally knocked off the top spot when Loris Vergier bettered his time. The Frenchman’s time at the top was however short lived, as Troy Brosnan beat his time by an incredible 3.1 seconds in a thrilling run. Luca Shaw failed to make an impression on Brosnan’s and Vergier’s times and slotted into third on the podium for the time being.
Champion in waiting Pierron showed strong mental and physical toughness by deciding to go for his run. He had to finish ahead of Vergier to take the World Cup overall with a race to spare. The Frenchman carried good speed in his run, switching between being ahead and then behind Vergier’s time at the splits. One final effort in the finish area saw him just better Vergier’s time to go into second, and with that he was crowned the 2018 World Cup champion.
Amaury Pierron riding during finals at Rd 6 of the UCI DH MTB World Cup 2018 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada on August 11, 2018.
Even if Vergier scores the maximum 250 points available at the last round in La Bresse he won’t be able to catch Pierron as there is a 307 point gap between the two going into that race
Pierron shows the point gap between himself and Vergier.
There was still the little matter of the race result to decide before Pierron could begin his celebrations, though. Loïc Bruni and then Danny Hart were still left to go. Defending world champion Bruni had the measure of Brosnan’s time on his way down, and was up on the Australian’s stellar time by 1.192 seconds by the third split. Bruni was super smooth and though he lost a little time towards the end of the run, he crossed the finish line with the new fastest time.

Hart wasn’t able to make an impression on Bruni’s time, but did go into third, as Bruni and Pierron were left to celebrate an incredible day for the French at the finish.

UCI DH World Cup Mont-Sainte-Anne Men’s results

1. Loïc Bruni 4m 12.713s
2. Troy Brosnan 4m 13.034s
3. Danny Hart 4m 14.036s
4. Amaury Pierron 4m 16.010s
5. Loris Vergier 4m 16.181s

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