DH Route 7 World Cup – Mont Sainte-Anne – Preview and how to watch
If you were to take a random selection of DH riders and ask them to name their favorite track on the World Cup circuit, the most popular choice would be Mont Sainte-Anne. It’s the venue with the longest history of the World Cup and it’s back this year after a two-year absence!
All photos: Red Bull Content Pool
How and when to watch
Women’s DH Final:
saturday 6e 5:25 August BST
Men’s DH Final:
saturday 6e August 6.45pm BST
Why do runners love MSA so much?
Well, the track is one of the biggest tests of a rider’s abilities. Soaring over 600m in just over 4 minutes, there’s a mix of everything from fast, open sections where runners hit 70km/h, to the infamous rock garden where the hopes and dreams of many runners have ended.
Mont Sainte-Anne is located in Quebec on the east coast of Canada. The downhill track is located in the town of Beaupré, a mountain ski resort located about 40 km from the town itself. The mountain is part of the Laurentian chain and rises to 800m above sea level. The weather is usually quite sunny, but the rain has affected many races here and it can get in and out of the mountains very quickly.
The last MSA World Cup was in 2018 with Rachel Atherton winning the women’s and Loic Bruni winning the men’s. Bruni was also victorious on the same track at the 2019 World Championships, with Myriam Nicole winning the women’s.
Perhaps the memorable run belongs to Aaron Gwin who delivered one of the greatest runs of all time to claim victory in 2017. With heavy rain halfway through the men’s race, 34e Top seed Dean Lucas looked set to claim his first World Cup victory. The fastest qualifier, Gwin, had none of that and took the win by over a second in biblical conditions…
And this year then? Well, at Elite Women, it’s exceptionally difficult to see anyone outside of the triumvirate sitting atop the overall standings. Camille Balanche has only raced here once before and hasn’t done well, but it was a similar situation at Fort William earlier this season and she came away with second place there. If it were offered to her now, I think she would accept the same result here. Leading the overall standings by 225 points ahead of Myriam Nicole, she probably only has to get on the podium in the last two races to win the title.
Women Elite – General classification after 6 rounds:
- Camille Balanche 1335
- Myriam Nicole 1105
- Vali Hoell 966
- Eleanor Farina 795
- Nina Hoffman 743
Having won here in 2019, Nicole is likely the favorite this time around. Hoell will no doubt continue his ‘win or fail’ approach which has only been successful at one race so far. In the last episode of the podcast I suggested that Nina Hoffmann, who won at Fort William, might be a contender here, but Jack and Emi thought otherwise, her style was just too wild and with so many rocks on the right track, they did not imagine its chances of doing it without mechanics.
Men Elite – General classification after 6 rounds:
- Amaury Pierron 1180
- Loris Verger 758
- Finn Islands 746
- Danny Hart 624
- Andreas Kolb 591
In Elite Men, Amaury Pierron should claim the title this weekend. With a maximum of 250 points available each lap and only 2 laps remaining, his 422 point lead over Vergier and 434 over Iles means one of them should win both qualifying and the race each lap. Finals and Pierron should have a disaster at each.
There will be no Danny Hart or Matt Walker this weekend. The former became a father for the second time this week but there were complications so he flew home and we wish Darcie Hart a speedy recovery. The latter broke his kneecap and his hand in an accident in Andorra and will probably miss the rest of the season. Having won here in 2018 and 2019 and without the overall standings in the lead, Loic Bruni will likely be the favorite as he continues to pick up the pace ahead of the World Championships in Les Gets later this month.
Junior Men – General classification after 6 rounds:
- Jackson Goldstone 340
- Jordan Williams 276
- Lachlan Stevens-McNab 231
- Tegan Cruz 181
- Remy Meier-Smith 164
Snowshoe’s fifth round was Jackson’s third straight win and he is now 64 points clear of Jordan Williams overall, meaning we could see the overall title come to an end this weekend. Watch out for Tegan Cruz who is in great shape right now.
Junior Women – General classification after 6 rounds:
- Gracey Hemstraat 335
- Phoebe Gale 295
- Jenna Hastings 250
- Izabela Yankova 195
- Aimi Kenyon 175
Gracey Hemstreet could also conclude the general classification in Canada even if her advantage is only 40 points. It’s home racing for Gracey and Jackson this weekend and they’d both like to wrap things up before Worlds.
It’s going to be another fantastic race weekend.
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