RESULTS: Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup DH Race 2017
The weather really wanted to be the decider today at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup downhill in Mont-Sainte-Anne Canada, but Aaron Gwin had other plans. The last man down the mountain battled buckets of rain, sloppy mud and slippery rocks and he did so faster than anyone else. "I couldn't see for a while and I thought that was it. I kept pulling roll-offs and I could finally see," Gwin said after his run.
Heavy rains plagued the last 20 Elite male riders down the mountain as the Red Bull webcast started, giving racers and spectators the impression that the race was all but over. The track itself became slower, but visibility was probably the biggest problem. The rain backed off a bit and Jack Moir dropped in. His performance gave the remaining riders hope that hot seat holder, Intense Factory Racing teammate and 2nd place finisher, Dean Lucas could in fact be beat. Lucas raced in the cleaner conditions prior to the webcast. Moir ended up 8th. Troy Brosnan, who eventually finished 6th piled more wood on the bonfire of optimism with a run that proved it could probably be done. Loic Bruni, 4th, came close but Danny Hart was the rider who almost bested Lucas' time, riding ragged, confident and loose. He crossed the line in 2nd at the time by just .4 seconds and landed in 3rd place overall, stoked on his performance.
The last glimmer of winning hope, Aaron Gwin, left the gate in monsoon-like conditions and let it hang out. Split times came up well in the green for the top portions of the track. A major hang up on a hole in the rock garden almost cost him the race, but he pushed on and on, taking mind-blowing inside lines around some of the trickiest corners on course. He crossed the line to earn a win for the ages by just over one second.
"It hasn't been a normal year for me, but I'm just enjoying the battle," said a clearly elated Gwin when discussing his fight for the overall with Greg Minnaar and Troy Brosnan. Minnaar had a major mishap up top, lost his bike and ended up with a DSQ result, giving him no overall points from this race. He was visibly upset during his post-race interview.
Tahnee Seagrave earned a valiant victory under slightly wet conditions throughout the Elite Women's battle. She rode strong from beam to beam without hesitation to land her 2nd World Cup DH victory. Fastest qualifier, Myriam Nicole was 2nd with Tracey Hannah rounding out the top 3. Rachel Atherton, who finished 5th had a very rowdy moment off the Stevie Smith drop, but held on to the amazement of spectators.
Finn Iles ran a strong, problem-free run to win the Junior Men's race ahead of Sylvain Cougoureaux. Having won the overall in his class already, Finn was personally racing for a time comparable to that of the Elite Men's podiums. Well, today, he would have won the Elite Men's class (we kid, we kid...you know, because of the rain?). Still an impressive run from the Junior! Fastest Junior qualifier, Matt Walker crashed and ended up last today. Junior Women had three competitors today, but congrats to American racers, Mazie Hayden and Kaitlyn Melvin for putting down some strong efforts with 2nd and 3rd place!
Elite Men's Results
So, how did the riders we saw on the webcast, in the pissing rain end up against each other? The following tables show how the top-23 qualifiers ended up against each other and in the overall.
Mud riders among the final results
Elite Men's World Cup overall standings (Top 20) with one race left
Elite Women's Results
Elite Women's World Cup overall standings (Top 20) with one race left
Junior Men's Results
Junior Women's Results