It’s World Cup time again and this weekend we are looking forward to another dose of amazing action, this time from Mont Sainte Anne in Quebec, Canada. Racers have had a weekend to rest and, more importantly, get themselves all the way from Vallnord, Andorra, where round three was contested.Title photo: Rachael Atherton racing to victory in Vallnord. Will she continue her winning streak in Mont Sainte Anne and will brother Gee follow suit?
The Vallnord (Andorra) event – round three on the UCI calendar – was one that will go down in history for several reasons: Primarily, that young Frenchman and Commencal rider (Commencal is based in Andorra) Remi Thirion stole victory from Aussie Sam Hill, who had qualified fastest on a steep and extremely difficult track that was made for the new school of downhill racers; also the event marked the end of an Atherton duo winning streak with Gee Atherton denied the win, although sister Rachael still managed to take first place in the women’s, making it a clean season for her so far. Another reason that Vallnord marked an important day for mountain biking was that Cedric Gracia, the man and myth, raced his last World Cup and made sure it counted – racing on his home turf and a track that he had helped to create.
The Mont Sainte Anne downhill course, as with the cross country, is traditionally brutal. Huge rock gardens, super high speeds and it’s as rough as they come. Well that’s normally the case, although we hear that things have been smoothed out somewhat for 2013 – although with several days of riders hammering the course it will more than likely be back to its full glory come race day.
Watch the course preview video with Claudio Caluori and make your own mind up whether it’s going to be ‘easy’ or not!