For the first time ever full suspension bikes dominated both male and female podiums at the highest level. The technical Canadian course had plenty singletrack and twisty descents as well as severe climbs, and saw many riders reaching for the suspension options in their race arsenal.
After leading his home round throughout the race, Cup leader Roland Green (Trek) punctured the front wheel of his Fuel suspension bike and was overtaken by Christophe Sauser. Sauser – on the debut outing of the Cannondale Scalpel stormed past to take an 11 second victory, while his team mate Cadel Evans was only two seconds behind the unfortunate Green.
In the Women’s event Barbara Blatter took her
Specialized S-Works FSR suspension bike to a clear victory, ahead of hard riding home girl Chrissy Redden on her Fisher Sugar, while Caroline Alexander continued a blinding season with a fourth place.
So both places one and two in both races were won on full suspension. Sceptics might contend that the Scalpel has ELO remote lockout, the Fuel has manual suspension lockout and Blatter’s FSR had some kind of thumbshifter operated lock out too, but they all chose to carry the extra weight of assorted pivots and shocks round because they knew they’d be faster round the course overall.
Looks like suspension is finally being accepted as the fastest way to travel by the fastest riders in the world.