Recap: Mont Sainte-Anne Downhill delivers excitement in spades
September 8, 2017
Monte Sainte-Anne delivers All the Drama and Excitement
From the first race run of the day to the last, Monte Sainte-Anne delivered the most exciting race of a very competitive and evenly matched season.
with two races left to go in the season, both mens and womens overall world championship are still wide open with three riders in each dvision capable of winning.
Starting with the womens race, the excitment started with Emile Siegnethaler charge through the rock sectionand scored a solid time fro the other women to chase. Emilies time would hold up for podium spot as the other top competitors let it hang out. Tahnee Seagraves would come down with three riders left and throw down a super fast time and take first almost 12 seconds up on Emilie. But Rachel Atherton was next and even not quite 100% always a threat. But mid run at the Steve Smith drop, Rachel pulled one of the greatest saves on a MTB I have ever seen. Swapping side to side in the rocks that ensued, Athertons save would have been worthy of an ESPN Top Ten highlight show. The bobble however cost her a chance to overtake Seagraves fast time.
Hannah and points leader Miram Nicole were the only remaining challengers. Hannah had a solid run but just didnt have the pace to compete for the top step taking third. Nicole would be riding to make it three consecutive wins. Nicole was slow at the top losing ground but then stepped it up on the bottom making up time. Nicols efforts could not make up the difference leaving Seagraves to take her second win of the season. This was the most exciting and tightest races of the womens season and will make Val de Sole even more important.
Women UCI Downhill Results
1) Tahnee Seagraves
2) Miriam Nicole
3) Tracey Hannah
The mens started the day wtih rain falling and getting worse by the second. Australian Dean Lucas put down a good run before conditions would turn truly bad and sat in the hotseat and wait and wait and wait for his final result that would be decided by the fastest 10 qualifiers..
Dean Lucas, Aaron Gwin, Danny Hart enjoying the fruits of victory (photo courtesy of Redbull Media)
With the top ten qualifiers ready to run the rain would lighten up just a bit but by no means make it easy. Troy Brosnan was the first to make a serious run at Lucas time but in the end would finish the mud soaked run over 3 seconds back. There were just 6 riders left. Danny Hart would roll into the start gate with 4 riders and ate up the course going faster than Lucas with one section to go, but would give it back at the very end dropping back .36 of a second. A heroic run for sure and super exciting, but not enought to take the top step.
Minnaar would be up next but was quickly eliminated with a costly mistake in sector 2 and an finish result of 72nd. With Brosnan already in with a 6th place, he would only trail Minnaar by 77 points going into the final race of the season. Danny Hart would deliver on his turn as he so often does in the rain. Hitting speeds of 70+ KPH in the sloppy mud and going green for most of his run but then lost a bit of momentum and just losing .4 of a second to slot in behind Lucas hot seat time.
Gwin was the last competitor on the soaked course. With hints that a fast run could be had if it was perfect, Gwin would try his hand. From the gate Gwin threw down hard going green immediately and building a 2 second lead until the rock garden where a huge hole nearly stopped him cold and cost him valuable time. It would take the next split to see just how much. Pedaling hard to recover his momentum Gwin was still up by 1.45 seconds. All he needed to do was keep it on two wheels for the final couple of turns and jumps. Like the professional that he is, Aaron took the win in an exciting finish by just over a second. Dean Lucas, would take second place for his best result of the year and the world championship overall points would get really tight with Gwin just 41 points back. (Gwin also scored extra points for being the fasted qualifier).
Post race NEWS reported Greg Minnaar being disqualified for not re-entering the track where he had the difficulty in sector 2. This tightens the World Cup overall points considerably with Gwin now just 33 point behind and Brosnan 77.