[qualifying results] [finals results]
[qualifying results] [finals results]
Mont Sainte Anne is a historic World Cup Downhill stop and all of the downhill riders know about its rich heritage when it comes to downhill history. Many riders have experienced joy and failure at this famous mountain and 2012 would prove to be no different.
Typically qualifying is held on Saturday however at Mont Sainte Anne it was held on Friday. This gave riders a shorter time to dial in the course.
When you consider most riders are on their race pace for over four minutes and thirty seconds on this tough course it comes to no surprise that there was some surprises when the clock began for qualifying and the finals.
Friday’s conditions were similar to that of Thursday and a lot of riders were struggling with controlling the massive speeds on this course. Over the course of the weekend, Gee Atherton, Matti Lehikoinen, Floriane Pugin, Neko Mulally, Josh Brycleland and many others hit the dirt quite hard.
The big disappointment for the team this week was Matti Lehikoinen going down in the finals in the last 20 seconds of the track. Matti was having a great run and the clock was showing he was going to post a fast time for a good result. Then as Matti popped out of the last wooded section and through the final rock garden, he clipped a rock with his front wheel after just going slightly off his line. Matti flipped over the handlebars and into a berm.
After a trip to the hospital, sadly it looks like Matti has been unlucky with his fall once again, separating his shoulder and tearing a muscle in his groin! Matti is really devastated by this as he is still recovering from the terrible injuries he sustained at the end of last season. I think this is harder for Matti mentally more than physically, but time will tell how he’s going to cope with this setback. He is a strong kid and we are all 100% behind him! – CRC Nukeproof
Aaron Gwin and Rachel Atherton went fastest in their respective categories during qualifying and they set the bar high for the remaining competitors.
After qualifying was concluded, riders headed back to rest up and reflect on the day. On Friday night, there was a lot of thunderstorms and tons of rain so most riders only did a handful of practice runs on Saturday. The track wasn’t too muddy from the Friday evening rain however rain continues to pour down after practice ended on Saturday.
Neko Mulally would go on to qualify well (17th) at Mont Sainte Anne but had a horrendous crash in his race run off one of the high speed jumps where it looked like his front wheel pushed too fast off the lip of the jump which quickly ejected him into the landing.
Josh Bryceland had a good result here last year and ended up 12th in the finals. Below he navigates a high speed jump that claimed Gee Atherton during timed training.
Sam Hill has been quietly proving that he still has what it takes. With a new baby boy, Bam, his motivation to do well seemed quite high this weekend. He would go on to take 5th place in the finals.
Mitch Delfs, Kona Factory Rider, knows how to ride a bike. Himself and Connor Fearon tried hard for the Kona Factory team this weekend.
Sunday was race day and it looked to be a great day for racing as the rain helped subdue the dusty track. Aaron Gwin and Rachel Atherton would repeat their winning qualifying results to take their respective wins in the Pro Men and Pro Women categories.
Greg Minnaar would go on to take 2nd place in the pro men followed by Danny Hart in 3rd. Andrew Neethling was able to do well in the qualifying (9th) and improved upon his qualifying result to take 8th in the finals.
Aaron Gwin went on to take the win for the Pro Men again this weekend. It was a momentous occasion for him as Mont Sainte Anne was his first World Cup DH race not long ago. Gwin, your 2012 Pro Men winner at Mont Sainte Anne.
1 GWIN Aaron USA19871224 TREK WORLD RACING 4:14.022
2 MINNAAR Greg RSA19811113 SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE +1.307
3 HART Danny GBR19910920 GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM +2.140
4 ATHERTON Gee GBR19850226 GT FACTORY RACING +3.060
5 HILL Samuel AUS19850721 MONSTER ENERGY-SPECIALIZED +3.609
6 MACDONALD Brook NZL19911125 MS MONDRAKER TEAM +3.885
7 SMITH Steve CAN19891125 DEVINCI GLOBAL RACING +4.521
8 NEETHLING Andrew RSA19840805 GIANT FACTORY OFF-ROAD TEAM +4.965
9 BLENKINSOP Samuel NZL19881028 LAPIERRE INTERNATIONAL +5.139
10 LEOV Justin NZL19841020 TREK WORLD RACING +5.633
-Full results link at the top of the page
All photos provided by Dave Trumpore. Thanks!