Well after great qualifying runs in the morning from all the team Chris 4th, Julien 8th, Matt 18th and Ruaridh 38th with a rear flat towards the end of his run we were looking good for a great final result with hopefully top 20's all round and at least 1 podium if not 2. I haven't been here since 2001 and the first time being in 1998 for the World Championships. The course hasn't changed a great deal since then but just a brutal as I remember it back then. Very physical on the riders and tough on the bikes. Many riders suffering from flat tires, but with our great Sun MTX 29 rims with Maxxis tires the only flat we suffered all weekend was Ruaridh's qualifying run.
As the track dried out a lot from the previous days downpours riders were changing from spikes to dry tires for the mornings qualifying runs and the rain held off for the finals. Ruaridh was off first and as he hit the split time he was only 1 second off the fastest time so far set by Matti Lehikoinen from the MS Intense team. But Ruaridh had been riding with a mechanical and couldn't pedal so that was the end of his run.
Matt was off next and he was on a flier. As he hit the split time he was 1 second up and fastest so far but unfortunately caught his rear derailleur on a rock which went into his back wheel and sent him over the bars so his top 15 run was over as he just rolled to the bottom after pulling his derailleur out of his back wheel.
Julien was off next 8th from last and he had an ok run he said but made a lot of mistakes and ended the day in 8th. Still a fantastic result.
Chris was off next and 4th from last and really up for the win. This track suits his style and he always does good here winning twice in the past. He hit the split time just up on leading rider Steve Peat but more disaster as Chris hit his helmet on the bars in the rock garden and and his visor slipped down over his eyes. He had to take his hand off the bars after the rocks on a technical section to move it out the way but hit a rock with his front wheel as he did and had a big crash on a fast section. So that was the end of the teams day. Chris somehow managed 11th place just 12 seconds off the winning time by Greg Minnaar even with his crash and going off the track again on the last berm.
So that was the end of the day for us not the result we were looking for but nobody seriously injured and we are still 5th overall in the team standings with 3 more rounds to go and it is very close with only 10 points between us and 3rd place.
Julien and Chris are still in the hunt for that top 5 overall placing they are in 6th and 7th and very close in points to Fabienne Barel in 5th.
The race was won fair and square by a fantastic run by team Santacruz/Syndicates Greg Minnaar beating Sam Hill and newly crowned World Champion Gee Atherton. Greg also won the bonus prize purse for the fastest rider through the speed trap in the middle of the course. Chris was the 4th fastest through here.
Well we are staying in Canada now and heading off the the next round of the World Cup in Bromont next weekend. So hopefully with a bit of luck we can make it on to that podium and back up to top 3 in the team standings.
Thanks to all our sponsors for helping us have the best bikes and equipment available.
We will have some pictures posted with the report on our website www.crcintense.com
as soon as I get them from Victor Lucas.
Mens Downhill results:
1. Greg Minnaar Santacruz/Syndicate 4.30.57
2. Sam Hill Monster Energy 4.32.30
3. Gee Atherton Animal Commencal 4.32.83
4. Steve Peat Santacruz/Syndicate 4.33.53
5. Fabien Barel Subaru/Mondraker 4.37.25
6. Sam Blenkinsop Yeti Fox shox 4.38.34
7. Nathan Rennie Santacruz/Syndicate 4.40.12
8. Julien Camellini Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 4.41.74
9. Justin Leov Yeti Fox shox 4.42.35
10. Aaron Gwin Yeti Fox shox 4.42.65
11. Chris Kovarik Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 4.43.28
50. Dan Critchlow Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 5.00.36
62. Ruaridh Cunnningham Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 5.04.54
78. Matt Simmonds Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense 6.38.65