Unthinkable amounts of rain quickly put and ending to the days activities as everyone rushed to frantically pack up the vans and get the hell out of here. With the forecast for tomorrow looking similar to that of today, we could all be in for an interesting day of qualifying. Join us tomorrow for all the action and results from qualis!
Figuring it was a good idea a the time when the sun was out, several riders made their way up top for a one last look at the track before qualis. Sam Dale reported back with the status of the track...and it wasn't good. Lets all just hope the wind comes in over night and pulls in some sunshine. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/32_audio.mp3"]"
"32_audio". Released: 2014.
Last time I checked electricity and water don't really mix to well. Really not to sure how this made it past the health and safety checks...oh yeah I remember...we are in Canada!
The pits soon started flooding and there really wasn't a great deal you could do. At least its all set up in a tarmac car park and not in a flood prone field like previous races!
It wasn't long until everything was drenched! It didn't really even matter if you were inside, the huge amounts of water sent torrents through the pits. Note to self, waterproofs required for tomorrow!
And then the heavens opened...and she opened up well and truly. You didn't want to be caught out in this tropical down pour! "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/20_audio.mp3"]"
"28_audio". Released: 2014.
But with Stevie out for the weekend doesn't mean the show stops for the Devinci team. With still two hopeful riders on board, they will be looking into the game at hand, but all they will know is it most likely wont be looking like the party they had last year!
...when all of a sudden, a thick layer of clouds quickly filled in the blue skies. A storms brewing! The thunder rolled in and we all started to search for shelter.
The definitions of fun, Josh Bryceland sure does get a kick off of riding his bike. Found mostly howling to himself as he goes foot of and flat out into pretty much all the corners. Planted on his new 27.5 V10, it should keep him rolling faster for longer! Oh how the sunshine right at this point was a thing to remember...
Another new ride spotted on track today and after Santa Cruz played the double bluff saying to was a prototype, they release this 27.5 wonder! Nothing technologically new, just frame and geometry tweaks to accommodate for the new big wheels.
But this man today has been once again turned heads. Mike Jones has been the talk on the cards with his flat out in to everything attitude. Choosing lines with Sam Hill is going to get you quick fast, and it showed in timed practice today as he snapped up 5th. All he has to do now is pull it all together into a race run, but what you have got to remember he is a first year Elite!
Patrick Thome up there with his timed practice run, sitting tight with a 10th. With a good handful of results he has yet to win any big titles. A 2nd at the French Nationals Champs shows his potential but the next few years are crucial to his career.
Four podium spots and two wins including a World Champs sees Sam Hill as one of the most successful riders on the track here. Looking like a track that resembles parts from the 2010 Worlds, it didn't take long for Sam to get up to speed, which showed in his timed practice run where he managed a 2nd just in behind Danny Hart by 0.3 of a second.
Finding it hard to get into the track in the morning, Marc Beaumont soon settled in once the rain came through. Marc scored his first ever World Cup podium here in MSA and has yet to live back up to it here. He will be looking to make this weekend a winning year. He spoke about how his day went. With rumours of an injured Gee Atherton, Marc may have to pull it together for the team. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/20_audio.mp3"]"
"20_audio". Released: 2014.
Elliot Jackson sending it flat out off the hip in the motorway section. This high speed part of the track is a huge favourite for many who come to race the track here in Mont Sainte Anne.
Riding a little on the successes of last year where he won in Vallnord, Remi Thirion is another rider yet to make his mark on the season this year. A consistent all round rider like himself should thrive on a track like this, but maybe the limitations lie in the bike? Less and less full alloy bikes are on the scene these days and maybe it says something, especially on a track where controlling speed is key!
Stevie Smith took the win here last year in a crazy turn of events that saw him flip the whole season on its head, and eventually take the overall. Back into it after an injury at the start of the season, Stevie has yet to really make an impact on this season as he did last year. This one could have been his round with the home soil advantage, but with recent news filtering through that he has injured his ankle, its not looking he will be racing this weekend...or possibly next! Is this his season ender?
But just as quickly as the rain came in, it disappeared again leaving only sunshine, but with the track feeling extra slick the riding got interesting. Wyn Masters pulling some shapes into this high speed section of track. Always looking quick, Wyn should place well here.
Loic Bruni is just dying to claim his first World Cup win. Missing out by the skin of his teeth in Leogang, he won't be holding back coming into this round. Crowned French National Champ, he knows he has what it takes to grace a top spot, he just needs to pull it all together.
A good set of previous results here for Matt but after a poor result last year he is keen to make up the difference on the new team. Battling with team mate Sam Dale for the numbers has given him the extra boost to push on. Making the most of the track he lands a 7th in timed practice. He chats about his day. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/14_audio.mp3"]"
"14_audio". Released: 2014.
Troy Brosnan continues to chat about the new bicycles. Aaron Gwin pictured here looking pinned in the open section. Troy explains the subtle difference between this and the old Demo and how he is getting on with it. A fully redesigned frame with some interesting design lines flowing through the frame. Big 27.5 wheels with some linkage and geometry changes mean this bike will be one to watch over the next couple of races. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/13_audio.mp3"]"
"13_audio". Released: 2014.
All the new toys are out today. New bikes popping up all over the place made it an exciting venture to see how they looked. Both Troy and Gwin were piloting this new Demo 8 which seemed to be doing them proud but the proof will be in the race day flavoured pudding. Will the bigger wheels make the difference? I caught up with Troy in the pits to talk about his day after his 3rd place timed practice run. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/12_audio.mp3"]"
"12_audio". Released: 2014.
Jill Kintner has raced here a good handful of times now over the years and looked like she was enjoying the track. The first of two North American rounds should be in her favour and with the thought of racing on home soil next week the pressure will be on.
Jumping into a round of Elite practice, all the riders were set to beat up the track. With the track here in MSA being predominantly soft natural dirt, it doesn't take long for big holes and ruts to start forming, turning this main line track into a bit of a different beast.
The weather on the Canadian hillside is almost as unpredictable as the UK! The clouds bellowed up the side of the mountain and dumped right over the top of us. Needless to say most people on the hill were unprepared for this and it was a mad dash to the nearest tree for shelter...we all figured it was in for the kill! The track needed some dampening up but the last thing it wanted was a downpour.
Rachel Atherton getting into the track during practice today. Feeling confident off the back of her National Champs win, she is entering this part of the season with an all to play for attitude. Can we expect to see a turn of pace for Rachel? We caught up with here after practice. "[audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/9_audio_01.mp3"]"
Just having too much fun, Neil Stewart was seen all day just whipping and playing around on his bike. Great to see some riders on the track actually having some fun! An unexpected season for him has seen some exciting results come through and he will be looking to find that podium again this weekend.
Young and pinned Laurie Greenland, fresh from being crowned Junior National Champion has set out for a top spot this weekend. Big travels for the little one sees him out here for first time. Racking up the runs today and he managed to put his name up high in timed practice with 4th. Hard to tell with the Juniors if the pace is up there, but comparing it to the Men's, they should be squeezing some good time out of today.
Dropping into the infamous MSA starting ramp, blasting out into the light and letting your riding do the talking for you!
Ladies and Juniors up first in practice today with a pretty stacked field too. Tahnee Seagrave proved herself here last year earning herself one of her best results that season with a 7th, when she was still a Junior! Coming on leaps and bounds since then, she will be looking to earn her first top spot podium soon!
Pretty ladies make you go faster in the eyes of Taylor Vernon with this fetching number strapped tightly to his top tube. One day ay Tay! The young junior rider is keen this weekend, especially after narrowly missing out in the National Champs 2 weeks ago.
Hill bound with the big red carts filling up quickly to kick off Group B practice. For all the spectators and media, the shorts and t-shirts were donned for what was expected to be a perfect day of hot rays and blue skies.
Some what indecisive bike setups coming from the pits this morning, with confusion about tyres and suspension all round. Damp but hot conditions to start off the day with rain forecast for the afternoon, its was set to be a day of changing tyres and cleaning bikes.
Greeted this morning with the sunshine blaring down on us. A quick walk up to the village for the riders and you are greeted by these big wooden steps, the ones everyone wants to be on the top step of come race day. The bell sounds for the first round on the DH track, kicking off with a day of practice. Jump in to check out all of todays action.
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It's gonna be a wet one!.....Maybe
The rain came down in Mont Sainte Anne, after a glorious start to the practice session things got wetter than an Otter's pocket out on the Quebec hill.
There were new bikes everywhere! Troy Brosnan gives us the low down on the new Demo 8 he and Gwin will be riding this weekend and the Syndicate team are all aboard the new V10. Aside from the bike porn there are a few upsets to the start lists. Steve Smith is definitely out after injuring his good ankle in practice, he posted a shot on Instagram and said...
It looks like Gee Atherton could be out too but we are yet to hear from the team on this one. Mike Jones has been looking fast in practice and when you share lines and talk tactics with Sam Hill there is only one direction for your times to go and that's down!
Rachel Atherton is going all out for the last races of the season but Manon Carpenter will be wanting to push herself for another win. Emmeline Ragot went fastest in Timed Training but a lot will change before race day. Tahnee Seagrave has been quick all year, could she land another podium out in MSA?
So it's definitely going to be an interesting race! Loic Bruni will be on a charge for a win after missing out in Leogang but the winner that weekend, Ratboy Bryce will be gunning for a second win riding the wave of National Champs success. New bikes and new wheels for Santa Cruz and Specialized could make a difference but this is their first World Cup event so the pressure is on!
Danny Hart went fastest in timed training and we know he is a master in the mud so could we see Danny take his first World Cup win of his career? It's a few years since that epic race in Champery but we know it's inside him somewhere. Maybe this weekend will see a young gun cleansweep of the podium!
Dirt will be reporting all weekend from the race and if you want to check out everything we have reported so far then hit the links here: