Cast in stone

Mont Sainte Anne track walk

In a summer season of blockbusters, the Mont Sainte Anne Franchise keeps on getting better. Maybe it’s because we normally come here after a slew of European bike parks but the brown carpet just seems to get rougher each year.

Photos: Seb Schieck

This is the only non-European round of the circuit this year but you could easily mistake MSA as part of the continent

There’s a slightly re-worked set this year with a top section yawing left a bit earlier than normal through a cafe. It’s a novel little twist that leads into a new rock garden before firing back into the straightaways. Other than that, the rocks have sharpened their fangs, the sun has left a layer of blown out dust and the new sections look ready to batter bikes and bodies. Brown dirt and white rock, It’s going to be classic Mont Sainte Anne.

25 years of wear taking their toll on rocks sharpened to a point. Stony determination will be needed to deliver a result here.

You don’t get to be on the World Cup circuit for so long without providing a great spectacle and we’ve no doubt we’re in for more this weekend, especially with a wet weather plot twist posted in the gondola hut.

Brollies out!

For now though, let’s make hay while the sun shines and take our 25th walk down the Quebecois monster with an all-star cast.

In MSA, the road to heaven is paved with rough rocks
The legend.
Gwin returns from another successful pillage on the US National Champs, he'll have some work to do if he wants to topple the marauding Minnaar though
Tyre troubles cost Gwin dearly in Lenzerheide. Will the reigning champ be able to overcome his rubber woes
Les Dalles (The Slabs) or the rock garden as it's always been known. Open to the elements and more tricksy every year.
It doesn't get any easier seeing things like this...
They call it Rampage Rock for a reason. The Specialized crew are aiming deep
No sweat for Mr Moir, even in this fierce heat
There's a fine layer of dust for now but with rain and even storms forecast, we could be in for another wet weekend
It’s been nearly ten years since Minnaar won here  and there’s no doubt another is on the cards with the form he’s on but he’ll probably be just as happy to continue his podium streak and shore up his overall challenge
Kaos Seagrave doing his best to blind Seb behind the lens
The junior title is wrapped up for Iles and he’ll no doubt have his eye on seniors from now on.
Just 80 points behind Myriam Nicole, Hannah will be looking to shimmy her way back into the leader’s jersey on Saturday night
Danny Hart is firing on all cylinders again as we head into the final two rounds. Can he repeat his winning run from last year?
There's no rest in Mont Sainte Anne, you're up to warp speed straight out of the gate
Minnaar was unusually solitary on track today, clinching that overall means a lot to the South African.
There's pretty much no where nice to land here, just tense and hold on tight
New tinder pic for the Dog
Trace scopin', Bren swipin'
More rocks embedded in deep dust this year. Mechanics are putting on their lacing hats already.
Gwin is suffering a five year drought at Mont Sainte Anne, the fast and rougher-than-ever track will suit him to a tee though
Bruni has two podiums here but no wins. He's well in with a shout this weekend.
Downhill racer or Abercrombie and Fitch model?


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