First stop on the Trans Atlantic leg of this year’s UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup was Mount St Anne in Canada. A course that’s been on the World Cup circuit longer than former World Cup DH rider and Freecaster TV commentator Rob Warner!
For all three FMTB trained athletes making the trip over the pond Olie Burton (Arbath/Speedsport) Harry Molloy (Madison Saracen) and Dave Kynaston (Team Lac Blanc/Solid/Massif Des Vosges) the legendary MT St Anne long course meant that they were in for a test of nerve, skill and stamina.
Olie’s preparation was hampered by feeling under the weather while Harry and Dave were having fun getting to grips with the 4min 30second plus course, massive jumps and rocky technical sections.
Having struggled to make the top 80 and the finals at the early rounds due to injury both Olie and Harry made it through to the final finishing in 67th and 78th respectively behind fastest qualifier Greg Minnaar (Santacruz Syndicate). However, the long course took its toll on Dave arms, who as a junior still has some stamina to build for these super long tracks.
With the World Cup Cross-Country on Saturday the riders had more time to dial in their lines before Sunday’s finals. The extra days practice also gave the track chance to dry out and from the first rider on track in the finals it was obvious that the pace was going to be insane.
Riding in reverse order from slowest to fastest Harry was one of the early starters. Clocking a time of 4.55 to put him in the hotseat, Harry’s time kept him in there until fellow Brit Harry Heath toppled it and then the big guns of downhill started firing and the times started to tumble.
Olie put in a good run but a mistake and a trip over the bars in the final rock garden cost him dearly. Clocking 5.01 and coming home in 66th position. Obviously frustrated at making a mistake so close to the finish but much happier with the overall position.
Harry’s time ended up quick enough to place him in 55th and with the top three riders on the same second over a 4min 30second track with American Aaron Gwin (Trek Racing) coming out on top it’s crazy how close things are on the World Cup Circuit. With Harry’s season back on track too he headed for Windham with an eye on getting back into the top 50.