The Mountain Bike World Cup left us hanging for a while after Leogang, but after coming back with a bang in Mont-Sainte-Anne last weekend, we forgive it for ever going away.
The Canadian track was riding longer than ever before, with the course 100m higher up the mountain than previous years.
As you would expect, there was some sick riding and some big bail outs as the riders took on a track renowned for it’s gnarly rock sections.
Have a read below to check out our must see moments from the weekend race…
1) King of the Hill
It’s impossible to begrudge Sam Hill his latest World Cup win. The Australian has been shredding hard for years, and while this was the third time he’s won at MSA, it’s also the first time he’s taken a top spot on the circuit since 2009.
Everyone was pretty stoked to see Sam take the win, and he had to launch a pretty special run to do it – edging out Josh ‘Ratboy’ Bryceland by just over a second after qualifying for the final in sixth.
Check out the highlights above to catch Sam’s winning run and the rest of the action.
2) Loic Bruni’s Gnarly Scorpion Crash
There were a fair few crashes at MSA. Sam Hill and Brook Macdonald both suffered on the course, and Charles Georges Pierre just managed to hang on after getting a flat.
The winner of the weekend award for gnarlierst crash goes to Loic Bruni though, for this badass scorpion crash.
Someone was bound to go head over handlebars, and French rider Loic Bruni proved to be the one.
The video really speaks for itself on this one. Someone was bound to go head over handlebars on the gnarly rock sections, and French rider Loic Bruni proved to be the one, taking this nasty tumble in qualifying.
Full credit to Bruni for getting back on the bike so quickly though. He went on to stick a sick run and bag a ninth place finish in the final.
3) Manon Madness
Manon Carpenter’s World Cup win rate was non-existent at the start of the season, but the rider now has three to her name and looks to be well on the way to claiming her first overall victory.
The 21 year old did everything right on the weekend – qualifying in first and piling on the late drama as she pipped Rachel Atherton to the win with the last run of the day.
After a slow start, Manon absolutely shredded the later sections of the track to claim a win that puts her 160 points clear of Emmeline Ragot in the standings.
That’s now 1030 points for the top rider, and 3 World Cup wins in the past 5 events. It doesn’t look like anyone can stop Manon Carpenter just now.
4) Gee Atherton’s Annual Self-Abusing
Gee Atherton has been abusing himself in Canada for years now. The rider had a gnarly crash in practice in 2012 and ended up finishing fourth, and last year he was blown off the course and into the trees in qualifying before racking up a second place finish.
Not to let down his record then, Gee threw himself off bike again this year in practice, subsequently having to go to ER – where he no doubt has a lot of friends by now – to get x-rays on his shoulder.
Despite the fact he was clearly in a lot of pain, the GT Factory man made the final and somehow managed to finish 11th. That guy is tough.
5) The Dog That Loves MTB
Rachel Atherton had spoken about a dog that dived into the middle of the track during her race run. When Guillaume Cauvin hit the course, the four-legged enthusiast went to get the best possible view it could – in the middle of the track.
Check out the video to see the dog jumping out in front of Guillaume in one of the gnarliest rock sections on the course. The rider got a rerun because of the incident, but a puncture early on in that second run meant his day was over early on.
6) The New Guard Sticking Huge Runs
Sam Hill may have taken the top spot in the men’s elite this weekend, but look over his shoulder and you’ll see the young guns at it again.
Ratboy raced to a second place podium spot after taking a debut win in Leogang. Everyone’s favourite rider looked to be on for the win after killing it on the top section, but despite qualifying first and showing all the right signs, Josh lost a little too much time on the rocks and missed out on another win.
Troy Brosnan took fourth. It’s not what the 21 year old was after, but it keeps him at the top…
Danny Hart racked up a third place finish meanwhile, and although he’s not bagged a World Cup win since 2011, it’s surely just a matter of time for the rider.
Troy Brosnan took fourth too, and while it wasn’t what the 21 year old was after, it keeps him at the top of the leaderboard with just two races to run.
It’s going to be a sick end to the season. Stay tuned for more.