Pedal Magazine - - Out In Front -

Stage Six at Val­lée Bras-du-Nord-Shan­na­han had been billed as a sin­gle stage that could jus­tify par­tic­i­pa­tion in the event, and it de­liv­ered at ev­ery turn. The venue for the start was on the shore of Lac-Gouat. Sur­rounded by moun­tains and gran­ite cliffs, you could not help but feel you were on the West Coast. I spoke to Tommy Pa­quet, a Que­bec rider who knew this stage well. Pa­quet has spent some time rid­ing with Greg Day of the Rocky Fac­tory XC team in Squamish, B.C. “You are go­ing to love the timed de­scent,” he said. “It’s go­ing to re­mind you a lot of the trails in Squamish.”

The timed de­scent was on a trail called Neil­son Est, and as per Pa­quet’s de­scrip­tion, it de­liv­ered in true West Coast fash­ion – a steep down­hill with per­fect berms punc­tu­ated with gran­ite roll-downs and a few rocky, rooty sec­tions to keep you on your toes. This led us to the sig­na­ture trails of this area along the Neil­son River. The com­bi­na­tion of nat­u­ral gran­ite slabs and bridge­work was un­like any­thing I’ve ever

seen. The imag­i­na­tion and artistry that went into the build­ing of this trail made it one of the most im­pres­sive routes I have ever rid­den. To the trail-builders of Val­lée Bras-du-Nord-Shan­na­han and all the builders from ev­ery stage who shared their hard work and pas­sion with us, a sin­cere merci beau­coup.

It was emo­tional for many rid­ers to cross the fi­nal fin­ish line, re­ceive their medal and

of­fi­cially earn the ti­tle of “Que-Biker.”

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