UCI MTB World Cup Wrap

BY SAN­DRA WAL­TER

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by San­dra Wal­ter

Mont-Ste-Anne, Que. cel­e­brated its 27th con­sec­u­tive year of host­ing Union Cy­cliste In­ter­na­tionale world-class events and fea­tured the penul­ti­mate stop on the 2017 XCO and DH World Cup cal­en­dar on Aug. 5-6. Cana­di­ans used home-turf ad­van­tage to its fullest to post sea­son-best re­sults, with ju­nior DH world cham­pion Finn­ley Iles (CAN, Spe­cial­ized) bag­ging the win on a re­lent­less track. Catharine Pen­drel (CAN, Clif Pro Team) and Emily Batty (CAN, Trek Fac­tory Rac­ing) land­ing on the podium in the Elite women’s XCO com­pe­ti­tion in third and fourth re­spec­tively, and U23 men’s rocket, Quin­ton Dis­era (CAN, Norco Fac­tory Team), nab­bing his first World Cup podium in fourth.

World Cup over­all leader Yana Belo­moina (UKR, CST Sandd Amer­i­can Ea­gle) se­cured her ti­tle in the Elite women’s se­ries in Mon­tSte-Anne with still one round to go as she sur­passed early at­tack­ers Pen­drel and even­tual sec­ond-place fin­isher Pauline-Prévot (FRA, Canyon-SRAM). Two weeks later, Belo­moina had to set­tle for sec­ond in the Val di Sole, Italy finale, but still took home the crys­tal tro­phy as the se­ries cham­pion. It was Jolanda Neff (SUI, Kross Rac­ing Team) who won the fi­nal race, sig­nal­ing she was back on form, while the best that Canada’s Pen­drel and Batty could man­age was 12th and 17th re­spec­tively.

Nino Schurter (SUI, Scott-SRAM MTB Rac­ing Team) con­tin­ued his un­beaten record for the World Cup sea­son when he won the

Elite men’s race at Mont-Ste-Anne, but his com­peti­tors didn’t make it easy. Schurter fi­nally at­tacked de­ci­sively on lap five of seven, solo­ing in for the win. Lo­cal hero Raphael Gagné (QC, Can­non­dale-3Rox) was the top Cana­dian in 34th. In Val di Sole, Schurter over­came im­mense pres­sure to win an his­toric sixth con­sec­u­tive World Cup round for a per­fect sea­son. Fac­ing chal­lenges from all sides, the Olympic and world cham­pion kept his cool, and es­caped on the last lap to put an­other one in the bag. Gagné was top Canuck again in 54th.

B.C.’s Emily Un­ter­berger (CAN, In­de­pen­dent) made her World Cup de­but in the U23 women’s cat­e­gory at Mont-Ste-Anne and landed the best Cana­dian fin­ish in 17th, while Kate Court­ney (USA, Spe­cial­ized) won by a mas­sive two-and-a-half min­utes over sec­ond-place Sina Frei (SUI, JB Brunex Felt Team). In Val di Sole, Court­ney soloed in for the win again to ce­ment the se­ries’ vic­tory. No Cana­di­ans lined up for the race, but Anne-Julie Trem­blay (CAN, Cy­clone d’Alma) wound up top Cana­dian in the over­all stand­ings in 30th.

Cana­dian U23 men’s cham­pion Peter Dis­era (CAN, Norco Fac­tory Team) stormed out of the gate to es­tab­lish him­self with the lead­ers at Mont-Ste-Anne, but he was un­able to main­tain the pace and even­tu­ally faded to 15th, while Martins Blums (LAT, ZZK) rode to vic­tory. Quin­ton Dis­era picked up where his big brother left off to fin­ish a strong fourth. Blums couldn’t re­peat in Val di Sole, where he was bested by Nadir Colledani (ITA, Tor­pado Gabo­gas), but sec­ond place was good enough for the Lat­vian to take home the World

Cup ti­tle. No Cana­di­ans con­tested the fi­nal round, and Peter Dis­era re­tained the coun­try’s top over­all spot in the stand­ings in sev­enth.

Af­ter her team­mate and coun­try­man Iles bested the ju­nior men’s field, Mi­randa Miller (CAN, Spe­cial­ized) led the Cana­dian Elite women in the DH with a sev­enth at Mont-Ste-Anne. Tah­nee Sea­grave (GBR, Tran­si­tion Bikes/FMD Fac­tory Rac­ing) won de­ci­sively, fly­ing down the track nearly six sec­onds faster than her clos­est com­peti­tor and se­ries leader Myr­iam Ni­cole (FRA, Com­men­cal/Vall­nord). Canada’s Vaea Ver­beeck (CAN, Rocky Moun­tain) also made the top 10 in eighth. The com­pe­ti­tion was fierce in Val di Sole with the ti­tle still up for grabs. De­spite an­other win by Sea­grave, Ni­cole man­aged to hang onto the lead and take the ti­tle with a sec­ond-place run. Miller once again sped to the best Cana­dian fin­ish in sev­enth, wrap­ping up the sea­son in ninth over­all. Canada’s Iles put an ex­cla­ma­tion mark on his ju­nior se­ries’ win by also tak­ing vic­tory in the fi­nal.

The Elite men’s DH at Mont-Ste-Anne saw chaos lit­er­ally rain down as the skies opened and un­leashed a tor­ren­tial shower for the fi­nal 20 rid­ers, ren­der­ing the course ab­so­lutely crazy. The freak storm saw Dean Lucas (AUS, In­tense Fac­tory Rac­ing DH) – who landed in the hot seat be­fore it started – earn a ca­reer-best sec­ond-place fin­ish be­hind even­tual win­ner Aaron Gwin (USA, The YT Mob). The Amer­i­can crushed his run de­spite the weather. Cana­dian cham­pion Kirk McDowall (CAN) ben­e­fited from a dry run and logged the coun­try’s fastest run of the day in 12th.

Ev­ery­one held their breaths go­ing into Val di Sole be­cause the stand­ings were so close, but a flat tire for Greg Min­naar (RSA, Santa Cruz Syn­di­cate) took the heavy favourite out of con­tention and Gwin rode away with the fastest run of the day and the World Cup ti­tle. Canada’s Mark Wal­lace fin­ished sev­enth in the fi­nal and eighth over­all.

Elite women’s XCO podium at MSA (l-r): Batty, Fer­rand Prevot, Belo­moina, Pen­drel, Ka­len­tyeva

Nino Schurter (SUI) wins a his­toric 6th con­sec­u­tive UCI World Cup XCO for a per­fect sea­son.

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