Déjà-vu of Lourdes: rain became again the grinch of world cup racing. Danny Hart again 3rd
The world cup in Mont Sainte Anne kicked off with a very bad start already with traveling. Almost everybody was struggling with canceled flights, delays, lost bikes and packages.
When we finally arrived we had very good and dry weather, the track was in perfect conditions and the world cup venue as usually well prepared. The course was picked with detail changes, but the riders couldn’t wait to be back on the maybe fastest track of the world cup circuit.
As the track is very fast and rough mechanics and riders have to do little adjustments on the material, but even that the track is very hard on the material. We had in general a very good setup already before so it just took some little tweaks to be ready for this track.
All the riders looked very good in the training sessions even Markus Pekoll had some issues in the last training session before his qualification run. He crashed in one section, pushed back up to try again, but suffered then from a front flat tire- but this was it regarding issues.
Qualification was a kind of ho-hum- Danny had a pretty good run and ended up in 4th position. His run was not 100% and he had some potential left for his race run. Laurie’s run was picked with small mistakes here and there, but he knew where to gain time for his race run- he ended up in 18th position. Markus had some little mistakes as well and finished in 29th position.
For race day bad weather was forecasted. We got the information for heavy rain showers in the late afternoon hours, but for some reason, the organization and the UCI risk the same scenario as we had in Lourdes, where we also knew in advance that we would suffer from heavy showers during the race.
Markus Pekoll came down first of the MS Mondraker team. He had good and almost dry conditions, but wasn’t fast enough to overtake the hot seat when he crossed the finish line- with a little bit of weather luck he finished in 29th position. Pretty soon after Markus’s run the weather changed to what was forecasted- heavy rain and we saw a Déjà-vu of what has happened in Lourdes at the beginning of the season.
Laurie already came down in heavy rain and it was obvious that he had to fight with a problem. As it turned out afterwards he struggled with his vision as water came between the lens and the roll-off system, which normally should help to have a good vision in rainy conditions. Laurie could hardly see in the last section of the track, but managed to come down in one piece- unlucky 59th place.
As everybody already thought the race is over Jack Moir crossed the finish line in 4th, which was a ray of hope for us. The conditions of when Danny left the start hut reminded of the conditions when he had his famous race run at world championships in 2011. Danny was the first who came down with just being up and down a few tenth of a second and missed the top spot by just 3 tenth of a second.
With only three more riders to come the podium was a sure thing, but there was a ray of hope for another top 3 result. Current overall world cup leader came down with problems and also Loic Bruni couldn’t beat the time of Danny. Last to come down was Aaron Gwin, who suffered from a mechanical at the last round in Lenzerheide on a winning run. He was hungry for the win and managed to set the final best time in these unreal conditions. Danny finished in 3rd, which took him into 4th in the world cup overall.
We are now heading back to Europe to prepare for the final round of the 2017 UCI MTB world cup in Val di Sole/ Italy- stay tuned for the finals!