Matt Rousu checks in from Downhill practice at the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup.
Words and photos: Matt Rousu
Today was drizzling rain for the morning session which made the new sections of the track pretty sketchy, with lots of lines developing and a few strange track changes had riders puzzling all day.
There are lots of Aussie Downhillers over here racing which is great to see, tomorrow looks pretty calm weather-wise so I expect everyone to step it up for quallies.
Series leader Camile Balanche crashed right near the end of the track and broke her collarbone so it'll likely be a showdown between Vali and Myriam.
Bernard Kerr is fresh off his best result ever and he is looking great here too, super creative and not afraid to let the bike slide around underneath him, it's beautiful to watch. Amaury Pierron just makes everything look so smooth, he's visibly faster than anyone in the sections I saw him ride.
Greg Minnaar also loves this venue and just looks solid on track, finding a few sneaky lines that shave off milliseconds in every sector. Home country hero Finn Illes is also a genuine threat to take the win here, the track suits him well; fast, precise and super fit, the crowd will be going crazy for him on Saturday.
I spoke to a few Aussie juniors and they are finding the track super difficult both physically and mentally. Stating that there's just nothing back home this rough & steep for so long. At about 4:30 - 5 minutes with sections you can hit over 60km/hr it's a fantastic track and a great warm up for many of these riders who will travel to World Champs in France later this month.
Lots more insight to come tomorrow here in Mont Sainte Anne.