The attention of the mountain bike world turns to Mont-Ste-Anne (MSA), Quebec, Canada, this weekend, for round six of the Downhill World Cup and Round 5 of the Cross-country World Cup. According to national governing body, Cycling Canada, MSA is one of the legendary stops on the World Cup circuit; the only venue to have participated in the series every year since it began in 1991 – with the exceptions of 1998 and 2010, when it hosted the world championships instead.
Known for traditional courses incorporating natural terrain, MSA requires riders to have both technical skills and endurance if they hope to do well. The 2.9 kilometre downhill run is one of the longest in the World Cup, with riders dropping from over 800 metres to 200 metres at the base. The cross-country circuit is 4.3 kilometres, with constant climbing and descending, slippery roots and technical rock gardens.