The Mountain Bike World Cup returns once again to Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, on August 10-12, for Round 6 of both the Cross-country (XCO) and Downhill (DHI) series. Mont-Sainte-Anne is the only North American stop on the World Cup tour, and is the site of many legendary races, dating back to the beginning of the MTB World Cup in 1991.
National governing body Cycling Canada notes that it is the only venue to have been on the World Cup circuit since the beginning; missing twice when it hosted the world championships instead.
Canada will have a strong presence for both the XCO and DHI events, with a total of 67 athletes across both disciplines. Unlike World Cups outside of North America, Canada will not field a national squad, with most riders racing in their trade team colours; however, a few NextGen XCO athletes and Downhill riders will race in the maple leaf uniform since they do not have the requisite UCI points to participate otherwise.
Competition begins on Friday August 10th, with qualifying runs in the Downhill and the fifth round of the new XCC – Short Track – competition for XCO riders. In the XCC, the top-40 women and men on UCI ranking each race for 20 minutes on a short course, with the top 16 finishers filling the first two rows for the following XCO race. In addition, the XCC offers half World Cup points.
Mont-Sainte-Anne has made some changes to the courses, as the area prepares to host the world championships in 2019 – the first venue to host the world championships three times. While traditional features such as the Beatrice descent remain, the start-finish has been moved so that the riders now face a final climb to the finish.
The Downhill at Mont-Sainte-Anne is one of the longest on the international circuit, requiring both endurance and technical skill.