With less than two months to go until the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup returns to Bromont, Quebec, course preparations are well underway for the August 1-3 weekend of racing. More than CAN$200,000 has been poured into downhill, cross country and four cross course improvements.
"Phil Saxena [UCI four cross course designer] was here in May, redoing the four cross course," said Race Director Richard Deslandes. "After the winter, we could have run a race without touching the course and probably still won event of the year, it has held up so well." Bromont's four cross won event of the year in 2008.
"However, having a week on-site, lots of dirt, lots of friends to play with and plenty of toys like front-end loaders, bulldozers and dump trucks, Phil decided that he might as well improve it a bit."
The four cross course's start will be shifted slightly to the left (when looking up to the top) and will come toward the rest of the course at a bit of an angle. The finish will end up being in the same place as before, but Saxena is redoing the jumps to make them more spectacular.
The four cross course will become a permanent fixture. The ski resort will simply fill in the jumps with snow for the skiing season and will no longer flatten the start and finish - so racers will be able to use the course all during the summer season.
The downhill course is getting minor adjustments at the top, with racers now going around the big drop off from the 2008 run.
On the other hand, the cross country course is getting an extensive re-work, with Ski Bromong working on it daily. The course should be ready by mid-June for two weeks of pre-riding prior to the Canada Cup on July 2, which is doubling as the test event for the World Cup.
The cross country course will be one-third longer than last year, with a new climb at the start of the lap.
The final change is a re-design of the site and how all three courses end.
"All three events will finish in the same area, but the courses are now completely independent, so we'll be to run practice and racing at the same time."
In 2008, Bromont returned to the World Cup circuit after nine years.