Conditions cause havoc for favourites

Jonnier and Hill go fastest ahead of final

Downhill qualifying was a tough task on the racers thanks to very unusual course conditions. It was raining at the top of the course but, other than a few drops, nothing much fell at the bottom.

Case in point was fastest qualifier Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain). "I didn't have a good run. I was too slow. It had rained at the start, and I was too careful," said Jonnier. "As I got lower, it became much faster. Overall, I could be much faster. It's an awesome track and I want to win here." Jonnier's time was 5.28.34.

Finishing second was Mio Suemasa (FunFancy.jp), 0.81 seconds back, and in third was Celine Gros (Morzine-Avoriaz 74) at 5.59 seconds. Top Canadian qualifier was National Champion Claire Buchar (Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense) in seventh, 9.50 seconds back.

Buchar was happy with her run. "I took it easy. The flow is good here so I enjoyed myself. I'm saving it for tomorrow," said Buchar. "I like the changes to the course. It is faster and flows better. The mud is also holding up well right now. They've done a lot of maintenance on the course. I hope it doesn't rain more because it will be really gnarly."

Going into tomorrow's race, Jonnier holds a commanding lead in the overall standings over countrywoman Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Centre), with round one winner Tracy Moseley (Trek World Team) a distant third.

The men's series remains a battle between Santa Cruz Syndicate teammates Greg Minnaar - the series leader - and Steve Peat, who this year set a new record for World Cup victories, and will be looking for his 50th World Cup podium appearance in Mont Sainte Anne.

Going up against them will be perennial favourite Sam Hill (Monster-Specialized) - still looking for his first win of the season - plus, World Champion Dan Atherton (Animal-Commencal) and the resurgent Fabien Barel (Subaru), who has come back from a knee injury to become the only rider to beat Minnaar and Peat this season.

As with the women, the course conditions at the top of the hill are creating some issues among the men. The first victim was the first racer down the hill, Greg Minnaar, who suffered a flat. "I don't know what happened. It was in the first section of woods. I was having a fast run and the next thing I know the tyre's flat," said the South African. He was able to finish the course, but not in a competitive manner, qualifying in 151st.

As a top-20 ranked rider, he is allowed to race the final, albeit with a less-than-favourable start place. Minnaar was running an unusually narrow front tyre with huge spikey knobs, combined with a wide rear tyre. The set up is very reminiscent of off-road motorcycles. Perhaps the narrow front tyre was ultimately the issue.

Minnaar's mishap was to the benefit of Hill who clocked the fastest time of 4:34:02, and Minnaar's teammate Peat, in second at 7:03 seconds. Peat always does well at Mont Sainte Anne. "I had a good run. I'm a bit tired now, but I think my chances are good here," said Peat. "If anything, the changes to the course have made it a bit easier, but also faster. There are more berms and some of the sections in the woods are easier. I'm going to step it up a bit tomorrow and I should be alright." In third was Gee Atherton (Animal-Commencal), at 8.99 seconds.

Top North American was Canada's Steve Smith (MS Evil Racing) in 11th place, 13.85 seconds back. "I had a good run but I had a little mechanical. My fault completely," he explained. "I wasn't conservative at all and unfortunately I bashed a big rock in the middle of the trail. I bent my chainring and dropped my chain. I'll do better tomorrow. It's a good track but it's demanding. It's hard on the arms and it's mentally tough because you're thinking and planning the whole way down."

Another name of note in men's qualifying is former pro Shaun Palmer, who qualified 76th.

Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Samuel Hill (Aus) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:04:34.02 
2Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:07.03 
3Gee Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal0:00:08.99 
4Samuel Blenkinsop (NZl) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:09.67 
5Fabien Barel (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team0:00:11.53 
6Justin Leov (NZl) Trek World Racing0:00:11.60 
7Michael Hannah (Aus) GT Bicycles0:00:11.61 
8Brendan Fairclough (GBr) Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz0:00:12.36 
9Nick Beer (Swi) Scott 110:00:13.03 
10Josh Bryceland (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:00:13.27 
11Steve Smith (Can) MS Evil Racing0:00:13.85 
12Aaron Gwin (USA) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:15.05 
13Chris Kovarik (Aus) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:15.12 
14Fabien Pedemanaud (Fra) Scott 110:00:15.47 
15Mickael Pascal (Fra) MSC Bikes0:00:15.99 
16Mitchell Delfs (Aus) Kenda Morewood0:00:16.07 
17Bryn Atkinson (Aus)0:00:16.27 
18Ben Reid (Irl) Just Reid Race Team0:00:17.08 
19Luke Strobel (USA) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:00:18.28 
20Andrew Neethling (RSA) Trek World Racing0:00:18.37 
21Danny Hart* (GBr) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon0:00:18.46 
22Jared Rando (Aus) Giant Mountain Bike Team0:00:18.54 
23Matti Lehikoinen (Fin) MS Evil Racing0:00:18.80 
24Marc Beaumont (GBr) GT Bicycles0:00:19.08 
25Jared Graves (Aus) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:19.69 
26Matthew Simmonds (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:19.99 
27Duncan Riffle (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing0:00:20.34 
28Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spa) Massi0:00:20.37 
29Antoine Badouard (Fra)0:00:20.42 
30Rémi Thirion (Fra) Team Sunn0:00:20.63 
31Damien Spagnolo (Fra) Subaru Mountain Bike Pro Team0:00:20.85 
32Ben Cathro (GBr)0:00:20.87 
33Lorenzo Suding (Ita) Dytech DH0:00:20.91 
34Pierre Charles Georges (Fra) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:21.03 
35Dan Atherton (GBr) Animal Commencal0:00:21.69 
36Joshua Button (Aus)0:00:21.87 
37Joris Bigoni (Fra)0:00:22.04 
38Shaun O'connor* (Aus) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker0:00:22.08 
38Ivan Oulego Moreno (Spa) Massi  
40Aari Barrett* (NZl) Scott 110:00:22.31 
41Markus Pekoll (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:23.05 
42Ruaridh Cunningham (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:23.36 
43David Vazquez Lopez (Spa) Lapierre Powered By Saab Salomon0:00:23.58 
44Pasqual Canals Flix (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team0:00:23.80 
45Filip Polc (Svk) MS Evil Racing0:00:24.10 
46Nico Vink (Bel)0:00:24.16 
47Wyn Masters (NZl) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team0:00:24.63 
48Dan Stanbridge (GBr)0:00:24.73 
49John Swanguen (USA)0:00:24.87 
50Thomas Braithwaite (GBr)0:00:25.06 
51Will Rischbieth (Aus)0:00:25.12 
52Cyrille Kurtz (Fra) Team Sunn0:00:25.44 
53George Brannigan* (NZl)0:00:25.56 
54Harry Heath* (GBr)0:00:25.60 
55Maxime Remy (Fra) Suspension Center0:00:25.73 
56Cameron Cole (NZl) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:00:25.83 
57Curtis Keene (USA)0:00:25.97 
58Antonio Ferreiro Pajuelo (Spa) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team0:00:26.71 
59Bernard Kerr* (GBr)0:00:27.40 
60Joseph Smith (GBr) Kona0:00:27.47 
61David Eme (Fra)0:00:27.84 
62Bradley Benedict (USA) Duncan Riffle Racing0:00:27.96 
63Herman Olund (Swe)0:00:28.05 
64Harry Molloy* (GBr)0:00:28.07 
65Dean Tennant (Can)0:00:28.15 
66Kyle Strait (USA) Specialized Team America0:00:28.21 
67Gerard Wolfe (Irl)0:00:28.25 
68Rémy Charrier (Fra) Team Sunn0:00:28.27 
69Nathan Rankin (NZl) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker0:00:28.31 
70Marco Bugnone (Ita) Argentina Bike Gravity Team0:00:28.41 
71Simon Garstin (Can)0:00:28.45 
72Jurgen Beneke (Ger)0:00:28.71 
73Thibaut Ruffin (Fra)0:00:28.81 
74Kyle Marshall* (Can) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team0:00:29.00 
75Patrick Thome* (Fra) Team Sport Bike0:00:29.10 
76Shaun Palmer (USA)0:00:29.84 
77Fabien Cousinie (Fra) Kenda Morewood0:00:29.97 
78Marcel Beer (Swi)0:00:30.17 
79Boris Tetzlaff (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:30.62 
80Esteban Deronzier (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 740:00:30.76 
81Kieran Bennett (NZl) X-Fusion-Intense0:00:31.49 
82Alex Bond (GBr)0:00:32.16 
83Joe Barnes (GBr)0:00:32.35 
84Loïc Delteil (Fra)0:00:32.63 
85Ludovic May (Swi)0:00:32.76 
86Scott Mears (GBr)0:00:32.92 
87Will Longden (GBr)0:00:33.48 
88Daniel Critchlow (GBr) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:33.57 
89Camille Blanchard* (Fra) Team Sport Bike0:00:33.83 
90Félix Groizard* (Fra) Team Sport Bike0:00:33.87 
91Ivan Oziol* (Fra)0:00:34.40 
92Georg Sieder (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:34.42 
93Chris Heath (USA)0:00:34.72 
94Harry Armstrong (Aus)0:00:34.74 
95Lindsay Klein (Aus)0:00:34.79 
96Dominik Gspan (Swi)0:00:34.99 
97Hans Lambert (Can)0:00:35.24 
98James Dodds (NZl)0:00:35.29 
99James Stock (GBr)0:00:35.33 
100Marco Milivinti (Ita) Dytech DH0:00:35.60 
101Remi Gauvin* (Can)0:00:35.76 
102Claudio Cozzi (Ita)0:00:36.32 
103Tamryn Murrell* (Aus)0:00:36.56 
104Brad Oien (USA)0:00:36.91 
105Daniel Sims (NZl)0:00:36.94 
106Yann Gauvin (Can)0:00:37.43 
107James Rennie (NZl)0:00:37.57 
108Mario Sieder (Aut) Solid Aclass Factory Team0:00:38.24 
109Gareth Brewin* (GBr)0:00:38.55 
110Emyr Davies (GBr)0:00:38.87 
111Geoffrey Ulmer* (USA)0:00:39.38 
112Oliver Kristevic (Aus)0:00:39.57 
113Antony Moore* (Aus)0:00:39.65 
114Dylan Prohm (Aus)0:00:40.58 
115Alan Crisp (Aus)0:00:40.70 
116Thomas Jeandin (Swi)0:00:41.29 
117Kristof Lenssens (Bel)0:00:41.50 
118Kevin Aiello* (USA) GT Bicycles0:00:42.13 
119Clément Benoit* (Fra) Team Sport Bike0:00:42.41 
120Martin Frei (Swi)0:00:42.49 
121Scott Papola (USA)0:00:42.53 
122Andrew Mitchell (Can)0:00:42.57 
123Sean Mcclendon (USA)0:00:42.70 
124Scott Laughland (Irl)0:00:42.84 
125Dylan Morley* (Can)0:00:43.50 
126Lars Peyer (Swi) Suspension Center0:00:44.07 
127Matthew Vincent (Aus)0:00:44.10 
128Junya Nagata (Jpn)0:00:44.13 
129Andy Thibodeau (Can)0:00:44.16 
130Laurie Dinham* (Aus) Suspension Center0:00:44.47 
131Rob Fraser (Can)0:00:45.44 
132Daniel Lavis* (Aus)0:00:45.95 
133Richard Leacock* (NZl)0:00:46.31 
134Heikki Hall (USA)0:00:46.32 
135Jason Memmelaar (USA)0:00:46.41 
136Liam Paiaro (Aus)0:00:46.42 
137Nataniel Giacomozzi (Bra)0:00:47.17 
138Daniel Wolfe (Irl)0:00:47.26 
139Cody Warren (USA) Specialized Team America0:00:47.77 
140Ewan Doherty (Irl)0:00:48.29 
141Amado Stachenfeld (USA)0:00:48.30 
142Joseph Horton (GBr)0:00:48.45 
143Karl O'sullivan (Irl)0:00:48.46 
144Chris Barlin (Aus)0:00:50.04 
145Daisuke Kurosawa (Jpn)0:00:50.35 
146Stuart Jenkinson (GBr)0:00:54.37 
147Benjamin Ayling (Aus)0:00:57.87 
148Nicolas Gspan (Swi)0:01:00.26 
149Chayse Marshall* (Can)0:01:12.36 
150Trenton Zoobkoff* (Can) XMS-Devinci World Cup Team0:01:13.87 
151Greg Minnaar (RSA) Santa Cruz Syndicate0:02:25.20 
152Sam Dale (GBr)0:04:16.69 
153Mathias Haas (Aut)0:14:43.22 
DNFJamie Biluk (Can)  
DNFRobin Wallner (Swe)  
DNSRhys Willemse* (Aus)  
DNSMathieu Gallean (Fra) Team Sunn  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sabrina Jonnier (Fra) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Bicycles0:05:28.34 
2Mio Suemasa (Jpn)0:00:00.81 
3Céline Gros (Fra) Morzine-Avoriaz 740:00:05.59 
4Floriane Pugin (Fra) Iron Horse-Kenda-Playbiker0:00:06.35 
5Emmeline Ragot (Fra) Suspension Center0:00:08.07 
6Tracy Moseley (GBr) Trek World Racing0:00:08.32 
7Claire Buchar (Can) Chain Reaction Cycles/Intense0:00:09.50 
8Melissa Buhl (USA)0:00:11.69 
9Rebecca Mcqueen (Can)0:00:12.71 
10Anita Molcik (Aut) Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team0:00:15.28 
11Emilie Siegenthaler (Swi) Scott 110:00:18.88 
12Anais ° Pajot (Fra) Team Sunn0:00:18.96 
13Micayla Gatto (Can)0:00:22.98 
14Petra Bernhard (Aut) Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team0:00:23.16 
15Jessica Stone (GBr) 2Stagefactory0:00:23.37 
16Fionn Griffiths (GBr) Norco World Team0:00:23.57 
17Kathleen Pruitt (USA)0:00:23.90 
18Danice Uyesugi (Can)0:00:28.12 
19Darian Harvey (USA)0:00:29.75 
20Gabrielle Molloy (NZl)0:00:32.98 
21Anne Laplante (Can)0:00:38.34 
22Harriet Harper (NZl)0:00:38.64 
23Jacqueline Harmony (USA)0:00:57.50 
24Joanna Petterson (RSA)0:01:01.50 
25Katie Holden (USA)0:01:01.92 
26Sophie Borderes (Fra)0:01:03.35 
27Claudia Paquin (Can)0:01:07.45 
28Katrina Strand (Can)0:01:09.43 
29Allegra Burch (USA)0:01:12.95 
30Neven Steinmetz (USA)0:02:13.93 
31Connie Misket (USA)0:03:20.07 
DNSMyriam Nicole (Fra)  
DNSAmy Laird (NZl)  
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