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Poor conditions halt MTB World Cup opener

By Sue George with additional reporting by Dave McElwaine in Mont-Sainte-Anne

The sun was out and shining brightly Friday evening over the Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec, venue hosting this weekend's round of the cross country and gravity mountain bike UCI World Cup, but it wasn't in time to prevent the 4X qualifications from being cancelled for the evening.

Heavy storms, especially this week, took a toll on the 4X course, with deep ruts and mud holes making the course unsafe for racing. Organizers decided to postpone the qualifications and are attempting repairs to the course.

Revised, tentative plans are for both the 4X qualifications and the finals to be run Saturday, instead of just the finals. Officials will have some tight scheduling; the 4X and downhill courses cross and thus, both events cannot be run simultaneously. In addition, with the downhill semi-finals and finals also set for Saturday, riders who are signed up to compete in both events will have an especially busy day.

Reports of the cross country and downhill courses are coming back muddy, too, with plenty of ruts and wet roots and some water running down the course. The forecast for the remainder of the weekend includes temperatures in the mid 20s (degrees Celsius) and a mix of clouds and sun with showers possible at times.

In related news, gravity racer Joanna Petterson crashed during training on the downhill course and suffered a concussion and a broken arm, which will leave her out of this weekend's racing.

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