World Champs: DH Meat and Potatoes

By: Colin Meagher

The second helping of meat and potatoes for this World Champs came down to who could keep it together the best on a track that the remnants of Hurricane Earl had saturated during the two previous days. For the Elite Women, it was Tracy Moseley; for the elite Men, it was none other than Sam Hill.

The loose and dusty track of the first few days of training at Mont-Sainte-Anne was big and fast and mean. Then came the rain from Earl. While everyone agreed that a bit of wet was needed to smooth out the rough monster that the DH track had evolved into, none were wanting quite so much moisture as was delivered. C’est la vie.

The Junior riders went off first in the morning—yet another appetizer. Lauren Rosser of Canada pulled out a great ride for the win, while the Monster Energy junior racer Troy Brosnan took the hot seat away from Neko Mulally.

Then came the ladies. The rain-slicked course was getting faster in some places boggy in other. Additionally, the succession of riders from the previous two days of training had left a thin greasy coating of mud on all the roots and rocks, forcing riders to re-assess line choice in favor of staying upright—particularly in the rock garden.

Leigh Donovan was the first rider to take the hot seat but it was evident that her time wouldn’t hold—although her time did end up being the best amongst the American women. Rachel Atherton knocked her down, also with a time that didn’t appear likely to hold. Nor did it, as Mio Suemasa took the lead.

Then came Moseley.

The British rider has been coming on strong in the latter half of the season, and was clearly riding at a different level at Mt St Anne. Her time of 5:17.47 put her nearly thirteen seconds up on Suemasa. It was an absolutely smoking run given the tenuous amount of traction on the course, and it was a time none of the other riders could better.

“I’ve been racing here a long time,” said an ecstatic Moseley, “and this is one of my favorite tracks. Taking the rainbow stripes here is absolutely awesome.”

In the men, it was a battle. No qualifying run to get your blood up, just zero to sixty in seconds. As the field was whittled down to the top seeds, Danny Hart laid down an amazing run, but his time didn’t look likely to hold with the firepower remaining in the start shack. Nor did it, as Canadian gravity hero Steve Smith smashed his way down the track and took the hot seat in 4:40.56—a stunning ride for the MS-Evil rider. But only two riders later, Sam Hill snatched it away from Smith with a time the Aussie rider didn’t think would stick for the win. But it did. Rags to riches for Hill, as none of the other riders could better his time of 4:37.93.

“I didn’t think I would have a great ride here,” stated a surprised Hill. “My morning practice bummed me out; I was really sloppy.”

Steve Smith’s time was good enough to keep him in second, while Greg Minnaar’s ride landed the South African in third.

Until next

Greg Minnaar's wrench, Ricky Bobby, centering the number plate on Greg's race steed.
Greg Minnaar's wrench, Ricky Bobby, centering the number plate on Greg's race steed.
Warm ups before the big dance for this Canadian hopeful at the top of the piste.
Warm ups before the big dance for this Canadian hopeful at the top of the piste.
Monk-dog, ace mechanic to the gravity stars, pinning on Neko Mulally's number for the junior race.
Monk-dog, ace mechanic to the gravity stars, pinning on Neko Mulally's number for the junior race.
Lucky number 13, Daniel Franks, heading out on the track for the juniors race.
Lucky number 13, Daniel Franks, heading out on the track for the juniors race.
The future? Mitch Ropelato rolling in.
The future? Mitch Ropelato rolling in.
Dodging a bullet? Not quite; Mulally reacts to Troy Brosnan's smoking run, and Brosnan's taking the win away from Mulally at the 11th hour of the race.
Dodging a bullet? Not quite; Mulally reacts to Troy Brosnan's smoking run, and Brosnan's taking the win away from Mulally at the 11th hour of the race.
Lauren Rosser taking the podium stance.
Lauren Rosser taking the podium stance.
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of shoe, the horse was lost; for want of a horse, the battle was lost... What might have been: Lewis Buchanan's pedal took this unusual shape near the top of the track. He finished 9 seconds down with a distinct handicap.
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For want of a horse, the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost... What might have been: Lewis Buchanan's pedal took this unusual shape near the top of the track. He finished 9 seconds down with a distinct handicap.
Leigh Donovan heading up for the women's start.
Leigh Donovan heading up for the women's start.
Jill Kintner's first dance with Mont-Sainte-Anne, but not her last. Out of the money, but bound and determined to be back.
Jill Kintner's first dance with Mont-Sainte-Anne, but not her last. Out of the money, but bound and determined to be back.
Mio Suemasa entering the rock garden.
Mio Suemasa entering the rock garden.
Jonnier sweeping into the woods.
Jonnier sweeping into the woods.
It is the World Champs, after all. Chile takes a turn at Mont-Sainte-Anne's ogre of a track.
It is the World Champs, after all. Chile takes a turn at Mont-Sainte-Anne's ogre of a track.
..
..
Luke Strobel with a top 20 ride despite a less than 100 percent shoulder; look for the US rider to continue to march up the ranks.
Luke Strobel with a top 20 ride despite a less than 100 percent shoulder; look for the US rider to continue to march up the ranks.
Chris Kovarick's won here before, but today was not his day.
Chris Kovarick's won here before, but today was not his day.
The ride of the year for Steve Smith.
The ride of the year for Steve Smith.
Brendan Fairclough was another rider taken out of contention with the sloppy course. ''I slapped a rock somewhere near the top, and may have a broken hand. There goes my 'Rampage' in Utah.''
Brendan Fairclough was another rider taken out of contention with the sloppy course. ''I slapped a rock somewhere near the top, and may have a broken hand. There goes my 'Rampage' in Utah.''
Brendawg getting a bit of spot treatment on his hand.
Brendawg getting a bit of spot treatment on his hand.
Fourth place for Aaron Gwin. Next year, Gwin, next year.
Fourth place for Aaron Gwin. Next year, Gwin, next year.
''My race was rain effected, but it's an outside track, so that's just part of the game,'' said a disappointed Greg Minnaar after taking third. ''I don't like to lose.''
''My race was rain effected, but it's an outside track, so that's just part of the game,'' said a disappointed Greg Minnaar after taking third. ''I don't like to lose.''
A well deserved podium for Moseley.
A well deserved podium for Moseley.
Podium girls and podium boots.
Podium girls and podium boots.
Sam Hill surprised even himself with this win. ''I don't know what it is. There's just something about this track; I always do well here. Even when I don't think I will.''
Sam Hill surprised even himself with this win. ''I don't know what it is. There's just something about this track; I always do well here. Even when I don't think I will.''
Monster-Specialized had an amazing day, capturing two World titles in the space of only a few hours. The champagne likely flowed all night.
Monster-Specialized had an amazing day, capturing two World titles in the space of only a few hours. The champagne likely flowed all night.

That’s a wrap on this season.