Sam Hill Wins Mont Sainte Anne Downhill World Cup
MTB - Quebec, Canada
CRC/Nukeproof Team Manager Nigel Page was there, as ever, to bring us all the action from Canada:
The ‘real man’s track’, the World Cup has been coming to MSA for over 20 years now and it is still renowned for being one of the best and toughest courses on the circuit. This year the course designers made some great improvements to the track and it was one of the best to date. Ironically this is the track where Sam had his last big win at the 2010 World Championships.
Sam, Mike and Joe all came into this race with confidence from some good results and a determination that showed all week. Sam had been telling me since his run in Leogang that he was winning Mont Sainte Anne and he did it with style. The quietly confident Australian has been putting in the work since his knee surgery last October, including following a strict training program from his trainer, Lewis.
Friday’s qualifying went great with all three riders in the top 15. Joe Smith in 15th, Mike Jones in 12th and Sam sixth with a slight mechanical. Joe has been on fire at the last few races in the UK and the speed Mike has moved up the world rankings is amazing and has everyone talking about him.
Sam powered out of the gate in his casual looking style and looked like he was just cruising down the track, but as you watched what Sam was actually doing and the lines he was hitting it was amazing to see the master on top of his game. Sam was up at the first split, and again at the second split, riding into the last section flawlessly, crossing the line in 4:10 to the huge crowd’s delight. With five more riders to go it was a nail biting 15 minutes but no-one was able to match Sam's run!
The whole crowd erupted when the people’s champion realised he had finally won, the emotion and relief on Sam's face is something I will never forget and it was also the first ever win for the team on the world stage.
Huge congrats to Sam we are all super proud of him and the whole team has worked so hard to get to this point. It is an amazing feeling of sweet success.
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