Posted by Editoress on 09/2/10
Thursday afternoon the seeding runs were held for Sunday's final in the Downhill. We will have lots more photos for you to look at, but here are a few and some notes and quotes, compiled by Claire Bonin and Sarah Moore.
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The downhill racing got started today at Mont-Sainte-Anne with an official timed session this afternoon.
The Junior Women went down the course first. Canada's Lauren Rosser had a strong ride despite racing in the cross-country race yesterday afternoon. She qualified in third position in the Junior category.
The women were followed by the forty-seven racers in the Junior Men's category. Nick Geddes was the top Canadian in the run. He finished sixth, despite a crash just outside of the last section in the woods.
Chayse Marshall had a strong run and finished ninth, while Tyler Allison also had a good time and finished 11th, despite having his chain snap halfway down the course.
"I felt fast and I didn't make that many mistake. Fitness is big on this course, so I think my cross-country background will help me. Hopefully help me win the rainbow jersey."
The Canadian women were all doing the whole course for the first time this week. They'd only practiced sections of the course before today.
Kjersten Lone was the first Canadian to start but didn't finish her run.
Rebecca McQueen was the first Canadian to complete the course with the 18th fastest time of the day. She was happy with her run and enjoyed the fast course. "It was my first time doing the whole trail from top to bottom so I just cruised the whole thing. I've just done sections so far to feel it out that way. See what lines to hit. I hit pretty much all the line I wanted to so I'm pretty happy with that."
Vaea Verbeek was the next Canadian down the course. Her run didn't go as well as she'd have liked it to, and she finished in 19th position. "I had a bad run, crashed twice in the open."
Anne Laplante was the next rider down. She's also racing in the four-cross here so didn't give it her all and had the 17th fastest time. "This run is just to give an idea of the times and it doesn't change anything for Sunday. The four-cross qualification is more important." She struggled with how long the course was."I've done a Quebec Cup race here before but they're barely half as long. My time here today was 5:50 and the Quebec Cup race was only two or three minutes long."
Miranda Miller was ninth out of the starting gate. "Course is loose and rough, I wasn't feeling that good and I made a major mistake and went off the course before the drop. It was a messy run although I stayed up". Her timed run was the 12th fastest of the day.
Micayla Gatto, the Canadian Champion at the moment, was sixteenth out of the gate. "I just went out there to see what it felt like doing a full lap, getting into different sections with a bit of speed instead of stopping. Just confirming where my lines are, where I might be going a bit too fast to get places. I guess it was a good run. I wish we had qualifying as well, but I did learn from the run today." She prefers the short, steep, technical courses but says she'll do her best and try to keep it together for Sunday. Her time was the 11th fastest of the day.
Claire Buchar, the top-ranked Canadian in the race finished with the sixth fastest time, despite a sore wrist. "It's a bit sore. I'm just taking painkillers and just trying to get through the week, but it is not to bad. Like when I am riding, I barely think about it. On the really big hits I can feel it though. I've got to be more efficient with my training, try to not do too many runs. But you have to do that here anyways here because it's such a long track and it's so rough. We'll see what happens this weekend, if it rains the track could change quite a bit."
The Elite Men were the final racers down the hill this afternoon, starting at 3:15 pm.
Hans Lambert was the first Canadian down the course and was disappointed with his run. "It was pretty much the only run of the week that was that bad. I went off the course twice. Not because I don't know the course. Maybe because of all the practice I've been doing on the course. I think I was tired. I did a lot of runs this morning. I do feel confident about my race though because I've had a lot of good runs this week. No crashes or anything."
Freeride brothers Thomas and Ryan Vanderham were the next riders down the hill. Thomas Vanderham had the fastest Canadian time today: 37th. "I cruised down to try to get a feel for the track, it is long and tricky. Part of it suits my style, parts don't. I'm learning how to ride it better every run." He qualified at Nationals and then went to Windham to see where he would rank. "I was hoping for a top 80 and ended 43rd, so I was happy with that." Ryan Vanderham crashed at the top of the course in the woods.
Canadian Champion Andrew Mitchell was thirteenth out of the starting gate. He qualified for Worlds by winning the Canadian Championships two weeks into his season. He had to take a whole year off racing because he shattered his ankle last year on this course. "Taking a year off and just coming back and doing it is hard. Everyone's going really fast out there. You have to make up time and go fast everywhere and it's hard to do it. I just can't do the longer courses yet. I'm not fit enough so I'm a bit off the back." He's not feeling timid on the course despite its having put him out of commission for a year. "I just went out and crushed the part where I broke my ankle. Told it to get lost."
Canadian Rob Fraser has bruised ribs, back and hip from the World Cup last week. He just rolled out of the gates today so he isn't disqualified for Sunday. He's doing his best to recover during the next two days so he feels good for Sunday.
Dean Tennant has the second-best Canadian time today and was ranked 38th. His goal is a top-40 finish Sunday.
Top Canadian men's prospect Steve Smith likes the course but had a bad run. He crashed at the very bottom of the course within sight of the finish line and hurt his shoulder. His run was going well before that. Hopefully his shoulder feels better for Sunday's race.
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