Posted by Editor on 06/7/02
Grouse Downhill Cancellation
We just finished talking on the telephone with organizer Patrice Drouin of Gestev regarding the cancellation of the event due to snow.
"This is the first event we have ever cancelled. We do not feel good about it, but it was our responsibility to tell the teams, to let people react and adjust. We have had a crew working on the courses with equipment - digging the ice, but because of the trees and the mountain orientation the snow is not melting."
According to Patrice, the snow and ice is up to 4.5 metres thick in places! "This year was a good snow season, but it is melting much slower then in the past. And they has 30 cm of snow between May 1st and 16th. The mountain has lost only 10 cm of ice in the last week."
Drouin also said that it is not just a matter of the number of people removing snow (we offered to put out a call for volunteers), because even if the snow is removed from the course itself, the snow on the sides would be melting down onto the course and would turn it into mud.
So far the crew has removed the snow on the plateau for the cross-country and is now in the forest, so they expect to have everything done for the XC. The plan is to extend the XC course further up the peak for this year, but it will depend partially on how much snow they remove, and how much the weather cooperates.
We also asked about the possibility of doing a downhill "double" at Mont Ste Anne. "We explored the possibility of a double, but the problem is the sponsorship is tied to the location. So, for example, Molson is a sponsor at Grouse, but that is the B.C. budget and could not be transferred to Quebec. We told the UCI that we could do it, but that they would have some costs. The UCI took the decision to cancel the event, that's their call."
At this time Gestev is looking at how they will change the schedule, but it looks likely that the women will race on Saturday and the men on Sunday. We raised the possibility of having a non-World Cup race at the venue, since the schedule has opened up with the loss of the Downhill and 4-Cross. Patrice expressed interest in the idea, but has to discuss the possibility with the rest of the organization. Would you race an event on the World Cup course at Grouse? Post your thoughts on the Forums and we will pass your feedback on to Gestev.
Commonwealth Games MTB Trials
Tomorrow we will be bringing you live lap-by-lap coverage of the mountain bike Commonwealth Games Trials at the Mont Tremblant Canada Cup. The race starts at 11:00 am EDT (men and women), our coverage will start at approximately 10:30 am EDT.
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