Posted by Editor on 06/29/02
MONT SAINTE ANNE MENÃ¢â‚¬â„¢S DH - PEAT VICTORIOUS
by Mike Badyk
After some truly exciting racing here at Mont Sainte Anne, third seeded Steve Peat was the victor with an outstanding time of 5:09.67, almost 4 seconds faster than Cedric Gracia (Volvo-Cannondale). He was extremely happy with his win. As Gracia approached the finish and it became clear that he couldnÃ¢â‚¬Å¡t beat the British rider, Peat rose to his feet from the Tissot Hot Seat and stretched his arms into the air in victory. "This is such a tough course. It is so physically demanding, it just beats you up. I arrived on Wednesday night so I only did a few practice runs trying to save my energy. After two runs I had blisters on my hands. The race itself was just so long. Some of the berms were blown out which was very difficult. I really had to dig deep in the flat section after the ramp in the woods. It hurt so much. It makes the win very satisfying."
The longest resident of the hot seat was young Nathan Rankin from New Zealand. It would take 28 riders to get him out of his throne. His fine time of 5:20.83 eventually got him 6th place, but it was the torture of waiting that made him squirm. "I just can't sit still. This is terrible and wonderful all at the same time." He knew the top riders were to follow.
Displacing Rankin was Oscar Saiz (Maxxis-MSC) at 5:19:03 and then Claudio Caluori (Maxxis-MSC). Caluori saw his time posted in the finish chute and leapt off the back of his bike shooting it forward into the fence. He then proceeded to do a "near victory dance" that would put many show-off football players to shame. His time of 5:18:59 wouldnÃ¢â‚¬Å¡t last for very long as Peat came through only 3 riders later. Immediately after Peat came in, Greg Minnaar (Global Racing) posted the third fastest time of the day at 5:18.27. "I had a really shaky run. I crashed into the catch nets in the second last set of woods. I was fortunate to get up quickly."
Even though Gracia had a fine run of 5:13.55, good enough for a solid second place, he seemed very disappointed and quickly left the finish area. "I tried to go a little too fast at the top and then I got too tired and went over my limit. Once youÃ¢â‚¬Å¡re over your limit you start to make mistakes and thatÃ¢â‚¬Å¡s it. It was so rough compared to previous years. All the dirt is gone. There are only roots and rocks left. We pulled it all down off the hill over the years."
Top Canadian seed Mathieu Laurin had a disappointing run, finishing at 5:36.05, good enough for 32nd place. "I crashed off of the last ramp coming out of the woods. I let go of the brakes because my arms were so tired and then I crashed into the berm. It's unfortunate because I had a very good run going."
In the top 50 finishers were Canadians Dustin Adams in 25th place at 5:29.87, Michael Jones was 30th, Trevor Porter 37th, Brant Lyon was 40th.
There were some interesting comments from Eric Carter (Mongoose/Hyundai). "This is a hard, hard mountain. All the small rocks are gone so there a lot of holes this year. Over the last 4 or 5 years it has gotten smoother, but now the monster has reared its head again." He said that Mont Sainte Anne is "the crown jewel of downhill. Everyone looks to come here and put on a show.Ã¢â‚¬Â°
1. Steve Peat (Gbr) 5:09.67
2. Cedric Gracia (Fra) Volvo Cannondale, 5:13.55
3. Greg Minnaar (RSA) Global Racing, 5:18.27
4. Claudio Caluori (Sui) Maxxis-MSC, 5:18.59
5. Oscar Saiz (Esp) Maxxis-MSC, 5:19.03
6. Nathan Rankin (Nzl) 5:20.83
7. Sean McCarroll (Aus) Global Racing, 5:21.00
8. Mickael Pascal (Fra) BE ONE, 5:22.15
9. Chris Kovarik (Aus) 5:22.75
10. Todd Leduc (USA) 5:23.46
25. Dustin Adams (Can) 5:29.87
30. Michael Jones (Can) 5:35.14
32. Mathieu Laurin (Can) 5:36. 05
37. Trevor Porter (Can) 5:38.49
40. Brant Lyon (Can) 5:40.56
54. Olivier Markon (Can) 5:51.55
59. Chad Onyschuk (Can) 5:54.36
60. Jordie Lunn (Can) 5:54.78
61. Leon May (Can) 5:54.93
62. Brian Eller (Can) 5:54.99
63. Hugo Donais (Can) Balfa, 5:56.37
73. Vincent Marcotte (Can) 6:08.60
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