Written by: Todd Tanner – Hayes Performance Systems
This past weekend was UCI World Cup DH #7 race at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec, Canada. I was fortunate enough to attend the event and spend time with not only the Pivot DH team but also the Gamux DH team who Hayes Performance Systems also supports. Mont-Sainte-Anne (MSA) is an iconic event and is notorious for its fast, rough, and rocky DH course that goes from open and fast, open and rough, tight steep technical roots to rocks in the trees. This course has it all. This year was no different but with the twist of a new section in the woods with some very steep and technical turns.
More than ever, the MSA course was brutal on the riders and equipment. Many riders hit the ground and both Loic Bruni and Loris Vergier sustained shoulder injuries that forced them to sit out on race day. Wheels and tires were being destroyed almost every run. Team mechanics were frantically rebuilding wheels and looking for solutions to prevent flats.
With Pivot rider Jenna Hastings sustaining a wrist injury at Snowshoe, (even though she still finished on the podium) she decided to sit out MSA. That left Bernard as the sole rider for the team. He carried the momentum from last weekend’s 2nd place win and was riding super-fast right from the first practice run. Some rain fell early on day 1 of practice which made for some very slick conditions in the woods but also resulted in nearly perfect conditions the rest of the week. Bernard posted the fastest time in timed training and put in a solid qualifying time to seed him in 5th for Saturday’s final. However, with the course drying out and getting even faster, it was better suited to Bernard’s rivals as he excels in the tighter and more technical conditions.
The spectator turnout for Saturday’s finals were INSANE! I’ve never seen so many fans (thousands) lining the course to cheer for their favorite riders. The final was full of drama and Bernard laid down what I would consider one of his best runs ever finishing in 5th for his second straight podium!
Immediately after the finals, Bernard and the team loaded up and caught a flight across Canada to Whistler where the weeklong Crankworx Whistler was going on. 3 of the other Pivot team riders (Morgane Charre, Matt Walker and Eddy Masters) had just finished day 1 of the Whistler EWS enduro event. Sunday was day 2 of the enduro with 4 tough stages ahead. All 3 riders had a good day 1 and were sitting in the top ten overall after Saturday’s stages. Sunday saw the 3 riders put in some fantastic stages with Morgane charging from 9th to 2nd overall and Matt and Eddy finishing 4th and 5th overall. The Pivot EWS team won the team category and continue to lead in the overall team rankings.
It doesn’t end there! Bernard competed in the Crankworx Dual Slalom yesterday and pulled off a massive upset defeating the #1 seeded rider in the quarter finals with the fastest run of the day and the #4 seeded rider in the semifinals. Bernard then went on to take the win in the finals!!! Seeded #9 Bernard was an underdog going against some of the top dual slalom specialists in the world!
Lots more racing going on this week at Crankworx Whistler and Bernard will be competing in the RockShox Canadian Open DH Sunday before heading back to Europe for the World Championships Aug. 27th and the World Cup finals Sept. 3rd.
The entire Reynolds team and the rest of the Hayes Bicycle Group family of brands are jacked to see the success of Bernard and all of Pivot Factory Racing as they just can’t be stopped right now!