Championnats Canadiens 2009, Massif du Sud21 juillet
Massif Du Sud held host to the 2009 National DH mountain bike championships on July 19th. Amongst the top 5 most important mountains in Quebec, this 20 summit elevated plateaux-mountain ranks 3rd in the Quebec Appalachians. Known as one of the best courses of eastern Canada, racers had many positive things to say about the steep and technical course.
It offers many different types of obstacles such as big slippery roots, muddy clay soil, very dense wooded sections, rock faces and rocky section. The track is very steep and there are practically no pedaling sections. It presents a nice variety of challenges. The first third of the track is composed of two high open speed sections followed by to tight wood sections.
The second third of the track is much more technical and steep. It starts off with the very steep root section over the “pipeline” and is followed tight turns, steep rock faces and a off camber section in loose soil. The third part of the tracked was linked up from the second by a high speed section which included two high speed jumps and made its way into a very technical (and slippery) wood section.
A new breed of riders showed the rest of the competition what they already knew: that they were the fastest riders in Canada. Racing was tight as ever which just shows how close and stiff the competition is.
First day of practice was Thursday which was a good chance to get a feel for just how sick the track was. Friday was the first real day of practice where you could see riders start to make a statement that they were here for one reason. It rained on and off Friday and Saturday which made the course rough as ever.
Saturday seeding saw local favourite Yann Gauvin qualify first showing his true colours as an elite. Other favourites Hans Lambert and Drew Mitchell seeded slower then usual leaving riders scratching their heads. Was this tactics, bad luck, or a head game? Junior Kyle Marshall seeded first with a comfortable lead. Lama rider Simon Garstin seeded 4th in pro and had his work cut out for him.
Race day riders got a practice run in the morning and at noon to check out the course and dial in the ever changing lines before their race runs. All categories but junior and elite raced in the morning. Lama Cycles Cadet rider Guillame Labrie was on a super fast run until he went through the tape but that's racing.
We were lucky enough to book a superb condo at the bottom of the slopes. All made out of wood with a pine finish on the inside, the condo was the nicest we have been in all season.
Cycle Néron LaPrairie-RMB
Sports aux Puces
Norco Factory Team
Pro finals was when things got serious. Local favourite Hans Lambert came down and went strait to the hot seat putting down a fast time that everyone knew he was capable of. Showing his true form, Number 4 seed Simon Garstin came down and put down a quick run which put him right behind Hans. The run was close, but not enough to unseat Lambert. As the last rider came down Hans was congratulated as the new 2009 National Downhill Champion. Simon Garstin was happy with second place, a personal best.
Norco Factory Team
Le Grand Cycle
Sports aux Puces
Rocky Mountain Bicycles/ProCycle
Every good team needs good partners. In addition to Lama Cycles distribution co. and Morewood Bikes, the Lama Cycles team is sponsored by Industry Nine, Alpinstar, Elka Suspension, Base Energy Drink, Intense Tire System, THE, MRP, DirtCamp.ca , Spy Optic, SkiBromont.com, Cane Creek, Finish Line, Five Ten, Straitline Components, THULE and OGIO.