World Cup racing is drawing to a dramaatic conclusion this weekend at none other than Quebec’s iconic Mont-Sainte-Anne venue. The rocky slopes of MSA have played host to the globe’s best since the early 90s and now, in 2023, host the final round of the season. That means that, for the most part, the stakes are high. It is more than just one win on the table. It is season titles.
Several Canadians are in the running this year. After winning his first elite World Cup at home at MSA last year, Finn Iles has a chance to become only the second Canadian man to win a World Cup overall. It’s an outside chance, he has to not only beat his teammate Loic Bruni, but the French racer has to have a pretty bad day out.
Jackson Goldstone also, quite remarkably, has a chance to unseat Bruni and become only the second Canadian man after Steve Smith to win the World Cup downhill title. Standing in the way is Bruni, six time world champion and current World Cup leader, and Trek’s Frenchman, Loris Vergier, currently ranked second. But the two Canadians will have the crowd on their side. That seemed to help in Les Gets and Loudenvielle, the two French World Cups. Hopefully Iles and Goldstone can take full advantage.
It’s not all about the overall, though. Snowshoe saw several big results from young Canadians. Jake Jewett had his best-ever elite World Cup result in 12th while Seth Sherlock made a fantastic return from injury to finish 23rd. There’s a whole armada of maple-fuelled youth in the junior ranks, too, all looking to make an impression as the world arrives here in Canada.
Cross country Canadians
On the cross country side, another group of Canucks are chasing lofty goals at Mont-Sainte-Anne. With a pair of under-23 XCO wins already this year, including last weekend in Snowshoe, W.Va, Carter Woods will aim for the top podium step again this weekend. While France’s Adrien Boichis has the overall title locked up, Woods is chasing more than a win. With Paris Olympics on the horizon, the Canadians are looking to rack up as many UCI points as possible to try secure a secong berth in the men’s XCO event.
Joining Woods in that quest is Gunnar…