Mt. St. Anne, Quebec / Windham, NY - Rounds #5 and #6 of the UCI World Cup concluded over the past two weekends on the East coast of North America.
TEAM NORCO INTL. - North American World Cups #5 and #6- Canada and USA - Jill kintner
QUEBEC - Mt. St. Anne has been a staple of the UCI World Cup for 22 years, proving to challenge the best riders in the world time after time. With the diversity of terrain through the changing weather, rock gardens, woods, and wide open ski runs, Quebec has done a great job putting this event together. Hosting about 40,000 event visitors from the near by Quebec City and surrounds, "Velirium" festival has a handful of world class events, as well as a solid expo area and media coverage.
The team was enjoying the course, evolving with the conditions, but ultimately had a mixed bag of results. Bryn Atkinson came through with 45th in the Elite men's class while Jill had an unfortunate flat in the final, ending her run.
WINDHAM - Round #6 in Windham, New York was the following week, so the whole tour packed up and headed south to American Soil. 2012 was the last time Windham held a World Cup, and with a few changes since then, this shorter course added an intensity to the race circuit, with the men's average speed at about 40km/h.
As the American National champion, Jill had tons of support from her compatriots. She was gaining speed all weekend, having qualified 5th with some room to improve. Ultimately she finished 6th in the final, just off the podium. Bryn was up to speed early, with a good result in timed training sitting 12th, placing him within striking distance to the top boys. In the final, he had too conservative of a run in the loose conditions, and close times settled him into 30th.
JILL KINTNER - QUEBEC- 21st (flat) - "Yeah Quebec has historically been a tough venue for me. Seemed like there was a literal and figurative black cloud over it this year with the weather, crashes in my quail, and a flat tire in the final before the first split. Scoring zero points wasn't really my mission , but it happens. I felt good, had prepared well, and was having a lot of fun on the track, so there is not much more I could do except be smoother and miss that rock."
WINDHAM- 6th - "Windham was set to be a good event with a short course, high speeds, big jumps, and home country advantage. I did well to finish 6th, but I had what it took to be on the podium so it's a little disappointing. I was getting faster and more confident all week. 5th in qualification was a good start and I had found more speed in practice race morning. There was a bit of a red flag course hold right before I started, but I think it just came down to my braking down those steep bits and trusting the traction. I learn so much each time I get to race these girls, so I am happy to take away more experience and try again in a couple weeks in France. "
BRYN ATKINSON - QUEBEC- 45th, WINDHAM- 30th - "Racing in North America is probably my favorite, these 2 tracks in particular. High speed, rough and blown out are all standout qualities of St.Anne and Windham. Although I would have loved to be closer to the front, I'm doing all I can to move forward and find that high pace again. Heading into World Cup finals and world champs, I'm especially proud to be selected to represent Australia for the 9th time."