To begin our coverage here at Gravity Down Under of Mont-Sainte-Anne with our man on the ground, Matt Rousu, we start with the first day of the event with the trackwalk getting underway. Stay tuned over the coming days as we bring you full coverage and photos from the World Cup!

Wednesday afternoon at Mont Sainte Anne, it’s a humid and hot walk down the oldest track on the World Cup circuit. Incredibly the UCI has been here every year since 1991 and there has been some amazing downhill race runs in the last 28 years, recent memory saw an amazing miracle win by Aaron Gwin with Dean Lucas taking his 2nd ever podium less than a second behind.

Most of the track this year is the same from last year’s event, however, a notable new section through the woods adds an element of the unknown for everyone. It’ll will be interesting to see how the riders tackle it tomorrow morning… The track also looks pretty worn out, with many rain ruts. The earth is fairly sodden so it should get fairly beat up before Saturday’s main event

I caught up with a few riders during the walk, but it will be amazing to see them on track from tomorrow, stay tuned!

The famous Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, maybe some riders would stop through on the way up the hill to send a prayer…
A hot and humid day with the threat of a storm brewing. The view down the Saint Lawrence river is epic from the ride up the gondola though.
Hearts will be racing out of here come Saturday. But for the moment it’s all pretty chilled.
It was all happening on the hill today, including the construction of a new building just metres from the track
The entrance into the new section appropriately called ‘La Tarzan’. Loose is an understatement…
Myriam Nicole was genuinely surprised at the entrance to the new La Tarzan section. It’s awesome to see her back at the World Cup after missing the last couple of rounds.
Where there is fresh soil, it’s super slick under foot.
Caption this!
Jake Newell on top of the epic Steve Smith Drop. Newelly is on the reserve list for this years World Champs and he mentioned he already has a flight booked. Come on MBTA give hime a spot!!
Sven Martin asking about Finn Illes golf game today. Finn walked super quick down the track today and after a podium in Andorra you can bet he’s after a big result here on home soil.
Last minute raking, plenty of loose stones here at MSA.
World Champ Loic Bruni with World Cup leader Amaury Pierron, The French are back!!!
It is deceivingly steep here at MSA, Myriam Nicole gives the knees are break and walks backwards for a while.
Jack Moir with Charlie Harrison, checking the local talent or making an insta story? Jack said he’s super pumped to be back between the tape after opting not to race at Andorra. Last year he had a solid 8th in the downfall.
Jagged edges all over the track, you can guarantee a few race runs will suffer flat tyres.
Dean Lucas spent a fair bit of time on top of this drop in the lower wood section, creating an epic line in his mind I’m sure.
Nik Nestoroff in full send mode down the new La Tarzan drop, did he keep it rubber side down though, check Jack Moir’s instagram to find out.
Team UR Polygon cruising down the last sweeping berm on track. Inside or Outside?
More last minute track alterations. Removing a waterbar that was getting just a bit too high.
One more fairly noticeable change was the removal of the bright yellow Videotron drop near the finish line, it’s now about 4m longer and made out of giant boulders topped with fresh soil. Mik Hannah giving sister Tracey some advice “I think you better pull up off this one now’.
Kade Edwards getting in his daily Shralp session on the pump track. A perfect way to finish off the day…

Check back tomorrow with a report from the first day of practice!

Words and photography by Matt Rousu.