Mountain Bike Festival and UCI World Cup – Density meets Intensity

Mountain Bike Festival and UCI World Cup – Density meets Intensity

Photo credit: Fraser Britton

Vélirium presented by Vidéotron Mobile: density meets intensity
Mountain Bike Festival and UCI World Cup

PRESS RELEASE Beaupré (Quebec), Monday, August 4, 2014 – To say that the Vélirium 2014 organizing committee has run the gamut of emotions since Thursday would be an understatement, as they managed to present an outstanding program in downtown Quebec City and at Mont-Sainte-Anne as part of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano. Today’s return of Quebec cycling favourite Marie-Hélène Prémont undoubtedly attracted attention at the UCI Cross-country World Cup presented by Jeep, where she rode to a 35th place finish despite two flat tires along the way. “I had fun and I realized that I’d missed this,” she declared after the race. “I felt the crowd with me, the course was great, and I felt good on my bike. I can definitely say it was mission: accomplished!”

CITY8: A memorable kickoff
Vélirium’s kickoff was subject to the whims of Mother Nature, who put the organizing committee through the wringer with both moments of rain and sunshine during the dirt and freestyle events of City8, an official Gold event on the prestigious Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour (FMB). Despite several schedule changes due to poor weather conditions, both the qualifiers and the finals were held in front of hundreds of spectators who were lucky enough to experience their own hour-long demonstration, just before the evening’s headlining performance from the group Against Me! For its second edition presented by Monster Energy, City8 boasted an international podium with cyclists Breet Rheeder (Canada), Nicholi Rogatkin (United States), and Martin Söderström (Sweden) capturing the first three places.

Memorable performances
“Whether in World Cups or amateur competitions, performances from Quebecers and Canadians have once again proved that our athletes belong on the international circuit,” boasted Yves Blouin, president of Corporation Coupe du monde de vélo de montagne. The new Cross-country Eliminator gave Andrée-Anne Lanthier-Nadeau a chance to grab a top-5 spot with a 4th place finish at Mont-Sainte-Anne. Lévis native Frédérique Trudel secured a 20th place in the U23 category barely two weeks after topping the podium at the Canadian Championships, while Catherine Fleury of Alma was crowned Top Quebecer of the Day with an 11th place finish. For the U23 men, all eyes were on Léandre Bouchard whose strong finishes this season had earned him the attention. At Mont-Sainte-Anne, he scooped up an 11th place in Eliminator and a 14th place in Crosscountry.

Elite racers Raphaël Gagné and Andréanne Pichette gave it their all to finish in 30th and 38th place at the final standings of the UCI Cross-country World Cup presented by Jeep.

At the UCI Downhill World Cup presented by Videotron Mobile, even if favourite Canadian Steve Smith was forced to withdraw because of an injury sustained in practice early in the week, the cyclists put on quite the show for the thousands of people gathered in the blazing sun along the Mont-Sainte-Anne racetrack. Australian Samuel Hill, now a regular on the Mont-Sainte-Anne podiums, topped the steps followed by Brits Josh Bryceland and Danny Hart. For the women, the only Quebecer on the starting list, Granby’s Vaea Verbeeck, landed a 7th place in the grand final.

MB_WorldCup_2014_2
Photo credit: Fraser Britton

25th anniversary in sight
“Once again, the organizers (Corporation and Gestev) and athletes from near and far put on an extraordinary event,” pointed out Daniel Rochon, Vice President and General Manager for Mont-Sainte-Anne, the event’s host site. “We are excited to work together on the 25th edition of UCI international events at Mont-Sainte-Anne, scheduled for summer 2015. Here at the mountain, we’re proud to present some changes to the public. One of our main goals is to develop more trails and family- and beginner-friendly facilities. Mountain biking is a sport for everyone, established at Mont-Sainte-Anne since 1983. Let’s all enjoy it together!” Last week, UCI confirmed that the World Cup at Mont-Sainte-Anne will be held the weekend of August 1, 2015. “The World Cup circuit made its first stop at Mont-Sainte-Anne in June of 1991, and since then the station has been hosting the yearly UCI international competition, as well as numerous other Canadian and Quebec championships,” explains Patrice Drouin, President of Gestev. “Thousands of athletes from all over the world have cut across the tracks and slopes of Mont-Sainte-Anne, crowning grand champions in various disciplines.” The unforgettable moments of the past 25 fabulous years will undoubtedly be highlighted during the presentation of the 2015 edition of Vélirium at Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Amateur racing climbs to new heights
Since Vélirium is much more than a World Cup, we can’t forget about the successes of the weekend’s amateur races! Whether it was the Véli-Kidz children’s course that welcomed nearly 250 young cyclists between the ages of 2 and 9 or the 542 participants hosted by Parcs éoliens de la Seigneurie de Beaupré covering distances of 31km, 63km, and 81km at the Raid Vélo Mag, the organizing committee has something to be proud of. The many activities that took place at the foot of the mountain were also a huge hit. Visitors explored different facets of mountain biking at Pumptrack Epic, Duel de la Côte, Critérium iBike, the Bike Polo tournament, the Family Zone, or the many kiosks in the Expo Area. Not to mention the memorable evenings offered free at Lounge Tremblay where groups like Robert’s Creek Saloon, Craig’s Brother, and The Seasons took the stage to give a musical end to each of these sport-filled days!

Volunteers contribute to event success
Once again this year, volunteers demonstrated that they are an undeniable contributing factor to the success of the event – for athletes and spectators alike. “They are pillars of the organization that add to the mountain bike festival’s character,” explained Chantal Lachance, Vice President of Gestev. “The organizing committee couldn’t do it without our 600 volunteers who provide more than 10,000 hours of dedication to our event. They are extremely valuable!”

Sustainable development
The organizing committee took an innovative first step for a sporting event in Québec. A partnership with Ecocup helped replace the usual recyclable plastic cups with returnable and reusable ones. Back for a second year, the Parcs éoliens de la Seigneurie de Beaupré kiosk offered a demonstration on wind power and free water bottle refills. Finally, note that Vélirium 2014 obtained a Level 2 Responsible Event Management certification in compliance with the criteria set out in the 9700-253 standard set by Bureau de Normalisation du Québec.

Results at a glance:

City8
1. RHEEDER Brett (Canada)
2. ROGATKIN Nicholi (United States)
3. SODERSTROM Martin (Sweden)
Top Canadian: Brett Rheeder (Canada)
XC Eliminator World Cup – Men
1. GEGENHEIMER Simon (Germany)
2. SOTO Catriel Andres (Argentina)
3. MELS Fabrice (Belgium)
Top Canadian: 7th – TREMBLAY Samuel (Alma, QC)

XC Eliminator World Cup – Women
1. STIRNEMANN Kathrin (Switzerland)
2. RISSVEDS Jenny (Sweden)
3. MITTERBAUER Lisa (Austria)
Top Canadian: 4th – LANTHIER-NADEAU Andreane (Saint-Émile, QC)
DHI World Cup – Final – Men Junior
1. SHAW Luca (United States)
2. ILES Jack (Canada)
3. VERGIER Loris (France)

DHI World Cup – Final – Elite Women
1. CARPENTER Manon (Great Britain)
2. ATHERTON Rachel (Great Britain)
3. RAGOT Emmeline (France)
Top Canadian: 6th – GATTO Micayla (Vancouver, BC)
Top Quebecer: 7th – VERBEECK Vaea (Granby, QC)

DHI World Cup – Final – Elite Men
1. HILL Samuel (Australia)
2. BRYCELAND Josh (Great Britain)
3. HART Danny (Great Britain)
Top Canadian: 23th – WALLACE Mark (Duncan, BC)
Top Quebecer: 81th – THIBAULT Samuel (Chambly, QC)

XC World Cup – Final – Elite Men
1. SCHURTER Nino (Switzerland)
2. ABSALON Julien (France)
3. MCCONNELL Daniel (Australia)
Top Canadian: 12th – KABUSH Geoff (Courtenay, BC)
Top Quebecer: 30th – GAGNE Raphael (Lac-Beauport, QC)

XC World Cup – Final – Elite Women
1. NEFF Jolanda (Switzerland)
2. PENDREL Catharine (Canada)
3. NASH Katerina (Czech Republic)
Top Canadian: 2nd – PENDREL Catharine (Harvey-Station, NB)
Top Quebecer: 35th – Marie-Hélène Prémont (Château-Richer, QC)
XC World Cup – Final – U23 Men
1. VAN DER HEIJDEN Michiel (Netherlands)
2. SARROU Jordan (France)
3. TRARIEUX Julien (France)
Top Canadian: 7th – MCNEELY Evan (Ottawa, ON)
Top Quebecer: 14th – BOUCHARD Leandre (Alma, QC)

XC World Cup – Final – U23 Women
1. BELOMOINA Yana (Ukraine)
2. MOSCHETTI Margot (France)
3. RISSVEDS Jenny (Sweden)
Top Canadian: 10th – SMITH Haley (Uxbridge, ON)
Top Quebecer: 11th – FLEURY Catherine (Alma, QC)

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