This weekend marks the 25th consecutive year of World Cup racing at Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada. It just so happens that our very own Juli Furtado won the very first race there, and then won it twice more. We caught up with Juli to hear a bit more about her history at the race, and with Juliana Ambassador Jaime Hill to see how Juli's legacy lives on.
What was different about racing at Mont-Sainte-Anne in 1990?
Juli: It had a very French flavor to it, which was unique to racing in North America, so it put a whole different slant on the race. It was also extremely hot and humid, a really hard race from that point of view. Everyone struggled with that.
What was the most memorable part of the race?
Juli: The thing I remember the most is a horribly steep climb on every lap. It was absolutely horrid — if you couldn’t conquer that, you wouldn’t do well, it was key part of the race. I distinctly remember that hill! And it was a really technical course. The crowd was super supportive, though. It was a fun race and challenging course. It suited me, though, I won it twice more after that inaugural year!
Can you believe it's been 25 years?!
Juli: It feels a million miles away! But I’m super proud to have been there racing the inaugural race. I think race venues that keep going and putting on races is really great for the sport. It’s great organizing there, so I congratulate them with sticking with it, it’s a great testament to that area and the organizers.
What excites you about the race this weekend?
Juli: I originally sponsored Jaime Hill when I was doing sponsorship for Santa Cruz, so it’s great to see her out there riding and representing the Juliana brand.
We also caught up with Jaime Hill to get her thoughts on Juli, 25 years of Mont-Sainte-Anne, and what she thinks of the course changes this year.
"It's pretty amazing riding for Juliana Bicycles, knowing that Juli Furtado was a trailblazer in the sport and paved the way for many females in MTB racing! With the MSA venue celebrating it's 25th anniversary, it's even cooler knowing that Juli was the first ever winner here 25 years ago!
This will be my 5th time racing at Mont Sainte-Anne and I've had a bit of a mixed bag as far as luck goes here...so I'm hoping that I can turn my luck around this weekend. Perhaps knowing that Juli was here 25 years ago will give me a bit of a push, and little extra luck;)
This weekend is actually my first world cup of 2015, so I really want to have a successful weekend, keep "the rubber side down", have a smooth & clean run to qualify for finals on Saturday. Then I'd love to just let it all hang loose on Saturday in hopes of cracking the top 15. There's so many talented, experienced ladies out there racing DH these days and it's so great to see so many girls shredding these gnarly courses week in and week out.
There's been several course changes this year, making the course even more exciting, even gnarlier and maybe even a bit longer...the buzz is pretty good around the pits and on course and I think everyone is pretty stoked to be part of a quarter of a century of racing history! I think most of the riders are really loving the new features...keeps things interesting and fresh! The track was running super fast and loose during practice today, but the rain has just started (and not looking to let up any time soon) so it should make things pretty interesting for qualification tomorrow and finals on Saturday.
I'm super stoked to be riding for such an amazing brand that really focuses on highlighting women riders, whether it's DH, Enduro or finding that perfect adventure. It's so cool to know that Juli won here at MSA 25 years ago, and I hope to tap into that champion spirit!"
Good luck to all the racers this weekend, and you can watch the World Cup live from Mont-Sainte-Anne over at Redbull TV!