History will be made from June 24-26, 2016 at Blue Mountain Resort as a Canada Cup Downhill Race will return to Ontario for the first time since the mid 90’s. After a five year proving period, the East Coast Open has finally gained Canada Cup status.
However, before the top downhill racers in Canada converge on Blue Mountain to make their mark on the Escarpment, we thought it would be a good idea to sit down and examine the history of the event.
0.100 – Seconds separating Cayley Brooks and Paula Drozdzal in the 2014 Elite Women’s Final (the smallest margin of victory ever)
1 – Time the finals have been cancelled due to weather and course conditions (2015)
2 – Different courses that have been used since the event’s inception (Shotglass will be the third)
2.535 – Seconds separating the top 5 Elite Men in 2011 (Sid Slotegraaf, Matt Nielsen, Matt Zdriluk, Rob Fraser and Hans Lambert)
3 – Elite Men who have each finished in the top 5 on three separate occasions (Taylor Rowlands, Matt Zdriluk, Sid Slotegraaf)
3.276 – Largest margin of victory in the Elite Men’s category (2015, Sam Thibault beating Phil Ricard)
4 – Times Jenn LeBlanc has finished in the top 5 Elite Women (more than any other rider)
9 – Different Open/Elite Men’s and Women’s Champions (Kristen Courtney is currently the only rider to ever win more than once in the top division, as she won the Women’s title back to back in 2011 and 2012)
10 – Different Elite Women who have finished in the top 5 (Luebke, Louter, LeBlanc, Valentine, Stoneman, Courtney, Smart, Brooks, Vegter, Drozdzal)
16 – Different Elite Men who have finished in the top 5 (Fraser, Woolnough, Rowlands, Zdriluk, Slotegraaf, Nielsen, Lambert, Sangers, Hermanovsky, Frost, McCarter, Reasbeck, Oosterveld, Thibault, Ricard, Toohill)
114.589 – Fastest time down Shotglass during the 2015 Fall Showdown, set by Michael Hermanovsky
151.126 – Fastest women’s time down Shotglass during the 2015 Fall Showdown, set by Skye Follas
154 – Number of DH participants in 2011 (the largest field ever)
605 – Total number of DH riders who have raced in the East Coast Open since its inception
2010 – The year of the Inaugural East Coast Open
2013 – The year the East Coast Open was put on hiatus due to construction in the Orchard at Blue Mountain
Here is a look back at the event through Marc Landry’s lens.
This year’s race brings along with it a lot of unknowns, which set the stage for an exciting weekend.
What will the race course look like? We know that the riders will be duking it out on Shotglass, but this trail has only been raced on once before during Blue Mountain’s 2015 Fall Showdown, and the Trail Crew is already hard at work making changes and improvements for the Canada Cup.
Will home court advantage be a factor? Shotglass received a major facelift last summer, so there are very few riders from outside of Ontario who have seen it in its current state and even fewer who have had the opportunity to race it. Will this give any of the local riders a chance at making some noise on the podium?
Will the weather cooperate? Anyone who has ridden Blue Mountain in the wet knows that the clay-based soil can turn the simplest of trails into an absolute handful. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for dry weather, but all bets are off if the rain starts to fall.
We won’t know the answers to any of these questions for another few weeks, so mark the weekend of June 24-26 on your calendar to come out and find the answers live along with us.