Julbo Athlete Max Morgan Racing Downhill MTB

Julbo Athletes Recap Mont Sainte Anne and Snowshoe World Cups

Across the East Coast of North America these last two weekends, international bike athletes of the highest caliber gathered for not one but two UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events. Julbo athletes Max Morgan, Rachel Pageau and Hannah Otto raced at both World Cup stops, testing their mettle on wide-ranging conditions at Snowshoe, West Virginia, and Mont Sainte Anne, Québec. Here’s how they did, what they experienced and what they’re wearing from Julbo.

Julbo athletes Max Morgan, Rachel Pageau and Hannah Otto raced at both World Cup stops, testing their mettle on wide-ranging conditions in the U.S. and Canada. Here’s how they did, what they experienced and what they’re wearing from Julbo.


[Photo] Jack Rice

For Vermont-based downhiller Max Morgan, Snowshoe and Mont Sainte Anne were his first World Cup races in a few years, and he enjoyed the opportunity to get back on the same track as the top pros. “It felt so good to be back between the tape at a World Cup downhill race,” Max says. “The track at Snowshoe is always a fun one, but this year the weather didn’t play nice.”

Heavy rain mixed with a lot of fresh cut trail on the downhill track in the Allegheny Mountains. “Honestly, I loved it,” Max says. “Riding in those heavy mud conditions is always a blast and keeps things very unpredictable. I was feeling confident and loose and just having loads of fun.” Unfortunately, a flat tire and a crash kept Max out of the finals—and looking forward to the Velirium track Mont Sainte Anne.

Canadian downhiller Rachel Pageau says she’s a sucker for a good mud race. But Snowshoe was something else.

“At first it was rideable,” she says. “Contrary to what you would think, it gets most tricky when it stops raining; the mud turns to peanut butter; the soft sections become one-foot-deep ruts; and the heavy mud gets carried onto the rock sections.”

[Photo] CX Hairs

If the downhill races at Snowshoe were muddy, the cross country races were downright epic, with a wet short-track course and rain falling heavily during the XCO races. Hannah Otto finished 19th in the short track, earning a third-row start in Sunday’s XCO race, which began under cloudy skies that quickly opened up. Hannah, coated in mud, finished 21st.

“As the rain dumped down at the finish, it felt comical,” she says. “I couldn’t be any more soaked, so at that point the rain didn’t matter. The mud on my face was impossible to remove entirely, and I talked and laughed with friends as well as people I had never met before as the rain dumped over us.”


Mont Sainte Anne, Québec, holds a special place for Rachel Pageau—it’s both her home venue and features her favorite XC and DH courses, both of which she’s raced. And, she says, “the ambiance is always so good, and the people, racers and spectators are happy to be there.”

Unfortunately, Pageau suffered an injury in practice at Snowshoe and was unable to race on her home track, which was updated this year. But she still experienced the electric atmosphere when the final DH racer of the day, fellow Canadian Finn Iles, bested the time Brit Laurie Greenland, who’d been in the hotseat for much of the race. Iles, who finished the race without a chain, became the first Canadian to win at home since the late Stevie Smith’s 2013 victory.

“The crowd just kept getting bigger and bigger as we were getting closer to the final elite guys,” Rachel says. “When Finn came down, all green splits, it was incredible. The excitement and joy were intertwined with nostalgia and a pride so intense it was palpable. The crowd just went insane, and people were so happy to have a new champion, on home soil, after a two-year hiatus.”

[Photo] Jack Rice

On the cross country side, Hannah Otto suffered crashes in both the short track and XCO races but still turned out solid results—21st and 20th, respectively. Sunday’s XCO crash took Hannah from fifth wheel to last place in an instant, but she battled through the field to a proud result.

“After a high-speed body slam on the ground, I was able to pick myself up (literally) and still ride to a top-20 finish,” she says. “Not every race will be perfect, but you can always give it your best under the circumstances. I’m proud of my mental and physical fortitude in this one!”   

Both Hannah and Rachel will head to Les Gets, France, in two weeks for the World Championships.




[Photo] CX Hairs

“The true sign of a good pair of glasses is when you forget they are on your face,” says Hannah. “For me, the Fury often feel like just an extension of enhancement of my own vision. The lightweight design makes it easy for me to forget they are there; and the secure fit on my face means that my vision isn’t interrupted by bumps or jostling on the trail. The Fury sunglasses have been my go-to for the last two years.”



[Photo] Jack Rice

“The Session MTB are my favorite goggles for DH racing,” says Rachel. “I like the orange/pink mirror lens the most, and I like how reliable they are. The lenses are easily interchangeable if you need to go to a clearer lens, and they are tear-off compatible, which is an amazing feature for muddy or wet days.”



[Photo] Jack Rice

“The Meta has quickly become my go-to favorite casual sunglasses,” says Max. “I can wear them all day; they are lightweight; they are comfortable; and I dig the slim styling. The Meta seems to retain all those technical features we love from Julbo but come in a frame that is perfect for everyday life. Whenever I’m not on my bike, I always grab the Meta.”