Have we just witnessed the best downhill World Cup race ever?
This has to be the best, craziest, most bonkers World Cup race ever. The headlines are that Greg Minnaar took the win with Danny Hart in second, but that is only a tiny bit of the story. I don’t really know where to start, it was the best race I have have ever seen. Goose bumps and deafening noise were the order of the day.
The hot seat went from Hannah to Button to Penamanaud to MacDonald…it stayed there for some time. At one time New Zealand riders took the top four spots on the podium. Brook MacDonald had been looking amazing all week, and his third place finish was hugely deserved.
Camellini was up on the first split but then punctured, Barel crashed out, Cunningham was up, so too Steve Smith, Hill came down and went into third but ended up a disappointing ninth. With MacDonald guaranteed his first World Cup podium there was just Minnaar, Hart and Gwin to go.
Minnaar put almost 2 seconds into the New Zealander’s time, but no sooner had the cheers died down that Danny Hart’s first split time appeared on the big screen. He was up on Minnaar and hauling his sketchy ass (in the top section) all the way down the hill. Quite how he does it I will never know. He has the skill but he looks slightly under powered (to me). How wrong could I be. He was up on Minnaar at both of the splits but must have faded a little down the last section dropping him down to second.
Atherton came down but had obviously had some trouble along the way, all was not well.
Then Gwin…holy s–t! You have never seen anything like it. He was over 5 seconds up at the split. That is unheard of. That kind of lead is almost unbelievable. Then disaster stuck. He fell and would end up losing his five second lead and then another three. It was a cruel blow.
This result has really shaken things up. A gaggle of new young riders, some big names off the podium, some riders missing out and Gwin scaring the living daylights out of everyone. In seven days time it happens all again in Austria. Can’t wait.
All photos Ed H.
Photo: Leopold Alcocks