This weekend will go down in mountain biking folklore as an absolute classic. I almost don’t know what to say. Josh Bryceland took gold in Juniors, with fellow Brit Sam Dale in second. Then Rachel Atherton completely blew away the women’s field by winning in almost 12 seconds…unbelievable. Then to top it all off the men’s race was possibly the best ever. It had everything. The fastest racers, a quality track, high drama, crashes and of course one eventual winner.
Peaty took over the hot seat from Fabien Barel when he powered across the line knocking a good three seconds out of the Frenchman’s time. Then there was Hill…what can you say? He has definitely been fastest man in the world over the last 12 months. He put six seconds into Peaty’s time at the last split only to overcook it on one of the last turns. He took the drop into the left hander near the finish at absolute warp speed and from what I could tell he didn’t have time to set up properly. A perfectly executed sideways drift ended in a front wheel wash out and a cloud of dirt. We checked the live footage and Hill was pretty much six seconds up on Gee when he crashed! Hill remounted and crossed the line just .54 of a second down on Peaty. The Yorkshireman breathed deeply, finally thinking that the title had to be his. And with just Gee Atherton to come down one thing was guaranteed, and that was a first ever senior World Championship title and rainbow jersey for Great Britain. But Peaty’s dream was shattered, Gee rode like a man possessed to take the win by a hefty margin. It was nail biting and nerve jangling stuff. So three British gold medals and rainbow jersey out of three…like I say, amazing.
Gee. (Photo: Animal/Commencal)
Rachel Atherton. (Photo: Animal/Commencal)
Keep checking back for Dirt TV’s take on the race coming up very soon.
Senior men’s podium: Peat, G Atherton and Hill
Senior women’s podium: Jonnier, Atherton and Ragot.
Junior podium: Dale, Bryceland and Thirion.
They say you can’t buy style! We’ll forgive him. Bryceland Junior World Champ.
All photos by Kathy Sessler.
world championships mountain bike biking Steve Peat Sam Hill Gee Atherton Rachel Atherton val di sole italy 2008 josh bryceland