Danny Hart – 2016 World Downhill Champion
By Steven Jones
A win delivered under extreme pressure, in exceptionally physical conditions. The tightrope was a coarse beast, but this was a forceful ride of consummate flow. Yes it was wild at times, it couldn’t have been any other way on such a loose track, one that took more than its fair share of victims.
Aaron Gwin was one, but its unlikely the World Cup champion would have overthrown this run. It was simply far, far too good. Gwin, down even by the first split exploded mid track, similar to Bruni, both riders suffering punctures which were always going to be a possibility.
For Danny this win has come in a season where he needed to deliver. At all costs. It proved emphatically that less than a second can actually make or break a career. Having snatched Lenzerheide, Hart got on the move big style, this is now his fourth big win on the run. The Mondraker man looks unstoppable and now very much the front man of not only British downhill, but on a world level.
It was also an exceptional day for Mondraker. Three men on the podium. And of such varying statures. The gigantic Florent Payet and the scrum half builds Laurie Greenland and Danny. They’ll be dancing in Spain tonight.
So after such a promising first few seasons in the senior class where he got so close to winning, to a couple of average ones Hart has shown grit and maturity to rebuild confidence and race craft. He is now a formidable competitor that knows exactly how to deliver when the heat is on. Six out of seven podiums shows incredible consistency, and he has certainly got to grips with his machinery.
As Peaty exits on world level, Hart now stands in a great position to kick on. He’s got Greenland to keep him on his toes, British downhill is in fine shape. It was all a bit different to Champery when he won his last rainbow jersey in 2011 but it was familiarly stylish. So, so stylish.