Done and Dusted: World Championships 2016

Rule Britannia

The British domination of downhill has been questioned in recent times, we even started to doubt it ourselves, but on the biggest stage and the toughest track of the year this small, green island proved itself again. Val di Sole kicked up a sandstorm of adversity but Hart, Atherton and Greenland all emerged with freshly buffed metal firmly in their grasp.

Photos: Seb Schiek

The dust was a constant battle for the riders

With Steve Peat on stage and God Save the Queen ringing out you couldn’t help but feel proud of our nation’s past, present and future in this sport. Take a look at all the best photo action here.

Junior Women

Life is tough for junior women racers. Under-supported and overlooked, the only real chance they have to shine is at the annual World Championships. This year it was the chance of Alessia Missiaggia,  Samantha Kingshill and Flora Lesoin who caught the attention of the world.

Junior women's podium l-r: Samantha Kingshill, Alessia Missiaggia, Flora Lesoin
Alessia Missiaggia could be the next big name in women's downhill - Atherton, Carpenter and Seagrave have all stood in this same spot in their careers

Junior Men

Stevie Smith would be proud. He may be sadly departed now but he left behind a legacy. As the first Canadian to win big on the World Cup stage, he inspired a whole generation of youngsters to saddle up on their downhill rigs and go fast.

Yesterday we saw the true harvesting of that talent. Finn Iles, showing skills and maturity beyond his years all season, and Magnus Mason, an unexpected contender but fast none-the-less, finished 1 and 2. Gabe Fox, Stevie Smith’s former team manager and temporary Canadian coach couldn’t have looked more proud.

Magnus Mason may have been a surprise face on the podium but he earned it with a solid run
Canadian 1-2 in the juniors - Stevie Smith's legacy shining through

Elite Women

It was always going to be wasn’t it? Rachel Atherton is at the peak of her powers and it would take something very special to have stopped her today.

Just try and get that number off her…

Pompon came closest, the French rider comes alive on steep, techy tracks. An injury scuppered her early season, would a full season of racing under her belt have made the difference? Another rider who will be rueing her loss is Tracey Hannah. Hannah was in touch with Atherton in seeding. Atherton matched her seeding time, Hannah was nine seconds back with some costly mistakes.

Healing vibes go out to Manon Carpenter who has now flown home with a suspected broken collarbone. Get well soon Manon!


Healing vibes for Manon who was able to fly home on Monday
Pompon will be happy with second place after a difficult season
Marine Cabirou was the surprise package of the women, finishing fourth
Golden grin
Not the last time we heard God Save the Queen on Sunday afternoon

Men Elite

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.

Behind him, little Laurie. Today was his coming of age. A teenager of small stature, on a “big man’s” track, this wasn’t meant to happen, but using his skip along technique he put eight seconds in to the rest of the field and could only be beaten by Hart, a man currently at the very top of the game. Then Payet, the giant of the scene in a physical sense, but never quite capable enough to breakthrough, muscled his way onto the box.


Eyes glued on the timing board for Hart
Little and large - the biggest and smallest men in the pits found themselves flanking Hart on the podium today
Loic's puncture didn't leave him too dispirited, he still put on a performance for the adoring crowd
A breakthrough ride for Kerr? Fifth despite a turbulent week.
We're not sure how he held on but we're glad he did. Greenland fires himself into the finish corral
Pekoll's Mondraker was working a treat too as he finished 12th
The future's bright for Luca Shaw, who bagged another top ten
It just wasn't to be for Gwin, his quest for the rainbow stripes continues
Remi looked fast in training all week but finished one place off the podium
Danny thought he'd lost it when no green marker came up on the timing board - in reality it was just broken
The winning moment
Danny Hart's biggest fan suitable stoked
We reckon Laurie is going to have to get used to post-race interviews very quickly
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