Images by Seb Schiek
And so Aaron Gwin puts a king size dent into the rim of 29” downhill bike sales and, after messing up whilst ahead on the clock in Fort William kicks the World Cup series wide open after the mountain gods stormed the opener in Lourdes.
It was never going to be the super close race that the commentary predicted, with the podium being separated by the same margin on this three minute track as it was on Fort Williams four minute thirty affair. The men’s final here in Austria saw margins of four, seven and eight seconds between podium, top ten and top twenty respectively. Yes this was a way tighter race than last year (8/10/14secs) but nowhere near what was being predicted. Indeed this was something echoed in Fort William which saw the widest margins in thirteen years between first and twentieth.
But whilst there appears to be a widening gap between the top and the rest of the field world cup has always had rising and falling margins between the top and the rest of the field so this might simply be short term. However whilst the margins are loose at the top Leogang was a real dogfight between 10th and 70th.