Aaron Gwin sauntered into downhill, grabbed it by the scruff of its neck and left it dazed on the bar room floor.
A top ten in his first season, a podium in his second, Gwin marked himself out early as hot property in the pits. His partnership with the greatest mind in downhill, Martin Whiteley, created an unstoppable force. Four wins on the trot, nine in two seasons, the broiling clouds had become a deluge and in the eye of the storm was a new American hero.
Gwin’s success wasn’t left unpunished though and a suspicious and jealous world turned on him. The shutters came down and Gwin, like Vouilloz before him, operated on another level outside of the World Cup box.
What happened in the autumn of 2012 is one of the great mysteries. It basically came down to a Trek vs Spesh punch up with Gwin and Martin Whiteley in the middle, of which nobody came out better. Some may call the Specialized years barren for Gwin but with that win and a World Cup overall the final result, clearly the axes shift when talking about legends.
The big move to YT has already been well documented here at Dirt and the Gwin era continues to this day. A special racer.