2017 Pinkbike Awards: Highlight of the Year Winner

Dec 14, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
PB Awards


Highlight of the Year: Aaron Gwin's Mont-Sainte-Anne Race Run

Ever since that fateful rain-soaked race day in 2011, Danny Hart's wild ride in Champery has been the go-to reference for overcoming atrocious conditions on the way to the top step of the podium. That highlight, and Rob Warner's hilarious commentary, are still the benchmark, but this year it was Aaron Gwin's finals run at Monte-Sainte-Anne that won't soon be forgotten.

The rain began before the top ten men had the chance to take to the track, and the race began to shape up like a sequel to Lourdes. But after Jack Moir crossed the line within reach of Dean Lucas's pre-rain run the remainder of the field seemed to find new energy, and best of the best began making their marks near top of the results sheet.


The crowd was electric as Gwin roared into the finish arena on what looked to be an impossible and wining run.


When Gwin dropped in Lucas was still sitting in the hot seat, with Danny Hart's muddy run just .04 seconds behind. Seemingly unfazed by the pouring rain, Gwin stormed down the hill, taking inside lines on the wet, slippery grass as if he was back home in sunny California. When he crossed the finish line, 4 minutes and 18 second later, race fans across the world breathed a collective sight of relief – the clock was green, and once again Gwin had done the impossible; not even Mother Nature's worst was enough to keep him from the win.

As Rob Warner so aptly put it, “That was crackers,” and in recognition of his exhilarating performance, Aaron Gwin is the recipient of Pinkbike's 2017 Highlight of the Year Award.









77 Comments

  • + 195
 Well deserved. A definite highlight for me.
  • + 63
 it was the first "Well deserved" award yet
  • + 24
 I've done that track in the dry, its nuts, let along in pouring rain. Beating guys that race for a living while they went in the dry. He deserves the highlight in my books as well !!!!
  • + 4
 Watch this run knowing he makes it down fine, and you can see how incredible of a rider he really is.
  • + 5
 Nothing less than brilliant and most definitely deserved.
  • + 1
 Highlight of the century!!
  • + 2
 Stevie would agree ! both are legends !
  • + 1
 Remember exactly where I was when watching this. Worthy win.
  • + 4
 @jamesdunford: same, my couch.
  • - 7
flag burnadette (Dec 15, 2017 at 7:06) (Below Threshold)
 #SORGE #RAMPAGERUN
  • + 5
 @burnadette: but bizet got robbed they say
  • + 55
 Was this ever in doubt? Without question the most exciting 3 minutes of the mountain bike season.
  • + 26
 More like 20 minutes, there were some stellar runs in the top ten!
  • + 1
 @Yarlezy: True. I forget who the rider was now, but one of the guys posted a time close to the lead time, showing it was possible that one of the top guys could win, and it was pure excitement after that.
  • + 10
 @Adamrideshisbike: I think it was Shark attack Jack.... that entire race was stunning.
  • + 3
 @Adamrideshisbike: Jack Moir I believe, one of my favorite riders to watch. Will definitely see him on the top box in future races if he stays at his current pace.
  • + 4
 @steelpolish: the worst thing about the off season without a doubt is no more WynTV Jack Moir "YEAHHHH" sound bites over everything
  • + 1
 If those were your most exciting 3 minutes, you should probably ride moreWink
  • + 20
 Everyone else whining about someone else being “robbers” ... just no. Shut up. pinkbike nailed this correct.
  • - 7
flag preach (Dec 14, 2017 at 17:07) (Below Threshold)
 #robbed
  • + 2
 100%
  • + 18
 I was sitting by his mom when he crossed the line in first on that race, all she said was “this is getting old”
  • + 7
 I really hope this is true
  • + 23
 "..............motherfuker"
"sitting by his mom"

some strange things are going on...
  • + 10
 He was just trying to sell those Onza tires people used to be skeptical about.
  • + 8
 Never half ass two things, whole ass one thing.
  • + 6
 I think the highlight of the year will be when everyone picks up a fracking shovel and start building some trails.
  • + 1
 Rakes>shovels
  • + 1
 @Jimmy0: Rakes are greater than shovels?
  • + 1
 Damn tablet, down voted you, sorry, l couldn't agree more.
  • + 1
 @robito: mmhmm
  • + 5
 I've started to implement "Crackers" into my daily vocabulary as a replacement for crazy.
  • + 9
 Also works well for dip, bruh.
  • + 3
 #Crakerlivesmatter
  • + 1
 gwin proove that he is a gwinner My all time best at mont ste-anne was stevie smith 2013 winning run you can't beat when you're a canadian this year was totally epic, mister mud danny heart attack came close but didn't go green. gwin don't know how he did it, he almost lost it in the steep rocky section because his google were all muddy and hit a rock but manage to go green that was something that was one
  • + 4
 In Formula 1 you have stars like Schumacher, in Moto GP Rossi and in Downhill Gwin his name will remain there foreverer.
  • + 2
 Peat, and minaar too
  • + 1
 @sessionlession: HILL. Barrel. Atherton. Jonnier. Chausson.
  • + 2
 This was the only run from the whole season that I immediately watched a second time. I remember thinking "no f'ing way he just did that!" yep he did that, so rad.
  • + 2
 For me, the go-to reference will always be Hill's run in Champery (2008?). Now that was a mega downpour on an insane track, that many couldn't get down clean in the dry.
  • + 9
 All due respect to that! Sam effing Hill is the man! Still this was amazing to see AG flash green lights, and finish with a win. It was good for the sport. I'm just happy to see the sport/rides pushing as hard as ever.
  • - 4
flag TEAM-ROBOT (Dec 14, 2017 at 17:16) (Below Threshold)
 @mammal: I think it was Danny Hart in 1996 in Champery, France.
  • + 5
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Emmm, what? How old was Hart in '96?

It was 2007 in Champery, that Hill rode the unridable to second place. I had to check the 2008 Dirt Mag in my bathroom to confirm the year...
  • + 1
 @TEAM-ROBOT: when he was 5?
  • + 1
 Norbs rampage run was better
  • + 22
 @TEAM-ROBOT: And troll moment of the year goes to...
  • + 1
 @mammal: the Swiss were so excited that they invaded the place and claimed it as their own, the bastards!
  • + 1
 @paulhaysom: A typo doesn't make him a troll, I suppose. I don't dare to say which year it was because there is no coverage of that World Championship race (of Danny Hart, that is) on an Earthed video. But Sam Hill placed an incrediblle third in Champery 2007 (current team mate Matti Lehikoinen won with a dry run) but that doesn't make mammal a troll.
  • + 2
 @mammal: And second with a proper crash, doesnt seem possible.
  • + 3
 @paulhaysom: That was hardly a notable example of trolling, let alone prize-winner.
  • + 4
 YES! Possibly best in history of MTB! Imo
  • + 1
 I was there, did part of that downhill and walked the rest all dry. In did it felt like a miracle.
  • + 1
 Highlight of his career so far. I think he won a lot of respect with that run.
  • + 1
 Aaron realy nailed it with that race, i am still watching the video and thinking how the heck he i that
  • + 1
 Gwin has pulled some against the odd race runs for sure. His chainless one goes in the history books as well.
  • + 1
 That run gives me goosebumps... A strong # 2 was Jesse Melamed winning the EWS Whistler... the atmosphere was phenomenal
  • + 0
 You know... I was at a UCI viewing party at Crank Brothers headquarters and literally the whole room exploded in excitement, it really was a great moment! What a legend.
  • + 2
 Abi “dog down” didn’t feature - amazing
  • + 1
 I only wish I could ride like this - what a run!
  • + 2
 What a ride
  • + 1
 Obvious choice what a ride
  • + 1
 I can stop watching this video!!!
  • + 1
 time to watch that run for the millionth time. never get tired of it.
  • + 1
 Same. That and the chainless run. Guys on another level.
  • + 1
 That run was unbelievable.
  • + 0
 Downhill Race. The only bicycle racing that -almost- does not need pedaling to win. Big Grin
  • + 1
 YEAHHHH!!! Best racin run EVER!!!!
  • + 0
 I've actually ridden faster in worse conditions but it's whatev..
  • + 1
 A legend in the making.
  • + 1
 GWINNING!
  • + 1
 Good choice!!
  • + 1
 No questions ask
  • + 1
 Yeah
  • + 0
 aaron gWINS
  • + 0
 Rogatkin got robbed

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2018. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.058221
Mobile Version of Website