Performance of the Year Winner
From 24-hour endurance grinds to 4-minute flat-out downhill runs, there were myriad ways that riders still found ways to perform in this disrupted year. We highlighted Greg Minnaar, Evie Richards, Emil Johansson, Tiago Ferreira and Reece Wilson who all beat out the world's best under immense pressure for victory.
While we were impressed with all the contenders, the 2020 Performance of the Year award goes to...
Why he's the winner
It started with a stump gap. Pretty much nobody had Reece Wilson pinned for the World Champs title this year, but that lasted roughly one practice session as Reece Wilson hucked through a greasy, root-strewn section that most of the world's top riders were still puzzling. On a section that lacked rhythm and flow, the young Scot showed in one line that he wasn't in Austria to mess around, and was hungry to cement his place among the world's best. That form carried through the rest of the week and after some red-hot splits in seeding, Wilson became one of the riders to beat on finals day.
Finals threw every possible challenge at riders. Cold, snow and a fresh cut section that had been put in to bring some much-needed tech to Leogang. That section was ruined by autumnal conditions and a constant stream of riders passing through it making it one of the trickiest race sections in recent memory.
Unfortunately, an early race start meant that not much of what Wilson did on track was televised but it's clear from looking at the time sheets that the woods section that caused other riders so much trouble is where he excelled. He would later say he didn't think he had done that well and had missed a few lines, but it was a run that was about as perfect as you could get on that track in those conditions.
Wilson crossed the lines 7 seconds in the green but was in for a long and tense wait for the final riders to cross the line. In the end, Wilson's time was never really troubled and he won the World Champs by the biggest margin since Danny Hart in Champery nearly a decade ago.