Video: MTB World Championships: Downhill drama

Sep 3, 2012
by Red Bull Bike  


Gwin has been almost unstoppable in the World Cup, and officially his slower run at the World Championships was put down to brake failure, with winner Greg Minnaar, also one of only two men to deny Gwin in World Cups this season, sympathizing about ‘mechanicals’. But in fact Gwin did extremely well even to finish after hitting the dirt hard, as our exclusive video footage above shows.

The disappointed American was 83rd, while South African Minnaar enjoyed a long-awaited follow-up to his Rainbow Jersey in 2003: “It’s been nine years, man!” he exclaimed.

The hunger to win can bring out the best in downhill riders, and women’s winner Morgane Charre was the prime example.

“It was very hard, but I didn’t make any mistakes,” said the shocked Frenchwoman, who beat a raft of riders who’ve won World Cups this year and past titles, including the form rider of the year Rachel Atherton, whose back injury from a practice crash earlier in the weekend left her struggling back in fifth.

Brake trouble Crash World Champs chances in the rubbish bid Screw it...Gwin throwing down a signature move not seen on a finishing straight since his debut at Mt St Anne a few years or so ago.
  Title image by Colin Meagher


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118 Comments

  • + 193
 When I DH - I only realize one thing - how G-damn fast these guys really are and the level of fitness and balls you need to race this stuff - it's really crazy. 1st or last ALL these guys are great. What a sport.
  • + 15
 Well said.
  • + 2
 +1 to that @neimbc
  • + 4
 WHERE IS THE BOXXER WORLDS RESULTS/COVERAGE?????
  • + 2
 aha same with the women. im not a bad rider and shiiite... most this chicks could kick my ass haha! but mayne this people pinn!!!
  • + 3
 most... you mean ALL !!!
  • + 0
 haha ikr im only 13 tho aha but i hope to get up to ther speed in my 20's hahaha "HOPE"
  • + 47
 Glad to see Minnar win! put a lot of hard work in and paid off gwin is not an easy man to beat so hats off to you! congrats!
as for Gwin that is really unfortunate but I feel like he was a pretty good sport about it by just having fun with the rest of the track...really shows class and how he is out there to ride his bike!
definitely a classy picture right there tho Wink haha
  • + 61
 By showing a nice attitude like this instead of trowing his bike on the ground and be angry like most rider would have done, he gain some rank in my top rider list (wasn't much a fan on gwin before).
  • - 41
flag gouty (Sep 3, 2012 at 19:35) (Below Threshold)
 Im sure that if the he hadnt already secured the WC title and the points were really close, he woulda been pissed. Point being, he knows he won the title so if he crashes trying to win, it wont faze him and he'll just have fun with the track like he did.
  • + 17
 @gouty That comment makes no sense seeing as the World Championship and World Cup are completely different events, no points up for grabs.
  • + 7
 Not sure but he might of meant that he wasnt so pissed because he had already taken out a major title this year?
  • - 23
flag hoolydooly (Sep 3, 2012 at 21:51) (Below Threshold)
 No he wasn't pissed because he is so religious and knows "god" has a plan for him. Each to their own i suppose. If that keeps in cool and a cucumber then fair enough.
  • - 12
flag jaame (Sep 3, 2012 at 22:26) (Below Threshold)
 Everyone knows the world cup champ is the real champ. Winning one race on one day... nothing in comparison to a world cup overall title. Of which he has two out of three or four attempts. I'm very happy someone else won for a change, I don't like Gwin at all (at least what I see in the media, never met him) but there is no doubting he's the best rider in the world. Not won the worlds yet, so what? Danny Hart, who I love (not in a gay way), has only ever won one top level race. It just so happened to be the worlds but in the grand scheme of things and the history of mountain biking, he's done nothing compared to Gwin.

Props to Minnaar, unluck Gee man (and everyone else who didn't win).
  • - 1
 so agree @jaame
  • + 10
 That is a truly devastating bar hump.
  • + 1
 We need more pictures/footage of that bar hump. I almost want to make a youtube edit of it. Devastating indeed.
  • + 4
 @jaame
Don't know why we have the Olympics then ...
  • + 0
 Yep sorry guys, i pay attention to the wc but not as close as i should. But HoolyDooly got my point.
  • + 9
 A christian and an atheist walk into a bar. They procede to have a few drinks and enjoy each other’s company because they’re not pretentious a*sholes.
  • + 2
 @daniel
As far as I know the olympics is supposed to be the top level of competition for that particular sport (although it has been spoilt in recent decades with the addition of sports which have a better tournament outside the olympics like footy, tennis and golf).

I know they have like a world cup of athletics, but it seems to me that no one really cares about it. The olympics is the be all and end all of athletics. The wolds championships is not the be all and end all of MTB, the world cup is.

Still, I get your point. There is a place in a lot of people's hearts for a one-race world championship. I still love watching it, but the world cup carries more weight over a season. The best rider of the year 2012 is Gwin. The best rider of 2.9.12 was Minnaar. He worked hard, but you can't argue that Gwin lost through any fault of his own. The best rider should win, not the luckiest, hence why a world cup overall ranking is a more accurate appraisal of who is the best. That makes it sound like I think Minnaar was lucky, which I don't. He's the second best rider in the world.
  • + 38
 Dear RedBull, your video player sucks...
  • + 11
 True that. They should have the option to turn it HD yes or yes, even if you have to wait for it to load. It's too bad that it goes down in quality the second your connection goes a bit down just for the sake of keeping it playing. I'd rather wait 5 min for it to fully load and then watch in HD.
  • + 7
 I get really pissed off when I watch anything on redbull player , I get pretty much a slide show , I wish they had an option to just lower the quality , would rather have that then this.. Same with the live feeds , at val 'disere they put up a low quality link and it played perfect for me but the main feed work fine for 2 mins then goes back to a flick book then back again , really annoying as I was hooked watching it on freecaster but this season I have to make do with watching edits after the race on Mpora
  • + 18
 HD bro!!! more like it was filmed with a potato...
  • + 4
 Thats because of your internet, not the video.
  • + 7
 Uh, no, It was a low res video.
  • + 4
 When I start the video from the beginning it's sharp. Do I skip it gets potato-style. A player who detects your speed and doesn't let you define resolution manually is stupid.
  • + 1
 Im on Cable with 5mb/sec download in Sydney, Australia. Using Firefox. But its still way UNDER 720p.
This is the only thing in the last couple of years or so that i cant stream in at least 720p, let alone 1080p
Frown
  • - 1
 There's you're problem (not really). I loved Firefox until i got sick of it freezing and crashing every couple of hours. Chrome is so much better, it opens faster, has a better search system, and only crashes occasionally when i select a file for upload.
  • + 0
 the bad player has nothing to do with the user end, browser difference is so small its negligible, its at their end, there simply is enough money put into it, so it can only take low viewer numbers, I watched the runs before 2.00pm gmt and after 2 when the bigger names started to appear. as more people started watching the stream quality plummeted, simply put more money is needed to invest in the player, thought i doubt redbull want to do that
  • - 1
 Uhhhhh, So its more likely that RedBulls network sucks and not your 80$ internet? CHYEAH right.
  • + 6
 Brings out the goodness of the sport im glad im a part of this amazing community
  • + 7
 Way to go Steve you had an awesome run. And to the LADIES awesome job!!!!
  • + 1
 oops, replied to wrong post.
  • + 3
 great run for Minaar. from what I've seen over the years truly one of the pros pro to represent DH. Like Barel. No excuses always respectful. I was not however getting any respect from friends rooting for Smith instead of Gwin. I thought Stevie had it. you just know his rainbow stripes are coming soon though.
  • + 7
 go stevie
  • + 3
 Gwin got lucky the UCI put those fish nets on the slopes, otherwise he would not have made it down. That was a hell of place to have a brake failure !I heard his brakes gave out under pressure ? Any comments ?
  • + 7
 Yes, his brakes couldn't take the pressure of the world champs and decided to commit suicide :p
  • + 3
 The sad situation when rider copes with pressure better than his components...
  • + 2
 His saints failed? a world is falling apart for me, i will never be the same again =(
  • - 1
 gwin didnt wreck!!!! that was steve peat they showed in the video as they were talking about gwin. i have no idea why the editor decided to do show it that way. if you dont believe me go back and watch the replay. peaty was up by over a second and had a bit of a switchup coming in there super hot. gutted for peaty but that was NOT GWIN!
  • + 1
 @dragontalesDH sorry man, but that is Gwin, because Peaty does not endorse Redbull, pause the video and pay attention at the helmet, and the jersey, and the shorts !
  • + 1
 that, and he's riding a trek with a #2 plate, pause it, it's Gwin for sure.
  • + 1
 I wish i could have watched it live, it sounds like it was an exciting race. Props to minnar for being so pinned. It sucks that Gwin had a mechanical but that's racing and it happens. Maybe the world champs is gonna turn into his kryptonite?
  • + 1
 What about Neethling?
Right before he slows down off the wallride there are 1 or 2 people (photographers?) lying on the track to the right, which makes me wonder if he shut it down to avoid hitting them, but I haven't heard or seen anyone else comment about them...
  • + 2
 He lost it in the middle of the wallride, got tossed off course, blew a gate... He slowed down after that cause his run was over, no point in carrying on since he'd either be DQ'd or lose a ton of time going back in where he went off. I don't think it had anything to do with people near the course.

www.sicklines.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/22026/title/andrew-neethling/cat/1022
  • + 4
 CG now Gwin. Let's hope the brake issues are sorted out after this incident for good.
  • - 7
flag fella87 (Sep 3, 2012 at 19:12) (Below Threshold)
 Are you insinuating that the mechanics we're a bit lazy or that brakes aren't good enough? its a pretty rare that brakes fail.
  • + 7
 Chris Vasquez is one of he best in the business and a legend in his own right. I'd assume that this was a fluke accident.
  • + 5
 there was an article saying his brakes failed. that he was still running proto brakes even though production versions were available because he like the feel of the protos better.

www.pinkbike.com/news/Results-Leogang-DH-Finals-UCI-World-Championships-2012.html

Monkdawg working over Gwin's brakes first thing this morning before practice started. Official word is that the prototype brakes Gwin's been using since last winter failed after a some hard cornering - Shimano engineers are tearing into the brakes to determine what went wrong. These are prototypes, though, not production, so the guts are a bit different than what everyone else is running. Gwin was offered the production brakes as soon as they became available, but favoured the feel of the prototypes over the production versions; my guess is that he will be on production brakes in Norway for the World Cup Finals.
  • + 1
 good to hear about a legit failure, not "someone's" fault. i was trying to imagine the glare that the mechanic would get from everyone in the whole organization for the next year.
  • - 5
flag cholla (Sep 3, 2012 at 20:44) (Below Threshold)
 "its a pretty rare that brakes fail."... not if Shimano 'n this is gonna be Gwin lesson for next time - WC runs no prototypes.
  • + 7
 @cholla At some point during the season all the top riders are on proto stuff. The World Cup's are essentially the testing grounds for all the top products that come out
  • - 5
flag samminett (Sep 3, 2012 at 21:21) (Below Threshold)
 there were 2 brake faliures at words, both were shimano, what does this say?
  • + 13
 @samminett - it says "those prototypes are not quite ready for production"
  • + 4
 The dudes on Shimano push their brakes the hardest?
  • + 5
 What I read into it was he crashed and that caused the brake failure, not the other way round. Is there any official word or is it just hearsay? The Pinkbike line says sonething like "what really happened" which suggests to me it was a crash, not a brake failure.
  • + 2
 That Shimano have a large portion of the market? That Shimano are testing prototypes that are not yet for sale because they are...being tested. Thats pretty much what it says. In my experience Shimano stuff is by far the best quality.
  • + 2
 He's been on those brakes for a while. I'm guessing the tolerances were not 100% and he got some fluid blow-by around the main piston seal when the fluid heated up. It thins out the viscosity, which can exaggerate a worn seal that's beginning to fail. It happens to every Shimano master cylinder eventually, I assume at the speeds he rides that he puts 10 times the wear on products over an average rider. As the article stated, would be surprised if he doesn't switch to production stuff from here on out. Its way easier on Monk too, because if they have a problem you just grab a freshie from the Shimano guys and send him back up the hill.
  • - 5
flag jasdh (Sep 4, 2012 at 2:16) (Below Threshold)
 Need Avid brakes...
  • + 10
 Yeah Avid is great, for the first few weeks until you're back in the shop where you got them asking for a warranty replacement.
  • + 2
 @jaame, judging from how fast & out of control he was moving into that corner, I would have to say he lost them above the turn.
  • + 2
 lol never thought I would hear some one reccommend Avid brakes as a RELIABLE option haha ! have bled mine 3 times this summer allready , and I aint even been to many big hills
  • + 2
 It's a common misjudgement that a pro rider abuses his brakes more than the average guy running down a slope in the alps and braking the shit out of his brakes. Oh and as far as I know CG's brake hose got crushed by a rock but I heard he had problems with his brakes at the IXS in Leogang too.
  • + 3
 Hope v-tech M4 , try it then buy it
  • + 0
 Shimano 1 and 2 at WC....nuff said.
  • + 2
 CG runs hope brakes, so that's a complete different story
  • + 1
 Cedric does not run Shimano brakes. He has his own brake sponsorship deal.
  • + 1
 Yea as good as these guys are I would think that your average rider is probably harder on brakes than the pros. I mean yea they are going faster but they probably use the brakes alot less than an average rider braking the whole way down the hill.
  • + 0
 @hoolydooly, yeah shimano is great, except when your brakes fail at the world champs and you crash
  • + 0
 P-R-O-T-O-T-Y-P-E

Define: Prototype - A first, typical or preliminary model of something, esp. a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied.

You've been drinking too much of that Adelaide water buddy.
  • + 2
 I would argue that pros use their brakes harder than normal people because they are rising much faster on shit-steep tracks and braking a lot later. Remember all the massive discs they were using at Champery last year? Advanced riders will also learn how to use their brakes at times when average riders wouldn't.
  • + 1
 @hoolydooly, sorry matey but i have never heard of avid brakes failing in the first few weeks buddy. seriously though mate calm down shimano and avid are both good brakes I'm just joking around but your getting all up tight about it. You treat me like a dumbass and then dis adelaide. You must be pretty tough to argue about brakes
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=6193&pagenum=340#commentid4324821

Have a read through that and you fill find that a few people love their Avid's, mainly the Code's. But 80% of Avid related stuff in there is about people having them fail. I've only ever seen 1 complaint about Saint's. Its more of a lucky dip with Avid, but when they work they are great.

I'm not getting uptight, its just you say it like they should known it was going to fail. Its a prototype, they haven't done enough testing to know how it performs over a race season.
  • + 4
 "Gwin has been almost unstoppable in the World Cup" he was also unstoppable here....
  • + 1
 I see what you did there! Wink
  • + 0
 why did they show steve peat crashing while talking about gwins break failure? gwin never wrecked! that was peaty that smashed into the fence! iv watched this video a million times now and love it just as much as when i watched it all live. but whoever made this video should not have made it look so much like gwin had crashed. your going to have bad rumors running the world for years now.
  • + 2
 What makes you think that was Peat? That was definitely Gwin crashing. Check your eyes, bro.
  • + 1
 Why DH is not an olympic discipline?, it's measurable and requires a lot of physical and mental ability to be 1, 2 and 3. I am tired of seen gymnastics and swimmers at the olympic games on tv.
  • + 1
 this was actually asked on the live stream, as it was a viewer question that warner brought up. the answer is no it will not go into the Olympics soon because it is far too impractical to get everything required to a destination that is good enough but also capable of handling an Olympic size crowd, they said it had been weighed up before and was not feasible, i would agree, for the hassle its worth we would probably just be disappointed by the outcome anyway
  • + 1
 Because the Olympics are all about sports that nobody cares about until they are in the Olympics. Like male synchronized swimming...wtf.
  • + 2
 Before coming a sanctioned Olympic event, the IOC would strip DH of its heart and soul so it met their requirements. They don't get it... they'll probably never get it... better to let it evolve naturally like free skiing/riding.
  • + 1
 Downhill racing requires mountains, or at least hills. The only way to guarantee that is to have an alpine location. The winter olympics would be a better place for DH to be contested. Of course it would be cold and snowy every time, but that would be more feasible than tryong to hold a DH race somewhere totally flat. I know they have different events out of town in the olympics, but can you imagine the London olympic DH being held in Scotland, 500 miles away from London? Bit of a joke no?
  • + 1
 the XC trail at the olympic games was nice, more suited for full suspension XC bikes I guess, it's a shame that in most countries that discipline didn't even make the late night reviews, we had to settle for the some good pics on the internet...
  • + 1
 Can someone tell the name of the song please its awesome i watched the chapinships Minnaar was awesome i am sorry for Gwin Smile
  • + 3
 post the name of the song please!
  • + 2
 gwin seems quite fond of nets at world champs he seems attracted to them! =P
  • + 3
 props to all the riders! those guys are fast
  • + 2
 Bad luck for Troy...hope he is fine!!!
  • + 3
 From his Facebook update: Troy Brosnan: Injury update, dislocated shoulder and flying back home to get it fixed today. Thanks everyone for the support!
  • + 2
 What a bummer! Last thing he needed. Was that shoulder a bit hammered already or is this a new injury?
  • + 2
 Gay ass song but the footage was sick!!!!!!
  • + 2
 What happened to Gwin's bike?
  • + 4
 Brake malfunction. Didn't see the crash til this video.
  • + 1
 Song title a the beginning? Would be great if somebody can say
  • + 1
 All amazing riders and they all ride sooo fast!
  • + 2
 go stevie
  • + 1
 How many people have won the Worlds more than once i wonder?
  • + 1
 Loving the style. Gwin'ing for sure!
  • + 1
 That bar hump was majestic!!
  • + 1
 what a song ?
  • + 1
 love it!!!
  • + 1
 very nice.
  • + 0
 hahah that bow legged air is awesome!!!!
  • + 9
 Bar-hump
  • + 2
 schmagma air
  • + 0
 shmagma air
  • + 1
 Pig rooter.
  • + 1
 song name ?
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