Updated: Aaron Gwin to Miss World Champs Due to Back Injury, Austin Dooley Now Reinstated to USA Team

Aug 18, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  
Photo: Nathan Hughes

Update: We've now received word that Austin Dooley will swap back onto the USA World Champs Team after being named to the team, removed and replaced by Aaron Gwin, and now reinstated.

Aaron Gwin posted on Instagram that he will miss World Champs next week in Val di Sole because his back injury still prevents him from riding. He injured his back right before the Maribor World Cup while training for a race at Mountain Creek when he landed from a blind jump with his front wheel on a loose rock, frontflipped over his bars, and slammed straight onto his back. He has been working with his physios and had planned to be back on the bike for World Champs, but his recovery isn't going as quickly as he'd hoped.


bigquotesHey guys, a little injury update. I’ve been doin everything I can to get my back healed up since my crash. I’m making good progress for such a short amount of time but still a little ways out from being at 100% or even able to ride. That said I won’t be racing at Worlds next week but am still hoping to be back for the last few World Cups. This injury has been a tough one timing wise but I’m feelin very positive and excited for the future. I’ll keep workin hard and I’m confident that I’ll get back to where I want to be. Thanks everyone for the kind messages lately and I’d like to say a huge good luck to team USA next week! Can’t wait to get back and represent at world’s next year, we’ve got some work to do at that race!Aaron Gwin

Gwin was initially not named to the USA World Champs team due to what seems like a clerical error on USA Cycling's part, but the roster was subsequently updated with Aaron Gwin replacing Austin Dooley, who last weekend became the first American privateer to qualify at a World Cup in five years. We have reached out to Dooley for comment on whether he will now be reinstated to the team.

We will keep you updated with any more information, and wish Aaron Gwin all the best in his recovery.


193 Comments

  • 128 5
 "Can’t wait to get back and represent at world’s next year, we’ve got some work to do at that race"...

Like register for it.
  • 12 0
 Hahshahaha!!! I literally laughed out loud at that!
  • 1 0
 Good stuff
  • 97 9
 That's Intense.
  • 9 39
flag cky78 (Aug 18, 2021 at 12:25) (Below Threshold)
 How is this not the top rated comment....?
  • 8 1
 It's like having sex in the mountains....In tents
  • 7 1
 @beaugnar: erect your pole, open the flaps an slip into the old bag...........
  • 4 0
 @nojzilla: nice one Swiss Tony.
  • 3 0
 @chriss78: Fast Show was the BEST!
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: Don't forget the Belgian chocolates
  • 1 0
 @samhillseyebrows: My wife's left me.......
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: eewwww!
  • 47 0
 Gwin took 9th at Leogang. Nothing else in the top twenty all year for the rest of the team. Intense is struggling
  • 39 1
 It seems like a rough situation for both Gwin and Intense. I assume his contract is such that they can't cut him and can't afford to hire anyone else. And the narrative that Gwin used to be fast until he joined Intense is hard to shake and getting harder the longer he struggles.
  • 21 0
 @Drew-O: I don't know if the actual results data backs this up, but it at least feels to me like Neko's results have taken a nosedive on the intense team as well. Obviously they're both getting older, but still.
  • 44 1
 @emarquar: Jack Moir did well on Intense before Gwin got there, then did badly when Gwin came in and brought a bunch of new sponsors (Fox, TRP brakes, Kenda Tires, etc.). Moir blamed the kenda tires and now he's back on Maxxis & Sram components & killing it when he does race downhill. I couldn't tell ya if the Kenda tires are keeping him off the podium but I'd bet they aren't helping.
  • 22 0
 @OpeSorryAbootThat: It seems like Gwin walked into a similar situation with YT and Onza tires (neither a huge or super-successful brand, he provided a bunch of product development input) and was really successful. And I don't doubt that Intense and Jeff Steber can build fast bikes. To me it seems like bad luck and age leading to injuries, but the narrative that it's the equipment is hard to avoid. When you sign a huge name you gotta take the wins with the losses I guess.
  • 17 1
 Its Tyres tyres tyres
I think it is simply not possible to win in any timed wheeled sport with bad tyres( without doping or cheating)
Even with ideal /best frame and suspension etc you still need they tyres to transfer that technology to speed on the track
@OpeSorryAbootThat:
  • 24 3
 Anything at this level is mental, all the top 30 riders can win races on any decent bike or tire, they just need to get their heads on straight to do it. I think Gwin got distracted and can't get his mojo back, but never count a man out that has done what he has done in racing.
  • 31 0
 Loris won with Sharpied Minion DHR II tires front and rear in Maribor
Loic uses sharpied Maxxis tyres
Note to future pro’s . Make sure your contract alows you to use any tyres you want
  • 5 0
 @gcrider: As I said tho he was quite successful on Onza tires that he designed back in the YT days. He's now on a Kenda tire that he also designed (and that looks nearly identical) so hard to see how that's the issue.
  • 7 0
 @gcrider: Seems like Reece Wilson and Kade Edwards frequently run Schwable tires as well
  • 7 0
 And Commencal are on Schwables I think. The only negative I have heard about Schwable was cost and that they wear out quickly. which isn’t an issue for a race tyre if you are pro. @IsaacWislon82:
  • 2 0
 Think we were typing at same time
I agree except for the kenda part. As they cant make the tread identical for legal reason they won’t be identical and each copy of the ideal tread pattern gets tou further away from that ideal
Also the compound won’t be the same @Drew-O:
  • 5 0
 @Drew-O: have you ever ridden Kenda tires? The compounds have historically been horrendous even if they had a good tread pattern, and I'd bet that's still the issue based on the comments here regarding Moir.
  • 8 0
 @shredddr: Ha no, I've avoided Kenda tires based on all the comments about how bad their compounds are...

That said I have to think Gwin has the knowledge to figure out if his tires are shite, and he and Kenda would very much want to fix that. Even if they're making him special tires that aren't available to the public, I have a hard time believing Aaron f/in Gwin has tanked his career because of bad tires.
  • 4 0
 @Drew-O: I thought he bought into intense and is part owner now?
  • 6 0
 @OpeSorryAbootThat: Moir said in a podcast when Gwin and Neko came to Intense every component on his bike change, minus the frame. He said he couldn't adapt to it all. Went to Canyon and back on Sram Rock Shox and look at him go.
  • 1 6
flag xKROOGAAZZx (Aug 18, 2021 at 16:18) (Below Threshold)
 @gcrider: U sure ? Do You think Trek would risk that their rider would win on maxxis tyres not bontrager ?that he would advertise diffrent brand ? New SE5 has very simillar knob patern.
  • 5 0
 Yes
Its on that other vital website for mtb lovers
There is even pictures @xKROOGAAZZx:
  • 7 1
 @Pmrmusic26: @Pmrmusic26: according to what I've heard, no. He has a contract to race Intense Bikes, no percentage interest in the brand. That contract expires this year.
Now the race team itself he may have some ownership interest in, but not the bike brand itself.
  • 1 16
flag xKROOGAAZZx (Aug 18, 2021 at 16:29) (Below Threshold)
 @gcrider: www.mtb-mag.com/en/first-ride-the-all-new-bontrager-se5-se6 --- again are you SURE ? Vorgier is now TREK FACTORY RACING TEAM not a contractor who use TREK frame. So im pretty sure he use Bontrager tyres.
  • 2 0
 For riders who use sponsor incorrect tyres they usually swap out race wheels for bikes checks and and photos in the pits

@xKROOGAAZZx:
  • 8 0
 @xKROOGAAZZx: p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/2/photos/146623/s1200_Maribor21_52i5085.JPG

Definitely a blacked out DHR. Same tires run by Bruni, who is also on a factory team for a brand that makes tires.
  • 2 0
 @Drew-O: Onza tires are made in the same factory as Maxxis (so I heard). Kenda compounds are a serious step down from Maxxis/Onza. Actually, before this new renaissance from Maxxis, I liked the idea of a folding tubeless casing with butyl insert, maxxpro 50 compound, and a better tread pattern than the old minions (ibex).
  • 1 0
 @OpeSorryAbootThat: I noticed Loris was on blacked out DHR2's at Maribor. Not sure if he was on them all season or was on Bontrager.
  • 2 0
 It's totally the bike. It was so bad when he got there he made them completely redesign the suspension layout. When you're riding on the absolute limit the capability of the bike can be the difference between missing a tree by an inch and slamming your shoulder into it. I'm sure it's a perfectly fine bike for the rest of us, just not for the top guys on the planet.
  • 7 0
 @friendlyfoe: even though one of the top guys on the planet designed the first one and was top 5-10 most weekends on it until he was on gwin jumped in? That bike never slowed Moir down.
  • 10 0
 It's nothing to do with the bike. They get the bike they want. Moir killed it on Intense when he was on tour with his mates. I reckon it's headspace first and foremost. It's takes a special kind of nutter to put himself through all that puke-inducing training, travel, pressure of a race weekend, danger of being so close to the edge time and again. Gwin's winning days have been over for years. I was hoping he would prove me wrong at this world championship, but sadly not. Tyres deffo play a part too. I don't know if he actually races on something else but you need good rubber. He deffo has good suspension that he's won on before. Bars, grips, brakes, gears, none of that matters. It's mental game, physical game, geometry, tyres and suspension that count. It looks to me like one or two of those are not getting ticked.
  • 5 1
 @jaame: He said in his most recent Vital podcast that the bike isn't close to where he wants it, and doesn't know if he can get what he wants out of that suspension design. It's the bike. And not saying that the bike can't be ridden fast by some people, it's just not what Gwin has been successful on in the past.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Team dynamics play a huge role. Just consider the ups and downs of Moirs form, depending on the teams he was in.
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: exactly, same with Gwin and Eric Carter (?).
  • 3 2
 @chriskneeland: I find it hard to believe that when you have a man there who can make you literally any geometry you want, with a suspension platform that is probably the most successful in history, you can't get a bike that works for you. The bike may not be the best one out there but hey, it's not a Commencal on top every time so obviously it is possible to win on an inferior design. The issue is the rider more than the bike.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully he heals up and gets back to racing soon.
  • 5 3
 @chriskneeland: " He said in his most recent Vital podcast that the bike isn't close to where he wants it, and doesn't know if he can get what he wants out of that suspension design"

What you just said is NOT accurate. You went through the time & effort of listening to the podcast, but then you MIS-QUOTE the guy?

His statements on his bike & Intense are at the 20 minute mark & run to the 24 minute mark.
For FOKKS sake...get it right. I'm not even gonna para-phrase. For those that want the real story & not that hot mess of a sentence:
www.vitalmtb.com/features/Aaron-Gwin-The-Inside-Line-Podcast,3111
  • 4 0
 @blowmyfuse: I haven't got time for that. Can you paraphrase please?
  • 3 1
 @jaame: There are studies showing that people are actually happier with fewer choices; A vs. B it’s easy to be pick and be satisfied, but if you have 100 options you tend to second guess and always wonder if you picked right and if maybe there’s something better.

I gotta wonder if Gwin’s headspace has been affected by a similar issue. He’s supposed to have direct input on design of so much of his setup, you have to wonder if he’s spending all his mental energy wondering what’s non-optimal and what he could tweak. I could see it being way easier to just be given a pretty good frame, run tires, suspension, brakes etc. you know are pretty good, and put your focus on suspension setting and going fast. If every run is a shakedown run for some new piece of kit it seems like it’d be hard to get to 100% pace.
  • 2 1
 @Drew-O: It depends on the rider though, Minnaar is notorious for his tweaking and micro adjustments, it works for him where it may not for someone else.
  • 1 1
 @blowmyfuse: TLDR, paraphrase please thx!
  • 1 1
 @Drew-O: You're 100% right. The more variables you're given control over, the more opportunity for doubt.


deleted the rest of my post...it was too much. Beer
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: Bahaha...He said "I feel like we're getting close" then goes on to explain why they're behind on developing the bike... so not close, because if he was certain they were close, he would have said we're close. I don't know how you interpret that any other way.

And he talks about the platform starting 26:30 mark. So no, you didn't listen to the whole thing
  • 3 0
 @jaame: Put him back on a Session, or the Tues he helped develop and I bet he's back at the fast end of the field immediately. Guess we'll never know because Intense is committed to this VPP platform.
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: Yeah my take from listening is definitely that there are big bike struggles. He’s not gonna come out and say they can’t get the bike right, but he uses the phrase “spread thin” in reference to Intense and bike development about 4 times, mentions that all the other brands he’s ridden for have had teams of engineers and now it sounds like it’s just him talking to Steber, says turnaround on tweaks and prototypes has been really slow. Mentions that Intense has a storied history but “what it takes to make a winning bike is different now than it was 15 years ago.” Mentions that he’s always ridden Horst bikes and now he’s trying to get used to VPP. Filtered through the fact that he’s sponsored and not going to be overtly negative about the brand, it’s not a great picture he paints.
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: maybe it’s both mentals and bike. He could be using the bike as an excuse if he’s ashamed of admitting that his head isn’t in the right space, like jaame said earlier. He’s a proud chap, some would argue too proud - perhaps he’s uncomfortable with being transparent and humble… so we end up with “it’s the bike”.
  • 2 1
 @SterlingArcher: Stop stalking me, being a jerk &acoming with the insults. You've already had a ban once for it.

Go away.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/21031186
  • 2 1
 @blowmyfuse: says the guy who got banned 3 times for harassment and continues to insult people in every post.

Turns out you’re the stalker LOL
  • 1 1
 @Drew-O: All I heard was that the other companies have bigger budgets and can try more things and try them quicker.
But trying things is just tinkering. None of these changes the manufacturers are making are world changing tweaks. They're mostly preferences and comfort. All I heard him say was that it takes more time & energy because they're a smaller company for Steber & crew to pump out new tweaks for team riders to test.

If you follow Neko on media, he's been tweaking his bikes like crazy since day one. "Testing" doesn't mean "trying to stop the losing". It's just pushing boundaries.

VPP bikes finished P4 & P7. Fox knows what the kinematics of the different linkages are & what dampening curve to implement these days. It's not the old days where every linkage design was blowing shocks & Fox was trying to make a One Size Fits All shock, then pros had something completely different.

I firmly believe the bike isn't that big of a hurdle. The guy is literally just making clear statements about how his employers differed then versus now.
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: I like Gwin these days. I used to dislike him because he ruined the sport as a contest between 11 and 16. He deserves one world title though.
Bike wise, he jumped on the Tuesday from the Demo and said something like it's awesome out of the box. I've been trying to get Specialized to make a bike with this geometry but they won't etc. Then he got on the Tuesday and won. Worst case they just copy the geo from a bike that is known to work.
Suspension wise, surely there is software that calculates all the spring curves and whatnot. I don't think engineers are there with rulers and an abacus trying to figure it out like I was in A-level technology back in the day.
Honestly, I can't see how they haven't got the bike in the ballpark after all this time. It could be that "too many options" conundrum I guess. Mental game sems the most likely though, whatever they actually say.
Strange it would affect Neko as well though.
  • 1 1
 @jaame: Nico has had two and that until recently a third business outside of World Cup racing. Helped found wwindrock bike park, does the downhill southeast races with his brother and family (and I mean he works the whole race weekend and then does the race run) and he has some ownership in Kanuga Bike Park.
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: Oh right so his results could have suffered from the number of plates he has to keep spinning. Gwinner must be spinning quite a few I would have thought.
  • 6 0
 1. Bad bike - horrible tires
2. He's getting old: youngsters are taking more and more risks
3. Mixing personal life with race weekends too much = distractions
4. Too worried about building / buying 3 houses, new old school bronco car etc... = more distractions

He should move to Andorra and sign for a brand like Commencal if he wants to be on top of the game
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: Neko doesn't really have to do anything at Kanuga or DHSE. His brother runs most of the DHSE races, his GF runs Kanuga with a paid crew. That crew also helps out with tracks for DHSE. I think Neko has not been happy with the bike. Notice he is not even riding the prototype and is back on the production bike.
  • 4 0
 @Oxiros: yeah I mean if you're getting paid for mediocre results off the back of your almost GOAT status, why take the risks needed to win? In a race of 80 riders, there are 79 losers statistically speaking. Not very good odds.
  • 1 1
 @blowmyfuse: just so you know, I and a few friends donated to the recovery of the flood in NC. Beer Beer
  • 2 0
 @emarquar: the goat has proven age isn't really an excuse.
We're talking about WCDH.
1 injury can take u out for 2 years really.
Sit out a year of F1 and your almost too far off to ever come back.
I would like to see Gwin on the commi for a race weekend just to see...
  • 1 1
 @gcrider: sorry but our team is winning on Kenda and the traction is dope. Let’s not even get into who they make tires for.
  • 1 2
 @PTyliszczak: Races take lots of people. Saying Neko "really doesn't have to do anything" you must be around him 7 days a week and know his schedule and time constraints. I've put on races & realize what it takes and he does way more than you give him credit for.

Back in the fall, I was checking out lines and doing runs while he's walking the entire Sugar Mtn course top to bottom setting up split timers. Didn't have to. Could have delegated, but didn't.

And if you listen to his videos, he plainly stated he ran a stock bike so he didn't have to swap out parts, he could just grab and go and leave his proto as is. And honestly...who cares?

If you know anything about Neko, he is ALWAYS tweaking stuff 24/7. He's not ridden one single setup in forever.
  • 1 2
 @Joeypalmer: Remember at one point someone posted the corporate hierarchy of all the outdoor brands. People were all high and mighty and brand loyal due to some perceived independent spirit or family ownership.
You look at the chart and it's a half dozen company owned by Nike and 2 or 3 other corporate funds.

They did that with the bike industry at one point.

No one has posted tire manufacturer hierarchy in a while. Riders don't want to know about Cheng Shin, the global powerhouse. Big Grin
  • 2 1
 @jaame: It seems like the suspension platform seems to be the limiting factor. As Chris correctly pointed out, maybe there's someone out there who can make it work but it doesn't seem to work for Gwin. They've already massive changes to the bike with minimal improvement. Also keeping in mind that to be in the top 10 or even 20 at a WC DH you have to be able to ride on the absolute limit, arguably slightly over it. When Gwin has tried to ride for a podium on the Intense he hasn't been able to place the bike where he needs to, like when he slammed his shoulder into that tree I think 2 years ago?? That's not the sort of mistake he used to make in the past.
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: "anything" was an inappropriate word to use. All I mean is that those are not responsibilities which should take an inordinate amount of time and focus away from racing and training, and I do think bike setup has been an issue.
  • 6 4
 Gwin needs to enroll in Pinkbike Academy and revive his career.
  • 1 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: finally a great comment from you!
  • 2 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: its just ironic that: Gwin + Intense = detriment to both brands lol

This move was meant to revive both Gwin and Intense, but look what happened. quite sad tbh Frown
  • 41 0
 Healing vibes to Gwin's G key on his keyboard. Heal up, little key!
  • 19 0
 Healin *
  • 21 1
 PB comment section is getting more and more about bashing people, especially when AG is on the topic. Whats the problem? AG has nothing to prove. He is one of the greatest the sport has ever seen. He and others brought DH to the next level. And he was completely open about his current situation (look at the green website). So fair play too him. I hope he has some good years of racing in the tank. We will see.
  • 3 0
 Bingo, thank you!
  • 1 0
 The whole point in racing is proving that you can be the fastest. I'm pretty sure if you asked him if he would be happy with a top 50 the answer would be an emphatic no.
  • 21 0
 According to Mike Tyson, he is a bit thor still
  • 22 5
 Cant wait to watch him win a world cup again someday and see what everyone says then
  • 15 0
 No need to say anything at all. Everyone will be too busy staring at the sock/hat they promised to eat if that happened.
  • 7 2
 I don't see anyone touching the Frenchies for a few years, besides the odd wins here and there. I also feel Gwin doesn't have much time left. I'll be super stoked if he did though.
  • 8 7
 @Xenon303: No way in hell (or heaven) he's catching up the the top racers these days. They are in a whole different level now. It's amazing that Minnar is staying close to them, but he is the goat.
  • 2 9
flag jaame (Aug 18, 2021 at 23:13) (Below Threshold)
 Gwinner will never gwin another top cat race. Minnaar probably won't but might. Another one at Fort William maybe. He's game but you can't cheat age indefinitely.
  • 3 1
 he is always a threat, and lets see when he is back to form..but he does not look the same as he did 3 or 4 years ago. Worlds will always be a monkey on his back though
  • 21 4
 Well that was a cluster****, start to finish!
  • 14 0
 Carrying around Mjölnir, definitely hard on the back.
  • 3 5
 wrong religion
  • 8 1
 @mtb-scotland: Is it? To my knowledge, Thor (which is his clothing brand name) did indeed carry that hammer.
  • 3 12
flag mtb-scotland (Aug 18, 2021 at 15:39) (Below Threshold)
 @vinay: Gwin is a Christian not a follower of Norse.
  • 4 0
 @mtb-scotland: your THORoughly missing the point
  • 16 3
 This frees him up to post more mask rants and piss off the liberal owners of Intense
  • 3 0
 Source?
  • 2 0
 @mattg95: I was a bit curious - didn't look too deep, but Gwin did retweet some stuff about hydroxychloroquine and Immanuel Stella's video.
  • 1 1
 He should use this down time to get on OAN, Newsmax or Breitbart.
  • 2 1
 @mtbracken: I saw that too, he's obviously a Trumper if he is promoting hydrochloriquene.
  • 10 0
 pinkbike comments are hilarious, its his bike...its his tyres...its his hair gel... fact of the matter is, they're riding on the raggedy edge of grip and mental capacity, to return to world cup pace injury after injury to close in on a gap that is 5 seconds between 1st and 25th wont be an easy thing to overcome mentally. like him or not, Gwin is fast.
  • 14 5
 I feel like it's over for Gwin. No hate but things just haven't gone his way for the past couple of years and i've not seen anything in his recent performances that would make me think that he's still got the speed. Still faster than 99.9% but not the 0.01% racing the WC's.

He should do youtube and enduro.
  • 25 1
 He got a 6th and a 4th last year at Maribor and Lousa respectively. Having seen him ride in practice at National Champs this year too, he is very much still capable of pulling out a top-3 in the world cup, especially when he's not facing poor conditions (like Les Gets this year) and injury.
  • 4 7
 @adamdigby: Capable yes, but when has he done in in the last couple of years? Coinsidence that he's been on Intense and not getting podiums?
  • 9 0
 @Scunny: Like I said, he got a 6th and 4th last year on Intense and Kenda.
  • 4 5
 When was the last time he looked threateningly fast?

Been years....
  • 38 29
 From Troy Lee to Thor
Spech to YT and then intense
not competing...

whats next? RedBull to Rich Energy???

sad to see Gwin's career wind down this way...
  • 94 1
 Even in case it’s winding down - he’ll always be one of the all time greatest, chainless and especially this, which will always stick for me:

youtu.be/PcS1bNSSmTU

Heal up Gwinny!
  • 20 31
flag ranke (Aug 18, 2021 at 12:01) (Below Threshold)
 @whiteboarder: you imply that intense is a step down from YT which is laughable, but I hear the overall idea. It would be a bummer to see him just sort of dim away quietly.
  • 19 2
 geeeeez debby downer has entered the chat
  • 18 0
 That run in the rain will always stick out to me. Would love to see that aggression back with Gwin. Hopefully that confidence will come back...
  • 2 10
flag RedBurn (Aug 18, 2021 at 12:03) (Below Threshold)
 You stole m'y comment bitch
  • 3 0
 @ranke: guess, you teplied to the wrong person…
  • 2 1
 @whiteboarder: my bad... that was meant for @Narro2
  • 7 1
 @Skiskateshane: Hope so too.

What actually annoyed me during the last two seasons, which were almost all wet races, was the commentary on how “The Californian” isn’t used to rain - how could anyone forget this run?
  • 23 0
 Your comment was almost a haiku. Fixed it for ya:

From Troy Lee to Thor
Spesh to YT, then intense
Now not competing...
  • 3 1
 @Skiskateshane: Exactly! It looks like this season may be write off for him, but no way would I count him out.
  • 10 0
 @Drew-O: my bad Drew-Okun

Arigato gozaimasu
  • 9 0
 @whiteboarder: I was there in the pissing rain that day, couldn't believe it at the time, still can't believe it now! He was in the zone for sure!
  • 5 0
 @ranke: deep within your mind you know it is a step down... accept it and you'll free yourself from that burdensome thought.
  • 3 0
 @charlesgagnon: Especially taking into account that the “hot seaters” at the time had their go when it wasn’t *really* raining. Historic.
  • 1 0
 @whiteboarder: no doubt about it
  • 2 1
 @RedBurn: yeah it was a pretty good comment my friend, but just like all Waki wannabes, they get voted below the threshold instantly.
  • 5 3
 He´s old, what did you expect ?
  • 12 2
 Greg Minnaar also didn't have couple of not so stellar seasons. I'm unsure why people are harping so much on Aaron's Gwen performance?
  • 4 1
 But he makes the most out of cash and rennounces to big brands if they don't pay what he is worth it... respect. Yes he might paid a price not wearing new supercool frame and clothes kit every race... But who cares...
  • 5 0
 better to be a has been than a never was-
  • 1 1
 @femto505: he was simply injured. Gwin has been struggling even when he wasn't injured.
  • 21 1
 @cisrtom: You guys saying he's too old need to give that a rest. He's the same age as Brendog and I don't hear anyone crying about Faircloth being too old when he's sending it at rampage. Lastly, 99% of us couldn't even qualify for a UCI womens junior DH race so give your keyboards a rest.

I'm not an AG fanboy, but all the badmouthing and negativity is just ridiculous.
  • 9 2
 I feel like Gwin blew it when he chased the $ and left Trek. That was a smoothly running operation and there's no doubt in my mind he'd be way past Greg in WC wins if he'd just stayed there.
  • 6 0
 Bang energy is pretty sweet. They have a solid stable of well endowed instagurls.
  • 9 5
 Winding down? He's only a couple wins behind GM all time. GM is still racing. Injuries, starting a family & uprooting your life to be closer to your wife's family are big hurdles.

In the Vital InsideLine podcast, TSage referenced stepping away from Rampage as a support personnel so he didn't bring the conservative vibe he had as he aged b/c he felt his bros had to have that mental edge and people around them of the same mindset to be heavy risk takers.

Once you get married, there's a big shift in risk that you have to adjust to. You go from being around all your alpha bros getting closer and closer to the edge to suddenly unwittingly dialing it back.

Hart had a dip when he got married if I'm not wrong. Just going to take the guy a while to adjust to a whole new life and adjust his mental game to find that balance.

Gwin to Canfield as part brand owner 2022.
  • 1 0
 @whiteboarder: thanks for reposting that winning race run. So many inside lines!
  • 6 5
 @Nekron: He’s a greedy f*cker which is interesting considering his Christian beliefs.
  • 1 3
 @jclnv: when was Gwin's last win anyway? I remember the time when he made the world cup boring for four years out of five. I have forgiven him now though (time heals all wounds). What bike was he on before Intense, and did he take any world level race wins in his last year on that? Was that when he lost half the season to injury and then turned up on the 29er Tuesday and did nothing but a sick scrub thing down the side of that jump? That was like, 2017? Did he win anything in 2017?

Not to matter, he's got a fat bank account no doubt. That also must play a part in hunger for wins.
  • 1 2
 @jclnv: Prosperity churches have been around for years.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: He won the first round in 2018 in Losinj, think that was his last UCI win.
  • 5 0
 @femto505: I've never really been a fan, but it's weird how people are so gleeful about his dip in form.
Personally I think Greg is more likely to extend his all-time total than AG is to catch him, but who wouldn't want to see Gwin back at his best racing the current crop of fast guys?
Remember when he smoked everyone at Val di Sole by 7secs? Probably the most-impressive demolition of the field in the modern era (alongside Danny at Champery).
  • 3 0
 @chakaping: totes. Wet demolition jobs don't carry the same weight as dry ones in my opinion. Gwinner was winning by 4-5 seconds on the reg in that early teens period. Insane. I think he was a victim of his own success. A lot of people disliked him because he won too much and it seemed greedy.
  • 1 1
 @ATXZJ: it´s just one of possible reasons, so why are you angry ? Smile Take it easy.
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: Exactly right, and marriage/family doesn't turn a person into a coward either, but it definitely marks your every decision for future concerns.
He will always be useful as a trainer, designer, tech adviser, ambassador, etc, but to write him off now and tell him to hang it up?
Prolly not his idea of a good time, and I'm also fairly sure his wife isn't badgering him to stop either. They've been together a while and she knew what she was getting into!
  • 5 0
 @jclnv: Greedy? DH career life expectancy isn't as bad a football career, but the riders take ALL the physical risks of laying their lives on the line to sell BILLIONS of bike parts the world over.

Palmer got paid a huge sum at the time back in the day. It's a lottery win for Gwin, for Palmer, etc. The "winnings" or "earnings" are gone in a flash but it's nothing in the long term.

You want DH racers to be poor don't you. When people grasp that racers risk to reward ratio is high. Are you begrudging someone receiving compensation proportionate to the risk?

Doesn't make it bad for others to "do it for the love". It actually makes if GOOD for all the other pros to give them the potential to earn a secure wage. 99% of these guys will be dead broke from racing when their careers are over.
  • 2 0
 I don't think anyone is entitled to any more than someone is willing to pay. It has nothing to do with risk. It's your value to your employer. While I feel sorry for poorly paid people, they don't have to sign the contract. Look at the negative press all around the UFC at the moment. "It's not fair, we just want fair pay". Fair pay is what you are willing to fight for. If it's not enough, don't sign the contract. If you all club togther and refuse the contracts together, something might change. Grumble and grouse by yourself and they'll just take the next guy in the queue.
MTBers should unionise.
  • 10 2
 Oh my, intense is just piece of shit. 2years in row they’re trying prototypes frames and results is shit.
  • 13 7
 Nice to give Dooley a few minutes to get ready for a race in Europe. He deserves a spot, put the effort into new talent, that’s how the sport grows.
  • 23 0
 Gwin himself commented on VitalMTB that he has been in contact with Austin the entire time this Worlds fiasco was unfolding with USA Cycling.
  • 13 0
 Austin is also already in Europe, having attended the Maribor race this past weekend and having plans to be there for several weeks anyways.
  • 6 0
 Had to read that headline a few times. I thought for a second that Aaron Gwin had decided to enter Miss World because his back was too sore for bikes.
  • 5 2
 Bottom line, mens Elite DH is one if not the toughest sport in ALL of cycling. Gwin is getting older, and the comp and the whole sport has stepped up big time..and injuries don't forgive. On the body nor the head. Living in Cali and riding the same dry tracks for training ain't gonna cut it, whether he's on Kenda, Maxxis, Onza Intense YT etc. He needs to pack up come March and move to Europe and get laps upon laps in the mud, gnar, steep and different terrain they have at their disposal..IMO.
  • 6 0
 At this point I hope Dooley wins the whole thing
  • 2 0
 I think it also has something to do with how the tracks have changed compared to when Gwin was last winning. Is it me but when Gwin was winning the tracks those years were more high speed, jumps and straight line speed much suited to Gwins moto power house style. In the past few years they seem to have gone back to more old school tracks focused on rock gardens, many more corners and just general sketchiness. Perhaps that and combination of all mentioned above injury etc.. Hope Gwin gets well soon. He is a legend
  • 2 0
 I think he can still win but needs to take time off to properly heal then work his speed back up over a season or 2. Might not hurt to spend an off season in Europe racing and riding as well. His injuries seem to be the crux here.
  • 8 5
 I take no joy in saying this, I've always been a big Gwin fan...... but, he is done. I would be absolutely SHOCKED if Gwin ever sees the top 10 of a World Cup DH again.
  • 2 1
 He'll see the top-ten but he won't see the top step from anywhere higher than the bottom step.
  • 1 0
 He was 9th overall last year... while being not at 100%
  • 1 2
 @leon-forfar: there were was only one race wasn't there?
  • 1 0
 @jaame: There were 4 races. Gwin got 4th and 7th at two of them where he had good runs down. If Gwin can stay healthy/injury-free during a season, he is definitely a contender. Even in 2019, he came 20th overall, while missing 3 of 7 rounds (which is damn impressive). Two of the 4 races completed that year were 5th places, and again during an injury riddled season for him.
  • 1 0
 @sloguy He had a top ten this year.
  • 1 0
 @Baileym76: I'm aware if his result earlier this year. Again, I'm not a Gwin hater at all.....I really hope I'm proven wrong, but, he's been trending downward considerably for 2+ years now, injuries etc not withstanding, results are results. With all this new young talent emerging and Gwin's energy being spread thinner than ever with team ownership, his palatial new home and his marriage.....I simply don't see him being a factor any longer. He will always be one of the best WC DH racers to ever line up, indisputably top 3....Minnar, Hill, Gwin....not necessarily in that order.
  • 6 2
 You’ve had a good run Gwinner….now go out to pasture on your own terms. Ain’t no shame man….
  • 1 0
 Im just gonna say I think intense bikes are no good since the m16, you only have to look at the results to see that. Neko has been struggling to even qualify on it, gwin can't even get his to fit properly and just doesn't look like his normal attacking self on it and as soon as Charlie, Dean and moir jumped on other bikes they became way faster.this looks very bad for intense.
  • 1 0
 Bummer for Gwin, Great for Austin, he has some great pace these days.. BTW, he is not the first american privateer to qualify WC in five years. Nestoroff did it too earlier this year.
  • 2 0
 Austin is the first american to qualify as a first year Elite (privateer). I believe this is Nesteroffs third or fourth year in the Elites.
  • 4 0
 Nesteroff is "Factory KHS" Not as much support as a factory team but I don't think he counts as a privateer.
  • 4 4
 People wonder why there is so much negativity towards Gwin. Even if we don‘t like to accept it, but and athlete is either likable and pleasant or not.

He is one of the greatest DH athlete of all time and i do honor this for sure. I also don‘t read about his personal life or ideologies as this is up to him alone to decide.

BUT if a 6 year old fan asks him friendly for a signature (in a quite and relaxed situation for Aaron) and the boy is waiting for 30 minutes just to have the team manager walking out of the pit telling the boy Aaron is tired = all sympathy gone!

Not that he has to make a little boy happy as hell, but don‘t ask afterwards why a fanbase turns away from you.
  • 5 3
 Are you that little boy?
  • 8 0
 Funny, cos I walked up to him with my 7 yo boy at the pits in Les Gets (when he was probably feeling glum AF), asked for a photo of the 2 of them and he straight up fist bumped the lad and went to get his bike to pose with him.
  • 2 0
 @KK11: it was my son, so what?
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: well. I did not say i assume he is always like that. Just for my son he was no longer the Hero he was looking up to and happily took the signature from Loic later on and is now his biggest fan.

Not that this matters, i was only trying to explain why sympathy does count for fans as much as success does.
  • 1 0
 @danielson-01: My son didn't know who the hell he was, but I was very excited. Bruni had the temerity to not even be conveniently placed on our way back to the car.
  • 1 0
 Haha this happened to me at world champs... Martin told me to wait, I tried for two days kept getting told to wait. Eventually I gave up and i caught him at the end of the race as I was leaving and he was walking out of the drug testing section.
  • 4 1
 That's pathetic from the officials.
  • 4 2
 Can we all just agree that he rips!! And is one of the best there racers ever
  • 3 1
 @vanman Regardless of current WC stats, I absolutely agree he rips and one of the best ever in the sport.
  • 3 0
 GO AUSTIN! Give em the business!
  • 2 0
 Bummer, I've been missing that hard charging dancing over rocks style, fingers crossed we see it soon.
  • 2 1
 Damn I always thought mountain creek was intense but now I know it is intense.
  • 2 1
 needs to dump the brand before it's too late. Just ain't working for ya, Aaron. Sure seems to be the case, anyway.
  • 1 0
 Man, I dunno. Especially on the tail end of his career, it must be hard to walk away from a brand like Intense that's basically just down the road from him. I'd kinda be surprised if gwin wasn't heavily involved with Intense bike development long after he calls it quits on the full time racing career.
  • 2 0
 @emarquar: snt there strong rumours that part of the lure to intense was part ownership?
i have a soft spot for intense bikes as they look sick too but the geo is old now and they are always in stock so that means something lol.
they literally put a spacer under the headtube and released the old frame as new geo lol.
  • 3 1
 Firm believer in he lost his mojo after YT
  • 1 0
 His bikes are all too big now. He needs to go back to normal size bike and regain control.
  • 4 2
 He'll be back.
  • 1 0
 So is shaw not riding worlds?
  • 1 0
 Hes on the team
  • 1 0
 Jack Moir, Charlie Harrison, Dean Luca-thats intense.
  • 4 3
 Poor Dooley
  • 9 9
 The sun is setting on a illustrious career
  • 1 2
 Aaron Gwinn is on the USA team for Miss World??

(Don't Use Capitals In The Middle Of A Sentence...!)
  • 3 3
 I thought Jesus had his back?
  • 1 2
 Dooley rides for factory Commencal.
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