Checkers or wreckers; it’s the essence of World Champs in a nutshell. Always has been, always will. The one-hit-wonder format to finish the season is the jewel in the crown every time, but what a ferocious battle this was. For some it was more of a massacre, an orgy of red flags and explosive crashes, on a parched and blown-out course that already had a history of violence. Many of the riders were in agreement; it was the toughest of all time. And, with the likes of Greg Minnaar almost completely gassed and literally red-eyed and white-knuckled just to hang on through the final turns, it was now time to go big or go home.
Rachel Atherton stole the show, just one more time in the women's to put the cherry on an immaculate 2016, taking her fourth gold medal back to the Welsh mountains she calls home. Canadian junior prodigy, Finn Iles, stepped up after his brutal crash just two days prior to take the stripes by almost four seconds alongside Italy’s own great female hope of the future, Alessia Missiaggia.
Then, after five long years, Danny Hart reclaimed the coveted jersey and swapped out the furry dice for another gold medal to hang from the rear-view mirror in his motorhome. If Hart’s rainbow run had failed then fellow GB team-mate Laurie Greenland would have been right there with his wild ride to do the unthinkable and claim gold in junior and elite on consecutive years… Instead, 19 year-old Greenland took silver, just ahead of veteran racer, Florent Payet, and the three Mondraker bike riders celebrated their new hardware together as Aaron Gwin’s assault on the top step, in the only race he’s never won, went up in flames. What an absolute barn-burner... 2016 World Champs; out.:: JUNIORS' FINALS :::: WOMEN'S FINAL :::: MEN'S FINAL ::
: @davetrump / @natedh9 / @mdelorme