Oh the madness that is World Champs; it gets us every time. It seemed like a simple enough race as the riders boarded the fleet of 4x4s with their mechanics one last time. As soon as they found themselves alone in the heat of the jungle, mysterious things went down that flip-turned both the rider and the racing on its head; a race so topsy-turvy as to rival the infamous Hafjell 2014.
In a shocking turn of events, following violent crashes from Tahnée Seagrave and the hometown favourite, Tracey Hannah, Miranda Miller became the new female World Champion, the first Canadian since 1990 to take gold. In the end, she would do so by only one-tenth of a second, as in a remarkable mix-up the backup timing system had to be called upon to correct an extremely inaccurate reading for the true silver medalist, Myriam Nicole. After a season of mostly heart-ache, Matt Walker bested the junior men's field, leading out fellow countryman Joe Breedan and Max Hartenstern of Germany, while French youngster, Melanie Chappaz, not satisfied with the World Cup season overall, rode to junior women's gold.
The elite men's race was also loaded up with an overgenerous helping of surprises, and although last year's Cairns winner managed to repeat the performance, there were thrills by the dozen beginning with the first rider down, as Sam Hill careered into the finish area with a time to threaten the best of them. Around 30 riders later the local boy and of course veteran of the WC podium, Mick Hannah, laid down an absolutely red hot bid for the rainbow jersey and at 5.3 seconds up at the time, it appeared an insurmountable challenge to dethrone him. In the end, Loïc Bruni would do it by an absolute wafer; 0.34 seconds and he apologized for it, well aware that no one had wanted it more. That's racing, the time's the time and gold is gold.
// JUNIOR MEN //
// JUNIOR WOMEN //
//ELITE WOMEN //
// ELITE MEN //