Pinkbike Awards 2015: Highlight of the Year - Winner

Feb 5, 2016 at 18:24
by Pinkbike Staff  
new MTB awards logo 2015
Highlight of the Year - Winner

Aaron Gwin's Chainless World Cup Victory, Leogang, Austria


What a day for Aaron Gwin and Team Specialized
To select the Highlight of the Year and choose an eventual winner, we called upon Pinkbike's editors, photographers and video experts, as well as a short list of industry honchos that ranged from CEOs, to bike designers, marketeers, freeriders and even a multi-time DH World Champion. The clear winner was Aaron Gwin's chainless victory at Leogang - a race course that has been a love/hate relationship for the man whose never-say-never antics have elevated his racing to a form of entertainment. When asked in a recent interview, what inspired him to go full gas in the millisecond following his broken chain, Gwin admitted that he didn't know, saying that his mind was on the points race and his body just responded. Most of you have heard the story by now, so enjoy a replay of 2015's highlight moment.










81 Comments

  • + 248
 I think Gwin won Pinkbike
  • + 34
 #gwinning
  • + 9
 He's going to be grinning.
  • + 24
 Gwinkbike
  • + 11
 I think he Gwon Pinkbike
  • + 34
 These jokes are gwawful
  • + 29
 That run would make anyone gwet themselves.
  • - 1
 No more Gwhining damn it!
  • - 2
 That might have been the highlight of the decade.
  • + 42
 He also had a great run at Gwindham.
  • - 10
flag will-dalley (Feb 11, 2016 at 12:33) (Below Threshold)
 These puns are getting quite gwingy...
  • - 1
 Gwinkbike! Doh. Too late. Stobimax beat me to it....
  • + 40
 I keep staring out my gwindow waiting for gwinter to be over.
  • - 10
flag Pedro404 (Feb 11, 2016 at 13:45) (Below Threshold)
 Combo breaker.
  • - 3
 Aaronya gonna do any more puns?
  • + 15
 I think we can keep making puns, even if the chain was broken!
  • - 8
flag jaame (Feb 11, 2016 at 17:41) (Below Threshold)
 I gwonder if he gwill gwin any gwaces gwainless on the Gwues?
  • + 6
 Gwin just blowing up everywhere... that's so 'Merican of him to do.
  • + 4
 wins with no chain, wins highlight of year, that's a Gwin, Gwin
  • + 9
 I gwinced when his chain broke and thought he ought to Aar-on the side of caution and take it easy getting down.
  • + 5
 did you read the gwinterview?
  • + 5
 His margin of victory was gwinfinitesimal, however. Sorry. I'll see myself out.
  • + 1
 gwonderful
  • + 0
 GSPOT!!! found it!
  • + 68
 Ha! I never noticed: Troy - "when did that break?", Gwin - "The start gate", Troy - "You mother f*cker"
  • + 28
 Gwin also told him: " the suspension works great without a chain"
  • + 6
 Which is weird since the Demo has one of the smallest pedal kickback figures in the mtb world, and at the speed he goes, it would quite literally not feel like there's a chain.
  • + 3
 @theminsta Pedal kickback as measured statically (which is relevant to pedaling) isn't directly relevant to bump compliance when coasting - every time the wheel is accelerated upwards, the chain's inertia tries to hold it in place, resulting in the middle of the chain (both on the top and the bottom) bowing downwards. Since chains can only act in tension, the weight of the chain is actually able to resist the motion of the axle because the angle it's pulling on the axle at can be a fair way from perpendicular to the axle path. Meanwhile, it's doing the same thing at the front triangle, effectively creating a dynamically "bent" chainline between axle and front triangle, trying to pull them closer together and resisting effective motion of the suspension.
  • + 16
 Troy's profanity made Aaron leave Spesh...
  • + 36
 Epic race, amazing victory, was lucky enough to be there and saw just how much pedalling there was in the middle of the course. For him to win was unbelievable. The atmosphere was electric for the whole weekend. Simply unforgettable.
  • + 4
 The mans an absolute beast. I tried taking my chain off and my times were way high. Not sure why...
  • + 4
 Idk there's something weird flowy and fun riding chainless. My chain snapped going down this year on a-line at whistler. Looked down and said shit and decided to just bomb the run. Best I've slain on my bike, on the last day of our trip me and the buds all took off our chains and lapped a line because of it. Fucking blast.
  • + 20
 all that time practicing tucking in the gwinnd tunnel at specialized clearly paid off
  • + 13
 the new phrase when comparing situations that go wrong: old " we can put a man on the moon but we cant (fill in the blank)
new " Aaron Gwin can win a world cup without a chain but we cant (fill in the blank)
  • + 14
 "You mother f*cker!"
  • + 11
 I was there racing too, absolutely unbelievable to win without pedaling there.
  • + 6
 i didnt understand the problem with red bull player until i recently moved to a place with bad internet. damn it its so frustrating.
  • + 3
 This run came on while i was explaining DH to my parents... I remember saying "Ok so hes lost his chain, if Neko Mullalys run is anything to go by he can still do well, but he wont do as well as he usually does..."

I ate those words rather fast.
  • + 2
 The fact he won w/o a chain proves that downhill is more of a trick sport. Don't get me wrong, I like watching red bull rampage and this kind of racing, but I think you should have to pedal to win a biking event...I mean right?
  • + 2
 This only goes to that although the sport is usually extremely competitive with tight times, there is so much room for progression. If [an admittedly amazing] rider can win without a chain, the rest of the field has some catching up to do, which I'm sure they will; it's just a question of whether or not Gwin will continue to outpace them!
  • + 2
 Great selection here. That was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in DH riding. He was carrying so much damned speed through the step down area he just freaking flew. Almost as epic as Missy going down and breaking herself pretty much in half and still finishing kamakaze.
  • + 2
 Could be "Highlight of All Time".

What kind of mutant can make that happen? One pedal kick out of the gate and nothing but gravity and cast iron balls takes this thing to a victory. I want DNA testing, guy is a muatant/cyborg for sure.
  • + 4
 Was an amazing run, but i was so gutted for Conner Fearon. So close to his first world cup win.
  • + 2
 And still they wouldn't want to come with an agreement with him. Just wish that Troy followed him ,but hey maybe next year , Carry on Gwin it's the rider name that stays not the brand ,best for 2016.
  • + 4
 that song at the beginning push him to the gwin
  • + 4
 Still gives me goosebumps
  • + 3
 Chains and tires are overrated....only to Gwin
  • + 3
 Wondering how many of us watched this just now, yet again. Mind boggling.
  • + 3
 Did I even need to click on the article to know that?
  • + 4
 Gwinkbike
  • + 1
 I'm not really a fan of Gwin but there's no denying that was an incredible run!
  • + 1
 That background photo slut, is probably the worst ego trip I have ever seen, haha!
  • + 1
 Gweeks. Gweeks everywhere.
  • + 1
 that´s making history right there! this run will be forever remembered
  • + 1
 I cant get over how crazy this run way. No chain its mind blowing.
  • + 1
 Well when your bike works properly without a chain that's gotta help
  • + 1
 congrats to Aaron on gwinning this highlight of the year......he
  • + 1
 How does Spec not pay this man what ever he wants!!!
  • + 1
 Baller
  • - 2
 I'll be the voice of the minority. Boooo Gwin. I may well have to sell my Capra. Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
  • + 1
 Meh again.
  • + 1
 Downhill...
  • + 1
 agreed
  • + 1
 There could be no other.
  • + 1
 It was pretty cool run.
  • + 1
 Yes!
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