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Peat takes first downhill title at Worlds title after long wait

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Men's podium: Greg Minnaar, Steve Peat, Michael Hannah

Men's podium: Greg Minnaar, Steve Peat, Michael Hannah (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Joey Schusler (United States of America)

Joey Schusler (United States of America) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Cody Warren (United States of America)

Cody Warren (United States of America) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Kyle Strait (United States of America)

Kyle Strait (United States of America) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jared Rando (Australia)

Jared Rando (Australia) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Wyn Masters (New Zealand)

Wyn Masters (New Zealand) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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David Vazquez Lopez (Spain)

David Vazquez Lopez (Spain) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Luke Strobel (United States of America)

Luke Strobel (United States of America) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Cameron Cole (New Zealand)

Cameron Cole (New Zealand) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jared Graves (Australia)

Jared Graves (Australia) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Duncan Riffle (United States of America)

Duncan Riffle (United States of America) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nathan Rennie (Australia)

Nathan Rennie (Australia) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Josh Bryceland (Great Britain)

Josh Bryceland (Great Britain) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Brendan Fairclough (Great Britain)

Brendan Fairclough (Great Britain) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Aaron Gwin (United States of America)

Aaron Gwin (United States of America) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Fabien Barel (France)

Fabien Barel (France) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Justin Leov (New Zealand)

Justin Leov (New Zealand) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Samuel Blenkinsop (New Zealand)

Samuel Blenkinsop (New Zealand) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mick Hannah (Australia)

Mick Hannah (Australia) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nick Beer (Switzerland)

Nick Beer (Switzerland) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Gee Atherton (Great Britain)

Gee Atherton (Great Britain) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Aussie fans

Aussie fans (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mick Hannah (Australia) treats Steve Peat (Great Britain) to a champagne shower

Mick Hannah (Australia) treats Steve Peat (Great Britain) to a champagne shower (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Brian Lopes (United States of America)

Brian Lopes (United States of America) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Steve Peat (Great Britain) finally won the World Championships downhill title that he has been chasing his entire career in Canberra, Australia. He beat his Santa Cruz teammate Greg Minnaar (South Africa) by five-hundredths of a second.

"I don't think it has sunk in yet," said Peat of the title. "I'm pretty overwhelmed with it all. It's emotional putting that jersey on on the podium, just realising I get to wear this jersey for a year, and I am actually World Champion.

"I am one of the oldest guys out there, and I've been trying for a long time and got a lot of second places."

Canada's Steve Smith was best North American rider, in tenth.

An estimated 15,000 fans poured into the Mt Stromlo venue to take in the sunshine on the side of the hill and cheer on every rider. The 2.1-kilometre course conditions were near perfect – dry, fast and hard – with only a breeze to cool the air and raise some dust.

Americans were the early leaders in the race, with former four cross World Champion Brian Lopes taking the lead as the third rider down. He held onto the lead until his teammate Cody Warren knocked a second and a half off the best time, to drop it to 2:35.95.

Warren lasted 16 riders until Australian Bryn Atkinson bumped him out of the lead, and then the time started to drop steadily until Nathan Rennie (Australia) set a new benchmark of 2:34.31 . Rennie lasted through 11 finishers before one of the favourites, two-time World Champion Fabien Barel (France), knocked three seconds off the leading time.

Barel's time would end up being good enough for fourth, and less than second behind Peat's winning run. Mick Hannah (Australia), the pre-race favourite came down sixth from the end and managed to squeeze 15-hundredths ahead of Barel, but two riders later it was the turn of Peat.

Peat turned in the first sub-2:31 time of the day, stopping the clock at 2:30.33 . For the popular rider it was a nerve wracking wait through the final three, to see if he had finally won the world title he had been chasing since 1993.

Sam Hill (Australia) was two and a half seconds down. Minnaar, who Peat had said was his most dangerous rival, came within the blink of an eye of snatching the victory away – only five hundredths of a second behind. Defending world champion Gee Atherton (Great Britain) did not threaten Peat's win, finishing sixth.

"Greg [Minnaar] was my biggest worry," said Peat "He won here last year, and he is really strong on the bottom part of the course. But I think I took a bit out of him at the top, and I'm a pretty physical rider myself, so I thought I had a good chance."

"I knew Steve was going to be quick," said Minnaar. "He was quick all through timed training and the whole week. When I was up against Steve I knew I had to ride all out to try to beat him, and clearly it didn't work."

Steve Smith continues to improve, and tenth is his best result ever at the Worlds.

"For me it was a great run, I was happy with how it went," said Smith.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steve Peat (Great Britain)0:02:30.33
2Greg Minnaar (South Africa)0:00:00.05
3Michael Hannah (Australia)0:00:00.69
4Fabien Barel (France)0:00:00.84
5Samuel Hill (Australia)0:00:02.71
6Gee Atherton (Great Britain)0:00:03.92
7Nathan Rennie (Australia)0:00:03.98
8Justin Leov (New Zealand)0:00:03.99
9Chris Kovarik (Australia)0:00:04.02
10Steve Smith (Canada)0:00:04.17
11Bryn Atkinson (Australia)0:00:04.74
12Jared Graves (Australia)0:00:04.98
13Cody Warren (United States)0:00:05.62
14Aurelien Giordanengo (France)0:00:05.64
15Kyle Strait (United States)0:00:05.98
16Jared Rando (Australia)0:00:06.23
17Samuel Blenkinsop (New Zealand)0:00:07.14
18Brian Lopes (United States)0:00:07.25
19Filip Polc (Slovakia)0:00:07.43
20Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Colombia)0:00:07.58
21Aaron Gwin (United States)0:00:07.79
22Duncan Riffle (United States)0:00:08.13
23Marc Beaumont (Great Britain)0:00:08.15
24Brendan Fairclough (Great Britain)0:00:08.38
25David Vazquez Lopez (Spain)0:00:09.03
26Adam Vagner (Czech Republic)0:00:09.23
27Mitchell Delfs (Australia)0:00:09.25
28Josh Bryceland (Great Britain)0:00:09.30
29Matthew Scoles (New Zealand)0:00:09.35
30Jamie Biluk (Canada)0:00:09.53
31Lorenzo Suding (Italy)0:00:09.66
32Joey Schusler (United States)0:00:09.69
33Nick Beer (Switzerland)0:00:09.72
34Bernat Guardia Pascual (Spain)0:00:09.76
35Markolf Berchtold (Brazil)0:00:09.91
36Kieran Bennett (New Zealand)0:00:09.95
37Nathan Rankin (New Zealand)0:00:10.51
38Romain Saladini (France)0:00:11.00
39Luke Strobel (United States)0:00:11.49
40Robin Wallner (Sweden)0:00:11.99
41Dean Tennant (Canada)0:00:12.10
42Simon Garstin (Canada)0:00:13.32
43Marcel Beer (Switzerland)0:00:13.39
44Nejc Rutar (Slovenia)0:00:14.27
45Rob Fraser (Canada)0:00:15.83
46Cameron Cole (New Zealand)0:00:16.33
47Matej Vitko (Slovakia)0:00:16.55
48Junya Nagata (Japan)0:00:16.92
49Camilo Andres Sanchez Paez (Colombia)0:00:17.83
50Wyn Masters (New Zealand)0:00:21.60
51King Man Tsui (Hong Kong)0:00:25.09
52Anderson Camargo Rey (Colombia)0:00:29.96
53Shu Sum Lau (Hong Kong)0:00:29.97
54Maximilian Bender (Germany)0:00:33.89
55Kim Fung Yip (Hong Kong)0:00:42.75
56Chiu Wong Hon (Hong Kong)0:00:43.19
57Daniel Alvarez Villa (Colombia)0:00:57.44
58Mickael Pascal (France)0:01:31.05
DNSAndrew Neethling (South Africa)

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