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