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Aaron Gwin won his third World Cup downhill of the season over the weekend after winning at Mont Ste Anne, Quebec.
The men’s downhill was expected to be a battle between current overall World Cup leader Gwin (Trek World Racing) from the U.S. and second-placed Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate), who was only 36 points back. Minnaar had qualified first and Gwin second, and the rider who won the final would don the leader’s jersey.
Prior to Gwin’s start, the giant screen at the base of the mountain showed Gee Atherton (Commencal) on the side of the track having blown his rear tire. Then Minnaar crashed in his final run, finishing 18th, and was in hospital later having his hand and thigh checked. He checked out OK.
Ultimately, Gwin beat Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) by just under half a second. It was his second consecutive trip to the top of the podium, following his win at Leogang, Austria. The win moves Gwin into the lead of the UCI World Cup downhill standings.
Gwin said his final run was not one of his best.
“Sometimes it’s hard to judge these things. I mean it was loose, I ran wide on the right-hander up top, two-wheel drifting to a dead stop, then I had some awkward bobbles down the track and I really thought I’d be lucky to podium,” Gwin said. “It sounds strange I know, but it’s really hard to judge. It didn’t feel like a race winning run. I’m bummed for Greg and Gee, I know how hard they must work for this.”
In the women’s DH it was Gwin’s Trek World Racing’s teammate Tracy Mosely taking the victory. After qualifying fastest by 11 seconds, Mosely topped her main rivals Rachel Atherton and Floriane Pugin. After establishing a lead at the first split time, Mosely kept building until she crossed the line with a margin of 1.8secs. The win was her third win of the year, and her 15th career World Cup win.