The Junior Men saw an incredible 1-2 finish for Canada, with World Cup champion Iles the only rider to go under three minutes and 50 seconds, at 3:47.405 for an amazing historic win for Canada. His compatriot Magnus Manson took the silver medal, 3.796 seconds back, followed by France’s Gaetan Vigier, at 4.610 seconds. Canada’s Henry Fitzgerald finished 29th while Adam Robbins was 55th
“It’s just amazing. This whole week’s been hectic and to come down with a good time like that I’m just over the moon. Canada 1-2 is the best we could have hoped for this year,” commented Iles who won the World Cup overall title as well for another Canadian first. Manson’s phenomenal podium run was a career-best result as well for a historic finish for Canada at the DH Worlds. “It feels great to share the podium with Finn… it’s been a long time coming,” said Manson.
Brief interview with Iles and Manson
In the Junior women’s competition, Missiaggia was by far the fastest, finishing 11.946 seconds ahead of Samantha Kingshill (USA), with Flora Lesoin (France) in third, at 25.960 seconds.
Manon Carpenter (Great Britain), starting second from last, crashed in the first turn, taking her out of podium contention. Nicole’s time held up until Atherton, the final rider, came down, 3.114 seconds faster. Tracey Hannah (Australia) repeated in third place – her fourth third place – at 9.453 seconds.
Canada’s Miranda Miller claimed 10th while fellow Canuck Georgia Astle finished 13th.
“Yes, for sure [it is the end to great season]. Winning all the World Cups? You could say it’s the perfect end to the perfect season. I’m absolutely knackered and I’m glad it’s the last race, but half of me is sad. As soon as the season is over, it’s in the history books, it’s done and you can never go back. I will probably never be as good as I am now, so I’m happy and going to try and enjoy the moment. Thanks everyone for your support it means so much,” concluded Atherton.
Former Junior world champion Laurie Greenland (Great Britain), riding with 20 riders to go, was the first to beat the seeding run time of Danny Hart (Great Britain), and continued to hold the lead as the top-ten began their runs, with Florent Payet (France) sitting in second. At five to go, Loic Bruni (France), the defending world champion, had a puncture part way down. Greg Minnaar (South Africa) had a strong start, moving into the third at the second split, but then faltered to finish seventh.
Finally Hart, who came into the championships with three consecutive World Cup wins, started with three to go, and blazed into the lead, fastest on all points of the course, to take the lead by nearly three seconds. Troy Brosnan (Australia) slotted in fourth, and World Cup champion Aaron Gwin (USA), the final starter, flatted shortly after the start, allowing Hart to claim his second world title, followed by Greenland and Payet.
Three Canadians were on the start line as Mark Wallace put down a strong run finishing 11th while reigning Canadian DH champ Kirk McDowell placed 27th and Max Scharf was 50th.
“After the year I’ve had I could believe it [was possible to win],” said Hart. “I’ve been working hard and this has always been a big goal of mine, but I took the pressure off this week. I thought ‘well, I’ve won the last three World Cups, lets just ride the course and see what happens’…. and I took the win.”
“The last few months have been massive, because the last five years [since his world title in 2011] has just been just a pain. I’m thinking ‘What’s going on here? Why can’t I get back to it?’. And then it all came at once. Just getting back to where I was has been a hard mission. All those saying I’m a one hit wonder, well I’ve done it four times in a row and there’s not many done that.”