Aaron Gwin, or ‘Gwinny’ as he is known on the mountain biking scene, came to prominence in 2011 by being the first American to win the Downhill UCI World Cup and retained the title in 2012. He raised the bar in the Downhill championship by achieving a record five victories in a single season with his 2011 campaign. The double world champion seems to like to do things in pairs - he won the United States National Downhill Championships in consecutive years in 2009 and 2010 prior to his Worlds victory. Born in Morongo Valley, California, in 1987, ‘Gwinny’ began competing early at the age of four years old, albeit on a BMX. By the time he was eight he was racing on a national level, but the thrill of an engine took hold and he competed in motocross until constant injuries forced him to stop when he was 17. He made the crucial move back to pedal power soon after and at 20 he began racing downhill after fellow professional racer Cody Warren loaned him a bike to compete on. It was a wise suggestion; he finished third in his first race. Gwin’s specialities come in the disciplines of Dual Slalom and Mountain Cross. He is suited to these particular events due to his years racing motocross bikes, where handling the bike through jumps and whips have to be second nature. His early years spent BMX racing also makes flying down a hill come as second nature.
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