Downhill Mountain Biking | The 10 Most Memorable Moments of the 2017 World Cup
A season which saw drama, surprises and one of the best downhill world cup runs ever...
It’s September. Which means the Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup has once again come to an end.
No more new World Cup footage to watch or wake up to every weekend. No more on-the-clock crashes to make you pour your beverage over your t-shirt and jeans. No more Rob Warner yelling manically out your speakers as numbers flash from red to green and back again. No more World Cup races until 2018.
But at least we now have a whole season of footage to look back on while we wait for the brand new venue of Lošinj, Croatia to open the racing next April.
Here are some of the most memorable moments from the 2017 Downhill World Cup series. Let us know if we missed your favourite!
1) Alexandre Fayolle Wins in the Adverse Weather of Lourdes, France
Conditions were near-enough perfect all week in Lourdes for the opening race… until the final handful of riders went to launch their race runs.
2) Rachel Atherton Wins her 34th DH World Cup Race in Round One
...and after the race jokes: “I kind of wanted to be beaten this weekend, because I can't take it anymore," referring to the stress of maintaining her unbeaten record, which now stretched to 14 World Cup races and 2 World Championships. Careful what you wish for!
3) Tracey Hannah Wins in Fort William to End Rach’s Winning Streak
When news broke that Rachel Atherton had injured herself in qualification at Fort William in round two of the DH World Cup there was shock around the event village. Tracey Hannah stepped up to put down a stunning time and take her first win since Pietermaritzburg in 2012. It was a great run and though Rach missed out with a shoulder issue, there’s no guarantee she would’ve been able to beat Hannah’s time even if she did compete. The 2017 women’s overall race was blown wide open.
4) Greg Minnaar Proves He’s Pretty Much Unbeatable in the Scottish Highlands
...by taking a third successive win and his seventh of all time in Fort William, even after rain started falling as the top 10 took to the starting gates. The result was Minnaar’s 20th career World Cup win.
5) Tahnee Seagrave Takes Her First World Cup Win in Leogang
After an abundance of second place-finishes and having clearly possessed the speed to win a World Cup race for the past couple of years, Tahnee finally capitalised on her potential and took the top spot in Leogang, beating out Hannah by less than a second. She would go on to add her second win of the series at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada.
6) Canyon Factory Racing Get Their First World Cup Win in Vallnord
Troy Brosnan was the last man down the mountain and beat out Greg Minnaar by 0.2 of a second to give the new team their first victory in dramatic style.
7) Myriam Nicole Wins in Vallnord to Hint at a Sign of Things to Come
Despite Rachel Atherton laying down the first significant time on the mountain, French rider Myriam Nicole took the top spot to give Commencal a victory on home ground and give the women’s series their fourth winner in as many races. Nicole would follow the result up with another win at the next race in Lenzerheide, setting her up nicely for the overall…
8) Aaron Gwin Lays Down One of the All Time Greatest Runs in Mont-Sainte-Anne
After the heavens opened in Canada, most of the field struggled to come close to the time of Australian Dean Lucas, whose 4:19.484 in desirable conditions was enough to leave him on top of the podium until the very last rider came down the hill.
Unfortunately for Lucas, that rider was Aaron Gwin, who slid down the track through silly amounts of mud to take over a second off the Australian and claim the win for the YT Mob. This was not only the best run of the season, but also one of the best of all time.
9) Drama Galore as the Overalls Come Down to the Wire in Val di Sole
Tahnee Seagrave grabbed her third win of the series but Myriam Nicole’s second-place was more than enough for her to take the overall win, while a puncture ended Greg Minnaar’s hopes of the overall title as Aaron Gwin won the race and the series for 2017.
10) Miranda Miller Shocks the World in Cairns and Loic Bruni Becomes a Two Time World Champion
Tahnee put five seconds into Miranda Miller's time then crashed. Tracey Hannah was on a fantastic run on home soil then also came off her bike. Myriam Nicole came within a tenth of a second of victory. But Miranda Miller took the rainbow jersey for Canada.
In the men’s Loic Bruni was the only man who could better homeboy Mick Hannah’s time (and only by +0.339) as he rode to his second World Champs win in three years to cap off another stunning year on the World Cup circuit.