Posing for photographs with a knight’s helmet, a sword and a kilted bagpiper probably wasn’t the first thing Danny Hart envisioned when he claimed his second World Championship title in Val di Sole last September.
A flurry of photographers are surrounding the Redcar downhill star on the scenic Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh as we meet to discuss the season ahead and launch the Fort William World Cup for 2017.
“A lot of people think Aaron is the guy to beat, but clearly not in the second half of last season…”
Danny accommodates the rather blunt requests of the old-school snappers for over an hour as they dream up new compositions for him, his newly obtained weaponry and the shiny Mondraker Summum sitting to his right.
He’s no stranger to the attention of course, having previously won the rainbow jersey back in Champery in 2011 with one of the most famous downhill runs in mountain biking history – an 11.69 second win in torrential rain. This time, though, things are a little different.
“That first one was out of this world,” says the 25-year-old, “Winning by that amount of time in those conditions and being so young. It set my career up. I was never really expected to win, even though I knew personally that I could do it.