The downhill final at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang, Austria, was one of the most entertaining and unpredictable in recent memory. The results threw up a few surprises, but absolutely no one would have guessed that Californian Aaron Gwin’s winning time of 3:34.354 for Specialized would have gone so well after his chain snapped straight after he got out of the starting gate. Australian Connor Fearon, riding with the Kona Factory Team, finished impressively in second, with a time less than half a second behind Gwin’s, and Remi Thirion of France took the third spot on the winners’ podium for Commencal Vallnord with a time of 3:35.684.
Weather conditions were a little less than ideal, with some reports of riders being hampered by strong winds, although others appeared to be unaffected. Depending on your viewpoint, this can either be put down to bad luck, or to how good they are at coping with adverse conditions. The riders expressed generally favourable opinions about the course, with few other issues reported, so on the whole the event appears to have been a resounding success. Here New Zealand’s Wyn Masters, who finished 29th for Team Bulls (12 places behind his brother Edward), interviews some of the competitors in his own inimitable style to get their take on events.
The post-race atmosphere on site was relaxed and jovial as the riders enjoyed a few well deserved beers and took the opportunity to socialize. And, while he didn’t finish quite as strongly as he’d hoped in the final, Wyn is certainly way out in front when it comes to getting the party started. He’s a refreshingly amiable character, so here’s hoping he’ll be back as roving backstage reporter for the 2016 final in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.