In modern downhill mountain biking, times at the top of the leaderboard have become very tight indeed.
Shaun Palmer famously called it a day after being beaten at the 1996 World Championships by 0.15 of a second by a Frenchman eight years his junior – Nicolas Vouilloz.
Fast forward 18 years to the 2014 World Championships in Hafjell, and times were just as tight. Manon Carpenter took the Elite Women’s title by 0.088 from defending World Champion Rachel Atherton, while Rachel’s older brother Gee won by a mere 0.407 seconds.
“Any winning margin over three seconds these days is worthy of note, especially if all of the main contenders race under the same conditions”