Aaron Gwin’s winning run at the Mont Sainte-Anne World Cup on Saturday will go down as one of the greatest of all time.
Hard rain began to fall after only a few pro men had taken their final runs, leaving young-gun Dean Lucas in the hot seat. As top contenders began to roll past the finish line 10 or more seconds back, it began to look like a repeat of the series opener in Lourdes, France, where Alexandre Fayolle took first after conditions took a turn for the worst, slowing the sharp end of the pro-mens field.
But Dean Lucas’s time started to look within reach as the top qualifiers began dropping. First came Danny Hart, with a run that was reminiscent of his famous winning performance at the 2011 World Championships in Champéry, though with more control and without a huge lead at the end. He came up short of Lucas’s time by just a second and a half. Loic Bruni also looked to be in touch, but crossed the line 3 seconds back.
The last man at the top was Gwin, and the suspense was palpable as the rain-drenched crowd waited to see if the Californian could make magic happen in the mud. Gwin was all business from the top, and started turning splits green right off the bat. He railed the corners as if they were the bone-dry Temecula trails he trains on, and only once looked like he might not finish in the green when his front wheel dropped into a hole in the lower rock garden, nearly stopping him dead.
But he’d opened enough of a gap already that his solid performance after that one mistake was enough to beat Lucas’s time by just over a second. And that, folks, is what we call gwinning.
Find out how Gwin prepares here.