Four new UCI Downhill World Champions have been crowned as the snow fell in Leogang and will get to wear the Rainbow Stripes forever.
Despite the threat of a cancelled race, the snow stayed mercifully light compared to the forecast and Leogang delivered some World-class racing all week.
The downhill was no different, with four riders standing head and shoulders ahead of the rest of their respective packs.
French rider Lauryne Chappaz cast aside a fourth place qualifier, trailing 21 seconds behind first place Leona Perrini, to ride a different race altogether when it mattered. She’d take the win by a massive 46.809 seconds on race day, with a time that would have put her inside the top 10 in Elite.
Irishman Oisin O’Callaghan slashed his 8th place qualifying run by eleven seconds to take the win over Britain’s Dan Slack who finished 2.141 seconds adrift. O’Callaghan would also be the first winner of a gold at the World Championships for Ireland.
Four out of the top five Junior Men would be Brits, showing that the future is definitely bright at the sharp end of British downhill.
Camille Balanche would become the first ever Swiss rider to take a gold medal in downhill at the World Championships despite going a second slower in her finals run compared to her qualifier. She’d come back from sitting 6th on Friday, to see off the defending World Champion, Myriam Nicole, to win by 3.130 seconds.
Flying Scot, Reece Wilson, would qualify 45th, a full 25 seconds off Loris Vergier’s pace. Come finals though, the usually wild-riding Trek rider would put together a clean run that saw him in the hot seat for most of the afternoon. As rider after rider came a cropper of the chewed-up track, Reece Wilson would himself take the win by 3.197 seconds.