Aaron Gwin has been a dominating force in downhill mountain biking over the past two seasons. He became the first American ever to win the World Overall Cup in his third season racing pro last year and clinched the overall again this year. In those two meteoric years of success he has failed to earn that elusive cherry on top – a win in the World Championship.
Last year, on an dreary mud filled course, Danny Hart had the ride of his life. This year, with Greg Minaar in the hot seat, Gwiny was the last rider at the top of the mountain. Shortly into his run down the three minute + course he suffered a mechanical and crashed.
What happened? Head past the break for the official word.
“At the World Championships there is no qualifying round or seeding run, but a timed practice session where riders can check their general race speed against official timing. Aaron was happy with his 4th in timed practice and as race day drew nearer, and the sun came out drying the track dramatically, all was set for a classic Aaron Gwin run. Unfortunately the brake failure, something he has never experienced before and in fact is his first mechanical in a race run since joining the team, really took him by surprise.
Aaron said at the finish line – “I really don’t understand what happened. I warmed up as usual, tested the brakes as usual at the top, walked down the course to have a look at how the track was running, went into my run, brakes working fine for the first minute or so, and then bang, nothing. I crashed and got up as soon as I could, pumped to see what was there, but it wasn’t enough, and knew my day was run”.
The brakes have been taken back to Japan for further analysis as there was nothing immediately evident from the post-race inspection, and nothing new was done to these brakes that Aaron and the team has run for most of the season.” – Trek World Racing
Word on the street is that Aaron was running prototype Shimano Saint brakes. He had been offered a set of production stoppers when they became available, but chose to stick with the prototypes because he preferred the feel.