Despite the atrocious conditions the Australian downhillers still proved they are some of the best in the world with three riders finishing inside the top 10 on the final day of the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
With rain falling overnight, the track conditions were vastly different than during the qualifying round, and the brutal track caught out many medal contenders.
Finding the perfect balance between pushing the limit and being smart in order to stay smooth would prove crucial today. The daunting, muddy conditions in Saalfelden Leogang demanded focus, consistency and flawless line choices, especially in the new wooded section. The Skicircus Enchanting Forest, with its mix of steep, rutty corners turned out to be the deciding factor for the podium. Riders that managed to come through this part of the Speedster smooth would hold a significant advantage over riders that struggled in the mud.
Australian Tracey Hannah was last down the hill, chasing the time of 5:08:426 set by Switzerlands Camille Blanche, and the Cairns rider was in the green after the first three time checks.
But the woods would catch her, like so many others out and would see the Aussie finish less than three seconds of a bronze medal.
Morning rain made way for afternoon snow and wind, adding a serious degree of complications for the men’s field.
Reece Wilson (GBR) showed just why he should always be considered a podium threat, with a nearly flawless run that would be over seven seconds faster than Jack Moir’s run (AUS), the first rider to finish with a sub 4-minute time.
Moir’s 3:58:876 would leave him in 6th position, with last year’s silver medallist Troy Brosnan two spots further back in eighth.
Kye A’Hern, competing in his first year in the elites rode his way into the top 20 while Michael Hannah would finish 33rd.
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