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"I had a lot of pressure today, I was super nervous, Minnaar said. To be honest, I tried to nail the top section, just after the bridge I lost a lot of speed, I had to pedal hard. I couldn't believe I crossed the line in first."
Relative unknown rider Morgane Charre (France) stunned herself the crowd gathered in the Leogang, Austria beating some of the sport fasted riders to win the 2012 Downhill World Championships. In the men race, 2003 world champion Greg Minnaar (South Africa) regained the rainbow stripes. Holly Feniak (Canada) and Loic Bruni (France) won the junior women's and men's titles, respectively.
Countrywoman Floriane Pugin Air Max Bw Ultra London came within 1.617 seconds, followed by last year's junior world champion Manon Carpenter, who inched .1 seconds closer. Ragot was next, but finished 1.2 seconds behind, leaving only Atherton to unseat Charre. Atherton was within .02 seconds after the first time check, but faded in the second half of the course, allowing the 22 year old Charre to step into the rainbow jersey.
to have a mechanical am not sure what happened," Miinnaar added. "It is not exactly the best way for me to win, or how I'd like to win, but we are all out there trying our best. We all have mechanicals from time to time, that's part of racing."
The men race featured a dozen strong contenders, and Minnaar's victory came down to the wire. Australia's Bryn Atkinson set the first sub 3:30 time with nearly 50 riders to go. Sam Dale (Great Britain) quickly shed .3 seconds and held the hot seat for 20 riders until Florent Payet (France) notched the fastest time by 2 seconds.
took the leading time below 3:24 with 10 riders to go, but was immediately replaced by Canada's Steve Smith, who was bumped by Gee Atherton (Great Britain) with two riders left. Minnaar finished .5 seconds ahead of Atherton, with just American Aaron Gwin left. Gwin has won nine of the past 13 World Cup races and many expected him to win in Leogang. Greg waited nervously as the final rider started down the course.
The women's race was expected to be a duel between defending champion Emmeline Ragot (France) and World Cup points leader Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) two riders have battled all season. Atherton, however, suffered an undisclosed injury and after a fast start faded to fifth. After Canadians Micayla Gatto and Casey Brown came close to breaking the four minute barrier, Charre obliterated it, taking the lead time down to 3:50.654 with six riders remaining.
"I am a bit bummed for Gwinny, he seemed Nike Air Max 95 All Black On Feet
and pedaled a lot, with only little mistakes, but I have never had a result like this before."
Charre Win 2012 Downhill World Championships
"I did not expect this," said a visibly shocked Charre. "I thought that Emmeline [Ragot] would beat me for sure, or Atherton. I had a very good run Nike Air Max 95 Ultra Se Red
But it wasn long before Minnaar could relax suffered a mechanical and would finish a disappointing 83rd. Minnaar jumped to his feet from the hot seat and was mobbed by well wishers.
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