UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2011
Hart and Carpenter Downhill Champions
Published: 4 September 2011
Report: Luke Webber - Live from Switzerland
Danny Hart and Manon Carpenter are the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Champions.
Hart won the senior men's title in torrential rain by a huge eleven seconds, destroying the opposition and taking his first major international win. Following in a legacy of British downhill World Champions, Hart now joins Steve Peat and Gee Atherton as British men who have taken the title three times in the past four years.
Following the race, the 19-year-old was in shock.
"I'm speechless. At only the second time of trying. Last year I was eighth at Mont Sainte Anne, this year I was feeling good all week, I was feeling strong and had a good race. I got into a rhythm at the top and followed it down and came in eleven seconds in front. I looked back and I saw the time; eleven seconds! Suits me, nearly twelve seconds, it's just amazing, I don't know what to say. To have everyone here, my parents and my family, my girlfriend, it's just amazing.
"It was amazing I had a good run. When I was on the start line I saw there was a river running down the track, and I just rode that river from the top. I knew there was going to be good grip under there and there was, I had a good run all the way, hit all my lines I hit in the dry pretty much, and had a faultless run.
"There were a couple of moments along the way, but I kept it smooth, I hit all my lines, I only got off line once, but I knew it would happen on this track. I don't know what to say.
"I missed the title twice as a junior, but to come and do it at my second try as a senior it's amazing to be up there with the ranks with Steve Peat and those guys, is amazing."
Carpenter's win came in the junior category, after an agonising year-long wait for the title. In 2010 the young Welsh-woman was the favourite but was injured in a crash just one week prior to the race, leaving her season unfinished.
But in 2011, Carpenter came back to take the rainbow jersey in style and with fourteen seconds to spare despite three crashes. After the race Carpenter said she felt a big sense of relief, crossing the line to take the title.
"It's pretty cool. After my first crash, I thought it would be ok, but then my second crash I had a panic, I thought it was over. Then I crashed again coming into the last woods - I did kind of think it was all over, I guess I knew everyone else was going to find it hard as well but with three crashes I was pushing it.
"Last year the Worlds was the worst weekend of my life, but to come back this year and win feels wicked. I was feeling the pressure, not from everyone else, just from myself. I knew I only had one chance left to be junior World Champion and I really didn't want to mess it up - the whole year I was aware that I couldn't get injured, I feel relieved to be honest. I'd have been really annoyed with myself if I'd messed it up."
Rachel Atherton secured Britain a third medal on the final day of the week-long Championships, finishing second in the senior women's race.
1 Danny Hart (Great Britain) 3:41.989
2 Damien Spagnolo (France) +0:11.699
3 Samuel Blenkinsop (New Zealand) +0:12.993
4 Brendan Fairclough (Great Britain) +0:13.135
5 Mickael Pascal (France) +0:14.642
6 Marc Beaumont (Great Britain) +0:15.445
17 Steve Peat (Great Britain) +0:24.764
52 Gee Atherton (Great Britain) +0:52.272
91 Josh Bryceland (Great Britain) +4:10.930
DNS Ruaridh Cunningham (Great Britain)
1 Emmeline Ragot (France) +04:54.012
2 Rachel Atherton (Great Britain) +0:15.291
3 Claire Buchar (Canada) +0:27.953
4 Myriam Nicole (France) +0:28.294
5 Sabrina Jonnier (France) +0:30.317
9 Tracy Moseley (Great Britain) +0:44.151
17 Fionn Griffiths (Great Britain) +01:48.874
1 Troy Brosnan (Australia) 03:51.503
2 David Trummer (Austria) +0:12.188
3 Guillaume Cauvin (France) +0:19.294
4 Lewis Buchanan (Great Britain) +0:20.796
5 Loic Bruni (France) +0:22.235
15 Mark Scott (Great Britain) +0:37.177
1 Manon Carpenter (Great Britain) 05:11.545
2 Agnes Delest (France) +0:14.457
3 Lauren Rosser (Canada) +0:17.248
4 Sandra Reynier (France) +0:21.943
5 Sarah Atkin (New Zealand) +0:57.367