Specialized dominates World MTB Championship
The 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships are in the books, and it was a successful week Down Under for many Specialized riders. There were some heroic displays across all disciplines and age groups, with the full gamut of Specialized bikes on show. Here are a few of the highlights from a high-octane week of dirt riding:
In one of the more exciting competitions of Worlds week, France’s Loic Bruni produced a stunning display in the Men’s downhill to snatch victory away from ‘Sick Mick’ Hannah by just three tenths of a second. Claiming a second world title in three years, the 23-year-old is rapidly putting himself amongst the upper echelons of downhill royalty.
Completing a downhill double for Specialized was Miranda Miller, who, after several injury-affected amateur seasons, earned her first set of rainbow bands by the slimmest of margins. After breaking both her arms in a 2015 horror crash, coming back to win a world title by less than a tenth of a second is no mean feat. The Canadian, who is in her first professional season, looked the most comfortable of the contenders on a challenging Cairns track as she shot to a career-defining victory. An early crash in the finale run for hometown Aussie, Tracey Hannah, plus an early injury for Rachel Atherton left the way open for Miller to seize the historic title.
Never to be outdone by the downhillers, Specialized’s cross-country riders too were on fine form. The Men’s U23 title went to Sam Gaze for the second year running. The New Zealander made his move on the penultimate lap, producing a stinging attack on the circuit’s largest climb that none of his rivals could follow. At just 21, who would bet against Gaze defending his title again next year?
The elder statesman of XC racing, Kulhavy wasn’t quite able to add another gold medal to his already substantial collection, but the former Olympic champion did claim an impressive silver in the Elite Men’s cross-country. As in Rio last year, it was the 32-year-old Czech was animating proceedings, and was pipped to the line by the indomitable Nino Schurter. Kulhavy has shown no signs of slowing down this season, and you can bet he’ll be back at the business end of races for some years to come.
You too can get your hands on versions of the world-conquering bikes that took these riders to glory. Take a look:
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