Steve Peat has won the World Championship title that he’s been aiming for, but has been repeatedly denied, for his whole career. And at 35, he’s had a pretty long career. Having been runner-up in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008 (when he was narrowly beaten by fellow Brit Gee Atherton), Peat took top spot in Mount Stromlo, Canberra.
Mick Hannah was in the hot seat, doubtless hoping for a home win, as Peat made his run. The Yorkshireman beat Hannah’s time by a convincing 0.69 seconds, but with Sam Hill, Greg Minnaar and defending champion (and fastest qualifier) Gee Atherton still to ride, victory was by no means in the bag.
But gradually the fairytale came to life as first Hill, then Minnaar failed to beat Peat’s time. Minnaar came agonisingly close, but missed it by five hundredths of a second. All eyes were on the clock as Atherton took on the 2.4km course, but he could only manage sixth place.
It was a great, and well-deserved, victory for Peat. “I’ve been trying for a long time and it’s just an unreal feeling,” he said. We suspect that there’s a hint of understatement there…
In the women’s race, France’s Emmeline Ragot beat Tracy Moseley to top spot, with Kathy Pruitt in third. There was more British success in the Junior DH, with Danny Hart taking third.
The downhill racing rounded off the World Championships. In earlier events, Nino Schurter became the men’s XC World Champion ahead of favourite Julien Absalon. Irina Kalentieva took the women’s title. There was an Australian double in the 4X, with Jared Graves and Caroline Buchanan taking the golds.
The event also included the UCI Trials World Championships, notable mainly for British rider Joe Oakley’s win in the 26in Junior category.
But never mind all that – YAY STEVE!