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NICOLE AND GWIN CLAIM WORLD CUP TITLES IN VAL DI SOLE

French and American champions crowned in end-of-season race in Italy.

France’s Myriam Nicole and America’s Aaron Gwin have each laid claim to their respective overall UCI World Cup titles in a drama-laced seventh round of the series in Val di Sole, Italy.

This has been a year which will long be remembered for its abundance of drama; some has been weather-induced, some has been mechanically-induced and some has just been sport in its purest, most entertaining form.

In the women’s race, Myriam Nicole sat in the start hut wearing the points leader’s jersey knowing that the title was hers to lose. She couldn’t afford to put a wheel wrong and the track in Val di Sole is an incredibly easy place to do exactly that.

Myriam Nicole performs at UCI DH World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy on August 26, 2017.
Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

She had qualified in fourth position having suffered a crash and with her two title protagonists (Tahnée Seagrave and Tracey Hannah) dropping at the head of the field, ‘all’ she needed to do was to take to the hot seat to guarantee herself the win. Nicole has won in Italy before and she used every ounce of guile and talent to massage her Commencal through the treacherously steep roots and rocks.

Rachel Atherton performs at UCI DH World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy on August 26, 2017.
Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Nicole crossed the line to take to the then top step and claimed the title in the process. Hannah, with eyes on the World Championships set to be hosted in her native Cairns crossed the line to ultimately finish second whilst Seagrave proved irresistible and arrived into the finish line to claim her third UCI World Cup win of the year.

Rachel Atherton, Tahnee Seagrave, Myriam Nicole, Tracey Hannah, Emilie Siegenthaler stand on the overall podium at UCI DH World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy on August 26, 2017.
Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Myriam Nicole seen during UCI DH World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy on August 26, 2017.
Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

In the men’s race the stage was set for a titanic showdown between two of the greatest World Cup racers of all time; South Africa’s Greg Minnaar from Kwa-Zulu Natal and America’s Aaron Gwin from California.

Aaron Gwin performs at UCI DH World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy on August 26, 2017.
Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Minnaar had destroyed a bike during the final practice run before the previous day’s qualifying session only to climb back aboard a freshly-built charge to come second to Gwin by just a single tenth of a second. Whichever of them finished ahead of the other was guaranteed the title. A tumultuous season was set to come down to a pair of race runs.

Minnaar went first and was one and a half seconds up on the then hot seat resident, Amaury Pierron. Then disaster struck. As he skirted the impact zone of the previous days crash, Minnaar’s rear tyre let go. The Pietermaritzburg native was forced to ride on until his wheel finally disintegrated and he was reduced to walking the final stretch to the line.

Greg Minnaar performs at UCI DH World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy on August 26, 2017.
Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Gwin, who had by now left the start hut, had no knowledge of his great rival’s demise and set about lopping tenths of a second from the clock with brutal metronomy. Pierron, on the cusp of his debut victory was left aghast as Gwin plummeted towards the line.

Loic Bruni, Troy Brosnan, Aaron Gwin, Greg Minnaar, Loris Vergier stand on the overall podium at UCI DH World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy on August 26, 2017.
Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

A title which after the first three rounds of the year had looked to be dead in the water was realised. For the fifth time in his career one of the greatest American ridera ever claimed one of the sport’s ultimate prizes. 

Aaron Gwin pose for a portrait at UCI DH World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy on August 26, 2017.
Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

 

Source: Red Bull Media House GmbH

NICOLE AND GWIN CLAIM WORLD CUP TITLES IN VAL DI SOLE Reviewed by on . France’s Myriam Nicole and America’s Aaron Gwin have each laid claim to their respective overall UCI World Cup titles in a drama-laced seventh round of the seri France’s Myriam Nicole and America’s Aaron Gwin have each laid claim to their respective overall UCI World Cup titles in a drama-laced seventh round of the seri Rating: 0

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