Sunday saw the race we’ve all been waiting for the last few days with Mick Hannah the hot favourite to pick up a Gold at the World Champs. Having grown up in the area and putting everything he can into making this race his, the big question was, could he do it, or would someone else steal the glory?
Racing started early for the Juniors, with the Aussie’s best result in Junior Women from Ellie Smith, coming away with a 5th placing, however the medals in that class all went to European riders with Melanie Chappaz taking the gold. In the Junior Men’s category, Finn Iles looked unstoppable however failed to get the first place he was after, Matt Walker taking the win.
In the Women’s Elite category, Tracey went in as the home-town favourite, with Myriam Nicole and Tahnee Seagrave the ones to watch for. Tracey’s run was marred by a crash seeing her take second place in the original result, with an awesome result from Miranda Miller getting first place. Miranda has had a few injuries over the years but has been training hard and that paid off for her this weekend.
Tahnee had a crash and Pompon initially was placed 18th, however a review of the timing results saw Tracey move to 3rd and Pompon take the Silver medal. It wasn’t the result that we expected, but at least Tracey won a medal here. Also a great result for Danni Beecroft, taking 4th place, and Sian Ahern, taking 8th.
Elite Men’s was a fantastically close race as always at Cairns. With the start order having Sam Hill first down, his spot in the hotseat was guaranteed, however he ended up being there for a large portion of the race. When Mick Hannah came down the track and took first, he said that down the whole track he couldn’t even hear his bike as the crowd was so loud. The huge crowd saw him push the absolute limit on the track, coming down into first place in the hotseat when he came down.
However the talented Superbruni saw to it that it wouldn’t be Mick’s glorious day, edging him out by a very slim 0.3 second margin. After a flat tyre for Minnaar and a 16th for Danny Hart, the only chance Australia had of a gold was Troy Brosnan, who was a little off the pace. When he crossed the line and Bruni remained the leader, there was a huge outbreak of excitement with Bruni and the French team, celebrating their win and Bruni’s first World Championship Gold medal.
A great run from Aaron Gwin for third, only around 1.8 seconds off the pace of Mick Hannah. The Aussies dominated the next 3 results, with Moir 4th, Brosnan 5th and Hill 6th, and Dean Lucas in 12th.