DH World Cup: Will Windham be another Gwin whitewash?

So Aaron Gwin won again this weekend. Yawn. It's not that we don't like Gwinny – he's talented, humble and comes across as a genuninely nice guy. It's just that he's too darn good. He doesn't just win, he wins by massive margins – like eight seconds, at round 2 in Val di Sole, Italy.

So, will Windham be another Gwin whitewash? Probably. He's won eight out of the last 11 World Cup rounds, he's got a 135-point lead in the series and he'll be competing on home soil, on a track where he won last year. The competition must wonder if it's worth getting out of bed.

Sound advice from the Fort Bill crowd! Picture by Nick Cox

Sound advice from the Fort Bill crowd! Picture by Nick Cox

Just what is it that makes Gwin so fast? Trek World Racing team boss Martin Whiteley reckons it's “two-wheel genetics” – he says Gwin was born with a unique talent and happens to have found the sport where it allows him to excel.

Whiteley reckons this is just one factor in Gwin's success, though – supreme mental focus, a high level of fitness and serious commitment all play a major part, too. We'd add to that list a decent sized pair of cojones – have you seen his jump in Three Minute Gaps?


Source: Pinkbike

Add to the mix some quality mentoring from MTB legend John Tomac (though Aaron, if he ever suggests running drop bars on your DH bike, please run a mile) and a lifetime riding bikes of one kind or another, and as Whiteley says, you've got a “perfect storm” of factors that combine to create an amazing athlete.

It also can't hurt that he has the backing of one of the biggest, most professional teams on the circuit and one of the world's largest bike companies, plus a proven, lightweight bike, in the form of the Trek Session 9.9.

Source: BikeRadar

Ultimately, Gwin's just plain faster than everyone else, like Nico Vouilloz in the 1990s and Sam Hill in the mid-2000s. Annoyingly, he's stylish, too. He may keep things smooth and low on the race track but he knows how to get wild off it. Need proof? Check out the Shimano Saint ad at the bottom of this article.

So, who'll be victorious in Windham? We hope the best man wins. And on recent evidence, that's Gwin. As for the rest, what can they do? They'll just have to Gwin and bear it. (Sorry.)

Source: Shimano / Anthill Films