2012 Leogang Mountain Bike World Champs sliced & diced

What a weekend! The Mountain Bike World Champs are always full of surprises and this year was no different – Gwin didn't dominate, there was a surprise face on top of the women's DH podium and the four-cross was a close-run fight that left people wondering why the hell the UCI dropped it from the World Cup series. Here are our highlights and low points…

1 No win for Gwin

America's all-conquering Aaron Gwin was the odds-on favourite in the men's DH. He was the last man out of the start hut and barring a crash, it seemed almost inevitable that he'd take the victory. But as the camera tracked him down the hill it became clear that something was wrong with his bike. He limped home into 83rd place. Trek World Racing later blamed a “brake malfunction”.

Aaron Gwin. Picture by Charles Robertson

Aaron Gwin was hoping to win the double but it wasn't his day. Picture by Charles Robertson

2 Gold Greg

The Santa Cruz Syndicate had been having a bad day, with Britain's Steve Peat and Josh Bryceland both crashing – the latter while he was on a real stormer of a run. But then their South African teammate Greg Minnaar launched out of the start hut and straight into the hot seat, half a second ahead of Gee Atherton. There was a nervous wait as Gwin began his run but as it became clear the American had a mechanical, the celebrations began.

Greg Minnaar is elated to regain the world title, nine years after his first Worlds victory. Picture by Ale Di Lullo

Greg Minnaar was elated to regain the world title, nine years after his first Worlds victory. Picture by Ale Di Lullo

3 Troy's Achilles heel

Australian young gun Troy Brosnan had a big crash at Leogang back in May, ruining his World Cup season. He returned determined to beat his demons and burst out of the start hut… only to go down hard on the second corner and dislocate his shoulder. Seems like Leogang just isn't his track. Heal up soon, Troy!

Troy Brosnan wiped out in full view of the Red Bull TV cameras and within sight of the start hut

Troy Brosnan wiped out in full view of the Red Bull TV cameras and within sight of the start hut

4 Loic leads

France's Loic Bruni has dominated this year's Junior World Cup – he's currently an impressive 19th in the elite standings – and he stamped his authority on the World Champs too, crossing the line more than three seconds ahead of nearest rival Richie Rude. The women's title went to Canada's Holly Feniak, with a massive eight-second lead over Britain's Tahnee Seagrave.

Loic Bruni looked fast during practice and went on to win the juniors. Picture by Charles Robertson

Loic Bruni looked fast during practice and went on to win the juniors. Picture by Charles Robertson

5 Charre rules

The women's DH looked set to be a titanic battle between World Cup frontrunners Rachel Atherton and Emmeline Ragot so it was a shock to see another face on top of the podium – especially relative unknown Morgane Charre. The 21-year-old Frenchwoman out-pedalled her rivals on the lower section to take the win. Last year's junior world champ, Manon Carpenter, did well too, finishing third. Atherton languished in fifth with a back injury.

Morgane Charre topped the women's DH podium. Picture by Ale Di Lullo

Morgane Charre topped the women's DH podium. Picture by Ale Di Lullo

6 Swiss steez

It wasn't a good weekend for ChopMTB predictions! We said the Czechs would dominate the men's 4X, so who won it? A Swiss rider. Tomas Slavik and David Graf took each other out in the final, leaving the way clear for Roger Rinderknecht to take the win, with the Czech Republic's Michael Mechura in second.

Roger Rinderknecht won the 4X - and then promptly announced his retirement from the sport. Picture by Ale Di Lullo

Roger Rinderknecht won the 4X – and then promptly announced his retirement from the sport. Picture by Ale Di Lullo

7 Beerten does the double

The Netherlands' Anneke Beerten was the favourite to win the women's 4X and she didn't disappoint. The 2012 4X Pro Tour winner led every heat and took the win ahead of Romana Labounkova, Céline Gros and Anita Molcik on a wet and muddy course.

Anneke Beerten bagged her second world title. Picture by Ale Di Lullo

Anneke Beerten bagged her second world title. Picture by Ale Di Lullo

8 The also-rans

It's always worth tuning in early to the live World Champs coverage. While countries like Britain and France have a roster of world-class racers to choose from, nations with a less illustrious history in DH have to make do with lesser riders. The result? Some comedy crashes from names at the bottom of the start list. Here's a classic from Germany's Kim Schwemmer:

Source: Worlds Worst World Champs Start ever?! on Mpora

Want more? Check out DirtTV's highlights vid or, if you want to see the World Champs finals in full, the replays on Red Bull TV. You can view the full downhill results here and the four-cross results here.

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