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Danny Hart Wins 2011 UCI World Champs

UCI World Championships 2011, Champery

Oh my God! We have all just got a lesson in how to ride a pushbike. In conditions that could only be described as atrocious a small lad from the North of England schooled everyone else in the World and truly earned those Rainbow Stripes. Danny Hart, World-bloody-Champion!

Coming from a great season that has seen him twice lose out to a near-perfect Aaron Gwin, Danny lifted his game and threw down the kind of run of legends. If Danny is the Schoolteacher, then Champery must have proved itself to be the Classroom. Twice now it has caused the biking world to sit up and take notice, both in 2007 with Sam Hill and today with the diminutive Northerner.

We all knew there was something special about him since he first started racing in the Juveniles category at the SDA’s all those years ago, but still, oh my God!

Danny Hart with his well deserved Gold medal

Rider after rider came down, many having big problems with the ever-worsening track, and it was only when Brendon Fairclough crossed the line with a 3.55 that everyone stood up and took notice. Team-mate and danger-man Sam Hill came close with a 3.57 and Fabien Barel, in his last pro race, got a 4 minute dead. Then it was Fabien’s team-mate, Damien Spagnolo, who shocked us with an extremely fast and confident run beating the Bren-Dog by 2 seconds. Sam Blenkinsop managed to slot in behind this with a 3.54, but nothing could prepare us for what happened next. Looking like he was riding a different, grippier track, Hart-Attack attacked the course, nailing corners and keeping speed where others were losing front wheels and sliding out. He was up at the first split by four and a half seconds and nine seconds at the second. “Calm-down” we were all thinking, “don’t throw all this away at the end!”, but no, still a massive whip on the end jumps and he finished the run more than 11 (yes, ELEVEN) seconds up on the best (or rather second-best!) in the world. Wow!

Well done Danny.

Ian “still in shock” McIntosh

P.S.- in the post race press conference he acknowledged the help that starting racing at an early age at the Scottish and National races played on him! Good lad!

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