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Vale Di Sole World Championships—Photo Gallery

In the words of downhill racer Laurie Greenland, world champs can most succinctly be defined as: "One race, one lap, no crap."


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The dust has settled on this year’s World Championships in Val Di Sole, Italy, a long weekend stacked with one-chance, full-commitment races for the rainbow stripes and the prestige that comes with the jersey. This year’s world champs truly lived up to its reputation as a day to go all-in for a shot at gold, and records were set throughout the weekend: two G.O.A.T.S, Nino Schurter and Greg Minnaar, shattered expectations and perceived age barriers with their wins, Evie Richards brought home the first-ever XC world title for Great Britain and Christopher Blevins broke the U.S. men’s 30-year world title drought when he won the first XC short-track title in commanding fashion. Even though World Champs have been over for two days, this is definitely one you want to relive (or live for the first time if your Red Bull TV broadcast was geo-blocked for future TV distribution, like it was here in the U.S.), and photographer Michal Cerveny perfectly captured the emotion with these highlights. Scroll slowly and enjoy the show. ‘Til next year.

World Champs is a time to go for the gold on the course, and in the pits, with many racers customizing their bikes and kits for the occasion. Jolanda Neff’s bike carries the story of her Tokyo Olympics race last month.

Nino Schurter’s been doing this long enough to know that an espresso is valuable currency in the pits.

 

Sweden's Jenny Rissveds, a U-23 XC World Champ in 2016, placed 8th in this year's short track race, and sat out of the XC race with a cold.
A mass start for the short track’s debut in world champs.

Sina Frei and Evie Richards battled it out until the very end, culminating in a sprint finish in which Frei edged out Richards by mere milliseconds.
The elite men take to the short course.
Blevins bested his two closest competitors by 2 seconds, and became the first U.S. man to bring home a world champ title since John Tomac in 1991.
Das spent.

Pure elation after the win of his life.
It's not over 'til the podium bottle is popped. Blevins joyfully revels in the winner's duty.
A snake of another kind at the same venue known for the DH course dubbed ‘Black Snake.’

Fresh off her Olympic gold medal, Switzerland’s Jolanda Neff goes for another gold. Neff ultimately placed fourth in the XC race, and 5th in short track.
Evie Richards prevailed in that race, taking first by over a minute and bringing home the first-ever XC world title for Great Britain.
U.S. racer Kate Courtney, the 2018 XC World Champ, had a strong start, but a tough race overall, finishing 23rd.
Richards crossed the finish line solo after her commanding win.
Swiss teammates Mathias Flückinger and Nino Schurter jockey for position on the XC course’s final rock garden.
A young fan properly fired up for the day’s races.

Schurter saved something for the final kick, and it paid off. The Swiss legend became the oldest racer to win an XC World Champ title, 12 years after he became the youngest racer to do the same thing. Damn impressive.
Dropping into the mouth of the snake.

Canada’s Jackson Goldstone put a massive exclamation point on his debut year racing juniors with a world title. Goldstone is also currently leading the World Cup overall.
The relentlessly unforgiving Val Di Sole course caused countless crashes and flats over the weekend.
Not just tubes and tires were lost, but at times, entire wheels fell victim to the course’s numerous rock drops and fast, chunky sections.

Reigning world champion Reece Wilson on the edge, en route to his 15-place finish.
The women's DH race was widely considered to be anyone's race with a fairly level playing field this season. In the end, Myriam Nicole's focus, poise and sheer power through the physical course earned her the fastest time by nearly 5 seconds, and her second career elite world champs jersey.
Greg Minnaar floated down the technical course so beautifully that it seemed effortless. At 39, Minnaar already has the most World Cup wins of any racer, and proved emphatically with his win on Sunday that he is not done yet.
After Minnaar's scorcher put him into first place, he waited it out in the hot seat for the French triple threat—Loris Vergier, Loic Brüni and Thibaut Daprela—to each take their runs. Brüni and Vergier both had clean runs but couldn't top Minnaar's time, and when Daprela crashed, Minnaar knew his historic run would hold.
Truly the Greatest Of All Time.
20 years of racing world champs, and still coming out on top.

Myriam Nicole, Marine Cabirou (silver) and Camille Balanche (bronze).