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Burning Down Pietermaritzburg, 2013 World Championships Downhill Finals Slideshow

<b>Greg Minnaar aboard waves of hometown intensity flies into his 3rd World Championship victory.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Victory for Greg Minnaar.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Pietermaritzburg about to burn down...</b>

<b>One life. Three World Champs</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>If you've not seen Gary's movie about Greg by now, then it's really a must see (it's on the Vital homepage). These two go way back and this moment means so much to the two of them.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Rachel Atherton was clearly on another level this weekend and earned her title seemingly with ease. Dominant in all the sectors of the track. I'm not sure if she has a weak spot at all, in fact. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>A traditional dance was set to provide entertainment, fresh World Champion, Rachel Atherton, joined in while not containing her excitment.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Another successful World Champs comes to a close with the awarding of the rainbow jersey to the winner Rachel Atherton. This was her first time racing here in PMB, sidelined by injury the last three World Cups.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>In a similar repeat to the first time the race was held in PMB, Mick Hannah appeared to be completely spent at the bottom of the track. Greg was down at the second split by .8, but clawed it back for the victory. </b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Sick tuck mick, only .396-seconds away from a World Championship. Rumor has it Mick has another couple of years worth of PMB racing left in his brakepads since he only used them after crossing the finish line.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Jared Graves has won Sea Otter Dual Slalom, Enduro World Series races and now a 3rd place World Championship downhill medal on the same bike. Although the setup changes, the heart of the bike stays the same. It's a great time to be a mountain bike rider!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Everyone expected Jared Graves to do well here, however the amount of people that would have put him in a medal position would have been considerably less. Jared had one of the longest stays in a hot seat that we've seen in a while!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Sam Blenkinsop missing the podium by only 0.5 seconds. He, Matt Simmonds, Nick Beer, Gee Atherton and Marcelo Gutierrez were all separated by less than a second.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Matt Simmonds improved by a staggering 15-seconds to come 5th, just .6 off the podium. He managed this, in part, by running semi slicks front and rear. Manly!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Emmeline Ragot jumping into the finish arena for a solid 2nd place finish.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Improving from the timed session, Nick Beer ended up a a very respectable 6th place aboard the Devinci One Night Stand bike. I had to prune a couple of branches to be able to shoot into this part of the course. #growtheverywhere</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Gee Atherton on his last practice run before the finals. He was disappointed with his run and result, but it has not been an easy week for Gee, suffering from stomach problems which drained his energy levels.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Marcelo Gutierrez's goal was top 10 this week. 8th place is simply wonderful...well done!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Stevie Smith took a dive in the first corner after struggling to see in the light. According to witnesses, he tried to turn 1ft before the turning point, an error caused by the afternoon light.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Sam Hill had a horrific crash just below this section near the bottom of the track. Hopefully he is not hurt too badly, as his form is looking phenomenal headed to Norway. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Ros Cop glasses. Santa Cruz front man, Rob Roskopp jumped the pond to oversee proceedings. Here Mick humbly talks through his run with former blaster of vert ramps.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>A previous winner at World Cups here, and racing her first event since injury, Tracey Hannah proved herself with a soild third place.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Marshy read that tape on shoes and laces saves 7 seconds over 40 kilometers. Which means it saves .7 over 4 kilometers...just enough for Greg to maintain his margin. #marginalgains</b> -Sven Martin

<b>World Champs is for national pride, King and country.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>These are the winners of the Media OTB pool. Nick, Frank and Marius all chose Minnaar and were 700 Madibas better off for it. They should have entered Vital OTB for some real winnings!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Greg's custom-painted helmet is an awesome tribute to a great man that has done so much for South Africa. Cheers Mandela.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Ivan may have been foolish enough to enter a bet in which he was to have his hair cut like Greg's if Greg won. Barbers Peaty and Dougie making do with any old scissors they could find!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>The bike that won it all.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>On the edge, every inch.</b>

<b>Tiaan Odendaal smashed his previous World Cup result of a 68th place and brought it home to a 23rd. The crowd went wild for any South African compeitors which must have been most uplifting</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Tim Bentley appeared to be the master of riding sections hard and fast, yet struggled to knit it all together on raceday. Regardless, he still throws a good whip for any photographer. #welike</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Liquids for all occasions. The level of support for Greg, from mechanics to the team manager, is amongst the highest on the circuit. #teameffort</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Just enough pressure to hold up to the pressure. Minnaar's rear tire, a single ply XC tire, eeking out one fine performance. Moments after crossing the line, this is how it looked.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Lauren Rosser proving that goon riding need not only be a male Canadian racer thing.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>World Champs finals is not the ideal time to test new triple contact point technology. Rach-Out Project.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Crowd antics here at PMB are as entertaining has ever. Vuvuzelas all round!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Last day faffing and Peaty decided not to run the roller on his e13 device. A few practice runs, with rocky sprints and they decided it was good for finals! #marginalgains</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>The top two riders from the timed session both crashed in the first corner today. We look forward to seeing what Mitch can do in Hafjell!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Another World Champs eluding Aaron Gwin. How many years will it be before he gets his win?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>It has been a while since Rachel wore this medal, which seems strange considering just how dominant she it now. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>The long wait while Greg attends the press conference and anti doping is finally over in the OneLife/Syndicate pits. Steve Peat does the honors. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>When taking these kind of shots we often look for the national flag of the winner in the crowd. No such problems encountered here!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Greg receives the traditional Zulu Warrior hoist. King of 'Maritzburg.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>The three men responsible for the most nail-biting racing action in recent memory. Well done Greg, Mick and Jared.<br><br>Vital also can't thank Sven, Duncan and Joe enough for their heart-felt documentation of the sport we all can't live without. THANK YOU!</b> -Sven Martin

In the heart of his hometown of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Greg Minnaar earns his 3rd World Championship downhill title despite insurmountable pressure and emotion. Rachel Atherton secures a World Championship title in the women's class, continuing her reign over the 2013 season. Sven Martin, Duncan Philpott and Joe Bowman capture the raw emotion and energy of the cathartic one-day race which determines the best in the World.

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