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GwIndependence Day Comes Early: Windham World Cup DH Finals

<b>Gwin at the line. Photo of the weekend as nominated by Sven and the Vital crew!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Gwinsanity gripped the crowds today and this sign won the prize for grabbing Gwin's attention!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Alan Gwin can breathe easy again. It can be stressful being the father of the fastest man in the world on a mountain bike sometimes.</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>Back-to-back wins for Rachel Atheron, and it was no easy task today. The women have stepped it up!</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>Emmeline Ragot relinquished her over all lead to Rachel Atherton today in a heart-breaking and terrifying crash when she came up short on the last jump, literally bouncing to the finish. Too much freeride in the downhill courses?</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>Chris Ball in audio. The UCI rulebook is vague at the best of times. There was a tense pause in the racing while officials deliberated before concluding Rachel earned the win.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Tracey Hannah, 2nd place consoles Emmiline Ragot after the crash that cost her a win and the overall lead.</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>Beaumont's crash before finals...OUCH!</b> -John Lawlor

<b>Beaumont's aftermath before his race run. Not much longer later, he would crash in his race run. He later walked the course to see what mystery object or hole took him out. Closure is good.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Get well, Jill. You are a fighter and if you are anything like Bryn you will bounce back stronger than ever. Reported broken radius for America's fastest female.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Justin Leov is a man of solid constitution. After breaking his pinky in pre-race training; he held on to take his run, fingers taped, crossing the line in utter pain. Today he announced that this will be his last season racing, too.</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>Vital MTB's own Sven Martin sees Peaty over the line with a well-deserved Budweiser. Note Sven is staying behind the tape for fear of losing his rainbow pass and Steve not drinking the beer until he crossed the finish line for fear of a fine from the UCI. I thought these two didn't follow the rules?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Race run carnage Steve Peat's wheel.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Race run carnage on Aaron Gwin's wheel. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>It was thumbs down for Brendan Fairclough. He tried to do a run in the morning but had to abort due to a broken thumb. A shame as he was looking fast and on form again.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>What could have been...Damien Spagnolo is the consummate polite gentleman racer. He was over one second up on Gwin at the first split and only three seconds slower on the second split despite being punctured for a lot of it. A cruel game.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Ragot's crash again, if you haven't seen it.</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>The Devinci team was the top UCI team this weekend with Steve Smith's second place, Nick Beer's 6th and George Brannigan's 16th. Strong work boys!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Gee Atherton and John Lawlor doing it old school style with fisheye corner shots in 2012. Foot out, flat out. Another consistent podium for Gee.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Duncan thinks twice about his decision to get an up close and personal shot with this crazed Gwin Fan</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>The audio says it all...</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>Loic Bruni looked good all week, as did all the Lapierre boys. 5th place and first podium for the young French rider, Junior World Cup leader and World Champs favorite.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Windham's short course actually makes it difficult to focus throughout the week. Lines and strategies are figured out so early, it's hard not to second guess by race day.</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>Richie Rude raced proudly in the leader's jersey today in front of the home crowd. Putting in a strong performance as a first year junior to take 15th place.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>If you ever wonder how such a small town could hold a successful international event, then this is your answer. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. And by the looks of things, they're enjoying it!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Second for Tracey Hannah! She's working her way back to that top step of the podium after a few "off" races. Building momentum for World Champs?</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>A reflection of last year? The crowds at Windham Mountain cheer as Gwin drops his bike in celebration as seen in the window of a lift station sporting the resort's logo.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Pre press conference Stevie, Danny and Loic discuss junior rider racing results.</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Privateer Sam Dale knows how to get the best service from Fox. Beers go a long way when mechanics are working all day under the hot sun! With another top 20 result, staying in their good books is proving to be successful!</b> -Duncan Philpott

<b>Emilie Siegenthaler took another 4th this weekend. Solid consistent riding for the loan Scott 11 rider this weekend.</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Sik Mick Hannah jumping for the Kiwi contingent, who although lesser in numbers, gave the USA fans a run for their money in the noise and rowdiness department. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Loic Bruni, tribute to Cedric on his first podium. Who is the monobrow stalker twin in the background?</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Cleaning up after the boys. Hard to believe the winner started the day off with a broom in her hand!</b> -Matt Delorme

<b>The Windham crowd is always knowledgeable, loud and full of fun. They descend upon Windham in droves and are plenty entertained by their own racing and all that the organizers put on over the weekend. Rachel salutes them. </b> -Sven Martin

<b>Bring on the 4th of July!!!</b> -Sven Martin

<b>Thank you Sven, Duncan and Matt for an incredible weekend...oh, and you too, Warner! See you in Val d'Isere!</b>

Gwin and Rachel are going to have to slow it down because we're running out of clever titles. The short, intense track at Windham made for exciting racing in dry, loose conditions. In the end, however, Aaron Gwin put nearly one second on the field to take the win. Rachel Atherton saved a crash that could have cost her the win, but she was up by nearly 4 seconds before the mishap and was able to squeak in another victory. A HUGE THANKS TO SVEN, DUNCAN AND MATT FOR THEIR HARDWORK THIS WEEKEND!!

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