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Aaron Gwin on the Scrub Heard 'Round the World - Gwinsanity 10

Aaron Gwin finished 43rd today at the final World Cup Downhill of 2018 in La Bresse, France. Any other rider getting 43rd place would not be getting a solo feature on race day because no one cares about 43rd place. Ok, Eddie Masters could have figured out a way to get a solo feature with a crappy race run, but that doesn't count. 43rd for someone like Aaron is a complete throwaway and the final nail in what may be the coffin of his worst World Cup season ever (I didn’t take time to do the research, nerds chime in if anything but his first season was worse than 2018).

Martin Maes, (yeah, the Enduro-guy Martin Maes) won the race today, but the internet winner is without a doubt, Aaron Gwin. Turns out driving (or at least buying) fast cars and building a mansion along with wrecking his thumb three races ago hasn’t put a dent in his riding skills. The conditions didn’t favor Gwin's drop-in time, he was in the goopy stuff, he had a rookie-esque washout on a root, he was on a new 29er that he says he hasn’t totally figured out yet and basically a minute into his race run, it was over - no win, no podium, just a nasty cruise down a muddy French track on an unfamiliar bike.

Thankfully for us, the pathetically cheap MTB community who would never spend a dime to watch a bike race on the internet, Red Bull TV broadcasts the race for free and despite Gwin’s 43rd-place riding escapades at the top of the course, they carried on filming his run, because that’s what they do.

The Temeculan exited the woods, approaching the awkward jumps that everyone previously had been over-shooting. He (well, "they" if you go by his interview) does a cute little kick-out-pseudo-scrub to bottom-third-lander on the first jump and then dips into an aero tuck. Hey, his result is gonna be poo, but our American homie never backs down. He (they) rises up from his tuck, swerves out of the main line, aims for the right side of the approaching jump grazing the tape and then the miracle in La Bresse happens. Aaron Gwin uses “an old moto maneuver” to complete avoid to entire top half of the lip while turning into a human Norelco jump-shaving machine. No, Gwin was a Braun razor. Braun sponsored the Freecaster DH webcasts back in the day. Gwin was a Braun razor today, not a Norelco.

The Mob Boss's left-side knobs of his front tire graze the upper-side, GRASSY edge of the table top as he hovers like an angel in nose-pressed-weed-whacking perfection across the useless pile of dirt. I (we) capitalize GRASSY because if there's grass on a part of the track, no one rides there. No one had put knobs where Gwin's knobs were going. Half-way across the table Gwin is hovering beside, the grass ends, turning to what looks like a big pile of dirt hastily added to the jump, extending the landing before the World Cup riders arrive to over-shoot it. That little bit of dirt embraces Gwin's front tire with a sweet kiss, lifting his front end ever-so-gently as his rear wheel keeps a sideways trajectory. The Southern Californian's BMX roots kick in (hit the :56 mark) and he feebles the crap out of the edge of that landing (sans pegs of course) then manuals the unmanual-able 29er to a casual dismount. He sprints on and rides to that super boring 43rd place result. No biggie.

There have been comments about Gwin's "we" talk in his interviews. It's a mental thing. I (we) get it. Sure sometimes it can be a little much. But if Aaron USA Gwin wants to throw some 40-mph-Tate-Roskelley-shit in the middle of a muddy World Cup DH run on a 29er, he can call himself whatever the heck he wants.

In conclusion, it's rad to see the world's best rider (ok, ok, one of...) pull off some a wacky move by the skin of his (their) leathers. The chainless Leogang run doesn't count - that was a giant middle finger to everyone that lasted 3 minutes. This was instantaneous disaster aversion while looking 100% in control. You can tell, however, by the way he speaks about it with Sven, that this move was completely least what with all the shaving, feebling and manualing. Martin Maes and Amaury Pierron, official winners on the books today. Aaron Gwin, winner of our screen for the next 15 minutes.
Credit: Interview by Sven Martin, footage provided by Red Bull Content Pool
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