Greatest Run of All Time? Aaron Gwin's Miraculous Win at MSA 2017 28

It's always tempting to call BEST RUN EVER when something as remarkable as this happens. Without wanting to put one above the other, what Aaron Gwin did in Mont-Sainte-Anne yesterday ranks right up there with Sam Hill's legendary 2007 Champery run, Hart's 2011 World Champs win, and Gwin's own 2015 chainless Leogang win. Watch Gwin do the impossible above, then take a trip down memory lane:

Sam Hill in Champery, from F1rst:


Stay on your bike, Danny!


The Gwinner in Leogang, taking the win without a pedal stroke on course:


See Aaron Gwin's Winning Bike

Credit: Various
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  • mtic

    8/9/2017 5:33 AM

    Exactly as @bizutch said! If we put some numbers here, champery 2007 results:

    Pro Men
    1. Matti Lehikoinen (FIN) Honda G Cross 4:10.21
    2. Steve Peat (GBR) Santa Cruz Syndicate 4:11.81
    3. Sam Hill (AUS) Monster Iron Horse 4:11.84
    4. Fabien Barel (FRA) Kona Les Gets 4:14.91
    5. Mick Hannah (AUS) Cannondale the cut 4:21.52
    6. Adam Brayton (GBR) 4:22.15
    7. Josh Bryceland (GBR) 4:22.95
    8. Marcus Klausmann (GER) 4:23.09
    9. Adam Wagner (CZE) 4:23.95
    10. Remi Thirion (FRA) 4:25.61

    All of top ten riders except Hill were riding in dry conditions. Matti was 1.6s quicker than Hill and Peaty had practically the same time as Hill! And Peaty and Lehikoinen were among the top guys at the moment so if we put this into perspective it would look like Brosnan or Hart or Minnar would ride MSA in dry conditions and Gwinn would be equal or just little behind in wet.

  • bizutch

    8/7/2017 9:12 AM

    So all the runs are pretty nuts when you think about it. I think this race turned out great b/c Gwin got to race the top 10 guys in the SAME CONDITIONS with THE ENTIRE SERIES ON THE LINE. I was just happy the top 10 all raced the same track and conditions, so a fair fight finally.
    Kovarik still has the record of largest margin, so that is beastly and few young riders realize now, but he was the single most untouchable DH racer of his time. His bikes just couldn't stay together. If all technology had been as equal then as now, I have NO doubt he'd have the most insane win streak in history.

    Hills run at Champerey still sticks with me as the most amazing (FYI to the one guy, he finished 3rd. Did not win the race, just the DAY). The reason is because the top guys played the rain game and qualified SLOW intentionally to miss the rain. Peat, Matti, GM, etc all raced before the rain!!! Hill qualified 1st & came down with The Alien and a few others in a downpour on a brand new, RAW track, fell ( I think twice) and still beat ALL his peers except Peaty & Matti. Nothing else can touch that.
    Hart's race was the greatest play by play of all time, but Champerey fixed a LOT of the things about that track that made it almost impossible to ride when Hill won. I mean, when Hill won...Gee and others were intentionally riding FLATS for the first time in years. The Alien was riding flats for crying out loud.

  • thom9719

    8/7/2017 9:04 AM

    Sam in Champery in '07 does it for me. His run was on such a different level than everyone else. He ended up 3rd, with a crash, in conditions that the rest of the field couldn't handle. 1 second back, with a crash in those conditions still blows my mind.

  • jimmypop

    8/7/2017 8:30 AM

    What about Kovarik's Ft. William win by over 14 seconds in 2004? Or Palmer in Cairns '96? Or Palmer's famous crash on the pavement at Worlds?

  • BrianBuell

    8/6/2017 9:49 PM

    I cannot call this the greatest run of all time, however the tight line choice and commitment was amazing at such high speeds in varying conditions. From personal experience, St Anne is a blast to ride in wet conditions, the track allows for control and confidence. Gwin does such a phenomenal job of making it look easy, if you watch the YT team video Neko explains how crafty he is with line choice. Visibly Gwin was on another level, but not much different than Hart, whereas Hill in 2008 was absolutely in another galaxy before falling at World Champs in Val Di Sole. Hill and Hart both made their Champery winning runs look as if they were doing it in the dry compared to the sheer catastrophic effects it took on the rest of the field. Other rides that stand out, PEATY winning 2009 World Champs, just such a flawless run, Greg and Stevie Smith in 2013...and then Gwin tossing a chain in 2015, too many amazing performances, can't possibly quantify a greatest run of all time. This is why this sport is so amazing!


    8/6/2017 6:41 PM

    Definitely one of the best runs in the history of the sport! While Danny's run was smooth and playful Gwin simply attacked like it was dry. So hard to compare them. His rear tire less run was sick too! Nico had some sick runs/10 + second victories in the 90's too. Whether it was the best run of all time doesn't really matter, it was insane and just adds to Gwin's legend!

  • Alex1

    8/6/2017 2:13 PM

    AG is simply phenomenal. I am witnessing a legend in his time. Congrats on an unbelievable win!

  • DHsteeze

    8/6/2017 2:09 PM

    never forget sam hill 2008 worlds heartbreaking when he crashed thatll always be a classic for me he was KILLINGG IT before he went down.

  • Bigburd

    8/7/2017 11:22 PM

    Even though he crashed I still class that as the greatest run of all time, He looked like he was in fast forwards, never seen anyone look that much faster than the rest before.

  • andrew.macnaughton

    8/6/2017 1:02 PM

    That manual after the stevie smith drop (@1:06) to keep out of that hole is fucking mental. Shows just the insane level of talent, where lots were just holding on, he was still destroying...

  • BrianBuell

    8/6/2017 9:16 PM

    I caught that on the reply and had to watch it again to comprehend what he had just done!

  • supermachete

    8/6/2017 8:42 AM

    All great out-of-nowhere wins. But nothing tops the pressure-cooker win of Minnaar at home in 2013.

  • fabdemaere

    8/6/2017 2:30 PM

    Not sure why people are downvoting you (although, as a Mick Hannah superfan: f*ck you). "Greatest run of all time" is subjective and depends on what people enjoy. Some like watching underdogs win, some like watching guys win in their own country, some like seeing riders on the ragged edge, or incredibly smooth, or very creative,...
    If you enjoy great acts of patriotism, a robot-like ability to perform under pressure, and asperger-level precision, Greg's run is pretty up there in terms of greatest runs ever.

  • Verbl Kint

    8/7/2017 8:31 AM

    His dad was also in intensive care at the time, a small detail that, when put in perspective, brings that World Champs win added luster.

  • Eisma

    8/6/2017 7:49 AM

    Gwins Windham run 2015 was sick, probably not the best but 3.5 seconds up on a two and a half minute track was pretty cool to watch.

  • Mcham83

    8/6/2017 7:28 AM

    These best runs ever always forget Kovarik at ft William in 2002. Over 14 seconds!

  • Gemmaflybeta

    8/6/2017 6:54 AM

    They're all worthy, for me it's hart's champery run, the legendary commentary adds to it and his margin of victory, age, and fact that its world champs in conditions as gnarly as anything I've ever seen (maybe with exception of lourdes this year, that was bonkers) puts it over the top. But again they're all beautes.

  • nehuen93

    8/6/2017 10:31 AM

    And that whip!

  • ComradeDave

    8/6/2017 6:46 AM

    Gotta say Hills run is the best just because of the Champery track

  • Capricorn

    8/6/2017 6:53 AM

    he has two absolutely mindblowing runs: Champery in the wet, and val di sole and that corner.
    And of course, there's Danny Hart. Now that was a lesson in riding in the slop,and the margin he put into the rest of the field while throwing out massive whips for the shits & giggles. Gwins chainless win was cool I guess, but it wasn't anything earthshattering like Hill and Harts best moments on track. Gwin is more a journeyman compared to the artists like Hart and Hill

  • ned249

    8/6/2017 8:53 AM

    "Gwin is more a journeyman compared to the artists like Hart and Hill"

    Serious statement? WTF

  • Capricorn

    8/6/2017 9:09 AM

    hahaha Why The Face! there's always one that overreacts to an opinion.

  • ned249

    8/6/2017 4:17 PM

    2 for 2

  • Fred Trampler

    8/7/2017 12:02 AM


  • Willbert42

    8/6/2017 5:48 AM

    Just gonna throw this out there, Gwin's Val Di Sol run in 2012 was up there.

  • krisrayner

    8/6/2017 7:40 AM

    All of these runs are amazing, but I gotta say the chainless one tops them for me. Nobody thought it was going to be possible. There's been several great muddy runs to take the win, but I doubt if there will ever be another chainless win at a WC.

  • Kramz

    8/6/2017 3:55 AM

    They used to televise so much great stuff compared to now. Now it's like, "downy mom and her 30 kids hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrr".

  • Fred Trampler

    8/6/2017 5:46 AM


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