This weekend saw the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup travel across the pond to Mont Sainte Anne in Canada for the first and only stage of this year’s World Cup held outside Europe. Danny came into the weekend full of confidence after some brilliant previous results including two 3rd place finishes in the last two consecutive World Cup races! With the course set up dry and quick, Danny was looking to repeat his heroics from last year’s World Cup where he won on this very same course! He quickly showed how comfortable he is on the Canadian mountain finishing 2nd in a quick timed practice on Thursday, completing the course only one second behind 1st placed Loic Bruni. With Danny’s confidence building from race to race this season, he was certainly in the mood for success this weekend and he brought that mood into qualifying on Saturday! Danny ripped down the dry and gnarly course to qualify in 4th place for Sunday’s race, just 3 seconds behind top qualifier and this year’s stand out rider, Aaron Gwin! Onto Race day and with the weather coming, it took the course from a fast, dry course into a wet, tricky and slippery course!! The early lead was taken by Australian Dean Lucas, who was in the Hot seat right up until the final riders came down the mountain! Danny, who has previously won in such terrible conditions, came out aggressively and was immediately taking time off the current leader! Danny was ahead all the way until the final sector, where he just came up short of the leader’s time! An unbelievable run and 3rd place from the World Champ given the conditions!! Fastest qualifier then smashed the course and the leaders time to take the win…. Again! Danny’s 3rd place finish moves him up to 4th in the overall World Cup Standing with one race to go in Val De Sole, Italy at the end of August!
With 5 races done and only 2 left to go in this year’s Down Hill world cup this weekend’s race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland could be the pivotal moment for many in the 2017 campaign. For a track that is located within a Bike Park the course was surprisingly technical. This was largely due to significant recent rain fall washing away some of the dirt tracks exposing more rocks and creating ‘problems’ or ‘new lines’ depending on how riders were able to cope with what was taped out in front of them. Practise provided numerous crashes as the riders tried to decide on the best route down and no-one escaped without incident either on themselves or their bike. WD-40 Athlete Danny Hart remaining on his familiar 27.5” wheeled bike qualified in 6th, proving his speed and ability on this track where he won last time around. Race day and Danny was able to put a run together that took over a second off the fastest time of the day and he assumed his now regular stint in the hot seat as event leader. The question as always with the remaining handful of athletes at the top of the hill was whether he would remain there. Eventually the greatest of all time Greg Minaar managed to post fastest time of the day with last week’s winner Troy Brosnan stealing second. Greg Minaar has now won 21 World Cups – incredible. Aaron Gwin who was last man down after qualifying 1st was on a scorcher of a run until he went too hard into a rock garden and punctured his rear wheel destroying all chances of a win, or a podium any points he could salvage by simply getting down could prove significant as we arrive at the business end of the season. Danny now moves up to 7th overall in the championship standings even after his unlucky start to the year – testimony indeed to his world class race craft. The series now moves on to Monte St Anne in Canada taking place on the weekend of the 5th & 6th of August. #WD40BIKE
To date, Danny Hart’s season hasn’t been as smooth as he would have liked. One of the affected elite as Rd1 in Lourdes as the weather turned, a victim of the dreaded wood section at Rd2 in Fort William and an unusual mechanical issue 3 metres into his run at Rd3 when his chain snapped in Leogang. Things needed to change as the world cup series rolled into Val Nord Andorra for Rd4. For Rd 4 Danny had elected to return to the frame set up he used in 2016 to blistering effect. The decision paid off. Danny Qualified in 6th similar to his efforts here last year, evidently on the pace and at the sharp end of the race. The Val Nord track is one of the steepest on the planet and one of the most technical. Danny has always been good here, but the level of the opposition and the options of lines all the way down the mountain make this a consistently hard race to call. Race day and times came tumbling down as the pace and level increased, the occupant of the hot seat – the chair that the current leader takes in front of the crowd changed until the ‘wow times’ times began to emerge. Enter Danny Hart – WOW?! Danny has a reputation for putting it all on the line when it’s race time and for many Danny’s commitment, his creative line choice & pure on the limit speed was the run of the weekend. Danny finished his run taking ne less than 5 seconds off the current lead time – WOW?! The remaining few wound their way down the Val Nord course and at the close of play Troy Brosnan won from the G.O.A.T Greg Minaar in 2nd with Danny Hart in 3rd. Andorra delivered a welcome return to the results sheet for Danny who has always been in form this year and at pace but desperately unlucky on race day. Onto Lenzerheide in Switzerland on the 7th – 9th July for Rd5.
Tough weekend ends in disappointment for Danny Hart WD-40 Athlete Danny Hart like many others rolled into this weekend’s race keen to dominate and provide the world with a true display of his speed and form after the farce of Round 1 in Lourdes when the worlds fasted men were punished by a rapid change in weather conditions. This year a few course changes had been made. A new fast flowing section mid-way down caused no issue, but the infamous woods section lower down the course – this would be where the race was won or lost. To win a rider would need to fully commit, the risk versus reward scenario was very much in play – you could play it safe and bank some championship points, but in doing so you would be saying goodbye to the win. If a rider before you crashed or slid through, then your chances changed every time a rider went before you. Danny was one of the riders who fully committed but unfortunately came to blows with the course falling heavily over the bars. Destroying all chances of a win and even a top 20 position. Danny however wasn’t alone with many riders not even making it through the woods when they had decided to play safe. To put this into some sort of context the top 5 literally reflected the number of people who managed to get through the woods – it was carnage! But that’s the risk of racing – until his crash Danny was several seconds faster than the fastest time of the day. It’s clear that Danny is still in blistering form but the luck has not come his way yet. Onwards to Leogang in Austria for round 3 on the 10th & 11th of June. Results 1st – Greg Minaar 2nd – Marcelo Gutierrez 3rd – Jack Moir 59th– Danny Hart
After the 7 months of ‘off season’ the mountainbike world waited in feverish anticipation for Rd 1 of this year’s UCI Downhill World Cup which took place in Lourdes, France. Qualifying was sensational with 3 of the top 6 spots taken by riders aboard the new 29” wheel size machines in development for 2017. Expect this to be the new standard by the time we arrive at Rd 2 in Fort William, Scotland in June. Race Day – This was the most hyped up race in years, but, the showdown, the reveal, the fight we all wanted to see amongst the world’s fastest, never materialised. The hill, the conditions, the opportunities available, were not the same for all. As the process dictates, the fastest qualifiers come down the hill last. Ordinarily this guarantees, the amazing spectacle we have come to know and love, with the thousands of a second becoming more crucial as the afternoon rolls on. Not wanting to take anything away from Frenchman Alexandre Foyolle’s win, it was spectacular, it had commitment that was unmatched in dry conditions and was within 0.1 seconds of the fastest qualifying time 24 hours before. But the storm came in early, the wind picked up to gusts of 140kmh, the clouds descended and the rain came, just as the fastest men started their runs. For a season opening event with so much expectation, the fans, the teams, even the riders themselves we were all robbed of ‘what might have been’. In the end WD-40’s Danny Hart crashed near the bottom of the course and finished 76th. In the end WD-40’s Danny Hart crashed near the bottom of the course and finished 76th. Not a fair reflection of the skill he rode with, or the form he was in. (4th in Saturday’s qualifying). The conditions were abysmal – the riding was exceptional – yet the result will never show the bravery he displayed. With the weather playing such a big part in proceedings – the quote from many was “With what happened with the weather here today – Rd2 effectively becomes Rd1.” So, on to Fort William and Rd2 on the 3rd & 4th of June, that’s when we’ll get our true 1st race of the year. #WD40Bike 1st Alexandre Foyolle 2nd Mark Wallace 3rd Marcello Gutierrez 76th Danny Hart – (In the Rain)
Danny Hart is the 2016 World Downhill Champion! In racing they say confidence breeds confidence, and Danny’s perfect end of season form in the world cup championship couldn’t have been better. Winning the last 3 events back to back, the next stop for the selected few (chosen by their national governing bodies to represent their country) was the World Championships in Val di Sole. The World Championships is a one day affair – the pinnacle of the season. 1 shot at glory, all or nothing. The question on everyone’s lips was – could Danny Hart really do 4 for 4? Val di Sole has a reputation for being hard, but this? This was without doubt the toughest race track of all time. Defending Champion Loic Bruni looked fast in Sunday’s morning practise sessions but a puncture in his race run ended his hopes of a 2nd consecutive stint in the coveted rainbow jersey. Team mate and fellow Brit Laurie Greenland set the day’s fastest time early on, a staggering 3 seconds faster than Saturdays best timed practise result from Danny Hart and as the riders came down one by one it slowly sank in that last year’s junior world champion could be about to write history and become this year’s elite men’s world champion. 1 by 1 the riders were coming down the mountain but all of their time splits were red – until Danny Hart left the start hut and showed the world what he and he alone, is capable of. Danny’s run was everything, awe inspiring, creative, fast, (damned fast) and yet somehow completely in control – even inventive with the rapidly deteriorating course creating never before seen problems on track. A sublime demonstration of talent & skill, Danny crossed the line 2.97 seconds faster than the best of the rest of the world in a league of his own, without a doubt as the most deserving winner of the World Championship Honours for 2016. As you can imagine we are delighted to have been part of this season and to have supported Danny with our products. Congratulations Danny Hart – 2016 World Champion! #wd40bike
Danny Hart wins in Andorra (AGAIN!) Making it 3 on the bounce for the Redcar Rocket! After a hard week of dry, sunny and very dusty practise at the Val Norde venue high in the Pyrenees Mountains. Saturday was race day, and it delivered a sensational turn of events as the final round of the World Cup Series unfolded. Aaron Gwin was always the bookies favourite for the 2016 season delivering the most consistent results after dominating the race scene for the last few years. Following his 2nd place qualification on Friday all Aaron had to do was roll down the hill in 80th position or better and the championship was his. Business as usual then on race day, until, the heavens opened… The dust had become so thick and deep that most of the top runners were already using mud tyres to hold any chance of maintaining grip, but for the last hour of racing, mud tyres were a necessity as conditions deteriorated and the heavens truly opened. The later the riders were the harder the conditions would be – making the fastest runners victims of their own success. A moment caught on the TV coverage, pre-race runs said it all. A zoom in on Danny warming up showed a smiling man – who would bet against him in the mud. Onto the hill and Danny delivered a truly masterful display of bike handling that was of genius level. Destroying the previous fastest time by nearly 3 second (that time was set by the worlds winningest world cup rider and multiple world champion Greg Minaar). The crowds erupted and now the pressure sat with the few remaining riders left at the start hut. With conditions deteriorating further, would anyone come close to matching Danny’s time? With Gwinn 69th at split 2 suddenly there was even a small glimmer of the overall, but that fairy tale was not to be, Gwinn finished a smart riders 55th to take the overall. Danny has hit the form of his life as the season has continued. He suggested a 3 for 3 back in Mont Sainte Anne heading into Andorra, now he’s delivered on that. On Saturday, as he fielded the media questions from within the winner’s enclosure, Danny stated “Why stop here?” The next race for the chosen few is the World Championships in Val di Sole Italy on the 11th of September. And a fourth win on the bounce could provide the most prestigious result of them all…
Amazing Victory For Danny Hart In Mont Sainte Anne! Danny Hart demonstrates world class Downhill MTB skills! WD40 sponsored athlete Danny Hart won again at the weekend on what was one of the fastest downhill Mountain bike races in recent history, with speeds of 70kmh the benchmark for the speed trap down the side of the famous Mont Sainte Anne track in Canada. World Champion Loic Bruni had stamped his authority on the event very early on during race day finals with a blistering run of 4:00:792. Setting the bar very high on what is often referred to as the roughest track on the world cup circuit, and showing that his recent 4 months away from racing because of injury have done nothing to slow the Frenchman down. Danny Hart had qualified in 2nd and it wasn’t until the ‘Redcar Rocket’s’ run down the Canadian mountain that Loic Bruni had to reluctantly get up out of the hot seat. Danny’s run left everything on the mountain with new lines and incredible riding that saw him set new fastest sectors all the way down the hillside. Danny’s sub 4 minute finishing time of 3:59:754 set the fastest time of the weekend and left only American rider Aaron Gwin as a threat to Danny’s top step finishing position on the podium. Unfortunately Aaron simply couldn’t match the perfect run of Danny Hart. Gwin posted a time of 4:00:423, quicker than Bruni securing 2nd place but not as fast as WD40 BIKE’s Danny Hart. Danny Hart has now won the last 2 world cup races of the year and on current form looks like he’ll be challenging for another great result when the Mountain bike world cup championship visits Val Nord in Andorra on the 3rd and 4th September. Throughout 2016 Danny Hart who has been using WD40 BIKE products to clean and care for his bike. Our WD40 BIKE chain lubes have been proven to reduce lost watts and provide lubrication that outperforms the competition. See the range of WD40 BIKE products here.