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Aaron Gwin's Secret Exposed!

 

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We are well into the 21st Century. We thought by now we would be driving flying cars, taking recreational space travel, and working a 12 hour week from a chaise longue, assisted by a talking robot that is also a coffee machine.

The reality is somewhat less impressive, but there are things that make us go “yup. we are living in the space age”.

One is being able to summon up the internet on the jumbotron, using a remote the size of a small comb, to watch the World Cup mountain bike races. There is no need to programme a complicated recording device. You can watch it whenever you like. The presenters know what they are talking about, the coverage is slick, and if you ignore the giant logos on literally every inorganic object in view, there are no ads. You can even watch it live.

Yesterday morning’s effort was as good as it gets: a stacked field of tightly ranked qualifiers, a gnarly course, and at least 8 cameras.

A race like this has always amazed us: three and a half minutes of chaotic pinballing down a steep and treacherous race track where every rider has a bad moment or two, visible to the armchair observer, and no doubt a few more that only the rider was aware of. At the finish line the riders are separated by a tenth of a second here, a half second there.

Then the last guy lines up in the start house, the fastest qualifier, Aaron Gwin. As he takes his first pedal stroke his chain snaps.

Setting aside for a moment the whys and wherefores of a showroom condition bike maintained by a fulltime mechanic snapping a chain, you would think it would all be over..

But no! He appears to coast down the course, pumping for speed and braking as little as he can, and by the first speed trap he is only a poofteenth off the pace. Bearing in mind that the commentators have mentioned the “pedally head wind straight about 30 seconds long” over and over, it would seem impossible that he would arrive at the second time check still in touch.

But he does.

And then, to top it off, he crosses the finish line with the win.

So. Aaron Gwin can beat everybody else without pedalling.

But its the 21st century. The technology exists to make pedalling irrelevant. Did the UCI boffins check his bike for a hidden motor?

We don’t think they need bother. Here is what we think he used, and it has been around since the sixties.

Here is how he did it. Yeah the bike had no chain, but it was two-wheel drive, and he still had power on the front wheel. Obvious. Here is how he did it. Yeah the bike had no chain, but it was two-wheel drive, and he still had power on the front wheel. Obvious.