Canada hasn’t had a elite women’s downhill mountain bike world champion since Cindy Devine won the rainbow stripes the first year of the mountain bike world championships in 1990. Miranda Miller of Squamish, B.C. changed that on Sunday storming to victory in Cairns, Australia.

Miller is a first year professional riding with the Specialized Gravity team. She left everything she had out on the course pedalling hard at every opportunity to set the fastest time which could not be bested by any of the following six riders.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Miller said following the biggest win of her career. “I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I feel like I had some luck on my side, but I’ll take it. It’s pretty cool. I’m sure in a couple of days it will feel a bit different. I thought Tahnee [Seagrave] was going to knock me out. But I had some luck on my side for sure.”

Miller set the days benchmark when she unseated Danielle Beecroft by 10 seconds to take over the hotseat which she never gave up with Emilie Siegenthaler, Marine Cabirou and Eleonora Farina all setting fast times.

Tahnee Seagrave who won the final two rounds of the World Cup was fast over the first part of the course but a crash in the second half took her out of contention.

Local favourite Tracey Hannah did well to put the pressure on taking aggressive lines through the rock garden but also took a tumble. Hannah would finish third after going 5 seconds faster than Miller at the first split.

“When Myriam (Nicole) came down I thought ‘Oh, this is real’. For Canada, we haven’t had a [downhill] medal since Stevie [Smith, 2013] and Claire [Buchar, 2011], so it is cool,” Miller said. “We got a medal in the Junior XC as well, so it’s great for Canada.”

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