EWS Video: 2017 Full Season Recap

Watch the 2017 Enduro World Series season recap.

Want more 2017 EWS highlights?

Sam Hill – top step of the Men’s overall 2017 Enduro World Series podium. Photo: Matthew DeLorme

Watch Sam Hill’s 2017 Enduro World Series journey here.

Geek out with our bike checks with Aussie riders racing Whistler’s EWS, here.

James ‘Cannonball’ Hall was the darkhorse of Aussie enduro pinners this year, privateering to 55th overall in his first EWS season. We caught up with him before Finale – check out our interview and his Whistler race video here.

Cannonball in Finale. Photo: Ross Bell
The final stage of a big season for Sydney’s James Hall. Photo: Ross Bell

EWS Video: Sam Hill – A Legend’s Journey

The dust has just about settled on Sam Hill’s dream finish to this year’s Enduro World Series, so what better time to share the highlights of his journey to championship victory! Sam Hill: A legend’s journey is befitting of a man who many counted out as a competitive racer. It features riding that beggars belief in parts, with Sam throwing his bike, body and flat pedals around the course like we wish we could understand – let alone try ourselves.


Of course, you want more. Watch Nukeproof’s behind the scenes video of Sam’s race in Finale Ligure, here.

Watch the full highlights video from the EWS finale in Finale, here.

EWS Finale Ligure: Full Highlights Video

After extending his overall lead in the series in Whistler, Sam Hill came to Finale with one thing on his mind, the 2017 Enduro World Championship. Sit back, relax and watch 100km of intensely close enduro racing over seven stages and two days in the 20-minute video highlights.


Don’t want it to be over? Watch Nukeproof’s behind the scenes video of Sam Hill’s race in Finale, here.

Cairns World Champs – Pit Walk Randoms

The downhill race track is also a little different to what riders were racing all season, with a steep and rocky start that flattens out toward the finish. That calls for some interesting tech to give the riders the best setup possible.

With one quick wander about the pits, we saw some seriously cool stuff, have a look here.

Jack Moir with the only carbon 29er from Intense. It’s a monster of a bike, he’s a lanky fellow, hence the tall front end.
The tight and compact JS Tuned linkage sits right down low in the bikes chassis.
Lukas Flukiger’s BMC really grabbed our attention with so many sweet little mods and details to point out.
A little weight taped to the rim opposite the valve, that’s a small little detail if there was one.
Carbon KS dropper post.
Connor Fearon’s top tube.
Danni Beecroft so stoked with the paint job from Pivot.

So prototypo. A typo, or a prototype?

Wyn Masters happily dialing in his GT with ACDC album covers stickered over his frame.
Someone help Patti Butler out, he’s in need of a bottle of shampoo.
The downhill bike everyone is talking about, well, it’s not even a downhill bike.
Sam Hill brought both his DH bike and enduro bike to Cairns but has decided on the latter, a small bike for this course for sure. His reasoning was simply that he’s not ridden his DH bike since the Fort William World Cup where he raced to qualify for the World Champs, and the EWS series has tracks far steeper and more technical than this DH track, though not quite as fast you’d have to think. The Nukeproof has a 180mm RockShox Lyrik up the front and the only change from his EWS setup is a DH 7-speed drivetrain.
Marcelo Gutierrez on the Giant Glory.
A FOX shock with remote lockout going onto Brook Macdonalds GT.
Iron Maiden album covers for the Kiwi.
Neko Mulally’s YT Tues is a real beauty, the finish is sublime.

EWS Whistler: Aussie’s Bike Checks

You can read our race recap and all the Aussie’s results, here.

The full highlights video is well worth watching too, which can be found here.


Sam Hill – Prototype Carbon Nukeproof Mega

Representing lucky number 13 with an amazing EWS season so far, including 2nd in Whistler which extended his overall lead. No major changes to his bike from Aus, riding the same setup year round. Oh yeah, flat pedals!
SRAM XO1 Eagle 1×12 drivetrain with some extra zip ties for cable security. Not only a prototype frame, but even prototype Mavic tyres!

Jared Graves – Specialized Enduro

Graves chose to make the switch from the Stumpy to the Enduro and 29 hoops to deal with the extra gnar Whistler has to offer. Graves is also running CushCore tyre inserts.
Magura MT7 brakes with 203mm rotors. Some more creative zip tie cable guiding. Specialized Butcher tyres front and rear.
Not being locked into a drivetrain sponsor means Graves can run what he wants. He opted for a full bitsa: SRAM XO crankset with Stages power meter, MRP chain guide, Shimano XTR mechanical derailleur, on a 10-42 11 speed SRAM cassette. Sadly, in stage one Graves dropped his chain, which later ripped his derailleur off, ending his race.

Josh Carlson – Giant Reign

Josh is pretty much local calling the Sea to Sky corridor home for many years; Josh is no stranger to what the day has in stall. After racing various Reign prototypes earlier in the season, he’s now on the new production carbon Reign. Neat frame bag for spares.

Chris Panozzo – Santa Cruz High Tower LT

The High Tower LT is a brand new bike for Chris, testing his big wheel skills. He’s also beefed up the fork to 160mm and 203mm rotors front and rear.
Spares at the ready. We’re devastated for Chris that a mechanical took him out of the race in stage one.

James Hall – Pivot Switchblade

The EWS dark horse, Cannonball opted for the relatively short travel Switchblade from Pivot, with 29er wheel set up. This bike has seen him through every EWS round bar Millau, and saw him finish in 36th in Whistler.

See James warming up on the Whistler trails and talking about his season so far, here.

Cannonball had his suspension serviced at Dunbar Cycles in Vancouver before coming to Whistler. They also bumped his fork up 10mm to 160mm. Same 2.5″ front tyre as Panozzo.

Josh Button – Kona Process 153

Competing in nearly every race here at Crankworx, the EWS is just day one for J Butt. Maxxis Minions with DD protection, DHF front and DHR II rear.
A Vivid Air shock has Button’s Process ready for anything Whistler throws at him. Spares taped on for easy access. Definitely no room to fit a bottle in this compact frame.

Jeremy Hamilton – Rocky Mountain Slayer

Whistler has been Jeremy’s base camp in between EWS Aspens and Crankworx. He’s been doing his homework of the trails from peak to valley. Running a CushCore in the rear as it improves the chatter of the wheel from rock deflection and provides the ability to run lower pressures.

Shane Gayton – Santa Cruz Bronson

Whistler local Shane knows most of the trails in the valley and isn’t afraid of a big day pedalling.
More and more coil shocks about this year

Jordan Prochyra – Giant Reign

From racing World Cups in Europe to Mont Sainte Anne, then racing EWS the next weekend, Jordan will be conditioned and ready for the long stages in Whistler.

Jackson Davis – Nukeproof Mega

Coming in hot to Whistler to back up his Mega Avalanche epic with his first EWS.
180mm XT stoppers. Jackson is part of the VANZACS crew. Check out their videos on YouTube.

David Maud – Specialized Enduro

Whistler Local well aware of the task ahead. His 27.5 Enduro is top notch with SRAM XX1 Eagle, and of course his spares are stashed in the SWAT compartment in the downtube.

Murray Stephens – Specialized Enduro

Horns up, ready to rock and roll. Murray’s 29er Enduro has a SAR coil and Absolute Black oval ring and chain guide.

Conor McFarlane – Intense Tracer

Our brother across the ditch having a warm up pedal before a big week competing throughout the rest of Crankworx.

Leonie Picton – Live Hail

No stranger to the World Enduro, Leonie is happy to be racing such a huge event right in her backyard. After some bad luck with flat tires in the past, Leonie has taken no chances with DH tires front and rear.
Fubars and saddle from Whistler based brand, Chromag.

Shelly Flood – Kona Process 134

A slightly shorter travel bike than fellow team mates on Processes but maybe she and Cannonball know something we don’t know.
Relatively short rear travel, but full size rotors to get some control back.

Tegan Molloy – Kona Process 153

Still getting her confidence back after a shoulder injury, Tegan says she’s strong and ready for racing.

Under 21 Men

Samuel Rubery – Giant Reign

U21 making it across to the northern hemisphere, escaping winter to see what a Whistler Crankzilla was all about. Sam finished in 22nd, just 5 minutes off the winning pace.

Blake Pearce – Giant Reign

Whistler Crankworx isn’t a bad destination for your first trip out of Australia. Blake finished two places, or 21 seconds, behind Sam.

Amateur Men

Josh Lyons – Specialized Enduro

Living just down the road in Squamish, Josh has had plenty of time over the years to become conditioned to any trail the EWS have to offer.

Shaun Fry – Yeti SB6

Shaun took a break from managing Arbutus Routes, a local MTB tour company, to race his home town trails.

EWS Highlights Video: Round 6 Aspen

The Pro Women’s race saw Cecile Ravanel take a convincing win and cement her series lead, however, the men’s was the closest of the season so far with less than 9 seconds separating the podium. Sam Hill started strong by winning the first stage and maintained his form to secure his first EWS win, which sees him now ranked 1st overall with two rounds to go. Fellow Aussie, Jared Graves, also started strong, placing 2nd in stage one. He managed to finish in front of Hill in two stages including winning stage four, the longest of the race, however, Belgium’s Martin Maes squeezed into 2nd with a strong final stage seeing Graves round out the podium.

EWS: Round 6 Aspen Snowmass Results

Jared Graves speeds through the vegetation on stage 1. He got off to a solid start with a 2nd place but then suffered a couple of crashes

Round six of the Enduro World Series, the Yeti Cycles Big Mountain Enduro presented by Shimano Aspen Snowmass, will go down as one of the closest fought races in EWS history.

Sam Hill on his way to the stage 1 win. He then lost time on stage 2 and finished day 1 in 2nd position.
Richie Rude railing!

After four stages and almost 70 km of trail, Jared Graves (Specialized Racing) led Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) by just 0:00.32, but in the end the race no one could hold off Hill as he claimed the last two stages to win the race. Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) fought back to take second place, with Graves finishing in third. Hill now leads the series rankings by 40 points, with Adrien Dailly (Lapierre) in second and Greg Callaghan (Cube Action Team) in third.

Jared Graves finds his form again and was in contention for the win all weekend but eventually ended up 3rd only 8 seconds off the win.
Martin Maes finished day 1 0.16 seconds behind Hill, and less than 9 seconds behind Richie Rude.

Speaking after the race, Sam said: “It was awesome, six amazing stages here in Colorado and I just had a good time and tried to stay as consistent as I could. I hadn’t raced an EWS here before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect and I wouldn’t have expected to win here. My goal now is to try and win this thing at the end of the year.”

In the women’s race Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) took the first stage of the race, but no one could stop Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) who went on to win three stages and win the race by over 47 seconds. Casey Brown’s (Trek Factory Enduro Racing Team) strong performance over both days saw her clinch third place. Ravanel cements her lead in the overall rankings, whilst Winton moves up to second place and Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) moves back to third.

Isabeau Courderier started the day off with a win on stage 1.

Cecile said: “I liked the trails a lot better than last year, much steeper and more natural and I enjoyed being here. I hope to keep going like this for the rest of the year and take the overall series win.”

Cecile charged all weekend and took the win.

In the U21 men Killian Callaghan’s lead in the series rankings was bolstered by another win, with Duncan Nason of the USA in second and Max Leyson in third. In the U21 women it was Samantha Soranio who won every stage, Lia Westermann came second and Abigale Lawton third.

Karim Amour (BH-Miranda Racing Team) continued his winning streak to claim another win in Masters Men, Brian Lopes came second and Mike West third.

Team of the day was Rocky Mountain Urge bp, which leaves them second in the overall rankings behind Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team, with Canyon Factory Enduro Team in third.

Jerome Clementz finished just outside the top 10 and sits in 5th overall

The series returns in two weeks for round seven, the Crankworx Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized.

Pro Men:

1. Sam Hill (AUS): 46:04.34
2. Martin Maes: 46:08.23 (+0:03.89)
3. Jared Graves (AUS): 46:12.55 (+0:08.21)
4. Damien Oton: 46:34.94 (+0:30.60)
5. Jesse Melamed: 46:35.82 (+0:31.48 )
6. Adrien Dailly: 46:41.67 (+0:37.33)
7. Francois Bailly-Maitre: 46:48.69 (+0:44.35)
8. Remi Gauvin: 46:50.08 (+0:45.74)
9. Curtis Keene: 46:50.25 (+0:45.91)
10. Florian Nicolai: 46:52.59 (+0:48.25)

25. Josh Carlson (AUS)
63. James Hall (AUS)
67. David Maud (AUS)
70. Mark Frendo (AUS)
82. Ryan Corless (AUS)
90. Lucas Pitt (AUS)
94. Murray Stephens (AUS)
DNF. Chris Panozzo (AUS)
Less than 9 seconds separated the Aussies, Sam Hill and Jared Graves.

Pro Women:

1. Cecile Ravanel: 51:21.30
2. Isabeau Courdurier: 52:08.69 (+0:47.39)
3. Casey Brown: 52:11.31 (+0:50.01)
4. Anita Gehrig: 52:31.28 (+1:09.98 )
5. Katy Winton: 52:32.34 (+1:11.04)
6. Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau: 52:44.98 (+1:23.68 )
7. Noga Korem: 53:05.96 (+1:44.66)
8. Ines Thoma: 53:49.09 (+2:27.79)
9. Carolin Gehrig: 54:05.57 (+2:44.27)
10. Raewynn Morrison: 54:20.99 (+2:59.69)

26. Leonie Picton (AUS)
Series leader and round winner.

Full results from Round 6 can be found here.

EWS: Round 5 Video & Aussie Wrap Up

After a consistent season of top 5 finishes including a 2nd at Ireland’s Round 4, Australia’s Sam Hill came to Millau just 20 points behind number 1 ranked Greg Callaghan. Hill had yet another strong race, especially on day two. After a 5th place in Stage 6, the three-time downhill world champ was a favourite for the shortest stage of the race; however, a crash in a greasy left-hander saw him finish Stage 7 five seconds off the pace in 6th. He pulled it all together to take the win in Stage 8 though his two stages outside the top 20 saw local Frenchman, Adrien Dailly, win his second consecutive round and bunny hop Hill in the rankings to 1st overall.

Cecile Ravanel continued her domination in the Pro Women’s category by winning five of the nine stages, cementing her series lead made up of four round wins and a 2nd in Derby.

With a lot of fast Frenchies, 12 in the top 20 Pro Men, the next fastest Aussies were Josh Carlson in 63rd and Australian Enduro National Champ Chris Panozzo, 67th. Stage 1 saw Jared Graves slam his left arm into a rock and unable to continue to Stage 2. Despite the DNF, he’s ranked 14th overall and will be back for Round 6.

“I tucked my front end and sent the left side of my body into slab rock. Resulting in a loss of feeling in my left arm… this will only keep me off my bike for a few days and you better believe I’ll be hitting the next EWS in Aspen in full form and motivation higher than ever!” – Jared Graves, Specialized Racing Team

The UK’s Bex Baraona had a tough time in the stage 8 rock garden, this wasn’t enough to prevent her from finishing 8th overall.

With three rounds to go, there are still a lot of possible shifts in the overall rankings. Current Australian Downhill National Champ, Jack Moir, has only raced the first two EWS rounds due to his Downhill World Cup focus, but his top 10 results from Rotorua and Derby see him sitting in 27th. Panozzo’s three rounds see him in 47th and Carlson, who finished 10th in the 2016 EWS, is now a father of two and thus missed the first two rounds and is in 50th overall. World Cup downhiller Connor Fearon’s 20th in Rotorua has him 62nd and Flow favourite, James Hall, is in 65th after a 32nd in Derby and a few other respectable finishes.

Adrien Dailly was on the charge from the start winning the first stage and finishing the round in 1st overall

After only racing the first two rounds, Shelly Flood is the top-ranked Aussie woman in 28th overall and Philippa Norton is close in 33rd. Rowena Fry’s top 10 in Derby sees her in 37th.

The EWS categorises Juniors as Under 21, and as always there are some Aussies to keep an eye on. Blake Pearce has only raced Round 2 in Derby, but his 2nd place there has him rounding out the top 20 overall. Mt Beauty’s Ben McIlroy took the win ahead of Pearce in Derby and his 12th in Rotorua sees him in an impressive 12th overall. As Panozzo’s protege and reigning Enduro Junior National Champion, McIlroy is one to watch. Literally, you can watch him shred Thredbo’s All Mountain trail here.

The taste of home soil victory

Round 6 of the EWS is on the last weekend of July, in Aspen Snowmass, USA.

Sam Hill and Cecile Ravanel win the penultimate round of the Enduro World Series

The seventh round of the Enduro World Series will be remembered as the race where Sam Hill earned his enduro stripes.

In a race that promised drama from the start thanks to an apocalyptic weather forecast, forcing the cancellation of the prologue on Friday and stage two on Saturday, the stage was set for an epic showdown. The promised storms never emerged but even with the cancelled stages, riders faced a huge day on Saturday featuring 1600m of climbing and 2500m of descent over 51 km.

But in the end the Enduro des Portes du Mercantour driven by Urge Bike Products came down to a fierce battle between two legends of mountain biking  – Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Paypal) and Nico Vouilloz (Lapierre Gravity Republic). The pair fought it out over seven stages amongst the iconic trails of the Maritime Alps, all whilst being chased down by young Jesse Melamed of Rocky Mountain Urge bp. However, Hill proved too strong for both and crossed the line nine seconds clear, forcing Vouilloz to settle for second and Melamed third.

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Speaking after the race, Sam said: “It feels awesome. I tried not to think about my lead all day and just attack each stage as it came. Nico kept me honest all day, I knew I had a little lead and so I just tried to get down without any mistakes. It’s been a massive goal of mine to win one of these races, so to win one already is awesome.”

 

In the women’s race Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro) continued her dominance – winning four of the seven stages. Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) won three stages, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Ravanel and she finished over 30 seconds back. Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) rounded out the podium in third.

 

Cecile said: “I’m really happy to win and to race this type of event. This course was good because it used all the formats; pedal liaisons, chair lifts and the stages were all so different – some long, some short and that’s what I like.”

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In the U21 Men’s race Adrien Dailly (Lapierre Gravity Republic) won – meaning he and Sebastien Claquin (Rocky Mountain Urge bp) are now tied on points in the series rankings. Technically Dailly leads the series as he’s won the most recent race, but these two will be fighting it our for the World Champion title in Italy in a couple of weeks time. Elliot Trabac (Scott SR Suntour Enduro Team) rounded out an all French podium in third.

 

French rider Julie Duvert won the U21 Women’s category, with Raphaela Richter (Radon Magura Factory) in second and Martha Gill (Marin Stan’s Enduro Team) was third.

 

Karim Amour won the Master’s category convincingly, taking over two minutes out of nearest rival Carles Barcons, with Cyrille Pages (MS Mondraker)  in third.

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In the team competition, Rocky Mountain Urge bp were team of the day, Cube Action Team just behind in second and Ibis Cycles Enduro Race were third. Today’s result cements Rocky Mountain Urge bp’s lead in the series rankings.

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The series now turns its attention to the last race of the year in the beautiful Finale Ligure. The Bluegrass Finale Enduro powered by SRAM takes place on October 1st and 2nd, where the 2016 Enduro World Champions will be crowned on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Full results from this weekend can be found here.

Brosnan Again Proves He’s The Best In Bright

Troy Brosnan (SA) has claimed his fourth consecutive Elite Men’s Downhill title with a nail-biting win on the final day of the 2016 Subaru Australian Championships at Bright, Victoria on Sunday.

 

It was an anxious wait for the third ranked rider in the world as Connor Fearon (SA) had the opportunity to knock his mate off top spot, but couldn’t better Brosnan’s 3:45:46 to again take silver behind his fellow South Australian, with Josh Button (NSW) in third.

 

“Its been such tough battle between Connor and I, we’re really good friends and I thought he might’ve had this one this year,” Brosnan said.

Connor Fearon
Connor Fearon

“It was hard to get down in one piece to be honest.”

 

Plenty of talk surrounded the big time battle between Brosnan and five time World Champion Sam Hill (WA), but it was Fearon who threw himself into the mix with the fastest seeding run to ensure he’d be last down the hill for the final.

 

With sister Tracey having claimed the Elite Women only moments before, Mick Hannah, was keen to add to his national title haul of four, the last won back in 2013. The Cairns kid would finish fifth.

 

As hundreds lined the course to get a chance to see Hill in action, the West Aussie wonder couldn’t produce, with a time of 4:01:79 seeing him finish 8th.

 

Sam Hill
Sam Hill

Button, who last finished on the podium back in 2009, produced a sensational run of 3:51:59 to tighten the screws on the last two on the course in Brosnan and Fearon.

 

And despite only getting back on his downhill bike for the first time since he crashed and dislocated his shoulder in Thredbo earlier in the week, the 22 year old was dialled in.

Elite Men DHI Podium 

“I was coming to ride for fun but felt good this weekend and thought I’d give it a crack and put it all in the back of my head of what’s happened before this race and it all worked out.”

 

For Fearon, it’s the third straight year he’s been out-classed by Brosnan to the Australian jersey.

 

“It always seems Troy is one step ahead, but still trying to catch him and hope to beat him one day.”

Fabien Barel Presents – Chasing gold with Sam Hill

What happens when you put two of racings most uncompromising characters together away from the race course?

Fabien Barel and Sam Hill head off the beaten track to explore the old gold mining trails of Alexandra, New Zealand.

After nearly a decade of going head-to-head for the biggest prizes in mountain biking, the two downhill legends escape from the stress of racing to find out more about each other and have fun riding their bikes.

Graves and Clementz Confirmed to Race RockShox Enduro, Mt Buller

The 2015 International Enduro Season will kick off with a bang at the RockShox Enduro Challenge, Powered by SRAM when 2013 Enduro World Champion Jerome Clementz will take on 2014 champion Jared Graves and his Yeti team mate, Richie Rude on the slopes of Mt Buller in Victoria.

Clementz, who was forced to sit out the majority of the 2014 season due to a shoulder injury will use the Mt Buller event to wrap up his Southern Hemisphere training program, spending time in New Zealand and Australia ahead of round one of the Enduro World Series to be held in Rotorua in March. Graves and team mate Richie Rude will travel from Toowoomba the location of the second Rock Shox Enduro Challenge to take on Clementz in their first head to head hit out for 2015.

Photos from the SEQ Gravity Enduro Series, Round 2 at Garapine on 18-05-2014.

Looking to spoil the party for the Enduro Specific Athletes will be UCI World Cup regulars Sam Hill, Troy Brosnan and Mike Jones as they prepare their assault on the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

Run under the same format and rules of the Enduro World Series, riders will take on six stages, taking in all elements of the Mt Buller trail network in Victoria’s High Country. Entries will be capped at 400 riders.

Event Management Solutions Australia are the leaders in Enduro racing in Australia, having been delivering top class events in the format for over 5 years. They also have extensive experience in delivering large scale events at a World Class level and in 2015 will be taking their support of Enduro a step further through the backing of an Australian Based Official EWS team.

For more information please visit www.gravityenduro.com.au or [email protected] 

Brosnan Storms to Bronze at World Mountain Bike Championships

Troy Brosnan (SA) conquered a demanding course in Hafjell, Norway to collect his first World Championship Downhill medal since moving up to the Elite category.

Racing was spectacular on the sixth and final day of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in Hafjell, Norway.

Elite Men 

The story of the day for the Australian men would be the ride that was for Brosnan and the ride that could have been for Sam Hill (WA).

Early racing saw Graeme Mudd (NSW), Bryn Atkinson (NSW) and Jack Moir (NSW) spend time on the coveted World Championship hotseat as the fastest riders at that point of the day.

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Graeme Mudd
Day6_DH----------credit_Jason_Stevens
Jack Moir
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Mick Hannah

Hill, a former triple Elite Downhill World Champion (‘06, ‘07, ‘10), knows both the glory of the win and the tragedy of defeat on a winning run, having crashed in the final stages when leading the 2008 World Championships.

He was the 9th-last rider to start and was on the fastest run of the day by over 3 seconds when he would come to grief with a massive crash in the final rock garden.

Amazingly he was able to get back on the bike and race to the finish placing 26th, and while it seemed likely, he will never know whether his run would have been good enough to take the title.

Day6_DH--Sam_Hill2--credit_Jason_Stevens
Sam Hill, devastated!

Brosnan was the last Australian standing, as he has often been in the 2014 season, and he was the second-last rider of the 2014 Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships.

A steady start saw him in 10th place at the first time-split, and like Hill before him, he chose the extremely difficult inside line in the second rock garden and reaped the rewards moving up to 3rd place by the second time-split.

Brosnan into 3rd.
Brosnan into 3rd.

He would pick up one more place on the final section to sit in overall second place behind Great Britain’s Gee Atherton with only Josh Bryceland, also of Great Britain, left to race.

Bryceland was the 2014 World Cup Series winner, and he had an amazing run but landed heavily sustaining an injury on a finish-straight jump, his time still being good enough to just pass Brosnan and move into second place.

This left Atherton as the 2014 World Champion, and Brosnan to take away Bronze as his first Elite World Championship medal.

Also riding for Australia was Mick Hannah (QLD) who finished off the pace after a crashing awkwardly out of a fast berm.

Bryn Atkinson
Bryn Atkinson into 18th.

Missing today from the action was Brosnan’s junior-days friend and rival Connor Fearon (SA), who crashed heavily in his final practice run and required medical attention.

Elite men's podium, minus Josh Bryceland due to injury.
Elite men’s podium, minus Josh Bryceland due to injury.


Elite Female

Tracey Hannah (QLD) excelled in Norway today to take out 4th place in the Elite Women’s Downhill World Championships.

Hannah was the 2006 Junior World Champion and has had a long career with many outstanding results, finishing this year as the 4th ranked rider in the World Cup Series.

Tracey Hannah
Tracey Hannah, 4th.

She has twice finished on the World Championship podium in 3rd place (‘07 & ‘13) and is the reigning 6-time National Champion.

As the third last rider to start in Hafjell, Hannah had a strong clean run on Championship day, showing a great mix of power and excellent line selection in the treacherous rock gardens.

Her run would at the time put her into second place behind Tahnee Seagrave (Great Britain) who would ultimately finish 3rd.

Two riders remained, Manon Carpenter and Rachel Atherton, both of Great Britain.

2014 has been the breakthrough year for Carpenter and today she displayed a flawless ride to go on to take her first Elite World Championship title.

Atherton almost crashed on her run and ultimately missed out by the narrowest of margins (.088s) to place second.

Hannah will now return this week for follow-up surgery from a serious crash in 2012.


Downhill Results – 2014 World Mountain Bike Championships  

Elite Male
1. Gee Atherton (GBR) 3:23.769
2. Josh Bryceland (GBR) +0.407
3. Troy Brosnan (SA)    AUS +0.566

10. Jack Moir (NSW) +3.831
18. Bryn Atkinson (NSW) +6.204
26. Sam Hill (WA) +9.187
41. Graeme Mudd (NSW) +12.678
81. Michael Hannah (QLD) +45.366
DNS Connor Fearon (SA)

Elite Female
1. Manon Carpenter (GBR)  3:49.407
2. Rachel Atherton (GBR)   +0.088
3. Tahnee Seagrave (GBR) + 3.463
4. Tracey Hannah (AUS)

Video: Meribel World Cup Downhill Finals Highlights

The 2014 DH season came to a close with a bang in Meribel, delivering one of the best races of the year. Sam Hill returned to the top of the podium with a spectacular winning run, wildcard riders mixed up the usual standings and cheering fans wielding chainsaws, air horns and flags lined the Méribel course from top to bottom. Not to mention the crowning of a new World Cup Champion, Josh ‘Ratboy’ Bryceland.

The Parkin Bros were trackside, capturing all the spills, thrills and highlights from the last World Cup race of the season. 

Racing: Brosnan, McConnell and Molloy Shine in Mountain Bike World Cup Series

The seventh and final round of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup wrapped up the overall series in Meribel, France this weekend after a fierce weekend of racing where Australia’s top riders featured heavily on the round and series podiums.

The UCI World Cup Series included events in seven countries, across four continents, with riders contesting rounds in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator disciplines.

Downhill

On a very fast and rocky track that descended 550m in 2100m length, it was Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles.com/Nukeproof) who shone on the weekend, winning the round and proving to the world that he is back to his best.

Hill is a dual World Cup Series winner (2007, 2009) and broke an almost four year World Cup race win drought earlier this month by taking first place in Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada.

Following close behind was Adelaide-born Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH), who rounded out a stellar 2014 by recording a career-best Word Cup Series performance of third overall, one point in front of friend and former teammate Hill.

Brosnan took the podium in five of the seven World Cup races on the way to his third place, winning in Fort William, UK and recording a third place in Leogang, Austria and Windham, USA.

The overall winner of the men’s downhill series was Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate).

In the women’s downhill, Australia’s Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR) finished fourth after an exciting World Cup season, which included podium places in five of the seven races, as well as winning the Canadian Open DH at Crankworx this year.

In the overall rankings, it was Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Factory Team) who held on for the win.

In the junior women’s, fellow Australian Tegan Molloy was the stand out star, earning the Junior World Cup Series winner crown.

Molloy recorded five wins from the seven races, riding to her best finish in the Series in Canada to finish 11th in the Elite field with a time of 5:32.750, an exceptional result from the young NSW rider.

Cross-country

In the cross-country, Australia’s Dan McConnell (Trek Factory Racing) secured back-to-back UCI World Cup Series podiums finishing third overall for 2014, after taking the podium four times across the Series.

McConnell had a best finish of 3rd place in Mont-Saint-Anne in Canada and only narrowly missed out on making the podium in the last round, coming in at sixth place.

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World Cup series leader Julien Absalon (BMC) and World Champion Nino Schurter (Scott Odlo) remarkably won all seven events between them this year.

Absalon held on for the win, securing his sixth overall World Cup Series title.

In the Under 23 men, Australia’s Cam Ivory placed 22nd overall in a series including some challenges, a great result.

Australia’s Bec Henderson (Trek Factory Racing) had her debut year at Elite level and had an excellent year to finish inside the top 20. The highlight of her World Cup year was on home soil during the third round in Cairns, crossing the line in 10th place.

Jolanda Neff (Liv Pro XC) was the overall winner for the women’s Cross Country.

Eliminator

Starting on the Friday, and kicking off the final round of races in Meribel, was the Cross Country Eliminator, a 725m course that saw riders taking a gondola to the start line.

In the men’s overall standings, it was Australia’s Paul Van der Ploeg, the reigning World Champion, who would shine with a fourth place in the overall series.

Van der Ploeg had a solid World Cup season, medalling in each of the first three rounds and making the podium in four.

Fabrice Mels (Salcano Alanya) was crowned the elite men’s champion and Kathrin Stirnemann (Sabine Spitz Haibike) was victorious in the elite women’s series.

Trials

The trials UCI World Cup Series is currently at the midpoint, and Australia’s Janine Jungfels took the honours with an outstanding win in Meribel, taking the honours in the third round of the five race series.

Wrap Up

The mountain bike world’s attention now switches to the World Championships, which starts in Norway on September 2nd.

 

Fresh Product: Five Ten Freerider Vxi shoes

Introducing Five Ten’s new Stealth Contact outsole that allows you to pull, push and adjust, the new Freerider Vxi is designed for casual all-mountain flat pedal riders to the aggressive downhill racer.

Riders will instantly understand the advantage of the new Contact outsole that’s treadless under the foot’s ball for float. The new Freerider Vxi has a breathable, abrasion-resistant upper, a new performance-fit, and an asymmetrical welt that provides extra crank-side durability.

Video: #OnTheHunt: Episode 4 – Chain Reaction/Nukeproof – Sam Hill

The team take on the final rounds of the World Cup season in Leogang and Hafjell, but not before heading into the wilderness of North Wales for some motocross trail riding!

Leogang doesn’t provide the fairytale ending for Sam as he crashes and injures his knee in race practice, but that won’t keep the team down as they reflect on their most successful season yet and set their sights on improved performances and podium places for 2014.

Sam Hill Farewell

Sam Hill and Specialized are going their separate ways starting in 2013.

All of us at Specialized would like to send our thanks to Sam. Thanks for the wins, time working on the bikes and equipment, and of course all the fantastic memories! Best of luck to him and his family next year and the years to come.

Not ready to separate? Get your Sam Hill wallpaper here: