With the start of the 2014 UCI Downhill World Cup less than a month away, the hype around this year’s series is starting to build.
There are a lot of big questions this year: will manufacturers commit to 650b? How about an enduro bike taking a rider to another podium finish? Will Aaron Gwin be back on form? In less than four weeks, we’ll find out.
One thing that's always up for discussion in the BikeRadar office, is the best downhillers of all time. We’ve counted the top riders' total World Cup and World Champs wins, crunched some numbers, argued about it, and then made a list of the all-time top five downhill mountain bikers, which you can see here:
Video: Top five mountain bike downhillers
Downhillers to watch in 2014
Stevie Smith: having won the World Cup overall last year, the Canadian will be firing on all cylinders going into the 2014 season.
Loïc Bruni: at only 19, the French rider is unlikely to take the big wins, but don’t be surprised if he starts rattling the cages of the top 10.
Aaron Gwin: will this be the year America's finest returns to form? Has he got the bike working the way he wants it? You’d still be foolish to bet against him.
Gee Atherton: Gee just missed out on a spot in out top five. He’s been training in Fuerteventura and Malaga over the winter – no doubt looking for those extra seconds.
UCI Downhill World Cup schedule
Round 1 – 10-13 April – Pietermaritzburg (RSA)
Round 2 – 26-27 April – Cairns (AUS)
Round 3 – 7-8 June – Fort William (GBR)
Round 4 – 14-15 June – Leogang (AUT)
Round 5 – 2-3 August – Mont-Sainte-Anne (CAN)
Round 6 – 9-10 Aug – Windham (USA)
Round 7 – 23-24 August – Méribel (FRA)
World Champs – September 4-7 – Hafjell (NOR)