So who’s gonna win the downhill World Cup this year? Sam Hill took it in 2009, but it was a close run thing.
Place your bets please! For what it’s worth, here are our predictions…
“My sensible head says Sam Hill but my dark horse is Aaron Gwin. Sam Hill is just Mr Consistent. Even with a massive bike swap last year and a slow (by his standards) start to the season he still kept his head down and grafted away. His team are in the right place, he’s injury-free and he’s got nothing to prove – traditionally when he’s been at his most dangerous.
“My outside bet is Gwinny. He may have to get past a lot of the big names but if you look at his steady progression over the last season and a half it’s been staggering, never mind for how short a time he’s actually been riding mountain bikes. Again, he’s a rider with his head in the right place and the arrival of fellow young American Joey Schusler on the team will no doubt only spur him on.”
“Mick Hannah – he was coming right back into form in 2009 and I reckon he’ll surpass himself this year. For the girls, Rachel Atherton – she’ll be raring to go after a year off.”
“Rachel Atherton. She has a year long worth of burning ambition waiting to be unleashed, with the talent to back it up.
Gee Atherton. The family unit was disrupted in 2009. Back as the three piece machine in 2009 will see Gee back on the top step.
And Adam Brayton back from a year injured. 2009 was meant to be his year but fate dealt him a rough hand. Watch this man in 2010.”
“My money’s on Greg Minnaar to take pole position. He had a great year in 2009, and only narrowly missed out an overall victory. He knows what it’s like to win it, and in my view he’s the best rider out there right now.
“For the women, it’s got to be Rachel Atherton. I wouldn’t count her out of another World Champ win either. She’s probably still sore about not getting the chance to defend it and will have something to prove.”
Want to know who’s racing when? Check the full UCI DH World Cup 2010 calendar. We’ll have full race reports and in depth analysis throughout the season in MBUK.