Since the news broke that Sam Hill will be riding for Specialized next season, there has been much speculation about the bike he will ride and whether Specialized have got any secret downhill weapons ready to be released into their vast arsenal.
We were perfectly positioned at Interbike to bombard companies with a rapid fire attack of question and random accusatory statements, most of which are completely irrelevant and based on nothing in the hope of making them slip up and let out some juicy information they shouldn't. So while on our mission to cover the entire show in two days we spotted a very shiny candy apple red and white Specialized Demo sitting atop the Specialized booth.
On closer inspection we noticed it was kitted out with Blackbox Boxxers with the world champion stripes on the right leg, custom white Elixir CR brakes and a Vivid rear shock.
Very Sam Hill if you ask us.
In our usual polite and genial way, we said to Specialized's Nick Simms, "Sam’s bike's pretty, how's he liking it then?"
A small smile issuing from the corner of Nick's mouth and a look that said 'you already told the world before we got to announce it, you're not letting this go are you?' said it all. Nick did, however, let out that they will be developing a bike with Sam Hill in the near future and hope to fully re-enter the downhill racing world.
So we have one pretty bike with world championship stripes plastered all over it and one world champion hungry to gain back the fear he instilled in the world cup circuit in '07. Once again, its going to be another full throttle year of balls-to-the-wall racing. Will the Demo, under the feet of a champion, prove itself at world cup level?...