July 23rd, 2010
All the top MTB downhill riders are in Champery, Switzerland this weekend for the latest round of the UCI World Cup. Back in 2007 this was the scene of Sam Hill’s epic run in the wet. Here’s how Chris Ball describes it in an excerpt from his new MTB skills book:
“It looks like the finals of the 2007 World Cup in Champery will be on dry trails in mountain sunshine. Mid afternoon rolls in and all hell breaks loose. Torrential rain and storms smash into the mountain and the course goes from tough but dry to a near impossible river-cut run down the sheer mountainside. That day, the young Australian Sam Hill rode as though it was dry. His attack mode found grip where there shouldn’t have been any and he placed a time that beat most of the guys who’d come down in the dry. That moment changed many people’s perspectives on what can actually be done with a modern mountain bike. A lot of the younger guys, riding similar set-ups to Hill, suddenly found out just how far it can be pushed.”
Hill is currently 4th in the UCI rankings closely followed by current World & British National Champion Steve Peat. Greg Minnaar is leading the way and will be looking to stretch his lead from 2nd placed Gee Atherton.
Here’s a look at the course from Thursday practice from the guys at Dirt TV: