Posts Tagged ‘Sam Hill’
September 6th, 2010
Congratulations to Australia’s Sam Hill and the Britain’s Tracy Moseley on winning the UCI DH World Championships over the weekend out in Mont St Anne, Canada.
Australia’s Sam Hill took gold at the downhill world championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, yesterday – surprising himself, as well as those who had tipped World Cup frontrunners Greg Minnaar (South Africa) and Gee Atherton (Great Britain) for the rainbow stripes.
It marks an astonishing return to form for Hill, who won the 2006 and 2007 world champs but had a disappointing World Cup season this year due to injury.
Canada’s Steve Smith made home fans proud by earning a silver medal, and Minnaar finished third. Atherton came in fifth behind American Aaron Gwin.
“I don’t know what it is, but this is where I do well,” said Hill of Mont-Sainte-Anne, where he won World Cup rounds in 2007 and 2009. “It’s where I first raced the World Cup in 2001, and I’m always excited to come back.”
Hill said that during the week’s training, he had doubts about how well he would do. He was coming off two serious injuries that hurt him this season. “I’ve been sitting on the couch, and I didn’t have the confidence,” he said. “This morning’s practice kind of bummed me out. I was really sloppy.”
Hill had reconstructive knee surgery in February, but made it back to competition in time for the World Cup despite feeling weak in training. In the second World Cup, he snapped three ligaments in his shoulder.
“I wanted to do well last weekend in Windham and ended up in 13th, which wasn’t a great confidence builder,” he said. “To come back from all that and be able to win today is really great. I still get a bit of pain when I ride. I’ll take some time off now and get fully healthy.”
In the Elite Women’s DH event, Great Britain’s Tracy Moseley finally won the rainbow stripes she has been chasing for the past 13 years at the women’s downhill world championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, yesterday.
“I’ve had a long career and I’ve been trying to win this for many years,” said a delighted Moseley, “and I’ve finally got this white jersey on my shoulders.”
She finished ahead of two Frenchwomen – 2010 World Cup winner Sabrina Jonnier and last year’s world champion Emmeline Ragot.
“I’ve been the sole Brit among the French riders for most of the year with Rach (Atherton) out for injury,” said Moseley. “I’ve been the one to have to fight the French. I knew Sabrina is really good on this track, we’ve been racing together since 1997. It’s no surprise for me to find myself amongst these two.
“Mont-Sainte-Anne is one of my favourite courses, but you never know until you actually get to the race. This morning I tried to put all thoughts away. This season I’ve not been racing as well as I’ve been practising. My biggest goal today was to put together my perfect race run – to be able to walk away and not feel like I could have done any better.”
Special mention goes to Lewis Buchanan (coached by Chris Ball) who finished just over nine seconds behind Troy Brosnan in the Junior Men’s DH. “I started off pretty confident and knew what I had to do,” he said. “I clipped a rock with my pedal up in the top section. It was hard to concentrate, but I tried to put that in the back of my mind and pedal, although I was quite off the pace.”
Still, Buchanan managed to work himself up from fifth at an early split to third by the end. “I focused on getting smooth lines and building speed,” he said. “This is probably one of the fastest courses we had all year and one of the roughest.”
All three medallists are first-year juniors and will return next year to race each other again.
August 13th, 2010
The biggest names in mountain biking reveal the secrets of their success in a new MTB skills book out next week. Mountain Biking The Manual is a skills and technique guide drawing insight from over a dozen of the world’s best mountain bikers, including world champions Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar and Gee Atherton.
The book has been written by professional MTB coach Chris Ball, a former Scottish champion, who competed in over 30 world cup events. The Edinburgh-born 28 year old owns and runs Dirt School, a dedicated training school for mountain bikers, and also works with the UCI as technical delegate for Word Cup downhill and 4X events.
Chris’s work on the World Cup circuit has given him access to an inspiring pool of contributors and their insight on what it takes to make it at the highest level. The result is a book which can inspire developing riders and give recreational mountain bikers skills and tips to try out on their next rides.
Steve Peat, regarded by many within the MTB world as a living legend, gave his endorsement by writing the foreword to the book.
Peat said, “From the first timer on a mountain bike to a fully-fledged racing snake, there is knowledge here for all. The Manual will show you the fundamentals, the in-between bits and the moves to make your family proud of you. You will all be better riders for it.”
Editor Huw Williams believes that hearing the lessons from the mouths of the professionals sets Mountain Biking The Manual apart from others. Williams said, “Chris Ball has drawn together an amazing team of top riders. It’s their insight, their enthusiasm to teach, and their generosity to share their hard-earned knowledge that gives the book its edge. But this is not simply a collection of quotes hung together with pretty pictures. It’s a good, strong read in its own right. The lessons here are delivered through the clear, intelligent voice of one of the best coaches in the business.”
We agree! Mountain Biking The Manual is available now and here’s our little launch video:
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: