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By gordo, Photos by Sven Martin and Duncan Philpott

It's hard top the excitement created by the pinnacle of downhill competition in our two-wheeled, human-powered community, and the Fort William World Cup lived up to the hype. Despite the numerous times we've seen MTB's gnarliest riders attack the cement-infused Scottish course, we're always on the edge of our seats until the last rider crosses the line and the results are complete. While wearing out the ass on my favorite chair watching the webcast, these are the things I learned as the fearless shredders came hauling down the mountain.

1. Sam Hill is the most exciting rider to watch. Ever.

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When Sam Hill feels "one with the bike," (which he said in our finals slideshow) it's like watching Superman jump off a building next to a normal dude with a parachute. If the guy with the parachute doesn't pull the ripcord, he's dead. Sam doesn't have to pull the ripcord because he's f*&ing Superman.

2. 26's look like 24's

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When Greg Minnaar pinned his run on his 26-inch wheeled Santa Cruz V10c, I thought I was watching Thor Wixom's Double Down with 24x3-inch Gazzalodis flying through the sky. I never thought the day would come when 26's would look small. It must be one of the signs of the MTB Apocalypse (Get it? Apocalypse? Like the old Karpiel?).

3. So many flat tires, seriously?

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I brought this up in a forum post a couple weeks ago and I'll bang the drum of disbelief again. Normally when people tell me, "hey, ya know what you should do," I tell them to do it themselves. If I was an enginerd or Shark Tanker, curing flats for World Cup downhillers would be the first thing on my to-do list. What a waste.

4. That whole "big guys go faster" theory is blown out

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When I was watching the race, I was whole-heartedly convinced that there was no way Troy or Danny could match the pedaling power and speed-carrying of the bigger riders through the table top section. I mean, did you see Sam Dale? I love it when my core beliefs are shattered. Well done, boys.

5. The World Cup media guys are crazy

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No way in hell, on my most motivated photo day, could I deal with what Duncan is dealing with here, even if those bastards die on contact as Sven said in his caption. Lions in South Africa, giant spiders and snakes in Cairns, midges in Fort William. Thankfully the media nerds only have to beware of over-zealous Sound of Music fans in Leogang.

6. Fort William fans are unmatched

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What do Christmas decorations have to do with World Cup downhill? It doesn't matter. The only thing better could have been a mock "Sleigher" logo or "Reigning Blood."

7. Rob Warner gets better with age

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If Rob Warner ever leaves MTB, I'm outta here too.

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