Crystal Ball: Who will be the next DH Winner? Nerd Alert.

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12/30/2017 12:26 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/2/2018 2:38 PM

Who will be the next first time World Cup winner?

Most recent winners who are still actively racing (in order based on the year they got their first win), this is mostly to display how rare a new winner is!:

2001: Goat Minnaar
2004: Gee Atherton
2005: Sam Hill (including him since he raced one world cup last season, and because Sam fuckin' Hill!)
2006: Mik Hannah, Marc Beaumont
2008: Samuel Blenkinsop
2011: Aaron Gwin (side note: imagine if Gwin can stick to the same consistency/longevity as Minnaar, that means he will still be racing, winning, and not announcing retirement plans in 2027!)
2012: Brook MacDonald, Steve Smith (RIP)
2013: Remi Thirion
2014: Troy Brosnan
2016: Bruni, Hart
2017: Fayolle

A quick count shows only 12 riders who are actively racing who have previously stood atop the podium. Of those 12, I believe only 5 of them (Minnaar, Gee, Gwin, Brosnan, Hart) have won multiple times. You can slide Bruni in if you count World Champs. Of course Fayolle's was aided by the weather, but he is not god, this is not the Truman Show, and racing is racing.

Based on this, and the memory of Minnaar/Gwin near domination of the past season (weather and mechs not withstanding), Brosnan's consistency, and the other previous winners as wildcards themselves, I find it hard to believe we'll get more than one new rider (if that even) on this list for 2018. Here's my list, in order, of who I think might make this list a baker's dozen in 2018!

I've got a top three in order, plus one wildcard and one wish.

1. Vergier - Keep an eye on him, especially at Leogang, where even he was able to scare Gwin with how he tackled the first turn. A great team dynamic and loads of experience and advice from Mr. Minn will help too.Looking at the 2017 results, he was the top ranked rider not already on the winner's list, in 5th place.
2. Greenland - Let cooler heads prevail; so much natural skill, yet never seems to let the pressure affect him. Always fun and wild to watch. I think back to Worlds '16 with glee. As great as Danny is, I'm not sure how well they worked together as teammates. Not saying it didn't work--just never saw much either way. Maybe the new yet to be announced Mondraker team will be to his benefit. He finished the season in 9th place overall, behind only some of the names above, and Mark Wallace.
3. Moir - '17 season saw a return to form and ultra consistency from this tall man. Will more time and experience on the new Intense ride be enough to give him that extra bit of margin?He actually finished above Greenland at the end of the season, in 7th place overall.

Wildcard: Finnley Iles - He's been preparing for the 2018 season for a long, long time. We have been waiting for him a long, long time. While Vital rightfully shines a spotlight on #USDH prospects, Canadians have been waiting on Finn. Will he rise to the occasion immediately, or marinate and see steady improvement race to race before winning one in a couple seasons?

Maybe not as likely, but boy would I love it: Adam Brayton - He's put in the time, he's dealt with injuries, he's returned from those injuries, he has great stories from those injuries, he's a blast to watch, he has a great nickname, a great accent, and he invented cross fit.


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12/30/2017 11:55 AM

My money is on Phil Atwill, he’s an absolute monster on a bike.

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12/31/2017 2:38 AM

Gee won his first WC in 2004

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12/31/2017 11:01 AM

True, thanks. I have edited the post to reflect that.

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1/2/2018 2:10 PM

ooh, this is rad. i'll go w/ loris or amaury pierron. moir too : ) it's crazy how short the list of actual race winners is.

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1/2/2018 2:27 PM

Are you kidding me? Wheres Steve Peat or Josh Brycland?
I;ll go like sspomer said with frenchies pierron or vergier.

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1/2/2018 2:29 PM

Beaumont won his first at Vigo in 2006.

I think it'll be vergier or Shaw.

Moir seems like a podium threat all year but idk if he had the all out to win.

Greenland is a good guess as well.

If it gets wet, Neko Mulally.

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1/2/2018 2:31 PM

AdamO wrote:

Are you kidding me? Wheres Steve Peat or Josh Brycland?
I;ll go like sspomer said with frenchies pierron or vergier.

Active racers *

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1/2/2018 2:42 PM

That-Norco-Dude wrote:

Beaumont won his first at Vigo in 2006.

I think it'll be vergier or Shaw.

Moir seems like a podium threat all year but idk if he had the all out to win.

Greenland is a good guess as well.

If it gets wet, Neko Mulally.

Thanks, edited again for Beaumont in 2006. Leave it to the diehard fans to have a better memory of races over two decades ago than any resource on the UCI website, cheers guys.

I see Shaw as more of a podium threat than a top stepper, at least at this time. Similar to how someone else described Moir. Loris has the edge over him in that regard. Has anyone else ever intimidated Gwin?

Another thought: New team and whatnot for Eddie Masters; he could also be a longshot wildcard that wouldn't be entirely unexpected. He's had his flashes of brilliance in the past.

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1/2/2018 2:45 PM

I guess Vital doesn't have a poll functionality eh?

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1/2/2018 2:58 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/3/2018 5:12 AM

There are many contenders...IMO Vergier, Greenland, Moir, Dean Lucas. Finn also proved that he has the speed but racing in the elite is totally different compared to juniors. Anyway I’ll be happy for anyone, I would love to see some new faces on podium.

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1/2/2018 2:59 PM

Finn Ilena will be a top 10 contender this season. His times were faster than most elite men. Kids gonna be beast.

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1/2/2018 3:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/2/2018 3:14 PM

My money is on Connor Fearon!

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Pain is temporary glory is forever

1/2/2018 3:25 PM

Fearon, great answer! Hadn't considered him until now. He's undoubtedly got the speed, just needs the magic combination of confidence, luck, weather etc on the given day.

I know we don't know a ton about the new Croatian track, but perhaps it will be the key to a new winner. No advantage for the experienced who have raced some of the other tracks year over year. I feel like I remember hearing it will be a bit flat and pedally?

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1/2/2018 4:38 PM

Vergier has to win one very soon surely! Jack Moir is probably a good bet too.

As somewhat of an outside chance I think we could see Florent Payet win one, he has been so close so many times, undoubtedly has the speed and is on a bike that fits him finally. He would be a good candidate for a 29er DH bike too right?

More outside chances - the two Charlies - Hatton and Harrison. Both had some dangerous form and are young enough that a good off season could see them come out firing.

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1/2/2018 4:56 PM

AdamO wrote:

Are you kidding me? Wheres Steve Peat or Josh Brycland?
I;ll go like sspomer said with frenchies pierron or vergier.

That-Norco-Dude wrote:

Active racers *

Sorry guys I was so focused on the list that I forget about whole content because of Steve Smith on it.

Anyway I need to agree with Russthedog that Charlie Hatton is the outside contender - maybe not for a win this year but podium for sure. Can't wait for a season but always thinking the same year after year - it should be 10 rounds at least

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1/2/2018 4:57 PM

If hardline was a World Cup track money on Kerr

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1/2/2018 5:16 PM

My money's on Jack "Yeah" Moir winning a race this year.

For new podium winners in 2018, I think Jure Zabjek can potentially get one. He will surprise a lot of people in 2018.

On the women's side, I expect no new winners in 2018, with Tahnee probably winning most of the races.

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1/2/2018 5:44 PM

Marcelo Gutierrez is going to win fort william

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1/2/2018 6:45 PM

leopineda wrote:

Marcelo Gutierrez is going to win fort william

Good call. He's a real powerhouse. I was gonna say either Greenland or Moir.

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1/2/2018 7:15 PM

leopineda wrote:

Marcelo Gutierrez is going to win fort william

This could very easily be true. Beating Greg at ft William is almost impposibru tho.

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1/2/2018 10:09 PM

Greenland with the bulldog would be a sick setup to push each other hope it happens

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1/2/2018 10:16 PM

leopineda wrote:

Marcelo Gutierrez is going to win fort william

That-Norco-Dude wrote:

This could very easily be true. Beating Greg at ft William is almost impposibru tho.

Who knows tho... Might not have to beat Greg for much longer?

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1/3/2018 1:54 AM

fun house wrote:

I guess Vital doesn't have a poll functionality eh?

Sure it does! I'll slap one together to make this post even more fun!

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1/3/2018 2:00 AM

As requested, a poll to help us count the votes (for "Other", specify in comments):

Who Is the Most Likely 1st Time World Cup Winner in 2018?

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1/3/2018 5:01 AM

Can't believe Blenki's win is 10 years ago.

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1/3/2018 5:55 AM

It will be in a few years but I look for a kid called Thibault daprela.
Remember this name

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1/3/2018 7:03 AM

finn was off the elite times by not very much as a junior. the kid is only getting bigger and stronger.

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1/3/2018 9:07 AM

I like how iceman2058 influenced the voting by going all popularity first instead of alphabetical order.

This process is a sham. A sham...I say.

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Trouble Maker. Here to spit truth in the form of sarcasm.

1/3/2018 9:10 AM

bizutch wrote:

I like how iceman2058 influenced the voting by going all popularity first instead of alphabetical order.

This process is a sham. A sham...I say.

Dang, you're onto me.

...either that, or they feature in the order they popped up in the thread...which tells you almost everything you need to know about how the list was complied :D

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