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Sam Hill Drops Andorra World Cup To Focus on EWS

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8/26/2016 3:16 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/26/2016 7:52 AM

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We've just heard news that Sam Hill has decided to not race the final round of the 2016 World Cup in Andorra next week. Since he was not selected for Australia's World Championship team, Sam prefers to focus on the two remaining rounds of the Enduro World Series in Valberg, France, and Finale Ligure, Italy instead. Here's to more EWS podiums for our favorite flat pedal pinner!
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8/26/2016 3:57 AM

He surly must of been pissed at being left out - but results wise, you have to go with the guys who got better results this year.- I think Sam is burnt a bit on DH and his heart isn't in it. Hopefully, Enduro will light the fire once again, before he takes off the shoes for good.

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8/26/2016 4:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/26/2016 4:52 AM

neimbc wrote:

He surly must of been pissed at being left out - but results wise, you have to go with the guys who got better results this year.- I think Sam is burnt a bit on DH and his heart isn't in it. Hopefully, Enduro will light the fire once again, before he takes off the shoes for good.

Yeah agree with that. Sad, really, as he had got back to winning ways the season before last and was looking like the Sam of old.

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8/26/2016 5:04 AM

Surely this has nothing to do with worlds - he's proven to be one of the best enduro racers in the world, so why wouldn't he do this?

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8/26/2016 5:19 AM

DaddyFras wrote:

Surely this has nothing to do with worlds - he's proven to be one of the best enduro racers in the world, so why wouldn't he do this?

Tots agree. Lots can change in a 15 yr career, nothing wrong with a change of focus. Two EWS's with two 2nd place finishes just keeps on proving how much of an epic rider this man is, no matter what the discipline.

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8/26/2016 5:40 AM

neimbc wrote:

He surly must of been pissed at being left out - but results wise, you have to go with the guys who got better results this year.- I think Sam is burnt a bit on DH and his heart isn't in it. Hopefully, Enduro will light the fire once again, before he takes off the shoes for good.

That would be awesome but I would not likely bet on it. I think he probably has enough of DH and cab see the writing on the wall that he's never going to get back to the top. This is likely signaling his full time move to the DH retirement home. He's older and DH is murder on the mind and body. It catches up with even the greatest riders of all time at some point.

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8/26/2016 6:08 AM

Sooner or later it was going to collide. EWS is a better fit for him right now

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8/26/2016 6:16 AM

This sucks. I get that he's had a rough season, but ditching the last round of the WC is... unfortunate? why? and why do the enduro races instead? I can't imagine they get that much more exposure for his sponsors than a WC race gets them? Vital, any chance for an interview? that would be awesome.

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8/26/2016 6:23 AM

neimbc wrote:

He surly must of been pissed at being left out - but results wise, you have to go with the guys who got better results this year.- I think Sam is burnt a bit on DH and his heart isn't in it. Hopefully, Enduro will light the fire once again, before he takes off the shoes for good.

sino428 wrote:

That would be awesome but I would not likely bet on it. I think he probably has enough of DH and cab see the writing on the wall that he's never going to get back to the top. This is likely signaling his full time move to the DH retirement home. He's older and DH is murder on the mind and body. It catches up with even the greatest riders of all time at some point.

You're kidding? He's 31 and Minnar is 34, 3 years younger than a guy who has had multiple wins over the past 2 years. Don't mistake injury for age.
He's got a kid and it makes you wiser. If he wants to win World Cups again, he will when he is 100% again. But he has to heal and putting yourself on the DH course at less than 100% at World Cup level puts you at risk levels a man with a family can't justify.
Why not go poach anot EWS or two where he can take less risk, keep training and get stronger for next year's World Cup DH. Hill has other world talent and I have no doubt he has close to a half dozen more DH World wins in his future.

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

8/26/2016 6:55 AM

slyfink wrote:

This sucks. I get that he's had a rough season, but ditching the last round of the WC is... unfortunate? why? and why do the enduro races instead? I can't imagine they get that much more exposure for his sponsors than a WC race gets them? Vital, any chance for an interview? that would be awesome.

We chatted briefly to Nigel Page (CRC/Nukeproof Team Manager) who indicated that both the team and the sponsors want what's best for Sam, and right now, that's the Enduro World Series and the results Sam has been getting. We'll no doubt catch up with Sam himself at some point too, to bring you the full story.

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8/26/2016 8:52 AM

ill be a fan regardless of what he does - if he goes full enduro - ill be a fan, if he only films occasional video parts and stops showing up to the international races - ill be a fan. If he stops racing entirely and only pops up occasionally at his local trails - ill be a fan, if he stops riding entirely, ill be a fan - that man is the reason i ride bikes - he will never lose his status as a legend in this sport and i think we all just want him to be happy and healthy

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8/26/2016 10:08 AM

I'm guessing its a mix of needing a change of pace to keep things interesting and recover. Stoked to see him doing so well in the EWS, and i hope he returns to DH in the future. Some times people need a year off

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8/26/2016 10:53 AM

neimbc wrote:

He surly must of been pissed at being left out - but results wise, you have to go with the guys who got better results this year.- I think Sam is burnt a bit on DH and his heart isn't in it. Hopefully, Enduro will light the fire once again, before he takes off the shoes for good.

sino428 wrote:

That would be awesome but I would not likely bet on it. I think he probably has enough of DH and cab see the writing on the wall that he's never going to get back to the top. This is likely signaling his full time move to the DH retirement home. He's older and DH is murder on the mind and body. It catches up with even the greatest riders of all time at some point.

bizutch wrote:

You're kidding? He's 31 and Minnar is 34, 3 years younger than a guy who has had multiple wins over the past 2 years. Don't mistake injury for age.
He's got a kid and it makes you wiser. If he wants to win World Cups again, he will when he is 100% again. But he has to heal and putting yourself on the DH course at less than 100% at World Cup level puts you at risk levels a man with a family can't justify.
Why not go poach anot EWS or two where he can take less risk, keep training and get stronger for next year's World Cup DH. Hill has other world talent and I have no doubt he has close to a half dozen more DH World wins in his future.

I like your optimism but thinking that Sam Hill had 6 more world Cup wins in him seems like along shot. EWS races are not a rehab for injuries. Those races are brutal and have almost as high a risk for injury as DH. If it really was about injuries and not wanting to get hurt he would not be riding in the EWS. I hope he comes back to DH at a high level and wins buy I just don't see it.

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8/26/2016 11:06 AM

slyfink wrote:

This sucks. I get that he's had a rough season, but ditching the last round of the WC is... unfortunate? why? and why do the enduro races instead? I can't imagine they get that much more exposure for his sponsors than a WC race gets them? Vital, any chance for an interview? that would be awesome.

iceman2058 wrote:

We chatted briefly to Nigel Page (CRC/Nukeproof Team Manager) who indicated that both the team and the sponsors want what's best for Sam, and right now, that's the Enduro World Series and the results Sam has been getting. We'll no doubt catch up with Sam himself at some point too, to bring you the full story.

yes please, and thank you!

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8/26/2016 1:15 PM

chup29 wrote:

ill be a fan regardless of what he does - if he goes full enduro - ill be a fan, if he only films occasional video parts and stops showing up to the international races - ill be a fan. If he stops racing entirely and only pops up occasionally at his local trails - ill be a fan, if he stops riding entirely, ill be a fan - that man is the reason i ride bikes - he will never lose his status as a legend in this sport and i think we all just want him to be happy and healthy

Well said. He is a true inspiration for me as well.

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8/26/2016 1:56 PM

sino428 wrote:

That would be awesome but I would not likely bet on it. I think he probably has enough of DH and cab see the writing on the wall that he's never going to get back to the top. This is likely signaling his full time move to the DH retirement home. He's older and DH is murder on the mind and body. It catches up with even the greatest riders of all time at some point.

bizutch wrote:

You're kidding? He's 31 and Minnar is 34, 3 years younger than a guy who has had multiple wins over the past 2 years. Don't mistake injury for age.
He's got a kid and it makes you wiser. If he wants to win World Cups again, he will when he is 100% again. But he has to heal and putting yourself on the DH course at less than 100% at World Cup level puts you at risk levels a man with a family can't justify.
Why not go poach anot EWS or two where he can take less risk, keep training and get stronger for next year's World Cup DH. Hill has other world talent and I have no doubt he has close to a half dozen more DH World wins in his future.

sino428 wrote:

I like your optimism but thinking that Sam Hill had 6 more world Cup wins in him seems like along shot. EWS races are not a rehab for injuries. Those races are brutal and have almost as high a risk for injury as DH. If it really was about injuries and not wanting to get hurt he would not be riding in the EWS. I hope he comes back to DH at a high level and wins buy I just don't see it.

I understand EWS is brutal, but it's not when compared to World Cup DH. World Cup DH racers are proof of that. They made the switch to enduro and have dominated Enduro wire to wire.
Hill is injured, still on the mend and laying it down in Enduro top 10s. We're talking about a guy who can blow doors off the world on any given weekend in World Cup.

He's been beat to death and still makes the cut. Was always told by Fraser Briton that Sam trains like an animal, just not in the public eye, so people seem to think he gets down the hill on talent. But it's the opposite. He has elite level fitness and will win more World Cups if/when he heals mind and body. :-)

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

8/26/2016 4:00 PM

Its such a shame that Sam got injured again last season after having an amazing 2014 coming back after an injury just as bad.
2014 – Chain Reaction/Nukeproof Team
2nd Place: Fort William , Scotland UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Mont St. Anne, Canada UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Meribel, France UCI World Cup DH
4th Place: Overall UCI World Cup DH

I here everyone is getting over the DH WC's which is sad but i blame the UCI 6 rounds next year over 5 months is hardly a big series, what happened to the good old days when there was 9 rounds all over the world and then all the pro's would stay in the US over the summer and race the NORBA series which was just as good and made the DH seen was just on all the time and went for ages.

I heard Rat Boy is only going to race for fun next season and has a different view on the world has anyone noticed that he's not with Monster Energy anymore its because he dropped them due to the corporate nature.

I think the DH needs to be taken over by the EWS and Sam needs a new sponsor as they say a change is as good as a holiday.

Greg is 3 years older than Sam and still has the fire in his belly and results to proof it and he's has lots of injuries and time off over the years.

I wish the man luck but I hope he doesn't give up riding the big bike! I feel he needs to be back on Troy Lee as well somethings just not been right this season!

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8/26/2016 4:50 PM

So here's a dumb question from a moto guy, turned MTB'er:

-Isn't Enduro technically harder than Downhill?

What I mean by that is, Enduro seems to me basically the same thing as Downhill, except you are riding a slightly less capable bike and you also have to pedal the thing back up the hill or over the next to get to your next competition.
Am I way off base here? Is the competition level in the Pro Enduro classes less intense because the series is young? Are there other factors I'm missing?

It seems to me that maybe Sam is just looking for a change to keep things fresh, not necessarily running from a challenge.

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8/26/2016 6:00 PM

Falcon wrote:

So here's a dumb question from a moto guy, turned MTB'er:

-Isn't Enduro technically harder than Downhill?

What I mean by that is, Enduro seems to me basically the same thing as Downhill, except you are riding a slightly less capable bike and you also have to pedal the thing back up the hill or over the next to get to your next competition.
Am I way off base here? Is the competition level in the Pro Enduro classes less intense because the series is young? Are there other factors I'm missing?

It seems to me that maybe Sam is just looking for a change to keep things fresh, not necessarily running from a challenge.

It's a different kind of challenge and toughness. If you go to a world cup DH race and watch it in person, you'll see that those guys are pinned 110% on their race runs. The margin for error is almost non existent. If you're not healthy, I can completely see that having an effect on you mentally and in turn I'm sure is extremely frustrating. Enduro is different. Sure it's tough and a huge challenge, but the times are a bit more spread out, certain stages benefit certain kinds of riders and to me it seems to me more like a chess game. I'm sure they're going all out, but there are more tactics involved in order to conserve energy, ride to your strengths and protect your weaknesses. I just don't see that to a large degree at the world cup level in downhill. Those athletes just have to be so spot on in terms of fitness, bike set up and fitness...there's very little room for error.

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8/26/2016 8:14 PM

From what Hill has said, and what I know of his riding, I think he probably likes EWS tracks more than what has been happening with WC in recent years. He's a wizard when it comes to finding lines in natural terrain and what some would consider true mountain biking. I love DH because of the raw speed and better video coverage, but I can totally get why a racer would prefer longer tracks with tons of variety.

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8/26/2016 8:15 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/26/2016 8:17 PM

I've been a fan of his riding for a long time. He has always excelled on raw, loose tracks. EWS seems to offer more of that and more track variety than we're currently seeing in WC DH. Hopefully it will light a fire in him again to be the rad Sam f'ing Hill we all love to see ride. Hopefully we'll get some video of his crazy lines he's known for.

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8/27/2016 9:25 AM

So he wants to do something different for now. Cool stuff.

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8/27/2016 12:14 PM

slyfink wrote:

This sucks. I get that he's had a rough season, but ditching the last round of the WC is... unfortunate? why? and why do the enduro races instead? I can't imagine they get that much more exposure for his sponsors than a WC race gets them? Vital, any chance for an interview? that would be awesome.

While DH is the best show to watch, it is actually a very small market that most riders cannot relate to. Enduro on the other hand is something that most riders do without a timer on almost every ride. Cruise to the top and then get to the bottom as fast as possible. It is therefore something that most riders identify with and sells bikes/equipment. Look at the number of Nomad's and Bronson's that SC sells relative to V10's. Same with Specialized, Giant etc.

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8/27/2016 12:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/27/2016 12:23 PM

Falcon wrote:

So here's a dumb question from a moto guy, turned MTB'er:

-Isn't Enduro technically harder than Downhill?

What I mean by that is, Enduro seems to me basically the same thing as Downhill, except you are riding a slightly less capable bike and you also have to pedal the thing back up the hill or over the next to get to your next competition.
Am I way off base here? Is the competition level in the Pro Enduro classes less intense because the series is young? Are there other factors I'm missing?

It seems to me that maybe Sam is just looking for a change to keep things fresh, not necessarily running from a challenge.

LukeD wrote:

It's a different kind of challenge and toughness. If you go to a world cup DH race and watch it in person, you'll see that those guys are pinned 110% on their race runs. The margin for error is almost non existent. If you're not healthy, I can completely see that having an effect on you mentally and in turn I'm sure is extremely frustrating. Enduro is different. Sure it's tough and a huge challenge, but the times are a bit more spread out, certain stages benefit certain kinds of riders and to me it seems to me more like a chess game. I'm sure they're going all out, but there are more tactics involved in order to conserve energy, ride to your strengths and protect your weaknesses. I just don't see that to a large degree at the world cup level in downhill. Those athletes just have to be so spot on in terms of fitness, bike set up and fitness...there's very little room for error.

That was definitely true up until last year, but a look at the timing sheets will show that nobody can hold anything back except for maybe Rude. The rest of the placings are usually decided by a few seconds after 30-50 minutes of racing.

1 Richie Rude 48:35.650 (1)
2 Jesse Melamed 48:42.780 (2)
3 Josh Carlson 48:44.300 (3)
4 Nico Lau 48:59.100 (4)
5 Martin Maes 48:59.550 (5)

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8/27/2016 6:45 PM

slyfink wrote:

This sucks. I get that he's had a rough season, but ditching the last round of the WC is... unfortunate? why? and why do the enduro races instead? I can't imagine they get that much more exposure for his sponsors than a WC race gets them? Vital, any chance for an interview? that would be awesome.

Salespunk wrote:

While DH is the best show to watch, it is actually a very small market that most riders cannot relate to. Enduro on the other hand is something that most riders do without a timer on almost every ride. Cruise to the top and then get to the bottom as fast as possible. It is therefore something that most riders identify with and sells bikes/equipment. Look at the number of Nomad's and Bronson's that SC sells relative to V10's. Same with Specialized, Giant etc.

So true. I just bought an Evil and I asked them when are they going to make another DH bike. I was told
that DH bikes do not make money.

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8/28/2016 12:19 PM

depeche4 wrote:

So true. I just bought an Evil and I asked them when are they going to make another DH bike. I was told
that DH bikes do not make money.

I'm sure that Evil also mentioned how the only two models of DH bike they made were plagued with quality control issues. So much so that Evil as a company actually died, then nearly died again. I think the lack of income Evil had from DH bikes has less to do with them being DH bikes and more to do with them being broken bikes.

There are plenty of companies making DH bikes that are doing just fine. And there are even a number of bike companies that got their start with DH bikes. If DH bikes didn't make money then nobody would make them, and nobody could start a company by making them.

Sure, I doubt any company sells more DH bikes than trail bikes. That doesn't mean that DH bike sales don't contribute to a company's profits.

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