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UCI DH 2012 Predictions

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1/5/2012 2:52 PM

Thought I would start a fun thread about 2012 UCI DH predictions, always fun to speculate and guess who will be on the top of the podiums.
I have a feeling that this years WC will be unpredictable as there are so many guys that have the potential to win.

I'm sure Gwin is a safe bet for 2012 but there are a lot of guys that will be battling it out for the top spot.
Minnaar and Atherton will be hungry after an unlucky 2011 season, the new heavy hitters such a Danny Hart, Bryceland and MacDonald are always a threat. Really looking forward to see what Brosnan can do this year.

Really hoping that both Hill and Fairclough can get back up to form and compete for the top spot.

Being from Canada I'm gunning for Steve Smith, he had some awesome results last year even though he missed the last round and the championships..

What are your predictions.....

2012 UCI DH Schedule:

April 17-18 2012 Pietermaritzburg
June 2-3 2012 Val di Sole
June 9-10th 2012 Fort William
June 23-24th 2012 Monte Sainte-Anne
June30th to July1 2012 Windham
July 28 – 29 2012 Val d’Isère
September 15 – 16 2012 Hafjell


1/5/2012 4:08 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/5/2012 4:42 PM

As an Aussie, I'm a bit biased. But I think Brosnan is going to be right up there.

I also think Sam has something to prove after some unfortunate injuries. I have a feeling he will really get loose and wild this year to get back up top. Lets not forget Jared Graves focusing on DH only. He re-transition will be interesting. He raced well against Brosnan and Hill during the first round at Aust Champs last month.

But I agree with you, it is going to be very unpredictable. I don't think it will be all one way for Gwin this year. A bit of damaged pride from Gee and Greg will push them harder. I think Gee will take a couple of rounds adjusting to a new bike though.

I am a huge fan a Stevey and hope he can kill it, and also Brendog.

I am sure Danny will ride the wave of his WC results.

Overall predictions:

1. Gwin
2. Minnaar
3. Brosnan
4. Hart
5. Hill
6. Gee
7. Smith
8. Brendog

Blenki, Needles and MacDonald will hit some podiums I'm sure.



1/5/2012 4:29 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/5/2012 4:30 PM

As an Aussie, you can't spell your fellow countryman's name. BrosnAn (an JAred). And yes, i'm THAT guy. The grammar nazi guy.


1/5/2012 4:37 PM

Spelling mistakes are not the same as grammar mistakes. And yes, I'm THAT guy who spells everyone's name wrong. Deal with it.

Thanks for your insightful input into the subject matter.


1/5/2012 4:51 PM

1. Gwin
2. Strobel
3. Riffle
4. Binggeli
5. Keene



1/5/2012 5:07 PM

sorry mate u yanks might just hit the top 5 this year not because im australian but we will dominate this year

1st hill
2nd hart
3rd troy b
4th graves
5th minnar
6th gwin or gee
7th gwin or gee
8th peaty
9th brendog
10th josh b


1/5/2012 5:08 PM

Really hard to know. Still need to see how the teams flush out whats Brook riding (assuming evil fully shit the bed) if the Athertons ride GT what else changes where does the backing Animal used to give come from.

If Hart and Bryceland can spend a season finishing races that will blow it wide open

Sam and Brendan being back looks good both kind of have something to show for revamped teams.

I think people forget that Stevie podiumed without racing Val di Sol

Gwin has a target on his back now. A huge one...

Minnaar always gets off to a good start at home.

Men (finals)
(no particular order)

Individual podiums

That's all provided there's no injuries personally I think there's almost guarunteed to be one.

Women's is WIDE open

The part i am most excited for Brendan + Rampage!


1/5/2012 5:09 PM

I like doing predictions so I'll give this a shot but it's such a open and unpredictable year. Gwin dominated last year, alot like Hill in '07 but I think similarly to Hill in '08 the chasing pack will have caught up on Gwin this year.

Rd 1, Pietermaritzburg, Greg Minnaar, I reckon Minnaar, he won in '09 and got 2nd last year. It's his home race and chances are he's trained on the course all the off-season. 2nd Gwin 3rd Fairclough

Rd 2, Val Di Sole, Sam Hill, worlds '08 'nuff said. 2nd Danny Hart 3rd Gee Atherton

Rd 3, Fort William, Brook MacDonald, I would love to say Danny Hart to win his home world cup in the rainbow jersey but I just see him putting too much pressure on himself and buckling under it. Brook MacDonald got 3rd last year and the track looks to suit him so I'd go with him. 2nd Gee Atherton 3rd Minnaar

Rd 4 Monte Sainte-Anne, Steve Smith, the track suits his riding style, 2010 worlds proves that point and also he's been scratching at a World Cup win for a while now, no better place to crack it. 2nd Peat 3rd Hill

Rd 5 Windham, Andrew Neethling got 3rd here last year and I think he'll grab his first win here. 2nd Gwin 3rd Leov

Rd 6 Val d’Isère, Danny Hart, looking at headcam videos this looks like a really steep and technical track, I'd go with Danny Hart for this one, it looks his sort of course. 2nd Hill 3rd Gee Atherton

Worlds (If predictions on that are being done) Leogang, Gee Atherton, It's a track that requires alot of strength and stamina and for this I'm going with Gee Atherton, 2nd in 2010 and 2011 it's a course that his style will always do well on. 2nd Blenkinsop 3rd Gwin

Rd 7 Hafjell, Brendan Fairclough, Again looking at headcam videos from the Euro's in 2010 (should they use that track) it looks like a cross between Schladming and La Bresse. I'd go with Fairclough providing that he doesn't get carried away on the jumps in the top section. 2nd Blenkinsop 3rd Ben Reid

So a different winner of every round and no wins for Gwin and no World Cup wins for 2 years in a row for Gee Atherton according to this. The podium for Reid at Hafjell is slightly bias but also the fact it's a new venue and Ben does well in those kinda tracks. No doubt these predictions will be off by a long shot but it's worth a try, I'd be stoked if I got even 1 right!


1/5/2012 5:15 PM

think i got lost a little brook mac and smith will be also up there in top 10 and black dogs blenki and cole

no matter whatr it will be a sick year


1/5/2012 5:36 PM

we are so lucky to have a 2011 like we just had.
2012 is going to be zany. weather could be weird too, cuz china has those new laser beams that start and stop rain.

i want to see strobel killlll'em all this year.
but this is a very tough season to predict.
there are like 15 racers that could take any round.
i started to think about it, and i had to go eat cuz i was burning calories.
hill-gee-minaar-gwin-brook-peat-cedric-stevie smith-luke-hannah-bryn-blenki-hart-ben reid-fairclough-brosnan-bryceland
!!!!!!!!!!! my head just sploded!!!!!!!!!
2012 is heated!!!
and we get red bull mega coverage???
shit. stoked.



1/5/2012 6:14 PM

2012 for the men is just too wide open for me to try to predict. And certainly not with the same precision as kwalsh96. I'm super excited for the battle royal between the Old School, New School, Gwin and Hill. But it's the women's race that really interests me. With the return of Tracy Hanah, who knows what could happen. I pity the other women this season. Tracy won an Ausie round, both practice and finals, by forty seconds. Has that ever been done by a man?


1/5/2012 7:54 PM

7.Rob Warner


Polygon DHX - BekYad, New Rig Wont Make You Go Fast

1/5/2012 8:44 PM

I am Nostradomus!!!!

1. Sam HILL
2. Arron GWIN
4. Greg MINNAR
6. Danny HART
8. Steve PEAT
10. Brook McDONALD

1. Arron GWIN
3. Greg MINNAR


1/5/2012 10:41 PM

Being a tech-geek, I'm excited to see some new bike+rider combos:

Gee on the GT Fury
Troy and Sam on a Carbon Demo 8?
Brendawg on a Carbon Gambler?
Brook on a Mondraker (just an assumption, MS has moved to Mondraker, no?)?
Bryn on the Norco Aurum

We've seen some pretty dramatic, seemingly immediate improvements in results from a few world cup pilots who swapped teams in that past 5 or so years.

I want Blenki to win a round......


MRP - VP of Business Dev.

1/6/2012 6:12 AM

New skool will rule this year, more than last. The pace is too high and old-timers will struggle to hang.

That said:


Looking forward to the season, team updates and surprises!


1/6/2012 1:33 PM

Sean_Conley wrote:

1. Gwin
2. Strobel
3. Riffle
4. Binggeli
5. Keene


This and
6. Hill


1/6/2012 5:13 PM

I would think Minnaar would be "disappointed" if he lost to Gwin 2 consecutive years at home. Same with Sam not being able to hold lead with Troy. Hopefully Hart continues to up Neethling's game as well* . Peaty will be pushed by Josh. Mac and the La Pierre duo will also hold on as will Mr.Smith. Think that its going to be close all year despite inevitable injury from pushing each other harder.
*(not the only component to improved performance )


1/6/2012 5:26 PM



1/6/2012 7:26 PM



1/8/2012 11:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2012 5:49 PM

Here is a compilation of all the World Cup tracks for 2012. Thought it would be nice to get a glimpse of all the tracks so we can predict whos gonna shine and whos not.

April 17-18 2012 Pietermaritzburg

More Mountain Biking Videos
Top section of the track is likely to change this year just as it did with 2011, there was a forum awhile back on this website were the track builder was asking for recommendations towards revisions for the 2012 track. If i remember correctly, a bunch of people chimed in on finding an alternative, less pedaly route for the flat bit, more emphasis on the top section, and major revisions to the bottom section. yes, thats pretty much means a course built from scratch but I predict that the course will continue along the same route as last year with minor revisions and new features.

June 2-3 2012 Val di Sole

More Mountain Biking Videos
The name of the game is always gnar at Val di sole. true mens track. Im expecting minor revisions like always to the 2012 track with some cool new features hear and there, but nothing too big. should be fast, epic, and gnarly

June 9-10th 2012 Fort William

More Mountain Biking Videos
This track is always an entertainer and challenger for riders year after year. Its fast, tricky, long, and a true test. As always, they try and improve the track were it can be and make it more challenging in other parts. Expect more revisions for 2012 and maybe some new sections here and there. Most of the track will probably be the same.

June 23-24th 2012 Monte Sainte-Anne

They always give the top section of this track as well as the bottom a bit of a change up year after year but the middle will probably stay the same old Mont sainte anne. Personally my favorite track on the circuit and probably the most entertaining. expect some damn fine racing and some true gnar out of this course.

June30th to July1 2012 Windham

More Mountain Biking Videos
'Merica! this course is deceivingly steep and fast. hopefully this year they nut up and add some more sections to challenge riders as well as make it a funner course. expect new sections, revisions to old ones, probably lengthing the course by a little to accomodate new features or revisions. lot of beer and speed people.

July 28 – 29 2012 Val d’Isère

sweet jesus. This course looks fuckin gnarly. steep, fast, open, gnarly. Pretty old school DH with some big stuff in it. they'll probably buff out some sections and make it more legit but other than that....well, we'll see how it goes. Should be the gnarliest race on this years circuit. gives me goosebumps just watchin.

September 15 – 16 2012 Hafjell

This hands down looks like the funnest track to ride all season. Its got everything, unfortunately that includes a pretty slow awkward section in the middle. Non the less, it looks fast, open, steep in sections, and all out fun. Alot like the beloved schladming WC track. My prediction is that this is were creativity will shine because when the racing comes, this track is going to get really really rough and pounded out. I think its the perfect venue to round off the season.

Hope you guys enjoyed the videos and hopefully it will bring some more insight towards whats to come for 2012

two wheels, one love.

1/9/2012 1:13 AM

Thanks man. Was a sweet ride down those trails............. from my armchair! tongue

Monte Sainte-Anne wasn't working though.


1/9/2012 3:37 AM

@kev1n: Hafjell's my "local" track and the "slow awkward section in the middle" is named Råbølstien and is the most technical and challenging part of the track. Get it right and you're a legend. Get it wrong, and you'll get stuck like in the video. Can't wait to see Hart's line og choice through there.


1/9/2012 7:19 AM

Jared Graves will be returning to the DH scene this year, and I think he has potential to get some impressive results. I would say he can get top ten overall at the least.


1/9/2012 11:22 AM

kev1n, nice job finding all of those!


1/9/2012 12:32 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2012 12:32 PM

It's funny. 3 years ago you could have said:

Hill, Minnaar, Peat, Gee as your definitive top 4.

Now, you have the following riders all capable of winning a race, and easily getting top 10 overall.

Danny Hart
Cam Cole
Brook Mac
Stevie Smith

They can pretty much all (and many more riders that will have upped their game for this year) podium and 3/4 you wouldn't not think about putting money on to win.

With so many names capable of winning its gonna be such a wild season!


1/9/2012 5:52 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2012 5:54 PM

*fixed the mt. sainte anne cam

I can get over how gnarly the Val d’Isère course is and how much fun the hafjell course is...
so jealous of WC riders

anyway, my top 5 for this season in no particular order is



two wheels, one love.

1/10/2012 12:28 PM

Too many to pick from to call a list. I'd say we should expect a bit of everything. I think the rider that was really on an upward trajectory last year was Brosnan, it would not surprise me to start to see him really challenge. Hart seems a lock for at least a couple of bangers. No way Gwin will be off pace by much if at all, he's just too fast. I sadly doubt Hill can recreate the magic (I hope I'm wrong). Gee and Greg will continue to challenge for the overall and some wins, if they hold it together for all of the races. Would love to see Stevie and Brendog do well/get a win! And, to round it all off, any time you see Peaty podium is a treat, so I hope that happens too!