Was today’s World Cup at Leogang the best race ever? Peaty’s World Champs win might still take that crown but it was pretty god damn good for a British racing fan. I can’t remember a race when so many heroes of UK mountain biking stood on the podium and showed the world how bloody awesome they are.
Taylor Vernon – after a tough start to his World Cup career he climbed on the podium today the 2nd fastest junior racer on the planet. Having seen Tay rise up through the British ranks, to being adopted by the Atherton family, to recovering from a huge injury and to climbing on to a World Cup podium … that’s something pretty damn special.
Manon Carpenter – For a long time it seemed like she was destined to always play second fiddle to Rachel. Always resigned to the second step behind Rach’s unbeatable lead. I’d never make the mistake of saying that Rachel’s illness made it any easier for Manon to win … but it certainly took a big contender out of the running. At this weekend’s race however Rachel scored a solid, fast, second place result and Manon took the gold. Both riders rode well, they went fast and Manon went faster. It’s great to see Manon stepping up and showing she can win and she can beat the entire field.
Rachel Atherton – let’s face it, she’s not had the best season and illness has left her seriously off her game. That said, second place at Leogang shows that she’s fast and she’s fighting her way back. How many riders in the world can get knocked on their ass by illness and still come back to a second place World Cup podium? Not bloody many…
Tahnee Seagrave – 19 years old and taking her first World Cup elite podium on her birthday. Tahnee is the future of Women’s downhill racing, no doubt about it. She’s pinned, she’s got bigger balls than most of the male field … and she’s cooler than penguins piss (as Rob Warner might say!). The future is bright!
Katy Curd – You could easily overlook Katy’s weekend in the wake of the downhill … but a British World Champion isn’t crowned every day of the week. Katy is a true zero to hero story. She was “discovered” by Rob Warner and MBUK and given a pro-deal off the back of her raw talent. A few years on and she’s wearing the rainbow stripes. Great bloody work Katy, 4X World Champion!
And Josh bloody Bryceland! What the hell do you say about that?
We interviewed Steve Peat at Round 1 of the British Downhill Series and asked him “when will Ratboy win his first World Cup?” his answer was “in a few weeks at South Africa”. Well – he wasn’t quite correct but he wasn’t far off! We’ve all grown up watching Ratboy ride his bikes, get bigger, stronger and faster. We’ve seen him have more fun on his bike than anyone else, live the rock star life whilst still going fast and winning races. He has fun, he goes fast, he lives “the life” – he’s everything that’s cool about mountain biking right..? To see him win a race shows that you don’t have to be a creatine-fuelled, lycra clad robot to succeed at the top of downhill. You can have fun, enjoy your riding. You have to train hard sure … but you can also let it hang out on the track and still smash the field. I’d say that’s as inspiring as you can get for the future of mountain bike racing.
Congratulations all – 6 heroes of British mountain biking.