British World Champs MTB Squad Announced!

British Cycling have released their Downhill World Championships MTB line-up to represent at the World Championships in Val di Sol on September 11th.

Amongst them are 7 former World Champions, some both Junior and Senior winners.

On top of a squad that should no doubt be primed for the steep, technical affair that is Val Di Sol in Trentino, Italy, there’s one current and two former Wideopenmag team riders in the mix. Three of the riders on the squad have won Rainbow Stripes in Val di Sol before too.Red Bull UCI Downhill World Cup Cairns Australia

Of the riders that took home the gold in the 2008 edition of the Val di Sol World Championships on this year’s squad, only one of those is having the rampant year they’d expect of themselves. Rachel Atherton has won everything she’s turned up at, and unless something very strange happens, we’d expect her to win Val di Sol by another multi-second margin.

Unsurprisingly, Tahnee and Manon make the cut, with Katy Curd in there as well based on her Fort William performance amongst others. Will we see another all-British female Elite podium?

Josh and Gee have yet to rekindle their former pace for whatever reason, although both did enough to meet one of the criteria of making the World Champs squad back in France at the start of the year. A top 10 at a World Cup is one marker to beat and they finished 6th and 7th respectively.

Gee_Atherton_ Worlds_2012

Danny Hart makes the cut for obvious reasons and is another rider on the squad with the Rainbow cuffs. Laurie Greenland, former Junior World Champion (and Wideopenmag rider!), makes the cut in his first senior season and joins his team mate in the British assault. We’re beyond stoked our former Junior pinner is at the sharp end!

Bolstering this already impressive line-up are your National Champ and top 10 overall rider Greg Williamson who’s having an amazing year, as is Mr. Gas to Flat himself, Adam Brayton. Last, but not least is an on-form Brendan Fairclough.

Fox Boa Leaderboard 2024

What’s this though? Steve Peat not happy with British Cycling’s choices? Who would you replace?

Going by the UCI rankings, Bernard Kerr, Matt Simmonds, Mike Jones and Ruaridh Cunningham are maybe the only other riders that might have made the cut. The first two sit above some of the others rankings-wise but haven’t scored that vital top 10 position. Cunningham did, but perhaps was the bottom of the list when everything else was considered, maybe only one pip ahead of Simmonds. Jones has had a sub-par year by his standards, only just making the top 20 at the first two World Cups.

Brendan Fairclough improved on his seeding time and managed to slide himself into 2 nd place, just over 2 seconds behind the winner, Remi Thirion.

Then we have the Juniors. In previous years BC have attracted criticism for not taking many, if any Juniors to World Champs. That cannot be an accusation this year with a full male squad and a single female heading to Italy. Matt Walker, our own Charlie Hatton, Elliott Heap, Kaos Seagrave, Joe Breeden, former Wideopenmag-er Joe Parfitt and James Purvis all make the squad. Current Junior National Champ and BDS Junior leader Aston Tutt is the sole Junior lady in a GB jersey this year.

Charlie Hatton Fort William World Cup Wideopenmag (22 of 61)

Val di Sol also hosts the 2016 4X World Championships, and again, our squad is full of experience. Scott Beaumont leads the charge, with Luke Cryer, Duncan Ferris, Alex Metcalfe, Will Evans, David Roberts and Nathan Parsons making up the rest of the team. Natasha Bradley and Hannah Escott representing the ladies in Italy.

We can’t wait to see the action unfold on one of the most technically demanding downhill courses out there.

With any luck, there’ll be plenty of medals in both downhill and 4X heading north from Italy in the second week of September.