With the downhill season finale looming, Team Wideopenmag’s manager Big Dave K gives us his picks for the Elite Male GB Downhill squad.
Great Britain has always fielded a strong showing at a world level in DH with multiple world titles from the likes of Tracy Moseley, Steve Peat and Gee Atherton. The selection of who to send to worlds is an annual debate and there is always a rider that believes for whatever reason that they should be on the GB Worlds Team.
The criteria for the selection are always a little vague and kept under wraps which I think adds to the rider’s frustration when they don’t make the cut and they don’t necessarily understand why they haven’t.
As such, this is the team that based on the season performance so far, I would send. It is by no means the one that will be sent, but I would like to think that there is good justification in my eyes for each rider. Each country can send up to 6 riders (plus the World Champ). The world teams are a national team, so the funding comes direct from the governing bodies as well as factory teams taking their mechanics.
My criteria would be (and in this order):
- Top 10 at World Cup
- National Champion
- Winner of British National Race
- Other – essentially if the team isn’t filled by the above criteria then others must be explored – World Cup finishes, National podiums, qualifying spots at World Cups
Danny is having an amazingly consistent season. He has podiumed all but the last world cup in 2019 and has also won the British National Championship title which should be an auto-qualifier.
Laurie is having a pretty good season so far. He has had 3 top 10 results in the World Cup with a season best of third at the last round in Les Gets. Whilst MSA hasn’t been the kindest to him in his elite career, I think that selection should be based on what you are doing this season rather than in the past.
The now second year elite and ex-Junior World Champion is having a great season once again. With a podium at round one of the World Cup, followed up by a top 10 at round 2 shows that the speed is there without a shadow of a doubt. He also won round one of the National Series which backs up his spot on the GB Worlds Team.
Gee isn’t having the best season on the world stage with a season best of 21st at Fort William. However, he has won 2 British Nationals. I believe that a win at the national series in elite should get you a spot on the team. There needs to be an added incentive to the riders to come and race the home series and to support the younger riders coming through the ranks, otherwise we will get to a point and not have the strong field to pick from that we do currently.
If they know that they can come and ride the tracks and race the series that helped to build their career and with a win they could qualify for the squad is there a higher chance that there would be more pro’s showing up? I would like to think so. He also had an 8th at MSA last year plus has raced there 15 times, which could provide invaluable experience to the team.
The racer come movie star come freerider put down a heater in Les Gets narrowly missing out on a podium spot. He hasn’t had a great rest of the season on the world stage missing out on Fort William and Leogang due to injury, but with the new bike beneath him and his sights now firmly set on the podium after to coming so close, he should definitely have a spot.
The final spot on the GB Worlds Team. This was a tough one, Greg hasn’t had a top 10 at the World Cup, won a National, nor is he National Champ. However, there is no one else that fills these criteria. Greg has been in the top 15 three times this season along with a podium at the Fort William National.