What a year 2019 was… Our Wideopenmag staffers and racers pick their favourite moments from the last twelve months.
Every year seems to be kicked up a notch in the cycle industry and 2019 was no different. We asked our staffers and racers for their picks of the best from everything mountain bike-related over the last twelve months.
Big Dave K
Athertons launching their own bike brand.
This was unsurprisingly pretty big news, with the fastest family teaming up with the likes of Piers Linney and 3D printing titanium, the end result was never going to be middle of the road, was it?
It looks like the production bikes might be on the horizon too…
Most competitive World Cup DH season I can remember.
What a year for World Cup downhill. Despite missing Rachel Atherton, Tahnee Seagrave and Myriam Nicole, the ladies’ elite field stepped it up for some amazing racing and we saw some new faces on the podium too.
In the dudes’ race, it was just as ferocious as we’d come to expect.
Sam Hill winning his third in a row EWS title.
Say what you want about whether or not the doping that marred the Enduro World Series was deliberate or not, there was one man that went about the business of being the best in his own inimitable way.
Sam Hill is the king.
Wales moves one step closer to open access.
The Welsh Government’s move to look into the possibility of having Scottish-style open access could possibly be the biggest shake up in rights of way since the passing of the Land Reform Act (Scotland) 2003. Having grown up in Wales and always had to think about whether a path was a bridleway or not took the fun out of riding.
It would be amazing to open up all of Wales’ amazing trails to bikes.
Dyfi Bike Park finally opening.
Just like their bikes, the Athertons were taking their time to get Dyfi Bike Park right before they opened their doors to the public.
With the easiest trail being a Black Diamond, this place is not for the faint of heart, but rock up with a full face lid and a 150mm+ travel bike and you will have the time of your life.
Brook MacDonald’s recovery.
While the accident that saw the Bulldog lose temporary feeling in his leg(s), his recovery from his horrific crash in Mont Saint Anne has been nothing short of inspiring.
If Brook lands a podium within the next 24 months, I will cry tears of joy and give me ultimate faith that the world is not doomed.
Ard Rock community fund.
The way the MTB community came together after the devastation at Ard Rock to help raise £50,000 for the local community. Absolutely outstanding response to the terrible flooding.
Seeing the BNES coordinate a full national series with multiple organisers coming together. Hope to see this model continue.
I think I said it last year but CathroVision. Always the highlight of a World Cup for me. Great insight and a different angles to the racing and the riders.
There’s chat afoot that the man himself will be back racing World Cups in 2020. Arguably the best news in a long time.
The arrival and apparent dominance of mullet bikes.
Just one more thing to puzzle over and divide opinion.
The insane long jump competition that Bruce Klein won at Les Gets World Cup with a monster 86 foot huck. It is great to see that there is still a fun side to the serious world of modern DH racing.
It was great to see the rise of Marine Cabirou this season who finished the year with a dominant performance, including sending the massive triple at Snow Shoe like it was child’s play.
Amaury Pierron’s Les Get run.
Two seconds into second place on the weekend of Bastille Day sent Les Gets into overdrive. A wild, attacking run that was on the edge from start to finish.
Dan Paley riding more mountain bikes.
The BMX Street steeze is unreal.
Revival of the British National Enduro Series
Echoing Hutch’s sentiments, Christo was stoked to see the BNES rise from the ashes after a turbulent few years for national series full stop. Plenty variety in locations and formats kept things fresh and down to the wire.
E-bikes finally starting to look like well designed mountain bikes (I’m looking at you, Levo), rather than hastily shoving a battery into an existing frame.
Tyre inserts no longer cost a fortune, with plenty of good value options out there. Goodbye punctures.
Check out Ben’s Rimpact review here.
A great year of events, apart from poor Ard Rock. Long Mynd Batch Burner was a particular highlight of mine. Great example of type 2 fun…