With 2020 just around the corner, our Wideopenmag staffers look forward to the things they’re most excited about next year.
Bikes mean different things to different people, and you might be excited about something that doesn’t do it for anyone else. We asked what our Wideopenmag staffers are looking forward to most in 2020, and here they are.
The Anti-grip moon dust stuff in Chile EWS as it looks insane and I would love to ride it. Sam Hill showed utter disregard for the hype and set about tearing the race apart in his inimitable style.
Portuguese World Cup
DH World Cup in Lousa. New venue. High speed and early in the year. Can’t wait.
UR Team are already out in Portugal for their team launch and will no doubt be getting their eyes in early and sounding out how the conditions change.
Elite Women’s downhill
Return of Tahnee Seagrave, Rachel Atherton and Myriam Nicole to top level racing and hopefully a full WC season. Can Marine Cabirou and Tracey Hannah compete? Will Vali Hoell steal the show? It’s going to be epic.
Open access for Wales (or close to it, maybe).
Brilliant news for bikers, walkers and climbers. But mostly bikers.
Wales looks to adopt a Scotland-style open access law after the Welsh Assembly voted to look to changing their access laws. At the moment, cyclists are confined to bridleways, without committing a civil offence. A Scottish-style access law would revert most rights of way to bridleways, opening up a huge amount of trails to two wheels.
Every year I think it needs to happen, and it never does. 2020 is the one. Anyone got any route tips?
Every manufacturer claiming their mullet bike is the thing to have this year?
Will anyone put the small wheel in the front and preaching that if offers more optimisation or some other terrible marketing phrase?
Will it just make things harder for someone walking into a bike shop to buy a bike?
National Downhill Champs
Run by Si Paton’s team at Bala, I’m hoping we get the road crossing.
Rhyd Y Felin is a cracking venue and the return of Si Paton’s team to downhill, and a one-off race like the National Champs will mean they can focus all their attention on making this as good as it can be.
The new Team Wideopenmag line up with three new riders alongside Hutch and Christo (TBA January).
More and more riders showing that riding bikes is all about fun, travel and adventure rather than the serious side of the sport. The likes of 50:01, CannonofWaves, Vero, Brage Vestavik and the rest are really pushing the non-race content hard, without going down the big adventure route.
Elite Men’s downhill
The inevitable fight that Amaury Pierron and Danny Hart will bring to Loic Bruni in 2020. There’s a lot of unfinished business there. Danny got a flavour of things and what he’s capable of at the end of the season while Amaury will be wanting to steal that title off of his friend. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be one hell of a session from the first round.
Seeing the developments at Bikepark Wales take shape. It’s an amazing facility and will only get better. This place is a clear example of what should be happening around the UK to improve access to safe, well maintained trails to encourage further people into the sport. Keep up the excellent work BPW.
Trash Free Trails
Clean trails. I’ve always tried to pick up litter while out riding and treat the environmental with respect. If everyone grabbed a piece of litter each ride (and just stopped littering) then we’d have far cleaner environments. The team at trash free trails are doing some great promotional stuff. Awesome to see it grow and hope it encourages more to call out people who litter and/or pick it up little themselves while riding.
New Top Gun Film
Everyone’s favourite Scientologist reboots the most homo-erotic franchise ever.
They’ve added a North American P51 Mustang to the mix though, so strap yourself in, this is going to be wild.
New Matrix/ John Wick 4 double header
Keanu Reeves is back and with the highly-anticipated return of Bill & Ted, his bank balance must be pretty healthy at the moment.
Get ready for some softly spoken threats and a heap of carnage… Then air guitars and playing death at Battleship.
Going to Antigua on Honeymoon
Dave got married, and for their honeymoon, him and his lovely wife are off to the Caribbean island of Antigua.
More and more pumptracks
If you hadn’t noticed, Christo is pretty keen on pumptracks, having competed in pumptrack competitions in 2019 and trains on the one in Edinburgh on the regular.
With more and more pumptracks popping up, there’s more places to go ride and another good reason to have the hardtail in the van.
The British Enduro Series
The BNES was made the list for Christo and Hutch’s favourite things from this year, so it’s not surprising that Christo is looking forward to getting back at it and taking the Elite title that eluded him at the death this year.
More and more amazing jump lines popping up in the UK
Young Christo is pretty keen on airtime, and as a result, the fact that groups of riders are now banding together to speak to landowners to get trails and jumps built with less likelihood of them getting flattened, there’s some real gold appearing all over the shop.
I spend most of the winter riding snow and bogs, so with a chairlift and tape being the only difference at the Macavalanche, this race speaks to me. I bagged my best ever race result there in 2017, so he’s back for more on some long travel, 29 loveliness to see if he can get himself inside the top 10.
2019 showed two very different and unpleasant parts of cycling.
Two riders done for doping at an Enduro World Series in 2018 managed to side step the EWS’s then zero policy on doping, serve retrospective bans, then one of whom came back to compete and win in 2019, the other will be back in 2020. Whatever the ins and outs of guilt, culpability and rule changes that lead to the current setup, this stunk as bad as Contador eating tainted steak. Mountain biking needs doping as much as I need a hot spike though my balls.
Some very enlightened folk then decided to only care about Kate Weatherly competing at World Cups when she bagged her first podium and then decided it wasn’t acceptable. If you don’t like transgender policy written by the IOC and accepted by most cycling federations globally, go speak to the federations, don’t hate the individuals, you’ve no idea what they’ve been through mentally and physically to get to this point.
Katy Winton back racing.
Katy Winton has had a long hiatus from racing as she recovers from multiple concussions suffered while in the heat of racing.
I’m pretty sure a year or so off from racing will see the Borders pocket rocket a little older and considerably wiser, making her an event more competitive racer.
I’ll go out there and say you’ll see Katy win her first EWS round in 2020.