Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
“Sam Hill finishes an incredible 6th at the Downhill World Championship on his Mega 275 C”
Photo Credit: Fraser Britton
Sam Hill places 6th at the Downhill World Championships in Cairns, Australia.
Team CRC-Mavic athlete Sam Hill took a week off training for the final round of the EWS to compete for the coveted Rainbow stripes in Cairns, Australia. Currently leading the overall Enduro World Series, Sam chose to lay it all on the line for World Champs as it has always meant something special to him. The opportunity to go for an incredible 6th World Champs title on Australian soil in front of his home fans, friends and family was too big a draw.
Qualifying for the Australian national team is not a right of passage, despite his status and World Champ history. With a packed season of racing Sam had only one opportunity for qualification, the 2nd round of the UCI DH world cup in Fort William Scotland. This was the first time Sam had rode a DH bike in over a year and he placed 18th which ended up good enough to make the Australia team. We only received the announcement late in the season at Whistler EWS, just enough time to prepare something special for Sam.
The track in Cairns is not on a huge mountain like a lot of the other World Cup DH venues but still has some really rough sections is super high speed in other parts and has some big jumps. They last held the World Championships here in 1996 and the track is basically the same layout but with a few added features, some big jumps and a tricky rock garden.
Surprisingly to the rest of the world, Sam decided he wanted to ride his Nukeproof Mega 275C bike which he races the Enduro World series on, based on the fact that this is the bike he rides all the time and felt it was good enough for him to handle the DH track.
To go with the awesome custom painted Mega 275 C frame (Thank you to Johnny @Refurbmybike and Owen @SlikGraphics), Monster and 100% created a super cool custom Aircraft helmet and Mavic ensured he had some awesome custom coloured Aussie kit. Sam was looking fast and trick before he even got on the track!
It turned out Sam wasn’t wrong and from the first day of practice Sam looked super fast and comfortable on his Mega 275 C even hitting the huge jump ‘Micks Drop’ before the whoop section of the track.
As Sam had not competed in any other DH races this season apart from Fort William he had a number 75 ranking which put his first off in the race.
They had a timed training session a few days before the race where Sam placed 12th but he was 4th and 5th at the first 2 splits and just cruised to the finish, so we knew Sam had a good chance of a great result.
Sam’s nerves where pretty high come race day but he knew he was riding great and it seemed like the whole world was behind the DH legend racing his Mega 275 C in “possibly” his last ever DH World Championships which he has won 3 times as a senior / elite level and twice as a junior.
Sam put down an amazing run riding his Enduro bike at the absolute limit and crossed the line with a 3.32 time just a couple of seconds of his goal to go under a 3.30 but with a strong head wind when Sam came down for the final last 20 second flat sprint to the finish line.
This put Sam in the hot Seat for nearly 50 riders, until home town rider Mick Hannah beat his time. As the seasoned world cup riders dropped in only 4 others beat his time and giving Sam an amazing 6th place! What an achievement for a man that has only done 1 other downhill race this season and racing the worlds best on his Mega. Well done Sam we are super proud of you and your achievements this year.
Congratulations to Frances Loic Bruni and Canada’s Miranda Miller ended up being crowned World Champion’s
Thanks to everyone involved in making all the cool stuff ready for Sam and for everything so far this season, we just have 1 more very important race to go this year, the EWS finals in Finale Ligure, Italy in a few weeks time
Full replay on Red Bull TV, Sam’s run is from 6 minuets in
The team is also proudly supported by:
Follow the rider on Social Media and on the Chain Reaction Hub:
Sam Hill @SamHillRacing