2019 Enduro World Series

ashes_mtb

Likes Dirt
I’m being facetious.
My point is that he was one of the most successful DHers of all time. He’s also THE most accomplished enduro riders so far.
In terms of gravity riders, I stand by my statement that he’s the GOAT...so far.
Fair enough. I haven't followed racing enough to really have a view, I'm just stuck in the 90's still.

Is it harder to win these days than it was in the 90's? If you combine DH World Cups and EWS results, Sam Hill arguably has a better record than NV in the series formats.
 

moorey

Boom!
I definitely reckon it’s a lot harder to win in DH now than it was.
As awesome as Nico was, he never faced competition like the current French crop etc. Sam had it tougher than Nico IMHO, but there wasn’t the number of pointy end riders there currently are.
Enduro competition is currently insane. Any one of 10 riders can take the win any stage, even if Sam, Rude and Maes are taking most of the wins.
 

born-again-biker

Is looking for a 16" bar
Great finish to the end of the men's season. Congrats to SH - what a legend. So much raw talent and the right temperament for racing.
(Isabeau "Corduroy" is amazing too).

I feel for Florian though. He rode ultra-consistent all season to get himself into the hot seat. He could see the title right in front of him....but of all the riders he could have raced in the final round, he has to go up against a stone cold killer. You could pretty much sense before the first stage he was a sitting duck. SH revels in that sort of direct-pressure contest, whereas Florian seems like more of a steady, consistent, lower risk rider. He gave it a crack but all-out aggressive pace was needed and not many have it like Maes/Hill/Rude.
Poor guy.....the title slipped thru his fingers on the last day of the whole season.

Can't wait for next year already!
 

kbekus

Likes Dirt
Hopefully next year we see a proper fight between Rude, Maes and Hill... no fking bullshit with non-prescribed groin lotions and boxes of tissues putting racers out of action. As much as I hate to say it, my money would be on Rude, all things being equal.

And what's up with the womens pro class? Ravenel absolutely dominated a couple of years in a row so she steps out, now Cordurier totally dominates. Tough field there too with the best of the rest fighting for second.
 

born-again-biker

Is looking for a 16" bar
Hopefully next year we see a proper fight between Rude, Maes and Hill... no fking bullshit with non-prescribed groin lotions and boxes of tissues putting racers out of action. As much as I hate to say it, my money would be on Rude, all things being equal.

And what's up with the womens pro class? Ravenel absolutely dominated a couple of years in a row so she steps out, now Cordurier totally dominates. Tough field there too with the best of the rest fighting for second.
Ravenel hit a tree in off-season training and broke her back. Dunno when she'll be back...
 

moorey

Boom!
Hopefully next year we see a proper fight between Rude, Maes and Hill... no fking bullshit with non-prescribed groin lotions and boxes of tissues putting racers out of action. As much as I hate to say it, my money would be on Rude, all things being equal.

And what's up with the womens pro class? Ravenel absolutely dominated a couple of years in a row so she steps out, now Cordurier totally dominates. Tough field there too with the best of the rest fighting for second.
I think Maes will be the man to watch again for the next few years. Rudes consistency is improving, and that makes him dangerous. It pains me that Sam isn’t getting any younger. How many years can you maintain that intensity at the top?
I think if he can stay consistent, always in or around the top 3, and the others make a few mistakes, he’s always going to be up there.
Won 2 of the 5 on the weekend, and one was by 7 seconds, so he’s clearly not losing his edge just yet.
Family may start to become his big focus with the kids growing up, and I’m sure he could retire today and Empire Coaching would support him comfortably for as long as he wants.
He’s got nothing to prove, and I can’t see him sticking it out year after year if he doesn’t realistically think he can still win. I’m already gagging for 2020 :D
 

moorey

Boom!
Not only did he have to fend off Hill, he had Maes and Rude in there ahead of him to make sure he couldn't get close to Sam's 2nd place. Talk about a cock block. Those guys didnt even have a shot at the Title.
Big call. Both Maes and Rude are fierce competitors with everything to prove. You could say the same about the previous round, with Rude stealing the top points from Sam.
If Sam hadn’t won the Queen and finished below both Rude and Maes, it would probably have robbed Sam the win. That’s racing.
 

rstim

Likes Dirt
Nice. I hadn’t looked at points tally. 30 point win! If he hadn’t won last stage, no queen points, 10 point loss. Wow. o_O
I thought he won by 40 and if he didn't win the Queen stage and they finished equal on points, Sam would have won as he finished the last round ahead of Flo.
Next year will certainly be interesting if all the top guys are fighting fit very hard to pick a winner but I think Maes will have the most to prove.
As for the women I saw in the pinkbike comments Cecil is back on the bike riding at Finale last week so hopefully she can be back racing. The other one to watch would be Richter if she races a full season and got on a team with full support, she had good speed in the couple of races she competed in.
 

caad9

Likes Dirt
What about Eddie the Eagle?

I think Maes is the one to beat, but between the top 4-5, every single stage will be pivotal
 

clockworked

Like an orange
I think that if maes and rude's performances WEREN'T boosted by doping then they're faster than sam and likely to win next year. It is of course possible their doping did give them an edge though
 

Boom King

Wheel size expert
Sam is incredibly consistent. Just remember he had man flu in the first two rounds this year and finished 12th in round 5 due to a stage 1 puncture. Lucky Maes and Rude had their own issues but shit can happen at any time.

A season with everyone fit and free of mechanicals would be one for the ages...
 

downunderdallas

Likes Dirt
Sam is incredibly consistent. Just remember he had man flu in the first two rounds this year and finished 12th in round 5 due to a stage 1 puncture. Lucky Maes and Rude had their own issues but shit can happen at any time.

A season with everyone fit and free of mechanicals would be one for the ages...
Agreed but highly unlikely. A season without major crashes (in or out of competition) and without flats which are a major killer in one of these as you point out, is almost unbelievable. What I can't believe is more of them don't get a cold/flu like Sam did. I know they take better care of themselves than I do but even still, I remain impressed at how rarely you hear someone say they weren't feeling too well.
 

moorey

Boom!
I think that if maes and rude's performances WEREN'T boosted by doping then they're faster than sam and likely to win next year. It is of course possible their doping did give them an edge though
Really?
Sam won 2 of the 5 stages on the weekend. Rude won none.

I don’t think Maes was or is effected by any doping.
 

gillyske

Likes Dirt
Big call. Both Maes and Rude are fierce competitors with everything to prove. You could say the same about the previous round, with Rude stealing the top points from Sam.
If Sam hadn’t won the Queen and finished below both Rude and Maes, it would probably have robbed Sam the win. That’s racing.
That's totally what I'm saying. If Maes and Rude weren't in it, I reckon Florian could have taken the title from Sam this year. Because those two were racing they essentially kept Florian out of points contention.
This season really had me wondering if Sam could keep up with Maes and Rude. But the consistent second places showed us that he can. Next year will be super interesting, with the form that Maes and Rude have Sam cannot coast his way to an overall, he'll have to actually win a few rounds. We'll find out if Sam was just keeping something in reserve because he knew that Rude and Maes couldn't win.

Not to take anything away from Florian, but second half of the season he kinda disappeared amidst the fierce competition from team drug offences, whilst Sam showed up.
 
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