Team CRC Mavic racer and current EWS overall leader, Sam Hill, has just won the Garbanzo Downhill race in Whistler, Canada, just two days after finishing second at the Whistler Enduro World Series!
Team manager Nigel Page is trackside, as ever, to let us know how the race went down:
One of the jobs we had this week whilst in Whistler was for Sam Hill to have a few runs on the new Nukeproof Pulse prototype downhill bike.
In typical Sam style he decided to enter the famous long Garbanzo DH track which starts right up at the top of the bike park. The track is really old now and super rough with everything you could throw at the rider and bike. Super rough rock and root sections, huge holes, massive rock drops and features, high speed loose sections and tight and technical stuff also.
I went up to do a couple of runs with Sam which was the first time for him on the new downhill bike and first time on a downhill bike in over a year. So a good test for the bike but it was going to take Sam some time to get used the a downhill bike again. The track was tough and challenging to say the least and I was glad I was not racing.
Sam ended up doing four practice runs and changed a few settings on the bike after each run to try and get it feeling good for him. It was a big change from riding the Nukeproof Mega enduro bike Sam is used to riding. He was struggling to get used to the feel of the big bike and really needed some more time to set the bike up but it was a great test for the bike.
I headed up to the top of the mountain for race runs and Sam was super cool and chilled whilst all the other top downhill riders were warming up and trying to get into the downhill race mode.
Sam said he was just going to give it a go and see what happens, but the five-time downhill World Champion and current enduro world champion never messes about when it comes to racing and threw down a run of 12.46.84 taking the win over some really fast World Cup downhill racers
It was absolutely amazing! Well done Sam, you’re the man.
The Whistler fans were so stoked to see the champ back on a downhill bike and taking the win.
Thanks to Jacy for his work setting up the bike plus all the team, sponsors and guys at Nukeproof for all their support.
[All images by Fraser Britton]