From down under to the top of the world! Sam Hill has been a dominating force in mountain bike racing for many years.
Undoubtedly a legend, but how did Sam Hill get to be the best in the world?
We recently spoke with the Sam to ask him how his star-studded career at the top of the mountain biking world came about!
From a small suburb in Perth, Western Australia, to the superstar he is today, Sam started out not by riding mountain bikes but on a BMX and motocross bike. “I started riding bikes in motocross and BMX at a pretty young age. My older brother and his mates sort of discovered mountain biking and I was always trying to keep up on my BMX. I eventually went to a local Dual Slalom race and watched – that’s where I found a love and passion for it.”
“When I discovered mountain biking I’d race home from school on my bike, sit there and watch some videos of guys like Steve Peat and Cédric Gracia them kind of heroes.”
“I never thought I’d be one of the guys on those videos, let alone racing Steve Peat and beating them early on to become a World Champion!”Sam Hill
Advice from the top
Watching Sam take on some of the world’s most gnarly courses would make you think he has nerves of steel, but even the very best can feel the pressure. Speaking to Sam, he said: “I still get nervous sometimes if I hit a new line for the first time…it’s something you learn how to deal with, know your limits and work up to doing bigger things!”
Racing since 2001 at the fresh age of 16, Sam won his first major trophy only one year later at the Under-19 Australian Championship before going on to be crowned Junior Downhill Champion in Austria the same year.
Since then Sam has won three Enduro World Series Championships, three UCI Downhill World Championships and much more, but what keeps him going?
“It’s pretty crazy to look back on, I pinch myself and think back as a 13 year old to realise that it all sort of came as dream that I kept chasing.”
“I’m always looking for lines to either save energy…by trying to find lines that I feel will give me a faster time by either carrying more speed or by making the track a bit shorter.”
But perhaps more importantly for Sam, “The first thing to do is keep it fun, it’s the reason we all start and its the reason we all want to keep riding is to have fun!”
Mountain biking is my life I guess, everything I’ve got now has come through mountain biking. It’s pretty crazy to think of where it has brought me in the last 20 years!Sam Hill
A home away from home
Being away from home a lot can have an affect on anyone, especially with the pressures of being the best in the business and not being with his young kids and wife; Sam explains how Team Chain Reaction is like his own mountain biking family
“It’s awesome, the team we are all together like a little family and its a little family away from your own family, it makes it a lot better, easier and nicer to be able to travel around with a close group of people that you know will have your back.”