Sam Hill (mountain biker)

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Sam Hill
Sam-Hill.jpg
Sam Hill winning the last round of the MTB UCI World Cup in Méribel (2014)
Personal information
Full name Samuel Hill
Born (1985-07-21) July 21, 1985 (age 29)
Viveash, Australia
Team information
Discipline Mountain Bike
Role Rider
Rider type Downhill
Infobox last updated on
October 10, 2014

Sam Hill (born 21 July 1985 in Viveash, Western Australia), is an Australian professional downhill mountain biker. He was two time consecutive UCI World Downhill Champion during years 2006-2007 for Iron Horse racing team.[1] He won the 2010 world championships in Mont Saint Anne, riding for the Monster Energy Specialized team on a Specialized Demo 8 II.[2] He also won the 2007 and 2009 UCI Elite Mens Downhill World Cup (Overall).[3] In December 2012 it was announced that Hill had signed for the Chain Reaction Cycles/Nukeproof team.

Early Riding Career[edit]

In 2001, aged 16 years old, Sam Hill first came into the international mountain bike racing scene, attending his first overseas race traveling Canada and the USA. He came third at the Vail World Championships in the Under 19(Junior) Downhill event.

In 2002 he won the Under 19 Australian Championships. The same year he was crowned Junior Downhill World Champion, coming first at the World Championships in Kaprun, Austria.

In 2003, at just 18, Sam Hill in the Elite category won both the Australian and Oceania Downhill Championships. He then went on to successfully defend his Junior World Champion title in Lugano, Switzerland. [4]

He starred in the 2010 mountain bike movie Follow Me.

Riding Style[edit]

Sam Hill is known for his skill in riding steep, technical courses as opposed to flatter courses that require pedaling. He has regularly won on one of the steeper, more technical tracks on the World Cup Circuit, Schladming. His famous run in Champery (2007) is also testament to his remarkably high skill level on technical courses.

Notable Races[edit]

2003 Downhill World Championships, Lugano, Switzerland At the time Sam was only 18 years of age and still in the junior class (Under 19). He went into this race as the favourite to win the junior title. The track was also perfect for Sam's style, steep and technical. Eric Carter, the mtb legend saw Sam riding for the first time at this race and said of him, "He went through a section so fast, and it was so rocky and muddy and loose, that I couldn't understand... how he made his bike do what it did". During his race run he had a crash but still managed to walk away with the junior title, but somewhat surprisingly he came third out of all the times on the day. If he had stayed on he would have surely beaten Greg Minaar for the fastest time and the Senior Mens World Title at the age of 18.

2007 World Cup round 2, Champéry, Switzerland After placing fifth at round one in Vigo, Spain, all eyes were glued on Sam Hill in round two. The extremely steep and technical track seemed almost tailor made for the young Australian. All seemed to be going well for Hill when he qualified in first place early on race day, besting the second place qualifier by over 14 seconds![5] Hill was looking confident for Finals. However, with approximately 30 riders left to set off, on arguably the most dangerous course the world cup series has seen in many years, the skies opened up. It had rained every day at this time the whole weekend, but not this hard. Riders who qualified in the top ten, were seen finishing in the late forties, early fifties. When last man to down the track, Hill, set off, no one could believe their eyes. The World Champion at the time was ripping down the track faster than top riders were riding it in the bone dry, perfect conditions. Hill's split time was faster than second place (Steve Peat, who raced in the dry), but a fall later in his run meant the Aussie ended up in a very respectable third position, just 1.63sec off first place rider Matti Lehikoinen, who also completed his final run in the dry. Hill's run will go down in history as one of the greatest runs in the wet, if not one of the greatest ever. Dan Atherton later quoted "He showed us all that it ain't over, 'till its truly over".[6] Further, eventual winner Matti Lehikoinen stated after the race "I played the tactics (referring to a 20 second pause in his practice run, ensuring a lower qualifying position to avoid any unfavourable weather changes), but Sam is the winner of the day. No questions". Steve Peat said "Sam is the King - give him the crown." Despite his remarkable and certainly unmatched talent for riding in unfavorable conditions, Sam admits that he rarely rides in the rain. In an interview with Steve Jones of Dirt Magazine featured in the film 'Earthed 5: The Law of Fives', when asked if it rained that hard in Australia and if he was used to riding in "stuff like that" Sam replied "I don't even see a raindrop when I'm in Australia". Jones then asked "So you never ride in the rain?" Hill's reply was simply, "My bike gets muddy".

2008 Downhill World Championships, Val di Sole, Italy Sam Hill came into this race the reigning world champion. With four riders left on the hill Sam Hill started his final run. At the split he was five seconds up and no one could believe how fast he was going, even the commentator, Rob Warner, a former world level racer. Rob Warner yelled "Look how fast he's going!", "It looks like the film has been speeded up!". Sam was estimated 10 seconds up when he hit the final left hand turn at the bottom of the track. He pulled one of his classic drift turns around the corner but as he straightened up on exit his bike suddenly washed out from under him. He got straight back on his bike but it had cost him his lead and he finished 0.5 of a second behind eventual second place Steve Peat. [7]

2010 Downhill World Championships, Mont Sainte-Anne, Canada

Results[edit]

2001
3rd Place Junior Downhill - Vail, Co, USA Age 16
2002

Jersey rainbow.svg Junior World Champion Downhill - Kaprun, Austria Age 17

2003

Jersey rainbow.svg Junior World Champion Downhill - Lugano Switzerland Age 19

2004
3rd Place, UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2004, Downhill - Les Gets, France
2nd Place, Overall UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2004, Downhill
3rd Place: Fort William UCI World Cup DH
4th Place: Les 2 Alpes, France UCI World Cup DH
3rd Place: Schladming UCI World Cup DH
2nd Place: Mont Saint Anne UCI World Cup DH
3rd Place: Livigno, Italy UCI World Cup DH
2005
2nd Place, UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2005, Downhill - Livigno, Italy
2nd Place, Overall UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2005, Downhill
3rd Place: Vigo, Spain UCI World Cup DH
5th Place: Willigen, Germany UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Schladming, Austria UCI World Cup DH
??? Place: Mt Sainte Anne, Canada UCI World Cup DH
??? Place: Balneario Camboriu, Brazil UCI World Cup DH
??? Place: Angel Fire, New Mexico USA UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Pila, Italy UCI World Cup DH
6th Place: Fort William, Scotland UCI World Cup DH
2006

Jersey rainbow.svg 1st place, UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2006, Downhill - Rotorua, New Zealand

2nd Place, Overall UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2006, Downhill
6th Place: Vigo, Spain UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Fort William, Scotland UCI World Cup DH
14th Place: Willigen, Germany UCI World Cup DH
3rd Place: Mt Sainte Anne, Canada UCI World Cup DH
5th Place: Balneario Camboriu, Brazil UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Schladming, Austria UCI World Cup DH (won by 8.17 seconds)
2007

Jersey rainbow.svg 1st place, UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2007, Downhill - Fort William, Scotland

1st Place Overall UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Downhill
5th Place: Vigo, Spain UCI World Cup DH
3rd Place: Champery, Switzerland UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Mont Sainte-Anne, Canada UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Schladming, Austria UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Maribor, Slovenia UCI World Cup DH
2008
3rd Place, UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2008, Downhill - Val di Sole, Italy
2nd Place, Overall UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2008, Downhill
1st Place: Maribor, Slovenia UCI World Cup DH
2nd Place: Vallnord, Andorra UCI World Cup DH
5th Place: Fort William, Great Britain UCI World Cup DH
2nd Place: Mont Sainte-Anne, Canada UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Bromont, Canada UCI World Cup DH
11th Place: Canberra, Australia Britain UCI World Cup DH
2nd Place: Schladming, Austria UCI World Cup DH
2009 - Specialized/Monster Energy Team
5th Place, UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2009, Downhill - Canberra, Australia
1st Place Overall, Overall UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2009, Downhill
4th Place: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa UCI World Cup DH
2nd Place: La Bresse, France UCI World Cup DH
31st Place: Vallnord, Andorra UCI World Cup DH
2nd Place: Fort William, Great Britain UCI World Cup DH
2nd Place: Maribor, Slovenia UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Mt Sainte Anne, Canada UCI World Cup DH
3rd Place: Bromont, Canada UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Schladming, Austria UCI World Cup DH
2010 - Specialized/Monster Energy Team

Jersey rainbow.svg 1st Place: UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2010, Downhill - Mont Sainte Anne, Canada

5th Place: Maribor, Slovenia UCI World Cup DH
--Ft William - Injured in Practice--
13th Place: Windham, USA UCI World Cup DH
2011 - Specialized/Monster Energy Team
8th Place: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa UCI World Cup DH
9th Place: Fort William, Scotland UCI World Cup DH
5th Place: Leogang, Austria UCI World Cup DH
--Injured in Training - Shoulder Surgery--
7th Place: UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2011
2012 - Specialized/Monster Energy Team
11th Place: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa UCI World Cup DH
7th Place: Val Di Sole, Italy UCI World Cup DH
4th Place: Ft William, Scotland UCI World Cup DH
5th Place: Mont St Anne, Canada UCI World Cup DH
7th Place: Windham, USA UCI World Cup DH
27th Place: Val D'Isere, France UCI World Cup DH
7th Place: Hafjell, Norway UCI World Cup DH
2013 - Chain Reaction/Nukeproof Team
6th Place: Fort William, GBR UCI World Cup DH
3rd Place: Mont Sainte Anne, Canada UCI World Cup DH
3rd Place: Vallnord, Andorra UCI World Cup DH
3rd Place: Australian Mountain Bike Championships, AUS/CN
15th Place: Hafjell, Norway UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Thredbo, AUS Subaru Gravity Cup, Australian National Series DH
1st Place: Mt Buller, AUS Subaru Gravity Cup, Australian National Series DH
56th Place: Val Di Sol, ITALY UCI World Cup DH (5th in qualifications, crashed in final)
5th Place: Halo BDS#1 Combe Sydenham, DH
2014 - Chain Reaction/Nukeproof Team
1st Place: Mont St. Anne, Canada UCI World Cup DH
1st Place: Meribel, France UCI World Cup DH


References[edit]