The World Cup Title Fight: Form and Experience

Sep 16, 2013 at 9:00
Sep 16, 2013
by Matt Wragg  
 
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This weekend's race in Hafjell was one of the most exciting races of the last few years. With the rain coming in Saturday night, race runs were a time to roll the dice. Shit or bust, and Stevie Smith came up with sixes. Gee, maybe the mentally strongest man on the circuit got snake eyes, a pair of ones. Losing his line on the slick, wet rocks, he hit a tree hard enough to leave most of us crying on the trackside, but carried on to nurse it home into twelfth. After Mont St Anne he had a healthy, if not comfortable, 120 point lead. This morning the Canadian Chainsaw Massacre has slashed it to just 17 points. While this can't be what Atherton Racing were hoping for, it's gold for race fans as the title fight will go down to the wire at Leogang this weekend.

Looking at the maths, it's a two horse race. Gee leads with 966 points, Smith has 949 and Minnaar holds third, out of reach of the title with 673 points, 276 behind Smith with only 250 on offer in Leogang. Those 17 points between Atherton and Smith leave too many possibilities for how it might play out. What is certain is that qualifying becomes more important than ever. 50 points are there for the taking, which could make all the difference in the final calculations. With a 40 point gap on race day between first and second, if they are fighting for the win then whoever goes fastest will take the title. But, if someone else can take the win, or worse, a couple of guys come through and push them down the order, then the points differences become smaller and those qualifying points might be the difference between the title and defeat.

The chainsaw massacre.

So the question is, who is strongest? Who can hold their nerve when everything is on the line? Right now you would have to say the form is with Smith. After winning Mont St Anne he went on to dominate Crankworx, and, setting aside his race run in Pietermaritzburg, Smith is undoubtedly in the best form of his life. He is a rider hitting his peak, and there is undoubtedly momentum on his side right now. He is incredibly determined and you wouldn't bet against him beating anyone and everyone when he puts his mind to it.

Conditions were drastically different from qualies. Come race time Gee crashed twice and just couldn t put down the run he needed for the win.

Atherton has been here before though. In his last title year, back in 2010, he spent all season sparring with Greg Minnaar. While Smith may be on fire, Minnaar is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats and to be able to stare down someone like that when it comes to crunch time takes a mind of steel. Having experience of being able to do that is worth its weight in gold as well, to know exactly what it takes to win big when it matters, and be able to do it, make him such a formidable rider. And you shouldn't write off his pace either. Opening the season he looked to be on the form of his life too and while it hasn't quite gone to plan recently, word from trackside in Hafjell was that he looked faster than everyone this weekend. It's foolish to speculate what he might have done if it weren't for that tree, but would you bet against him being right there with Smith at the sharp end? To really appreciate his pace, you have to consider that there are dozens of talented, but struggling riders who would sell family members for a result that close to the top ten, yet Atherton can manage it with two crashes...

 Mi scusi Mi scusi Rachel parts the Italian crowds on the way to a 3 43.8... Grazie

While the womens race isn't going to be quite as high stress, series leader Rachel Atherton can't relax in Leogang. At the moment she sits atop the scoreboard with 1085 points and second-placed Emmeline Ragot trails here by 160 at 925. Manon Carpenter is only 45 further back, so mathematically her title shot isn't over, but it would take a disaster form both Atherton and Ragot for her to win. Regardless of what happens in qualifying, if Atherton finishes sixth or better in the race the title is hers. This weekend, that means should could have slowed down by a full 17 seconds and still took the sixth place she needed. In racing anything can happen though, and it's a testament to how consistent Ragot has been this season that she's still within touching distance, despite the fact that Atherton has been supreme all year.

So the stage is set. People tend to throw around the word "finale" at the end of racing seasons like it was confetti. It's a nice word to get people excited about a race, even if the prospects on track are weaker than American beer. For once, this race will be worthy of the word. This is a real season finale, a climax with two title fights that promise to have us cancelling family meals, avoiding work and turning off the phones so we don't miss a minute of the action come Sunday afternoon.
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168 Comments

  • + 58
 Both legends. Either could win and I'd be chufed!
  • + 258
 I think we can all agree on that.

But deep down most of us want to see Stevie take it. Gee's been on the top. And he deserves it, but it would make a lot of us REALLY happy to see Stevie take it.

We all know why too... www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Y3_Nygzq0

We got to see a guy go from being shuttled in a geo tracker by his mum, to this elite rider at the top of his field. We almost feel invested in him.
  • + 47
 Oh man his mom is fantastic. Thanks for sharing that Youtube link. I never knew much abt smith's background!
  • + 8
 awesome vid
  • + 71
 But deep down, as a Brit, I want Gee to take it.
  • + 74
 gotta give the nod to our neighbor to the north. go smith.
  • + 12
 cedric got me into riding and gee got me into racing, despite being canadian I want gee to win just because he got me into the sport although I still miss the days of him and his commencal v2
  • + 8
 cyrix you speak well, every time i see him on podium this video flashes into my head... its so great to see him there!
I like Gee too, he is a very good rider but Stevie really needs that title!! Smile
Go Stevieeee
  • + 8
 As a brit id love to see a brit win on a british bike again tbh. out of these 2 tho as much as i want Gee to win, Smiths been hauling ass recently and pulling out all the stops so.
  • + 4
 Stoked for Stevie ! This may sound silly, but like, what happened to Gwin ?
  • + 4
 I think the gee vs. stevie dispute is like euros vs. canadian/american racers. Gee is so win oriented and focused on the top spot, while Stevie is just... so stoked to be there.
  • + 4
 deep down,.... gee, he's been on second plan too many times and his chances of winning are not going to last forever... smith is still young he can win next year,. don't miss understand, i like steve too
  • + 3
 Never saw that Video... Go Stevie. Until next season when Gwin comes back for blood.
  • + 2
 thanks for the video man never seen it, coolest mom ever! stevie mom for president!
  • + 3
 I think why I want it most for Stevie is because it would be what he set out to be so long ago. Number 1. He will have achieved his life goal. And I couldn't think of a better rider for it to happen to. Also, glad to show so many other people a new video of Stevie. Arguably the one that started the communities fascination with him.
  • + 10
 Wow! his mom was awesome. No wonder why he is going to the top! I remember when I got my picture with Stevie for the first time his mom was also there. Much RESPECT TO ALL MOM'S OUT THERE! These guys really made me love downhill racing, the battle for the cup will be epic!!!!
  • + 2
 I cant get my stupid tracker to not overheat!! Replaced the water pump, thermostat and everythign!!
  • + 8
 This is going to be such a epic battle, kinda of remind me of this videos of this 2 some years back:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsvo5kp-mj0

Cant wait for Sunday race...
  • + 1
 Man I don't know who I want to win.... Gee has been my favourite rider ever since i started paying attention to dh racing. It's just something about him and his sister..that's just so awesome. But Smith is Canadian and to see him at the top like this is also awesome! I'm torn...
  • + 2
 Man this is one of my favorite DH video collections. two of the best riders in the world riding for fun. Now they get to go head to head!
  • + 2
 Shows you how awesome his mom was to shuttle him.. The sacrifice obviously paid off. I really enjoy watching Gee and love his incredibly fast style, but I really want Steve to take Gee off the top after being there all season
  • + 2
 @cyrix You absolutely nailed it. Having watched his growth and progression from Seasons does make you feel invested in him. It's not only about the payoff for Stevie but for all those shuttle runs his mom put in, not knowing if it would ever lead to anything but doing it simply because it was what she thought was best for her son. The story is too good!
  • + 5
 @ the premier of Seasons here in Bellingham, a mom / owner of a local bike shop shouted "Mother of the Year" during the Stevie Smith segment and got the loudest cheer of the evening. I think we all know the depth of the debt we owe our mothers. Well done Mum!
  • + 13
 I want claudio to win
  • + 1
 I said at the start of the season Smith for the overall, Gee to start winning again and Gwin to be nowhere. Well I wouldn't have put money on the first one until now.

I don't think Gee can handle the pressure. Stevie is riding the crest of a wave and has the best bike. I like both of them, I'll be happy either way. I just can't see Gee doing it to be honest. He's had two flat races just, both high pressure races, just bad runs. Stevie doesn't seem to have been knocked by the worlds f*ck up. I think Stevie's going to do it.

By the way, what has happened to Gwin? Where was he at worlds and at Hafjell? Did he even compete?
  • + 1
 Karma happened!
  • + 2
 I'm not sure exactly he you can say a guy who has won both the world champs and the WC overall (by winning it on the final race) can't handle the pressure. If he loses its because smith put in a better run. Same goes if gee wins. These guys don't get where they are by not being able to perform under pressure.
  • + 2
 I disagree, but not in an argumentative way. When you look at the highest pressure races Gee has been in over the past few seasons - Champery, Leogang, PMB, Hafjell, he's only performed at one of them (2nd place at Leogang last year). Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of his, but I've been rooting for him all this time and I have been disappointed more than once. I feel that when the pressure is really on at the end of the season, he has been found wanting more often than not. Stevie, not so, although he's never experienced the same level of pressure for sure. Chasing is easier than defending, mentally speaking. The wolf at the bottom of the mountain is hungrier.

I feel that at the moment, Gee isn't enjoying it as much as Stevie. Also it's now his to lose and Stevie's to win. I can't see Gee doing it but I must stress I'll be equally happy with either of them taking it home.
  • + 1
 good points, jaame. it's a win win for us fans. the championship will be hard earned. it's gonna be a good sunday for dh racing.
  • + 2
 jaame,

I'm not sure I follow your logic. So we only look at World Champs results now? Based on that the only guy who can handle pressure recently is Minnar. Plus I'm not sure why you consider this past week at Hafjell a 'highest pressure" race. Gee came in with a healthy lead, crashed and still left with a lead. He's still on control of the points race. This week is the pressure race, not last week.
  • + 1
 Instant Stevie fan after that vid. It's going to be one heck of a finish this year!
  • + 4
 she called it way back, he wants # 1 in the world, nice work mr Smith, bring it home to mt prevost. The island needs another cycling champion !
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  • + 29
 I've spent plenty of time with Gee over the years from hotel rooms to long car journeys and its interesting to read all your comments about him personally.
For sure at race he is 100percent focused at a race like the WCs. I'm guessing when your sat at your office desk your not all smiles and fun when your working on an important project/sale/meeting etc..for your job!
He's always been super friendly, all smiles and enjoying life whenever I've seen him.
Remember nobody ever kicks a dead dog..
  • + 3
 Thanks for the insight Si. While I'm rooting for Stevie I've seen plenty of examples of Gee losing but being gracious in defeat.
When he lost his world title in 2009 in Canberra, absolutely spent from that horrendous, long pedal, the first thing he did was hug Peaty, genuinely happy for him, saying, "you did it dude! You did it!"
On race weekends he definitely looks focused but hey, if he's winning races who am I to argue?
Lets be pumped that a season that looked like it was going to be a one-horse race has gotten extremely interesting!
  • - 3
 You're right, we shouldn't be judging someone we have not met. However, there areat least a few videos making an impression that Gee is not that approachable... It maybe 180 degree opposite the next day, but I'll probably never gonna find it out...
  • + 7
 he seems simply focused on race day. nothing wrong with that. can't fault that demeanor when you're a competitor and your "fun" side is to go send at rampage after a season of wcdh.
  • + 5
 remember the atherton project? he didn't seem that bad there
  • + 3
 met gee at a local enduro race recently in devon - he spent a good 10 minutes talking (mainly listening) to our 5 year old lad tell him all about his red and black bike - genuine nice guy - G for the win!!
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  • + 24
 I would love to see Steve win since i'm Canadian and no Canadian has ever come close to finishing within 100 place or so, but i must admit i also admire how strong Gee is this year. All the pressure is on him. It will be something to watch! Thanks to RedBull making it possible and boy, Rob Warner is great on the mike, i love the way he compares stuff: "Minnaar pedals so fast, he stops the hearth rotation" or "the condition are wet like a dolphin with an infected kidney"
  • + 1
 Andrew Shandro.
  • + 1
 Tyler Morland.
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  • + 22
 This epic f*#%ing battle is just beginning!
But...
I am almost more excited for the course preview so I am actually rooting for Claudio.
  • + 7
 Ha ha.. Yeah Claudio is my highlight... What a guy!
  • + 4
 Anyway, someone know what happened to Andy? Is he ok after crash?
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  • + 19
 Somebody sponsored by an energy drink for the win!!
  • + 3
 one of the breweries (maby erdinger) is pushing there alcohol free beer as a sports drink...

www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/21/athletes-try-no-alcohol-beer-as-sports-drink-_n_826047.html

obviously the way forward, didnt do peaty any harm did it?
  • + 1
 Something tells, me Sir Steves' brew contains a bit of the alcohol.
  • + 1
 @Sundance -- hahaha! Nice one, good sir. Cheers and thanks.
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  • + 12
 I'm pretty sure in 2010 Gee was behind by 17 points?

I think its easier to come from behind, so Stevie has got a real chance. It's definitely Gee's to loose.
  • + 7
 Actually, in 2010, Gee was 7 points ahead until Qualifying when Greg closed it to 3 points and then Gee managed to hold it out in Finals.
  • + 7
 Sorry, my bad... I knew it was close and had a 7 in it
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  • + 9
 I object to the author's comment - "weaker than an American beer." Bud is now owned by a Belgian company and the U.S. arguably reinvented the craft brew in the 1990s/2000s....BRO. Ha ha - all kidding aside, great write up to build the excitement, sans the proof read.
  • + 1
 I used to buy lots of imports. Now all I buy is American beer, because there is so much good stuff out there now, and it hasn't sat in a container on a plane or ship for however long, possibly not refrigerated, or been reformulated for export (lots of products, not just beer, is reformulated for export, either to comply with local laws, or to enhance how long it can stay in storage. Doritos are gross overseas.)
  • + 6
 craft beers baby..... imports used to be the way for me, not anymore, but what you wont find me sipping on is anything that comes in quantities of 30...
  • + 12
 Doritos are gross anywhere
  • + 6
 I was thinking that too, nowadays, "American Beer" is micro brewed IPA's and Ales.
  • + 1
 i think he meant "big" american beers(coors, bud, miller, etc). I've been building my list of all the different beers i've tried(over 100 from all over the world) and i have a quite few american really tasty american craft beers.
  • + 3
 And I mean if you really want to get into it all those big American beer manufacturers were started by Germans......... then diluted into nasty piss over the years by non-Germans, and now your micro brews, inspired by European beers.
  • + 2
 Nah, prohibition is what killed craft beer in this country. If you look at the history of beer before Prohibition, there was a healthy community of brewers. Then, when Prohibition was repealed, we started WWII, and all the men were overseas, and women preferred really light lagers, so that's what all the newly reopened breweries made. But they're still bastards for cheaping out on ingredients so much that there's barely any hops or barley left in 'em.
  • + 4
 I travel internationally extensively for my job and after much research and testing I feel this to be accurate-
American IPA > Everything else on Earth.
  • + 4
 Being Bavarian/German, born and raised in the place where apperently the best beers of the world are being brewed, I totally agree!
US carft beers all the way!
  • + 4
 PBR for Life!!
  • + 4
 GAH! Hipsters are here!
  • + 2
 Look at the majority of beer purchased in the States: Bud Light, Coors Lite, any Miller, Milwakee's Best, Keystone,... it's all recycled piss. There are plenty of craft brewed beers to enjoy, local micro-brews popping up everywhere, but most Americans have no taste (or money) for quality beer. Although for a cheap beer I do think Yeungling is pretty decent.
  • + 1
 I haven't had the oportunity to taste any US craft beer but all the documentaries I've seen about them make them sound delicious. Lately there's been a revival of craft beer in many countries and this is great news for all beer fans.
  • + 2
 Actually, the big macro brews (Miller, Coors, etc) are back to the drawing boards because of the big chunk that craft brews, and the renewed taste for craft brews, has taken out of their sales. Of course there's no comparing the sales, but if you aggregate all craft sales versus the big 3, I think it evens out a little (with the big 3 still with most market share). Aside from the PBR for life comment, I stand behind all these replies! But to each one's own - drink until you're blown.
  • + 0
 I don't understand the pbr thing either. it sucks.
  • + 1
 I'm from the Philippines and never knew about the existence of craft beer before. If we are only talking about MACROS then San Miguel (except San Miguel Light which sucks as mostly light beers seem to be devoid of any flavor) from the Philippines kicks BMCs ass any day but having been enlightened by micro/ craft brews, I can definitely say American beer nowadays are supreme. A must try beer is FIRESTONE WALKER PARABOLA!
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Funny how folks bag on Gman. They complain he is a robot yet bitch when he says "you know" a lot. Havent heard him say that in an interview for a bit.. you can tell he chooses his words carefully as he likely doesn't want to see internet badasses giving him the mickey for just talking from the heart. Talk freely and be made fun of..or talk stilted and sterile and still be made fun of. Here is the bottom line folks.. Gee is a pro racer.. he is P A I D to get results. How would you like that pressure on you eh internet bigmouths? Who knows what his contract states... if there is a bonus there for him... or if they ding him for non performance. Whatever the case is... Gee plays for blood when hes at a race. Off course he seems pretty damn cool if you have followed him for a few years now. Now Stevie?? That guy flat out ADMITS he is a poor loser... I quote you the following " hell yeah im a sore loser... I cant even stand losing to my girlfriend". They B O T H are sore losers... that's why they are on f*cking top in this sport. They will P U S H to win because they cant stand LOSING. That means harsh recriminations for yourself and others when you come up short. Shake hands at the podium???? He just hit a f*ckING TREE and still came in 12th... most of us would be saying FML and having a bit of a sit down. When you internet wannabe's are in Gee mans place... you come tell me how you would roll in his shoes. Until then... enjoy the racing and quit the internet whinging ... fecking girls blouses the lot of you.
  • + 7
 Well said. These are professional racers we're talking about, Pro Athletes. Gee is an excellent DH racer and has been for many years, at the top of the field. Doing his job with best of them, being professional and active within the sport. He's candid, doesn't talk smack about other racers within the media, and shows a true passion and commitment to the sport and to mountain biking in general. At that level, the pressure on a rider is intense. It's their livelyhood. It's their chosen path and we don't get a second chance. A DH racer has a short window to be successful compared to other chosen careers. They have to make it count. They have to commit their lives in order to succeed. As fans, that deserves our respect. I respect all of the World Cup racers regardless of how they're portrayed in the media.
  • + 2
 @Arzeripper Good rant my friend
  • + 1
 I think Gee has been nothing but professional and I'm glad his agent told him to stop saying "you know" - only because it's a speech crutch that should be gotten rid of by anyone and everyone, not just Gee. He's a true pro. And he has his own personality - he's not a flamboyant type or goofy type, but a more serious type (at least from what I can see). Kind of like Sik Mik - listen to his interviews and it's all business, no nonsense. Frankly, I think Gee what be a lot of fun to hang out with, should he care to slow the fark down Smile
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Gee vs Stevie;
Experience vs Form;
GT vs DeVinci;
Fox vs RockShox;
Shimano vs SRAM;
Continental vs Schwalbe;
Shimano vs Five Ten;

Tough one to call, which makes for a great season. After all is said in done for 2013, I wonder which ones of the above will be credited most for getting those precious tenths of a second.

I know it is always a combination of rider, team, components and training, but you can't stop the pundits from giving their $0.02 worth on which ones made the season. I, for one, think it's all about the shoes. ;-)
  • + 3
 I think that this really shows that its not about the bike or gear. The world cup could very easily be decided by only a few points.
[Reply]
  • + 10
 I'd like to see Gwin take 1st place at finals. Everyone would be like "Whaaaaat the f*ck"?
  • + 2
 Is his shoulder gonna heal in time?
  • + 2
 watch him ride a session down with specialized logos
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  • + 8
 In leogang I want Stevie to win too... Stevie PEAT !
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  • + 4
 I like Gee a lot. He's intense, confident and serious about racing and I think it's cool to see. Not everyone is an extrovert. But even I have to admit that in the heartwarming sports movie about Stevie Smith's rise to the top, Gee is just perfectly cut out to be the villain.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Can we stop saying one guy or the other 'Deserves' it already. You know who deserves it? The guy who ends up winning it. It doesn't matter how many squats Gee does in the offseason. And Stevie's mother could have towed him up that hill by her teeth for all I care. None of that matters, whoever wins it deserves it.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 letsssss goooo geeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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  • + 4
 What a way to finish! Two amazing riders in a dogfight! I hope to see one of these studs win it with both having clean kick ass runs!
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  • + 2
 Who ever can handle the pressue and wins the race and or wins the points will be champion and will be deserved, thats racing! theyre is no he a good guy shes a good girl she/he deserves it of right!

Best wins by finishing ahead of the competition thats how it should be!
Bring it on Leogang!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Well, I think the overall winner may not be the winner of the day if Hannah and Minnaar have anything to say about it. Both will be doing everythuing for a win they so badly want. I'll give the overall to Gee - Stevie is younger by a few years and will have plenty of titles to still chase.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It's going to be a greate final round! A bit of a sensational twist in the writing thoough...he was half a second down before he got thrown off line, even before hitting the tree. Gee is a cool cat though.... likely wont phase himSmile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Leogang 2012 results from World Champs, gonna be a tight one since Gee and Steve are both in better form this year than they were last year. Loic Bruni may throw something down, just got a feeling.

Rank Name UCI Code Team Result

1 MINNAAR Greg RSA19811113 SOUTH AFRICA 3:21.790

2 ATHERTON Gee GBR19850226 GREAT BRITAIN +00.581

3 SMITH Steve CAN19891125 CANADA +01.214

4 HANNAH Michael AUS19831121 AUSTRALIA +02.140

5 HILL Samuel AUS19850721 AUSTRALIA +03.406
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Gee fucked it on Sunday, I felt for him. But it's not over and Stevie smith is a top guy. They both deserve it. Both of their asses gonna be twitching at leogang!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 An atherton double would be amazing!
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  • + 1
 To me , either way, these are the two most dominant riders as of now, Minarr is still able to pull it out and win this one and mark my words he just might but Smith is On Fire and Gee is just adding fuel to his fire. Gee is one of my favs and nothing will ever change that but Smith has been crushing it for quite some time now and if he wins I think he will make all of Cannada happy and make his mother so proud, that is what is most important ,family, the one who drives you up and meets you down...So I am saying that now that Smith will win the title. I do wish though to see Hill and Peaty on the podium with him , remember his words in Seasons,, To be on the podium with Hill and Peat...Go Stevie and crush it Gee..oh one more rider that might just win is Hannanh...that is all..
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Rachel has dominated this season, so to still have a chance of loosing the title in the last race IMO the scoring system needs attention.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I remember watching Steve's segment in Seasons all those years ago, and now here his is, on the brink of being the best in the world. Being an Aussie I have enjoyed watching Sam Hill have a little resurgence this year, and Troy Brosnan is a lurking future threat, but right now, Steve Smith is the hot ticket, and I can't wait to see him succeed on Sunday. It's going to be an exciting race and hopefully both of them can turn it on so it's down to the wire. Go Smith you champion!!!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Go Gee smash it
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Im wanting Stevie to win it! Gee just seems to be intense, always gives the impression he isn't having fun or enjoying it, the rest of the guys just seem more relaxed and happy? Hard to explain what I mean but the guy just never looks happy?
  • + 2
 I guess it's tough to look happy when your not up on the podium and your closest competitor is - tough to see the points you put up at the beginning get chewed away - what's there to smile about? I guess some folks didn't see the first two rounds when Gee won - all smiles and personality then.
  • + 8
 We all get that Gee's unhappy, and we all get why. But not even stopping to shake hands with the podium afterwards reeks of sore loser. If you were fairly beaten. man up and acknowledge that someone else did a better job on the day than you. Note Schurter and Kulhavy in the XC on the weekend - with a long history of competition, they slugged out a brutal race, and still had a smile and a pat on the back for each other at the end. That's the difference between a class act, and a whiny bitch. As much as I think Gee's an amazing rider, the sulky teenager thing is a real turn-off.
  • + 5
 If you watch the atherton project you can see gee is usually a cheerful guy, it just seems like when he goes to a race he switches to super serious mode and getting the best result is all that matters on the day. I'm sure that mentality must have helped him win lots of his races.
  • + 5
 supreme8 can tell all that after never even having met Atherton. Genius. /s
Not every rider is going to have the same personality, they aren't robots. People like you will always find reasons to be negative about whoever it is you want to be negative about.
Pikasam: Running people down on internet forums is far more "classy" than being a professional bike racer, right?
  • + 3
 "shrug" I'm entitled to my opinion, and you're entitled to yours. I believe that a true champion is someone who can be as gracious in defeat as they are in victory, but you don't have to agree. Look at Gwin when he lost Worlds last year - f*cked over by a gear failure, and he still turns on a show for the crowd, and crosses the line with a smile on his face and a handshake for his fellow riders. He's got plenty of haters, but the guy is all class.
  • - 1
 I can only say what everyone else could see, he couldn't even look at the podium. I refare again to 3 minute gaps, look at Minnar win or loose he smiles, look at Gee? You cant help but THINK he Is disliked, off the track he could be a nice guy but on and around the track he just seems to be over focused to the point where he is unhappy???
  • - 2
 O yes yesok they are not all robots, but the guy your defending is the only one acting like a robot!!! I bet your a manic depressive sore loser as well;-)
  • + 0
 Love it fussylou their clones!
  • + 5
 How about we leave the lame personality speculation (for both riders, and fellow pinkbike users) to the teenage and old lady gossip mags?
  • - 2
 @Pikasam - fair words, how to you explain away the throwing of toys when Stevie went down in the first corner at worlds then. Hey I'm a Stevie fan, but that massively dropped my respect for him. Gwin had showboated when faced with brake failure and having no conceivable way of even trying fast . Stevie went down in first corner and was sad so he didn't even try hard. Wasn't injured (other than pride), and didn't have a mechanical
  • + 5
 I disagree with you completely SlackBoy. Stevie knew his run was over. On a course like that, no mistakes are allowed if you want on the podium. With that in mind, he still picked himself up, got through the haze of disappointment, frustration and embarrassment he was no doubt feeling after blowing out in the first corner and put on a show for the crowd. Then he congratulated his fellow competitors. Why exactly do you expect that he put his head down, go hard and risk injury in a second crash for a still poor result at a race where no points are even on the line?
  • + 3
 In think its just incredibly stupid to make sweeping judgements about a guys based in small video clips and/or a few pictures on the Internet. Oh Gee wasnt smiling in the split second a photo waa taken, what an a*shole he must be. And if he doesn't congratulate the winner immediately after the race, on camera, that means he doesn't do it elsewhere? Perhaps later on?
  • + 1
 @tinfoil.....Well said....once he knew that he couldn't win it wasn't worth the risk when there was still 2 more WC's to race.
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  • + 2
 Steve smith is one of favourite riders and his time will come but gee has been consistent for that long he dervers the overall this year. GO GEE MAN!
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  • + 2
 Well i want gee to win, but i think smith might steal it ! Dunno , but do know that its gonna be an intense wk end an on raceday! GEE?SMITH?GEE?SMITH?GEE?SMITH? DAMIT
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  • + 5
 Stevieeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
  • + 3
 All I have to say is STEVIE SMITH FTW EHHHH!!!!!!!!! Great Season Gee but Sorry bout ur Luck!
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  • + 1
 If smith and atheron both crashed out, could anybody else take the title or is it already won by one of these 2? Most exciting wc round ever. I'd guess that gee will take it but would not b surprised either way
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  • + 3
 Ile keep my fingers crossed that Gee will smash the time ! Athertons on fire !
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  • + 3
 Both have been so strong all season, either could grab it but I believe Gee deserves to win.
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  • + 2
 Both guys absolutely deserve it, but I have to go with the heart. So good luck, Stevie.
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  • + 2
 Theyve been here before but this time its for real...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsvo5kp-mj0
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  • + 1
 whatever result or outcome it might be..........we are sure of one thing...........a race that will go down as one of DH's shining moments.
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  • + 1
 I love both these guy's, But Stevie seems so down to earth and hasn't been the champ yet, so go Smith!! Sorry Gee hope your at Rampage and kill it.
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  • + 1
 Can't think of 2 riders who deserve it more & I'd be stoked with either of them winning... but I'll rooting of Gee come Sunday cos he lives on the same island as I do
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  • + 1
 i wonder if stevie ran as fast as i can after he slip in the first turn in south africa wath the pointage difference would be
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  • + 2
 If Stevie does win it, I think a community wide en masse viewing of his seasons section is in order
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  • + 2
 I will be too busy playing GTA V to care.
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  • + 2
 Rob Warner said rather: "wetter than a dolphin with a bladder infection"
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  • + 1
 Wow Matt, you've actually posted something that wasn't first posted on the Dirt site…
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Stevie might have the advantage as there's currently snow on track according to Troy Bs Facebook
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  • + 2
 the geeeee simply deserves it no question !!!!!!!!!!
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  • + 1
 Did he say on a slideshow type webpage.. about the world champs one off bike making a show at leogang..?
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  • + 1
 anyways we all know its going to be GEEEEEEEEEEE
so dont waste data space writing steveie or othe namesWink
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  • + 1
 I'm gunna throw this out there. I'm bored of gee winning. I've started getting excited about who comes second lol
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  • - 2
 I wonder what would happen if GEE had qualified in the top five at the MSA because of the difficult conditions. I am quite certain that he would have not finished ahead of SAM HILL@1.3sec. Steve would be ahead of Gee by now for sure !! I know this is racing and also recon that GEE's two first win are legitimate, but com'on, he's been quite lucky at MSA.
  • + 2
 I'm not really sure if you could call his crashes in practice and qualifying "lucky". Maybe without crushing his balls he would have been a little more comfortable racing, but anyways, its all speculation, really.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Quite a coincidence that those who raced Crankworx whistler seem to be doing better in the WC.
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  • + 0
 Quite a coincidence that those who raced Crankworx whistler seem to be doing better in the WC.
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  • + 1
 deep down inside i want smith to win. cause he is just the nicer guy.
  • + 4
 How many times have you hung out with Gee and Stevie?
  • - 2
 ^Gee may be cool between races but he shows the world his little girl, sore loser side when he loses. That's why I want Stevie to win. Not because of what goes on away from races. But the character that they both show AT the races where the world is watching.
  • + 1
 DragontaleDH, how many World Cup races have you attended this year?
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  • + 1
 Stevie deserves it all the way imo, hope he smashes it and takes the win.
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  • + 1
 At least there's one thing for sure, redbull's onto a winner!
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  • + 1
 You should try Ninkasi - Total Domination IPA!!!!!!!!!
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  • + 1
 Oh Canada! Nice story Kool Vid
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  • + 0
 All the money in stevie,let's go!!!!!!!!
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  • + 0
 Gee or stevie for the title, either way ile be happy.
  • + 1
 No matter who wins - I'll still suck in comparison by a long shot and I'll still love racing!
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  • - 3
 So did Stevie use his older 26er bike from MSA or the new 650B bike he won with at crankworx and set the fastest qualifying with at the world champs to win this past weekend's world cup ?
  • + 4
 there's always one.
  • + 3
 The 650b bike (Troy) he won on at Crankworx isn't even the same 650b bike (prototype) he raced at Worlds man...try to keep up!
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  • + 0
 This is Stevies overall. Nuf said!
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  • + 0
 Go Smith Go!!!!!!
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  • + 0
 Gee all day long !!!
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