2014: A Photo Epic - The Complete DH World Cup Story

Sep 19, 2014
by Nathan Hughes  


Off-the-chain runs on the rim with borrowed shoes and broken ankles. Axle-deep dust, biblical rainstorms, soup-thick mountain mists and pythons on the racetrack. First-time top qualifiers, first time race winners, front wheel wash-outs in the gravel and giant OTBs with gold on the line. The 2014 World Cup just blazed past us in one furious blink, leaving us all stoked and astounded, singeing our raised eyebrows right down to the skin.

It was a season posing more questions than it provided answers... So many riders on the up, so few on the decline and bicycle genius flowing every-which-way. One thing we do know is that it can take a while for that much craziness to sink in, so what did we do? We scooped it all up and dropped it delicately back into one place to help everyone to do their best coming to terms with the madness. Every photo-epic from the insane 2014 season, from trackwalk to finals, just a click away. It's been a tough one on the front lines of battle for the World Cup team, but from myself, Matt, Paris and Dave, thank you all for reading and keeping the buzz alive on Pinkbike like never before.

Long live the photo epic; long live downhill mountain biking...

Greg Josh and Steve have been a team and family for the past 7 years and today was a huge day for all three of them.
The celebration started early for Ratty as Peaty and Minnaar gave him a lift and carried him through what could only be described as a mini mosh pit of wild fans.

Pietermaritzburg - SOUTH AFRICA - Round 1

This is Africa. Multiple riders crammed into the first shuttle of the day as we made our way to the top of the track amongst police cars and semi-trucks.





Sun-baked dirt boulders stars and stripes. The 2014 DH mountain bike season got lit up in the most explosive start to the racing in recent memory and it was the long-awaited return of the all-American king Aaron Gwin.
Winners - Aaron Gwin :: Manon Carpenter :: Luca Shaw

Cairns - AUSTRALIA - Round 2

One of many surprises on the side of the track awaiting the media... One complaint so far is that there are no safe ways down the hill without walking directly in the track or risking life and death bushwhacking on the side of the track.





Flat pedals win medals. Gee made a last-minute decision to ride flats and won the race in borrowed shoes.
Winners - Gee Atherton :: Rachel Atherton :: Loris Vergier

Fort William - SCOTLAND - Round 3

When this is the view en route to the top of the track you know you are in for just about every kind of weather.





Troy Brosnan holds his head in sheer disbelief after finally achieving the young gun s first World Cup win.
Winners - Troy Brosnan :: Emmeline Ragot :: Martin Maes

Leogang - AUSTRIA - Round 4

2014 Leogang WC DH images





Winners - Josh Bryceland :: Manon Carpenter :: Amaury Pierron

Mont Sainte Anne - CANADA - Round 5






The CRC team is a tight knit crew and Sam s teammates were the first on scene to congratulate his very long overdue win.
Winners - Sam Hill :: Manon Carpenter :: Luca Shaw

Windham - USA - Round 6

fan club





The second British invasion. Peaty waves the Union Jack in celebration of Ratty getting another win.
Winners - Josh Bryceland :: Emmeline Ragot :: Taylor Vernon

Meribel -FRANCE - Round 7

Mnt Blanc
The big three





2014 Overall
For the second time this season we get to see Sam Hill take a World Cup win.
Josh and Manon come into the race with the 1 plates but need to be on the top of their game if they wish to leave France with them.
Winners - Sam Hill :: Rachel Atherton :: Loris Vergier

Hafjell - NORWAY - World Championships

A roof that is the envy of the neighborhood does not simply grow and trim itself.



Practice & Junior Seeding

Tasting the Rainbow - What it is to win World Champs

Finals Photo Epic to end all epics

Rainbow glory
Congrats Loris Vergier.
With only two guys on the podium it was a Crystal duel at 2 yards.
Winners - Gee Atherton :: Manon Carpenter :: Loris Vergier

2014 Overall Series Standings

1 - Manon Carpenter - 1360
2 - Rachel Atherton - 1310
3 - Emmeline Ragot - 1300
4 - Tracey Hannah - 942
5 - Tahnee Seagrave - 745
6 - Myriam Nicole - 662
7 - Jill Kinter - 625
8 - Fionn Griffiths - 525
9 - Morgane Charre - 513
10 - Micayla Gatto - 399

Congrats Manon Carpenter on a job well done.
All the greats 2014

1 - Josh Bryceland - 1187
2 - Aaron Gwin - 1038
3 - Troy Brosnan - 1025
4 - Sam Hill - 1024
5 - Gee Atherton - 813
6 - Matt Simmonds - 745
7 - Greg Minnaar - 742
8 - Danny Hart - 718
9 - Sam Blenkinsop - 703
10 - Loic Bruni - 669

Ratboy has been on fire this year and gunning for more wins. Sam Hill had a long deserved win today while Ratty has many more to come.
  That's it that's all people, see you for 2015!

By Nathan Hughes

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Member since Jul 19, 2007
313 articles

  • 124 0
 Such an amazing season, and so many incredible moments captured by truly stunning talent. Thanks for putting this together -- what a year!
  • 31 0
 Best wc cup season that i can recall
  • 6 0
 I feel sorry for next season, it's a hard act to follow!
  • 3 0
 But totally can't wait !!
  • 5 1
 The funny thing is that Stevie Smith never got a chance to defend his title... oh boy oh boy 2015 can`t come soon enough !
  • 22 0
 Dear Redbull,
Please, please, please produce a 2014 DH World Cup season DVD with all the highlights like the ones Freecaster used to produce! I'd never get bored of 2014.
Or maybe you guys and Pinkbike could give it a try?
  • 2 0
 Definitely man, such an exciting season. So much unpredictability, right up to final second of the last run of the last race. Best sport ever!!
  • 4 0
 amazing coverage, but... where are claudio's course previews?!
  • 1 0
 Now that Bryceland has won the overall, when will he hit rat-puberty and become Rat-MAN? I think winning the senior overall would do it.
  • 1 0
 Its only going to get better with amazing riders up and coming
  • 53 1
 Truly, there is no sport that compares to the amazing, dramatic, scary, edge-of-your-seat roller coaster that is World Cup downhill racing. What an incredible season. Can't wait to see what next year brings. In the meantime, thanks for all the amazing coverage this year Pinkbike.
  • 20 79
flag Ride12 (Sep 17, 2014 at 23:17) (Below Threshold)
 Hockey is pretty awesome too
  • 10 57
flag andytheaussie (Sep 17, 2014 at 23:23) (Below Threshold)
 Haha. True.
  • 19 2
 The only thing thats gets ever had me as on the edge of my seat as DH is the Isle of Mann TT, although this season took the piss and won 10 fold Smile
  • 23 0
 What I enjoy so much about WC DH is the varied cast of characters.

It seems every rider, whether #1 or #100 is such a nice approachable person, you kind of want them all to win.

I know season after season I have my favourites, but there is a very long list of guys and girls who you would be happy to take it home.

There is always a villian or 2 per season for me, this changes regularly based on nothing more than my drunken impression Smile

bring on 2015, the return of Stevie Smith and Red Bull TV.
  • 3 78
flag whitebullit (Sep 18, 2014 at 4:09) (Below Threshold)
 hockey is def better than downhill, sorry pinkbike but i am entitled to my own opinion Smile
  • 31 0
 Biggest problem - only 8 races.
  • 14 0
 Western North America, Asia and South America need a race too.
  • 5 10
flag marko369 FL (Sep 18, 2014 at 8:55) (Below Threshold)
 Throw in a couple of urban DH too just mix it up a little Wink
  • 3 0
 All comes down to $ $ $ . And how much companies want to spend.
  • 1 7
flag whitebullit (Sep 18, 2014 at 14:52) (Below Threshold)
 only 56 neg props? that further concretes my conclusion.
  • 3 0
 Like you said my friend........its your opinion. Not too smart comment in a bike site. (doesnt mean you are wrong)
  • 3 0
 My only question is that if you feel that way... What the eff are you doing here?
  • 3 7
flag whitebullit (Sep 18, 2014 at 17:39) (Below Threshold)
 lol i love bicycles, dont get me wrong, but as a sport hockey has way more going on than downhill mtb. Hopefully that'll change, even recently its blown up but not to the same point as many other popular sports. i cant even watch downhill racing on TV yet, yet i can turn on my tv and go to the hockey channels and watch anything from college hockey to NHL and my favorite, NHL classics. I still love downhill though, but to me its not yet a widely accepted sport.
  • 4 0
 dude, your comments just made me laugh... have that conversation with your ridding buddies or hockey buddies, but in person, here we are just gonna hammer you down for saying things like that, dont be a newbie on the internet, come on
  • 32 1
 I like the way Ratboy celebrates more than Gee or Gwin. Sam is super cool. But the best is Peaty's celebration of Ratty's win at Windham, like a proud father. Great season, thanks for all the photos PB.
  • 3 0
 Bryceland is just being himself where the others seem to be a bit more politically correct (as opposed to 'we **** birds in Leogang'), either through sponsor/UCI pressure or perhaps just feeling they have to be behave a bit more professional.

I know what I like most as well..
  • 7 1
 I think everyone is just themselves, which isn't a bad thing. I can't see Gee or Gwin acting like Bryceland, it'd seem phony. I'm sure they'd all be fun to hang out with or ride with. We only catch glimpses of them when a microphone is stuck in front of their faces.
  • 27 2
 If Gee celebrated after winning world champs everyone here would have hate on him for celebrating while Josh was laying here with a broken ankle. Seems you guys will find any reason to give Gee a head time. The guy is rad and I don't get why "the Internet" has decided otherwise.
  • 2 1
 Sam and Gee act exactly the same when they win. Where are you coming from?
  • 6 1
 Why do people get so butthurt when mentions they aren't a huge Gee fan. It's ok. We can all be fans of different riders. I have tremendous respect for what Gee can do on the bike and the results he consistently puts down, but come race day there are other guys I would rather see on the top step. Doesn't mean he's a bad guy, not cool, or that I wouldn't be thrilled to ride with him. I'd just rather see Ratboy, Hill, Troy, GM, or, of course, Peaty win. Have to say the way you see the Syndicate act together as a team sure has made me a SC fanboy over the years.
  • 5 0
 I don't think people (myself included) have an issue with saying 'I like Ratboy'. It's saying 'I DON'T like Gee' (or Gwin or whoever).

One is a positive statement. The other negative.
  • 3 0
 Athletes are like the rest of us with their shortcomings. They are human beings after all, albeit with prodigious talent.

For me, GM has always been the reference both on and off the track. The eternal underdog and going about his business quietly, but getting it done… I’ll be curious to see what he does post-racing.
  • 1 3
 I don't know why you guys think there is Gee hate in my comment. I've got the utmost respect for his discipline and work ethic. He's a bit stoic publically. Get a few beers in him and remove the camera and I'm sure he'd be fun to hang out with. But, he's a professional through and through.

If anyone rubs me wrong it's Gwin. I think it's the way he jumped contracts in the past. Gave me a sense that he was money hungry. And, I guess you always want to believe that the love of the sport is the top priority for the people you look up to. When I see him celebrate, I can't wonder if there are dollar signs going through his head. He's a crazy good rider. Not trying to hate. But I gotta be honest about how his business moves affected his image.

@thedeathstar - Sam and Gee acting the same? I see what you mean in terms of their reactions. But, I also see their personalities/riding style as being so much different. Also the phases in their career. Sam is on the comeback path, which is always fun to root for. He's a wild man on the bike, where Gee is very calculated. I would say Gee's riding style in more like Minaar. But, I think he get's far less respect.

Josh is a wild man. The finish to worlds highlights this fact. I know he's getting his fitness on, and being "more" disciplined these days. But, he's definitely the rock star of the bunch. And there's something about that which is fun as hell to watch.
  • 5 1

Anyone who thinks Gwin switched for the money is misinformed. Bein the proffesional that he is means he will never make the whole story public. Just know that the person running the trek team (not trek they are just a sponsor) was the one being extremely unprofessional and shady. Not the other way around.
  • 1 0
 The best season in a long time! Highly unpredictable. Welcome back Sam... Congrats again to Josh and Gee. Mad respect respect for Gee... Remember his rampage run back in '10? Bummer he has to qualify this year. Hope Josh and Sam would join Rampage soon.
  • 1 1
 @davetrump - thanks for the info. Sucks having a shit coach/manager. I want to like the guy honestly. When there's a bad break up everyone ends up with a little egg on their face. But with time it will fade I guess.
  • 3 0
 Some people is just more likeable than others...Gee is a weird case i dont think his lack of personality is the problem since Hill and Thririon lack personalities and people like them. The problem is that Gee is not too chill when he doesnt win....perhaps???. He is just too quiet and takes it too personal.

by lack of personality i mean rockstar personality, put them by the rat, CG, Peat or even minnar and they will get overshadowed in an instant
  • 10 0
 I cannot get enough of this website! The 6 things that make me happy:

1 - riding my bike
2 - talking about my bike
3 - looking at my bike
4 - cleaning my bike
5 - working on my bike
6 - Pinkbike
  • 3 0
 I hate cleaning my bike Smile
  • 7 0
 This season was one of the most exciting I've seen in a while. Every race, a new winner it seemed. The races were tight and I'm sure everyone had a great time. But go Ratboy, Gwinny, Brosnan, and Hill!
  • 8 0
 2014 Truly one of the best World Cup DH seasons! Lots of action, lots of legendary runs!
  • 9 2
 All good stuff, but honestly I would have added the Junion Women... At least for the wolrd champs...
  • 8 0
 Only one missing was Chainsaw.
  • 7 0
 Gunna be a long couple o months boys
  • 2 0
 First row of photos, on the right, Ratty throwing up the horns and Hill drinking a beer (maybe a Monster, but beer sounds cooler) that sums up what's cool about DH racing. While most other sports have become about polo shirts, press conferences and advertising dollars, WC DH is still about fun, and as much soul as any form of riding is allowed under the UCI rule book.
  • 5 2
 if you photoshopped bob marley's dreadlocks onto that last pic of ratboy and made his skin darker he'd look exactly like bob marley
  • 2 0
 Amazing season of racing! Happy to see competition in the girls ranks finally. And most importantly, thankyou Redbull for providing amazing footage, live and free, with the best commentators ever!
  • 2 0
 Damn, I wish we could rewind the clock back to Round 1... I hate the end of the season and the start of going into winter Frown

I love the freshness of spring and the start of something new, I wish we were there right now.
  • 2 0
 I just broke my leg. I don't even get the rest of this year. I know poor me, boo hoo. Just saying, enjoy the rest of the year guy (and gals).
  • 1 0
 Damn, that sucks man. Heal up well!
  • 2 0
 Thanks again to pinkbike and redbull. Great coverage. This season was epic! Ratboy becoming a force to reckon with. A return to form by Sam a Gwin. And the womens points race was spectacular! Can't wait for 2015!
  • 2 0
 A really really nice world cup.. At the beging of the seasson i was thinking that Aaron will G-win the complete world cup but ratboy do a better work. Gee and Troy do a nice job but Hill do much better!
  • 5 0
 Brilliant work guys!
  • 3 0
 RAT 2 WiINS, HILL 2 WINS, GEE 2 WINS.... Who said this wasnt good season for him ???
  • 3 0
 we have the return of the hill, return of gwin, debut of troy and josh, rimless ride, chainless 4th place
  • 1 0
 Amazing year for San Hill, Ratboy and Brosnan. Hopefully next year would be as exciting as this one. Hope Stevie Smith would be healthy. Then that would be a battle of talent for sure!
  • 2 1
 What a killer Season!! it got me thinking:
the WC racers are like Knights
and the tracks are like the dragons
to slay or be slain!
  • 1 0
 So competitive this year. Such a great season. The professor Sam hill 1point back to the student troy brosnan. Thank you guys for everything you do to the downhill stuff.
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike Poll.................... who would you rather ride with, Manon or Rachel ? (no other female riders included in this poll)
  • 1 0
 Watching Bryceland's style takes me back. Let's hope one does not decide to stool in the other's lid. Humorous reading however.
  • 3 1
 Where is the replay of World champs?
  • 2 0
 It looks like Peaty enjoys Ratboy's wins as much as his own!
  • 3 3
 Please include the Junior Women in your "winners" section next time... They deserve to be recognized as much as the other winners.
  • 2 0
 so good, got excited just looking at this!
  • 2 0
 Thanks, PB. Hell of a year!
  • 1 0
 Rat is missing part of his tooth in the first photo, then magically has perfect teeth in the last photo, haha.
  • 2 2
 Great pictures. However, the one close-up black/white pic of Manon Carpenter.....damn it if I can't just stop fixating on that pesky nose hair. :-)
  • 1 0
 such a kick ass season with the World Champs being the icing on the cake...I'm gonna remember that race for years to come!
  • 2 0
 cant wait 2015 season
  • 1 0
 thanks pinkbike and redbull for such good coverage of this fantastic sport
  • 1 0
 Anyone have a link of the video reply of World Champs?
  • 1 0
 mullaly 's year next year !!!!
  • 1 0
 Please come out with world cup videos of the season!
  • 1 0
 This was awesome! Thank you guys!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 who won this year?
  • 1 0
 That is alot of photos
  • 1 0
 I miss it already.

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