2019 Pinkbike Awards: Event of the Year Nominees

Dec 17, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  
2019 Pinkbike Awards


Event of the Year Nominees


Whether you're an athlete or a spectator, there's no question that the quality of events continues to grow each year. There seems to constantly be better racing, better venues, and better coverage...we're not complaining.

There are events that embody the vibe and soul of mountain biking in communities across the globe every weekend and there's no question that dozens of them are worthy of a nomination, but there are a few that stood out above the rest on the world stage.

In 2019, the World Cup finals in Snowshoe, Zermatt EWS, Les Gets World Cup, DH World Champs, and Red Bull Rampage each delivered nail-biting competition along with world-class venues. Which one would you call the best?









Why it's nominated

The World Cup finals in Snowshoe, West Virginia, were the capstone of a season of tight racing. With a close points race deciding the overall World Cup title in the majority of events, racing could not have been more storied.

In DH, just 30 points separated Marine Cabirou and Tracey Hannah as the Aussie finished fifth to secure her first World Cup overall title. In the men's race, it came down to the line with Pierron putting down a superb run which put pressure on Loic Bruni to put down a good time to take the overall. Danny Hart came down the mountain last to take the win, leaving Bruni with the overall title by a mere 40 points, making for two of the closest points races in history.

In the women's XCO, Kate Courtney was fighting for the overall title, finishing fifth which was exactly what she needed for the series, capping off yet another strong year.

Snowshoe can't be mentioned without acknowledging the fans and venue. The track was built by East Coaster Sean Leader with help from Neko Mulally and other locals and the American fans showed up in droves, providing an atmosphere that numerous athletes stated was the best energy they had ever experienced at an event.









Why it's nominated

The iconic event that is Red Bull Rampage seems to never let down spectators and 2019 was no exception. The desert outside of Virgin Utah played host to the world's best freeriders as lines bigger than ever before were built and then ridden in hopes of taking home the title.

The runs had healthy mixes of tech, steeps, tricks, and creativity. Regardless of personal opinions, the judging was largely sensible, and the best rose to the top. Progression can be an overused word, but it's clear that even with just one true big mountain freeride event a year, the sport has changed dramatically in the last few years. Most importantly, everyone emerged (relatively) unscathed.

In addition to Rampage, we want to give accolades to the Red Bull Formation event that took place the week prior. Several top female riders and photographers took to the desert to build and ride lines at the original Rampage site. This helped elevate the freeride side of mountain biking for women and created an environment for riders to push themselves in a way that only the desert can offer.









Why it's nominated

The Les Gets World Cup was one for the books. With a new, old-school track on the circuit, riders were racing full-on flat out. In the men's DH, the French delivered on Bastille day with three riders on the podium, Pierron taking the top step followed by Bruni with Vergier in fifth. In the women's DH, Tracey Hannah took the win with Frenchwoman Marine Cabirou in second.

The French fans were out in droves, packing the venue and delivering a party that few other venues could rival. With a rugged DH track that rewarded a full-send style run, the spectating was no doubt world class.










Why it's nominated

Coming in on the heels of an exciting World Cup XCO and DH season, the EWS finals were also exciting, and at a venue with scenery some would call otherworldly.

Isabeau Courdurier wrapped up the 2019 series title in Northstar but that didn't stop her taking a commanding win in Zermatt. Sam Hill’s winning margin of 40 points was slim and the title race very nearly ended in a dead heat. If Sam Hill did not pick up the bonus points from the Queen stage, he and Nicolai would have been tied on 3190 points. Tight racing at its best.










Why it's nominated

In 2019, World Championships took place at the famed Mont Sainte Anne in Quebec, Canada. With the race happening prior to the final race of the World Cup series, there was plenty of speculation as to whether racers vying for the overall title would be full-in on the technical track or take things conservatively, avoiding risks and staying safe.

Loic Bruni put down a blistering run to take his fifth World Champion title in the DH while Myriam Nicole came back from an injury on pace to take the women's title. Tahnee Seagrave would take second, also coming back from missing most of the season. Also apparent was the talent in the Junior field that will soon be in the elite ranks.










65 Comments

  • 174 1
 Snowshoe would be tough to beat in terms of how the drama unfolded and how the overall title was decided thanks to that magical run from Danny Hart. It was a truly gnarly track as well. And even if it was in the middle of nowhere, it had an awesome crowd and a great vibe. Snowshoe 2019 was definitely one for the books and will live long in the memory of both fans and racers.
  • 32 0
 Nothing comes close.
  • 20 0
 And it also decided the women's DH overall and women's XC overall winners. Pretty wild weekend.
  • 18 1
 so cool that you international folks here are supporting Snowshoe, making the call in a neutral fashion.

( I'm a local to Snowshoe, and have been to 12 World Cups in North America)
  • 7 0
 @jeremy3220: Too bad it won't be back next year Frown
  • 4 0
 Agree - Snowshoe hands down the best! Awesome crowd, exciting race and tons of amenities! The Snowshoe staff was amazing and so nice!
  • 6 0
 WEST BY GOD VIRGINIA
  • 128 5
 Mont St. Anne? Is it the place where Brook crashed and was waiting for help for 3 hours?
  • 17 14
 I think whoever compiled this list wasn't trying.... 3 out of the 5 choices are WC DH races. I guess Audi Nines and the crazy Japan XC test event weren't fast enough to make the list.
  • 8 2
 I believe it may have been 5 hours! @danielsapp MSA really dropped the ball here! Get them out of this nomination!
  • 5 0
 If notoriety is a criteria for event of the year, MSA is the clear winner. Can’t ever remember being more appalled then reading about what happened there to Brook Macdonald. Personally, I think this nomination is bad form, at least for this year.
  • 2 0
 MSA? That actually happened? Thanks a lot NBC Sports..
  • 34 0
 Gotta be Snowshoe for the results alone. Overall title came down to the last racer down the hill in the whole season. Yeah, Rampage was great and world champs was world champs, but none of it was as exciting as the last seconds of Danny Harts run from the second his splits turned green.
  • 10 2
 I guess I don’t understand this category... event of the year to me speaks to the organization, atmosphere and execution of a great cycling event, like Rampage or a Crankworx stop. A race that had thrills due to a standout performance or nail biting results, to me, isn’t an attribute of the event.

Maybe I’m just being too literal.
  • 15 0
 @robwhynot: you’ve never put on a World Cup race at a new venue before clearly. All the pressure of the finals on a brand new track at a brand new venue in a country that has been begging for a WC stop since Windham in 2016, every bit of organizing that was done to perfection and to top it off there was spectacular racing to be had. As the article states many of the riders and teams thought it was one of the best rounds atmosphere wise ever that’s no Small complement or accomplishment.
  • 1 0
 @robwhynot: I think the relation of people watching a DH race on the internet to people watching it live favors the internet side. So as a viewer the only metric I have is how exiting it was for me to watch.
  • 4 0
 @Mattysville: I certainly haven’t, but I don’t see how that’s material. I didn’t say it isn’t a feat to pull of a WC Dh event... my comment is more to the point that PBs “why it’s nominated” content speaks mostly about the performance and outcome of the actual racing, not the events themselves. Heck, the Snowshoe blurb literally mentions the event organization and fan support as a second thought when I guess to me those would be the main reasons this specific event was nominated (and rightly so). Your description makes more sense... awesome event planning and execution capped off by great racing, but PB didn’t write it like that. The event surrounding the racing is only mentioned in half of the nominees. Hence my admission, “I don’t understand this category”.
  • 2 0
 @robwhynot: yes. I believe you are being too literal. for sure.
  • 19 0
 SNOWSHOE FTW!!! I still get goosebumps thinking about that weekend...
  • 5 0
 Same here!
  • 3 0
 DITTO!
  • 15 0
 I would have to go with Snowshoe as well, the outcome of the race with Danny putting on a winning run that led to Loic taking the overall was intense!
  • 8 0
 I was lucky enough to see Snowshoe in person. It was also my first WC event, aren’t they all that good? Just kidding, but it’s gotta be Snowshoe for the DH with Hart at the end and Tracey barely hanging on.
  • 12 1
 What, no eMTB World Cup? Haha
  • 9 0
 SNOWSHOE. i know my handle says snowshoe, but rampage usually always get my vote, but the race, the drama, and the scene were too good at Snowshoe this year.
  • 8 0
 Snowshoe - nail bitting race, so much riding on that one race and it was awesome to see Danny put such a run in and get a well deserved win
  • 9 0
 Snowshoe, for the thrills!
  • 7 0
 Snowshoe was the most amazing event of any kind that I've attended. The racing and the atmosphere were electric! Plus there was the Waffle Hut.
  • 1 0
 Yum!, I could hop over my balcony and walk to it......lucked out on room choice I suppose. Being my first attendance at a DH event, it sounds like I was lucky in that respect as well. Hope it goes back there at some point. The first day of just walking down the road and seeing all the pro's, pushing or riding their bikes, was cool.
  • 7 1
 Don’t hate me for this, but I feel Rampage has lost the shock and awe that it used to have. Just seems like another event to me now.
And yes, I did watch and have followed all rampage coverage from its beginning.
  • 2 0
 Call me a pussy or whatever, but someone's going to die at Rampage one day trying to push the envelope too far... And then we will all be upset and trying to blame all sorts of people/organizations/factors. I sincerely trust that the athletes involved have their life assurance and team contracts well sorted...

Having said that, I'm glad we have it! (Perversely and contradictorily oxymoronic that is...)
  • 1 0
 I felt like that til I went to spectate and jump off of stuff on the old site. Then to look at the new stuff and the pitch it's on in the flesh is quite humbling and amazing.
  • 5 0
 What about that sick e-bike race on the motocross course? It was so gnarly riders were pushing their bikes up the steep bits.
  • 7 0
 Hardline?
  • 6 0
 Snowshoe's Danny Hart climax can't be beat, Les Gets a close second!
  • 7 0
 Snowshoe ftw
  • 2 0
 These types of lists can be challenging to build but there were some great, unique events this year that should be celebrated and not ignored. I’m not sure how much thought went into this category. The emergency medical response at Mont St. Anne was a catastrophic failure that really should preclude it from even being considered here - as a WC fan I’m actually insulted by its inclusion.
  • 2 0
 Snowshoe was one of the best sporting events I have ever seen, the drama was movie-worthy and I was so pumped to see Danny win it! I was standing and yelling at the TV and my wife thought (thinks) im crazy Smile
  • 5 2
 Hardline, proving grounds, fest series, rampage, crank works whistler in no particular order.
  • 5 0
 EWS Trophy of nations?
  • 2 0
 Yes It was (looks like) fun and full of surprises (where were the frenchies he) . But snowshoe was next level!
  • 2 0
 Rampage is always the most anticipated event of the year. Races are on all the time, Rampage is so unique and is actuallybroadcast to a national TV audience.
  • 3 0
 Cams backyard race made me smile the most
  • 3 0
 Snowshoe ! Not even up for debate.
  • 1 0
 Yes!
  • 1 0
 Nothing comes close to what went down at Snowshoe. Not this year, not any year. It was the single greatest event in racing history.
  • 2 0
 Country roads, take me home To the place I belong West Virginia, mountain mama Take me home, country roads
  • 4 2
 I’m surprised the Audi Nines didn’t make the list.
  • 3 0
 All of the above Smile
  • 3 0
 french world cup
  • 1 0
 you mean.... Les Get? what are you saying here? .... yes, there were French World cups....in xc, DH, football....what ?
  • 3 0
 Mont Sainte Anne.
  • 2 0
 Snowshoe wins. How can MSA be voted in after that medical debacle?
  • 1 0
 Geez... the suspense of Bruni and Amaury in Snowshoe takes this one I think.
  • 2 0
 Fest???
  • 1 0
 MegaAvalache Alp D'Huez takes it for me!!!
  • 1 0
 mont ste anne was epic this year
  • 3 3
 who gets to decide the winner ? should be a VOTE
  • 1 0
 nah...then its just a popularity contest, by voters (us) who were NOT at all the events. we have no way to judge fairly. I would be far more interested in a vote by media, industry, etc, folks that actually attend the worldwide pantheon of events, than a vote by me and my bros, who went to 1 major event all year...
a mass vote by the uninformed, isnt all that informative.
  • 1 0
 FWS all 8 rounds.
  • 1 0
 SNOWSHOE!!!!
  • 1 2
 What About any of the FEST series ???
  • 2 0
 Niche events
  • 3 4
 proving ground's?????

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