Pinkbike Athlete Awards - The Nominees

Dec 10, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
As enjoyable as it is to geek out over the latest mountain bike gadgetry, the athletes at the top level of our sport are deserving of attention as well. These are the men and women who are truly at the cutting edge, pushing themselves and their equipment incredibly hard day in and day out. The level of competition is higher than ever, and the amount of dedication and training that's now required to compete as an elite downhill or enduro racer is astounding. The same goes for the feats of daring and skill performed by the top slopestyle and freeride athletes, where every contest sees the bar raised higher and higher.

The categories for this year's Pinkbike Athlete Awards are: Male Gravity Racer of the Year, Female Gravity Racer of the Year, and Slopestyle / Freeride Athlete of the Year. “Enduro” was this year's buzzword, especially with the introduction of the Enduro World Series, and as such enduro racing has been included under the gravity umbrella. All of the athletes on the World Cup, EWS, and FMB circuit are incredibly talented, but we've nominated the best of the best, those riders who delivered truly outstanding performances over the course of the 2013 season. Results weren't the only criteria for choosing the nominees, but they certainly played a large role in helping our panel sort out who rose to the top. The winners will be announced later this month, but until then, who do you think is going to take home the PB Awards trophy in each category?



Pinkbike MTB Awards - The Nominees



Male Gravity Racer of the Year



Jerome Clementz
Jerome Clementz was dominating enduro races before the rest of the world caught on, and when they finally did, he firmly maintained his position as one of the sport's most capable riders. Clementz won four of the seven stops in the inaugural Enduro World Series, and in doing so became the first men's Enduro World Champion. His consistency is unparallelled in enduro racing – it's rare to see his name anywhere below the top two spots in the results, let alone out of the top ten. At the end of the day though, Clementz's passion for mountain biking shines through; he's a true mountain biker to the core, and his affinity for having fun on two wheels is readily apparent.








Jared Graves
If there was a category for all-round mountain biker of the year, Jared Graves would surely be the favorite. Famed for his rigorous training and ridiculous level of fitness, Graves started his season off by winning the Sea Otter dual slalom, and then went on to prove his worth as a contender in the Enduro World Series with four second place finishes and a win at EWS #5 in Whistler, BC. And then there's the Pietermaritzburg World Championships, where the Australian rider managed to rocket his way to a third place finish, his first DH World Championships podium. The clincher? Graves was on different versions of the same bike, Yeti's SB66, for all of his podium finishes, proving the bike's capabilities in everything from dual slalom to downhill. Never one to rest on his laurels, with a season of enduro racing under his belt, you can be sure Graves is going to come out swinging next season, looking to take the title away from Clementz.




Steve Smith
The 2013 race season saw Steve Smith's steady rise to the upper ranks of downhill racing culminate with him taking the overall World Cup title aboard his Devinci Wilson. The mustachioed Canadian stood on the podium at the first three World Cups of the season, but he came into top form with impeccable timing, sweeping the final three races of the year to emerge victorious after a heated battle with Gee Atherton. Racking up three World Cup DH victories in a row places Smith among downhill's elite, joining the likes of Nicolas Vouilloz, Steve Peat, and Aaron Gwin in the record books. Plus, in addition to his World Cup victories, Smith took wins in his home country, taking the Canadian National Championships, the Crankworx Canadian Open, and the Crankworx Air DH. At only 24 years of age, Smith has amassed an incredible list of results, and we expect even more of the same in the coming years from the good-natured shredder.






Female Gravity Racer of the Year



Rachel Atherton
This season saw Rachel Atherton pilot her GT Fury to victory at four World Cup races, bringing her total number of World Cup wins to nineteen and making her the most awarded British rider in mountain biking. By the end of the season Rachel had added British National Champion, World Champion, and World Cup Overall winner to her already impressive race resume. This incredible showing proved the Rachel is solidly on top of her game, truly the fastest female downhiller in the world. It's not that she doesn't have competition, as there are a number of competitors nipping at her heals, but Rachel has the ability to lay down blisteringly fast runs when it counts, no matter the conditions.







Emmeline Ragot
Emmeline Ragot had a strong showing this season, and not just in downhill racing. The French rider showed up at two stops of the Enduro World Series and podiumed at both races, demonstrating her high level of fitness and bike handling. It's not easy to race both downhill and enduro successfully – the training regimens for the two disciplines are quite different, and doing well in both is comparable to simultaneously being a sprinter and a middle distance runner, which is no easy task. Ragot, the 2011 Downhill World Champion came in second to Rachel Atherton at this year's World Champs, but managed to take win the final World Cup of the season in Leogang. Non-World Cup victories for Ragot included the Cranworx Garbanzo DH, the Crankworx Canadian Open, along with the European Continental Championships.





Tracy Moseley
Tracy Moseley may have retired from downhill racing, but that doesn't mean she's not riding as hard and fast as ever. As part of the first wave of former World Cup downhill racers who have made the transition to enduro racing, Tracy left her mark on the Enduro World Series' first season, winning five out of the seven events on the tour on her way to winning the overall title. She also abided by her own set of ethics, refusing to shuttle to gain extra practice, and making her way to the top of the stages under her own power. And if her results in the EWS weren't enough, a third place at the British National Championships cross-country race was a convincing demonstration of just how strong and well rounded of an athlete T-Mo really is. Tracy has also continued to offer clinics and coaching for women throughout the season, passing on the skills that she has developed during her time as a professional athlete.









Slopestyle / Freeride Athlete of the Year


Sam Pilgrim
Sam Pilgrim was a force to be reckoned with on the FMB World Tour this season. With his big bag of technical tricks and high flying style, the gap-toothed Brit was hard to miss aboard his flourescent yellow NS Bikes hardtail. Pilgrim won a number of contests, including the FISE Slopestyle, Swatch Rocket Air, and 26TRIX, and placed second at Crankworx Les Deux Alpes and at the Bearclaw Invitational. Most importantly, he managed to escape the season ending injuries that claimed several of his fellow competitors, and his results earned him the title of FMB World Tour Champion. While he still hasn't quite managed to translate his bike skills into the freeride arena of Red Bull Rampage, as a pure slopestyle athlete Pilgrim is surely one of the best riders around.








Brandon Semenuk
Brandon Semenuk's name is synonymous with 'slopestyle.' His inimitable, effortless yet calculated style is tough to beat, as competitors found out at Crankworx Les Deux Alpes, Crankworx Whistler, and at the Bearclaw Invitational. He also brought home a silver from the first ever X-Games slopestyle contest, and although the Red Bull Rampage didn't go exactly as planned, the burly line that Semenuk had picked out was a reminder that he can shred on a big bike as well. But competition wasn't the main focus of the 2013 season for the Canadian rider – Semenuk spent much of his time filming for episodes of 'Life Behind Bars' and 'Rad Company,' an upcoming film project with Red Bull and Freeride Entertainment that's sure to further prove why he's earned the nomination for Slopestyle / Freeride Athlete of the Year.






Cameron Zink
In front of his pregnant girlfriend and legions of nervous fans, Cam Zink went for the biggest backflip in mountain bike history and stomped it. It's the sheer amount of confidence it takes just to consider attempting a feat of this magnitude that earns Zink his nomination. There are only a handful of riders in the world who would even straight air the Oakley Icon Sender, but to backflip it? Cam Zink took the sport of mountain biking to another level, one that is incomprehensible to some, but inspirational for others, the young guns who will soon follow in his tire tracks and go to even greater heights in the future.








The winner of each category will be announced later this month.




Must Read This Week

255 Comments

  • + 181
 Steve Rachel and zinc I think we gunna take it
  • + 218
 Zink the boss, not zinc the element.
  • + 37
 after Zink did the Backflip drop at Rampage, he deserves it.
  • + 105
 Should be Graves, the man went off. Winning Sea Otter DS, second place EWS, third place DH world champs, as well as third place aussie XC championships, if I'm not mistaken. Crazy.
  • + 22
 if not Smith, Graves for sure
  • + 30
 I'm curious where Kelly McGarry is at
  • + 4
 Completely agree with alex, those are my three as well. Ragot is awesome, but Rach just dominates.
  • + 2
 i wan pilgrim to win it!! he is by far the most consistent and most stylish slope rider!... gap toothed brit for the win
  • - 9
flag cheezey-its (Dec 10, 2013 at 17:45) (Below Threshold)
 not to sound like a dick because I will never be close to as good as him but I have to think the Pilgrim does lack the "steeze"
  • + 7
 Where's gatto :,(
  • + 2
 As much as I am Canadian and enjoyed Steve's racing, he was not as dominate as Jerome was. Jerome for the win. On the woman side, you have to give it to Rachel. Zink for Slope.
  • + 4
 Pavel alekhin for slopestyle in my opinion haha
  • + 9
 Who cares if jerome was more dominant? Stevie stormed from behind. That type of strength and guts gets my vote hands down.
  • + 13
 Smith, Ragot and Semenuk. Zink can rip, but no one deserves the title based on a single trick, regardless of how awesome it was.
  • - 13
flag siderealwall2 (Dec 10, 2013 at 19:09) (Below Threshold)
 Smith Atherton and Semenuk. Most known names
  • + 25
 Wheres Soderstrom?!
  • + 7
 Yeah no one except maybe z05m is giving Clementz enough credit. He demolished the EWS completely
  • + 1
 kyle iz sed
  • - 1
 What about Strait? We can't just ignore the fact that he won rampage. Although I suppose there's no category that fits him
  • + 3
 Where the funk is my name?!? LOL, good luck Z!
  • + 9
 Rheeder should be on the slope style list too! He won the first ever mtb x games and was killing the fmb standings until he hurt him self!
  • + 4
 Where the flip is Brown Cow Casey Brown!?
  • + 2
 no offense to mcgarrey but he did one big thing worthy of a nomination. hes not nearly on the level of semenuk or pilgrim or zink in terms of slopestyle
  • + 2
 now sure on them all I know rachel killed it and there is no competition in the womens there.
  • + 0
 yeah. no doubt.
  • + 4
 @billy3197 mcgarry only did one big thing worthy of a nomination? *coughzinkcough*
  • + 1
 Rider of the Year: Rachel
2nd (tie) Steve/Jerome
  • + 1
 Semenuk wasn't really a "Slopestyle Athlete" this year. He was 2nd @ X-Games and won Joyride and Bearclaws, but there were other riders, who deserve the title "slopestyle athlete of the year" more than he does. (No hating on Semenuk, he is a cool dude, but I think somebody else should get the title... (Martin would deserve it in my opinion!))
  • + 1
 @joeyjd see the top of zinks run? f*cking gnarly ass chute into a 60 foot flip drop. why is it that all people see in rampage is the tricks? the top of zinks run was absolutely unreal. mcgarry is on a lower level of slope riding than 99% of the young guns anyways. van steenbergen, genon, rheeder, brayden barret hay, rogatkin, liam wallace need i go on? they all all have the dj and slope bikes so much more dialed than mcgarry. its about versatility too, zink still has style and magnitude that cannot be copied exactly on a slope bike. lets also remember that zink is still considered a contender at a contest like joyride whereas mcgarry puts together runs far from what is going to win them. im not saying mcgarry didnt help the sport and kill it this year. because he totally did. i just dont think its fair to put im in the mix with semenuk and zink.
  • + 4
 oh i'm not saying mcgarry should be in the running here by any means, shoulda clarified that. i just don't think zink should take the win over semenuk.
  • + 2
 semenuk deserves it way more than anyone. im just saying zink is worthy of a nomination
  • + 0
 there should be a peoples choice winner as well!
  • + 51
 Steve 3rd, 2nd 5th, 1st, 1st, 1st - wins first overall title. Rachel 1st, 1st, 1st, 7th, 1st, 2nd - dominates another year of women's DH, Semenuk Not Bad, Life Behind Bars, 1st at Bearclaws, 1st at Joyride, 1st at Crankworx Les 2 Alpes, 2nd at X-Games ... enough said?
  • + 25
 If the title was for DH racer then I'd agree with Smith, but it's "Gravity Racer of the Year" so Graves should get the nod for his versatility. Of course I'm biased ;-)
  • + 3
 In my opinion which means very little on the internet, standing on the top step of the podium kicks versatility's ass every time. Graves Enduro Season 3rd, 2nd, 6th, 25th, 1st, 2nd. Had a great DH race in South Africa and probably had some good DH races in Australia. Steve won the overall title, dominated again at Crankworx and pretty much had the whole world (except Australia apparently) cheering for him to win the DH title. But yah let's give it to Graves.
  • + 1
 Rachel & Jared do it for me. And i dont keep track of non race type events so ill give my vote to the guy in the very tight jeans.
  • - 2
 but zink backflips - enough said? Wink
  • + 7
 If Zink is in there McGarry should be too, enough said?
  • + 1
 @home-team, the whole world except Australia and the UK. Graves can dominate what he turns his pedals to: DH, 4X, Enduro, DS. Mostly gravity disciplines, so my vote would go to Graves. Helmets off to Steve for keeping the motivation to go and win though.
  • + 3
 @home-team maybe McGarry isn't there because he only had that one big trick this year. Oh wait...
  • + 1
 @mightymole94 the difference between my argument and your argument is stats. look at Steve's stats, look at Graves'. Let's reward the people who stand on the top step not the people who "could" stand on the top step or the people who are looking up at the guy on the top step.
  • + 1
 I said the same thing a while back and my comment went below threshhold!
  • + 1
 of course vital is going to award the guy on the second or third step ...
  • + 2
 has nothing to do with you, a site is bias to canadians, not a public opinion. thats ok, everybody does it.
  • + 36
 All Zink did was one backflip. Despite it being the biggest backflip in history, that is his only major accomplishment of the year, while Semenuk and Pilgirm have a number of achievements. Zink can't win athlete of the year for one trick, so it should go to Semenuk or Pilgrim. It was extremely epic and everything, but bigger and higher backflips will be done in the future.
  • - 9
flag Moustacheman (Dec 10, 2013 at 18:19) (Below Threshold)
 if u may quote that the back flip was "being the biggest backflip in history" that there says enough for why he deserves it he made history semenuk did not either did pilgrim not dissing them just making a point both those riders are amazing but nothing insanely huge
  • + 0
 Even though I love Brandon Semenuk, he didn't even compete in the fmb this year and only did a few of the big competitions. And Sam pilgrim is great, but he just isn't pushing it like zink... Zink should win in my opinion. But where's Brett rheeder? I know he broke his back but he had an awesome season earlier.
  • + 8
 I think Brandon's contests runs were remarkable in themselves. Opposite truck on a drop and opposite double whip made history and don't forget he is coming out with a badass movie which will make up for the contests he did miss.
  • + 2
 Ya I know he's still my favourite! And that movies gonna kill!!
  • + 5
 Guys, wheres LACONDEGUY!? :O
  • + 7
 we have to remember this is rider of the year. not "who did pretty well this year" lacondeguy did a toboggan off the drop at x games and didnt ride crankworx. brandon flat drop flipped the drop and won crankworx. thats where lacondeguy is
  • + 3
 JeffAjBailey, Semenuk won Crankworx Europe, Crankworx Whistler, Claws event and filmed the most popular action sports TV show all year, Life Behind Bars, are you high?
  • + 0
 I know he competed in a few events, but he was not officially entered on the FMB world tour. He did extraordinary in the events he did compete in with scores in the high 90's but he wasn't as involved in the contest circuit as the other nominees. Any other year he would take it hands down. And no I'm not high...
  • + 3
 the fmb is a joke if you havent noticed yet. they take riders money and barely circulate it back to them. plus there turning the sport into bmx with a bunch of small european dj contests as opposed to real mtb contests like bearlcaws or rampage
  • + 33
 GRAVES! second overall enduro. top 10 aus champs in xc and downhill both within 24hours. 3rd place dowhill WC on an enduro bike! he is the chuck norris of mtb!!
  • + 15
 It has to be Graves
  • + 5
 I love Stevie, and his downhill season was amazing to watch him come up, but Gravy Train gets this one. He accomplished to much this year to not get recognized for it! Aside from that, Atherton and Zinc are the easy choices.
  • + 1
 Graves is just an all around beast, I don't think the award should be based strictly on results, that only takes one aspect into account.
  • + 1
 Graves, no question
  • + 15
 I think Soderstrom should be in the mix.
  • - 2
 and genon
  • + 2
 I do appreciate what genon has done, but what has he done FOR the sport?
  • + 4
 shown that u dont need a full suss to 3 the cabin drop for 2012 joyride, hah
  • + 1
 genon did well but this catagory includes slopestyle and freeride. remember this is for the absolute best only.
  • - 2
 Slopestyle is short(er) travel freeride. Correct? But the FMB only has 1 very exclusive true freeride spot, so how could you say that its for slope and freeride? Its just slopestyle 96% of the time because slope can be more easily filmed, placed wherever you like, and can have more tricks. I don't like how the FMB is showing the roots of the sport as ALL jumps and oppo tricks. Because its not. The definition of freeride goes over alot more types of riding than the 3 distinct variations (Snow jumps, slopestyle, knar freeride) Its a spectrum. Freeride can be a lot of things, but the FMB is obviously not interested in that. They GAIN funds for each event. Yet they cant hold 1 event them selves. Its always REDBULL joyride. REDBULL rampage. REDBULL berg line. FISE montpelier. And they always fit into distinct catagories. I think that if we given a little more creativity instead of just building nothing but double after double, the potency of these riders would show, and shine.
  • + 3
 Hence the name FREEride. I fully agree, but it's all fun to watch.
  • + 9
 I don't think Clementz can be left of the list. What he did was dominating, and it was the first year of the EWS. The man deserves massive credit. Not that these other riders don't, as all of them are amazing in their own regard. But Clementz' performance was second to none in 2013.
  • + 8
 I gotta give it to Grubby for his versatility, athleticism, and professionalism. Bonus points for sharing his experiences. Was awesome to follow his year, from being a rookie to Enduro and quickly adapting, to his medal winning performance at the DH world champs. Jerome might be the "face of Enduro" and Stevie might have had a breakthrough year, but I'm more impressed by Grubby. He'd totally be the guy I'd choose to sponsor if I had the funds.

I can't choose between the women, though Rachel definitely had a spectacular year. I do like Emmeline's story. The Lapierre video account of their experience this year was pretty interesting. T-Mo was a little on the down low, but I do respect her achievements and her attitude regarding the emphasis on fun and what MTB is all about. Between T-Mo and Rachel and I'd give it to Rachel, based on how dominant she was.

I like all the media exposure Sam Pilgrim has had this year. He may not quite an athlete, but he sure pumps up the stoke for a style of riding in a down to Earth manner that seems inviting to aspiring riders. Zink sure has the death defying iron will that promotes a can-do attitude, but risking lives going even bigger is not quite the direction I'd like to see the sport go. Semenuk shows that strategic training and practice can get consistent results, making events judged based on style something that you need to take an athletic approach to, to prepare for. The choice would be a matter of what ideals I believe this sport should have, and I like the direction Sam and Semenuk has taken things, but the only standout features I like about Sam is his attitude, and how far he has taken things without being too serious. I'll give it to Semenuk. He's so good that his "conservative" runs are still that much better than the competition; I'd love to see how that training leads to even more superhuman things in the future, not necessarily in competitions. If Chris Akrigg was in this category, hmm...
  • + 5
 I nominate Brittany Wood.
Stripper, prefers double black diamond gnar, More than a dozen podium finish DH races.
She likes showing off her bod. That,s her business. Literally. Get to know her and you will find out she is an intelligent girl with major attitude.
She speaks her mind. Most peeps cant handle that.
ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb8891757/p4pb8891757.jpg
  • - 1
 She shows her ass so your penis likes her and that makes her a good athlete, really?
  • + 3
 Finishing on podiums while making my penis like her - it is super combo!
  • + 8
 semenuk didn't pull through at rampage, I think Zink will take the spot for that one
  • + 18
 Rider A: Red Bull Joyride -, Crankworx L2A 14th, X-Games 6th, Bearclaw 6th, Red Bull Rampage 3rd

vs.

Rider B: Red Bull Joyride 1st, Crankworx L2A 1st, X-Games 2nd, Bearclaw 1st, Red Bull Rampage 20th

If you vote for rider A, you're basically reducing the entire year to one jump. A sick jump, but just one jump instead of winning a FMB diamond, coming in second in another, and going undefeated in FMB gold events entered.
  • + 1
 thats one event, look at the entire year, its not even close!
  • - 4
flag Moustacheman (Dec 10, 2013 at 18:20) (Below Threshold)
 fyi that one jump made history
  • + 3
 The thing with Semenuk is that yes Rampage he fell. But out of all of the other events he competed in were very impressive in that he was very dominating. Zink is awesome but one good event should not put him above Semenuk
  • - 3
 those were also the ONLY events semenuk competed in, i know he has a big project in the making but would have been nice to see him at a couple more comps. just saying
  • + 4
 Semenuk is doing so much more for the sport than just competing though. The fact that he's throwing down big scores in the major contests (obviously except his bad luck at rampage), while still delivering huge in not bad, pumping out an online series every two weeks that we all wait for every other tuesday, and continually working on his own major film project says way more than one backflip, no matter how big. And to add to JonnyWaWa's point, if he hadn't fallen at rampage he would've taken it easily, did you see his line!? Also Zink tweeted last night that Brandon deserved it... say no more.
  • + 4
 Yeah joeyjd is correct. He is the face of the sport. He has every right to choose which venues he wants to compete at. Yes, it would be nice to see him at more, but that doesn't mean you knock him for not competing. He is the best freeride mountain biker in the world. When he competes at slopestyle competitions it almost seems like other people are almost going for second.
  • + 5
 Smith, Atherton, Zink. I would go with Semenuk any other year but he was just too quiet this year, If his movie had come out then that might be a different story.
  • + 9
 winning joyride, crankworx L2A, and placing second in x games is quiet?
  • - 1
 not quite fer sure, though id say zink / semenuk toss up.
  • + 3
 Why wouldn't Minnaar be on the list, He did win consecutive world championships titles this year, or Sam Blenkinsop, having arguably his best season in three or four years. And, Loic Bruni, 19 years old and had a couple world cup podiums this year including a second place to only the Canadian Chainsaw massacre himself in Leogang. In the very least, this list should include a few more than 3 people!
  • + 6
 What would be the point. None of them would have even a remote chance of winning it. The three on the list actually do.
  • + 3
 Well yeah, Stevie is the absolute favorite no doubt, his race runs at Mont-Sainte Anne and Leogang speak for themselves. Delivering under the heaviest of pressure!
  • + 3
 Am i the only one who miss some categories? Like Gravity Talent of the year? Team of the year? Race of the year? And trick of the year, instead of nominating Zink for one single backflip? legendary, but still. One backflip and then suddently he´s the one who deserves "Slopestyle/Freeride athlete of the YEAR"?

I just think it would make it more interresting if, there where some focus on all of the young guns!

Just my 5 cents!

CheersSmile
  • + 2
 Graves, Moseley, Zink

Graves. To take 2nd in the first ever enduro world series, a format he has never or hardly raced before is just insane. Also to take 3rd in the DH world championships. No disrespect to Smith who had one heck of a season as well but I think Graves edged him out. Also yes Jerome is a very talented rider who dominated everything enduro this year but this is his expertise so even though he killed it, I think Graves had to come a long ways (longer than Jerome) to accomplish what he did.

Moseley. Moseley was and still is a very talented rider which is why she was such a dominant force in the DH World Cups, however she retired from DH and went in hiding for a while (so it seemed) and then came to enduro world series in dominant fashion. Rachel is at another level no one can really match right now in the DH scene, maybe cuz she trains with her brothers who constantly push her, but I dont know if her accomplishments this year were as drastic as Moseley's. For Emeline Ragot, I do not know much about her so forgive me if my assumptions are incorrect but she has been racing DH for a while. I do think she had some personal bests, in fact did she win her first world cup this year? I forget so you know what i dont know, maybe Ragot deserves this one.

Cam Zink did a backflip on his 2nd try on the hugest drop in mtn bike history. Nothing else could compare. Sam Pilgrim won the FMB world tour in a stacked field but this didnt necessarily push the freeride world as much as Zink. Semenuk he is another phenom entirely and although his accomplishments are insane he has focused more on filming this year which has distracted him from being pushed like he is in competition.

This is my opinion, let that be clear.
  • + 2
 Semenuk, mad respect to zink i think his backflip definatly makes it hard. But you got to remember that semenuk wasnt contest ready he didnt train like he would have the year before, he has been busy filming and he enters a few comps and absolutely kills it in every contest he took part in. Also gotta go with the canadian who made it happen stevie and rachel.
  • + 2
 Video doesn't justify what you see in person that back flip was ridiculous. Just standing under the sender and seeing it was amazing and anyone who dares ride off of it WOW that's balls buddy so to throw in a back flip and ride away he definitely deserves the win. So i'm going to have to say Zink, Ragot, Smith
  • + 6
 I think we all know it's probably gonna be Smith, Atherton, and Semenuk.
  • + 11
 You think Semenuk over Zink?
  • + 0
 Are you kidding? Did a Magic 8 ball give you that outcome?
  • + 12
 Zink needs to win because he is pushing the boundaries of mountain biking to the next level
  • + 2
 oops! that was meant for Nobble, Clearly Zink should win for that massive backflip!
  • - 2
 Should and will are totally different. Semenuk is popular. lol
  • + 3
 Not any more than Zink
  • - 3
 Tell that to Soderstrom who wouldn't have won Joyride even if he'd stuck that last trick.
  • + 2
 hahahaha, these theories...
  • + 0
 To be fair, it's not as if Semenuk isn't pushing boundries in his own ways. He's doing a lot of switch and opposite tricks, some of which I really even doubt some of the biggest names in BMX could compete with, given the size and speed of the hits he's doing this stuff on. He's certainly pushing the sport.

Does that make him better than Zink? Not totally. I like Brandon more as I like his riding style, but Zink is an absolute God amongst bikers. I'd be absolutely stoked for either of them to take it.
  • + 0
 Zink was the better this year
  • + 2
 everyone is saying zink deserves it over semenuk because hes been too quiet, but semenuks been filming a movie, filming a web series, and still training and staying in contest form, excluding rampage, his lowest placing was 2nd, and that is in the biggest slope contests of the year. zinks confidence is unparalleled in mtb, but semenuk puts in the most time to be the best and it shows. rachel seems to kill it every year, and steve smith seems to be in the most control when racing.
  • + 1
 Ok fair enough, but when Semenuk commits to something that big (and potentially life threatening) I'll reconsider. Slopestyle stuff doesn't match up to the scale of big mountain freeride. It's not even the same realm, I don't care what anyone says.
  • + 1
 Hardest thing to accomplish in the sport as we'll know it. Win the mens WC overall. Hands down and anyone whose ever even raced, or qualified to race WC, or qualified to race at a WC on race day, or finished top 70, top 60, top 50, 40, 30, 20 or even top 10 know how bloody difficult it is to walk away at seasons end with the mens overall. Steve Smith. That's it that's all as Gabe used to say.
  • + 1
 Huge respect to all the riders nominated. Thanks for the excitement you brought to the season. Love that the enduro thing is taking off…just wish the word "enduro" wasn't used so frequently in branding everything from frames, to bottle cages…who knows how far that branding will be squeezed for coinage…enduro feminine hygiene products? I appreciate contests like this for highlighting the achievements of phenomenal athletes and wish it were used to do that rather than nit pick or knock others down. All phenomenal riders. Congrats to who wins it but lets not take anything away from any of them in the process.
  • + 2
 Semenuk for slope! Zinc slays but is more of a powerful billy goat than a dialled slope style rider. Smith did win overall title but Jerome is the man to vote for. Rachel is above her league and she would get my vote.
  • + 1
 Zink is damn impressive that is for sure, he appears a true legend of the sport and maybe deserves a special award for services as opposed to being in this list??

Semenuk, again, great/amazing/brilliant/.... rider but maybe we need a separate awards for MOVIES as opposed to competing athletes?? but seriously, seeing as making edits and movies is as big as racing and riding we need an awards for them alone (unless there already is then colour me stupid ... !!)

i would give it to both Rach and Tracy as they have both proved themselves a thousand times over this year - i think Tracy gets overlooked a bit and deserves some solid pats on the back
  • + 1
 ^^^^^^ This.

Definitely Tracy. I think she is easily the most overlooked rider out there! Dominated at DH and now dominating at Enduro, shame she doesn't get the credit she deserves IMO

Not to take anything away from Rachel though as she has done incredibly this year!!
  • + 1
 Stevie Smith for Gravity and MTB Athlete of the Year! What he's done to come from behind win was an amazing feat, legenday hall of fame shit! There were many dominating athlete in his line up compared to any other MTB decipline. The margin of error to win it was impecably zero!
  • + 6
 Stevie, Rachel, zink
  • + 0
 Check your facts @tetonlarry SAM PILGRIM did ride Rampage, he just didnt qualify and given the fact that he is actually just a dj rider, never claims to be anything else and doesnt have the advantage big kickass mountains in sunny England to practice on, I'd say he must have a pretty big set of balls for giving it ago.
Sam for the win anyday.
  • + 1
 Get your facts stanone, dude you are mad at is lower down in the comments. Haha
  • + 6
 STEVE SMITH!!!!!!!!! Smile
  • + 6
 Stevie, Rachel and Cam.
  • + 1
 yeah. is the male gravity even a question??
  • + 1
 Smith, he represent for me the total dedication to the sport and still enjoying riding his bike for fun. 4 days before the world cup in mont ste-anne he was at a local small hill near devinci headquarter ripping up the mountain. the things that impress me the most, he was doing all the promotional shooting the photograph said we'll stop now the light isn't great and steve just said let's go ride for fun the lift ain't close yet.
  • + 1
 Pretty biased nominations in my opinion. Where's Strait, McGarry, Gee Atherton? Semenuk in my opinions not had as good a year as the above people, I don't think the gravity riders should include enduro either. Have a different category.
  • + 1
 Why is no one talking about Pilgrim! He won the overall FMB World Cup. He placed on the podium numerous times in every competition during the entire season. Just by this, he is the #1 Freeride athlete of the year!
  • + 7
 Because Semenuk beat him in every contest he entered.
  • + 5
 i gotta agree. cause besides Rampage, Semenuk basically made everyone else lick his ball sweat leftovers in any thing he entered this year. dude is a straight monster, hungry for competitions or not. made it look effortless all year.
  • + 1
 Pilgrim won't ride at rampage because he is scared. You cannot be the #1 Freerider without riding at rampage. You just can't. If the category was slope style only, he would be a good candidate.
  • + 0
 Sweatypants,I think you're forgetting about xgames where Rheeder took the honor of beating semenuk Wink
  • + 3
 key word is basically. you also cant forget that his run was killer. rheeder just one upped it. remember pilgrim got scarred at x games too. thats ridiculous. those are the real top freeriders there, zink rheeder semenuk the mccauls. throwing a fit about a course and wind harms the sport. no way pilgrim deserves this
  • + 1
 no he isn't ! RHEEDER BIATCH
  • + 1
 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SMITH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 0
 I would love it if there was a category that Danny MacAskill could be voted into!

I think he has really helped raise the profile of mountain biking / bikers - from the Olypmics (although more than 12 months ago) through to the Imaginate which i stumbled across on Dave the other night.

I know plenty of people who have no interest in mountain biking but who have heard of MacAskill and I think that can be nothing but a good thing.

Also....his latest videos have completely blown my mind!


Other than that... Clementz, Moseley and Zink Smile
  • + 3
 Jerome, Emmeline, Cam. Jerome has to work way harder to get to where he's going!
  • + 0
 I think if it's an award for gravity racing then it has to be a true downhill rider at downhill races so my vote goes Steve, and rachel speaks for herself. In slope style/freeride it could be any number of riders for a number of reasons but I vote Zink because after the whole season his rampage run is more memorable than anything else to me.
  • + 4
 Get pilgrim the fuck off this thing.
  • + 1
 thank you
  • + 1
 Sorry, probably a dumb question - but if these are the nominees - is there some way for the public here to vote? How do the winners get chosen?
  • + 2
 seriously smith gave the world one really entertaining DH season, it was amazing. No one saw that coming and it was awesome.
  • + 4
 Smith, Ragot, Zink
  • + 3
 Steve Smith, Brandon Semenuk, Emmeline Ragot !!!
  • + 1
 i dad sagen vl rheeder ! aber einfach ned da pilgrim Big Grin
  • + 2
 Clementz (cmon he dominated, stevie won by a hair), Rachel (would vote manon but she's off the list), and obviously zink
  • + 1
 Jey Clementz, Rachel Atherton, Cam Zink. Congrats to all the nominees, they all had an amazing season. Looking forward to 2014!
  • + 1
 As much as I'd like Graves to win (bec of his incredible versatility and I'm a big fan haha), Smith is just too much - his season was just perfect fairy tale material.
Big Grin
  • + 1
 Atherton, Smith and Semenuk from your list, but I think Martyn Ashton and Danny MacAskill should get recognition, too. Cheers Smile
  • + 2
 oh they definitely will but thats a different category
  • + 3
 Stevie, Rachel, and Zink for sure. That's my vote
  • + 2
 Stevie, Rachel for DH purest form of Gravity Racing. Semenuk, cause its Semenuk.
  • + 3
 Stevie for sure for male gravity
  • + 4
 Martyn Ashton
  • + 1
 Cmon enduro as we all know is very different from downhill why not split the categories add nico lau gee atherton and minaar?
  • + 4
 Sub categories for wheel size?
  • + 3
 Clementz,Rachel, and Cam.
  • + 1
 And Whats about Aggy ? does anyone realized is by far the most in shape true freerider right now ?
  • + 1
 where the f*ck is martin soderstrom? he gave the most f*cking amazing run of all time at crankworks, and paid with his body
  • + 1
 I was there when he landed the triple whip I freaked out so after the comp I snuck on the course and put some of the dir from the Landing and put it on my jumps... Weird? Maybe...
  • + 1
 this year I saw the best slope run ever ! but it wasn't martin's, semenuk laid down the dream run
  • + 1
 You have to admit the trip whip was insane though!
  • + 1
 i think an oppo double whip is gnarlier
  • + 1
 anything i can't do i think is sick! I respect soderstrom for what he can do, and i think he should replace sam pilgrim, but i think that rheeder should be there too, in a fourth spot, cus Zinks flip was massive
  • + 1
 if i have to decide between rheeder or martin, i would have to go with brett. so much oppo stuff, clean tricks, variation and by the way, he's also such a nice guy !
  • + 2
 Pilgrim! he won the FMB tour??!?!?!?!?!
  • + 1
 no haha
  • + 2
 Stevie, Rachie and the Zink
  • + 1
 Mr graves. The most versatile rider from 4x ,dh,xc,and bmx and ENDURO! The man is a powerhouse!!
  • + 2
 Kelly McGarry for free styler of the year
  • + 3
 Steve, Rach', Semenuk
  • + 2
 Jerome, Rachel and Cam for me.
  • + 2
 Stevie,Rachel and ZINK!!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 steve smith, rachel atherton branden semenuk
  • + 1
 Very hard to choose between Steve Smith, Jared Graves and Jerôme Clementz...
  • + 1
 graves for the world exploit jerome for the first champ enduro rachel for the big palmares !!!!
  • + 2
 Stevie, Rachel and Brandon
  • + 2
 why no jill kintner?!! Frown
  • + 1
 Howd they only put these riders up? Missing a few big ones whove done or been through alot this year too !
  • + 2
 Clementz, T-Mo, Brett Rheeder ......
  • + 2
 where the fuck is Rheeder at
  • + 0
 he should get pilgrims place
  • + 2
 Steve Smith, Rachel Atherton, and Sam Pilgrim!
  • + 3
 steve,rachel and zink Smile
  • + 2
 Smith atherton and semenuk
  • + 1
 Apparently hr other disciplines of MTB suddenly ceased to exist for this article.
  • + 1
 Zink,smith, I'm torn Rachel killed the DH scene and tmo opened a new gravity door
  • - 2
 The top 2 make sense. Zink does not.

He got third at rampage because of one trick. It was the gnarliest thing I've ever seen but it was still one trick. He literally did nothing else the entire run. His third place slot was shaky. I think Tyler deserved it. I give him credit for having the biggest balls in the sport. That flip was insane. And deserves something for the best trick of all time let alone the year.

But beyond that he really didn't do anything else.


Semenuk competed in very few events and placed top 3 in at least 2 that I can think of off the top of my head. What about Rheeder or Soderstrom?


I'd give it to Pilgrim this year and then probably Rheeder.
  • + 35
 I was surprised for the nomination and stoked, but stand on top of that line and tell me there was nothing else in that run
  • + 1
 LOL'd. get em'! gettin' sassy up in here...
  • + 8
 @onemanarmy: didn't expect Cam to jump on here and reply did you! I bet you feel like a douche now.
  • + 10
 Love that Zink replied. I think sometimes people forget that they are talking about real people. A nice reminder to be respectful people.
  • + 2
 lets remember that zink rides slopestyle with way more flow than pilgrim, he doesnt look like a robot. plus he didnt pussy out at rampage or x games. yeah i would say zink deserves it more than pilgrim. and are we forgetting the 2nd place at speed and style? flip nac to frontie mid race run is something i dont know if we'll ever see from pilgrim
  • + 3
 Zink. No disrespect... I think I've specified that in several posts over the last month. And to Telonlarry... actually I did. He and many many other great pros post on this site. I was a MOD here for over 10 years. I know who's here. What you did was INSANE. I personally feel that the other 2 guys are more deserving this year because of consistent and regular finishes. You are personally my favorite to watch as far as balls to the wall go. The stuff you do is amazing. You've pushed the sport so far past where I thought it would go it's amazing. I was actually a big fan of Bender for the same reason. I'm honestly not a huge fan of Pilgrim. Never have been. But he had a good complete year. Rheeder won the first xgames. Semenuk did well in every event he ran. You go balls to the wall...that usually means a podium or nothing. It's the same way Cam McCaul rides. And that's why you, he and his brother are all in my personal top 5... hell probably top 3 right there. LOL!
  • + 0
 As for the run.... EVERYONE stood at the top of that run and went top to bottom. I'm not comparing it to what I did. I wasn't there. I'm comparing it to what the other riders did. I personally thought Kelly should have won it all. With Tyler in second in second and Strait in 3rd. I had you 4th. I actually would go back and forth between you and Strait at 3rd. Very hard to keep you off the podium with that trick but I felt there were 3/4 other riders with complete runs that all had big stuff in it that could be viable podium spots.

If it was a big trick event... well you'd probably win ever event ever and every event from here on out with that trick. It's going to be very very hard to EVER do anything gnarlier than that. But if anyone will it's you. LOL! But it was a top to bottom run. You made a pretty steep and tech run in from the top but so did everyone else. You hit the sender which was retarded. I seriously don't know how you even considered making that flip. After that you just road out the speed, bailed out on the next wood hit and just road out the rest of the run. Had you hit that and thrown even a can can or a superman or something I think you sit in the top 2 with no one being able to question it. Bailing out of that hit for me is what sealed it. I'm sure you had your reasons. Maybe not enough speed or whatever. I don't know. And I know from the outside in we can't see how big a lot of that stuff is. It looks like you're riding down hill and doing rollers but what isn't seen is that it's a 10 inch ledge and that roller is actually an 8 foot drop and 20 foot air out.

It's my personal view man.
  • + 0
 I feel like McCaul got hosed and so did Kelly.

Strait is the man. I've been a fan since he was probably 16. So no disrespect on him either. I personally think every one that stepped foot on that mountain needs a pat on the back and a round of beers purchased. Builders and riders alike. You all have huge balls and are amazing. I felt like overall this was probably the most gnarly event there's ever been up there. Mix of speed, tech, flow, tech, gnarly tricks. Amazing. Especially considering the wind.

But I stand by it man... I don't think you should win this one. No disrespect. Hell I have the youtube clips in constant motion on my TV. I can't tell you how many people I've shown that clip to... 90% of them don't ride.
  • + 0
 Like I said. Huge fan. What you did Zink is amazing. It's just my personal view on who should be up there and what I saw. No way in hell would I stand up there and do that. Now... cover it with snow and our conversations might be switched... LOL! I'm just and old fart with an opinion man. You're the one that did the biggest flip in history.
  • + 5
 You think anyone is gonna read all of that?
  • + 1
 Probably not.

No matter. I read fast and type fast so it's easy for me to get carried away.


Here's the clif notes.

1. No offense intended. I'm actually a big fan of Zink's and think that trick was legendary.
2. I'm not surprised he responded and I'm glad he did.
3. I still think the podium at rampage was off.
4. I think Pilgrim should win since it's narrowed to "slopestyle"
  • + 1
 This is probably too late for the discussion but army, chill dude. You don't have to suck anyone's dick here. Zink, your run was shit, there wasn't anything in it besides a back flip & no one needs to stand at the top of the Oakley ad to know that. Maybe you deserved best trick, but my vote goes to Lacondeguy on that one. That flip was not the gnarliest thing I've ever seen on an MTB, you didn't deserve to be on the podium, just like you didn't deserve the win @ Crankworx the year M&M got 2nd, although you had a solid run there, just didn't deserve the win over Montgomery (IMHO). It was the same thing with the 360 at the previous Rampage, you did nothing else. It's supposed to be a RUN, not just one hit. If you think you're on the same level as Semenuk you need to pay more attention to Semenuk. That guy would be a more well rounded, versatile & advanced rider than you if he was missing an arm & a leg. You are where you are because Kyle Strait is your best friend, you're a solid marketer of yourself (you know how it works) & in your prime, the things you do now, were closer to par. I don't give a shit what dumb big (for a bicycle) thing you're going to try to flip next & you sure as hell don't deserve no f*cking "athlete of the year" award or title for just doing a f*cking back flip. I can pull 3 guys off the top of my head that deserved that 3rd spot way more than you did. The thing I find funny, is that I could agree that a "best trick" award could rightly go to you for that flip (even though it's just a flip) yet you wouldn't stand a chance in a best trick contest today either. Oh & army, you are comparing Cam McCaul to Cam Zink? Shame on you! SHAME on you!!!!
  • + 1
 Smith, Atherton, but as much as i love Semenuk that flip by zinc is all time
  • + 2
 It's gotta be Stevie, Rachel and Pilgrim!
  • + 1
 stevie, rachel, and just not pilgrim
  • + 1
 Stevie, Rachel, and Zink. They could in an overall contest together and win as a team.
  • + 2
 Graves, Atherton, Semenuk
  • + 2
 Kelly Mcgarry for Freeride!
  • + 2
 stevie rach and brandon.
  • + 2
 GRAVES.
  • + 1
 RACHEL SMITHZINKYDINK> MY TOP 3 OF THEE YEAR!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 Semenuk!!!
  • + 1
 GRAVES has Australia's vote!!
  • + 1
 Tracey Moseley!!!! Come on
  • + 2
 Manon coz she's mint.
  • + 1
 All in for Jey Clementz !!
  • + 1
 Fuck zink Sam pilgrim all the way
  • + 1
 Stevie (DH Male) Tracey (Enduro Female) and Zink for the win!
  • + 1
 How about male and female XC racers of the year?
  • + 2
 stevie rach and brandon
  • + 2
 Wheres Soderstrom?
  • + 2
 not there for a reason
  • + 1
 ZINK IS AN ANIMAL !! Also Steve & Emmeline
  • + 1
 its hard to calculate in rampage with everyone getting only one run
  • + 1
 enough enough enough of Enduro. Even the word makes me want to Hurl
  • + 0
 my vote goes to smith, rachel and for making history and propelling this sport to another level mr zink
  • + 1
 If there is Zink, why there isnt McGazza?!
  • + 0
 Smith Atherton Zink. No question.
  • + 0
 where is Granham Agassiz?!
  • + 1
 Manuel Beastly!!!
  • + 0
 Stevie Smith Rachel Atherton Cam Zinc
  • + 0
 Graves, TRACEY MOSELEY and ZINK
  • + 0
 Smith and Rach. And for freeride I think I will go for Zink.
  • + 1
 Graves for President
  • + 1
 Jared Graves
  • + 1
 Stevie smith!
  • + 1
 Jerome, Rachel and Zinc
  • + 1
 steve rachel and sam Smile
  • + 0
 The man with the biggest balls is not on the list: James Doerfling?
  • + 0
 Smith, Zink and Atherton me thinks
  • + 1
 9 fantastic riders
  • + 1
 Graves and Rachel
  • + 0
 Definitely Zink, sorry sam pilgrim, theres no skateparks on the mountain!
  • + 3
 so what about Semenuk? that guy rides pretty much everything and his oppo tricks are so seamless that i cant even tell the difference between regular and oppo (much like rheeders but he's not on the list unfortunatley)
  • - 1
 I think rheeder or semenuk are the bet freestylers of the year, but not pilgrim
  • + 1
 definetly stevie Smile
  • + 1
 So where can we vote?
  • + 0
 I think Zink's gonna have it in slopestyle athlete
  • + 1
 Smith.Atherton.Zink
  • + 0
 Smith, Rach and Sam hardest one is male gravity
  • + 1
 Jared Graves for sure!
  • + 1
 Zink ,Atherton ,Smith
  • + 1
 stevie, rachel, sam.
  • + 0
 Brett Rheeder?
  • + 0
 smith,atherton,zink
  • + 0
 Smith, Atherton, Zink
  • + 0
 steve, rachel and sam Big Grin
  • - 2
 Am I the only one who believes martin soderstum should be up there in stead of brandon?
  • + 2
 yes.
  • + 1
 No he would replace pilgrim.
  • + 0
 and söderström should be replaced by rheeder. screw martin and sam !
  • + 0
 Graves, T-Mo, and Zink
  • + 0
 Jared, ragot, zink!
  • + 0
 J, E, C.
  • + 0
 jerome rachel zink
  • + 0
 Smith Atherton Zink

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