2018 Downhill Season Analysis: Who to Pick for Your Fantasy League Team

Apr 22, 2019
by Ed Spratt  
World Cup DH finals La Bresse 2018

We are days away from the first round of the World Cup in Maribor. There have been exciting team changes and surprising announcements across the offseason but we will finally be seeing tires hitting the dirt in Slovenia at the end of the month. With the start of the World Cup season comes the Pinkbike Downhill Fantasy League and your chance to win a Trek Slash. Whether it's your first time competing or... well, your second, it can always be hard to choose the riders that will hopefully get you enough points to take victory in September. To help out we have broken down some statistics from last season to help you make informed decisions ahead of the first round.

2018 Results
Let's start off with the results from last year. 2018 offered some of the most exciting racing in years with close racing and unexpected results. Riders like Amaury Pierron, Tahnee Seagrave and Rachel Atherton would dominate the season with consistent top spots. Can they do it again this year?

Round 1: Losinj, Croatia

Elite Men

1st. Aaron Gwin: 2:19.193
2nd. Luca Shaw: +0.798
3rd. Dean Lucas: +1.135

Elite Women

1st. Myriam Nicole: 2:40.706
2nd. Rachel Atherton: +3.559
3rd. Tahnee Seagrave: +3.778

Round 2: Fort William, Great Britain

Elite Men

1st. Amaury Pierron: 4:34.452
2nd. Loris Vergier: +0.27
3rd. Troy Brosnan: +0.311

Elite Women

1st. Tahnee Seagrave: 5:10.960
2nd. Myriam Nicole: +8.251
3rd. Rachel Atherton: +9.056

Round 3: Leogang, Austria

Elite Men

1st. Amaury Pierron: 3:10.991
2nd. Aaron Gwin: +0.508
3rd. Laurie Greenland: +1.155

Elite Women

1st. Rachel Atherton: 3:41.141
2nd. Myriam Nicole: +0.638
3rd. Tracey Hannah: +3.977

Seagrave on the charge through the upper woods her last chance to shave seconds off her qualifying time.

Round 4: Val di Sole, Italy

Elite Men

1st. Amaury Pierron: 3:36.788
2nd. Laurie Greenland: +0.524
3rd. Danny Hart: +0.66

Elite Women

1st. Tahnee Seagrave: 4:26.424
2nd. Rachel Atherton: +0.123
3rd. Monika Hrastnik: +1.605

Round 5: Vallnord, Andorra

Elite Men

1st. Loris Vergier: 4:04.055
2nd. Amaury Pierron: +1.333
3rd. Brook Macdonald: +1.604

Elite Women

1st. Tahnee Seagrave: 4:49.840
2nd. Rachel Atherton: +4.829
3rd. Tracey Hannah: +8.692

Round 6: Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada

Elite Men

1st. Loic Bruni: 4:12.713
2nd. Troy Brosnan: +0.321
3rd. Danny Hart: +1.323

Elite Women

1st. Rachel Atherton: 4:51.443
2nd. Tahnee Seagrave: +5.087
3rd. Tracey Hannah: +20.28

Greg Minnaar had a strong race today to finish just over 2 seconds out of the medals.

Round 7: La Bresse, France

Elite Men

1st. Martin Maes: 2:26.841
2nd. Gee Atherton: +1.391
3rd. Brook Macdonald: +3.125

Elite Women

1st. Rachel Atherton: 2:51.421
2nd. Tahnee Seagrave: +0.638
3rd. Myriam Nicole: +11.662

World Championships: Lenzerheide, Switzerland

Elite Men

1st. Loic Bruni: 2:55.114
2nd. Martin Maes: +0.213
3rd. Danny Hart: +0.305

Elite Women

1st. Rachel Atherton: 3:15.738
2nd. Tahnee Seagrave: +9.983
3rd. Myriam Nicole: +10.676

Number 1 for another year Super Bruni.

Wins in 2018
Although Amaury would be the standout rider of the season there were plenty of other surprising and expected winners throughout the season. Gwin would take a commanding win in the first round but would struggle to repeat this performance across the rest of the season. Frenchmen Loic Bruni and Loris Vergier would add the Amaury's three wins and tell the world that are France back at the top end of downhill. Martin Maes would upset the whole circuit when he laid down an untouchable run at the wettest race of the year in La Bresse. If he commits to a full season can he take the overall?

In the Elite women's category, Rachel Atherton would face some fierce competition from Tahnee Seagrave. The two-rider fight for the overall came down to the final round in France where Rachel would take the win by under a second. World Champs showed that Rachel still has the ability to lay down huge margins over the rest of the women's field, her unbelievable 9.9-second gap back to Tahnee was nothing short of impressive. Rachel will be riding the new Atherton DH bike which is untested on the World Cup circuit, will it be competitive?

Elite Men

Amaury Pierron: 3
Loic Bruni: 2
Aaron Gwin: 1

Loris Vergier: 1
Martin Maes: 1

Elite Women

Rachel Atherton: 4
Tahnee Seagrave: 3
Myriam Nicole: 1

Podium finishes in 2018
In the elite men's category, Amaury Pierron and Loris Vergier would only drop out of the top five in three of the eight races (including World Champs). After them, Aaron Gwin, Loic Bruni, Troy Brosnan and Laurie Greenland would all sit on the podium for three races. If you want consistent high scorers you can't go far wrong with these riders. In the Women's series, the podium was dominated by Rachel Atherton, Tahnee Seagrave and Tracey Hannah. Rachel was on the podium for every race and Tahnee and Tracey on missed the podium for one race. With Myriam Nicole out injured for the first part of the season, choosing from these three female riders almost guarantees you great points every race.

Elite Men

Amaury Pierron: 5
Loris Vergier: 5
Aaron Gwin: 3
Loic Bruni: 3
Troy Brosnan: 3
Laurie Greenland: 3
Danny Hart: 3
Luca Shaw: 2
Brook Macdonald: 2
Martin Maes: 2

Dean Lucas: 1
Sam Blenkinsop: 1
Dakotah Norton: 1
Reece Wilson: 1
Thomas Estaque: 1
Finn Iles 1
Gee Atherton: 1
Rémi Thirion: 1
Bernard Kerr: 1

Elite Women

Rachel Atherton: 8
Tahnee Seagrave: 7
Tracey Hannah: 7
Myriam Nicole: 5
Marine Cabirou: 4
Cécile Ravanel: 2

Monika Hrastnik 2
Emilie Siegenthaler: 1
Veronika Widman: 1
Eleonora Farina: 1
Mariana Salazar: 1
Katy Curd: 1

Top 10 finishes in 2018

If you want to win the fantasy league the key is consistency. A couple of wins might be great but if they get a low score or even net you a 0 you can wave goodbye to winning the Trek Slash at the end of the year. For the men, choosing Troy Brosnan or Danny Hart is a great decision as they were only outside of the top 10 for one race. Loris Vergier and Amaury Pierron are also great picks and, despite only being in the top 10 for six of the eight races, they did win more than Troy and Danny.

In the Elite women, Rachel Atherton and Tracey Hannah were always inside the top 10 and Tahnee Seagrave and Marine Cabirou would drop outside for just one race. Tahnee would have been inside for all eight but an incident involving her going outside the tap in Leogang meant she only managed seven of the eight races inside the top 10.

Elite Men

Troy Brosnan: 7
Danny Hart: 7
Loris Vergier: 6
Amaury Pierron: 6
Laurie Greenland: 5
Loic Bruni: 5
Luca Shaw: 4
Brook Macdonald: 4
Aaron Gwin: 3
Martin Maes: 3

Connor Fearon: 3
Dean Lucas: 2
Sam Blenkinsop: 2
Dakotah Norton: 2
Reece Wilson: 2
Matt Walker: 2
Mark Wallace: 2
Finn Iles: 2
Gee Atherton: 2
Jack Moir: 2

Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas: 1
Michael Jones: 1
Thomas Estaque: 1
Edward Masters: 1
Charlie Harrison: 1
Angel Suarez Alonso: 1
Rémi Thirion: 1
Bernard Kerr: 1
Greg Minnaar: 1

Elite Women

Rachel Atherton: 8
Tracey Hannah: 8
Tahnee Seagrave: 7
Marine Cabirou: 7
Myriam Nicole: 5
Monika Hrastnik: 5
Emilie Siegenthaler: 5
Katy Curd: 5
Mariana Salazar: 5
Cécile Ravanel: 3
Carina Cappellari: 3

Nina Hoffmann: 3
Veronika Widmann: 2
Eleonora Farina: 2
Miranda Miller: 2
Morgane Charre: 2
Sian A'Hern: 1
Jana Bártová: 1
Kate Weatherly: 1
Frida Helena Rønning: 1
Eva Battolla: 1
Janine Hübscher: 1

Best value riders

You have picked your favorite riders but you still have a couple of spots left but you don't have much of your designated $1.5 million left, who should you pick? We have broken down three of the best male and female riders to round out your fantasy teams. These riders were the best performing riders from last year that come in at under $50k this year.

Elite Men

Magnus Manson - 124 points - $50,000
Loris Revelli - 132 points - $50,000
Bryn Dickerson - 121 points - $50,000
Jackson Frew - 92 points - $30,000

Elite Women

Alia Marcellini - 135 points - $50,000
Sandra Rubesam - 150 points - $20,000
Frida Rønning - 100 points - $20,000
Eva Battola - 130 points - $15,000

The Fantasy Downhill League is Presented by Trek and SRAM.

MENTIONS: @trek / @SramMedia


  • 94 0
 If all Pinkbike users team up and put the same riders down for our Fantasy teams, do we all win and get a free bike each?
  • 21 0
 Give this man a medal! Let's do this! Big Grin
  • 40 8
 Damn socialists and their non competitive views.
  • 14 0
 You get a free bike, you get a free bike, you get free bike!
  • 10 0
 Trek marketing manager you get a P45
  • 2 2
 @CantQuitCartel: EVERYBODY GETS A FREE BIKE! One for you, and one for you, and you, and you … Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @CantQuitCartel: "you get a P45" lol
  • 14 1
 Wasn't this a classic ethics problem scenario- where mutual agreement ensures a unified positive gain and larger net gain but individual deviance might equal a larger personal gain... so yeah- you should all do this... for sure... I promise I will tow the line...
  • 4 1
 And if we pick the value riders only, can we cash in the rest? Wink
  • 2 0
 Alright, I'm in. Just tell what to pick for my Fantasy team. But please then stick to that one. I'm not going to change it for every race.
  • 9 6
 Hypocrits! Sell outs! Why do you want a bike that is too short, to steep and doesn’t have 26” wheels, coming from a company that invented Boost. Where’s any coherence here?
  • 6 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I don't care about the bike, I like the experiment. This is the fantasy DH league, the winner should get a trials bike. Not sure what they were thinking with that Trek Slash.
  • 8 6
 @vinay: I want to win this Slash to sell it. I will then take the money, buy lots of flat pedals and send them to children in North Korea.
  • 13 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Dude, no one wants to buy your Slash. It is too short, too steep and doesn’t have 26” wheels, coming from a company that invented Boost. It isn't worth a pedal.
  • 6 2
 @vinay: it’s for the kids of North Korea, you merciless shell of a man
  • 1 0
 @snl1200: individual vs. community. One of the ethical problem solving paradigms. Another that applies to your statement is truth vs. loyalty....I am not sure if I believe your claims...hahaha
  • 2 0
 @freeinpg: there can be no loyalty without simultaneous presence of obvious profit and impending threat. This plan is sentenced to fail. Some are just weak and some want to see the world burn.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm not merciless, I'm wise. See, as this plan is bound to work, I'm expecting the Trek Slash at the end of the season (just like every other Pinkbike visitor). I'll then have it wrapped in protective film with Wallmart print so that I can sell it as a barely used Wallmart bike. You know, the kind people use for shredding Whistler. Wallmart connoisseurs will be certain it is non-boost and equipped with 26" wheels (as it ain't dead). I'll then be able to sell it for so much, I can buy a full pair of pedals for that. Send one to North Korea, one to South Korea. The kids will realize they need each other, they'll play together, fetch some missing parts so that they can build a proper bike. They'll have so much fun. There will be love, joy, flowers, peace, music, mosh pits, mush rooms, more flowers... and bike riding. So much riding. A whole generation will be raised with love, not subject to any propaganda (other than the occasional Pinkbike paid articles and Google keeping track of their clicks). It will be good. The area will prosper. China won't have to to scramble excess bikes anymore as they'll be exported to The United Republic of Korea.

And you wanted to send one pathetic single pedal to North Korea?
  • 1 0
 would you steal bread to feed your family?
  • 2 0
 @kookseverywhere: I would chop the baker in pieces and make sausages from him so that they can get protein and B12
  • 2 0
 @kookseverywhere: I don't know. I think I'd prefer glutenfree and low on omega-6 fatty acids. I'll discuss it with the baker but he needs to make me something really good before I'm convinced to steal it.
  • 9 0
 Jackson Frew and Sian Ahern are an absolute bargain if you look at recent results.Tahnee is not in the form to beat Rachel. Deanos machinos and the Bulldog also on fire -my team almost built itself
  • 6 0
 Take into account that that's mostly based off of races in Aus and NZ though where they have been having nationals and Crankworks etc.

Note: Martin Maes also completely dominated there in the EWS, but how many DH races will he do?

While Finn and Bruni did make an appearance at Crankworks, most of the elite DH field has not been around and is not yet showing their hand...
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: yeah, i know but traditionally oceanian folks starts kinda well into the season because they already had a couple of races. there were also uk and portugal races already, but besides walker and maybe gee no reasonably priced racer stood out. last year i picked pierron from the start because of his results in the port. cups. frew was basically on the same speed as fearon the last couple of races , pretty good for a 30 k racer. ahern was not far off tracy hannah, 100 k pretty good.
  • 3 0
 Last year I won it with lots of luck but I must admit I wasn't changing a lot since the first round in Losinj. Pierron, Shaw and Hrastnik was fundamental. I think Fantasy contest will be more interesting if the value of riders wont be constant through the season. Wish you all good luck Big Grin
  • 2 0
 For 30k, Frew is a steal when it comes to the points you could get for the cost paid. Hope to see him up there in the top 20 this season!
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: recent results matter, WC or not. Confidence means everything in this sport.
  • 10 1
 It's worth mentioning Myriam Nicole was injured for a number of the races last year and if she can stay injury free this year we expect her to consistently be on the podium.

Written last week?
  • 2 0
 Good catch, commentator's curse! It's been changed accordingly now.
  • 4 0
 She is injured right now, so she will probably miss a couple of races
  • 4 0
 @Thomas22: She will probably miss the whole season mate.
  • 1 0
 @FiLaReToS: Could be yeah, as if she hasnt been injured enough already...
  • 11 2
 Call me old school, but only riders on my team that I like...
  • 5 0
 Feels like the article is overlooking both Gwin and Minnar. Both were in peak form going into last season before injuring out. And now both are coming into this season looking to make up for it. Would Pierron have been that dominant if they were both still in the running last year (dude is fast and I'm sure still would have won at least once, but can you really toss out the veterans like that)?
  • 1 0
 well said
  • 9 1
 Pierron = Jerry Seinfeld.
  • 3 0
 Wow, spot on. Let’s get him in some jeans, sport coat, and some fresh nikes
  • 3 1
 I was thinking more Sacha Baron Cohen, but Seinfeld isn't far off either.
  • 1 0
 @srjacobs: "You taste of America."
  • 2 0
 Sorry to be that person, but the Point System is a little different (taking into consideration the 2017 and 2018 seasons).

Men: from the 5th to the 20th place is different
Women: 6th, 7th and 8th place are different.

examples (last race of the year where qualifying points are not given):

men, see here

women, see here

Fantasy League, see here
  • 1 0
 Probably because the uci changed the rules last year so there was no points given for qualifying in the last race of the year. Not sure how the other races check out though.
  • 1 0
 I'm new to this and I can't find this info anywhere:

Do the riders prices change from round to round? As in if I were to buy a cheap rider and he/she performs well, their price goes up, could I then sell them to buy a premium rider such as Pierron or Rach Atherton?

The end goal of the season would be to have a whole team of premium riders wouldn't it?

Also, I know its new, but pinkbike get a more complex scoring system. Points for quali, possibly even split times etc.
  • 2 0
 Prices of riders don't change during the season.
  • 1 1
 Thanks for the info.

I know that it's new but it just seems like a bit of a "fire and forget" fantasy platform.

Other than injuries there is no reason to change your team. And if you did want to upgrade up to a premium rider mid season you would have to downgrade to cheap riders.

There's no incentive to buy cheap, promising up and comers so that you can one day sell them to buy better riders
  • 5 0
 @lachieleeds: i dont think you're gonna do very well
  • 2 0
 @lachieleeds: you might be taking this a little too serious, buddy
  • 1 0
 @lachieleeds: I'm assuming pretty much everyone switched to Monika Hrastnik and Amaury Pierron at some point during 2018 because they were both on the cheaper side and on fire. (And Martin Maes for the last 2 races)

In the end it's all guessing as mechanicals can happen to everyone.
  • 3 0
 I've got a great feeling about Brook this year. Dude is coming by it honestly that's for sure. Year of the Dog goddamnit.
  • 2 0
 Dogs, Brook and Brendog! I would love to see both doing very well.
  • 1 0
 You do realise if you change your team they’ll all either have flats or crash ! So I’ve changed it twice then on the deadline day I’ll go back to my original winning squad Smile
  • 3 0
 Must be Jack Moir GBP and Jack Moir AUS.
  • 3 0
 Add Mitch Ropelato to rider list!
  • 1 0
 One thing has always been certain - you can't go off local/national races to predict WC form. Big mistake.
Let's see if Matt Walker finishes above Danny by September!
  • 2 0
 Can we get a start list before each race so that we can make sure our choices are racing?
  • 2 1
 Myriam's injury ruined my dh team balance! I did changes and I'm not happy now!
  • 2 0
 When is the start list announced?
  • 1 0
 Anyone know if Kate Weatherly is racing/allowed to race? Deffo bargain if she is
  • 9 0
 I am racing this year, hopefully, I can improve on my 12th/10th from last year, been training hard all offseason so fingers crossed! Thanks for supporting underrated riders!.
  • 3 0
 @kateweatherly: Thanks for heads up. 25k is a bargain for potential podium imo. Good luck!
  • 1 0
 Wow, I love the graphs! I almost forgot it was on pinkbike and not a scientific research paper. ????????????
  • 1 0
 Minnaar and Maes and Fixy and Walker......This seasons going to be fun!
  • 3 2
 Danny's going to see the top step this year.
  • 6 1
  • 5 0
 @Naturel: "smoked", as in a fraction of a second? Smile
  • 1 0
 @Naturel: That's a one off. I made the mistake of basing my predictions last year off predictions off of nationals and regionals and boy i was far off the mark. I'm personally valuing consistency which danny has had over the last few years.
  • 2 0
 2019 maybe ?
  • 1 0
 If I had this for 2018, I'd be riding a new bike. #headscratcherheadlines
  • 1 0
 It's an analysis of the results of 2018 so I don't see anything wrong with the title.
  • 1 0
 @Jenstin: I want the crystal ball
  • 1 0
 Rachel for the big money big points purchase.
  • 1 0
 2019 DH Season.... Let get this thing moving!
  • 2 1
 Kaos is the sleeper!
  • 4 1
 Kaos doesn't have enough points to race in maribor lol.
  • 1 0
 @elliotck: he'll make up for it later.
  • 12 0
 Sleeper, as in sleeping in on race day? Yep, he will be.
  • 1 3
 This whole thing just got very complicated.
  • 3 6
 Yeah, for a retard

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