Male Gravity Racer of the Year 2014

Jan 12, 2015
by Nathan Hughes  
"And so it must be... From the five legendary athletes nominated; Jared Graves, Sam Hill, Josh Bryceland, Gee Atherton and Fabien Barel we are forced to procure just a single victor to step up to the throne as the new king of the Gravity World. Let us now discover who shall take their position upon the high thread-count, royal cushioning, and begin to remold the butt groove of last year's winner, Stevie Smith, in favor of their own. Pinkbike's 2014 male gravity racer of the year is crowned today.
It was never going to be an easy contest to judge, particularly as our downhill and enduro heroes didn't get to cross swords directly on a race track, but in the end it was the panel's feeling that one rider had the kind of year to rule them all... set to be remembered well and truly as their own. Highs, lows, black jerseys and black eyes all mixed in together... it really was the Year of the Rat."

- Nathan Hughes


Pinkbike MTB Awards



Male Gravity Racer of the Year 2014

Bryceland loving the Cairns carnage.

Josh Bryceland

A bridge too far, it may have been, but that one Scandinavian plywood box with a handrail was the only thing that could stop Josh Bryceland from storming the 2014 double crown and claiming the champs to match the overall title of the World Cup. To see the clock tick from gold to silver in front of a helpless, mal-positioned limb on the end of a man in agony, was a shocking end to an almighty race and a mightier season. It was a sight you could even have described as 'tragic'... if it wasn't the Ratboy we were talking about. Not one to make a song and dance of anything, or even so much as appear vaguely disappointed at the prospect of a missed rainbow jersey and broken foot, there really seems to be nothing that can douse the flame of perpetual 'stoke' beneath Bryceland's dark flowing locks. Asked the night before finals in Meribel what his approach would be, no one was surprised to hear more of his famed 'focus by having fun' ethos... afterall "at the end of the day we're racing bikes down a hill, it's all fun and games!" He would prepare to "go flat out and try to win the f*ker!"



Season Highlights

• 2nd - Shimano BDS #1 Antur Stiniog
• 4th - Shimano BDS #2 Fort William
• 4th - Shimano BDS #3 Ae Forest
• 4th - Shimano BDS #4 Llangollen
• 1st - Borderline Events - UK National Champs 2014 Innerleithen
• 2nd - UCI World Cup #2 Cairns
• 1st - UCI World Cup #4 Leogang
• 2nd - UCI World Cup #5 Mont-Sainte-Anne
• 1st - UCI World Cup #6 Windham
• 3rd - UCI World Cup #7 Meribel
• 2nd World Championships 2014 Hafjell Bike Park

Ratboy didn t quite expect to be in the hotseat like this.


As the season played out for Bryceland, we witnessed second place in the Cairns jungle bested under the lofty peaks of Leogang, as he took to the top step in his first ever victory. Another near perfect performance in Quebexico was followed by an all-out blitzing, Stateside and by the time Meribel came around, the grand master of 'keeping it real' just had to hold on tight and pilot the ratmobile ahead of the big 'S' boys to wrap up one hell of a formidable lesson in bike riding. Back on home soil, strong outings at the BDS and the stomping of the National Champs title made for some sweet icing on the cake, particularly when we consider just how many of the top 20 fly Her Majesty's red white and blue. Results aside though, what we have in Josh Bryceland is really far more than any timing system can convey and something phenomenally rare at the top of any sport. We have an athlete high on life, no motives besides simply enjoying the ride and ultimately, a little piece of the reason we got into bikes in the first place, still plain to see.

No one but the great Ratty Skidson will do as our Male Gravity Racer of the Year 2014. Congratulations Josh.


Jockeying the winning horse to the line at Round 7 in Meribel.
  'The Ratboy' is your 2014 Male Gravity Racer of the Year, on Pinkbike.


Posted In:
Industry News


Author Info:
nathanhughes avatar

Member since Jul 19, 2007
313 articles

110 Comments
  • 299 1
 DAMN RIGHT!!!! 2014 - year of the RAT.....
  • 19 12
 Too right , I'd of been glad if either Josh or Sam had of taken it- both well deserved
  • 82 2
 First award I agree with.
  • 18 2
 I smell a Rat.
  • 3 0
 Great. I wonder if he is back on the bike already. Not DH but at least able to pedal....
  • 9 0
 He posted the other day about going to Llandegla with some friends and not being able to ride. He was filming, put up a video on facebook.
  • 9 1
 He posted a video at my local trail centre this weekend, has been back on the bike but the foot is giving him quite a bit of grief.
  • 3 1
 RAT tat tat!!!
  • 1 0
 Haha, Lilrumple, same time.
  • 3 0
 he landed RAT so he deserved it... who else deserved it more than him?
  • 2 0
 What @monarch87 said!
  • 2 0
 the future is here kids.
  • 6 0
 Steve peat said that he can cycle a bit but still walks funny
  • 6 0
 YES - hoping Rat has a speedy recovery. Can't wait to see him race again
  • 2 3
 God save his gracious Queen
  • 4 34
flag MJ4LIFERIDER (Jan 12, 2015 at 19:53) (Below Threshold)
 Damn wrong! Sam Hill is gonna kill everybody this year. Please fellas c'mon the RAT is done! He ain't coming back from that not on a100% mental!!

Sam Hill is the king!!
F**** the rest!!
  • 3 1
 @Mj4liferider go give away your bad vibes somewhere else. Some of us are tired of PB spoiled bratts.
  • 2 0
 @dmrrider.. sure he didn't say he can cycle a bit but still talks funny?
  • 2 0
 Haha he could have. Bloody northerners
  • 122 2
 I came here to read my name. Was disappointed.
  • 3 0
 dann musste noch ein wenig üben :-)
  • 4 0
 But not surprised?
  • 67 0
 Somebody make him film an acceptance speech. Probably be hilarious.
  • 50 0
 I think the guy in cairns who ragdolled the whoops should of won!! I fucking love that guy!!
  • 4 8
flag SintraFreeride (Jan 12, 2015 at 22:31) (Below Threshold)
 Do you mean the spectator who picked up a racer's bike and tried to ride the rest of the track sans helmet? I fail to see the inspiration behind the guy's behavior? a) taking someone else's bike is bad enough and then b) crashing it...Had it been my bike I wouldn't be egging him on is all I'm saying...
  • 5 0
 @SintraFreeride in actual fact the rag-doll guy in cairns was a spectator who volunteered to ride an injured racers bike to the bottom of the hill..................................what a great bloke!
He also got carried away a little bit and started shredding the top part of the track ( as if you wouldn't ) but the whoops brought him unstuck.
Agreed he should have had a lid on at least but come on
  • 2 0
 This is the first I'm hearing that he volunteered to ride the injured racers bike down. If thats true then fairplay. But I still fail to see how it can cool to see someone ragdoll...
  • 40 1
 Surely this will be the least controversial award of the the year?

Well deserved! #YearOfTheRat
  • 9 69
flag mattsavage (Jan 12, 2015 at 9:40) (Below Threshold)
 I don't know... He blew it for his sponsors, all because he wanted to show off. Rainbow stripes are for more than just the rider. He could've scrubbed that jump, just like everyone else, and maintained his advantage, but he chose to huck it and blow it...
  • 18 0
 Savage by name...
  • 10 1
 I don't know… if I was leading worlds, I might feel a bit invincible and go for the huck.
  • 7 0
 scrub what? did you see how f*ckin fast he was coming into that jump? full throttle! he didn't blow it for anyone dude! he let it rip from top to bottom! that lip sent him.... he wasn't hucking shit!
  • 20 6
 Everyone gave @mattsavage negative props for him comment, but there is alot truth to what he was said. Ratboy did pretty much blow it there. Most people say it was a bad break, that he was just going so fast and didn't realize, or that he deserved the win, etc. But there was something he said buried in that big Dirt interview he gave a few months back where he said...

"I’d never hit that bottom jump quick, I totally overlooked it. So that was the first time I’d come out of the woods and then pedalled, and then not braked to do a whip… what a muppet".

That quote to me discounts all those arguments about bad luck, or deserving the win. Preparation is and practice are all part of being a great racer and winning races and Ratboy never took that part of the course seriously during practice, instead chosing to show off during his practice runs (I love that about him BTW). That's his own fault. He did not deserve to win that race because he didn't properly prepare and take practice seriously. People get on Gee about being so serious but I doubt you'd ever see him not have every part of a course dialed at full speed before race day. And because of that he won the race. Same goes for many of the other top riders like Minnar, Gwin, etc.
  • 10 6
 Whoa... I've never had this many Neg props before... Rad. #savagebynamenotbynature...
  • 4 1
 I agree with Matt and Sino428. If Rat just chose to scrub that jump, he could have won Worlds. But that's part of racing and, for Rat, growing as a racer. No doubt, Rat's win is well-deserved but he's gotta be wise in similar situations for him to be legend. ALL THE BEST RAT FOR '15... Cheers!
  • 1 0
 I sure hope he comes back with a bionic foot... and a more calculated approach too, but it made for a helluva race run! It was also a bad choice to keep that wooden bridge crossing on course so close to the finish. It would make a better photographer's perch as the racers mach by it.
  • 2 0
 Don't you think though that perhaps the attraction of Bryceland is the fact that he does not take it so seriously, in some ways he epidermises the rider that a lot of us would like to be with his attitude and skills. I doubt his sponsors have any complaints, imagining that he is a lot easier to deal with than say Gee or Gwin... If a rider is to be judged on his gravity skills and pure desire to ride and have fun ? Ratboy smashes it.............
  • 28 1
 2015 DH season should be pretty epic. Steve Smith will be back. Sam Hill. Gwin. Brosnan. Gee. Ratboy. Can't facking wait.
  • 8 0
 Not to mention everybody who's picked up a new team this year. April can't come fast enough!
  • 4 0
 kinda doubt ratboy is gonna make the season. I hope he does and I hope I'm wrong...but that was a really awful injury.
  • 13 4
 I don't really see the point in nominating enduro athletes. Jared Graves was most in control of his element out of any of the other nominees, I guess the only way he could win is by having a perfect season. Other than that, you can count on somebody from DH winning.
  • 10 4
 They Should have just had a seperate award for the enduro guys.
  • 3 2
 Well he wasn't even biking most of the season, I assume that's why he didn't win, as miraculous of a recovery that it was, I don't think it trumps Ratboy's insane season.
  • 2 1
 @MDRipper

Makes perfect sense, right?
  • 4 0
 enduro specific award
  • 5 2
 You can't really compare graves to rat boy this year. Sure graves won but it wasn't anywhere near as exciting as the rat train. That was wild. And I'm Australian and live graves. Sorry but none of the enduro guys even came close this year to the dh guys, if there was a second category itd be a second rate category as well. Keep them together.
  • 1 0
 Exactly. the enduro specific award! hahaha but russthedog I wouldn't call another category for enduro "second rate", the achievements the enduro guys and gals made this year are just different from those in the WC.
  • 1 1
 What I meant was if there's two categories they get diluted a little and don't mean as much, i didn't work it that well. I agree they are just different.
  • 1 3
 Oh, I'm sorry, I thought this award was for being a great rider. I wasn't aware that the award went to whoever was exciting. I suppose if Graves had long hair and acted silly he would his results wouldn't have mattered and he could have won the category.
  • 2 0
 so you think Graves should have won? Fair enough, I just think youre a lonely island with that opinion.
  • 1 0
 I admit that I definitely have some bias because I'm an enduro and XC racer, but it seems like it's pretty much an automatic that a DH racer will always win, because that's what Pinkbike's readers care about, and that's what Pinkbike is. They should just drop enduro off of the nominations altogether, if only so not to discredit them.
  • 1 0
 Maybe an enduro guy will win one day
  • 20 13
 RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
  • 9 0
 DESERVED ! Breakout year after a long hard slog from junior elite to senior elite Well done Josh
  • 10 0
 Was there ever any doubt! Smile
  • 7 1
 Screen shot. World peace has been achieved, briefly. All of this agreeing has made me uncomfortable, though.
  • 7 1
 "God save the Rat"... it looks like He might have...
  • 3 0
 Such a Ratty award! King of the Hill should get the comeback award for DH And Fabian should get a hero award for the Mission Impossible, last round of EWS! Just saying this is to OTA its a Ratrap!
  • 1 0
 Hm, dont want to be a pessimist but he is taking a while to heal. I hope he did not burn too broght only to regret it this season when he could have been on top only to take a sam hillishly long time to come back in years !? Would be good to get some real news on his progress.
  • 5 0
 He had a very serious an complicated injury. I would not be shocked at all if it he is never back to full strength this season. His injury is a potential career-ender for guys in many other sports.
  • 1 0
 There's the mist recent this is peaty video kicking around, have a look at that, its got an update - pretty much what sino428 said anyway
  • 4 1
 Well deserved, Pinkbike have this one correct Smile
  • 5 1
 No brainer here!!
  • 3 1
 Hope he is healed up ready to shred in 2015, big up the rat! This is the only award I agree with tho!
  • 5 2
 #GodsavetheRat
  • 1 0
 Never any doubt at all in the descion making stakes !!!! Bring on the new season and lets see who can challenge the "RAT" !
  • 1 0
 Definitely, delighted for him - had started to wonder if he'd ever make it.
  • 3 1
 Even I have to admit that Sir Rattington deserved the win.
  • 2 0
 Congrats Ratboy!! SC Syndicate!!!
  • 1 0
 I have a strong aversion to rodents... Ratboy is an exception...go Rattie!
  • 1 0
 "THAT IT LOOKS LIKE PERFECTION FROM THE RAT" ROB WARNER COMMENT DURING WORLDS IN NORWAY. CLASSIC!
  • 3 2
 "You not gunna sing bro?" Deserves it just for that. Made Gee Atherton look pretty dumb.
  • 2 0
 I might not have agreed with the others, but I 100% agree with this one.
  • 1 0
 I really hope the rat, is healed up an ready to attack by race season..........heal up RAT!
  • 2 0
 LOL "Ratmobile"
  • 1 0
 And the hep cat be the Rat!
  • 1 0
 this year gonna be awesome
  • 2 1
 We rail berms in Leogang!!!!
  • 1 0
 I was thinking this as I read down the results bit XD
  • 1 0
 Anything else would be a shame. Long Live the RAT
  • 1 0
 Ratboy, of course, and well deserved.
  • 1 0
 Year of the Rat no question! Smile
  • 1 0
 he is the man well deserved
  • 1 0
 Couldn't agree more! The lad deserves it, hands down! Long live the Rat!
  • 2 1
 LONG LIVE THE RAT
  • 2 1
 Incredible.
  • 2 1
 Spot on
  • 2 1
 The Rat rocks!!!!!!!
  • 2 1
 deserved Big Grin
  • 2 1
 100%
  • 2 1
 King Rat!!!!
  • 2 1
 THE RAT STAIN !!!!!
  • 1 0
 Rat-Fink!
  • 2 1
 FK YEEAAH
  • 1 0
 GOD SAVE THE RAT
  • 1 0
 Well deserved
  • 1 0
 Yes! Ratboy!!!
  • 1 1
 Maremma Rattosa!!! Go on Rat!!!
  • 1 0
 Ratty you absolute LAD!
  • 1 0
 'A bridge to far' haha
  • 1 0
 Boom
  • 1 0
 100%
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