Pinkbike Poll: Favorite Downhill Rider and Race of 2017

Oct 6, 2017
by Paul Aston  
The international downhill season is done and dusted, and boy, what a belter: storms, surprises, injuries, snapped frames, exploding wheels, and disqualifications. A few weeks after the World Champs in Cairns, I have finally detangled myself from the tenterhooks where I spent most of the season and cleaned off the smell of anxious sweat that stained me as I watched in suspense. It was a wild season of highs and lows, and winners were crowned and loser's frowned.

The riders that garnered my attention most during the season were Tahnée Seagrave and Greg Minnaar. Neither of these riders took the overall or champs, but Tahnée had a breakout year winning three WC's and showing what she is capable of at a young age. On the other side of the spectrum, Greg has been racing on the world's stage for twenty years and had one of his best seasons ever, despite all the chips seeming to stack against him – even when the unthinkable happened, he still showed steely determination and good sportsmanship.

Val di Sole always delivers, the brutal track is littered with rocks and roots hidden deep in dust and loam. This Italian mountainside always pushes riders above their limits and showcases downhill racing at its best.

Which was your favorite World Cup downhill race and riders of the year?


2 seconds behind Tracey 3 ahead of Rachel Tahnee Seagrave is in a nice spot for finals.

Who was your favorite female DH racer of 2017





Greg Minnaar was looking like the man to beat in practice but Val di Sole can be a cruel cruel place.

Who was your favorite male DH racer of 2017?





Deep dry loam... axle-deep in places.

Who was your favorite DH race of 2017




121 Comments

  • + 300
 where the f*ck is phil atwil
  • + 138
 And mr. gas to flat adam brayton??!?
  • + 71
 @squarewheel: Phil is currently somewhere in the south of England riding his bike, no doubt doing something stupid!
  • + 152
 Sam HILL???
  • + 20
 Sam Hill because he's still a boss! Soz MJ4LIFERIDER, I just posted it before reading your comment.
  • + 40
 Atwil, brayton, fairclough and the masters brothers needed to be on that list! Rigged!
  • - 24
flag RedBurn (Oct 6, 2017 at 14:00) (Below Threshold)
 All these tannée fans because of her instagram posts wearing leggings... and the reality too... she's fast!
  • + 51
 Gwin for Gwining, Greg for being pure class, Atwill for being loose as f*uck, Loic for being a bit of all of these
  • + 3
 @Scotj009:
Popping wheelies on his scooter apparently...
  • + 1
 @DC1988: Yeah quite possibly!
  • + 5
 Phil Atwil would have been my pic.
  • + 5
 @Scotj009: Only when he’s not terrorising British TV as Joe Wilkinson
  • - 24
flag scott-townes (Oct 6, 2017 at 17:58) (Below Threshold)
 I don't think they include mediocre riders with absurd opinions in this poll...
  • + 20
 Who the f*ck answered ‘Lourdes’ !?
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: was thinking the same!
  • + 47
 @ThomDawson: Alex Fayolle's mum
  • + 2
 Phil's rides where great to watch this year! So hard on the edge but he could manage to bring them down! Besides the track he surely wasn't one of my favourites... get sober, train consequently and the podium is waiting for you, Phil!
  • + 0
 @ThomDawson: Rachel? Alex?
  • + 0
 Probably 170 plus red bull staff members @ThomDawson:
  • + 6
 And Mr Rupart Chapman ?
  • + 3
 Adam Brayton, not on the list, but easily my favourite rider to watch.

#wildstyle
  • - 1
 @scott-townes: well said!
  • + 2
 SAY NO MORE. SAM FUCKING HILL
  • + 1
 phil broke his wrist , I saw him a few weeks back at aston
  • + 2
 @Oldskool1983: Yeah he's been riding for about two to three weeks now, he's fine
  • + 3
 Blenkinsop.
  • + 1
 @Scotj009: Rostrevor.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: The Virgin Mary
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: People who enjoy rough tracks
  • + 3
 @Whipperman: we're talking about the race (which was undeniably shit), not the track (which is apparently the shizzle).
  • + 80
 "yeaaaaaah"
  • + 13
 Yeaaaaaah!
  • + 6
 "Hit some chubes with the boys!"
  • + 0
 @m47h13u: Yeaaaaaah!
  • + 1
 hahaahahahahaahaahhhaaa yeaaaaa
  • + 61
 Brosnan had an amazing year, taking a WC win on a new team with a new bike, then taking second overall for the WC season. Then there is his amazing performance at the Crankworx tour, taking the overall series. Here's an athlete that consistently delivers in two prestigious DH series. He is humble, and he let's his creative lines and super fitness do the talking.
  • + 22
 Agreed. He's also pretty much always smiling. What an awesome attitude he has! Top man.
  • + 26
 I agree. He's constantly overlooked, yet is ALWAYS up there results wise. Have a look at Vallnoord. Everyone went on about how Troy only won because Minnar messed up in the last corner. The next race Troy loses to Minnar by the exact same margin all because he got off line in the upper rock garden, and it was all praises for Greg's race run.
  • + 3
 @malv173: wouldnt you be smiling all the time too if you were paid six figures annually to race bikes!
  • - 1
 Let's not forget Gwin winning 5 World Cup races and the overall when he switched brands (to Trek), and then doing it again when he switched to YT. But yeah, Brosnan's great too.
  • + 64
 Sam Hill
  • + 40
 My friend Todd crushes B Line...
  • + 15
 damn right
  • + 2
 @toddball: YEAH TODD
  • + 40
 I think Alexandre Fayolle voted 38 times for Lourdes.
  • + 6
 THAT is the truest and funniest thing I've heard all day lol
  • + 30
 favorite has to be jack moir since he added so much to the WynTV ratings. yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  • + 6
 He got my vote too. Totally killed it this year and his celebrations at the end of each race make me laugh. It seems like him and his crew are just hamming up there stoke for the cameras.
  • + 3
 He got my vote. But not because of his WynTV appearances (which I consider hilarious) but his performance this season
  • - 16
flag dro-cfr (Oct 6, 2017 at 18:03) (Below Threshold)
 I guess I missed the category for creepiest pedophile looking dude of the year. yeaaaahhh
  • + 24
 @dro-cfr: yea it's a shame mate you would have won for sure
  • + 1
 @velociraptor-clintthrust: I've said it before & I'll say it again. Your username is the best thing about Pinkbike.

Period. Blood. In my pubes.
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: Haha cheers but I've gotta give the credit to Jeremy Clarkson
  • + 0
 Yeaaaaaaaaaah. Jack Moir is the Sh!t.
  • + 24
 mont ste anne was epic this year, big shower rain for the last 25 riders, dany almost gave us an heartattack and gwin was a gwinner
  • + 1
 MSA had 4-5 incredible runs and Gwin laid down the best mud run since Danny in '11 but all in all I think it wasn't the best race of the year
  • + 0
 @leopaul: If you're a fan of DH, you wouldn't have forgot about Steve Smith's MSA run for the win in 2013.....
  • + 2
 @scott-townes: of course I haven't forgotten about that. But the poll was about MSA this year
  • - 2
 @leopaul: "Gwin laid down the best mud run since Danny in '11"

Sooo yeah, you did forget about Smith's run......
  • + 22
 I refuse to vote until I get riders to choose from. Where are lads like Brendog, Gas to flat or Bulldog ??
  • + 22
 I love Brendog but honestly he had almost no impact on the cup this year
  • - 1
 Brendog seems to just enjoy riding and making videos as apposed to competing. Which is why he's prob my favourite rider.
  • + 2
 @MrFen we all know you voted ............
  • + 11
 Finn Iles. Most WC wins in 2017, most in 2016/17 combined, won VDS back to back, won in Andorra, MSA and until World Champs had never been worse than 2nd as a junior in any race. Also won Crankworx NZ, France and Whistler. Times compare really well to the elites
  • + 2
 #LetFinnIn
  • + 13
 Sam Hill. I miss watching that guy ride. When he first joined Chain Reaction he was killing it.
  • + 12
 Connor Fearon regardless of how many races he was in!!
  • + 10
 Aaron Gwin for doing the impossible, Sik Mik for speedtraps, Blenki for pedalling in the air, Tracey Hannah for trying too hard. Best race - MSA.
  • + 1
 Blenki
  • + 7
 Vallnord was the race of the year for me. After a string of flawed races and poor tracks, this was the turning point of the season. Great coverage and conditions, proper natural rugged downhill. it truly showcased the abilities of the worlds best throwing down run after run on the very edge, still producing tight times and pure suspense as the last few came down. Hart was WILD but topped by Bruni being so smooth. everything a DH race should be. Gwins MSA run was special but overall this race is the highlight of the season
  • + 4
 i refuse to answer the mens poll because sam hill was not an option and i cannot betray the one, true, sam hill. The man/god finished 6th in an international downhill race, nay a championship this year on a flipping trail bike and he's not an option? WTF is wrong with you people?
  • + 4
 well, nice poll, had my fingerss crossed for Greg all season byt Aaron was incredible as well. So the choice was not so obvious but not hard in the same time.... and the it all messed up because SAM HILL was ( and is ) the best 2017 downhill rider !!! #noSAMnoPoll
  • + 6
 Pom Pon - after so many injuries it was great to see her finally get the overall. Greg - still the goat and still hungry for more. MSA - jaw dropping action.
  • + 5
 For style... Minnaar is the Federer of DH But Gwin is the hungriest... the strongest rider Seagrave strongest this year, Nicole..consistency
  • - 19
flag mollow (Oct 6, 2017 at 13:25) (Below Threshold)
 Nicole: cashing in on better riders mistakes
  • + 4
 Last time I checked, making a mistake where my opponent does not misstep means that I'm inferior at this precise moment. You race with your skills but also with your brain.
  • - 5
flag mollow (Oct 6, 2017 at 13:46) (Below Threshold)
 Sure sure... Ratboy was inferior in Hajfell
  • + 3
 @mollow: I mean yeah... he should have brake checked that last jump, or at least practiced it at speed before his race run, which I think I remember him saying he didn't do.
  • + 4
 @mollow Don't disrespect the Rat! Josh was so pumped on adrenaline at the prospect of taking the rainbow stripes that he just sent it into the stratosphere that day. All he had to do was scrub the jump a little and the world was his oyster. He had an almost perfect run till then. Sadly I think that was a turning point for him. We'll never see the likes of Bryceland in WC DH again.
  • + 1
 @fattyheadshok: honestly i think hes better off doing what hes doing, creating awesome entertainment for everyone and just having fun
  • + 1
 @fattyheadshok: sarcasm alert! Happy to help out. Have a nice day.
  • + 0
 @BenPea: that was meant to be tongue in cheek sir.
  • + 1
 @fattyheadshok: hmmm... hard to tell (god this internet thing is hard to grasp...), but it might help others, given the -4 next to mollow's name.
  • + 6
 SAM HILL on ANY hill
  • + 5
 Poll incomplete
  • + 2
 Gotta be Mont Sainte Anne with Gwin showing true skill to give the finger to rained out track (and Bruni gets a close 2nd for the same)
  • + 0
 It's unfortunate that the article doesn't even mention that this was Pompon's first injury-free season and that she won the overall by being consistent on both qualis and the race itself.
  • + 2
 Troy Brosnan for being so fast and so consistent every year and not giving a shit about wheel size
  • + 3
 Bronson for his positive VIBE!!!!plus boy owns the bike!!
  • + 3
 I vote for new courses!
  • + 3
 Mic Hannah
  • + 2
 Just put Casey Brown on the list dammit.
  • + 2
 Where's brayton, his runs were the most entertaining
  • + 3
 Shit list
  • + 2
 bulldog.... for that 10/10!
  • + 1
 Atherton - tough as hell Gwin - rocky start, epic win in the rain, never gave up
  • + 2
 I didn't make the most popular selections.... Do I lose?
  • + 2
 Sam hill, Val Di sole. Sorry did you say 2007? #lookatthetiiimmmme!!
  • + 2
 Loris!
  • + 1
 Steve smith is my favourite
  • + 1
 Why wasn't Brook up there
  • + 0
 Where's Bernard Kerr on this list? What about the Masters brothers, or Rupert or Eliot Jackson? This poll is lame!
  • + 4
 Your picks are lame
  • + 2
 Can I pick two?
  • + 1
 My top 5 for the year, Minnaar, Moir, Brosnan, Gwin, Bruni
  • + 0
 Moment :- Bernard Kerr power wheeling the landing at leogang... thug life!
Yeah Phil Atwill though!
  • + 2
 Where's Blenki?!
  • + 2
 Phil Atwill
  • + 2
 SAM HILL
  • + 2
 Bunch of groupies.
  • + 1
 Polls are dumb I just like Dh and all the riders who rip
  • + 1
 No Blenki?
  • + 1
 Definitely Claudio.
  • + 0
 LOIC! because (unless your'e over 6ft) FK 29
  • + 1
 yeah,Bull Dog!
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