From the strong British riders in the first half of the decade to the French domination in recent years plenty has changed in downhill racing since 2010. Whether it is mastering the sloppy mess that was the 2011 Champery World Championships or the thick dust of the Black Snake in Val di Sole the tracks have offered a variety of challenges to the riders. But the racers have consistently met these challenges with incredible runs.
In no particular order, here are some of the best race runs from the past decade.
1. Aaron Gwin - Leogang DH World Cup 2015
Let's start off with one of the biggest runs of the decade, Gwin's chainless run. The now-legendary ride at the 2015 Leogang DH World Cup would have seemed impossible beforehand as Gwin overcame a whole load of difficulties to take the win. Dropping his chain right out of the start gate and with a strong headwind through the pedal and jump sections, the odds were stacked against Gwin but he kept building speed as he continued down the course to victory. In the end, just 0.045 seconds separated him from Connor Fearon but it was enough to cement this run as one of the greatest ever.
2. Danny Hart - Champery DH World Champs 2011
Another equally legendary run from the last 10 years was Danny Hart's first Elite World Champs title. The race in Champery back in 2011 was a bloodbath for the top riders with an almost unrideable course taking all but a few riders out of contention for a top spot. This run from Hart demonstrates his prowess on a bike and his ability to stay upright in the toughest conditions by taking some crazy lines that none of the other riders were attempting in the wet. He even ends the run with a huge whip on one of the final jumps to really prove just how composed he was in the slop.
3. Josh Bryceland - Hafjell DH World Champs 2014
Josh Bryceland was one of the most exciting riders to watch while he was on the World circuit and 2014 was the year it all came together with the World Cup overall win. Coming into the World Championships he was the strong favourite to back it up with the rainbow stripes too. On race day, he was green all the way to the bottom despite sitting and pedalling through the flatter sections but he came too hot into the final jump, landed to flat and shattered his foot. Despite his injury, he still managed to cross the line only 0.407 seconds behind Atherton.
4. Amaury Pierron - Les Gets DH World Cup 2019
The French have definitely had a big resurgence on the latter half of the decade with Loic Bruni, Amaury Pierron and Loris Vergier all winning World Cups. With the French at the forefront of the sport and a race being held in France on Bastille weekend, it was almost inevitable we would see them take the win this year. But Pierron's run at Les Gets is mind-bending with almost unbelievable levels of speed and control. He may not have managed to secure a back to back overall win this year but his race run in Les Gets will be remembered for years to come.
5. Rachel Atherton - Fort William DH World Cup 2016
Rachel Atherton has taken 35 wins this past decade but one of the most impressive has to be her win at the Fort William World Cup in 2016. This was the biggest World Cup winning margin of the decade at more than 12 seconds and Rachel's 9th win on the bounce in her golden run through the mid part of the decade. Rachel Atherton has been comfortably the rider of the decade and, as this video shows, for large parts of it she was simply untouchable.
6. Steve Smith - Mont Sainte Anne/ Leogang DH World Cups 2013
Steve Smith gets a double-dip thanks to his title-winning, late-season charge in 2013. Gee Atherton seemed to have the season under wraps but a trio of wins from the Canadian legend dethroned the Brit and secured history. In Mont Sainte Anne, with a wet track and a fast time set by overall title rival Gee Atherton, Smith needed a fast run to support his race for season win. At the first split, he was back by 0.213 seconds but by the time he crossed the finish line he had somehow found 0.9 seconds on Gee's time. Everyone else had struggled to find time at the bottom of the track but Smith gapped rocks and went fully pinned to the finish to take the victory.
In Leogang, the train rolled on and Smith took wins in qualifying and the race to secure the overall title. The bike spin across the line is iconic as Smith stormed to victory in one of the most intense title races ever.
7. Neko Mulally - Hafjell DH World Champs 2014
With Neko dropping his chain over the first jump it looked like his hopes at securing the rainbow jersey were over before it had even started. But somehow the American rider managed to stay in touch and put just under one second into the current leader Brook MacDonald at the first split. Even the commentators had written off Neko's run and it's pretty funny how quickly they 180 in tone when they realise it could be a winning run. Amazingly even as he crosses the finish line he was still in the green against Brook's time and managed to finish the day with a very impressive 4th place.
8. Greg Minnaar - Fort William DH World Cup 2017
Minnaar is by far the most successful rider at Fort William with 7 wins at the venue since it was introduced in 2001. 2017 saw nearly every rider struggle to find flow on the adjusted course with a freshly cut wood section causing havoc for the riders. With deep ruts cut into a boggy wood, it caught out plenty of riders throughout the weekend. Greg Minnaar was one of the few to master the woods and saw himself gaining plenty of time through the tough middle section of the track. By race day the results were pretty shaken up and when it came to Greg Minnaar rain had started to fall but that wouldn't slow down the master of Fort William who managed to put an almost clean run down to take his 7th victory at the Fort.
9. Aaron Gwin - Val di Sole DH World Cup 2012
7.850 seconds ahead of Greg Minnaar meant that Aaron Gwin would hold the title of the biggest winning margin in elite men's racing this decade. The run from the 2012 season is amazing to watch now with every line ridden to perfect on a bike with suspension that hardly seems to be moving. Gwin is known for his harder than usual suspension but in this instance, it is more visible than ever and it definitely seems to help him from getting bogged down in every compression.
10. Vali Höll - Mont Sainte Anne 2018
As we enter into a new decade of mountain biking one name we are going to hear plenty about in the next ten years will be Vali Höll. Her 2018 season was perfection, seven wins from seven and a display of unbelievable composure from such a young rider. In Mont Sainte Anne she recorded her sixth straight victory and in some style. Her final winning margin was 45 seconds with a time that would have seen her one step off the podium in the elite ranks. It was time for some legends of the sport to start looking over their shoulders.
11. Martin Maes - La Bresse DH World Cup 2018
Martin Maes may not have been able to match his 2018 DH results at the Mont Sainte Anne World Championships this year but his win in the extremely wet conditions in La Bresse in 2018 will be remembered for years to come. The rest of the race would be an exercise in frustration for the other racers as rider after rider couldn't match the crazy run laid down by enduro-specialist Maes.
12. Aaron Gwin - Mont Sainte Anne DH World Cup 2017
Coming into Mont Sainte Anne in 2017 Aaron Gwin was on the back foot in the title race against Greg Minnaar and needed a great finish to try and regain some ground on the South African. But as the race developed rain swept through the venue, making it very hard for the riders to keep up with the time set by Dean Lucas. When it was Gwin's time to hit the track it was a full-on mud bath with the rain still falling. Gwin then laid down every ounce of skill to put on one of the best-wet weather runs we have ever seen. In the near-perfect ride, he managed to stay green the whole way down and win by a margin of over a second on Lucas.
13. Kaos Seagrave - Red Bull Hardline 2019
What a run! Kaos Seagrave definitely left a lasting impression at his first time racing Hardline. He may not have completed a final run but with a backflip on the step up and an attempt at another huge flip further down the course, you couldn't take your eyes away from the screen. With a crash and a rear flat his run ended early but we are sure he will be back there next year with hopefully a full run down the crazy course.
14. Jared Graves - Pietermaritzburg DH World Champs 2013
Just a month after winning the Whistler EWS, Jared Graves turned up to Pietermaritzburg on the exact same bike and put the World Cup field to the sword, beating all but two riders. Graves made a few changes to his set up including a Fox Float 36 180mm fork up front, Shimano Saint brakes and cranks and a Shimano Ultegra 11-23 road cassette, he also took the dropper post off as he believed: "you should be standing up giving it all you have, not sitting on your bum". The set up suffered up top and Jared was 24th through the techy top sector but then he was able to unleash his power and was fastest through the middle pedal and swoopy bottom section to end up rounding out the podium.
15. Rachel Atherton - Fort William DH World Cup 2018
They say the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fires and that's certainly true of Rachel Atherton's race run at Fort William in 2018. Snapping her chain out of the gate, Rachel trucked on, tucking and pumping her way down the course. Then she hit the paved woods section and, unable to use the tension of her chain to hop over a rock, crashed. Despite all the adversity and in an amazing display of mental fortitude, she rolled across the line third. It was a turning point that season for Atherton who went on to win 3 of the next 5 World Cups and the World Championships.16. Remi Thirion - Vallnord DH World Cup 2013
The World Cup circuit returned to Vallnord after a four-year hiatus in 2013 and this time it was on the other side of the mountain and a frighteningly different proposition. Instead of a-two minute, wide-open sprint, it was now a four and a half minute monster with a fearsome, relentlessly steep bottom section that still tests riders to this day. One rider stood head and shoulders above that day, Remi Thirion. It may be the Frenchman's only win but it remains historic for the creativity he exhibited, forging his own lines to dodge the deep Andorran ruts. In particular, he wallrode down the bottom chute to turn it into a straight line and save seconds. This was a sublime run.17. Myriam Nicole - Mont Sainte Anne DH World Championships 2019
Fabien Barel's fabled comeback from a broken foot to a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships in Fort William has gone down in mountain biking folklore but this year Myriam Nicole did the same thing but better - she won it.
In April, Nicole broke her foot in a training crash, forcing her to sit out almost an entire season. She returned at World Champs into the middle of one of the most competitive title races in history with Tracey Hannah and Marine Cabirou pushing each other to new heights at each round. With her foot still hurting by the bottom of the track, she had to go around the bottom jump but still secured the victory and her first-ever Rainbow Stripes.18. Gee Atherton Cairns DH World Cup 2014
A monsoon swept through Cairns during the 2014 World Cup and left the track covered in a layer of treacle-like sticky mud. Bikes got to the bottom with tyre treads turned slick and up to 3kg of slop having to be scraped off. In a last-minute decision on his way to the start hut, Gee swapped out his clips for flats. There was just one problem though, he didn't have any flat shoes. Step up Sam the spectator who gave up his own shoes to help out Gee. The gamble paid off and Gee waded to a win after dabbing on "80-percent of the turns".19. Nina Hoffmann - Vallnord DH World Cup 2019
Gee may have done a race run in someone else's shoes, but how about one shoe? That was the choice Nina Hoffmann made after a yard sale crash in the Vallnord woods saw her shoe still clipped to her pedal as she attempted to climb back on to her bike. She opted to keep it there and instead balance on her sock for the rest of the run down one fo the hardest sections of the hardest tracks in World Cup history. She held it together until the finish and picked up some valuable World Cup points then went otb in the finish area attempting a half heel clicker to show off her shoe-less foot. 20. Loic Bruni - Cairns DH World Cup 2016
Loic Bruni had never won a World Cup coming into Cairns in 2016 but he had one special trick up his sleeve, a semi-slick Specialized Butcher rear tyre. He recognised how much time could be made on the flat, bottom sprint and specced his bike accordingly, knowing that he would sacrifice speed it the rougher sections of the course but be able to gain it back by the bottom. The race run proved his World Champs success was no fluke and paved the path towards becoming a World Cup title winner by the end of the decade.
What did we miss? We're sure you'll let us know in the comments below.