Throwback Thursday: Sam Hill's Comeback Win at the 2010 Mont-Sainte-Anne World Championships

Aug 29, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Views: 23,054    Faves: 120    Comments: 18


As the 2009 overall winner, Sam Hill would normally have been the 2010 pre-season favorite but he had knee surgery in February and came into the season apparently feeling weak in training. His World Cup defense would come to an abrupt halt as he crashed in his race run in Maribor (but still came fifth) and then crashed again in Fort William at round 2 and snapped three ligaments in his shoulder. The injury was bad enough to see him on the first plane home with almost a full season's worth of rehab to do.

This left Gee Atherton and Greg Minnaar to battle it out through the year. Greg won in Maribor and Leogang while Gee took the top step of the podium in Fort William, Champery and Windham, which was enough to secure the overall title. The only man to come between these two all year was Marc Beaumont, who picked up his second World Cup win in Val di Sole.


But of course, the World Championships very rarely follow the World Cup formbook. Mont Sainte Anne had been on the circuit for more than a decade at this point and was well known to riders but come race day, multiple showers passed through Mont Sainte Anne turning the top of the course into a bog and keeping the rocks slick all afternoon. The riders had practiced on a dry, dusty track all week and this was sure to shake things up.


Andrew Neethling set the first fast time that would hold up for 16 riders until Danny Hart, who was racing in his first year as an elite rider, came by and beat it with a super smooth run of 4:45.80, which would hold up for eighth.

Three riders later, Steve Smith wowed the home crowds to set the new fastest time of 4:40.56, some five seconds up on Hart's run. Steve Smith had only one World Cup podium to his name at that point but he upped his game and put in a stellar time despite racing with a separated AC joint and sliding on some wet rocks near the bottom of his run.



Sam Hill left the start gate just four riders later. A week before in Windham he'd finished 13th on a comeback race so wasn't really in anyone's crosshairs for the win, even he himself downplayed his chances. He told cyclingnews.com "I've been sitting on the couch, and I didn't have the confidence. This morning's practice kind of bummed me out. I was really sloppy. When I was halfway down the track, the crowds were whisper-quiet, so I figured I was about 10 seconds back. No one was cheering."


But the time was good, good enough for the hotseat and the waiting game began. Justin Leov crashed on his run, Nick Beer flatted, and then Marc Beaumont, Brendan Fairclough, Aaron Gwin and Samuel Blenkinsop all saw Hill's time go by. Only Greg Minnaar could get close but he brushed a tree high up and didn't have the overall speed of Hill and Smith. However, he was fast enough for the bronze medal in 4:40.93.


This marked Hill's third win at Mont Sainte Anne but he was unable to capitalise on it in 2011 as the Rainbow Curse bit and he took another big crash midway through the season, which meant another surgery and a long time off the bike. He would prove himself the master in Quebec with another win in 2014 though, his penultimate in World Cup racing.

Check out a comparison of Sam Hill's and Stevie Smith's runs below:



Regions in Article
Mont-Sainte-Anne DH Park


62 Comments

  • 168 4
 And 9 years later, you find sam hill fighting for his 3rd consecutive EWS world title... what a mate
  • 41 1
 And in his last DH world cup in Cairns, impressive 6th on an enduro bike
  • 18 4
 Cool new (?) comment section upvote/downvote metrics! Oh maybe somebody checked the wrong box on the forum dashboard - lol.

Who would DV #longlivechainsaw below?
  • 3 4
 @endlessblockades: just testing Wink
  • 12 1
 @BenPea: It's OK - I have barnacles attached to my hull that DV me all the time and often deservedly so.

I kinda like this format if it remains. Gives us a more accurate view of how charged ppl are getting about a topic

+160-161 is better data than -1
  • 2 0
 @endlessblockades: My pilot fish do it all the time.
I think it's a god damn revolution.
  • 5 2
 @endlessblockades: Yup, that's exactly the point. Perfect example here...
www.pinkbike.com/news/spotted-new-rockshox-pike-ultimate-crankworx-rotorua-2019.html#cid2220283
  • 12 0
 @radek: Ha! Did Waki request this?
  • 9 3
 @BenPea: hahah, no. It just made sense for me to build this feature.
  • 3 0
 @radek: I think it's a great feature!

Maybe there should be an award for the most controversial comment of the year.
  • 2 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: Woah, doesn't appear on mobile.
Total UV + total DV defines the true worth of trolling. It can be an artform.
  • 86 1
 #longlivechainsaw
  • 5 1
 I only started following DH in 2014ish and didn't realize Stevie came 2nd at these Worlds, and it was after only one WC podium. Super strong performance on home turf Worlds by the legend!!
  • 8 0
 #longlivethetickler
  • 4 0
 @gramboh: and he had an almost crash when he and Sam where neck-and-neck. Very close to a world championship for young Stevie.
  • 2 0
 Can't agree more, but damn if that didn't make me super sad. Just damn...
  • 47 3
 lmao check troy out! what a little scrote..
  • 2 0
 Who were the two on the podium with him? I've followed a good bit of DH, but I'm without a guess who those riders might be.
  • 1 0
 Neko mullaly on his right.
  • 1 0
 @bottleblurrocket: Lew Buchanan on his left (our right).
  • 44 1
 Sam Hill DOES have feelings.
  • 5 1
 i was literally lining up to say 'one of my favourite things about sam is his no f*cks given attitude' and BAM!.. he starts crying!
  • 5 0
 edited, nevermind. he totally cried LOL long live the true GOAT
  • 2 0
 @tobiusmaximum: "...and Bam starts crying"? He wasn't born until two years later. (sorry, couldn't help myself)
  • 12 0
 Sam hill and Stevey Smith are absolute Legends. i get goosebumps how was this like 10 years ago? feels like yesterday
  • 13 3
 Dang, little demo looks tiny.
  • 9 1
 When riders used to wear baggy pajama suits, yeah.
  • 10 0
 Hill, Smith, Minnaar - what a podium!
  • 7 0
 Is it wrong to be more hyped about the live version of "The Queen Is Dead" in the first video? I haven't heard that version ever.
  • 3 0
 Pretty sure that version is from the live album Rank, recorded in London 1986. If you are a real Smiths fan, it is worth picking up.
  • 5 0
 I was all jazzed on the first video — good action, good music, and then Stevie Smith came on screen, and my heart dropped. Of course I didn't know him personally, but as a long time follower of DH, it's a punch in the guy every time I'm reminded that we lost one of our brightest lights. #longlivechainsaw
  • 2 0
 I only met him once myself. One of the most genuinely friendly people I've ever met. I get choked everytime he pops up on my screen.
  • 7 0
 And still winning
  • 9 3
 He's a fucking wizard.
  • 5 0
 Figure i gotta give Greg mad props too, man is still on top. this sport is crazy
  • 5 0
 Sam Hill at his best, better than all the rest. Still a beast
  • 3 1
 Nevermind how much this victory pleased, I can’t help remember that rain came stronger after Hill. The tree was not the only issue in Minnaar‘s run one should say to be fair with him.
  • 3 0
 Makes up for that other time when he ended up on his face rather than on the top step by several seconds.
  • 3 0
 Coming back from injuries to take the worlds title? I hear the whisper of gwinning in the wind...
  • 1 0
 Man the track looked even rougher back then! I guess the conditions contributed to that, but that hip out in the open under the gondola, Hill and Fairclough... ROUGH AND RAW!!!
  • 3 0
 Wow, Goosebumps unstoppable
  • 2 1
 The obnoxious tribal pattern phase was in effect in 2010. The anti-aero era of moto style clothes. Oh and 26 inch wheels were not dead yet.
  • 3 0
 Greg on 26 wheels, it looks like he is on a BMX!
  • 1 0
 I remember this day, sam said in a post race interview " SLOW TO BE HONEST" what a guy changed the game forever, got the iconic #1 tat on his shoulder after that.
  • 3 1
 Counted 7 on flats, those were the days. 2019 what only Brendan and Connor?
  • 3 0
 Think Joe Smith rides flats too but i can't think of anyone else.
  • 1 0
 @murfio: Joe on the British natl team this year?
  • 1 0
 @boylagz: He's not. I just thought you meant world cup riders in general.
  • 1 0
 Holy fuck! I first heard about Sam Hill in grade 10 which was in '09 He is consistent
  • 2 0
 The Leatt neck brace craze didn't last long.
  • 1 0
 So, how much time are they shaving off with the new bikes? I'm guessing a lot.
  • 2 0
 Too bad Sam Hill didn't join this year's world champs.
  • 1 0
 Something about watching people on those old bikes, took real skill and finesse to get them down the hill
  • 3 1
 26 bikes looks so much better than the goofy ass wagon wheels now
  • 2 0
 That Troy!!!
  • 1 0
 Troy won juniors in 2010 as well
  • 1 0
 this is rad! how soft did troys forks look??
  • 1 0
 Im glad the Go Pro mounts have gotten better! Vid #2
  • 2 0
 What a legendary podium!
  • 1 0
 I used to really want some UFO kit.
  • 1 0
 Gotta love that GoPro mount
  • 2 2
 What's taller... Greg Minnaar or his seat post?! got damn Greg!!!

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