Poll: Who is the Greatest Downhill Racer of All Time?

Sep 30, 2022 at 5:54
by Henry Quinney  
I'm not sure I like the term GOAT. However, what really frustrates me is somebody being referred to as a and not the GOAT. It's just nonsensical.

Mountain biking, compared to others, is a relatively young sport. It's also a sport where there is a perception of a near-level playing field among the sports elite teams and riders. Whether or not this is true is for another time. However, I think it's more of an apples-to-apples than something like football, where comparing Dixie Dean to a modern center forward is almost pointless, or similar comparisons with Juan Manuel Fangio in Formula One.

But World Cup downhill has been around for a mere 30 years and so comparisons are easier. Not to sway you one way or another, but as a tidbit, for 23 of those years Greg Minnaar has been competing at the pointy end. To help provide context of how competitive the field was in any given year, I've included the differences represented as a percentage of the times for the elite world championship podium of that year, so you too can make wildly speculative assumptions about the depth of the field in regards to talent.

Female Elites



Male Elites



The minimum criteria for this poll is that the rider in question must have won the UCI downhill World Cup overall at least twice, and not to have been consistently beaten by another member on the list. There have been plenty of breakout stars, or athlete's that have been unstoppable on a certain track or weekend. This isn't a poll to see who you think has achieved the highest level for a short period. It's a poll to see who has added the most, and coupled incredible feats with incredible consistency. It's also worth considering just how dominate some of those periods were, or what their contribution to the elite field was.

Has downhill become more competitive as the years have gone on? Well, if we take the closeness of the racing as an an indication, apparently not. There is a slight skew, but I would say it argues that the tightest racing was in the latter part of the 00s.



Anne Caroline was on it today stomping out a first place for every stage.

Anne-Caroline Chausson (5 overall, 9 world championships, 40 wins) - A true great of mountain biking, Chausson has won a staggering thirteen senior world championships across various disciplines. That's not to mention three junior world championships and the Olympic gold medal or her forty World Cup wins and multiple EWS victories. By stats alone, Chausson should be the out and out winner. To choose anyone else would be predicated upon the idea that racing was somehow easier, or the competition not as fierce in the 90s. While it may be true that the sport was different, there was also more out of industry sponsors and, at times, arguably more money and widespread commercial appeal, and pressure, heaped upon the riders.

Green through all the splits by a massive margin Rachel Atherton set the fastest time early in the race and held it all the way to the end.

Rachel Atherton (6 overall, 5 world championships, 39 wins) - Winning her first World Cup overall, as well as her first world championships in 2008, she fought many world-class adversaries over the next decade including Ragot, Carpenter, Seagrave, Nicole and Hannah. The were years where it seemed like for anyone else to win she had to suffer some level of misfortune. Not only the second on the all time list of downhill World Cup wins and also a five time world champion in elite, she also had a "perfect season" in 2016 as she won each round of the World Cup. After suffering an injury in Les Gets to her ankle at the Les Gets world cup in 2019, and the birth of her first child in 2021, she no longer races full time. However, rumours persist of a comeback.

Greg Minnaar

Greg Minnaar (3 overall, 4 world championships, 22 wins) - He's definitely got Rob Warner's stamp of approval, and with good reason. Not only is his longevity remarkable, but also his resurgence back to the front after several difficult years with a shoulder issue in the early to mid 2010s. It's strange to think that there are any "what ifs" with Minnaar's career, but as the poster boy for 29" wheels and bigger bikes, many do wonder aloud what if the sizing-revolution had come 10 years earlier. History shows that Minnaar hits his stride and wins a world title around every nine years - don't count him out in 2030. He won his first World Cup at age 18, and has featured on nearly 90 podiums from just over 150 World Cup races.

Warning shots were fired last time out in Lenzerheide but it appears something is once again clicking for Aaron Gwin. Will we see true Gwizzard form in the US or legendary Sainte Anne

Aaron Gwin (5 overall, 20 wins) - While he may not have become a world champion (yet), he changed downhill with his sheer consistency and mindset. On his day, he seemed to be unbeatable. After dominating aboard a Trek Session, Gwin moved to Specialized and, despite a slow start and a lot of negative speculation, came back to winnings ways. A late comer to downhill riding let alone racing, he established himself as the man to beat from 2010 - 2017. Injuries and have derailed his seasons in recent years but I don't think he's done just yet. A return to podium form with his Intense Factory Racing team shows there's plenty of speed, and potentially wins, left in him. Like Sam Hill, responsible for some iconic World Cup runs in MSA, Val di Sole and Windham.


Steve Peat (3 overall, 1 world championships, 17 wins) - There was a time where it seemed you had to be well north of six foot to ride for the Santa Cruz Syndicate, with Peat, Rennie and Minnaar all well above average height. Seeing Peat riding his 26" wheeled bike now looks like a strange sight, but his perseverance to finally win his maiden world championships was a fire that kept burning and kept him competitive far beyond many of his peers. Peat's 17 World Cup wins came against many of the other greats on this list, and his career spanned the early days of a fringe sport right through to the more established days of mainstream coverage.

DH legend Nico Vouilloz joined the industry race with Team Lapierre.

Nicolas Vouilloz (5 overall, 7 world championships, 16 wins) - Along with his compatriot Anne-Caroline Chausson, dominated the world championships for the best part of a decade. Known for his meticulous approach and analytical style, he spent nearly his entire downhill career in the rainbow jersey. In fact, if we take juniors into account, there was only one world championships between 1992 and 2002 that he didn't win. He could has possibly have won even more if not for his desire to try his hand at rallying, in which he competed in the WRC from 2001 to 2006. He returned to competitive mountain biking in 2007 at Champery and was an early adopter, and winner in the EWS.


Sabrina Jonnier (5 overall, 2 world championships, 16 wins) - After winning her first overall at 22 in 2003, she would win a further four titles by 2010, finishing second in the years she didn't. The idea of French domination certainly isn't a new one; along with Celine Gros, Jonnier's wins meant that there were only 2 years between 1998 and 2010 that the overall was won by rider of any other nationality. Two world championships also followed before retiring from World Cup racing in 2012, in no small part due to a crash sustained in practice in Pietermaritzburg. Sandwiched between the domination of Chausson and Atherton, she's sometimes overlooked. However, there are many elite female riders from the 2010s that would cite her as their inspiration.

The gold and green figure and bike of Sam Hill camouflaging itself perfectly into the gold and green of the Hafjell terrain on the last run of practice.

Sam Hill (2 overall, 3 world championships, 13 wins) - Similar to Gwin, he arguably upped the level in elite mountain bike racing and changed people's approach. His muted, calm style, flew in the face of what people expected of riders attacking on flat pedals. He was competitive in the elite category as a junior and has contributed some of the most iconic runs to mountain biking. If wins in MSA and Meribel weren't evidence enough of his appetite for fighting at the front, being a three time overall winner in the later parts of his career in the EWS must put it beyond all doubt. His rides in Champery and Val Di Sole are simply iconic.

Only the last meters of track left for Pierron. It was green all the way with a few seconds to spare. Eruption in Les Gets is a go.

Amaury Pierron (2 overall, 10 wins) - In a similar stage of his career to Bruni in that they're arguably both in their prime. Pierron though had a different rise to the top. Although he has a reputation as somebody who was more of a slow burner in his junior and early elite career, the stats don't really back that up - albeit his first year junior didn't set the world alight, but he won World Cups in second. Coming into elite, he scored 3 top 20s in his first year, before his first podium and top tens the next. A quieter 2017 followed before he announced just what he could do in 2018, when he won his first overall. A difficult time away with injury followed before coming back to claim his second. On his day, he seems unbeatable.

Full gas and determination to the line for Loic Bruni but it was not enough to hold off Amaury Pierron

Loic Bruni (2 overall, 5 world championships, 7 wins) - It feels as if Bruni has so much of his career ahead of him, even if he won his first world championship way back in 2015. Whilst the rainbow stripes came quickly for Bruni, it took several more years for him to unlock the same form and success on the World Cup circuit, although he is now of course one of the most established riders on the scene, and arguably its biggest star. Much like Vouilloz, it seems he can execute a race plan like few others and is now a five-time world champion.

Who is the greatest downhill rider of all time?




387 Comments

  • 272 60
 Anne Caroline Chausson IS THE GOAT ! End of story. Not to mention her olympic gold medal in BMX.
  • 115 43
 The fact she didn't win this pole is RIDICULOUS!!!
  • 52 15
 @SintraFreeride: It is ! As written by Henry :"By stats alone, Chausson should be the out and out winner"
  • 45 8
 I am the best mtb racer ever! So good in fact I don't even need to compete to prove it.
  • 47 3
 She is so humble and underrated. She was the world champion in speed skiing too.
  • 67 100
flag jaame (Oct 7, 2022 at 11:34) (Below Threshold)
 She didn't race the best and therefore cannot be considered the best.
  • 8 0
 AC /thread
  • 2 0
 WORD!!!
  • 5 2
 Even I as a German can only agree. And this means a lot!! ;-)
  • 20 1
 The issue was in the question, this focus on DH racing exclusively so they consciously chose to ignore her achievements in enduro and BMX racing. And to some extend I get it, where do you draw the line? Would Caroline Buchanan count as one of the best mountainbike racers as aside from some notable performances at Crankworx events, she's also racked up quite a few decent BMX results? Of course it is an argument that will never be settled, but I'd say Rachel Atherton was facing tougher competition in DH racing than ACC. Hence I voted Rachel. When she's not injured or just recovering, she's super dominant even against some super strong competition.
  • 5 19
flag wda1wustl (Oct 7, 2022 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 @themouse77: so good you even get to pick your own adjectives as well as your pronouns.
  • 18 0
 The thing that gets me about ACC is that she walked away at 28 to focus on BMX, she could easily have another 15-20 wins on that record if she hadn't.
  • 11 5
 I can’t disagree that she was the best, because it is a race after all... but i think Minnaar being the GOAT is one of the few things pb can (mostly) agree about, which is funny. It feels like more of a name than a category at some point. So maybe there should have been separate polls for best man and woman racer
  • 7 1
 @SintraFreeride: haha. You said pole
  • 8 14
flag Pinemtn (Oct 7, 2022 at 12:24) (Below Threshold)
 @SintraFreeride: The fact that even one person in this forum knows her name is pretty amazing
  • 3 1
 @vinay: Yet, they chose to picture her racing EWS!
  • 16 27
flag letsgoridebikes18 (Oct 7, 2022 at 12:35) (Below Threshold)
 People don’t understand maths. This is an easily objective answer. Your feelings have no place here.
  • 51 9
 @letsgoridebikes18: It's not just quick maths.

Which is more difficult, beating three decent riders, or beating 80 absolute pinners?
  • 42 23
 @jaame: By that logic then Wayne Gretzky isn't the best hockey player because he didn't play against Sidney Crosby or Conor McDavid, or Michael Jordan isn't the best basketball player because he didn't play against Lebron James and Kevin Durant, or Lewis Hamilton isn't the best F1 racer because he never competed against Michael Schumacher....

Dumb argument. She beat all the best girls during the time in which she raced and beat the hell out of them, just like all the other GOATS I listed above.
  • 8 1
 @letsgoridebikes18: Don't be daft. Math IS emotion. Math gets fun once it gets vague.
  • 25 4
 The level of your competition matters!
  • 44 75
flag jaame (Oct 7, 2022 at 12:47) (Below Threshold)
 @rossi45: You can't say a woman is the greatest ever when she didn't race the best, i.e. the men.

If a chimpanzee beats 60 other chimps in a fight in the chimp enclosure, and a gorilla beats 45 other gorillas in the gorilla enclosure, would it be declared that the chimp was the hardest ape? No, because the gorilla could rip the chimp's head off and sh1t down its neck if they had a smash up in the same enclosure.

This is basically the same thing.

I know the woman are really good and faster than me etc. The fact remains that separate categories for men and women prove what everyone already knows - competition between the sexes isn't fair because the men are better. Therefore we cannot declare a woman to be the best ever.

QED
  • 10 7
 For me its Rachel Atherton, she's won more races, more overalls and also has the longest winning streak in dh, greatest female athlete since Black Caviar imho
  • 54 15
 Maybe for females, but not overall. Let's be real, women's DH is nowhere near as competitive as men's, so to compare a completely loaded field vs female's that relatively lax in comparison isn't really a particularly good comparison. Go look at the results for men vs women and see the time differences between the top ten spots if you don't believe me.
  • 15 13
 @jaame: You're missing the point. The OP was about the greatest downhill racer of all time. In other words, who contributed most to the sport. That has nothing to do with genders or physical ability, but what the athlete did with the sport while they were competing.

So, if you want to by math, Anne is the GOAT (more races wins, more titles, more podiums). If you want to go by contribution to the sport, I am willing to put a lot of money on the fact that she has exposed to the sport to more female riders than any of the male athletes on the list did for men's racing. Most of those guys raced after the sport was well established for men. And to top that off, she wins in multiple disciplines.

So, you can have your race of men vs women and declare then man the best based off of perceived physical advantages, but there is a lot more to the discussion than that. Greatness isn't always about wins and loses.

A lot of people would argue that Conor McDavid is a better skilled hockey player than Wayne Gretzky was, but do we call him the GOAT because of his skill? Nope, Gretzky is still the greatest of all time in hockey because of what he did, during his time and the competition he competed against.
  • 6 0
 @rossi45: agreed, Lewis did race against Micheal though when he un-retired
  • 1 0
 @mariomtblt: ha, you are right!
  • 16 22
flag XCplease (Oct 7, 2022 at 13:11) (Below Threshold)
 @SintraFreeride: she is female which is a less developed part so it makes sense
its like how the Paralympics isn't as prestigious as the Olympics
  • 5 6
 @vinay: I didn’t say emotion. I said feelings. Emotions are a natural biological and physiological response. Feelings are akin to opinion, arguably the lowest form of intelligence, emotional or otherwise.
  • 6 0
 @jaame: It doesn’t matter whether you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning.
  • 2 3
 @rossi45: I've never heard of either of those two but I'm sure you make a great point!
  • 11 5
 It's debatable anyway. Minnaar has the highest numbers. Gwin and Pierron have maybe the best ratios of starts to wins. I'm going with Gwin though, because he is the only one who brought that sense of inevitability when he was in his pomp. No one could beat him. Minnaar never had that. No one else has had it. Minnaar has had an amazingly long career but Gwin had unmatched intensity and speed. He was without match for a few years after he started winning, except that year on Spesh when they gave him that shitty bike that worked better without a chain.
  • 9 16
flag Heidesandnorth (Oct 7, 2022 at 13:31) (Below Threshold)
 @jaame: Have you had your brain checked recently?
  • 12 0
 @jaame: inevitability? ignoring Rachel's perfect season I see lol
  • 33 31
 @rossi45

White Knights in the thread: "you all suck at MATH, the GIRLZ had MOAR WINZ!" (completely ignores graph at the top of the article)

White Knights also in the thread: "but but but there's MOAR TO IT than ABILITY or SPEED!" (ignores the purpose of racing entirely)

So which is it, my brave & stunning male feminists?

Look, you can cope all day long trying to redefine "greatness" but you all need to refer to the graph at the top of the article. We're talking about the best rider of all time. "Domination" in a separate field with time splits that are magnitudes greater than the mens' field says nothing outside of "this is far less competitive."

We have this thing called "world cup" that determines who the fastest riders are, and if we didn't separate men and women you'd never see a sponsored female rider, ever. We *should* be talking about the best male rider and best female rider because your average pre-pubescent grom at a local elite races is smashing the women's podium times all season long. Since Pinkbike felt it was woker to combine the fields in their attempt to crown the GoaT, they've excluded women from the running.
  • 19 14
 It's all about the definition of 'greatest'. If it was WC wins, sure, ACC is the GOAT. But the reality check is that several guys from my local club raced WC BITD and they beat her times because they were faster than her. No way am I going to choose ACC.
  • 8 6
 @iamamodel: Based on your argument I'm yes way going to vote ACC.
  • 6 8
 @jlf1200: the graphs are useless since they don’t show who actually won and by how much they specifically won by. They are an overgeneralized simplification of data that doesn’t amount to anything valuable.

And besides, why do the time gaps matter? It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning.
  • 1 0
 This will be the only thing she doesn't win, and it's because pinkbike is racing.
  • 18 4
 Sure, if you go by the numbers, its Anne. She's very impressive. However, un-popular opinion, but there were not nearly as many women into downhill or mtb in general when she was queen as there are now. I also have to think that the purest definition of GOAT for downhill racing(not taking into account gender) would have to be in the fastest category of racing which would be the pro mens category. Therefore, if you look purely at the numbers, Nicolas Vouilloz is the man. 2 more world champs and 3 more overall than Greg in a shorter period of time, thats a fast dude. Why's nobody talking about him?
  • 19 41
flag conoat (Oct 7, 2022 at 14:50) (Below Threshold)
 a hung over Steve Peat of 2022 would smoke her in her prime.

the idea that a woman can be the "greatest of all time" in any sport where there is a male category is laughable.

look, they are good.....for women. but if there were no gender categories, no woman ever would crack the top 50 pro DH racers.
  • 11 12
 @conoat: did you think about what you wrote before you clicked submit?

You point out an obvious disparity between men and women, and it would be unfair to directly compare the two. That’s the reason why we have the two categories. Since then it’s unfair to compare them on race day, why is okay to compare them now and denounce the women’s achievements as being less?
  • 2 1
 @nickfranko: think you are missing the point, this is pretty much the same for all competitive sports. This isn't men Vs women.
  • 11 6
 @letsgoridebikes18: Greatest of all time, is what I have a problem with. If say, you said, Greatest Woman DH racer of all time, I would have zero issue.
  • 6 5
 @conoat: How about this: who is the greatest champion in DH racing history? It's ACC, not even close. She beat the competition in her category more often than anyone else.

On another note, these discussions are somewhat useless. I'm old. I've seen all these folks ride. They are amazing athletes and have entertained me for years. I prefer Nico on the men's side. That guy was fun to watch. Who cares if he was the goat. I liked his style and he made me want to ride more and get better. I feel the same when I can see Goldstone ride today.
  • 13 7
 @wcmitch: I had a .850 batting average when I played Pop Warner baseball as a kid. Therefore, I am the GOAT of baseball.??
  • 5 10
flag letsgoridebikes18 (Oct 7, 2022 at 15:19) (Below Threshold)
 @conoat: go back and reread my last post.

It’s not a question of all out performance, it’s about who was the winningest, most successful racer. It’s ACC.
  • 10 9
 @letsgoridebikes18: reread my reply, it is a direct analogy to your position.

I was the best there ever was, playing against nowhere near the best there ever was.....it doesn't make me the best there ever was.....It makes me good *for a kid playing against less good kids*. same as female DH racers, and even more so if you go all the way back to ACC days when there were several orders of magnitude less quality female riders. Its like you driving around the Nurburgring in a Ferrari, followed by your 8 year old Niece in a Clapped out miata, and then you proclaiming to be the best car driver of all time because you beat her.
  • 8 10
 @conoat: it is a poor and illogical analogy. You are making a comparison between two different levels of competition (kids verses professional). The question at hand specifically relates to elite level, professional racing. It is not comparing ACC racing as a kid to GM as an elite. We are directly comparing them racing at the elite level, against competitors who were the best during the time they were competing. It is for this reason is is also illogical to consider the time in which they raced, where one period of time may be construed to be more competitive than another. One cannot compete against someone from the past or the future so it makes no sense.
  • 8 3
 I agree 100% . She didn’t get the votes because she is a woman.
  • 1 0
 I will Identify myself as a Goat (literally as a goat) not greatest of all time but just a goat(as how my friends see me, I do look like one, my wife said)
  • 7 1
 @jaame: beating three fast riders by big margins is my vote. There has never been "80 absolute pinners" at any given world cup. I get it people love minnar and think 29ers saved his career.He is not the goat though.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Spot on... The issue is actually comparing Males & Females together and riders from different generations, so it will always be speculation with no definitive result. However, I think the better way to do this by way of science and actual video time laps comparison and see if said riders listed where to be compared on the same course each of their winning run. For example, If ACC and Rachel were to be compared on Leogang or Mount St. Anne on their individual winning runs we could see their speed side by side and we would most likely see Rachel besting ACC. On the same note, compare Gwin vs Minnaar's winning runs on similar courses we would probably see Gwin besting Minnaar. Again, all kinds of subject debates could be had from bike technology, tire tech, suspension tech, etc... but at the end of the day we will never know because all said riders never had to race each other with all variables being equal... not to mention the male and female differences debate....
  • 4 1
 @chillaxin: I still don’t think you can compare videos like that and come to a definite conclusion. Aside from the challenges of bikes, technology, etc. you also have to consider the weather on the day, track conditions, how the track has worn or changed. Too many variables to make a comprehensive conclusion.
  • 9 1
 @nickfranko: Preach my brother. look at Minnaar's battles over the last 20 years. Different riders, different riding styles, different tracks, different technologies. Minnaar adapted to all this and changed to accommodate all these variables in DH. Battling NICO and change, battling Sam Hill, Gee, Gwin, Graves, Bruni.... C'mon man.
  • 1 0
 @letsgoridebikes18: Yup agreed, that's why I said "but at the end of the day we will never know because all said riders never had to race each other with all variables being equal..." But if you really take into account longevity and winning against everyone of the best riders listed... Minnaar fits that shoe...
  • 2 0
 Without a doubt. Happy I got to meet her - she was so shy yet so dominant.
  • 7 0
 Just split into male and female.
  • 2 2
 @nickfranko: f*ck outta here with this shit take
  • 1 0
 hanged if i do say, oh but this is the norm en Franc
  • 2 3
 @rossi45: that seems like a warped extension of that "logic." Wayne played in the best league in the world, there wasn't some other division above him in which he couldn't have been the best in his day.
  • 1 1
 @jaame: that's the craziest comparative scenario I've ever read- poor gorillas just want to chill, but chimps are totally violent c*nts.
  • 4 4
 @letsgoridebikes18: Competitive field matters. Being best in a smaller, less competitive field is easier than doing it in the hardest one that is also much bigger, when the track is chewed up.
Why are you pretending you don't know this?
  • 5 1
 @jaame: That is an insult to Missy Giove and everyone else who raced back then! She beat everyone else and could have raced in the men's category with good results!!! She did dual and 4x as well and also beat everyone!
Her coming out of retirement, training for the BMX olympics and then winning is LEGENDARY!!!
  • 2 0
 @ctd07: She has more overalls yes but not more races. She could become the GOAT if she returns to competition and beats ACC records.
  • 5 1
 @XCplease: Are you serious??? You're comparing women to handicap people???
  • 4 0
 @jaame: Vouilloz had that by a mile more than Gwin especially at World champs. Guy turns up on a GOLD bike in 2002 World Champs and gets a gold medal!
  • 1 4
 @SintraFreeride: tbh I stopped watching between 98 and 2008 so I missed much of his run. I do remember him losing to Gachet at Vail by 0.01 seconds though, when he was a junior. That was something.
  • 6 7
 Honestly this thread is an embarrassing read for the Pinkbike Commenting Team. Floyd Mayweather in his prime wouldn't last a single round against ANY of the heavyweight division, yet boxing fans have the intelligence and nuance to be able to discuss goat status with consideration for category competed in. We are lower than boxing fans. We are even lower than UFC fans. Perhaps it's time to put us out of our misery and close the comments section. Time to find a day job friends..
  • 1 3
 @L0rdTom: are you daft? The lighter weight classes ARE the deepest divisions!
  • 2 0
 @jaame: the hardest is to get faster than the futur 2nd. This is not mx
  • 5 2
 As much as I love ACC or Rachel I find it difficult to put either as Goat as the women's field is so small with so few competitive riders. The gaps are so big that the race usually is between 2 max 3 riders. Compared to the male field where anyone in the top 20 can win at any race you just can't compare both. Now I don't understand why Greg has been voted Goat compared to Vouilloz. Vouilloz has more overall titles and considering WC as just one day race he also has a bigger number of race wins compared to Greg. So Vouilloz won more races and has been more consistent than Greg, all done over a much shorter carrier as he stopped early to go Rallying. Get your stuff together people, GOAT is factual not by feeling, otherwise Missy Giove, Palmer and Gracia should be crowned GOATs.
  • 2 2
 @wcmitch: it isn’t ACC or anywhere close. As good as she was she dominated in an era where the woman’s field to put it politely had only just started out and quite frankly you’re just being disrespectful to Rachel Atherton not like it matters as Greg’s undisputedly the goat. He’s beaten everyone from Nico to Bruni and when the next generation of shredders qualify for the elites they can look forward to being beaten by someone older than their dad too.
  • 3 4
 @Balgaroth: I think according to the stats in the poll, Minnaar has 26 wins total and Vouilloz has 23. It's a tricky one to call. Minnaar has had a really long career, that's the telling difference. If Vouilloz continued for another season or two it's a fair bet he would have more than 23.
Minnaar has some unreal stats, but for me he isn't the GOAT. He has won some races that I didn't think he would win over the oast couple of seasons, but he has never had that aura of invincibiility that Gwin had for most of 2011-2016.

I guess that's why this is such an interesting debate, because we all have our own opinions.

//

FWIW I reckon that in the future it's entirely possible for a woman to win a race with a time that would beat the men. Unlikely but possible. As more women get into it from a younger age, there is likely to be one that can compete physically at some point. Clearly there are girls with balls coming through like the one at Hardline and the one that sends that massive drop that keeps coming up on my Instagram.
  • 4 0
 @jaame: for Women that is the possibility, if their numbers grow competition will become more fierce which will drive the level up. A good but somewhat different exemple exists in MX. There is a young girl that has been kicking a lot a boyz asses for a while now but she always raced the boys and their pace, adversity and competition drives you forward. Time will tell if she will continue doing so when boys will become man and will have much more strength than her it might be very challenging for her then.

And for Minaar he is a good rider, has been for a long time but definitely never been dominant to the extent Pierron or Gwin have been when in form and if/when one of those will have more wins he will actually deserve the tittle. I feel Minaar fanboys are blowing his reputation way out of proportion, I can recall his heydays and he never was like Hill, Vouilloz, Gwin, Pierron or Bruni, at least here, but now that he is older and past his prime he has way more fanboyz than ever ... go figure !
  • 4 2
 @Balgaroth: Most dominant =/= The greatest.
  • 2 0
 @rossi45: Lewis spent several years racing Michael Schumacher in F1.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: no disrespect for Atherton whose undefeated season was amazing or GM--I am not that much older than him and his longevity is really impressive. My larger point was that different riders inspire different fans.
  • 4 0
 @sonuvagun: I’m making arguments based on the data provided. Of course there are other factors that can play into the discussion but most of them are subjective or cannot reliably be compared. So the men’s field is more competitive? Define “more competitive”. During what time? Who was racing at that time?

One thing that hasn’t been discussed, but makes an interesting argument is the timeframe over which someone has been winning. That has to be Minnaar. If just looking at the data provided (number of overalls, wins, championships) I have to say ACC. But if you were to take the long term success into consideration, then I’d pick Minnaar.

The difficulty of this whole argument is that we are trying to make an absolute, superlative statement to define who the greatest is. The most reasonable way to do this is through objective, measurable data. Using subjective or difficult to define data points is tenuous at best. Perhaps if someone spent enough time with the data, they could analyze the performance of each athlete in greater detail to define certain mathematical coefficients to weight things like how big the field was, how large the winning gaps were, etc.
  • 4 2
 @Balgaroth: i also find the recent Minnaar fanboiism a bit odd. He was never brilliant. He was exceptionally good and extremely consistent. Still is really.
But yeah… he has the numbers due to a very long career. Average wins per season must be approx one per year. That’s not dominance, it’s consistency.
For me consistency does not a goat make, brilliance does.
It depends on one’s definition if greatest of all time.
  • 6 11
flag jaame (Oct 8, 2022 at 8:42) (Below Threshold)
 @letsgoridebikes18: define more competitive? More difficult to win in. Having competitors with a higher level of ability. Having a deeper field.
Don’t play dumb!
A woman will never be the outright best at any sport, just like a man will never be the outright best at giving birth.
  • 4 0
 @jaame: I’m not playing dumb, I’m asking questions and asking for a clarification of an argument. That’s how intelligent conversation works. I know what competitive means; I’m asking to define how you measure those factors, have you actually analyzed that data, and can you objectively come to a conclusion.

My point is that it is difficult to objectively judge some of these things and we haven’t been given sufficient information to fully analyze these factors.
  • 1 2
 @letsgoridebikes18: "Define more competitive?" I'm not sure what you don't understand about that term.

But let's get to where you decided to be sensible because it's an excellent place to start, i.e. trying to define what it means to be the greatest.
"The most reasonable way to do this is through objective, measurable data." And then we get to the question of WHICH data? It's a fun discussion, and people can bring interesting pieces of data, with which to measure.
The ability to win under pressure is a valid way to look at it, but how do we objectively measure the way pressure affects different people? The ability to ride the track when it's at its worst is worth considering.
At least we can agree it's more than just # of wins.
  • 2 1
 This is all arbitrary and whoever is “the GOAT” better soak it up because it will be Goldstone in a matter of time. He would already be winning elite and did you see him at Hardline? Might as well just start calling him the Goat now?
  • 2 1
 @jaame: Mate you’re talking madness. This is a sport where you’re at your peak aged 23-26 and your over the hill at 28 yet Greg’s still winning world championships at 40. He’s beaten everyone from John Tomack and Nico to Perron and Bruni and everyone in between. He’s undoubtedly the goat and there’s not really anyone you can compare him too. Pick any yardstick you want and he comes out on top.
  • 2 1
 @thenotoriousmic: How about win density? By that yardstick I doubt he comes out on top. Wins per season, wins per start, average winning margin.

Anyway, you're free to consider whoever you want the goat.
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Any yardstick? Number of wins, number of World Champs, number of Worldcup overalls all of them less than ACC. Not as many as Vouilloz aside from total wins. Guy isn't even the GOAT of the men much less of DH! Legend? For sure! Been competitive for the longest yeah sure.
  • 4 7
 @jaame: no, never ever will a woman beat a man at downhill mountain biking. it just wont happen, elite women run at around the pace of 12-14 yr old male children. to even argue the fact is delusional. down vote all you want white knight pinkbike folk. the stop watch never lies.
  • 1 0
 Kanye Asada
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: What a load of rubbish. This isn't men Vs women.

You could say Kovarik is the greatest as he had the biggest winning margin - 14 second or so at Ft Bill?
  • 3 2
 @SintraFreeride: Stop it. You’re talking about Nico and ACC who dominated back when the sport was brand new, very grass roots and very amateur. They were racing with rim brakes. Greg won the world championship last year and was still beating Nico back in the dark ages. I’ve never been his biggest fan. Nothing against him but to suggest he isn’t GOAT is just laughable. There’s nobody even close as the pol results reflect.
  • 2 5
 @b45her: preach my brother. These guys don't want to see the obvious. Tell them the truth. DH men top 20 within 5-10 seconds of each other, about 150 WC men screaming fast. It is what it is. Men more muscle more focus take more risks, train harder and hormone of the Gods.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I would say it took way more skill back in the day because bikes were so shit. now with big wheels, perfect suspension, amazing brakes, perfect frame geometry any donkey can be fast. ACC was just an amazing rider on any bike. I am guessing Greg would suck on a bmx as we all know tall people can not ride small wheels.
  • 2 0
 @conoat: what's laughable is your post.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Jesus, saying that ACC or Vouilloz aren't the GOATs because they race in an era where technologie wasn't as mature as it was today is as retarded as saying than Fangio shouldn't be considered a legend in F1 or Stenmark for skiing. Just rubbish and if anything just look at the speed they were riding at on such rudimentary gear and you could argue that their performance back in the day was comparatively more impressive than it is today, go ride v-brakes, no suspension on absolutey anything and appreciate what they were doing. Last thing, Vouilloz drove the sport forward technologically much more than probably any racer out there and definitely bucket loads more than Minaar. In case you forgotten Vouilloz even ended up creating his own team with BOS making proto bikes and riding mostly proto stuff. Minaar got hired to ride for Team and one happened to be proto with Honda but it could have been any other brand that would have approached him to ride a bike.
  • 4 0
 @Balgaroth: Agree with all of that, if you could bring early era ACC and Vouilloz to modern times and the support that's available to athletes right now there wouldn't even be an argument. Too many fanboys in the comments section getting their feelings hurt.
  • 1 1
 @b45her: so....you agree with him then?
  • 4 2
 @fatduke: You can give them the best of everything and they’d still get slaughtered. There’s a big difference between winning a World Cup today and winning back then when the sport was still very grass roots and not very professional. Every year the sport progresses and the bar gets raised yet Greg keeps getting podiums. Give it up. The greatest racers are Greg Minaar and Rachel Atherton. It’s never going to be someone who left well before they were done because they’d rather race cars or someone who beat a bunch of have a go hero’s who didn’t really race as the sport was just starting out.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I get the points you're making, but I think if Nico was racing today he would also be the mofo pushing the boundaries of what's possible because he had that drive to do whatever it took. The human body hasn't come along much in the past 20 years. He would still be killing it.

Minnaar is not the goat. He only wins on easy tracks and 29ers saved his career.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I respect that you're wrong.
  • 2 2
 @jaame: forget what could have happened in your imagination and stick to what actually happened in real life which was Nico dominating at the very inception of the sport when the competition was very poor before leaving the sport all together to race cars after seeing the writing on the wall after losing the title to a 19 year old Greg Minaar. If he wanted to be a goat he could have stuck it out to fight the new guard of racers but he didn’t. He quit and gave up and that’s your goat? I think we can agree I’ve comfortably won this little debate just like Greg comfortably winning the Goat debate.
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: i think Gwinner is the goat, me.
The facts are, your goat got torn a new arsehole by Gwinner.
  • 2 1
 @jaame: When did Gwin win his first World Cup / world championship and when did he win his last World Cup / world championship? Now do the same with Greg… see you’re making this too easy for me.
  • 1 0
 @wda1wustl: so dumb man
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: yeah we’ll see. Gwinner has another 13 years to catch up.
What’s Greg’s biggest winning margin, how many wins has he had in a single season, how many shit your pants crazy tracks has he won on?
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Minnaar won on 26/27.5/29r/derailleur/ internal gearbox/ Gee/Hill/ Peaty/Nico/Rennie/steep course/pedally course/Covid format/ four cross/snap frames before qualies/ did Red bull rampage. I think he did Norba Nationals when I competed. Did I miss anything. He made it too easy
  • 4 9
flag BryceBorlick (Oct 9, 2022 at 19:05) (Below Threshold)
 ACC never raced elite senior men, the only category that counts
  • 1 0
 @jaame: you could argue that the others from that time only look like they weren't the best because she won everything in sight and left nothing but second places for anyone else.
  • 1 0
 @pbuser30972: you could look at their times and the given track conditions
  • 2 0
 Awards wise ACC is the GOAT especially if you had on top of that her Olympic Gold medal in BMX, if you look in terms of competitors, I will say ACC was clearly above the other girls while Nicolas Vouilloy has to compete against very tuff guy! Special award for Greg and his longevity in the elite group!
  • 2 0
 @thomast4: I voted for Nico. Looking at the time span he raced and how utterly dominate he was does it for me. That being said I do give high value to Minnaar for racking up wins across a wide time spread due to what that means. Staying fast and able over that long of a time period is quite amazing. I also vote for Nico over ACC because although ACC is a total bad ass and for sure the GOAT of the women’s field Nico faced way more competition during his rein than she did.
  • 4 1
 @SintraFreeride: I agree, the numbers don't lie. The next closest would be Rachel or Vouilloz.

But the poll results may be a reflection of how many of the voters can relate to Mr Minn more than than they do to Chausson or Vouillez, a generational gap maybe.

Feelings over facts: story of our times
  • 2 1
 @Kapricorn: feelings over facts is something you’re doing. ACC was racing a bunch of total amateurs you can’t really even call it elite racing it was that grass roots and the competition wasn’t that much harder for Nico. As soon as the sport became more established and more professional they were quickly left behind by riders like Tracey Mosley, Greg Minaar, Steve Pear, Fabien, Sam Hill etc. You need to understand that it wasn’t the sport it is today back in the early 90’s.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: So you feel any one before those more recent named haven't done enough in their career life span to warrant being called GOAT
  • 3 1
 @thenotoriousmic: The lack of respect you show to the racers of those days is mind blowing. Don't forget Nico wiped the floor with Steve Peat for YEARS!!! After he retired Peat took ages to become world cup overall champ not to mention only was world champ once! Greg Minnaar is undoubtedly a legend for beating Nico at such a young age, being competitive for so long but he lacks the titles to be considered the Greatest of All Time.
  • 2 1
 @SintraFreeride: Not really, that was my era they’re all my hero’s too but let’s not act like it was something it wasn’t. Putting ACC and Nico in the same conversation as the likes of Minnaar and Atherton is disrespectful.
  • 2 0
 @stubs179: dont put that pressure on him yet. Its a rough sport, anything can happen. In many sports, its not the guy who grabs the most headlines early in his career that ends up going the distance(tom brady for example) i think the hype turns into a mindf*ck that shortens a lot of athletes careers.
  • 100 2
 #norbsgotrobbed
  • 3 0
 lolll love it
  • 7 1
 You mean norby?
  • 5 0
 @Stokedonthis:
Only his friends call him Norby Wink
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: Can one still call him Norby when one has just robbed him? Like, just a casual robbery without excessive violence?
  • 1 0
 His mother calls him Norbert.
  • 81 1
 It's not just the wins - it's the consistency of podiums. GM is like 50% podium (top 5) every time he throws a leg over the bike. Those add up to the greatest. Not to mention additional Silver and Bronze medals.
  • 17 0
 Well said.
And he’s not done yet
  • 27 0
 and his longevity at the top of the sport has to be unmatched right?
  • 19 0
 @adrennan: Pretty much, consider that in Minnaar's first year of World Cups John Tomac was still racing. That's a real brain melter.
  • 15 0
 So often in sport we compare greats from different era's which you can't really do, is Maradona better than Messi, who knows. The beauty of GM is that he has spanned many era's such that you can compare him to pretty much everyone else who might be considered the GOAT.
  • 5 1
 @DC1988: Exactly, and its why I can't pick Nico as the goat. The level has elevated so much since his era.
  • 19 0
 I don't think it is emphasized enough is HOW f*ckING LONG Greg has been at the top/ won against the greats of DH who've defined generations.

Nico, Peat, Sam, Gwin, Athertons, Amaury, Loic. Literally every other male on this list have all been bested by Minnaar.

Dude has been truely competitive for 3 DECADES. The only other athlete I can thing of that can touch that is Kelly Slater.
  • 3 0
 @NorCalNomad: absolutely right. Minnaars has been active in the sport for such a long time and still out performs the young bucks quite often.
  • 3 0
 @NorCalNomad: I'll second this. No-one else comes close to Minnaar in terms of longevity and consistency over that period.
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: probably not for most of the kid's commenting.
  • 5 0
 @NorCalNomad:
Also look at his history in the sport. Rode that Honda from outer space to a world championship.
Has been part of the Syndicate team for years, the one that all the young kids look up to.
Young kids still look up to this 40 year old bloke as the pinnacle of the sport. He's been winning world champs for longer than one of his current team mates has been alive!

I bet if you asked all the current riders, they would all say GM.
  • 79 9
 I don't care about the numbers. Sam Hill all day!
  • 5 1
 Agreed
  • 8 0
 I was going to write the same thing, indeed! I just like Sam Hill.
  • 12 2
 and he did it on flat pedals
  • 23 3
 I like this comment. If somebody asked any of us who we would like to be able to ride like …….we would all say Samuel Hill.
  • 19 2
 He's the rider that changed the way the other top riders rode - they had to step up to meet him. He is the greatest downhiller of all time because he was the greatest at riding a bike down a downhill track. And everyone in the list above knows it.
  • 4 0
 Came here to say this! Thank you
  • 6 0
 Sam Hill changed the game. The only reason people got as fast as they are now, is Sammy showing them how much faster a bike could be ridden.
  • 2 0
 Sam is my favourite of all time
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: And not many people realize that his Sunday was not running stock numbers. They were custom and the geos were way closer to modern dh bike geo
  • 4 0
 Best all-round rider - Sam Hill all the way. Best downhill rider - Minnaar all the way.
  • 9 0
 I think Sam leaving dh to go and destroy the enduro field on flat pedals was another one of his greatest feats
  • 50 18
 Boomers pretending downhill of the 90s had the same deep pool of talent and insane level of terrain. The msot difficult thing back then was the bikes and having them not blow up halfway down...

Minnaar is the GoaT due to level of competition (keep in mind, his career goes hand in hand with Gwin, arguably the 2nd greatest ever) and length of wins. The Gwin part is extremely relevant. Obviously Nico and Steve had all kinds of battles, but again, Minnaar has been battling all these guys AND dudes like Loic and Amaury now... And he's still catching dubs and podiums left and right.

If you were to add up points from finishes at each event for all riders, presumably Minnaar is on top and by a long way. But aint nobody got time to go back and develop a balanced scoring system (based on amount of entries maybe) for every results or whatever.

Also, its impossible to compare mens field to womens field due to talent pool. It's only really hit a new level recently (as mens has as well if were being honest) and we're seeing a lot more diff names on the top slot each event.

Anne has a ton of the highest differentials in times for wins, which on one hand seems like a really good thing... But once it happens enough it just highlights how there wasn't a good level of competition. Would be better to find out who is finding those tenths of a second on days where everyone is putting down their best run down the mountain and the top 5 is separated by like a second and a half.
  • 13 5
 I'm a Boomer of the 90s and I agree. It's like Jeremy McGrath and his 72 wins. Dude, you raced against 1 or 1/2 of a fast guy for most of your career. Today MC would have maybe 20 wins.
Flamesuit on.
  • 2 0
 …
  • 3 0
 This is correct.
  • 5 1
 @bikewriter: Yep, and RC and Bubba are like Minnaar and Gwin. And nowadays, in MTB and MX it's damn near impossible to start a kingly reign. The riding is better than ever and ANY mistake is a disaster at that level.

Back in the day it was funny to hear of like one of the best dudes taking a full tumble, taking 10-15 seconds to get back up or whatever, and still winning. That don't fly anymore lol
  • 24 1
 Someone on a podcast, I think Eliot Jackson on Downtime, said it this way: everyone in basketball wonders what Jordan vs. Kobe would be like, or Tyson vs. Ali, but in DH we actually get to see that because Minnaar has raced Nico, Gwin, Bruni, etc. and he's beaten them all at once point or another. GOAT for Elite Men.
  • 10 4
 I watched Minnaar race against Nico in many events and Nico would eat his lunch. Nico also retired at the top of his game to pursue rally racing... there was no passing of the torch.
  • 17 5
 The reason for Anne Caro’s time differential is because she was posting times that would have had her in the top 1/3 or 1/4 of the MENS field (on occasion even within the top 10!). How many women of ANY era can claim that!
She will always be the GOAT.
  • 9 1
 Comparing era’s in sports is the same regardless of the sport. You have to compare them against their peers of that era. If they have that many more wins than everybody else they were a special talent in comparison to the competition.
  • 1 0
 @Skootur: Brilliant!
  • 4 0
 Yeah agreed... Crazy thing about GM is that he has raced against multiple "generations of riders". Ie gwin, now Bruni/pierron etc, and also as the sport had changed and matured and still comes to the top...
  • 2 1
 @lastminutetech: Yep, GOAT debates are for goats. Won't even bother voting in this farce
  • 14 0
 "Boomers of the 90s"

Whut?
  • 11 1
 @ATXZJ: Yeah the boomer reference went from actual baby boomers to anyone older than millennial due to the inability of millennials to properly use references. We’re gen x, garsh darnit.
  • 3 1
 There's always been talent in the Men's as it has been a "mens" sport for so long. Nico competed against greats and demolished them, and if you went down the points route and picked out his 8 years in Seniors and averaged them out, would compete with anyone. 10 World champs in 11 years of competition is unbeatable.
For me its the riders that changed the sport. Nico with training, bike development, suspension, geometry and then developed bikes with Max that became the Commencal Supreme eventually.
Then Sam Hill changed the bikes again, low, slack and wide bars and the alternate lines and riding style. See his podacat from years ago which has been commented on before where he talks about Greg complaining to the UCI and getting them to cut out roots and rocks that he doesn't like on the track. That alone cancels him out. Hill showed how fast people could go and the others caught up, same as Nico did.
Minaar didn't do any of that, he adopted it after and has been fast and the most winning. Reading through the other comments and there is the argument that Greg competed against Tomac, Nico and all the others and won, but then argue that the sport wasn't competitive back then. So, if we can't talk about others being great from the late 90s, early 2000s, then why even count Gregs stats from then. He still didn't demolish them anyway.
I think the argument is useless anyway but don't understand why people can be so one way or the other, as everyone has their favourites and that's all it really is
  • 1 3
 @Skootur: Yeah, the whole "girls suck" vibe in this thread got me thinking.
I grew up with a kid who was a swimmer. We started in 7th grade and almost immediately he was age group champion at every stroke and every distance he swam.

He got promoted to the high school team while we were still in junior high. He immediately became state champion in every stroke he swam and at every distance he raced.

Dude gets a full ride scholarship to ASU. During his 4 years he makes it to the NCAA national championships in both short and long course. He made it to nationals 2 more years after college, just swimming on his own.

Suffice it to say guy was a phenomenal athlete. A couple years after he retired we are sitting around watching the Olympics on TV. I don't remember what year it was, so not sure where they were, but we were watching swimming.

So we saw the women race the 200 breast. They posted the times, and my friend looks over at me says, "Wow! I would have gotten the Bronze!". We both had a good laugh about it.

All these knuckleheads crappin on women's sports must not actually know any female athletes. Most dudes absolutely wouldn't be able to qualify for any major college women's sports teams.

If you don't believe me just try sticking with the women's ski team a while. You probably won't be able to even do the dry land training, much less ski at competitive speed.
  • 40 10
 Controversial opinion:
Shawn Palmer, but hear me out. Sure he never won a World Cup or was even on the scene for that long, but in his first year he came 0.15 seconds behind Vouillouz for second. The difference was he was hung over and likely high. Possibly still drunk. Anyone can be their best sober. It takes a true professional to push hard after partying to take a podium. That kind of grit deserves a place in history.

Plus if it wasn't for Palmer, most of us would still be wearing skin tight lycra. Lululemon would likely have a mtn bike line charging absurdly high prices for stretchy rags that show your underwear line. Riders would switch to wearing thongs so their underwear wouldn't show.

Palmer saved us from wearing thongs. GOAT!

And no, I'm not high.
  • 17 0
 I watched him race at Snoqualmie Pass. At one point all I heard was the roar of the crowd. Then you could start to see him, the speed he was going was insane. There was literally nobody even going close to as fast as he was. I was on the outside of a corner. I watched him and thought "there is no way in hell he is going to make this corner".......and he didn't. Bounced badly off a rock hit the dirt hard, and flew into the crowd right next to me. He reeked of stale beer. The crowd picked him up and he got back on his bike. He did not place well if I remember.....but it was epic.
  • 4 0
 f*ck yes. he's a boardercross / mogul champion who threw screamin seamins upside down!!
  • 4 0
 @snomaster: he made a supercross main back in the day too! Bad dude ! ! !
  • 1 0
 I believe he won a class in the Pike's Peak hillclimb (automotive) as well. I remember him from the early snowboard scene in Tahoe riding with Terry Kidwell and having the nickname Mini-Shred. Weird to remember that no resort in Tahoe would allow these newfangled snowboards other than Boringhill and Homewood. The world has changed.
  • 3 0
 If being shit faced was a bonus I really should have raced World cups in the '90's.
  • 3 0
 Lol, maybe he would have got that 0.15s for the win if he didn’t race with a jersey 3 sizes too large.
  • 3 0
 You're argument is strong and of course, 100 % correct. As a modern society of intellectuals, we must not confine our idea of GOAT as purely a numbers based endeavor, but a more complex achievement that continues to linger in the air of time like a fart in a draftless room.
  • 1 0
 @edummann: I also remember that crash, great story. People talk about how Gwin had no mountain bike background, but Palmer had even less and came out of nowhere and got top 10 in World Cups in his first season.
  • 1 0
 As far as bringing DH to the masses in America, he would be the GOAT for sure.

Almost no one that doesn’t mountain bike knows who a single rider on that list is. But in the 90s and early 2000s people, in the US anyway, knew about DH because of Sean Palmer and Missy Giove.
  • 3 2
 "It takes a true professional to push hard after partying to take a podium." I'd argue that a true professional would not risk a sub par game day performance by partying the night before.
  • 33 3
 Wheres Rob Warner at? For a DHer you have to win yes but you also have to talk the talk, drink the bar dry n wreck the joint as your chucked out, theres more to it than just wins lol
  • 6 1
 Don't forget Kaprun '96!
  • 3 1
 @HankHank: All hail the egg
  • 20 0
 Minnaar is a singular talent. He's the only one who's won races straight up against every other contender on the list at the height of their powers. When you consider how many times he's been forced to step up to say ahead of the pack, as a racer, there's no contest. GOAT for sure.

That said, in terms of pound for pound influence on modern riding styles, it's Hill, full stop. By 06-07, it was obvious that his riding was a glimpse into the future, particularly his posture on the bike. Other racers have raised the bar in meaningful ways (Fabien's progressive bike setups, Bryceland's lazy flow, Gwin's life-or-death commitment, Amaury's unbelievable intensity, to name a few.) but SH is the one who singlehandedly changed the way we all ride, whether or not we race.

And for everyone who votes ACC, I can't fault you. One of our sport's true heroes, without a doubt.
  • 22 1
 I think currently, Greg Minnaar and Aaron Gwin at my top picks but Amaury Pierron is still fresh in his career and has pretty obviously shown his ability to dominate.
  • 7 10
 If Gwin hadn’t had some bad luck we would be up with Minaar, but Minaar takes the cake
  • 12 8
 @joose: maybe he made his own luck by chasing $$ instead of wins…
  • 6 0
 @joose: sometimes it’s bad luck (like he had twice at worlds, once with a failing brake, once landing on a moved stone causing a flat). The rest is not bad luck, these are mistakes. Very different
  • 6 1
 Minnaar is a beast but Nico has to be the Goat, guy was unstoppable. People have short memories these days
  • 2 0
 I think we have a lot more to see from Amaury as well, he is only 26 and didn't really hit his stride until 2018. Like Minnaar, he also seems to have a genuine love for riding and racing that suggests longevity may be in his favor.
  • 4 0
 @jimmythehat: the sentence up the top that the riders had “not to have been beaten consistently by one of the other riders on the list” means Peaty (and I love him) shouldn’t be on the list because Nico had him matched more often than not. Nico and ACC are the best of all time for me, and for a Brit to say that about the frenchies shows how mad they were back then.
  • 2 0
 @IsaacWislon82: I hope you're right, but at the speeds he rides and crashes, could he burn himself out quickly?
  • 3 0
 @Dogl0rd: Honestly, maybe. My crystal ball sucks but I agree, the biggest risk to his longevity is definitely injuries, either the physical aspect or the associated mental drain. Hopefully he has put that nightmare string of bad injuries behind him and can avoid too many more injuries moving forward
  • 2 0
 You’re right, I should have said bad luck and bad decisions Big Grin @darrenb15:
  • 21 3
 Stevie Smith
  • 2 0
 Can’t believe this isn’t at the top.
  • 1 0
 Waz lookin for this exact comment Longlivechainsaw
  • 27 10
 SHAUN PALMER!!!
  • 3 15
flag KK11 (Oct 7, 2022 at 11:14) (Below Threshold)
 Amen. Nuff said. Zero debate.

Next……
  • 3 5
 think he won every race he ever entered...
  • 23 0
 @fastford337: in his mind, probably.
  • 6 1
 I was racing US Nationals (NORBA) during his years. While he isn't the 'GOAT', his influence in MTB (especially gravity oriented disciplines) cannot be overstated. DH, Slalom, 4X etc. ...and many ways MTB culture reflects Palmer's influence to this day. Gold Lame jackets for all!!
  • 4 0
 @fastford337: it’s a shame he doesn’t remember if he even raced.
  • 12 0
 Having had the opportunity to watch the downhill world Cup in its infancy (thank you eurosport) I can't vote for anyone other than Nico. A true genius.
  • 12 0
 Sam Hill when he was on the Iron Horse Sunday. Statistics may not support the conclusion, but those of us who were following dh at the time know there will never be another.
  • 2 0
 Agreed - nothing like it
  • 15 2
 Y’all are too young.

Nico all the way.
  • 10 1
 @hllclmbr Sorry, I am gonna have to disagree. And I'll be 48 in Jan. The GOAT has to be Minnaar. Not only do the stats speak for themselves. But, he's almost our age, still competing for podiums with the fastest riders in the world. Nobody else has done it so well, so consistently, for so long. He's been there since the early days of crappy bikes on crappy tracks, all the way through to currently racing the toughest tracks against the deepest field of insanely talented riders we've ever seen. Everyone is entitled to their opinion/favorite rider. But Minnaar is just in a league of his own.
  • 2 0
 Agree. Nico is still the smoothest downhill rider that I have ever seen. His style definitely could have kept him on the podium for years to come if he did not switch to rally driving. Not the longest career but still the best male rider.
  • 4 2
 @tmwjr777:

It’s all just opinions, but the criteria wasn’t who’s the most dominant, or long lived, but - Who is the greatest, and relative to his peers, it’s still Nico.

His speed and style was just infinitely better than anyone else he rode against.

imo
  • 3 1
 @hllclmbr: I get where you're coming from. But to me "the greatest DH racer of all time" means the most consistent for the longest period time. If I was going off of shear talent/style, I'd pick Sam Hill. But, as we established, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Smile
  • 3 1
 I was torn as Nico, Anne Carro were there at the start & just brilliant, but it's Rachel for me.
  • 1 0
 Vouilloz really brought mtb at the next level. Rigor, physical training, bike improvments, training youngs (sadly e-mtb now). A lot of those things now look regular thanks to him. No one else is close to its achievement.
  • 2 0
 @tmwjr777: Yep - for me it's Sam and Nico 2 as he was also someone who changed the game. No-one rode like him at the time. When explaining how to ride a trail I show two clips Sam at VDS and a Nico compilation. It tell them to watch his body, then I tell them to watch his helmet. They get it every time.
  • 1 0
 @tmwjr777: The stats clearly point to Nico I’m afraid
  • 8 0
 its kind of hard to pick between Gwin and Minnaar, what makes the best of all time? Is it how many wins or how long they have raced or is it pure dominance? How many races has Gwin raced if Minnaar has done 150?

Gwin is 100% the most dominant in history, the amount of wins and championships in the same amount of years is leaps and bounds above anyone else. (modern era)
  • 11 1
 That Sam Hill picture bumps him up to top 2 immediately. That is a masterpiece.
  • 10 0
 Why would anyone down vote this? Sam is King!
  • 4 0
 @BenLow2019: Yep! If Peaty says you are the king, then you are the king!
  • 6 0
 How many different young top racers has Minnaar competed with at the top level for his entire career?! His mental fortitude and dedication top the list for me.

Sam Hill, what a legend. Tough to put him anywhere but 1st. Not only has he been fast on any bike, in any conditions on flat pedals for ages. He brings together what downhill mountain biking means AND racing.

The women collectively share the same love and grit that it takes to be at the top for ages. This is what really sets a legendary professional and a professional racer apart. Coming back from numerous injuries back to the top spot. Competing against others on the track, while daily competing with themselves to get better. Much respect to them all!
  • 9 3
 Idk why Minaar is considered the goat. He’s started a lot more races than anyone else on this list and the competition is way higher now. Gwin has started what half as many races, has 2 more overalls, nearly as many wins and he beat the supposed “greatest of all time” for all of them.
But what’s really shocking is Pierron has so little votes when he’s pretty much the fastest most balls to the wall rider ever. He almost tied Gwins record this season and again the competition is higher now than ever. He also did it coming off an injury which makes it even more impressive. Watching Amaury race is always a treat, he’s a madman on a bike and he’d beat anyone on this list when they’re in their prime id be willing to bet.
  • 1 0
 Amaury's also a really cool dude too, if you get a chance to talk to him
  • 2 0
 Gwin definitely had the most dominant stretch. Pierron reminds me of Gwin. When he’s on he’s nearly unbeatable which is saying a lot considering the high level of the competition currently.
  • 15 6
 Why isn't Josh Bender on the list?
  • 6 0
 Did he ever win a dh race?
  • 12 2
 @wobblegoblin: he raced every World Cup that has ever been held, he's the peoples champ
  • 11 2
 Sorry, putting Men & Women on the same list is a disservice to both.
  • 2 1
 True
  • 5 0
 Oooh this is tough. It's almost impossible to compare men's to women's racers. If we do, Chausson obviously runs away with it based on results.

Minnaar vs Gwin is hard for me. Minnaar is a legend and his longevity is an inspiration to me as a similarly-aged person who feels creaky after riding 1/1000th the stuff Minnaar does. But for me, Gwin takes it as when they were both at the very top of their game (Gwin's early peak vs. Minnaar's late peak, Gwin generally came out on top when they were going head to head. That seems the fairest way to judge to me, though I do give Minnaar incredible props for his longevity.
  • 5 0
 Can I vote for all of them lol? It's honestly hard to compare these riders over their different eras. They are all awesome and I'm glad to have been able to see them all race throughout their careers.
  • 4 0
 Torn between two, in my very humble opinion... Minnaar - simply for his longevity and consistency - look at the career, the consistency, to be able to adapt and evolve with the sport and remain at the top for all this time. Still now after all these years, every time he is in the start hut - magic might happen. Rachel Atherton - Won so predictably and with such dominance that it just became the norm. Did so much the elevate the women's side of the sport. On a whole other level for so long, can't be overlooked.
  • 9 0
 Johnny T
  • 3 0
 I was waiting for this one. Seriously, how many people could show up for a race and race both the downhill, and the XC?? in the same weekend!! John Tomac that's who. I watched him race both events one weekend in WA. During the XC race he was jumping a wooden bridge that I could not even tell you how long it was. It was insane.
  • 2 0
 Yes, John Tomac.
  • 1 0
 I agree100%
  • 13 6
 Rachel all day. Total dominance.
  • 2 1
 I have Minnaar as the Goat purely because of the fields he's competed against. Just look at how many different winners there have been during his career vs Anne's or Rachels. Then Rachel over Anne for the same reason. Anne's competition raised towards the end of her career... but that raised field is who Rachel dominated. Her 2 year run was insane. Anne's the best all around in the women's field though. She crushed 4x, bmx, dh and enduro.
  • 3 2
 @onemanarmy: GOATS are measured vs their contemporaries not against all times or hypotheticals. its a show of dominance in their sport as they competed in it. so its all about the numbers. regardless of how you feel
  • 3 0
 @mariomtblt: True to a point... and I wouldn't argue to hard with you about Rachel being the best ever. Same could be said if you had said ACC. All 3 of those names belong up in those discussions.

I think Amaury has the potential to get into those talks if he can keep his pace for a few more years.

If Rachel comes back and wins some more races... game over. The women's field is pretty deep right now. Deepest it's ever been.
  • 3 0
 I voted for Rachel too. That perfect season was just nuts, so amazing to watch her race. To have that level of consistency for a whole season is amazing. I really hope she comes back to racing full-time. I think she could still mix it up at the top.
  • 2 0
 @oathead: Can't dominate any harder than that...
  • 3 0
 I'm a XC racer who did not read the polling criteria nor have I followed DH racing since Mike King let me hold his GT after the Squaw Valley DH (or whatever we should call that race venue today). So I vote John Tomac and ACC.
  • 8 4
 Gee Atherton should also be included in this poll. 2 time world
Champ, 1 world cup overall, 2 times 2nd in rampage and a lot of top 5s in world cup…definitely one of the greatest riders.
  • 7 1
 John Tomac placed 2nd place world champs DH & won XC worlds 1991 on the same bike...
  • 3 0
 I vote for Nico, and this is VERY relevant ---> "In fact, if we take juniors into account, there was only one world championships between 1992 and 2002 that he didn't win"... C'mon kids, sorry for be a boomer but... just... come on...
  • 1 0
 OK, B
(you have a major point, misses lubner)
  • 3 0
 It's hard to look past Greg for the number of years he has been at the top of the sport. So many have done so much in the sport for so long, but when looking for the greatest you really have to look at the span of a career. Greg is also a great example of healthy living and looking like you are 21 when you turn 40!
  • 3 0
 I'm still drinking like I'm 21.....
  • 3 0
 Always find the use of the GOAT moniker a bit disagreeable it just seems to be bandied about and really has little meaning.

Just look at this poll. Stats alone it should be ACC, but the poll says otherwise.

Just the modern era on stats alone it should be Rachel Atherton, but she’s not referred to as the GOAT, the male who is 3rd on the win list is.
But then you can argue that comparing race times RA would have regularly been about 40th place in mens, so even though she has more wins than GM, he wins it because he’s faster?

But then using that argument does that mean the 40 other male riders who are ahead of RA better than her?

Because DH is such a physical sports males will have a natural physical advantage, so does that mean the use of the GOAT term is actually sexist or discriminatory towards females as the two winningest riders in DH are females but they’re not considered the GOAT.

I don’t know, I just think it’s a crappy irrelevant term.

Anyway let the down votes begin.
  • 7 1
 Minnaar is the mens GOAT. ACC is the GOAT.
  • 2 0
 You can't say it any better
  • 4 2
 ACC was dominant across disciplines BMX background plus a pro road racer's level of discipline. She showed what a methodical approach can do years before Gwin did the same for the men's field. The party vibe of early DH was fun, but it's racing. ACC had the talent and work ethic to lead the way into the modern DH era. The era of pros living on a diet of bong rips and benders was ended by her hard work and professionalism.
  • 6 0
 "bong rips and benders". The youth won't realise just how true that was - and I'm talking about at the actual race.
  • 1 1
 @iamamodel: even XC racing back in the day was a blazed and confused affair.

I love watching modern racing, but I suspect it’s a little less fun these days to make a living at it.
  • 2 0
 Women's field is too small, Nico voullioz is the best, 3 junior world champs gold then seamless transition to elite world champs gold, 5 in a row elite, 10 world champs total when you include junior so that's 8 in a row nobody can touch that, he retired too soon so could have easily and vastly improved on his record, Miles Rockwell winning in 2000 is the only upset on his world champs winning streak. He left because the competition wasn't challenging enough.
  • 2 0
 There should be a men's poll and a women's poll. They ain't racing each other! Minaar gets my vote only because there are so many more competitors in the men's field, making it that much more difficult to win or podium consistently. But AC also gets my vote because wins are wins, and wins in DS and BMX are also wins...
  • 3 0
 I think part of being the GOAT is also about what an individual brings to the sport and what they inspire in others and I think GM is behind a lot of other riders in that aspect.
  • 2 0
 I got a nice ACC story, I was invited to race a dual slalom in Switzerland in the early’90s, sponsored by Swatch.
Puking rain and a super steep ramp as a start.
They had a small car for the winner between men and women race.
They took the difference in qualifying and added to the men time.
Mike King won easily and so did ACC in their races.
Guess who won easily between those two?
ACC drove home in a new car.
  • 2 0
 Minnaar has been winning world championships for longer than one of his current team mates has been alive. And look who he has won against. Hill. Smith. Gwin. Bruni. Pierron. Atherton. Peat. All true greats of the sport - he has beaten them all, plus others, still does on occasion.
  • 2 0
 You can make an argument for all of them.
Remember when ACC would race 4x with the men?
Rachel’s had a perfect season
Minnaar has longevity and a riding style that flows like water. He’s one of the only riders around where he can stomp the field and look slow doing it because he’s so in control.
Gwin was unstoppable and solely responsible for bringing the sport where it is, requiring pro level training and dedication
Sam Hill for outright wildness, style and making you want to go ride and get loose
Pierron has amassed a huge number of wins in a time when racing is more competitive than ever
Peaty was not only one of the greatest racers ever but had been mentor to many other successful racers.
  • 3 1
 ACC, not even an argument, not just in numbers, but in the gaps she won by, the ‘at a loss’ she made competitors feel like and she made the entire sport wake up and get their shit together to beat her, which still didn’t happen. No PERSON is more responsible for an uprising in the game, than Anne Caro.
  • 2 0
 I vote Sam Hill, sure he doesn't have the most wins, but the wins he did or didn't quite have were without a doubt the greatest runs of the sport. He's just iconic to me, the first DH dvd I bought was Earthed 5 and he's on the cover and has a segement where he's doing shit no one else could even imagine.
  • 6 1
 ACC got one Greg Minnaar in each leg...
  • 1 0
 This needs some more math.
The best racer has to be the one that has won more races given the number of races he/she has entered.
It's very different if someone races for 3 years and wins 10 races or another that races for 20 years and wins 10 races.
  • 1 0
 Are you suggesting more wins in less time is better?
  • 1 0
 @nateb: In less races,not necessarily less time.
  • 1 0
 @nozes: right, so winning percentage, or ratio of wins : races entered. Higher percentage = better. Adding the time scale (years) into this is where it becomes a matter of opinion and not math / factual.
10 wins spread over 20 years in a sport like DH is to me more impressive than 10 wins in 3 years.
  • 2 0
 Minaar gets my vote cause he's clearly the GOAT in my mind, but if we're being objective then Chausson or Atherton probably deserve to win this poll cause their accolades are genuinely ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 GOAT= greatest of all time. Greg has been there a long time and is still very relevant. ACC definitely there for math, and deserves mad respect. Rachel for sheer dominance and elevating the women's field, she helped make the women's side what it is today, super competitive and unpredictable. Lots of mentions of others like Amaury, who very possibly could deserve this title just, not yet. Maybe not the goat but honorable mention should also go to Troy Brosnan, a really incredible career that is continuing.
  • 1 0
 For me it's got to be Greg Minnaar, during his long career he has rides against all the others on the list and beaten them. He says he is recovering well and hopes to be back on the bike soon. This next season, the competition in the syndicate team is going to be epic. I think Jackson Goldstone is just what Greg needs to be pushed to the next level and take it to the flying frenchies
  • 1 0
 The problem with the question "who's the GOAT?" will always be where to draw the line and how to compare different achievements. Do you consider World Champs as high as the overall, since it's only one race per year? One could say: "you have to be on the spot that day" or "you only have to win one race".
Then where to drawi the line? Do you consider only results from downhill or also ho big their impact was regarding drawing people into the sport or how they were percieved? How would you quantify that?
Do you consider only downhill or also EWS, XC, BMX race and freestyle, Road, Track, Cycle Ball, Artistic Cycling, Unicycling, Trials, Slopestyle etc.?
If so: How about Jack Carthy? How about Pauline Ferrant-Prevot with WC in Road, CX, XCC and XCO? What's with e.g. Eddie Merckx, Chris Hoy or Bradley Wiggins? How about someone from the freestyle scene like Ryan Nyquist? The list could be even longer if you consider all of the disciplines which are part of MTB or under the UCI.
  • 1 0
 Never ending question, Now who is a G.O.A.T . Maths or people choice count ?
i have a video that i filmed in La Bresse when steve Peat became the GOAT, beating Nico vouilloz victory , ...and Rob screaming that he is the GOAT, 16 victories !!!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPJUoyFqx_E&ab_channel=krazyjey
Freecaster did ask me if i have the part when rob arrived on a stretcher....as the weight of that moment was a GOAT moment. that was high in emotion .Cheers
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney how about asking the actual racers (I'll let you define what a racer is) - would be very interesting to see some sort of anonymous poll amongst people who know a hell of a lot more about racing than us mere mortals. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 I can’t believe I had to scroll all the way down to this point on the page to see Palmer's name, if you are looking for a GOAT surely he has to be there in the mix as a multi discipline athlete, not seen anyone like him since. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea and not a Greg Minnaar clinical rider but what a personality and sportsman. Enough said!!!
  • 2 0
 Not taking away from the others with better numbers, all on this list deserve the accolades and respect, as the legends they are. BUT… Sam Hill changed the sport and raised the bar for everyone
  • 1 0
 It’s Anne Caro. At some races her times would’ve got a decent finish in the mens. It’s a shame her and Rachel were at different times, would’ve been great to see who came out on top. I think ACC would’ve beaten her though, such a natural talent on a bike. 2nd I’d give to Greg, edging out Nico with longevity and having to face stiffer competition.
  • 3 0
 Hill is the best all around bike rider but DH goes to Bruni, turns it on when it matters most
  • 1 0
 he's certainly one of the coolest ever
  • 1 1
 GM for me...been on the top during his long career racing against quite a lot good racers and won many of WC and WCH over all of them. Obviusly Hill, Gwin, Bruni, Vouilloz had their moments on the top but they had shorter career time on the top.
  • 1 0
 Is Minnaar at the top, when did he last win an overall?
  • 2 1
 ACC true domination. Rachel second. Nico dropped out, but WCs in a row??? Minaar is the master of consistency and longevity. Pierron and Bruni possibly going to approach that rare air?
  • 4 3
 Shouldn't Gee Atherton have been somewhere in that list? I know it may not matter for the statistics, but aside from his Cup and Worlds titles, he has also done well in 4X racing, Hardline and Rampage ripping.
  • 3 0
 I'm a Gee fan but i wouldn't really put him in contention for GOAT status. He's not far down the list at all, but GOAT means number 1... He may have been the best rider in the world at some point, but not by as wide a margin or for as long as some of the others.
  • 2 0
 @n734535: Fair point. I think I'm tempted to also vote for an athlete for their contribution to the sport of DH racing. The Athertons have done so much. Not just WC racing, but also setting up their own races (and by doing so, evolving the sport), setting up their own team and eventually taking up and coming young racers on board. Maybe I'm just bad at limiting my definition of "great" to merely winning races Wink . Either way, I voted for Rachel but yeah, Gee is still right up there too. Maybe he's not at the sharp end of UCI WC DH racing anymore, but he's definitely still at the sharp end of DH mountainbike riding (in- and outside the UCI sanctioned events).
  • 3 0
 This is easy. It's The Best Racer I Watched During My Formative Years of Mountain Biking.
  • 1 1
 I could make an argument for everyone on this list, and even some honorable mentions, but A.C.C. is that GOAT!! She rode at the top of her game for SOOO long too, and did things outside of MTB that prove her overall athleticism. .
  • 4 1
 Stevie Smith....never had a chance to finish his journey. No doubt he would be on the list.
  • 2 0
 he could ride that bike, like ringin' a bell
  • 1 0
 Dude, he never even got to race on a 29'r
  • 1 0
 Atherton perfect season takes my vote. Sam Hill in the male category if I would have two votes. Every time a pro gets asked who would they like a coaching session with its always Sam Hill
  • 3 0
 If you could have the riding abilities of one of these riders who would you choose? I’ll pick Sam Hill.
  • 4 1
 I don’t see the point of putting female and male in the same pole.
They aren’t racing together.
  • 1 0
 Don’t meet the OP criteria, but I’d go with World Cup Overall winners Manon Carpenter and Josh Bryceland for retiring on their own terms to do what they love…..having fun on bikes without the pressures of racing.
  • 1 0
 Hate to be that guy but cant compare the men to the women. Just look at the times! If any of the top 20 men decides they were a woman next season we all.know what would happen
  • 6 2
 #norbsgotrobbed
  • 1 0
 Has a 26" wheel DH bike ever won a WC when there were 29" wheels racing? Not talking mixed wheels just straight up 26 vs 29.
  • 6 0
 Pretty sure everyone was on 27.5" by the time Santa Cruz showed up with 29". Shout out to Ratboy for the last ever 26"
win.
  • 3 0
 Jackson Goldstone.... wait whaaaa
  • 3 0
 Saving this one for review in 10 years....
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: preview (jackson goldstone)
  • 2 0
 What happened in 2011 that caused a spike in the gaps to 2nd and 3rd in both fields?
  • 7 0
 A small spot of rain on a gentle hill in Switzerland.
  • 1 0
 the stats are based purely from that years world championships, so Danny harts legendary champery run for the men’s, not sure what happened in the women’s race that year though
  • 1 0
 That spike is paired with balls so massive, how does he even sit down?
  • 1 0
 @ROOTminus1: he wears his hoodie upside down
  • 3 0
 Everyone here should get a ribbon.
  • 1 0
 Ha!!!
  • 1 0
 give yourself one too
  • 3 0
 Randy. Randy is not even on the poll.
  • 5 4
 ACC is the one and only Goat if you cant see that you a loon, look at the numbers and then understand she gave it up to chase the Olympic dream and struck gold.
  • 2 0
 Had to scroll an awful long way to put my check next to the name that everyone already knows.
  • 3 4
 It’s not really a fair comparison between the male and female riders, as the mens field and therefore competition is much greater. It’s easier for women to win by the the number of top riders they are competing against.

Greg Minnaar is the one and only GOAT
  • 3 4
 Maybe I’m too young for this, but as someone getting into the sport in the last 2 years. Minnaar just doesn’t have the sex appeal to me. There’s Gwin’s chainless run, Danny Hart’s massive balls, Stevie Smith’s legendary MSA run. Amaury Pierrot is an absolute lightning bolt and so fun to watch. What does Minnaar have? I’m sure I can get behind the movement to crown him as the GOAT based on numbers alone, but he hasn’t won my heart like the others.
  • 4 1
 “Your mom” wasn’t on the list
  • 2 1
 Duuuude! That would be me. They don't call me Nick Danger for nothing. Remember, you have to make it to old age to really count for anything!
  • 1 0
 What this poll is really showing is when did you start to pay attention to DH racing? From old timers picking Nico to newcomers picking Greg
  • 2 1
 If AG ends up with more wins than GM than that'll def trump the 'worlds' wins. Let's be real-Every world cup is basically a worlds..just added uci hype.
  • 1 2
 Seems obvious that many people commenting on this one were possibly not even born or toddlers during Nico V and ACC's complete and utter dominance of downhill racing for the best part of a decade in the 90's and early 2000's.

All due respect to his longevity Greg Minaar would have to be close third at the top however the argument that somehow things were 'easier' back those days is just nonsense.

The advances of bike technology, training regimes, data monitoring, even goddamn tires has come so far it's almost a different sport.

The skill and records those 2 had/have is unlikely to ever be matched.

Though, then again... Jackson Goldstone shows some promise.
  • 3 1
 The changes in tech have nothing to do with how easy it was now or then. You don't race against a future bike: you race against your competitors. In DH racing all top level racers have access to very similar tech, so they're competing under similar conditions. What makes things harder or easier under those circumstances is the number of skilled competitors: the more people who are competing in the sport, the higher the likelihood that you will come up against someone with a similar or higher skill level than you who will be able to ride faster than you. As a sport develops and raises its profile, you can expect more people who are naturally suited to the sport to be drawn to it, 'the system' to become more effective at bringing more talented competitors to the top levels and for higher-level competitors to be more invested in success and therefore expending more effort in pursuit of it. It's for these reasons that modern DH should be considered 'harder' than the OG days.
  • 1 0
 It’s D
O
w
n
h
i
L
L Sir
  • 1 0
 Rachel Atherton in my mind if you had to choose one. But ,if there is one for female and one for male then Greg Minaar and Rachel Atherton
  • 4 1
 Minnaar
  • 2 0
 Gwin with the chainless run > everything else
  • 3 1
 Its my opinion as is everyone elses choices remember, Missy Giove
  • 2 0
 at least as far as marijuana is concerned
  • 2 0
 So much recency bias on this poll.
  • 1 0
 The greatest... The three greatest... Works for singular and plural, nothing wrong with "a GOAT".
  • 2 0
 Do i remember correctly that only Rachel had the perfect season!!!!????
  • 2 1
 Has to be Rachel Atherton no one else has had a perfect season, and just for that definitely deserved to be top of the list.
  • 2 1
 Guys, you are all missing the point here! ACC have both a BMX background and a BMX foreground. Winner, period.
  • 1 0
 Comparing athletes from different eras is futile. It's like comparing Senna to Hamilton.
  • 1 0
 This poll is bait click for Outside.com, once it gets 200 comments they'll put an add for their paid subscription!
  • 5 3
 Stevie Smith?
  • 1 1
 It don't matter whether you win by an inch or a mile a win is a win. Therefore Rachel is the best. It's just that simple.
  • 3 1
 Jason McRoy
  • 2 0
 The people's choice who never had a chance to show his potential. Rip JMC.
  • 1 0
 @chriss78: Indeed. He was my Mountain Bike hero back in the day. He still is!
  • 3 0
 Most people on PB won’t even know who he is.
I remember hearing he’d died on the radio in the car.
  • 2 0
 @MattP76: mine too, first Brit that made it big on the big S
  • 1 0
 @cypher74: I was at college when I heard he died. Thought it was a joke at first until I realised it was real. Such a tragedy and had so much more to live for and give to the sport. He was a real inspirational role model back then.
  • 2 0
 @chriss78: Think he was the first ever non American signed to Specialized if I'm correct. Or the first British rider. Can't remember which way it was.
  • 1 1
 Old skool its steve peat new skool loic bruni for men Old skool ann caroline new skool thanee seagrave for women
  • 1 1
 Rachel is getting the short stick here... she dominated for so long. Greg is right there, and his longevity is bonkers.
  • 1 0
 long people have extra long-gevity
  • 1 2
 man all you clown making excuses to somehow un-GOAT the undisputed most-winning-est is hilarious. get your feelings out of the game.
  • 1 1
 Hey Anne how are you doing? I expect that everything is ok with you ,sincerely a person .
  • 1 0
 even in the mens greb should not be first
  • 1 0
 I root for Bruni. I simply watch the others. Bruni's a hero.
  • 1 1
 MYSELF, be the greatest ever of all time....those others? I can't believe they're all pro, I'm soooooomuch faster than them
  • 1 0
 The question has been answered for us, why not ask who our favourite is?
  • 1 0
 Anyone that raced the Kamikaze with 26 X 1.95 tires and canties
  • 1 0
 two goat: male-greg minnaar & female-chausson
  • 2 0
 I'm the greatest!
  • 1 0
 Stevie Smith!! Long Live Chainsaw!!
  • 1 0
 Nico for men easy, and toss up for women, AC or RA. Probably Anne-Caro
  • 1 0
 Tomac was a hero to a lot of us old timers
  • 1 0
 ok.. Minnaar is my hero but ........ Nicolas Vouilloz is the king
  • 1 0
 Greg Minnaar is still racing and winning races. Insane.
  • 1 1
 Gosh. CANT BELIBE IM NOT AT THE TOPP OF THIS LIST. So much better then any of you on my rzr scoter brooooo
  • 1 0
 Greatness is not defined by results! Think….
  • 2 0
 There isn't a GOAT
  • 1 0
 Sam Hill was 5 times dh world champ, not 3 times
  • 1 0
 Sean palmer maybe the goat
  • 1 0
 GM still doing it...against everyone on the list.
  • 1 0
 Minaar because I like the Assegai lol
  • 1 0
 I came here to vote for Palmer
  • 1 0
 Where was The Chainsaw on this list?
  • 4 3
 ACC. No contest.
  • 2 2
 that is STEVE PEAT!!! Wth is wrong with you people!!!
  • 2 2
 Steve Peat all day. Some folks just don't get it.
  • 2 1
 Greg Herbold.
  • 1 0
 Greg Minnaar
  • 1 2
 Peaty because Peaty. And i was there when he won at Fort Bill for the first time, what a weekend that was.
  • 1 0
 me
  • 1 0
 Norns got robbed
  • 1 0
 F’in autocorrect! You know what I mean
  • 1 0
 Shaun Palmer is cool
  • 1 0
 Broy trosnan
  • 1 0
 GM -G for GOAT
  • 1 0
 Messi
  • 1 0
 Messi Giovanni?
  • 1 0
 Ol greg
  • 1 0
 JOHN TOMAC !!!!!!
  • 1 0
 NV
  • 12 13
 Bidden has a whole country DH in record time will never be topped
  • 1 3
 Let's go @29er1!
  • 1 1
 Which is basically a worlds(see energy policy).
  • 2 2
 Steve Peat!!!
  • 1 1
 John Tomac!
  • 2 4
 ACC, not even close.
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