2021 Pinkbike Awards: Athlete of the Year Winner

Dec 16, 2021 at 5:48
by James Smurthwaite  

Athlete of the Year Winner

Racing roared back into life in 2021. After a crunched and cramped season in 2020, we were back to full fields of riders and summer-long battles for supremacy. The competition felt a bit keener this year too, with plenty of winners old and new across the disciplines. Maybe racers didn't know what they were missing until it was gone or simply they had basically two years to prepare for this year, whatever the case, they seemed to come charging harder out of the gate than ever before this year.

So while we were impressed with plenty of riders this year, the 2021 Athlete of the Year award goes to...

Why he's the winner

From the moment Jack Moir made his switch over to enduro full time, it was a matter of when, not if, he would make his mark on the discipline. Some bike industry politics meant that the switch in disciplines probably came sooner than Jack would have wanted but he played the hand he was dealt expertly, finding a year-long deal on Canyon and delivering some promising results in 2020.

Entering 2021, Moir had found his footing and was quickly conquering the podium. In total, Jack won five EWS races this year alongside 4 Queen stages and some incredible video output in his spare time.

Series leader Jack Moir

Big gaps make a difference when the times are this tight. Jack Moir skipping stones and roots on his way to the finish sprint.

It hasn't been entirely smooth sailing for Moir, though. While he hadn't finished outside the top two on any race or Queen Stage coming into Crans Montana, disaster then struck. Jack crashed on the Queen Stage and landed hard on his shoulder. For most riders, this would have been a worry but for Jack it could have been catastrophic. Jack has a long history of shoulder issues, and it seemed like all the momentum he had built up could have been lost in one crash.

Thankfully Jack battled through that and, later, a potentially race-ruining wheel blowout in Finale Ligure. Yes, the title race may have ended in a bit of a damp squib but don't think Jack had it easy by any means - he truly deserves the Athlete of the Year title.

Last week Jack Moir was reaping the rewards of a dropped chain by Richie Rude and this week the table would be turned. A crash by Moir on the Saturday s Pro Stage and a shoulder injury left the door wide open

Jack Moir pushed through injury to take the win today and the overall lead

Jack Moir back on top and leading the series buy the slimmest of margins


  • 71 6
 Finally no xc winner, Outside will be outraged!
  • 48 0
 PB editors watching Jack's Metal Monday series: "ya athlete of the year is in the bag"
  • 20 0
 I got into mountain-biking just a year and a half ago, but I immediately liked the guy's riding - it looked visually appealing to me (I can remember that bunny hop in Pietra Ligure even right now). And then I got to know that Jack listened to metal... The choice for whom to root for was pretty obvious)

Look forward to the his next year's clash against Richie, Jesse and Martin (maybe Sam will join the mix).
  • 6 0
 i never liked those interviews with Wyn, but agreed, after watching him ride, his crazy lanky style and then his metal edits, i was sold. he's the man and deserves all he gets.
  • 16 0
 Well deserved win. All the best 4 him in next season.
  • 9 0
  • 16 0
 @mi-bike: yeah, nah, yeah!
  • 15 0
 The trophy is a Rock I suppose
  • 7 0
 The rock, given to him by the Rock
  • 5 0
 best rim fixing tool there is aparently lol
  • 6 0
 So deserved!!!
  • 2 0
 Yeahahahaha Boy! Enjoy getting pitted! Hope this helps getting you that dual sport Pro status!!!
  • 1 0
 Stoked Jack got this one it wasn't easy for him but he never let anything get him down took it all in his lay back manner and came out on top.
  • 3 0
 nice work Kev!
  • 1 0
 Congratulations Kev!. I think the EWS organisers should be paying him a promotional wage?
  • 3 1
 Biggest achievement of it all is doing that on a fucking Canyon Strive!
  • 2 0
 Yeah! Beast mode was engaged this year.
  • 2 0
 Jack's pure centy coast, bogan stoke is rad.
  • 2 0
 Yeah booiii
  • 1 0
 For a second, I thought James Smurthwaite had won athlete of the year.
  • 1 0
 He's a freaking wizard on a bike.
  • 1 0
 Congratulations Jack
  • 3 4
 No Chappetta? Lol
  • 4 7
 Minnaar got robbed...
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