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.
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.