Throwback Thursday: Maribor Through the Years

Apr 18, 2019 at 5:43
by James Smurthwaite  

The World Cup first hit Maribor in 1999 as the second round of the Diesel World Cup. It was a year that would see Steve Peat and Nico Vouilloz tussle for dominance and they were a step above in the first ever race here. Peaty had won Les Gets but Vouilloz took top honours in Slovenia by 3.5 seconds. The rest of the field couldn't get within nine seconds.

In the women's race, Anne Caroline Chausson was at the height of her powers and beat second placed Leigh Donovan by more than seven seconds.

2000 - 2002
We unfortunately don't have footage for the three years at the turn of the millennium but Vouilloz (2000), Peat (2001) and Kovarik (2002) would all take wins in the men's field while ACC won every event (including the 4X) apart from in 2000, which was won by Leigh Donovan.

Maribor took a five year hiatus from the World Cups then returned in 2007. Hill won his first of two consecutive Maribor races while Rachel Atherton claimed her second ever World Cup win after coming back from injury in the women's race.

2008 was another winning year for Hill but Rachel was just pipped by Sabrina Jonnier.

Sam Hill's run (bad sound)

Riding through the pain, Fabien Barel shook off a knee injury to dethrone Sam Hill and claim the first French men's World Cup win since 2005. The French dominated the weekend as they took places 1-4 in the women's race as well.

The last World Cup race at Maribor happened nearly a decade ago with Greg Minnaar and Rachel Atherton taking the wins - would anyone be all that surprised if the same pair take the wins again in 10 days' time?


  • 66 3
 I love seeing the progression of the bikes. It's really amazing to be a part of this mountain bike culture when I did. I saw everything from the first full suspension bike I'd ride in 1989, to racing DH on a 4 inch travel bike with 3 inch tires. I am really lucky to have been involved with this sport since the early days. It's something I will always do and love. I really love the bicycle.
  • 9 4
 Its crazy how fast MTB have progressed while motocross still works within relatively the same geo, layout, look of moto bikes since the early 90's. Only major change has been ggoing to 4stroke...
  • 11 2
 That's because the motocross guys had already figured out what worked and what didn't in terms of geo numbers and general configuration of the bikes.
  • 8 3
 @rideitall-bmx-dh-road-unicycle: I think frame aesthetics really played a roll in hindering what modern MTB geometry should be. Since the frame is so exposed, it wouldn't surprise me if manufacturers kept a certain design over function. With a dirt bike you have a motor, tank, fairings etc. That and big brands like Honda, KTM, Yamaha have the money to hire the best engineers and designers. Many MTB frame designs came from garage tinkering, trial and error.
  • 1 0
Yeah well there was and and to a lesser extent is a lot more money in the motorcycle industry. They just got it sorted much earlier
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: ya for sure the cash abundance is key
  • 1 0
 couldnt agree more - look at Gee and Greg on those tiny bikes - how they weren't always going over the bars is beyond me - definitely a disadvantage. I wonder what would have happened if theyre bikes were 100mm longer in the front back then?
  • 28 1
 Check out Kirt Vories on the podium in 99!
  • 60 1
 Hell yeah!!
  • 14 1
 The only thing that this thing made me realized is how much I miss those dirt tv videos. 10 to 12 mins of nothing but riding.. n just a couple small interviews w the winners!! Man Red Bull needs to step their game up. N dirt tv needs to make a come back!
  • 8 4
 Ya. Getting all that free redbull media house coverage sucks.
  • 6 0
 No I’m not complaining ab the broadcast it’s actually pretty good. But the highlights only last 2 mins. Come on w all that footage you can do a lot more than 2-3 mins@rockyflowtbay:
  • 14 1
 Sam on the iron horse was something else. Him on that bike....unbeatable. Different planet in terms of all out speed.
  • 11 1
 Live Broadcast from the heroes in tights on Eurosport...what a perfect world back then Big Grin
  • 6 0
 Someone bring back the Grundig WorldCup!
  • 9 2
 Rob Warner and the Freecastor era was the greatest commentary in all sports.
  • 1 0
 @Boardlife69: agree. Went a bit downhill after RB got involved. Quality better but overall content not so much.
  • 1 0
 @Boardlife69: "How does Danny Hart sit down with balls that big?" Big Grin
  • 9 0
 wow 2010 looks already like another age: full moto clothes and young faces! Just look at the baby face Troy Smile
  • 2 1
 i thought that was a girl hahaha
  • 1 0
 And it was not that long ago, so crazy how the sport has progressed!
  • 2 0
 ATM Troy looks like Brook McDonald or Nathan Rennie. Flesh
  • 7 1
 Maribor, what a track. First World Cup I raced back in 2000 and still remember it as one of my favorite tracks ever with the biggest finish line jumps I had ever done. Absolutely stunning place too and very friendly people. Will be great to see the world Cup there again.
  • 5 0
 I didn't hear one time the word stoked in the interviews,today every single second word is stoked,everybody is so stoked constantly.
  • 2 0
 In another 10 years time everyone will be stoked of being stoked
  • 7 3
 1. F1RST was the best bike movie ever made
2. Finally was the best video series ever made
3. RIP 4Cross /3
4. So many legends!
  • 2 0
 I like the movie for the rider footage but as time as gone by I find those older MTB films a little cringe worthy at least when it comes to narration.
  • 2 0
 3. Yeah man, fourcross is still so cool. But the fourcross world tour is still there, just bummer that the top mountainbikers have mostly moved on (except for the specialists like Thomas Slavik etc). If you're really have the top riders competing on the modern bikes we have today, you could have tracks like the one of Vigo and move on from there. Unfortunately Vigo 2007 was apparently too rough and things moved away from the mountainbike and closer to the BMX again. Take it the other way again (towards Vigo and beyond) and 4X really makes a lot of sense as a mountainbike discipline.
  • 3 0
 Sorry you film choice is not correct. It is a great film but the Dirt films 1-5 are better race films. The way they were shot seem to add an edginess to the footage and the sound tracks worked in flawlessly with what was shot.
  • 1 0
 F1rst was mediocre at best.
  • 2 0
 Notice Oscar Saiz is running bars close to today's width on the 1999 video. Around 6 min. Funny watching almost everyone else riding the narrow bars back then (me included back then).
  • 1 0
 Just an FYI, Sam Hill was actually on pace to win a 3rd time @ Maribor in 2010 then had this crash in his race run (being 1.5s up at the first split):

And he STILL finished 5th (on the podium) that day.
  • 1 0
 i was there that time i mean on all Maribor WC races from 1999 to 2010 and hope next week to ...
  • 2 0
 man that gives me the warm and fuzzy's to remember the old names and bikes I forgot about. Freaking hauling ass on those mini bikes haha.
  • 1 0
 here is video from 1999 WC with Palmer and Missy interview

and my video from 2008 all course
  • 5 1
  • 2 0
 Yo. You're warped, and it's hilarious.
  • 3 0
 Nigel Page interview 2009 vid, starts at 14:14...legend
  • 3 0
 Braces Blenki from the last vid should be the thumbnail for this thread.
  • 2 0
 The dirt at Maribor is world class. Have had such a good time on those trails.
  • 1 0
 99' Vouilloz is so damn fast. It's 20 years ago now but his riding style and speed are still very actual. Even more with the geometry of his bike back then! What a legend!
  • 2 0
 Miss the Dirt World Cup vids
  • 1 0
 Love all the old footage! Makes you realise how good we have it now. Live HD racing on demand, bikes that work, so good!
  • 2 0
 Leigh Donovan, no goggles-ooopsey. 2nd place tho! ACC crushing it.
  • 2 0
 Damn, I'm getting old, I remember all those bikes!!
  • 2 0
 2010 that Bren Dogg babysitting Troy Brosnan? LOL
  • 1 0
 An article shouldn't just consist of YouTube reposts and sparse depth. This could have been great but feels half assed.
  • 2 0
 Apply to be a staff writer and help with content
  • 1 0
 yesterdays IXS dh race cuorse preview
  • 1 0
 Only 10 more days?!

  • 1 0
 2009 Tracy on podium, what a kid! Smile
  • 1 0
 Peace Be Upon Eternal Shred.
  • 2 0
 It's coming.
  • 1 0
 Tiny bikes and baggy clothes!
  • 1 0
 sorry 2007

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