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Privateer of the Year Winner


We love privateers. They're the heart and soul of any event or series. They are the guys and girls who are there on course every weekend simply because they want to be there, because they believe they can make it. The practicalities are against them, the math is against them, the statistics say it's a longshot, but they don't let any of that deter them. It's a hard life, too. Frequently it means a winter of hard graft, with the training fit in around it, to try and pay their way to the races or contests, and to have a bike that's ready to compete. On event weekends, it's wrenching and cleaning your own bike, cooking, organising, and a million other little things to get to the start gate. When it comes to the result sheet, they are going head-to-head with factory riders who are lucky enough to have all that taken care of for them, so their only job on a race or contest weekend is to go fast or go big.

So this is our chance to take our collective hats off to those people and recognise a few of the riders who are succeeding against the odds.







Mont Saint Anne 2016 Photo Zach Faulkner Descent World

Kenta Gallagher is the DH privateer who really stood out for us this year. The former XC Eliminator winner and Olympic XC hopeful decided two years ago to try his luck at downhill. Leaving a promising career behind him, he chose to have a go at racing world-class downhill and, what do you know, he has quite a knack for it. The British hopeful had a strong season, cracking the top 20 twice this year at Lenzerheide and Fort William, and working his way up to a very commendable overall ranking of 39th by the end of the season. Ride on, Kenta!
Adolf Silva s Double Victory at the Suzuki Nine Knights MTB Contest Day

Adolf Silva has already begun to show signs of the kind of dent he plans to put into the freeride scene... Discovered by grand master of big bike style, Andreu Lacondeguy, while riding BMX on the dirt jumps of La Poma in his mid-teens, Silva has been initiated by the YT crew and is likely the next big thing for all FEST and Rampage-type insanity. Currently supported only with materials as Pinkbike understands, but already stomping double flips on the big bike, and taking the win at Nine Knights this summer, it's clear the 1997-born prodigy has a bright future.










Toni Ferreiro burst into the 2016 EWS season with a bang, narrowly missing out on the top ten in round one, then coming ever-so close to the podium in round two. After that stunning entrance he may have struggled for the rest of the season to consistently stay at those lofty heights, but he continued to show incredible pace at times. His ride at the Aspen round is really what won us over, though. On day one he flatted, but refused to let it slow him down. That flat tire lead to an exploded rear rim. But did that stop him? Of course not! With wheel changes outlawed by EWS rules, he stuffed a tube in there, then zip tied his wheel and tire together so he could finish the race on it. That he still finished 54th, despite all this, is exactly the spirit that leads us to call Toni Ferreiro our 2016 Privateer of the Year.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesWhile Toni may be our winner of this award, we want to congratulate all the privateers out there who are getting on with it and chasing their goals. Competing would be much less fun without you. - Matt Wragg



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