If winter in the northern hemisphere is good for anything, it's taking some time out from the less than perfect weather to reflect on what happened last season and to contemplate what could be coming our way when spring finally arrives. Last season was as action packed as any before it and perhaps more so thanks to the heightened level of coverage that's beamed into our homes from windswept mountains in far flung locations. But with an off-season packed with pro riders jumping between sponsors and teams, 2016 could well be another box office smash for the fans.
Will Gwin keep on gwinning, even on his new bike and will Graves - also on a new bike - defeat his apprentice and retake the enduro throne? Can Nino retain his dominance in the mountains and take it all the way to Rio and will Peaty's last season be one to remember? Will Zink get some Rampage retribution, will the UCI step up to the plate and can the FMB World Tour continue to stand tall next to the non-conformist FEST Series rebels? There's lots of question and of course, lots of excitement. So with this in mind, what event and series of events are you most looking forward to in 2016?
Freeride: Tricks and Stunts
Freeride contests have morphed and evolved over the years into two distinct disciplines with 'big mountain' and slopestyle currently vying for the top spot.
While the FMB World Tour scratches its head as The FEST Series captures the imagination of the fans, are we seeing a shift in the sports hierarchy?
With the good old FMB still mixing it up and offering aspiring freeriders a platform to impress potential sponsors and with the Crankworx World Tour going from strength to strength, slopestyle contests won't be going anywhere anytime soon...
XC: Spandex Warriors
While the thought of being dressed head-to-toe in Lycra and sporting a pair of carbon fibre disco slippers while riding a near rigid bike without a dropper post could amount to a bad day at the trails for many, cross country racing is the real deal and is not for the faint-hearted.
The tracks are gnarly and the physical aspect alone simply beggars belief - so should we be paying more attention to cross country coverage?
We should also remember that we are now entering an Olympic year and these hardy guys and girls will be representing mountain biking to the world...
Gravity: DH vs. Enduro
If you were to draw parallels between mountain biking and car racing, downhill would be our Formula One and enduro would be our Rally, and with latter finally finding its feet, the world is a better place.
One thing to always consider here is Red Bull's live coverage of the World Cup series being a huge catalyst for not only DH's recent surge in popularity, but mountain biking as a whole.
With 8 EWS rounds and 7 World Cup rounds, not to mention the slalom and downhill on offer at the Crankworx Wold Tour, gravity racing has never been better, but which way do you sway - DH or enduro?
That brings us to this week's poll question... So what will it be? Downhill, freeride, cross country, enduro or an event with all of them? Are you already beating your head against the wall in anticipation of the Downhill World Cup kicking off or is the all-encompassing Crankworx World Tour too much of a distraction? Is the prospect of seeing where and how far The FEST Series crew will push things just too much to comprehend or are you a die hard enduro fan, eager to see how these purists handle the competition in 2016?
So which event or series of events are we zeroing in on and why? There were no criteria, but it's hard to deny the importance and significance of those chosen below. Granted, there are other events out there, but the ones listed below represent those which will be attended by the world's most accomplished professional mountain bikers and garner the most recognition from you, the fans.
You can only pick one series and one individual event, so choose wisely and let us know if your vote is based on being a hardcore fan or simply the volley of coverage that awaits you when the season jumps into action. If you think we've got it wrong, let us know in the comments below...
MENTIONS: @TheFEST / @officialcrankworx / @EnduroWorldSeries