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Pinkbike's DH Fantasy League Staff Picks - Volume 2

Apr 23, 2024 at 12:27
by Sarah Moore  

The competition for Pinkbike's DH Fantasy League bragging rights at the office is fierce, especially after a year's hiatus. Of course, with all of us being so-called "experts" on racing, winning the office league isn't easy... Ed Spratt writes the analysis pieces, so the rest of us are over here over-analyzing and editing our team rosters a couple of times a day.

Here's how some of us are choosing to spend our $1.5 million heading into round 1 in Fort William in a month's time. At least, these are our teams this week. If you missed Volume 1 with Sarah Moore, Mike Kazimer, Christina Chappetta, Ed Spratt, Ben Cathro and Matt Beer's picks, you can check it out here and stay tuned for a podcast with Brian Park, Henry Quinney, Sarah Moore, and Mike Kazimer on Monday where we go over our picks in more detail.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your team on the line and let the games begin! With dynamic pricing, there's guaranteed puzzling ahead of each round.

Brian Park's Picks

bigquotesAmaury - clearly the best deal right now based on his previous performance. He won’t be this cheap long IMO. Maybe he’s not such a great deal now that half of us are choosing him, it’ll just level the playing field.

Pinkerton - Amazing final junior year; might not be easy transition to elite, but he’s so talented. Injury at the end of last year seems just fine as he’s had strong early season results this year.

Vige - my most expensive male rider for Rd1, and he’s a risk as he’s never had a good result at Fort William. BUT he had such a strong end to last year in 5th at MSA I think it’s worth gambling to see if he can bring that form into 2024.

Kuhn - had a strong Junior campaign, and historically we see some of the 2nd-5th place juniors end up doing better in Elite than the “chosen” ones. He had one of his best races last year at Fort William so I hope he can show well in Elite.

Harnden - struggled at Fort William in the past, but finished the season really strong. It’s a gamble, but I rate her pretty highly.

Vali - the majority of my budget went here, as she’s the most likely percentage-wise to deliver a good result for the money. After the first round or two I imagine I’m going to have to decide between keeping her on my team or spreading budget around more evenly.
Brian Park, Senior Editorial Director, Mountain Bike and Gear

Trevor May's Picks
Trevor s team

bigquotesI don't have a very nuanced or educated reasoning behind my team. I just wanted to pick the local Canadians to fill most the budget and then fit in some other riders to make it under the $1.5 million cap!Trevor May, Principal Engineer, Director of Trailforks

Lexi White's Picks

bigquotesI put the bulk of my budget on Vali with lots of faith that she’ll be worth every penny. Maybe I won’t be able to afford her round after round with other rider priorities shifting, but only time will tell.

I had so much fun watching Jakob Jewett take top spot at Crankworx last year on the DH course, and that hype was enough to get me to spend my biggest numbers in the men’s category on him. It was reassuring to see him at the top of the pack at Rotorua this year, finishing second behind Lachlan Stevens-McNab.

Amaury Pierron felt like a lot of bang for buck in round 1 coming off some injuries, and now that I’ve seen the rest of the team’s rosters, I’m realizing that wasn’t a very unique observation. If we see good results from him at Fort William, it appears lots of us will collect points there.

Neko was an affordable pick, and I’d be lying if I said his spot on my roster wasn’t partly (mostly) because of my personal love for his Frameworks bikes and the fact that he’s racing on a bike he designed and built himself. Stoked to see what him and the Frameworks team do on those rigs this season.

Harriet Harnden and Nathan Pontvianne both closed out the season well last year and also had the right price tags for me to round out my team.
Lexi White, Marketing Brand Director, Cycling

Jay Grottoli's Picks

bigquotesAmaury - It’s only been 2 years since his 4 win season that included a 2nd at World Champs. Betting on a return to his confident/winning ways after nearly a year removed from a broken back.

Joe Breeden - I know a lot of guys named Joe from the UK that are fast AF on a bike. Banking on this Joe following suit. Plus Dak’s posted some strong results on that new Intense M1 before jumping ship to Mondraker. Could be something there.

Ryan Pinkerton - Crushed in juniors. Banking on him, Ronan and Dak all pushing each other in that Mondraker stable.

Neko - Anyone willing to ride a bike that they built and designed 60+km/h has a spot on my team…. at $25K value.

Vali - Self explanatory, but if you must know, I’m expecting another dominant season.

Eleonora - Giving all of us in our early 30s hope that you can still ride a bike ridiculously fast. Plus both of our last names end in a vowel #gabagool
Jay Grottoli, Sales Executive

Henry Quinney's Picks

bigquotesYou would surely be mad not to pick Amaury Pierron. Any time he's finished in Fort William he's won. The Oceanian hyphenated power duo of Meier-Smith and Stevens-Mcnab have both been rehabbing after injuries, but both also have plenty of pace to spare. Let's not forget, Meier-Smith is an EDR winner, and was doing great things while he was on Propain. It's hard to look too far past Val Holl, although Nina Hoffman does tend to run her close at Fort William. Louise Ferguson is a constant podium threat, and in a wet race who knows what she can do? Lastly, I saw Reece Wilson was going cheap, and I hope to see him back to form. While he might have taken some memorable wet-weather wins, he's also shown he can do it in the dry and fast conditions.Henry Quinney, Kettle Supervisor

Melanie Jansen's Picks
Melanie s team

bigquotesI'm German and so I went big with Team Germany: Nina Hoffman and Max Hartenstern. Once I'd got my top riders in there, I had enough budget for some former Pinkbike Racing team members and then I just filled in the blanks with riders that fit the rest of the budget.Melanie Jansen, Senior Account Manager, AdOps- Team Lead

Ollie Lammas' Picks

bigquotesI'm leaning into Ben Cathro's strengths and (shamelessly) copying his team until we see who is in form later in the season.Ollie Lammas, Sales Executive

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Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,452 articles

  • 17 0
 Someone should tell Melanie that Gwin isn’t racing Fort William.
  • 3 0
 Is that confirmed?
  • 3 0
 @michaelheinrich: He barely started riding again a couple weeks ago.
  • 4 14
flag cocomo69 (Apr 26, 2024 at 13:49) (Below Threshold)
 Hahah get these people out of here! They know nothing!! Where’s Warner & Elliot! Get these other muppets out!
  • 6 0
 Wow, Brian Park and I are almost identical! He may have stolen my picks? Good luck all, super excited for race season this year!
  • 4 0
 I'm sorry I've doomed you.
  • 4 0
 With Hattie's injury in the British series not sure this is a good pick, guys...
  • 1 0
 she's cycling again by the looks of her insta
  • 1 0
 @johnny2shoes: track is waaay too long for it not to play a factor IMO.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: I'm easily swayed...to late to change???
  • 1 0
 yeah I'm stressing about it but we'll see... probably will make the final call next week.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: she's not going to FW by the looks of things.

At this point I'm just a instagram reporter
  • 5 0
 Not a single Minnaar amongst the lot of you?!
  • 2 0
 It seems a bit stupid to bet against Greg hey? I think just high risk with new team etc., if there's a solid result from him (or even just some good splits) I'll definitely be trying to put him in going forward.
  • 4 0
 It'd be cool to have the team name next to the rider too, so you know what bike their riding
  • 1 0
 Didn't know Henri Kiefer is still riding in Junior, was really hyped to see him compete with Pinkerton in Elite.
  • 2 0
 He is elite this year. He should do well, he is very talented.
  • 2 0
 Dak is going to make monkeys out of all ya'all. #USDH
  • 1 0
 Sacha, Trek team can't find her on list is she not registered or something?
  • 1 0
 Junior rider
  • 1 0
 @handynzl: ah, thanks dude
  • 2 0
 surprised no charlie hatton
  • 1 0
 I put a few british riders on my team for the home field advantage.
  • 2 0
 Anyone know if rachel atherton will be racing?
  • 1 0
 I don't know, but she is on my roster, so I hope so.
  • 1 0
 Can anybody find a list of confirmed entries?

The UCI don't seem to make it easy!
  • 1 2
 Rémi Thirion $540,000
Danny Hart $530,000
David Trummer $25,000
Luke Meier-Smith $170,000
Valentina Roa Sanchez $70,000
Gloria Scarsi $140,000
  • 4 0
 Trummer is a great pick at the 25K level IMO
  • 8 0
 y'all should check Trummer's Instagram posts... He broke 4 ribs, a shoulder blade, and punctured a lung two weeks ago. But yeah, great pick otherwise. He was on my team until I saw that.
  • 2 0
 @pisgahgnar: Thanks for the heads up. 3
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: ahhh shit, thanks
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: Thanks for the information, I don't follow social media much
  • 1 0
 update my team ... Trummer out, Taylor Vernon in
  • 1 0
 Is Rachael, Myriam racing Fort Bill?
  • 3 0
 My understanding is that Myriam is a no. I'm trying to figure out Rachel as well.
  • 1 0
 Vali Holl on almost each one...hope it works out like last year.
  • 2 0
 Vali is too win or crash tho
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: The Win odds are better that the Crash odds these days.
  • 1 3
 Amaury Pierron, Richie Rude, cheaper than Joe Breeden?
What kind of clowns priced these guys?
That disrespect is criminal
Pierron $240k
Rude $230k
Reece $220k
Jewett $340K
Rachael $350k
Farina $120k
  • 3 0
 It goes off results last year, so makes perfect sense
  • 1 0
 Oi Quinney lay off my team. Rider for rider the exact same.
  • 1 0
 Yeah me too, so I've gone back in a changed it quite a bit - assuming that Rachel Atherton is riding.
I'll probably change it again once I see track walk or practice (depending on when the cut-off is)

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