Sam Hill won the downhill World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, this past weekend. After five years without a World Cup win, the Australian legend finally returned to the top step of the podium.
Round five of this year's downhill World Cup was described by Hill's Chain Reaction Cycles/Nukeproof Team Manager Nigel Page as a "real man's track".
"The World Cup has been coming to Mont-Sainte-Anne for over 20 years now and it is still renowned for being one of the best and toughest courses on the circuit. This year the course designers made some great improvements to the track, and it was one of the best to date. Ironically this is the track where Sam had his last big win at the 2010 world championships."
The quietly confident Australian has been putting in the work since his knee surgery last October, including following a strict training program from his trainer.
Friday’s qualifying went well with Hill finishing sixth despite a slight mechanical. With a lot of the heavy-hitters already down, the times were getting faster and faster in the finals. Former world champion Danny Hart sat in the hot seat with a super-quick time, and then it was time for Hill to head down the mountain.
Hill powered out of the gate in his casual looking style and looked like he was just cruising down the track, but he was hitting his lines perfectly. Up at the first split, and again at the second split, Hill rode into the last section flawlessly, crossing the line in 4:10 to the huge crowd’s delight. With five more riders to go, it was a nail biting 15 minutes, but no-one was able to match Hill's run.
Upon confirming his win, Hill's face expressed emotion and relief as he brought his team its first World Cup victory.