When we caught up with Sam in the pits, the obvious topic of conversation was his decision to use an enduro bike for the downhill event.

“For me, it’s something I’m comfortable with and I’ve raced it all year in the EWS races,” he told us.

“I haven’t really had any time ­ apart from Fort William ­ on a downhill bike this season. So for me, it just comes down to being comfortable on the bike. And I don’t feel like I could ride a downhill bike as fast as it could go.

“A lot of the EWS stuff is as rough and fast as what’s up there (on the Smithfield DH course), so I feel like this bike will handle it well. “I feel this is the bike I’ll go fastest on this weekend.

“There’s not much change to the EWS set-up. We’ve just swapped the drivetrain out for a downhill 7-speed. And we’ve gone up with the front chain ring by two teeth. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same. Plus the special green and gold paint scheme for Australia this weekend.”


Privateer Jake Newell pulled out some impressive results this year, from practically no budget at all, to land himself a spot on the AUS World Champs team. No mechanical changes but one very individual renaming.