...be team mates with the ‘fastest man in downhill’ Sam Hill. We had to find out more…


Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Photo: Victor Lucas


Dirt: So firstly, the end of Honda, did that come as a total shock to you?

Brendan: Well, it was a bit of a shock as I had no idea it was coming. I only knew about two weeks before everyone else. Still don't know all the details, I suppose only Honda really know exactly why they stopped the program.


And now it is all about the Iron Horse Monster Energy team, what can you tell us about that?

Well it has been such a dominant team on the circuit for a while now and I'm just so happy to have had the chance to join the crew, so I'm stoked.


How long have you signed for?

Two years.


Did you have other offers on the table?

Yeah, there were a few. It was actually really reassuring to see the offers come in, and a bit difficult to say no to some people.


Have you ridden the Iron Horse Sunday before? What were your initial thoughts compared to the single pivot Honda, and before that the Orange?

It'll be the first time I've been off a single pivot since I rode a Bighit four years ago. I've had a little ride over here in the US and it feels rad. I've only probably put 10 runs in on it, but it feels good and we've still got some changes to make, so overall I'm confident that it'll be an amazing bike for me. It seems to suit my style, late braking and feels good in the turns. Feels fun to ride too.


Will you be getting a special version made to measure just for you?

No, me and Sam will be riding the same production Sundays.


How does it feel to be team mates with Sam Hill, the fastest rider on the planet right now?

I don't know yet, still to meet up with him, so I'll get back to you on that one.


And you have had some pretty amazing team mates in your young career, Peaty, Minnaar and now Hill. How does that feel?

Feels pretty good I think. Team mates are team mates, but riding mates are different. Steve and Greg have always been good team mates to me. Matti Lehikoinen has been a cool team mate and a good riding buddy, so I will have to see how it is with Sam. Keen to find out.


There was talk that you and Greg Minnaar would stay together and be on the same team in 2008. What happened there?

I don’t think that was ever the idea. We have just gone in the right direction for both of us.


Many see that the downhill world is being taken over by 'mega teams', such as Santa Cruz, Commencal and Iron Horse. What are your views on that?

Don't think it's a bad thing, well, I never really thought about it to be honest. Don't think it's a problem. It could be really good for the sport as the competition gets more intense between the teams.


You had a bit of an up and down year in 2007, with your hand injury messing things up early on. What races will you be attending and what are your realistic aims and goals for 2008?

Yes my season last year sucked big time, so gutted. Next year in ‘08 I really want a top five number board at the end of the year and some top three podium spots.


Anything else you would like to add?

Yer, hold her open in the winter mud and have fun!


Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Photo: Victor Lucas

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