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25 years ago, on a hillside above Monaco, a 17 year old Frenchman was prepared to make history.

Unsanctioned downhill races had been held around the world for the past few years but this was the first official downhill mountain bike world cup - or grundig as they were known then. At Cap D'Ail, the sport's giants from America and Europe came together to strike out on a totally new path.

That man was Nico Vouilloz and he would finish six minutes later as the first ever winner on a course that may as well have been made for him. A sport was born.

A look back in the rear view mirror unveils some impressive stats - 56 venues, 17 countries and all six populated continents visited. It's been one hell of a ride. Some might say downhill in those days was almost unrecognisable from today - the clothes, the bikes and the tracks would all be alien to the modern polished athletes - but it's still just a bunch of hooligans trying to get to the bottom of the hill fastest. The racer spirit lives on

At Dirt, we thought it was ample time to take a look back at the first quarter century of the the sport we love and the result is this 241 page print book. We will also have a series of video interviews with legends of the sport that will be released for free on the website.

Through the pages we look at at the racers, the pioneers, the countries, the machinery and the culture that has made this amazing sport. The book is edited by Steve Jones who has leant his enormous wealth of knowledge to creating a bible for any downhill fan. From the Formula One style progression of the 90s, through the party days of the 2000s and to the polished athletes of today, every era of downhill is covered.

The first print run will be 2,000 copies so make sure you get in there quickly if you want one. Order by 17 December for guaranteed UK Christmas delivery and 6 December for Worldwide Christmas delivery.

The book is on sale in the Dirt Shop for £15.

downhill-book-cover
downhill-book-cover