Sam Hill has announced he will be racing a full season of enduro next year in an interview with the Enduro World Series.
The three time downhill World Champion had already missed the World Cup final in Vallnord to focus on the last two rounds of the EWS and has now confirmed he will be training for enduro over the off season.
Hill said: “My passion for enduro at the moment’s a bit hotter than downhill I guess. The speed hasn’t been there on the downhill bike and it’s been a bit of a struggle for me and it’s definitely been frustrating. [Enduro is] a whole other beast. It started as a fresh cut track and when you race it’s all blown out, rugged, every round I’ve been to has taught me something different.”
It seems that Hill has become disenchanted with the familiarity of the World Cup circuit, which has led to a loss of interest. He said: “I still love downhill, I think it’s an amazing sport kind of feel like I’m in a bit of a stagnant patch with it. Every year it’s the same tracks you just go there and there’s your lines that you’ve taken the past ten years in a row.” Hill’s best result this year was a 21st at Fort William and he hasn’t picked up a top ten since his last win in Meribel in 2014.
Instead, Hill like the new challenge of enduro. He said: “We go to these new places and a lot of the tracks are brand new and fresh and natural and that’s what I like to ride. Every enduro I’ve done so far, the most runs I’ve had on one stage is two prior to the race.”
It doesn’t look like Hill is fully prepared to give up on downhill just yet, as he confirmed he will be racing some of the World Cups next year alongside the enduro, but for now his focus seems very much on the shorter travel format.
Hill will finish his year off at Valberg-Guillaumes this weekend and then Finale Ligure at the start of October – on flat pedals, of course.