Video: Steve Jones
Additional Footage: Kontiki Films, Caldwell Visuals
Nico Vouilloz is one of downhill’s greatest enigmas. While Peaty, Warner and co were in the bar, he was in the garage tuning, fixing, fettling, learning.
As a 17-year-old he won the first ever World Cup on the hills above his home town and would dominate French races for the next few years. Les Gets and Cap d’Ail were his fortresses and the World Champs his ultimate crusades – he was only out of the stripes for one year between 1995 and 2003.
It wasn’t until he met Olivier Bossard on the Sunn team in1997 that he started to exert that dominance on the World Cup scene. 12 race wins in three seasons is a streak that not even Aaron Gwin has been able to match and sets Vouilloz apart as still the greatest ever.
The Vouilloz era was an age when the pace of learning both for the racer and the bike was relentless. Downhill is greatly indebted to the knowledge he imparted to the sport, for the manner in which he applied himself and the mystique he created. Nico was a phenomenon who leaves those who witnessed his reign in awe.
Key Stats – Nico Vouilloz
Year of birth: 1976