Images: Enduro World Series

It would be amazing, wouldn't it? Sam hill in his first season as a full-time EWS pro rubbing it in the noses of the Euro bunch and grabbing the overall title.

Flat pedals, 650b wheels and downhill pants, Sam hasn't needed to follow the enduro fads to be competitive, instead he's done what he always did, cutting his own lines and embarrassing the established guard.

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Sam hasn't finished outside of the top six all season and has picked up four podiums (top three in enduro) to give himself a narrow lead of 110 points over second placed Adrien Dailly.  On paper, Dailly's three wins and 14 stage wins probably make him faster but a 19th place finish in Portugal sees him trailing Sam with one round to go.

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Dailly probably also has a bit of advantage at Finale. He lives just round the corner on the French Riviera so will be used to the riding style plus, as an EWS regular, he's raced here three times before as an under 21 and won them all - this is Sam's second time.

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Sam has also been off around the globe flying from Whistler, down to Cairns then back up to Finale. He's racked up some serious air time and will have been distracted with the downhill racing circus - all the while Dailly has been training with one goal in mind.

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However, this isn't a straight fight. Sam doesn't need to beat Dailly outright to still claim the EWS crown. If Sam finishes fourth or better, there's nothing Dailly can do to stop him. If he finishes fifth and Dailly wins, then the pair will tie and Sam will have to conceded the title due to Dailly's better win record.

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Here's some scenarios we think might happen. If:

  • Dailly wins - Hill must finish fourth or better
  • Dailly comes second - Sam must finish ninth or better
  • Dailly comes third - Sam must come 12th or better
  • Dailly comes fourth or worse -Sam must finish within ten places of him

Last time out here Sam came tenth and Dailly put in a time good enough for fifth. Does this mean anything? Does it bollocks. You can postulate and stipulate all day but the fact remains that this eight-month battle of downhill purebred and enduro upstart could still go either way.

Sam Hill making quick work of the super slick roots, much to the entertainment of the crowd, he was the fastest man on the stage after the rain and battled his way to 4th place, only 8 seconds off the top spot

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Sam Hill making quick work of the super slick roots, much to the entertainment of the crowd, he was the fastest man on the stage after the rain and battled his way to 4th place, only 8 seconds off the top spot