Val Di Sole Day 4 - Racing & The BEST Question!

Video Ben Cathro / #cathrovision

Last Saturday was race day in Val di Sole, and Ben Cathro was up to it again, checking out practice before the race, and throwing questions at mechanics (like Syndicate mechanic Dougie Fresh enlightening us on metallic vs organic pads for steep tracks). It really was all about the battle between Gwin and Minnaar, but Ben's trackside analysis of different sections of track (line options, ways of executing each option, following different riders trying it out, and even timing their results) is informative on a level we just don't get to appreciate when we're watching the race.

After the race, he toured the pits, interviewed riders (Rachel Atherton, Greg Minnaar), caught a couple of golden candid moments (Warner and Gwin's mechanic debating the merits of filling Aaron's head with info - or not - before his race run) and took a question directly from one of his YouTube fans and straight to Aaron Gwin himself.

The question was one that we'd all like to ask, but most of us wouldn't have the stones. But Ben carried his subscriber's stones as a surrogate when he put it to Aaron Gwin himself.

What was the question? "How much money do you stand to make this year?"

And yeah, Aaron answered. Straight up.

Check out the video for the answer.

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+1 Lev Lev

The average joe rider on the trail pays Aaron's salary since they are the target of the marketing machine built around him by his sponsors. I think it's a reasonable question to ask and I think he replied in a reasonable way.

He deserves every dollar in my opinion. Heck if he made $5M I would not argue he was overpaid. :)


-1 Vik Banerjee

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+2 Vik Banerjee Lev Lev

That's a fair opinion, James, based on social conventions. On the other hand, in many other sports, we know what athletes make. I'm not saying whether that's right or wrong, but it is interesting. In team sports, it can affect how a team is put together, and that's vastly different than in downhill MTB.

And Aaron could have refused to answer, easily, by simply saying "I'm not at liberty to discuss that". No one would bat an eye. But he did answer, and I for one thought that was interesting in and of itself. The more I've come to know of Gwin over the years, the more easily I have found it is to like who he is and how he goes about his business. He seems like a genuinely good guy, fair competitor, and great rep for the sport.

Second, I think it's great that Gwin is poised to do so well financially this year - not only for him personally, but it also means that at least the best downhiller is within reach of seven figures. And I think that's important because a lot of mountain bikers don't get paid well enough for what they do.


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