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Mountain Biking - Mick Hannah

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Mick Hannah
Mick getting sick air and making sick turns.
Mick Hannah

When I first met Mick Hannah, he had Powder Finger blaring in his stereo and he was preparing for the World Cup race on Grouse Mountain. "I love this type of course, lots of bumps and jumps, it's a blast," says Mick before flying to a third place finish in the race. Mick is from Babinda, Australia. He's just 17 but is already climbing to the top of the mountain biking world. In his first season on the World Cup Tour, Mick has already racked up several top 10 finishes in both the dual and downhill circuits.

The Aussie first made a name for himself in mountain biking at the 2000 World Junior Championships in Spain. He arrived at the race as basically a nobody. Mick tore up the course wearing little or no body armour, just hours after puking his guts out from food poisoning. He ended up finishing second in the world - just .22 seconds off the title. Mick now has the nickname Sic Mic but that's not from the food poisoning he picked up in Spain. It's from the sick air he gets while bombing down the toughest courses on some of the planet's highest hills.

Mick has been attached to a bicyle for more than a decade now. Before picking up mountain biking, he rode BMX bikes for eight years and won three Australian National BMX titles. Mick now rides for Global Racing, which is a pretty cool company. They sponsor some of the world's top riders including Missy "The Missile" Giove and Greg Minnaar of South Africa. Team members speak to kids in classrooms and community centers around the world about the sport of mountain biking and the environment. They want to be role models for kids interested in the sport and to teach them about the importance of preserving our planet for future generations.

One of the things that makes Mick such a great rider is that he truly loves the sport and wouldn't want to do anything else. "You've got to be willing to take some chances and love what you're doing. If you're not having heaps of fun, then there's no point doing it," says Mick. "My advice to kids is train hard, have fun and don't take drugs."

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