Arai (Japan) World Cups: History Lesson

Arai Mountain in Japan hosted some of the biggest, fastest, wildest DH and dual World Cups back at the turn of the millennium. Races that were attended by tens of thousands of super fans, supersize tracks that showcased the most exciting elements of the sport.

The three downhill races in 1998, 2000 and 2001 were dominated by the French, namely Anne-Caroline Chausson and Nicolas Vouilloz, with three wins apiece. Crazy.

Then there were the dual courses — masterpieces of dirt with massive jumps, stall walls and nuts racing. Bring back dual? Maybe not. But the Arai races were fun to watch.

The Arai section from Sprung 5 is a classic piece of race coverage — watch it, and two slightly more ‘raw’ videos from ’98 and ’00 below.

Check out some Arai stats on Roots & Rain.

If you love DH racing, check out our downhill World Cup and Champs yearbook, Hurly Burly.

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