From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In 1995, Palmer took up the sport of mountain biking, spending time around some of the sport's foremost authorities. Just one year later, Shaun began competing in the professional mountain biking circuit. Palmer shocked the mountain biking world by proving to be a more than worthy competitor. Shaun placed seventh in downhill at the second 1996 World Cup event of the year, before finishing second in downhill at the 1996 UCI World Championships, missing the top spot by just .15 seconds. Shaun threw his goggles down in frustration after finishing as he rolled through the finish area, showing his determination to obtain nothing but first The event drained Palmer, however he was quick to warn the 1996 champion Nicolas Vouilloz of France in a post race interview that after he gained some more fitness Shaun would soon be beating Vouilloz in the races. In the same interview Shaun was quick and humble to compliment Nicolas as the best rider in the world based on his record of wins.
By the end of the biking season, Palmer was number five in the World Cup rankings and seventh in the NORBA National Championship Series. Palmer's debut year landed him a $300,000 annual contract with Mountain Dew Specialized Bicycles team, making Palmer the highest-paid mountain biker in the world.
In the 1999 Mountain biking season, Palmer won the NORBA downhill championship in the dual slalom category.