Video: The best of Crankworx Whistler 2013

Where else in the world can you stand amongst an adrenaline-soaked crowd to cheer on the world’s best mountain bikers right after you’ve competed in the very same event?

Crankworx Whistler. With less than six months until the heavy-hitting mountain bike spectacle returns to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, we look back at what was our tenth anniversary in 2013 and prepare to step up our game August 8-17, 2014.

Feel the impact. Embrace the amplitude. Experience the awe that is Crankworx Whistler.

Video: Kona In the Wilds of Maui

Cross-country mountain biking is all about going fast. It’s about racing and winning and beating your buddies and throwing the hammer down.

It’s also about having a blast riding singletrack. We took the racing gear off, and the heart rate monitors, and took our featherlight carbon Kona XC Race Light bikes–the Hei Hei Supreme, Hei Hei Deluxe, and King Kahuna on a little spin through the wilds of Maui. Because at Kona, we can’t make it super fast without having it be really fun.

Super Fast, Really Fun – Kona XC Race Light from Kona Bikes on Vimeo.

Racing: Jenny King and Cameron Ivory Winners in Moama

Jenny King (VIC) and Cameron Ivory (NSW) finished off an excellent season of racing with podium finishes in Moama to be crowned the 2014 Subaru National Mountain Bike series winners in Moama, NSW. 

The final round of the series presented by Mountain Bike Australia saw racing action for the Cross Country taking place in a brand new mountain bike park built on the banks of the stunning Murray river. The unique track is shorter and faster than most in Australia delivering exciting racing across all classes.

In Elite Men’s racing, lead riders stayed together in a tight bunch for the first two laps, but it wouldn’t take long for the true class of dual Olympian Dan McConnell to come the fore. McConnell broke away on lap 3 and would never look back. McConnell proceeded to extend his lead for each of the last 5 laps. In many ways it was just another day at the office for the seasoned professional who is now a cut above the rest.
Dan McConnell - Elite Male XCO Race Winner
Dan McConnell – Elite Male XCO Race Winner
“The race was fast at the start, and on lap 3 I felt fairly good and a few gaps started to appear” said McConnell. “I got away for a little bit and was able to settle in and enjoy myself on the fun and flowy trails”. McConnell was 2nd in the World Cup Series last year, and he’s feeling good about 2014. “To win by as much as I did, I’m pretty happy, the form seems to be coming good with good time to the first World Cup so it’s promising”.
Cameron Ivory placed second outright today after a strong battle with Michael Crosbie (VIC) in the early laps and Adrian Jackson (VIC) would take third.
Ivory’s second place would secure him the series title. The understated rider who is still riding in the Under 23s category wasn’t expecting to win. “I’m a little bit surprised – and very pleased”. He has an eye on the Championships now in two weeks “I can’t wait for the National Championships, I need to work on a few things before then, but I’m counting down the days”.
Elite Men Series Podium Cross Country
Elite Men Series Podium Cross Country
The Elite Women’s field was one of the best fields assembled in recent years. Racing fast from the start-line a star-studded lead group formed instantly – Bec Henderson (ACT), Peta Mullens (VIC), Tory Thomas (VIC), Jenny King (VIC) and Rowena Fry (TAS).
There was some position swapping, but it wouldn’t be until the 4th lap that we’d see the decisive move by the pair of Henderson & Mullens to separate and stay away.
Bec Henderson - Elite Female XCO Race Winner
Bec Henderson – Elite Female XCO Race Winner
On lap 5 Henderson attempted to power away for the win but was caught by Mullens who would then lead for most of the last lap. In the end though it would be Henderson would would retake the lead on the last fire-road and hold that position in a hard finish-straight sprint to record another win.
Henderson reflected: “It was a tough race, there was absolutely no rest having all the best riders in Australia here. It was also a really tactical race, you have to be careful not to blow out as its actually quite a long”.
Jenni King was the 2012 Series winner, and she delivered the goods again across the races in 2014 to win the title again. “Today was a bit touch and go, I think it was on the 3rd last lap, I noticed my rear tyre was going flat but I got a quick change and managed to still finish 4th, it was good to have a consistent series”.
Elite Women Series Podium Cross Country
Elite Women Series Podium Cross Country
In the Under 19s action, recently-crowned New Zealand U19 National Champion Ben Oliver brought his excellent form to Australia to take the win in the men’s, and versatile rider Ellie Wale (VIC) took the win for the Under 19 Women.
All series information can be found at: http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/

Racing: Brosnan and Crisp the Down Hill Winners for the Subaru National MTB Series, Thredbo

An amazing 2014 Subaru National Mountain Bike Series presented by Mountain Bike Australia concluded in Thredbo with Troy Brosnan (SA) and Michelle Crisp (NSW) crowned Series winners in Thredbo.

 

Action earlier in the day for the Cross Country Eliminator event saw Em Parkes (ACT) and Cameron Ivory (NSW) as series winners in thrilling racing in Moama.

Down Hill riders battled it out in racing action on the iconic Cannonball run track in Thredbo all weekend.

In the Elite Men’s action, the former dual junior World Champion Brosnan came into the round with an almost unassailable lead, but that didn’t stop him from delivering on the day.

Troy Brosnan - Downhill Race and Series Winner
Troy Brosnan – Downhill Race and Series Winner

Close racing saw the fastest time fall repeatedly as the top ten riders arrived at the finish, and Thomas Crimmins (NSW) was second-last down the hill posting the then fastest time of the day for the Elite field of 4:54.77.

Brosnan was last, and he didn’t disappoint the massive crowd at Thredbo. He finished in 4:46.25, the fastest time of the weekend for the final race run of the series, a massive 8.52 seconds faster than Crimmins and the field, to give him both the race win and the Subaru National Down Hill series title.

“I’m really happy with the win, I just pedalled as much as I could and barely had any mistakes. I was a little bit surprised at how fast I actually went” reflected Brosnan.

Thinking about the series, Brosnan said “It feels pretty good. I was taking it race by race and I’ve come out with the win, another one to tick off and heading into National Champs”.

Crimmins would ultimately finish second and David McMillan (ACT) would take third

In the Elite Women’s race, Michelle Crisp was third last down the track and set a great time of 5:59.22. She would face a nervous wait, with Kellie Weinert (NSW) and favourite Danielle Beecroft (NSW) left to finish.

Elite Women's Race Podium - (c) Jaime Black : JB Photomedia

Ultimately neither Beecroft or Weinert would manage to unseat Crisp, although it was Weinert that went frighteningly close to finish second by only 0.1s. Beecroft took the Bronze.

Crisp was equal parts relieved and excited. “It’s great – after such a terrible year last year with injuries. I still can’t quite believe it – I’m so stoked to take out the race and the series in the one day”.

Tegan Molloy in the Under 19s was yet again the fastest female rider of the day by over 12 seconds, an amazing achievement from the Junior rider.

Cross Country Eliminator – Moama

Moama Mountain Bike park served up perfect eliminator action to a large crowd gathered on the banks of Murray River in Southern NSW.

Elite Women's Series Eliminator Podium (c) Russ Baker

Elite Men’s racing was fast and furious, and the four riders in the final attacked the first climb together as a group: Cameron Ivory (NSW), Nicholas Morgan (VIC), Sebastian Jayne (NSW) and Ben Forbes (QLD).

The four riders raced wheel on wheel throughout and massive sprint started when riders first saw the finish line. Ivory would back up yesterday’s series win to take both today’s Eliminator race and the Subaru National series for the Elite Men.

A modest Ivory reflected on taking the Series win in both the Eliminator and Olympic formats. “I’m a little bit surprised again, I’m quite happy. It’s a huge step up for me, it’s the year to do it with Commonwealth games selections and also I’m aiming for a spot on the world championships team”.

Elite Men's Series Eliminator Podium (c) Russ Baker

Elite Women’s racing featured former short course National Champion Rowena Fry (TAS), Olympian Rebecca Henderson (ACT) and young guns Emily Parkes (ACT) and Holly Harris (ACT).

Fry and Parkes established a lead early and would battle it out around the course, but in a finish line sprint Fry would hold out Parkes for the win.

Parkes took second in every round of the series in amazingly close racing and her performance today secured her the Season title.

“It’s fantastic to take the win, it’s great motivation to take into the National Champs”. Parkes enjoys the Eliminator discipline “I like the close racing, the competitiveness and the courses are usually pretty technical”.

Russ Baker AM, President of Mountain Bike Australia, said “It’s been a successful 2014 series. I’d like to thank all of the riders for supporting MTBA in running the series for them. It has provided an excellent platform for both our developing riders and those heading overseas to international competition”.

The Subaru National Mountain Bike Championships will take place from the 6-10 March in Bright, Victoria.

All series and championship information can be found at: http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/

 

Video: Trail Ninja in Gran Canaria

The Trail Ninja, Dan Milner is on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria to ride the punishing route of the Trans Gran Canaria running race. As if riding up, across and over the steep slopes of the island is not adventure enough, the Trail Ninja, Dan Milner, uses this MTB epic as an experiment to see which wheel size – 26, 27.5 or 29 inches – is best for mountain biking. One ring to rule them all? Three days of ultimate enduro riding delivers the result, sort of. All filmed on his GoPro camera.

Video: A Mountain Bike Proposal

98 Productions presents their latest work, go all out. One of the most authentic hand ordered never lived in the Kinepolis cinemas Valencia.

Joaquín Turrets, our main character, strive to reach their destination, through a series of tests on the mountain. A ring matromonio be the reason for having to rush against time, time to get to the room where his girl is Raquel. (google translate)

Pedida de mano – Kinepolis – 98 Producciones 720p HD from 98producciones on Vimeo.

Tech: Trek World Racing tests prototype 650B DH bike

Trek’s World Cup downhill team, Trek World Racing, will start the season aboard a new 650b prototype version of the team-issue Session 9.9. The team is evaluating the merits of 650b wheels in World Cup downhill racing.

In five quick years of competing at the World Cup level with Trek World Racing, the current Session has been ridden to 30+ podium finishes, three World Cup Overall Titles, and a World Championship; an unprecedented run for a single bike platform. With George Brannigan’s (NZL) run to the New Zealand National Championship aboard the 650b proto this past weekend, testing has gotten off to a fast start. Previously, Trek World Racing, along with the overwhelming majority of downhill pros have raced almost exclusively on 26” wheel downhill bikes.

Trek’s athlete-driven development philosophy of racing to make bikes better will be put into action as the team publicly explores the merits of the slightly larger 650b wheels in downhill. Throughout this research period, Trek will continue to offer riders around the world the 26” wheeled Session 8, 88, 9.8, 9.9, and the recently announced Park edition. According to Trek’s MTB Product Manager, John Riley “After all of the research we’ve invested in wheel size performance characteristics at Trek, we believe 26” wheels absolutely still have a place in the gravity category. We’re keen on understanding the possibilities of 650b as well, so we’re evaluating that option with some of the world’s best riders on Trek World Racing.”

Through two highly popular new product offerings over the past year, along with a significant research effort, Trek has become a leader in 650b wheel development. In 2013, the brand unveiled two new 650b wheel platforms in the technical trail category with the Remedy and Slash. “Our hope is that the new 650b Session will provide a performance advantage to our riders and continue to keep them on the podium,” continued Riley. “We also know that these athletes will test the extreme limits of the bike and provide us with invaluable feedback as we continuously evaluate and refine the Session.” The full line of Sessions will continue to be available including the Race Shop Limited Session Park, a model with shorter chainstays and reduced travel perfect for gravity park riding. Trek encourages riders to watch as the bike evolves throughout the season. The team will begin testing the prototype at this weekend’s New Zealand National Championships.

 

Join Caroline for a ride around Stromlo Forest Park

Join Caroline Buchanan supporting BMX and women in sport by launching her Next Gen team. Lets enable BMX girls to race around AUS and qualify for the BMX World Championships!

Are you a mountain bike enthusiast? Come ride a cross country loop and get tips from the current 4X Mountain Bike World Champion at Stromlo Forest Park Canberra. 3 hour experience. One date for all locked into Caroline’s calendar.

Find out this and much more here: https://www.sportaroo.com/campaigns/52a00c4f722e2f4140000004

The Buchanan Next Gen Team 2014 from Experience Series on Vimeo.

Racing: Ed McDonald and Jarrod Hughes win prestigious AMB100 Marathon elite disciplines

Ed McDonald claimed the AMB100-miler Marathon race win for the fourth time in Canberra on the weekend, completing five laps on a gruelling monster circuit at Stromlo Forest Park in hot conditions.

On the Canberran clean sweep elite podium Callum McNamara came in second with a gap of only seven minutes ahead of Sam Moffitt who took out the third position. In the three-lap challenge the race favourite Jarrod Hughes from Jerrabomberra won ahead of the locals Lewis Cressy and Aaron Bashford. Liz Smith from Wollongong defended her marathon 100-miler title from 2013 in the elite women’s field.

AMB10014-0023_EdMcDonald_MorningLap_byOuterImage
Cool temperatures allow Ed McDonald to go hard on the AMB100-miler morning lap at Stromlo Forest Park.
A field of 300 riders was set to race the AMB 100 Marathon event at Stromlo Forest Park, the inaugural race for new headline sponsor, the Australian Mountain Bike Magazine. With a race circuit of over 30km and a high proportion of singletrails the event has been considered as one of the toughest mountain bike marathons in Australia. This year a heat wave sweeping across the ACT on the event weekend increased the racing challenge even more.
“This has been the hottest so far. The three laps were really nice and the first two were just lovely. The fourth one was pretty hard and the fifth was just horrid, I forgot all about racing and it was all about getting to the finish”, said a happy four-time event winner Ed McDonald at Stromlo across the finish line just before 11am, with temperatures hovering in the mid thirties already.
arrod Hughes on track to take out the AMB100km in a gripping finish after three completed laps.
arrod Hughes on track to take out the AMB100km in a gripping finish after three completed laps.
Organisers Rocky Trail had founded the event as a traditional 100km/3-lap mountain bike marathon five years ago and included the 100-miler category with five laps and a race start at 5am in 2011 upon McDonald’s and fellow Canberran Brett Bellchambers’ challenge to do so. From an exclusive group of not more than 15 riders, it has now grown to 40 starters in 2014. This year it included also three female starters with Liz Smith from Wollongong impressively defending her victory from 2012, finishing five laps almost an hour ahead of local Karen Foat and one and a half hours ahead of Meredith Quinlan from Sydney.
Local Milly Brent racing towards her three-lap victory at Stromlo Forest Park.
Local Milly Brent racing towards her three-lap victory at Stromlo Forest Park.
Tough racing at Stromlo in the heat
“Stromlo is always hotter and harder than you think”, said AMB’s editor Mike Blewitt, who competed successfully in the Adventure Mates Team category with racing partner Imogen Smith. “All racers seemed to cope with the hot conditions really well – the earlier mass race start at 8am was a sensible decision and the water stations out on the course were welcome by everyone.”
AMB Magazine editor Mike Blewitt on a tough lap at Stromlo.
AMB Magazine editor Mike Blewitt on a tough lap at Stromlo.
Rocky Trail’s race director Martin Wisata had also shortened the race circuit to 25km to decrease the race times across the many distance and age categories. “This was definitely a tough race also for our crew. All credit goes to the Stromlo Forest Park management and the ACT Emergency Services who provided us with professional support in the event lead up. We were in constant contact with the key people all weekend and were confident throughout the event to deliver a safe race.”
 Imogen Smith completing three laps and winning the Adventure Mates Team category with Mike Blewitt at the AMB100.
Imogen Smith completing three laps and winning the Adventure Mates Team category with Mike Blewitt at the AMB100.
Canberran clean sweep in top categories
Establishing a new event record, a third of the entire racing field had taken on the 3-lap distance and Jarrod Hughes from Jerrabomberra busted another all-ACT elite podium taking the win in 3:24:52 ahead of locals Lewis Cressy and Aaron Bashford, all three finishing within a minute of each other. With Milly Brent a local female racer claimed the women’s elite category ahead of Naomi Hanson from Brisbane and Lana Moy from Sydney.
Ed McDonald coped well with the severely hot conditions at Stromlo, completing five laps of the monster circuit the fastest.
Ed McDonald coped well with the severely hot conditions at Stromlo, completing five laps of the monster circuit the fastest.
For full race results, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com
Liz Smith defending her race victory from 2012 with an impressive gap of an hour to her closest female competitor in the five-lap elite category.
Liz Smith defending her race victory from 2012 with an impressive gap of an hour to her closest female competitor in the five-lap elite category.
Top category results AMB100 2014:
100M Male Elite – 5 laps:
1. Ed McDonald (Target Trek Racing) / Canberra ACT / 05:58:24
2. Callum McNamara (OnTheGo – Radical Lights) / Yarralumla ACT / 06:05:27
3. Sam Moffitt (Onyabike) / Gowrie ACT / 06:51:34
100M Female Elite:
1. Liz Smith (Bike Hub Warrawong) / Mt Ousley NSW / 08:01:14
2. Karen Foat (Onya bike canberra) / Canberra ACT / 08:59:03
3. Meredith Quinlan / Normanhurst NSW / 09:28:48
100M Male Elite SS: 
1. Brett Bellchambers (WTB, RaceFace, K-Lite, Clif Bars, Wayward Bikes) / Lyneham ACT / 06:39:27
2. David Speering (Onya Bike) / Casey ACT / 06:54:59
3. Scott Ryan 07:53:34
100K Male Elite – 3 laps:
1. Jarrod Hughes (ONYA-GIANT) /  Jerrabomberra NSW / 03:24:52
2. Lewis Cressy (ONYAbike/Giant) / 03:25:41
3. Aaron Bashford (Onya Bike, Giant, Lazer Helmets) / O’Connor ACT / 03:25:49
100K Female Elite: 
1. Milly Brent (Zero Five Custom Sportswear) / Dickson ACT / 04:22:20
2. Naomi Hansen (Subaru-MarathonMTB.com) / Brisbane QLD / 04:30:01
3. Lana Moy / Collaroy NSW / 04:34:51
The earlier mass race start at 8am brought some relief to the almost 300 competitors in the hot weather conditions at the AMB100 Marathon at Stromlo Forest Park.
The earlier mass race start at 8am brought some relief to the almost 300 competitors in the hot weather conditions at the AMB100 Marathon at Stromlo Forest Park.
Further category winners:
100K Male Master: Matthew Rizzuto (Tiffen and Co) / Wanniassa ACT / 03:44:48
100K Male Super Master: Garry James (Specialized and Batemans Bay Cycles / Hammer Nutrition) / Queanbeyan NSW / 03:50:29
100K Male Team 2: Ian Butler & Jason Moxham (MacDesign) / Mount Annan NSW / 05:42:07
100K Mixed Team 2:  Imogen Smith & Mike Blewitt (Subaru-MarathonMTB.com) / Hornsby NSW /  04:22:04
66K Male Elite: Ben Comfort / Pearce ACT / 02:19:35 – 2 laps
66K Female Elite: Leigh Nelson / Dunlop ACT / 03:14:48
66K Male Master: Bradley Morton (ONYAbike / GIANT / Bright Consulting) / Kaleen ACT / 02:12:24
66K Female Master: Cath Kelaher / Lyons ACT / 02:48:12
66K Male Super Master: Ian Prosser / Hacket ACT / 02:44:34
66K Male Junior: Griffin Layton-Scheld (OnyaBike Belconnen) / Page ACT / 02:34:31
33K Male Elite: Michal Burda (Quantum Racing) / Parramatta NSW / 01:23:03 – 1 lap
33K Female Elite: Kylie Webb (The Cyclery, RockTape, SRAM) / Hackett ACT / 01:22:23
33K Male Master: Matt McAuliffe / Canberra ACT / 01:08:59
33K Male Super Master: Warren Simmons / O’Connor ACT / 01:31:11
33K Male Junior: Noah Watson / Gymea Bay NSW / 01:40:28

 

Video: What's Enduro Mountain biking?

I feel like I woke up one day and everybody started calling this thing Mountain biking my friends and I have been enjoying for years “Enduro?” to try to make it sound cooler? I guess maybe?, so I got up with Enduro team Rudeboy from ColoRADo to poke fun at the whole over marking of the Whole thing and to remember have fun riding bikes and don’t get caught too much in the hype.

A big thanks to COMBA for making the trails we filmed on and Team Rudeboy for staring in the film. Kyle lofstedt, Cutis Cole, Reid Bokken and Adam Prosise.

Video: What’s Enduro Mountain biking?

I feel like I woke up one day and everybody started calling this thing Mountain biking my friends and I have been enjoying for years “Enduro?” to try to make it sound cooler? I guess maybe?, so I got up with Enduro team Rudeboy from ColoRADo to poke fun at the whole over marking of the Whole thing and to remember have fun riding bikes and don’t get caught too much in the hype.

A big thanks to COMBA for making the trails we filmed on and Team Rudeboy for staring in the film. Kyle lofstedt, Cutis Cole, Reid Bokken and Adam Prosise.

Fresh Product: Troy Lee Designs A1 Drone Helmet

After years of research and development, the Troy Lee Designs Team is proud to introduce their latest creation, the A1 helmet. Here at TLD, styling, graphics, fit, function and safety are key in everything we create.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 3.22.14 pm

This lightweight, fully encapsulated all-mountain helmet utilizes maximum coverage and dimension to keep you safe and protected in all riding conditions. Whether you’re charging single track, riding dirt jumps or grinding out miles on the XC bike, the A1 helmet offers the premium fit, protection and style you want.

With our new A1 helmet we at Troy Lee Designs are proud to introduce our resounding return into the aggressive all-mountain half shell category.

  • Single piece, ultra plush, removable and washable comfort liner made of anti-microbial moisture wicking material for a dry, comfortable feel.
  • The fully adjustable moto inspired visor comes with anodized aluminum hardware and will block the sun and protect you from branches.
  • The triple position adjustable retention system allows you to customize the fit of your helmet depending on your type of eyewear, head shape and riding style. If you wear goggles or glasses, this helmet can be adjusted to fit your needs and still keep you secure and protected.
  • Reinforced polycarbonate shell in-molded with the EPS liner extends down the sides and back of the head for maximum protection and durability.
  • 8 pressurized intake passages draw in cool air for maximum ventilation.
  • 8 rear vacuum vortex outlets help exhaust and draw heat from your head.

Video: Testing a 650B Downhill Bike with Bilt, and Brendan Moon.

After the mountain bike community was finally starting to simmer down about all the hype surrounding 29 inch wheels, what better way to keep the ‘hate’ flowing than by introducing a whole new wheel size again!

Brendan Moon 2014 | Bilt Bikes | from Patrick Neville | PN Films on Vimeo.

As people became more aware of the benefits of the 27.5 inch craze it caught on pretty rapidly and inspired some testing on the world cup downhill scene.  It didn’t take long for manufacturers to start prototyping frames and forks to accommodate this new wheel size.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 4.21.48 PM

I have been riding 26 inch bikes for as long as I can remember, until recently when I decided to cut a few laps on my dads new 29er trail bike. After initially feeling like I was riding a monster truck, the benefits became quite clear and without even riding a 27.5 inch wheel I knew it was something I definitely wanted to try on my downhill bike. Fortunately for me, the Bilt Eight I am currently riding and racing is designed to fit both 26 and 27.5 inch wheels, which makes a direct comparison very simple. After somehow convincing the boss (Bill Dengate, from Bilt Bikes) to give me a lend of his brand new 27.5 carbon wheelset, we were up and rolling in no time.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 4.03.08 PM

I kicked things off at some local trails, only making a few small adjustments to head angle and suspension settings to adapt to the big wheels. I also had to make slight adjustments to my body position on the bike and the way I approached obstacles. However, after a couple of hours I felt right at home on the new setup and was definitely enjoying what the big wheels had to offer.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 4.03.25 PM

I felt that the bike rolled noticeably faster and had more grip which allows for faster cornering and exit speeds. The wheels seemed to allow me to float over the top of holes and skim through rock sections that I was previously getting bogged down in using my 26 inch wheels. However, I did notice the big wheels were lacking in a few areas as the bike rides a bit higher off the ground and is not as maneuverable in the air.

In a nutshell, I found the positives of the 27.5 inch wheels definitely outweigh the negatives, but I don’t think it will suit all downhillers, offering greater benefits to taller riders with a flowy and smooth riding style. The bigger wheels I think would hinder riders with a more aggressive and loose style as the bike is less manoeuvrable. The only way to really know is to try it out yourself.

Racing: Brosnan and Booth shine in Nationals Round 2 Downhill at Mt Buller

Troy Brosnan (SA) and Sarah Booth (NSW) had wins in the Elite categories of Down Hill racing to wrap up the second round of the Subaru National Mountain Bike Series.

With an extreme weather warning in place for the final day, racing was run to a fast-paced schedule to ensure the event was completed prior to a predicted weather change that was likely to bring up to 100km/hr winds to the Mt Buller region.

 

Elite Men Podium (c) Russ Baker

Down Hill racing involves riders completing two runs of a technically demanding course – a timed seeding run followed by a race run to decide the winner

For the Elite Men, Connor Fearon (SA) has been the form rider of the season, winning the first round in Adelaide and setting the fastest time in seeding (3:18.56).

Local Dean Lucas has been a rising star over recent years, and had a great race run (3:20.58) to be the quickest rider late in racing and sit in the Subaru Hotseat. He would ultimately finish second, and said “It feels pretty good, I didn’t really expect to do this well, I’m really happy to be right up there with these guys (Brosnan and Fearon)”.

Today, like many others both nationally and internationally, would be Brosnan’s day. The former dual junior world champion was second-last down the mountain, and knew he’d had a great run (3:18.55) when he saw his time was in line with Fearon’s seeding time.

Brosnan then had the nervous wait at the finish watching the clock. Unfortunately it turned out a late-arriving Fearon had suffered a flat front tyre early in his run to take him out of the running, handing Brosnan the win.

Brosnan was disappointed for good friend and competitor Fearon but still a deserving victor. He said of his own race run “It was really dry and I just tried to push it and I had a decent run and got the win, so I’m pretty stoked”.

He now holds the Subaru Series leader’s jersey. Like many riders and spectators, he is looking forward to the battle with Fearon in Thredbo in two week’s time at the final round of the Subaru National Season. “We’ve got one more race to decide and fight it out”. Joshua Button (NSW) took third.

In the Elite Women’s race Carrie McLachlan, the New Zealand rider, set the early running with a fast time (4:30.35) that would see her finish third. Second-last down the hill was Michelle Crisp, and she set the time to beat (4:27.38) which was ultimately good enough for second place in a quality field.

Elite Women Podium (c) Russ Baker

Ultimately Sarah Booth, the experienced campaigner would take the win, coming down in a time 4.57 seconds faster than any other Elite rider (4:22.81).

Booth said “It’s awesome, I’ve been racing here for many years and to finally come away with number one – it’s been hard work but rewarding”. Booth holds the Subaru Series leader’s jersey with one round to go.

In the Under 19 men, Ben Hill (TAS) had a great run to finish almost a second clear of the field. Hill’s win was his first at the National Under 19 level “I’m excited to win my first national race, my run was pretty good, especially given it was hard with the wind off the start gate and the rocky sections”.

Aiden Varley (VIC) took second in the Under 19s and Max Warshawsky (QLD) finished third.

For the Under 19 women, Tegan Molloy (NSW) had an outstanding day setting a time (4:08.19) that would be the fastest of any female rider by over 14 seconds. Molloy who clearly has an outstanding future in the sport, said “I had a good run, a bit loose through the middle section but I got it together towards the bottom. It feels pretty good to win”. Ellie Wale (VIC) took second place.

The final round of the series is split across two venues from 21-23 February. Cross country racing will take place at Moama in NSW and DownHill action will be at Thredbo.

All information for riders and spectators can be found at http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/

Racing: Olympians Henderson and McConnell Whitewash Mt Buller Cross Country National Round

Dan McConnell (VIC) and Bec Henderson (ACT) won the Elite Cross Country races at Subaru National Season Round 2 at Mt Buller on the weekend, both backing up from wins in Friday’s Cross Country Eliminator.

Dna McConnel and Bec Henderson_IMG_2861 © Russ Baker

The Mt Buller venue is one of Australia’s very best, with massive trail networks designed to maximise challenge and equally importantly, provide enjoyment for riders.

In the Elite Men’s race, the hot favourites were always McConnell and Jared Graves (QLD). McConnell had a landmark year in 2013, winning the first World Cup round of 2013 in Germany, and racing well through the year to finish 2nd in the World Cup Series. This was the best result for an Australian since Cadel Evans in 1999.

Graves won the first round of the series in Adelaide. While better known as a living legend in the gravity side of the sport, the former World Four Cross champion and excellent down hill racer has been focusing on fitness as a key element to develop to ensure his results in Enduro continue.

Dan McConnell IMG_2833 © Russ Baker

Graves led from the start line climb, and held a 16 second lead at the end of lap 1. A race pattern developed for the first few laps, with Graves extending his lead each lap on the technical descents that are a feature of the first half of the Buller course. The chase group of McConnell, Michael Crosbie (VIC), Cameron Ivory (NSW) and Dylan Cooper (ACT) would then consistently contract the lead on the steep climbs of the latter half.

The unknown element at this stage was if Graves could maintain the pace on a course more suited to the specialist climbers, especially McConnell.

Elite Men Podium IMG_2916 © Russ Baker

Nearing the end of lap 4 of 7, McConnell made the widely predicted move in the single-track to take the lead, and then over a small road climb to the finish area he accelerated and established a 7 second lead. He would ride confidently to extend this lead over the remaining laps to give the dual Olympian his first win for 2014.

“It’s good to start the season with a win. My form seems to be coming along pretty good, so I’m happy with that” said McConnell. He reflected on the race pattern, “My start wasn’t so good, but in the middle part of the race I started riding better technically, I was able to get a good rhythm and build a good gap”.

Graves would ultimately finish second, and retain the Subaru National Season leaders jersey in the process, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. “I had a really good crash at the start of lap 2 and cartwheeled over the bars, but I walked away from that thankfully”.

Despite the cross country success, his goals are in the Enduro discipline internationally. “My training’s been going good, I’m looking forward to getting as fit as I can for the Enduro World Series, that’s what this (riding cross country) is all about for me”.

Third place overall was taken by Cameron Ivory (NSW), who also secured the win in the Under 23 category at the same time after some close racing with Michael Crosbie (VIC).

In the Elite Women’s race, Henderson was the clear favourite. Her 2013 was one of the best in history for an Australian Female rider, and saw her win the World Cup Series for the Under 23 females. Jenni King (VIC) and Tory Thomas (VIC) were always going to challenge, and the three girls rode together as a bunch for the first two laps.

On lap 3, Henderson decided to put the power down, and rode the fastest non-start lap of the day, 40s faster than Thomas and King. She would ride confidently from here to ultimately win by 1m43s.

“Today’s the first race of the season back for me. I was pretty nervous coming in to this one” said Henderson.

Bec_Henderson_Finishing_IMG_2812 © Russ Baker

She spoke of the key move. “The first two laps I played the tactics well and lap 3 was when I put the Hammer down”. She spoke of the rewards of building up a gap from the field “Sometimes out of sight is out of mind, I could settle into my own rhythm and go from there”.

Adelaide winning King would eventually finish in second place after a tough battle with Thomas who finished third, and King also retained her Subaru season leader jersey.

Elite Women Podium_IMG_2901 © Russ Baker

King said “It was quite a tactical race, quite a bit of cat & mouse. I was gaining a lot on the descents and Tory was climbing a bit better than me. I was surprised to pass her at the end. I’m stoked to retain the Series Leader Jersey”.

Emily Parkes (ACT) took the win in the Under 23 category.

For the second round of the season, the under 19 Category has been upgraded to have international ranking points. Local Mansfield rider Mitchell Greenway (VIC) set the early pace in the men’s race to open up a lead of a minute from Reece Tucknott (WA) and Liam Jeffries (VIC). Greenway rode on to extend the lead throughout the race to take a dominant Under 19s win.

Jeffries, riding in the under 19 category by choice is actually under 17 rider and made a move on the second to last lap up to second where he would finish, Tucknott rounded out the podium with third.

Greenway won by a massive margin of almost two minutes despite a crash, and said “It’s really good, pretty surprising to have won by such a gap and it’s really good to get the international points and hopefully go overseas. I’m stoked with it”.

In the Under 19 Women, Sara Mills (NSW) initially lead over Ellie Wale (VIC). A series of crashes and passes ensued from both riders as the lead swapped, and Wale ended up taking the win.

Like Greenway, Wale was happy to win a race that helps her race internationally. “It’s my goal to represent my country and do well in my sport, so I’m glad this race was a good one for me”.

All information for riders and spectators can be found at http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/

 

Video: 2014 Cairns UCI World-Cup DH Course preview with Mick Hannah

2014 Cairns UCI World-Cup DH Course preview with Mick Hannah from RideCairns on Vimeo.

RIDECairns takes you on a high speed run with World-Cup DH legend and Cairns local Mick Hannah down the newly re-built DH course for the upcoming 2014 Cairns UCI World-Cup in April. The course is truly unique where it also hosted the first world-cup round in the southern hemisphere back in 1994, then culminating with the infamous 1996 World-Championship Trials.

Set deep in the rainforst clad mountains, only 10 minutes drive form the Cairns International Rainforest. At the start line you are greeted with stunning views out towards the great barrier reef.
Be sure to follow RIDECairns for further action from this truly iconic rainforest MTB destination.

 

Video: Trail Ninja in Sierra Espuña, Spain

Riding any new area is full of surprises. Trail Ninja gives you the heads-up on the pain and rewards of new trail-riding spots.

In this episode pro photographer and adventure chimp Dan Milner escapes winter and heads to southern Spain to see what secrets can be discovered in the Sierra Espuña, a lesser-known mountain bike paradise only an hour inland from the Costa Blanca’s boozy nighclubs.

He finds tech trails and big climbs all bathed in warm sunshine. He also makes a few new friends along the way. Fast, loose riding and questionable sexual antics follow. Sierra Espuña: An MTB Promised Land Beside Sodom and Gomorrah | Trail Ninja, Ep. 10

Fresh Product: Shimano introduces compact multisport camera

Expanding the options for consumers to connect with Shimano for experiences in sports, the leading cycling, fishing and rowing product manufacturer today introduced the CM-1000 Sport Camera.

Continuing Shimano’s legacy of innovation and quality, the CM-1000 enters the compact sport camera category with a lightweight and compact high-definition video camera with advanced connectivity options. The CM-1000 marks the company’s first product introduction from its Lifestyle Gear Division targeting both fishing and cycling consumers, providing them opportunities to enjoy capturing their various sporting experiences as incredibly high quality photos and HD videos.

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Years of research and design went into Shimano’s CM-1000, ultimately creating a compact sport camera that excels in critical camera functions, appeals to consumers exploring terrestrial and aquatic sports, and also integrates with existing Shimano electronics in its fishing and cycling products. Key features and highlights of the CM-1000 include:

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Powerful, brilliant image-capturing camera – The lens and image sensor technologies in the CM-1000 combine to enable brilliant HD movies and high quality images in all conditions. Its F2.0 bright lens boasts incredible low-light performance while its 16MP back illuminated CMOS image sensor enables stunning 1080p HD video. The camera offers dual, standard angle 135° and super wide 180° modes, while a 90° increment auto image rotation allows users to flip the camera in multiple directions and maintain a horizontal image plane.

Light, compact form factor – At 86 grams including the battery and lens cover and with dimensions of 44x70x30mm, its pocket size, streamlined design is smaller than a standard deck of cards.

Exceptional waterproof rating – Out of the box and without the need for an external case, CM-1000 is waterproof up to 10 meters. This depth meets the IPX-8 Waterproof Standard – the best rating for electronics experiencing continuous underwater use.

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Advanced connectivity and intelligent integration – The CM-1000 utilizes WiFi connectivity and custom iOS and Android apps for mobile devices to allow live views, video playback, remote adjustments to camera settings and shot framing. Unique to the CM-1000, the device also uses ANT+ and ANT private wireless connections to transmit data from bicycle computers and accessories and the new Shimano D-Fly wireless Di2 transmitter to show performance cycling data in its captured videos.

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Using the CM-1000 is simple and worry-free, thanks to the unit’s design, waterproof capabilities, and connectivity and integration options with popular consumer electronics. The two-button design allows quick control or key functions while dual LED lights and audible cues identify settings. Its waterproof rating makes the CM-1000 a great option on the deck of a boat, for casual swimming, and enables it to be hosed off with other gear after a day’s adventure. The auto-image rotation function means that it will maintain a horizontal shot despite its physical rotation. Connectivity and integration options with mobile devices and cycle computers simplify setup and playback while the ANT/ANT+ data allows cyclists to monitor videos and use the performance data – including heart rate, gear indication and cadence for example – as a training tool to improve their riding.

Accessories, supporting software and availability 

The CM-1000 Sport Camera comes standard with the camera and lens cover, an adhesive mount and vented helmet mount, a USB cable and start up manual. The CM-1000 Sport Camera utilizes an iOS 6.0 and Android 4.2 app for use as a remote controller, angle monitor, a tool to change settings and video preview. Software for Windows 7 and Mac OS enables more comprehensive video editing, fish-eye view compensation, the display and integration of video and ANT+/ANT information to videos.

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Additional accessories for the CM-1000 include the following mounts that all offer tool-free installation and adjustment: CM-MT01 Handlebar mount; CM-MT02 Flexible mount; CM-MT03 Chest mount; and the CM-MT04 Cap mount.

 

Video: [R]EVOLUTION The Movie

The first documentary/movie about Downhill scene in Greece is out and its free to watch.

[R]EVOLUTION from Emmanouel Armoutakis on Vimeo.

The whole year I had the opportunity to be in all of the 7 races of the first DH open cup shooting and making clips with the main highlights. When the racing season was completed I decided to do some trips all over Greece to shoot extra riding scenes and gather some interviews from many athletes and from the race directors. With 2 trips on the mainland and days of editing I managed to make this Documentary/Film. We all gathered watch the film at the closing ceremony of the open cup where all the main athletes were rewarded for their performance.

Meteora.....a spectacular place

Harris in the center of Larissa

Packed up for the first trip

Just a sunrise timelapse

After a year full of races, gathering the footage wasn’t easy. Then I decided that something was missing. Interviews and extra shots filmed in every place where a race took place. I also include some extra places just to get an image of how downhill, as a sport, is standing amongst other activities in Greece.

Hope you enjoy!!!

Getting back from the last day of the second trip

n SUPERTRAIL in Ioannina

On my way to Thessaloniki on the frist trip

Loading the car in Thessaloniki

 

Video: Shredding New Trail at Skyline, Queenstown

The Queenstown Bike Park has got a brand new flow trail for 2014. Top New Zealand slopestyle rider Conor Macfarlane and Hutchinson UR team wrench Jamie Tilbury headed up to get their shred on in the fresh dirt.

Funded by Skyline Queenstown and built by the expert hands of Extra Mile Trail Building and Empire of Dirt.

Racing: Yeah Boi, Sick – Racing in memory of Dodzy

An event with an unusual name and a heart of gold will be one of the highlights of the 2nd Rotorua Bike Festival in New Zealand in February. Yeah Boi Sick Race will be a celebration of one of New Zealand’s top mountain bikers, James ‘Dodzy’ Dodds who died tragically in 2012.

James Dodds Whaka Forest
Dodzy.

He was a New Zealand representative in downhill and well known in international race circles, a trail and bike designer and builder and he also taught mountain bike skills.

The organizers of the race are Jo Price and Budgie Woods, close friends of Dodds. “The term yeah boi, sick is a complete Dodzyism,” Jo explained. “He used to say ‘sick’ a lot.”

Yeah Boi Sick is a short course sprint up the tar seal of Nursery Hill, the northern entry to the Whakarewarewa mountain bike network and then back down the steep, technical Exit Trail. While it’s a test of fitness and skill, it’s mainly about having fun. And there’s a serious spin: to raise as much money as possible for the James Dodds Memorial Fund.

Dodds’ long time partner, Gabby Molly, and the Rotorua-based Geyser Community Foundation created the fund in his name. To start with the income will be used to maintain a mountain bike skills park the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club is building in his memory.

The first Yeah Boi Sick Race was held the week before Christmas in 2012. It was a beautiful, warm summer’s evening in Rotorua with the giant Redwoods on Long Mile Road lit up by the late afternoon sun.

There was a wide range of riders and bikes – from big downhill bikes to lightweight cross-country bikes. Julian Dean borrowed a mountain bike and helmet and did a lap with his young son Tanner on his BMX.

Jono Church at Yeah Boi, Sick last year.
Jono Church at Yeah Boi, Sick last year.

Dean then signed one of his race shirts and donated it to the auction that followed the race. The big winner on the night was the Memorial Fund with over $9000 raised.

In 2014 the race moves into the Rotorua Bike Festival and will be run on the evening of Tuesday, February 18.

The National Mountain Bike Championships are on the first weekend of the festival. Most of the country’s top riders will stay in Rotorua to participate in other events through the week, including Yeah Boi Sick Race.

“Dodzy was a real legend of our sport and a lot of the younger riders looked up to him as a role model and a mate,” said Jo Price. “They’ll love to be able to be part of this.”

Gabby Molloy will be at the race and knows James would approve. “What is there to say? He’d freakin’ love it and I can guarantee he’ll be here with us, ripping it up, yelling and grinning, mixing it up as only Dodzy can,” she said.

The race is part of 10 days of cycling events from Friday February 14 to Sunday February 23. With around 30 events the Festival covers all cycling disciplines with road, BMX and mountain bike races.

Super heroes YBS1 © Nick Lambert copy
Super heroes at YBS 1.

“The idea is to have something for everyone, no matter their age, gender or skill level,” said Graeme Simpson from the Bike Festival team. “We want to get people on their bikes and enjoy some riding in the summer sun.” For Simpson an event like Yeah Boi Sick sums up the spirit of the festival.

“Anyone can enter, it’s light hearted and a chance for people to dress up and have a laugh and it’s only ten bucks to enter,” he added. “But it’ll also have a competitive edge as well, believe me. And all the money from entries and another auction will go to a great cause.”

Overall rider numbers are already well up on the first Festival. “Two mountain bike events – the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro and Skyline Sprint Warrior – sold out with over a month to go,” said Simpson. Rotorua is a well known mountain bike venue, hosting the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships and 2010 Singlespeed Worlds.

However, entries for the feature road events, Ibis Bike the Lake and the Telecom Inner City Street Criterium, are also well ahead of expectations. “At this time last year it was a bit hard to judge how the first Festival would go and it ended up being a real success,” continued Simpson. “This year we are sure it’ll be bigger, better and brighter and a really solid platform for the future.”

The full festival programme is at www.rotoruabikefestival.com and there are daily updates on the facebook page, facebook.com/RotoruaBikeFestival

 

Video: Chris Kovarik shreds Mt Tamborine

TrailScapes recently finished a new gravity trail in the Mt Tamborine Conservation Park. Working in conjunction with the City of Gold Coast, IMBA and the Gold Coast MTB Club, the new trail provides a wide range of riders almost 15 minutes of fast, flowing trail with raw technical elements. TrailScapes invited Chris Kovarik out to session the new trail and this is the result

TrailScapes Mt Tamborine x Chris Kovarik from Holmes2020 on Vimeo.