Style Check: World Cup Women’s XCO

It’s always interesting to watch different riders tackle the same section of trail. Line choice and riding style are well analysed in the world of downhill, but rarely in XCO, even less so in Women’s XCO. Flow set up shop trackside at the Cairns World Cup during the Elite Women’s XCO to capture the different lines and styles of some of the world’s leading women over this tricky off camber rock roller/hip jump.

Cairns2014 XC Style Check 9
Jolanda Neff. 9th place.
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Tanja Zakelj. 5th place.
Cairns2014 XC Style Check 3
Bec Henderson. 10th place.
Cairns2014 XC Style Check 4
Julie Bresset. DNF.
Cairns2014 XC Style Check 7
Sabine Spitz. 4th place.
Cairns2014 XC Style Check 11
Emily Batty. 2nd place.
Cairns2014 XC Style Check 8
Eva Lechner. 1st place.
Cairns2014 XC Style Check 10
Mio Suemasa. 26th place, but totally killing every descent.

Cairns 2014: XCO Finals

Tropical North Queensland, where everything can kill you, and will probably try… including Mother Nature. After covering the rocks in mud for yesterday’s downhill, the sun came out in backpacker-blistering force today, right in time to cook the world’s best cross country racers. On went the ice vests and out went the mud on a rapidly drying track.

It was another unreal day for Australian racers, with top tens in both the Elites and Under 23s. Buoyed by the screaming hordes gathered around the course’s pointiest bits, Bec Henderson and Dan McConnel absolutely flogged themselves and grabbed two huge results. In her first year in Elites, Bec Henderson had set herself the goal of a top ten this season – she got it on the very first round of the series, admitting she’d pushed far harder than planned with the crowd driving her on. McConnell, after finishing the World Cup season second last year, got things started on the right foot. He rode a flawless race to fourth. This is a man looks very comfortable at the fast end of a World Cup. He’s tasted victory and wants more.

You can view the full results here (Elite men’s and women’s, plus Under 23s guys and gals). Now feast your head windows on our gallery below!

Under 23 Cam Ivory grinds up the last few pinches of the XCO climb.
Cam Ivory was today’s best placed U23 Aussie, with an 8th. He grinds up the last few pinches of the XCO climb.
Cairns2014 XC Finals 83
Belgian Jeff Luyten digs deep.
The upper rock garden was causing fewer problems than when it was wet, but this section of crash netting still caught more than a few riders today.
The upper rock garden was causing fewer problems than when it was wet, but this section of crash netting still caught more than a few riders today.
Appreciate this photo. It is very hard to focus on a moving tree cutter ant.
Appreciate this photo. It is very hard to focus on a moving leaf cutter ant.
Cairns2014 XC Finals 79
Under 23 Ethan Kelly just cracked into the top twenty.
Yep. It's seriously, seriously steep dropping into the Jacob's Ladder A-line.
Yep. It’s seriously, seriously steep dropping into the Jacob’s Ladder A-line.
Trek Factory Racing's Emily Batty rode into second today. She was clearly ecstatic with the result. Lap one climb.
Trek Factory Racing’s Emily Batty rode into second today. She was clearly ecstatic with the result. Lap one climb.
Gritting teeth and getting it done. Bec Henderson rode out of her skin for a top ten in her first Elite World Cup.
Gritting teeth and getting it done. Bec Henderson rode out of her skin for a top ten in her first Elite World Cup.
Tree monkeytographer.
Monkeytographer.
The entrance into the Rodeo Drop was far less troublesome in the dry.
The entrance into the Rodeo Drop was far less troublesome in the dry. A wide-eyed Elisabeth Osl.
Emily Batty drops into the Rodeo Drop on the bell lap.
Emily Batty hucks into the Rodeo Drop on the bell lap.

Cairns2014 XC Finals 6

Jolanda Neff.
Jolanda Neff.
Bresset.
Julie Bresset, before things turned sour.
World Champ Julie Bresset had a day to forget. This massive tumble on Jacbos Ladder ended her day.
World Champ Julie Bresset had a day to forget. This massive tumble on Jacbos Ladder ended her day.
Cairns2014 XC Finals 7
Kiwi Katie O’Neill. 25th today.
Eva Lechner. The tiny Italian skims her way down the rocks.
Eva Lechner. The tiny Italian skims her way down the rocks.
Cairns2014 XC Finals 68
Eva Lechner throws her hands in the air. She just don’t care. Cos she won a World Cup.
Hugs for a champion. Eva Lechner, your Cairns World Cup Women's XCO winner.
Hugs for a champion. Eva Lechner, your Cairns World Cup Women’s XCO winner.
And a smooch for Irina Kalentieva. Fifth for the experienced Russian.
And a smooch for Irina Kalentieva. Fifth for the experienced Russian.
Dan McConnell gets warmed up. Well, more warmed up - it was a toasty day.
Dan McConnell gets warmed up. Well, more warmed up – it was a toasty day.

Cairns2014 XC Finals 12

Who recognises this man. That's right, it's Miguel Martinez, back once again after 18 years. He last raced Cairns at the World Champs in 1996.
Who recognises this man? That’s right, it’s Miguel Martinez, Sydney Olympic Gold Medallist, back once again after 18 years. He last raced Cairns at the World Champs in 1996.
Kulhavy. Itching to get going.
Kulhavy. Itching to get going.
Cairns2014 XC Finals 58
Start line nerves.
D-Mac, lap one.
D-Mac. Fourth!
The lower half of the descent looked so good we wanted to nab a bike and give it a run. Loads of doubles, rollers and berms.
The lower half of the descent looked so good we wanted to nab a bike and give it a run. Loads of doubles, rollers and berms.
The vibe at Jacobs Ladder was unreal!
The vibe at Jacobs Ladder was unreal! Thomas Litshcer.
Absalon got a rear flat on his second lap and Flückiger (taking the A-line) pounced.
Absalon got a front flat on his second lap and Flückiger (taking the A-line) pounced.
Absalon. Even with a flat tyre, the man is just about unstoppable. He powered back to the front and opened up an unassailable lead.
Absalon. Even with a flat tyre, the man is just about unstoppable. He powered back to the front and opened up an unassailable lead.
Andy Blair had a good day today, cracking into the top 30 with 28th. He looked on form - awesome to see him back in Cairns.
Andy Blair had a good day today, cracking into the top 30 with 28th. He looked on form – awesome to see him back in Cairns.
Flückiger. Style for miles.
Flückiger. Style for miles.
Fontana. Our favourite baggy-wearing Italian.
Fontana. Our favourite baggy-wearing Italian.

Cairns2014 XC Finals 52

McConnell.
McConnell.
The larger than life Paul Van Der Ploeg bombs down Crocslide. That's a lot of Victorian to decelerate.
The larger than life Paul Van Der Ploeg bombs down Crocslide. That’s a lot of Victorian to decelerate.
Martinez. Still killing it.
Martinez. Still killing it.
Julien does it once again. World Cup win 28. It's almost hard to believe.
Julien does it once again. World Cup win 28. It’s almost hard to believe.
Kulhavy didn't have his best day out. 10th for the big praying mantis.
Kulhavy didn’t have his best day out. 10th for the big praying mantis. He make a 29er look like a 26″.
D-Mac, D-Mac, D-Mac! After high five-ing the whole finish straight, Dan McConnell takes a fourth.
D-Mac, D-Mac, D-Mac! After high five-ing the whole finish straight, Dan McConnell takes a fourth.

Cairns2014 XC Finals 17

Blairy.
Blairy.
Ooo, lovers! XCM Champ Jenny Fay sneaks a finish line pash.
Ooo, lovers! XCM Champ Jenny Fay sneaks a finish line pash.
Cairns2014 XC Finals 11
Absalon. Job done. What’s next?
Wooo! Party!
Wooo! Party!

Cairns 2014: Damian's Saturday selection

Saturday was all about downhill and while the weather improved it still proved to be a telling factor in the results. The rain stayed away and it made life a little easier for the riders, and photographers. Damian Breach pick 40 or so of his favourite shots from the day.

Enjoy.

After the on-off, and sometimes heavy rain of the past few days, it was great to wake up to some rays of sunshine. Despite a few dark clouds the day remained dry.
After the on-off, and sometimes heavy rain of the past few days, it was great to wake up to some rays of sunshine. Despite a few dark clouds, the day remained dry.
But the track was still a mess in places and the whole day turned into a struggle in sections.
But the track was still a mess in places and the whole day turned into a struggle to ride in sections.
Today's winner Rachel Atherton spent an eternity in the morning practice session studying the rock garden. It paid off for her.
Today’s winner Rachel Atherton spent an eternity in the morning practice session studying the rock garden. It paid off for her.
This is probably not the thing you would wan't to doing in the middle of a rock garden.
This is probably not the thing you would wan’t to be doing in the middle of a rock garden.
The work it has taken to build a world class downhill track in the thick rain forest cannot go without recognition. Thanks to legend Glen Jacobs and his amazing crew we saw World Cup racing return to Australia.
The work it has taken to build a world class downhill track in the thick rain forest cannot go without recognition. Thanks to legend Glen Jacobs and his amazing crew we saw World Cup racing return to Australia.
The fans were up early and slogged the super hard walk up the hill to get into place and support their favourite riders with noise. The noise come finals was incredible - too bad photos can't make sounds to share the ear carnage.
The fans were up early and slogged the super hard walk up the hill to get into place and support their favourite riders with noise. The noise come finals was incredible – too bad photos can’t make sounds to share the ear carnage.
Your world is a spin in the middle of a crash.
Your world is a spin in the middle of a crash.
The alien tree section was an absolute sloppy mess and only a few were able to ride it without looking like a learner. Michael Jones from the UK made it looks easy though.
The alien tree section was an absolute sloppy mess and only a few were able to ride it without looking like a learner. Michael Jones from the UK made it looks easy though.
The entry to the speed trap was a little drier today and that made life much better for the steep climb immediately following.
The entry to the speed trap was a little drier today and that made life much better for the steep climb immediately following.
The 5th member of the Beatles, Josh Bryceland, has been showing super form this season and we're picking him to win round 3 at Fort William.
The 5th member of the Beatles, Josh Bryceland, has been showing super form this season and we’re picking him to win round 3 at Fort William.
Connor Fearon unfortunately wasn't able to backup his top 10 qualifying run and finished well off the pace.
Connor Fearon unfortunately wasn’t able to backup his top 10 qualifying run and finished off the pace.
Standard rider-in-the-reflection-of-sunglasses shot.
Standard rider-in-the-reflection-of-sunglasses shot.
This little dog just wanted to watch the action but was carted off to a safer place.
This little dog just wanted to watch the action but was carted off to a safer place.
Australian for hydration pack.
Australian for hydration pack.
The crowd was huge, almost as huge as this boost.
The crowd was huge, almost as huge as this boost.
Yep, we can confirm, there are snakes in the rain forest.
Yep, we can confirm, there are snakes in the rain forest.
Some people just want the worst to happen. We however would never want anyone to land on their dick.  That would hurt.
Some people just want the worst to happen. We however would never want anyone to land on their dick. That would hurt.
We could probably think of other ways to help your fellow country person than wave a flag in their face just after they'd crashed. The conditions in some parts of the track were still crazy hard to stay on your bike.
We could probably think of other ways to help your fellow country person than wave a flag in their face just after a crashed. The conditions in some parts of the track were still crazy hard to stay on your bike.
We owe this to USA rider Jill Kintner for singling her out for crashing yesterday.
We owe this to USA rider Jill Kintner for singling her out for crashing yesterday.
Tracey Hannah wasn't able to use her local knowledge for any advantage but still managed a place on the podium in 5th spot.
Tracey Hannah wasn’t able to use her local knowledge for any advantage but still managed a place on the podium in 5th spot.
Aussie Lucas Dean had a tough time and his 51st place was not what he was hoping for. The conditions were just so though and results we're all over the place. It was a hard race to predict.
Aussie Lucas Dean had a tough time and his 51st place was not what he was hoping for. The conditions were just so though and results were all over the place. It was a hard race to predict.
A whole lot of green....... and a little bit of blue.
A whole lot of green……. and a little bit of blue.
There was still one big mud puddle left and it's probably going to be there next week too.
There was still one big mud puddle left and it’s probably going to be there next week too.
The last bit of steep on the hill (leading into Ronning's ramp) was all about body language and trying to hold your line. Glen Jacobs and his trail crew imagined some pretty crazy lines when they designed this part of the course however the rain held anyone off from going big. Maybe next time.
The last bit of steep on the hill (leading into Ronning’s ramp) was all about body language and trying to hold your line. Glen Jacobs and his trail crew imagined some pretty crazy lines when they designed this part of the course however the rain held anyone off from going big. Maybe next time.
Florent Payet of France get's ready for the pedal of his life.
Florent Payet of France get’s ready for the pedal of his life.
This photo isn't about the rider, it's about those two young kids who are probably now hooked on downhill. Yay we say.
This photo isn’t about the rider, it’s about those two young kids who are probably now hooked on downhill. Yay we say.
It just hurts.
It just hurts.
Steve Peat of the UK got a red flag on his run and had to go back up the hill for a 2nd try. Steve shows us just how excited he was to do that all again.
Steve Peat of the UK got a red flag on his run and had to go back up the hill for a 2nd try. Steve shows us just how excited he was to do that all again.
This is how much Australian Will Rishbeith missed out on qualifying by. Will was there watching and as always, with a smile on his face.
This is how much Australian Will Rischbieth missed out on qualifying by. Will was there watching and as always, with a smile on his face.
Sam Hill returned to the podium with 5th place. Everyone loves Sam and the fans were going crazy for him. This bloke probably wont wash that hand for a while.
Sam Hill returned to the podium with 5th place. Everyone loves Sam and the fans were going crazy for him. This bloke probably won’t wash that hand for a while.
This photos shows Mick Hannah's day. A crash and now he'll have to wait until 2016 to reach his dream of winning in his home town.
This photos shows Mick Hannah’s day. A crash, and now he’ll have to wait until 2016 to reach his dream of winning in his home town.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie..... Troy Brosnan flys the flag on his left arm and the fans fly the flag for him.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie….. Troy Brosnan flies the flag on his left arm and the fans fly the flag for him.
The warm glow of Steve. The fans love him and Flow does too.
The warm glow of Steve. The fans love him, and Flow does too.
Gee Atherton crossed the line with the win and a return to the top spot after over a year off the winners prize.
Gee Atherton crossed the line with the win and a return to the top spot after over a year off the winners prize.
Who the f#$k would wear onesie in Cairns. His balls must have been very moist.
Who the f#$k would wear onesie in Cairns. His unicorn balls must have been very moist.
Gee wins and Cairns wins for holding a great race.
Gee wins and Cairns wins for holding a great race.
This is the face of a genuinely happy person. Neko landed on the podium for the first time and his 3rd place was written all over his smiling face.
This is the face of a genuinely happy person. Neko landed on the podium for the first time and his 3rd place was written all over his smiling face.
Aiden Varley come in 2nd in Juniors and being in on the podium on home soil to be inspiration for the rest of the season.
Aiden Varley come in 2nd in Juniors and being in on the podium on home soil to be inspiration for the rest of the season.
Rachel Atherton enjoys something that's way better than Red Bull.
Rachel Atherton enjoys something that’s way better than Red Bull.
This shoes are not his. Gee ran flats and "borrowed" them off a local. We hope he returned them with something extra in them to say thanks.
This shoes are not his. Gee ran flats and “borrowed” them off a local. We hope he returned them with something extra in them to say thanks.
It did rain today, it rained champagne on the podium. (Thanks to Gary Perkin for the inspiration)
It did rain today, it rained champagne on the podium. (Thanks to Gary Perkin for the inspiration)

 

Cairns 2014: Damian’s Saturday selection

Saturday was all about downhill and while the weather improved it still proved to be a telling factor in the results. The rain stayed away and it made life a little easier for the riders, and photographers. Damian Breach pick 40 or so of his favourite shots from the day.

Enjoy.

After the on-off, and sometimes heavy rain of the past few days, it was great to wake up to some rays of sunshine. Despite a few dark clouds the day remained dry.
After the on-off, and sometimes heavy rain of the past few days, it was great to wake up to some rays of sunshine. Despite a few dark clouds, the day remained dry.
But the track was still a mess in places and the whole day turned into a struggle in sections.
But the track was still a mess in places and the whole day turned into a struggle to ride in sections.
Today's winner Rachel Atherton spent an eternity in the morning practice session studying the rock garden. It paid off for her.
Today’s winner Rachel Atherton spent an eternity in the morning practice session studying the rock garden. It paid off for her.
This is probably not the thing you would wan't to doing in the middle of a rock garden.
This is probably not the thing you would wan’t to be doing in the middle of a rock garden.
The work it has taken to build a world class downhill track in the thick rain forest cannot go without recognition. Thanks to legend Glen Jacobs and his amazing crew we saw World Cup racing return to Australia.
The work it has taken to build a world class downhill track in the thick rain forest cannot go without recognition. Thanks to legend Glen Jacobs and his amazing crew we saw World Cup racing return to Australia.
The fans were up early and slogged the super hard walk up the hill to get into place and support their favourite riders with noise. The noise come finals was incredible - too bad photos can't make sounds to share the ear carnage.
The fans were up early and slogged the super hard walk up the hill to get into place and support their favourite riders with noise. The noise come finals was incredible – too bad photos can’t make sounds to share the ear carnage.
Your world is a spin in the middle of a crash.
Your world is a spin in the middle of a crash.
The alien tree section was an absolute sloppy mess and only a few were able to ride it without looking like a learner. Michael Jones from the UK made it looks easy though.
The alien tree section was an absolute sloppy mess and only a few were able to ride it without looking like a learner. Michael Jones from the UK made it looks easy though.
The entry to the speed trap was a little drier today and that made life much better for the steep climb immediately following.
The entry to the speed trap was a little drier today and that made life much better for the steep climb immediately following.
The 5th member of the Beatles, Josh Bryceland, has been showing super form this season and we're picking him to win round 3 at Fort William.
The 5th member of the Beatles, Josh Bryceland, has been showing super form this season and we’re picking him to win round 3 at Fort William.
Connor Fearon unfortunately wasn't able to backup his top 10 qualifying run and finished well off the pace.
Connor Fearon unfortunately wasn’t able to backup his top 10 qualifying run and finished off the pace.
Standard rider-in-the-reflection-of-sunglasses shot.
Standard rider-in-the-reflection-of-sunglasses shot.
This little dog just wanted to watch the action but was carted off to a safer place.
This little dog just wanted to watch the action but was carted off to a safer place.
Australian for hydration pack.
Australian for hydration pack.
The crowd was huge, almost as huge as this boost.
The crowd was huge, almost as huge as this boost.
Yep, we can confirm, there are snakes in the rain forest.
Yep, we can confirm, there are snakes in the rain forest.
Some people just want the worst to happen. We however would never want anyone to land on their dick.  That would hurt.
Some people just want the worst to happen. We however would never want anyone to land on their dick. That would hurt.
We could probably think of other ways to help your fellow country person than wave a flag in their face just after they'd crashed. The conditions in some parts of the track were still crazy hard to stay on your bike.
We could probably think of other ways to help your fellow country person than wave a flag in their face just after a crashed. The conditions in some parts of the track were still crazy hard to stay on your bike.
We owe this to USA rider Jill Kintner for singling her out for crashing yesterday.
We owe this to USA rider Jill Kintner for singling her out for crashing yesterday.
Tracey Hannah wasn't able to use her local knowledge for any advantage but still managed a place on the podium in 5th spot.
Tracey Hannah wasn’t able to use her local knowledge for any advantage but still managed a place on the podium in 5th spot.
Aussie Lucas Dean had a tough time and his 51st place was not what he was hoping for. The conditions were just so though and results we're all over the place. It was a hard race to predict.
Aussie Lucas Dean had a tough time and his 51st place was not what he was hoping for. The conditions were just so though and results were all over the place. It was a hard race to predict.
A whole lot of green....... and a little bit of blue.
A whole lot of green……. and a little bit of blue.
There was still one big mud puddle left and it's probably going to be there next week too.
There was still one big mud puddle left and it’s probably going to be there next week too.
The last bit of steep on the hill (leading into Ronning's ramp) was all about body language and trying to hold your line. Glen Jacobs and his trail crew imagined some pretty crazy lines when they designed this part of the course however the rain held anyone off from going big. Maybe next time.
The last bit of steep on the hill (leading into Ronning’s ramp) was all about body language and trying to hold your line. Glen Jacobs and his trail crew imagined some pretty crazy lines when they designed this part of the course however the rain held anyone off from going big. Maybe next time.
Florent Payet of France get's ready for the pedal of his life.
Florent Payet of France get’s ready for the pedal of his life.
This photo isn't about the rider, it's about those two young kids who are probably now hooked on downhill. Yay we say.
This photo isn’t about the rider, it’s about those two young kids who are probably now hooked on downhill. Yay we say.
It just hurts.
It just hurts.
Steve Peat of the UK got a red flag on his run and had to go back up the hill for a 2nd try. Steve shows us just how excited he was to do that all again.
Steve Peat of the UK got a red flag on his run and had to go back up the hill for a 2nd try. Steve shows us just how excited he was to do that all again.
This is how much Australian Will Rishbeith missed out on qualifying by. Will was there watching and as always, with a smile on his face.
This is how much Australian Will Rischbieth missed out on qualifying by. Will was there watching and as always, with a smile on his face.
Sam Hill returned to the podium with 5th place. Everyone loves Sam and the fans were going crazy for him. This bloke probably wont wash that hand for a while.
Sam Hill returned to the podium with 5th place. Everyone loves Sam and the fans were going crazy for him. This bloke probably won’t wash that hand for a while.
This photos shows Mick Hannah's day. A crash and now he'll have to wait until 2016 to reach his dream of winning in his home town.
This photos shows Mick Hannah’s day. A crash, and now he’ll have to wait until 2016 to reach his dream of winning in his home town.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie..... Troy Brosnan flys the flag on his left arm and the fans fly the flag for him.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie….. Troy Brosnan flies the flag on his left arm and the fans fly the flag for him.
The warm glow of Steve. The fans love him and Flow does too.
The warm glow of Steve. The fans love him, and Flow does too.
Gee Atherton crossed the line with the win and a return to the top spot after over a year off the winners prize.
Gee Atherton crossed the line with the win and a return to the top spot after over a year off the winners prize.
Who the f#$k would wear onesie in Cairns. His balls must have been very moist.
Who the f#$k would wear onesie in Cairns. His unicorn balls must have been very moist.
Gee wins and Cairns wins for holding a great race.
Gee wins and Cairns wins for holding a great race.
This is the face of a genuinely happy person. Neko landed on the podium for the first time and his 3rd place was written all over his smiling face.
This is the face of a genuinely happy person. Neko landed on the podium for the first time and his 3rd place was written all over his smiling face.
Aiden Varley come in 2nd in Juniors and being in on the podium on home soil to be inspiration for the rest of the season.
Aiden Varley come in 2nd in Juniors and being in on the podium on home soil to be inspiration for the rest of the season.
Rachel Atherton enjoys something that's way better than Red Bull.
Rachel Atherton enjoys something that’s way better than Red Bull.
This shoes are not his. Gee ran flats and "borrowed" them off a local. We hope he returned them with something extra in them to say thanks.
This shoes are not his. Gee ran flats and “borrowed” them off a local. We hope he returned them with something extra in them to say thanks.
It did rain today, it rained champagne on the podium. (Thanks to Gary Perkin for the inspiration)
It did rain today, it rained champagne on the podium. (Thanks to Gary Perkin for the inspiration)

 

When spectating goes bad

[embedvideo id=”e7YzA0B2-7M” website=”youtube”]

This seriously regrettable incident happened today at the World Cup. After Adam Brayton crashed out of the race, a spectator grabbed his bike and rode into the course, with no helmet. The last we heard was he’s still in hospital with spinal damage. Everything about this sucks.

On a brighter note, here is our gallery of photos and insights from an otherwise incredible day of racing. 

Cairns 2014: Downhill Finals

Cairns 2014: Downhill Finals

There was a nice symmetry to the downhill finals at the Cairns World Cup today; Gee and Rachel Atherton absolutely demolished the competition (Gee by four seconds, Rachel by over 11), with Aussies squeezing onto podium in fifth place in both men’s and women’s. You can view the full results here.

While we didn’t get the dream outcome of Hannah hometown hero, the extremely vocal crowds that lined the course got a big serve of the drama of World Cup racing today. Our full gallery is below; soak it in, and read the captions to get all the detail of what went down under (…finally) sunny skies in Cairns.

Cairns2014 DH Finals 3
Rachel Atherton is on another level. Count to eleven. It takes a long time. Here she sticks the high line without a dab, while the other women were battling for grip.
Myriam Nicole. Rad as always, in third.
Myriam Nicole. Rad as always, in third.
Tracey Hannah finds a rut in the gloopy lower portion of course. Keeping the wheels rolling here was everything, as getting back up to speed was next to impossible.
Tracey Hannah finds a rut in the gloopy lower portion of course. Keeping the wheels rolling here was everything, as getting back up to speed was next to impossible.
Today was not the first time the Athertons have done the double. Rachel threw down the challenge to Gee, and he stepped up resoundingly.
Today was not the first time the Athertons have done the double. Rachel threw down the challenge to Gee, and he stepped up resoundingly.
While the top two thirds of the course dried out quickly today (excluding the infamous Alien Tree), the flatter, lower parts turned into a soup. It was brutal to watch riders panting their way through it all. We even saw Danni Beecroft running her bike at one stage!
While the top two thirds of the course dried out quickly today (excluding the infamous Alien Tree), the flatter, lower parts turned into a soup. It was brutal to watch riders panting their way through it all. We even saw Danni Beecroft running her bike at one stage!
Danni Beecroft valiantly drops in to the chute above Ronning's Ramp - it was like riding on ice.
Danni Beecroft valiantly drops in to the chute above Ronning’s Ramp – it was like riding on ice.

Cairns2014 DH Finals 13

Chris Kovarik. Always looking hungry.
Chris Kovarik. Always looking hungry.
How deep is your rut? these bike swallowing holes had detailers, pedals and feet gouges out from them.
How deep is your rut? These bike swallowing holes had derailleurs, pedals and feet gouges out from them.
Brook The Bulldog McDonald. No feet, but no brakes either.
Brook The Bulldog McDonald. No feet, but no brakes either. He rode the next corner with his feet off, but he didn’t slow down one bit.
There was plenty of this action going on today.
There was plenty of this action going on today.
Jack Moir kept the hot seat warm for a long while today.
Jack Moir kept the hot seat warm for a long while today.
Bogan-zela.
Bogan-zela.
Steve Peat got lucky today. His run started out badly, but a spectator accident down the course saw the red cards come out and Peaty got a re-run and a seventh place.
Steve Peat got lucky today. His run started out badly, but a spectator accident down the course saw the red cards come out and Peaty got a re-run and a seventh place.
Mrs Hannah. Finish line nerves for her boy, up on course.
Mrs Hannah. Finish line nerves for her boy, up on course.
Mick Hannah sails in towards the whoops. By this stage his hopes of a win were dashed, after crashing out at the Alien Tree.
Mick Hannah sails in towards the whoops. By this stage his hopes of a win were dashed, after crashing out at the Alien Tree.

Cairns2014 DH Finals 33

 

Sam Hill sent the crowd mental when he grabbed the hot seat. Unfortunately it didn't last and he was bumped down to fifth place ultimately.
Sam Hill sent the crowd mental when he grabbed the hot seat. Unfortunately it didn’t last and he was bumped down to fifth place ultimately.
Cairns2014 DH Finals 32
Crowd. Mental. Goes.
Brendan Fairclough does some of his best riding in the air. Casual as you like over the big triple.
Brendan Fairclough does some of his best riding in the air. Casual as you like over the big triple.
Connor Fearon set a blistering top ten qualifying time, and was the second last Aussie down the hill. He finished up in 38th, but won a lot of respect.
Connor Fearon set a blistering top ten qualifying time, and was the second last Aussie down the hill. He finished up in 38th, but won a lot of respect.
Ed Masters. What a freaking legend. After qualifying in fourth, we were left wondering if we might witness a huge upset. We didn't, but the man's a hero all the same.
Ed Masters. What a freaking legend. After qualifying in fourth, we were left wondering if we might witness a huge upset. We didn’t, but the man’s a hero all the same.
Ed The Viking Masters. Lightning goes faster.
Ed The Viking Masters. Lightning goes faster.
Cairns2014 DH Finals (2)
Josh Bryceland rode out of his skin today for second place. Usually a showman, the crowd at the triple jump was pumped for a big whip, but when Rat Boy came through he was in full business mode. Fast, low and long.
Greg Minnaar didn't have a good day out. Crashing through the course tape, he was disqualified for entering the course at a different point from which he left it.
Greg Minnaar didn’t have a good day out. Crashing through the course tape, he was disqualified for entering the course at a different point from which he left it.
Always grinning, even when he's being bumped off the podium - Steve Peat.
Always grinning, even when he’s being bumped off the podium – Steve Peat.
This is the incident that caused the red flags. After Adam Brayton ended up in an ambulance, a member of the crowd (helmetless) jumped on his bike and promptly completely smashed themselves in the whoops. It was a horrible incident - apparently the person involved is now in hospital with spinal injuries. Think twice, people. Think twice.
This is the incident that caused the red flags. After Adam Brayton ended up in an ambulance, a member of the crowd (helmetless) jumped on his bike and promptly completely smashed themselves in the whoops. It was a horrible incident – apparently the person involved is now in hospital with spinal injuries. Think twice, people. Think twice.
Marcelo Gutierrez, the King of Columbia, is the urban DH guru. He put his skills riding stairs and dodging dogs to good use in the jungle today and held the hot seat for a long time.
Marcelo Gutierrez, the King of Columbia, is the urban DH guru. He put his skills riding stairs and dodging dogs to good use in the jungle today and held the hot seat for a long time.
The last Aussie down the hill, Troy Brosnan rode the ragged edge. Ninth place, ten seconds back.
The last Aussie down the hill, Troy Brosnan rode the ragged edge. Ninth place, ten seconds back.
With the mud taking the consistency of peanut butter, it was an intensely physical track. Brosnan puts his lungs back in.
With the mud taking the consistency of peanut butter, it was an intensely physical track. Brosnan puts his lungs back in.
17th place for Loic Bruni today. This mad Frenchman loves to roll the dice.
17th place for Loic Bruni today. This mad Frenchman loves to roll the dice.
Pringle for Trek's Williamson.
Pringle for Trek’s Williamson.
Cairns2014 DH Finals 49
Neko The Man Child Mulally was the fastest through the rocks and came oh-so close today. Even with a crash, he was good for third place. A win is very close by for this young American.
Cairns2014 DH Finals 63
Last man down. Kiwi Sam Blenkinsop knew he could do it today. The fastest qualifier just couldn’t string it together though, and ended up one step off the podium in sixth.
Brit Sam Dale slots it through the rocks.
Brit Sam Dale slots it through the rocks.
Aaron Gwin gets on the gas and powers to fourth.
Aaron Gwin gets on the gas and powers to fourth.
Riding in a set of borrowed shoes (seriously - he borrowed them from a trackside local after swapping to flats!), Gee Atherton exudes confidence right now. He'll be hard to beat on his home turf at Fort William next round.
Riding in a set of borrowed shoes (seriously – he borrowed them from a trackside local after swapping to flats!), Gee Atherton exudes confidence right now. He’ll be hard to beat on his home turf at Fort William next round.
Gee'd up Gee. A four second margin on a four minute track is a huge win, and he knows it.
Gee’d up Gee. A four second margin on a four minute track is a huge win, and he knows it.

Cairns2014 DH Finals 65

 

 

 

 

Cairns 2014: DH Qualifying Gallery

Like those weird winged ants that emerge just before a rain storm, the Cairns locals came out of the rainforest in their barefooted masses today to go completely bananas on muddy hillside. It clearly takes more than a bit of trench foot to keep these frothing fans away.

The conditions were tough on riders too; when the rain stopped, the mud quickly turned to cookie dough, gumming up bikes and making carrying speed a real challenge.

The results today (men and women) were surprising, with a lot highly decorated riders right down the pile. But if the conditions are the same again tomorrow, finals could be just as much of a lottery; roll the dice, let brakes off and hope like hell a root doesn’t steal your front wheel from under you.

Here are a few more of our favourites from today’s action.

SEND IT! Taking the big line into the mogul field before the whoops.
SEND IT! Taking the big line into the mogul field before the whoops.
Cairns2014 DH Qualifying 31
Dean Lucas on the Cyclone (AKA The Corkscrew).
Cairns2014 DH Qualifying 1
Tear-off alley.
Cairns2014 DH Qualifying 28
Remi Thirion drops in after the Cyclone.

Cairns2014 DH Qualifying 15

Cairns2014 DH Qualifying 9

Cairns2014 DH Qualifying 25

Cairns2014 DH Qualifying 71

 

Cairns2014 DH Qualifying 84

 

Racing: English and Fay Claim Tablelands Classic XCM Marathon

24-hour world champion Jason English (NSW) and Irish national champion Jenny Fay claimed the Tablelands Classic, the fourth round of the Real Insurance Cross Country Marathon (XCM) Series, on a wet and muddy day in the forested Atherton Tablelands.

English overcame Canadian National Marathon Champion Cory Wallace for the top spot on the elite male podium, while Jeff Rubach (QLD) finished third.

“The conditions out there were unbelievable. I have never run out of brake pads before in a race and halfway through this race I was slipping and sliding all over the place. It was a balance between trying to push the limit, push the boundary, push the tyres and see what you can do to keep this gap whilst trying to stay upright.”

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In the elite women’s race, Fay built on a dominant lead after Australian Marathon Champion Melissa Anset (VIC) suffered a flat tyre on the first lap. Sarah Riley (VIC) claimed second place with Anset recovering to round out the podium. The result leaves the Irish and Australian XCM champions with two wins each as the final round in the series approaches.

“I’m doing the European marathon champs in Ireland in June so this was a good test to see how I rolled over mud. I just need to change my tyres but other than that there is nothing much you can do. It’s just about being smooth and relaxed and capitalising on the drier sections when you can and keeping it conservative in the muddy sections.” 

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The Tablelands Classic is just the start of an action packed long weekend of mountain biking in Far North Queensland, with the downhill qualifying and cross country eliminator finals kicking off the racing at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at the Smithfield Regional Park near Cairns today.

The World Cup event thinned the elite male field at Atherton, with Australian XCM Champion Andrew Blair and teammate Shaun Lewis, who came second in the National XCM Championships, skipping the Tablelands Classic to focus on the World Cup Cross Country Olympic (XCO) event instead.

Not all riders have been as selective this weekend, with today’s podium finishers Riley and Wallace electing to back up today’s race and take on the World Cup Cross Country course in the Smithfield Rainforest this Sunday.

A minute of silence was observed before the Atherton race where over 140 riders took to the course, all wearing commemorative ribbons for ANZAC day.

Some took on the full marathon, racing three laps of the course (66 kilometres), while those completing the half marathon covered 44 kilometres (two laps).

The course delivered plenty of single-track, traverses, bushland, rainforest and grasslands and in better weather conditions picturesque climbs and flowing descents, with the challenging conditions forcing many riders to abandon before the finish.

The Real Insurance series concludes on May 3 with the Convict 100 in St Albans, NSW.

 

Cairns 2014: Friday’s bangers from Breach

Friday saw the qualifying for downhill and the finals of the XC eliminator. With heavy rain overnight, the conditions were going to be a tough day for both racers and photographers. Flow’s Damian Breach stood in ankle deep mud all day to bring you his view of the World Cup.

This is what we fell asleep to last night. More rain.
This is what we fell asleep to last night. More rain.
The rain had to be expected however, it is in a rainforest after all.
The rain had to be expected however, it is in a rainforest after all.
The day started wet once again and the view from the top was a little less than inviting.
The day started wet once again and the view from the top was a little less than inviting.
The mud was thick, however early on in the day it was still pretty wet and that's better than what happened later in the day - as it started to dry out. It slowly turned into a thick sludge that was a nightmare.
The mud was thick, however early on in the day it was still pretty wet and that’s better than what happened later in the day – as it started to dry out. It slowly turned into a thick sludge that was a nightmare.
Greg Minnaar on his tentative first run down the hill. The first rock garden had a few people puzzled and Greg was one who spent a bit of time looking at the best and safest way through it all. There was several lines, and of course, the fastest was also the scariest.
Greg Minnaar on his tentative first run down the hill. The first rock garden had a few people puzzled and Greg was one who spent a bit of time looking at the best and safest way through it all. There was several lines, and of course, the fastest was also the scariest.
Everyone's favourite: Chris Kovarik. We were thinking that his last internet edit with backing electronic music was a sign of Chris changing however see him on the track today alleviated that fear. He still Slay(er)s it.
Everyone’s favourite: Chris Kovarik. We were thinking that his last internet edit with backing electronic music was a sign of Chris changing, however to see him on the track today alleviated that fear. He still Slay(er)s it.
You would think that Gee Atherton would be at home in the wet and mud however Cairns is a little different. It's worse. Gee qualified in 6th spot so maybe it's not so bad for him.
You would think that Gee Atherton would be at home in the wet and mud however Cairns is a little different. It’s worse. Gee qualified in 6th spot so maybe it’s not so bad for him.
Nick Beer booooosts the huge triple on the high speed section.  Respect.
Nick Beer booooosts the huge triple on the high speed section. Respect.
Even know the rain held of for most of the day the forest was still a dark scary place for all. Just after this jump was the speed trap and the thicker mud of today seemed to drop the top speeds by about 10kph.
Even though the rain held off for most of the day the forest was still a dark scary place for all. Just after this jump was the speed trap and the thicker mud today seemed to drop the top speeds by about 10kph.

WEB_NEWS_CAIRNS_WC_FRI_DB-11

This isn't child abuse, this is a loving father doing all he can to stop his son from hitting the deck. The mud was so super slippery to walk on, let alone ride.
This isn’t child abuse, this is a loving father doing all he can to stop his son from hitting the deck. The mud was so super slippery to walk on, let alone ride.
WEB_NEWS_CAIRNS_WC_FRI_DB-7
The alien tree is big and alien like. It’s also right next to a very sloppy and slippery part of the trail which the aliens would probably like.
Aussie junior Aiden Varley does his best not to disappear into a huge rut. That's right, it's not a berm, it's a rut carved through the mud. Aiden finished 4th in qualifying however at 31 seconds off the pace it's clear to see how the conditions today came into play.
Aussie junior Aiden Varley does his best not to disappear into a huge rut. That’s right, it’s not a berm, it’s a rut carved through the mud. Aiden finished 4th in qualifying however at 31 seconds off the pace it’s clear to see how the conditions today came into play.
There was a decent crowd watching downhill qualifying the shoe choice or popularity was none at all.
There was a decent crowd watching downhill qualifying – the most popular shoe choice was none at all.

 

With everyone crashing it feels pretty bad picking out just one example. Apologies to Jill Kintner as she was by far not the only one to hit the Cairns mud today.
With everyone crashing it feels pretty bad picking out just one example. Apologies to Jill Kintner as she was not the only one to hit the Cairns mud today.
With conditions so poor people were probably expecting Sam Hill to do well in qualifying however Sam ended up in 50th. Sam is carrying a little hand injury that will surely be hurting his confidence.
With conditions so poor people were probably expecting Sam Hill to do well in qualifying however Sam ended up in 50th.


Ed Masters of New Zealand shocked everyone with his 4th place in qualifying. Let's hope he keeps it up for tomorrow as it may be the first time in UCI history that an actual Vicking is on the podium.
Ed Masters of New Zealand shocked everyone with his 4th place in qualifying. Let’s hope he keeps it up for tomorrow as it may be the first time in UCI history that an actual Viking is on the podium.
Conner Fearon slipped into the top 10 with this much extra weight added to his bike. The bikes at the end of the run were a mess.
Connor Fearon slipped into the top 10 with this much extra weight added to his bike. The bikes at the end of the run were a mess.
Just as the XC eliminator started, so did the rain.
Just as the XC Eliminator started, so did the rain.
Glenn Jacobs has built a pretty cool section of the cross country trail right next to the event village. Much like a 4X trail of old it has berms, jumps, and multiple lines - all within arms reach of the fans. The XC eliminator dropped right into it after a hard long sprint up a muddy hill.
Glenn Jacobs has built a pretty cool section of the cross country trail right next to the event village. Much like a 4X trail of old it has berms, jumps, and multiple lines – all within arm’s reach of the fans. The XC eliminator dropped right into it after a hard, long sprint up a muddy hill.
Even though the conditions were wet the fans still cam out in numbers to cheer everyone on.
Even though the conditions were wet the fans still came out in numbers to cheer everyone on.
The top of the opening sprint in the XC eliminator was probably a relief as it meant a nice soothing mud bath.
The top section of the opening sprint in the XC eliminator was probably a relief as it meant a nice, soothing mud bath.
Have we mentioned that it was a little muddy today already?
Have we mentioned that it was a little muddy today already?
There's nothing better than poaching someone else's flash to create some MTB art. Alexandra Engen raises her arms as she wins the Cairns XC eliminator.
There’s nothing better than poaching someone else’s flash to create some MTB art. Alexandra Engen raises her arms as she wins the Cairns XC eliminator.

 

Cairns 2014: Friday's bangers from Breach

Friday saw the qualifying for downhill and the finals of the XC eliminator. With heavy rain overnight, the conditions were going to be a tough day for both racers and photographers. Flow’s Damian Breach stood in ankle deep mud all day to bring you his view of the World Cup.

This is what we fell asleep to last night. More rain.
This is what we fell asleep to last night. More rain.
The rain had to be expected however, it is in a rainforest after all.
The rain had to be expected however, it is in a rainforest after all.
The day started wet once again and the view from the top was a little less than inviting.
The day started wet once again and the view from the top was a little less than inviting.
The mud was thick, however early on in the day it was still pretty wet and that's better than what happened later in the day - as it started to dry out. It slowly turned into a thick sludge that was a nightmare.
The mud was thick, however early on in the day it was still pretty wet and that’s better than what happened later in the day – as it started to dry out. It slowly turned into a thick sludge that was a nightmare.
Greg Minnaar on his tentative first run down the hill. The first rock garden had a few people puzzled and Greg was one who spent a bit of time looking at the best and safest way through it all. There was several lines, and of course, the fastest was also the scariest.
Greg Minnaar on his tentative first run down the hill. The first rock garden had a few people puzzled and Greg was one who spent a bit of time looking at the best and safest way through it all. There was several lines, and of course, the fastest was also the scariest.
Everyone's favourite: Chris Kovarik. We were thinking that his last internet edit with backing electronic music was a sign of Chris changing however see him on the track today alleviated that fear. He still Slay(er)s it.
Everyone’s favourite: Chris Kovarik. We were thinking that his last internet edit with backing electronic music was a sign of Chris changing, however to see him on the track today alleviated that fear. He still Slay(er)s it.
You would think that Gee Atherton would be at home in the wet and mud however Cairns is a little different. It's worse. Gee qualified in 6th spot so maybe it's not so bad for him.
You would think that Gee Atherton would be at home in the wet and mud however Cairns is a little different. It’s worse. Gee qualified in 6th spot so maybe it’s not so bad for him.
Nick Beer booooosts the huge triple on the high speed section.  Respect.
Nick Beer booooosts the huge triple on the high speed section. Respect.
Even know the rain held of for most of the day the forest was still a dark scary place for all. Just after this jump was the speed trap and the thicker mud of today seemed to drop the top speeds by about 10kph.
Even though the rain held off for most of the day the forest was still a dark scary place for all. Just after this jump was the speed trap and the thicker mud today seemed to drop the top speeds by about 10kph.

WEB_NEWS_CAIRNS_WC_FRI_DB-11

This isn't child abuse, this is a loving father doing all he can to stop his son from hitting the deck. The mud was so super slippery to walk on, let alone ride.
This isn’t child abuse, this is a loving father doing all he can to stop his son from hitting the deck. The mud was so super slippery to walk on, let alone ride.
WEB_NEWS_CAIRNS_WC_FRI_DB-7
The alien tree is big and alien like. It’s also right next to a very sloppy and slippery part of the trail which the aliens would probably like.
Aussie junior Aiden Varley does his best not to disappear into a huge rut. That's right, it's not a berm, it's a rut carved through the mud. Aiden finished 4th in qualifying however at 31 seconds off the pace it's clear to see how the conditions today came into play.
Aussie junior Aiden Varley does his best not to disappear into a huge rut. That’s right, it’s not a berm, it’s a rut carved through the mud. Aiden finished 4th in qualifying however at 31 seconds off the pace it’s clear to see how the conditions today came into play.
There was a decent crowd watching downhill qualifying the shoe choice or popularity was none at all.
There was a decent crowd watching downhill qualifying – the most popular shoe choice was none at all.

 

With everyone crashing it feels pretty bad picking out just one example. Apologies to Jill Kintner as she was by far not the only one to hit the Cairns mud today.
With everyone crashing it feels pretty bad picking out just one example. Apologies to Jill Kintner as she was not the only one to hit the Cairns mud today.
With conditions so poor people were probably expecting Sam Hill to do well in qualifying however Sam ended up in 50th. Sam is carrying a little hand injury that will surely be hurting his confidence.
With conditions so poor people were probably expecting Sam Hill to do well in qualifying however Sam ended up in 50th.


Ed Masters of New Zealand shocked everyone with his 4th place in qualifying. Let's hope he keeps it up for tomorrow as it may be the first time in UCI history that an actual Vicking is on the podium.
Ed Masters of New Zealand shocked everyone with his 4th place in qualifying. Let’s hope he keeps it up for tomorrow as it may be the first time in UCI history that an actual Viking is on the podium.
Conner Fearon slipped into the top 10 with this much extra weight added to his bike. The bikes at the end of the run were a mess.
Connor Fearon slipped into the top 10 with this much extra weight added to his bike. The bikes at the end of the run were a mess.
Just as the XC eliminator started, so did the rain.
Just as the XC Eliminator started, so did the rain.
Glenn Jacobs has built a pretty cool section of the cross country trail right next to the event village. Much like a 4X trail of old it has berms, jumps, and multiple lines - all within arms reach of the fans. The XC eliminator dropped right into it after a hard long sprint up a muddy hill.
Glenn Jacobs has built a pretty cool section of the cross country trail right next to the event village. Much like a 4X trail of old it has berms, jumps, and multiple lines – all within arm’s reach of the fans. The XC eliminator dropped right into it after a hard, long sprint up a muddy hill.
Even though the conditions were wet the fans still cam out in numbers to cheer everyone on.
Even though the conditions were wet the fans still came out in numbers to cheer everyone on.
The top of the opening sprint in the XC eliminator was probably a relief as it meant a nice soothing mud bath.
The top section of the opening sprint in the XC eliminator was probably a relief as it meant a nice, soothing mud bath.
Have we mentioned that it was a little muddy today already?
Have we mentioned that it was a little muddy today already?
There's nothing better than poaching someone else's flash to create some MTB art. Alexandra Engen raises her arms as she wins the Cairns XC eliminator.
There’s nothing better than poaching someone else’s flash to create some MTB art. Alexandra Engen raises her arms as she wins the Cairns XC eliminator.

 

Cairns 2014: XCE – Horsepower and Traction Control

You could almost feel the weight of expectation resting on the mighty shoulders of reigning XCE World Champ Paul Van Der Ploeg this afternoon at the Cairns World Cup XCE. With his shoulder held together with bits of sticky tape and wire (well just about, he’s fresh back from shoulder surgery) the mighty Victorian was out-foxed in the final and grabbed bronze.

The drama of it all couldn’t have been more pronounced had George Lucas directed it; the rain rolled in right on cue for racing, turning the the race surface into a gloopy river that taunted riders to find traction, and the dark clouds sapped any light that dared seep into the rain forest. We’ll let the pictures tell the tale.

The one and only PVDP. Ever smiling, and with more Watts on tap than a Latrobe Valley power station.
The one and only PVDP. Ever smiling, and with more Watts on tap than a Latrobe Valley power station.
This is the start straight riders had to contend with. It's uphill too, of course.
This is the start straight riders had to contend with. It’s uphill too, of course.
Current XCE women's World Champ Alexandra Engen. While challenged in the quarter and semi final, she was leagues ahead in the final.
Current XCE women’s World Champ Alexandra Engen. While challenged in the quarter and semi final, she was leagues ahead in the final.
Cairns2014 XCE 5 (1)
SNAP! Powerful stuff from Engen off the start line.
Second from furthest, young Kiwi Sam Gaze was the event's dark horse.
Second from furthest, young Kiwi Sam Gaze was the event’s dark horse.
The slippery rainforest exit before the Rodeo Drop caused more than a few changes of lead. This crash gave young Sam Gaze a lucky break into the final.
The slippery rainforest exit before the Rodeo Drop caused more than a few changes of lead. This crash gave young Sam Gaze a lucky break into the final, letting him slip from third to second.
American Kate Courtney drops in… to our hearts.
American Kate Courtney drops in… to our hearts.
More start straight filth.
More start straight filth.
An Aussie and a Kiwi on ANZAC day.
An Aussie and a Kiwi on ANZAC day.
In the final, it was Daniel Fiederspiel and 18-year old Sam Gaze who had the horsepower, with PVDP in third, ahead of Swede Emil Lindgren.
In the final, it was Daniel Fiederspiel (far side) and 18-year old Sam Gaze  (middle) who had the horsepower, with PVDP in third, ahead of Swede Emil Lindgren.

Cairns 2014: XCO Practice Gallery

Rainy conditions again this morning kept many of the XCO riders out on the roads around Cairns, rather than trashing their bikes out on course. But a handful of riders took advantage of the quiet conditions to take a better look at some of the trickier sections; one of those riders was ten squillion time World Cup winner Julien Absalon.

Julien Absalon again, looking so relaxed on Jacobs Ladder it could be called Jacobs Lay-Z-Boy.
Julien Absalon again, looking so relaxed on Jacobs Ladder it could be called Jacobs Lay-Z-Boy.
Julien Absalon getting ready to thread the narrow line you've got to nail to make it through the rocks quickly and cleanly.
Julien Absalon getting ready to thread the narrow line you’ve got to nail to make it through the rocks quickly and cleanly.
Jodie Willet, still smiling after a huge smash on the Jacobs Ladder A-Line. She's the only woman we've seen (or heard of) riding the A-Line. We hope she's back for racing on Sunday.
Jodie Willet, still smiling after a huge smash on the Jacobs Ladder A-Line. She’s the only woman we’ve seen (or heard of) riding the A-Line. A broken scaphoid was the outcome… Bugger.
Canberra's Brendan Johnstone on one of the faster sections, it's crazy how dry and hard packed the cross country course is in comparison to the downhill. Riders looked so clean!
Canberra’s Brendan Johnstone on one of the faster sections, it’s crazy how dry and hard packed the cross country course is in comparison to the downhill. Riders looked so clean!

 

Holly Harris takes the Jacobs Ladder B-line. It's definitely the long way round, but as Jodie Willet showed, it's a load safer.
Holly Harris takes the Jacobs Ladder B-line. It’s definitely the long way round, but as Jodie Willet showed, it’s a load safer.
Snake Bite Alley
Snake Bite Alley.
Cairns2014 FridayXCPractice 9
Sebastian Jayne, dropping in. No worries at all.

Cairns 2014: XCO Course Preview

With the downhill providing so much camera fodder over the last two days, we thought it was high time that we had a proper look around the cross country course today ahead of Sunday’s showdown.

Glen Jacobs declared it was his intention to create a course that would really test riders’ technical abilities, not just their legs and lungs. He’s certainly done that. Even the climb is technical, especially the inside line passing opportunities, which are generally steep and slick.

Midway through our lap of the XCO today, the heavens opened and the course showed its teeth. The red clay that covers much of the track is seriously slippery and when tyres track this sludge across the rocks, well, it’s a nasty scenario.

Here are a few highlights we were able to capture before the rain put an end to shooting.

Cairns 2014 XC track walk-2
Get out of here you filthy beast! Quick, chase him on our bikes!
Cairns 2014 XC track walk-4 copy
This is typical of the climb – the course splits regularly, with two or three options, generally with a serious time bonuses for the more techy options.
Cairns 2014 XC track walk-3 copy
Beneath the surface of the trail you’ll find a lot of tyre-slicing, jagged shale-like rock. In the areas where it’s exposed, there’s plenty of potential for flats.
Cairns 2014 XC track walk-8
Another typical inside line option on the climb. Does this look slippery to you?
Cairns 2014 XC track walk-9 copy
No b-line here, sorry. This jagged section comes right at the top of the climb when you’re least ready for it. The Russian ladies eye it up.
Cairns 2014 XC track walk-6
The Minjin spirit is strong here.
Cairns 2014 XC track walk-10 copy
Croc Slide. Steeper than it  looks, and twice as intimidating in the wet. This 20 metre-long rock slab is off-camber and rough the whole way down.
Cairns 2014 XC track walk-7
There’s actually plenty of grip on Croc Slide, at least when there aren’t dozens of riders hitting it and covering it in clay.
Jacobs Ladder. There's a huge time advantage to be had here if you're willing to take the right hand a-line. Again, it's far more intimidating in the flesh. And we think it's pretty clear how slick those rocks are.
Jacobs Ladder. There’s a huge time advantage to be had here if you’re willing to take the right hand a-line. Again, it’s far more intimidating in the flesh. And we think it’s pretty clear how slick those rocks are.

Cairns 2014: Tropic Thunder

“It’s just a passing tropical shower.” Yep, right. Mother Nature reared her ugly Queenslander mug today and gave Smithfield a true soaking, right on cue for the start of group A downhill practice.

The results were in equal parts horrendous, exciting, frustrating and awesome. With any line choices from yesterday’s track walk going right out the window, riders were faced with a track that changed from run to run. Vision was next to nil by the time riders reached the lower portions of the track, while the off-camber red clay of the Alien Tree was causing havoc up top.

At the end of the day, timed practice showed that Gee Atherton had made it down the hill fastest, with Ragot on top in the women’s. But when the course is more a matter of survival than skill, timed practice results mean nothing at all. Bring on qualifying tomorrow!

Yep it was wet, there's no hiding it. It was brutal for everyone on the mountain, riders, spectators, and media and as we type this caption it's still raining. Lets pray for a dry race as it's undoubtedly better for the riders, spectators and the media.
Yep it was wet, there’s no hiding it. It was brutal for everyone on the mountain – riders, spectators, and media – and as we type this caption it’s still raining. Let’s pray for a dry race as it’s undoubtedly better for the riders, spectators and the media.
Marc Beaumont clears one of the big triples on his second attempt. "You've just got to pull up". Right.
Marc Beaumont clears one of the big triples on his second attempt. “You’ve just got to pull up”. Right.
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Visibility, traction, and a clean line could all go out the window in a flash.
This guy, Mick Hannah looks so insanely fast. Carrying incredible pace into the whoops like they were nothing at all. No wonder why he's a serious contender for the win.
This guy. Mick Hannah looks so insanely fast, carrying incredible pace into the whoops like they were nothing at all.
Sick Mick Hannah has the weight of Australia on his shoulders this weekend. Everyone wants him to win but we're sure he wants to win even more.
Sick Mick Hannah has the weight of Australia on his shoulders this weekend. Everyone wants him to win but we’re sure he wants to win even more.

 

[embedvideo id=”fGpqZSmpqDA” website=”youtube”]

Cairns 2014: DH Bike Check – 7 Unique Rides

While by the end of the day, rider’s bikes were so covered in red clay you couldn’t even tell who was riding what, we were able to scour the pits before the rain and have a look at some of the more unique rides here for the Cairns World Cup DH. Here’s half a dozen of our favourites.

Troy Brosnan’s 650B Specialized Enduro Prototype

Both Aaron Gwin and Troy Brosnan (whose bike is pictured here) are running 180mm travel 27.5" wheeled Enduros, rather than a Demo 8. All the rain only confirmed their decision: "It's not really a downhill track now, the rain has slowed it down and the pedalling is harder too," said Troy.
Both Aaron Gwin and Troy Brosnan (whose bike is pictured here) are running 180mm travel 27.5″ wheeled Enduros, rather than a Demo 8. All the rain only confirmed their decision: “It’s not really a downhill track now, the rain has slowed it down and the pedalling is harder too,” said Troy.

Sam Blenkinsop’s Lapierre with telemetry equipment fitted

Sam Blenkinsop's bike was wired up for practice, with telemetry equipment galore to capture the suspension activity. The Lapierre crew were the only one we saw taking it to this level of detail. Pedalling and braking are all captured too.
Sam Blenkinsop’s bike was wired up for practice, with telemetry equipment galore to capture the suspension activity. The Lapierre crew were the only one we saw taking it to this level of detail. Pedalling and braking are all captured too.

Mick Hannah’s 14kg Prototype Polygon

Will this be the fastest bike of the weekend? Mick Hannah's new 650B Polygon DH rig looks unreal and weighs in at just on 14.5kg.
Will this be the fastest bike of the weekend? Mick Hannah’s new 650B Polygon DH rig looks unreal and weighs in at just over 14kg. It’s the exact same bike he rode in South Africa.

Greg Minnaar’s XXL Santa Cruz V10

Current Champ, Greg Minnaar doesn't muck around with any 'mini DH bikes' or wheel sizes, he's running the exact same bike from last round in South Africa.
Current Champ, Greg Minnaar doesn’t muck around with any ‘mini DH bikes’ or wheel sizes, he’s running the exact same bike from last round in South Africa.

Team GT’s new 27.5″ Fury

The new 27.5"-wheeled GT Fury.
The new 27.5″-wheeled GT Fury.

Mitch Ropelato’s Enduro 29er

Mitch Ropelato's bike gets some pre-practice love. Ropelato is riding an Enduro 29er. "To me, the bike feels faster. I don't know if it is faster, but because it feels faster, I ride it better."
Mitch Ropelato’s bike gets some pre-practice love. Ropelato, just like in South Africa, is riding an Enduro 29er. “To me, the bike feels faster. I don’t know if it is faster, but because it feels faster, I ride it better.”

Matt Simmond’s Saracen

Matt Simmonds Saracen isn't one we get to see in Australia often. It, like the majority of downhill bike bikes here, is a 650B.
Matt Simmonds Saracen isn’t one we get to see in Australia often. It, like the majority of downhill bike bikes here, is a 650B.

 

Cairns 2014: Downhill track walk

Most of the world’s best downhill riders got their first look at what the Cairns jungle has in store for them this afternoon. We don’t think riders were expecting something quite so savage – this track had a lot of faces looking pretty concerned, with amazing slick mud, roots and rocks interspersed with sections that require serious guts. We joined the riders for the official track walk, now join us to see what they’re up against.

There's no chairlift or gondola here at Smithfield, just V8 Troopies doing the uplift duties on the steepest shuttle road you can imagine.
There’s no chairlift or gondola here at Smithfield, just V8 Troopies doing the uplift duties on the steepest shuttle road you can imagine.
Decision point number one. After 11 bermed corners right out of the start gate, do you go high up the bank, or hug the tree?
Decision point number one. After 11 bermed corners right out of the start gate, do you go high up the bank, or hug the tree?
Riders swarm all over the rock garden… mossy rocks and chunks of quartz, getting progressively more covered in red clay. It’s a nightmarish piece of work.
Riders swarm all over the rock garden… mossy rocks and chunks of quartz, getting progressively more covered in red clay. It’s a nightmarish piece of work.
Mick and Tracey Hannah have spent more time on this track than any of the other big hitters. “We got five runs in before South Africa,” says Mick, “but we haven’t ridden it since.” Nonetheless, Mick already has the lines down that others are still trying to visualise. “Mick has been jumping off the point of the rock here into the rock garden” says Tracey. “I wanted to try it, but that was before it got wet.”
Mick and Tracey Hannah have spent more time on this track than any of the other big hitters. “We got five runs in before South Africa,” says Mick, “but we haven’t ridden it since.” Nonetheless, Mick already has the lines down that others are still trying to visualise. “Mick has been jumping off the point of the rock here into the rock garden” says Tracey. “I wanted to try it, but that was before it got wet.”
"Watch out for drop bears" - Troy's only advise to his Euro rivals.
“Watch out for drop bears” – Troy’s only advise to his Euro rivals.
Gee spent a long, long time staring down this rock garden, assessing line after line.
Gee spent a long, long time staring down this rock garden, assessing line after line.
"You must flow, like water." Rachel Atherton chucks her water bottle down the rocks to find the best line.
“You must flow, like water.” Rachel Atherton chucks her water bottle down the rocks to find the best line.
After Gee, Sam was the rider who spent longest looking at the rock garden. It's an interesting track - will the flatter sections nullify the advantage of pinning the technical sections?
After Gee, Sam was the rider who spent longest looking at the rock garden. It’s an interesting track – will the flatter sections nullify the advantage of pinning the technical sections?

 

Marcello Gutierrez: "There's nowhere like this on the World Cup circuit. Maybe Columbia… but nowhere has this humidity."
Marcello Gutierrez: “There’s nowhere like this on the World Cup circuit. Maybe Columbia… but nowhere has this humidity.”
Jungle baby. No matter what happens with the weather, it ain't drying out in there!
Jungle baby. No matter what happens with the weather, it ain’t drying out in there!
Holy. Shit. Get set for explosions…
Holy. Shit. Get set for explosions…
No explanation needed.
No explanation needed.
Eric Carter is the new team manager for Specialized, here he offers his two cents to Gwin and Brosnan. We asked him about Gwin’s opinions that the whoops section should be taken out for saftey’s sake. “Man, it just takes one rider to be able to ride them fast, and then there’s no way they’re getting removed. If one rider can do it fast, and then you complain, the UCI are just gonna tell you to ride them slower. That’s racing! I remember back racing at Big Bear again Dave Cullinan – there’d be some huge gap that we’d want taken out and then Dave would just send it. You’d just have to accept then that you were racing for second place! This is just the same.”
Eric Carter is the new team manager for Specialized, here he offers his two cents to Gwin and Brosnan. We asked him about Gwin’s opinions that the whoops section should be taken out for saftey’s sake. “Man, it just takes one rider to be able to ride them fast, and then there’s no way they’re getting removed. If one rider can do it fast, and then you complain, the UCI are just gonna tell you to ride them slower. That’s racing! I remember back racing at Big Bear again Dave Cullinan – there’d be some huge gap that we’d want taken out and then Dave would just send it. You’d just have to accept then that you were racing for second place! This is just the same.”
Tracey Hannah eyes up the exit of the cork screw. The only fast line involves riding the bank on the right hand side and launching to the down ramp, otherwise you have to pick your way down the chute and take the long way around. She hasn’t hit the line yet, but she’s confident she will.
Tracey Hannah eyes up the exit of the cork screw. The only fast line involves riding the bank on the right hand side and launching to the down ramp, otherwise you have to pick your way down the chute and take the long way around. She hasn’t hit the line yet, but she’s confident she will.

 

Pick a huck, any huck.
Pick a huck, any huck.
The final gap to wall ride thingo from a rider's perspective. Landing is on the left apparently.
The final gap to wall ride thingo from a rider’s perspective. Landing is on the left apparently.
The final Ronning's Ramp triple jump has needed a lot of love in the wet. This is the third time the patient trail crew have rebuilt the bottom of the kicker.
The final Ronning’s Ramp triple jump has needed a lot of love in the wet. This is the third time the patient trail crew have rebuilt the bottom of the kicker.
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Pedal! The finish only 100 metres away.
Got your transitions lenses handy? Bursting out of the jungle into the finish.
Got your transitions lenses handy? Bursting out of the jungle into the finish.

Cairns 2014: Welcome to the jungle

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Welcome to the jungle.

Things are starting to ramp up here in the Tropical North! Track walks get underway today, but many riders opted to get themselves acclimatised to the jungle’s cloying heat and took a look around the trails yesterday. With a sprinkling of rain last night, we’re predicting slippery things out a Smithfield today! [divider]The Show Comes to Town[/divider]

 

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Just outside the arrivals hall of Cairns Airport, the scene was a mess of europeans unpacking bikes and cramming into hire cars!
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It’s muddy alright. The pit area is a bit boggy, the crew are working overtime to bring in gravel to make the surface manageable. Bring good shoes.
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“It’s a bit slippery up there,” says Rhys Atkinson, one of the key guys behind the course construction. Rhys not only built the track, but he’ll be racing it too on Saturday. “I need a day off the tools to give buy hands a rest for racing!” While the downhill track is slippery for now, the cross country course is pretty much perfect – “the soils lower on the hill are more granitic, so it has drained really well.”
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The big guns are probably out on the reef in compression socks, sipping mango mocktails.
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This massive step down jump is on the cross country track! It’s there waiting for any rider game enough to hit it. There are multiple lines here; a steep, slow roller, a decent four-five foot drop or this huge huck. We’ll take our hats off to the first person to try the full length on an XC bike.
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The downhill course pops out of the thick jungle right at the end. It’s seriously like a wall of green – amazingly dense, waiting to eat riders whole.

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Video: The Spirit of Enduro, a Piss Take

“Eddy is the finest example of a competition crushing Enduro athlete we have ever seen, his dedication and drive is unparalleled. This off season he has been working himself to the bone in an effort to dominate the 2014 Enduro World Series.

This is an in depth documentary, probing into the intricate details of Eddies training and skill development, as he prepares for the upcoming EWS season.”

Clementz and Chausson take first victories of Enduro World Series 2014 in Nevados de Chillan, Chile

The Santa Cruz Montenbaik Enduro by MTBLab 2014, in Nevados de Chillan, tested the world’s best mountain bikers on 6 stages over 2 days, against a backdrop of spectacular terrain to kick-start what promises to be another epic season of enduro mountain bike racing.

Andes Pacifico Enduro MTB 4 Stage Race.

Andes Pacifico Enduro MTB 4 Stage Race.

Andes Pacifico Enduro MTB 4 Stage Race.

After two days of to-the-wall racing through the Andes, Anne Caroline Chausson (Ibis Cycles) and Jérôme Clementz (Cannondale Overmountain) emerged victorious.

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Chausson dominated the women’s field from the outset, winning five of six stages, and staying ahead of rival and EWS World Champion title-holder Tracy Moseley (Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team). Cecile Ravanel (GT Pulse) overtook Anneke Beerten (Specialized Racing Team) on the final stage for the third place spot.

Although reigning EWS World Champion, Jérôme Clementz (Cannondale Overmountain) did not win a single stage, he put in an incredible second day of racing to close a 12 second gap passing Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox Factory Team) in the last stage to take the win.

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The Belgian wunderkind, Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing), more than held his own in the Elite category, winning three stages, but losing his spot on the podium to Florian Nicolai (Rocky Mountain Urge BP Team) who put in a blistering final stage behind fellow Frenchman Nico Lau (Cube Action Team), to move into third place overall.

British Moseley’s strong performance was matched by fellow TREK Factory Racing Enduro riders, Kiwi Justin Leov (5th place) and Swiss Rene Wildhaber (9th place), to put them on top of the team standings, closely followed by the Rocky Mountain Urge BP Team (France’s Isabeau Courdurier (5th), Florian Nicolai (3rd) and Alexandre Cure (7th).) Clementz’s Cannondale OverMountain team, including Pauline Dieffenthaler and Marco Osborne, are in third.

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Said EWS Managing Director Chris Ball, “It was an amazing race on wild terrain – a true test of everything from high alpine style racing to high-speed volcanic ash and forested singletrack.”

First time Enduro World Series hosts, Montenbaik Enduro got the Series off to a powerful start, and showcased the strength and importance of the South American mountain bike community to the global scene. “We are really stoked to have been able to show the real Chilean singletrack and the potential the Andes has for the mountain biking” says Media Director Eduardo de Solminihac.

Chris Ball says, “The community is incredible here and the people and the trails are simply amazing. As far as adventure goes, they don’t get better than this.”

Results are available, in addition to a new Rider Results Analyser tool that allows various racers and stages to be compared, at http://www.enduroworldseries.com/results.php

Riders now have six weeks to recover, refocus and prepare their systems for a weekend of world-class racing and recreational whiskey-drinking when the Enduro World Series moves on to Scotland’s Tweed Valley, for the Santa Cruz TweedLove World Enduro presented by Sweet Protection, 30 May – 1 June. http://www.enduroworldseries.com/events/ews2-tweedlove-scotland

Video: Brandon Semenuk’s Rad Company Trailer

Brandon Semenuk’s RAD COMPANY pushes the limits of freeride mountain biking and showcases the skills and passion that make him one of the most versatile and explosive riders on the planet.

 

Brandon handpicked the crew of riders for this film who drive and inspire him in each discipline, ultimately creating some of the highest level of riding ever caught on camera. The film features an eclectic soundtrack that flows like your favorite mix tape, while seamlessly meshing all disciplines of mountain biking. NWD Films and Red Bull Media House have teamed up with some of the top cinematographers and digital effects artists to create an innovative style, while keeping true to the “all killer no filler” style of the New World Disorder.

Learn more about the project here: http://win.gs/1lxRNQQ

Video: Brandon Semenuk's Rad Company Trailer

Brandon Semenuk’s RAD COMPANY pushes the limits of freeride mountain biking and showcases the skills and passion that make him one of the most versatile and explosive riders on the planet.

 

Brandon handpicked the crew of riders for this film who drive and inspire him in each discipline, ultimately creating some of the highest level of riding ever caught on camera. The film features an eclectic soundtrack that flows like your favorite mix tape, while seamlessly meshing all disciplines of mountain biking. NWD Films and Red Bull Media House have teamed up with some of the top cinematographers and digital effects artists to create an innovative style, while keeping true to the “all killer no filler” style of the New World Disorder.

Learn more about the project here: http://win.gs/1lxRNQQ

Countdown to Cairns #6: The Aussie Contingent

Cycling Australia (CA) and Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) are excited to announce the Australian contingent for the second round of the 2014 UCI World Cup Series to be held in Cairns from April 25-27.

In the Olympic Cross Country event, our 2012 London Olympians Dan McConnell (ACT) and Rebecca Henderson (ACT) both had landmark years on the international scene in 2013 and will lead the way in Cairns.

Looking to the Downhill, the brother and sister combination of Mick Hannah (QLD) and Tracey Hannah (QLD) are Cairns locals and will be hoping to beat the world in their own backyard. Young gun Troy Brosnan (SA) is also one to watch after joining Hannah on the World Cup podium in the opening round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season in South Africa.

In the Cross Country Eliminator, reigning world champion Paul Van De Ploeg (VIC) will return to racing after injury and be the hot favourite for the men, and Emily Parkes (ACT) will hope to continue her National Championship medal-winning form in the women’s event.

President of Mountain Bike Australia, Russ Baker AM, spoke of the significance of the event for the sport in Australia.

“The first MTB World Cup on Australian soil in six years sees a welcome and exciting return of this level of competition,” Baker said. “While riders strive to be world champions, the standard of competition at World Cups can actually be higher and the races harder because more top level riders can enter.

“For our Elite riders, Cairns is one race in a series to which they devote their entire year – some would say their lives.  It is an incredible level of commitment from our riders, and from all the teams and sponsors who support them.”

While the official entry window remains open until just days before racing, the list below provides an accurate representation of the group expected to be on the start lines in Cairns.

Riders racing come from three categories.
1) Riders are members of UCI professional teams who are regulars on the World Cup circuit.
2) Qualified to race by meeting a points-standard through successful racing at a National and International level.
3) Riders have been nominated by the National Federation. Such an opportunity exists for all World Cup races but is provided at a greater level for a host country of a World Cup round.

These nominations can give younger riders a chance to experience racing at the highest level for the first time, and give experienced elite riders who have perhaps been away from the sport a chance to race at the highest level. National Federation riders will easily identifiable in their Australian Team kit.

The Series features events in nine countries, across four continents with riders contesting rounds in the Olympic Cross Country (XCO), Downhill (DHI) and Cross Country Eliminator (DHI) events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories. The opening round was held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

Dubbed the “Rumble in the Rainforest”, the three-day Cairns event begins on April 25 and over 300 riders are expected to converge on tropical North Queensland along with tens of thousands of fans.

Australian Riders Entered in UCI World Cup Round 2 in Cairns as at 17th April 2014

Cross Country Olympic (XCO)

Elite Men – XCO

  • Andrew Blair (NSW)
  • Travis Frisby (SA)
  • Brendan Johnston (ACT)
  • Shaun Lewis (SA)
  • Dan McConnell (ACT) – Trek Factory Racing Team
  • Mark Tupalski (ACT)
  • Paul Van Der Ploeg (VIC)

Elite Women – XCO

  • Rebecca Henderson (ACT) – Trek Factory Racing Team
  • Karen Hill (VIC)
  • Jenni King (NSW)
  • Sarah Riley (VIC)
  • Tory Thomas (VIC)
  • Jodie Willett (QLD)

U23 Men – XCO

  • Christopher Aitken (NSW)
  • Scott Bowden (TAS)
  • Michael Crosbie (VIC)
  • Ben Forbes (QLD)
  • Chris Hamilton (VIC)
  • Cameron Ivory (NSW)
  • Sebastian Jayne (VIC)
  • Ethan Kelly (QLD)
  • Alexander Meyland (VIC)
  • Russell Nankervis (VIC)
  • Tasman Nankervis (VIC)
  • Blake Polverino (NSW)
  • Kyle Ward (NSW)
  • Tristan Ward (NSW)

U23 Women – XCO

  • Holly Harris (NSW)
  • Emily Parkes (ACT)

Downhill (DHI)

Elite Men – DHI

  • Bryn Atkinson (NSW)
  • Rhys Atkinson (NSW)
  • Chris Barlin (NSW) – Green to Gold Race Development Team
  • Jesse Beare (QLD)
  • Berend Boer (QLD)
  • Troy Brosnan (SA) – Specialized Racing DH Team
  • Joshua Button (NSW)
  • Thomas Crimmins (NSW)
  • Luke Ellison (ACT)
  • Connor Fearon (SA) – Kona Factory Team
  • Michael Hannah (QLD) – Hutchison UR Team
  • Samuel Hill (WA) – Chain Reaction / Nukeproof Team
  • Lindsay Klein (QLD)
  • Peter Knott (QLD)
  • Chris Kovarik (QLD)
  • Dean Lucas (VIC) – Devinci Global Racing Team
  • Sean McCarroll (QLD)
  • David McMillan (ACT)
  • Todd Madsen (WA)
  • Jack Moir (NSW) – Bergamont Hayes World Team
  • Brendan Moon (NSW)
  • Graeme Mudd (NSW)
  • Ben Power (QLD)
  • Will Rischbieth (SA)
  • Brent Smith (NSW)

Elite Women – DHI

  • Victoria Armstrong (ACT)
  • Danielle Beecroft (NSW) – Green to Gold Race Development Team
  • Sarah Booth (NSW)
  • Michelle Crisp (NSW)
  • Shelly Flood (SA)
  • Tracey Hannah (QLD) – Hutchison UR Team
  • Ellie Wale (VIC)
  • Kellie Weinert (NSW)

Junior Men – DHI

  • Dru Berryman (VIC)
  • Dan Booker (TAS)
  • Jackson Davis (VIC)
  • Benjamin Dengate (ACT)
  • Ben Hill (TAS)
  • Cody Love (QLD)
  • Matthew McCorkell (ACT)
  • Alec Reid (NSW)
  • Matt Taylor (SA)
  • Aiden Varley (VIC)
  • Max Warshawsky (QLD)
  • Joel Willis (NSW)

Junior Women – DHI

  • Tegan Molloy (NSW)

Cross Country Eliminator (XCE)

Men – XCE

  • Michael Crosbie (VIC)
  • Shaun Lewis (SA)
  • Paul Van Der Ploeg (VIC) (Reigning World Champion)
  • Kyle Ward (NSW)
  • Tristan Ward (NSW)

Women – XCE

  • Holly Harris (NSW)
  • Emily Parkes (ACT)

———

Follow 2014 Cairns World Cup online

2014 Cairns World Cup Event Info

The Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland is proud to support the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural, business and regional events across the state.

Video: Brad Kelly chases Sam Hill Down The Ourimbah Downhill

After being set back with injury over seasons past and a consequential blow to his motivation, Sam Hill, he has been putting in some hard time behind the bars to get his fitness and skills back up to pace for the 2014 World Cup season.

A long time friend of the Drift Bikes crew, Sam flew over to the east coast to hang out as a part of his training with the view ride some different terrain. His week consisted of a mix of xc trail and DH riding at Glenrock, Ourimbah and on one of the wettest days of the year, Awaba where he honed in his mud riding skills.

This is a bit of footage from some runs Sam did with hometown hero, Brad Kelly hot on his heals at Ourimbah during his visit.

Sam Hill & Brad Kelly – Ourimbah from Drift Bikes on Vimeo.

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Brad Kelly, shifting some soil in a mighty berm.

Last weekend’s first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, he wound up with a very respectable 9th place. We are looking forward to seeing how his season unfolds, and wish him the best of luck.

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Keegan Wright – U19 NZ National DH Champ – is fast.

Take a run down on of the newer and rockier trails in the Rotorua Redwoods trails with the U19 New Zealand Downhill National Champion Keegan Wright, on his fresh ride with team Giant/Fox. At only 17 years of age he’s already got a hell of a lot of titles under his belt and has his eyes set on the DH World Cups this year. He’s scored a ride World Cup Team Giant/Fox, flying as a junior under the wing of Danny Hart and Andrew Neethling this season, so be ready to see what he’s all about!

Henderson and McConnell strong in 2014 World Cup season opener

Reigning national champions Dan McConnell (Trek Factory Racing) and Bec Henderson (Trek Factory Racing) have kick started their 2014 season with strong results in the first round of UCI MTB World Cup Series in South Africa.

Held at the Pietermaritzburg Cascades MTB Park, McConnell finished ninth and Henderson sixteenth in the cross-country events won by French legend Julien Absalon and Swiss prodigy Jolanda Neff respectively.

The world’s best riders now turn their attentions to the second round of the Series to be held in Cairns, Australia, from April 25-27 – worldcupcairns.com.au.

Elite Men Recap

Victoria’s Dan McConnell (Trek Factory Racing) had a breakthrough year in 2013 after many years on the World Cup circuit. The dual Olympian recorded his first World Cup win at the opening round in Albstaadt, Germany and went on to place an incredible second in the World Cup Series, the highest place for an Australian since the win by Cadel Evans in 1999.

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Starting 2014 in Pietermartizburg on the front row, McConnell was fourth off the line and had settled into tenth place by the middle of the first lap. The men’s field started with an incredible burst of speed, recording a simply unsustainable first lap time that would ultimately claim some victims.

McConnell raced strongly as the pace steadied, moving around a little in the field but never falling out of reach of the top ten. Known for his strong finishes, McConnell consolidated tenth place on lap four and then moved up to his eventual finish position of ninth on lap five.

In the overall, legends of the sport Julien Absalon (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) and Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team) battled for much of the race.

It appeared Schurter, the stronger descender, would ride away with the win however a flat rear tyre on lap five would end such possibilities, and Absalon rode on to record another career win.

Elite Women Recap

Racing with the Elite Women has been a long time coming for Canberran Bec Henderson (Trek Factory Racing). The 2012 Olympian won the 2013 World Cup Series in the U23 category, including two individual U23 World Cup wins, the young Australian steps up to the Elite ranks already as our fastest female rider.

Henderson can now add an excellent first Elite race to her resume after a strong showing in Pietermartzburg. Placed 19th at the end of lap one, Henderson rode her way to 16th midway through lap four, the position she would record at the end of the race. This result sees her finish in the top half of an excellent field on debut.

Victorian Tory Thomas has a resume that includes national titles in both cross country and marathon disciplines, as well as a win in the Tour de Timor, and today she recorded 31st place. Fellow Victorian Jenni King, the reigning 2014 National Series Champion was unable to start due to injuries from a crash in practice.

Reigning Under 23 world champion Jolanda Neff’s (Liv Pro XC Team) choice to race the Elite competition was validated in the best way today with Neff recording her debut World Cup win. She led from start to finish, and only came back to the field during lap two after a big crash on the “corkscrew” section of the trail.

U23 Men Recap

Australian Cameron Ivory has had a breakthrough start to 2014 with the talented rider from NSW recording wins in both the National Series & Championships.

A nasty crash on the tough Cascades Mountain Bike Park Cross Country course in practice earlier in the week forced Ivory into hospital, however it seems nothing would stop him from making the start line.

A steady start saw him in 19th place at the end of lap two of five, but on lap three Ivory turned on the power to moving up seven places to twelfth. Ivory would ultimately pass one more rider on his way to recording an excellent eleventh place to start his 2014 campaign.

Michael Crosbie (VIC) finished 17th and Ben Forbes (QLD) rode consistently to take 20th, a result that sees all three Australian U23 riders finish in the top half of a quality field.

In the overall French rider Jordan Sarrou (BH-Suntour-KMC) took the lead early and rode away with a confident win.

About the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series

  • 2014 Series will feature nine events in nine countries, across four continents from April and August.
  • Six rounds are held in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories.
  • The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

Follow 2014 Cairns World Cup online

2014 Cairns World Cup Event Info

The Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland is proud to support the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural, business and regional events across the state.

The Tablelands Classic

The week is not just for the professionals with the Tablelands Classic presenting the chance for everyday riders to test their skills, before heading into Cairns to watch the World Cup unfold over the weekend. More info atmtb.subaru.com.au.

Hannah siblings start 2014 World Cup season in style

Australia’s Mick and Tracey Hannah have begun the 2014 UCI MTB World Cup Series in superb form, finishing as the highest ranked Australians in the opening round of the downhill at Pietermaritzburg Cascades MTB Park on Saturday.

 

In the elite men’s event, Mick finished second to Aaron Gwin (USA) with fellow Australians Troy Brosnan securing fifth and and Sam Hill ninth respectively.  Tracey finished sixth in the women’s event won by France’s Manon Carpenter (FRA).

The strong results from Cairns’ natives bodes well for round two of the Series, dubbed the “Rumble in the Rainforest”, which will be held in Cairns from April 25-27. (More info worldcupcairns.com.au)

Men’s Recap

In the men’s event qualifying, Hannah suffered an issue that almost lead to a major crash and as a result started 21st on race day.

In Saturday’s final, Hannah demolished the previous best time of the day set by South Africa’s Andrew Neethling (Giant Factory Off-road Team) by more than eight seconds to power into the ‘Hot Seat’ with a time of 4mins 01.381secs.

In the hot seat for almost an hour as rider after rider tackled the tricky course, it appeared Hannah would take a fairytale victory ahead of his home leg of the Series in Cairns which starts in 12 days.

However in a thrilling finish, former downhill mountain biking World Cup Series winner Aaron Gwin, the fastest rider in qualifying, was the fastest again today, taking the overall win by 2.037seconds after posting 3mins 59.344secs.

“I had a better day today, I lost some time up top, but had a strong second half,” said Hannah. ” Aaron rode well, thanks everyone!”

10253980_727419057280106_9020780222666130319_n

Australian National Champion Troy Brosnan posted one of his best results in Elite with a run of 4:02.675 seeing him take the final step of the podium.

778388p2920EDNmain2014D2MickHannahCAElite men results:

  • 1. Aaron Gwin (Specialized Racing DH) 3:59.344
  • 2. Mick Hannah (Hutchinson UR) 4:01.381
  • 3. Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) 4:02.168
  • 4. Loic Bruni (Lapierre Gravity Republic) 4:02.237
  • 5. Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) 4:02.675
  • 6. Samuel Blenkinsop (Lapierre Gravity Republic) 4:03.387
  • 7. Sam Dale (Madison Saracen Factory Team) 4:05.347
  • 8. Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) 4:05.705
  • 9. Samuel Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles.com/Nukeproof) 4:06.195
  • 10. Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) 4:06.243

Women’s Recap

Six months after claiming junior women’s bronze on the same track at the 2013 UCI World Championships, Tegan Molloy (AUS) faced a daunting day as the only junior racing against the Elites. Molloy crashed in the tough rock garden early in the course but recovered well and was awarded the Junior Women win and Series leader jersey.

Fellow Australian Danielle Beecroft (Green to Gold team), who claimed the world championship silver ahead of Molloy last year but is now racing the in Elite category, had a good run to take the hot seat early in proceedings. Beecroft would ultimately finish eleventh for a great first result in her first Elite World Cup race.

Australia’s Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR) loves fast, flowing tracks like Pietermaritzburg, highlighted by her victory in the event here in 2012.

Hannah was low & smooth early and she held on to finish as the second-fastest rider with just four riders left to start. Her time of 4:48.045 would ultimately see her finish a strong sixth.

The day for the women would belong to Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Factory Team) who stepped up to take her first World Cup win after many podium finishes.

1014477_727417023946976_4981714646275106053_n
Elite women results:

  • 1. Manon Carpenter (Madison Saracen Factory Team) 4:34.923
  • 2. Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) 4:38.831
  • 3. Jill Kintner 4:44.041
  • 4. Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) 4:44.651
  • 5. Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic) 4:44.662
  • 6. Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR) 4:48.045
  • 7. Tahnee Seagrave (FMD Racing) 4:52.285
  • 8. Morgane Charre (Evil Vengeance Tour) 4:52.400
  • 9. Emilie Siegenthaler (GSTAAD-Scott) 4:58.117
  • 10. Fionn Griffiths 5:00.973

Junior Men’s Recap

In the Junior Men’s event, Aiden Varley (AUS) recorded an excellent qualifying run on Friday and continued the form in the final with the second fastest run of the day at the time with a 4:27.376.

Amaury Pierron (FRA) sat in the hot seat for almost the whole event after being the second rider down the hill, but would ultimately finish third. The two fastest qualifiers both backed up in the same order in the finals, Loris Vergier (Lapierre Gravity Republic) finishing second overall and Luca Shaw (SRAM/TLD Racing) taking the win in a time of 4mins 15.267secs.

Junior Men results:

  • 1.Luca Shaw (SRAM/TLD Racing) 4:15.267
  • 2.Loris Vergier (Lapierre Gravity Republic) 4:17.257
  • 3.Amaury Pierron 4:23.668
  • 4.Aiden Varley 4:27.376
  • 5.Benjamin Boutie (LAC  Blanc/SCOTT) 4:29.731

About the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series

  • 2014 Series will feature nine events in nine countries, across four continents from April and August.
  • Six rounds are held in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories.
  • The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

Follow 2014 Cairns World Cup online

2014 Cairns World Cup Event Info

The Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland is proud to support the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural, business and regional events across the state.

The Tablelands Classic

The week is not just for the professionals with the Tablelands Classic presenting the chance for everyday riders to test their skills, before heading into Cairns to watch the World Cup unfold over the weekend. More info at mtb.subaru.com.au.

Giant Glory Prototype spotted at Pietermaritzburg

The three riders of the Giant Factory Off-Road Team are kicked off the 2014 World Cup downhill series riding prototype bikes featuring Giant 27.5 technology.

Marcelo_Glory_prototype
Marcelo Gutierrez raced his prototype Glory 27.5 to a podium finish at the Valparaiso Urban DH race in Chile over the winter. South Africa will mark its World Cup debut.

All three of the team’s riders—Danny Hart, Marcelo Gutierrez and Andrew Neethling—have been involved in testing and development of their new race bikes, and each is planning to race the prototype at the World Cup opener in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Cable_guides
Based on feedback from the Giant Factory Off-Road Team riders, cable routing was redirected to the top of the downtube, with clean integrated fork bumper guards.
Linkage
The all-new upper linkage takes its design cues from the current Trance 27.5 trail bike.
Dropper_Post
RockShox Reverb dropper seatposts were spotted on each of the Factory Team rider’s bikes.

Giant confirmed that the new prototype will be the basis of a new Glory 27.5 production bike.

 

 

Fresh Product: Cell Awaba 2.0 29er

Test_CELL_AWABA 30

Sydney-based manufacturer Cell Bikes have been undergoing something of a reformation of late. The brand made a name for itself with budget-priced urban bikes, but they’re now releasing some surprisingly refined mountain bikes too.  Captaining the ship as they sail into these dirtier oceans is Dave Musgrove, Cell’s new head of bike design.

We’ve just taken delivery of the brand new Awaba 2.0 29er hardtail to review and the initially unassuming appearance belies the bike’s attention to detail. It’s clear that every aspect has been considered, to a level not usually seen on a bike of this price point. We were sufficiently impressed to get Dave Musgrove on the blower to ask him a few questions about the bike.

You’ve named this bike the Awaba – does that name choice reflect anything significant in the bike’s design for intentions?

Awaba MTB Park is one of my favourite XC tracks to ride; the climbs aren’t huge, the trails are primarily single track and it’s tight and twisty with lots of fun descents. The smooth flowing nature of Awaba is always a pleasant change from my regular rough riding on Sydney’s rocky Northern Beaches. So, Awaba was the first trail that came to mind when I started playing with geometry and tube shapes for our new high-end 29er hardtails. Throughout the development process I was adamant that these bikes would be suited to technical XC trails like Awaba, so I wanted to provide all the benefits of 29er wheels without the cumbersome handling characteristics that are prevalent on many 29ers I’ve ridden. By using a longer offset fork (many brands use 46mm, we’ve used 51mm) combined with a slightly slacker head angle, we can have a relatively short “trail” measurement, which means the bike has great manoeuvrability at low speed in tight corners but maintains stability at high speed. Short chain stays are also key for swinging around corners, hopping over obstacles and manualling off drops. We opened a new mould to make a slight bend in the seat tube which allowed the chain stays to be shortened without creating mud clearance issues. We call this geometry Pro Geo.

Cell have not necessarily been known as a producer of ‘serious’ (for lack of a better word) mountain bikes in the past. Do you see this as a barrier for this bike’s success?

I hope not! Cell Bikes are well known as offering great value bikes, though admittedly a couple of older models perhaps should not have seen the light of day, let alone a mountain bike trail. The value is remaining the same, due to our factory direct sales model, however the performance of our bikes has been taken to a whole new level. We now go through a far more thorough design, testing and quality control process which is evident through performance of our entire new range of bikes. Our bikes now have the same level of quality as the big brands and we back up this claim by providing a lifetime frame warranty on all of our bikes. I hope that our current focus of offering well priced high quality bikes will have a greater influence on customers’ opinions than some of our cheap and cheerful attempts at mountain bikes from a few years ago. Perhaps customers will also appreciate that we’re a small Aussie bike company that is growing up and offering them a locally designed competitive option, rather than having to settle for a bike from a big international marketing machine with little connection to their local scene.

Who is the targeted rider for this bike, and what aspects of the design reflect this?

It’s targeted at a range of riders, from the first time mountain bike buyer who wants to shred with their buddies without splashing out on a dually, to serious XC racers who are looking for a reliable yet lightweight race bike. To cover this range of needs we focused on making the Awaba light weight with superior handling and longterm reliability. The spec is reasonably light, however it is the frame where we shaved all unnecessary weight. It has triple butted tubing throughout, including stays, seat tube and main tubes. Positioning the rear brake calliper on the chain stay allows the seat stays to be lighter weight and designed to absorb impacts more effectively. The press-fit bottom bracket and fully integrated tapered headset (without cups) save further weight and reduce potential creaking. The Pro Geo is key to the good handling in technical terrain however lateral stiffness is also important, but often lacking in many 29ers in the market. I wanted riders to be able to thrash the Awaba down rough descents and rail it around corners without the wheels, fork and frame flexing everywhere. We achieved high lateral stiffness by using a tapered steerer fork with 15mm Maxle matched with a 142x12mm Maxle to bolt the rear hub in place. Thru-axles add a huge amount of stiffness compared to traditional QR skewers, which is especially noticeable with the added leverage of 29″ wheels. Using strong eyeletted 32 spoke rims allows for high spoke tension which further improves handling and reliability.

Pick a design element of this bike that is the highlight for you (perhaps something people might not notice, but which makes a real difference).

Rack mounts! Haha. No, something that is not the biggest highlight but does make a real difference yet is often over looked – cable routing. We use full length housing for both derailleurs to keep as much dirt and water out as possible. The cables follow a smooth and direct route for a clean appearance and reliable function, and assuming the rear brake is run Australian style (left hand lever), there shouldn’t be any cable rub on the frame. Perfecting the small details is important for the long term function of a mountain bike.

 

Shimano XTR 11-speed revealed

SHIMANO DEFINES A NEW RHYTHM FOR RACE AND TRAIL RIDERS WITH NEW XTR M9000 MOUNTAIN BIKE COMPONENTS AND WHEELS

 

Shimano today introduced new XTR M9000, its most advanced XTR mountainbike components and wheels to date. With this totally new XTR line available in both Race and Trail

“Rider Tuned” product families, Shimano leverages its 22 years of engineering leadership producing the industry’s highest performing mountain bike component group. Inspired by the versatility and capability of today’s riders and the terrain they tackle, M9000 offers refined and tested solutions engineered for the way they ride.

 

DRIVETRAIN SYSTEM: “RHYTHM AND RANGE” DEFINE THE 11-SPEED DRIVETRAIN

Shimano’s unrivalled legacy in producing bicycle drivetrains is evident with the XTR M9000’s most notable rider benefit: ensuring pedalling rhythm. New XTR M9000 provides range and ensures rhythm for diverse riding styles and terrain to create smooth, harmonic pedalling – the ultimate goal of a drivetrain. The XTR M9000 drivetrain system maintains riders’ rhythm thanks to meticulously selected close step gearing configurations of the cassette and crank.

News_ShimanoXTR019
The XTR Race and Trail cranks are modular – the same crank can be configured to run single, double or triple rings. The only difference between the 9000 and 9020 cranks is the q-factor, which is 10mm narrower on the Race crank.

 

CRANK SETS:

XTR FC-M9000 Race and FC-M9020 Trail cranks are modular, creating a Rider Tuned platform whereby single and double chain rings can be used on the same crank arm. XTR FC-M9000 crank sets debut the most advanced mountain bike chain rings ever produced that utilize combined titanium, carbon and aluminium materials. Dedicated XTR 1x chain rings debut proprietary chain ring retention technology in a tooth profile that eliminates the need for chain retention devices.

News_ShimanoXTR016
Look, Ma! One ring! Chain rings from 30-36T are available in two-tooth jumps.

• XTR FC-M9000 Race cranks have a narrower 158mm Q-factor and utilize a lighter and stiffer 3D hollow bonded structure on the non-drive arm.

• XTR FC-M9020 Trail cranks are available in single, double and triple chaining configurations on the cold forged more durable, standard 168mm Q-factor crank arms.

• Chain ring configurations: Single (30T, 32T, 34T, 36T), double (34-24T, 36-26T, 38-28T), triple (40-30-22T).

 

News_ShimanoXTR014
The biggest range cassette Shimano has ever made, with an 11-40 spread.

CASSETTE:

Rhythm is the essence of smooth power transfer and proper gear step is the key to maintaining rhythm over varied terrain. The XTR CS-M9000 11-speed 11-40T cassette is the widest range cassette Shimano has ever produced and also its most balanced. Thanks to its “rhythm step” progression, it maintains calculated, shock-free gear steps from one gear to the next, saving riders energy and helping maintain rhythm on the trail. Key features include:

• A new HG-X11 specific tooth profile.

• Carbon spider with aluminum, titanium and steel cogs.

• Rhythm step gear progression: 11-13-15-17-19-21-24-27-31-35-40T

News_ShimanoXTR012
While the new Dura-Ace road groupset now has a symmetrical chain, the new XTR retains an asymmetrical/direction specific design.

CHAIN:

Shimano introduces its premium new 11-speed chain that delivers overall better performance for mountain bikers. The CN-HG900-11 uses a HG-X11 special asymmetric plate design and Shimano’s new SIL-TEC surface treatment. Benefits of the new chain include:

• Overall total improved performance.

• A quieter ride, and chain operation.

• Better mud shedding.

• Increased chain life.

 

XTR SHIFTING SYSTEM: THE ULTIMATE STABILITY AND RESPONSE

Shimano systems engineering creates a new level of shifting precision in the M9000 XTR shifting system. With both lighter action and increased stability, Shimano’s M9000 XTR shifting system redefines gear change performance while introducing enhanced ergonomics. XTR M9000 debuts a bold new front derailleur design and approach for larger wheels and longer travel that delivers remarkable shifting performance.

News_ShimanoXTR039
The new I-Spec system offers more adjustment than previous versions, both vertically as well as horizontally.

SHIFTERS:

XTR M9000 offers Shimano’s most responsive mechanical shifting and controlling shifts is easier than ever thanks to a reduction in shift effort by 20 percent. The SL-M9000 shifters feature:

• A ball bearing construction, and slick polymer-coated shift cable for smooth activation.

• A more ergonomic release lever that utilizes wider, dual-textured carbon shift levers.

• An improved vivid index mechanism for more pronounced feedback.

• XTR SL-M9000 shifters also feature and debut new I-spec II mounting for more room on bar and rotation and side adjustability.

News_ShimanoXTR024
Now this is pretty cool! The Side Swing derailleur offers far more clearance than a regular front derailleur, ideal for 29ers with short stays or bigger tyres.

FRONT DERAILLUERS:

Shimano’s new FD-M9000 masters front shifting for double and triple crank sets with a new, first-ever Side-Swing front derailleur design that increases shift performance by a staggering 100 percent. Designed specifically with modern trail bikes in mind, Shimano’s XTR FD-M9000 Side-Swing front derailleur provides 15mm of increased tire clearance, while new cable routing dramatically reduces shifting effort. Rider Tuned front derailleur options include:

• New FD-M9000 (triple) and FD-M9020 (double) front derailleurs that utilize a new structure with three mount options and new cable routing: High clamp, Low clamp, D-type, E-type (without plate).

• A conventional FD-M9025 (double) increases front shift performance by 50 percent and is available in high clamp and low clamp options.

News_ShimanoXTR035
Our experience has been that on some frames the switch mechanism for Shadow Plus derailleurs can rub. Shouldn’t ever be an issue now, as Shimano have shifted the lever.

REAR DERAILLEUR:

With a refined Shadow RD Plus clutch rear derailleur, a new front derailleur structure and a new XTR chain (CNHG900-11), M9000 offers the most stable drivetrain the industry has ever seen. A new Shadow design optimises the slant angle, lowering shift effort while improving shifting and driving stability while the derailleur is even lower profile protected further from harm’s way. The new Shadow Plus clutch has a simpler external clutch adjustment, and the derailleur has a wider range of adjustment for easier setup.

• The XTR RD-M9000 is compatible with all XTR front chain ring variations.

• The XTR RD-M9000 is available in GS (mid cage) and SGS (long cage) options.

 

BRAKING SYSTEM: RIDER TUNED XTR RACE AND TRAIL BRAKES

New XTR M9000 hydraulic disc brake systems are also Rider Tuned in Race and Trail versions, as not all riders come down the same mountain at the same speed. Shimano’s legacy of leading brake design stems from its dedicated study of the components of control: heat, power and stiffness. New XTR M9000 brakes offer varying levels of heat control from an insulated piston (glass fiber phenolic) and insulated pad coating that created 10 percent more heat resistance. XTR M9000 brake levers also feature new handlebar-clearing I-spec II mounting.

News_ShimanoXTR001
Magnesium and carbon. Sounds racy to us.
News_ShimanoXTR007
The minimalist Race caliper.

RACE BRAKES:

Race-tuned power and overall lighter weight thanks to a magnesium caliper and master cylinder as well as a carbon lever blade.

News_ShimanoXTR008
More venting than a rat-eaten flyscreen, the new XTR Trail brakes.

News_ShimanoXTR006

 

TRAIL BRAKES:

Trail-tuned for power and stiffness using pre-loaded aluminium caliper and a new SERVO-WAVE lever with a powerful and stiff carbon-alloy structure. The XTR M9020 Trail brakes come standard with ICE TECHNOLOGIES radiator pads for further heat reduction.

News_ShimanoXTR040
FREEZA… Don’t keep your Paddle Pops in here.

FREEZA ROTORS:

With an increased surface area for heat dispersion, Shimano’s FREEZA rotor for XTR-M9000 remains the ultimate in heat control that is now available in smaller size options with a lighter weight spider. The rotor provides a 50° C reduction in heat giving riders more powerful braking and greater durability and longer pad life.

The SM-RT99 is available in 140mm, 160mm, 180mm and 203mm diameter sizes.

 

WHEELSETS: SHIMANO GOES CARBON WITH XTR RACE AND TRAIL WHEELS

The all-new XTR M9000 wheels mark a serious turning point for Shimano in premium mountain bike wheel sets. They are Shimano’s most advanced mountain bike wheels to date, and also the first featuring carbon laminate rim technology. New XTR M9000 series wheels are even more focused at each end of the spectrum, from ultra-light and durable race wheels to all-mountain tuned trail wheels. All new XTR wheels use 28 butted spokes both front and rear and include a new lightweight bearing and axle system.

News_ShimanoXTR042
XTR Race and Trail wheels both score a carbon laminate. The new Trail wheels have a 24mm internal width.

RACE WHEELS:

Available in both a 27.5 and 29” option, the XTR M9000 Race wheels have a 20mm internal rim width and a new UST tubeless carbon laminated aluminum rim.

TRAIL WHEELS:

Available in both a 27.5 and 29” option, the XTR M9020 Trail wheels have an 24mm internal rim width and a new UST tubeless carbon laminated aluminum rim.

 TUBULAR 29er WHEELS: 

Carbon tubular wheels offer the ultimate solution for XC racers, in a 29” exclusively, ultra-light wheel set.

News_ShimanoXTR031
The hubs score just an aesthetic change. Ain’t broke, don’t fix.

A cosmetic update, lighter rear axle system and a 15mm E-thru axle provide XTR technology at the center of the wheelset.

• FH-M9000 (Quick Release type) and FH-M9010 (12mm E-thru rear) hubs are both 10 and 11-speed compatible.

• The rear hubs feature a new lightweight bearing and axle system that is now 33 grams lighter.

• XTR M9000 hubs are exclusively CENTER LOCK compatible.

 

XTR PEDALS: CONTINUING 25 YEARS OF SHIMANO SPD

In 2015, Shimano celebrates its pioneering 25-year legacy of Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD). Shimano continues this legacy with both the PD-M9000 and PD-M9020 pedal versions.

News_ShimanoXTR033
Could the SPD mechanism be the soundest piece of engineering in mountain bike history? Can’t kill these things.

RACE PEDALS:

The race pedals feature a mud-shedding design, adjustable entry and release settings, and wide bearing placement for extra rigidity.

News_ShimanoXTR034

TRAIL PEDALS:

The trail pedals feature a mud-shedding design, adjustable entry and release settings, and wide bearing placement for extra rigidity. In addition the trail pedal offers a larger contact plate for increased stability on aggressive terrain

 

 

RockShox Bluto, It's a Fat Bike Suspension Fork

You’ve probably observed more and more riders are on bikes that look “different” on your trails. Bikes that have wheels and tires of gigantic proportion – and we’re not talking about 29ers here.

Blizzard Angle

The thing is, even though fat bikes were first created to float on top of snow and sand, they’re just too damn fun not to ride on dirt. So how do you amplify your fat bike adventures even further? With a supercharged, ultra efficient, first of its kind fat suspension fork called BLUTO.

FS BLUTO RL BLK A17W

 

We started with the features you’ve come to love from RockShox: Rapid Recovery rebound, Fast Black aluminum upper tubes, the infinitely tunable Solo Air spring, stout 15mm Maxle Lite, remote or crown adjustable damper, and tapered steerer tube. Then, the chassis got the fat treatment by reengineering it to meet the unique needs of fat tires and wheels. Everything from crown, to arch, to axle has been optimized to tackle the increased torsional loads of its wide stance. With more traction and control than ever before, you’ll never be happier you went fat.

FS BLUTO RL BLK A16W

Specs Bluto
Model RL
Wheel Size 26”
Travel (mm) 80/100/120mm
Steerer Tapered
Offset 51mm
Axle 15×150 Maxle Lite
Damper Adjust Crown or Remote (PushLoc) compression to lockout, rebound
Spring Solo Air
Tire clearance 4.8” max.
Color Black, White (OE only), Diffusion Black (OE only)
Target Weight 1796g (3.96 lb)
MSRP Crown/Remote $819.95/$919.95 AUD

RockShox Bluto, It’s a Fat Bike Suspension Fork

You’ve probably observed more and more riders are on bikes that look “different” on your trails. Bikes that have wheels and tires of gigantic proportion – and we’re not talking about 29ers here.

Blizzard Angle

The thing is, even though fat bikes were first created to float on top of snow and sand, they’re just too damn fun not to ride on dirt. So how do you amplify your fat bike adventures even further? With a supercharged, ultra efficient, first of its kind fat suspension fork called BLUTO.

FS BLUTO RL BLK A17W

 

We started with the features you’ve come to love from RockShox: Rapid Recovery rebound, Fast Black aluminum upper tubes, the infinitely tunable Solo Air spring, stout 15mm Maxle Lite, remote or crown adjustable damper, and tapered steerer tube. Then, the chassis got the fat treatment by reengineering it to meet the unique needs of fat tires and wheels. Everything from crown, to arch, to axle has been optimized to tackle the increased torsional loads of its wide stance. With more traction and control than ever before, you’ll never be happier you went fat.

FS BLUTO RL BLK A16W

Specs Bluto
Model RL
Wheel Size 26”
Travel (mm) 80/100/120mm
Steerer Tapered
Offset 51mm
Axle 15×150 Maxle Lite
Damper Adjust Crown or Remote (PushLoc) compression to lockout, rebound
Spring Solo Air
Tire clearance 4.8” max.
Color Black, White (OE only), Diffusion Black (OE only)
Target Weight 1796g (3.96 lb)
MSRP Crown/Remote $819.95/$919.95 AUD

#throwbackthursday: A Baby Faced Hannah, Gracia, Minnaar, McCarrol, Rennie in Japan WC, 2001

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 3.30.20 PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 3.31.13 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 3.27.13 PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 3.30.28 PM

 

Men’s DH Results:
1. Nicolas Vouilloz (FRA, Vouilloz Racing Team) in 4:19
2. Sean McCarroll (Global Racing Team) + 6.47
3. Michael Ronning (Intense) + 8.55
4. Greg Minnaar (Global Racing Team) + 8.96
5. Mickael Pascal (Be-One Team) + 9.02
6. Cedric Gracia (Volvo-Cannondale) + 9.31
7. Nathan Rennie (Yeti/Pearl Izumi) + 10.17
8. Oscar Saiz (Be-One) + 11.59
9. Eric Carter (Mongoose) + 11.75
10. Rich Houseman (Tomac) + 12.07

Women’s DH Results:
1. Anne-Caroline Chausson (Volvo-Cannondale) in 4:52
2. Missy Giove (Global Racing Team) + 1.95 sec.
3. Sabrina Jonnier (RSP Import Intense) + 7.93
4. Fionn Griffiths (Ancillotti Zeal) + 8.01
5. Leigh Donovan (Schwinn) + 8.62
6. Marielle Saner (Team Global Racing) + 10.24
7. Katja Repo (Team GT) + 11.66
8. April Lawyer (Maxxis) + 26.40
9. Kathy Pruitt (Dirtworks) + 26.54
10. Mio Suemasa (Team GT Japan) + 27.86

 

Cream Of the Crop in XCO Set for Cairns World Cup

Cairns’ Smithfield Rainforest is set to erupt with the cream of the crop of international mountain biking set to battle in the second round of the 2014 UCI MTB World Cup Series.

The Series features events in nine countries, across four continents with riders contesting six rounds in the Olympic Cross Country (XCO), Downhill (DHI) and Cross Country Eliminator (DHI) events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories. The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

Dubbed the “Rumble in the Rainforest”, the three-day Cairns event begins on April 25 and over 300 riders are expected to converge on tropical North Queensland along with tens of thousands of fans.

French mountain-biking legend Julien Absalon (BMC) will headline the men’s endurance field, with the super-star’s overcrowded resume boasting five overall World Cup Series wins, four world titles and two Olympic gold medals.

Australia’s Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing) will be aiming for more glory after a great performance in the 2013 Series which saw him become the first Australian since Cadel Evans (2000) to finish on the podium at season’s end.  Reigning XCE world champion Paul van der Ploeg (Giant) will excite the crowds when he hits the course in his pet event.

Reigning Olympic champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE/Specialised XC) will make a decision after this weekend’s opening round in South Africa, but 2004 Olympic silver medallist and 2010 elite world champion Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida) and former U23 world champion Ondrej Cink (Multivan Merida) will make the trip.

In the women’s field, reigning Olympic and two-time reigning XCO world champion Julie Bresset (France/BH-SUNTOUR-KMC), 2013 Series champion Tanja Zakelj (Slovenia/Unior Tools), and 2013 UCI rankings leader Eva Lechner (Italy/Team Colnago Sudtirol) will all line up.

2010 world champion Maja Wloszczowska (Poland/LIV Pro XC Team), two-time reigning XCE world champion Alexandra Engen (Sweden/GHOST Factory Teamriders) and Jolanda Neff (Switzerland/LIV Pro XC Team) – a two time U23 XCO world champion – have also confirmed.

Rebecca Henderson (Trek Factory Racing) will fly the Aussie flag, with the Canberran enjoying a superb 2013 season, taking out the U23 World Cup Series following two victories (Albstadt and Mont-Saint-Anne) and three runner-up finishes in the six events.

With the 22-year-old making the jump to the elite ranks in 2014, Henderson kick started the year with victory at the National titles and silver at the Oceania Championships.

The Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland is proud to support the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural, business and regional events across the state.

*Please note – entries for the Cairns UCI Mountain Bike World Cup open on April 10 and close April 22.  Official start lists to be confirmed after this date.

About the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series

  • 2014 Series will feature nine events in nine countries, across four continents from April and August.
  • Six rounds are held in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories.
  • The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

Follow 2014 Cairns World Cup online

2014 Cairns World Cup Event Info

The Tablelands Classic

The week is not just for the professionals with the Tablelands Classic presenting the chance for everyday riders to test their skills, before heading into Cairns to watch the World Cup unfold over the weekend. More info atmtb.subaru.com.au.

 

ENVE Launches Next Generation Mountain Wheel Line

ENVE is pleased to announce the MSERIES, a game changing collection of mountain wheels featuring four rim models developed for specific rider profiles. These four models consider a rider’s propensity towards descending versus ascending and are named accordingly.

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ENVE M-SERIES from ENVE Composites on Vimeo.

M50 – XC Race

RRP $3499 – $3749

DT240 or King hub option.

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M60 – Trail 

RRP $3499 – $3749

DT240 or King hub option.

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M70 – Gravity, Park

RRP $3449 – $3749

DT240 or King hub option.

 

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M90 – DH Specific

RRP $3499 – $3749

DT240 or King hub option.

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Each model in the MSERIES features a revolutionary design that results in a lighter, stiffer, stronger, and more predictable rim. Fundamental in the design of each new rim is a structure and shape that provides improved vertical compliance without sacrificing lateral stiffness. “As cliché as it may be to speak of vertical compliance and lateral stiffness, the advancements we have made with the MSERIES rim structures produce that very outcome. The performance benefits are significant in much the same way that dialing in the right tire pressure is,” stated ENVE VP of Research and Development Scott Nielson.

The new MSERIES is significantly more impact resistant than its comparable first generation predecessor. Remarkably, the new MSERIES rims are notably lighter than the previous generation mountain rims even with these improvements in impact toughness. For example, the new 29” M50 tips the scales at 320 grams while the first generation equivalent the 29 XC, weighed a respectable 385 grams.

In order to further refine the ride tune of the new MSERIES, each rim model features a unique depth and width. Rim width is determined by pairing each rim model with the predominant tire widths used for the defined ride application. By optimizing the rim and tire interface, handling predictability and traction are improved.

Additionally, the new MSERIES features an improved tubeless design that refines the union of tire and rim creating a more reliable seal and reducing the possibility of “burping”. This new level of tubeless performance is made possible in part by a new “hookless” bead design. Lead Engineer Brett Satterthwaite stated, “Our beadless hook design has performance implications that include better tubeless performance, pinch flat resistance, and impact durability. It is a design that truly plays to the strengths of full carbon construction.”

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ENVE’s new MSERIES is now shipping to authorized dealers and distributors around the world. The new MSERIES will also be available on select complete bike models from ENVE OEM Partners: Cannondale, Santa Cruz Bicycles, Turner, and Intense.

FIVE-YEAR WARRANTY

ENVE® Composites warrants all products to be free from defects in materials or workmanship for a period of FIVE YEARS from the original purchase date (receipt required). This warranty is non-transferable and valid to the original purchaser of the product only. Claims under this warranty must be made through an Authorized ENVE dealer.  Proof of purchase is required.

LIFETIME CRASH REPLACEMENT

ENVE® Composites designs and manufactures products that will confidently survive the rigors of competition and riding at the highest levels.  We also understand that unintentional accidents happen more often than any of us would like.  There are pot holes, distracted drivers, debris, animals, weather, and many other ways to crash or damage the bicycle.  To keep customers in the ENVE family, we offer a LIFETIME Crash Replacement Policy to the original owner. The price of replacement product or parts is 50% off the listed MSRP price to the original purchaser (i.e., Road Fork 2.0 MSRP $480, Crash Replacement $240).

About ENVE Composites 

Located in Ogden, Utah, ENVE Composites is a manufacturer of handmade carbon fiber bicycle rims and components. ENVE is a company made up of passionate cyclists that have created a unique brand and complete product offering based on a riding lifestyle. ENVE employees have designed and innovated some of the world’s most respected products in the bicycle as well as other outdoor industries. ENVE designs and manufactures 100% of their rims in the US.

www.enve.com

The RockShox RS-1, Turning Supple Suspension Upside Down

New RockShox RS-1

We set out to make the world’s most efficient XC racing suspension. We ended up with an entirely new world of racing.

FS RS1 29 SA 120 BLACK FRONT

When it came time to best our XC platform, it meant reevaluating every element that defines the most winning XC fork in world cup history. A ruthless approach to material optimization, an ultra efficient energy saving lockout and quite possibly the world’s lightest air spring – all designed to enable riders to find their next line. The outcome was something unexpected. A fork that ushers in a new-generation philosophy to XC rider efficiency, packaged in a chassis design never before seen by RockShox. RS-1 harnesses 25 years of creativity, refinement, and the courage to tackle the biggest engineering challenge of mountain bike suspension to date: the inverted chassis.

FS RS1 29 SA 120 BLACK 3-4

MODEL RS-1
Wheel Size 29”
Travel (mm) 80/100/120mm
Stanchions 32mm aluminum, Fast Black
Steerer Tapered Carbon
Offset 46 and 51mm
Axle Predictive Steering – Torque Tube w/Maxle Ultimate
Damper Accelerator
Damper Adjust XLoc Remote (Sprint or Full Sprint)
Spring Solo Air
Colors Black, Diffusion Black
Decal Color Red/White, Silver
Weight 1,666g (3.67lbs)
MSRP $2300 AUD
Matte black, with silver decals also available.
Matte black, with silver decals also available.

 FS RS1 29 SA 120 BLACK TOP

FULLY INTEGRATED. COMPLETELY OPTIMIZED.

Engineering the RS-1 enabled us to use a fully integrated approach, avoiding the need for unwanted material in the chassis. We completely reimagined the fork’s structure, blending the legs, crown and steerer tube in a carbon mainframe resulting in an unprecedented level of integration and material optimization. The fully integrated RS-1 carbon mainframe improves steering precision and stiffness – every single gram serving its intended purpose, and nothing more.

PREDICTIVE STEERING.

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For decades, engineers wanting to reap the benefits of inverted designs had to choose between light and flexy, or torsionally stiff and heavy. A dilemma that hindered the performance gains of inverted forks from being fully realized. Now we can’t claim to have invented the inverted suspension chassis. But we can claim to be the first company to deliver a design that’s light enough for the World Cup, while simultaneously delivering a stiffer chassis than traditional forks. The break-through technology centers around a reimagined dropout/wheel interface.

Predictive Steering features a stock 15mm Maxle Ultimate mated with a solid oversized axle running through the hub, the Torque Tube. When the system is clamped with the corresponding dropout, the Torque Tube axle becomes a structural part of the fork, providing unparalleled stiffness. Fork leg twisting is minimized. And, since Predictive Steering technology only adds material around the dropouts and on the hub’s axle, the weight difference compared to a standard 15mm through axle setup is minimal, while providing an unprecedented level of torsional stiffness for a lightweight, inverted fork. This technology gives even the best riders room to find a new line. And it’s only available on RS-1.

AVAILABLE IN

  • RISE XX
  • RISE 60 – 29”
  • ROAM 50 – 29”
  • Predictive Steering Hub

Conquer the small battles, win the war.

On the journey to find higher levels of rider efficiency, we observed that many XC racers tune their suspension to the hardest possible compression setting, looking for maximum pedaling efficiency under power. This leaves them having no choice but to endure the natural undulations and braking bumps found on every square inch of the trail. But this approach transfers speed killing, energy robbing vibration to the rider. Nothing solves the issue more efficiently than RS-1: the nature of the inverted design ensures the seals are constantly bathed in oil and minimizes binding between stanchions and bushings. The result is an unprecedented amount of small bump sensitivity, helping you stay more efficient everywhere on the trail and racetrack.

A Damper Designed For Acceleration

Contrary to popular belief, rewriting the rulebook isn’t all upside. After designing the fork chassis from the ground up, it meant developing an all-new damper to eek every percent of performance out of the RS-1. A tall order, but one that RockShox fully embraced.

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We started by reevaluating how XC athletes produce efficient power and navigate course conditions while fatigued. We created a firmer lockout for moments of maximum sprint efficiency. We eliminated material redundancies by housing the circuit in a sealed cartridge, reducing weight. Then air was eliminated from the damper circuit ensuring absolute consistency. The Dig Valve’s compression tune was created to manage diving during successive hits and heavy braking. We added the Rapid Recovery system to keep the fork riding high, in the plushest part of the travel. We even made the cartridge easily serviceable in the race pits or at your local shop. We believe the Accelerator Damper crystallizes the performance of RS-1 by helping riders turn every pedal stroke into acceleration towards the top step of the podium.

RockShox Bottomless Tokens

That bottomless feeling

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.58.08 AM

  • Easily tune your air volume in RS-1, Reba, SID, and Revelation
  • Tokens thread in to topcaps just like they do in PIKE
  • Black tokens designed to work in 32mm upper tubes

 

2015 FOX Suspension 2015 Announced

FOX Unveils its Model Year 2015 Mountain Bike Suspension Lineup

A completely redesigned 36 enduro fork headlines the lineup, along with updates to the rest of the line that are a direct result of the 34 RAD project during the 2013 race season.

2015-36-float-160-f

FOX is celebrating its 40th anniversary since Bob Fox started redefining ride dynamics in the motocross world in 1974. Our entire fork lineup has received attention, with significant updates being made to the 32 and 34 models and a completely redesigned 36 series—some of the most exciting product offerings we’ve ever introduced.  FOX will also be offering special edition stealth black forks and heritage graphic kits that will fit any FOX fork or shock.

40 YEARS OF FOX PHILOSOPHY: DEVELOP IN EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS WITH DEMANDING ATHLETES

In 1974, Bob set out on a quest to build a better motocross suspension. His approach was to work with top athletes at the racetrack to help them improve.

Our current-day Racing Applications Development (RAD) program continues to work with athletes at the top of their game on some of the most demanding terrain around the world.

Several key developments from the RAD program have been used in the 2015 product line. New compression tunes, redesigned damper seals, and lubrication oil all add up to performance improvements.

  • 32 & 34 forks have updated damping tunes for better small bump compliance and traction
  • 32 & 34 Factory models offer on-the-fly CTD damping adjustment and 7-click Trail mode fine tuning
  • 32 & 34 & 36 forks feature a redesigned seal head architecture that virtually eliminates breakaway force
  • 32, 34, 36, & 40 use an advanced lubrication oil that integrates Molybdenum from the Kashima Coat formula

Our Lightest 36 RC2 Fork Ever: Redesigned For 26, 27.5 and 29” Wheel Sizes

The model year 2015 36 offers rigidity and improved traction for all-mountain riding and enduro racing in a new lighter chassis. Also of note is its updated geometry, new convertible thru-axle design that works both with 15mm and 20mm, purpose-built RC2 damper, and redesigned air spring system that equalizes rider weight for increased traction.

  • Lighter: half-pound weight savings over its predecessor (starting at 4.19lbs/1901g)
  • 36-specific RC2 damper: redesigned valve system provides better small bump compliance, reduced friction, better traction, and wider tuning range
  • Redesigned air spring system: equalizes rider weight for increased traction
  • Convertible thru-axle design: works with 15mm and 20mm axles 

36-axle-15mm

36-axle-20mm

36-axles

Special Edition Forks & Decals

Heritage Fork & Shock Decal Kits

Reminiscent to the first motocross decals these heritage graphics come in an array of colors.

  • Works with any fork or shock regardless of model or year
  • Each set includes decals for FOX fork and FOX shock
  • Available in red, blue, white, green, and tennis ball yellow

FOX-36-heritage

Stealth FLOAT Forks

For a limited time, FOX is offering three blacked out FLOAT fork models with stealth black decals and black anodized knobs.

The Float Stealth, blacker than black.
The Float Stealth, blacker than black.
  • 32 29”/100mm CTD w/Trail Adjust
  • 34 27.5”/160mm CTD w/Trail Adjust
  • 40 26”/203mm RC2

About FOX

Headquartered in Scotts Valley, CA, FOX designs and manufactures high-performance suspension products primarily for mountain bikes, side-by-side vehicles, on-road and off-road vehicles and trucks, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, specialty vehicles and applications, and motorcycles. For more than three decades, FOX’s team of enthusiasts and professional athletes has been improving vehicle performance through a unique commitment to redefining ride dynamics.

Racing: Downhill's finest heading to Cairns for UCI MTB World Cup

No less than seven downhill World and six World Cup Series champions will descend on the Smithfield Rainforest in Cairns later this month for the second round of the 2014 UCI MTB World Cup Series.

The World Cup Series features events in nine countries, across four continents with riders contesting six rounds in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories. The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

CYC11171_MREC_300x250_LOOP_FA

Dubbed the “Rumble in the Rainforest”, the three-day Cairns event begins on April 25 and over 300 riders are expected to converge on tropical North Queensland along with tens of thousands of fans.

A star studded men’s downhill field includes two-time reigning world champion Greg Minnaar (South Africa/Santa Cruz Syndicate), with the three-time overall Series champion boasting sixteen career World Cup wins including 60 podiums from 97 starts.

Reigning World Cup Series winner Steve Smith (Canada/Devinci Global Racing), 2008 world and 2010 Series champion Gee Atherton (Great Britain/Atherton Racing) and exciting young-gun Loic Bruni (France/Lapierre Gravity Republic) are all heading down under.

Australia will be well represented by Cairns native and 2013 World Championship silver medallist Michael Hannah (Hutchinson UR) who finished sixth overall last season and will be aiming for a strong showing on his home track.

Hannah will be joined by fellow Australians Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof), a three-time world and two-time Series champion, and Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) who claimed both the junior world title and World Cup series crown in 2010 and 2011, and enjoyed success in the 2013 Series with six top-ten finishes.

Reigning world and three-time Series champion Rachel Atherton (Great Britain/Atherton Racing) will look to continue her dominance of the women’s scene and add to her decorated resume that already includes 19 World Cup victories.

A strong French women’s contingent includes 2009 & 2011 world champion Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic), who will be gunning for the top step of the World Cup podium after finishing runner up in the 2012 and 2013 series, and 2012 world champion Morgane Charre (Evil Vengeance Tour).

Like elder brother Michael, former junior world champion Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR), will be looking to excite the home crowds and claim her second career World Cup win. Being limited to just four of six events in each of the past two seasons, Hannah finished tenth in 2013 and fourth overall in 2012.

*Entries for the Cairns UCI Mountain Bike World Cup open on April 10 and close April 22.  Official start lists to be confirmed after this date.

About the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series

  • 2014 Series will feature nine events in nine countries, across four continents from April and August.
  • Six rounds are held in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories.
  • The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

Follow 2014 Cairns World Cup online

2014 Cairns World Cup Event Info

The Tablelands Classic

The week is not just for the professionals with the Tablelands Classic presenting the chance for everyday riders to test their skills, before heading into Cairns to watch the World Cup unfold over the weekend. More info atmtb.subaru.com.au.

Racing: Downhill’s finest heading to Cairns for UCI MTB World Cup

No less than seven downhill World and six World Cup Series champions will descend on the Smithfield Rainforest in Cairns later this month for the second round of the 2014 UCI MTB World Cup Series.

The World Cup Series features events in nine countries, across four continents with riders contesting six rounds in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories. The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

CYC11171_MREC_300x250_LOOP_FA

Dubbed the “Rumble in the Rainforest”, the three-day Cairns event begins on April 25 and over 300 riders are expected to converge on tropical North Queensland along with tens of thousands of fans.

A star studded men’s downhill field includes two-time reigning world champion Greg Minnaar (South Africa/Santa Cruz Syndicate), with the three-time overall Series champion boasting sixteen career World Cup wins including 60 podiums from 97 starts.

Reigning World Cup Series winner Steve Smith (Canada/Devinci Global Racing), 2008 world and 2010 Series champion Gee Atherton (Great Britain/Atherton Racing) and exciting young-gun Loic Bruni (France/Lapierre Gravity Republic) are all heading down under.

Australia will be well represented by Cairns native and 2013 World Championship silver medallist Michael Hannah (Hutchinson UR) who finished sixth overall last season and will be aiming for a strong showing on his home track.

Hannah will be joined by fellow Australians Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles.com / Nukeproof), a three-time world and two-time Series champion, and Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH) who claimed both the junior world title and World Cup series crown in 2010 and 2011, and enjoyed success in the 2013 Series with six top-ten finishes.

Reigning world and three-time Series champion Rachel Atherton (Great Britain/Atherton Racing) will look to continue her dominance of the women’s scene and add to her decorated resume that already includes 19 World Cup victories.

A strong French women’s contingent includes 2009 & 2011 world champion Emmeline Ragot (Lapierre Gravity Republic), who will be gunning for the top step of the World Cup podium after finishing runner up in the 2012 and 2013 series, and 2012 world champion Morgane Charre (Evil Vengeance Tour).

Like elder brother Michael, former junior world champion Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson UR), will be looking to excite the home crowds and claim her second career World Cup win. Being limited to just four of six events in each of the past two seasons, Hannah finished tenth in 2013 and fourth overall in 2012.

*Entries for the Cairns UCI Mountain Bike World Cup open on April 10 and close April 22.  Official start lists to be confirmed after this date.

About the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series

  • 2014 Series will feature nine events in nine countries, across four continents from April and August.
  • Six rounds are held in the Olympic Cross Country, Downhill and Cross Country Eliminator events across the elite, under 23 and junior categories.
  • The opening round will be held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) from April 10-13.

Follow 2014 Cairns World Cup online

2014 Cairns World Cup Event Info

The Tablelands Classic

The week is not just for the professionals with the Tablelands Classic presenting the chance for everyday riders to test their skills, before heading into Cairns to watch the World Cup unfold over the weekend. More info atmtb.subaru.com.au.