This is Peaty – Final Episode for 2014

This Is Peaty Season 3 has come to a close, after one hell of a year. The rise of the rat, endless laughing and another packed season full of travelling around the globe with Mountain Biking’s biggest legend to date.

It seems a long time ago since Episode One back in 2012…Like we’ve always preached, It was all about keeping things fun from the start with TIP.

The main aim of TIP was to bring you closer to Steve and co outside of the racing too. It’s not an act, both Steve, Rat and all their mates do have a tonne of fun both at home and whilst racing professionally around the world. The Syndicate is a special grouping of individuals, much more than your average race team, all with huge personalities which keep both the fans and everyone around them inspired and entertained.

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The story between Peaty and his long lost son Ratboy is a genuine as friendships get on the circuit. After bringing him all those years ago, to see him rise to his first World Cup overall win this year was a huge thing for both of them. 

On and off the track they both keep things sideways, like father like son….

Things can’t always be a fairytale ending, but what an ending it was out in Hafjell.

Both Steel City Media and Steve can’t thank all our fans and sponsors enough for the support over the last few years.

See you all soon, 

Cheers.

 

Special thanks to our Season 3 sponsors:

Monster Energy

Santa Cruz Bicycles

Maxxis Tyres

Lizard Skins

Muc Off

Produced by Steel City Media

Freeriding On a Fat Bike?

Mountain biking has experienced its fair share of technical maelstroms over the past few years. Nothing sets the internet alight like a change in wheel size (650b anyone?), or a new mounting standard that renders old equipment useless. But while this has been happening, another new movement is steadily turning into a full-fledged craze – the fat bike.

Essentially a standard mountain bike built to take very wide tyres, fat bikes can be potentially ridden almost anywhere. This is particularly suited for locations with soft terrain, such as deserts or places that receive a lot of snowfall.

However, these bikes continue to polarise the mountain biking world. They are practical for a very specific purpose and some of them look unwieldy as a result, but they are just a new evolution in the bicycle’s ultimate goal – getting people anywhere. If the technology allows for it, the only remaining hurdle is public opinion.

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For the fat bike to be seen as more than just a trend, there needs to be greater proof that they can be ridden hard. Geoff Gulevich, Wade Simmons and Brett Tippie set out to do just that, taking the new Rocky Mountain Blizzard into Canada’s snowy coastal mountains in British Columbia. The resulting video, Fat Free, is an eye-opening perspective of what bikers can now do in domain previously reserved for skiiers and snowboarders.

Don’t just take our word for it, though, watch the video above and it might just change the way you look at winter.

Ed Masters. The Spirit Of Enduro Returns

Ed Masters was unable to make it to any of the Enduro World Series rounds this season due to “logistical problems” and “nutritional errors”.

However Ed’s coaches did not ease off his training. Instead, they put him on a regimen that would better suit a world-class enduro athlete. Many of Ed’s techniques and dietary requirements might look a little different from those of other riders on the circuit but we’ve got a feeling they are going to be his secret weapon when he starts competing again. Or they’ll totally ruin him.

Either way we can’t wait to see him competing again. Ed Masters: The Spirit Of Enduro Returns | The D.I.Y. Project, Ep. 1

Who Won the Gunna Gotta Go Rotorua Prize?

“When I got the call I couldn’t believe it. I was on location doing a photo shoot and I ran around whooping and high fiving. My hand still hurts, but in a good way.”

That’s how mountain biker and photographer, Mike Kennedy, from Dee Why on the northern beaches of Sydney, reacted to the news he’d won return air fares for two to Rotorua for the city’s Bike Festival in February.

He’s visited Rotorua before. The first time was in 2012 and he was back in October, this year, with 2 Wheel Tours.

“Let’s just say I fell in love with the Whakarewarewa, all over again,” he said. “It’s my 48th birthday in a few days, so what a great time to win another trip to mountain bike paradise.”

He will be bringing his brother, Paul, on the trip.

“I’m really stoked to be able to share this experience with him,” continued Mike. “He’s always wanted to go, but with two small boys the dream has eluded him until now.”

The brothers have been mountain biking since the 1990s and Paul is the trail builder at Thredbo Mountain Bike Park.

“I’m really looking forward to showing him the amazing network of trails in the Whaka and watching his brain explode with happiness,” added Mike. “And also getting him into the Skyline Rotorua Gravity Bike Park…it’s so much fun.”

The Gunna Gotta Go competition is named after a popular trail in the Whakarewarewa Forest.

It is a collaboration between Flow Mountain Bike, Rotorua Airport and the Rotorua Bike Festival.

A whole range of Rotorua tourism destinations will also be hosting Michael and Paul and the total value of the prize is $7500.

A similar competition for the 2014 Festival was just as successful. The winner, Mitch Ho, described the win as the best Christmas present ever and, with fiancée, Jessica Behan, had a memorable time.

“The trip was awesome, everyone was very friendly and the mountain biking was a whole lot of fun,” he said. “Congratulations to Mike, you won’t be disappointed – this is the adventure of a lifetime.”

Anna Rodgers from Rotorua Airport is thrilled with the entry numbers in the competitions and the enthusiasm of the winners.

“It’s great making that phone call,” she said. “You make someone’s day and no one is ever disappointed by winning something. Mike was no exception. He knew straight away why I was calling and was super excited to have won this dream MTB package.”

The numbers of Australian mountain bikers visiting Rotorua has risen dramatically over the last few years.

“The festival gives them yet another reason to visit Rotorua and helps convert people from ‘we’ll go one day’ to ‘let’s go now’ travellers,” she added. “The huge MTB community in Australia love that they can arrive in Rotorua and be out riding the trails within an hour of landing, maximizing their holiday time.”

The trip isn’t all mountain biking. Visits to Multi Day Adventures Te Puia, Mountain Bike Rotorua, OGO, Agroventures Adventure Park, Skyline Gravity Park, Off Road NZ, spa treatments at Polynesian Spa after a day on the trails, merchandise from Nzo, hospitality by Capers Epicurean and the Pig and Whistle, accommodation by Millennium Hotel Rotorua and a vehicle to get around in from Thrifty Rentals make it the perfect Rotorua experience.

“Thanks to all those sponsors for making this this amazing trip possible,” said Kennedy, as he headed out to celebrate his big win. “Paul and I can’t wait.”

The Dudes of Hazzard, Business as Usual – Part 5 Skye’s the Limit

This is the final instalment of The Dudes of Hazzards 2014 series of films titled Business as Usual.

In this final part the boys take some time away to explore their home country of Scotland. Joe’s wagon “The Landship III” travels over to the bonny isle of Skye and the back to the mainland riding some prime single track and finishing with the holy grail of trails…

Fresh Product: New SRAM Direct Mount Chainrings Offer Greater Gear Range

A DIRECT MOUNT UPGRADE WITH A RANGE OF GEAR OPTIONS FOR EVERY STYLE OF RIDING: 26T – 40T

Make SRAM 1x even better with the simplicity of the new SRAM X-SYNC Direct Mount chain ring. Engineered in Germany, the new Direct Mount rings bring lighter weight and greater simplicity to XX1, X01 and X1-1400 cranksets. SRAM’s Direct Mount rings give riders the perfect opportunity for a serious upgrade.

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CRANK OPTIONS
After market cranksets ship with a 32T X-SYNC Direct Mount chain ring.

  • XX1
  • X01
  • X1 1400 compatible

FEATURES / BENEFITS

  • Fully CNC AL rings
  • X-SYNC technology
  • Lighter weight than spider version (~25-50g depending on size)
  • Sizes: 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40
  • Weights: GXP – 61g (26T), 66g (28T), 68g (30T), 71g (32T), 76g (34T), 91g (36T), 101g (38T), 119g (40T).
    BB30 – 52g (26T), 58g (28T), 61g (30T), 66g (32T), 71g (34T), 82g (36T), 94g (38T), 106g (40T).

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Available December: 30, 32, 34

Available April: 26, 28, 36, 38, 40

Rings will be for all sizes – $129.95.

XX1 – all $114.95

X01 – 30, 32 and 34t – $89.95

X01 – 36 and 38t – $99.95

X-SYNC

  • SRAM X-SYNC 1x chain rings provide the highest level of performance and durability in the market
  • The SRAM X-SYNC tall square teeth edges engage the chain earlier than traditional triangle shaped teeth
  • The sharp and narrow tooth profile, as well as rounded chamfer edges, help manage a deflected chain
  • To provide the best possible performance in muddy conditions, the X-SYNC chain rings have been designed with mud-clearing recesses for the inner chain links and rollers
  • Engineered in Germany, X-SYNC rings are an integral part of the SRAM 1x drivetrain. Accept no imitation.

Fresh Product: Today’s Plan Online Training Program

Australian company Today’s Plan have just released a product that we think is incredibly smart and will have huge appeal for racers (of all types), or anyone who’s serious about making real gains in their training.

Today’s Plan is an online ‘coach’ that provides you with a custom training program, based around your goals and other parameters that you can control. There are plenty of ‘off the shelf’ coaching programs out there, but what sets Today’s Plan apart is that each program is completely bespoke and is responsive to your feedback.

The team behind Today’s Plan includes coaching legend Mark ‘Fenz’ Fenner. Fenz has trained, and continues to train, some of Australia’s best cyclists – riders like Jack Haig, Jenny Fay, Josh Carlson and teams like Torq have all been touched by his wisdom – and all his knowledge has been poured into Today’s Plan. Flow recently set ourselves up with an account (it’s free to trial) to see what it’s all about.

After entering all our particulars, we opted to receive daily emails telling us what the next workout in our training plan would be. We were given the option of using either a heart rate monitor or power meter (or both) to measure our effort. This raises an important point; you need either a heart rate monitor or power meter, plus some kind of GPS device, to get the most out of Today’s Plan, or any training for that matter. The system relies on you uploading your training data so it can track your performance relative to your plan.

Select an event from the database as the basis for your plan, or go for a completely custom option.
Select an event from the database as the basis for your plan, or go for a completely custom option.

Next up, is to begin creating our training plan. You can either complete a questionnaire or, and this is cool, pick an event from the event database that you’re training for to get a recommended (but still customisable) training plan to suit that particular event! Of course, not every event is in there yet, but the database is growing, with both mountain bike and road races. Want to smash your time at Capital Punishment? Today’s Plan has the event’s distance, route and profile on file and will create a plan based specifically around training for that race’s conditions.

A number of events are already in the Today's Plan database as the basis for a training plan.
A number of events are already in the Today’s Plan database as the basis for a training plan.

If you opt to create a training plan from scratch, the questionnaire let’s you select a plan from 6-16 weeks in length. You then set the parameters around your usual week on the bike, your goals, your strengths/weaknesses, and then finally you select how many hours a week you’re willing to dedicate to training. The minimum plan is five hours a week, and you can specify how many hours you’re able to train on each day of the week. The exact plan you’re delivered may not 100% match what you’ve specified, but it will work to your daily parameters as closely as is feasible to deliver a workable, realistic training plan.

Setting up a custom plan involves a few basic self-assessment questions.
Setting up a custom plan involves a few basic self-assessment questions.
You can specify how many hours and on which days of the week you're best able to train.
You can specify how many hours and on which days of the week you’re best able to train.

Voila! Your plan is delivered. The system gives you a two week trial, after which you’ll need to pony up some cash, but at $59.95 for a 12-week plan it’s seriously affordable (you try hiring a coach for that little money!).

Your plan is outlined on a clear calendar. Clicking on each sessions will reveal the detail of what that session entails.
Your plan is outlined on a clear calendar. Clicking on each sessions will reveal the detail of what that session entails.

The plan is outlined on a calendar, with the first session a threshold test to set your baseline. Each day is different; threshold sessions, sprints, endurance days, recovery rides, rest days – they’re all woven into your calendar to give you results you’re after. You can move sessions around on your calendar should you need to. For riders like us, for whom training has always been unstructured, it’s a bit of an eye-opener to see what a scientifically sound approach to training actually looks like!

As you complete and upload each session, you're prompted to offer some feedback about how you're feeling. This is used to shape your future sessions.
As you complete and upload each session, you’re prompted to offer some feedback about how you’re feeling. This is used to shape your future sessions.

As you complete (or don’t complete) each session, you mark it as such, then upload the data and fill out a few simple star-rating fields to give your coach some feedback as to how you’re feeling. Feeling too tired to complete a session? Plug in that feedback and it will automatically adjust your training load and calendar to ensure you don’t burn out. #smart

The system is backed up with a lot of analytics power too, which we’ll delve into further down the track.

We’ll be giving ourselves a break over Christmas (we need to be fully fuelled for all our upcoming training!) then hitting the new year with a fresh plan to see how it all works for us. Check it out for yourself: www.todaysplan.com.au

 

Danny Hart chats 2015

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After speculation both online and in the uplift queue it was confirmed last week that Danny Hart would be riding for MS Mondraker in 2015. Danny is part of the World Champions club and he took the stripes back to Redcar at 19 years old, the same age Nico Vouilloz took his first Elite Worlds title in 1995. Everyone remembers his 2011 win, I do, I was there. In the pissing rain, neck straining up at that hillside in Champéry. Spagnolo thought he had it in the bag but a cracked whip at the end of that now infamous run sank his hopes, Hart had done it but there is more to Danny than 11.699 seconds.

Since 2011 he’s come very close, 2.076 seconds to be precise, to winning a World Cup and we headed north to find out if his new team for 2015 could be the missing ingredient needed to bring that elusive result.

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Whistler’s Finest, with Claire Buchar

Claire Buchar has a pretty sweet life. She spends half her year in one of the world’s mountain biking meccas, Whistler BC, then rather than dealing with the Canadian winter, she heads for the Australian sun. In this episode Claire heads out on her trail bike to show off some of the area’s famous loamy trails. But let’s be honest, when you are near a bike park as choice as Whistler’s it’s hard to resists taking a few runs. Claire finishes the video on some fast, flowy park trails with huge features.

Australian Gravity Enduro Series announces 2015 race dates

Alpine Gravity and Rocky Trail Entertainment have been working hard to piece together the follow up to the hugely successful inaugural Australian Gravity Enduro Series. Today they announced six events for 2015. 

More than 550 riders participated in the 2014 series, which included events in NSW, VIC, SA, WA, ACT and QLD, covering almost all states and territories, and this next series is set to explode with more rounds and growing rider numbers across Australia.
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Together with both clubs and promoters around the country we have created a truly epic series and one that will see riders visit many amazing and exciting new trails and locations for the first time, while mixing in some well known and loved old favourites in this very accessible racing format.
Most rounds will have racing on the Sunday, with some having practice on the Saturday for riders who can do both days.
We have also listened to the riders on what they want from this series and made many great changes including a more consistent, multiple stage ‘ride to the top’ format where ever possible, overall series winners prize money, extra female classes, better information leading into each round, and better trophies/prizes each round.
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After the success and growth of the first series we are excited at the new opportunities we now have to work with some amazing brands and sponsors and will have some exciting announcements very soon!
The series is:
  • Rd 1 / April 18+19 / Barjarg VIC / Alpine Gravity
  • Rd 2 / May 30+31 / Fox Creek SA / Inside Line
  • Rd 3 / June 14 / Goat Farm WA / WA Gravity Enduro
  • Rd 4 / July 4+5 / Kempsey NSW / Rocky Trail
  • Rd 5 / Aug 2 / Stromlo ACT / Rocky Trail
  • Rd 6 / Aug 22+23 / Smithfield QLD / Cairns MTB Club
  • Rd 7 / Sep 12+13 / Hobart TAS / Gravity Enduro Tasmania

 

Fresh Bikes: Pivot Unveil a Lighter Di2 Compatible Mach 429 SL

Racing is a new game and the half pound lighter Pivot Mach 429 SL Carbon is the bike riders need when the course tests both engine size and handling skills.

Pivot has dropped over 226g via the use of leading-edge carbon fiber and their proprietary hollow-core, internal-molding process with optimized composite materials and lay-up structure – making this the lightest, stiffest 29er with the best power transfer available.

The Pivot Mach 429SL Carbon is only the second fully Di2 integrated mountain bike (the first is Pivot’s Mach 4 Carbon). Featuring our innovative Pivot Cable Port System, internal routing is easy to install and maintain with large, easy to access ports and interchangeable covers for the cleanest installation of wires, batteries and cables.

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Riders benefit from the latest in dw-link® suspension design with a Fox Float Kashima Factory shock, performance-tuned specifically for the Mach 429SL Carbon. World Cup level efficiency is provided by dw-link®’s anti-squat characteristics, instant acceleration and unparalleled climbing traction. Downhill, the 100mm of dw-link® suspension performs like a longer travel bike, for an incredibly capable ride in technical terrain and ready for record-setting descents.

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226g weight savings: Frame weight from 2.4kg

100mm of dw-link® suspension

Full carbon frame featuring proprietary hollow core internal molding technology

29 inch wheels for the fastest laps and best rollover

Full length internal cable routing and Shimano Di2 integration via Pivot’s exclusive, easy-to-maintain Cable Port System

Internal dropper post compatible

Cold forged alloy linkages with Enduro Max Cartridge Bearings

Fox Float Kashima Factory shock, performance tuned for the Mach 429SL

Highly durable rubberized leather downtube and swingarm protection

The Mach 429SL Carbon frame will retail for AUD $3999 with approximate complete bike kit pricing as follows:

SRAM X1 – $6,999
Shimano XT – $6,999
Shimano Xt/XTR Pro SRAM 1X – $8,299
SRAM XO1 – $8,299
http://www.pivotcycles.com

Brosnan and Booth Bring Home Gold in Downhill at the 2014/15 Subaru National Mountain Bike Series

Troy Brosnan and Sarah Booth have claimed downhill victory on the final day of Round 1 of the 2014/15 Subaru National Mountain Bike Series in the You Yangs, Victoria.

Brosnan (SA) had a breakout year in 2014, winning his first Downhill World Cup and finishing third in both the UCI World Cup Series and the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. Brosnan set the fastest seeding run of the weekend in the morning, but it would be Liam Panozzo (VIC) who set the the time to beat in the finals, spending significant time in the Subaru hot seat after suffering a flat tyre on his seeding run. Brosnan was the last rider to start for the event and was untouchable on the tough course, flying into first place with a time of 1:55.42, beating out second placed Graeme Mudd (NSW) by 0.56 of a second.

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“It was a little bit windy out there and required a lot of pedalling so I just tried to tuck a fair bit and pedal as hard as I could,” said Brosnan. “I sent all the drops to flat pretty much and was pretty stoked to come away with the win”.

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Tim Eaton chased by Andrew Crimmins during practice.
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Troy Brosnan, in his seeding run.
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Elite men podium.

Fellow South Australian Connor Fearon (1:56.85) finished third, with Panozzo ultimately claiming 4th place. In the Junior Men, Andrew Crimmins (NSW) had a great run to finish 1.65 seconds in front of Jackson Frew (ACT) in second and Max Warshawsky (QLD) in third.

In the Women’s race, Round 1 of the Subaru National Series was the first UCI race for Tegan Molloy to step up from the Juniors to the Elite category. Molloy claimed the Junior Women’s World Championship title just months ago in Norway, and today she would start last and ultimately finish second. Booth, who placed 19th in her home World Cup in Cairns earlier this year, was too strong for Molloy and the field in the You Yangs, finishing in 2:31.30.

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Sarah Booth, winner of round one.

“I tried to keep a steady mind – eyes up – like how I train all my friends and girls and I just did what I knew I had to do,” reflected Booth. “I kept it low on some of those last jumps because of the wind but I knew I had to put power down.”

Third place and the bronze medal went to Michelle Crisp (NSW).

This first round of the Series was also the opening round of the highly successful Victorian Downhill Series (VDHS), with riders accruing points and prizes in both series.

Short Course Cross Country

Sunday also saw our cross country stars take on a technically challenging short course, one that was built specifically by the You Yangs MTB Club for the Subaru National Series.

For the second time this weekend, Dan McConnell (ACT) and Rebecca Henderson (ACT) took out wins, dominating the elite men and women’s categories.

In early racing, McConnell sat comfortably behind Tasmania’s Scott Bowden and ACT’s Brendan Johnson, before moving into first place with three laps to go and crossing the line with a clear lead over competitors.

In an exciting sprint finish, Bowden claimed second crossing the line not even a wheel in front of Johnston who finished third.

In the women’s race, Henderson and Emily Parkes (NSW) worked well together in early running, but the Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist is a career stage in front of the younger Parkes and rode away to the win.

Parkes rode solidly to claim second with Holly Harris (NSW) finishing third.

Special mention also goes to up and coming rider Zoe Cuthbert, who at only 13 years of age lapped the entire field of the Open Women’s riders to secure a unique win.

The Subaru National Series will continue with Round 2 in 2015 in Pemberton, Western Australia, where riders will be treated to two-days of back to back XCO races.

All event information can be found at the series website: http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/

 

McConnell and Henderson Dominate at Round 1 of the Subaru National Mountain Bike Series

The opening round of the 2014/15 Subaru National Series presented by Mountain Bike Australia kicked off to an exciting start, with Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Dan McConnell and Rebecca Henderson taking out the Elite Men’s and Women’s Cross Country gold medals.

Dual Olympian Dan McConnell (ACT) went up against a fierce field of competitors, in a hot and windy six-lap race in the You Yangs.

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Andrew Blair (ACT), Scott Bowden (TAS), Chris Hamilton (VIC), Adrian Jackson (VIC), Brendan Johnston (ACT) and McConnell finished the first lap within 1.9 seconds of each other, and stayed as a tight bunch for the first four of six laps.

On lap five, McConnell succeeded in breaking away from the group by making a surprise move on a downhill section, converting the bunch of six into a lead pair with Bowden. McConnell would ultimately take the win in just under two hours of tight and exciting racing, ahead of the young pairing of Bowden and Hamilton who finished in second and third place respectively. McConnell reflected on a tough race: “I was a little bit worried about them but I was able to ride fairly smart and I think that helped me get the wind today and just go to the front when the course suited me. “On lap 5 I thought I better pick it up a little bit and try and thin them down and see who’s got some legs. “Scotty (Bowden) was the only one who could come with me – he was riding really well and its really good to see some young guys like that coming up and giving it to the older boys”.

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Scott Bowden in second place.
Scott Bowden in second place.

In the Under 19 men’s category, Luke Brame (NSW) reigned supreme, leading the pack in front of Michael Potter (NSW) and Liam Jeffries (VIC).

Rebecca Henderson (ACT), the 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist, battled against a strong and experienced field, including Commonwealth Games teammate Peta Mullens (VIC) and last year’s Series winner Jenni King (VIC). In her first UCI event since the World Championships in August, Henderson sat with Mullens and King for the first three laps before making a break in the fourth and developing a 14 second lead – one that couldn’t be closed. In the end, Mullens finished in second place with King in third.

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Henderson said “I could see that Jenny was really enjoying a consistent pace and I knew that if I wanted to get away at any point I had to have the pace a little inconsistent. “When it got technical I really gave it everything I had and hit it and I opened the gap up quite quickly and was just able to grovel around and hold that gap”.

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In the Under 19 women’s race, Megan Williams rode strongly to take the win ahead of Sarah Tucknott (WA) and Ebony Tanzen (VIC).

All event information can be found at the series website: http://mtb.subaru.com.au/national-series/youyangvic/

 

The Dudes Of Hazzard – Funk Button Failure. Say What?

In Part 4 of the smash hit video series “Business as Usual” the boys experience the illusive Funk Button.

After a suspicious package is found on the roof of Joe’s car the temptation to funk the situation becomes far to great. Fired up by the mythical funk machine there are unbelievable two wheeled scenes happening in Fort William. News reports confirm things are becoming a little too reckless resulting in immediate Funk Button Failure…

Racing News: Chocolate Foot Announce NSW Good Times MTB Enduro Series

“Race the clock, ride with mates. Good times!”

Chocolate Foot is proud to announce an exciting new MTB series kicking off in 2015 – the Good Times enduro series. Focused on fun, high quality trail riding, this will appeal to our regular competitors and those into Enduro-style racing.

We hope to make this more than just a race against the clock, it’s about creating the same vibe as if you were out trail riding with your mates – but with racing, bragging rights, and prizes thrown into the mix. It’s not all about chasing split seconds, we’re going to make sure you have a good time whether you’re at the pointy end or if it’s your first enduro event!

We’ve modelled this series on the format of the Enduro World Series. We plan to have a point to point course made up of around 5 timed sections and numerous liaison or cruising stages which competitors can ride at a relaxed pace with their mates and dozens of new mates. The liaisons won’t just be firetrail bashing either, we plan to make these as fun as the timed sections but without the pressure of racing. It’s all about good times!

Proposed dates and locations for the inaugural Good Times enduro series are:7 June: Mogo State Forest, Mogo. The Maulbrooks MTB Park hosted a round of the Singletrack Mind Series last year and everyone raved about descents of AST and The Snake Track! But there’s plenty more gold in them thar hills and we’ll have 5 timed sections to test your skills. And it’s not all fast, buff stuff like the Snake track there’s plenty of rock for the more technically minded. We’ll link this all up with fun liaison sections that will have you yelling for more! Good times!

4 October: Kiwarrak State Forest, Taree. The Singletrack Mind series has visited the ‘Tip Trails’on two occasions and each time we’ve been blown away with the quality of the trails, especially after they have been groomed to perfection with a leaf blower! What you might not know is that further up the ridge is plenty of amazing trails and through the liaison and 5 race stages you’ll get to know plenty more of Taree’s fine singletrack, and trails like ‘Frontal Lobotomy’ and ‘Son of Skull’!

15 November: Orange. The capital of the central west has an abundance of great riding! The Singletrack Mind Series has been to Kinross State Forest 3 times and the stoke factor has been huge! While Kinross itself offers some great descents like the North Shore, there’s also trails on the slopes of the 1,395m peak of Mt Conobolas, while we’ve yet to ride them, the local trail fairies tell us these secret trails are epic!

The Good Times event website and more information will be available in the New Year at www.chocolatefoot.com.au, and details of the 6th season of Chocolate Foot’s 2015 Singletrack Mind endurance series will be released shortly.

For more information contact Chocolate Foot on [email protected] or 0457 084 552.

 

Chris Akrigg – CHRISCROSS 2 (Revenge of The Curly Wurly Bars)

Well here we go again, the second instalment of riding the bike with the curly whirly bars and skinny tyres.

We are currently at the hight of the Cyclocross season so i thought it was about time i dug the cyclocross bike out for another spin. I read somewhere that Cyclocross originated for roadies back in the day trying to spice up their winter training. They would race from point to point using whatever means possible, racing down farm track and running across fields with the bike on there back etc.

That was their spin. My back ground is Trials, and this is my spin!

National Mountain Bike Marathon Series Set To Explode In 2015

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is excited to announce the 2015 National Cross Country Marathon (XCM) series.

The truly National series spans four states and both territories, offering riders almost 600 kilometres of Australia’s best mountain bike trails. Racing in the XCM format extends the traditional Olympic Cross Country discipline, with winning racers battling head-to-head for an incredible three to five hours.

Beginning in Alice Springs with the Easter in the Alice event, the series then heads to the landmark pair of the Wombat 100 in Victoria and the Convict 100 in New South Wales. With a break over the winter months, racing resumes at the picturesque Dwellingup 100 in Western Australia, moving to the nation’s capital for the iconic Kowalski Classic before wrapping up at the Bayview Blast event in Queensland.

Riders in the Elite Category will compete for a prize pool of over $16,000, with the male and female winners receiving $5000 each. In 2015 the series is being organised and overseen by the MTBA Events Team after challenges were experienced with a different model in 2014. Individual races will be delivered by a mix of highly respected promoters and clubs who all have significant experience in their regions.

Mr Shane Coppin, CEO of MTBA, has been instrumental in assembling what will be Australia’s largest and most expansive cycling series.

“It has been a worthwhile challenge to deliver our members and all Australian mountain bikers a package of events that is of a truly global standard” said Mr Coppin.

“Significant effort was invested to ensure that our riders could experience some of the best trails all across our great country and I’m looking forward to racing starting in Alice Springs on Easter Saturday”.

Riders should head to www.mtba.asn.au for more information, or follow links to the individual events below. A dedicated website for the series will be launched at the start of 2015.

The 2015 National Cross Country Marathon (XCM) Series presented by Mountain Bike Australia

  1. Easter in Alice – Bunny Buster Stage – 4 April 2015 – Alice Springs, NT

  2. Wombat 100 – 12 April 2015 – Woodend, VIC

  3. Convict 100 – 2 May 2015 – St Albans, NSW

  4. Dwellingup 100 – 5 Sept 2015 – Dwellingup, WA

  5. Kowalski Classic – 20 Sept 2015 – East Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill, ACT

  6. Bayview Blast – 24 Oct – South Brisbane, QLD (Event-specific website coming soon).

Easter in the Alice – Bunny Buster Stage

“The BUNNY BUSTER 90km EPIC stage of the Lasseters Easter In The Alice Mountain Bike Muster 3 day stage race will become the first national series event to be held in the Northern Territory. The worlds only $100 stage race is run in the shadows of the mighty Macdonnell Ranges under a blanket of blue sky”

John Pyper, Race Director – Easter in the Alice

Wombat 100 & Convict 100

We are excited to have two events form part of the MTBA National XCM Series.  We believe the XCM discipline needs the leadership and structure of a national body to administer the sport, and private promoters willing to support that structure to the benefit of all riders.

Henry van Heerden, Race Director Wombat 100 & Convict 100 – Maximum Adventure

Dwellingup 100 MTB Classic

The Dwellingup 100 MTB Classic is very excited to be a part of the MTBA XC Marathon Series. Our involvement gives us the opportunity to showcase one of WA’s iconic mountain biking destinations. We’re looking forward to attracting riders from all over Australia to participate in our great event.

Dave Budge, Managing Director, Trievents

Kowalski Classic

Self Propelled Enterprises look forward to the Kowalski Classic being part of the National XCM Series for 2015. We support Shane Coppin’s (MTBA CEO) plans for the series and MTBA more broadly. The iconic single track adventure that is the Kowalski Classic is an ideal fit with these aims.

Alan Vogt, Director – Self Propelled Events

Redlands Bayview Blast

“Redlands Bayview Blast” race it or ride it for your own challenge. After only one year this event is already being spoken about amongst riders as the “must do” race for South East Qld.  Held in Redland Bay, 35 minutes from the Brisbane CBD and held in October the “Blast” is a feast of prime single track and friendly club atmosphere.

Tony Hancock, President – Brisbane South Mountain Bike Club

 

Holy Crash!

Take 396 steps, tight corners and slick stone and you’ve got the perfect combination for a crash-filled urban downhill race. When you add to that a four-cross style set-up there’s only one outcome. Crashes. Lots of crashes.

Red Bull Holy Ride takes place in Kyoto, Japan, and is held on the historic Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine, which was built to enshrine Hachiman, the God of War. A fitting location, especially when you see the carnage that ensues… Let battle commence!

Video: The Beauty Of Fall Season, in Colorado With Yeti

There is a small window in the Colorado high country when the trail conditions are perfect. Some would call it fall, but nature is fickle here — often the warm days of summer push up against the sting of winter. In the high country, cold winds blow and snow dusts the peaks. Lower in the valley, aspens drop their leaves and cover the trails in a vibrant carpet of red, gold, and orange. Motivated by the oncoming threat of winter and the desire for one last chance to ride the state’s best single track, Yeti Ambassadors Michael Larsen, Shawn Neer, and Rudy Unrau hit the road to enjoy Colorado’s peak season. 

Filmed by: Joey Schusler & Thomas Woodson
Edited by: Joey Schusler
Sound Design by: Keith White

Riders: Michael Larsen, Shawn Neer, & Rudy Unrau. 

#YetiCycles #YetiTribe #SB6c #SB5c

Video: Cannonball MTB Festival Wrap Up

The 2014 Cannonball MTB Festival at Thredbo again attracted its fair share of weather. Last year, it was snow, this time around rain and lightning came into the mix and shut down Saturday’s racing. Despite the compressed timeframe this gave racing, the event was again a huge success. Thredbo just makes for great racing! Make sure you check out Damian Breach’s photo galleries each day of the event too:

Day 1: http://flowmountainbike.com/post-all/cannonball-mtb-festival-day-1/

Day 2: http://flowmountainbike.com/post-all/cannonball-mtb-festival-day-2/

Day 3: http://flowmountainbike.com/post-all/cannonball-mtb-festival-day-3/

Read the official word from Thredbo below.


 

The Toyota Cannonball Festival in Thredbo this weekend saw some of the world’s best mountain bike riders mix it up with Mother Nature’s most extreme weather on Australia’s famous downhill all racing for their share of the $45,000 prize pool on offer.

(c) Tim Bardsley-Smith

Blending mud, a mountain and adrenalin certainly created exciting racing across the weekend with over 300 riders ascending to Thredbo for a weekend of gravity fuelled battles across five big events.

Rain postponed Saturday’s racing, making Sunday one massive downhill day. The headliner event the Australian Open Downhill had the crowd on the edge of seat right up to the last rider of the day. Young Thredbo MTB rider Andrew Crimmins pulled out the ride of his life and smashed the 3.5km course in an unbeatable time of 5 mins 17 secs just ahead of his brother Thomas, with 5 x world champion Sam Hill in third place. But it was the Bredbo brothers and Thredbo MTB riders Thomas and Andrew who had the crowd on their feet elated with the local win.

(c) Tim Bardsley-Smith

“I had an amazing run, conditions were pretty wild all weekend but the track turned it on this afternoon, so it was pretty well perfect for my race run.

“I’ve been racing here for 6 or 7 years so it’s pretty handy to know where I can make up time” said Andrew.

In the pro women’s division, hot favourite junior World Champion Tegan Molloy took a heavy fall in practice and could not defend her crown. Tracey Hannah picked up top prize with Sarah Booth and Kellie Weinert placed second and third respectively.

(c) Tim Bardsley-Smith

The Flow Motion Cup started above the clouds with both local and international riders racing the five kilometre Kosciuszko Flow Trail course in cracking times, considering the early wet track.

Mud was a menace for some, while others revelled in the conditions. Thredbo MTB rider Thomas Crimmins used his local knowledge to pick the best lines and pick up first place in the pro men’s division. Sarah Booth stood high on the winner’s podium in the women’s pro category winning by the narrowest of margins, 1.5 seconds over Claire Whiteman.

(c) Tim Bardsley-Smith

Friday’s warm sunny conditions were ideal for the ODI Dual Compressor that saw dirt raising head to head action, the quickest out of the drop gate held the advantage.

In the pro division Graeme Mudd won the battle of the bikes and Harriet Burbridge-Smith racing over in front in the pro women’s event, just ahead of Thredbo MTB rider Tegan Molloy.

The Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge, had a mix of young guns and old dogs hitting the rain soaked, free-rolling technical track. Pro men’s set a blistering pace with Blake Neilson narrowly edging out Thredbo MTB rider David McMillan and Ryan Hunt in third.

It was a parade of women’s world champs with BMX and MTB star Caroline Buchanan styling it up on the muddy circuit and taking the win, Danni Beecroft rolled into second and Tegan Molloy showing she is a quality all-rounder taking third place.

“It was first Cannonball event in Thredbo, and it was a huge success. Minus the weather, mountain bike lovers of all ages trooped it out. Winning the Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge was my highlight of the weekend. The changes made to the mountain biking in Thredbo was really refreshing and a great vibe all round” said Caroline Buchanan

A fun new twist for 2014 event is points from each event will be tallied to crown the King and Queen of the mountain in the Pro Division, the higher you place, the more you score. This year Thomas Crimmins and Kellie Weinert were officially placed into Cannonball royalty.

Cannonball MTB Festival – Day 3

After the heavy rain and consistent electrical activity that caused the postponement of yesterday’s activities it was a relief to wake to no rain and a good forecast. Amazingly the soaking did little to the track conditions with only a few slippery places to be found, and as the day wore on the racing conditions got even better.
Tracey Hannah took the win in the Australian Open Downhill and the $2500 cash. We hope that's enough to cover the petrol bills for the drive home to Cairns.
Tracey Hannah took the win in the Australian Open Downhill and the $2500 cash. We hope that’s enough to cover the petrol bills for the drive home to Cairns.
Due to the previous day’s events, racing of the Flow Nation Cup and Australian Open Downhill were now compressed into the single day and the idea of double-duty racing did means less numbers on the Flow Nation. However, both Sarah Booth and Thomas Crimmins proved their pedigree with strength and stamina with wins in the Flow Nation Cup and podiums in the downhill.
After the downpour the day before the mountains hung onto the morning cloud. Considering the amount of rain, the track was in amazing condition.
After the downpour the day before the mountains hung onto the morning cloud. Considering the amount of rain, the track was in amazing condition.

The Australian Open Downhill is the premiere event of the Thredbo Cannonball MTB Festival and oodles of money is up for grabs. $2500 first place for the women’s and $5000 for the men’s to be precise. The women’s racing was always going to be a close battle between current Junior World Champion Tegan Molloy and seasoned World Cup’er Tracey Hannah however Tegan had to pull out of the race following a crash in practice. Tracey took the win comfortably, making it two for two, and now has plenty of cash to pay for the petrol for the long drive back home. Sarah Booth landed in 2nd place and Kellie Wienert in 3rd.

The postonment of the previous day meant schedule changes and if you were up for it, both the Flow Cup and downhill were not to be raced on the one day. Many took the option of dropping the Flow Nation event to save their legs for the downhill. However women's Flow Nation Cup winner Sarah Booth showed stamina, and backed-up with a podium spot in the downhill as well.
The postonment of the previous day meant schedule changes and if you were up for it, both the Flow Cup and downhill were not to be raced on the one day. Many took the option of dropping the Flow Nation event to save their legs for the downhill. However women’s Flow Nation Cup winner Sarah Booth showed stamina, and backed-up with a podium spot in the downhill as well.
Also doing double-duty was Tom Crimmins. First place in the Flow Nation Cup and second place in the Australian Open Downhill is no feat to be sneezed at. We think his legs are going to hate him for a while though.
Also doing double-duty was Tom Crimmins. First place in the Flow Nation Cup and second place in the Australian Open Downhill is no feat to be sneezed at. We think his legs are going to hate him for a while though.
The men’s race was all about Sam Hill, who was the hotly anticipated favourite.  However, given that Thomas and Andrew Crimmins know Thredbo like the back of their hands you’d be a chump not to throw a few bucks each way on all three. In the end it was another repeat winner, as Andrew Crimmins stormed home (pun intended) to take the win over his brother, Thomas in 2nd and Sam Hill in 3rd.
Just before finals the clouds got dark. Lucky it was only a brief passing episode and the track remained dry and perfect for racing.
Just before finals the clouds got dark. Lucky it was only a brief passing episode and the track remained dry and perfect for racing.
We love the Cannonball MTB Festival and love mountain biking in Thredbo – this place just has such a great vibe, and this event already has a fantastic reputation after just two years. Bring on 2015!
Tegan Molloy had a crash during practice and was unable to race. Word from her father is that she's ok.
Tegan Molloy had a crash during practice and was unable to race. Word from her father is that she’s ok.
Aiden Varley rails down a new raw and wide section of the Thredbo downhill track. It was great to see some sections just like this that had different line choices and an element of pure World Cup roughness. More please.
Aiden Varley rails down a new raw and wide section of the Thredbo downhill track. It was great to see some sections just like this that had different line choices and an element of pure World Cup roughness. More please.
U19 men's Australian Open Downhill winner Jackson Frew is quick and even had an off on his race run.
U19 men’s Australian Open Downhill winner Jackson Frew is quick and even had an off on his race run.
The crowd favorite Whip Off Wars was cancelled due to weather and the even-more-crowd-favorite Dave McMillan missed out on showing us his whip tricks. We'll be waiting for them next year.
The crowd favorite Whip Off Wars was cancelled due to weather and the even-more-crowd-favorite Dave McMillan missed out on showing us his whip tricks. We’ll be waiting for them next year.
Andrew Crimmins is at home at the Thredbo track and his win today showed just how well he knows the Thredbo downhill. With Andrew now on the Kona World Cup team we're pretty excited about seeing him racing the world's best on tracks further from home.
Andrew Crimmins is at home at the Thredbo track and his win today showed just how well he knows the Thredbo downhill. With Andrew now on the Kona World Cup team we’re pretty excited about seeing him racing the world’s best on tracks further from home.
You can't have a downhill photo gallery without a long pan shot. 1/20th of a second of downhill racing.
You can’t have a downhill photo gallery without a long pan shot. 1/20th of a second of downhill racing.
Remember that little bee from our day one coverage? Well, it's in this birds mouth now. Such is the circle of life.
Remember that little bee from our day one coverage? Well, it’s in this birds mouth now. Such is the circle of life.
Dowhill racing is all about you, and the clock, and that little beam of light you have to break at  the bottom. It's pretty simple really.
Dowhill racing is all about you, and the clock, and that little beam of light you have to break at the bottom. It’s pretty simple really.
Angus Maddern looking stylish in his race run.
Angus Maddern looking stylish in his race run.
Thredbo has always been on the top of Australian gravity racing and the Cannonball Festival has been a showcase of the mountain. Mark December'ish 2015 in your calendars for version 3.0.
Thredbo has always been on the top of Australian gravity racing and the Cannonball Festival has been a showcase of the mountain. Mark December’ish 2015 in your calendars for version 3.0.
Breathing hard and sucking air. Andrew Crimmins worked hard and was rewarded with an over four-secong win. That's teo from two for Andrew.
Breathing hard and sucking air. Andrew Crimmins worked hard and was rewarded with an over four-second win. That’s two from two for Andrew.
Women's Australian Open downhill podium. 1st - Tracey Hannah, 2nd - Sarah Booth, and 3rd - Kellie Weinert.
Women’s Australian Open downhill podium. 1st – Tracey Hannah, 2nd – Sarah Booth, and 3rd – Kellie Weinert.
Men's Australian Open Donwhill podium. 1st - Andrew Crimmins, 2nd - Thomas Crimmins, and 3rd - Sam Hill.
Men’s Australian Open Donwhill podium. 1st – Andrew Crimmins, 2nd – Thomas Crimmins, and 3rd – Sam Hill.
Thomas Crimmins and Kellie Weinert were also crowed King and Queen of the Cannonball Festival. Congrats to both for racing every event and holding your own in each.
Thomas Crimmins and Kellie Weinert were also crowed King and Queen of the Cannonball Festival. Congrats to both for racing every event and holding your own in each.

 

Cannonball MTB Festival – Day 2

Day two of the Thredbo Cannonball festival was greeted with the threat of bad weather. It’s all part of racing in the Australian alpine region but with a day jam packed with action – with the Flow Nation Cup, downhill seeding – and Whip Off Wars all planned, we all had our fingers crossed.

Tim Eaton hit the trails early and beat the weather with a couple of runs down the Kosciusko Flow Trail in preparation for the Flow Nation Cup.
Tim Eaton hit the trails early and beat the weather with a couple of runs down the Kosciusko Flow Trail in preparation for the Flow Nation Cup.

However the weather got the better of the action. Lightning and chairlifts aren’t the best of friends and just moments before the first racer’s took off for the Flow Nation Cup the clouds moved in for hours of persistent electrical activity and heavy rain. It was a tough but nessasary call and all racing for the day had to be postponed.

Hot off his win at the Pump Track even the night before Blake Nielson was also up early and getting his eyes fixed on some Flow Trail action.
Hot off his win at the Pump Track even the night before Blake Nielson was also up early and getting his eyes fixed on some Flow Trail action.

Rather than being defeated by the weather the Thredbo Cannonball organisers enthusiastically moved the competitors indoors for a bit of fun with giveaways, a little competition, and some autograph signing from the top pros (and maybe a few beers). All the race action but has been moved to tomorrow with a full day of Flow Nation Cup and Australian Open Downhill planned. Unfortunately the Whip Off Wars will have to be battled next year.

Joing his Giant team mate for some early practice was Tom Crimmins. He knows Thredbo like the back of his had but still hit the trails for a bit of fun.
Joing his Giant team mate for some early practice was Tom Crimmins. He knows Thredbo like the back of his had but still hit the trails for a bit of fun.

Cannonball MTB Fest 2-6

We all had our fingers crossed that the nerds at the Bureau of Meteorology were going to be wrong. But from the first run up the chairlift it wasn't looking promising.
We all had our fingers crossed that the nerds at the Bureau of Meteorology were going to be wrong. But from the first run up the chairlift it wasn’t looking promising.
As the morning wore on the weather was slowly deteriorating. Micheal Long rails a corner as the sound of distant storms got closer and closer.
As the morning wore on the weather was slowly deteriorating. Micheal Long rails a corner as the sound of distant storms got closer and closer.

Cannonball MTB Fest 2-10

Closed for the day. Sad to see the racing for the day postponed, but it's all re-scheduled for Sunday.
Closed for the day. Sad to see the racing for the day postponed, but it’s all re-scheduled for Sunday.
Madison Giles was one of many who were pumped for the Flow Nation action and got in a last minute run before the event was postponed until tomorrow due to weather.
Madison Giles was one of many who were pumped for the Flow Nation action and got in a last minute run before the event was postponed until tomorrow due to weather.
Bruce Moir sneeks in a run of the downhill track.
Bruce Moir sneeks in a run of the downhill track.
Balance your bike for a set of Rock Shox forks. That has to be easier than trying to win them in a race run!
Balance your bike for a set of Rock Shox forks. That has to be easier than trying to win them in a race run!
The big names of Australian racing also moved indoors to spend a bit of time with the fans and sign a few autographs. Sam Hill, Andrew and Tom Crimmins, Tracey Hannah, Tegan Molloy, and Remy Morton we're all on hand for the fans.
The big names of Australian racing also moved indoors to spend a bit of time with the fans and sign a few autographs. Sam Hill, Andrew and Tom Crimmins, Tracey Hannah, Tegan Molloy, and Remy Morton we’re all on hand for the fans.
Sam Hill leaves a less than permanent mark on a very happy fan.
Sam Hill leaves a less than permanent mark on a very happy fan.

 

Cannonball MTB Festival – Day 1

This weekend is the 2nd annual Thredbo Cannonball MTB Festival – three days of action, with five gravity-fed events down the steep hills of one of Australia’s most iconic mountain bike destinations – all for $45,000 in cash and prizes. Today saw the return of no-pedalling skill of the RockShox Pump Challenge and the introduction of the new (but old-school) head-to-head racing in the ODI Dual Compressor.

It was dry for most of the day and conditions were great for traction. It quickly changed for the eveing though as steady rain arrived.
It was dry for most of the day and conditions were great for traction. It quickly changed for the eveing though as steady rain arrived.
Thredbo threw open its arms with a warm and sunny day as the race action began in the ODI Dual Compressor. The Dual Compressor is a mix of dual slalom and 4X with two riders racing head-to-head on a short course. We saw some great racing and it was even greater to see some elbows (and heads) being thrown into the mix. In the elite women’s field Tracey Hannah ended up third, with Tegan Molloy in 2nd, and Harriet Burbidge-Smith in 1st. The men’s racing with super close with Graeme Mudd taking the win, Blake Nielson in 2nd, and Thomas Crimmins in 3rd.
Sometimes you just want to lean your head on your oppisition, just for a little rest. Head-to-head racing isn't as popular as times past but Thredbo re-introduced classic elbow-to-elbow (and head-to-back) racing with the ODI Dual Compressor at the Cannonball Festival. Old shool is the new school.
Sometimes you just want to lean your head on your opposition, just for a little rest. Head-to-head racing isn’t as popular as times past but Thredbo re-introduced classic elbow-to-elbow (and head-to-back) racing with the ODI Dual Compressor at the Cannonball Festival. Old shool is the new school.
Sam Hill is here racing. Although he didn't race either of the day's events (the Dual Compressor or Pump Track) he did a few runs of the downhill race to prepare for Sunday. Everyone is tipping Sam to take the win. Do you?
Sam Hill is here racing. Although he didn’t race either of the day’s events (the Dual Compressor or Pump Track) he did a few runs of the downhill race to prepare for Sunday. Everyone is tipping Sam to take the win. Do you?
Flat turns might be a relic of mountain bike racing of the past, but we love them. Here Graeme Mudd leans it in to get the holeshot and eventual win over Blake Nielson in the Dual Compressor final.
Flat turns might be a relic of mountain bike racing of the past, but we love them. Here Graeme Mudd leans it in to get the holeshot and eventual win over Blake Nielson in the Dual Compressor final.
Tracey Hannah drove solo to Thredbo all the way from Cairns and pushed her bike up the hill countless times on her way to 3rd in the Dual Compressor. It's this commitment that shows how much she loves to ride.
Tracey Hannah drove solo to Thredbo all the way from Cairns and pushed her bike up the hill countless times on her way to 3rd in the Dual Compressor. It’s this commitment that shows how much she loves to ride.
The womens podium in the Dual Compressor. Tracey Hannah took 3rd, current junior World Champion Tegan Molloy came in 2nd, and BMX racer Harriet Burbidge-Smith made the switch and took home the top prize.
The womens podium in the Dual Compressor. Tracey Hannah took 3rd, current junior World Champion Tegan Molloy came in 2nd, and BMX racer Harriet Burbidge-Smith made the switch and took home the top prize.
The weather didn’t hold though and Thredbo showed its rainy side as the heavens opened on the Rock Shox Pump Challenge. Pump track racing is always popular and a huge field of young and old riders took the challenge against a technical and tight course. Even though the rain stuck around it didn’t get in the way of some great fun racing. The women’s race was won by former 4x World Champion Caroline Buchanan, with Daniel Beecroft in 2nd, and Tegan Molloy making her 2nd podium for the day in 3rd place. The men’s event was taken out by Blake Nielson (also for his 2nd podium of the day), with the always stylish Dave McMillan in 2nd and Ryan Hunt in 3rd.
The crew worked hard trying to keep the track dry and perfect. In the end, they did a great job.
The crew worked hard trying to keep the track dry and perfect. In the end, they did a great job.
Sometimes it doesn't go to plan but at least you can smile about it.
Sometimes it doesn’t go to plan but at least you can smile about it.
Eventual 2nd place getter Dave McMillan takes a moment  to rest and think about his lines.
Eventual 2nd place getter Dave McMillan takes a moment to rest and think about his lines.

 

The afternoon brought the Rain? Ducky don't care. And neither did the racers.
The afternoon brought the rain. Ducky don’t care. And neither did the racers.
Caroline Buchanon spends little time on a mountain bike these days but still proves that she has the skills for thowing around the bigger bikes with a win in the Pump Track event.
Caroline Buchanon spends little time on a mountain bike these days but still proves that she has the skills for thowing around the bigger bikes with a win in the Pump Track event.
Tim Bardsley-Smith let us take a photo of him taking a photo. Did anyone get a photo of us doing this? And maybe someone got a photo of.....never mind.
Tim Bardsley-Smith let us take a photo of him taking a photo. Did anyone get a photo of us doing this? And maybe someone got a photo of…..never mind.
Men's Pump Track winner Blake Nielson was smooth and aggressive in taking the win. Tomorrow brings more Thredbo Cannonball action with the Flow Motion Cup and Whip Wars, but as we type these words the heavens have opened. It could be an interesting day.
Men’s Pump Track winner Blake Nielson was smooth and aggressive in taking the win. Tomorrow brings more Thredbo Cannonball action with the Flow Motion Cup and Whip Wars, but as we type these words the heavens have opened. It could be an interesting day.

Saturday brings the enduro event, the Flow Motion Cup, and seeding for the Australian Open Downhill race. Stay tuned for more action!

Everyone is talking about this, and for good reason. Thredbo has lead the way and installed simple and effective chairlift bike carriers. No more dead legs, and we think it's a bit of leadership that will encourage more people to get on a chair with their bike.
Everyone is talking about this, and for good reason. Thredbo has lead the way and installed simple and effective chairlift bike carriers. No more dead legs, and we think it’s a bit of leadership that will encourage more people to get on a chair with their bike.
If you look closely you will see a bee flying towards a flowering plant. It really has nothing to with the Cannonball Festival, but hey, nice shot hey? Fingers cross for sunny weather on Saturday.
If you look closely you will see a bee flying towards a flowering plant. It really has nothing to with the Cannonball Festival, but nice shot, hey? Fingers crossed for sunny weather on Saturday.

Convict 100 Gets Tweaked (and Reversed) for 2015

The Convict 100, is one of Australia’s most popular marathon races. Just a couple of hours from Sydney, the rough, raw and fast course runs largely over fireroads that were built by the convicts back in the 1830s. The riding is rugged and the setting is stunning – it’s definitely one of our favourite events.

Andy Blair. The Convict always attracts some big guns.
Andy Blair. The Convict always attracts some big guns.

Read on below for the official word.


“After celebrating our 10 year anniversary in 2014, it was time to introduce some new challenges to the regular Convict riders.  The 100km was relatively easy, for many years we’ve been contemplating running the course in reverse which is what we are doing next year.  This change will present a very different challenge to those familiar with the 100km course.  For example, riding up Jacks Track in the first 15km will be very different compared to flying down it in the last 15km and tackling the rock gardens and rock drop-offs in the opposite direction along the Old Great North Road will require some renewed focus.  It also means the two major climbs on the course will now come earlier in the piece.

The legendary Settlers Arms, the perfect place to finish a race!
The legendary Settlers Arms, the perfect place to finish a race!

“2015 will also feature and all new 68km course to replace the “Half Century” and a new 44km option for the “not so serious” novice mountain biker.

“In the early years of XCM events it was the 100km course that was getting the majority of entries.  In the last few years the “half course” or 50km has seen the biggest number of entries sometimes making up two thirds of the participants.  For this reason we are introducing an all new 68km course that will include the famous Convict kayak bridge and technical sections around Shepherds Gully and the Old Great North Rd.  Although riders will have to cover a bit more distance the new course is a marked improvement and will present a much more diverse and challenging course to those wanting to race the Convict half.

Convict 100 MTB enduro 2014, 50k, 75k, 100k

“The new 44km course has been earmarked as an entry level ride mostly made up of fire trail and dirt road sections. Most beginner riders take up cycling and if they are disciplined in their training, can quickly build the endurance to cover 40 – 50km on a mountain bike.  It’s is the ability to ride technical terrain that is often the stumbling block and takes more time to master.  That is why we are introducing an easier 44km course option to give those novice riders a feel for racing, get them out on the dirt without any serious technical challenges.  Having said that, the 44km is no cake walk with a 300m ascent in the first 15km and an opportunity to ride the kayak bridge.  The perfect introduction to MTB racing.”

Entries for the Convict 100 are open now.

Beyond the Bike, with Cam Zink

All my learning experiences, I learned the hard way. And that has definitely shaped how I ride….  I don’t love to crash, but I see that crashing is just part of getting what I want

Cam Zink is one of those riders who have spearheaded the progression of mountain biking over the past decade. He’s created some of the most memorable moments in mountain biking; who will ever forget when his 360 off the Oakley Sender at Red Bull Rampage? That move alone pushed mountain biking into a place it’d never been before. In this episode of Beyond the Bike, we get a look at the man and what his life’s like when he’s not 40-foot off the ground, upside down.

DSC5899

cam-zink-beyond-the-bike-dirt-tv-06

 

 

Local Video: Spring Equinox

This video still holds the title as the most feel-good mountain bike clip we’ve watched. It’s a few years old now, but there’s just something about it. It was filmed, edited and ridden by Pete Walsh (AKA Digital Hippie – check out his great site here) on the trails around Castlemaine.

Pete Walsh: “Heya, here’s a little video I’ve made — it’s been a wee labor of love the last month or so. I guess it’s about the Spring wildflowers, magpies and mountain biking… or it could be about a mid 40’s guy having yet another immensely enjoyable mid life crisis. Humor a hippie and watch it. If you think the video sucks, close your eyes and just enjoy the music — Old Pine by Ben Howard — it’s groovy music!”

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Seven In A Row For English And Thomas Returns At The 2014 Australian Solo 24 Hour

The seventh JetBlack 24 Hour mountain bike endurance event was held at The Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan in Sydney on the weekend. For the first time, the JetBlack 24 Hour also hosted the official Australian 24 Hour Solo National Championships and Jason English from Port Macquarie (NSW) defended his title in the men’s overall. Victoria’s cross-country racer Tory Thomas re-claimed the women’s title after a victory in 2004 again at Mt Annan.

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Jason English on track to his seventh 24H Solo National title at Mt Annan.
Event promoters from Rocky Trail Entertainment gathered close to 400 competitors and over 300 supporters and event crews to one of the most iconic cycling events in Sydney. The JetBlack 24 Hour this year also hosted the official Australian 24 Hour Solo National Championships. Almost one fifth of the field competed in the race for the official national titles and in the men’s the big race favourite confirmed his dominance in the sport. The five-time 24 Hour Solo World Champion Jason English from Port Macquarie claimed the national title for the seventh time in a row on the popular 9.8km track that included some brand-new sections, which were launched right in time for the event.
“The last time I raced here was in 2011 and since then the track has changed a lot. It’s longer, has a lot more great features that are fun to ride and in a 24-hour race that keeps you on your toes. I have to admit that it was a very tough day out and looking at how it unfolded it could have been anyone’s race. I’m very happy to win number seven!” exclaimed an ecstatic English. Race conditions had been tough with temperatures climbing into the low thirties and the competition for the green and gold jersey of the overall solo winner was fierce.
Jason English crosses the line at Mt Annan after over 350km in 24 hours (36 laps of the 9.8km course).
Jason English crosses the line at Mt Annan after over 350km in 24 hours (36 laps of the 9.8km course).
Andrew Lloyd from Newcastle was one of the strongest contenders early on and eventually won his  23-29 age group title. Sam Moffitt and David Speering from Canberra came in second and third overall after 24 hours of racing and Michael Timp from the Central Coast’s Noraville in NSW claimed fourth. Kevin Pullen from South Australia was fifth.
Interstate riders flock to Mt Annan
Almost 50 riders from interstate competed in the JetBlack 24 Hour event – the Commonwealth Games racer Tory Thomas from Victoria took out the women’s 24 Hour solo national title and with 33 completed laps phenomenally claimed the fifth overall place in the entire solo field. Thomas last had won the coveted title in 2004 and spoke of her history in the sport.
“It’s great! I guess my 24hr career ended against my choice in 2005, I was hit by a car and so I took up cross-country racing but I just wanted one more crack”.
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Race start to the seventh JetBlack 24 Hour event.
Liz Smith from Wollongong proofed to be Tory Thomas’ strongest competitor and attacked her fiercely in the early morning hours of the Sunday. Tory’s determination was unbeatable and Smith couldn’t bridge the gap, finishing in second overall and winning her age group title.
“To come second behind Tory Thomas who has collected so many accolades in her racing career so far makes me proud and I am satisfied with my result”, said Smith who plans to ramp up her endurance training to compete in a 24 Hour Solo World Championship event in the future.
With Meredith Quinlan, Wendy Stevenson and Briony Mattocks three regulars at Rocky Trail races from Sydney’s Northern Suburbs and national title winners in their respective age groups completed the top-five female podium.
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Podium of 24H Solo National Champions of all age groups (l-r): Peter Arch (23-29), Peter Selkrig (50-54), Ash Turner (45-49), Andrew Lloyd (23-29), Briony Mattocks (23-29), Phil Mathewson (60+), Tory Thomas (35-39), Jason English (30-34), Wendy Stevenson (50-54), Meredith Quinlan (40-44), Catherine Wood (45-49), Alex Beedie (U23), Elvio Fernandes (35-39), Liz Smith (30-34).
Team and social 6+6H categories are popular at Mt Annan
Almost half of the entire racing field had competed in sub-categories, which provided participants with a break overnight between six pm and six am.“We find that these 6+6-hour categories are a great introduction into 24-hour racing and they are popular with racers across the board: from endurance riders who prefer not to race at night to juniors and groups of friends and couples”, said Race Director Martin Wisata from Rocky Trail Entertainment.
The overall race win for the team with the most completed laps in the JetBlack 24 Hours race went to the Pedal4Pierce Onya Bike team from Canberra. A team of six riders clocked in 44 laps in just over 24 hours and took out the line honours of the event.