Racing: McConnell Wall to Wall Wins in WA

Dan McConnell has retained an unblemished record in the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series with a dominant Round 3 victory at Pemberton, Western Australia on Saturday.

Dan McConell - Credit Russell Baker

The dual Olympian ensured he would make it three straight W’s coming home in a time of 1:43:00 ahead of Cam Ivory and Scott Bowden who filled out the minor placing’s.

“I’ve done a fair bit of training since the last national round and the legs weren’t quite race fit at the start but I’m really happy with how the race went today,” McConnell said.

It was Ivory, who coincidently won Round 3 here last year, that got out of the blocks fastest with the current series leader in McConnell sitting comfortably back in fifth after lap one.

“I just wanted to try something different this weekend and try and be a lot more aggressive and lead out if possible.”

“When Dan came past me I just couldn’t hold him he’s just so strong,” said Ivory.

It would only take until the second lap for McConnell to lead the pack around the Pemberton course and ensure maximum UCI Category 1 points, as he rode un-rivalled to a convincing race victory.

“It’s pretty important for Australia to get some points and hopefully we can qualify two spots in the men for the Olympics.”

Bowden, who also had tasted victory on the course, proved he would be one to watch in coming rounds as on the final lap he moved up from fifth to his first podium place of the series.

“At the start I kind of wanted to go hard and I thought I was but the other guys were on fire and it took me each lap to come a bit stronger.

For full results: http://m.racetecresults.com/Search.aspx?R=2018 


Dan McConnell left his mark on Pemberton as still the best cross country rider in Australia with a command performance in Round 4 of the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series on Sunday.

McConnell drove the rest of the field into oblivion on the red dirt, as he showed no signs of fatigue backing up 24 hours after winning Saturday’s event.

“Yesterday I came in a little bit fresh sort of took me a little bit to find my legs, but today they were on song,” he said.

“It’s always hard backing up after the first lap I felt fairly comfortable.”

The 30 year old completed the seven lap race in 1:47:12, to win his fourth straight Elite Mens race.

“I sort of worked my way into it and half way into it felt really good.”

It was a bunched group two laps in to the second race of the weekend, with all the main players at the head. 

But when lap three rolled around, the two time Canberra Olympian in McConnell put the foot down to drop the pack.

The Mr Consistency of Australian XCO, produced then fastest lap of the day with a 14m27seconds which put a 56 second gap into Cameron Ivory who had settled into second in front of Bowden, who has spent plenty of time in the saddle recently.

“Really wasn’t sure how I’d back up today.”

“That’s the sixth race in nine days on the mountain bike and definitely a bit of fatigue in the legs but couldn’t have asked for a better race than that today,” said Bowden who finished 1min13sec behind McConnell.

With, the current series rankings leader well out front, it was left to the risings stars of the sport to battle it out for the minor placing’s.

“I could see Cam ahead and once I caught him there wasn’t just respite he started going full gas and we really had a good battle then,” Bowden said.

That would only last until midway through the fifth lap before, last year’s national series winner in Bowden found another gear to move away and claim silver.

There’ll be no rest for McConnell ahead of Round 5 at Thredbo in two weeks time, he’s off across the ditch to contest the “7 Day Epic” Pioneer MTB Stage Race with New Zealand rival Anton Cooper.

 “It should be pretty good training, cause we don’t get to have back to back races very often. Hopefully me and Anton can have a really good race next week and set our season up.”

For all results from Round 4: http://www.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=16429&RId=63

Racing: Henderson Back on Top Winning Both Pemberton National Rounds

Olympian Rebecca Henderson claimed her first win in the Elite Womens XCO in Round 3 of the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series at Pemberton, Western Australia on Saturday.

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The Australian champion completed the five lap race in 1:44:18, ahead of New Zealand’s Samara Sheppard and current series leader Jenni King in third.

“Definitely great to get a win which was back to racing my style which I like to go pretty hard pretty early and find my place from there,” said Henderson who’s ranked 20 in the world.

Henderson who finished third in the last round at Mt Stromlo in December behind King, held the rest of the field captive around the 4.8km course. 

“It’s a tough one there’s really not a lot of passing and I did try and use that to my advantage. It was very mentally draining and I had to be concentrating the whole time”

“I’ve been doing a lot of volume in my training at the moment and not so much speed work,” said Canberra based rider.

While the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was untroubled up front, King was embroiled in a struggle against the Kiwi for the minor placings.

King, who had won the opening two rounds in the Elite Women, admitted Saturday’s race was a struggle.

“The girls really put on a hot pace and it takes me a little while to warm up which hurt me a bit,” said King.

It would tell on the final lap, as Sheppard made her move and claimed her first podium finish of the series.

There was plenty more up for grabs than a podium place, with international ranking points up for grabs in the UCI Category 1 event.

“My ride I couldn’t fault it. As for my form I’m still building and don’t plan to peak until March, April and of course August,” said Henderson who is vying for her second Olympic Games spot in Rio later this year.

Riders will now back up tomorrow for Round 4 of the Series.

 For all results from Saturday’s racing:

http://www.racetecresults.com/results.aspx?CId=16429&RId=61


A gut busting ride by Rebecca Henderson handed her a second straight win in the Elite Women XCO at the double header round of the 2015-2016 Subaru National MTB Series at Pemberton, Western Australia.

It was a decisive move on the fourth lap where the Olympian broke the hearts of Samara Sheppard and Jenni King who rounded out the minor placings, as she dropped a minute on her previous lap time to ride out the final lap around 4.5km course alone and record a 1:31:33 second victory.

“I had to work extremely hard for that one it was as much a test of my character as much as my legs,” the 24 year old remarked.

A shortened course greeted riders on Sunday morning and it looked as tho yesterday’s effort would take a toll on Henderson, as she found herself back in fifth early on.

“My legs were horrible on the early couple of laps, I tried to lead and I wasn’t foxing or bluffing that’s all I had. ”

“It definitely tested how much I love riding my bike,” Henderson said.

In a duel out front was current series leader King and New Zealand’s Sheppard, who resumed their battle from Round 3, as they put a 34 second gap into the Elite Women’s field.

But what-ever race plan the 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist was concocting it worked, the deficit was reduced to only 8 seconds.

“I caught them in a single track and and I just knew I had to attack at my first opportunity cause I was travelling a lot quicker and had to keep the momentum,” said the Trek rider.

On the fourth lap, Henderson, who is bidding to contest a second Olympics Cross Country at Rio in August, passed her weekend rivals with plenty of steam left in the tank.

“It’s a good show my form is definitely building to have that race speed especially in the later half of the race is a good sign.”  

For Sheppard, the course at Pemberton was a big learning curve as she took on the local wooden berm.

“I never practice the wall cause we don’t have wall rides in Wellington, and I didn’t think how beneficial it would be so I went into it full gas and snake down the middle but it wasn’t very efficient,” the second place getter said.

“Bec wound up another gear and I tried to hold on for two seconds.”

With her two gold medal wins from the weekend, Henderson has crept up to be second behind King who retains the series leaders ranking heading into Round 5 at Thredbo in a fortnight.

For full results head to: http://www.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=16429&RId=63

Casey Brown and Cam McCaul Investigated For Breaking Into a Ski Resort

On Monday, January 18th, an anonymous caller phoned in a tip to the Chilliwack Police reporting that mountain bike athletes Casey Brown, Cam McCaul, and five accomplices who currently remain unnamed are under investigation after breaking into Manning Park Resort just outside of Hope, BC.

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Initial reports suggest that the athletes broke into a lift station and operated the chairlift. After investigators took a closer look, they found numerous tracks left in the snow that they believe were caused by mountain bikes. Investigators are still trying to figure out why anyone in their right mind would be motivated to try and pull off a heist of this nature.

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There has been no word yet if the resort will be pressing charges against the suspects, all of whom have no previous criminal record.ICE_HEIST_Gallery_00005ICE_HEIST_Gallery_00012 ICE_HEIST_Gallery_00006

The investigation is currently ongoing and we will keep you updated with information as this story develops. In the meantime, the following photos and video (above) have surfaced:

 

Shredding Downhill on a CX Bike With Yoann Barelli

As a professional discipline, enduro is still pretty young – but in riders like Yoann Barelli it already has its natural superstars. This clip from Yoann is part of a new series of edits that is designed to showcase high-action distillations of mountain biking at its most exciting and entertaining.

That said, Yoann kicks things off with a ‘quiet’  ride on his cyclocross bike…

The level of riding he can produce on just about any bike is incredible and you can actually hear his tyres suffering as he’s smashing the turns.

Troy Brosnan | Escape to Paradise: Part 2

After Troy Brosnan was invited to Cairns, the task was set to ensure he got to experience everything Cairns could throw at him within a week.

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Troy went scuba diving for the first time on the Great Barrier Reef, fed giant saltwater crocodiles, took on bungy jumping, glided over rainforest mountain ranges and got sent sky high hot-air ballooning. In between experiencing all this for the first time, the Cairns UCI World-Cup DH course was going to be the most important part to Troy’s stay.

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In 2014, Troy had a less than ideal race in far less than ideal conditions. Cairns saw a cyclone skirt past the region days before the event, leading to the post-cyclone rain to fall down as racers began to hit the course. Conditions were bleak, and the track fell apart infront of our eyes. 

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While the event ran smoothly and the region hailed for its efforts ensuring so, all riders left with unfinished business as no visiting rider got to experience the course to its full potential. Troy had multiple sessions on the course during his visit, each time finding new and daring gaps and lines not even fathomable during racing in 2014. His time on course in the dry left Troy eager for his return in April, with a head start in what to expect in any condition of racing.

Whether a returning athlete, visiting spectator, local or far away tuning in online – we know this race is going to be a step further in the right direction as Cairns perfects itself in preparation for the 2017 UCI Mountain-Bike World-Championships.


For more on the region, places to ride and info on the upcoming World Cup this April head to – www.ridecairns.com

Justin Leov joins Canyon to Defend EWS Team Title

The Canyon Factory Enduro Team (CFET) is proud to welcome one of the world’s top enduro riders, Justin Leov to its ranks. Justin completes the team’s roster to join Joe Barnes, Ines Thoma and Ludo May for 2016.

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Together, CFET will set out to defend their Enduro World Series Team title. As New Zealand’s fastest, Justin will be nailed on as one of the favourites for individual wins and the series overall.

For Canyon Founder & CEO, Roman Arnold, bringing Justin on board enhances CFET’s standing as one of the strongest outfits in enduro.

“Welcoming a top rider like Justin to the Canyon family is really exciting. Throughout his career, he’s shown his complete commitment to racing and that’s reflected by the fact he’s in the mix at every event he starts in. Justin is a great ambassador for the sport and for Canyon. Our team has progressed over three seasons in the EWS to become series champions in 2015. With Justin now on board, we’re confident we can reach new heights in 2016.”

At 31 years old, Justin has three EWS campaigns behind him having made the switchover from World Cup Downhill in 2012. After finishing third in the 2014 overall rankings, Justin stepped up to become one of only a handful of riders to win an EWS round in 2015 at Tweedlove and was leading the overall series before a crash in Whistler took him out for the rest of the season.

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With a new team and new setup, Justin is gearing up for everything 2016 can throw his way and has his sights set right on the top.

“I’m really happy to be given the opportunity to work with Canyon and to be around such passionate people. The presence they have at the EWS shows they are really into enduro. That’s what I’m about too. Every weekend I’m aiming to be up there, I just want to race and know I’ve pushed so hard that there was nothing more I could give. When you cross a finish line and you can’t hear or hardly see anymore because you’ve given so much, that’s what I live for.”

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Having fully recovered from the shoulder injury sustained in Whistler, Justin is now back out on the trails getting in the hours on his new race bike, the Strive CF:

“I frigging love my bike! The Strive gets me excited every time I ride it. It’s such a beast in DH mode, eats up the trail and sits just right but I love that I can climb the thing without that sacked out feeling you usually get from an aggressive 160 mm bike.”

The 2016 EWS circus kicks off in Valdivia, Chile, on 26 March. From there, Justin, Joe, Ines and Ludo will fight it out across eight rounds worldwide to make it another awesome season!

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup – 100 Days To Go

There are only 100 days until the world’s best Cross Country and Downhill riders hit Tropical North Queensland for the second round of the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

The 2016 event will feature nearly 300 riders from 35 countries competing in the Cross Country (XCO) and Downhill (DHI) disciplines.

Cairns local, and Elite Women Downhill World Number 3 Tracey Hannah, says there will be a huge buzz surrounding the event, which will be held at Smithfield Regional Park and James Cook University on the 23-24th of April.

“Words can’t describe how exciting it is to compete in a World Cup in your home town. I am away from home 8 months of the year so to be back in the most beautiful part of the world and compete against the world’s best is unbelievable.”

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April will mark the beginning of a massive 12 months for the sport in Tropical North Queensland, according to Cycling Australia CEO Nick Green.

“We’re excited about returning to Cairns for the 2016 World Cup which also commences the countdown to the 2017 UCI MTB World Championships.”

“With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games just around the corner, we look forward to seeing the best in the world compete on our shores.”

“As mountain biking continues to grow in popularity across Australia, it’s great to have world- class events and facilities like James Cook University and Smithfield Regional Park so accessible for competitors and fans,” Green said.

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and the 2017 UCI World Mountain Bike and Trials Championships reinforced Tropical North Queensland’s position as a world-class sporting events destination.

“The Palaszczuk Government is proud to support these events through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar,” Mr Crawford said.

“More than 300 of the world’s best mountain bikers competed at the 2014 World Cup at Smithfield Regional Park, attracting thousands of visitors from across the globe.”

“We expect the 2016 World Cup to be as successful and a premier international sporting event ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Major events such as this play an important role in promoting a destination on the global stage, driving visitation, supporting jobs and fostering community pride.”

“They are also important to our local tourism industry, which contributes $2.4 billion to the Tropical North Queensland economy and supports 14,600 local jobs,” he said.

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It is the objective of Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) to leverage these UCI events through the Ride Cairns brand, to position Tropical North Queensland as the premier destination for tropical mountain bike riding globally.

The event will have significant TV and digital viewing presence including the distribution of television broadcast to a cumulative audience in excess of 6.13 million globally across 18 different nations.

Domestically the Nine Network and Fox Sports will carry the broadcast. Tickets are available via here. 

For further information visit www.mtba.asn.au/mtbworldscairns, or follow us on Instagram and Twitter @UCIMTBAustralia or follow the conversation #mtbworldscairns

The 2014 and 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cups were bid for and secured, along with the 2017 UCI World Mountain Bike and Trials Championships, by Cycling Australia with the support of the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland and the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing, in partnership with Cairns Regional Council, James Cook University and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

Troy Brosnan | Escape To Paradise | Part 1

Cairns, Tropical North Queensland. Home to Round 2 of the 2016 UCI World Cup MTB series and one of the most unique and diverse tourist driven destinations anywhere on earth.

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Troy Brosnan spent a week in Cairns sampling the very best on offer from riding the trails in the famed Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park, to feeding saltwater crocodiles, gliding over rainforest canopies and diving the Great Barrier Reef.

Follow on with Troy, and stay tuned for part 2 – a personal and very fast journey down the Cairns UCI World-Cup DH course.

Video: Chris Akrigg- A WINTERS HARD TAIL

Winter time in Yorkshire can be a pretty rough place to ride, but if you attack it with the right attitude and plenty of clobber on, for me its some of the best fun you can have on a bike.

So this is me laiking (playing) about in the cold and wet aboard the Mongoose Ruddy 27.5 + hardtail..