Urban Downhill, XC Racing and Jump Comps – The Southern MTB, Albany, WA

It didn’t seem fair, in the last two years the Urban Downhill in Albany, WA, has been hounded by poor weather, so it was moved a couple of weeks back into Spring which is normally glorious in the South West of Western Australia with flowers blooming everywhere and mild days. Instead there was terrible weather nationwide.


Southern MTB is a unique mountain bike event in an amazing part of the world. From 23-25 September 2016, Southern MTB took over the West Australian town of Albany with a diverse range of events, including Australia’s only urban downhill race. Along with a jump comp, this year the event saw the introduction of the Southern Peaks endurance race too (with 30km or 50km course options), so there’s really something for every mountain biker in the mix.


Rolling into town on the Friday night professional downhiller Tracey Hannah fresh from her 3rd placing at the worlds was the guest speaker at that night’s movie festival in the beautiful town hall.

Dropping through the backyard into the main street.
Dropping through the backyard into the main street.
Getting some airtime on the main street during the Downhill.
Getting some airtime on the main street during the Downhill.

I remember my first feelings of empathy as a child seeing the Polar Bear at the Adelaide Zoo in 40-degree heat. “It was 35 degrees when I left home at Cairns” Tracey mumbled as she jammed her hands into her jacket pockets trying to conserve some heat. I was back at Adelaide Zoo.

But Tracey had been doing a great job with the local media even a surprise to a local primary school where student Abby had written to Tracey declaring she was her number one fan. Tracey spent time with the star struck class and Abby ended up a with a signed Australian Champ jersey. We guess after nine Aussie champ’s victories Tracey might have a couple spare.


Southern Peaks Endurance Race

With driving rain overnight Albany awoke to blue skies. From being just a downhill race utilising the bush on the granite covered hills and suburbs above the town to an event this year that was a downhill race, a kids race, a jump comp, oh and an cross country race. No wait, two cross country races, we were learning that the local motto was ‘go big or go home’! Saturday morning’s 50km Southern Peaks cross country race was a point to point affair starting east of town on private property. Nav Coole the local XC whippet was the favourite, but the problem was the state xc round was the next day four hours away. But Nav is of that age where the natural conclusion is ‘I’ll just race both’ although he admitted having limited local advantage with most of the first section on private property and national park.

While the field milled around the MC tried to rev up the crowd into facing an unknown 50km race. As they got into the starting grid he turned to Tracey citing her knowledge of racing, offering her the microphone he asked for her suggestion. “IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO PULL OUT!” was Tracey’s sage advice, so off they went before Tracey’s words could be acted upon.

XC on wet off camber granite. The locals run beefy tyres and there isn’t much moss.
XC on wet off camber granite. The locals run beefy tyres and there isn’t much moss.
Darryl Hancock enjoys the fast roll through the wetlands in the xc race.
Darryl Hancock enjoys the fast roll through the wetlands in the xc race.
The 50km riders were ferried over the river in an untimed section.
The 50km riders were ferried over the river in an untimed section.
Lonely beaches, empty barrels.
Lonely beaches, empty barrels.

Nav put his nose out front and never looked back. Pristine coastline with perfect surf with empty barrels greeted the riders as the descending into Gull Rock National Park. A boat waited to take them over a river where the 30km race joined them as they rode along a beach, through the centre of town via back alleys and then a couple of steep climbs to take them to the finish at Orange Tractor organic winery that was visited by Prince Charlie back in 2015. Today though the visitors were 51 50km riders and 16 30km riders and all were a bit knackered from the brutal climbs up Mt Adelaide and Mt Melville.

The local breed of chook was also interested in proceedings. Start of the 50km race.
The local breed of chook was also interested in proceedings. Start of the 50km race.

The winery was launching a new wine that day the – Sweaty Saddle Shiraz. “The local MTB community picks the grapes and we make a wine out of it. When we sell a bottle a portion of the sale goes back to the club.” Proprietor Murray Gomm explained.

Murray with the latest drop raising money for the local club.
Murray with the latest drop raising money for the local club.
Some tasty sounding reds there!
Some tasty sounding reds there!

Nav Coole had surprised no one by taking the win. “I rode at my own pace while keeping a very solid pace with nothing in the tank at the end” he told Flow. Perhaps he could have tried someone else’s pace for a while as he was 26 minutes clear of the 2nd place Keiron Benson. Nav was missing from presentations as he was already on the road driving to take the win in the state round the next day.

Nav Coole had a lonely 50km race through some pristine bush to take the win.
Nav Coole had a lonely 50km race through some pristine bush to take the win.
Andrew Harman grinning (or grimacing) up Mt Melville in the XC race after riding from the mountain in the background through the middle of town.
Andrew Harman grinning (or grimacing) up Mt Melville in the XC race after riding from the mountain in the background through the middle of town.

Kids Urban

That afternoon saw the kids race, we wish all races were like kids races, everyone was ‘poop ya pants’ excited and the ice cream van pulled up next to hundreds of kids expecting a brisk trade. A dual slalom format was devised over a couple of ramps, some fake mini sea containers before a sea saw to the finish line. We hope the lack of interest in the gear and just charge attitude catches on in the wider MTB community.

Your sisters hand me down pink bike was all you needed, the ice cream van sat there forgotten as wave after wave of kids charged the course.

Probably the best race of the event. The intense kids race.
Probably the best race of the event. The intense kids race.
Abbey. #1 Tracey Hannah fan.
Abbey. #1 Tracey Hannah fan.

Not even rain could slow them down, Abby was resplendent in her Aussie Champ jersey and took no prisoners as she charges hard exiting the first sea container with too much speed landing heavy on the front before exiting into the competitor lane. She binned it again charging hard in the finals, a downhiller in the making.


Jump Comp

The jump comp was just starting on the main street at the same time. With only one sea container last year the locals looked up their moto ‘Go Big or Go Home’ and decided six sea containers was needed on the big jump, oh and another two for elsewhere on the course.

So at over 5 metres (17 feet) off the ground the riders charged down the main street only to boost the kicker and maybe land the jump. As the sun went down the crowd swelled to approximately 3000, kids screamed themselves horse from the barricades.

Backflips and 360 were on the menu in the jump competition.
Backflips and 360 were on the menu in the jump competition.
Superman with a double rainbow. What can’t you do superman!?
Superman with a double rainbow. What can’t you do superman!?
Freight Train. How this one didn’t derail we’ll never know.
Freight Train. How this one didn’t derail we’ll never know.
Hangtime in the jump competition with the town hall in the background.
Hangtime in the jump competition with the town hall in the background.

In this year’s Christmas Pageant Santa had better come up with something bloody special because Christmas has already come for a lot of local kids. Bobby of Bob’s bike shop was a local favourite but in the end it was Aaron Leagas with a corked 360 who won.


The Urban Downhill

Sunday was all about the event that started it all – The Urban Downhill. The top half of the course was through bush above the town before sneaking down a dead end street a lane or two, through a backyard and then an alley before exploding down the main street of York with piles of structures to keep the riders on their toes. Tracey Hannah’s first practice runs weren’t particularly happy ones, the big structures on the hill landed relatively flat on granite making the track a bruising affair and there was no alternate lines. Remember “Go Big or Go Home”?

Off the big kicker a gust of wind caught her and threaten to bin her straight to the bitumen before she wrestled the bike to a safe landing.

Tracey Hannah drops in on the washing in the urban downhill.
Tracey Hannah drops in on the washing in the urban downhill.
Winner Jordan Prochyra on the biggest drop of the track onto granite. No B lines. Go Big or Go Home.
One of the biggest drop of the track onto granite. No B lines. Go Big or Go Home.
Granite track descending into town. The finish visible from the top.
Granite track descending into town. The finish visible from the top.
The open top of the hill allowed the trail to dry out quickly but also exposed it to any wind.
The open top of the hill allowed the trail to dry out quickly but also exposed it to any wind.
Bryn Westerberg utilising the local tow truck in a hip launch on the final straight.
Bryn Westerberg utilising the local tow truck in a hip launch on the final straight.

A ‘fully hydrated’ punter returned from the pub and parked his car in the middle of the race line in the alley during qualifying. Were told the discussion went something like this:

Marshall: “You can’t park there is a race going on and guys are coming off this shipping container landing right where you parked your car”.

Punter: “Get f*#ked, I always park here”.

It seems the Marshall discovered that the secret phase was “I’m calling the tow truck”… Ah the joys of urban racing, although we’d take drunk local punters over astray Chilean street dogs running across the track any day. Closing the street in one of the state’s largest towns was always going to be the subject of local talkback radio but as the street filled up and businesses were busy.

The small field of downhillers prepared for their final runs, with the track being physical most had limited there runs to conserve their energy and it was WA local and Giant sponsored rider Jordan Prochyra who took the win at 3:13. He told Flow “I didn’t have anything left the forearms were all jelly and the middle section with the climb thrashed you aerobically, it is a sick track and I’m stocked with the result”.

Downhill winner Jordan Prochyra being chased through the neighbourhood.
Downhill winner Jordan Prochyra being chased through the neighbourhood.

Certainly for the local having racers ride past the front of the pub, through backyards and past the chooks it made for arguably the best event in Australia to watch. For the racers though turnout was down on previous years but hope is in sight with 20kms of trail being publicly advertised for comment, this includes a DH trail that could be used in this event.

The Downhill track went past the chicken coup. Princess Layer and the Rebhen Alliance were not impressed.
The Downhill track went past the chicken coup. Princess Layer and the Rebhen Alliance were not impressed.

Considering the whole weekend was a success and happened without sanctioned MTB trails the news of trail planning coming to Albany must be music to the organisers ears, some riders drew parallels of the xc race to the Cape to Cape MTB, Australia’s largest multi day MTB event held a month after in WA and you can see the comparisons, only 9 years ago that event also started with no sanctioned MTB trails, a beach stage and barely 100 riders and look where it is now.

Offcamber wide granite corners. Gerran Turner gets stuck in.
Offcamber wide granite corners. Gerran Turner gets stuck in.

There were calls that this is one of Australia’s most exciting MTB events. Bombing through a neighbourhood at full speed past cloth lines and chooks is pretty exciting and we are sure that the hens will be laying scrambled eggs for weeks to come.


www.southernmtb.com.au

Sam Hill and Cecile Ravanel win the penultimate round of the Enduro World Series

The seventh round of the Enduro World Series will be remembered as the race where Sam Hill earned his enduro stripes.

In a race that promised drama from the start thanks to an apocalyptic weather forecast, forcing the cancellation of the prologue on Friday and stage two on Saturday, the stage was set for an epic showdown. The promised storms never emerged but even with the cancelled stages, riders faced a huge day on Saturday featuring 1600m of climbing and 2500m of descent over 51 km.

But in the end the Enduro des Portes du Mercantour driven by Urge Bike Products came down to a fierce battle between two legends of mountain biking  – Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Paypal) and Nico Vouilloz (Lapierre Gravity Republic). The pair fought it out over seven stages amongst the iconic trails of the Maritime Alps, all whilst being chased down by young Jesse Melamed of Rocky Mountain Urge bp. However, Hill proved too strong for both and crossed the line nine seconds clear, forcing Vouilloz to settle for second and Melamed third.

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Speaking after the race, Sam said: “It feels awesome. I tried not to think about my lead all day and just attack each stage as it came. Nico kept me honest all day, I knew I had a little lead and so I just tried to get down without any mistakes. It’s been a massive goal of mine to win one of these races, so to win one already is awesome.”

 

In the women’s race Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro) continued her dominance – winning four of the seven stages. Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) won three stages, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Ravanel and she finished over 30 seconds back. Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) rounded out the podium in third.

 

Cecile said: “I’m really happy to win and to race this type of event. This course was good because it used all the formats; pedal liaisons, chair lifts and the stages were all so different – some long, some short and that’s what I like.”

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In the U21 Men’s race Adrien Dailly (Lapierre Gravity Republic) won – meaning he and Sebastien Claquin (Rocky Mountain Urge bp) are now tied on points in the series rankings. Technically Dailly leads the series as he’s won the most recent race, but these two will be fighting it our for the World Champion title in Italy in a couple of weeks time. Elliot Trabac (Scott SR Suntour Enduro Team) rounded out an all French podium in third.

 

French rider Julie Duvert won the U21 Women’s category, with Raphaela Richter (Radon Magura Factory) in second and Martha Gill (Marin Stan’s Enduro Team) was third.

 

Karim Amour won the Master’s category convincingly, taking over two minutes out of nearest rival Carles Barcons, with Cyrille Pages (MS Mondraker)  in third.

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In the team competition, Rocky Mountain Urge bp were team of the day, Cube Action Team just behind in second and Ibis Cycles Enduro Race were third. Today’s result cements Rocky Mountain Urge bp’s lead in the series rankings.

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The series now turns its attention to the last race of the year in the beautiful Finale Ligure. The Bluegrass Finale Enduro powered by SRAM takes place on October 1st and 2nd, where the 2016 Enduro World Champions will be crowned on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Full results from this weekend can be found here.

Mt Buller to Host the Third Annual Australian Mountain Bike Summit

Mt Buller will host the third annual Australian Mountain Bike Summit on 5-6 December 2016 – the only conference in Australia dedicated solely to the mountain bike industry. Presented by Mt Buller Bike Park, the Summit has become a must-attend industry event that covers a range of topics relevant to individuals, groups and organisations in the mountain biking industry, or those looking to enter the space.

Hosted by renowned cycling commentator, SBS journalist and host of The Bike Lane, Matt Keenan this year’s Summit will feature a number of local and international mountain biking experts, including the visionary Charlie Sturgis, CEO of the Park City Mountain Trails Foundation, legendary trail builder Glen Jacobs of World Trail, Bradley Fauteux, CEO of Parks Victoria plus Australia’s foremost expert on adaptive mountain biking, Andrew Liddawi. Speakers will deliver a range of keynote addresses and workshops that allow participants to hear from the specialists, share ideas and ask questions in a collaborative environment. Covering MC duties will be Matt Keenan, renowned cycling commentator, SBS journalist and host of The Bike Lane. mtb_summit_151208_0327

“The Australian Mountain Bike Summit is unique in Australia, as it focusses purely on the challenges, opportunities and state of the market for the mountain bike industry”, said Gillian Dobson, Group Manager – Marketing, Sales and Events for Mt Buller Resort Management. 

“We developed the Australian Mountain Bike Summit after recognising a gap in the market for such an event, and dedicated ourselves to bringing together key industry players to learn about and discuss the key challenges and emerging opportunities currently impacting the Australian and international mountain bike markets.”

“Importantly, the program also allows for a range of networking opportunities, where industry leaders come together with business operators, clubs, land managers and retailers to informally discuss topics of interests and make business connections” said Dobson. “In addition, delegates are given several opportunities to get out on Mt Buller’s world-class trails, either as part of a guided tour or independently. Those up for a challenge will head straight to Mt Buller’s legendary 42km Australian Alpine Epic ride, the only trail of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere”.

mtb_summit_151207_0077The Australian Mountain Bike Summit is preceded by the official opening of the Mt Buller Bike Park on Saturday 3 December. The opening features a great program of activities and events across the weekend that will provide delegates a great reason to come early and make the most of their time at Mt Buller.

“The Australian MTB Summit is a highly interactive, engaging forum that combines expert and topical discussion with opportunities to expand networks, and participate actively in what it’s all about – mountain bike riding. We encourage everyone in the industry to consider attending this critical event”, concluded Dobson.

Registration for the Australian Mountain Bike Summit is now open. Registration costs $499 per person plus booking fee, which covers the two-day conference, all conference catering and networking functions including the three-course Official Summit Dinner, and three guided rides. An early bird discount of 10% applies until Sunday, 18 September.

For further information about the Australian Mountain Bike Summit, visit bike.mtbuller.com.au or email [email protected]

 

Racing: Red Ass NSW State Downhill Championships, Greenvalleys

It’s always going to be a great weekend when you can grab the big bikes, a whole bunch of buddies, your finest heckling devices and road trip down to Greenvalleys. Last weekend it played host to Rocky Trail Entertainment’s biggest Downhill event of the year; the NSW Red Ass Downhill Enduro State Championships.

Ellie Smith stepped it up from U17’s to Elite womens’ for the weekend and didn’t disappoint. 1st place with a 2:20.343.
Ellie Smith stepped it up from U17’s to Elite womens’ for the weekend and didn’t disappoint. 1st place with a 2:20.343.

Greenvalleys, situated in the lush pastures of Tongarra and only 2 hours’ drive from Sydney city, has become one of NSW’s best mountain bike destinations. Boasting a hill full of trails and jumps as well as shuttle road, it is the perfect home for the rowdy crowds and racing of the State Champs.

The first year of the new ‘Downhill Enduro’ format, riders get the chance to take the best of two race runs as their final place. This allows for a far more friendly competition for all that have problems or crashes in their race run, keeping everyone stoked when they go home.DSC_0980

Joel Willis was on a blinder today, taking out the overall with a 1:58.048 – narrowly trumping Brent Smith by just under half a second.
Joel Willis was on a blinder on the day, taking out the overall with a 1:58.048 – narrowly trumping Brent Smith by just under half a second.

“Having Green Valleys close to home works out pretty well for me. It’s helped me to be more spot on with my riding – linking every section together and trying to push in spots where you never thought you would. It has also gave me the chance to meet the young local shredders that are aiming to keep getting better and better.”

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The dream of owning your own mountain bike park coming to life.
The dream of owning your own mountain bike park coming to life.
The final singletrack to chute across the creek into the finish line, where riders came hauling ass brakeless through the forest into a final sprint.
The final singletrack to chute across the creek into the finish line, where riders came hauling ass brakeless through the forest into a final sprint.
Event centre or cow pasture?
Event centre or cow pasture?
The classiest of overtaking strategies from Tyson Wise.
The classiest of overtaking strategies from Tyson Wise.

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Dialled shuttle system straight from the field to the summit in less than 5 minutes.
Dialled shuttle system straight from the field to the summit in less than 5 minutes.
The 4-pack halfway down the track was a huge treat.
The 4-pack halfway down the track was a huge treat.

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Being a freeride park, there is no shortage of jumps to style the hell out of every single run - making it a photographer’s dream.
Being a freeride park, there is no shortage of jumps to style the hell out of every single run – making it a photographer’s dream.
Lantana and loam.
Lantana and loam.

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“Ahh suuuuh dude!” Our favourite enduro wizard Keiran Volk is a very familiar face at every Greenvalleys event. A Woolongong local and GV trail builder, Kezza is no stranger to this trail. Nevertheless, his times were as on-point as his beard with a 5th overall on the day on his trusty Santa Cruz nomad – the quickest trail bike of the day.
“Ahh suuuuh dude!”
Our favourite enduro wizard Keiran Volk is a very familiar face at every Greenvalleys event. A Woolongong local and GV trail builder, Kezza is no stranger to this trail. Nevertheless, his times were as on-point as his beard with a 5th overall on the day on his trusty Santa Cruz nomad – the quickest trail bike of the day.

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What is a downhill track without a finish show jump? Duke Millington doesn’t let winning U19’s men get in the way of a nice whip.
What is a downhill track without a finish show jump?
Duke Millington doesn’t let winning U19’s men get in the way of a nice whip.
One of the biggest casualties of the day goes to Connor Mackne – after a whole season in whistler, a wild crash in heckler’s rock garden sees the demise of his steed just a week after coming home.
One of the biggest casualties of the day goes to Connor Mackne – after a whole season in whistler, a wild crash in heckler’s rock garden sees the demise of his steed just a week after coming home.
Paul “Kingy” King got in a bunch of shuttle runs with all the racers before residing in the MC’s chair for racing, calling the shots and keeping the crowd pumped. Cheers Kingy!
Paul “Kingy” King got in a bunch of shuttle runs with all the racers before residing in the MC’s chair for racing, calling the shots and keeping the crowd pumped. Cheers Kingy!
The hecklers were out in force today! Chainsaws, broken bike parts clanged together, air horns, a nightclub sound system and an air compressor-powered train horn! Though it may have thrown some off, the huge crowd of cheering spectators made race runs even more exhilarating.
The hecklers were out in force today! Chainsaws, broken bike parts clanged together, air horns, a nightclub sound system and an air compressor-powered train horn! Though it may have thrown some off, the huge crowd of cheering spectators made race runs even more exhilarating.
With one of, if not the quickest line through the rock garden, Pat Butler proves time and time again why he chooses to enter Elite instead of U17’s; 2.67 seconds off the top time of the day – sitting him rightly in 3rd place overall.
With one of, if not the quickest line through the rock garden, Pat Butler proves time and time again why he chooses to enter Elite instead of U17’s; 2.67 seconds off the top time of the day – sitting him rightly in 3rd place overall.

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The no. 1 plate, Brent Smith, taking home 2nd place overall.
The no. 1 plate, Brent Smith, taking home 2nd place overall.

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Theres always a super atmosphere of mates and banter at Rocky Trail events, we can’t wait till our next! Till next time lads!
Theres always a super atmosphere of mates and banter at Rocky Trail events, we can’t wait till our next! Till next time lads!
Your elite men's podium – 1. Joel Willis 2. Brent Smith 3. Pat Butler 4. Josh Lea 5. Keiran Volk.
Your elite men’s podium – 1. Joel Willis 2. Brent Smith 3. Pat Butler 4. Josh Lea 5. Keiran Volk.

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For full results, http://www.rockytrailentertainment.com/events/DH-results.html

Fresh Product: Giant Rail and Roost Helmets, now with MIPS Protection

Following the release of the popular Rail helmet last year, Giant bring an even lower priced version to the market, the Roost.

Both the Rail and Roost are also now available with MIPS Protection, a helmet feature that has grown to become a priority for the safety conscious. What’s impressive in this case is how Giant have brought a MIPS helmet to such an affordable price point, $159 for the Roost and $179 for the Rail.

Giant Roost and Rail MIPS-7734
The new Roost.

Giant Roost and Rail MIPS-7732

The Rail is an impressively light and well ventilated helmet designed to accomodate goggles with plenty of space in the front and a goggle strap clip out the back. The Roost forgoes a few features and vents to bring the price down but feels very similar on the head.

What is MIPS?

As Giant put it: “MIPS is a patented brain protection system developed to reduce the rotational violence from angled impacts that can cause strain to the brain. MIPS mimics the brain’s own protection system inside the skull by adding a low-friction layer between the head and helmet. A helmet with MIPS can absorb more energy from an angled impact.”

The yellow material is part of the MIPS Protection, a thin layer sitting between your head and the helmet's shell.
The yellow material is part of the MIPS Protection, a thin layer sitting between your head and the helmet’s shell.
mips
Strain level images from lab tests where two identical helmets, one with MIPS and one without, tested at the same speed show a clear difference. The more red, the more strain to the brain. A helmet with MIPS reduces the rotational violence transmitted to the brain.
The
The super light and breathable Rail.
Giant Roost and Rail MIPS-7721
Goggle strap clip on the Rail.

In time for summer we’ll be reaching for the Rail and Roost when trails are fast and temps are high.


RAIL MIPS – $179

ROOST MIPS – $159

RAIL – $144

ROOST – $124

Racing: DH in China at TDRY Guide Geo Park International Downhill

The inaugural TDRY Guide Geo Park International Downhill Event was held August 26-28 in Qinghai Province, China. The event attracted over 80 participants, including 10 international riders.

TDRY Guide International Geo Park Event-1
Jai Motherwell, part of the construction team testing out his brilliant creation.

The event included downhill, dual compressor and dirt jump events, all held beneath the dramatic backdrop of the stunning Geo Park. All courses were designed and built by international trail specialists Dirt Art, who brought in an Australian-based team lead by World Cup Champion Nathan Rennie, to deliver the works.TDRY Guide International Geo Park Event-0734

For the pinnacle event riders were greeted by a world-level downhill course, which included a wide range of elements, throughout its short 1km length. From the steep, exposed ridge lines at the top of the site, riders faced numerous drops, jumps bermed and flat turns, ensuring that only a true all- rounder would claim the title.

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Tom Crimmins takes the win in China.
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Tom Crimmins picking his way down the narrow ridge lines on the fast, slippery and flowing course specifically built for the race.

In the international professional class the downhill event was taken out by Australian rider Thomas Crimmins, who edged out brother Andrew Crimmins by 1.10 seconds to take the win. Ex World Cup Downhill Champion, and construction manager for the project Nathan Rennie showed that he hasn’t lost a bit of his legendary ability, slotting comfortably into a valiant 3rd place, just 3.2 seconds off the win.

The Guide Geo Park site showcases a side of China that not many would be familiar with, a rugged wilderness far removed from the countries large cities. All event courses capitalise on the unique and dramatic topography of the site, with the stunning landforms of the Park acting as backdrop for all events.

With a commitment to host the event again in 2017, the future of gravity- based mountain biking in QingHai Province is bright.

Fresh Product: Maxxis Double Down Tyres

Tubeless tyres have made the mood deflating hiss of a puncture a far less frequent occurrence. But with the emergence of incredibly capable mid-travel bikes, as well as enduro racing, a gap has emerged in the market for tyres that combine lightweight efficiency with the puncture protection required in more technical terrain and at higher speeds.

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Aside from the DD on the casing, there’s nothing to tell you there’s anything different about these tyres.

So what are Maxxis doing about it?


Maxxis’ Double Down casing sits between their EXO and Downhill casings, offering more puncture protection and a stiffer sidewall than an EXO casing with around a 100-gram weight penalty for an equivalent EXO tyre in the same width. We’ve fitted a set of Double Down Aggressors to our Canyon Strive long term test bike (http://flowmountainbike.com/tests/wheelworks-flite-wide-carbon/), and we’ve noticed a discernible difference in sidewall stiffness, which has allowed us to run them at lower pressures without burping air.

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Is it available for every tyre?


No, not at moment – Maxxis are concentrating on the tyres that are really aimed at the Enduro market. Double Down casing is currently available in Minion DHF, Shorty, Aggressor, High Roller II, and Tomahawk tread patterns, giving riders a variety of options from fast rolling tyres (like the Aggressor or High Roller) to wet weather options (like the Shorty).

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The Aggressor is a new tread in the Maxxis lineup. With closely spaced knobs, it’s quite a fast tyre. Probably more of a rear tyre overall, but we’re giving it a go up front too.

Will they work for me?


If you’re the kind of rider who pinches or tears tubeless tyres, wallops rims, or just rides hard, then give these a try. 100g weight penalty at each wheel is not a big price to pay for more reliability.

We think the type of rider who would benefit from Double Down casing is likely to pair a more aggressive front tyre with something faster rolling out back (some bloke called Richie Rude runs a DHF up front paired with an Aggressor in the rear to moderate success).

Do they cost more?


Yes, a little. A Double Down tyre will set you back about $20 more than the equivalent ‘standard’ tyre – $99.95 is the going rate, versus $79.95 for an EXO 3C tyre.

Maxxis Minio WT-7858
Big boy. The Minion DHF WT 2.50.

Are they suitable for wide rims?


While the trend towards wider rims has huge benefits, a lot of tyres haven’t kept pace. A ‘standard’ tyre on a 35-40mm rim can end up with a very square profile that’s not conducive to consistent cornering.

Maxxis have got on the front foot here, and released ‘WT’ (Wide Trail) specific tyres for rims with 35mm or greater internal widths. We’ve got a Minion WT at Flow HQ awaiting testing as well. It’s a beast of a tyre, so keep your eyes peeled!

Maxxis Aggressor-7790

Where can I get them? 


Maxxis Double Down tyres are available across Australia at a number of preferred dealers. Take a look below to find a DD dealer in your state.

Queensland:

FOR THE RIDERS / (o7) 3891 7561 www.fortheriders.com.au

CRANK’D CYCLES PH / (07) 4728 5838 https://www.facebook.com/crankdcycles/?rf=790415367668940

New South Wales/ACT  

SUMMIT CYCLES / (02) 9661 4245 http://www.summitcycles.bike/

STEEL CITY CYCLES (02) 4267 1747 [email protected]

FLOW BIKES  www.flowbikes.com.au

Victoria:

MY MOUNTAIN / (03) 9388 8678 http://www.mymountain.com.au/

LIFE OF BIKES / (03) 5940 2299 http://www.lifeofbikes.com.au/

Western Australia:

TBE / (08) 9277 9181 https://www.tbe.com.au/search.asp?mc=5&sc=951&b=25&slf=1

South Australia:

BICYCLE EXPRESS /(08) 8232 7277 http://www.bicycleexpress.com.au/

Northern Territory:

SPOKES NT  / (08) 8931 3111 http://spokesnt.com.au/

Tasmania:

SPRUNG / (03) 6334 5419 http://sprungmtb.com.au/