Cape to Cape MTB 2017: Brand New Course

To celebrate the 10th birthday of the race, race director Jason Dover has tied together all the finest cuts of the past decade, delivering up a smorgasbord of singletrack. They’ve also brought all the whole event much closer into Margaret River to ramp up the party vibe and make it all easier logistically for riders too. We got JD on the phone to tell us all about the plans.

Race Director, Jason Dover. 9 x Margaret River course setter, 5 x Australian Rally Champion (hire car category).

Jason Dover:  “The thought for year 10 was always that we wanted to finish up in Margaret River for the final stage, make it a great vibe right back  in town and to wrap it all up with a Margaret River Special Stage. But then we thought, hey, why not make them all ‘special stages’ and base the whole event in closer to Margaret River!

Did we mention it’s a pretty nice part of the world?

“The challenge was how to do this, but then still retain all the things that make the Cape to Cape MTB what it is. Obviously the course has evolved over the years, but never have we had to work out four new stages in one go, so it was a pretty complex task!

I’m really stoked with the course, because I think as we release the details there’s things in there that everyone who has raced before we know and love, but then loads of new things to get excited about too.”

The Pines are one of the most legendary parts of the event.

Stage 1: Xanadu to Xanadu

“In essence we’ve created two Margaret River Special Stages, and Stage 1 is one of these. It really focuses on all the singletrack that’s right in Margaret River. We’ve got an awesome alignment through the new compartment 10 trails, we’ve got Big Pine in there, plus The Pines, some other trails we’ve never been able to use before along the river and out to 10 Mile Dam. It’s going to be an incredible stage, about 50km, and chock-a-block full of singletrack, and of course it ends up at Xanadu which is always a favourite.”

This year the event will take in just about all of Middle Earth’s great trails.
When the racing’s all done…

Stage 2: Leeuwin Estate to Leeuwin Estate. 

“Stage 2 is probably the one that’s closest to what we’ve used before in Cape to Cape, but instead of starting down at Hamelin Bay, we’re going to start at Leeuwin Estate. We’ll then head south on old rail alignment that will take us straight into the tall trees of Boranup. It’s a great course, it lets us avoid all the slog along the road, and gets right into the 25km of beautiful trail in Boranup that we all love. That stage will be about 60km, but all killer, no road or mucking around. It’ll be a fast, fun stage.”


Stage 3: Colonial Brewery to Colonial Brewery

“We’re calling this one the Middle Earth Special Stage! In the past we’ve only used about five kays of all the singletrack out at Middle Earth, this time we’re using over 20km, and we’ve picked the best of the best. We’ve managed to avoid all the nasty climbs, so it’s just sweet, flowing singletrack. The City of Busselton have allowed us to use a lot of trail out there we previously couldn’t access, so were stoked. We’ve got a new alignment to get us out from Colonial Brewery to Middle Earth too, so it’s a fast 25km out there, then into all the singletrack, and then 15km back out to the brewery for a beer. It’s really exciting to have Middle Earth having its own stage.

Lads!

Stage 4: Margaret River to Margaret River. 

“Stage 4 is really quite similar to what we’ve included in the Margaret River Special Stage before, which was previously Stage 3. It’s the one that’s absolutely crammed with singletrack. We roll out of the main street of Margaret River, before heading out to Carters Rd, South Carters loop, Burnside loop, The Pines, Compartment 10…. Anyone who has ridden the new Compartment 10 will know how cool that trail is. Whereas we used to finish out at Colonial, we’ll now finish back in town, so it’ll be great way to finish up, with an event village back in Margs. It’ll be awesome.”

Yiew!

 

“With the event all being a bit closer to Margaret River, I think it’ll be a lot more relaxing too. The previous course we’ve used is great, but logistically it’s not been the easiest event to do. Because you’ve finished in a different place to where you’ve started each day, you need to think about picking up your car, or getting dropped back somehow. But with this new format, starting and finishing each day at the same spot, you can really chill out. If you want to chat and have a drink, lie in the sun, you just can, there’s no stress. It’s a luxury we’ve never had before logistically.

This year, people can choose what wave they want to start in – so if you don’t want the 8am start with the top guys, you can just pick a later wave.

“The extended waves we’ve got for the starts will make it more relaxed too. This year, people can choose what wave they want to start in – so if you don’t want the 8am start with the top guys, you can just pick a later wave. It means people who want to have a couple of beers the night before, or who want a bit of a sleep in, can kick off at 10am. It’ll make for a really great vibe I think, much more of a celebration.

“We’ve also got 15 minute gaps between each wave too, so it should make for a really clean ride, much less congestion. And managing the numbers will be important, because we’re looking at 2000 riders this year! We’re already at 80% of capacity, which is already more riders than we’ve ever had before, and we’re definitely going to sell out.

And looking at the sign ups so far, it’s about 45% new riders, which is brilliant. It just shows that we’ve set out what we wanted to achieve this year, making the event more accessible and appealing whilst still keeping what the Cape to Cape has always been about.”


This event will all be sold out before too long, and you’ll be GUTTED if you’ve sat on the fence and you missed it. To enter, head to http://capetocapemtb.com


 

Specialized 2018 Range Highlights

The new, new Enduro! A few worthy revisions have been made on this recently improved platform.

More #enduro Enduro

Wait, didn’t this bike get a massive update just 12 months ago? Yes, it did. But the feedback from the market and team riders was that perhaps the geometry and suspension rates weren’t quite right, and so Specialized have made some tweaks.

Full credit to them here, as it’s bloody expensive to open new carbon moulds, but obviously Specialized regard the Enduro as a real flagship bike in their range hence their willingness to bite the bullet and re-jig the bike.

Ok, the best looking bike of the year is here.
The Enduro 29er is more than a enduro slayer, it’s a great trail bike too.
Specialized are making it easy and affordable for 2017 Enduro owners to upgrade their linkage to the 2018 version.

Geometry and suspension changes

“We want it longer” was the message from the market, particularly with regard to the 650B version of the Enduro which was proving a little tight for riders who were getting rowdy, and so length has been added to both bikes up front. The Enduro 29er grows by 10mm in a medium, while the 650B bike is 15mm longer.

At the same time, a new shock link and yoke provide a more progressive suspension curve and a small degree of geometry adjustment too – there’s a simple flip chip to give you half a degree of head angle tweakage to play with.

Owners of a 2017 Enduro will be happy to hear the new linkage/yoke is retrofittable, and Specialized are making it available super cheap too.

Longer and more progressive, so you can get more aggressive. #rhyming

WU Post adjust the angle of the dangle

This one has been in the works for a while, as hinted by the massive 34.9mm seat post found on the Enduro frame last year. The new WU Command Post is a re-think of the traditional dropper – as the seat is lowered, it also tilts rearward by 14 degrees. Anyone who has ridden a downhill bike will know the advantages of having your seat angled like this, as it aids getting behind the saddle and makes it generally less obtrusive when you don’t want it.

On our test ride around the You Yangs, we definitely found the WU post’s unique positioning to be more noticeable than we anticipated – we think on steeper terrain the benefits would be more obvious, whereas on flatter terrain it felt a bit funky.

What are you hiding in there….?

Slicker SWAT

The coolest thing ever? Specialized’s SWAT on-bike storage integrations go to a new level for 2018, with a steerer tube stashed multitool and chain breaker. Flip the little door open and the spring loaded system pops out your multitool. Remove the whole system from the steerer tube to get access to the chain breaker and spare quick link.

Making use of dead space to stash your tools.
The SWAT steerer tube assembly removed. Note the chain links stashed too?

Ohlins, now in 650B and with revised sealing

The Specialized/Ohlins partnership gets stronger, with the Swedish manufacturer now offering 650B Boost forks, whereas last year Ohlins forks were only available in 29er format. The reliability issues that plagued last year’s air shocks has apparently been resolved, though obviously time will tell on this one. Hopefully it’s all hunky dory now, as the sealing issues last year really put a damper on our experiences with this bike last year.

Ohlins are now supplying Boost 650B forks too, so there’ll be more of them in the range than before.
The simple adjustments of the Ohlins shock are ideal.


Epically improved Epic

One of the most successful cross-country bikes of all time has had a huge rethink for 2018. The new Epic is a much more modern take on what XC racing is all about, and a really lovely piece of work. We already took a good look at this bike in a previous piece here, but a few recaps below.

The Epic was always going to be a hard one to keep improving, but Specialized have gone to a new level with the latest iteration.

More shredding, less flying over the bars. 

The geometry was been toned down from the savagely sharp handling of previous generations to deliver a more confidence inspiring ride, suiting the increasingly technical tracks of the XCO circuit. With more trail friendly handling now, we’d be surprised if this bike doesn’t woo a few riders away from the Camber. Things like bar width and tyre width have been upped too. Hooray! Going fast uphill doesn’t have to mean being terrified when the trail gets gnarly going back down.

Super light

The Epic has dropped a ridiculous amount of weight. 350g has been shed from the S-Works model, and over 500g has been weaselled out of the Expert level frame. Those are huge chunks to carve out!

No more Horst link!

No more FSR

The Horst link is gone! A big portion of the Epic’s weight loss has been possible with a move to a flex stay arrangement, rather than a using a pivot on the chain stay like just about all previous Specialized dual suspension bikes. Flex stays are nothing new – on a short travel bike like this they can still deliver all the sensitivity and control needed, but with a big gain in lateral stiffness and huge weight savings. Bikes like the Cannondale Scalpel and Scott Spark all use flex stays too.

Improved suspension sensitivity

The Brain system has had an overhaul as well. It’s been shifted from its previous position mid-way along the chain stay to sitting right on the rear axle. This should lead to faster responsiveness of the Brain in transitioning between its closed and open states. The oil flow from the Brain to the actual damper has been improved too, with less convoluted routing.


Gender neutral platforms

Specialized have abandoned the use of gender specific frames, across the board. There are still men’s and women’s versions of most bikes (all the way up to S-Works variants) , but the differences are restricted to things like paint, saddles, crank length, grips, bars and suspension tune.

Now the bike industry is full of spin on this subject, and there are certainly going to be detractors who’ll portray this move as a purely cost saving exercise, but Specialized have their rationale. They say that it’s all about delivering performance first and providing a bike that is most suitable for the ‘experience’ a rider is after, no matter what gender. Just because a rider happens to be female doesn’t mean they want their bike to somehow handle differently to a man’s. After all, a woman riding an Epic wants the exact same performance traits as a guy – they want it to rip uphills and devour fast racetracks.

Men’s and women’s bikes now share the same frames, which means guys can get their hands on this ridiculously good paint job.

Specialized say that the subtle differences in fit that might be required can all be handled in store with position adjustments and small equipment changes, especially if the shop has access to the Retul bike fit system that Specialized own.

Look, it’s a hard one to decipher; on one hand, you’ve got this line from Specialized about experience first. On the other hand, you’ve got brands like Liv bringing out a huge range of women’s specific bikes and pointing to their own research into biomechanics that validate their approach. We’re confused, and we’re sure consumers are too.


 

Lighter, stiffer, more natural feeling and longer travel. The Levo carbon is here.

Levo goes carbon

The e-bike that really spearheaded things here in Australia makes a leap to carbon, gets more travel, and a more natural feeling motor too. If you want to know what we think of the Levo, make sure you check out our full review here.

The S-Works and Expert models get a more powerful battery for longer range than the Comp.

Lighter, stiffer

The full carbon S-Works version of the Levo sheds almost 700g compared to the full alloy frame, but it’s the stiffness gains that are more impressive. With a bike this heavy and with this much traction, keeping it all stiff and stable is hard work and carbon construction does a much better job of keeping it all tracking where you point it.

It’s important to take a moment and consider how impressive the construction really is too. It must be bloody tricky to make a carbon bike strong and stiff enough when you chop out half the down tube to stick a battery in there!

Gaping holes, just waiting for POWER. It’s an impressive piece of frame building.

More natural pedal response plus walk mode

The motor and software has been reworked to make the pedal response feel more natural. Previously, the motor relied on the rider pedalling with a high cadence to operate effectively, which felt a bit strange at first. Things have now been tweaked so the motor will reach peak power output at around a pedalling speed of around 20 RPM less, which is more in line with a natural cadence on a regular bike.

A walk mode has also been added that scoots the bike along at 5km/h (super handy if you need to push it along), along with a remote mode to make it a lot easier to toggle between power outputs on the fly.

The belt drive inside the Levo motor is good for 15,000km.
Razzing about the You’ies on the Levo Carbon.

More travel

Front and rear travel has been bumped up to 150mm as well, which is a welcome addition. As we noted in our previous test, the rear end struggled to keep up with the bike’s abilities in the past, so giving it all slightly longer legs is a big win. After all, it’s not like getting that extra travel up the hill is an issue!

A bar mounted button makes for easier mode adjustment. The bottom button toggles the walk mode too.

We discussed the changes coming with the 2018 Levo models in more detail here.


Canola You’ie Vehicle Pan.

Video: Szymon Godziek’s Extension Man – First Ever Backflip Superman One Hand Seatgrab

Godziek also showcased a spectacular backflip over the Tour de Pologne peloton on a road bike earlier in August.

“There were so many takes of my backflip tsunami at Red Bull District Ride, I thought it was worth developing further, and that’s how the project idea was born.”

“In the video I managed to score a personal best, meaning that all my supermans were more extended than ever before. As usual, I was inspired by freestyle motocross and took my performance to the next level.”

“It’s a very important project for me, because it shows all the effort I put into building the track and intense training.”

 

World Cup DH Final: Highlights & Aussie Results from Val di Sole

Finals Highlights

Women’s Final

Italian Eleonora Farina finished in 5th in Val di Sole
Injury hampered Rachel Atherton’s continued domination this year. 4th in Val di Sole also saw her take 4th in the overall
Myriam Nicole ‘only’ needed a 4th place finish to secure the overall title. Her 2nd at Val di Sole cemented her series win.
Tahnee Seagrave’s win in Val di Sole made her the winningest rider of the series, however, her three wins weren’t enough to beat Myriam’s consistency in the overall.
As the fastest qualifier, Tracey Hannah was the last woman down the hill. She couldn’t match Seagraves splits and finished 3rd, seeing her step back to 3rd in the overall.
Val di Sole Final Women’s podium: Rachel Atherton, Myriam Nicole, Tahnee Seagrave, Tracey Hannah (AUS), Eleonora Farina

Watch Tahnee Seagrave’s winning run

Men’s Final

Qualifying 6th, Amaury Pierron’s 2nd place was a career best finish for the Frenchman
France’s Loris Vergier was the fastest rider on the first half of the track, losing time at the third and fourth splits seeing him finish in 4th at Val di Sole and 5th in the overall
Even Loic Bruni couldn’t beat Pierron’s blinding time. Bruni finished 3rd securing him 4th overall.

Greg Minnaar’s series lead disintegrated with his rear wheel after blowing his tyre off the rim early in his run.
Troy Brosnan’s 4th place in qualifying slimmed his chances of taking the overall. His 5th at the final round appeared to see him finishing 3rd overall until top seeded Minnaar’s mechanical knocked himself back to 3rd, handing Gwin the overall with Brosnan in 2nd.
Aaron Gwin railing the final corner on his way to the win at Val di Sole, and securing the overall World Cup Champion title
Val di Sole men’s podium: Loris Vergier, Amaury Pierron, Aaron Gwin, Loic Bruni and Troy Brosnan (AUS)

Watch Aaron Gwin’s winning run


Val di Sole Results

Women
1. Tahnee Seagrave GBR
2. Myriam Nicole FRA
3. Tracey Hannah AUS
4. Rachel Atherton GBR
5. Eleonora Farina ITA

Men
1. Aaron Gwin USA
2. Amaury Pierron FRA
3. Loic Bruni FRA
4. Loris Vergier FRA
5. Troy Brosnan AUS

10. Jack Moir AUS
53. Dean Lucas AUS
65. Jackson Frew AUS
67. Graeme Mudd AUS

Junior Men
1. Finn Iles CAN
2. Matt Walker GBR
3. Sylvain Cougoureux FRA
4. Moritz Ribarich AUT
5. Antoine Pierron FRA
6. Patrick Butler AUS

11. Baxter Maiwald AUS


2017 World Cup Overall Results

Women
1. Myriam Nicole FRA
2. Tahnee Seagrave GBR
3. Tracey Hannah AUS
4. Rachel Atherton GBR
5. Emilie Siegenthaler SUI

20. Tegan Molloy AUS

Rachel Atherton, Tahnee Seagrave, Myriam Nicole, Tracey Hannah (AUS), Emilie Siegenthaler stand on theUCI DH World Cup overall podium

Men
1. Aaron Gwin USA
2. Troy Brosnan AUS
3. Greg Minnaar RSA
4. Loic Bruni FRA
5. Loris Vergier FRA

7. Jack Moir AUS
16. Dean Lucas AUS
22. Connor Fearon AUS
33. Michael Hannah AUS
59. Graeme Mudd AUS
65. Jackson Frew AUS
72. Joshua Button AUS
73. Jake Newell AUS
92. Jordan Prochyra AUS
97. Samuel Hill AUS
106. Remy Morton AUS
115. Oliver Zwar AUS
138. Brent Smith AUS

Loic Bruni, Troy Brosnan (AUS), Aaron Gwin, Greg Minnaar, Loris Vergier stand on the 2017 overall UCI DH World Cup podium

Junior Men
1. Finn Iles CAN
2. Sylvain Cougoureux FRA
3. Matt Walker GBR
4. Joe Breeden GBR
5. Kade Edwards GBR

9. Patrick Butler AUS
15. Benjamin Zwar AUS
16. Harry Parsons AUS
17. Darcy Coutts AUS
22. Baxter Maiwald AUS

All the best to all the Aussies racing at the World Championships in Cairns. The Australian team list can be found here, and the junior DH team here.

4X World Champs: Caroline Buchanan Wins Fifth Title

The 4X (four-cross) world titles were awarded in Val di Sole, Italy, on Friday at the UCI MTB Four-cross World Championships. Australia and Sweden took the women’s and men’s titles, respectively. Val di Sole in Trentino, the northeastern region of Italy, played host to the event for the third consecutive year.

The 4X track in Val di Sole is one of only a few permanent tracks and timed seeding runs for women and men took place on Thursday, August 24th, with the Finals on Friday, August 25th. The track was created for the 2008 UCI World Championships, and it is among the most stunning and challenging courses in the world. At 600 metres, the track is the longest on the 4X Pro Tour circuit. Riders compete four at a time, with the top two from each heat moving to the next round until there were only four left to compete for the rainbow jersey. Racing took place at night under lights before thousands of fans.

In the women’s field, Caroline Buchanan of Australia, the defending champion, won her fifth title. In addition to last year, Buchanan also won in 2009, 2010 and 2013. The silver medal went to Romana Labounkova of the Czech Republic, with Helene Fruhwirth of Austria taking the bronze medal.

Caroline sailing over the biggest jump on course

The men’s title was won by unheralded Felix Beckeman of Sweden, who was also the fastest qualifier. Beckeman beat favourites such as defending champion Mitja Ergaver of Slovenia, Czech rider Tomas Slavik, who won the silver medal in 2016, last year’s bronze medalist Luke Cryer (Great Britain) and 2015 champion Aiko Göhler of Germany. Quentin Derbier of France took the silver medal, with Giovanni Pozzoni of Italy winning bronze.

Be sure to follow Caroline on Instagram @cbuchanan68

Cairns World Champs – Updated Spectator Access & City Live Site

The XC and DH courses have been updated for even better access for spectating!

Updated spectator access – no more long way around to the juicy bits!

Choose from six designated spectator zones for the best viewing of racing action, come find us at the Herbies Pocket Live Site above Jacobs Ladder if you’re thirsty.

For more on the event – head to mtbworldscairns.com.au

The DH track has received a lot of work to allow easier foot traffic up and down the course, so there’ll be less tramping through the jungle to get to your favourite section of track to watch the race, good news for sure. In the previous World Cup events on the same track, spectators would have to walk the LONG way around to reach the whoops and rock gardens up high, but for this World Champs, there’s a track right up alongside the race track.

Want to watch the bikes and bodies flying everywhere at the rock garden? No more long walk around the back side of the mountain needed, straight up the course you go!

Cairns City Live Site 

From Thursday to Sunday, the CBD will host a Live Site right next to the Cairns Lagoon with a stage playing all the action, DJ’s, live music, stunt rider demos, family activities and a mini-expo. Oh, and a BBQ.

Cairns City Live Site Hub, right next to the lagoon in town.

What to do after hours?


Event Schedule.

See you there!

http://mtbworldscairns.com.au/

Thank Flow It’s Friday: Crankworx Whistler Aussie Wrap

Enduro World Series #7 – Canadian Open Enduro presented by Specialized

Perth’s Sam Hill kicked off Whistler’s EWS with a stage one victory over local Jesse Melamed, finishing the round in 2nd and further extending his overall lead in the series with just one round to go.

Josh Carlson crashed in practice so wasn’t 100% for race day. He still managed a 25th place finish.

James ‘Cannonball’ Hall has been privateering the 2017 EWS and getting some impressive results along the way. Matt Staggs Visuals filmed a pre-Whistler race edit and interview with The Ball.

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The full interview is here. Cannonball also did an Instagram Stories takeover for @flow_mtb with live behind the scenes coverage, #EWSwithCannonball, and he’ll be doing it again during #EWSfinale!

1-minute race highlights

Want more EWS? Our Aussie results coverage is here and the full highlights video, here.

Plus, we have 20 bike checks from Aussies racing EWS Whistler, here!


Garbanzo DH

You can find the full highlights video and our wrap up of the Aussies’ results here. Tracey Hannah took the win and Jack Moir placed 3rd in this downhill epic. Garbo is brutal.

Here’s a more leisurely jump run down Whistler; Moir’s US teammate, Nik Nestoroff, follows him on a whip fest down Dirt Merchant and other Whistler trails.

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Speaking of whips…


Official Whip-Off World Championships presented by SPANK

Aussie junior downhiller Nik Barber qualified for the Whip-Off finals.

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Nik also raced the Canadian Open DH. Here’s an edit of his whole Whistler trip.

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Graeme Mudd warming up for Whip-Offs on Crabapple Hits with his team mates from Trek Factory DH. Mudd’s the 3rd rider.

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While not specifically from the Whip-Off Worlds, Pat Butler gets sideways a lot in this little Matt Staggs Visuals edit

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Our feature photo star, Jackson Davis, got wild in Whip-Offs, but we can’t share his edit here (NSFW). Perhaps these race day backies will convince you to follow him and find his other edits.

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Whip-Offs Highlights

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Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox

Caroline Buchanan came to Whistler after an incredible performance at the BMX World Championships. Add some bigger wheels and suspension to the mix and she was a force to be reckoned with!

Caroline was leading the Pump Track World Series but needed to beat Jill Kintner in Whistler to secure the title.

SRAM’s Steps to the Top reveals Caroline’s lead up to Whistler.

You can watch the full Steps to the Top video here.

The final:

Women’s Pump Track highlights:

Caroline was kind enough to invite her BMX teammate and fellow Aussie along to his first Crankworx, in fact, his first mountain bike race ever. Queensland’s Bodi Turner proceeded to win all four of his heats before facing Mitch Ropelato in the final:

Did that get you pumped for more? The full Pump Track highlights video is here.


GIANT Dual Slalom presented by 100%

The Dual Slalom women’s final was a repeat of the pump track, seeing USA’s Jill Kintner up against Caroline Buchanan.


Canadian Open DH presented by iXS

Did you see our RAW Canadian Open DH practice video?

The Canadian Open DH saw another year of Australian domination with Tracey Hannah and Troy Brosnan successfully defending their titles.

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Josh Button finished 14th

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G imagery captured Canberra’s Tim Eaton lead NSW Central Coast’s Jake Newell on a run down the loose and rooty Canadian Open DH race track.

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Watch the full video here.

Not Canadian Open DH, but here’s a video of Timmy Eaton following Gerard Lagana down the revamped D1 trail.

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Red Bull Joyride

There weren’t any Aussies in this year’s Joyride, but kudos to Brandon Semenuk for winning his fifth Joyride Slopestyle crown, an all-time record. His Trek C3 teammate, 18 year old Emil Johansson, took 2nd place. Holy stunts, Batman.

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Semenuk’s full run

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That’s it for this week. Remember to follow @flow_mtb and check out our Stories for behind the scenes action. Enjoy the weekend! TFIF!

The Redback Race Wrap

Over 180 mountain bikers from across Australia tested themselves on the technical trails and rocky single-track over the six stages which included 40-50 kilometre cross country racing, the ANZAC Hill Climb, an individual time trial and the 22km Night Race.

After maintaining a stranglehold on the competition, it was down to the final stage today between Canberra’s Henderson and local rival Chris Hanson, but a puncture with 10kms to go causing Hanson to lose valuable time meant Stage 6 and the winners jersey went to Henderson in a total racing time of seven hours, 42 minutes and 26 seconds. Alice Springs’ Ben Gooley was overall runner-up in a time of 7:58:14 and Hanson took third (8:02:14).

Men’s winner, Ben Henderson, up to speed under the blue skies of Alice.
Imogen Smith, always a fixture at the fast end of women’s MTB racing, takes the overall win.

Want to check out more of the riding in Alice Springs? Watch our full feature vid below:


“It’s a big relief actually, anything can happen out there in the sand, and the rocks, as it just showed. I was just trying to find that balance between keeping the pressure on and not taking too many risks; you’ve really got to concentrate 100 percent out here,” Henderson said.

“In a good way, Chris has stopped me from enjoying it too much, I’ve felt under pressure the whole time, I’ve had to make sure I’ve stuck with him. I was a bit nervous after the second days’ time trial, I lost a bit of time, and the legs were starting to hurt, but I made a bit of time back on the night stage, and that helped the confidence, and from then on I was just making sure I was glued to Chris’ wheel.

“These four days here were testing from start to finish. It was so well-organised and the tracks were amazing, I think the locals have done an awesome job. It’s a unique race this one, it’s got a really good vibe, and obviously coming out of the Canberra weather, is definitely a bonus, it’s perfect, I really love this race.”

Kim Willocks, 2nd in the women’s racing.

In the women’s competition it was a race between Brisbane’s Imogen Smith who is only recently back racing after a serious injury, Victorian Kim Willocks and up-and-coming junior Zoe Cuthbert from Canberra.

Despite losing today’s Stage 6 to Cuthbert, Smith was happy to walk away with the overall win in a total racing time of nine hours, 1 minute and 59 seconds. Willocks settled for second in 9:10:18 and Cuthbert took third in 9:17:59.

Rising star, Zoe Cuthbert,

“It’s been a really special four days. I really didn’t expect to win, but after the first day, I thought maybe this will go my way. I really focussed on just trying to enjoy things, and not put pressure on myself; coming back from injury it’s a bit more about rediscovering your love for the sport, and the people in it,” Smith said.

“After the night stage when I lost a lot of time but still had the lead, that’s when I thought I’ve really got to knuckle down now and just try and put the jandle down a bit on Stage 5, and just try get into the lead, get some confidence, and then sort of ride the wave from there. I didn’t put pressure on myself, and I think the results kind of flow from that.

The most unique landscapes you’ll ever race in.

“Kim’s a really classy athlete, and Zoe is a huge, huge talent, and so you can never relax, and the other thing out here is that it’s so rough and so rocky and everything is sharp, so you’re never far away from a mechanical, or a flat tyre so you never quite relax, until you cross the finish line at the very end.”

Race Director Sam Maffett from Rapid Ascent congratulated all riders on their participation and for helping make it such a successful week of racing.

“It’s great to see the riders get to know one another over the week and the camaraderie that builds between them. I think everyone’s realised that Alice Springs is a superb and spectacular riding destination and we encourage them to come back and ride again.”

First held in 2008 – the race formerly known as the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017, taking place from 17th-20th of August in and around Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory.
For more information about The Redback head to theredback.com.au

Crankworx Highlights: Garbo DH – Tracey Hannah Wins

Queensland’s Tracey Hannah is having an all-time World Cup season as well as winning several Crankworx downhill events, but Garbo had been on her list for some time, “It’s kind of a goal of mine, and for the last two years, I’ve been getting closer and closer to the Canadian girls. So to finally take the win is exciting.”

Another win for Tracey Hannah

Colombian downhill racer Marcelo Guitierrez Villegas won the men’s race for the fifth time in a row. “I think it’s just Sam, Jack and me just keep trying the hardest,” he said. “People just kind of give up, but me I’m just loving it. Sometimes people ask me what’s my favourite track in the world and I answer Garbo. I am just loving it all.”

Marcello Guttierrez on his way to the win.
Credit: Fraser Britton

Jack Moir from Morriset, NSW is also having a great UCI World Cup season, currently 5th in the overall standings. He’s also known for his endurance, having claimed top 10 finishes at the first two Enduro World Series rounds in Rotorua and Derby. He finished 16 seconds behind Marcelo which was good enough for 3rd, behind New Zealand’s Sam Blenkinsop.

Jack Moir rides the In Deep chute on his Intense 29er DH bike
Sam Blenkinsop takes the high line on his enduro bike.

Aussie downhiller, now Whistler local, Chris Kovarik finished 5th and Canberra’s Timmy Eaton finished inside the top 20. Fellow Canberian, 16 year old Kye A’Hern finished 2nd in U17 men behind Pemberton local Lucas Cruz, with a time that would’ve seen him scrape in just behind Eaton into 20th in Elite.

Youth 15-16 men, 2nd: Kye A’Hern

Pro Men:

1. Marcelo Guitierrez Villegas (COL) 12:21.19
2. Sam Blenkinsop (NZL) 12:27.36
3. Jack Moir (AUS) 12:37.13
4. Eddie Masters (NZL) 12:39.04
5. Chris Kovarik (AUS) 12:40.62

19. Tim Eaton (AUS)
27. Ben Dengate (AUS)
28. Matthew McCorkell (AUS)
41. Dave Habicht (AUS)

Pro Women:

1. Tracey Hannah (AUS) 14:04.96
2. Claire Buchar (CAN) 14:17.94
3. Emilie Siegenthaler (SUI) 14:22.29
4. Miranda Miller (CAN) 14:32.87
5. Georgia Astler (CAN) 15:19.64

Elite Men/Women Podium

Full results can be found here.

Crankworx Highlights: Aussies Dominate Canadian Open DH

Did you see our RAW video from practice? Check it out here.

Troy beat 2nd place Sam Blenkinsop but over 4 seconds in a sub 3-minute track.
Tracey Hannah was over 10 seconds faster than 2nd place

Elite Men

1. Troy BROSNAN (AUS)
2. Samuel BLENKINSOP (NZL)
3. Bruce KLEIN (USA)
4. Jack MOIR (AUS)

14. Joshua BUTTON (AUS)
18. Jake NEWELL (AUS)
24. Jordan PROCHYRA (AUS)
34. Brent SMITH (AUS)
40. Benjamin DENGATE (AUS)
50. David HABICHT (AUS)

Elite Women

1. Tracey HANNAH (AUS)
2. Vaea VERBEECK (CAN)
3. Emilie SIEGENTHALER (SUI)
4. Danielle BEECROFT (AUS)
5. Tegan MOLLOY (AUS)

Crankworx Whistler Canadian Open DH Podium

Full results can be found here.

Crankworx Highlights: Aussie BMX Stars Win Ultimate Pump Track Challenge

“It’s the fastest pump track we’ve had all year, and I like going fast.” – Caroline Buchanan

Buchanan (left) edges ahead of Jill Kintner

“I’ve never experienced a mountain bike event, let alone Crankworx Whistler, so I thought, let’s just do it and get over here.” – Bodi Turner

Pro Men:

  1. Bodi Turner (AUS)
  2. Mitch Ropelato (USA)
  3. Michael Vias (NZL)

Pro Women:

  1. Caroline Buchanan (AUS)
  2. Jill Kintner (USA)
  3. Joey Gough (GBR)

2018 Norco and Merida Range Highlights

Merida One-Forty 

Merida seem to be making a real effort to diversify their image from the cross-country racing heritage that has long been part of the brand’s identity (no doubt in part due to the wrap up on the Merida Multivan team). The new One-Forty will play a key role in this repositioning. Available in three models, all with alloy frames, the One-Forty looks to be tough-nut, workhorse of a trail bike. It now employs the same Float Link suspension as the One-Sixty we reviewed last year, which we were full of praise for.

Flight of the bumble bee. We’re keen to get this onto review, ASAP.

The One-Forty models are all 27.5″ wheeled, 1x drivetrain specific, with short 435mm stays, trunnion mounted shocks and clearance for 2.6″ tyres.

The top-of-the-line model shown here comes in at less than four grand, which is a steal. It gets the new Revelation (with 35mm legs) up front, FOX out back, the superb GX Eagle drivetrain and massive 2.6″ Maxxis rubber. This one is at the top of our review list for Merida.

Big rubber, mid-travel. Looks like fun.

Merida One-Sixty 800

Last year, we called the Merida One-Sixty (review here) one of the most surprising bikes of the year. And now Merida are bringing the same fundamentals that made that bike so awesome to an even lower price point. At less than $4000, the new One-Sixty 800 is a lot of Enduro beast for not too much cash.

$3999 for this beast.

The frame has been lengthened since we reviewed this platform last year, answering one of our only concerns about the bike. It now gets 170mm up front with a RockShox Yari, and 160mm out back with a trunnion mounted Super Deluxe RCT shock. Big SRAM Code brakes bring it to a stop, and a GX Eagle drivetrain has all the climbing gears you’ll ever need. This one will be getting a review soon too.


Merida One-Twenty

Whether you’re a fan of e-bikes or not, you’ve got to admire Merida’s insanely good pricing on their e-mountain bike offerings; most of their e-bikes come in at a price point that matches (or betters) an equivalently specced non-e-bike Norco!

 

$5299 is a bit of a bargain for an e-bike of this caliber.

Merida have embraced the Shimano E8000 motor/battery system, which is a super compact offering that allows the use of much shorter chain stays than most other motor systems. We appreciate this, as it means the bike has handling that’s far closer to a regular mountain bike.

 

Merida see huge potential to cement themselves as a leading brand in the e-bike segment, and so their aggressive pricing is all about getting early market share. It’s clearly working; in 2017, Merida had forecasts to sell just 25 of the EOne-Sixty 900E model here in Australia… They ultimately sold over 250.

At $5299, the new EOne-Twenty 500 is another very impressive package. A stout Yari fork with Maxxis 2.8″ Plus sized tyres are key items to give this bike a confident poise.

2.8″ rubber.

Norco Range A1 

Norco have brought the geometry and suspension changes which were debuted on the carbon Range and Sight last year across to their alloy models too, for 2018. This means longer and more aggressive geometry, with more active suspension too. Both the Sight and Range will continue to be available in 27.5 and 29er platforms, with sales apparently fairly evenly split between the two wheel options.

The Range A1 is the top model in the alloy Range series, at $5399, a price that includes a great FOX suspension package of a 36 and the new DPX2 shock. You’ve got to appreciate the extra effort put in the two-tone paint and sticker job too!

Orange and black one side.
Blue and black the other.


Norco Threshold

If gravel riding or maybe a bit of CX is your thing, like it is ours, then you’ll appreciate the sharply presented 2018 Threshold C Rival 1. The muted grey / fluro yellow combo is dialled, and speccing a chain guide and boot to keep crap out of the seat tube shows the Norco have been paying attention to what riders are after in this segment.


Norco Revolver 

Nothing has changed in the Revolver series for 2018 except for paint and spec, but we couldn’t go past this green and gold fade on the $6499 FS1.


Range C2

While the geometry of the Range series is unchanged, the top two carbon models in both wheel sizes now get a carbon seat stay, shedding a little weight and gaining stiffnesses. The C2 model, at $7299, grabbed our attention with its interesting spec of E13 tyres and rims in a lineup dominated by Maxxis and Easton.


 

EWS Whistler: Aussie’s Bike Checks

You can read our race recap and all the Aussie’s results, here.

The full highlights video is well worth watching too, which can be found here.


Sam Hill – Prototype Carbon Nukeproof Mega

Representing lucky number 13 with an amazing EWS season so far, including 2nd in Whistler which extended his overall lead. No major changes to his bike from Aus, riding the same setup year round. Oh yeah, flat pedals!
SRAM XO1 Eagle 1×12 drivetrain with some extra zip ties for cable security. Not only a prototype frame, but even prototype Mavic tyres!

Jared Graves – Specialized Enduro

Graves chose to make the switch from the Stumpy to the Enduro and 29 hoops to deal with the extra gnar Whistler has to offer. Graves is also running CushCore tyre inserts.
Magura MT7 brakes with 203mm rotors. Some more creative zip tie cable guiding. Specialized Butcher tyres front and rear.
Not being locked into a drivetrain sponsor means Graves can run what he wants. He opted for a full bitsa: SRAM XO crankset with Stages power meter, MRP chain guide, Shimano XTR mechanical derailleur, on a 10-42 11 speed SRAM cassette. Sadly, in stage one Graves dropped his chain, which later ripped his derailleur off, ending his race.

Josh Carlson – Giant Reign

Josh is pretty much local calling the Sea to Sky corridor home for many years; Josh is no stranger to what the day has in stall. After racing various Reign prototypes earlier in the season, he’s now on the new production carbon Reign. Neat frame bag for spares.

Chris Panozzo – Santa Cruz High Tower LT

The High Tower LT is a brand new bike for Chris, testing his big wheel skills. He’s also beefed up the fork to 160mm and 203mm rotors front and rear.
Spares at the ready. We’re devastated for Chris that a mechanical took him out of the race in stage one.

James Hall – Pivot Switchblade

The EWS dark horse, Cannonball opted for the relatively short travel Switchblade from Pivot, with 29er wheel set up. This bike has seen him through every EWS round bar Millau, and saw him finish in 36th in Whistler.

See James warming up on the Whistler trails and talking about his season so far, here.

Cannonball had his suspension serviced at Dunbar Cycles in Vancouver before coming to Whistler. They also bumped his fork up 10mm to 160mm. Same 2.5″ front tyre as Panozzo.

Josh Button – Kona Process 153

Competing in nearly every race here at Crankworx, the EWS is just day one for J Butt. Maxxis Minions with DD protection, DHF front and DHR II rear.
A Vivid Air shock has Button’s Process ready for anything Whistler throws at him. Spares taped on for easy access. Definitely no room to fit a bottle in this compact frame.

Jeremy Hamilton – Rocky Mountain Slayer

Whistler has been Jeremy’s base camp in between EWS Aspens and Crankworx. He’s been doing his homework of the trails from peak to valley. Running a CushCore in the rear as it improves the chatter of the wheel from rock deflection and provides the ability to run lower pressures.

Shane Gayton – Santa Cruz Bronson

Whistler local Shane knows most of the trails in the valley and isn’t afraid of a big day pedalling.
More and more coil shocks about this year

Jordan Prochyra – Giant Reign

From racing World Cups in Europe to Mont Sainte Anne, then racing EWS the next weekend, Jordan will be conditioned and ready for the long stages in Whistler.

Jackson Davis – Nukeproof Mega

Coming in hot to Whistler to back up his Mega Avalanche epic with his first EWS.
180mm XT stoppers. Jackson is part of the VANZACS crew. Check out their videos on YouTube.

David Maud – Specialized Enduro

Whistler Local well aware of the task ahead. His 27.5 Enduro is top notch with SRAM XX1 Eagle, and of course his spares are stashed in the SWAT compartment in the downtube.

Murray Stephens – Specialized Enduro

Horns up, ready to rock and roll. Murray’s 29er Enduro has a SAR coil and Absolute Black oval ring and chain guide.

Conor McFarlane – Intense Tracer

Our brother across the ditch having a warm up pedal before a big week competing throughout the rest of Crankworx.

Leonie Picton – Live Hail

No stranger to the World Enduro, Leonie is happy to be racing such a huge event right in her backyard. After some bad luck with flat tires in the past, Leonie has taken no chances with DH tires front and rear.
Fubars and saddle from Whistler based brand, Chromag.

Shelly Flood – Kona Process 134

A slightly shorter travel bike than fellow team mates on Processes but maybe she and Cannonball know something we don’t know.
Relatively short rear travel, but full size rotors to get some control back.

Tegan Molloy – Kona Process 153

Still getting her confidence back after a shoulder injury, Tegan says she’s strong and ready for racing.

Under 21 Men

Samuel Rubery – Giant Reign

U21 making it across to the northern hemisphere, escaping winter to see what a Whistler Crankzilla was all about. Sam finished in 22nd, just 5 minutes off the winning pace.

Blake Pearce – Giant Reign

Whistler Crankworx isn’t a bad destination for your first trip out of Australia. Blake finished two places, or 21 seconds, behind Sam.

Amateur Men

Josh Lyons – Specialized Enduro

Living just down the road in Squamish, Josh has had plenty of time over the years to become conditioned to any trail the EWS have to offer.

Shaun Fry – Yeti SB6

Shaun took a break from managing Arbutus Routes, a local MTB tour company, to race his home town trails.

Cairns World Champs: 2017 Australian Team Announced

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) are pleased to confirm the following riders selected to contest the 2017 UCI MTB World Championships in Cairns, Queensland 5th-10th September 2017. A team of 64 Australian cross-country and downhill riders will compete against the worlds best at the season ending event, held in Australia for the third time.

Join in the fun; come and cheer on the Aussies!

Leading the cross-country athletes will be national elite champion’s Daniel McConnell (ACT) and Rebecca Henderson (ACT).

Elite XC National Champ, Dan McConnell
Bec Henderson lead for the first lap at the 2016 Cairns World Cup

While spearheading the downhillers is Troy Brosnan (SA) and Tracey Hannah (QLD), who have won World Cups this season in Andorra and Fort William respectively.

SA’s Troy Brosnan is a hot favourite to take the win in Cairns.
Cairns local Tracey Hannah is having a great World Cup season, and is focused on the top step at Worlds.

This year welcomes the return of downhill legend Sam Hill (WA), a five-time world champion.

Currently dominating the Enduro World Series, WA’s Sam Hill will make a comeback to DH this September.

MTBA CEO Shane Coppin expects the Aussies to make their mark over the five-day competition, “Australia can be very proud of the team that has been selected and we know they will certainly be giving it a red hot crack in front of a very vocal home crowd.”

ELITE MEN DHI
Troy Brosnan (SA)
Jack Moir (NSW)
Connor Fearon (SA)
Michael Hannah (QLD)
Dean Lucas (VIC)
Sam Hill (WA)
Joshua Button (NSW)
Jake Newell (NSW)
Reserves: Jackson Frew; Graeme Mudd

ELITE WOMEN DHI
Tracey Hannah (QLD)
Ronja Hill-Wright (ACT)
Danielle Beecroft (NSW)
Tegan Molloy (NSW)
Kellie Weinert (NSW)
Sian A’Hern (NSW)
Katie Lawlor (QLD)
Shelly Flood (SA)

Josh Button had a long stint in the hot seat in the 2016 Cairns World Cup and finished on the podium in 5th.
Shark Attack Jack (Moir) is currently 5th in the World Cup overall and placed 2nd in Fort William. Another Aussie to watch in Cairns!
South Australia’s Connor Fearon had a strong start to the 2017 World Cup season.
Dean Lucas had his best World Cup result ever in Mont Sainte Anne, 2nd to Aaron Gwin.
Mick Hannah will be motivated for another strong performance in his home town.
Danni Beecroft

ELITE MEN XCO
Daniel McConnell (ACT)
Cameron Ivory (NSW)
Kyle Ward (NSW)
Mark Tupalski (ACT)
Adrian Jackson (VIC)
Russell Nankervis (VIC)
Sebastian Jayne (VIC)

U23 MEN XCO
Tasman Nankervis (VIC)
Reece Tucknott (WA)
Ben Bradley (TAS)
Alex Lack (TAS)
Callum Carson (NSW)
Nick Pedler (QLD)
Michael Potter (NSW)
Luke Brame (NSW)
Reserve: Michael Denton

Dan McConnell is confident descending in Cairns, especially with a dropper seat post!
Cam Ivory had a rear flat in Cairns World Cup last year but still got a great result. Can be better 37th at the World Champs?
Michael Potter (front) and Callum Carson (rear) from NSW will be lining up in the U23 XCO
Callum Carson sails off the Rodeo Drop at the 2016 Cairns World Cup
Luke Brame adding his style to the U23 XCO
Victoria’s Tas Nankervis is familiar with the Cairns rocks
WA’s Reece Tucknott

ELITE WOMEN XCO
Rebecca Henderson (ACT)
Peta Mullens (VIC)
Kathryn McInerney (VIC)
Eliza Kwan (ACT)
Sarah Riley (VIC)
Anna Beck (QLD)
Tory Thomas (VIC)

U23 WOMEN XCO
Holly Harris (NSW)
Megan Williams (QLD)
Charlotte Culver (NSW)

Recently crowned Australian Cyclocross National Champion, Peta Mullens, is always popular with the Aussie crowd
Holly Harris was the sole U23 Woman at the 2016 Cairns World Cup. This year she’ll be accompanied by Charlotte Culver, also from NSW, and Queensland’s Megan Williams
Bec Henderson has stood on the podium in Cairns. Let’s cheer her on again!

A number of riders will contest the final round of the World Cup season at Val di Sole, Italy 26-27 August, before returning to Australia for the world championships.

Team Aussie

 

If you missed it, we announced the Junior Downhill Worlds Team here.

EWS Whistler Results: Sam Hill Retains Overall Lead

Whistler EWS in one minute!

Sam Hill blasting through the woods.

Just like in Aspen, Perth’s Sam Hill started strongest and took the win in stage one which began from the ‘Top of the World’, arguably the toughest stage of the series so far. His 18 second lead over Whistler local Jesse Melamed was brought back to just 2 seconds after stage two where Melamed started his winning streak and Hill finished 8th, his worst stage result of the day. Stages three and four saw the tables turn as Melamed’s time gaps over Hill’s 2nd places increased. Their battle continued to the village where only 0.42 seconds separated their fifth and final stage results. After almost 3/4 of an hour of timed descending more than 4000 vertical metres, Melamed took the win over Hill by 15 seconds. Mark Scott’s race highlight was his 2nd place in stage two, and top 10 consistency saw him earn his first EWS podium.

Jesse Melamed finished what he started here previously in Whistler, finally winning a round of the EWS.
Sam Hill sending it on Ride Don’t Slide
Mark Scott raced hard and achieved his first ever podium with a 3rd place.

Wollongong’s Josh Carlson has a history of fast racing in Whistler, however, after a big crash during practice, 2017 wasn’t his year. His top stage result was 14th in the final stage, including another crash not far from the finish, seeing him finish the round in 25th. Sydney’s James ‘Cannonball’ Hall scored his second best finish of the season; consistent stage results placed him 36th overall. Right behind him in 37th was World Cup downhiller Josh Button. After a top 20 finish in Mont Sainte Anne the week prior, Button placed top 50 in all stages with a highlight of 31st in the final stage.

Josh Carlson couldn’t match his speed from last year which saw him place 3rd
James ‘Cannonball’ Hall confidently bombing a Whistler steep

Another Aussie podium contender, Queensland’s Jared Graves, had a stroke of bad luck in the first stage resulting in a DNF that will hurt his overall ranking. Mt Beauty’s Chris Panozzo suffered a similar fate, with a stage one mechanical ending his race too.

Jared Graves on Ride Don’t Slide in practice.

The women’s race saw Cecile Ravanel continue her winning streak, once more displaying total stage domination to take her sixth win of the season. Fellow Frenchwoman Isabeau Courdurier came second and the UK’s Katy Winton earned her second EWS podium of the year.

Cecile Ravanel dominated the field, winning every stage.

Whistler based Aussie Leonie Picton used her home trail knowledge to finish as the fastest Australian female in 16th, including a 13th place in stage five. Fellow BC based Aussie expat Megan Rose finished in 19th and Adelaide’s Shelly Flood rounded out the top 20.


Results:

Men
1. Jesse MELAMED Rocky Mountain Urge BP (CAN)
2. Sam HILL Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic (AUS)
3. Mark SCOTT Santa Cruz x SRAM (GBR)
4. Robin WALLNER Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team(SWE)
5. Remi GAUVIN Rocky Mountain Urge BP (CAN)

25. Josh CARLSON Giant Factory Off-Road Team (AUS)
36. James HALL (AUS)
37. Josh BUTTON (AUS)
50. Dylan WOLSKY (AUS)
52. Shane GAYTON (AUS)
56. Jeremy HAMILTON (AUS)
57. Jordan PROCHYRA (AUS)
68. Murray STEPHENS (AUS)
71. David MAUD (AUS)
80. Mark FRENDO (AUS)
95. Blake POLVERINO (AUS)
99. Jackson DAVIS (AUS)
110. Nate CORRIGAN (AUS)
120. Riley TAYLOR (AUS)
dnf. Chris PANOZZO (AUS)
dnf. Jared GRAVES Specialized Racing (AUS)

U21 Men
1. Max LEYEN (CAN)
2. Killian CALLAGHAN(IRL)
3. Rhys VERNER (CAN)
4. Pedro BURNS (CHI)
5. Kevin MADEREGGER (AUT)

22. Samuel RUBERY (AUS)
24. Blake PEARCE (AUS)

Women
1. Cecile RAVANEL Commençal Vallnord Enduro Team (FRA)
2. Isabeau COURDURIER SUNN (FRA)
3. Katy WINTON Trek Factory Racing (GBR)
4. Anita GEHRIG Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team (SUI)
5. Andréane LANTHIER NADEAU Rocky Mountain Urge BP (CAN)

16. Leonie PICTON (AUS)
19. Megan ROSE (AUS)
20. Shelly FLOOD (AUS)
dnf. Tegan MOLLOY (AUS)

U21 Women
1. Martha GILL (GBR)
2. Elena MELTON (GBR)
3. Abigale LAWTON (GBR)

Full results can be found here.

EWS Whistler: Final Stage Replay

Live race feed and stage results can be found here.

The Australian riders start list:

Women

419 Leonie PICTON
422 Tegan MOLLOY
423 Shelly FLOOD
424 Ronja HILL-WRIGHT
441 Megan ROSE
443 Jaclyn DELACROIX

Men
13 Sam HILL
22 Jared GRAVES
10 Josh CARLSON
48 Christopher PANOZZO
56 James HALL
71 Jeremy HAMILTON
75 Josh BUTTON
77 Shane GAYTON
82 Jordan PROCHYRA
92 Dylan WOLSKY
94 Mark FRENDO
96 David MAUD
102 Murray STEPHENS
122 Lucas PITT
137 Riley TAYLOR
307 Jackson DAVIS
317 Nate CORRIGAN

Men Under 21
614 Blake PEARCE
615 Samuel RUBERY

Amateur Men
807 Chayse PENGILLY
809 Liam WOOLTORTON
819 Shaun FRY
830 Blake POLVERINO
841 Bryan PINCHES
843 Josh LYONS

EWS Whistler: Hanging Out With Cannonball

Want more action? Check out Cannonball’s previous video where he rips his home trails, along with photo story and interview here.

Be sure to check out Flow’s Instagram Stories during Whistler’s EWS for Cannonball’s behind-the-scenes coverage – #EWSwithCannonball / @flow_mtb.

Cannonball’s kitted in DHaRCO Men’s SS Jersey and Men’s Gravity Shorts.

All photos and video produced by Matt Staggs Visuals.

EWS: Who Will Win in Whistler?

Hill’s win at Aspen’s round six saw him take the series lead from Frenchman Adrien Dailly and the steep and technical Whistler trails should favour the Aussie too. A couple of tough rounds this season saw Jared Graves further down the ladder than expected, however, his 3rd from Aspen has bumped him into the top 10.

Wollongong’s Josh Carlson missed the first two rounds as he recently became a father of two, but good results in Ireland and Aspen see him inside the top 50. He currently resides just down the road in Vancouver so hopefully, he’ll see another good result on his ‘home trails’ where he finished 3rd in 2016. The reigning Australian National Enduro champ, Mt Beauty’s Chris Panozzo, has also had a sporadic season with his best finish so far being 23rd in Derby, seeing him ranked just outside the top 50. The EWS Dark Horse, James ‘Cannonball’ Hall, is the next best Aussie in 64th.

Josh Carlson placed 3rd at the Whistler EWS last year

During Crankworx Whistler’s always swarming with Aussies so there will also be a handful of World Cup downhillers who are up for a long day in the saddle. Josh Button, Jordan Prochyra, Shelly Flood and Tegan Molloy are all riders to watch. See a full list of Aussie starters below.

Follow the racing live right here from early Monday morning, with Finals live webcast starting 10:30 am AEST.

Women

419 Leonie PICTON
422 Tegan MOLLOY
423 Shelly FLOOD
424 Ronja HILL-WRIGHT
441 Megan ROSE
443 Jaclyn DELACROIX

Men
13 Sam HILL
22 Jared GRAVES
10 Josh CARLSON
48 Christopher PANOZZO
56 James HALL
71 Jeremy HAMILTON
75 Josh BUTTON
77 Shane GAYTON
82 Jordan PROCHYRA
92 Dylan WOLSKY
94 Mark FRENDO
96 David MAUD
102 Murray STEPHENS
122 Lucas PITT
137 Riley TAYLOR
307 Jackson DAVIS
317 Nate CORRIGAN

Men Under 21
614 Blake PEARCE
615 Samuel RUBERY

Amateur Men
807 Chayse PENGILLY
809 Liam WOOLTORTON
819 Shaun FRY
830 Blake POLVERINO
841 Bryan PINCHES
843 Josh LYONS

Thank Flow It’s Friday

Ladies first, Danielle Beecroft has been familiarising herself with the Whistler trails, ahead of competing at Crankworx next week. Here’s a teaser of an edit she’s been working on.

A post shared by oliverhaggren (@mr.urban1) on

Josh Carlson was the 3rd fastest Aussie at the sixth round of the Enduro World Series, in Aspen, USA. Here’s a clip from a high-speed section of the final stage where he placed 7th. Finishing 25th, the father of two is looking fast and we’re keen to see how he goes this weekend in Whistler. We’ll have a bike check of his new Giant Reign up soon.

A post shared by Josh Carlson (@joshcarlson__) on

Australian Junior World Champs team downhiller Josh Clark put together an edit of on and off the bike action from his year so far including a lot of clips from his European summer.

Also in Europe, one of Dirt Art’s trail builders, Jack O’Hare, knows how to build berms and razz them apart!

A post shared by Jack O’Hare (@jacko_hare) on

Back home, Mittagong’s Harry Parsons won the RedAss Downhill NSW State round during the Illawarra MTB festival at Greenvalleys Bike Park last weekend, on his birthday! He’s looking fast leading up to the Cairns World Champs.

Matt Staggs is a young shredder from Sydney’s North who is very handy with a camera. He’s living the dream in Whistler right now, but here’s a teaser of an edit he did with James ‘Cannonball’ Hall before he left Sydney. You can watch the full edit along with photo story and interview here. James is racing EWS Whistler this weekend and we’ll have another Matt Staggs Visuals edit up soon!

Jordy Prochyra is also in Canada, placing a respectable 38th at the Mont Sainte Anne World Cup and now in Whistler (with half of Australia). Before MSA, he put together this edit from Cypress Mountain on Vancouver’s North Shore.

Graeme Mudd had a great qualifier at Mont Sainte Anne, making him the 13th last man down the hill. This meant he raced in the midst of the storm and had one of the loosest runs on course, finishing in 40th. He’s riding with the Athertons for Trek Factory Racing; stay tuned for the next Atherton Diaries episode from MSA.

It wasn’t just the downhillers who faced the brutal rocks of Mont Sainte Anne. We love this slow-mo of Nino Schurter and team mates hitting the Béatrice Rockgarden in the XCO World Cup. Of course, Nino won again, his 5th World Cup in a row, and has now wrapped up the series overall with one more round to go. Can he make it a ‘perfect season’?

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An update from last week’s report about Remy Morton’s crash at Loosefest. Nice to hear from the big man himself.

And a flashback Friday to something we’re hanging out to see more of from RemDawg – #fakiefriday

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Local Video: Cannonball – The EWS Dark Horse

Cannonball – RAW razz of his home trails

James ‘Cannonball’ Hall can move dirt. Building and riding bigger jumps has always been high on his list. But he’s not just brawn, he’s also the brains behind the designs of mountain bike trails, jumps and pump tracks around Australia and North America. His industry experience is immense; from life lessons learnt as a shy school kid in the greasy Bike Addiction workshop through to sweaty meetings in Taiwanese factories frustrating over how important a 0.05mm tolerance is to us, the end users of patented cycling products he’s designed. He’s always been fast. Riding a hardtail for longer than many, he’d drop most riders on any track riding his stiff-as-a-board Sasquatch with near-slick rear Hookworm at 50psi.

Cannonball’s now taking his innate speed along with some new found fitness, plus a more suitable bike, and having a solid crack at privateering the 2017 Enduro World Series. He’s tallied up a lot of crashes but has also earned a 6th place in Rotorua’s Stage 3, 15th in Derby’s Stage 4 and a round PR of 32nd in Derby. After Aspen Snowmass, he’s the 6th highest ranked Australian. Flow caught up with him just after arriving in Whistler for his sixth round of this year’s EWS.

Flow: You kind of epitomise the whole dark horse thing – going from a weekend warrior to EWS racer – tell us about your journey? When did you decide to give it a crack?

Well, racing isn’t entirely new to me; I had done a fair bit of elite downhill racing ten years ago when I lived in Whistler for two seasons. Funnily enough I never actually owned a DH bike I always raced on a 6″ trail bike, I guess that was training for the enduro races of today. There was, however, one time my trail bike was out of action for the Canadian national champs at Sun Peaks and I borrowed a DH bike for my race run from my boss at the time, good mate and owner of Dunbar Cycles, Rob Venables. To my surprise, I jagged myself 8th place in elite along with some UCI points. Since those days I haven’t raced much as life and other priorities kind of got in the way. It was not until September last year on a Canada trip I randomly found myself tagging along with Chris Johnston and Dylan Wolsky to a BC Enduro race in Revelstoke. With poor preparation and only a few hours sleep, I managed to pull together a pretty decent result and had an absolute blast on the loose, steep and wet BC trails. That’s all it took to get the bug to race again and sign up for the EWS.

Flow: Please tell us the story of your friends chipping in for your airfares etc.

James: First off, WOW, these guys blew me away. Without me knowing, a group of fifty-odd friends and riders got together and as thanks for my trail advocacy work and excitement over my Rotorua and Derby results, chipped in to pay for my airfares, entries and accommodation for my Europe leg of the EWS. This allowed me to take on EWS Madeira and Ireland! I would never have asked my mates for money or for such a thing, so I honestly was taken back by their offer and totally overwhelmed. I feel so grateful to these wonderful friends; what legendary mates!

“Without me knowing, a group of fifty-odd friends and riders got together and as thanks for my trail advocacy work and excitement over my Rotorua and Derby results, chipped in to pay for my airfares, entries and accommodation”

Flow: What do you do when you’re not ripping trails?

James: Too much (laughs), but it’s all in the name of living the dream, that I’m very grateful for. My main job is being a full-time firefighter based in Sydney which is one of the best things I’ve pushed myself towards for so many reasons. I balance this on the side with being involved in a few product design projects for bike accessories, helping take ideas to market by liaising with engineers and factories. I also love getting involved in trail designing and building projects for a couple of Aussie companies. Somehow I also find time to ride my bike and fit in a day or two repairing bikes at my mate’s local bike repair shop.

Flow: What bike and gear do you ride, and why?

James: I’m really happy to be riding for JetBlack Products, a Sydney based company who distribute Pivot Cycles, Stans rims and many other cool products. My choice from the Pivot line up was the Pivot Switchblade set up as a 29er. It’s 150mm front and 135mm rear and as I’m not one for big travel bikes this suits me to a tee. This paired with some super grippy Maxxis tyres from Rick at Bikecorp has me pretty sorted for my bike. I’m also very fortunate to have been sponsored some rad clothing from Mandy and Mathieu from DHaRCO, another Sydney based company.

Flow: It’s been a decade since you first went to Whistler. How does Whistler compare to the other EWS rounds you’ve raced? Are you feeling confident?

James: It’s going to be ROWDY! Steep and tech, my favourite! I’m pumped about the course here; I’m feeling more excited about this round than any of the others. There are a few tight technical trails that I think I have a good chance to do well on, so if I can keep it smooth, consistent and rubber side down throughout the day I could be in for good chance to see a tidy overall result.

“Steep and tech, my favourite! I’m pumped about the course here; I’m feeling more excited about this round than any of the others.”

Flow: Why are you called Cannonball?

James: It came about from early days spent repairing bikes at the local bike shop in my late teens. We occasionally would take a long lunch to go cliff jumping into the harbour.  Turns, a mechanic at the time, nicknamed me Cannonball because I apparently had high-velocity rotations like a spinning cannon ball, let alone the splash…

Flow: What makes ice cream better?

James: (Laughs) You know me too well! Firstly, ice cream makes everything better, but what makes ice cream better is ice cream enhancer, aka Milo. Unfortunately, my ice cream and Milo intake over the last year has drastically gone down.

Be sure to check out Flow’s Instagram Stories during Whistler’s EWS for Cannonball’s behind-the-scenes coverage – #EWSwithCannonball / @flow_mtb.

Cannonball’s kitted in DHaRCO Men’s SS Jersey and Men’s Gravity Shorts, in Fern Green.

All photos and video produced by Matt Staggs Visuals.

World Cup DH: Aussie Results & Highlights Video – Mont Sainte Anne

Finals Highlights

Queensland’s Tracey Hannah was the second fastest qualifier and her four World Cup podiums this season, including a win in Fort William, saw her ranked 2nd in the overall standings. Unfortunately, Tracey got a rear flat mid-way down the track but continued to charge through the rock gardens, jumps and drops to cross the line in 2nd, finishing in 3rd and holding onto her 2nd place ranking.

Tracey Hannah
Tracey Hannah

Elite Women:

1. Tahnee Seagrave
2. Myriam Nicole
3. Tracey Hannah (AUS)
4. Emilie Siegenthaler
5. Rachel Atherton

10. Tegan Molloy (AUS)

Tahnée Seagrave

Watch Tahnée Seagrave’s winning run

The drizzle continued through the Men’s Final, and Dean Lucas had a near perfect run in tacky conditions, sitting him in the hot seat, for a long time! In the break before the top 25 qualifiers started, the heavens opened and didn’t let up.

Dean Lucas had a long stint in the hot seat.

Mick Hannah was the 3rd rider to start in the storm. He was off to a strong start when a high-speed slide to near crash had him hauling on the brakes, losing time that he couldn’t make back. Newcastle’s Graeme Mudd had one of the loosest runs, drifting all over the track, even across the takeoff of a high-speed hipped step-down. The tough conditions saw him finish 11.4s off the pace.

Jack Moir

It wasn’t until Dean’s Australian team mate and 9th placed qualifier, Jack Moir, got within 3 seconds of Dean’s time that it seemed possible he might be unseated.

“Pretty wild, eh! It was a bit more hard-packed than in practice, though, so that helped a bit. It was just hard to see, real hard to see.” – Jack Moir

Troy Brosnan managed to better Jack’s time by 0.4s and ended up just off the podium in 6th. It was only the last man down the hill, Aaron Gwin, who was fast enough on the saturated track to better Dean’s time and take the win.

Aaron Gwin on the way to his third win at Mont-Sainte-Anne

Elite Men:

1. Aaron Gwin
2. Dean Lucas (AUS)
3. Danny Hart
4. Loic Bruni
5. Mike Jones
6. Troy Brosnan (AUS)

8. Jack Moir (AUS)
19. Josh Button (AUS) – just inside the top 20!
25. Jake Newell (AUS)
38. Jordan Prochyra (AUS)
40. Graeme Mudd (AUS)
43. Jackson Frew (AUS)
68. Mick Hannah (AUS)
70. Brent Smith (AUS)
75. Matthew McCorkell (AUS)

Heading into the final World Cup at Val Di Sole, Italy, Gwin is now only 33 points behind series leader, Greg Minnaar. Troy Brosnan is also within reach of the overall, just 77 points behind Minnaar.  Jack Moir’s consistent season and 2nd at Fort Bill see him currently ranked 5th in the overall standings.

Watch Aaron Gwin’s winning run

Junior Women:

1. Melanie Chapppaz
2. Mazie Hayden
3. Kaytlin Melvin

Junior Men:

1. Finn Iles
2. Sylvain Cougoureux
3. Joe Breeden
4. Nikolas Nesteroff
5. Kade Edwards
6. Patrick Butler (AUS)

12. Darcy Coutts (AUS)

Dean Lucas celebrating 2nd place at Mont Sainte Anne

World Cup DH: Gwin’s Monumental Win at Mont Sainte Anne – How It Happened

Gwin’s Winning Run:

Tales of The Mob – Episode 7, Mont Sainte-Anne:

Australian Dean Lucas found himself in the hot seat prior to the 20 minute break for TV, and around that time, the rain increased from a drizzle to a downpour. Many of the on-site fans thought the racing was over with most riders battling to get within 10 seconds of Lucas’ time. That was until his teammate Jack Moir (AUS) put in an incredible run, finding time in the 3rd sector, and crossing the line in 4th place. At that point, the team radioed up the mountain to inform Aaron what had taken place and that a top time was possible.

Dean Lucas during dry and dusty practice.
NSW Central Coast’s Jack Moir had a wet run, and finished less than four seconds behind Gwin in 8th. He’s currently ranked 5th in the overall World Cup standings.

After Jack Moir came in, Troy Brosnan (AUS) also put down a great run going into 3rd place. It was clear the top guys had a shot. Next up it was Danny Hart (GBR) who was ahead of Dean Lucas until the finish line and he slotted into 2nd before World Cup leader Greg Minnaar (RSA) took to the track. Only 1 second down at the first split, the major surprise came at the 2nd split which showed the South African down by 20secs. An off track excursion had cost him a lot of time, and ultimately a disqualification for an incorrect entry back onto the course. Next up Loic Bruni (FRA) crossed the line for 3rd and so the attention turned to the last man down, fastest qualifier Aaron Gwin who some doubted had the wet weather experience to deal with the conditions. What happened next was simply incredible. Picking up green lights all the way down, at one point 2 seconds up on everyone, Aaron took a historic win in the most extreme conditions.

Loic Bruni, 4th at Mont Sainte Anne
Danny Hart, always confident in the wet, placed 3rd behind Australian, Dean Lucas.

“The fact that I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes now trying to figure out how to start off this quote for our press release should explain my feelings after today’s race. It’s hard to find the words; I’m just happy. It’s been a crazy season but we’ve kept fighting through the ups and downs, and this weekend wasn’t any different. It feels good to get that win. Conditions like we had today make the win feel even better. I’m happy for myself, my team, the sponsors that support us and the thousands of fans who’ve been encouraging me all season. Thanks to all of you for the love. I wanted to take this title fight to the last race, and now we get to do that, so let the fun continue!” – Aaron Gwin

Aaron Gwin

The title chase is now just 33 points away from Greg Minnaar in 1st, with Troy Brosnan only 44 points behind Aaron. Mathematically, only Greg, Aaron or Troy can win the title, and it will all go down to the wire in Vale Di Sole in 3 weeks from now.

Aaron Gwin celebrates the win at Mont Sainte Anne

 

Thank Flow It’s Friday

Must Watch

News of the week? Sam Hill won his first Enduro World Series round, and is now leading the overall with two round to go! You can see all the Aussie’s results here and the full highlights video here.

Giant Factory Off-Road Team took on EWS#6. Aussie, Josh Carlson placed 7th in the final stage, and 25th overall.

Check out their full video here.

Want more EWS? Don’t forget to check Flow’s Instagram Stories for behind-the-scene’s coverage from round 7 in Whistler, courtesy of James ‘Cannonball’ Hall’s #EWSwithCannonball.

As expected, Brandon Semenuk’s latest video is awesome.

A post shared by Trek Bicycle (@trekbikes) on

Check out the full video here.

Chris Akrigg is a magician on a bike. His trials skills and inspirational creativity allow him to blow our minds anytime Mongoose throw him a new bike. Recently back from injury, he’s been getting fit on a gravel bike…

A post shared by Chris Akrigg (@chrisakrigg) on

Check the full video on his YouTube here.

And to make us feel a little better about our inabilities… he is human.

A post shared by Chris Akrigg (@chrisakrigg) on

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Some XC inspiration; Jose Hermida shows us that there is time to be made on the descents.

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Local

South Australia’s Troy Brosnan is having a great World Cup season. After his win in Vallnord and a second in Lenzerheide, he had a break at home before Mont-Sainte-Anne this weekend.

A post shared by Troy Brosnan (@troybrosnan) on

Matt Staggs captured Jon Gatt and Harrison Dobrowolski shredding Green Valleys Bike Park. The Illawarra MTB Festival is happening there this weekend, featuring the Fox Rollercoaster Superflow on Saturday and RedAss Downhill Enduro State Round on Sunday. Plus the DHaRCO Whip Offs!

A post shared by GAttooOoOOoOo (@jongatt_) on

Everyone’s favourite berm rooster, David McMillan, posted a flashback to dustier times at Thredbo.

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Aussies Elsewhere

Caroline Buchanan has multiple World Championship titles in MTB and BMX. The 2017 BMX World Championships were last weekend, so she’s on the little wheels here. It’s an incredible race by Caroline with a photo finish of 0.008s!

Bryn Atkinson tears us some berms at Stevens Pass, Washington USA.

Timmy Eaton has left chilly Canberra for a stint in Whistler. He’s got a new GoPro Karma Grip gimbal, so be sure to follow him for regular clips of the MTB mecca.
The start of Schleyer:

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Tim riding the new ‘river jumps’:

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We recently announced the Junior DH World Champs team, so we’ll share some young gun shredding this week. Kids these days are all over the social medias.

Current Junior National Champion, Baxter Maiwald, has been in Europe racing World Cups in preparation for the World Champs in Cairns this September.

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Baxter is pretty handy with a camera too, and had been producing some great little edits of his mates, like this one of Jack O’Hare.

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And another of Jack by Baxter.

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Oceania Champ, Josh Clark hit the Nico Vink line in Châtel Bike Park.

Another Baxter Maiwald edit, of Josh in Morzine. Check out the last jump!

Here’s another Junior Worlds team rider, Harry Parsons, tearing it up in Pila, Italy.

Victorian, Darcy Coutts has been across the Atlantic in Quebec.

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Back home, but still on the Junior DH front, Female Junior DH National Champ, Ellie Smith, is also fast on a trail bike.

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As we mentioned in our Loosefest coverage, Queensland’s Remy Morton had a huge crash on the final hip jump; he’s pretty beaten up and is recovering in hospital. Here are some clips of him warming up at Loosefest and then styling up the big set. For more details and to help support his recovery, head to the Go Fund Me page created by his mates.

A post shared by RemDawg (@remymorton) on

We’re looking forward to seeing Remy back in the air, soon.

Did we miss an epic edit? Comment below or send us a direct message on Instagram. Of course, make sure you’re following @flow_mtb too!

Racing: Shimano MTB Grand Prix Singleton

The line up at the start of the Shimano MTB Grand Prix at Singleton was impressive – you had seven-time 24 Hour Solo World Champion Jason English rub shoulders with pro-road cyclist Daniel Bonello, as well as Olympic gold medalist Kevin Nichols. Then there was Peter Selkrig, former pro-road cyclist and multiple winner of numerous masters titles on the road and on the national as well as international mountain biking scene as well as Claudia Fiess, the reigning 24-hour Solo World Champion in her age group. Another regular name on the Rocky Trail start lists is Garry James, multiple category winner of the Crocodile Trophy stage race as well as Gina Ricardo, multiple Tour of Timor and Tour Down Under finisher.

The course was a fast but a deceiving one – hidden climbs put pressure on the riders legs and minds and the flat and corner sections demanded endurance and riding skills.

Bonello wins 4 hour race against Croc team mate

For Daniel Bonello and Alex Malone, the event was a training race in preparation for their upcoming Crocodile Trophy event, a nine-day stage race in Queensland. They dominated the 4 hour field from the beginning. Malone said that they could apply a lot of their road racing know-how out on track, “This was probably a very good race track for us, we ride together a lot so also today we took turns riding at the front.”

Dan Bonello, GC 4 Hour solo men’s winner with runner up, Alex Malone.

Finishing 11 laps in 4:15:24 just ahead of his team mate Daniel Bonello said that, “Someone had to cross the finish line first. Racing is training, especially when you go lap after lap with Alex Malone. I’m looking forward to the Crocodile Trophy, a bit more of mountain biking, which is a bit of a return to our roots – both of our backgrounds are in mountain biking.”

For Gina Ricardo it had also been a training race in preparation for the Tour of Timor later in the year, which will be her fourth appearance. “The race track here was quite flat, but still good training and I enjoyed today”, she said after 9 laps in 4:05:48.

Gina Ricardo, 4 hour women’s solo GC winner.

Jason English and Meredith Quinlan claim the 7-hour top steps

In the seven hour it was the expected result in the men’s with Jason English taking out not only the GC solo field with 18 laps in 7:12:29 ahead of Garry James (16 laps) and Jon Battle (16 laps), but also coming in second overall in the race among all participating teams.

English said that due to the cooler weather nutrition had been a key factor out on track and that it had been a peddlers course. “I had a great time racing out there, tried to keep up with the 4 hour guys for a little while, really enjoyed the track.”

Jason English – 7-time 24 Hour World Champion and winner of the GP7 hour GC men’s solo

“It was a hard day, even though it was a nice and smooth track, you really had to pedal hard all day”, said Garry James who added that he was proudly heading up the 50+ category at the event as well. “This course really suits an efficient rider.”

Women’s solo GC winner Meredith Quinlan agreed, “It was just a beautifully flowing course.” She did admit that the last lap was tough, going out on her 14th lap just before the 7-hour mark had “not been the plan”. Quinlan finished in 7:28:42 ahead of 24-hour 50+ Solo World Champion Claudia Fiess from Sydney and Diane Perry from Teagardens.

Meredith Quinlan – GP7 hour GC women’s solo winner.

Junior teams take out 4 and 7 hour line honours

The overall line honours of most laps completed in the two competitions were claimed by two junior teams.

In the 4-hour event, Matthew Dinham and Ben Metcalfe completed 12 laps in 4:21:09. Matthew Dinham was also the second across the line after lap one, just behind Luke Brame, a fellow junior racer. “It was great to have Luke Brame and some of the other fast young racers out there here today, even just to compare lap times.” Both also keen road cyclists, Matt and Ben admitted that their hearts were still beating for mountain biking. “It’s good to mix it up every now and again, but as they say, ‘once a mountain biker, always a mountain biker”, concluded Ben Metcalfe.

One of our young guns – Matthew Dinham racing with Ben Metcalfe as “Donkey Racing” takes out the line honours in the 4 hour event.

Owen Gordon, nephew of 24-hour Solo World Champion Craig Gordon and equally talented has been making his mark on the results list of Australia’s mountain bike events in recent years. A regular at Rocky Trail events, he has been competing with Scott Reynolds in a Blue Mountains-team for the JetBlack Racing squad. In Singleton they completed 19 laps in 7:22:59.

Owen Gordon – taking the overall line honours in the GP7 hour with Scott Reynolds for JetBlack Racing.

Next: Canberra Series Finale at Stromlo Forest Park on 26 August

Next up on the Shimano MTB GP calendar is the series finale at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra on 26 August.  Ben Fillingham and Natalie Anderson are the 4-hour GC solo leaders and John Harris and Meredith Quinlan will be defending their 7-hour leads. The event will be also hosting the launch of Rocky Trail’s latest event concept, the Elite Sprint Cup, which will be held at Stromlo Forest Park also on the Sunday, 27 August. The elite-focused race is to launch a platform for Australia’s top mountain biking athletes to perform and promote themselves in front of a very captive audience – the Rocky Trail racing crowd and visitors from near and far. The spectator-friendly sprint course will be short, feisty and the perfect opportunity to see some of the best mountain bike racers in Australia on show.

The series finale will be raced at Stromlo Forest Park

Online registration for both events is now open via www.rockytrailentertainment.com

For full results and series progress, click here!

EWS Highlights Video: Round 6 Aspen

The Pro Women’s race saw Cecile Ravanel take a convincing win and cement her series lead, however, the men’s was the closest of the season so far with less than 9 seconds separating the podium. Sam Hill started strong by winning the first stage and maintained his form to secure his first EWS win, which sees him now ranked 1st overall with two rounds to go. Fellow Aussie, Jared Graves, also started strong, placing 2nd in stage one. He managed to finish in front of Hill in two stages including winning stage four, the longest of the race, however, Belgium’s Martin Maes squeezed into 2nd with a strong final stage seeing Graves round out the podium.

Cairns World Champs: 2017 Australian Junior DHI Team Announced

The team includes Junior National champions Baxter Maiwald (VIC) and Ellie Smith (NSW) and Oceania Champion Joshua Clark (NSW), as well as a number of world championship debutants.

Baxter Maiwald
Joshy Clark
Ellie Smith at the 2017 Australian Downhill National Championships, Mt Joyce QLD. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.

In the lead up to the world championships, a number of the squad will attend a four day training camp in Cairns with national team staff.

JUNIOR MEN DHI

Baxter Maiwald (VIC)
Patrick Butler (NSW)
Joshua Clark (NSW)
Ben Zwar (VIC)
Harry Parsons (NSW)
Bryce Heathcote (VIC)
Darcy Coutts (VIC)
Matt Carter (VIC)
Reserves: Niki Barber; Aaron Gungl

JUNIOR WOMEN DHI

Ellie Smith (NSW)
Sally Potter (NSW)

Baxter Maiwald
Harry Parsons

The remainder of the Australian team for the world championships will be released early next month.

Cairns World Champs: Volunteers Needed

Who will be crowned World Champ?

The 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships are seeking volunteers for the World’s premier mountain biking event. The 6-day event will be held from the 5th to 10th September 2017 on the recently upgraded Smithfield Trails and will feature over 300 riders from 35 countries competing in the Cross-Country (XCO) and Downhill (DHI) disciplines.

There are still vital shifts to fill on both the XCO and DHI courses, as well as help needed in Timing, Accreditation, Event Services and Sport Services. There’ll be plenty of training provided, so you don’t need experience, just a friendly and approachable manner with a positive, can-do attitude!

Volunteers get the front row!

As a volunteer, not only will you become a crucial member of the event team, you’ll receive a heap of freebies, and best of all, have front row seats to all the action!

Visit the website for more details: mtbworldscairns.com.au

Or register directly here

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