Germany, the home country of their Conti tyres, offered the two bike-buds some top-notch riding locations in Hamburg, Goslar and Berlin. They also got to switch their two wheels for four wheels and spin around the Contidrom test track facility in ultra-high performance cars as well as their old camper van.
“Road trips are one of the best things you can do with friends! Martin and I have talked about doing one for years and I’m stoked it finally worked out! We started in Hamburg, what I consider one of the best cities for street in the world and even though it rained the whole day we still had a good laugh. Ragging a fancy car around the track was fun but rallying the old van around the Contidrom was even better. The highlight of the trip for me though was watching Martin riding Mellow Park in Berlin. He just makes it look way too easy! All in all, we had such an awesome time and will need to plan another trip soon!” comments the man of the hour, Danny MacAskill himself.
Martin Söderström reflects back on the week with Danny: “This year is my 10-year anniversary as a professional freestyle mountain bike rider. I am pretty sure there was no better way to celebrate that than to go on a road trip through Germany with one of the nicest and most creative street riders in the world! Looking back at the trip I am 100% convinced that there is no better way to experience a country than on two and four wheels. My favourite part of the trip was definitely watching the ”Danny Show”. It didn’t matter what time of the day it was, or if it was pouring it down with rain, he still managed to blow my mind at every single street spot we rode. Luckily, we ended the trip with some park riding where I feel more comfortable. I can’t thank Continental enough for making this road trip happen. Definitely, one I will remember for the rest of my life!”
– Danny MacAskill works closely together with the Continental engineers and provides feedback to them on bike tyre development. Check out Danny’s signature tyre here.
– The Continental car tyre seen in the video, SportContact 6, consists of the same Black Chili Compound used in the bike tyres.
We love stage races; the adventure, the comradeship, the journey of it all – it’s bloody brilliant. Over the past few years we’ve been closely involved with Australia’s two leading multi-day stage races, the Port to Port MTB and Cape to Cape MTB, and so we’re pumped to hear that another event has been added to the mix, with the Reef to Reef MTB.
This brand new event will be held over four days in August, in Tropical North Queensland, a part of the world that needs little introduction to Australian mountain bikers. The region in and around Cairns is one of the birthplaces of Australian mountain biking, it’s rammed with amazing trails, and of course has hosted the World Champs and World Cup multiple times. We’ve spent a lot of time in the region too, exploring all it has to offer by bike, and it’s one of the most unique and diverse places you can imagine.
Read on for the official word from IRONMAN, the folk behind the event, for all the details!
The Australian mountain bike stage racing calendar just got even more exciting with the announcement of Reef to Reef, a multi-day Mountain Bike Stage race to be held annually in early August in Tropical North Queensland.
IRONMAN Oceania Managing Director Dave Beeche, said Reef to Reef will be a four day stage race for professional, elite, competitive and recreational mountain bikers and will complement the highly successful multi-day stage race events, Port to Port MTB (held in Newcastle in May) and Cape to Cape MTB (held in the south west of Western Australia in October).
“Reef to Reef completes a triple crown of outstanding Australian mountain bike stage races now available to riders and while it will be will be modelled on “sister” events in NSW and WA, there will be a truly distinctive Tropical North Queensland flavour to the four day event. The 25+ year tradition of the Triple-R Mountain Bike Challenge (formerly the RRR) lives on within Reef to Reef with the inclusion of the iconic one day event with its 70km and 35km course options in the event schedule.”
Mr Beeche said that Reef to Reef’s world class course will showcase the variety of Tropical North Queensland’s rainforest, tablelands, farm lands and MTB parks, providing riders with a stunning range of trails, riding surfaces, trail types and landscapes that will ensure it quickly becomes recognised as a must do event.
Want to read more about the kind of amazing terrain you’ll find in Tropical North Queensland? Check out some of our trips to the region below:
“While the course will be challenging it will still be achievable, with riders of varying abilities able to choose whether they race hard or simply come for the holiday and enjoy the journey with their mates while soaking in the region’s stunning hospitality.”
“Reef to Reef will be held over four stages across four days and participants will have the option of being able to ride as individuals or teams of two who must ride the whole race together and not more than two minutes apart. Teams are eligible for 10 qualifying spots for the world famous Cape Epic an eight-day adventure through the Western Cape region of South Africa,” Mr Beeche said.
Tourism and Events Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Leanne Coddington said it was a major coup to host the event in Tropical North Queensland.
“This event will not only bring benefits to the Tropical North Queensland tourism industry and economy, but it will be a spectacular showcase of this beautiful region which is sure to inspire participants to return again for future holidays,”
“Queensland has established itself as a major events destination and the stunning backdrops our regions offer make those events truly memorable. I welcome this new event for Tropical North Queensland and look forward to it being a huge success for IRONMAN, the participants and local tourism industry,” Ms Coddington said.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning welcomed the addition to a bustling sports events calendar for the Cairns region.
“This event is ideal for Cairns, celebrating our tropical terrain and thirst for adventure sports action. It comes on the back of the successful Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns, and further builds on our partnership with IRONMAN through the ever-growing Cairns Airport Adventure Festival.”
“We look forward to welcoming athletes to our region next August for this exciting MTB event,” he said.
Key Event Detail
Reef to Reef – 9 – 12 August 2018, Solo or Teams options
Stage 1 – Smithfield MTB Park. Distance 30km
Stage 2 – Davies Creek MTB Park. Distance 50km
Stage 3 – Mount Molloy to Wetherby Station. Distance 60km
Stage 4 – Mount Molloy to Port Douglas. Distance 55km
The headline item is the introduction of the EVOL air spring system to the FOX 36, which we already took a look at here. EVOL was introduced last year with the new DPS Float shocks, which we tested in-depth on a Yeti SB5 – read our Float DPS shock review here, and our review of the Yeti SB5 here.
Other new tweaks include a lighter weight EVOL air can for DPS shocks, and the release of a funky 40mm travel version of the 32 Step Cast fork intended for use on 700c gravel grinder bikes. This concept of bunging a suspension fork on to a gravel bike is interesting – we tested the Cannondale Slate about a year ago, which runs a 30mm version of the Lefty, and it was super cool, so we can see this trend catching on.
What’s EVOL all about?
EVOL is a snazzy abbreviation of Extra Volume, in reference to the increased volume of the negative air sprung found in EVOL forks and shocks. What does it mean on the trail? The most noticeable benefit is a reduction in breakaway friction i.e. it takes less force to get the fork moving, meaning less shock is transferred to the rider.
What about this rumoured 29er downhill fork?
If you’ve been trawling the web, you might well have seen some rather obvious indicators that FOX has developed a 29er version of their 40 downhill fork. We fully expect to see a number of FOX teams rolling on 29er downhill bikes this World Cup season, but for now a big-wheelin’ downhill fork is not available to the public.
The team with the most laps completed included old-hand and former 24-hour World Champion Craig Gordon from Wollongong and Blue Mountain’s up and coming racer Scott Reynolds. The pair locked in 36 laps for the line honours.
In the solo classification, it was Newcastle’s Jason English who once again defended his JetBlack 12 Hour title, winning the solo male category outright for the eighth time in a row since 2010 with 28 laps in 10h35:36. Gwynn Le Maitre is the female champion clocking in 22 laps in 11h26:14 ahead of a strong U23 solo racer Rachel Cook – rounding off a great result for the Fizo Cycling team. Melissa Bates was third in the women’s overall. In the solo men’s Daniel Sammut came in second overall with one lap down on Jason English ahead of his fellow Central Coast rider and third overall, Benji Morris, who crossed the line half an hour later.
Jason English said that the warm weather had been tough to deal with, deciding to stop riding at the ten and a half hour mark with enough laps for the Solo Elite win. What followed was the sensation of the race: an e-Biker who had pleaded with the event organisers to “agree to let him participate” a week out from the race recorded 32 laps in 12h17:10 for the “unofficial overall solo line honours”.
E-Biker surprises everyone, including himself
The e-Biker was Steve Troughton from Barrack Point and being asked for a photo with Jason English and Daniel Sammut, who had both clocked in 28 and 27 laps respectively on standard mountain bikes, Steve was very reluctant to join them on the podium. “I wasn’t here to compete for glory but simply for the fun of being there and enjoying the atmosphere and the challenge”, he said. The challenge to ride his mountain bike had been getting harder and harder over the last few years the almost 60-year old admitted. “For me, these e-Bikes really do put the fun back into riding. I can now keep up with my younger riding buddies and whereas I was considering giving up riding I am now revitalised and thrilled every time I mount up”, he said.
Race Director Martin Wisata said that he hadn’t expected such a result by Troughton. “We are glad that we were able to have Steve at our event. He did surprise us all with the number of laps he completed and it needs to be acknowledged that his fellow solo riders did compete without e-Power. However, his ride was quite impressive and that he raced for the entire 12 hours”, Wisata said and that he was currently reviewing potential categories and general classification constellations to accommodate e-Bike riders in future events. The events promoter added that he was thankful and really glad that the field of racers really embraced the late-entrant with his e-Bike. “It just shows what a calibre of athletes we have at our events – a huge thanks to Jason English and Daniel Sammut for being such good sports and having their photo taken with Steve – we are so proud of all our Rocky Trail racers and that we can provide them with the playground to reach their goals and document their amazing achievements in this sport – and most of all, see them smile across the finish line, albeit in pain sometimes.”
Diamond Anniversary for Rocky Trail in 2018
Next year the JetBlack 12 Hour will be held for the 10th time by events promoter Rocky Trail Entertainment together with its headline sponsor since 2009, JetBlack Cycling Australia. A jam-packed Rocky Trail calendar of events has already been released for its Diamond Anniversary year – superflow enduro, downhill, marathon and cross-country events spanning all across NSW and the ACT are promising new venues and popular favourites. “We will kick the year off with the SHIMANO MTB Grand Prix Series at Glenrock on 3 February and the Fox Superflow Series sealed by Stan’s two weeks later”, said Martin Wisata, who founded the business with his wife Juliane in 2008 and announced that they had secured a new venue for their endurance flagship event, the JetBlack 24 Hour, which will be held at the Rydal Showgrounds near Lithgow (NSW) on the weekend of 4+5 March 2018! Online registration for all three events will open on 6 December 2017.
Since out-boosting everyone in his first Whistler Joyride at a mere 15 years of age, Anthony Messere hasn’t stopped pushing the limits of slopestyle. Watch in awe as he takes his riding to New Heights.
Over the last decade the level of riding seen at the world’s biggest slopestyle events has gone through the roof. Almost every season it feels like there’s a new trick or combination that eclipses what came before it. To stay at the top of such a sport requires an incredible amount of training that puts both bike and body on the line.
Anthony Messere is one of the biggest names in slopestyle and is from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Red Bull recently sent acclaimed filmer Rupert Walker to nearby Abbotsford to capture his riding at its very best.
The 21-year old Canadian has been shredding slopes since he was 10, and in 2011, at the age of 15, he broke through into the professional world of mountain biking, after his spectacular 3rd place result at Red Bull Joyride in Whistler. Anthony is undoubtedly one of the best athletes on the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour, and has been riding in the TOP 12 of the world’s elite for more than five years. With his unbelievable amplitude and his massive trick repertoire, which he is constantly expanding, he continuously takes home top 10 results from the most prestigious competitions worldwide. He is currently 8th in the FMB World Ranking.
Entries are now open for the Pioneer Mountain Bike Stage Race. The new course for 2018 will see riders race 450km with 15,500m climbing over six days from November 25 to 30 2018, linking the best back country riding in the South Island on a course that starts and finishes in Queenstown.
Riders in the November 2018 race will start their six days of riding with a 22km prologue at iconic Coronet Peak, with five longer stages to follow, taking riders as far south-east as Alexandra and the Clutha River, before returning to the finish line back in Queenstown, completing 450km of riding with 15,500m of climbing.
Race Director Bec Williams says much thought and planning has gone into the new course, to ensure the long-term sustainability of an event that quickly established its reputation as a world leading event in its first two editions.
“Riders can look forward to a course that will boast plenty of single track and will deliver a grand tour of the most stunning backdrops you could ask for. Riders will be sent deep into remote back country New Zealand, where they will really discover what it means to be a Pioneer.”
Many of the trails cross private land and can only be ridden while racing The Pioneer, so it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain access to best riding in New Zealand. Riders should expect big scenery and big climbs as they ascend tussock covered hills, traverse mountain ranges, explore secluded valleys and revive the spirit of the original pioneers.
Williams said the decision to reduce the duration of the event by one day and start and finish in Queenstown will generate further appeal to riders and supporters.
“Having the one start and finish location obviously makes the event easier from a logistics point of view for organisers and riders alike. Travel can now be booked in and out of Queenstown, supporters can base themselves there throughout The Pioneer, and it will be easier for our suppliers and contractors to support the race.”
“But it was vital that any of those decisions did not compromise the quality of the riding or the Pioneer experience, and we have done that with a course that will again challenge every rider, provide breathtaking views along the way and see us hosted in some amazing Central Otago towns.”
Those towns to host Pioneer riders in 2018 are: Queenstown (start and finish), Alexandra (two nights) and Bannockburn (two nights) before the event finishes at Arrowtown.
Terrain will vary each day, but includes a mix of local trails, farm track, NZ Cycle Trails and single track – so riders should be prepared to really see what they (and their bikes) are really made of. Overall, the course is non-technical, so a good set of lungs will be the most important asset.
The course will be clearly marked, and full course maps will be provided over the course of the next few months as more detail is revealed, but navigation skills are not required, each stage will have several check points and aid stations to keep riders on-track and well looked after.
Each day’s racing finishes in a host town with local hospitality on offer at the event village, ensuring each stage is unique and enjoyable. To cap it all off riders will finish back in Queenstown, an amazing place to celebrate an incredible achievement.
Riders will again have the chance to secure entry to the unofficial world championship of mountain bike stage racing in South Africa, with five age group winners (5), five age group runners up (5) and five lottery winners securing a place at the Absa Cape Epic for 2019.
For some riders that will mean finding a team mate. The event website allows the uploading of profiles to find a Pioneer team mate, and organisers also host a ‘find a teammate’ Facebook group, details again can also be found at www.thepioneer.co.nz
New this year is the option of an entry fee payment plan for athletes. This option will be available for a limited period, opening 24 November 2017 and closing 25 March 2018 and allows entry fees to be spread out across four payments.
Queenstown – Queenstown
Alexandra – Alexandra
Alexandra – Bannockburn
Bannockburn – Bannockburn
Bannockburn – Arrowtown
Estimates of the type of riding throughout the Pioneer
It’s been 10 years since Brendan became part of the Commencal family and there have been few riders with whom they’ve written such a long story!
“Brendan helped us create history with the birth of Commencal in Canada and back in the day, he was part of our Young Guns Program with Micayla Gatto, Casey Brown, Alex Pro and Remi Gauvin. Still today that would be one hell of a team!”
“For us, Brendan embodies the exact vision we have of both British Columbia and MTB! When we were given the opportunity to work with Scott Secco for this video we didn’t hesitate for a second because we’re such fans of his work. This latest edit has definitely not changed our opinions.”
“Thank you for these 10 beautiful Howey years. Looking forward to drinking a Bloody Mary (or two) with you in Whistler next summer and making lots of new projects!” – Yannick Commencal
After three successful sold out years the fourth annual Santa Cruz NZ Enduro opens for registration this Friday. This three-day multi-stage enduro race will take place from March 9-11, 2018 in beautiful Marlborough on the top of New Zealand’s South Island. It is home to some of New Zealand’s most scenic and sacred trails.
Last year saw racers from seventeen countries take the start with Damien Oton and Ines Thoma taking the overall win.
The entry link will be posted on the NZ Enduro Facebook page and NZ Enduro website on 17th of November at 7 am AEDT (9 am NZDT). Entries will be open for 36 hours. 140 Successful applicants will be drawn and notified by direct email. You will be able to submit group entries if you are travelling with a partner or group of friends.
Basic Facts: Three wild days of racing and riding with your mates around the Marlborough Sounds, NZ. Close to the Picton Ferry terminal and South Island towns of Nelson and Blenheim. Natural trails, native NZ beech forest, scenic liaisons, challenging, fast, flowy, technical and steep at times. Laid back vibe and atmosphere. No start order or set liaison times. Professional timing, ride with your friends, have a swim if you want. Race entry costs are $375 NZD and that includes shuttles, helicopter uplift, food, beer, BBQ and good times, not to mention the infamous NZ Enduro swag bag on sign up.
Both Facebook and the website will be updated with the latest information.
NZ Enduro is thinking globally and acting locally, partnering with local providers, food and refreshments sourced locally and giving back directly to MTB trail advocacy programs targeting the trails we are using through the Marlborough MTB club and trailfund.org.nz with a raffle.
Now in its fourth year, Mt Buller, in collaboration with Flow Mountain Bike, is launching a revamped the program, this year designed around the themes Collaborate, Educate, Proliferate. The two-day event features a number of Australian and international speakers, presenting on a range of topics under the overarching themes.
Exploring what ‘Collaborate’ means for the mountain bike industry, Simon French from Dirt Art will share his learnings from his recent partnering with the Tasmanian government on the Maydena Bike Park, and from Western Australia, Jason Dover of Cape to Cape and Port to Port, will focus on the benefits an event / tourism board collaboration can bring. Simon Keane of Trailcare NSW will deliver a practical workshop exploring the challenges and achievements of trail advocacy.
‘Educate’ is considered not only from the perspective of what the industry can learn from each other, but also the important role education plays between the industry and riders. Jen Geale, one of the founders of incredibly successful Mountain Bikes Direct, and known for her superb communications skills, will offer insights into modern retailing, whilst workshops will explore mountain biking in schools (Jason English) and the importance of mountain biking coaching for the industry (Evan James, MTBA).
Speakers under the ‘Proliferate’ banner will examine some broad themes around industry longevity and sustainability – the big ‘where to from here’ questions. Proliferation is critical to the ongoing success of the mountain bike industry; Russell Garlick from TrailFund NZ will discuss the way individuals contribute to trail development in New Zealand, and from Specialized, Jeff Moore and Fanie Kok will look at how ‘big brands’ do more for the industry than sell bikes. A workshop exploring whether e-bikes will grow the sport rounds out the Proliferate sessions.
Covering MC duties will be renowned cycling commentator, SBS journalist and host of The Bike Lane, Matt Keenan.
Gill Dobson, Marketing Manager Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management, is thrilled to announce the line-up for 2017. “We are really excited about presenting to the mountain bike community a ‘new-look’ conference for 2017, and believe the collaboration with Flow has resulted in a program with a true industry perspective. We have a tremendous line-up of speakers with a depth and breadth of experience across the industry who are looking forward to sharing their knowledge and expertise with delegates.”
“The Summit is a fantastic opportunity for mountain bikers to come together, not only to learn from industry professionals, but to make new connections and networks, and of course go bike riding. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the Mt Buller Bike Park in 2017”.
Registration for the Australian Mountain Bike Summit is now open. Registration costs $499 per person plus booking fee, which covers the two-day conference, and all conference catering and networking functions including the official Summit Dinner. For further information and to register now, visit bike.mtbuller.com.au.
Mountain biking’s come a long way since ’92! Gears have been added then divided, suspension and brakes now work and we’ve seen countless bottom bracket, headset and hub standards come and go. But two things remain, the Mitta to Mt Beauty MTB race and Rob Eva, who won it in 1993 and 1995. Local racer and all-round top bloke, Jarrod Quinn, shares his tales of the 2017 Mitta.
‘The Mitta’, as its affectionately known, is a 55km point to point mountain bike event from the sleepy township of Mitta Mitta, up and over Trappers Gap and finishing in Mt Beauty, a place well known amongst the cycling community.
For some it’s a race as they try to get their names etched onto the winner’s list alongside the likes of Paul, Neil and Daniel Van Der Ploeg, Steele Von Hoff and Murray Spink. For others its the adventure, the challenge of finishing or trying to better the previous year’s time that draws them to the event.
This year saw the 26th running of ‘The Mitta’ and the event did not disappoint. After a quick race briefing for Liam Panozzo the field of around 100 riders were set to roll out of Mitta. A neutral start out of the township following the lead vehicle, driven by Joel Panozzo, meant for an organised and calm start to the race. However as the lead vehicle accelerated away it was game time, riders started to string out as the pace stayed steady and people started following wheels to get out of the wind as much a possible.
‘The Mitta’ is unique as there are very few mountain bike events with a whopping 10km climb in the middle, followed by an equally huge descent. The challenge of such a different style of mountain bike event keeps riders coming back year after year.
As riders hit the first climb the groups started to split and it became a challenge of riding steady to the tops of the climbs and really letting it fly down the long descents, all the while ensuring that you left some energy reserves in the tank for the final tarmac section into Mt Beauty. It was also a challenge to avoid coming unstuck while distracted by the stunning surrounds with views up to Kosciuszko and the NSW Main Range, then Mt Bogong and the Alpine National Park.
The 2017 Mitta was taken out by Rohan Adams in a sprint finish while Kathryn McInerney claimed the women’s title.
Huge thanks must go to all of the Team Mount Beauty volunteers and local Mt Beauty Rotary group who give up their time to organise, marshal, set up and pack up such a logistically challenging event. Without their hard work, this event would not be as amazing as it is.
If you’re planning a trip to North East Victoria, perhaps include the last Sunday in October into your schedule and join the next running of the Mitta to Mt Beauty.
Nothing gets us quite as excited as a fresh, loamy trail. Multiply that trail 15 times and point them all down an 820m mountain, and we’re almost lost for words. So, we’ll just shut up and let you watch.
Maydena Bike Park’s construction team, Dirt Art, currently has 15 staff and seven excavators working on site constructing the first stage of trails, with more than 15 gravity trails set to open on the 26th of January 2018.
Construction teams have been working through challenging spring conditions but have still managed to construct an incredible network of trails. 12 gravity trails have now been completed, ranging from smooth, beginner flow trails through to double black diamond technical trails.
A huge 20-tonne excavator has just arrived on site, with works now underway on the park’s massive ‘jump zone’, which will see the construction of beginner, intermediate and advanced jump trails. These jump trails will offer opportunities for riders of all abilities to safely progress their jumping skills.
This video is the first of a regular monthly video release, which will showcase completed trails and other progress at the park. Next months video will include a range of footage from in and around the park’s summit and base building, showing the full extent of facilities in this major bike park development.
The park operates on a pre-booking model, with sell-outs likely at peak times. For more information or to make a booking, head to www.maydenabikepark.com