Cairns World Champs: Men’s Downhill

It was a truly amazing race. Sam Hill, the people’s champ, held the hot seat for over 50 riders before Mick Hannah strung together the perfect run and knocked him to the second step. It looked like an unbeatable ride, but Loic Bruni did it to us again here in Cairns, grabbing the rainbow stripes out from under Mick’s nose.  Jack Moir and Troy Brosnan, the last two Aussies down the hill couldn’t make it an Australian gold, and so we settle for silver.

All the results are available here and jump into the photo gallery below to feel all the drama.

Sam Hill was the first rider down the hill and he held the hot seat for over 50 riders before he was bumped off.
Hill lunges for the line.
Sam Hill settled in for a long stint in the sun.
And the winner for the loudest air horn of the day goes to… this bloke.
Gee Atherton has had a season to forget. 18th place.
Connor Fearon charges into the finish.
Josh Button had a tough run. Cooked.
The lunatics had really taken over the asylum up on the hill.
Dean Lucas, 12th.
Dean Lucas.
Don’t ask. This crew were going bananas.
9:30am, World Champs Downhill Finals Day. Tim and Danny from Thredbo.
Greg Minnaar was seen running some pretty light tyres in practice. Not sure if he kept them on for racing, but he was the victim of a flat and out of contention.
Mick Hannah was the man everyone was watching. The pressure must’ve been huge, but he still strung together a flawless run to take the lead by 5.5 seconds over then leader Sam Hill.
Hannah through the dusty first corner.

Would the dream of a World Champs win finally come true for Mick Hannah?

Aaron Gwin’s run was peppered with little mistakes that all added up, including forgetting to unlock his rear shock after the whoops.
Jack Moir was another top contender, tipped hotly for the win. He’d finish fourth in the end.
Jack Moir.

Bruni arrives and crushes the Hannah dream by 0.339 of a second.

America’s lone top ten appearance was Aaron Gwin.
Awaiting the arrival of Loic Bruni.
Brosnan.
Troy Brosnan was the last rider down the hill, but he couldn’t knock off Bruni.



The junior men’s racing always has an element of crazy to it, but amongst the madness, there was one battle that everyone was focused on – the showdown between Matt Walker of Great Britain, and Canadian star Finn Illes.

Illes was the last rider down the hill, and he buckled under the pressure, making mistakes that were seriously out of character. Walker will wear the rainbow stripes, and we’re sure that Illes will learn a lot from the experience. Full results are up right here. 

There’s always something a little loose about the juniors…
Josh Clark was the top ranked Aussie, and the second last rider down the hill, but ended up in 14th.
Ben Zwar was the top placed Aussie junior man, in 6th.
Darcy Coutts, 11th.
Patty Butler.
Custom Aussie Junior helmets, made possible by Office Works.
Pointy, hard.
Fair dinkum!
This horrendous crash early in the day was a stark reminder just how rough downhill can be. We’re glad to report this rider is ok-ish, with a broken hip.
Finn Illes was the favourite, but he threw it away with silly mistakes, including blowing both feet out of the pedals after the rock garden.
A devastated Finn Illes.
Illes.
Matt Walker of Great Britain takes the win by over three seconds.

Sound of Speed: Luca Shaw

Then along came Aaron Gwin to drag his nation proudly back to the top of the time sheets of World Cup downhill races.

To think that US downhill is a one man bandwagon would be a mistake however. Luca Shaw hails from San Francisco, California and has just signed with one of the sport’s most highly regarded race teams: Santa Cruz Syndicate.

The 20-year-old recorded some impressive results in 2016, including a fifth place at the legendary Mont-Sainte-Anne UCI World Cup. Blessed with an extremely level headed approach to racing, will 2017 be the big breakthrough year Shaw seems to be building towards?

We don’t have a crystal ball so we don’t know yet, all we asked him to do was to go as fast as possible for our latest Sound of Speed episode. Enjoy.

Rupert Chapman Shreds Christchurch Adventure Park

This vid is a taste of the Christchurch Adventure Park pre-fire. It may not look the same now, but we’re determined to come back bigger and better than before, just may need to wait a while for that riding fix! Thanks to Rupert Chapman for the good vibes. – Christchurch Adventure Park

Pivot Cycles would like to wish the Christchurch Adventure Park a speedy recovery process, and so would we here at Flow.

Intense Cycles Announces Factory Race Team

Australia's Jack Moir and Dean Lucas return to Intense for 2017.
Australia’s Jack Moir and Dean Lucas return to Intense for 2017.

“Last year, we had some really good results and good times. Jack finished 10th at Worlds, Dean was 14th at Lenzerheide and Nik finished 3rd at Lourdes and 5th overall for the year. We’re looking to stay healthy and strong this year and maximize our potential,” – Team Manager, Bernat Guardia.

Jack Moir finished 2016 with an impressive 10th place at the World Championships.
Jack Moir finished 2016 with an impressive 10th place at the World Championships.

Charlie Harrison will add to the that potential. Last year, his first year in the Elite category, he finished in 14th place at both Andorra and World Champs. He is as happy to be on board as the team is to have him. “I honestly couldn’t be more excited and grateful about being a part of IFR. The team’s family feel is exactly what I need in order to be successful. I’m really looking forward to all the amazing memories and laughs in the next couple of years.”

Young American rider Charlie Harrison is one to watch.
Young American rider Charlie Harrison is one to watch.

Also joining the team as Technical Director/Lead Mechanic is long-time Intense crew member, Chappy Fiene. Chappy is a former pro motocross racer, and talented mountain bike rider in his own right. He has a deep understanding of the inner workings of bike mechanics, and will work closely with Ernest Adalid, who has worked with IFR for several years as team mechanic.

Intense have added another mechanic to their program this year.
Intense have added another mechanic to their program this year.

Bonus members of the IFR crew for this year are Nathan Hughes, team photographer, and Jenn Gabrielli, who will be handling PR, sponsorship and media relations.

Dean Lucas looks excited about the year ahead.
Dean Lucas looks excited about the year ahead.

In addition to the incredible riders and crew, IFR welcomes with open arms its new sponsors for 2017. “We are incredibly happy to be working with the very best companies in each category”, says Intense CEO, Andrew Herrick.

The team will be rocking Troy Lee Designs clothing and helmets in 2017.
The team will be rocking Troy Lee Designs clothing and helmets in 2017.

SRAM, Rock Shox, Maxxis Tires, Troy Lee Designs, Enve Composites, Fabric Saddles, Von Zipper, E*13, Crank Brothers, Cane Creek, ODI, Ti Springs and Pedros round out the program’s “dream team” of sponsors.

The team includes an impressive list of sponsors, including the well-renowned Pedro's Bike Tools.
The team includes an impressive list of sponsors, including the well-renowned Pedro’s Bike Tools.

“It’s great to have such a cohesive team and amazing list of supporters. It will make for a deadly combination and provide us with some unbeatable R&D opportunities to develop what’s next,” says Intense Founder, Jeff Steber.


Jack Moir:

Age:22
Hometown: Morisset Park, Australia
2016 Highlights:
10th place Andorra
10th place World Champs
Favorite track: Mont Sainte Anne

“This year’s setup is going to be dialed, with a new teammate and some rad new sponsors, so I’m super excited to get the whole team together and go racing!”

JM


Dean Lucas:

Age: 21
Hometown: Wooragee, Australia
2016 Hightlights: 14th at Lenzerheide
Favorite track: Lourdes

“I feel like a big slice of butter melting over a big old stack of flap jacks. Very happy to be on board with such a positive, supportive team!”

DL


Charlie Harrison:

Age:19
Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA
2016 Highlights: 14th at both Andorra and World Championships
Favorite track- Mount Sainte Anne

“I honestly couldn’t be more excited and grateful about being a part of IFR. I’m really looking forward to all the amazing memories and laughs in the next couple years with the team.”

CH


Nik Nestoroff:

Age: 17
Hometown: ‘Merika
2016 Highlights: 3rd at Lourdes, 5th Overall (Junior Men)
Favorite track: Val Di Sole

“My goal for this year is to do my best, have fun, and win some races!”

NN

Graeme Mudd Signs With Trek Factory Racing

Aussie rider Graeme Mudd bids farewell to life as a privateer and will base himself at Atherton HQ in North Wales for the 2017 season.

Graeme Mudd poses for a portrait with hiis Trek racing kit and bike. 15/1/17

I know that with some more resources behind me I can be sitting at the pointy end of the results lists a lot more often.

Gee Atherton said “ We’re always alert to emerging potential and there were some flashes of brilliance in Muddy’s 2016 season, it was obvious that he is our kind of hard-wired racer. At Hardline we got chance to spend some time with him and the whole team became huge fans. We’re really looking forward to seeing how the increased support impacts on his 2017 results.”

Muddy said  “2016 felt like a real turning point for me and I gained a lot of valuable experience but I know that with some more resources behind me I can be sitting at the pointy end of the results lists a lot more often. I am totally stoked to be riding with Trek Factory Racing DH, I’m beyond excited to join a team whose passion and desire for success is everything I’ve dreamed of. I’m about as good as a guy who has just landed his first gig in the World Cup team could be!”


The Canyon Factory Downhill Team Is Here

With a star studded line up, we expect the all-new team will be competitive from the get-go.
With a star studded line up, we expect the all-new team will be competitive from the get-go.

The goal of the CFDT is to equip the best riders in the world with the best setup, and provide them with a team and support system unlike any other on the scene. Leading up the project is multiple World Champion, Fabien Barel, who will, in his own words, be responsible for “putting the right people and the right structure together to bring our bike and our riders up on the podium.”

Mountain Biking legend Fabien Barel will manage the new team.
Mountain Biking legend Fabien Barel will mentor the new team.

“Our bike” will be the Sender CF. Troy, Ruaridh and Mark will be the first riders to race Canyon’s flagship downhill bike at World Cup level. Canyon is eager to work with the team to receive in-depth feedback and further advance the company’s mountain bike and downhill technologies. Barel, who works closely with Canyon’s Development Department echoed the sentiment saying, “I believe that downhill is the Formula One of bike racing and that more generally racing is the best method for developing a bike. Being at the top of the World Cup circuit with our bike will definitely raise the bar for the performance and technology of the product and hopefully bring us to a new level!”

Troy Brosnan is the marquee signing for the team.
Troy Brosnan is the marquee signing for the team.

After a busy off-season including extensive testing and a visiting Koblenz to see the Canyon facilities and meet the engineers, the riders are just as excited about the new partnership. For Troy, “it has been amazing for me coming to Canyon. It’s really like a small family where you know all of the right people, in all of the right places, and if you want something done, it doesn’t have to go through too many people to actually get to the top.”

Canadian Mark Wallace makes the switch from Devinci to Canyon.
Canadian Mark Wallace makes the switch from Devinci to Canyon.

The team’s staff will be rounded out by Team Manager Mathieu Gallean, Head Mechanic Nigel Reeve, Troy’s Personal Mechanic Aaron Pelttari and Mechanic Yoann Jurgaud.

Troy's mechanic Aaron has also come across to Canyon this season.
Troy’s mechanic Aaron has also come across to Canyon this season.

The CFDT will work with Mavic, SRAM, RockShox, Maxxis, Muc-Off, GoPro, Crankbrothers, RTI Sports, E.Thirteen, Ergon, Topeak, Mucky Nutz, Troy Lee Designs and Adidas Eyewear.

For an in-depth look at the Canyon Factory Downhill Team go to www.canyon.com/factoryracing

 

Cannonball MTB Festival 2016 Event Recap

The weather was at its alpine best with blue sky and sunshine across the weekend. Amateurs, pros, juniors and novice riders were competing for a share of the $50,000 prize pool. There was a roll call of big name riders including Troy Brosnan, Connor Fearon and New Zealand’s Brook Macdonald, plus home town heroes Andrew and Thomas Crimmins.

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Brosnan busted through to hit a sub-five minute time, definitely a new track record.

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On the famous 3.5km Cannonball Downhill track, Troy Brosnan took out the main event, the Go Pro Australian Open Downhill, in an scorching time of 4 minutes and 56 seconds. Luke Ellison and Thredbo rider Thomas Crimmins took home 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The strongly contested event pushed riders to their physical and mental limits, all vying for the biggest prize purse on the Australian Mountain Biking event calendar.

Brosnan keeping it breathtakingly low and fast into the finish of the GoPro Australian Open Downhill.
Brosnan keeping it breathtakingly low and fast into the finish of the GoPro Australian Open Downhill.

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World Cup rider Troy Brosnan was ecstatic with his win. “It’s such a great event, I love coming here and to win for the second time is amazing. The track, the race, the whole vibe of the festival is amazing and something I love being part of,” said Brosnan.

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A big contingent of pros turned out to race, including Josh Carlson.

The weekend opened with a new event- the Canyon All-Mountain Assault –where a mix of gravity and XC skills were key. Riders took on the epic 7km flowy descent through the diverse Thredbo alpine terrain, with a nice little pinch climb at the end that left riders breathless at the finish.

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This is how excited people were about the All-Mountain trail.
This is how excited people were about the All-Mountain trail. Carlson, frothing as usual.

The ROCKSHOX Pump Track Challenge rounded out the first day of competition, with young gun Remy Morton tearing up the new look Pump Track to take home the coveted title. The action was big in the SRAM Whip Wars, with over 100 riders lining up to impress the judges. The flips, old school manoeuvres and massive whips excited the massive hillside crowd. Connor Fearon was eventually crowned the King of Style.

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CRACK IT!

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P-U-M-P-I-N-G

With both sides of the resort pumping tunes from DJs and live acts, and Thredbo’s stellar offering of bars and restaurants alive and pumping, Thredbo again proved why it’s the ultimate holiday destination for summer. The riding is not just for pros, with a range of new trails to suit every level of rider added to the already extensive network. Thredbo boasts 25 kilometres of epic riding in the region, including the latest and greatest Thredbo All-Mountain Trail.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cairns World Cup: Downhill Finals

We said yesterday that Button was one of the most under-rated riders on the circuit, and we knew a top 15 or maybe even 10 was within his grasp, but to see him sitting in the hot seat almost to the very end of racing today was amazing. In his first World Cup race in years, the laconic, wry veteran of the Australian scene ended up in fifth, behind Gwin, Hannah, Brosnan and Bruni.

Take a look at that podium again – three Australians. And it’s not like the rest of the world weren’t in attendance, the field was stacked with all the big names.

The course was in perfect form too. After two days of sun and drizzle frustratingly swapping shifts, Cairns gave us the blue skies that we’ve all been hanging out for, and the track dried up into a grippy, fast surface for racing. It was great to see this venue finally present conditions that allowed riders to really perform – this track might cop a little bit of flack for the final sprint, but riders and fans were loving it come race day.

You can always trust Queenslanders to go all out in the fan department, but Cairns locals took it to another level of madness in the rock garden. The noise could be heard from almost the bottom of the track; if it made noise, you’d be able to find it alongside the track today! How anyone focused on their line in there is beyond us!

Mick Hannah came so close to making magic happen in front of his home crowd, and while he couldn’t take victory, it was great to see just how pumped up he was after crossing the line. A third today shows us that Mick Hannah is far from done with World Cup racing, he still has all the pace to cut it and he’ll be full confidence now.

Brosnan was the last rider down the hill, with Loic Bruni the man to beat. The battle between these insanely talented Specialized riders is going to be very exciting to watch over the next few years we feel. The Frenchman was too quick though, and Bruni was handed his first World Cup gold – we’re sure it’ll be the first of many.

The dream upset we’d been hoping for in the women’s didn’t come up, but Tracey Hannah has got to be happy with second place behind the dominant Rachel Atherton. Short of a serious mistake by Atherton, it was always going to be a big ask for Tracey to knock the Brit off her perch. And with both riders having a clean run, Atherton did it again by seven seconds, adding time to her lead with every split. Danni Beecroft will be happy with a top ten too, as she makes a return to World Cup racing.

The junior field always has a super strong local contingent at World Cups and today saw a fleet of Australian under-19 riders cut loose. In the junior men’s field, Brit Matt Walker spoiled the party for the otherwise all-Australian top-five. Remy Morton rode into second, which is pretty impressive after coming to almost a standstill in the rock garden, with Harry Bush in third, Jackson Frew in fourth and Josh Clark in fifth. Sian Ahearn was the lone under-19 woman and she should be stoked with the way she rode too, hopefully we see more young Australian women following in her footsteps.

The excitement and hot tropical sun has us zapped, so we’re going let a huge photo gallery do most of the talking now. Enjoy! See you soon for the XCO!

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MTBA Announces World Champs Junior Team

Mountain Bike Australia is pleased to announce the Australian XCO and DHI junior team to take part at their respective 2016 World Championships.

Eight riders have been selected to represent Australia in the U19 Downhill team for the World Championships to be held in Val Di Sole, Italy in September, while six athletes were selected for the U19 Cross Country team for their World Championships in Nové Mësto, Czech Republic in late June.

XCO

JUNIOR MEN: Michael Harris, Kian Lerch-Mackinnon, Luke Pankhurst, Jack Feltham, Nick Pedlar

JUNIOR WOMEN: Sarah I’ions

DHI

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Remy Morton is amongst a very strong junior DH contingent.

JUNIOR MEN: Jackson Frew, Joshua Clark, Remy Morton, Harry Bush, Baxter Miawald, Harry Parsons, Ben Zwar

JUNIOR WOMEN: Sian A’Hern

The selection committee took into account the riders results from the recent National Championships and National Series. National Development coach Jodie Willet believes the pathways implemented by MTBA are paying dividends.

“It’s all fresh faces this year for the U19 XCO team, although half of them have come through the MTBA Under 17 development program so that makes the transition a lot smoother.”

“The DHI team includes riders who experienced international competition with the MTBA program last year and are looking to build on that in 2016.  We’re all looking forward to our first camp in Cairns, in conjunction with the World Cup later this month.”

Mountain Bike Australia President Russell Baker also congratulated the 14 athletes who’ll be representing Australia in coming months.

“It is a great honour for you to be able to wear the green and gold stripes – a mark of cycling known and respected around the world. My thanks also go to all the Parents, Clubs, Coaches and Sponsors who have supported these riders throughout their development.”

“For many, this will be their first step onto the world stage at this level and irrespective of the result, the experience gained will be a huge benefit to the riders and to mountain biking in Australia into the future.”  Well done on your selection and my best wishes to you as you represent Australia.

Specialized Announces Aluminium Version Demo

Do you remember when we nearly melted the Internet last year with a crazy, single-sided Demo Carbon that changed the way we look at downhill bikes?

Its revolutionary construction, S3 geometry, and completely new FSR layout put it on top of World Cup podiums. Well, the Demo Alloy has the same killer formula, only now, it’s aluminium.

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UNIQUE FRAME

Before we’d even released the Demo Carbon, we knew we had to make it in aluminium. Making an asymmetrical, singled-sided frame out of aluminium, however, was no small task, but the engineering team worked hard to apply the signature look of the Demo at a more accessible price. It also has all of the amazing performance benefits of the carbon version, like internally routed cables, new FSR layout, and it’s still fully customisable for the riders with no new standards.Demo Alloy 5.jpg

More important than the features is that it has the geometry and handling riders have come to expect from the Demo & Specialized. Its S3 geometry was introduced last year, and it takes all of the sizing questions out of buying a bike. Now, you can buy the size you want based on how you want to ride — see below:

– All sizes have low stand over and seat tube heights. Short & Medium sizes share head tube heights, as do Long & Extra-Longs.

– Each size has its own reach measurement, making them truly unique sizes.

– Most importantly, they all have low BBs (343mm), slack head angles (63.5°), and short rear ends (430mm chain stays).Demo Alloy 3.jpg

WHEN CAN YOU EXPERIENCE THESE NEW BIKES?

We wanted to get the word out so we can talk to riders. Let them know that we haven’t forgotten about aluminum DH bikes, and that we’re bringing some more exciting and advanced bikes to market. These bikes will not only be offered as complete bikes, but also as frame sets.

These bikes and frames will be available from the beginning of march in our retailers.Demo Alloy 4.jpg

Pricing below, AUD RRP. Please note prices are subject to change.

MODEL

RETAIL

DEMO 8 FSR 650B FRM

$3,499

DEMO 8 FSR I 650B

$4,499

DEMO 8 FSR II 650B

$6,499

 

Photo Epic: Asia Pacific Downhill Challenge

The Asia Pacific Downhill Challenge is growing year after year, and the 2015 edition saw riders such as Remi Thirion, Brook Macdonald, Thibaut Ruffin, and Wyn Masters travel to tropical Bali to compete. This was the first year that the race is a UCI-sanctioned event, which means that racers are not only competing for positions, but also valuable UCI points.

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Our driver appeared through the wall of taxi drivers as we walked out of the airport, and as he cut across four lanes of a busy roundabout without even hesitating, we realised that things are a little different in Bali. The best way to describe it is controlled chaos, hundreds of thousands of cars and mopeds driving on whatever side of the road, in whatever direction they want, but still flowing with speed and courtesy.

Remi Thirion. This was one of the many sketchy corners full of tennis-ball sized rocks over hardpack.
Remi Thirion. This was one of the many sketchy corners full of tennis ball sized rocks over hardpack.

Located between Klungkung and Padung Bai, about an hour from Denpesar airport, the APDHC track is a wild creation dreamt up by the boys at Trailscapes, an Australian company. Starting overlooking the endless beach and palm forests, the track winds past local houses and curious local children, linking together corner after off-camber corner. The final chute caught out many riders over the weekend, an almost vertical rocky slope with a narrow rut carved into the soft, knee-deep dust. The track wasn’t the only brutal thing at the race; the heat and humidity was almost unbearable and the sun was fierce on the bare skin.

Remi Thirion.
Remi Thirion.
Winner.
Winner.

Remi Thirion was the rider to beat, and the defending champion. He looked smooth and calm all week, in stark comparison to the other hot favourite, Brook Macdonald. Bulldog’s loose and incredibly aggressive style was a thing of beauty down this track, blowing up corners and hucking off every ledge in sight.

Wyn Masters is almost a local here, and everybody was cheering for him.
Wyn Masters is almost a local here, and everybody was cheering for him.
The deep and loose dust caught out most riders at some point. This poor guy's bike ended up bouncing about 50 metres down the hill.
The deep and loose dust caught out most riders at some point. This poor guy’s bike ended up bouncing about 50 metres down the hill.

In the end, Jackson Davis and Hajime Imoto both held the hot seat for a few runs, and rounded off the podium after the fastest few riders came down. The crowd went wild for the local hotshot Popo Ario, with the thousands of spectators putting out an impressive amount of decibels, but unfortunately he fell just short of a podium position. With the fastest time of the day so far, Remi Thirion came down with a fast and smooth run and only the fastest qualifier, Brook Macdonald could stop him from the repeat win.

Jackson Davis pulled it together for his race run and came in 5th.
Jackson Davis pulled it together for his race run and came in 5th.
Remi Thirion drops in to one of the many loose, off-camber chutes.
Remi Thirion drops in to one of the many loose, off-camber chutes.
Expert winner and Trailscapes digger Elliot Smith sends it into the final chute
Expert winner and Trailscapes digger Elliot Smith sends it into the final chute.

Unfortunately Bulldog caught a pedal on a fast straight, and was thrown over the bars. He hucked the last jump in frustration, almost clipping his head on the finish banner and rolling his bars on landing. An impressive repeat win for Remi Thirion considering that there was little time to be made up on the relatively one-line track.

There were a few tight, loose inside lines... if you dared.
There were a few tight, loose inside lines… if you dared.
Bulldog focused and looking for the win
Bulldog focused and looking for the win.

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The race is set to return to Bali again next year, with talk of a longer new track on a different part of the island. It’s going to be a wild one, see you next year!

Racing Your Heroes – With Mike Jones, Innes Graham and Laurie Greenland.

An interview with the young guns of the World Cup; Greenland, Graham and Jones.

From the deep sea of talent on the World Cup downhill circuit, to make a name for yourself and stand out from the pack is no small challenge.

For three young guns, Mike Jones, Innes Graham and Laurie Greenland, the future looks more than bright and they have already begun their quest to leave a lasting impression on the international race scene.

Mike Jones follows team mate Joe Smith in high winds across Aonoch Mor.
Mike Jones follows team mate Joe Smith in high winds across Aonoch Mor.

 

Going head to head with their heroes has become nothing more than business as usual and despite an ever-expanding sponsor list, each one of them is shrugging the pressure to climb the ranks and become the household names of downhill that they always dreamed they could be. What the next years have in store for the trio is anyone’s guess, but determination and hunger for silverware and World-titles will be no problem. Time to find out more from the young senders themselves.


 

Innes Graham

19 year old, Innes Graham, is the youngest, possibly wildest, wheel of the four-part MS Mondraker racing machine. After plenty of podium time as a junior in 2013, Innes today is always out causing a stir on track with aggressive, wild, lines and full-gas crash saves. Following a top 20 at Fort William, he would head home from the last Swiss round with a broken collarbone on his birthday, but there’s no doubt he’ll be back and hounding at the heels of the World’s fastest all over again before the year is out.

Innes will be out with a shoulder injury following Lenzerheide, but see light at the end of the tunnel.
Innes will be out with a shoulder injury following Lenzerheide, but see light at the end of the tunnel.
Innes in front of his home, the famous Mondraker 'space ark'.
Innes in front of his home, the famous Mondraker ‘space ark’.
Happy healing to Innes after meeting a tree on his race run in Switzerland and taking home the lousiest birthday present ever - a broken collarbone.
Happy healing to Innes after meeting a tree on his race run in Switzerland and taking home the lousiest birthday present ever – a broken collarbone.
Innes Graham charging out of the gate into the heavy rain at Fort William.
Innes Graham charging out of the gate into the heavy rain at Fort William.

Are there riders you look up to and if so who?

For sure there are a lot of riders I look up to. To me Peaty is one of the most iconic riders of all time, Greg Minnaar for consistency and Gee Atherton as well. The British guys at the top especially inspire me and I want to be where they are. There’s also a bunch of up and coming riders that I have a lot of admiration for –  Mike Jones, Loic Bruni and Troy Brosnan.

How does it feel to compete against MTB’s biggest names?

It’s pretty mental… I didn’t think I’d ever be in this position, going head to head with them so soon. This year at the first BDS at Ae forest, myself and Reese Wilson qualified in the top spots together and we were all alone at the start gate after Josh Bryceland and the big names… It was so silent and so weird! Then I went and made a load of mistakes and finished 6th, but it was a great experience!

What do you see as the key to your present and future success?

It’s a bit of a cliché but I’d say ‘having fun’. There’s always training, but you can’t ride your best when you’re not having fun. It has to be the most essential aspect of racing DH.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

That’s a tough one, but for sure still riding bikes. Hopefully, finger crossed podiums… It’s a big shout but that’s where I want to be at least by the time 2020 comes around! I hope the tracks go and get more gnarly again like they were when I was growing up watching the videos with Sam Hill and that. I’d expect some major technology to be a part of it by then as well with telemetry playing a big role, more like F1 is today.


Laurie Greenland

1997 born, Greenland, is Trek World Racing’s not-so-secret weapon of the future. Already performing at a level that sometimes makes a lot of elite riders look over the hill, Laurie is a pocket rocket with style and a dead-cert for the junior podium every weekend. Under the guidance of Martin Whitely, Justin Leov and not least his senior TWR team mates there’s no doubting his threat level as he joins the big leagues next season. Watch this space!

Junior national champ and of course TWR's big name of the future, Greenland.
Junior national champ and of course TWR’s big name of the future, Greenland.
Laurie battling on with no more pedal power at Round 3
Laurie battling on with no more pedal power at Round 3
Perhaps outshined by Gwin's successes, Greenland too made the podium without a chain at Leogang.
Perhaps out-shined by Gwin’s successes, Greenland too made the podium without a chain at Leogang.
Greenland follows mentor, Brook MacDonald into the dark.
Greenland follows mentor, Brook MacDonald into the dark.
Greenland's fork fresh from servicing amongst those of the big names he's looked up to all these years growing up.
Greenland’s fork fresh from servicing amongst those of the big names he’s looked up to all these years growing up.
Greenland sticks to the Scottish woodwork in the forest at Round 2.
Greenland sticks to the Scottish woodwork in the forest at Round 2.

Are there riders you look up to and if so who?

I think the answers might be the same for most people, but no doubt about Steve Peat being up there for me… Sam Hill too, obviously. Those were the guys that really spurred me on for riding. Nowadays I have riders in my own team like Brook MacDonald, who always impress me out on track and can give me some solid advice.

How does it feel to compete against MTB’s biggest names?

It’s a surreal feeling actually, but maybe one of the best I’ve had from my racing so far though – getting close to some of those top guys… I think by the end of the season I’d be a fair way back, but I know I’m making good progress!

What do you see as the key to your present and future success?

I think a really good off-season is key nowadays and it’s really important to keep your training fun. I’ve found so long as I’m enjoying mine I keep doing it! To be on the right team is a big thing, atmosphere-wise. As long as you have a good group of people around you and you’re having fun there’s no reason why shouldn’t be giving it 100% and going for the top results.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Definitely I’m aiming to follow in the footsteps of someone like Bruni or Brosnan. I want to find my feet early on in elite and really become a staple name in the top ten. It’s easier said than done, but I’ll be giving it a good pop!


 

Mike Jones

Sixth at Windham in his first year elite and third place at Lourdes this season, there’s no escaping the fact that Mike Jones has arrived as a top-flight racer. Last winter Tahnee Seagrave’s former FMD team mate took on arguably the World’s ultimate off-season training program, travelling down under to join Sam Hill in Perth. That kind of tutoring simply can’t be bought and if he wasn’t fast enough already, as exemplified by his two junior WC wins, the rest of the racing world is surely sweating to think of what is next to come from the Welsh CRC dangerman.

Jones steps up to the podium for the first time in elite this year at Round 1 in France.
Jones steps up to the podium for the first time in elite this year at Round 1 in France.
Suns out, tinted lens out, Mike takes a very unusual outside line, possibly hoping Sam Hill never finds out.
Suns out, tinted lens out, Mike takes a very unusual outside line, possibly hoping Sam Hill never finds out.
With eyes on the prize in a sport where a determined mind is more than half the battle, Jones is set to far.
With eyes on the prize in a sport where a determined mind is more than half the battle, Jones is set to far.
Jones rides the classic boulder section of the legendary Fort William race track.
Jones rides the classic boulder section of the legendary Fort William race track.
As a welshman, Jones is no stranger to the steep and slippery. There's little doubting how important the valleys of home have been to the development of his skills.
As a welshman, Jones is no stranger to the steep and slippery. There’s little doubting how important the valleys of home have been to the development of his skills.
Jones walks the Swiss course with some fine company - Sam Hill - no less.
Jones walks the Swiss course with some fine company – Sam Hill – no less.

Are there riders you look up to and if so who?

Well there’s one sitting just next to me right now! It’s gotta be Sam Hill… of course a lot of the other riders on the top as well.

How does it feel to compete against MTB’s biggest names?

For sure it´s good to know that I’m not a slow rider anymore and to belong to the group of fastest riders in the World. I try to not get too ahead of myself and just to keep headed the way I’m going.

What do you see as the key to your present and future success?

Training is probably the single biggest part of getting fast on a bike. If you feel comfortable on what you’re riding and you have good people around you, you will always do well. Being on a top team means you can practice with people who have experience at the highest level of the sport and you can learn and feed of them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

…  I want to be at the top, no question. I want to win World Cups and the overall, win World Champs…   I just want to be best in the sport.

Oh Lourdes! Claudio is back for a new year of World Cup course previews

A new track awaits the world’s fastest as they make their way to Lourdes, France, for the opening round of the UCI MTB World Cup.

Join Claudio Caluori, with special guest, Loïc Bruni, as they take to the French hillside for the first course preview of 2015.

Lourdes is famous for it’s religious pilgrimages, holy water and miracles so it’s only apt that a huge crucifix acts as the backdrop for the start gate as the riders look out over the holy town.

There’s no gondolas at this round and riders have to take an old train up the steep hillside to the top of the hill.

Follow more of Claudio’s antics @claudio_caluori and keep up with his track building projects at Velosolutions.

Will we be seeing any miracles come race day? Tune in on April 12 to watch live coverage of the racingWatch the UCI World Cup LIVE on Red Bull TV – available online and on mobile via Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

 

2015 Australian U19 Cross Country and Downhill Mountain Bike Teams Announced

Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) is delighted to announce the 2015 Australian U19 Cross Country and Downhill Mountain Bike athletes that will represent Australia at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra from the 1 – 6 September. 

Cross Country

Liam Jeffries (VIC) will headline the U19 Men’s Cross Country Team following a great start to the year that saw him take home gold medals in both the Subaru National Mountain Bike Championships and the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships.

Alongside Jeffries will be Bryan Dunkin (NSW), Luke Brame (NSW) and Alex Lack (TAS) who placed second, third and fourth respectively in this year’s Subaru National Championships, as well as Michael Potter (NSW), who took home silver in this year’s Oceania Championships.

Fourth placed junior rider in the Oceania Championships, Callum Carson (NSW), rounds out the Men’s team.

2015 Junior National Champion Megan Williams (QLD) will represent Australia in the U19 Women’s Cross Country category. 

Downhill

The seven-member U19 Men’s Downhill team is stacked with talented athletes, including this year’s Junior Oceania Champion, Junior National Champion and National Series winner Andrew Crimmins (NSW), as well as Max Warshawsky (QLD) who placed second in the National Series.

Accompanying them to Andorra will be Remy Morton (QLD), who placed second in the National Championships earlier this month, Jackson Frew (ACT), Joel Willis (NSW), Harry Bush (QLD) and Dan Booker (TAS). 

Multi-disciplined rider and Junior National Downhill Champion Ellie Wale (VIC) will be representing the U19 Women.

MTBA President Russ Baker congratulated the riders, “It is a great honour to be selected to represent your Country. I congratulate all these riders on their achievements and hard work, and also thank the parents and supporters who encourage and support them in mountain biking.” 

The full list of riders is below.

— 

2015 Australian U19 Cross Country and Downhill Mountain Bike Teams

U19 Men’s Cross Country Team

  • Liam Jeffries (VIC)
  • Bryan Dunkin (NSW)
  • Luke Brame (NSW)
  • Alex Lack (TAS)
  • Michael Potter (NSW)
  • Callum Carson (NSW)

Reserves:

  • Foley Lachal (VIC)
  • Guy Frail (NSW)

U19 Women’s Cross Country Team

  • Megan Williams (QLD)

U19 Men’s Downhill Team

  • Andrew Crimmins (NSW)
  • Max Warshawsky (QLD)
  • Remy Morton (QLD)
  • Jackson Frew (ACT)
  • Joel Willis (NSW)
  • Harry Bush (QLD)
  • Dan Booker (TAS) 

U19 Women’s Downhill Team

  • Ellie Wale (VIC)

2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano: All you need to know

More teams, more countries represented (including newcomers China, Indonesia, Iran and Israel), and larger audiences: the 2015 season of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano looks like being as enthralling as ever. A quick overview of the nine rounds of the season, which starts on April 11 and will be available on Red Bull TV:

  • Two new rounds: Lourdes (France) which makes its debut by opening the season, and Lenzerheide (Switzerland), at the beginning of July
  • After a year’s break, the return of Val di Sole (Italy) which will close the season at the end of August, one week before the UCI MTB World Championships in Andorre
  • 6 venues already part of the World Cup in 2014: Nove Mesto na Morave (CZE), Albstadt (GER), Fort William (GBR), Leogang (AUT), Mont-Sainte-Anne (CAN) and Windham (USA).

The 2015 MTB World Cup at a glance

Date Venue Country Discipline
1 11-12.04.2015 Lourdes France DHI
2 23-24.05.2015 Nove Mesto na Morave République tchèque XCO
3 30-31.05.2015 Albstadt Allemagne XCO
4 06-07.06.2015 Fort William Grande-Bretagne DHI
5 13-14.06.2015 Leogang Autriche DHI
6 04-05.07.2015 Lenzerheide Suisse XCO/DHI
7 01-02.08.2015 Mont-Sainte-Anne Canada XCO/DHI
8 08-09.08.2015 Windham Etats-Unis XCO/DHI
9 22-23.08.2015 Val di Sole Italie XCO/DHI

Lourdes
New to the UCI MTB World Cup presented by Shimano in 2015, Lourdes will be one of three rounds – with Fort William and Leogang – 100% dedicated to Downhill. A regular French Cup stopover, the city in the south-west of France will kick off the season. The riders will no doubt enjoy its demanding track that offers a stunning view of the city.

Nove Mesto na Morave
Voted best XCO/XCE event in 2013 and again in 2014, the Czech round is appreciated by athletes and the public thanks to its modern infrastructure. For its fifth consecutive participation Nove Mesto na Morave opens the XCO racing and provides a dress rehearsal for the 2016 UCI MTB World Championships for XCO/XCE/XCR.

Albstadt
The German venue organises an XCO round of the UCI World Cup for the third time since it first joined the calendar in 2013. Created in 2004, the bike park features a combination of physical passages and technical sections and is used by a number of athletes as preparation ground in the lead-up to the World Cup. It is no surprise that Albstadt, in the south-west of Germany, is popular with the XCO riders.

Fort William
After first joining the UCI World Cup in 2002, this British stopover features on the calendar for the 14th time. Also host of the 2007 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, this spot in the Scottish Highlands is a not-to-be-missed destination on the DHI calendar. Proof: Fort William was voted best DHI event in 2012 and 2013.

Leogang
With its bikepark launched in 2001, Saalfelden-Leogang is one of the most popular European meetings for the downhillers. The Austrian winter sports resort, not far from Salzburg, joined the UCI World Cup in 2010 and organised the Downhill / 4X UCI World Championships in 2012 followed by the 4X Worlds in 2013 and 2014. With its spectacular views, Leogang once again promises to be sensational.

Lenzerheide
Scheduled for the beginning of July, the Swiss resort is – along with Lourdes – one of the new venues this year. Lenzerheide will welcome the season’s first combined XCO/DHI event, which will also be the first of three rounds (2015-2017) at the venue in the lead-up to the 2018 UCI World Championships. The Swiss, traditionally strong in XCO, will have the chance to race at home and the athletes wait impatiently the first weekend of July.

Mont-Sainte-Anne
The Canadian round has gone hand in hand with the UCI MTB World Cup since 1991. This year it celebrates the organisation of its 25th UCI event. Hosting a combined XCO/DHI event in August, Mont-Sainte-Anne comes before another North American round, Windham. Situated in Quebec, one of the “Sommets de Saint Laurent”, the Queen of the World Cup deserves its reputation as a Mecca of mountain bike.

Windham
The round in Windham, a small resort nestled at the foot of the Catskills in the State of New York, will welcome XCO and DHI competitions. The downhill track is renowned for its final section, nicknamed Peaty’s Plunge. It is an event that is eagerly awaited by the fans, who benefit not only from the competitions but also the concerts for youngsters and families.

Val di Sole
After a year’s break, the resort in Trentino returns to the UCI World Cup calendar in 2015. It will be the final round, and therefore decisive for the XCO and DHI rankings. It will also enable the riders to put the finishing touches to their preparation for the UCI World Championships one week later. Host of the Worlds in 2008, Val di Sole will again organise the World Championships for Downhill in 2016.

Teams to watch

In total, 130 teams are registered for 2015. This is the highest number of teams since 2012 (132) and up nine from last year’s total of 121. The number of nations registering at least one team is on the rise (33 compared with 31 last year), a sign that the mountain bike discipline continues to push back geographical barriers. Four countries have registered a team for the first time in 2015: China, Indonesia, Iran and Israel. Of the 130 teams registered for the 2015 season, 15 Endurance (XC) teams and 15 Gravity (DH) teams have UCI ELITE Mountain Bike status. UCI ELITE Mountain Bike teams benefit from advantages such as free entry to all races on the UCI Mountain Bike International Calendar in the discipline in which the team has ELITE status, including all rounds of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano. In return, they are obliged to enter at least one rider in all rounds of the UCI MTB World Cup series.

UCI Endurance Team ranking

Team Nation Riders
1 Trek Factory Racing Etats-Unis Emily Batty (CAN) ; Rebecca Henderson (AUS) ; Kohei Yamamoto (JPN) ; SergioMantecon Gutierrez (ESP) ; Daniel Mc Connell (AUS)
2 BH-Suntour-KMC France Julie Bresset (FRA) ; Hanna Klein (GER) ; Adelheid Morath (GER) ; Maxime Marotte(FRA) ; Jordan Sarrou (FRA) ; Stéphane Tempier (FRA) ; Nicolas Bazin (FRA) ;VictorKoretzky (FRA) ; Hélène Marcouyre (FRA) ; Perrine Clauzel (FRA)
3 BMC Mountainbiking Racing Team Suisse Julien Absalon (FRA) ; Lukas Flückiger (SUI) ; Ralph Naef (SUI) ; Reto Indergand(SUI) ;Martin Fanger (SUI)
4 MultivanMerida BikingTeam Allemagne Ondrej Cink (CZE) ; Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (NOR) ; José Antonio Hermida Ramos(ESP) ; Rudi Van Houts (NED) ; Thomas Litscher (SUI) ; Julian Schelb (GER)
5 Scott-OdloMTB RacingTeam Suisse Andri Frischknecht (SUI) ; Michiel Van Der Heijden (NED) ; Jenny Rissveds (SWE) ;Nino Schurter (SUI) ; Marcel Wildhaber (SUI)

Gravity UCI Gravity Team ranking

Team Nation Riders
1 Madison SaracenFactory Team Grande-Bretagne Manon Carpenter (GBR) ; Sam Dale (GBR) ; Matthew Simmonds (GBR)
2 GT FactoryRacing Grande-Bretagne Gee Atherton (GBR) ; Rachel Atherton (GBR) ; Taylor Vernon (GBR) ; DanAtherton (GBR) ; Martin Maes (BEL) ; Taylor Vernon (GBR)
3 MS MondrakerTeam Autriche Danny Hart (GBR) ; Markus Pekoll (AUT) ; Innes Graham (GBR) ; EmmelineRagot (FRA)
4 Polygon UR France Andrew Neethling (RSA) ; Michael Hannah (AUS) ; Tracey Hannah (AUS) ;FabienCousine (FRA) ; Aurélien Giordanengo (FRA) ; Remy Morton (AUS)
5 Commencal/Vallnord France Myriam Nicole (FRA) ; Gaetan Ruffin (FRA) ;Thibaut Ruffin (FRA) ; RémiThirion (FRA) ;Gaëtan Vige (FRA)

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Collaboration with our partners

The continued success of our UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano is thanks in large part to our collaboration with our partners.

Shimano: presenting partner
Shimano is the world leader when it comes to bike equipment (derailleurs, gear cables, brakes, pedals, wheels etc). Shimano has been in partnership with the UCI since 1999 and provides technical assistance to the UCI World Championships (road, track, mountain bike & trials, MTB marathon, cyclo-cross and para-cycling) and for the UCI World Cups (cyclo-cross). Testament to their reliability, SHIMANO was also contracted for this service at the last three Olympic Games (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012) as well as at the Youth Olympic Games (Singapore 2010 and Nankin 2014). The contract with Shimano was extended in 2012 for a period of four years (2012-2016).

Red Bull Media House: official media partner
Red Bull Media House has been the UCI official media partner since 2012, and this is the fourth consecutive year that it will produce the live broadcasts, highlight magazine shows and various clips from all nine rounds of the series. Nearly 37 million television viewers in 19 countries worldwide tuned in to watch either live coverage, highlights or news broadcasts of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano, while 2 million chose Internet. Our exclusive production and online broadcast partner, Red Bull Media House reported a total of 1.2 million live views worldwide on Red Bull TV and redbull.com/bike, plus 800.000 views by VOD in the first four days after each race.

GoPro: official partner
As the exclusive camera sponsor of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, GoPro is once again looking forward to adding a sensational dimension to the series coverage. The maker of the world’s most versatile camera and enabler of some of today’s most engaging content will provide fans across the world with new and unique viewpoints of the world’s best mountain bike athletes. In addition, GoPro is excited to meet two-wheel fans around the globe at the UCI World Cup stops!

Downtime: Neko Mulally

Back in January, Mulally announced he would be parting ways with the Trek World Racing team after five years, heading over to  Claudio Caluori’s Gstaad-Scott outfit alongside Brendan Fairclough.

We caught up with Neko at his home in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina, to find out how he’s preparing for the 2015 UCI World Cup season and what it’s like riding for the Swiss-based Gstaad-Scott team.

Crankworx Rotorua: Going Down

The field for the Crankworx Rotorua downhill race wasn’t far shy of that you’d find at World Cup; the Athertons (Gee and Rachel), the Hannahs (Mick and Tracey), Hill, Bruni, Blenkinsop, MacDonald, and they weren’t hanging about either. In many ways, it was a good preview for the upcoming season, which gets kicked off in France in just two weeks.

The course was largely the same as was used for the World Champs back in 2006, and it was interesting to see how much the riders still loved it, it’s clearly aged well. Rain which was forecast failed to materialise, and conditions were about as perfect as you can imagine come race time. Rotorua’s famed dirt is some of the most magical stuff you can ride on, and it was at its most luscious this afternoon.

In the women’s racing, the battle was really between two riders; Rachel Atherton and Tracy Hannah, and they finished in that order. The huge gap back to third highlighted the fact these two women are in a different league, and we’re looking forward to seeing them battle it out throughout the year.

The men’s racing could have been won by a dozen different riders, and the hot money was on the Kiwis – Blenkinsop, Brannigan, MacDonald and the Masters brothers were all favourites. But the Frenchman, a young Loic Bruni, crashed the party in a big way. He smoked the field by two and a half seconds, ahead of an ecstatic Eliot Jackson, with Blenkinsop in third. Powerhouses Hill and Atherton were both well back, along with Mick Hannah (the last rider on the hill) who can’t get a break, picking up a front flat.

Today was also the last practice session ahead of the Giant Toa Enduro, which kicks off early tomorrow morning. Stages 4 and 5 treated riders to yet more incredibly slippery roots and greasy mud, but the field must be getting well accustomed to it by now, as there was a lot less crashing and fewer concerned faces than we’d seen in Stage 1 practice! A few course modifications announced yesterday also removed some of the tighter, slower trails as well, which was greeted with praise. We’re really excited to see how it all pans out tomorrow in the dark forests of Rotorua.

Practice also got underway for the slopestyle as well. Set amongst the massive pines, the word from the riders is that they’re loving the course, and while they were all really just feeling out the size and shape of the jumps today, the forgiving Rotorua dirt is likely to encourage some truly rowdy riding come Sunday.

As if the day wasn’t already jam-packed enough, things were capped off with the Pump Track Challenge, which was held under lights after being postponed yesterday afternoon. The head-to-head format is a winner, and while local favourite Keegan Wright was edged out by veteran racer Joost Wichman, it was a great way to cap off a huge Friday of racing.

I can see my hotel from here. Hey, get out of my minibar!
I can see my hotel from here. Hey, get out of my minibar!
Andrew Neethling had some of the smoothest lines of all, but a flat tyre ruined his final. Poor little fella.
Andrew Neethling had some of the smoothest lines of all, but a flat tyre ruined his final. Poor little fella.
Roto dirt is something else. With a bit of moisture in it, it's the grippiest stuff since a scared cat on Velcro.
Roto dirt is something else. With a bit of moisture in it, it’s the grippiest stuff since a scared cat on Velcro.
Bernard Kerr, on a charge out of the dark redwoods.
Bernard Kerr, on a charge out of the dark redwoods.
Brendog, just casually boosting into a VERY fast section of the course.
Brendog, just casually boosting into a VERY fast section of the course.
Connor Fearon, taking a moment to whip up some cheer on his way to fifth.
Connor Fearon, taking a moment to whip up some cheer on his way to fifth.
One of the course favourites, Brook MacDonald.
One of the course favourites, Brook MacDonald.
Loic dropping through the loudest part of the course.
Loic dropping through the loudest part of the course.
Sam Hill received a loud welcome to the finish, but lost too much time up there somewhere for the podium.
Sam Hill received a loud welcome to the finish, but lost too much time up there somewhere for the podium.
Brook MacDonald didn't spend a moment more than necessary in the air.
Brook MacDonald didn’t spend a moment more than necessary in the air.
Sam Blenkinsop's wild style would've won him the lunatic air-pedalling race, but it didn't get him the win in the downhill today. There is no more exciting rider to watch we feel.
Sam Blenkinsop’s wild style would’ve won him the lunatic air-pedalling race, but it didn’t get him the win in the downhill today. There is no more exciting rider to watch we feel.
Make some room up there, Gee. Rachel was the Atherton who shone today, taking the win over Tracey Hannah.
Make some room up there, Gee. Rachel was the Atherton who shone today, taking the win over Tracey Hannah.
Rachel Atherton's composure in the steep woods was streets ahead of all the other women, excluding Tracey Hannah.
Rachel Atherton’s composure in the steep woods was streets ahead of all the other women, excluding Tracey Hannah.
We're big fans of this affable and entertaining young French kid.
We’re big fans of this affable and entertaining young French kid.
Cash cash!
Cash cash!
Tracey, Rachel and Emelie.
Tracey, Rachel and Emelie.
Loic and Blenki are great mates, a pat on the back and a face full of bubbles from a mate.
Loic and Blenki are great mates. A pat on the back and a face full of bubbles from a friend.

 

Blenki in a sea of green.
Blenki in a sea of green.

Crankworx Day 2 15

Stage 4 of the EWS runs through one of our all-time Roto favourites, Te Tiwi o Tawa. A rooty, off-camber, but strangely rhythmic ride through the native bush.
Stage 4 of the EWS runs through one of our all-time Roto favourites, Te Tiwi o Tawa. A rooty, off-camber, but strangely rhythmic ride through the native bush.
The lower half of stage 4 spits riders onto Billy T where there's barely a root to be seen.
The lower half of stage 4 spits riders onto Billy T where there’s barely a root to be seen.
Josh Carlson pre-jumps into a Billy T fadeaway. He's loving the rooty conditions, telling us it's just like home. Whether he means Wollongong or adopted homeland of Canada, we don't know.
Josh Carlson pre-jumps into a Billy T fadeaway. He’s loving the rooty conditions, telling us it’s just like home. Whether he means Wollongong or adopted homeland of Canada, we don’t know.
All hail the king: Nico Voullioz. Hunting for lines out of the main rut, looking light, fast and very relaxed.
All hail the king: Nico Voullioz. Hunting for lines out of the main rut, looking light, fast and very relaxed.
Six weeks to build this course, probably needed a lot of dirt?
Six weeks to build this course, probably needed a lot of dirt?
Sam Pilgrim, no sleeves, no worries.
Sam Pilgrim, no sleeves, no worries.
Semenuk, seriously inverted on the final jump.
Semenuk, seriously inverted on the final jump.
Watching and learning.
Watching and learning.
Lofting through the Rotorua Redwoods.
Lofting through the Rotorua Redwoods.
There is a lot of time to trick, with that amount of air.
There is a lot of time to trick, with that amount of air.
Martin Soderström, casual barspin up the stepup in practice.
Martin Soderström, casual barspin up the stepup in practice.

Crankworx Day 3 Pump 13 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 12 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 8 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 11 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 10 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 9 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 6 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 5 Crankworx Day 3 2

With the pump track event held under lights, it was tough to get shots, so we went for something a little #arty.
With the pump track event held under lights, it was tough to get shots, so we went for something a little #arty.

Crankworx Day 3 Pump 1 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 2 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 3 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 7 Crankworx Day 3 Pump 4

George Brannigan: Queenstown Destruction

Queenstown has become a staple pre-season training camp for many World Cup racers.

George Brannigan recently spent some time riding some of the finest trails on offer, both in and out of the bike park. Judging by his speed and insane line choices, he’s definitely one to watch this season!

If you fancy some Queenstown Destruction of your own, have a look at our recent trip across the ditch: http://flowmountainbike.com/features/queenstown-and-wanaka-top-of-the-pile/

Rocking and Rolling With Ratboy

Undoubtedly one of the most naturally gifted riders on the downhill circuit, 2014 was the year where Ratboy finally delivered on his talent to produce a consistent set of results.

A rich vein of form saw him record his first ever World Cup win at Leogang, quickly followed by another victory at Windham, while he also became the British National Champion for the first time.

With the 2015 World Cup on the horizon, we met up with fun-loving Josh on his narrow boat home in Manchester, England, to reflect on his incredible season last year and to see how he’s recovered from the busted foot he sustained at the World Championships in Norway.

Video: The Kiwis – MacDonald and Brannigan

Trek World Racing are heading into the 2015 World Cup downhill season with an all-out Kiwi assault, with two of the fastest and most balls-out riders on the planet on the books, both of whom call New Zealand home.


It’s always amazing, and kind of terrifying, watching Brooke MacDonald ride as he hangs off the bike, letting it plough through anything dumb enough to get in his way. George Brannigan’s style is little, shall we say, lighter, but just as quick. Take a look at a bit of a re-cap of some 2014 highlights, and as Brooke and George rip it up at home in preparation for the 2015 season.

 

Riding on Thin Air With Kelly McGarry and Jeremy Lyttle

Ever wondered what it would be like to ride a descent so long you have to stop for a shave?

Admittedly we’d never imagined this, but after watching Kelly McGarry and Jeremy Lyttle shred over eighteen thousand feet of descent, we’re keen to give it a go!


 

With the M-Class we took Kelly McGarry and Jeremy Lyttle to the highest elevation they’ve ever been to – Khardung La – and let them have the downhill ride of their lives from 18,380 feet in the Himalayas.

Best known for his breath-taking downhill footage escalating in a flip over a 72-foot-long canyon gap at Red Bull Rampage 2013, Kelly McGarry does not shy away from extremes. So we took him and fellow rider Jeremy Lyttle to the highest and most remote place he’s ever been: Khardung La – the supposedly highest vehicle-accessible mountain pass in the world at 18,380 feet (5,602 m) and let them have the downhill ride of their lives.

Giant’s Carbon Glory Finally Unveiled

This one has been bubbling away for a long time! We’ve been expecting a composite version of the Glory for yonks – given that there’s a carbon ‘Advanced’ version of almost every bike series in the Giant lineup, it was only a mater of time till this one emerged.

The Glory underwent significant revision just a couple of seasons ago, scoring lower, longer geometry, and even back then there was some talk that carbon version would be released to coincide with the new frame geometry. But Giant were on a different timeline, bringing out a 27.5″ wheeled Glory first, and perfecting that iteration, before making the leap to carbon.

An even lower frame weight is going to be the obvious benefit of the carbon construction, along with improved stiffness and ride quality. Otherwise the frame features look largely unchanged, which can only be a positive. It would appear that two spec levels of Glory will be available too, and we’ll bring you pricing as soon as it’s available. Read below for the official word from Giant.


 

Giant, the world leader in cycling technology, unveiled a new addition to its extensive line of 27.5 off-road bikes, the Glory Advanced 27.5 downhill bike. Engineered and developed with Giant Factory Off-Road Team World Cup racers, the newest evolution of the world championship winning Glory platform represents the most-advanced and lightest DH bike (3,008 grams w/o shock)ever produced by Giant.

“This is a project that we’ve been working on for over two years now,” said Giant Global Off-Road Category Manager Kevin Dana. “We went into the project with clearly defined goals and some specific demands from the pros who race these bikes week in and week out. What we came up with is a bike that is one of the lightest on the pro circuit without sacrificing frame strength, pedaling stiffness or ride quality.”

Glory Advanced 27.5 1
The Glory Advanced will be available in two spec levels – pricing to come!

Giant first brought its 27.5 technology to downhill bikes last year when it rolled out the Glory 27.5 model featuring an ALUXX SL aluminum frame. Marcelo Guttierez, a 5-time downhill national champion in Colombia, helped develop that bike and went on to score some of the best results of his career last season.

Among Gutierrez’s achievements was a win at the Garbanzo DH race in Whistler, British Columbia. Part of the Crankworx Whistler festival, the Garbanzo challenges pro DH racers with one of the most demanding tracks in the world, renowned for its unusually long distance (7km), vertical drop (over 3,400 feet) and extremely aggressive terrain.

“Making the move to 27.5 wheels totally opened up the capabilities of the Glory,” Gutierrez said. “And now we’re taking another huge step forward with this new composite frame. It’s lightweight, stiff, super smooth and has the perfect geometry to make the most of this wheel size. It’s everything I need on the aggressive tracks and terrain that I race on.”

Crankworx 2014, Whistler, Canada.
Gutierrez en route to victory at Crankworx.

The Glory Advanced 27.5 frame is built around an Advanced-grade composite mainframe that’s combined with an ALUXX SL aluminum rear swingarm. It’s the lightest DH frame ever produced by Giant (242 grams of weight savings over the 3,250-gram Glory 27.5 aluminum frame, size medium) with supreme front-end stiffness and improved vibration damping, plus race-proven strength and durability in the rear area of the frame.

The frame is engineered with a co-pivot shock mount and 8 inches (203mm) of smooth, fully active Maestro rear suspension travel. It shares the same longer and lower geometry first developed on the Glory 27.5 for added stability and speed on aggressive terrain. Its 63-degree headtube angle and longer wheelbase is a result of extensive ride and race testing with Gutierrez and his Factory Off-Road teammates.

Other frame technologies on the new Glory Advanced 27.5 include its OverDrive steerer tube design for maximum front-end stiffness and steering precision, along with a newly shaped MegaDrive downtube. Combined with the PowerCore bottom bracket, the new design adds frame and pedaling stiffness for better efficiency and control. It also features new integrated cable guides that double as fork bumpers.

The all-new Glory Advanced 27.5 will be available in select markets initially, with a worldwide release later this summer. To learn more, go to giant-bicycles.com

Industrial Urban Downhill in Talcahuano, Chile

It’s that time of the year again, where dogs running across the racetrack and riding through someone’s lounge room are considered the norm.

In the first Urban Downhill event of twenty fifteen, the Downhill Urbano Talcahuano Industrial, heavyweights Tomas Slavic and Filip Polc took out the top honours.

Prepare for more Urban Downhill mayhem with the City Downhill World Tour kicking off in Santos, Brazil on February 22nd.

NZ National Downhill Champs Race On New Crankworx Rotorua Course

It was another brilliant first weekend at the Rotorua Bike Festival.

The main event of day 3 was the New Zealand Downhill Mountain Bike Championships on the newly-minted and very challenging course at Skyline on the slopes of Mount Ngongotaha. This was home to the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships. The top part of the course tracked Alden Ardern’s original race course of nine years ago. After the Larches the new trail took a radical new turn with an impressive rock garden and a gnar with a capital ‘g’, off-camber and hip jump section – with a big table-top to the finish line. UCI World Cup standard.
George Brannigan was the only rider to break the 3 minute barrier (by a gnat’s eyelash) with Trek team mate, Brook ‘The Bulldog’ MacDonald, in second, and Norco Racing’s Sam Blenkinsop in 3rd. Great memories for Blenki – he took silver in Junior Men in 2006 behind Kiwi team mate, Cam Cole. Alannah Columb won the Elite Women’s title ahead of Sarah Watkins and Sophie Tyas. Hot, dusty, sensational.
It’s been a top start to the 3rd Bike Festival with over 1700 entries, overall, in the first weekend. Much more to come over the next seven days.
In breaking news: one of the world’s top young racers (and the man with the best name in international mountain biking) Richie Rude will be joining Yeti team mate and current Enduro World Series world champ, Jared Graves (AUS), on the start line at next Saturday’s Giant 2W Gravity Enduro.

Amazing Fontana Downhill Track Preview

Most of the time track previews give you a very limited view.

Shaky GoPro footage taken at sixty kilometres an hour can sometimes turn the sketchiest of features, or the most beautiful of landscapes into an indistinguishable blur.

KHS Factory Racing have realised this, and put together an incredible preview of the Fontana downhill course, using drone and GoPro footage combined to not only show the features of the track, but also the beautiful landscape.

The Ultimate Claudio Caluori Wild Ride

One of the must-see events of any UCI World Cup weekend is the inimitable GoPro Course previews from the Gstaad-Scott manager and veteran downhill speed demon Claudio Caluori.

Anyone who has watched one of Claudio’s course previews over the past three years will understand why the bubbly Swiss national is our go to man for such clips. Claudio is just pure box office when he gets motoring on that downhill bike. You just don’t know what comments or sounds are going to come out of his mouth next as he describes his ride down World Cup courses.

You always tell us you want more Claudio so we’ve put together some of Claudio’s funnier moments from last season’s GoPro runs for your enjoyment. Sit back and be prepared to laugh like you’ve never done before.

 

YT Industries present the 2015 range: Bikes for Good Times

In recent years there has been a real increase in quality direct to the consumer brands.

Companies like Polygon and Cell are bringing out well specced, well designed offerings at amazing price points by cutting out the middle men. Now, another player has rolled into town- YT Industries. With a bevy of top gravity athletes using their bikes, such as last years Red Bull Rampage winner Andreu Lacondeguy and freeride legend Cam Zink, these bikes are obviously built to take a beating!

Twenty fifteen marks the first year that YT will be available in Australia, and the Capra All-Mountain bike, available in both carbon and aluminium models, offers brilliant value for money. You can have a look at the range and availability through the Australian website, which is now live!

http://au.yt-industries.com/

To see the sort of value for money direct to the consumer brands can provide, have a little read on our thoughts of the Polygon Colossus N9.

http://flowmountainbike.com/tests/all-mountain-assassin-the-polygon-collosus-n9/


The main focus of the 2015 range is the further development of the award winning downhill bike, the TUES, and the construction of an all-new aluminum version of the enduro bike CAPRA. The CAPRA AL will replace the WICKED and delivers the same performance as it’s big brother, the CAPRA CF, at a price that’s affordable for everyone.

CAPRA Aluminum

In 2015 YT launches the first aluminum version of the CAPRA, that will replace the WICKED series. The enduro bike features all the performance and build quality of its carbon brother. The reach and stack, flat bar angle and steep seat angle make for a perfect rider position, while a short chain stay enhances the bike’s handling and makes the rider feel like he is a part of the bike.Like the TUES, the CAPRA is equipped with a V4L suspension system, a major factor in its staggering list of past victories. The V4L system has very distinct advantages: it provides all the suspension needed for hammering down hill, without loosing efficiency on climbs. So while it meets all downhill requirements, the springs also deliver energy from the drivetrain directly to the back wheel when peddling.
Besides that, the V4L system separates the brake torque from the suspension, completely eliminating fork dive when braking.

CAPRA Carbon

The first year of this carbon enduro bike was distinguished by a load of test victories . In 2015, as well as offering a bigger choice of colours, YT Industries also introduce a new model to the CAPRA CF line. While the CAPRA Pro will be given new E13 TRSr wheels and a revised colour way, YT also built a new CAPRA Pro Race model, targeted at enduro racers .And the configuration speaks for itself: it’s equipped with new BOS Deville suspension forks, with 160mm of travel, FCV (Frequency Control Valve) shocks that reach new levels of performance and the new Renthal Fatbar Carbon 780mm handlebars with a Renthal Apex stem. And as the cherry on top the Mavic Crossmax Enduro wheels will make for minimum times in all races.

TUES

In 2014 Andreu Lacondeguy won the toughest competition in the sport of mountainbiking on his TUES: the Rampage. Team mate Cam Zink secured runner up at the same event and won Best Trick Award. In 2015 the new wheel size 650B (27,5“) dominated the further development of the TUES by taking full advantage of the potential of this enlarged size and adjusting the downhill bike’s geometry to fit perfectly. Based on the feedback from Cameron Zink and Andreu Lacondeguy the 4th generation of this successful downhill bike comes close to perfection: the hydro-formed main frame is as light and stiff as its predecessor and excels with a low focal point. The 27.5“ wheels also allow for the pedal bearings to be fixed underneath the axles.
Additionally, the geometry has been enhanced with a longer reach, to achieve the more centered position of contemporary DH racing, which makes hitting jumps on gnarly trails more safe.

FIRST LOVE

Your first beer, your first girl, your first time -there are some things you’ll remember all your life. The FIRST LOVE is the ideal dirt bike for ambitious riders getting into street or dirt. It’s tough, durable and extremely easy and forgiving to ride.

DIRT LOVE

From contests to jam sessions the DIRT LOVE delivers a one-of-a-kind ride that’ll take your breath away. Like YT Industries team rider Andreu Lacondeguy, who rips the biggest tricks on his DIRT LOVE, you’ll be surprised how big you’ can go on this bikey ourself.

 

Street Fighting at The DH Urbano

Urban DH races may be nothing new these days but it’s hard to argue with the kind of impact they have at bringing mountain biking straight to the streets of towns and cities across the globe.

Marcelo Gutierrez of Giant Factory Off-Road sealed the win at his home event, the Urbano DH in Manizales, Colombia, ahead of a stacked local entry list. The Manizales course was littered with brutal stairs, jumps and drops to put the Colombian and his Giant Glory through their paces. Watch the video above to see how the two got on against the seemingly endless sea of concrete.

Don’t forget that you can keep up to date with all things bike at the redbull.com/bike facebook page.

2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano: Record TV and Internet Audiences

The 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano not only saw athletes reach new heights, it was also the most successful season yet in terms of Internet and television audiences. The nine rounds of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano were raced in nine different countries and four continents between April and September.

Television: audience more than doubles 

Nearly 37 million television viewers in 19 countries worldwide tuned in to watch either the live coverage, highlights or news broadcasts of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano. This compared with 16 million the previous year. 

Of the nine rounds of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano, the final event in Méribel, France, drew the largest television audience and was a fitting end for an unforgettable 2014 World Cup. 

Internet: Live, clips and highlights 

All rounds of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano were also streamed live on the Internet. Exclusive production partner and online broadcaster Red Bull Media House reported a total of 1,2 million live views worldwide on Red Bull TV and redbull.com/bike, plus 800.000 views by VOD in the first four days after each race.

A popular feature in 2014 series were the onboard Downhill runs and course introductions thanks to GoPro cameras installed on selected riders’ helmets. 

“Our leading mountain bike series is very popular and continues to gain momentum,” observes UCI Off-Road Manager Peter van den Abeele. “With more channels in more countries coming on board we are reaching a wider fan base which further serves to develop this exciting discipline.” 

“The UCI is constantly working with its partners to ensure innovative and exciting race coverage,” explained UCI Head of Marketing Cyrille Jacobsen. “Thanks to our partnership with Red Bull Media House, which dates back to 2012, our methods of bringing the action to the fans is constantly improving and evolving.” 

He added that the World Cup series for this Olympic discipline continued to gain momentum thanks to its long-standing partnership with presenting sponsor Shimano, which is also exclusive provider of neutral technical assistance. 

Television coverage at a glance: 

• Broadcast by 53 channels in 19 countries 
• 69 live broadcasts in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Pan-Africa, Slovakia and Sweden 
• Television audience totalled nearly 37 million 
• 1.52 million TV viewers watched live. 

Internet coverage at a glance: 

• 54 hours’ live coverage 
• 1.2 million live views 
• 14 highlight magazines produced 
• 800,000 Video on Demand views within four days of each event.

This is Peaty – Final Episode for 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you all soon, 

Cheers.

 

Special thanks to our Season 3 sponsors:

Monster Energy

Santa Cruz Bicycles

Maxxis Tyres

Lizard Skins

Muc Off

Produced by Steel City Media

Danny Hart chats 2015

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

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

Danny-Hart-interview-dirt-2014-17

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

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

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

the track surface only held to a point.... Unkown rider, sequence available

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

tim eaton chased by andrew crimmins during practice.
Tim Eaton chased by Andrew Crimmins during practice.
Troy Brosnan, seeding
Troy Brosnan, in his seeding run.
You Yangs 60
Elite men podium.

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

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

sarah booth, seeding
Sarah Booth, winner of round one.

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

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

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

Short Course Cross Country

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Holy Crash!

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

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

Cannonball MTB Festival – Day 3

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

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

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

 

Cannonball MTB Festival – Day 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cannonball MTB Fest 2-6

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

Cannonball MTB Fest 2-10

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

 

Cannonball MTB Festival – Day 1

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

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

 

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

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

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

$45K in Prizes AND Sam Hill to Race at the Cannonball MTB Fest!

Thredbo has just released the Toyota Cannonball MTB Festival event Schedule with 3 epic days of high flying adrenalin filled action and entertainment plus some massive prizes on offer.

The festival, which takes place across the weekend of December 5-7, will have the biggest mountain biking prize pool on the Australian mountain biking circuit with $45,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. The Industry best are supporting the event including major sponsor Toyota along with Maxxis, SRAM, Rock Shox, ODI, Avid, Truvativ and Joes No Flats,

The complete schedule is now online at thredbo.com.au/cannonballfestival and registrations are still open but filling up fast so jump online and register to ensure your place.

DamianBreach01

Schedule highlights include: 

Friday 

11:00am – 4:30pm – ODI Dual Compressor

4:30pm – 5:00pm – Big Air // Whip Wars Practice

6:00pm – 9:00pm – ROCKSHOX Pump Track Racing, DJ, BBQ and presentation

Saturday 

11:30am – 2:30pm – Flow Motion Cup Racing

3:00pm – 4:30pm – Australian DH Pro and Under 19 class seeding runs

4:30pm – 5:00pm – Big Air // Whip Wars Practice

4:30pm – 7:30pm – DJ & BBQ at the base of Kosciuszko Express

5:00pm – 7:00pm – Whip Wars Jam All Divisions

7:00pm – Flow Motion Cup & Whip Wars Presentations

Sunday 

12:00pm – 3.30pm – Racing Australian DH All Divisions

3:30pm – 6:30pm – Greasy Pole Party with DJ & BBQ

4.30pm – Australian DH Presentations

DamianBreach03

King and Queen of the mountain 

A fun new twist for 2014 is points from each event will be tallied to crown the King and Queen of the mountain in the Pro Divisions. To win this prestigious accolade, the higher you place, the more you score, with the winners launching into Cannonball royalty.

The Thredbo MTB season kicked off last week, with riders revelling in the chance to hit the mountain tracks before the Cannonball Festival. Junior World Champion and Thredbo MTB rider Tegan Molloy was one of the first on the hill.

“Thredbo have really raised the bar with the downhill track this year, with sections running a lot more open and fluid. Although a long and technical course, it seems that everyone is having a blast. 

With the new lower section packing in nicely, it will definitely please spectators and riders alike. The track is in awesome condition in the lead up to Cannonball, the stage is set for one of the best races in Australia. 

I’m lucky to have a world class training ground right here in my backyard in the lead up to what I hope will be a successful World Cup season ahead” said Tegan.

Tegan will be riding alongside other world class riders including Sam Hill, Troy Brosan, Andrew Crimmins, Ben Cory, Thomas Crimmins, David McMillan and Tim Eaton.

“Cannonball for me is definitely one of the best events on the calendar, simply because it’s not super competitive like the national series, just a bunch of guys and girls having fun in Australia’s best MTB destination. Thredbo is always known for pulling the huge crowd and I think this year will be the biggest yet, plus it hosts Aussies only whip comp! Who doesn’t want to sit on the side of the hill and watch people throw down? I’ll definitely be back to try and back up my win from last year!Andrew Crimmins 2013 Australian Open Winner 

“I’m really excited about coming back to Thredbo for the Cannonball Festival this year! Getting 2nd in the Australian Open last year has just fuelled the fire for me to take the win this year” Troy Brosnan Current World #2 

There is something in this multi-faceted festival for any level rider, here are all the events over the long weekend.

1. The Australian Open Downhill 

The main event, the Australian Open DH on Thredbo’s infamous Cannonball will take riders to their physical and mental limits. The 3.5km course of fast, intense, non-stop gravity starts at the top of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift and will be the best one yet. We will see the return of the old favourite, the no holds barred Thredbo Fire Road and this is exclusive to the Australian Open DH. Along with other substantial changes that will widen sections and add more fall line riding. With the biggest prize purse on the Australia DH calendar, this will be one not to miss!

2. Flow Motion Cup 

Utilising the Kosciuszko Flow Trail this all mountain race will snake its way down Thredbo’s famous ski runs. With around 6km of flowing single-track to negotiate with the odd flat pedal, this event can cater to all levels of riders. However only those with the will to win will head home with the cash!

3. ODI Dual Compressor 

A new event for 2014. Racing at its most raw, the Dual Compressors crowd-pleasing format pits two competitors side-by-side to battle each other & the clock as they race to avoid elimination each round. The finely tuned course of jumps, berms, rhythm sections and drops makes for a gruelling battleground, challenging both pump-track specialists and the true downhillers. Riders will race on equal courses side by side before integrating and pushing one another through to the finish.

4. Big Air / Whip-Wars 

A crowd favourite will see the best riders in the country send their bike sideways off a purpose built show-time jump at the Thredbo base. This will see a mix of downhillers and free-riders come together to settle the debate of the King of Style. You may not win the main event, but you may take home some cash for a crowd-pleasing trick.

5. ROCKSHOX Pump Track Challenge 

Get ready for the ROCKSHOX Pump Challenge on Friday night. See Thredbo’s brand new updated Pump Track on The Village Green in full flight as the smooth momentum masters set the perfectly sculpted course on fire. A test of ultimate skill & stamina, as riders pump, double & manual around the 2-3 lap course without a single pedal stroke.

The complete schedule is now online, download and plan your weekend of adrenalin filled mountain bike action.

Visit thredbo.com.au/cannonballfestival for full event details OR join the Thredbo MTB facebook page facebook.com/ThredboMTB for all event updates.

For any Thredbo accommodation and festival package enquires visit thredbo.com.au or call Thredbo Resort Centre 1300 020 589. 

Confirmed Cannonball Riders 

Sam Hill – The man, the myth, the legend, Sam Hill will be competing at Cannonball 2014! Sam is by far the most recognised and successful DH mountain biker in Australia over the past 10 years. With countless World Cup and World Champs wins, he has every title in the sport and there is no sign of him slowing down with 2 more World Cup wins this season! Sam has found form again and will be the favourite for most in the Australian Open DH!

Troy Brosnan 

Troy Brosnan of the Specialized Racing Team loves coming to Thredbo and it is one of his favourite MTB destinations in the world! He is 2 X Junior World DH Champ, ranked #3 in the World and was a close 2nd in last year’s Australian Open along with taking out the Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge. Troy is one of the top contenders for King of Cannonball!

Andrew Crimmins 

What can we say about Andrew Crimmins? He came from nowhere last year to take out the Australian Open DH and beat some big names in doing so. Still at only 17 years of age, Andrew is now riding for the Kona Factory Team & Monster Energy. With a full World Cup season under his belt, can Andrew back up his incredible performance from last year? Only time will tell.

Tegan Molloy 

The 2014 Junior World Champion will be back on her home mountain for Cannonball and will be fired up for all events. We saw her take out the Rock Shox Pump Track Challenge & Flow Motion last year but was pipped by Tracey Hannah in the Australian

Open. Tegan will be looking for the trifecta and is a hot contender for the Queen of Cannonball!

Ben Cory 

Ben Cory knows Thredbo like the back of his hand. Being a Canberra local he regularly uses Thredbo as a training ground. His smooth style & local knowledge got him the win in the Flow Motion last year and he will be ready to back that up in 2014 and show the young bucks whose boss!

Thomas Crimmins 

Local legend Tommy Crimmins has just returned from a full season racing World Cups and will be itching to prove himself again on the Australian Stage. A slight home advantage saw him get 3rd last year in the Australian Open DH and this will make him a threat over the entire weekend in all events!

David McMillan 

Dave ‘Magician’ McMillan was the eventual winner of the Whip Wars last year and will be the name on everyone’s lips again! Dave is known for his effortless & smooth style that leaves every spectator in awe! Look out for the style-master in all events!

Tim Eaton 

Another Canberra local that is a force to be reckoned with in Thredbo! Riding for Giant Bikes Timmy Eaton will have is full quiver on show for Cannonball and will be hoping to take one of them to the top step!

Cedric Gracia: The Funniest Bugger in Mountain Biking

Still racing, 19 years after winning his Junior World Championship, Cedric Gracia continues to be one the most distinctive, hilarious and talented riders on the planet. Flow caught up with Cedric at a critical point in his career – as he prepares to come back from an injury that almost killed him – to talk about the past, the future and why he continues to race.


This interview originally appeared in Flow Mountain Bike magazine (remember that thing?) in 2013.


 

 So Cedric, where are you now?

Ah, man, I’m here in Andorra (in the eastern Pyrenees, between Spain and France), and it’s snowing again. I want it to stop! I want to ride so bad it’s ridiculous. And it’s too dangerous for avalanches to ski right now, too many of my friends have died in avalanches, so I’m inside.

I’m getting older, I’m 35 now. In the past I wouldn’t have cared, I’d just ski all day, but now I try to give myself a bit more structure and I have more respect for the mountain. I do my fitness in the morning, then my emails, my Facebook stuff. Then in the afternoon, when the weather’s good, I like to do ski-touring stuff – you know, pick a mountain top and climb up with the dog, ski back down. I always go with the dog. He’s my training partner.

I’ve been living here since I moved out from the US eleven years ago. I loved the US but it was always kind of difficult for papers and shit. And I didn’t want to move to France. France is good if you’re a foreigner; you can do what you want. But if you’re French living in France, you can’t do shit.

But Andorra, it’s good living here: cheap alcohol, cheap food, lots of girls, good party nightlife, close to Barcelona. It’s a tax haven too, which a plus.

But Andorra, it’s good living here: cheap alcohol, cheap food, lots of girls, good party nightlife, close to Barcelona. It’s a tax haven too, which a plus. I’ve got a good life here. I can ski or ride everyday, and I’ve been really involved in the bike park here. It took me four years to get those guys trusting mountain biking but now, from my house I can see the lift, which will take me to the top of the bike park.

 

You were a skier early in your career, too, right?

Yes, but before that it was BMX. When I was young, I was BMX World Champ, but I was getting tired. It was just always about racing and shit. So one day I just told my dad, ‘Fuck, I’m done with BMX.’ And he was like, ‘What do you mean? You’re World Champion.’ But I was just tired. I wanted to quit. I was 11-years-old. Every weekend I was skiing too, and it was getting hard to make the choice between skiing or racing BMX. But in BMX I was winning everything, and so my dad said he would support me with skiing if I wanted to go down that path.

I was14-years-old when I moved to a special ski school, about nine hours from home. So I gave it a go and started winning lots of races. I entered the French ski team. But it’s so hard and so expensive, and one day I asked my coach, ‘Is there any way I can make it to the World Cup?’ He said, ‘Yeah, if you work harder you probably could.’ But I was a teenager and all I wanted to do was party and smoke cigarettes with my friends. I felt like I was missing out.

So I took one year off and started to skateboard, you know, underground, in the garage, smoking with my friends. Then I started to realise perhaps this was the wrong trail too, so I went back to skiing.

Still, I thought ‘Ok, I’ll give it a go, I’ll go look stupid with my friend in spandex and stuff.’

 

How did mountain biking come into the picture?

One day some friends of mine asked me to try mountain biking, but back then all I said to them was, ‘This mountain biking is gay.’ I was coming from BMX, so I saw these bikes with front brakes and gears, and I thought it was for people who didn’t know how to ride. Still, I thought ‘Ok, I’ll give it a go, I’ll go look stupid with my friend in spandex and stuff.’

So I went to one race and won it. And my friend asked me, ‘Did you have fun?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I had fun… but does that make me gay?’

But I didn’t want to really race then, I just wanted to hang out with my friends, sleep in the tent, drink some beers and make some trouble. But I did a few races, I got sponsored by Sunn Bicycles and they started paying me some money, so then I could start paying for my friends to come along too. I’d bring along six of my friends, and I wouldn’t sleep in the hotel because I wanted to use the money to be able to have my friends with me.

 

You’ve been on a long path of recovery since you crashed at Val di Sol in Italy last year and had to have a complete hip reconstruction. Can you tell us a bit more about it all?

Ah man! That hip has cost me so much money! I already had to buy two Louis Vuitton handbags because of it! And now my wife wants a new car too! But I’ve got to keep her happy – she had to look after me for a month when I was in the bed, shitting on a plate, not able to clean myself. It was the worst thing ever. That’s why we went to Monaco and I gave her the credit card.

But really, I am very lucky. We had a party recently with the doctors and all the people who helped me. And the doctor was like, ‘Dude, I can’t believe you’re walking and drinking like totally normal, when seven months ago you almost died.’ Actually, I almost died twice. But I didn’t want people to know. Nobody knew how bad it was. Some of my friends on the World Cup were already worried, so I told my wife and the people who came to see me in Italy not to tell anyone. But it was bad. I was bleeding on the inside, from a big artery; I had only three litres of blood left in me. I was unconscious.

I was bleeding on the inside, from a big artery; I had only three litres of blood left in me. I was unconscious.

My wife was the one who saved me. She came from Andorra and she told the doctors, ‘It’s easy – either you save him or I fucking sue your arses.’ They lost a kid a couple of months before with a similar problem and my wife knew that, and so even though there was a language problem between my wife and the doctor, she could say enough to get the word ‘suing’ across. And get across the idea that if they didn’t fix me, their life would be shit.

So I went back to the block, and they finally found where the blood was leaking. I was so low on blood by then I was unconscious. And after that first operation, I woke up and saw my wife and my dad and asked them what happened. And they were like ‘Well, you died for a couple of minutes – we had to jumpstart you again with electricity.’ Man, I was fucking lucky.

But they still had to do the surgery to actually fix my hip and they weren’t going to do that in Italy. I couldn’t fly anywhere because I was still too unstable and my blood was still too low. So they injected me with EPO and iron to get my haemoglobin back up and then I in a couple of days flew me home. I was still very low though and nobody had the blood I needed – I’m an AB positive, and that’s quite rare. Eventually they got the blood and they could begin to do the surgery to reconstruct my hip.

‘Well, you died for a couple of minutes – we had to jumpstart you again with electricity.’ Man, I was fucking lucky.

It was pretty intense, there were six or seven people involved in the surgery. When you’re bleeding inside, it’s always very risky – because when you get opened up, you can very quickly lose whatever blood is left. With me, they only had the two litres spare, so they were scared that if they opened me I would die in two minutes. In the end it was a nine-hour surgery. It was rough.

My pelvis broke in 40 pieces. It was shattered. When they told me that, I didn’t believe them. I thought it was bullshit that a bone could do that. The doctors told me there’s only one guy in the world who can fix that – a French surgeon. And they told me I was only going to be the second person to have that surgery, but they didn’t want to tell me what happened to the first guy. Turns out he died because he didn’t have enough blood.

I have two huge scars – one on the front, one on the back – because they put me sideways into this special seat, with two teams of six people, one team on each side of my leg. They took only the bigger piece because the little parts will reform with time, and basically they have two plates, front and back, and they screwed all the parts back in between the plates.

I lost 17 kilos while I was in the bed. Man, when you’re that long in the bed, you don’t even know if you’re going to make it. Your doctors tell you that you might not even be able to walk. It’s rough. But now, I feel like nothing happened to me. I’m skiing, I can do squats, I’m riding. I’m fucking lucky.

 

The Sunn team you raced with early in your career was possibly the best mountain bike race team then or since. The talent was amazing. What was it like?

When I started with Sunn, I was thinking that other teams operated like that. But when I moved to other teams later on, I realised, ‘Wow, now I know why we blew all the company’s money!’ We were flying everywhere in the world. Sure, my salary was shit, but I was a junior. I wasn’t deserving to make much money. I was having a good time; I was with my mates, and we were travelling everywhere in the world first-class, and I had a bike that was probably ten times better than any other bike out there.

I was the worst guy ever to have on a team – I didn’t even train! But our bikes were so good I felt like I didn’t even need to train! Everybody thought we training so hard, but all I was doing was playing PlayStation and waiting for the weekend to get knackered with my friends. I had this idea that this was the life of an athlete, and I kept going like that until I realised I couldn’t keep it up forever.

 

You feel like the equipment made the difference?

Yeah, man. The bikes were built right there in the office; we could make as many changes as we wanted. My mechanic was also the welder, so we could make new frames without it costing more than the tubing and a little bit of time. I was trying different linkages, different geometry all the time. But the suspension, man, we were using telemetry back then. We were so advanced – we could tell everything about how the suspension was performing when the other teams had nothing. They were just bolting suspension onto downhill bikes.

We had all the best riders in the world. We were flying all over the world. We were winning everything, but more was coming out from the company than going back in. We were too ambitious.

We had computers, we had Olivier Bossard, the man behind BOS suspension. Looking back now, I was stupid. Because if I had taken it seriously, with the bikes we had, man, I could have smoked it. But I wasn’t ready; I was just ready to hang out with my friends and party.

Everything we had was so much better than everybody else. It blew the company. We had all the best riders in the world. We were flying all over the world. We were winning everything, but more was coming out from the company than going back in. We were too ambitious. We wanted more and more, it was everyone’s dream to be part of that team.

 

Do you have your old Sunn bikes?

I’ve still got all my old bikes, except one. It was the one I won my first World Cup on. Bossard didn’t want to give it to me because it was a prototype. And you know what they did? They fucking cut it in half and threw it in the garbage! I was so sad!

 

You went from one incredible team to another, the Volvo-Cannondale team. It’s amazing to think that Volvo was so invested in mountain biking.

It was good on Volvo. It was the second team that was looking really decent after Sunn. But we knew the bike wasn’t so good. I mean they always had these kind of freaky designs. But the riders they had – like Missy Giove and Myles Rockwell –they were cool. And I thought if there was another team I’d ever like to be on, it was Cannondale. They had this cool American pride kind of thing going on.

Then at the World Championships Cannondale came to me before the race, when I’d qualified I think fifth or seventh. They knew I could win, but again I wasn’t ready – for me the World Championships were another opportunity to get wasted on Saturday night in Mont-Sainte-Anne. Obviously I didn’t go too good.

Anyhow, they were scared that if I won they’d have to pay me a lot of money to join the team, so they came to me before the race to make me an offer. We’d been talking before, too. About two years earlier Cannondale had offered me triple the money I was getting on Sunn, but I’d wanted to stay with my friends so I declined the money.

After Mont-Sainte-Anne Cannondale really wanted me on board. They had just signed Anne-Caroline Chausson, but Anne-Caroline had said she’d only come on board if I came too. So they made me an offer I couldn’t decline. They were going to pay me in American dollars, and at that stage I was still on francs. So before the race I was making the calculation and I couldn’t believe what I was going to be getting paid. I told my mum and she said ‘This is bullshit. There’s no way they’ll pay you that much money – do you even know how much this is? Your dad and me never made that money.’ That was of course in the time when mountain biking was at its peak in terms of sponsorship. It was great.

Why make things so complicated when we can make it as beautiful and as fast with just a single-pivot bike? The suspension technology was getting better, so the bike could work as well with just a single pivot

 

The complexity of the Cannondale bikes then was pretty out there.

In terms of engineering they were making some pretty cool stuff, but I definitely had a hard time going fast on their bikes. They always had these crazy designs, like the Gemini with two shocks, and the Fulcrum with the extra chain drives, but in the end they realised it wasn’t needed. Why make things so complicated when we can make it as beautiful and as fast with just a single-pivot bike? The suspension technology was getting better, so the bike could work as well with just a single pivot, and that is what the Gemini ended up being. At the same time, it’s easier to sell a single-pivot bike too, because it can be made less expensive and people will have fewer problems with it.

In the beginning I think it was very hard for the Americans at Cannondale to listen to me; I was a little Frenchy, with red hair and piercings in my face, who loved to get smashed at the bar. But after a few good results they started to consider my opinion.

In the end we made the bike very simple – on my bike I even got rid of the floating brake arm. I was riding with Steve Peat a lot, and his Orange had the same single pivot but without a floating brake mount, and I asked him if he thought it made a difference. Peaty said he thought it was bullshit, so I got my mechanic to take the floating brake arm off.

But it was a good life with Cannondale. I was young, and you love to go to America when you’re young – the girls are hot, they have fake boobs. I was going to the beach lots, I was going to Sheep Hills in California and jumping around with my 4X bike. My life was good!

 

Your career took a pretty different turn after that, when you moved back a much smaller setup with Commencal.

It was cool to go back and ride with Commencal. After Max Commencal basically burned up Sunn, I always said to him if you build a new brand, I will come and help. And when I moved back to Andorra, it was time to do it now. He was like ‘Fuck, you’re going to cost me a lot of money!’ He matched my Cannondale team offer and helped out with some cars and stuff like that. The other part of the deal was that we were going to do it my way; I didn’t want any pressure on the result, I just wanted to ride my bike flat out and have fun. And that’s what I did.

But it started to get a little difficult. I was getting injured quite a lot, and my relationship with Max got a little bit harder, too. He had always been a little bit like my dad, and we had a few conflicts. Max didn’t want to always listen to my opinions. I knew, too, that Commencal had a view to taking on the Athertons, so I could see the time was coming to do something else. I mean, the Athertons were good for Commencal because Gee and Rachel could deliver the top results, but at the same time the image was very different to what we’d been building with Commencal for the last few years. But I think the break hurt Max, especially when I signed with Santa Cruz.

And now I have the CG Racing Brigade. There was no scope for me to join the Santa Cruz Syndicate, but Santa Cruz wanted to have someone who could make more of an image. So we started the Brigade, with a less serious image, more European.

I also saw the Brigade as a chance to put something back into the sport by supporting more juniors, riders who don’t have the support they might deserve. People supported and invested in me when I was young and it’s only really in the last few years I’ve really understood how much that support meant. So I thought maybe I should give back a little of what I got. It is hard though when you’re a private team! When it’s your own money you’re putting in, and sometimes perhaps people aren’t appreciating it.

 

Looking through photos for this feature, in just about every shot you’re whipping out or your hands are off the bars, or you’re throwing a big table-top. Is that just about fun or is it part of building that image?

Ha-ha! When I jump, it’s really hard for me to jump straight. But secondly, I’ve never been driven purely by winning. I love winning, sure. It’s a good feeling, but it only makes you happy for a second when you beat everyone else. It’s a funny thing. People think it’s a very hard thing to win a World Cup. But when it happens, you haven’t done anything different to the other days, it’s just all worked out this time. It’s funny how people put you to the top, they look at you different, like you’re so strong or some shit, but for you it doesn’t change anything!

It’s a funny thing. People think it’s a very hard thing to win a World Cup. But when it happens, you haven’t done anything different to the other days, it’s just all worked out this time.

For me the kids coming up and saying things like ‘Man, your suicide at the arch at Fort William was the best thing I’ve ever seen,’ I consider that much more important than winning. I love it when kids come to me and ask for an autograph, and it makes them and me happy. It’s my job to never say no to them. I hate to see people ignoring those kids because they’re thinking only about the race. I know the race is important, but it’s those kids who let us eat, who are buying the bikes and the gear. You need to be appreciative of that.

Sometimes I think about why I’m not more like someone like Gwin, someone who feels winning is everything. I think perhaps that’s how I was when I was young in BMX. Back then I wanted to win everything. But I think that’s why I left BMX after a few years, because I was winning everything and I got fed up. I’ve won some things in mountain biking, but never enough to make me think ‘That’s enough. I’ve got nothing more to prove. Fuck it, I’m going skateboarding now!’ I think I approached mountain biking more like a normal person. I wanted to mountain bike to be with my mates, to ride the bike parks with my friends. I like to go to the bar and talk about what we did that day on the trails.

A result might make you happy when you get it, but if I don’t get it, that’s ok. I’ll try again next week. At the end of the day, I’m happy about the weekend, because I ride my bike, I have fun, I see my mates. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I should be more focused on results, but this is how how I stay happy.

 

The whole nature of downhill racing has shifted over the past six years – we don’t see too many people partying like you’ve always had the reputation for doing.

For sure, mountain biking has got a lot more serious. People now realise you can’t get drunk every weekend and expect to win races. This used to happen before when the level was ok. But now it’s so tight, with everyone on the same second, everything counts.

It’s a new generation of kids who want to make a living out of biking. For them it’s their job. For me it was never a job, it was a lifestyle.

But I kind of miss those days. Those days for me were mountain biking! Now it’s too much like Formula One. It’s a new generation of kids who want to make a living out of biking. For them it’s their job. For me it was never a job, it was a lifestyle. I’m not judging the kids at the top now – it is the way it is. But only a few guys are at the bar now: Steve Peat, me, sometimes Minnaar… just the old dogs. There are a few kids still today – kids like Brook MacDonald or Josh Bryceland – when I look at their eyes I see the devil! I love those kids because they remind me of me. They want to do good, but they want to have fun. There are only a few, but in the past everyone was like that – there’d be 30 of us at the bar, the race was done and everyone was crazy. I remember winning Fort William with Kovarik; we took our prize money, five thousand pounds each, and put it on the table. We drank it all. I went home with ten pounds in my pocket. It wasn’t an issue, we were having fun, we didn’t care.

 

That image seems the complete opposite of so many of your fellow French riders. What was your relationship like with people like Nico Vouilloz and Fabien Barel?

Nico was jealous because I wasn’t training and I was starting to kick his arse. He had everything – everyone was basically sucking his cock. I had respect for him, but I didn’t want to be him at all. He always had his dad with him – I couldn’t deal with that. But we got drunk together a couple of times now he’s done racing, and I told him, ‘Man you know you were a dick – I loved to kick your arse because you were so proper with your mum and dad.’ And Nico said ‘Cedric you’re a dick,’ and he told me that being like that was the only way for him to win. It was funny we talked about it. He just needed everything to be totally perfect so he felt he could win. Now I’m older I understand, but back then when I was young and arrogant with piercings in my face, I thought he was a dick.

You don’t want to know what I did to Barel… When he came to the Sunn team me and my mates gave him an initiation. I would shit in plastic bags and chase after him with it, throwing it at him, I was pissing in buckets and tipping it on his head from above the doors. I did the worst things to him! I think I made him a little bit stronger to be a World Champ, I made him tougher. I definitely abused him.

 

As one of the riders who always rode 4X and downhill, how do you feel about the demise of 4X?

I always told them that if they don’t make bigger jumps, bigger rockgardens, this is going to die, because it’s getting closer and closer to BMX. Why would you race 4X when you can race BMX? I was still racing it though because it was a good chance to hang out with the boys and to relax and not always focus on downhill. Plus it meant I could ride my bike more, and on Cannondale, I could help Brian Lopes win races too.

I think it’s too bad that they never introduced an Omnium Championship, like at Sea Otter, with a winner across both downhill and 4X. It could have been better for everyone. Sure it’s hard to do both, but we’re professionals!

But they went the other way and made it more and more BMX, and it’s hard to compete with BMX guys who practice 30 gate starts a day when you don’t even have a gate!

 

You were the first of the serious downhill racers to get involved in the Red Bull Rampage – you even won it in 2003. Was that part of the plan?

Not at all! I was in Vegas and I heard they had a freeride event. I didn’t even know what freeride was about! I went along, I didn’t want to dig or anything like that, so I just started to shred all the way down without looking where I was going. Somehow I made it and got third or second. After that I started to build some big jumps and drops, and the bigger they got, the more fun I had. It was a good side job from the life of downhill, hanging out in the desert, drinking some beers, and afterwards we could go to Vegas!

Perhaps me getting involved in Rampage started to change the way downhillers felt about freeride. Downhillers have a lot more respect for freeriders now too. To jump some of those things takes serious balls!

I never, ever expected to win it. I was just going there to have fun, take some photos. I just wanted to shred down and be stupid. On downhill you can have fun, but you still have to go down the hill as fast as possible, but not here. It suits me really well!

Perhaps me getting involved in Rampage started to change the way downhillers felt about freeride. Downhillers have a lot more respect for freeriders now too. To jump some of those things takes serious balls! I think it was good for the freeriders to see other high-level racers like Gee Atherton, too.

But now I look at Rampage and I don’t want to go back. All these wooden ramps and shit! That’s not what Rampage is, that’s shit. Now it’s just turning into another slopestyle. It was big mountain riding – just a shovel and a pick to make your line then go. I don’t want to see wood in the fucking desert. And at the same time, I don’t want to deal with judges who give out points according to which drink sponsor you have on your helmet. This year it was lame; the judging was biased. Too much money involved now. When things get too serious, it kills it. More roots shows the brilliance.

 

Enduro racing seems to be gaining huge amounts of momentum, and I know you’re a believer in it too. Why?

For sure. Right now we’ve got the Enduro World Series, and it’s going to be huge all over the whole world. My sponsors don’t even want to hear about downhill anymore. It’s just such a small market for them. Enduro is a market that can actually support the industry.

Things are coming back now in terms of sponsorship because of enduro. Mountain biking is changing. Downhilling is great – you know, for the young kids it’s got a cool image – but you don’t sell many of those bikes at all. Enduro is all about guys my age, from 25 to 45. People who have jobs and a family, they make money and they just want a fucking cool bike to go hang out with their friends on the weekend. And you don’t need a lift. You don’t need anything. I understand that. That’s where mountain biking is going. And the sponsors understand that too.

The full Santa Cruz Syndicate and the Brigade are going to race enduro this year. And for guys like me, slightly older, we have a bit of an advantage too, because you need the endurance. It’s just a good kind of second career for guys like me.

 Sam Hill… he loved to win, but not just win, to completely smoke everyone. He doesn’t want to win by one second, he wants to win by ten.

 

You’ve raced against some of the greats of the sport. Who do you think is the best racer you’ve competed against?

Sam Hill was amazing. I mean, Gwin is good, but he never won like Sam Hill. Hill was just smashing people. Everyone was always saying that Sam is cocky or he’s arrogant, but I think he is just shy and he loved to win, but not just win, to completely smoke everyone. He doesn’t want to win by one second, he wants to win by ten. Obviously, having a family now, things are not the same, but I think he’ll be back on top next year. He wants prove that he’s still the fastest.

 

You’re 35 this year. You’ve achieved more in your racing career than most riders could ever dream of, and you’ve just suffered an injury that would kill many people. So why are you still racing?

That’s something I asked myself when I was lying in the hospital, for sure. But I think bikes are why I’m alive. It’s not about competing; it’s about riding my bike. My life is riding bikes. When I can’t do that, maybe I’ll leave the bike industry entirely. But it’s also for those 160,000 people who follow me on Facebook and the other fans all over the world – I feel like I’m an example for them. I want to keep riding to thank them. When you’re lying down in hospital for so long, reading the messages that people send, the goodwill, man it’s a big help. Maybe that’s why I still do it.

 

This is What a Bright Future Looks Like

16 year old Jackson Frew is most definitely going to become one of Australia’s brightest stars! How’s his smooth skills on Stromlo, Tuggeranong Pines and the Kambah BMX Track?

Starting BMX racing at six, he’s raced World Champs in Canada, China and South Africa. After spending many years racing in many two wheeled disciplines including four cross, BMX and downhill he’s made the call to focus solely on downhill, and now heads into his first year as a junior.

Supported by Onyabike Canberra, Leatt Protectives, Giant Bikes Aus and Thredbo. We’ll certainly be seeing more of this talented, fluid riding and dedicated kid.

 

Video Premiere: Life on Wheels – A Life Worth Winning

Following the great success of the 2013 season, Creative Concept has spent another year on the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup documenting the Lapierre Gravity Republic team in 2014.

Written and Directed by Aaron Bartlett, narrated by Rob Warner and headed by elite riders Loic Bruni and Sam Blenkinsop alongside Emmeline Ragot and Loris Vergier, we take a step behind the glamour of the motocross style pit setup and into the personal lives and relationships behind the World’s number 1 Downhill Mountain Bike team. Throughout a roller coaster season of ups and downs, emotions run high and dreams can be shattered in an instant as the team push for their first ever elite male winner on the World stage.

Follow the team’s journey from their humble beginnings at Q Bikes in 2005, through to the huge state of the art setup first introduced in 2012 and onto the present day, as well as getting to know all the amazing riders who have come and gone in-between.

But is it really all about winning? Find out TODAY in the 48 HOUR Premiere!

Starring:

Loic Bruni
Sam Blenkinsop
Emmeline Ragot
Loris Vergier

Also Starring:

Cam Cole
Danny Hart
David Vazquez