Posts Tagged ‘downhill’
December 17th, 2010
Wide open, featureless descents are less common, not just in trail centres where the drops make the most out of every contour line, but on the pro scene too. Gone are the days when World Cup events had riders race head long down open slopes.
Yet, although they’re less common, being able to ride trails like these at high speeds can still come in handy. Sometimes there’s nothing better than the sound of the tyres reaching top speed during a flat out blast down a straight trail. Here are 5 things that you should keep in mind when letting it all hang out.
1. The faster you are going, the further down the trail you need to look. The faster you go, the longer it’s going to take to change direction or slow down so look really far ahead.
2. Keep it simple, keep it straight. Not only will you be able to go even faster but you’ll stay way more stable and in control.
3. Make your corners massive by starting them really really early. The bigger the corner the faster you can go, so make your entrances as wide as you can. Push the boundaries of the trail and consider leaving the worn line to find fresh space out wide.
4. Tuck, tuck, tuck. No point pedalling if your legs are only going to be spinning in the wind. Get low and crouched. Keep your pedals level on the straights and if the trail is smooth, bring your elbows in. You’ll keep your speed without any effort and stay nice and stable.
5. Brake easy and trust your front brake. From high speeds you’ll need the power of the front brake. Brace your arms and progressively pull on that lever. Never lock any wheels unless you’re fully ready for the slide and possibly the crash.
Content taken from “Mountain Biking the Manual” by Chris Ball
September 10th, 2010
The UCI season may be over but it’s certainly not the end of the mountain bike season. Eyes will now be focussed towards a sandstone ridge in the brutal landscape near Virgin, Utah for the 2010 Red Bull Rampage. Below are highlights from the 2008 event, but keep a check on the Red Bull Rampage official site for more news.
In 2008 Red Bull Rampage returned triumphantly after four years of silence. Although a rain delay kept many anxious, the mountain bike gods unleashed the glorious sun to scorch the barren Utah terrain.
More daredevil than athlete, Thomas Vanderham, stuck a no-hander over a 59-foot canyon gap and took home best trick. However, it was 17 year old Brandon Semenuk that took home the prize of 10,000 dollars and bragging rights.
September 6th, 2010
Congratulations to Australia’s Sam Hill and the Britain’s Tracy Moseley on winning the UCI DH World Championships over the weekend out in Mont St Anne, Canada.
Australia’s Sam Hill took gold at the downhill world championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, yesterday – surprising himself, as well as those who had tipped World Cup frontrunners Greg Minnaar (South Africa) and Gee Atherton (Great Britain) for the rainbow stripes.
It marks an astonishing return to form for Hill, who won the 2006 and 2007 world champs but had a disappointing World Cup season this year due to injury.
Canada’s Steve Smith made home fans proud by earning a silver medal, and Minnaar finished third. Atherton came in fifth behind American Aaron Gwin.
“I don’t know what it is, but this is where I do well,” said Hill of Mont-Sainte-Anne, where he won World Cup rounds in 2007 and 2009. “It’s where I first raced the World Cup in 2001, and I’m always excited to come back.”
Hill said that during the week’s training, he had doubts about how well he would do. He was coming off two serious injuries that hurt him this season. “I’ve been sitting on the couch, and I didn’t have the confidence,” he said. “This morning’s practice kind of bummed me out. I was really sloppy.”
Hill had reconstructive knee surgery in February, but made it back to competition in time for the World Cup despite feeling weak in training. In the second World Cup, he snapped three ligaments in his shoulder.
“I wanted to do well last weekend in Windham and ended up in 13th, which wasn’t a great confidence builder,” he said. “To come back from all that and be able to win today is really great. I still get a bit of pain when I ride. I’ll take some time off now and get fully healthy.”
In the Elite Women’s DH event, Great Britain’s Tracy Moseley finally won the rainbow stripes she has been chasing for the past 13 years at the women’s downhill world championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, yesterday.
“I’ve had a long career and I’ve been trying to win this for many years,” said a delighted Moseley, “and I’ve finally got this white jersey on my shoulders.”
She finished ahead of two Frenchwomen – 2010 World Cup winner Sabrina Jonnier and last year’s world champion Emmeline Ragot.
“I’ve been the sole Brit among the French riders for most of the year with Rach (Atherton) out for injury,” said Moseley. “I’ve been the one to have to fight the French. I knew Sabrina is really good on this track, we’ve been racing together since 1997. It’s no surprise for me to find myself amongst these two.
“Mont-Sainte-Anne is one of my favourite courses, but you never know until you actually get to the race. This morning I tried to put all thoughts away. This season I’ve not been racing as well as I’ve been practising. My biggest goal today was to put together my perfect race run – to be able to walk away and not feel like I could have done any better.”
Special mention goes to Lewis Buchanan (coached by Chris Ball) who finished just over nine seconds behind Troy Brosnan in the Junior Men’s DH. “I started off pretty confident and knew what I had to do,” he said. “I clipped a rock with my pedal up in the top section. It was hard to concentrate, but I tried to put that in the back of my mind and pedal, although I was quite off the pace.”
Still, Buchanan managed to work himself up from fifth at an early split to third by the end. “I focused on getting smooth lines and building speed,” he said. “This is probably one of the fastest courses we had all year and one of the roughest.”
All three medallists are first-year juniors and will return next year to race each other again.
September 1st, 2010
Little can be written about Steve Peat that hasn’t been said already. As the 2009 UCI Downhill World Champion, Peaty took the season by storm, also taking the title for the most World Cup wins – at a total of 17 no less. From his humble beginnings in Sheffield, UK, Steve has become one of the most inspirational mountain bikers of all time. Adding three World Cup series wins, two European championship golds, eight Lisbon downtown wins and 50 World Cup podiums to his X Games gold medal and eight British National titles he is probably the most celebrated downhiller of all time. Married with two sons, Steve is now Dr Peat after receiving an honorary doctorate in 2009 from Sheffield Hallam University. A living legend.
August 30th, 2010
Gee Atherton is the new UCI World Cup DH Champion for 2010. In an absolutely thrilling finale to the season, Atherton came in just 0.37 seconds ahead of Greg Minnaar to win the event, and with it the season’s title. It was a great weekend for the Atherton’s with Rachel winning the Women’s DH.
After Friday’s qualifying run, Atherton led Minnaar by just 4 points and there was lots of talk about someone other than these two winning the event. Steve Peat almost did, having been fastest in qualifying he was 1.5 secs up at the split, but crashed just before the finishing area. Peaty’s had a rough season, but looks to be in good form to defend his World Championship crown in Mont St Anne next weekend. Anyway, massive congratulations to Gee Atherton … highlights courtesy of DirtTV at Mpora.
August 27th, 2010
Final round of the UCI World Cup is on this weekend from Windham in upstate New York. All eyes will be focused on Gee Atherton and Greg Minnaar in one of the tightest finishes to the season in years. From the clip below, courtesy of MTBCuts, Gee is looking pretty relaxed.
More Mountain Biking Videos >>
August 23rd, 2010
The UCI Men’s World Cup Downhill moves to Windham, New York this weekend and with just 7 points in the standings separating Gee Atherton and Greg Minnaar we’re looking forward to an exhilarating finish to the season. UCI Technical Delegate (and author) Chris Ball will be out there early checking on the course, but in the meantime here’s a vid from the guys in Windham showing off both the 4X and the DH courses:
August 18th, 2010
Gee Atherton (GBR) hammered down the steep rock faces and notoriously technical Canadian Open DH course to take first place in the pro divisions in the race presented by Kona.
Gee is moving on from dominating downhill events at Kokanee Crankworx to the Downhill World Championships taking place in Mont-Saint-Anne, starting September 2, 2010. The demanding slopes of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park are an ideal setting to train and prepare worldclass athletes for the demands of the Downhill World Championships.
Atherton, who also won the Dual Slalom at Kokanee Crankworx, had a solid run in the Candian Open DH presented by Kona and swept in at 3:04.14, second place went to pinner Lewis Buchanan (SCO) with a time of 3:09.16 while Justin Leov (NZL) maintained a pace almost exactly the same as Buchanan’s to come in at 3:09.20.
“This was a real tough course to ride today,” says Atherton. “It has been a long season and I am excited to go from here onto the World Championships in Mont-Saint-Anne.”
August 13th, 2010
The biggest names in mountain biking reveal the secrets of their success in a new MTB skills book out next week. Mountain Biking The Manual is a skills and technique guide drawing insight from over a dozen of the world’s best mountain bikers, including world champions Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar and Gee Atherton.
The book has been written by professional MTB coach Chris Ball, a former Scottish champion, who competed in over 30 world cup events. The Edinburgh-born 28 year old owns and runs Dirt School, a dedicated training school for mountain bikers, and also works with the UCI as technical delegate for Word Cup downhill and 4X events.
Chris’s work on the World Cup circuit has given him access to an inspiring pool of contributors and their insight on what it takes to make it at the highest level. The result is a book which can inspire developing riders and give recreational mountain bikers skills and tips to try out on their next rides.
Steve Peat, regarded by many within the MTB world as a living legend, gave his endorsement by writing the foreword to the book.
Peat said, “From the first timer on a mountain bike to a fully-fledged racing snake, there is knowledge here for all. The Manual will show you the fundamentals, the in-between bits and the moves to make your family proud of you. You will all be better riders for it.”
Editor Huw Williams believes that hearing the lessons from the mouths of the professionals sets Mountain Biking The Manual apart from others. Williams said, “Chris Ball has drawn together an amazing team of top riders. It’s their insight, their enthusiasm to teach, and their generosity to share their hard-earned knowledge that gives the book its edge. But this is not simply a collection of quotes hung together with pretty pictures. It’s a good, strong read in its own right. The lessons here are delivered through the clear, intelligent voice of one of the best coaches in the business.”
We agree! Mountain Biking The Manual is available now and here’s our little launch video:
August 2nd, 2010
Well, the riders got the weather they were looking for out at Val di Sole over the weekend and that resulted in a fast, dry track. Marc Beaumont won the main race event with Greg Minnaar coming second and Gee Atherton third. The fact that Atherton qualified in first place combined with his third place finish in the race means that he scrapes past Minnaar in the overall rankings and now leads by the slim margin of just 7 points. Which all makes for a sensationally exciting finish to the season later this month in Windham, NY.
In the meantime, here’s a wrap up of the action: