Posts Tagged ‘mtb’
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.
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August 25th, 2010
Here’s a view you don’t see everyday. Thanks to the new GoPro HD Hero, enjoy Mike Montgomery’s fluid run that got him 2nd place at the 2010 Crankworx Whistler … including a nice bit of rider commentary.
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 17th, 2010
Record numbers of over 20,000 fans at the Monster Energy Slopestyle at Kokanee Crankworx witnessed a huge changing of the guard. Cam Zink (USA) had a major comeback and earned himself first place and $15,000 for a mind-blowing run featuring a huge front flip off the VW Booter, super floaty 360s and a big, old backflip off the Kokanee Booter. He stepped it up huge and his efforts got him 95.0 out of 100 from the judges. Zink held the title in 2006, making this his second first place win at the Monster Energy Slopestyle.
“This run was unreal; that was the first front flip I have ever done in competition,” says Zink. “It has been four years since I have had a big win. I don’t even know what to say. It has been a long time coming. It all paid off – all the hard work, all the injuries.”
Mike Montgomery (USA), who came in 14th at last year’s Monster Energy Slopestyle, was gunning for the win today and in his Super Final run he was flipping and spinning off everything he could get to in an attempt to unseat Zink. Unfortunately, he got a little sideways off the massive Monster Energy Launch Pad and detonated as soon as he landed. His impressive first run saw him throw down the hugest tail whip off the same feature and earned him a score of 91.5, enough to keep him on the podium through the whole competition.
“I am so glad all of my hard work has finally paid off,” says Montgomery. “I am so excited. I am healthy this year and I came to play. I nailed the first run and I got to do it in front of so many people. Stoked.”
Casey Groves (CAD) lived up to all the hype with solid runs through the entire competition. His second run sealed the deal and after stomping some styley 360s and a solid tuck no-hander x-up he was literally speechless in the finish corral with a score of 89.5. In Groves’s third run he showed heart when his chain broke and he launched himself off the Kokanee Booter with a fist pump anyways.
“This is an amazing turn of events, I never expected any of this,” says Groves. “I didn’t expect to go into the Super Finals in third and to maintain that placing is amazing.”
Paul Rak was the head judge at the first-ever Crankworx Slopestyle and he was back in the judge’s chair for 2010 after a two-year hiatus. The level of progression the sport has undergone in two short years was glaringly evident in the Boneyard today.
“Being away for two years and coming back and seeing the level that this sport has progressed to is incredible,” says Rak. This is one of the best mountain bike events I have ever had the privilege to judge.”
While the highs were high for the top five athletes, some crowd-favourites and superstar athletes fell victim to hard luck in the dirt arena of the Monster Energy Slopestyle. Both Darren Berrecloth (CAN) and Brandon Semenuk (CAN) laid down incredible runs, tricking top to bottom, only to crash after airing off the Kokanee Booter. Sixth place rider Yannick Granieri (FRA) was unable to compete in the Super Finals after washing out in his second run, but the score from his first run held up to get him some prize money.
The Monster Energy Slopestyle gives each rider two runs in the Finals and one run for the top six riders in the Super Final. The good news for today’s event was that the score from any of the three runs could win the competition. As the crowd saw today, the best runs of the day were thrown down early on.
A record crowd at Kokanee Crankworx witnessed the Monster Energy Slopestyle in Whistler Village and a live webcast on Crankworx.com and Go211.com ensured this year’s event was witnessed by over 100,000 worldwide.