The team from SRAM took to the roads of New Zealand’s South island in search of an epic trails and this was the result.
We always dream about journeys to places like this, but for most mortals these reveries rarely become a reality. When it was decided that a group of us would spend seven days on the roads and trails of New Zealand’s South Island, hovering largely around the Craigieburn and then Nelson area, most of us were in disbelief until the moment we landed on Kiwi soil.
What an incredible weekend, we were on the ground in Finale Ligure to witness Jared Graves and Tracy Moseley crowned 2014 EWS champions. We also got to see an emotional Fabien Barel return to racing after what should have been a career ending injury to not only take part but take the win. Enjoy the daily edits below from DirtTV. The next time they film in Europe at an EWS it will be in Ireland!
Curtis Keene is one of our favorite racers on the circuit. He’s not the fastest but he is one of the nicest. We have had several long discussions with him this year and his enthusiasm for the sport, appreciation for the amateurs and all around attitude is hard to beat. He’s also a member of the EWS board so when you talk to Curtis, you get a real insight about where the sport should go. Here is the crowning moment for his season – EWS Whistler.
Here is your 2014 winning run from Red Bull Rampage – Andrew Lacondeguy from Spain. While his run did not contain the most tricks it was one of the most challenging with a seriously crazy steep natural line that only one other attempted. That big drop in the middle is 76 feet!
Yesterday saw the delayed finals for Red Bull Rampage from Utah where the worlds best freeriders took on the intimidating canyon course. Last years thrid place Cam Zink put together a run that saw him move up a step to second overall this year. Here we ride on board with Zink, the GoPro doesn’t do the elevation justice but you get the idea.
Details are emerging concerning the Chain Reaction Cycles Emerald Enduro which will take place next May in Wicklow, Ireland. The race will be the second round of the 2015 Enduro World Series, the first in Europe following the opening round in New Zealand. Race day will be Sunday 24th of May with practice opening on the Friday before hand.
Photo Adrian van der Lee, Rider Pearse Griffin
The race venue is now confirmed as Carrick Mountain in County Wicklow. With stunning views across the Wicklow hills to the Irish sea and a diverse terrain from open rocky mountainside to rooty flowy woodland singletrack, Carrick is a classic Irish venue. Having played host to downhill and enduro racing in the past it’s a warren of trails. While enduro racing has been moving towards bigger, longer, gnarly downhill stages, the course in Carrick will take us back to the roots of enduro, utilising a variety of trails to suit a rider with more finesse than brute force, shorter travel rather than longer and good physical conditioning.
Event organiser Niall Davis of Biking.ie had this to say – “The bike trails here are technical, fast and fun, which should make for some incredible racing as riders have to be great bike handlers as well as very physically fit. Competitors will ride through Ireland’s famously beautiful scenery, and sample some of the country’s world renowned hospitality.”
Registration will open on the Friday morning with practice opening shortly after and running all day Saturday. Racing will take place on Sunday the 24th over seven stages. Racers are expected to face a total elevation gain of 1700 metres with a total distance of roughly 45 kilometres. The winning total stage time is expected to be 25 minutes. The number of competitor places will be announced in the coming weeks. With this being the first European round of the 2015 Enduro World Series, it is anticipated to sell out in minutes.
Photo Adrian van der Lee
The headline sponsor has also been announced as Northern Irish online mega retailer Chain Reaction Cycles. Damien Duggan, Head of Marketing at Chain Reaction Cycles said: “We’re so proud to be sponsoring the Irish round of the Enduro World Series, which will once again put us on the map as one of the best mountain biking destinations in the world and I’d like to congratulate Biking.ie for securing such a premier event here in Ireland. Our company has a proud tradition of sponsoring cycling events from the grass-roots to the world stage, so to support the Chain Reaction Cycles Emerald Enduro is a real honour and we can’t wait to welcome the world’s best racers to the country.”
While the event is set to attract several World Champions on the start line, the Irish riders are no stranger to this high level of competition. The highly successful Gravity Enduro series (www.gravityenduro.ie) is set to enter its fourth year with many of the top pros expected for the preceeding round as they look to get an insight into Irish trails. Details on the 2015 series are due soon and we’ll be sure to update as soon as we get them. Several Irish riders race on the world stage including Greg Callaghan and Dan Wolfe in the pro ranks, both of whom have had an outstanding season, and Conor Lavelle in Juniors who has been enjoying a breakout year with a podium at the Scottish round of the Enduro World Series earlier this year. Gravity Enduro series winner Leah Maunsell was too young for the EWS this year but will be eligible to race in Carrick. Former cross country national champion Cait Elliott has been enjoying some success in Europe this year and Michelle Muldoon spent a full summer on the circuit culminating in a win at the Irish round of the Bluegrass Enduro series.
This feels like an April fool but it’s not! Louisville, Kentucky has a huge underground Limestone cavern under it’s zoo and an operator is currently building an enormous bike park on site. It’s currently planned to be 320,000 square feet in size with an ambient temperature that doesn’t change year round. With an opening date of New Years Day 2015 it might be time to book those tickets!
Jerome Clementz is back! The 2013 Enduro World Series champion is back racing Enduro and prepping for his return to the top level at the final round of the 2014 EWS in Finale Ligure the week after next.
Peloton legend Jens Voigt draws a curtain over his amazing career today with an attempt on the hour record. Voigt is one of the battlers of the peloton renowned for his long hard breakaways, suffering and crashes. His catchphrase, “Shut up legs” just sums up his persona so well, that and “I get paid to make other people suffer”. We’ll miss him and want to take this opportunity to wish him all the best today. Hope you smash it Jens!
We are accustomed to asking who is winning but perhaps not at looking at why someone is not. Danny Hart gives an intriguing look at what is going on inside his head and what he has to do to win. With a standout result at the 2011 World Champs he is still in the hunt for an elusive World Cup win and desperate to prove that it wasn’t a fluke. The riding on that day in Champery was perfection and Hart is forever in the hunt to match it.
The final round of the Gravity Enduro for 2014 took place this past weekend in Carrick. Perfect conditions greeted the racers with beaming sunshine, dry trails and a course that was out of this world. Conditions were perfect and the atmosphere was electric as riders sampled the delights of Carrick in a rollercoaster of perfect trail riding.
Spoiler alert – If you haven’t watched the Red Bull footage yet from the World Champs, well you’ve probably read the headline but don’t watch this yet.
Bryceland’s run was looking epic – clean, fast and smooth. The track doesn’t look gnarly at all yet was a rock fest of massive proportions. How fast he is going is scary and the result was his monumental huck to flat 25foot jump over the last jump, breaking his foot in the process – “I didn’t want to brake”.
The UCI Mountain bike World Champs take place this weekend in Hafjell, Norway. Former World Champ Steve Peat and 2014 World Cup Champion Josh Bryceland take us on a run down the Downhill track. Looks like a cracker of a course, should provide exciting racing!
Intense cycles have released a teaser video featuring an old name in mountain biking – Shaun Palmer. With a very successful background in snow boarding Palmer turned to mountain biking around 1995 and we are long enough in the tooth to remember his break through silver medal at the 1996 World Championships against his old foe Nicolas Vouilloz. Palmer wanted that gold soo bad. He was riding for Intense at the time but shortly afterwards moved to Specialized/Mountain Dew for the then biggest contract in mountain biking.
Palmer was good but racing in the era of the most clinical mountain biker of all time Nicolas Vouilloz was hard. The Frenchman won 10 World Championships in total with precision sharp handling skills that he now hones in Enduro following a stint as a World Rally Championship driver. Where Vouilloz was steely and professional, Palmer was his foil – wild and flamboyant and hugely popular. The video is far from clear as to what Palmer’s association with Intense now will be but whatever it is, it will be fun!
Writing on his Twitter feed to Steve Peat, Palmer has hinted that we may see him turning some pedals!
@StevePeat I’m on that plan my friend, we will be riding together soon enough, just like the old days
Last week the Trans-Savoie Enduro race took place although to call it a race is a bit of an understatement. 6 days of hard hard racing and Ireland’s own Dan Wolfe came out in 3rd place, a serious achievement! Look out for him in this video, he makes several appearances in his Cycleways kit.