René Wildhaber Returns to Trek as Ambassador

René Wildhaber Returns to Trek as Ambassador

Rene Wildhaber scandies his way through a hole in the wall.

After a long and prominent mountain bike racing career in the disciplines of enduro and downhill, René Wildhaber will shift his focus to growing the sport he loves with new projects. His charismatic personality, experience within multiple disciplines, and abundant knowledge will make him a pivotal figurehead and ambassador for Trek in support of its trail and e-MTB segments.

Racing will continue to be an important component of René’s schedule, and he will participate in select enduro adventures and EWS stops throughout the year. In addition to these select competitive endeavors, René will advocate for the continued growth of the crucial e-MTB segment in Europe. René will also be involved in photo and video shoots for the Trek brand. His experience and longevity within the world of mountain biking has led to immense success over the years, and Trek is looking forward to the next evolution in René’s career.

Rene Wildhaber is maybe the most experienced big mountain racer in the field this weekend although Abaslon and Clementz would probably stake claims to that title too . It was here in La Thuile two years ago where he really started moving towards the front of the field leading the overnight standings last time the circuit came here. After a rocky 2015 this could be just the race to get him back in contention.

René Wildhaber has always been one step ahead of the mountain bike world,” said Trek Mountain Bike Marketing Manager Travis Ott. “He was enduro before enduro was the thing. He was pedaling big mountain adventures before that was the trend. He embraced electric mountain bikes as a viable option before it became the next big thing. In short, René is truly a champion and guiding force in mountain biking. I’m thrilled that Trek and René will continue to work together, and I can’t wait to see where he takes mountain biking next”.

René’s influence and mark on the sport of mountain biking, in terms of both culture and product development, will be seen for many years to come.

“In his time with Trek Factory Racing, René proved to be one of the most prolific riders we’ve had,” said Trek Sports Marketing Director Tim Vanderjeugd. “Few have pushed the boundaries of the sport more than René, so we’re incredibly excited that he will continue to be an impactful voice for Trek and the sport as a whole.

Look for René at rides and competitions in Europe, as well as events promoting the growth of the e-MTB segment.


First Off-road Cycling Report gives Unique Insight into UK Scene

First Off-road Cycling Report gives Unique Insight into UK Scene

Earlier this week Cycling UK launched its report “Rides of Way: Cycling UK’s Off-Road Report 2017” at the London Bike Show hosted at the ExCeL centre in London. The report’s findings are based on a survey conducted by the cycling charity with off-road advocacy group, OpenMTB, which ran for eight weeks from August to October 2016.

The pedal up to stage 5 passed an abandoned building covered in grafitti and looking out onto the beautiful Scottish landscape.

A first of its kind in the UK, Rides of Way provides unique insight into the current off-road cycling scene based on the 11,482 responses the initial survey received. Cycling UK believes the report will be of particular use to decision makers at a local and national level, major land owners, the cycling trade and campaigners who are looking for up-to-date information on the cyclists who take to the UK’s trails and tracks every day.

Cycling UK s Off-Road Report 2017

The report covers motivations for riding off-road, the impact it has on physical and mental health, riding habits, tourism benefits, the impact of technology and what the community believes is the best way of maximising the benefits of off-road cycling. In addition, Rides of Way looks specifically at the differences in the thoughts, attitudes, and experiences of women who ride regularly.

Among the findings of the report are the following:

– Health and fitness are top motivators for riding off-road for both men (31%) and women (26.3%)
– 91% rate off-road cycling as fairly or very important for their mental health, and 90% for their physical health
– Two-thirds cycle straight from their front door to ride on Rights of Way
– One-third of cyclists ride regularly on trails whose status they do not know, with a further 74% considering the current Rights of Way unsuitable

Cycling UK s Off-Road Report 2017

Paul Tuohy, Cycling UK Chief Executive, said:

“Over 30% of the 3.5 million bikes sold every year in Britain are designed for off-road use. That’s a lot of people who are looking to buy a bike purely for leisure, whether that’s riding with their families or heading to the trail centres, but there have been very few organisations doing anything to represent their interests. It’s time someone stood up and championed this silent majority. Cycling UK’s Rides of Way report shows most people are clearly frustrated by a system which could be much more accessible. There is so much more we can do to make off-road riding easier without creating conflict, and that will be Cycling UK’s goal as it launches its off-road campaign in the spring.”

Cycling UK s Off-Road Report 2017

Jon Snow, Cycling UK President said:

“Cycling UK has been at the vanguard of opening up thousands of miles of off-road access for cyclists; from winning the rights to use royal parks in 1885, to gaining the right to cycle on bridleways and long-distance cross-country routes in 1968 and successfully campaigning for the ‘Right to Roam’ in Scotland in 2003. Scotland has shown how it can be done with respect for all users and the environment, and for greater access to our green and pleasant land. It’s about time people in England and Wales enjoyed the benefits too.”

2016 Tweedlove International Enduro

Tracy Moseley, Cycling UK Off-Road Ambassador, and Downhill and Enduro World Champion said:

“Cycling UK knows there’s room for vast improvement, and being sensitive to the concerns of walkers, horse riders and landowners, it is looking to work with all of these groups to open up our landscape responsibly. There’s a lot to be gained for everyone by increasing access: from the physical and mental health benefits for the riders to reinvigorating the rural economy through increased tourism. The winds of change are blowing in 2017 and, together with this report, I’m looking forward to helping make cycling off-road more open for everyone.”

As one of its first actions with its new campaign, Cycling UK will look to draw up codes of conduct with other user groups, such as the British Horse Society, and will promote responsible off-road cycling behaviour.

Hard copy versions of Rides of Way are available at Cycling UK’s stand at the London Bike Show, Stand No. LB1412, and for download here.


Spanish Enduro Racer Toni Ferreiro Joins Merida

Spanish Enduro Racer Toni Ferreiro Joins Merida

For the 2017 season it has been one of the focuses of the Merida R&D team to add a competition ready Enduro bike to the line-up, so we are excited to announce that the hard work of the last two years has finally paid off: Welcome to the One-sixty and welcome to the Merida Enduro world! So with a new bike in the stable, it was just a question of time until we added a suitable rider into the equation. We are delighted to welcome Toni Ferreiro to the Merida family, riding our brand new One-sixty.

Toni Ferreiro joins Merida

About the rider:

Toni has three Spanish DH and two Enduro Championship titles in the Elite category. On top of that, he reached the 27th position in his first year in the Enduro World Series (EWS). In particular, the first round in Chile (12th position) and an impressive 4th place at the round in Argentina showed his potential. Toni joins forces with Merida Bikes to compete both nationally and internationally on the One-sixty 8000, debuting at the upcoming Valparaíso event in Chile on February 18th and 19th.

“We believe that Toni is the perfect rider for what we are looking for here at Merida; he has a solid racing base and brings with him lots of experience and a promising track record. Besides that, he is an international rider with some interesting future projects in the Enduro discipline. Toni combines experience and ambition and these are two attributes he shares with our brand. We strongly believe that this signing clearly reveals our intention to play an important role in the Enduro discipline,” comments Merida.

Toni Ferreiro joins Merida

The One-sixty range consists of three models: 8000 (top of the range), 7000 and 5000. Toni Ferreiro commented as follows regarding his first impressions of the One-sixty: “Just riding it, I felt so comfortable, it is a bike with a spot on geometry. I noticed instantly how maneuverable it is. It is very agile yet remains super stable on fast straight sections. As for pedalling, it is very efficient and you can pedal super hard without losing any power as the pedalling doesn’t adversely effect on the rear suspension. The bike maintains a balanced position, reducing the likelihood of the pedals hitting stones and rocks so that allows you to gain some seconds on each descent without realizing it.”

Toni Ferreiro joins Merida


MENTIONS: @Merida-com

The UCI Revives the Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup

The UCI Revives the Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup

Crowned World Champion a week earlier Sam Gaze rocks the rainbow stripes in Lenzerheide.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is pleased to announce the return of mountain bike cross-country Eliminator (XCE) to the highest level with the launch of a new UCI World Cup in 2017. All the rounds will be characterised by city-centre competitions.

The series is made possible thanks to the UCI’s partnership with City Mountainbike, organisers specialised in the staging of XCE events in urban settings. Their events have been registered on the UCI International Calendar since 2012. City Mountainbike will be responsible for all aspects of the event organisation, such as the course set-up, official timing and television production.

Raced over short and technical courses in heats of four riders at a time, XCE is a mixture of cross-country Olympic, for the type of course, and four-cross, for the format.

The discipline, which featured on the programme of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano for three seasons (2012 – 2014), will now have a series in an enhanced format. XCE, present since 2015 at national and continental level and at the UCI World Championships, will set out to conquer city centres throughout the six-month season.

There is no such thing as an easy start. Full on high pace maxing out.

From May in Volterra (Italy) to October in Beirut (Lebanon), the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup will visit eight cities in seven countries from three continents.

2017 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup calendar

Volterra (ITA) – 5-6.05.2017*

Columbus (USA) – 3-4.06.2017

Waregem (BEL) – 24-25.06.2017

Bangkok (THA) – 29-30.07.2017*

Winterberg (GER) – 26-27.08.2017

Apeldoorn (NED) – 2-3.09.2017*

Antwerp (BEL) – 23-24.09.2017

Beirut (LIB) – 15-16.10.2017*

*Pending confirmation by National Federation

The XCE season will finish with the 2017 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, which will feature XCE, trials and BMX Freestyle Park. The first edition of these Worlds will take place in China during the final quarter of the year, as part of the partnership signed with the group Wanda Sports [press release] for the development of cycling in China. The exact venue and date of these World Championships will be communicated at a later date.

The UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup will offer nations qualification points for the UCI World Championships, and the two events together constitute an attractive calendar that does the discipline justice.

In line with the strategy to develop women’s cycling implemented by the UCI since the election of Brian Cookson in 2013, the UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup will offer equal prize money for men and women.

Speeding through for another larp

UCI President Brian Cookson said: “I am delighted by this partnership with City Mountainbike, which enables us to relaunch a discipline that is spectacular and popular with fans. With this new UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup, we confirm our desire to bring our sport to where the public is, in the heart of cities. As with trials and BMX Freestyle Park, Eliminator requires minimum logistics, which fits in with the desire of cities to organise events that use temporary installations. The international character of this first edition proves that the format appeals to cities throughout the world and we are delighted by that.”

Kristof Bruyneel, Manager of City Mountainbike, declared: “City Mountainbike is proud to have been chosen by the UCI to set up this new UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup. As organisers, we will use our know-how, recognised by XCE community, and contribute further to the discipline’s expansion throughout the world.

Propain Dreckspatz – 20″ Kids Hardtail

Propain Dreckspatz – 20″ Kids Hardtail

Propain Dreckspatz - 20 Kids Hardtail

Visitors of the Eurobike may have already caught a glimpse of the new 20“ kids hardtail Dreckspatz. Besides the Frechdax full suspension bike, it completes Propain’s range of high-end kid’s bikes with a more affordable hardtail.

Propain Dreckspatz - 20 Kids Hardtail

For all those kids who spend their riding time in a bike park or already try themselves out in rather technical terrain, the full suspension model Frechdax is probably the best option. For all others, who just need a light, strong and reliable kids bike to ride the trails next door or hit the local pump track, the new Dreckspatz is the perfect choice. Being super light and very pedal efficient the Dreckspatz hardtail is easy to handle and a real skill booster for the kids.

Propain Dreckspatz - 20 Kids Hardtail

A light weight is essential for a great kids bike as a difference of just a few hundred grams can be felt by the young feather light shredders. Therefore Propain optimized the tubing of the new Dreckspatz to lower the frame weight to only 1.300g.

Propain Dreckspatz - 20 Kids Hardtail

Equally important as the frame is the choice of the right components. As the offerings for lightweight kids components are still rather limited, Propain simply started their own kids component series to match the quality of their frames. Under the brand name “1st Ride“, Propain offers a lightweight carbon suspension fork, cranksets, handlebars, stems and wheelsets.

Propain Dreckspatz - 20 Kids Hardtail

The weight of the high-end Dreckspatz Race is around 8.8kg. Prices for a complete bike start at 899€. Propain now offers the Dreckspatz in their online store in two different builds and two different color options, green and blue.

Propain Dreckspatz - 20 Kids Hardtail


Propain Dreckspatz - 20 Kids Hardtail


Propain Dreckspatz - 20 Kids Hardtail
Propain Dreckspatz - 20 Kids Hardtail
Rachel Atherton Wins Action Sportsperson of the Year

Rachel Atherton Wins Action Sportsperson of the Year

Rachel Atherton continues to gather accolades and has now been awarded Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year to add on top of her perfect season in 2016 and Pinkbike 2016 Athlete of the Year. Rachel was also nominated for this award last year but was unlucky in the end.

The Laureus Awards were created in 2000 as part of Laureus Sport for Good, a movement that uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination, and disadvantage. The first time the award was given Nelson Mandela was the Patron, and he believed passionately in the cause.

Rachel Atherton Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year - Sven Martin PhotoPhoto – Sven Martin/Laureus

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.” – Nelson Mandela

The Actions Sports Award goes to “the sportsman or sportswoman who best demonstrates supreme athletic performance and achievement in action sports in the qualifying year”. Rachel was up against some tough competition with her fellow nominees all boasting amazing progression for their sports in 2016, including Pedro Barros (a Brazillian skaterboarder), surfers John John Florence and Tyler Wright, Chloe Kim (a US snowboarder) and Kelly Sildaru (a freestyle skier). In the end Rachel’s perfect season resulted in the panel awarding the Queen of Downhill.

To say the least, Rachel was excited by the news, saying; “I’m overwhelmed to be even mentioned in such a list! And it’s great that four out of the six Action Sports nominees are women—how awesome is that! Chloe and Kelly are still in their teens, (it) looks like Action Sports has a lot to look forward to!

Rachel encouraged the riders to inspect sections of the many tracks at Revolution Bike Park prior to riding allowing line choices to be demonstrated and riding technique to be discussed before setting off for the first run of the day.

Rachel was unable to make the glitz and glam of the ceremony, held in Monaco and hosted by Hugh Grant, as she is busy putting in work at the moment, training for the 2017 season in California.

I was gutted not to be able to make the ceremony; we looked at every available flight, about 100 different sets of scheduling but we just couldn’t make it work.

I can’t quite believe this is real and I am so delighted that my success this season and the sport of downhill mountain biking as a whole has been recognised in the wider world of sport. I really thank the Academy members for giving me this honour, it makes it even more special that the award is voted for by the real legends of the sport, all of whom I have admired and been inspired by; every one of them knows exactly how many hours go into finally achieving your goal. What Laureus stands for and the work Laureus does to help young people around the world really means a lot to me, I fully believe that sport changes your life and gives you the tools to overcome anything. Thank you so much Laureus, I will carry this award with pride and I will use it to inspire all the future mountain bikers out there.”

Nina skills for Rachel Atherton en route to her 12th consecutive World Cup win.

Laureus have been encouraging all aspects of mountain-biking and honoring its stars for some time now and while Rachel is the first mountain-biker to actually lift the Laureus trophy, a quick glance at previous nominations throws up some familiar names including Anne Caro Chausson, Julien Absalon, Danny MacAskill and Darren Berrecloth.

MENTIONS: @trek / @redbullbike

C3 Project Adds New Talent for 2017

C3 Project Adds New Talent for 2017

For years, The C3 Project has driven progression in mountain biking, delivering the most awe-inspiring freeride and slopestyle performances the world over. As the 2017 season approaches, new and returning members are looking to double down on their success.

Trek C3 2017
Cam McCaul.

Moving forward, The C3 Project will focus on competitions, producing the most exciting film segments in the sport, and continuing to push the creative envelope wherever possible.

Trek C3 2017 - Credit H ctor Saura
Brandon Semenuk.

Brandon Semenuk, Brett Rheeder, Cam McCaul, Ryan Howard, and Tom van Steenbergen return to the program for 2017 under the guidance of mountain bike legend, Andrew Shandro. 2016 brought memorable standout performances from the team, including a Crankworx Whistler Slopestyle win from Brett and Redbull Rampage win from Brandon. This year, look for the riders at classic events like Crankworx and Red Bull Rampage, as well as in new videos released throughout the season.

Trek C3 2017
Andrew Shandro.

This year, The C3 Project welcomes Swedish breakout performer, Emil Johansson to the team. Emil proved that he is ready for the next level with a strong 4th place finish in slopestyle at Crankworx Whistler. Hailing from the town of Trollhattan, but living in Falun, the 17-year-old is confident for 2017.

Trek C3 2017
Emil Johansson.

Emil is looking forward to expanding on his momentum from 2016, and riding with such a seasoned group of athletes:

“Honestly, I am speechless to be on the same team as my favourite riders. It´s something I didn’t think I could accomplish. One year ago, I didn’t even have an FMB license and now I am here, riding for my dream bike sponsor! I couldn’t be happier.”

Trek C3 2017
Tom van Steenbergen.

Find Emil on Instagram at @johanssoemil. Look for the C3 team at major events, and follow them on Instagram at @c3project. The new home of racing at Trek is, where you’ll find photo albums, the latest videos, and rider profiles and stories about all of Trek’s athletes.

Trek C3 2017
Brett Rheeder.


Shimano to Support Mondraker DH Team

Shimano to Support Mondraker DH Team

Mondraker Shimano

Bicycle component maker Shimano and downhill mountain biking team MS Mondraker, home to downhill World Champion Danny Hart, today announce their partnership for the next two years. MS Mondraker will ride with Shimano Saint drivetrain components at the highest level of mountain biking in the next two seasons.

The team not only features current and two-time World Champion Danny Hart but also Downhill sensation Laurie Greenland, who comes back to the component brand he used to win 2015’s World Junior title. Hart and Greenland are prolific mountain bikers who, at the ages of 25 and 19, already have three Elite World Championship titles between them. Moreover, as the World’s best Downhill mountain bikers they gives Shimano engineers the best case study for product development.

Mondraker Shimano


Mondraker Shimano

Hart and Greenland are joined by two other riders familiar with the top step of the podium, and former European champion Markus Pekoll.

MS Mondraker team manager Markus Stöckl: “When we first dreamt of creating a downhill team we set our sights at the highest level: to have world champions pushing the development of the sport. Together now with Shimano we are able to further realise that dream.

Hart, Greenland, and Pekoll will find Shimano Saint components adorning their full carbon downhill Mondraker Summum 27.5 Stealth frames. As well as World Cup level braking featuring Shimano’s Ice Technology heat management rotors and caliper set up, Saint also features a Duraluminium single chain ring crankset available in three sizes (34T, 36T or 38T) and a Saint Shadow+ 10-speed rear derailleur featuring a chain stabilizing clutch mechanism.

Mondraker Shimano

Shimano sports marketing manager Rudy Bouwmeester: “Shimano is thrilled to partner up with one of the strongest downhill teams, MS Mondraker and is committed to supporting the team’s ambitions on the World Cup circuit. We look forward to working with all MS Mondraker athletes and mechanics to continue developing world-class components.”

MS Mondraker kick off their Downhill World Cup season on April 29-30 in Lourdes, France, although team riders will compete in domestic warm-up events including the British Downhill Series in the build-up.

MENTIONS: @shimano

Sheffield Indoor Bike Park Announced

Sheffield Indoor Bike Park Announced

This is our initial logo.

When it’s grim and grey outside, when the clocks change at the end of October, when you are rushing to get ready for an evening ride and you realise your lights aren’t charged, or when you realise you never got round to cleaning your bike after the last mud bath you call a ride, it’s all too easy to slump back in front of the computer and watch videos of other people riding in bright sunshine on exciting mud free trails.

As you sit there, gaining weight, clogging your arteries with goo, and snapping at your loved ones; you occasionally stumble on video of somewhere like Ray’s and you think; “why haven’t we got something like that?”

Well soon you can have, and all you have to do is help a little bit (or a lot).

Sheffield is a shining beacon of innovation. Everything in the modern world is thanks to Sheffield developing the mass production of steel. And now, within spitting distance of where steel mass production was developed, the riders of Sheffield are showing the way out of the darkness and the damp and the wind and the… let’s face it, mud.

2016 began badly, and got steadily worse, 2017 needs to be better and this winter needs to be the last winter where we don’t have an indoor Mountain-bike and BMX park.

Well before October comes around, and the clocks have to crap on our dreams again, we will have a place to go and escape the elements, a place to go and learn new skills, a place to go to build new muscles, a place to go and meet new friends.

Possible bowl design for the new parkPossible bowl design for the new park.

We will have little indoor hills with challenging technical climbs and fun little descents.
We will have twisty trails with berms and drops and gaps and hips.
We will have pump tracks with endless scope to improve your technique.
We will have lumps for trials type stuff.
We will have a wooden bowl to swoop and carve around.
And we will have jumps, oh man we will have jumps, and not just big intimidating stomach churning jumps only for the heavy of testicle, but fun little jumps to start anyone off, and hips to left and right, and medium jumps that just flow and flow, jumps that get you high in every sense.

And if there is a berm, or a jump, or a drop, or a trials obstacle that you want that we don’t have, then you can roll your sleeves up and build it!

And we will be open, not just at weekends and evenings, but 9am-10pm seven days a week, so if you work shifts or unsociable hours you can come and ride when it suits you!

After hours of market research and brainstorming, the name “Sheffield Bike Park” has been conjured from thin air to try to describe what will be a bike park in Sheffield, but no mere words can describe the wonder that is to come.

Sheffield Bike Park will be a bike park by and for the riders of Sheffield and beyond. A not-for-profit community enterprise that ploughs its profits back into the park and the riders. The more money comes in, the more stuff gets built, simple as that.

Sheffield Bike Park will be launching it’s crowd-funding campaign soon. The team is in place, the plans are well advanced, the industry and the council are behind it, and local riders are rolling up their sleeves. But not until the building has been secured will we be launching the campaign itself, so when you see the campaign you know it’s really on.

Get excited and get ready, 2017 is the year.

Inspiration for the logo was the idea of a track so thought I d try modelling it with all the berms etc.Inspiration for the logo was the idea of a track, so thought I’d try modelling it with all the berms etc.

Sheffield Bike Park is currently:-

James Folkes: Rider. Skilled tradesman and catalyst. Now full time project managing Sheffield Bike Park.

George French: Bicycle Design Engineer. Founder of G-Sport BMX, currently with Odyssey BMX, Sunday Bikes, G-Sport, Fairdale and OTX Design. Now also at Sheffield Bike Park.

Steve Rimmer: Socially responsible entrepreneur, setting up numerous Sheffield arts and entertainment based businesses including the hugely successful Creative Arts Development Space Trust (CADS).

The core team have a history of “getting shit done” and “knowing who to ask” a combination of which gets them through anything.

Well wishers, currently include:-

Sheffield “the outdoor city”
Ride Sheffield
This is Sheffield
Steve Peat
18 Bikes
And numerous other local individuals and businesses are jumping in daily.

Future contributors include: YOU!

*On-Board skatepark will be partnering with Sheffield Bike Park to expand their already excellent educational programs and support to local disadvantaged children and groups which will also help us expand our opening hours.

FS Patrol Funn: A Rider Led World Cup Team

FS Patrol Funn: A Rider Led World Cup Team

In a World Cup scene dominated by big teams on budgets running close to a million euro’s, it’s easy to think that the rider-owned spirit could be in jeopardy heading into the 2017 season. Contracts, marketing budgets, bonuses, and targets could be seen to have taken precedent over riding, racing, and living for the feeling that first got you hooked on riding bikes. Yet, there are still a few riders left pursuing that dream where the boundary between rider and manager overlaps: A dream where you have all the risk—but all of the reward.

Made up of three riders from across the globe, bringing FS Patrol Funn together hasn’t been an easy task. Harry Molloy (Tunbridge Wells, England), Veronika Widmann (Bozen, Italy) and Bryn Dikerson (Wellington, New Zealand) are forming the eclectic trio and will be racing a full UCI World Cup Calendar in 2017, in addition to IXS Cups, national rounds, the infamous Asian Pacific DH Challenge and much more.

FS Patrol Funn World Cup Team

Harry Molloy has scored top 30 results at the World Cup level and is keen to break into the top 20 in 2017. His experience as a racer in various World Cup teams over the last 5 years landed him the role of rider/manager. With the task of sourcing sponsors, mechanic, pit setups, kit designs, travel, logistics and team registrations, it’s been a full-time job for Harry over the last 6 months.

bigquotes I’m just so stoked to see it all come together. It’s been a tough 6 months but to be on the road to the first World Cup at Lourdes is going to be an awesome feeling.

Veronika Widmann is one of the new breed of young DH racers looking to shake up the regular faces on the podium in the women’s category. With an Italian National championship win, IXS series title and narrowly missing out on a podium step at the Fort William World Cup she is intent on bringing some UCI medals home this year. Veronika comes from an XC background and certainly has the right mix of skill and “flat out” style that could take her far.

bigquotes I’m so stoked to be in this new team. I’m looking forward to having a good time with these cool guys, traveling around, shredding trails and racing with professional support behind me. I’m very grateful and more determined than ever.

A World Cup team isn’t right without a crazy Kiwi. Bryn Dikerson is the teams’ resident New Zealander, the 2016 Oceana Champ and IXS Cup winner.

bigquotes Most of the time life gives you lemons…but sometimes you get a bacon sandwich….this is one of those times! So stoked to be part of an awesome team with a great bunch of people! Lets get into it!

Setting up a team is often the dream of many riders at all levels, but it takes a serious determination and tenacity that few can appreciate “First you’ve got the surprisingly tricky task have find your riders. We were good friends on the scene last year and all had a similar outlook. Most importantly we get on well, which is key when you’re spending half the year on the road together.”

FS Patrol Funn World Cup Team

“Being from 3 different countries doesn’t make it easy! Bryn is probably pretty sick of me Skype calling him and waking him up in the middle of the night over in NZ. Through the season it’ll be easier- we’ll be traveling around together in a van, getting the pits setup at races ourselves and just racing”.

An Italian, a Brit and a Kiwi may seem like an exotic combination (or a dodgy joke) but the process of coming together has been organic in the way it developed. Instead of going out on the hunt for riders out of contract, or riders looking for a change, Harry managed to bring a team of friends together, which he hopes will be a huge benefit during the long, and the sometimes arduous racing season.

“We have all got on great together for a while around the races. I’ve had a laugh through the few years that I’ve known Bryn. It’s not easy living opposite ends of the world but in the seasons we ride and have stayed together… the banter levels fly high and he’s a very strong, respected rider. I’ve known Veronika for a while too. Managing SRF, they had me searching for a top female rider for 2016. It didn’t quite work out then but I could help through the season where needed and we get on great. We actually all shared a big house together in Mont Sainte Anne last year too”

On paper, the sponsorship pitch of a global World Cup team sounds strong, but there are many unseen factors at work here. Economic policy, the current state of the market—not least import, export, and production costs, all affect budgets that potential sponsors can invest in a race program. Harry may be a relative veteran of the scene, but his team is a new project and convincing marketing managers that you have what it takes is no easy feat—bikes may be fun, but companies need to see a return on their investments. There is, as they say, no such thing as a free ride.

FS Patrol Funn World Cup Team

“Pitching to potential sponsors as a new team is hard and it’s the first time we’ve done it really, it’s a huge learning curve and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been pretty stressed at times. We were pretty lucky to have made contacts over the last few years over racing. I say contacts but really these people were friends on the circuit, people who were passionate about their products who you can just talk openly to about our team plans. We wanted sponsors who we have a good relationship with, companies who you can call them after a race and talk things through- we’re lucky to have such a good bunch supporting us”.

FS Patrol Funn World Cup Team
FS Patrol Funn World Cup Team
That support is key to making the dream a reality. As a privateer, you’ll be looking at at least €10–20k to fund yourself around the World Cup circuit. When you add in two more riders, all from different countries you begin to see why the larger teams employ full-time managers, logistic managers and more. Harry has taken this whole process on himself, while still trying to juggle training and getting out on the bike.

Of course, the riders will not be fixing their bikes themselves: mechanics are a special breed that is hard to find—let alone a mechanic who just happens to be free for half the year to travel around on the road with a World Cup team. Often under the radar, mechanics are a vital cog in the machine.

Any top WC racer will tell you that a wrench is so much more than someone who makes sure your equipment is fast and safe—they are a sounding board, a counsellor and play a vital support role in a racer’s life. It’s a role that many would shy away from—always in the shadows of the rider, getting little recognition and dealing with the pressure of knowing that you can shape a racer’s entire weekend by how you yourself perform at your role. Henry Quinney will be new to the World Cup circuit, but he is well known to those in the southern hemisphere having wrenched at the now globally known Vertigo Bikes in Queenstown.

Vertigo has a history of supplying top mechanics to World Cup teams—both Mick and Tracey Hannah’s mechanics have served time at the shop – “Henry came with strong recommendations from close friends in the scene. He is a top athlete himself too racing crazy, long endurance events… he knows and understands the top level support that is needed and the importance of it from a riders perspective. He fits into the team spot on.”

bigquotes “I’m so happy to be on the tools for the team. The Super talented bunch that not only know how to ride hard but also keep the stoke high! And to be honest, what else is there?” – Henry Quinney

Setting up the team requires perseverance and a drive that matches any racers desire to succeed, but ultimately the sacrifices required are worth it in the long run. The financial rewards may be a driving force in the bigger teams, but the desire to ride a bike full time is driven by a passion for racing.

“You know, it’s been a long off-season creating this team and I’ve been training harder than ever. I’m literally buzzing to hear those beeps again and get stuck into some proper DH!”

If Harry could offer any advice to those thinking about entering the world of race teams, he does so with caution but stresses the importance of optimism and good old fashioned face to face relationships “Be ready for the unexpected for one. I knew it would be a task and a half to take this on but I couldn’t have imagined some of it. Another thing is… Go and meet the guys in charge of the brands that you want to promote. They probably get hundreds of emails a week and if you go over for a meeting, you can tell them all about what you want to do for them”.

Harry and the team would like to thank the 2017 Sponsors and here’s to creating some amazing memories through the year! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep updated with our progress.

The team is supported by:
• Adidas Eyewear
• Bluegrass Eagle
• Funn Components
• Patrol Sports
• Granite Design
• Marzocchi Suspension
• Magura Brakes
• BlockHead Energy
• Hendy Group
• Schwalbe Tyres
• SP?D Precision
• Fenwicks Bike Care
• FsCo.

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