At the UCI World Cup Series – downhill mountain bike racing’s most elite level – speed is the name of the game. New equipment is tested regularly, in hopes that mechanical advantage will gain time on the racetrack. The terrain of the seven race championship is diverse – from the season-opening lung-buster sprint through the South African jungle forest to the most recent round held on the treacherously steep Austrian Alps of Leogang. Next up, the series heads to Canada for the legendary Mont Sainte Anne racecourse.
This weekend at MSA, two-time UCI World Cup Series champion Aaron Gwin will compete on an all-new, 200 millimetre-travel bike: The 2015 Specialized S-Works Demo.
“I’ve been on the bike for about a month now,” says Gwin, about the completely redesigned World Cup bike he and team-mate Troy Brosnan will be debuting at Mont Sainte Anne this weekend. “We got on it right after the National Champs because we wanted to get on it right away for comparison to the old bike on the same track.”
Gwin and Brosnan first got a chance to throw a leg over the new 27.5″-wheeled bike immediately following the 2014 USA Cycling Gravity MTB National Championships in Angel Fire, New Mexico, and found it to be a familiar, but faster Demo.
It’s a really playful bike, but it’s a race bike through and through
“The thing I noticed right away was just how fast it was,” says Aaron Gwin, “It’s a really playful bike, but it’s a race bike through and through.” Gwin believes this bike “reacts quicker than any bike he’s ridden before.”
Utilising a radically-new asymmetrical design – producing the visually-absent seat tube on the non-drive-side – the radically-new approach to carbon frame construction is intended to lower the centre of gravity and keep the frame as stiff as it has always been. You can plant it and change directions really quick because of how your feet sit on the bike. “It accelerates fast because of the [lack of] weight and the stiffness.” Gwin says, “You can plant it and change directions really quick because of how your feet sit on the bike… there are not a lot of pivots so when you put force into the bike it reacts straight away.”
One of the interesting points Gwin makes about the new Demo is how the single-sided seat tube allows for easy in-and-out access to the rear shock. “The switch was really easy and setting up suspension was easy,” says Gwin, “It’s something non-racers might not have to deal with very often. But anyone who races seriously knows how often you need to service, set up and remove your shocks. The access on the Demo makes it so easy, plus I just think it looks rad.”
A floating seatstay keeps the pedalling and braking forces separate, while the standard size 12 x 135 millimetre axle has been engineered to stiffen the rear end with a square-design. However, Gwin says any stiffness gained in the rear end has not added weight. “It’s really light in the rear end, which allows the bike to stay agile,” he says, “I really like a stiff bike so it’s great to not have to sacrifice any rigidity for the added agility.”
Polygon Bikes launched direct sales in North America this year at the Sea Otter Classic. To give consumers an opportunity to see in person, touch, feel and ride the all new Collosus T and N series bikes, Polygon will be offering free demos around the Pacific North West.
Ride>Click>Buy…. And Win! Anyone who demos a Polygon at a Ride>Click>Buy event will be entered to win 1 of 5 prize packs featuring products from Five Ten shoes and IXS helmets and knee protection.
The Polygon N9 is a full carbon, 160mm travel all mountain bike that cranks up tough climbs with ease and is a blast on the way down.
The Polygon T8 is a full carbon trail model with 140mm of travel, it climbs like a mountain goat and charges descents like it’s DH siblings.
The next three stops on the Ride>Click>Buy Tour are as follows:
July 26th and 27th: Family Man staging area at Post Canyon in Hood River.* August 2nd: Panda Trail head in Squamish, British Columbia. August 13th to 18th: Crankworx, Whistler, British Columbia **
*Please note that the Post Canyon Trail Area is currently in Level 3 of extreme fire danger for the 2014 fire season. All trails on HRC property are closed to motorized use at this time. No fires or any open flames are allowed on the Tree Farm. Smoking is prohibited. All vehicles on our property are required to carry one round nose shovel with 8-inch blade equipped with a handle at least 26 inches long and one gallon of water or 2.5 pound fire extinguisher. Motorized vehicles are only allowed to use improved roads (those that are rocked and free of burnable fuels). Motorized vehicles are not allowed to park off-road or in areas where there are any fuels.
**Polygon will not be showing demo bikes in the demo area at Crankworx. Please come by the booth to find out more information on how to demo a bike during Crankworx. Or follow us on Facebook to find out more. For any questions or comments please email [email protected]
A total of 379 athletes (including 48 tandem pilots) from 38 nations competed in Castile & Leon from July 25th to 27th , braving soaring temperatures that already reached 30 degrees in the morning. Germany topped the medals table (17) followed by the United States (15) and Italy (11). Host country Spain was fourth in the table with 11 medals.
Most of the favourites lived up to expectations, such as Great Britain’s Laura Turnham (B), American Shawn Morelli (C4), Canadians Shelley Gautier (T1) and Marie-Eve Croteau (T2) as well as Spain’s Ignacio Avila and Joan Font (B). Alessandro Zanardi (H5) was yet another favourite who took the overall World Cup win in Spain. However, unlike in Italy when the 47-year-old Italian won both the time trial and the road race, Zanardi did not totally dominate proceedings in Segovia. Only 3rd in the time trial on Spanish soil (won by Dutch athlete Tim De Vries), the Italian claimed victory in the road race to ensure his overall win. “I wasn’t happy with the time trial but I made up for it afterwards,” said the former F1 pilot.
The double Paralympic Champion in 2012 had to battle to the end to win the road race. He made the difference at the top of the final 800m climb where he was lying in 4th place before his attack. “The overall level is getting higher and higher,” he said. “It gives us an idea of what it will be like at the World Championships.”
83 trails, 4 countries, one card – the ultimate roadtrip idea for this summer
One ski-pass for Europe? Unheard of! One bike-pass for the entire continent? The GraVity Card has you covered. The GraVity Card connects Europe’s 12 best bike parks and offers eager bikers a broad range of trails at a flatrate-price. The only thing left is to pack up your bike and hit the best tracks in central Europe.
Once your car is packed to the brim with bikes, gear and energy drinks a roadtrip is undeniably the jolliest way to spend this sun-blessed time of the year. But where do you go? Where are the most flowy freeride trails? Where are the most fun downhill tracks? With the GraVity Card in your pocket, you don’t have to think about it: just hit the road and explore the top bike parks.
1 continent, 4 countries, 12 bike parks. This extensive offer is one-of-a-kind throughout sport disciplines. Only the very best bike parks are members of the GraVity Card union. For downhill addicts this comes down to: frequently maintained tracks, top-notch infrastructure and a broad variety of trails. Rental bikes, washing stations, camping grounds and accommodation – you name it, these parks have it. If you would dare to pack all GraVity bike parks into one huge road trip, your car would roll about 2.140 kilometers (1.330 miles) across the continent. Sounds like a pretty sweet plan, right?
83 tracks. In other words, at least 83 reasons to have the GraVity Card in your pocket. The range of trails covers all riding levels, from challenging downhill tracks to broad and easy beginner trails with rollers and perfectly shaped berms. Slopestyle areas, air bags, pumptracks and training areas are the icing on the cake in most of the parks.
7,500 vertical meters (24,600 ft.). Even for a hardcore enduro rider that is a lot. But with the GraVity Card, the park gondalas will take you to the top of every mountain without even breaking a sweat. Perfect conditions to make sure you are in good shape to drop in and rip the trail. Once you’re behind the bars, ready to roll, you can choose from trails with 180 meters (590 ft.) of vertical drop to heart pulsing downhill rides covering more than 1,000 vertical meters (3,280 ft.). Either way, fun is guaranteed.
145 days. That is how long you could spend on the road and in the parks. For more than 20 weeks, you can hit the best tracks in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Germany and Austria. But simply – you best get hold of a GraVity Card as fast as possible because summer is here and the bike parks are waiting!
The GraVity Card sells for 385,- euros (youth: 305,- euros, children: 195,- euros) and is valid until November 2nd, 2014. Please keep in mind the different operating times of the individual lift stations. The GraVity Card can be purchased online or at the participation bike parks.
Bikepark Leogang The bike region of Saalfelden Leogang and Bikepark Leogang were honored with the hosting of the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships and the yearly UCI Mountain Bike Downhill Worldcups. Sensational competitions and thousands of fascinated visitors made these events absolute mountain bike fests! Get yourself on the trails and check out the demanding world championship course or have a ride on freeride and North Shore single trials! On the 9 different trails as well as in the Riders Playground at Bikepark Leogang every rider, whether rookie or pro will find his favorite challenge.
Opening times: May 15th – October 26th 2014
Top events 2014: August 10th to 14th: Rookie II & Freeride Camp for Youngsters August 31st: 3rd MTB Hillclimb & 6th Asitz mountain run September 19th to 21st: Biketember Festival iXS European Downhill Cup Final Stop | Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series (Leogang & Saalbach Hinterglemm) | SCOTT Junior Trophy October 3rd to 5th: Fan Weekend October 3rd to 5th: Girls shred too ladies bike park and freeride camp
Saalbach Hinterglemm – Freeriding in its purest form 4 cable cars on 4 different mountains and a connected network of 400 km paths & trails as well as a great infrastructure – these are the ingredients for a biking paradise at its best. In addition to the wide range of trails for every age and skill level, the Freeride Region of Saalbach Hinterglemm attracts furthermore with pumptrack & technique area, bike & service shops, events & camps, guiding, etc. Special highlight: The BIG-5-BIKE Challenge guarantees maximum freeride feeling in one day.
Opening times: May 23rd – October 26th 2014 (Please note the different operating times of the cable cars)
Top events 2014: July 25th – 27th: Lake of Charity September 4th – 7th: World Games of Mountainbiking September 21st: Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series (Leogang & Saalbach Hinterglemm)
Bikepark Zau[:ber:]g Semmering Bikepark Zau[:ber:]g Semmering offers a wide range of trails for all age groups and skill levels. Bikepark Semmering is happy to announce that the German magazine awarded it with an outstanding rating. The bike park scored 8 out of 10 possible points and additionally received the FREERIDE-Bikepark-Tip. Source: FREERIDE-Magazin 02/2014.
Everything from a single source: The bike shop at the valley station offers everything from bike trainings to rental bikes from Ghost and Giant. The experienced team from Bikestore.cc is happy to service your bike and assist you with spare parts. Furthermore, you can choose from a broad range of bikes, parts and fashion as well as accommodation including bike packages and book online.
Top event 2014: August 16th to 17th: 8th 24 hours Downhill “race the night” About 400 riders will heat up Zau[:ber:]g Semmering and provide hot racing action! The worldwide unique endurance downhill race already has an excellent reputation in the bike scene and attracts downhill experts as well as managers and the mayors.
Opening times: July and August: daily September and October: Thursday to Sunday until 26th of October From 9:00am to 5:00pm
Bikepark Wagrain Salzburg | Wagrain | Flying Mozart Centrally located, only 60 km south of Salzburg and conveniently close to the highway Tauernautobahn A10. In a few short minutes the Flying Mozart gondola will transport you to the start, where visitors can expect a complete selection of trails for all abilities. For example the wide flowing, machine built trails like “On Air” and the legendary “Symphony” or the old school single tracks “Angry Ants” and “Memories”. The cool variety of trails not only challenges professionals and satisfies adrenaline junkies, it also introduces newbies to the Gravity scene with a perfect playground. The countdown is running… on August 2nd and 3rd, the legendary Symphony Jam Session Weekend will take place again at Bikepark Wagrain. SIGN UP NOW The Symphony Air Race with a downhill and style run is happening on Saturday. On Sunday, lots of style will be shown at the Public Photo Shooting, whilst fierce battling will be going on at the Chainless Race on Lilly’s Treat. Party? You bet!
Dates of operation: July 5th to August 31st: Daily, from 9:00am to 5:00 pm September 2nd to 28th: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
Top event 2014: August 2nd to 3rd: Symphony Jam Session Weekend SIGN UP NOW
Bikepark Planai – 1,000 vertical meters of pure adrenaline! Bikepark Planai is one of the most versatile in the Alpes and offers diversity for riders of all skill levels. Starting at 1.830 meters above sea level, 11 different trails lead down to the valley. The Alpreif Bikecenter in the finish area provides everything riders need and are happy to lend a helping hand. As additional service, “Guidings” for beginners and advanced riders riders are provided. Race-proven guides introduce bike newbies to the downhill sport and help to improve skills quickly in intense, but playful trainings.
During the two “Shot in Thrill” Public Shootings on July 12th and August 23rd 2014, a professional photographer will take action pictures at marked spots in the Bikepark Planai. Make sure to not miss out on this opportunity: first, because you will get professional action pics, which can be downloaded from the Bikepark Planai website for free. Second, because there is a online voting after each shooting on the Bikepark Planai Facebook fanpage with awesome prizes up for grabs! One of the rewards for example is a downhill package for 2 people, sponsored by aQi hotel Schladming, including 2 nights for 2 people in the aQi Hotel Schladming with half-board and tickets for the gondola. It’s worth taking part!
Opening times: nonstop from May 29th to October 5th respectively October 11th 2014
Top events 2014: August 23rd: Shoot in Thrill – Public Photo Shooting October 11th: Shaper Games
Bikepark Winterberg – Germany’s bikepark with the widest variety of tracks: 10 professionally shaped courses with a total length of 10 km. From downhillers to slopestylers, from beginners to pros, in Winterberg there is something for everyone. For the 2014 season, shaper guru Diddie Schneider will work over and optimize all the tracks and the all-new six-person chairlift makes queuing a thing of the past. The Bikepark Winterberg offers everything that a biker’s heart desires: top rental bikes & equipment, MTB lessons, DH camps, catering for every budget and cheap accommodation incl. a bikepark ticket discount at Hostel Erlebnisberg Kappe which is just 200 m away.
Opening times: Early April until November 2nd Monday to Sunday, from 9.30am to 5.30pm
Top event 2015: May 22nd – 25th: iXS Dirt Masters – Europe’s biggest Mountainbike Freeride Festival: more than 35,000 spectators, 180 exhibitors in the expo area and 1,800 riders from 20 different countries. Contests: iXS German Downhill Cup, SKS Slopestyle, BikeUnit 4X Rumble, TSG Cash for Tricks, etc.
Specialized Bikepark Pohorje – A ride to remember! The season at Specialized Bike Park Pohorje is already in full swing since April! We open first and close last – Europe’s longest bike park season! Just 60 km from Graz, 250 km from Vienna, 350 km from Budapest and 450 km from Munich, you can descend 717 vertical meters and ride almost 15 km of: endless flowing, technical and rooty Freeride trails, a new slopestyle course, the legendary World Cup Trail, a bike camp, good food & party atmosphere, bag jump and a dirt park & BMX line. Each trail offers a different flavor for all styles of riding!
Opening times: Early April until early November
Top events 2014: September 6th to 7th: European Enduro Series #5 End of October: Season Closing Day
The MTB Zone Bikepark at the Geisskopf is the world’s first bike park and celebrates in this season its 15th anniversary. It is famous for its versatile and well-tended trails and offers for tracks and lines for every skill level. Rolling down the new “Flow Country trail” puts a smile on everyone’s face. Together with the surrounding Bayerischer Wald, the largest woodland area in Europe, the bike park guarantees (!!), brilliant conditions for “all-mountain” riders.
Opening times: April 18th to October 26th From 9:00am to 5:00pm (last gondola ride at 4:45pm!)
Top Event 2014: September 13th to 14th: Oldschool DH Race (only bike older than 2004), with special guest Rob Warner
Conti Bikepark Bad Wildbad – more than one way down! The bike park offers a total of eight routes with very different demands. The park is most famous for its spectacular downhill courses. One of them is repeatedly the location for the national championships. Both freeride trails will be shaped with new fun elements in 2014 again. The 4-Cross course, designed by Guido Tschugg is among the longest and most attractive courses in Europe. During July and August the Park offers the possibility on “long Fridays” to ride till 8pm.
Bikepark Spicak The Spicak Bike Park is situated in the Böhmerwald protected landscape area, on the border with Bavaria. Famous and renowned for its freeride-trails that intersect and connect with other trails and therefore you can choose from numerous variations of runs that suit you best. What would a bike park be without wallride? Bikepark Spicak offers a brand new wallride this season: Bigger, better and higher! Also in the jump park four new jumps were built. If going to Spicak, then on a bike! At the lower chair lift station you will find a bike renting point offering new AGang bikes this year. Additional facilities also include a bike servicing station, bike school and showers.
Opening hours: May 31st to October 26th (please note the operating-times)
Top events 2014: September 21st: Specialized Enduro Series
Bikepark Tirol The mountain bike region Wipptal knows how to make mountain bikers’ hearts pump faster: in June 2014, the Bikepark Tirol starts its third season. The perfectly shaped trails, optimal traffic connections and a very well maintained infrastructure make this new bike hot spot interesting for all mountain bikers throughout Europe. From the freeride trails, to the slopestyle area and the downhill track – the new bike park guarantees pure fun for beginners as well as for pro riders.
Opening times: June 19th – September 14th: Monday to Sunday September 15th – September 28th: Friday to Sunday
Bikepark Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis Tyrol’s biggest bike park makes freerider’s hearts pump heavier. Three flowy beginner lines, suitable for little and big shredders, as well as speedy freeride lines guaranteeing massive airtime you will find everything here. Of course the bike park also offers natural trails, full of northshores and root sections. It’s the healthy mix of trails that makes Bikepark Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis so appealing. In the high alpine region the Frommestrail baits with more than 1,000 altitude meters of descent. “Styler” will feel quite comfortable in the brand new dirt park and on the slopestyle area. For the youngest riders the kids park offers beginner-obstacles for pure riding fun. The bike park bar and the Chill area invite to come down after a great day of riding with some BBQ sessions. Everyone who has still energy left, should check out the pump track to really empty the tank.
New in 2014: Supernatural (Flow-line), DH-line and dirt park From July: extension of the easy+ line Morning Glory – pure flow on 677 meters of finest berms and little jumps – ideal to improve your riding skills
Opening hours: June 7th to October 19th daily at stated operating hours
Top Events 2014: August 7th to 10th: Kona MTB-Festival Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis for bike young guns (including iXS Rookies Cup, iXS international Rookies Championships, Austrian DH Cup, FMB-Bronze O’Neal Rookies Slopestyle, Rookies Enduro Challenge; Pumptrack Session, Father & Son Challenge)
New leaders in the Women and Men Elite 26” after the second round of the UCI Trials World Cup
New leaders in the Women and Men Elite 26” after the second round of the UCI Trials World Cup
In the Women’s event, Gemma Abant demonstrated her qualities by distancing herself from her rivals from the very first race. In the next two events, she maintained her effort and her concentration, which enabled her to stand on the highest step on the podium and in parallel to take her place as leader in the Women World Cup.
The World Champion Tatiana Janickova (SVK) tried everything to catch up, but she failed by more than 6 points. She had to be focused and performant right to the end, as the Australian rider Janine Jungfels, slightly nervous at the beginning of the competition, finished like a bullet. In the end, the two women finished with only one point difference, in favour of the Slovakian rider. Nina Richenbach (GER), who had won in Poland, finished 4th, and therefore lost the leadership of the UCI Women Trials World Cup to the Spanish rider Gemma Abant.
In the Men Elite 20-inch category, the World Champion Abel Mustieles dominated the sections over the whole weekend, and imposed his style with steely determination. By improving his level in the Super Finale, he definitively secured a new victory at Pra Loup. This triumph left no doubt about his current form, and enabled him to increase his lead in the general rankings of the World Cup.
Before the four sections of the Super Finale, Pils and Areitio were even. However, it was the German Raphael Pils – in managing to complete section 2 with 4 points – who strode up to the second step on the podium. The Spaniard Ion Areitio had to be content with third place.
In front of the home supporters, the French rider Marius Merger tried everything to get on the podium, but his opponents were too good for him. However, on his return to the World Cup, he can be satisfied with his fourth place.
In the Men Elite 26-inch category, the suspense was even more gripping. Going into the four sections of the Super Finale, there were only 6 points difference between Gilles Coustellier (FRA), Vincent Hermance, Jack Carthy (GBR) and Kenny Belaey (BEL)!
The Super Finale was to make the difference. Kenny Belaey finished 4th with 26 points, while Jack Carthy – who fell in section 1 – received 5 penalty points that were to cost him dearly. He finished with 23 points.
In the end, the race for victory was between the two French riders. This duel was to turn in favour of the World Champion Vincent Hermance, who won two points ahead of the European Champion Gilles Coustellier. Exactly equal after the first section of the Super Finale, it was Hermance who made the difference in section 2, before breaking away following Gilles Coustellier’s fall.
With this fresh triumph in the World Cup, Vincent Hermance is the new leader in the UCI Trials World Cup.
Rendez-vous in Méribel from 21st to 23rd August for the third round of the 2014 season.
Photo: The winner was Gemma Abant (ESP), folllowed by Tatiana Janickova (SVK) and Janine Jungfels (AUS).