IM NOT GONNA LIE, MY JOB’S RAD
early ‘90s? The Do you remember that movie ‘honey I shrunk the kids’ from back in the a machine that created who dad a was there of, basic plot went something along the lines lly got a hold accidenta kids the day one and people shrunk and beam laser a out shot us. Well of it and they all became tiny whilst the world around them appeared humongo road trip felt when that’s pretty much exactly how myself and the rest of the crew on this brick wall, the sheer we arrived at the infamous Red Bull dirt pipe. Like ants looking up at a can assure you right scale and proportion of the thing is almost too hard to comprehend. I do not do the now these photos and every other photo that has been taken down there to watch them all funny was it afternoon the ut place justice. As more crew arrived througho at the pipe then start react in the same way. They’d hop out of their cars and take one look murmuring swear words under their breath in disbelief! Story by JT
IF YOU COULD HELP ME OUT
I RACE DH AS OFTEN AS I CAN AND ALSO ENJOY RIDING A LOT OF FREESTYLE STUFF WITH MY MATES. I’M AT THAT POINT WHERE I’M GETTING PRETTY GOOD ALL ROUND BUT I REALLY WANT TO TAKE THINGS TO THAT NEXT LEVEL AND WAS HOPING I COULD GET SOME TIPS FROM THE PROS. PROBABLY THE MOST HELPFUL TIP I’VE EVER HEARD IN THE PAST WAS TO CONCENTRATE ON LOOKING FURTHER AHEAD. THAT HELPED HEAPS IN MY DH FOR CORNERING AND HOLDING MY LINE THROUGH ROUGH STUFF AND I ALSO FOUND IT WAS GREAT AT THE DIRT JUMPS WITH SPOTTING MY LANDINGS. I’M SURE I’M NOT THE ONLY READER THAT WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM THE PRO’S ABOUT SOME OF THE SECRET THINGS THEY DO THAT HAVE HELPED THEM WITH THEIR RIDING THE MOST. THOSE GUYS ARE AMAZING AND ANY TIPS FROM THEM WOULD BE AWESOME! THANKS - DAVE PRYCE
VIRTUALLY ALL OF US WOULD LIKE TO GO A BIT BIGGER AND GET A BIT QUICKER,
BUT IT’S NOT ALWAYS THAT EASY. FINDING NEW WAYS TO PUSH YOURSELF
CAN OFTEN BE MUCH HARDER DONE THAN SAID,
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’VE BEEN RIDING FOR A LONG TIME
AND YOU FIND YOURSELF LOCKED INTO THE SAME OLD GROOVE. AS ONE READER RECENTLY WROTE IN AND ASKED, WOULDN’T IT BE NICE
TO HEAR SOME POINTERS FROM THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS. SOME FRESH ADVICE THAT MIGHT HELP YOU STEP THINGS UP
AND TAKE YOUR RIDING TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL. HAVE A READ AND THEN NEXT TIME YOU’RE OUT ON THE TRAIL STRUGGLING WITH A SECTION
TRY AND REMEMBER WHAT SAM AND PEATY TOLD YOU TO DO.
With the number one plate on his back, like a bulls eye, Sam is again the man everyone is trying to beat this year. Good luck to them we say. They’ll need it!!//HosHi YosHida
Cedric entered 2010 as a brand new racer. New team, bike and total mindset. Only time will tell how it pays off for the Frenchman//FLiPPER
CEDRIC GRACIA Santa Cruz/Oakley/Panaracer
One of the most important things to focus on in DH is to use your bike like a tool. I think to many people try to hard to go fast and in the end they make the bike slow down. You have to be relax when you ride and try not to slow the bike over little technical parts on the track.
Setting your bike up correctly to be well balance is really important. You have to find a balance of making the bike comfortable but not too much, you have to make sure you don’t go through all your travel just seating on it.
I think the best way to work on feeling comfortable with your bike is by focusing on all the little things. Break everything down into small elements and practise them over and over again. Like cornering, there’s so many elements to cornering like setting up, braking, leaning over, etc, that it’s impossible when beginning to get them all perfect. So instead focus on each element one at a time and eventually they will all come together and make you a better rider.
SAM HILL Specialized/Monster Energy
I don’t think you can ever have enough experience. The more races you do, the more experience you will get and learn a lot from each race. It’s important to have a good think about things when you have a bad race. Try to figure out where you went wrong so that you can learn from it and not do it again. If you do have a bad race or make some mistakes and don’t give it any thought, then it will just happen again. It’s important to try and work on whatever has gone wrong.
To really get better, I think it can help to break down a small section of track. Find a section with just a couple of corners, and maybe a jump or rocky section, and just practice it over and over. If you keep hitting it, you will find that you can push it a lot harder than doing a full run and this will pick up your speed in that section. Eventually you will get more comfortable hitting this section faster and you can work on another section. If you ride a bit over your limits when practicing a small section, your speed will increase and then that will be a comfortable speed to ride after a little while. That’s kind of a never ending process to keep pushing the limits and going faster.
This is definitely something that can help you take things to the next level. It can just be an hour on the bike, a few times a week if you’re busy. Your fitness will help you towards the end of a DH run to stay on lines you want to hit and you wont be as tired (so the amount of mistakes during a run will be less). You will also be able to do more practice on your race run.
There is a rare breed or rider out there that possess the skills and no-how to not only imagine massive lines, but to build them and then send them. Darren is one of the selected few//iaN HYLaNds REd BULL PHoToFiLEs
By Peter Karas
You might not have heard the name but if you have been to any of the National races over the past couple of seasons, chances are you have seen him tearing up the track. Recently Connor won the National Championships in his home town of Adelaide, with a time that would have placed him 4th in Elite Men. Continuing his winning ways, he won the Under 17 National Series for 09/10. His six second victory at the opening round in Tasmania, on one of the most technically demanding race tracks in Australia, was a remarkable achievement. This result confirmed his sensational bike handling ability and explains Connor’s love of technical tracks, his skills are truly amazing. His ability to position himself and his bike makes him one of the best riders to watch anywhere. I recall standing at a corner at the bottom of one of Adelaide’s most technical tracks, at a tight left hand bermed corner which involves jumping onto a landing before turning hard left. At this stage riders are travelling fast and are no doubt tired from negotiating down the whole track. So when I heard riders coming down I stepped back and watched, little did I know Connor would be leading the charge. Sure enough, he launched the jump, landed in position for the corner and tore around the berm. It looked like he didn’t even touch the brakes, without breaking traction he appeared to rip up the ground beneath his wheels leaving tyre marks through the corner. I can say, after watching some of Australia’s fastest riders hit this corner, Connor’s effort is still the most impressive. It’s quite amazing, for a young man with this level of skill and who is consistently posting exceptional results, that there is not a massive hype surrounding him. As we found out this suits Connor fine though, as he doesn’t get caught up with trivial issues like that and lets his riding do the talking. Hey Connor, thanks for having a chat with us. Let’s get the tough questions out of the way! Who is Connor Fearon? Connor Fearon is a 16 year old who lives in Adelaide. He likes to ride his bike wherever he can, on jumps, down hills and ride anything else with two wheels. Its obvious you are passionate about anything with two wheels, outside of mountain bike riding do you have any other passions? I do motocross and ride road motor bikes but I don’t really do any other sports because most of the time I am just riding my bike. Do you race your motorbikes as well? I used to race motor bikes (dirt bikes) before I did downhill but I stopped after I started taking downhill seriously. Can you explain the reasoning behind the decision to give up the motocross? I was doing better in downhill and wanted to focus more on that. Now, even though you are focussing on downhill, do you still get the opportunity to get out on your dirt bikes, even if it’s only a means to cross train? I try to get out there most weekends if I can but sometimes it’s hard when I am trying to ride downhill as there are a lot of races going on. The dirt bike definitely has benefits for down hill riding because of the high speeds and just having to keep it in control, as well as it being demanding fitness wise.
Long hours in the gym, the strain and pain that goes into the gain. Chris pushes Claire and Claire pushes Chris. Together, their training focus and intensity is near unrivalled.
WE’VE ALL SEEN PRO RIDERS AT RACES ON THE WEEKEND AND WATCHED ON IN AWE AT THEIR SPEED AND INSANE ABILITIES, BUT HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT GOES ON DURING THEIR WEEK, AWAY FROM THE RACETRACK THAT MAKES THEM SO FAST? WHAT HAPPENS BEHIND THE SCENES? HOW DID THEY GET TO HAVE ALL THAT SKILL, THAT STRENGTH AND THAT RAW SPEED? DOWNHILLERS IN PARTICULAR ARE ALL TOO OFTEN PERCEIVED AS HAVING ROCK STAR LIKE LIFESTYLES, NEVER BOTHERING TO TRAIN, INSTEAD PARTYING AND DRINKING 25 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. I THINK ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN KNOWS THAT’S BULLSHIT! PROFESSIONAL DOWNHILLERS ARE AMONGST THE FITTEST AND MOST DEDICATED ATHLETES ON THE PLANET. TO BE COMPETITIVE WEEK IN WEEK OUT ON THE WORLD CUP CIRCUIT IT TAKES NOTHING LESS AS WE RECENTLY DISCOVERED WHEN [WE SPENT A FEW DAYS BEHIND THE SCENES WITH CHRIS KOVARIK AND HIS WIFE, CLAIRE, UP AT THEIR QLD HOME. INTERVIEW BY JT. PHOTOS BY STEVE HILLENBRAND.
090 With the season getting underway in such a sick place as Maribor and myself being on a new team, Konaworld, I couldn’t be more pumped for the season. All the tracks suit me, and I knew I could pull some good results. Let the season begin: I ﬂew into a place called Montgomery which is somewhere in Wales. This is my new team mate Joe Smith’s hometown. We planned to spend a few days building and testing our new bikes before we made our way to Maribor. On arrival into the UK, not only is it the coldest place on earth, but I found out that our new bikes that were supposed to arrive at Joe’s house 2 weeks earlier, still haven’t arrived. And weren’t going to arrive for another week or so. With Maribor only one week out.… A few emails were sent and Kona were trying to organise me a bike for Maribor. A good 2 days and 23 hours of driving and we arrived into the ‘Bor. I love this place, one of the WORLDS best tracks, a rad pond with a platform to do some sweet TBS (Tim Bardsley-Smith) pike-quarter turn pencil airs, the WORLDS best Italian restaurant at the bottom of the gondola, which has the WORLDS hottest waitress working all the time, and the weather is usually super sunny and hot… But this time the weather was pretty much as good as the weather is in the UK…Shite! Thursday we got up and set up our pits, caught up with everyone, ate at the best restaurant, walked the track. All the teams have stepped up their pits big time. They all looked so rad. Later that afternoon a bike finally arrives for me. Kona were able to sort me out a Stab Deluxe. which is the second model from the top, and the only medium frame they could find in the surrounding countries. Lucky! This bike was stock as a rock. Luckily I brought my forks with me and my rear shock. The Deluxe model comes with a slightly different shock mount over the supreme which means that my Fox RC4 shock would only fit with the mount sitting forward, giving the bike a super steep head angle. I raked the forks out as much as I could but the bike was still so steep. The only other things I changed were the grips and the seat. Day 1, Practice, Friday: We awoke to rain and wind. Cut down Maxxis spiked tyres went straight on. The morning practice wasn’t too bad, It was really muddy but because it was still sprinkling with rain, but it kept the mud off the roots and rocks which was good. Towards midday the rain had stopped and the track started getting dryer, but the mud began clogging. It amazed me how much slipperier the track got between 2 runs. I was riding pretty good just having a good look at things. Its good when you’ve been to a track before because you can start going pretty fast after a few runs. The rock garden was full blown carnage! I had a massive digger there on my 3rd run but somehow only landed on my knee which was saved by my new POD knee brace. Even some of the top 5 riders were getting wild down there and crashing. By the time top 80 riders training had
2010 UCI MTB WORLD CUP
MARIBOR come around pretty much dry. I end but was not feeling at
SLOVENIA ROUND 1
JOS H B U T TON
the track was did a run towards the home on this bike.
Day 2, Qualifying, Saturday: It was raining even harder this morning. Everyone pulled out the Rainbirds to keep their kits clean. The track was so sick, everything was pretty grippy and the rain kept the mud from clogging. I felt a bit better doing some runs with Joe who helped pull me up to pace. He was so pinned everywhere. That dude blows my mind in the mud. Qualifying came around, I was off 43rd after last years rankings. Qualifying here is usually pretty tight so I just wanted to get down and get the first one out of the way. I had a pretty poor run, accidently pulling all my tearoffs only about 50 seconds into my run..Stoked! I battled it out, rode the rockgarden really cautious and just got through everything rubber side down. I came across the line with a 3:38.74, which put me back in 34th for Qualies. I was a bit devo with that but happy to get the first one out of the way. Team mate Joe had a crash, and his chainguide got caught up and that cat still qualified 27th. On it! Sam and Brendan qualifyed in 1st and 2nd. Day 3, Race, Sunday: The clouds were still about but there wasn’t much rain coming down. Which scared me because I knew the track was going to turn into slippery state. It was really windy and they decided to shut the Gondola right before practice started. Everyone started loading up their team vans and were driving up to the top. We loaded up and made our way to the top. I planned to do 2 runs in the morning, 1 to scope and have a suss and then another pinned full run. The track was really slippery and the mud was already starting to clog up. When we got to the bottom they had organised shuttles to take everyone up and were only allowing 1 practice run before the race. If anyone attempted to get 2 runs in they would be disqualified. So we headed back to the apartment for a shower and a cup of tea. 3 hours later the fresh kits were on we made our way to the top. The track was in the worst possible condition, all the mud had dragged out of the holes and ruts and onto the rocks and roots. It was getting hella gnar! I had a nice warm up on the trainer and pedalled around before my run. About 1 minute and a half before I was in the gate, I pulled out a pimpin’ set of fresh black and blue Adidas goggles. I went to throw those puppies on and as I pulled them over my helmet, the left hand side of the strap just blew out from the goggle. The strap hadn’t been placed in the slot properly off production. I started to panic just as I heard a loud “number 43 Josh Button in the gate” . I quickly pulled all my tearoffs, ripped the gloves off, got a screw driver and threaded the strap back into the goggle. I only had time to put one tearoff back on before I pinned it down to the gate. It wasn’t until the clock ticked down to about 28 seconds when I put my goggles on before I realised that I had threaded my goggle strap on the inside off the goggle then through the hole.Instead of the outside. So when I put my goggles on, the right hand side would sit on my face fine but the left hand side was sitting about 20mm from my face. I couldn’t believe what I had done… Such a battler! Normally I would laugh at things like this but I had less than 10 seconds before my finals for World Cup round 1, 2010.
A lot of eyeâ€™s were on Troy Brossnan at the opening world cup round. But not as many are on him now, 3 races in and comfortably leading the Jr overall series//Hoshi Yoshida