016 BITS & PIECES What a Monster!
“Being the Red Bull Rampage champion is a dream. I won Crankworx twice and that’s something on its own, but this is one of the first real mountain biking contests ever. To CHRISTIAN PONDELLA/RED BULL PHOTOFILES win it is the most amazing thing in the world. In all honesty, I’d rather win Red Bull Rampage than any other event.” Cam Zink //
Gee Atherton bringing his style and speed to the red dirt of Utah //
IAN HYLANDS/RED BULL PHOTOFILES
Rampage ‘10 Things got wild over at this years Rampage. Like, seriously wild! Known as the craziest freeride event in mountain biking, the Red Bull Rampage has a tendency to intimidate even the most fearless and experienced riders. Never the less, the majority of competitors were returning veterans from last years event, back to fight it out on the now-legendary battle ground of the Utah landscape. After a month of digging, shovelling and shaping, the Red Bull Rampage course was primed and ready for action. As the weekend progressed so too did the carnage. With riders setting sail off 50 foot drops and 70 foot gaps a growing casualty list was always going to be on the cards. NZ’s Kelly McGarry was amongst the first to get owned by the insane course. He came up a little short off the notorious ‘canyon gap’ and it was enough to spell weekend over. The competition format was changed up a little for 2010. Instead of limiting entry to the top dozen or so freeriders in town, Red Bull invited 20 wild card riders to take part in a qualifying round held on the Friday. The top ten finishes then moved through to the final where they would meet the 10 automatic finalists. It was a bummer to learn that both Brandon Semenuk and Cam McCaul withdrew before the event due to injuries. That said, it left the podium door wide open and made for a pretty nail biting final. Tyler McCaul was the first rider to come down the mountain and he set the tone early with a hard-charging style, burning through the upper ridge before dropping the triple, throwing a no-hander and airing over the step-up boulder. Alex Prochazka was close behind with the same upper ridge line to the triple, but with the hard left turn after the massive step-down that he used in Qualifying. He then attempted a drop off the other boulder, blowing up on the landing. Gee Atherton then dropped in and established a big lead with his first run, firing through the upper ridge line and taking an original hard-right-to-drop line, taking the step-down and becoming the only rider to successfully pull the huge gap into the quarter at the bottom of the course. Andreu Lacondeguy switched his line from Qualifying to charge from the #2 gate to the Oakley Icon Sender, following it with a massive backﬂip over the 45-foot double just after it. He added another ﬂip up the step-up and a no-hander into the bottom section of the course. Thomas Vanderham was the first to hit the 62-foot canyon gap in the final, landing a little nose-heavy but surviving. When Cam Zink’s name was called, all the other riders scrambled to get a view of the Icon Sender, knowing that he was planning to go for a 360 off of it. Cam called it out early in the week, and it simply didn’t seem possible.
Throwing a rotation 30 feet out and 40 feet down into a steep, somewhat sketchy landing was just about the ballsiest move to go for on the course, but Cam was completely determined. He tore through his line on the top ridge and went for the three with no hesitation, spinning what looked like a perfect rotation. He was so close, but got just a hair sideways and went down, ringing his bell a bit in the process. We were left wondering if he’d be able to take another crack at it, and honestly, no one would have blamed him if he hadn’t. Kyle Strait was next up, and he ﬂoated a perfect no-hander off the Icon Sender, followed by a superman seatgrab over the 45-footer. Geoff Gulevich turned in a solid run, ﬂipping the 45-footer after styling the Icon Sender and blasting through his upper ridge line. Robbie Bourdon pulled a good score with a unique line starting with a big drop out of the gate, and Kurt Sorge landed a clean shot across the canyon gap. After a quick break, the riders headed back up to their gates to lay down their second runs. Gee got everything he wanted out of his line on his first run, so he opted to sit out; he was in first with Lacondeguy in second and Gulevich in third. After five runs from gate #1, the gate #2 riders came down off the top ridge under threatening skies and hefty wind gusts, and the event went on hold to wait for better conditions. For well over an hour, the outlook rapidly changed as intermittent dark clouds passed over the venue, bringing light rain and heavy winds interspersed with windows of sunshine. The riders eventually remounted, with the rest of the event squeezed into the brighter spots of the afternoon. Lacondeguy went for it on his second run, throwing a no-handed ﬂip over the 45-footer only to nose-case the landing. Vanderham improved his score with a perfect no-hander over the canyon gap which set up Zink’s return to the gate. Although the weather delays wreaked havoc with some riders waiting to take their runs, the delay actually helped Zink clear his head a bit from the effects of his first-run crash. Amazingly, he went for the 360 again, sticking the landing and driving to the finish to overtake the lead. It was a history-making moment, and the crowd on hand went crazy. The remaining riders were unable to unseat Zink, and it eventually came down to the final competitor, Darren Berrecloth. Claw was attempting the line he was unable to complete in 2008, an original run with multiple drops and a wallride, packed with nimble direction changes in the top section. He blew a pedal high up on the line and almost went down in ﬂames, somehow holding it together to hit all of his other moves. He 360’d a drop at the end, achieving his goal and earning a podium spot in the process.
Just as our last issue was wrapping up Fox Suspension invited us down to Canberra for the weekend to document their Pre-World Championships tuning camp. The weekend was an opportunity for Fox to ﬂy in two of their sponsored Jr DH racers, Aden Wyber and Phil Piazza, to ﬁt their bikes with trick new parts and make sure that they’re all dialled in before they headed off to Canada to represent Australia. Fox being the serious players that they are in the suspension game have a host of World class riders on their books, including former Jr World Champion, Ben Cory. Another driving force behind the weekend was to have Ben tag along and spend a few days mentoring the new young guns. Ben couldn’t be a nicer guy if he tried and was more than happy to take the guys under his wing and relive some of his own World Championship experiences and learnings. Of course we weren’t going to miss the opportunity of being there to watch and so we loaded the van and headed on down to our nation’s capital. Mt Stromlo was chosen as the local for the first day of tuning as it was a track that the riders were familiar with plus the rock section up top would give the riders and engineers a good base to dial in settings. When we drove into the car park early the next morning the Fox guys had already set-up pits and were busy fitting brand new works and rear shocks to the boy’s bikes. On hand to head up the tech side of things for Fox was Ken Ballhause, a suspension guru in his own right. His Melbourne based company, Tekin, specialise in high end custom tuning and take care of a huge amount of Fox Australia’s Victorian after sales work. Greg Hamer, who heads up Fox Suspension’s Australian operations was busy giving the riders an outline of the weekends schedule and running them through the changes between last years range and the new stuff that was being bolted to their steeds. Ben Cory pulled into the car park not long after us and quickly became involved in the briefing. Once the boy’s bikes were all fitted out with the new parts and their suspension settings recorded, it was time to load the vans and head up the hill. We watched on as the guys warmed up by doing a few sections. They then pushed their bikes back up the hill and hit ‘em again, and again. Cory also had his bike on hand but spent far more time coaching the youngsters on their lines and techniques than he did actually riding.
Aden burning his brakes and holding on for dear life past the TBS Black Boys on Cory’s secret ‘landslide like’ track. //
There are a lot of #1’s in Jared’s trophy cabinet these days. But even with all the success and hype that rainbow stripes, world cup overalls and trips to the Olympics may SVEN MARTIN bring, he’s still just a clown at heart. //
Report by Peter Karas
start.” “As we saw tonight 4X is not just about theJARED GRAVES
“30 seconds before my race run I was trying to figure out what lines to take through the first two corners, the lines I were ,I taking were blown out and a bit differentgo” kind of didn’t know where to
Seriously, can you actually believe that people where doubting Sam’s chances of a top 10 result leading into this race. Fools! Sure he was coming back from major injury and all, but it’s Sam Hill we’re talking about here. Even with 2 broken legs SVEN MARTIN and no chain he’d still be in with a chance for a top 10. //
Expect the unexpected - a saying that always applies to World venue Championships. Mont Saint Anne (MSA) is a legendary mountain bike since race nship Champio World or Cup World a and the only location to hold 1991. The course walk early in the week revealed the track was very similar The to the previous World Cup track, but with a few tweaks to help the ﬂow. the biggest difference was the conditions, on the back of a dry hot summer vibe overall The course. the littering holes sand track was super dusty with from the riders was that the track had responded well to the changes and is for the Aussies the dry conditions mirrored Australian race tracks. Worlds different compared to the majority of races in that it has one large practice only block on the first day of practice then for the rest of the week riders were allocated a few hours each day. the Therefore any rider that was recuperating from injury or otherwise early in Common tage. disadvan massive a week and missed the first practice was at sense prevailed and the organisers added time on to practice each day.
Logical really, as riders had the choice of using this extra time if they so desired and most did. A snap poll of the riders in the pits had Peat the favourite for the win, the argument being Steve now has the Worlds monkey off his shoulder and his past form on the track was hard to ignore. It was hard to look past both Sam Greg and Gee after their world cup form. Question marks still hung over Hill, his 13th at the last World Cup suggested he was still off his best. Sam ated himself commented he gave everything at Windham and his result deﬂ the US his confidence. For the North Americans, Gwin was the great hope for French of A. Canada’s Steve Smith had an ace up his sleeve, in the form of a inspired moustache he claimed was not just aesthetic! Walking around . the pits revealed that custom modifications for most riders were cosmetic This was in total contrast to last year’s bikes but confirmed MSA is a typical downhill track.
These cranks arms are the crown jewel of the whole line-up in our minds. //
Shimano recently invited us to spend the best part of a week up in Queensland putting the 2011 XTR range through it’s paces on some of the ﬁnest trails Oz has to offer. The dust was ﬁnally beginning to settle on the end of another busy tradeshow season for Shimano, where amongst other goodies they had been ﬂaunting the new XTR groupset (from behind thick glass) around the country, much to the delight of riders nation wide. And so with the unveiling taken care of, the boys at Shimano were keen to get away for a bit of a holiday. It just so happened they were ﬁnally able to get their hands on enough groupsets to invite a handful of magazines along with them to build-up some fresh rigs and put
the gear through its paces. “Just pack a frame, fork, seat post and helmet and be at the airport by 9am sharp. We’ll take care of all the rest,” stated the email that arrived in my inbox. Was I excited? Is ﬁre hot? Both stupid questions... Like I’m sure most of you guys would have by now, I had already snuck a good peak at the amazing new XTR range online and my mind was overﬂowing with questions about the new rumoured advancements and features. What’s all this about ‘ice’ technology and how does Dyna-Sys work? With so many questions and so little time I quickly packed some sun lotion and my bikini and made my way to the airport...
The ice-tech brake pad fins do an insane job of eliminating heat from the braking system. Such a TBS simple and logical idea, makes you wonder why no one had thought of it before? //
The previous revision of XTR was released back in ’07 so Shimano were getting due to set the MTB world on fire and again raise the bar on premium components. But the company had left themselves some pretty big shoes to fill. Nothing else in the bicycle component industry says top shelf quite like ‘XTR’. Since its first inception way back in 1991, XTR has set the bench mark for all others to try to emulate. XTR is more than just a name though, it’s more than just a show. It’s the symbol of phenomenal technology. The results of the longest running top end range evolution. The culmination of over 20 years ongoing of R&D into the technologically advanced, lightest and most durable components money can buy. That third last word isn’t to be taken lightly either. If you want to play XTR you have to pay XTR. Pretty much bank robbers need only apply here! As for the rest of us dreamers though, here’s the full run down on XTR 2011...
groups are fully interchangeable with each other enabling you to really customise your ride to suit your ride. (See what I did there, eh? Eh!) So basically under the XTR banner there are 2 wheel sets, 2 brake sets and 2 different pedal variants. Cranks however are a slightly different story, with 2x10 rapidly becoming the ‘in thing’ Shimano have had to cater for the trend whilst sticking true to what they know and believe in, 3x10. But more on the cranks later. How at a glance can you tell between the Trail and the Race options? Whilst both XTR packages extensively feature stealth silver and black styling throughout, the trail parts are recognisable by their addition of small gold accents. Up in Queensland we were given the option to pick and choose between the two groups when building up our new rigs. I ended up opting for the Trail parts as they offer a little more adjustment and user friendliness to non-tech geeks like myself!
The most important thing to note about the new XTR range is that it has been developed for both trail riders as well as elite XC racers. Shimano recognised that not everyone races world cups, yet a fair chunk of people are wanting the best parts money can buy for when they’re out riding their local roost. And so the range is split down the middle, with the emphasis being focused on ‘picking and choosing the XTR build to match your ride’. The two
M980 Brakes I want to start by detailing the brakes as for me these are the real standouts in terms of breakthrough design and construction technology. Ask yourself this, “why hasn’t a manufacturer thought of utilizing duel metal compounds in disc brake rotor construction until now?” By sandwiching 3 layers of metal together, (stainless steel outer faces for the braking surface with an aluminium core layer) you in turn drastically reduce the
The new lever is so compact and short. You can’t help but TBS become an instant fan once you touch these things. //
108 GALLERY Stick em up!
INDOOR TRAILS ANYONE? PHOTOS BY JAMES PATTERSON
“Hey Lachie what’s up with those indoor trails we saw pics of you riding?” ”Dude winter was such a wash out down here this year. All the local trails got smashed and it was sucking that we couldn’t ride. My Dad owns a pretty big quarry in town and on the property they’ve got a huge shed where they screen material and he basically said we could build a couple of jumps in the middle of the shed one weekend but the one condition was that they’d have to be gone by Monday morning when work starts up. Sweet as. So I invited some boys over and straight away we got busy building a couple of jumps using a big arse front loader. Took about 10 minutes and we were riding. Had the best session ay! Rode ‘em solid for a day and then got the loader out and ﬂattened ‘em like nothing had ever happened...”