Enduro MTB is a pretty new discipline, as far as cycling goes. It’s kind of a cross between Downhill, cross country and Marathon mountain biking – a stage race format, with multiple events over a weekend, and competitors also riding the (mostly uphill) transfers between the (mostly downhill) stages. If you want to know more about it, there are the wikipedia article, and introductions from Pinkbike and BikeRadar, and this video from GCN MTB.
The Enduro World Series is the biggest competition, a season-long series that takes place in some truly gorgeous locations. It’s only been running since 2013, and it’s very definitely outside the umbrella of the UCI, organised by the Enduro Mountain Bike Association (EMBA), which itself started in 2012, and from the start, it’s been very inclusive, especially of women, but also of fans. It has excellent media, with lots of rider involvement, in the previews of each race, highlights, and lots of things in between, and it makes these available to pretty much everyone. Check out the video page and photo galleries on their website, and drool over that beautifully-MTB combination of fantastic people doing extraordinary things on amazing bikes, in the most incredible landscapes.
One of the things that’s both frustrating and inspiring is pro athletes having to crowdfund to compete in their sport. Frustrating, for obvious reasons, but inspiring because the fan community really helps them. There are three very different ones running fro British women cyclists right now – Para-cycling, MTB and road racing, and here’s how you can help.
Hannah Dines is a Scottish Para-cyclist, who competed in the 2016 Paralympics in the tricycle road races. She’s having a hard time right now – she recently lost her UK Sport funding, and on top of that, has had her racing trike destroyed, when her car was stolen and set on fire, with the trike inside it. As you can imagine, these both put a large dent in her goal of medaling at the 2010 Paralympics.
Her insurance won’t cover the cost of a new trike, so she’s raising the money herself – and anything she raises over her goal of £7,454 will be donated to the Neil’s Wheels bike shop, so that other disabled people can get their own specialised sports equipment. The
Read more about her crowdfunder, and please do donate, if you can. Follow Hannah on twitter, find out more about her in this articles by the Herald, read her blog about why ride a trike, and in this video about Rio, which also was crowd-funded, by handcyclist Karen Darke:
I’m down a rabbit-hole of MTB videos, and loving every moment!
First, it’s the Absa Cape Epic, the most crazy-beautiful-tough, and yes, EPIC! South African MTB stage race. There are tons of videos on the race Youtube, including this one of Kathrin Stirnemann descending, and these ones focusing on the women’s race from Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 but my favourite video so far is this one on the Specialized Youtube, following Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans as they talk about picking up a time penalty in Stage 2 and then fighting back in Stage 3.
In the Downhill world, the Athertons are training in Malaga, and there’s this gorgeous video on Red Bull Bike, with Rachel Atherton talking about helmetcam (my favourite thing) and tons of helmetcam shots. Love it! And if you want to see what they’ll be riding this year, Dirt MTB looks at the new 2015 GT Fury (love that colour, Rach!)
If Enduro’s more your thing, here’s a team video from the Commençal Vallnord Enduro Team, including Cécile Ravanel (I first saw this on Pinkbike)
Something else I saw on Pinkbike, and it’s so appropriate… first, a film following the building of a MAXX Fat Bike (guess the colour) and then this lovely film, including ice fishing, outdoor cooking, snow riding and a beer sponsor…. typical Bavarian life! It all looks like so much fun…. and this, people, is why I love MTB!
We cover all the latest transfer news and what the hell it means for all these teams. (Who’s going to lead what now?) And more importantly what it means for us fans (MORE EXCITEMENT!) There’s racing to discuss, with the end of the MTB enduro series and the beginning of the European cyclocross season. This week it’s Sarah’s turn to go on a rant! (I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that it’s about para-cycling.) Also, we preview the 2015 racing calendar and declare it an early victory with more race days on the cards AND some very exciting looking new races to look forward to. (1:09:48 MIN / 67.01 MB)
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Links and things we talked about this week
The UCI road calendar for 2015 is here (you might need to play with the drop-down menu to get to the women) and UPDATE! here’s part one of Sarah’s posts about it on Podium Café – with diagrams and tables, and comparisons with 2014.
Sarah’s collecting all the transfer news in a Podium Café post, and there’s tons of gossip, speculation and conversation in the comments. This week’s big news was Wiggle Honda’s announcement that they’re hiring two-time Giro champion Mara Abbott and young British champion Anna Christian for 2015. And Sharon Laws is another rider moving to Bigla
This week’s racing
SO MUCH GOOD STUFF! As always, videos and photos, and I love that…. BUT! What is it with the UCI video clips? I don’t know why, but the UCI World Cup promos are always full of crashes, and not the dramatic “OMG World Cup leader crashes and destroys her season” crashes that are necessary to the storyline, but “haha, watch this race, there’ll be loads of crashes to laugh at” that makes me roll my eyes – I mean, really? And then their highlights videos always have tons of shots of attractive women in the crowds in short-shorts and so on, and I don’t get it at all – why is the governing body of the sport putting out videos where there are more clips of audience totty than of actual women racing? It’s the same women flicking their hair in all three videos, too, and what are we, 1978?
At least there’s Red Bull, who have the superb race footage, great commentary and commission awesome videos from the Parkin Brothers, where the women are racing hard, jumping, battling and then talking about the actual race! I swear, Red Bull does far more for MTB than the UCI! And all the great stuff from teams, too, MTB really knows how to show their fans some love.
Full race replay on Red Bull TV
It’s been a big weekend of MTB racing – and of course there are a ton of videos and photos from the women’s races.
UPDATE! 26 minute highlights programme from all the races on Red Bull Bike
No Downhill this time, just the Eliminator and Cross Country (XCo) this time – but wow, so much to see!
Highlights video below – and for full coverage of the women’s and men’s races, watch the full coverage on Red Bull tv
Full results on the UCI site
Highlights below – and if you want the full coverage of the race, it’s available to watch from the beginning on Red Bull tv