MTB news & racing round-up for February 3, 2006
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular roundup of what's happening in MTB and Cyclo-cross. Feel free to send feedback, news and gossip to firstname.lastname@example.org
Cannondale signs Wayne Goss
What do playing hockey, chopping trees and riding a bike have in common? They are all in the quiver of talents of one Wayne Goss. As lifelong resident of Smithers, British Columbia, it's not surprising that Goss would possess the qualities of his country brethren. However, it's what he does on a bike that has captivated the lenses of the freeride world and the attention of Cannondale.
"Wayne is one of those riders that can do whatever he sets his mind to," says his new teammate and long time Cannondale rider Aaron Chase. "He's got a super-creative style and isn't afraid to try new things." It's Wayne's imagination and the gap through a tree, captured in the New World Disorder video that catapulted him into the spotlight.
He also has a community that supports his riding. A local farmer let Wayne and friends convert an old barn into an indoor freeride facility and a local mill provided the lumber. During the winter months and inclement weather he can continue to hone his skills - which he will be doing with a new fleet of Cannondale machines.
"I couldn't be more stoked to be riding with Cannondale. I've known Aaron for awhile and he's always talking about how they listen and include him in their testing and development," says Wayne. "Now I've witnessed it first hand and couldn't be happier with what I'm riding."
Already known for its bullet proof construction and sweet handling - Wayne will be riding a Cannondale Chase, built to his spec for urban assaults and dirt jumping. He'll also have a Prophet MX and Judge DH for big-mountain and big-hit riding. While known primarily as a street and park rider, Wayne plans to put the 26" wheels to work launching and going downhill on dirt as well.
GT Bicycles re-signs Englishmen Chris Smith and Dave Wardell
GT announced that it has re-signed downhill and four-cross pro Dave Wardell and signed multi-purpose MTB rider Chris Smith to the GT MTB team for 2006. Affectionately known as "Bullhead," Wardell is one of the best-known riders in the U.K., and competes with a busy international schedule. Wardell will be riding GT's new DHi and the i-Drive 7, as well as select hard tail models.
"I will be doing as many downhill and 4X events as possible in the U.K. and the World rounds and maybe some NORBA events," he said.
Racing in Brazil and the Fort William World Cup were among the highlights in 2005 for this talented Englishman. The determined rider said his goals for 2006 are "to be consistently in the top 10 or higher in the World Cup rounds.
The second announced re-signing, Smith, is an outstanding freeriding, dirt jumping downhiller. "I like all sorts of riding," said Smith. "One day I'll be riding a big natural line on my freeride bike or doing some big gaps/drops, etc. and the next day I'll be hitting the trails to do some dirt jumping or maybe I'll be in the city riding street. I like to keep my riding varied. I'm happy as long as I'm riding my bike."
In 2006, Smith will be competing in all major freeride and dirt jump competitions around the world and some select downhill races too. Look for him on a variety of GTs this season, including the GT iT1 for freeride comps, the Ruckus UF and the Ruckus DJ for street / park / dirt jumping comps, and the Ruckus i-Drive 7 2.0 for DH and freeride comps.
"Highlights in '05 for me were competing in the Red Bull District Ride in Germany and travelling to all the different places around the world to ride my bike," said Smith.
Information about GT's athletes and bike models is available at www.GTBicycles.com.
FSA announces Team Gravity
At the other end of the scale from the lightweight, power-measuring functions of the SRM/FSA crank, Full Speed Ahead has assembled a team of mountain bike freeriders to ride its burly new line of mountain bike components called Gravity. The unsurprisingly-named Team Gravity will comprise rider-manager Eric Porter, Randy Spangler, Ben Boyko, Evan Holmgren, Phil Sundbaum and Chris Van Dine.
The team made its debut in Renton, Washington at The Gathering, January 27-28, and will also compete at freeride contests such as Honda Monster Park, Sea Otter, Adidas Slopestyle and Crankworx.
The Gravity component line consists of seatposts, handlebars, stems, headsets and cranksets that FSA says are made from best materials on the market, built into products designed and engineered to hold up to whatever trauma riders can dish out.
For more information see www.ridegravity.com.
Want to be Gee Atherton's road manager for 2006?
In conjunction with the British web site www.Descent-World.co.uk, the Atherton Racing crew is hosting a unique competition to find a 2006 Road Manager for its Animal/Giant Mountain Bike Team.
"We've decided we really need to step up this year and have someone help us as a real road manager, especially at the bigger events," said Gee Atherton. "We're often too busy riding and training to make sure everything gets done, so having someone help us manage things on the road, and make sure that all of our sponsors are well looked after, that sort of thing, will really help. So we thought it would be pretty cool to open up the hunt for this person through the Internet. It'll be interesting to see how it goes".
Go to www.Descent-World.co.uk to find out more.
Luna switches to Orbea for 2006
The Luna women's mountain bike and triathlon teams will ride Orbea bikes for 2006 and 2007, Orbea USA has announced. The deal will see the team aboard Orbea's Alma and Oiz mountain bikes, Orca road bikes and Ordu TT bikes. The team formerly rode Santa Cruz bikes.
"This is the perfect partnership for us," said Tony Karklins, Orbea USA's managing director.
Shonny Vanlandingham, Katarina Hanusova, Jimena Florit and Georgia Gould will defend their NORBA National titles and race selected World Cup and X-Terra events in 2006. Alison Dunlap will attend events conducting women's rides and clinics. She will also provide coaching advice to LUNA's pro athletes and ambassadors. Marla Streb will preserve the gravity aspect of the program as she continues serving as LUNA's one-woman PR machine and part-time racer.
Mountain Cycle and Jim Dellavalle together again in 2006
Jim Dellavalle has rejoined Mountain Cycle for the 2006 BMX and Mountain Bike seasons.
"We are stoked to continue our relationship with Jim," said Mountain Cycle spokesperson Rob Linberg. "To us he is more than a sponsored pro rider with amazing skills, he's become a great Mountain Cycle ambassador. Dellavalle is also the kind of guy who keeps on pushing his limits and learning new skill. Constantly evolving his abilities while providing us with great feedback."
From Crankworx in Whistler to East Coast jump jams, Jim Dellavalle represented Mountain Cycle coast to coast during the 2005 season. In early December, Dellavalle even took his ShockWave 9.5 on a journey to Israel where he rode some incredible terrain, made many good friends and spread the Mountain Cycle word.
Jim's first stop in 2006 is January 27-28 at The Gathering dirt jump/skate park comp near Seattle, Washington. His next stop is at the Ray's 3Ride Pro Invitational on February 4th. Expect to see him at many more select events throughout 2006, including Crankworx. You may get a chance to hang out and ride with him at one of your favourite shops this year as he will be available for in-store, or better yet, at-jump, product demos. His 2006 quiver includes the ShockWave 9.5, the Rumble and the new Battery. Stay tuned to MountainCycle.com for details on everything from the team to new products.
Haro Bicycles adds one more ripper to MTB roster
Haro announced the addition of sixteen year-old JD Swanguen to its 2006 MTB team. The junior expert downhill racer is known to many in the Southern California downhill race scene as "that really fast kid". Having raced relatively unsupported for the past several years, Haro Bikes has stepped up to be JD's official frame sponsor for the 2006 season. He will compete at local, regional, and select NMBS downhill and 4X events as well as invitational MTB skatepark/dirt jump contests. As one of the top junior expert racers in the country, he is poised to earn a nomination to the Junior World Championships in New Zealand later this year.
JD's 2005 highlights include 3rd place finishes in both downhill and 4X at the US National Championship, podium finishes at Sea Otter, NMBS Deer Valley, and NMBS Brian Head. He also earned a 7th place finish at the pro invitational "Banger in the Hangar" event at Woodward West against about 30 of the best MTB park riders.
JD joins Haro team mates Cameron Zink, Cody Warren, and Eric Porter to round out the 2006 MTB roster. Watch for all four Haro riders to compete together at the 3Ride pro invitational event at Ray's MTB Indoor Park February 3-5.
Mongoose signs De Champ to MTB team
Mongoose Bicycles announced that it has signed Jim DeChamp its 2006 MTB team. The versatile 25-year-old competes in MTB-Dirt, Street, Park contests and Mountain Cross.
A pro since 1999, DeChamp lives in Harwood, Maryland and is credited as the first person to land a front flip on a mountain bike. 2005 was a good year for DeChamp. "I took first at the Ashville, North Carolina jump comp, first at the best trick comp at the London bike show and second place at Winter Splinter's park comp," he said.
His goals for 2006 are simple: learn more tricks and have fun. Look for DeChamp ripping the competition on the Mongoose Thunderball, Black Diamond, and the EC-X and EC-D in 2006. He'll be competing in various pro dirt jump, park and freeride comps like Crankworx, Rye Airfield and Sea Otter.
Power, control and adjustability; Hayes El Camino On Test
Hayes has finally unveiled the long-awaited replacement for its venerable Mag series of hydraulic disc brakes. The El Camino offers up a variety of new features, and James Huang takes a look to see how well the new brake stacks up.
Does anyone even remember anymore how long Hayes has been in the bicycle-specific hydraulic disc brake market? If it seems like forever, that's because Hayes was the first widely-accepted disc brake on the market and one of the first to gain OEM spec on new bikes. Those early products offered then-unprecedented stopping power in a durable and relatively compact package.
Unfortunately, that original design has carried over largely unchanged from the late 90s all the way to last year's introduction of the new G2 calliper design. In spite of the new calliper, though, Hayes hydraulic brakes still suffered from a bit of 'on-off' modulation woes and the ergonomics were never quite spot-on. For 2006, Hayes is looking to retake the disc brake throne with the introduction of the all-new El Camino.
For James Huang's complete review of Hayes' El Camino's, click here.
MTB stuff in New Arrivals
In this week's New Arrivals, we feature several MTB products: the White Brothers Magic 80 suspension fork, Lake MXZ301 winter MTB shoes, and SQ Lab 735 grips.
For full details of the February 1 New Arrivals, click here.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)