World Cup 3 SCOTLAND

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Two point eight kilometers. Start to finish. That’s all it is… It might not sound like too much, but you know mere physical distance is no way to measure this beast. To scale up this highland monster you’ll need to think in pedals, you’ll need to think in breathes and heartbeats. And actually it’s best to factor in all the gravity-defying bunny hops, butt-clenching drifts, tricep-tearing pumps and wet-yourself death grips, before you chuck in the hail, the midges and the loose boulders. And a load of sweat. That’s if you can make it down alive. How far is 2.8km? We can say it’s far enough…

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http://www.pinkbike.com/news/practice-fort-william-dh-world-cup-3.html

Fort William Trip 1: Rider Scott Mears.

Medals Of Honour

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Today an elite platoon of fine young men risked life and limb for their countries, sponsors and perhaps any attractive onlookers they happened to discern from their mud-spattered peripheral vision at 60kph. This special-ops unit consisted of 5 highly trained seals who were all to impact on their respective top 5 targets before ceasefire. Blenkinsop, Gwin, Minnaar, Masters and Dale… ‘Aus-pocalyse Now’ was a upon them and they fought bravely from their flooded foxholes. It may only be qualifying and tomorrow the list of heroes may be rewritten, but points and pride were on the line here today. These are champions of the slop, kings of the goop… masters of wet dirt. Give them each a medal. We must also honor the female troops who endured the same ordeal and came out alive and on top; Atherton, Carpenter and Ragot as well as the brave boy-soldier, Loris Vergier.

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/qualifying-cairns-dh-world-cup-2.html

World Cup Round 2- CAIRNS, Australia… Where’s the Rainbow?

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How do you fit two of every creature on Earth onto a wooden boat only 300 cubits long? What did all the other animals do wrong? Why should we bring mosquitoes aboard, and indeed, what the funk is a cubit?

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All very poignant questions after today, well done for asking. The rains came down from the heavens early on and there is little sign so far of reprieve from the Father’s clear disapproval of our outdoor activities here in Cairns. Flooded pits, waterlogged camera bodies and prunified fingers will not stop this race, however. The show must go on. Some riders hit the showers early in disgust or despair, others stayed to session what is surely a course that simply can make no recovery before Saturday’s race. If it continues to rain grip levels will arguably be improved on the alternative grease level of sunnier days ahead. We are locked in for a slip n slide and nothing mixes up the scoreboard more than steamed vision, deep puddles and super-slick roots. You don’t get a rainbow, so take that silver lining and enjoy a very different Australia World Cup than we might have expected…

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/practice-cairns-dh-world-cup-2.html

Sun-baked dirt, boulders, stars and stripes. The 2014 DH mountain bike season just got lit up in the most explosive start to the racing in recent memory. It was the long-awaited return of the all-American king, Aaron Gwin, who tamed a wilder version of the pedal-based beast we use to know. Granted, the race was won with the help of a warranty-voiding, dual crown and enduro bike combination, but this speaks far more to the caliber of the rider than of a failure of the course. Many big names on little bikes fared poorly and many on big bikes scored little. It was all swings and roundabouts. This track pushed riders to speeds found nowhere else on the circuit, while providing technical puzzles that still remain unsolved to the majority. One man had all the answers this time, the only man ever to beat the local champ, Greg Minnaar, here in years gone by. 

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/finals-pietermaritzburg-dh-world-cup-1.html

Sam Hill at 300mm, pushing towards 70kph on African dirt.

Pietermaritzburg. Bike choice. Most will yawn. But there’s a twist. 

Welcome back to the world of globe trotting pro downhill in all its burliness for the 2014 season. It’s been an appalling wait we can all agree, but now the world’s best are back on one continent. It will be a year not soon forgotten - set to begin with the re-ignition of a long-running controversy over track evolution and technology. Is it right that a race could be won with a single crown fork and big wheels? Old news; Graves and Ropelato sparked that discussion here at the champs last year. Well this time we can expect a far more widespread, more contagious surge of 650b, 29er, airshocks, dropper posts, shorter travel, single crown forks… But what’s this? The track ain’t quite the same. Someone’s dumped a pick of Africa biggest boulders in the way. 

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/trackwalk-pietermaritzburg-dh-world-cup-1.html

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/practice-pietermaritzburg-dh-world-cup-1.html

Jonkershoek nature reserve near Stellenbosch SA

South Africa Calling

Versions of our southern hemisphere adventuring have been on Spanish, Italian, German and Canadian websites… here it is in English:

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/south-africa-calling.html

True story awaiting magazine appearance.

GSADEJ - The Great South African Deutschlander Exploration Journey - STELLENBOSCH& Capetown with Steffi Marth and Jasper Jauch

Steffi learning the methods of the mountain from Sascha.

On the hike back up at Schattberg, Saalbach, to make our winter training story for some outdoor magazines. 

Anton Thelander in search of the Northern Lights.

Whitestyle @ Leogang

Not too many big names heard the call this time. There are many theories, but maybe it’s because slopestyle mountain biking isn’t in the Olympics. If it was, it would probably be the best mountain bike event in the world… and sponsored by Carlsberg instead of Monster. I mean Red Bull… It’s that now. Nevermind, cycling on snow? What’s next, skiing on mud? Swimming in lava!? Base-jumping in space!?? Jesus. Well actually just to explode the non-secret, White Style is in fact conducted entirely on carpet. Why not ‘Carpet Style’?! Why do you think.

Read on: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/White-Style-2014.html