After Sunday’s mandatory rest day, Monday was officially day one of practice out at Rampage. Year 2 at this zone meant that a great deal of heavy lifting has already been done. The difficulties lie less in tuning up the pre-existing lines, but more from finding new features, or re-routes. First time riders this year have been tasked with the extraordinarily difficult challenge of building a complete top to bottom line of their own. Here’s what we saw in the parched hills in Utah that haven’t seen rain in 120+ days… Brendog and crew doing some excavation. Matt MacDuff and Ben Byerz slapping the landing of Rheeder’s upper drop. Tommy G chipping away. Reed Boggs taking a break and having a look at his open loop feature. Sand bags are out in full force this year. It’s a massive hill and they’re a life saver in some spots. It’s not summer hot out here, but it’s still the desert. Carson Storch on the morning commute. Canadians can be rednecks too… First timer, Emil Johannson is surprisingly chipper out here. All smiles and very confident, especially considering he’s never ridden in Utah, much less Rampage. Reminders of Jordie Lunn all around Rumor has it that Brendog wants to flip his savage canyon gap this year, hence the extra sandbags and steep lip. Shotguns for Jord! Tommy G looking pensive, eyeing up his shark fin. Brendog has been putting in an insane amount of work on his line. Those helmets done look like D3’s to me. Lyle and Zink strategizing. Zink easing into it. Kyle’s turn. Lots of straight airs – for now…. Vinny T was throwing down in practice. Dog pisser from the French steeze lord. Another angle of Vinny Steeze. Last years winner, Brett Rheeder. Knowing you have a winning line has to be confidence inspiring. Dropping into evening practice. Semenuk cruising up for some practice as the sun went down. Boris was here… After a wild 2nd place last year, Andreu Lacondeguy wants more this year… And he definitely “won practice” Rheeder wasn’t far behind Lacondeguy though. Last light is the best light. Brandon “easing into things” once it was nearly dark. See you tomorrow for more good times in the desert…
The WyndyMilla Massive Attack sees a complete redesign for 2020. WyndyMilla It might have design cues from many other performance road bikes on the market, but it’s nevertheless a completely bespoke bike. WyndyMilla Being a 2020 performance road bike, the Massive Attack naturally has dropped seatstays. WyndyMilla As all of its bikes are custom made, you can specify whatever paint job you want. This version allows you to still see the 3k carbon weave underneath. WyndyMilla Every WydnyMilla build is completely custom, so you can choose components to suit your riding style and budget. WyndyMilla The Kammtail down tube claims to shield the bottle cages from the wind for improved aerodynamic performance. WyndyMilla WyndyMilla has announced an update to the Massive Attack, its all-round road race bike. The British custom bike brand is perhaps best known for its jazzy paint jobs and design collaboration with 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt. Its bikes are individually handmade in Venice, Italy, to completely custom geometry and specification, then painted and built at its design headquarters in the Surrey Hills, just outside of London. The update to the Massive Attack frameset brings a more modern design approach, with all of the key features that are currently so ubiquitous on performance road bikes. The new Massive Attack aims to be stiff, lightweight, more aero and more comfortable. 2020 WyndyMilla Massive Attack Handmade, tube-to-tube carbon construction Made-to-measure geometry and fit Updated tubing, with Kammtail shapes in key areas Available in rim or disc brake Bespoke paint options RRP: £4,000 (rim brake) / £4,200 (disc brake) The down tube, seat tube and seatpost now all use Kammtail tube shapes (first seen on the Trek Speed Concept back in 2009, and since becoming practically an industry standard), and yes, it’s dropped the seatstays. The D-shaped seat tube and seatpost, in particular, are claimed to offer better aerodynamic performance and comfort than the round tubes they replace, while the oversized down tube focuses on stiffness and shielding the water bottle cages from the wind. Furthermore, the Massive Attack frameset has been redesigned to accommodate the modern trend for wider rims and tyres (tyres up to 30mm will now fit on disc brake models). On that note, the frame is available in either rim or disc brake format. The oversized bottom bracket shell is shaped for maximum pedalling stiffness, and also takes a threaded BSA bottom bracket – hallelujah. WyndyMilla’s claims of improved, well, everything may be nothing new, but where the brand stands apart from many of its rivals is on its manufacturing and customisation options. As each bike is made to order, WyndyMilla is able to offer complete customisation not just of parts and paint, but also of geometry and fit – right down to 0.5mm and 0.1 degrees. This level of individual choice naturally doesn’t come cheap – the Massive Attack costs £4,000 for a rim brake frameset and £4,200 for a disc brake chassis – but WyndyMilla does also offer a lifetime warranty on all of its frames. The Massive Attack is available now from WyndyMilla website.
Pre-registration for the 2020 Maratona dles Dolomites sportive – one of the most popular events on the European gran fondo calendar – is now open. The 34th edition of the Dolomites sportive, held in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, will take place on Sunday 5 July. There are three routes available to enter, with the full Maratona course packing 4,230m of climbing into 138km and developing a reputation as one of the toughest sportives in the world. Etape du Tour 2020 route to tackle three climbs in Southern Alps Best road bikes under £2,000 | Our pick of the top endurance and race bikes Otherwise, the Medium route is 106km with 3,130m of climbing, while the Sellaronda is 55km with 1,780m of climbing. All three routes start in La Villa and end in Corvara, part of the Alpine resort of Alta Badia. Whatever route you choose, expect fierce gradients and stunning views across the craggy peaks of the Dolomites. Seven major climbs Riders on the full Maratona route take on seven major Dolomites climbs in all. First up is the Passo Campolongo – a 5.8km ascent with an average gradient of 6.1 per cent – before the Passo Pordoi summits at 2,239m and the Fausto Coppi memorial at the summit. The Pordoi is a regular on the Giro d’Italia and has a 6.9 per cent average gradient for 9.2km. Likewise, the Passo Sella (5.5km at 7.9 per cent) and Passo Gardena (5.8km at 4.3 per cent) have regularly featured on the Giro route. Riders on the Sellaronda and Medium routes take in those climbs, too, but the full Maratona then tackles the Campolongo again before moving on to the Passo Giau – the sportive’s toughest climb. Whatever course you choose, you can expect plenty of climbing. Maratona dles Dolomites The Giau has become an iconic Giro d’Italia ascent thanks to its brutal gradients – the 9.9km ascent has an average incline of 9.3 per cent, with some pitches as steep as 15 per cent. The Passo Valparola is the final major climb on the full Maratona and Sellaronda courses, with the former tackling the Pocol side of the ascent (11.5km at 5.8 per cent) and the latter taking on the climb from Andraz (11.8km at 6.7 per cent) A final sting in the tail comes in the form of the Mür dl Giat just a few kilometres from the finish. Translated as “The Cat Wall”, the climb only measures 360m in length but has a maximum slope of 19 per cent and has become a popular vantage point for spectators to watch riders as they gurn and grimace. The Maratona is officially a race – it’s broadcast live on Italian television – and the winning time in the last three years has hovered around the 4:37 mark. Many riders can expect to take up to double that, however. How to enter the Maratona dles Dolomites Pre-registration for the ballot, from which 4,400 of the maximum 9,000 places will be drawn, is open until Tuesday 5 November at www.maratona.it. Alternatively, you can enter via a tour package or a charity registration. Head to the Maratona dles Dolomites website for more information.
Winning Red Bull Rampage is an accolade that has graced the presence of a very select number of riders. Here’s what some of those riders have to say about the freeride event with such a prestigious history. RIDERS: Andreu Lacondeguy (2014) Brett Rheeder (2018) Kurt Sorge (2012, 2015, 2017) Kyle Strait (2004, 2013) Brandon Semenuk (2008, 2016) Cam Zink (2010)
Cam Zink, Andreu Lacondeguy, Kyle Strait, Kurt Sorge, Brandon Semenuk and Brett Rheeder put their names in the history books with these runs.
“Red Bull Rampage has seen it’s fair share of winners since it’s origins back in 2001. Now in it’s 14th edition, we prepare for another ground-breaking week in freeride MTB history as the 2019 event approaches fast! We dug into the archives to find the Red Bull Rampage Winning Runs from 2010 to 2018, including Cam Zink, Andreu Lacondeguy, Kyle Strait, Kurt Sorge, Brandon Semenuk and Brett Rheeder who have stamped their names in mountain biking history!” Credit: Red Bull
. THE MENTAL GAME Kate Courtney charged into the 2019 season wearing the rainbow jersey winning three back-to-back World Cups. It was clear she was ready to go all out but the winning streak didn’t hold out. She had to dig deep and keep the end goal in mind for the World Cup Overall. Like any champion knows, it’s not getting knocked down that matters, it’s getting back up and fighting on. In the final 2019 episode of “Rising” with Kate Courtney we dive into the Mental Game of Elite Mountain Bike Racing. THE PRESSURE Coming into the season wearing the rainbow jersey meant all eyes were on Kate for 2019. Kicking it off with three World Cup wins added to the attention. In only her second year of Elite, the world was curious what this rising star could accomplish. But expectations and pressure can weigh heavily on a young athlete. This demanded a new level of mental strength from Kate. THE PROCESS Sustaining yourself as an athlete takes discipline. It’s a fine balance between knowing when to go all in or when to simply take a break-a skill that certainly isn’t natural for an athlete that achieves their level by being unusually good at pushing themselves when everyone else has long gone home. That being said, all athletes at any level will face highs and lows that they simply can’t train for. Experience is the only teacher. THE LEARNING After an intense training camp mid-summer, Kate came out exhausted and her results reflected that. She had to take a step back and remember why she was here in the first place: because #funisfast and #fastisfun, as the team says. She had to take the season in stride and focus on the bigger picture. It was a learning process where some days, just keeping a smile on her face at the end of the race was the main goal. LOOKING AHEAD The 2019 season for Kate was a rollercoaster of highs and lows but the overarching goal never left her sight: World Cup Champion- an incredible feat for the 23-year-old racer in only her second year of elite racing. With a long list of learnings, she can head into the off season and towards the 2020 season and the Tokyo Olympics with heightened confidence to overcome whatever she may face. Q: Can you summarize the season in a few words? A: This season showed what is possible when you work hard with a great team around you, stay open to learning and remain optimistic in the pursuit of big goals. Q: What would you say to another young athlete going through the highs and lows of a season to encourage them? A: I love the quote, “It’s not the top of the mountain that sustains life, it’s the sides.” For me, remembering that it’s the journey and the climb that lead to those spectacular moments at the top helps keep in perspective the purpose of going out and giving your best every day – regardless of the result. It’s not always easy to enjoy the process and to trust it when things aren’t going the way you’d hoped, but pushing through those days is just as important to your success as enjoying the days where everything clicks. Q: How have you stayed so mentally strong throughout the season? A: My mental game is something I focus a lot on – and have great help with! I work with a sports psychologist and am lucky enough to be surrounded by a team that cares about me and believes in me. At the end of the day, one of my greatest strengths in this sport is my genuine love of riding my bike. I can always come back to the fact that riding with people I love brings me joy and gives me new motivation to stay optimistic and to push myself towards the next big goal. Q: What is something you have learned from this season that you’ll carry forward? A: This season I took away so many lessons! It was one of my most successful, rewarding and challenging seasons to date and has left me an ideal mix of confident, humbled and motivated heading into the Olympic year. One thing I have learned is that persistence pays off – you never know when you might be one step away from achieving a dream. If you stop moving forward, you may never know what might have been possible. Q: What will the off season include for you? A: A little rest and a lot of long rides to bakeries with my friends!