The seventh round of the UCI DH World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, saw the continuing battle between the two top French riders Amaury Pierron and Loïc Bruni for the leadership of the overall standings in this exciting 2019 season. The sun came out to dry the ground after a morning of rain and fog, making the Swiss track fast and spectacular but still extremely challenging with some areas still running very slippery. Amaury Pierron with a devastatingly aggressive and incredibly fast run, won the race with his fellow countryman Bruni in third, garnering important points for the overall. An incredible second place for Greg Minnaar who had worried Pierron with a spectacular descent – clean and fast as only the South African can do. Loïc Bruni must therefore settle for third place despite a solid and precise run, apart from a small slip in a corner. The world champ puts his leadership in the circuit back into play thus diminishing his advantage to just 90 points. Troy Brosnan, definitely the most consistent rider on the circuit, finished in fourth place, remaining in third place overall. Danny Hart, after scoring the best time in yesterday’s qualifier, landed in fifth place. Sixth place for the winner of the last round in Val di Sole, Laurie Greenland. Despite having some decent results in qualifying, unfortunately no Americans landed in the top 10 this round… On a still very wet ground, with a lot of fog that limited visibility, the women’s race took place with the challenge between Marine Cabirou and Tracey Hannah, both still in the running for the overall circuit victory. Marine made some mistakes but maintained a higher average speed, thus landing her second career victory following success in Val di Sole. Tracey chased her down at just 26 hundredths behind but still remains at the top of the overall gaining 150 points. Third position for Emilie Siegenthaler in her home race. In the Junior categories, the season leader Thibaut Daprela finished in 16th place while retaining his first place position in the overall. Seth Sherlock won, followed by Janosch Klaus and Tuhoto-Ariki Pene. After the second place in Val di Sole, Valentina Höll returned to the top step of the podium with a clear advantage over pursuers Nastasia Gimenez and Anna Newkirk. Complete Lenzerheide final rankings: • Elite Men • Elite Women • Junior Men • Junior Women Overall World Cup: • Elite Men • Elite Women • Junior Men • Junior Women The UCI DH World Cup will be back on track on September 7th and 8th in the new location of Snowshoe, West Virginia in the United States, for the final round of this exciting 2019 season.
One week after the spectacular Val di Sole event, the UCI DH World Cup circuit moves to the Swiss town of Lenzerheide, for the 6th round of this 2019 season which has mainly been dominated by the top French riders. Danny Hart puts the unfortunate puncture of Val di Sole behind him, winning today’s qualifying round. Only 1 tenth of a second back for circuit leader Loic Buni, who placed second, ahead of Troy Brosnan and Greg Minnaar. Amaury Pierron with his fifth place nibbles a few points for the overall still to be played out between him, Bruni and Brosnan. An excellent 8th place for American Dakotah Norton, with Luca Shaw in 12th and Neko Mullaly in 14th. In the female category, Tracey Hannah returned to the first place position, staying out front of Nina Hoffmann by about 2 seconds. Third position went to Val di Sole winner Marine Cabirou. Veronika Widmann earned the fourth position followed in fifth place by the local Emilie Siegenthaler. After the unlucky race in Val di Sole, Thibaut Daprela returned to the position that this season has shown to be the most familiar to him, first place in the Junior classification. In the women’s field, Valentina Höll won with over 8 seconds to spare on Anne Newkirk while the winner of Val di Sole, Mille Johnset, didn’t start in the qualifier. Complete Lenzerheide qualification rankings: • Elite Men • Elite Women • Junior Men • Junior Women Tomorrow the finals will be played on the live stream on Red Bull TV.
A hot summer sun accompanied the finals of the sixth UCI DH World Cup race in Val di Sole, completely changing the picture compared to yesterday’s qualifications that was rainy madness. A race full of twists with different top riders who have continuously raised the pace of the competition until the descent of Laurie Greenland who dropped to a level so superior to others it was reminiscent of Sam Hill right here in Val di Sole at Worlds of 2008. Greenland takes home his first ever World Cup victory crowning his excellent growth over these last two seasons and breaking the French domination. Second place for Loïc Bruni, fit and focused, he faced the Black Snake with speed, clean riding and a constant pace. The world champion therefore remains at the top of the overall ranking. Loris Vergier sent his wheels down some truly aggressive lines and showed all his determination with a spectacular run, closing out in third place. Amaury Pierron lacked all of the aggressiveness which he has accustomed us in these last two seasons and finished in fourth position. A puncture in the final part of the track slowed Danny Hart where he was ahead of Bruni, making him finish in fifth place. An excellent performance by David Trummer, sixth, the first to really raise the level. Greg Minnaar also remained off the podium finishing in seventh place due to a crash while he was ahead of Vergier. Davide Palazzari has brought the Italian flag to the highest position for many years, taking 12th place in front of the home crowd. Behind him in 13th position was his fellow countryman Johannes Von Klebelsberg , again in the top 15 after the WC # 5 of Vallnord. Strong showing for the home team! Nice to see a great result for two Italians in the top 15 in an Italian race, on one of the most physical and complex tracks of the season. Congratulations to both of them and congratulations also to Simone Medici, who closed it out 60th on the track that a few years ago saw him as the victim of a heavy injury. In the women’s field, Marine Cabirou, who has improved exponentially since last season, scored an incredible run that took her to the top of the podium with the remarkable advantage of over 11 seconds, thus winning her first World Cup. Tracey Hannah, visibly tense before leaving, rode in a rather conservative way, hardly getting to second position. European champion Camille Balanche, with a good run but above all not falling, landed in third place. Fourth place for Veronika Widmann who, violently hit her stomach against the saddle while she was ahead at the halfway point, concluded the race anyway and recovering a great deal of the time lost in the fall. Emilie Siegenthaler made no mistakes and landed herself in fifth place. Women’s podium is looking quite a bit different these days…. The cards were also shuffled in the Junior male category where the ruler of the 2019 season, Frenchman Thibaut Daprela, failed to do better than 12th place, but still retains his leadership of the overall standings. The victory goes to the kiwi Tuhoto-Ariki Pene, followed by the Slovenian Zak Gomilscek and Kye A’Hern, the only rider belonging to a factory team in the first 8 places of the ranking. In the Junior female category the growth of the Norwegian Mille Johnset has finally paid off and after having reduced the enormous gap that the leader of the points race Valentina Höll set at the beginning of the season to a few seconds. Here in Val di Sole she has overcome the Austrian, winning with over one second advantage. Third place was almost 30 seconds back for Anna Newkirk. Complete results Val di Sole Finals – Elite Men Complete results Val di Sole Finals – Elite Women Complete results Val di Sole Finals – Junior Men Complete results Finale Val di Sole – Junior Women World Cup Overall – Elite Men World Cup Overall – Elite Women World Cup Overall – Junior Men World Cup Overall – Junior Women The UCI DH World Cup will be back on track on 10 and 11 August in Lenzerheide for the seventh round of this unpredictable 2019 season.
The qualifying round of the sixth stop of the UCI DH World Cup in Val di Sole just ended, an event that’s always among the most interesting and attractive of the season. In tackling the already feared Black Snake track, the athletes also had to deal with wet ground from the copious rain that fell on the Trentino location during the men’s qualifying heats. Numerous interruptions caused by the athletes crashing took a heavy toll on the race on terrain that is often at the limit even for the top riders. Visualizza questo post su Instagram Un post condiviso da Dave Ayling (@welookedlikegiants) in data: 2 Ago 2019 alle ore 6:05 PDT The first athletes took advantage of it, starting in reverse order, where we find Brit Joe Breeden in the first position, followed by the Italian Davide Palazzari who is definitely in excellent form and in third position by Faustin Figaret. Amaury Pierron still managed to get an excellent sixth place despite the adverse conditions while the current circuit leader Loic Bruni didn’t go beyond 18th place. Excellent result for Johannes Von Klebelsberg in ninth. Essentially, the results are a bit all over the board. In the women’s category, the best time was from Tracey Hannah who, with her main rivals outside the tape due to injury, still had to deal with a particularly fit Marine Cabirou who with a gap of less than a second is breathing down her neck. Veronika Widmann was followed shortly after by Eleonora Farina in third and fourth respectively – good results from the Italians. New names lead the Junior Men qualifying round, with Canadian Elliot Jamieson in first place followed by fellow Canadian Seth Sherlock and Slovenian Zak Gomilscek, while season leader Thibaut Daprela finished in 38th place. Among the Junior Women, as nearly always Valentina Höll marks the fastest time, pressed by Mille Johnset, this time just 2 and a half seconds away. Complete results Qualifications Val di Sole – Elite Men Complete results Qualifications Val di Sole – Elite Women Complete results Qualifications Val di Sole – Junior Men Complete results Qualifications Val di Sole – Junior Women Tomorrow the final round will be played live streaming on Red Bull TV .
In a sense, mountain biking is like any other hobby or sport that involves a necessary tool as an intermediary between enthusiast and activity. Said tool is relentlessly and endlessly refined by a sprawling, nebulous framework of engineers, athletes, marketeers and everyday consumers. On the surface it can appear to be a slow process of small component refinements and subtle geometry tweaks, such as tire inserts and steeper seat angles. But every so often there are breakthroughs that force us to re-evaluate things front to back, all the way down to how we actually ride a mountain bike. Spanning relatively recent history disc brakes, increased wheel sizes and dropper seatposts have served as some of the bigger catalysts for change… Not too long ago, Trust Performance launched the first modern linkage fork that’s actually worth a serious look. Dubbed “The Message”, it casts aside telescoping “tubes in tubes” and their inherent purely linear axle path in favor of a “trailing multi-link” design which allows the front wheel to move on a contoured axle path, much like rear suspension. Trust founder Dave Weagle set out on this endeavor with the broader initial goal of “improving dynamic cornering stability and bump performance”, but his realization of a linkage fork incidentally offered a host of other benefits. It took just one high speed speed slam into a curb to see that Trust was truly on to something, and after only about 30 seconds down our local trail we began to pondering whether linkage forks could very well become the new norm. Compared to other paradigm-shift-worthy ideas in the MTB world, which are often crude at their inception, the Message is remarkably refined for a Freshman effort. There’s a lot to unpack here, but I’ll try to keep it concise. It’s also worth noting that this has been a relatively short term review. Details Trailing multi-link front suspension 130mm contour travel 1980 grams (1927 grams on our scale with cut steerer) Full carbon chassis, steerer tube and linkages Three-way mode adjust – Firm, Medium, Open Trust engineered twin-tube, thru-shaft damper Fits both 29/27.5″+ (110-140mm) and 27.5″ (130-140mm) trail bikes Max tire widths up to 29 x 2.6” (762 x 66mm) or 27.5 x 2.8″ (744 x 78mm) Easy setup with air pressure equal to rider weight 535mm axle-to-crown Fits existing mountain bikes with tapered head tube Boost 15x110mm thru axle (or with torque caps) Direct mount 180mm rotor (203mm max) 250 hours between service intervals 30 day ride guarantee $1,975 USD The entire exoskeletal structure of The Message is carbon fiber – from the one piece leg/crown/steerer assembly to the linkage parts. By moving away from a traditional design and housing the spring and damper assemblies inside of the fork’s structure, Trust was able to isolate those moving parts from chassis flex, thus eliminating stiction compared to traditional forks, which have an inherent binding at the stanchion/bushing interface(s) as they flex fore/aft as well as torsionally. Right – from top, down: The Message features a 3-way adjuster with Open, Medium and Firm modes. The air spring valves are accessible through ports in the legs. The valve caps require a 4mm allen key for installation and removal. In similar fashion, you can access the Open and Medium mode compression adjustments and fine tune them with a 3mm allen key. Clockwise from top left: the rebound adjustment is tool free and externally accessible via the driveside, where the twin tube, thru shaft damping assembly lives. The lower eyelets rotate on cartridge bearings while the upper eyelets, which see a lesser degree of rotation, pivot on bushings. Trust includes a kit full of spacers, cable separators and beyond. They use this insert as a way of securing the brake hose as it runs down the fork’s leg. Lastly, there is a handy built-in sag indicator on the non-drive side. The Message uses a post mount 180mm rotor and fortunately, Trust opted against a quick release and instead use a bolt-on axle driven by a 6 mm allen key. These days, now that multi tools can be stored on water bottle cages, if you’re not carrying one with you, it’s your own fault. The linkage hardware is actually aluminum, which saves quite a bit of weight. Also shown are also fixing pins which act as a safety measures should any of the linkage hardware come loose. Clockwise from top left: The non-driveside view of the linkage. Inside of the leg assembly, a tough plastic decal protects under the crown. There are some subtle, aesthetic details on the fork’s linkage and a view of the fixing pin installed. Finally, you can see the lower spring/damper eyelets peeking through gaps in the linkage. Some interesting details regarding the internals, clockwise from top left: QR codes everywhere! A closer look at the low/medium compression mode adjuster, which sits at the bridge point between the damper and air spring. Lastly, in the lower frame, you can see a plastic rod keyed into a set of plastic cogs. That rod connects to the external lever which toggles between the 3 compression modes. Yes it’s burly, and – although not pictured, yes you can still fit a fender. Setup Tailoring the fork to your preferences is only slightly more arduous than the average fork when setting sag and adjusting compression, although the indicator dial is handy. For sag you need to inflate (evenly side to side) the air spring in each leg, and the compression settings are externally adjustable, but they do require an allen key. That part is easy, but unfortunately, tuning the air spring curve requires sending the fork into the service center. I started out exactly at the recommended settings, and aside from volume reducers, everything was pretty spot on. It’s convenient that the baseline pressure is your body weight in PSI, making it nearly impossible to forget, even if you’ve rattled your head a few times over the years. The setup guide suggests 2 “huck pucks” per side for “aggressive” riders. I found this to be a bit off – at 180 pounds, after a substantially harsh bottom out on my first ride, I eventually arrived at 4 per side (out of a maximum possible of 6), which provided the ideal progression curve I was looking for. Deciphering the Message There are a host of defining attributes, but I’ll focus on five key, highlighted factors. Starting with the chassis stiffness – the manufacturing marvel that is the giant carbon fiber one piece steerer/leg assembly greatly improves the rigidity both fore and aft (read: under braking) and torsionally (read: under twisting loads, think: corners, rough off cambers). The large linkage parts, oversized bearings and burly hardware help the fork move freely through its travel under load, uninhibited by flex or the binding typically felt in telescopic forks at the bushings. A factor that one might not initially credit for the precision handling is the contoured axle path; a critical element in the Message’s ride dynamic, as it pertains to its otherworldly steering accuracy. A major benefit to the Message’s axle path is how it allows for the trail to be “normalized” and kept relatively consistent throughout the travel, thus improving stability. Conversely, trail on a telescoping fork is constantly reducing as it compresses, which has a destabilizing effect. That leads to a start to finish consistency in handling that no telescopic fork will ever achieve. Another unique characteristic which makes the Message unlike anything else on the market (and arguably better) is its penchant for impact absorption. The linkage frees the fork from the conventional, straight up and down axle path that’s inherently relegated to moving parallel to the head angle. As mentioned prior, that allowed designer Dave Weagle to finely tune a contoured axle path that allows the wheel to move back slightly, and away from impacts as it moves up through the travel. We’re talking about a few millimeters, but on trail that equates to remarkable prowess in carrying speed over harsh impacts, particularly in succession. There’s even more to the picture when you consider that the linkage also allowed Weagle to tune the suspension on a curve, much like the rear suspension kinematic layouts which the best brands in the world contract him to map out. The last two factors which are improved on by utilizing this well designed linkage are brake dive and pedal bob. These obstacles were initially less of a priority on the list things that Trust initially sought to remedy, but implementing a linkage paved the way for mitigated influence by these less than ideal setbacks that are just part and parcel to a telescoping fork. Alright, now let’s see how all of this stacked up on trail. On the trail Getting down to brass tacks, the Message was like nothing I’ve ridden. First – the stiffness and handling blows every telescoping fork away, it isn’t even up for debate. The parts of trails where compliance and steering precision are most critical is the corners – particularly those littered with jarring impacts like roots, rocks, and braking bumps. This is where the fork shines brightest. The ultra rigid chassis results in steering that’s best described as clairvoyant – before you even think it, it has already done it. The Message strongly resists diving, particularly from mass transfer, i.e. weighting the front end, and thus it rides high and saves precious travel for the impacts mid-corner. The most surreal takeaway feeling was how unfazed the fork was by bumps and chatter deep in the turns. As the old adage goes “races are won and lost in the corners” and that is precisely where you really feel the advantages of the contoured axle path. You know those violent, unavoidable, wrist jarring, braking bumps which you dread because they just kill your speed? On the Message, they all but vanish beneath you, incredibly. It’s something that you need to feel for yourself to believe, hence the name “Trust”. There were two interesting side effects of the Message’s cornering behavior. First, since I no longer felt the diving that I innately anticipate in turns, I ended up running my handlebar height 5-10mm lower than usual. Second, I had to re-think my approach in how I cornered. Typically as I enter a turn, I’m looking for an apex to punch toward and bear down into. As the front end didn’t dive, I found myself not having to muscle the bike as much as I no longer calculated wallowing into the equation. Rather, I went into turns off the brakes, trusting that I could ride lighter and more relaxed…Which saves energy. Touching on the less exciting stuff, I found that the fork was more a bit more settled on the long, grinding fire road climbs than a standard telescoping fork. The 3-way adjuster is quite cool actually – two compression clickers dictate low speed compression in the Open and Medium modes. I mostly left the fork in Open, but occasionally used its firmest setting on smooth grinds – by the way, the Firm setting features a high speed blow off, should you forget it’s engaged and start bombing down rugged terrain. More technical climbs revealed a sleeper advantage that I didn’t anticipate – perhaps because I don’t spend much timing fantasizing about climbing. Somehow, even mashing and lurching your way up awkward sections of trail is easier on the Message. Bomb holes and baby heads that can make you or break you on a steep climb are less of an impediment. I found myself less hung up by square edge obstacles, making it easier to carry momentum through difficult climbs. Head on charging at speed also left me floored. You can come nuking into catastrophic sections of trails and the fork holds a line, keeping momentum better than anything in its category. The tracking and bump absorption are FAR beyond what you’d expect from just 130mm of travel. With all of this heaping praise, downsides are inevitable, right? Yes, there are a few obvious points – the fork is a touch heavy, quite expensive, and unfortunately it needs to go in to service for tuning the air spring curve. That said, I do feel like that the air spring curve is more of a set it and forget it type of thing. Anyhow, there are a couple of other potential setbacks which depend more on the rider’s individual preference and ability level. With the fork set so that it wouldn’t bottom violently on bigger impacts, it did transmit a fair amount of feedback to my hands. It’s difficult to describe, but also unfair to characterize it as being “harsh”, because that’s usually synonymous with suspension that’s too firm, rides rough or skips around due to a loss of traction. This was absolutely NOT the case…quite the contrary in fact as it’s the most planted ride I’ve ever felt on the front of a bike. One part of the reason for this feeling is the the Message’s ultra low levels of hysteresis, which was a major aim of the damper’s design. Achieving this goal can make suspension seem like it has a lot of damping, but that isn’t necessarily what you’re feeling. It’s a bit difficult to conceptualize, but you can read more about that here, direct from Trust, under “Lag Performance”. My 2 cents is that in addition to low hysteresis, the stout chassis and the fact that I was pushing the bike substantially harder are also factors in things feeling a bit “racier”. In any case, I’d put the Message on the front of my personal bike in a heartbeat. Overall So, who is this for, and how does it stack up value wise? For rider’s who want gush and cush, don’t care about a bit of wallow and aren’t yearning for the highest degree of steering precision, this may not be the fork for you. If you’re a gram counter or a penny pincher, it’s also obviously not for you. If you’re a reasonably skilled, or better rider who places handling above all else, then the Message could very well be the upgrade that completely transforms your ride and your riding. As the actual suspension guts are stashed away inside of its monstrous exoskeleton, it’s easy to forget how brilliant they are as well as the fact that they’re less prone to degradation. This brings us to another point – when factoring value, it’s worth considering that at 250 hours, the service interval is way longer than the average fork, which saves money over the life of the product. One last thing to consider…I can’t help but ponder on how this concept could be scaled upward. If 130mm of travel feels this unstoppable, I could only imagine what a longer travel version could on an Enduro bike, or taking it further, what a dual crown option could do for World Cup downhill racing. My mind goes straight to Amaury Pierron’s breakout reign of terror last year on his high pivot Commencal. Bringing that same kind of advantage to how the front wheel carries momentum could yield some exciting results in the coming years. This is just the beginning… www.trustperformance.com
Nothing but French-fuelled adrenaline in Les Gets for round 5 of the UCI DH World Cup. Carving through the track like the pocket rocket she is, Tracey Hannah dominates in Les Gets for round 5 of the UCI DH World Cup. Despite the best efforts of Laurie Greenland and Loic Bruni, no one could stop Amaury Pierron, who laid it all out to take the victory.