Dirt Rag Magazine

In Print: Cruzing to the Top, The Ben Cruz Interview


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At the end of June American enduro racer Ben Cruz of Team Cannondale OverMountain finally earned his first ever international victory at round 3 of the Superenduro Series in the Lombardia Alps of Madesimo, Italy. It was a nasty, rainy event where weather definitely played a role.

Like his WTB-Cannondale OverMountain teammates Mark Weir and Jason Moeschler, Ben Cruz is an all-rounder on the mountain bike, a speed demon unafraid of distance, obstacles or weather. With an unapologetic, never-say-die attitude, the 23-year-old from Novato, California, is a Weir-shaped nut that hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Unfortunately, the only thing keeping him from surpassing the athletic exploits of his teammates and vaulting to the top of the record books in a few years is also the same thing that propels him: his attitude.

While the fun-loving and brash Cruz has become more focused than ever this year, with a keen eye on becoming a top American enduro racer on the international circuit, he still possess a hint of Hunter S. Thompson deep inside. Here’s an uncensored look at enduro racing’s most controversial personality.

Read our interview with Cruz here.

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Enduro-X race to air on TV, offers half price entry to women


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As if riding and racing in Bike Town USA wasn’t enough of a draw, the organizers of the Enduro-X series have announced the race will air on television across the country, plus a new novice category that will let riders of any skill level get a taste for modern enduro racing.

In addition, in an effort to promote a diverse field, women can use the coupon code Wmrace14 at registration to receive half off their fee. Female riders are the fastest growing segment of mountain bikers and Enduro-X wants them to be well represented at the race.

Read the full story

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Final stop of the Scott Enduro Cup coming to Canyons Resort in Utah


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The Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro mountain bike race series heads to Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah on July 19 for its final stop of the season. After competition stops in Moab and Sun Valley, the pressure is on athletes to earn North American Enduro Tour (NAET) points and also to become the 2014 Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro champions. The event attracts top names in mountain biking including current NAET point leaders Kyle Warner and Margaret Gregory. Registration is still open for men and women, open, amateur, and junior riders at endurocupmtb.com.

Learn more about the event here.

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Wells wins third straight Marathon champs, Grant takes women’s title


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Photo by Micah Rice

Twenty-two Stars-and-Stripes jerseys were earned on Saturday as the 2014 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships brought an action-packed end to the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival in Idaho.

Riders left the start line in morning and afternoon waves with temperatures being near perfect for the morning races and beautiful, but hot, in the afternoon.

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Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing) made it three in a row in Sun Valley, finishing six minutes ahead of silver and bronze medalists Stephen Ettinger (Bozeman, Mont./BMX Mountain Bike Racing Team) and Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College/Specialized) in the pro men’s event. The win was the third straight Marathon Mountain Bike national title for Wells.

Rose Grant (Kalispell, Mont./Sportsman & Ski Haus) rode her way into the Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the women’s pro race, finishing 14 minutes faster than silver and bronze medalists Joey Lythgoe (Park City, Utah) and Nina Baum (Albuquerque, NM).

See more results here.

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Scott Enduro Cup highlights Smith Optics Ride Sun Valley Bike Fest


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The second stop of the Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro captivated the attention of the biking community as the flagship race of the Smith Optics Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival June 27-29. The two day competition is one of the longest enduro races in North America covering 24 miles and 9,000 descending vertical feet across Sun Valley Resort’s Bald Mountain in the heart of the Sawtooth National Forest. It’s also an official stop on North American Enduro Tour. After five timed stages, the fastest combined times on the leader boards for men and women were claimed by Aaron Bradford (1:00:49) and Margaret Gregory (1:08:59).

“It was a really fun weekend and definitely one of the more well put on events. The timing was really good,” said Gregory. “It was a tough yet balanced race with a lot of pedaling and technical sections.”

Read more about the race and festival here.

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Cross Country racing returns to Pocahontas Trails


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The old-school, East Coast riding that make the trails at Slatyfork famous more than two decades ago are back with an expanded race weekend at the Pocahontas Trails in West Virginia. The new, three-day format features a short track race, an XC race and an enduro August 22-24.

The weekend of racing showcases what the Slatyfork trails are all about: scenic singletrack, challenging rock gardens, 100-year-old railroad grades, spruce forests and spectacular vistas.

Read more about the event and the rebirth of the trails.

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Recap: A great week in Trans-Sylvania


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The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine held near State College, Pennsylvania, from May 24 to May 31, 2014, proved a huge success among racers from near and far.

After seven days of world-class racing through central Pennsylvania’s lush, green forests on dirt roads and pristine singletrack, NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike racers were all smiles as they left behind new and old friends and departed the Seven Mountains Scout Camp which had served as headquarters all week.

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“This is the most competitive mountain bike stage race in America, just by virtue of the number of top riders, the speeds and the tactical elements that have played out. The race has a fantastic variety of the stages and summer camp-like atmosphere around race headquarters,” said men’s race winner Jeremiah Bishop, leading the way above, (Sho-Air/Cannondale). “It has a lot of the mountain bike culture I grew up racing with on the East Coast, and it’s something I’m glad I could take part in.”

Get the full story of TSE here.

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Video: Ft. William World Cup preview


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My favorite World Cup venue is once again filling up with fans and racers as the third round is underway this weekend in Ft. William, Scotland. Can Gee Atherton repeat his win from 2013? Can Peaty grab a win on home soil? Will there be any 26-inch bikes still around? So far we know Lapierre, Devinci and Specialized will be debuting new machines this weekend.

Check out what the racers will face with a run from the always-entertaining Claudio Caluori.

Watch the preview here.

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