Dirt Rag Magazine

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.


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.


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.


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.


Bishop, Sorenson win 2014 Trans-Sylvania Epic

Photos and text courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

For some, the 26-mile final stage of the NoTubes’ Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag was a party day. But for race leaders and overall podium contenders, today was for the final hours of serious racing before riders crossed the finish line and collapsed with exhaustion.

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The day also saw a Spectator Spectacle section of the course, complete with a full blow-up arch over the rocky singletrack trail and plenty of hecklers, some in costume, there to cheer on racers throughout the day. Liz Allen, above, started the day with a rocket pack.

Finally, though, the race was over and Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Cheryl Sornson (Rare Disease Cycling) were crowned overall winners in the elite men’s and elite women’s categories while Bishop and Selene Yeager (Rare Disease Cycling) celebrated the final day’s stage wins.

Read the full story


Bishop and McConneloug win Queen stage of TSE

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Photos and text courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

There’s only one stage to go after today’s action in the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine, so racing was fast and furious today as riders fought for 41 miles of the Queen Stage, which included plenty of climbing and a trip along the scenic Tussey Mountain ridgeline.

Riders only have a 26-mile stage tomorrow to close gaps and cement their positions in their general classifications, and as a result, many of the riders were taking more risks than they were earlier in the week. But with three SRAM Enduro sections and two long Bear Creek East Coast Rocks segments, some of the most technical trails in Pennsylvania were on the course today.

Jeremiah Bishop, above, (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Mary McConneloug (Kenda/NoTubes) won stage 6 while Bishop and Cheryl Sornson (Rare Disease Cycling) defended their overall leads in the men’s and women’s standings.

Read the full story


Oberman and Barclay win stage 5 of TSE

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Photos and text courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

With 31 miles of racing in R. B. Winter State Park, about 45 minutes from camp and deep into Pennsylvania Amish Country, NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage racers not only got to experience some new, perfectly tacky singletrack on Thursday, but they also got a taste of Pennsylvania culture, passing horse-drawn buggies en route to stage 5, and with a stop at Elk Creek Cafe for some locally brewed beers post-stage.

Cole Oberman (Rare Disease Cycling) and Vicki Barclay (NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) won stage 5 on a damp and drizzly day while Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Cheryl Sornson (Rare Disease Cycling) successfully defended their respective leads in the elite men’s and women’s categories.

Read the full story


McElveen beats all the pros in stage 4 of TSE

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Photos and text courtesy of the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Wednesday’s stage 4 is often referred to as the “road stage” of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine. However, massive thunderstorms rolling in the previous night and rain all morning made for a messy start. As one racer explained post-race, covered helmet to toe in grime, “I had sunglasses on. For about 10 seconds. Then I took them off and was just blinking out mud the entire time.” Thankfully, ProGold was on the scene to provide a much-needed bike wash for racers’ equipment after the stage.

Under 25 Payson McElveen, above, (Richard’s Rainwater) was the first man across the finish line of stage 4 at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic – surprising the more experienced pro racers. As the first person to finish in the elite men’s category, Nick Waite (ProTested Gear), in second place, officially took the solo pro men’s win in the stage while Cheryl Sornson (Rare Disease Cycling) topped the women’s results. Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Sornson defended their yellow leader’s jerseys for another day.

Read the full story


Broderick and Barclay win enduro stage at TSE

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Enduro racing has exploded in popularity in recent years, and the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine takes that popularity seriously, with their week-long SRAM Enduro stages during each day’s racing and a full day devoted to the SRAM/Geax Enduro on stage 3 on Tuesday.

The 22-mile long stage 3 featured five enduro segments—for those who don’t know, enduro stages are roughly four to eight minutes in length, largely downhill and often technically challenging—and riders were only timed on those segments combined, not the trails to them and between them. The enduro segments featured some of Pennsylvania’s best riding: massive rock gardens; fast, tight downhills; and everything in between.

Day 3’s weather started with sunny skies but racers knew they were also racing to finish ahead of massive thunderstorms moving into the area. Mike Broderick (Kenda/NoTubes) and Vicki Barclay, above (NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) won the day’s enduro stage while Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Cheryl Sornson (Rare Diseases Cycling) continue to lead the men’s and women’s overall standings.

Click here to read the full recap.


Bishop and Barclay claim rocky Stage 2 at TSE

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Text and photographs courtesy of the TSE Media Team

The second stage of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag Magazine was arguably the hardest stage of the week – and obviously the hardest stage thus far – with 41 miles of racing, 25 of which was rocky, technical singletrack. With four SRAM Enduro segments and one Bear Creek East Coast Rocks segments, racers were certainly kept on their toes all day.

Not only was the race long, it also featured nearly 6,000 feet of climbing, the most climbing that riders will see all week. Temperatures stayed mild, in the low 80s, and sun beat down on racers, making grabbing water bottles at both checkpoint stops a necessity for most racers.

Click here for a recap of today’s action.


Video: Novo Mesto World Cup XC

This Memorial Day Weekend (for us) was round three of the UCI World Cup cross-country series in Novo Mesto na Morave in the Czech Republic. By the looks of the course in this pre-ride video perhaps the U.S. series could learn a thing or two about making a real mountain bike track. It’s ironic to think that not too long ago the European circuit was known for being smooth, like a gravel road race for mountain bikes. Now, courses across the pound look more like Supercross tracks with jumps, giant rock gardens, rooty climbs, bridges and alternate lines.

Novo Mesto looks like a heck of a lot of fun to ride lap after lap. Racing flat out on it? Let’s leave that to the professionals.

See race highlights and results here.


Trans-Sylvania Day 1: Bishop, Sorenson take Stage 1, Wicks leading TS3

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Text and photographs courtesy of the TSE Media Team

Racing started with a bang for some and a whimper for others in the first stage of the week-long NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine in the wilds of western Pennsylvania.

Sunny skies and mild warm temperatures showcased the best of Pennsylvania in the spring and added to the fun-time feel of the “Singletrack Summer Camp” vibe surrounding the race. However, while the weather was mild, the racing was far from laid-back, since the BikeFlights and Grimpeur Bros presented by SMCC individual time trial first stage is one of the major determinants in placings for the rest of the week.

The 15-mile time trial had some new singletrack sections added, making the race truly East Coast technical-style riding, complete with an “East Coast Rocks” race section as well as the SRAM Enduro section. Flats and crashes were par for the course, and it was a rare rider who came across the finish line without any mud splatters, thanks to some massive downpours the day before.

Read the full story


SPOT rider tracking added at NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike race

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The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine has partnered with event tracking provider Trackleaders.com and device maker SPOT LLC to become the first stage race in North America to equip top racers with tracking devices. The 2014 edition of the race will May 25-31.

The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic (TSEpic) will outfit 15-20 selected athletes per stage with SPOT’s smallest production satellite tracking device to date in a test of the technology ahead of full implementation in 2015.

Read the full story


Big Mountain Enduro promises big backcountry racing

Big Mountain Enduro is throwing down the largest-scale enduro this side of the pond September 3-7, 2014 in Crested Butte, Colorado. The inaugural Crested Butte Ultra Enduro will blend high altitude backcountry adventures mixed with most of the biggest descents in the area over five days. Expect to ride some of the most challenging and scenic trails in North America, several of them often ranked as top ten trails in the U.S. ‏The race will challenge riders with five days of racing, four of those deep within the backcountry, with big climbing transitions that will take you to the top of the world overlooking majestic peaks.

Read the full story


Top notch field to line up for NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic powered by Dirt Rag

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The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag is drawing a top notch field to its seven-day mountain bike stage race from May 25-31, 2014.  Some of the fastest endurance mountain bike racers will converge near State College, Pennsylvania for a race many affectionately call “Singletrack Summer Camp” where $60,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs with a total of $10,000 going to the top finishers in the general classification, with $5,000 each going to the male and female podium finishers.

Read the full story


Rebecca Rusch versus Jay Petervary’s Backyard Fat Pursuit

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By Rebecca Rusch

Photos courtesy of Salsa Cycles

Why does riding and pushing a heavily laden fat bike up and over the Continental Divide in February through the dead of night appeal to anyone at all? I’m not sure I have the answer, but I went searching for it when I lined up for Jay Petervary’s inaugural Backyard Fat Pursuit in Island Park, Idaho.

I got more than I bargained for. I went all in and came away with a pulmonary edema and a DNF.

Read the full story


Details announced for SSCXWC14 in Kentucky

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A sample of the scene from SSCXWC13 in Philadelphia.

The 2014 Raleigh Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships will be held at Eva Bandman Park in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

This year’s event will continue the great tradition of prior Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships, with a full weekend of qualifiers, racing and celebration – all carefully choreographed for an outstanding participant experience and only 45 minutes of pain.

Get all the details here.


Cannondale OverMountain enduro team switches to Lefty SuperMax

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Cannondale has announced that its North American OverMountain team will, for the first time, be racing and adventuring on the all-new Lefty SuperMax suspension fork this season.

A 26-inch, 160mm travel fork has been seen under team riders and the 29er version is currently 130mm. This is a particularly interesting announcement on the eve of next week’s global OverMountain bike launch in Spain where Cannondale will be introducing two new bikes.

The SuperMax’s race debut will be in the Enduro World Series under OverMountain team riders Ben Cruz, Jason Moeschler team newcomer Marco Osborne and eventually Mark Weir who is currently healing from a broken hip.

According to Cannondale its team riders were instrumental in the development of the SuperMax’s new internal components, most of all a Wide Mouth Piston, which is said to increase small bump sensitivity and high-speed suppleness. The SuperMax’s dual crown structure makes it radically stiff, yet the minimalist single-leg design makes it as light as some of its competitors cross-country race forks.

“Going into the SuperMax testing I was a bit apprehensive,” said Weir. “After I got on it and started riding, it is a difference you would have to ride to believe. I’ve been riding the same corners for 15 years, and I try to carry my speed through every time. On the SuperMax, I’ve never been faster.”

 


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