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  1. The Pyrenees - I never get tired of looking at them. . . . . As the title suggests, I'm going to try and fill this thread with all manner of interesting, funny and/or informative cycling related things from this beautiful part of the world and the surrounding areas. :-)
  2. Want to see what Team SA got up to at the EWS Trophy of Nations? Hit the Youtube link above... Myself (Martin Zietsman), Matt Lombardi and Jason Boulle had the privilege of representing South Africa at the first ever Enduro World Series Trophy of Nations, held in Finale Ligure, Italy on the 29th of September. We put together a video showcasing all the behind-the-scenes action leading up to the race, from arriving there, to our play day exploring the local trails, the goosebumps moments during the Nations Teams Parade, the fun we had practicing the stages and the action on race day. The T
  3. How did I end up on this path this year? Last year, I finished high school and was set on racing my bike on the world stage of Enduro but I was faced with a few problems, I’m not a trust fund kid so I had minimal money. I also had no knowledge on the qualifying criteria which has to be completed the year before to qualify to race in next year's Enduro World Series (EWS) events. To make it worse, I had also missed the first round of wildcard entries. And I was unemployed. This left me with only two things to do: I entered the second wild-card entry phase and I got a job as a travelling sales
  4. The new partnership signifies the progression of the EWS, cementing its place as the world’s leading enduro series and recognising the rapid progression of the discipline over the last six years. The tight racing, exciting venues and great trails that are the hallmarks of the EWS will remain unchanged following this new agreement, and the Enduro World Series championship will continue as one of the hardest fought and most prestigious individual titles in mountain biking. Alongside the individual EWS titles, and to promote the ethos of team work, strategy and sportsmanship, from 2019 the UCI wi
  5. Colombia will go down in the history books as the most unique EWS race to date, with an opening stage that raced through the downtown streets of Manizales, followed by six stages in a single day amongst the dense rainforest high above the town. The tropical climate of Manizales lived up to its reputation with regular downpours throughout practice and racing, a stark contrast to round one's thick dust. And whilst the conditions couldn't have been more different, the outcome was the same; crashes, mechanicals and wild racing. In the men's race Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) was unstoppabl
  6. Top of “Marabaraba”. Image by Tammy Du Preez. This brand new event will surely put Lesotho and Africa as a continent on the radar of the international enduro cycling community. It follows in the footsteps of the well renowned UCI 6 day XCM stage race: Lesotho Sky. As both events are organised with a strong commitment to developing cycling in Lesotho, the "Kingdom in the Sky". We hope that this will draw more people to come to Lesotho with their bikes. It is an amazing country for adventure riding! Darol Howes, race director of the Kingdom Enduro “Trail scouting”. Image by Boteng Molapo. Wha
  7. Matt getting to grips with the European mountside in Val d'Allos, France. Photo credit: Ewald Sadie. How did you get into riding mountain bikes? I started when my parents introduced me to it. They were into the downhill and cross-country scene at the time. I picked up the cross-country pretty quickly and focused on that. My mom was always for the hardtails and did not really want me riding downhill or motocross.I got big into cross-country, came up through the school ranks and national series, and I got some really good results. I always loved the technical side of cross-country. My dad and
  8. Doesn't look like there has been any EWS hype on Hubland yet: http://www.enduroworldseries.com/ https://www.facebook.com/EnduroWorldSeries/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWS4nfoou79mwo9nHew49fA/videos?&ab_channel=EnduroWorldSeries Round 1 Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g4pzuZ9Iqo&ab_channel=Pinkbike http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/Wynner-Wynner-EWS-Rotorua-Race-Day,10907/Slideshow,0/sspomer,2
  9. Round eight, the Bluegrass Finalenduro powered by SRAM, saw 500 riders undertake two huge days of riding that took them all the way from the highest peaks in Liguria all the way to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea. But with a course that took in over 100km, the riders didn't have time to stop and admire the views - especially as there were World Champion titles at stake. In the lead up to the race all eyes were focused on the battle for the Men's title. All of the individual titles had been decided in previous rounds - except one. The men's championship race was a straight fight betw
  10. Both Cecile (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) and Adrien (Lapierre) dominated their respective fields - Ravanel winning all six stages and Dailly winning three. Katy Winton (Trek Factory Racing) posted a career best second place after impressive times all day, with Rocky Mountain Urge bp's Andreane Lanthier Nadeau equalling her best EWS result with third place. Fans in awe as Cecile Ravanel battles the top rocks on stage 3. Speaking after the race Cecile said: "I enjoyed the race today but it was not easy, the trails were slippy but I'm happy with my performance and I'm looking forward to Fr
  11. The third round of the Enduro World Series proved to be one of the most challenging to date - both race days stayed dry but rain on the first day of practice left its mark on the already difficult tracks. The variety of trails - from steep and rocky to long and physical - caught out plenty of riders, leading to heartbreak for Jesse Melamed (Rocky Mountain Urge-bp) who led for most of the race until a mechanical on stage seven ended his day. The men's race came down to the wire, with just two seconds separating Greg Callaghan (Cube Action Team) and Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) going into th
  12. The dry and dusty conditions of practice were quickly forgotten as the riders set out in torrential rain to tackle seven stages which covered 57 kilometres and 1500 metres of climbing. Stages that had been hailed as the most fun ever during practice became a lot more intimidating in the wet and caught many a rider off guard come race day. However, as with round one in Rotorua, the tough conditions made for exciting racing, with an ever set of changing results in the men’s race. In the end it was Adrien Dailly (Lapierre Gravity Republic) who reigned supreme - taking his first win since moving u
  13. Who hasn’t dreamt of chasing a wild childhood dream? On Thursday, 05 January 2017, Stellenbosch local Martin Zietsman will be taking a life changing step in the pursuit of such a dream (well actually 2 dreams). As you read this, he has packed up and sold up his life in South Africa and is headed to the UK where he will be taking up the role as a design engineer for Bilstein, one of the world’s largest vehicle suspension manufacturers. At the same time, he will be pursuing his goal and dream of competing on the international mountain biking circuit, where he hopes to break into the Enduro World
  14. Riding as a Knolly Bikes grassroots team rider, and supported by Trailtech Cycles, Maxxis Tyres, South Industries, Leatt Protectives, and MRP in 2017, he hopes to gain the experience and skills required to be competitive on the EWS circuit in 2018. This first part in the planned video series covers his background and why he’s taking on such an ambitious move, as well as providing you with a colourful, berm smashing, trail ripping, pedal stomping edit to push your visual senses to overload (editing courtesy of Hayden Brown Visual Media). Over the course of the coming year, the video series wil
  15. Jérôme Clementz is an enduro racer and all-around talented mountain biker riding for the Cannondale Pro team. A previous champion of the Enduro World Series (EWS), Jérôme placed third overall in 2016. We caught up with him in Cape Town during a recent holiday to South Africa. Click here to view the article
  16. You have travelled extensively: Where is your favourite destination for riding? I think New Zealand. With the two islands you have a lot of variety. On the North Island you can ride in the forest, jungle, and technical slow trails. On the South Island there are good bike parks like Queenstown, and also a lot of natural trails, both open and Alpine stuff; a good mix. And you can go riding in the morning and go to the beach in the afternoon, which you can do in South Africa too. This is your second time to South Africa. What trails have you ridden during your trip and have you enjoyed them?
  17. Martin chuffed with his win on the last leg of the 2016 Enduro World Series in Finale Ligure, Italy. Photo: EWS I had the privilege of joining Martin (along with his team mate, and downhiller, Sam Dale) for a trip up the Garden Route on the first leg of the GT Good Times Tour. After sharing many trails, stories and smiles and some good South African hospitality we sat down with Martin to fire off a few questions. Your family has a strong background in bikes (your Dad racing DH, BMX and others). Where did it all start for you competitively? I’d always been watching my Dad’s racing all throug
  18. We chat to nineteen year old Enduro star Martin Maes of GT Factory Racing who was recently in South Africa for the GT Good Times Tour. Having closed out the Enduro World Series season in fine fashion with his first win in Italy, Maes will be an exciting contender heading into 2017. Click here to view the article
  19. Cecile had no overall pressure having already sealed the series win but still raced 100% for the win. Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro) won her first Enduro World Champion title, Richie Rude (Yeti/Fox Shox) became the first man to be crowned World Champion back to back and two legends of the sport Nico Vouilloz (Lapierre Gravity Republic) and Anne Caroline Chausson (Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team) announced their retirement from the sport. And if that wasn’t enough, Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) took his first ever race win. Martin Maes keeping things low on stage 3. Starting high in
  20. The 2016 Enduro World Series drew to a close in its traditional home of Finale Ligure - and the Bluegrass Finale Enduro powered by SRAM will go down in the history books for a myriad of reasons. Click here to view the article
  21. Finale Outdoor Resort will once again host the closing race of the season, as 500 riders take to the iconic trails of this Italian resort against the backdrop of the Mediterranean sea. Starting high in the Ligurian mountains, competitors will encounter the region’s famously diverse trails as they tackle seven stages over two days of racing. With 3250m of climbing and descent taking place over 100km, racers are in for long days in the saddle, but will be more than rewarded by the incredible riding on offer - as well as the obligatory gelato on the beach. And for five riders the stakes couldn’t
  22. The Enduro World Series will crown its World Champions in Finale this weekend at the last race of the year, the Bluegrass Finale Enduro powered by SRAM. Click here to view the article
  23. Richie Rude and Cecile Ravanel have done it again - they win the SRAM Canadian Open Enduro Presented by Specialized. Click here to view the article
  24. Richie Rude looks up to full health as he attacks the first corner of the final stage. Credit: Enduro World Series. Both Rude (Yeti Fox Shox) and Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) each staged incredible comebacks after their days got off to a bad start. Cecile suffered mechanicals on both stages one and two, whilst Richie had to contend with a flat tyre on stage two. This put both of them at a disadvantage going into the next stages - with Cecile only just making her stage three start time. Cecile had a mechanical with her drivetrain and a flat on the second stage yet battled on to tak
  25. The melting pot of Whistler was once again turned up to 11. There is one thing this venue never fails to provide and that is intensity. With a 70km loop packed into one boiling hot day over five stages, it was always going to serve up some surprises and challenges, the riders probably didn’t think there would be quite as many as there were. Click here to view the article
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