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  1. Día de Muertos is a South American (largely Mexican) celebration of the dead. The frame was hand-painted in the UK with SRAM supplying custom decals for the shock. Word on the street is that this design is Sam's favourite custom frame yet. The Nukeproof Mega C features a carbon front triangle with an aluminium rear. The bike is set up for 165 mm rear travel through a RockShox Super Deluxe shock with a 180 mm Lyrik fork on front. Sam rides a set of Mavic Deemax wheels with beefy Michelin DH22 tyres, with a message of support scribbled on by the Michelin team. The drivetrain is SRAM's X01 Eagle with a 32 tooth chainring and an MRP chain guide and bash guard. And, of course, Sam Hill is still winning medals on flat pedals. Not many riders can pull off handguards but Sam is certainly one of them. Although a pair might have helped Martin Maes (Sam's closest rival in the overall standings) this weekend as he hit a tree and injured his hand. Sam shows his support for fellow countryman Jared Graves who is currently fighting cancer. Sam uses SRAM's big stopping Code RSC brakes with 200 mm rotors. The rest of the cockpit is Nukeproof with an aluminium handlebar, 50mm stem, and signature grips. Sam Hill charging in front of the crowds at Finale Ligure. Credit: Enduro World Series.
  2. 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 unstoppable - taking four of the seven stages and finishing the race with a 47 second lead. Local hero Marcelo Gutierrez scored an impressive second place at his ever EWS, whilst Frenchman Damien Oton (Unior Devinci Factory Racing) won a stage and earned himself in third place in the process. Privateer Youn Deniaud deserves a mention for his impressive fourth place finish. In the women's race, Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Racing Team) uncharacteristically dropped a couple of stages to Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Enduro Racing) and Anneke Beerten (Alchemy Bicycles Factory Racing), but still finished the race with a commanding lead of over one minute. Isabeau Courdurier (Intense-Mavic Collective) placed second with Trek Factory Racing's Katy Winton in third in an exact replica of last weekend's podium. Elliot Heap (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) replicated team mate Sam Hill's performance to win the U21 men's category, and Ella Conolly won her second race this season in the U21 Women's race. The Master's podium was a repeat of Chile, with Karim Amour (Miranda Racing Team) and Melissa Newell taking the wins. In the team competition, Canyon Factory Enduro Team were team of the day, but it's Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team who lead the rankings heading into round three in France next month. Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series, said; "When we announced we were heading to Colombia there were a few eyebrows raised, but I hope people now see what an incredible part of the world this is. The riding is insane and the people are some of the most welcoming, friendly and passionate cycling fans we've encountered anywhere." Full results can be found here.
  3. 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 between legendary rider Sam Hill (Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic) and young Frenchman Adrien Dailly (Lapierre). Sam led throughout day one, but Adrien pushed him to the limit - at one point just three seconds separated the pair. In the end the tough, physical course played to Hill's strengths and his third position in the race was enough to secure him his first Enduro World Champion title. Speaking after the race Sam said: "It was a tough couple of days of racing so I just tried to stay smooth and consistent and put down the best stage times I could. I'll be back for sure next season - I want to come back and defend that title." Sam Hill. Photo credit: Enduro World Series However neither Hill nor Dailly could match the pace of Damien Oton (Devinci Global Racing) this weekend, who put in an incredible performance to take the race. Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) made a triumphant return after a crash ended his race early at the last round in Whistler, putting in blistering times to finish in second place. Sam Hill rounded out the podium in third place. Damien Oton. Photo credit: Enduro World Series In the women's race it won't come as a surprise to anyone that reigning World Champion Cecile Ravanel (Commencal Vallnord Enduro Team) will be holding the title for another year. She made sure she finished the season in style by winning the race as well as the Championship. Isabeau Courdurier (SUNN) and Katy Winton (Trek Factory Racing Enduro Team) came second and third respectively - reflecting their positions in the overall standings as well. Cecile said: "I'm so happy to win the title for the second year in a row. It was a tough race but getting the race win and the overall means a lot - the perfect way to end the season." Cecile Ravanel. Photo credit: Enduro World Series Killian Callaghan had the U21 Men Championship sewn up coming into this race, and took it easy this weekend to finish in seventh place. Whistler local Rhys Verner stormed to victory in this weekend's race - giving a time that would have put him in the top 20 of the senior men. It was a similar story in the U21 Women as Martha Gill's consistent season meant she was already World Champion as she left the start gate on Saturday. British newcomer Ella Conolly made quite the EWS debut, winning this weekend's race. Karim Amour (BH-Miranda Racing Team) won seven of this year's races, meaning his first Enduro World Champion title was already in the bag. However, Rene Wildhaber proved too much for him on the day, winning five stages to take the race. In the Master Women consistent results from Mary Mcconneloug saw her clinch the title, whilst in the race it was Canadian Christina De Vall who graced the top step of the podium. In the team competition Ibis Cycles Enduro Race Team are the new World Champions, Rocky Mountain Urge bp are second and Canyon Factory Enduro Team third. Chris Ball, Managing Director of the Enduro World Series, said: "What a finish to the year. It's been a great season and rolling into Finale feels like coming home. The series has come a long way in the last five years and I couldn't be prouder of the athletes, the organisers and the whole team that makes the series happen." Results from the weekend can be found here.
  4. For 2014, the UCI MTB World Championships have landed in Norway on what is set to be and incredible weekend of racing. The pits are alive with chatter of who can take the Rainbow Stripes for 2014 and from watching the timed training runs, it appears to be anyone’s race to win. Click here to view the article
  5. Sam Hill jumping the gap. Josh Bryceland: 'Norway is great – track here is on par with some of the better tracks of the world cup season, its nice to end at a decent track like this with a lot of line choice and technical sections.' Josh eyeing the line in the rock gardens during his seeding run. 'There are a few similarities to previous World Champ tracks, lots of berms and jumps – you know, they are all start at the top and finish at the bottom (laughs) - the track here is good, its technical and dry as a bone which we haven’t had at Hafjell before – there is a lot of hype around this one race as its World Champs but the level will be just as high as it has been all season – its going to come down to line choice in the rocks, but more just riding the line you pick well. If I put together a **** hot run I should be OK! But its not going to be an easy track to do that on!!!' Troy Brosnan: Troy assuming the attack position. 'Im feeling really good coming of the world cup season I just had, getting a win in the world cup feels awesome and builds you with a lot of confidence – I want to win for sure you know, just like everyone else but to get those Rainbow stripes means a lot. Im feeling good and feeling confidence – practice has been going well. Timed training was good today, Im not going to lie, I went for it a bit, imitating what would be a qualifying run at usual world cup – I went out there and had a good smooth run which ended up putting me in 5th, it’s around 2 seconds back but I know I can make up that time, its going to be good finals and interesting to see what everyone does – its gonna take some balls to win tomorrow!!!' Steve Peat: 'Its good to be back here in Hafjell – the track here is always awesome, there are quite a few people coming out here to watch so its a good crowd and Yeh, its World Championships, its mint!' 'I have always enjoyed the track here, there are a lot of good aspects and big jumps, I had a good result here last year and hoping for good things this year – on a track like this you just have to be pinned from top to bottom there is now holding back – its going to be won on fractions of a second, its full bore all the way.’ Josh and Steve flying high for Britain. The World Championships comes down to one run and the title will be hotly contended tomorrow at 2pm on SuperSport and Red Bull TV. Josh Bryceland comes in to Norway as the overall UCI World Cup Champion 2014 looking to take the World Championship title here this weekend. Sam Hill is the only rider to match Josh with 2 World Cup wins this season and is a favourite for the 2014 rainbow jersey. Troy Brosnan has had his best season to date and proved to the world that he has what it takes to win. Steve Peat is competing in his 22nd World Championships and is not to be counted out having taken the fastest speed through the speed trap. All will be decided on the hill tomorrow! Men's timed session results here. Women's timed session results here. Sam Hill. Sam Hill.
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