The Trek train rolling at Lago di Garda, Italy, during a shooting at the bike festival in Mai. Katja Rupf, Steffi Marth. Andrew Shandro and Renê Wildhaber. Nice lineup.
2011 has been the 3rd year for the Trek Gravity Girls Steffi Marth (Germany), Katja Rupf (Switzerland) and Jess Stone (UK). Beside their normal life as students the girls managed to get out and do some riding and racing. Here are some memories from last year and words from the girls about the past season.
At the beginning of May the mtb season kicks of in Europe with the bike festival at Riva del Garda, Italy. Sun, beautiful landscapes, pasta and vino and thousands of bikers celebrating the mtb lifestyle. Beside hanging out at the Trek booth Katja, Steffi, René Wildhaber and Andrew Shandro had a shooting with German bike photographer Markus Greber.
Katja and Steffi enjoying the amazing trails at Lago di Garda
Trek Bike Attack in Lenzerheide Switzerland in August was the only event where all three girls came together and enjoy riding together for a few days and take part in the Bike Attack Race. The Bike Attack is a mass start DH race with 777 riders. Qualification on Saturday, race on Sunday.
Jess Stone, Steffi Marth and Katja Rupf reunited after the last phototrip to the Canary Islands
"My bike season 2011 started on snow. I got the chance to bike on the ski slopes of Davos, Switzerland. It was so great having the slopes for me alone and I got a adrenalin rush through my vains."
"On Eastern I had the pleasure to visit Steffis home place and helping her with the 2nd edition of the Girls Bike Days at her local BMX Trek in Plessa. We had a lot of fun with girls at the BMX track of Plessa. The next stop was at Riva del Garda Italy.".
"After the Freeride Festival in Saalbach in Austria, where we also had a womens only freeride workshop, i had the pleasure to be at the Trek Media launch in Mayrhofen for the 2012 bikes. Sweet stuff is coming "
Katja at the Trek Media Camp in Mayrhofen Austria for the 2012 Trek MTB launch
"End of August it was time for two Dakine Freeride Camps in Laax together with Lukas Keller and René Wildhaber. Always great to see how fast girls can learn and progress their riding skills. In the end of September Ross Schnell came over from the US to Switzerland to join me and René Wildhaber for a video and fotoproject from Christophe Margot on some of the best trails in Switzerland"
"Thanks to all my sponsors. I am really happy to have the opportunity to do all this great things."
Steffi getting in shape for the upcoming season in La Palma, Spain "Before my last season I got often asked what I wish for 2011. I always replied that I would be more than happy to have the same results as in 2010, which was my best season so far. Furthermore I wanted to stay injury free throughout the year. At the end everything worked out the way I wanted it and even better. 2011 was such a wicked year.
The season started with my preparation on La Palma, the island which I learned to love after we made our great Trek Gravity Girls Boat trip on 5 of the Canary Islands. I began bike guiding on La Palma and were able to ride my bike way more often during the winter than I have ever done before. In April my own event „Girls Bike Days“ took place for the second time. It is a Bike Skill Workshop over 2 days where young and old, skilled and beginners, Mountainbiker and BMX´er Ladies learn together on my BMX Track at home.
My team mate Katja assisted me greatly and we were having lots of fun pushing our bike skills on a high level. It didn´t surprise me that I felt so familiar to my bike when I headed to the first bike event of the year, BIKE Festival in Riva del Garda /ITA. I could find myself two times on the podium for the Enduro and the 4X race which was a stunning start for the 2011 race season.
In June, Dakine Trail Fox was on my schedule. A unique Freeride race with 3 different tracks in 3 days in Flims/Laax. A nightride stage on Friday, Sunset Trail on Saturday and High noon trail on Sunday.
Without a break more and more bike events came up. After I gave some Gravity Girls Workshops with Katja at the Bike Days Solothurn/CH the two first 4X World Cups Fort William/GB and Leogang/ AUT were on my schedule. I was really surprised to easily be able to place myself in the Top8 where I always wanted to be but made it only one time before in 2010. All in all during the season I had a 6th, a 8th and a 5th place in the UCI 4X World Cup. The 5th place meant another Podium and again it was in Val di Sole where I celebrated it together with my birthday. It was definately one of the best weekends of my life so far. During the year I was situated on place 5 of the UCI World Ranking in 4X which made me damn proud. One of the highlights in 2011 were the UCI World Champs in Champéry. The 4X track was really tough and steep but I absolutely loved to ride it. Surprisingly I qualified 5th and had good chances on a Medal. Finally I really found me on a final qualifying second place going into the last corner of the semi final. But I got overtaken my the girl who won the bronce medal at the end. In the small final I wanted too much and crashed in the fight for the 5th place. Not the result I wanted but the first time I really felt I have the speed and skills for the Worlds absolute fastest 4X girls. The 4X Event at the World Champs was amazing, the track, the atmosphere, the racers and action ... 4X at its best
In september I was able to slip the Jersey for the German Champion proudly over again. For the 4th time I celebrated the German Champion´s title which always is a great highlight and special feeling for me. Unfortunately the news that the UCI cancelled the 4X World Cup for 2012 got to me at the end of the year and all my hopes and wished to make it even higher on the WorldCup Podium for 2012 were dead. But to my mind 4X is alive and I have great memories of the World Cup, especially for me in 2011. I am sure they will bring up some great 4X Events in the future and I wont miss them.
I was not only visiting 4X but alot of Enduro and Downhill Events aswell. At the Dakine Trailfox in Flims/ CH I just missed the podium by some tiny points and at the Scott Gang Battle in Saalbach I battled myself on a 6th place. At the Freeride Festival in Saalbach/AUT I also celebrated my victory in the Dual Slalom in a Champagne and confetti shower which was really amazing. The TREK Bike Attack in Lenzerheide/ CH didn´t go the way I wanted because I had some bad luck with my bike but after a down always comes an up. Definately a huge „UP“ was my Trip to Canada for the Crankworx Whistler, Kamloops, Silverstar and Vancouver with its Northshore. Daniel Schaefer, Wolfgang Watzke and Tobias Woggon travelled with me and we produced some really cool photos in videos on our Roadtrip which I still love to look at to fall back into amazing memories of beautiful British Columbia. At the Crankworx in Whistler I did not just cruise around but participated in some awesome races such as Dual Slalom (5th), Air DH (11th), Pumptrack Challenge (4th) and Giant Slalom (4th).
Two events of 2011 are also really present in my memory as they are not what I usually do. I participated again in BMX, where I originally come from. In the German BMX Championships I got Vice Champion for the 11th! time in the 24“ class and took home a 4th place in the olympic 20“ class. Another great race was the IXS German DH Cup in Thale. As I didn´t really compete in DH before it felt really strange practising and racing when you don´t really know what to do but to ride fast. I was able to qualify in 2nd place and stand on the podium in 3rd place after the finals. Wow, what a cool race. I found out that I feel some kind of passion for Downhill at that point.
At the Roc d´Azur Fréjus/ FRA I wanted to chill out and relax abit for the very end of the season but of course I competed when someone told me about the Roc Enduro Race. I finally got 2nd just behind Tracy Mosely and I would love to set this as my season Final Result but I got disqualified for not registrating properly for the race. What a bummer! But a great inspiration and motivation for 2012.
For 2 months I am already training on La Palma right now.
In this period of time I held the first Gravity Girls Ladies Week in La Palma which was exciting and really fun. I never felt better than at this point and I am really looking forward to the 2012 season which should decently just be like the last season but for real it could also be just a bit better like that, as I could get used to this procedure! :-)"
The 2011 season for me was a great year with the Gravity Girls. I started the year off well with a win in the Vigo Bike Contest. During the first round of the World Cup in South Africa, I crashed and separated my shoulder. It took me a while to get back into the racing again but I worked hard on my recovery to make sure I could come back as strong as I could be. I came back to the following World Cups strong and got my best results. I felt that the time out from the racing from my injury actually benefited me more than anything and my mind felt a lot clearer and was able to focus better. I got 3rd at the UK National Champs '11 and 2nd at British Downhill Series Overall. Beside the WC and the BDS i got the chance to race the Trek Bike Attack in Lenzerheide Switzerland and had an amazing time with my teammates Katja and Steffi.“
Worldcup Fort William, Jess and Steffi filmed by Geoff Waugh
Jess at La Bresse Worldcup France
After 2 years with the Trek Gravity Girls Jess will take a new Challange in her racing career. She will be on the Unior Tools Trek Team, having full race support and working hard on improving her racing skills. We wish Jess all the best on the next step in her career and for the upcoming World Cup season and hope to see you and shred some trails together.
A big thank you goes out to our Sponsors Trek, Bontrager, adidas eyewear, sixsixone, Dakine, Flims/Laax for making this possible.