Photo Epic: All Under One Roof - Behind the Scenes at Trek Factory Racing Team Camp

Mar 7, 2019
by Matthew DeLorme  


Something has been brewing in the world of Trek Factory Racing. Since its inception, the program has slowly been working to consolidate all three MTB disciplines into one factory race program. This season, Trek has finally realized their vision with the addition of a Trek Factory DH team and the future is looking bright.

So what happens when you bring all three squads to a bike park in Spain for a pre-season team camp?

Well, if you take them for a day of “team-building exercises,” you will quickly discover just how competitive these athletes are. There are massive paellas to eat, jump jams in the evening, hi-jinx, near constant Kendama competitions, and plenty of time for the all of the riders to get well-acquainted before spending the upcoming season under one tent.

While most of the time off the bike is light-hearted, the athletes are here to work. There is testing to be done, settings to dial in, and new gear to get familiar with. Jolanda Neff had to sit this one out due to a viral infection but was sorely missed by her new teammates and the extended Trek family.

The pieces are all in place and the season is fast approaching.

The team goes over new concussion protocols designed to keep riders safe and healthy in the upcoming season.
The team goes over new concussion protocols designed to keep riders safe and healthy in the upcoming season.

Ethan RC and Pedro talk about the new kit before the day gets started.
Ethan, RC, and Pedro talk about the new kit before the day gets started.

Emily and Pedro watch the lads send it on the jump line.
Emily and Pedro watch the lads send it on the jump line.

Ruaridh and Reece are stoked to be racing under the same program.
Ruaridh and Reece are stoked to be racing under the same program.

Coops and RC talk race rigs sunnies and the up coming season.
Coops and RC talk race rigs, sunnies, and the upcoming season.

The chats between riders were always lively no matter the discipline.
The chats between riders were always lively, no matter the discipline.

Anton could probably fit in that Paella pan.
Anton could probably fit in that Paella pan.

Grant Sides goes over Charlie Harrison s new whip during testing.
Grant Sides goes over Charlie Harrison's new whip during testing.

Split into groups athletes staff and engineers egg each other on up the wall.
Split into groups, athletes, staff, and engineers egg each other on up the wall.

Kade Edwards fast going down hill pretty quick climbing a rock wall too.
Kade Edwards is fast going downhill and also pretty quick climbing a rock wall.

Team Scotland was kicking as in the kayak games until there was a united effort to stop them. It ended wet.
Team Scotland was kicking ass in the kayak games until there was a united effort to stop them. It ended wet.

RC decided that if he went swimming then Reece should too. It s a Scottish thing.
RC decided that if he went swimming, then Reece should too. It's a Scottish thing.

When all else fails bond over puppies
When all else fails, bond over puppies?

Up and at em and ready for some laps.
Up and at em' for some early morning laps.

Wrestling is always a good bonding activity. Kade and Ethan establish a pecking order.
Wrestling is always a good bonding activity. Kade and Ethan establish a pecking order.

Ethan leans it in on a dusty lap.
Ethan leans it in on a dusty lap.

Charlie Harrison is stoked to be back with Trek.
Charlie Harrison is stoked to be back with Trek.

Ruaridh tows Ethan in on the big jump.
Ruaridh tows Ethan in on the big jump.

Style for miles. Kade gets that back wheel out front.
Style for miles. Kade gets that back wheel out front.

Trains in last light.
Trains in last light.

Emily Batty speeds through the Spanish pines.
Emily Batty speeds through the Spanish pines.

Katy Winton has the ride dialed and is ready for a new EWS season to get started.
Katy Winton has the ride dialed and is ready for a new EWS season.

RC has his first full EWS season under his belt and is looking to move up in the rankings this season.
RC has his first full EWS season under his belt and is looking to move up in the rankings this season.

RC throws down some style on the jumps.
RC throws down some style on the jumps.

Kade and Sam working on the final adjustments of the new ride before heading out for laps.
Kade and Sam working on the final adjustments before heading out for laps.

Smashing rocks on the first laps of camp. Kade comes out charging.
Smashing rocks on the first laps of camp. Kade comes out charging.

Data data data. The numbers make better race machines.
Data, data, data. The numbers make for better race machines.

The team explores all of the options.
The team explores all of the options.

Pedro Burns got his new bike dialed in just in time Andes Pacifico.
Pedro Burns got his new bike dialed in just in time to win Andes Pacifico.

Winton and Burns hang out between runs while tweaks are made to the steeds.
Winton and Burns hang out between runs while tweaks are made to the steeds.

The Kendama is strong with this one. Not sure if this could be considered cross training.
The Kendama is strong with this one. Not sure if this could be considered cross training, however.

Ryan Gaul and the boys go over on track video during testing. Those bikes will be the best they can possibly be come race day.
Ryan Gaul and the boys go over on-track video during testing to ensure the bikes will be the best they can possibly be on race day.

Nothing is better than new bike day. Mechanic Alvaro Dominguez preps a fresh XC ride.
Nothing is better than new bike day. Mechanic Alvaro Dominguez preps a fresh XC ride.

Shandro and Batty talk about the up coming season while the DH boys do some testing.
Shandro and Batty talk about the upcoming season while the DH boys do some testing.

Kade s bike is working quite well by the looks of it.
Kade's bike is working quite well by the looks of it.

Reece Wilson Charges through the rough stuff during testing.
Reece Wilson charges through the rough stuff during testing.

The team head up for another lap in the late evening hours.
The team heads up for another lap in the late evening hours.



77 Comments

  • + 133
 Amazing what you can afford when you don't have the Atherton's on your payroll.
  • - 30
flag nick1957 (Mar 7, 2019 at 6:07) (Below Threshold)
 And you don't want a world champ this year
  • + 25
 @nick1957: Uh, they have a former world champion who is more than capable of winning another world championship.
  • - 22
flag thesharkman (Mar 7, 2019 at 6:44) (Below Threshold)
 @nick1957: you must be referring to rachy. The women's field is a toss up, no reason to keep that payroll around. As for Gee... that's not even worth discussing.
  • + 9
 There’s quite a few. Kade, Coop and Evie each have a junior or U23 WC (Evie’s is in CX). The obvious one is Jolanda who has 3 U23’s and one Elite.
  • + 19
 still don't forgive trek for that dragged out team release
  • + 9
 @nick1957: Battie's always competitive -- in the running. And she has a face that can sell bikes. Win-win.
  • - 6
flag sino428 (Mar 7, 2019 at 9:53) (Below Threshold)
 What makes you think that there was ever anything Trek couldn't afford? And what exactly is "amazing" here? A glorified team photo shoot and press release? What an original concept.
  • + 3
 stay with the one that stares at you, like Katy stares at Pedro...
  • + 1
 Did Jolanda chose to ride with Syndicate in Granada? Screw you guys
  • + 46
 how do you race factories? The track would be enormous
  • + 17
 Seeing a photo of that Re:Activ shock pretending to be a viable option for the race season is so cute.... Keep dreaming Trek... Best upgrade I ever did for my Slash was losing that stupid turtle shock and going to a standard Super Deluxe.
  • + 3
 First thing I look at when i see a factory trek slash race bike is the rear shock, it's almost never the thru shaft, Re:Activ shock.
  • + 4
 @gnarnaimo: I think the first round of the EWS last year one or two of them were running it but after that they were all running a standard shock.

Honestly what really shows that Re:Activ isn't what Trek wants it to be is seeing that there is not a Re:Activ shock on any of the Full Suspensions XC race bikes. they boast that the shocks special valve stays closed while Pedaling forces are introduced to the system but when a new force beyond that standard pedal force is applied to the shock the valve opens up fast enough where you can't feel it and allows the suspension to stay active and keeps the tire on the ground.... Right so if thats true why not run it on the XC race bikes that literally need this advantage at all times???

I love me some trek bikes, they have always been good to me but this continued bullshit rear shock tech they have been trying tp hustle people with for the last 10 years needs to just f*ck off. It changes every 3 years with something new and yet they have all just suck and ultimately fail on everyones bike at some point.
  • + 2
 @TheBearDen: The XC bikes don't have it because XC riders want a true lockout and Re:Aktiv would not allow for that.
  • + 2
 @FisherFreerider: It has a full lockout switch my man (see photo below) and could very easily have converted switch to run the cable actuation system. Remember that the Re:Activ shocks are just Deluxe bodies with a 300PSI air piggy back that just keeps the thrushaft system charged. the piggy back is not a compression unit.

ep1.pinkbike.org/p6pb16935830/p6pb16935830.jpg
  • + 4
 @TheBearDen: What about non-thru shaft Re:Activ shocks?
  • + 4
 @TheBearDen: Fisher is actually correct, RA for XC doesn't fully lock out, riders in XC wanted a full lock out for spring and some climbs that's why its not on the XC bikes, it was the first year it was released.
  • + 3
 @gnarnaimo: they both have the same valve technology. The thru-shaft is actually trying to solve a separate issue from the Re:Activ valve. THru-Shaft is there to eliminate the use of standard IFPs and ultimately was designed to lessen the amount of overall friction that rear shocks deal with. You also can do a full overhaul at your home without the need of a IFP charging system which is nice.

If I had to pick between the two Id rather just have the Re:Activ shock over the Thru-shaft as its less new shit to have go wrong and the wait times to get the the new thru-shafts fixed/ service is kinda crap as getting parts for them can take time even at SRAM tech centers.

I think Trek should leave suspension tech to the Pros and just stop with this proprietary crap.... But in saying that on the Fuel this shock is a pretty nice piece of tech for the type of rider choosing that bike (when the shock is working perfectly) I just wish its consistency and its Failure rate wasn't so bad!

But either way putting this shit on long travel race bikes is no Bueno.
  • + 3
 @brappjuice: As far as I understand there is not true Full lockout as it could lead to potential frame failure so shocks move at least a little bit, this may be something that was a bigger problem in the past but in my time wrenching on bikes we have had a few older bikes (mid 2000s) come in with broken seat tubes near the rocker due to a rear shock seizing.

I have noticed Fox rear shocks seem to have a more aggressive feeling lockout but thats not cause they are the only ones who can do it it just what they feel is a better choice for what they are looking to do.

I just feel If trek is working along side the Sram techs to design and build this shock a slight re-valve to make an even stiffer lockout would be achievable and still keep the Re:Activ tech. XC race courses more and more demand the riders to be on full suspension bikes as the courses are getting tougher and tougher. I wouldn't be surprised if many riders have opted for a tiny bit extra squish in their rear shocks just to keep tires on the ground at all parts of the track that are just getting rougher and rougher in general.
  • + 3
 @TheBearDen: Thanks for the informative response! I love trek but am also pretty sick of the proprietary rear shock.. as well as seat tube heights...
  • + 3
 @gnarnaimo: yeah the seat tube height thing seems to be a real issue for some and not for others. I fortunatly dont have issue with the seat tube thing.

Their bikes are solid performers and for me are the feel and response I like from a bike... I just know that I'll be spending a bit to drop the stock rear shock and put on what I like.

I am still usually able to get good money for the OEM shocks as many people keep an eye out for them on PB.
  • + 8
 Cool to see the big Shandro there. Would be cool to see him ride again.

For a second I thought the XC team was riding DVO suspension (because of the color). Is anyone still riding their suspension in these top teams?

Is it common to wear helmets like that when climbing walls? I get you don't want to hit your head when you fall and collide with the wall even though I've never worn them for climbing. My bicycle helmet manual says I'll hang and kill myself when I'd wear it for climbing.
  • + 6
 That kind of helmets are common if you climb outdoors and mainly should prefent injuries by falling stones. Thats my they have a harder shell than bike helmets. In second line they should help when you´re falling.
It´s not common to wear them indoors or on climbing towers like the one shown in the pictures. But you never now... and safety first!
  • + 4
 @mjktool: also useful for repelling if you ever f*ck up and bounce and some rock over your head decides to fall.
  • + 7
 I rarely post a comment and now I know why! Does anyone out there have any idea what they are talking about? Is being positive about anything too difficult? I enjoyed reading this and there are some amazng photographs. Well done and the best of luck to you all this year.
  • + 2
 Being positive is simple. Like being negative. It’s just a feeling. Some are more inclined than others to go in a particular direction. Social media accepts positivity right away but you can earn a lot of fans by packaging your depression skillfully. Actually you can use depression as a motivator to write inspirational posts. It’s typical for bipolar people. The real skill is to gain sympathy by proving that you are dead inside Big Grin
  • + 1
 Amen! Society seems to always take a negative perspective. All these damn keyboard trolls.
  • + 1
 @Haibike-Junky: Society doesn't take negative perspective without a twist on it. We all go on bike internet for entertainment, that involves recreational empathy. For all of us positive, negative it comes and goes. So if you give people's bodies a reason to release oxytocin with a good story, you have them. It's about the story. Or you can just pop a sick one handed wheelie or send a giant jump and you have them instantly. And they reward you for that. And if you are dead inside, like some trolls, you must package it in a sense of humor. It is called being a comedian and it is hard. Just like being inspirational, touching or really good at riding bikes. There is no recipe. Pain is unavoidable yet some rewards are within reach, at least in the world of people who can afford a mountain bike and ride it. World breaks all people at some point, and those who don't get broken, it kills. It is fine to be broken, you just can't dwell on it, have to build it back piece by piece. That's what we do or we die for real. It's not shallow, realizing it is far more rewarding than getting emotional based on what you see online. You start truly understanding yourself and everyone around you instead of being cheap thrill hoe. Daring to stare into the mirror behind which lies the gaze of the void makes you a better human.

Have a nice weekend.
  • + 10
 What's happening with the Solidworks on the laptop in the second picture?
  • + 1
 Hahahahaha yes
  • + 1
 Huh. Interesting. Opening the parts Vault too.
  • + 2
 @twozerosix: Yeah, I actually notice the EPDM vault window first.
  • + 2
 @mcassellmtb: I'd like to think a comprehensive large-company factory effort would have CAD databases for 1) everyone's bikes 2) all parts options 3) instantly plugged-in FEA or material properties. That would be a pretty fun vault to peruse wouldn't it!
  • + 1
 @twozerosix: Oh yeah! Would be an awesome vault to have access to!
  • + 7
 whats with the obsession those guys have with the wooden ball toy thing ?? is it like some British thing that I just don't understand?
  • + 3
 Kendama my friend, the hype is real!
  • + 8
 Came here for Batty.
  • + 3
 Like to see a video follow up of this, perhaps an insight into the daily training routines of the athletes.
  • - 5
flag thesharkman (Mar 7, 2019 at 6:42) (Below Threshold)
 So go make one
  • + 1
 Nice to see all the young talent on the DH team, but kind of weird for Trek not to be fielding any possible winners. I'm guessing they don't sell many DH bikes and they just shed a lot of $ with the Athertons leaving.
  • + 4
 Casey Brown isn't part of the team ?
  • + 6
 I think the main focus of the Factory Racing team is racing and probably also going for the title. Casey may compete in racing but probably not all rounds so she won't go for a title. I'd compare her more with Hannah Barnes and Anneke Beerten at Specialized. Sure competition fit but it just isn't the main focus. There was another article about Trek Gravity Girls. She'd fit in there. But yeah, let's appreciate she's just free and goes her own way.
  • + 3
 “Cats and dogs, living together”
  • + 4
 edited for stupiditdy
  • + 2
 In Katy's riding pic, what's the second box on her helmet, behind the GoPro?
  • + 2
 Probably a litpro gps
  • + 2
 I really want to see Batty do an enduro race. I'm pretty confident she would crush it.
  • + 1
 It's all fun and games before you get a broken tibia. Anyone know if Kade has to miss any WC races?
  • + 1
 he's clearly riding his bike in the photos. I'd guess no.
  • + 4
 @lognar: ever thought about when these photos were taken and when camp was? I'd guess no
  • + 4
 @zzzogas413: you would be correct i did not think of this
  • + 1
 @lognar: According to his insta he's still off the bike. IIRC he said the doctor said off the bike for 1.5-2 months and then recovery work. Maybe he'll race some of the later WCs but his form may not be 100%. I'm pretty bummed, I was really looking forward to watching his first elite season.
  • + 1
 Bring on the EWS and DH season, hell even the XC season (women's XC is fun to watch)!!
  • + 3
 needs more Casey Brown
  • + 2
 Jolanda didn't get the memo?
  • + 8
 Read the begining of the article: "Jolanda Neff had to sit this one out due to a viral infection but was sorely missed by her new teammates and the extended Trek family."
  • + 4
 Someone sneezed in the giant Paella pan.
  • + 0
 @BiLKiNiS: Confession: I rarely read the text of these photo epics. Nice catch!
  • + 2
 is Trek factory racing sponsored by Arc'teryx ?
  • + 2
 Arc'teryx do numerous branded gear for lots of companies.

corporate.arcteryx.com/

I see it on eBay all the time.
  • + 2
 @darkmuncan: Arc'teryx... When the MSRP of your jacket must match that of your fork.
  • + 2
 Gals in blue, guys in red....
  • + 2
 mega.....
  • + 0
 Wait, Trek has a whole factory team?! Could've fooled me as Emily Batty is the only one everyone talks to.
  • + 1
 Winton on 27.5 this year??!!
  • + 1
 she realized its the better wheel size.
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