Kate Courtney and US Women's Cycling
Kate Courtney Wins First Two World Cups
For Kate Courtney, winning World Champs last year was just the start. Taking the top step for XC in the first two World Cups this year, Courtney has proven that she has what it takes to win the hardest races in the world. Following Courtney in the Elites, Lea Davidson and Chloe Woodruff are also showing top form, with Woodruff winning the short track race at the Nove Mesto World Cup. American Haley Batten is also at the top of her game, taking the win in Nove Mesto in the U23 division.
With all of this talent and momentum coming from within the US, American XC racing is possibly the strongest it's ever been.
Trailforks Aids Rescue of Injured Mountain Biker
Pinkbike's sister company, Trailforks, recently assisted in the rescue of an injured mountain biker
on the Three Blind Mice trail network in Penticton, BC. Search and Rescue manager Kelvin Hall used Trailforks to aid in the rescue and recommends all backcountry users download Trailforks.
The app can allow users to more accurately report their position to search and rescue personnel and for search and rescue to more easily find a victim.
New Bike Tech
New Bikes from Trek and Pivot along with Plenty of World Cup Tech
With the World Cup season getting into full swing, there has been quite a lot of new bike tech coming in from all over the last month. Trek
both released new XC bikes this past week and various prototype parts have been spotted in and around the pits at the races. Intend's Hover Shock
is quite a departure from the norm, and TRP apparently have some new brakes
in the works.
Safe to say that the coming couple World Cups are likely to show quite a bit more new tech in the pits as everyone settles into their teams for the season.
Customers of Sick Cycles
Smoke, Mirrors, and the Runaround
Sick Cycles seem to have gone and provided a textbook example of how to be good at the internet and bad at a job. With a lot of hype around their new frames, many customers prepaid money only to be met with excuses for why their frames never showed up. Pinkbike, along with other media sites gave the owners a chance to explain what was happening after threads in forums discussing the issue turned angry, but the interview
seems to have merely been filled with sob stories, excuses, and empty promises after their manufacturer of the frames stated a couple of weeks later they still had not been paid
for the frames by Sick and would be selling them off.
Maybe it's not these guys' full-time job to make bikes and they haven't been able to dedicate the appropriate time to it, maybe they messed up and really do want to fix things, or maybe they're just full of it... One way or another, the damage is done, and Sick Cycles have a long hard road ahead of them if they ever hope to restore their tarnished reputation.
Aaron Gwin Injures his Ankle and Has His Race Bike Stolen
Aaron Gwin snapped a crankarm, one that supposedly wasn't supposed to be on his bike in the first place, during a practice run at Mountain Creek, New Jersey. The impact injured his ankle
, hindering his preparations for the Fort William World Cup.
To make matters worse, Gwin's team rig was broken into while en route to the World Cup and his race bike was stolen.
Fortunately, the team had another bike that was built up for the race, but there's no doubt that puts a great deal of extra strain on the team in preparation for the weekend. We'll see if he can break this streak of bad luck and turn things around before the big day in Fort William.
Albstadt's Course Changes
Albstadt Creates Wooden Walkways over Technical Sections of Track
The Albstadt XC track is known for being treacherous in the wet, and after last year's dangerous conditions caused by the heavy rainfall race organizers decided to weatherproof the course in case of further bad weather. Their answer was covering some of the more technical sections of track in wood and chicken wire, a tactic that didn't work out as intended, with numerous riders sliding out on the slippery wood.
Although making a track rideable in all weather conditions is important for rider safety, smooth gravel paths and wood walkways are not the answer. With World Champs being held in Albstadt next year, there need to be some serious changes made to the track in order to make it appropriate. No one wants to see races lost on chicken wire, and if there needs to be a new track cut altogether, so be it, there are plenty of professional trail builders that can make that happen. It is World Champs, after all.