Good Month / Bad Month: Nostalgia, Olympic Dreams, Trolling & Cyber Attacks - December 2019

Jan 13, 2020
by Sarah Moore  

Team Rumours

The past month was filled with thank-yous, speculation, and trolling.

Florian Nicolai to Trek, Damien Oton to Orbea, Fabio Wibmer to Canyon, Nico Vink and Hannah Bergemann to Transition, FMD Racing to Canyon, George Brannigan to Propain, Seth Sherlock to Intense, Kilian Bron to Commencal, and the list goes on...

It's been an exciting couple weeks trying to figure out who is going to be riding for who in 2020. If you want to catch up, you can use the Racing Rumours tag or check out our Race Rumours Recap article.

We still haven't seen the end of this season's roster changes with Greg Callaghan, Reed Boggs, Rebecca Rusch, Darren Berrecloth, Jared Graves, and Cody Kelley all having done the seemingly obligatory Instagram posts thanking their past sponsors without announcing who they'll be riding for next year. Let the hype-building continue for another couple weeks!

Twenty-Tens Nostalgia

We compile the very best from the past decade

It all started off with a trip down memory lane and a good excuse to re-watch all the best videos from the decade. The list started at ten and after many, many revisions soon grew to The 50 Best Edits of the Decade. Then, of course, we missed some and had to do a follow-up article (read: re-watch more videos) with the 10 Videos We Missed in our 'Best of the Decade' List.

After much debate, we published The 20 Greatest Downhill Race Runs of the Decade. In the poll we added at the end, Danny Hart's Champery DH World Champs win in 2011 was the overwhelming fan favourite. Keeping on the theme of racing (and debating), we compiled the The 10 Best Teams of the Past Decade and the The 25 Greatest Riders of the Decade.

We also had some fun with The 10 Biggest Controversies of the Past Decade and The Top 20 Pinkbike Comments of the Past Decade.

Lat years winner Steve Smith is oh so close but still has a little work to do in order to be back on top. With a 6 week break before the next round you can be sure the chainsaw will be firing on a cylinders in Mont-Ste-Anne.
Stevie Smith made it several of our lists.

True Love

Wyn Masters Gets Married & Rachel Atherton Gets Engaged

There's nothing like the off-season for some good old-fashioned romance. Wyn Masters tied the knot with his girlfriend of six years in December and sealed the deal with a wheelie, of course.

Rachel Atherton also got engaged to her long-time partner Olly Davey. It's hard for professional mountain bikers to see their loved ones during the busy race season, nevermind get married, so we have a feeling Rachel won't say "I do" until after the race season.

bigquotesWe’re ENGAGED!!! On New Years Day @ollydavey asked me to be his wife & I said YES!!!!!! OF COURSE!! The most perfect, hilarious, beautiful, honest, humble, dedicated & creative soul I’ve ever met - I am honoured to be your FIANCÉE Olly!!!!Rachel Atherton

Olympic Dreams

Surgery for Neff & Ferrand Prevot, Russia Receives 4-Year Ban

2020 is a big year for cross-country's elite. Both Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Jolanda Neff pre-qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after their top-5 performances at the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Championships, but now have question marks around their names as the final countdown begins to July.

Ferrand Prevot announced that her iliac endofibrosis has returned just over a year after her first diagnosis. Ferrand Prevot has apparently been struggling with power in her lower left leg while racing cyclocross and when she went for a scan, the doctors confirmed that it was another endofibrosis. Although it was a smaller lesion than last time, it still required surgery. Time will tell if she can get back to race-winning form in time for Tokyo as she did this year.
All in. Jolanda Neff getting warmed up for today s action.
Neff has said she'll need to take a 3-month break to recover from her crash.

As for Jolanda Neff, she was involved in a crash she describes as "life-threatening" while training in North Carolina. She apparently crashed into a pile of tree trunks and branches and suffered a broken rib, a partially collapsed lung and a ruptured spleen. Although her spleen is still in her body, it is now dead. While this shouldn't affect her in the long run, she will have to be careful not to raise her blood pressure over the next three months or she risks bursting the plug in her artery, which would mean internal bleeding and emergency surgery.

Russian athletes' Olympic dreams of competing for their nation may be in jeopardy as well as The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code for a period of four years. Exactly how this impacts Russian cycling athletes is not yet clear, but according to the statement, athletes in cycling events, which include cross-country, BMX, road, and track, can compete as individuals not under a national banner proven they can show they were not involved in doping issues in any way.

SRAM's Patent Legal Battle

Appeals court sides with Fox, small victory in chainring patent legal battle

Bicycle Retailer reported on December 18th that the federal appeals court has given Fox a small victory in its chainring patent legal battle with SRAM.

The case has been ongoing since 2015 when SRAM sued Fox-owned Race Face for patent infringement and not licensing SRAM's patent for its chainring retention features. In 2017, the board upheld the patent, saying that the technology was far from obvious and therefore patentable.

Now, the appeals court has "sided with Fox on the secondary concerns and other issues and remanded the case to the USPTO board, where SRAM will have to prove that the secondary issues outweigh the obviousness of the technology." In a separate case, Fox is also suing SRAM-owned RockShox for an alleged infringement on Fox's suspension patents.
SRAM X-Sync 2 Oval chainring 2017
A small victory, but the case is far from over.


Canyon Targeted by "Massive Cyber Attack" Over Christmas Period

Canyon has announced it was struck by a "massive cyber attack" over the Christmas break by a "professionally organized group".

The attack has now been identified and stopped and Canyon claims that the majority of its software and servers are encrypted and therefore protected from the attack.

They do say that it will result in some delays in orders that have been placed through the website.
Canyon Women s Spectral
There will be delays in orders due to the massive cyber attack.

bigquotesThe attack shows massive criminal intent. Due to the encryption of our IT infrastructure, work and business processes were temporarily massively affected. Our Koblenz site was directly affected, as were all our international companies with the exception of the US company, as it operates its own IT system. Unfortunately, we expect delays in customer contact and delivery in the next few days. We are making every effort to keep the impact on our customers and fans as low as possible and to get back to normal operations as quickly as possible. We regret this incident very much and apologize that Canyon is currently not able to offer its usual standard of service.Roman Arnold, Canyon founder and CEO


  • 130 3
 Some might argue that the Russian "ban" is a good thing....
  • 53 4
 Yes! How is it a bad thing to root out and punish cheating!?!
  • 29 33
flag vinay (Jan 13, 2020 at 13:32) (Below Threshold)
 The bad thing is that Russian athletes have to prove they have nothing to do with the doping thing instead of the other way around, like you'd have in a fair trial.
  • 14 14
 @GOrtho: don’t stop believing!
  • 18 0
 It's the way it was framed... could have put it in both columns. Good for rooting out cheaters and bad for the honest Russian athletes who will probably have to support themselves as independents if they want to continue to pursue their Olympic dreams.
  • 57 37
 You mean Olympic committee owned by Nike, Adidas, Reebook, Coca Cola, Nestle, all the piss beer companies (wonder if McDonalds or KFC will sponsor some teams again) all the Western governments, everyone blowing each other, including sucking up to China, playing a political game against Russia? Please, are you people that naive that it has anything to do with “cheating” vs “fairplay”? The only way this is a good way is if you have business against Russian government. In the face of Iran crisis, yeah, i concur it’s a good thing, Team West is on my Polish/Swedish ass side way more than Team Putin, I do salute to anything that weakens that bastard Putin. He loves Olympic Games, just like Chinese. A communist style of dick measuring contest. If Trump slipped in the shower and got paralyzed from head down I wouldn’t blink - Make no mistake. Because Butcher is a butcher. But this Butcher is on my side of the field. I salute to the brave nation of America. You entice me to take a shitty mortgage and send me to the mall to buy a stupid Tshirt, meat loaf, snacks and 2L of soda - Putin would like to send me to Gulag, maybe turn my son into a drig dealer and daughter into a prostitiute.

So let’s Keep kids playing ball, running 100m, jumping, swimming, throwing stuff out of it. Fair play is a Santa Claus, nobody really believes it, but it’s a story to tell our kids to teach them benefits of behaving correctly
  • 9 95
flag Pinemtn (Jan 13, 2020 at 17:11) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: It's interesting how fanatical leftists are now the ones beating the war drums against Russia.

I think Putin is an alright guy for working with our nation to destroy ISIS. We all know the weak and subversive Obama wasn't up for the task.
  • 46 5
 @Pinemtn: Putin ain’t an alright guy. You sound a bit brainwashed.
  • 4 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Waki dropping bombs! Hahahaha!!!
  • 8 0
 I was also expecting the Canyon incident to be a "pro" for cyber attackers
  • 24 8
 @Pinemtn: It’s interesting how cultist “better dead than red” right wingnuts are now the ones saying they’d rather be Russian than a democrat.

I think Putin is a murderous dictator for assassinating political rivals and critics with polonium. We all know the degraded and subservient Trump is only up to the task of envying autocratic rulers.

  • 10 33
flag Pinemtn (Jan 13, 2020 at 22:41) (Below Threshold)
  • 7 27
flag Pinemtn (Jan 13, 2020 at 22:41) (Below Threshold)
 @TannerValhouli: Yeah and Trump ain't that bad. You sound a bit brainwashed.
  • 6 0
That's one way to look at it. I'd say the Russian athletes are lucky that they have the opportunity to prove they didn't do anything wrong and can still compete that way. According to this article, the Russian anti doping agency is declared non-compliant. This means that it's impossible to prove that the athletes used doping, since the agency that checks this was fraudulent. It wouldn't be fair to the athletes of other countries if the Russian athletes can just compete without any doping checks.
  • 15 7
 @tjallen: Each president of a larger country is a murderous psychopath. I don't really see much more substance in Obama than in Putin. Obama made children in various areas of Middle East say that they like when it is cloudy because drones can't strike when it is cloudy. They don't feel safe when the sun is out. Now who really cares about assasinating oligarchs with polonium, when Putin has the posibility to invade enitre countries, which he already used in Chechenya, Georgia and partly in Ukraine. Off course his power is nothing compared to power of your yet another (after GW Bush) mentally unstable president who lowered the bar even lower. Don't be so eager to point fingers.

@Pinemtn : Writing what you wrote is a mental disorder, no matter which politicial ideology you subsrcibe to and which you want to demonize.
  • 4 0
 The olympics are a big deal for athletes and something they often work towards even a year before the actual event. I recall Jill Kintner and Jared Graves even pulled out of 4X racing for a season to solely focus on BMX leading up to the 2008 olympics. Not sure about the preparation of eventual winner ACC though. So yeah, it is important for these athletes and not being allowed to compete is a disappointment at the very least.

That said, I personally hate the olympics with a passion. To me it is an ugly display of nationalism over the backs of athletes. Definitely as a kid to me it seemed really cool to have so many top athletes from different disciplines in one place, be inspired and all that. And well, that part may definitely be there. But it completely dwarfs in comparison to all the f*cked up business that's going on behind it.

1. Drugging up athletes isn't new by any means and very often they're more a victim than that they choose to do so by choice. Medals make nationalists proud and because in many countries women often weren't allowed to play enough to get good at sports, there were a lot of medals to gain there. That's why during the cold war eastern German and Russian female athletes got drugged up and won loads of medals. They didn't choose to take these drugs. Often they got into sports as kids and got drugged without knowing. And when they found out and wanted to leave, they were often manipulated, subject to physical violence and all that. It completely destroyed their lives, physical and mental health. Even thirty years after Germany reunited, these ladies still aren't getting the compensation they're calling for. I think there is some standard compensation as low as 10000 euro, which is absolutely peanuts for destroying ones live in exchange for some olympic medals and national pride.

2. Leading up to those events, you almost always have cases of extreme exploitation of construction workers. And agreed, this goes for other big prestigious sports events too, like the upcoming soccer World Championships.

3. The construction of an Olympic site often happens in conflicted places. On land that is important/holy for the natives, favelas that need to be cleared, sensitive nature that gets bulldozed...

4. Questional strategies over the backs of athletes. Our national cycling federation (in The Netherlands) is exploring ways to send more track cyclists because they think they can win more medals there. The number of athletes they can send for a certain discipline is limited, defined by how well they performed during the season. However, athletes are allowed to compete in one other discipline once they're there anyway. As the BMX racers typically do quite well on the world cup circuit and got to send loads of athletes whereas obviously there are only few medals to be won there, they are considering to withdraw a few real WC level BMX racers and send some more track cyclists in their place. Most have a history in BMX racing so they'd probably make it alive down the start ramp but obviously they won't ever be competitive. You'd be happy if they're not just a danger to others when on track. So the "olympic thought" is that it is all about participation? Then just send the proper BMX racers and let them celebrate the olympic tickets they've been working for. If they want to send more track cyclists next time, then let them perform a little better in their regular competition.

So yeah, ideally I'd say scrap the olympics altogether. It just isn't worth the harm it does, it isn't worth the political bullshit. Or just keep the good bits only. Have an event with the best international athletes from different disciplines. Just don't bother with which country they come from.

TL;DR (I can imagine): Scrap the olympics, it isn't worth it. Or at least remove the nationalism from the event, that should clear thing up too.
  • 3 9
flag Pinemtn (Jan 14, 2020 at 1:31) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
  • 1 0
 @cvoc: Not quite convinced yet that they are "lucky" because of this. How are you ever going to prove you haven't used something? How can someone prove that for a couple of years, he/she hasn't eaten a carrot?
"Well, here have proof that on this day I've had a chai oat latte. We all know chai oat latte and carrots make a bad combination."
"I'll have to give you that, but sorry it isn't sufficient proof you've not had a carrot the past two years. You can't compete at the olympics".

Only "proof" I can think of would be that the athlete has been regularly tested by an independent doping authority. Which athlete can prove such a thing? And by independent doping authority I indeed mean a doping authority that is in no way related to their home country.
  • 2 0
 Sure, but I think the idea of the article is to say that it's never a good news to have to come to this end
  • 3 2
 @Pinemtn: brainwashed Maga clown
  • 2 3
 @Cyberhatter: one of us is brainwashed, one of us has the facts.
  • 1 0
 Bad month for the Vitus team !
  • 67 6
 Congrats on Wyn and Rachel. I didn't even know they were dating.
  • 24 0
 Neither did their partners
  • 5 0
 @Dropthedebt: made me laugh out loud!
  • 1 0
 "It's hard for professional mountain bikers to see their loved ones during the busy race season."

Ha ha ha! The race season last year was so busy. Eight international races. Just... wow! Those pesky footballers have got it easy with only having to play 50 games a year. No wonder they all get married at least twice!
  • 48 1
 When we buy SRAM/Fox bike parts in 2020, we're paying to keep those patent lawyers on Yetis.
  • 22 0
 I think they call it "underriding".
  • 3 0
 @whatshubdoc: hilarious!
  • 28 0
 Danny Mac got a new video for us! Isn't that a good thing everytime it happens?
  • 24 0
 If I was able to hack into Canyon I would have just quietly sent myself a bike and moved on...
  • 20 1
 Random negative comment.
  • 10 0
 The biggest news is Eddie staying with Pivot!
  • 8 1
 Shame on SRAM for enforcing their patent over narrow-wide chainrings. It's such an obvious solution that there should be prior somewhere.
  • 13 0
 Especially since Sram didn't invent narrow/wide they just borrowed it from another industry.
  • 1 0
 @h82crash: I was searching for prior art on motorcycle sprockets, could not find any...
  • 3 0
 @h82crash: apparently Shimano already invented it in a Japanese Utility Patent in the eighties (I cannot find the original patent publication in Japanese on my prefered search engine though):

Read page 11.

"JP-Shimano is a Japanese Utility Model Application, titled “Chain Gear for a Bicycle,” and describes a chain gear for a bicycle designed to reduce chain drop. Ex. 1006, 15:49–60, 15:78–86. JP-Shimano discloses a
chainring for a bicycle with alternating wide and narrow teeth. Id. at 15:55–60, 15:78–86, 15:108–115, Figs 1–2. JP-Shimano describes a chainring having “a plurality of teeth provided circumferentially on an outer periphery of the gear main body.” Id. at 15:64–67. Figure 1 of JP-Shimano, as annotated by the Petitioner, is reproduced below."
  • 2 0
 @zoobab2: I believe it was actually invented back in the '30's or '40's by a tractor company or something like that. I remember seeing that when the narrow/wide thing began in bikes.
  • 2 0
 @h82crash: Yes, a tractor company for a corn conveyor belt or something.
  • 9 0
 Brook out riding trails is pretty rad IMO!
  • 8 2
 Speaking of Canyon. I can't believe you haven't announced that Tahnee officially riding for them.
  • 3 1
 @panzer103 they did 2 days ago on their instagram. the reveal says welcome home
  • 2 0
 @rockchomper: i know. I'm talking about Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 @panzer103: It appears this list is for the month of Dec 2019
  • 1 0
 Oh ...(smiling face emoji)
  • 3 0
 @panzer103: totally understandable, we're almost halfway into Jan.
  • 6 3
 Sooooooo could we appreciate the star studded team that Canyon:
Mens DH: Troy, Kaos, mark wallace
Womens DH: Tahnee
Enduro: Ines Thoma
XC: Pauline Ferrand Prevot
Trials: Fabio Wibmer
Freeride: Genon and Lemoine
Everything endurance: Van Der Pole
  • 1 0
 @DublinBiker1 Reads like the line-up for a MLB All-Star Game.
  • 3 0
 "The attack has now been identified and stopped and Canyon claims that the majority of its software and servers are encrypted and therefore protected from the attack."

I read Canyon's statement the other way around, that "Due to the encryption of our IT infrastructure, work and business processes were temporarily massively affected."

Could be someone opened an Emotet mail attachment they shouldn't have.
  • 3 0
 The Canyon report from PinkBike is innacurate: "Canyon claims that the majority of its software and servers are encrypted and therefore protected from the attack". I bet Canyon was impacted by a ransomware, some kind of virus that encrypt all your files and makes them innaccessible to you. So, encryption in this case is the problem, not the way around.
  • 3 0
 Yes, PB's report shows a lack of basic understanding of what happened. Although from an IT specific site I gathered some back-office servers got caught by ransomware as you said, while the majority of the web/sales backend got off. Insert your typical Windows vs UNIX security joke here ;-).
  • 1 0
 @southoftheborder: Indeed! Here "attack" means "a stupid opened an infected file from an email attachement". I was ashamed by how Canyon dealt with it, no communication before 2 weeks, etc.

It happen that I just bought a bike from them, ordered December 19th, but still now news as of today!
  • 2 0
 Is it the narrow wide profile specifically or the cinch style ring retention? I could see the retention being an issue as they do look similar. But of course that doesn't mean much. Just look at DW vs Giant.
  • 5 2
 Fabio to Specialized??? EErr....
  • 3 0
 Cody Kelley going to Specialized.... nothing official yet though.
  • 7 3
 Good/Bad month is boring
  • 2 0
 Brook Macdonald rides again, that is the most positive thing up there!
  • 1 0
 It’s raining like the Noaic flood here... which is poop
  • 1 0
 Did anyone else read 'Wyn Masters Gets Married with Rachel Atherton'?
  • 20 19
  • 9 0
 but not Fox? did you finish the 3rd paragraph?
  • 2 0
 @ttblue: "F" both of them.
  • 5 0
 Fuck ya. Long live 3x9.
  • 2 2
 @ttblue: I'm a die hard raceface fan because they actually dont manufacture shit low end stuff like SRAM sells to the masses. so im all for fox
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