All the rumors can finally be put to rest.
December was full of team rumors and farewell posts, which meant that there was no shortage of “Welcome to the Team” announcements once 2020 arrived.
Notable signings include Andreu Lacondeguy
on Commencal, Dylan Stark
on YT, Fabio Wibmer and the Seagraves on Canyon
, and Johannes 'The Denim Destroyer
' von Klebelsberg on GT.
Specialized Gravity picked up Christopher Grice
, a speedy junior from North Carolina, and Greg Callahan
joined Unior Devinci Factory Racing.Richie Rude
announced that he'll be with Yeti for the next three seasons, and Jared Graves will be back in turquoise as well, competing in select races and serving as brand ambassador.
There's no off-season for new shiny things.
When it comes to product launches and trade shows there doesn't seem to be an off-season any more – all 12 months of the year are filled with new mountain bike models and fresh components. DT Swiss launched a new XC-oriented fork
, dropper, and shock, items that will no doubt appear on the bikes of a number of Olympic hopefuls.
The Core Bike show
and the Burgtec House Show
also took place in January, and featured new flat pedals from Nukeproof and Burgtec, Hope's first 35mm carbon bar, and a glimpse at Formula's new coil shock.
If you can't ride, you might as well watch other people ride.
Short days and long nights can make it tough to find the motivation to get out for a ride, especially if it's dumping snow or pouring rain. The next best thing? Watching videos of other people riding, and January was full of opportunities to escape reality for a few minutes. Fabio Wibmer
did Fabio Wibmer things in Israel, and Danny MacAskill
released another mind-boggling video titled 'Gymnasium' that's chock full of trials bike wizardry. Speaking of wizards, Brandon Semenuk
took his custom painted Session to Japan, where he put on another stylish display in front of Revel Co's cameras.
There may not be that much actual riding in it (that'll happen in episode two), but don't forget about the Grim Donut
. Pinkbike Tech Editor Mike Levy decided to create a bike from the future, and the result is, well, interesting, to say the least.
Thomas Lapeyrie & Becky Cook
Still hunting for sponsors for 2020.
Becky Cook finished the 2019 EWS race season sitting in 7th place, and Thomas Lapeyrie finished 20th overall, but the former teammates will no longer be on the Orbea Enduro Team for 2020. That's a difficult position to be in – the privateer life's not an easy one, especially if you're competing in a race series with stops scattered around the world.
At the moment, it looks like Becky Cook will be helped out by Wight Mountain, her local shop, and will be funding her race season out of her own pocket. In an Instagram post
she said, "Bringing it home with my new set up for the 2020 season. Stoked to share that I will be riding the Scott Contessa bikes in collaboration with my local bike shop Wight Mountain I cannot thank these guys enough for all there help and giving me the determination to not give up on my racing dreams...and that podium! My intention is to race the full Enduro World Series once again but it will be self-funded and it’s a pretty expensive dream. Nevertheless fun times will be had along the way for sure and I can’t wait to get started."
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Thomas Lapeyrie is trying a different tactic, and has set up a crowd-funding campaign in order to drum up enough support to compete this season. Numerous pros have stepped up to help him out, donating jerseys and their time to help attract more supporters to what Thomas' is calling “Project Rider. 404
,” a reference to the error message that occurs when a web page isn't found.
Supercross dreams fail to materialize.
Bernard Kerr's off-season goal was to qualify for the Anaheim 1 Supercross race, but his dreams were dashed when the AMA refused to allow him to start due to an apparent licensing issue.
In an Instagram post, Bernard said, “Unfortunately I will not be rolling out into the stadium today to try and qualify at Anaheim 1. I’ve been told a bunch of different reasons why by the AMA and the FIM but all I really know is that even though I do have an FIM license they won’t let me. So THANK YOU so much for all the support it’s been unreal!”
We'll see if Bernard decides to try again next year... I'd love to see him qualify, if only to silence all the crotchety motor heads out there.
BLM Proposes Oil and Gas Drilling Under Moab's Slickrock Trail
Moab's Slickrock trail is instantly recognizable, an otherworldly sandstone playground that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Now, two parcels under the trail could be put up for lease
for oil and gas extraction due to a request to the BLM from an anonymous company. The company will be revealed during the public comment period that begins on February 20th.
Oil wells and heavy machinery aren't going to show up on the trail any time soon - surface work wouldn't be allowed, and any extraction would need to occur from adjacent land, the bulk of which is wilderness, where that activity would be prohibited. Still, just the fact that the land could potentially be leased for extraction is concerning, and it's certainly a situation that's worth monitoring.