Good Month / Bad Month: August 2018

Sep 6, 2018
by Paul Aston  

Martin Maes

From the Top of the World and the Podium in Whistler, to the King of the Mud in La Bresse

He has only been on the racing scene since 2012 and had already started to imprint his name into history. But the 22-year-old really made his mark in August, when within 13 days, he won the EWS in Whistler and the final round of UCI DH World Cup at La Bresse. Now, winning the EWS was is no easy feat, especially if you put 25 seconds into Sam Hill on the final Top of the World stage and take the win by 42 seconds over only one day of racing. Fun fact: this was the biggest winning margin at EWS Whistler in six years (Elite Men's category), Rude came close with a 40-second demolition in 2016, but usually wins here have been by 10 seconds or less.

All he had to do then was recover from a monster post-EWS-winning party, fly across to Europe, recover from jet lag, get to La Bresse and learn a new course and bike, then beat the best downhillers in the world at their own game.

Foot u and full gas to the line in the pouring rain for Martin Maes.

Naysayers who claim that he had better conditions should wind their neck in - it was wet for everyone and his name is at the top of the results sheet in a discipline he's not focussing on.

More Races and More Winners

Crankworx, EWS, and UCI DH

Maes' legendary wins are covered above, but there is still loads more racing to talk about. Mont Saint Anne was another epic race, and it was great to see Bruni and Atherton take solid wins. Crankworx Slopestyle was another insane event and Rogatkin finally won that massive Triple Crown cheque. Atherton won the women's event in La Bresse and also took the overall title, which the new kid on the block, Amaury Pierron had already wrapped up the men's overall by the time MSA was over with one round to play with.

There were loads of other great events happening all over the world in August, from IXS European Downhill Cups, the Swiss Trail Trophy, the US Open, French Enduro Cup, Trans BC, and the massive 'Ard Rock Enduro and Festival in the UK that was won by a certain retired downhiller called Steve Peat.

Steve Peat showed he still has it and managed to cinch the mens FTD from Danny Hart
Peaty took the fastest time of the day at the Ard Rock Enduro, no small feat considering Danny Hart won the Senior Men's category. #danny4ews

Bike Geeks Rejoice

Fox's Live Valve is finally here, plus a bunch of new bikes and kit.

There are a lot of people that have been waiting for Fox's Live Valve, and after years of waiting and teasing, it is finally out in the open. The electronically controlled suspension promises a super efficient pedaling platform on any bike but can open and gobble up bumps faster than you can blink. As well as Live Valve, we spotted more electronics in the form of RockShox's battery powered Reverb post.

As well as electronics, there were a ton of new bikes that either appeared from nowhere or finally had an official release after months of being in the public eye between racers legs. To name but a few: GT's Fury downhill bike and Sensor and Force trail/enduro bikes were launched and We saw Yeti's SB150 which finally has a real bottle mount.

Polygon XquarOne DH
Loads of new bikes and kit appeared in August, including Polygon's funky Xquare One DH.

Trek's Remedy was updated, Cannondale dropped a big wheeled Jekyll, Devinci's 29er Wilson is available to buy, an ex-Norco engineer surprised us with the 130mm travel Forbidden Bikes high-pivot 29er, Kona's carbon Process, Scott's 170mm Ransom, Polygon's new XquarOne downhill bike is official and Giant's new Trance and Liv Intrigue also came to market.


More riding time = more time in the face of danger

With all the racing and riding happening when the Summer was in full swing during August, injuries become more common. Graham Aggasiz went over his whip-limit at the Whip Off Worlds in Whistler and broke his scapula. Ines Thoma also blew up in the Whistler dust during EWS practice and broke two bones in her neck and back, as well as her nose. Melamed also popped in practice at the same event and a broken thumb put the hometown hero, and last year's winner, out of action - another blow to the Canadian after a string of injuries from multiple fractures in Finale last August, to a broken collarbone in France earlier this year.

Melamed's luck seems to go from bad to worse, his third serious injury in less than twelve months.

The Vulcan

Gee Atherton not selected for World Champs

Gee Atherton has been selected for Great Britain's World Championship team every year since 2001. In those 17 years, he has only missed out one of the competitions due to injury in 2016. On the flip side of that he has bagged two Junior and three Elite podiums that include a metal haul of a brace of silver as a boy and a pair of gold's as a man.

For somebody of his caliber, his previous two seasons might not look great on paper, but injuries and bad luck taint his palmarés. In the last two World Cup races he was back in true form with an 8th and 2nd place. He has made it on to the reserve list, though, along with Joe Smith, so if another rider drops out we could see a substitution. In 2016, when Gee dropped out with injury, Bernard Kerr took his place and sent it down Val Di Sole into 5th spot and the best result of his life. It's not the first time something like this has happened, just last year, Morgane Charre wasn't selected for the French squad despite meeting all criteria but has been selected for Lenzerheide after only competing in one World Cup this year.

Gee Atherton pours the first beer of what will be a long night of partying with his former teammate Martin Maes.
Sometimes being second fastest in the world just ain't good enough. Gee's getting older, but not giving up. We expect to see him charging again in 2019. Photo: RemiBottin

Posted In:
Industry News


  • 264 2
 Wishing fast and successful recovery for Jared Graves. He really inspired a lot of my cycling ambitions, so grateful for the man's existence.
  • 11 418
flag mollow (Sep 6, 2018 at 10:51) (Below Threshold)
 This post is about august. Please try to stay in context
  • 104 14
 @mollow: f*ck you c*nt :-)

ps - buy a 'u'
  • 14 0
 @mollow: Most negative props ever? Have some f*cking respect, jeez
  • 12 0
 @abennett219: have you ever met Protour?
  • 6 2
 @mollow: wow. I thought to myself as I headed toward the comments that I hoped Gravesy would get a mention and read this. So in the words of @bblaney372 f*ck YOU, c*nt. What a douchebagel thing to say.
  • 10 1
 @mollow: you've been ban from the site 3 times this year and you still write this kind of stuff? This one truly sums you up amd shows your true colors though doesn't it?
  • 51 5
 I guess it's a sign that I'm older but electronics on MTB are counter to what I believe the sport is about. Electronic shifting, suspension valves, droppers, possibly electronic ABS brakes in the near future are marvels of engineering, and may make riding easier and faster, but... I like solutions that simplify the bike.
Not saying these are bad developments per se – and definitely have their place on commuter bikes and the likes.
  • 22 4
 I'm kind of torn - I agree with you to some degree, but also our bikes are loaded with technology that make them perform awesome and way more fun to ride. Why arbitrarily draw some line between electronic and non electronic? Why is a 12-speed drivetrain with incredibly tight tolerances and a cassette machined out of a single block of metal a "good" use of technology but a computer-controlled supsension valve "bad"?

I'm not pulling for one or the other, and as a home mechanic I definitely prefer "simple", but I also wouldn't want to drive a 20-yr-old car vs. the super reliable and performant one that I have today that is essentially a computer on 4 wheels.

I guess the beauty about bikes is that we can continue to enjoy (and ride) a 50-yr-old design a lot easier than say a vintage car, but we can also try the latest electro-whiz-bang models at the same time.

What a World!
  • 8 2
 @plyawn: "I also wouldn't want to drive a 20-yr-old car (...)" - if I could find that I always wanted to have I would! Old cars were much, much cooler than now. I'll agree that some features are nice but I'll give away all the rain/dusk/etc sensors and electronic e-brake for proper NA 3.0 V6 with 6 sp M/T, dual air bags and ABS that can be turn off.
  • 3 2
 @EnduroriderPL: I miss my NA 3.0 V6 Mitsubishi 3000GT.
  • 6 2
 The way I see it is... it's just one more thing that could break. I wouldn't really want to be doing a long 20+ mile ride with the risk of batteries dying, or electronics failing, and ruining your ride. Or be all set to go for a ride and realize I forgot to charge my shifter!
  • 3 2
 @plyawn: What a world indeed :-) We're spoiled for great bikes these days, and innovation is a good thing.
Your reply made me think a little and I have to agree, drawing the line at electronic/non-electronic is quite arbitrary. If the electronics are reliable and lightweight, the only downside is having to recharge the battery... but there's little difference between that and other types of regular maintenance, really. Electronic vs mechanic is an easy line to draw, more so than being a rational one.
That said, I still cling to the ideal that on an MTB, the only power source should be the human body. I started riding in the early 90-ies when MTB culture in my neck of the woods had a distinct hippie influence... :-)
  • 4 0
 @plyawn: Electronics are also not what riding mountain bikes are about for me, however all my bikes are newer than my cars 88 F150 and 1951 International L130.
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: I love driving my 23 year old truck way more than any modern vehicle. My 8 year old pedal bike is a space ship in comparison.
  • 2 0
 I was thinking about buying an ebike until last month when I rented one to try it out. They're OK and everything but as soon as the battery died it turned into an absolute pig. A creaking pig at that.
  • 47 7
 Instead of electronic suspension and shifting, why not make heated grips? Something thats actually useful..
  • 101 0
 or a vibrating saddle...
  • 4 0
 @rocky-mtn-gman: Ill second that one.
  • 8 0
 Wait, not everyone is running an Essax Shark Saddle?
  • 1 0
 Auto saddle tilt / nose down dropper post. Reverse Wu dropper for climbing.
  • 2 0
 @AlexS1: 6-Way adjustable saddle option please..........just like my auto
  • 2 0
 @Thustlewhumber: Hahaha just looking at this seat made my sphincter pucker up.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: WU is ying. Reverse WU / UW is yang. UW will make your climbs 2.225 sec faster.
  • 34 5
 I'm sorry but "There are a lot of people that have been waiting for Fox's Live Valve" is complete marketing bullshit unless you provide your data an user-testing on who exactly is waiting for it.

PB is worth around $40mil with about 368,533 visits per day from users - Is there one single person among these stats on these forums that are genuinely interested in this technology and have stated previously "I need to have this, I've been waiting so long for this!" - like this article claims? I call bullshit and it's 100% paid-for marketing.
  • 5 0
 Im only interested if the suspension makes drilling noises when compressed. Reminds my of my good earning job :-)
  • 37 5
 Dude, it was a rad month, it was my 33rd birthday !!!!!! haha Smile
  • 2 0
 Really? Happy (late) birthday! Smile When was that?
  • 13 0
 I have a feeling every month is rad when you're yoannbarelli
  • 10 0
 That feeling when you want to upvote, but it is already at 33....
  • 2 0
 @pacificnorthwet: i did the same thing haha. Let's just hope some kook doesnt ruin it
  • 2 0
 @airsoftesneeto: I’ll downvote it back to 33 if I have to!
  • 2 0
 @samjobson: lol I was debating that
  • 3 0
 hahahahaha you guys are awesome Smile
  • 1 0
 @yoannbarelli: My birthday (and others in my family) is in August. When's yours?
  • 2 0
 @pacificnorthwet @yoannbarelli i just down voted it to get it back to 33 haha
  • 28 4
 Absurd decision by GB cycling not to pick Gee for Worlds... they better learn from this and change the selection criteria to be much later in the season. Gee was #9 and yet they are taking Phil Atwill #36 and Mike Jones #30 ahead of Gee... WTF. Phil is also coming off an injury this season so wtf was their logic? They already have well deserving and high performing young guns on the team in Greenland and Wilson.
  • 9 0
 I totally agree Gee should be selected! but phil came 5th at lenzerheide last year... so he deserves a bash imo
  • 3 1
 BC are in there own little world
  • 10 2
 It is not just his overall position. As a phenomenal rider, the experience, knowledge and maturity he brings to a GB team is invaluable.
  • 19 5
 "Fox's Live Valve is finally here" + "spotted more electronics in the form of RockShox's battery powered Reverb post." - let the new wave of marketing B/S begins so you know why you have to sell you kidney and lung.

Instead writing about that electronic crapp you should have mention Jared Graves and wish him speedy recovery and best of luck in this hard moments.
  • 6 47
flag mollow (Sep 6, 2018 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 This is about August. I know you're upset but smarten up.
  • 8 0
 @mollow: the months irrelevant with this news, please don’t be insensitive. Best wishes to him and his family through this time
  • 9 2
 @mollow: if I ever need a dick comment I'll look up to your "advice"
  • 5 0
 + Jolanda Neff!!

Overcoming two flats at La Bresse to take the win and WC overall was one of the finest sporting moments I've witnessed. French crowd enthusiastically hammering the barricades as she crossed the finish line gave me chills, wonderful to watch
  • 7 0
 It’s been a bad month for welds of any sort from anyone apart from Nicolai or Foes
  • 7 4
 Riders getting injured, surely a bit more armour would limit some of the damage? It's all well and good being great on a bike, but if you take a nasty fall, slam, etc having no armour will greatly increase the risk of serious or career ending injury.
Now I know this is an adrenaline sport, and some riders both pro and amateur feel they don't need armour of any description, surely it makes sense to wear at least a bit?
  • 9 0
 no armour known to me prevents a broken thumb. There are simply some crashes in which you're bound to get injured no matter what precautions you take. On the other hand, the current mood is that everybody is immortal and shouldn't bother with unnecessary protection.
  • 2 0
 Pads or not, sh*t happens.
  • 6 1
 Bad month for me too- dislocated shoulder and fractured greater tuberosity. Off the bike for three months at least... waaaaah!
  • 5 1
 Feel your pain same issue greater tuberoisty fracture and dislocation, I’m at week11 shoulder rehab long term but improving each week
  • 4 1
 @enduroFactory: I suffered a complete quad detachment a season ago that had me off the bike for more than 6 months, and reinjured it this summer missing most of july and august. If there is any upside (and I'm not sure there is) it's that you come back more hungry than before and really understand how lucky we are to have the physical and economic means to ride bikes for fun.
  • 1 0
 @enduroFactory: detached greater tuberosity or did it stay attached?
  • 1 0
 @gtrguy: still attached but in many parts
  • 14 11
 Who said live valve was a good thing?? That’s just your opinion not fact. The rest of items listed are facts apart from live valve.
How much was you paid to slip that in?
keep your electro crap, when ya batteries all run out on ya motor, shifter, mech and ya suspension I’ll ride past ya with my finger up, c*nting you bad!!!
Keep electrics away from bikes!!!
  • 15 3
  • 7 0
 It will be GOOD when you are NOT trying to rate months Good or Bad.
  • 5 1
 eastcoast usa- august of 2018 both the wettest and the hottest month since 1980. bleh...
  • 5 0
 Well that was boring...
  • 4 0
 I woke up it's a good month
  • 6 3
 I think you missed a fairly important bad month point...
  • 13 0
 That’s Septembers édition.
  • 3 1
 @fredgrillet : I agree it actually hurts the fact they just left out probably the worst news of the year! Heal up Mr. Graves, fight the way you ride!
  • 4 1
 @rockchomper: it didn't happen in August...also, I don't think this is an appropriate place for that. It could come accross as being a bit facetious.
  • 1 0
 @jamesdunford: World champs is in September but Gee's ommittance from it is mentioned...
  • 4 1
 Who tf got selected over Gee? Seems like an atrocity.
  • 7 3
  • 7 4
 Gee has been below average for a couple of seasons and sure there are reasons for that mainly injury. I don't believe one result on pedally track in ever changing conditions makes him a potential world cup winner. I think BS should give his spot to young upcoming riders.....find the next Gee!
  • 3 1
 ++ Another good month for Ben Cathro! Heck good year even! Missing his coverage at World Champs
  • 2 0
 It was also a good month for Nicholi.
  • 1 0
 GB just wants Gee to be healthy for Hardline. They know where the serious events are. Duh.
  • 3 6
 No doubt Maes win was impressive, however “All he had to do then was recover from a monster post-EWS-winning party, fly across to Europe, recover from jet lag, get to La Bresse and learn a new course and bike” is potentially a little stretched
  • 3 0
 I didn't really get your point at first... checked the link, so then I guess you mean it's neither a new bike nor a new course? He did race Ft Bill on a GT prototype, and he got in one practice run in La Bresse before that, but his bike for La Bresse was different/set up a little differently, and of course there was a different La Bresse track for the WC. Add in the fact that everyone else does DH for a living, are super familiar with their bikes, and in the case of Remi Thirion, practically live in La Breese...
  • 2 0
 @mtbikeaddict: yeah , in no way was I saying it wasn’t an amazing result, I just recall seeing the original article and thought it didn’t “quite” match the above
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: All right... wasn't trying to attack you or anything... guess what I meant was... might be a little stretched, but I can see where the writer is coming from. There's always some embellishment... at least it isn't click-bait level. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Why isn't Jared Graves on the bad of the month?
  • 1 0
 I see that Donald thing over the pond has had another good month ! Heheee

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