May 2018 - Good Month or Bad Month?

Jun 1, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  

Richie Rude

Takes first EWS win since 2016

There was never any doubt that he had the speed — his multiple stage wins last year were a testament to that — but Richie Rude hadn't won an Enduro World Series race since the Whistler round back in 2016. That streak finally broke in France, where Richie managed to fend off Adrien Dailly over the course of eight stages of exciting racing on rocky, technical trails.

With Rude returning to form it's shaping up to be an exciting season, especially since Sam Hill has his sights set on winning another overall title, and scores of other fast riders are coming up through the ranks to duke it out for that top step. Racing resumes at the end of June in Austria, and it's sure to be a battle worth watching.
Rocks mud tight trees and awkward French switchbacks weren t match for Richie Rude this weekend.
Richie battled his way to the top of the podium in France with a commanding performance.

New Bikes and Components

Shimano turns it up to 12, Cannondale revamps the Lefty

A plethora of new products debuted in May, including everything from ultralight wheels with spokes made of Vectran fiber to Cannondale's new single-crown Lefty. Shimano finally lifted the lid on their new 12-speed gruppo, and while it's still months away from being available, it does look promising. SRAM haven't been resting on their laurels either, and an off-road version of their wireless eTap drivetrain has been showing up on the bikes of select racers at XC World Cup events.

In the downhill world, Santa Cruz's V10 29 looks like it's getting closer to being released for public consumption, while Specialized are in the process of working on a new bike of their own. In short, there's plenty of new bikes and components coming down the pipeline – it's shaping up to be an exciting summer.
XTR M9100
Shimano unveiled their new 12-speed gruppo.

Bike Parks

Put those skis away, it's time to ride

Bike park season kicked off across the Northern Hemisphere in May, as resorts around the world cleared away snow and prepped their chairlifts to carry bikes instead of boards.

The Whistler Bike Park opened on May 18th, and Pinkbike was there to see what everyone was riding, tallying up totals on everything from bike brand to brake preference. It turns out that the Specialized Demo is still a favorite, followed by the Norco Aurum. SRAM took the top spot in the braking department, with Shimano sitting in a close second. You can check out all the results here.



Big names taken out of contention

Unfortunately, injuries are a part of mountain biking, and even the best riders in the world occasionally take a tumble that puts them out of commission. May seemed to take a particularly heavy toll, with the likes of Jesse Melamed, Jack Moir, and Greg Minnaar all suffering injuries that will force them to sit out at least one or two races.

The sport's top athletes seem to have superhuman recovery speeds, and there's no doubt that we'll see Jesse, Jack, Greg, and the others on the DL list back in action before too long, but it's always tough to see a race favorite forced to watch from the sidelines due to an injury.
Tape contouring the injured arm of Greg Minnaar.


Julien Absalon retires

Julien Absalon has had an amazing career of cross-country racing, racking up a list of accomplishments that includes two Olympic gold medals, five World Championships, thirty-three World Cup victories. It wasn't lack of fitness, or the inability to stay up at the sharp end of the pack that made him decide to announce his retirement from full-time competition, though. It was pollen.

According to Absalon, his pollen allergies have grown worse over the years, and “I do not want to race when I can not race at 100-percent. I can not imagine racing when I am unable to compete for the victory. That's why I quit. I am not sad, however. My doctors told me my lungs have done tremendous efforts, breathing millions of liters of air, inhaling lots of pollen in the time. After twenty years, they might have gotten a bit tired. It's a sign for me; I gave it all, so it might be time to stop. You push your body to the limits, and after twenty years there is no reason to be sad.”
It's going to be strange not seeing Julien Absalon in the thick of it at World Cup XC races.

Abaslon may not be rolling up to the starting line at World Cup races anymore, but there's no doubt he'll remain involved with mountain biking in various roles for years to come.

Posted In:
Industry News


  • 42 1
 I like bike
  • 6 0
 Me same
  • 11 0
 I like turtles...
  • 5 0
 I love lamp
  • 4 0
 @taquitos: Brick where did you get a grenade?
  • 28 1
 I don't see the 650 euro handlebar anywhere ?
  • 45 0
 Good month for: Riders whose current bar/stem combo isn’t pretentious enough
  • 14 0
 Bad month for fail videos.
  • 14 0
 bring back fails of the month, Friday fails just isn't the same and it is rarely is on the homepage
  • 14 0
 "I still want to f*ck on a bike" - Julien Absalon
  • 5 2
 Just remove the seat and put some Slick Honey on the post and get it over with...
  • 2 0
 Best retirement line I've seen yet!!
  • 1 0
 @zephxiii: Life goals. Absalon is doing it right. Google AI is reading his mind.
  • 8 2
 Bad month for me, face planted at almost 50 km/h training for an enduro race. Needless to say I couldn't compete and am still tending to my injuries Frown Haven't ridden since and it's killing me.
  • 6 1
 Heal up brother! I'm with you. Broke my wrist in April, so May I didn't ride at all.
  • 1 0
 same here (except the enduro and 50 kmh part), injuries are really tough on the moral but riding again will come and be worth the wait
  • 8 0
 Dean Lucas is injured too Frown
  • 8 1
 Hayfever sucks !
  • 4 2
 Not if you are on legal meds ,win ,win .froomi
  • 6 1
 16 days of rain causing severe flooding in NC... poop
  • 2 0
 I do miss seeing Absalon out there battling it with Schurter, both such awesome ambassadors!

I was also hoping for Absalon to be a 40+ bro to root for to match the two awesome 40+ women still kicking ass out there!
  • 3 0
 Low - the highs. Temperatures in West Texas this month. 112 for the last three days.
  • 1 0
 Yup. Just too hot to enjoy anything but road biking.
  • 2 0
 We'll mention injuries and we'll mention World Cup XC but we will never EVER mention World Cup XC injuries.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a bad month for "Good month or bad month?"
  • 1 0
 Good month for - Exchange rates. Those overseas product prices are tempting for a USD user!
  • 3 1
 Steel and alooominum lol
  • 1 0
 Yep those expensive bikes an parts aboot to get 25/10% more expensive.
C'mon PB how did you miss that!!
  • 1 0
 I wonder if Julien has done immunotherapy for allergies?
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