Yoann Barelli's A-Line Cyclocross Bike - Crankworx Whistler 2016

Aug 18, 2016
by Mike Levy  
Racing the Airline DH on the A-Line Trail during the 2016 Crankworx Mountain Bike festival.

Sometimes winning doesn't mean finishing first, especially if you're using the wrong tool for the job. Giant's Yoann Barelli knows that racing Crankworx's Fox Air DH race in a skin suit, or birthday suit, is about as original as me telling you that a test bike climbs like a scalded cat, so instead he pulled out his TCX cyclocross bike, a rig made for hour-long races in grass fields or to cruise along chill gravel paths.

A-line is neither of those things. Plus, now he has an actual reason to wear a sausage suit.

While you or I probably wouldn't ride a cyclocross bike down A-Line for money if we had to clear all the jumps, this isn't the first time Yoann has used nearly the worst tool for the job - Dirt Merchant and A-line saw some skinny tire action last year. And yes, he's clearing all the jumps, and probably going quicker than a lot of us.

How'd he do on the TCX? Officially, he received a DNS (Did Not Start) on the results sheet due to going around the wooden drop at the top of the track as it surely would have caused a flat or two, but he won the day in a lot of people's minds.
Racing the Airline DH on the A-Line Trail during the 2016 Crankworx Mountain Bike festival.

Racing the Airline DH on the A-Line Trail during the 2016 Crankworx Mountain Bike festival.
Racing the Airline DH on the A-Line Trail during the 2016 Crankworx Mountain Bike festival.
These pint-sized Rocket Ron tires never knew what was coming.

Racing the Airline DH on the A-Line Trail during the 2016 Crankworx Mountain Bike festival.
Racing the Airline DH on the A-Line Trail during the 2016 Crankworx Mountain Bike festival.
A-Line doesn't require a ton of stopping power, so the cable-operated Avid brakes and small rotors are sufficient.

On the drops and givin her hell. Barelli might not have has the speed the other lads did but he certainly has balls.

MENTIONS: @giantbicycles / @SramMedia / @yoannbarelli


  • 167 3
 Not sure how, but Yoann is 69% skill, 63% personality, and 66% all around badass.

Yes, that’s right, he is 98% better than the rest of us...
  • 37 2
 Einstein would be proud of you and Yoann
  • 11 17
flag Grutten (Aug 18, 2016 at 16:46) (Below Threshold)
 mmmm. Pretty sure that's 69%, 69% and 69%.
  • 28 4
 No vid no care. TT
  • 3 2
 @Grutten: HEHEHEHE thats it.
  • 4 0
 The numbers don't lie.
  • 63 2
 i was expecting a video or helmet cam
  • 17 1
 I want to see a video of his run!
  • 31 0
 On a Cyclecross bike and still going bigger than half the people at whistler.
  • 4 11
flag rrolly (Aug 19, 2016 at 8:38) (Below Threshold)
 I don't get cyclecross. To me it's the race-walking of biking. Ya, it's difficult, but why would you bother? Get a bike meant for trail riding and hammer the course.
  • 6 0
 @rrolly: I've never understood the CX races with all the running and bike carrying, but I do love my CX bike. It's road bike efficient yet I can cut through the MTB park, behind vacant lots, and rocket down the bike paths all on one bike. It is a great complement to my trail bike when I want to ride dirt but need to do something different that day. Also, it is a fun winter slush bike on the bike paths when the trails are unrideable.
  • 4 0
  • 5 0

It's like an XC race on a road bike with knobbies, all on a course with a shit ton of corners (off-cambered, mud infested, maybe snow too), mandatory dismounts, sand pits and some barriers to hop (if you can make it). All wrapped up in a 30-45 min sprint fest. They're pretty fun but a flat or mechanical shits the bed for you finishing. Sorta Enduro-ish from that perspective. Some think the courses look boring but then you ride it on a fully rigid bike with skinny pinner tires, parts of it can be brutal on the wrists/hands.
  • 2 0
 @CaptainSnappy: I get that it's difficult. I'm not saying that it isn't. But I don't understand why anyone would want to ride a trail on a modified road bike.
  • 30 1
 Cross Bikes are just DH bikes from the early 90's anyhow ;-)
  • 13 1
 Arguably better stopping and way better frame, that's for sure!
  • 17 1
 must be one of those cross bikes with Boost and metric shock
  • 11 1
 What I want to know is how he stuffed his enormous ball sack into that speed suit......
  • 10 1
 He should've just climbed down the A-Line jump with the bike on his back, just to get a time.
  • 2 0
 As You Can see, he is all or nothing...
  • 9 1
 some people need knee and elbow pads and 6" to ride frisby ridge
  • 3 0
 some need full on DH bikes to ride frisby ridge.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: i wouldn't Climb Frisby with a full DH
  • 6 0
 Man of the match...Suspension is so overrated!
  • 10 5
 A-Line is over rated. Next year I'm doing it on my nephews Big Wheel.
  • 6 0
 He has a pint sized semi slick out back too! This guy is pure bred badass.
  • 4 0
 A-line mut have felt pretty roomy after that: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNPpKrt9qPk
The dude has got the skills to pay the bills!
  • 1 0
 is this a river runs through it?
  • 3 0
 Wow! I had a hard time on this trail on my MTB!
  • 2 5
 @Caiokv @IamZOSO : this trail would be a lot more fun if there was some descending..or any descending for that matter. Thats a grundle beater for sure on a bike like that..oof.
  • 2 0
 This guy is my new favorite pro! Unreal talent.
  • 3 1
 @IsaacO: Ya, I ride with people that don't appreciate a good trail unless there's a good DH pay off. Pretty narrow-minded view of what a good trail is imo.
  • 1 0
 @IamZOSO: Everyone has their own version of what's fun . Can't fault people for not enjoying something. I rode it once and was wondering why on a Saturday afternoon on a beautiful day I only passed one other rider...on a fat bike no less. I thought that was interesting. After a little while I realized why. Still a cool and unique trail for sure, but more of an obstacle course .
  • 2 1
 @IsaacO @IamZOSO

DH trails IMO are the best ones. But trails like that are really cool too, and it is possible to have as much fun in a trail like that as in a DH trail. It just takes more lungs, and a different technique. Here in Brazil there are almost no trails like A River Runs Trough It, and it was quite a fun surprise to ride something like that.
  • 5 1
 I ride my CX bike on our local trails, but that's just because they get so boring on a real MTB. Its nothing like Whistler trails though!
  • 4 0
 A-line drop?
  • 3 2
 Forget the brakes and tires! Look at that skinny saddle! YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope he stood up most of the way!
  • 1 0
 Like playin ice hockey on ballet skates. Im sure hes a pro on bike. But what about his balls in this xxxxxxs wear Wink
  • 1 0
 You're right about the "scalded cat" reference. God I'm tired of reading that phrase.
  • 1 0
 Word on the street is Yoann's ditching EWS for UCI DH next year; probably won't be racing those tracks on the TCX though. Wink
  • 2 0
 Well DH isn't just about podiums with Barelli and Atwill around.
  • 1 0
 How did he not have a gopros or any camera recording any of this shenanigans!
  • 2 0
 Can't stand the stuff Yoann is doing.
  • 1 0
 Yoan maybe you can show us how to do A line on a Giant XTC hardtail with flat bars Smile
  • 7 5
 i like boys now
  • 1 0
 I need to see the video of this
  • 1 0
 no shock, ough my back Big Grin
  • 2 2
 I am as impressed with this as a guy on a unicycle. Not my thing. Sorry just seems foolish to me.
  • 2 1
  • 2 1
 dat fit.....
  • 1 0
 Love it!
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 I need video!
  • 1 0
 He crack me up.
  • 4 5
 wheres a pic of him clearing said jumps??
  • 1 2

Him riding dirt merchant last year.
  • 5 6
 culiao loco
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