Archive for October, 2007

Sub Winner

October 31, 2007

Out of the many entries we received, only two people got it right. The official winner of the sub is “Nate” who provided the answer we were looking for of “Bruno Zanchi”, who beat Nico to the top step of the podium in Are Mountain, Sweden, in 1995.


The Freaks Come Out

October 29, 2007


The annual Diabloween jump jam went off with a bang yesterday. The Staypuft Marshmallow Man, Teenwolf and Batman (aka George Ryan, Dave Smutok and Adam Hauck) killed it along with a host of talented local rippers. Look for a full report in Issue 3 of Distilled. For those of you who were there, how disturbing was Party-boy?!

Issue 3 coming soon

October 23, 2007

Issue 3 is coming soon and it’s packed with goodness! To celebrate we are giving away a free sub to 1 person who can answer this piece of World Cup trivia correctly, inspired by Issue 2 – The Euro Issue.

Name an Italian, other than Corrado Herin, who has won a World Cup downhill event in the elite men’s category.

 Answers to

Honda’s MTB division is no more

October 15, 2007

Following an announcement by Honda at the end of the final JCF race series in Japan at the weekend, it can be confirmed that Team G Cross Honda will not be continuing.

23 Degrees Sports Management, the company hired by the Honda Racing Corporation to manage the international mountain bike race activities for the company, confirms today that the program will have no future beyond 2007.

According to the statement released by Honda Racing Corporation:

“First of all, we want to express our gratitude to Team Director Martin Whiteley, riders Greg Minnaar, Matti Lehikoinen, Brendan Fairclough, and Cyrille Kurtz, and the talented technical staff of 23 Degrees for their complete understanding and cooperation to the challenge; realising a completely new and world class race category for Honda.
As a motorcycle manufacturer, we had achieved the approach of this challenge by applying our technology which has been cultivated by our motorcycle development, and getting some feedback to our motorcycle technology is one of the purposes of our entry into the downhill mountain bike racing activity. The original “RN01″ technology for example, frame and suspension, was designed utilizing off road motorcycle technology, including a very special centrally mounted gearbox that is able to change shift at any time; these were improved repeatedly, and were completed as we expected and hoped it would when we started this project back in 2000. The correctness of direction, and our approach, has been validated by the fact that we have been the number one international team for the past 2 years, and proven by the race results including acquisition of the NORBA title (2004) and UCI World Cup title (2005).
Again, we wish to express our gratitude to all team members and persons related to this project, and want all members of the team to continue aiming at success in all the challenges that lay before them. We deeply appreciate the cooperation and warm guidance we received as a company from both the race scene and the bicycle industry, allowing us to learn a lot over these years, and of course, we greatly appreciate and respect the warm and sincere appreciation of our efforts by the fans of Team G Cross Honda, which was obvious at every race we attended.”

Statement from 23 Degrees Sports Management CEO Martin Whiteley:

“Team G Cross Honda has been a very important part of the international race scene over the past 4 years, and the successes have been well documented. However, I think the greatest success of the project has been the way in which it has asked the participants (riders, fans, media, sponsors) to look at our sport in a different light, and to think outside the box when it comes to race technology and the approach to racing. As a company we are indeed indebted to the Honda Racing Corporation for having the confidence in our abilities to carry out their objectives, but we are also extremely appreciative of the co-sponsors that joined in with our efforts, namely Alpinestars, Maxxis, Showa, Formula, Mavic, Funn, SDG, SRAM, Motorex, Sapim, PowerBar, Chris King and ODI.
I also want to pay a particular tribute to the talented riders and staff who have formed part of the World Team since 2004, namely riders Greg Minnaar, Matti Lehikoinen, Brendan Fairclough and Cyrille Kurtz, as well as mechanics Mike Van Zyl, Mark Maurissen and Adam Bonney, Road Manager Paul Schlitz and Photographer Gary Perkin. Their contributions have been invaluable.

Strobel wins in Mexico

October 14, 2007


Latest 23 Degrees signing, 21 year old Luke Strobel from Washington State, won the final round of the Mexican National Downhill Series in Puebla, Mexico, last weekend.

Luke, who rides for the Maxxis USA Team, got a last minute call up to race in the event after an injured Greg Minnaar was unable to attend. Despite not being as big of a household name in Mexico as Minnaar, Luke impressed the locals with an amazing run in the final, winning by more than 11 seconds on a 2 minute course, and has earned a return invite any time he wants.

“Mexico was amazing. The track was pretty good with a lot of berms and jumps up top and steep rock sections near the bottom. Even though it was a bit short, it was a lot of fun. The organizers went out of their way to look after me and I’d be keen to go back any time,” said Luke on his return from south of the border this week.


1. Luke Strobel (USA)  2m 14.97secs
2. Guillermo de Uslar (MEX)  2m 25.43secs
3. Ricardo Preciado Negrete (MEX)  2m 26.59secs

Rankin’s at it again

October 12, 2007


Earthed 5 is coming!!!

Matti up and about

October 11, 2007


As the first sign of snow starts to arrive in Finland, and 23 days after his serious crash, Matti Lehikoinen is making excellent progress. After a series of weekly x-rays, the doctors have said all is looking very positive and the vertebrae are well stabilized. There is a small compression in one of them, but this is inoperable and not serious in nature.
Matti is walking around the house and has basic mobility, and is able to stand up for 30 minutes at a time without problem, and is now only taking pain killers at night to help sleep. This is a pretty impressive recovery rate to this point and a great relief to all of his family and friends.
Today Matti was interviewed by Finnish TV, and together with the leading newspaper in Helsinki, his story has become one of national media interest as he continues to progress with great positivity.
Also released today are the first photos of his accident. We have agreed with Matti to post these on the 23 Degrees web site, not for any shock value, but to give a better understanding of how this accident happened. There are also photos of his Lazer helmet showing the important role it played in preserving Matti’s head.
“I really feel the difference every day. Last Sunday was probably one of my worst days, fighting the boredom and also trying to kick the pain killers, but since then, each day I have felt the progress. For example, today is the first day I have been able to cough without severe pain. And as for sneezing, I have sneezed twice since the accident and you just don’t wanna know what that was like. Normally you never remember sneezing, but those two bastards will stay with me forever. I will start working with my new Intense team on projects for next year which will help the time fly by,” said Matti today from home as the forecast shows snow arriving Friday, and the start of the long Nordic winter and a recovery that Matti hopes will see him back at World Cup 1, next May in Maribor, picking up where he left off.

Photos at:

NYC Freeride movin’ up

October 10, 2007


A fresh new location and fresh new technology for component makers NYC Freeride can mean only one thing – more sweet sh*t to drool over.

 Check it out at

Gravity East Finals

October 9, 2007


This weekend, Plattekill Mountain hosts the final round of the Gravity East Series. With a $1000 purse for dual slalom and $5000 for Downhill, this is a huge event. Check out for full details