Archive for October, 2008

Trek Downhill team announced!

October 30, 2008


One month following the announcement of the three Cross Country riders that will form half of the new World Cup team sponsored by Trek Bicycles, 23 Degrees Sports Management announces today that the downhill half of the new team will also be made up of three riders; two men and a woman. The two men will be Justin Leov (NZL) and Andrew Neethling (RSA), while the top level woman rider will be announced on December 1st.

Having just turned 24, Justin Leov is a highly accomplished rider who’s had a great season in 2008; most notably his 6th place finish at the World Championships which was the best ever performance by a New Zealand man at the Downhill World titles. Justin has had a string of top 10 results over the past few seasons and therefore joins the team as a regular World Cup top 10 rider.

Also 24 years old, Andrew Neethling has impressed many in his past 3 seasons showing constant progression. His 6th place on the physical track at this year’s Canberra World Cup (the venue for the 2009 World Championships), and his impressive top 10 on the steep and technical Schladming course in Austria, shows that ‘Needles’ has the potential to be top 10 on any course he races.

Team Director Martin Whiteley says: “Apart from always striving to run one of the most professional teams on the circuit, one of my goals has always been to take riders and give them the opportunity to shine and reach their absolute goals. Our previous two teams have satisfied both these goals, and in the case of these two talented top 10 riders and our new program, we will be giving them every opportunity to further improve on their results to date. With the first round of the World Cup in South Africa next year, we are thrilled to have a super competitive South African on the team, and we feel that our combination of two top ten men, and a top level woman, will put us in a good place to compete with the leading gravity teams for the coveted UCI DH Team trophy, something our teams have won 3 times before.”

Trek Mountain Bike Brand Manager Michael Browne says: “Trek believes that the Session 88 is the best downhill bike on the market with exceptional technology that spans the breadth of the Trek suspension line-up. Trek also believes in the power of racing to both prove the solvency of, and further evolve, a product. We are happy to offer the best downhill bike to an elite roster of athletes. Like Trek, these riders only want to outperform their competitors. We look forward to the challenge that lies ahead.”

Further details on the team’s female downhill rider will be released on December 1st, and details on the team’s co-sponsors and race schedule will be released at a later date. Photo:


George Ryan’s Diabloween Update

October 28, 2008

Hey everybody,

This past weekend was the annual Diabloween Jump Jam at the Diablo Freeride Park. Tons of riders showed up in costume to shred the jumps all afternoon. My costume was a custom made Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume that my girlfried made for me. Everyone was amazed at how well it turned out, including me. It even had custom nunchucks included with it. Anyways, check out the attached pictures to see it for yourself!

The jam was a lot of fun. Good vibes all around and everyone was just having so much fun riding all day in costume. The costumed jumpers were narrowed down to the 10 best for a final 20 minute jam session. Judging was based on 50 percent riding and 50 percent the costume. I made the cut, and after the jam was over, I was voted the overall winner of the day. I had such a great time, and it’s always a blast to see hundreds of riders cruising around all day dressed in full costume. If you ever have the chance to make it to Diabloween, I definitely suggest attending, it will be a good time.

Next up for me is a couple of filming roadtrips, and maybe even one more race before the season is officially over.  Thanks to everyone for keeping my bikes running all year: Diablo Freeride Park, Jamis, SRAM, Pro-Tec/Vans, e.13, SDG, NYC Freeride, LD Designs,  IndustryNine

Distilled Digital – Rob Warner

October 24, 2008

PDF version (best viewing quality) click here: robwarner

Palmer on Santa Cruz for 09

October 23, 2008

Freecaster commentator Rob Warner confirmed to us today that Shaun Palmer will race select World Cups aboard a Santa Cruz for 2009, and will be backed by Troy Lee Designs and SRAM. Read the full report in tomorrow’s Distilled Digital article.


October 20, 2008

Check out this titanium street/dj bike from French brand Candida. We don’t know too much about them so far but when we get more info we’ll post it up.

Rob Warner

October 17, 2008

As part of Distilled Digital we have an interview coming up with Rob Warner, the voice of Freecaster’s live World Cup webcasts and downhill-racing legend. Here are a few videos showing just how far Rob goes back in the sport.

Mont Sainte Anne World Cup 1994 (Rob’s run at 7:30)

Giant TV commercial with Johnny T.

2009 Team Shake-ups

October 15, 2008

English rider and World Cup winner Marc Beaumont is headlining GT’s downhill program for next year, and will be rocking GT’s new all-carbon DH rig. Olympic bronze-medalist Jill Kintner and Australian ripper Bryn Atkinson are off the team and seeking a new ride, which should be easy given their racing pedigrees.


Gravity East Report

October 15, 2008

The biggest USAC gravity event in the east took place this past weekend at Plattekill Bike Park. For the second season The Gravity East Finals were held at the park in conjunction with Plattekill’s downhill and dual slalom series. The Catskill Mountain’s fall foliage was in full bloom, as was the sun. One of the largest turnouts in the east this season celebrated the festivities. There were BBQ’s, movie premiers, sky rides, racing clinics, camping, freeriding and of course dual slalom and downhill races spread over three days.
Over 140 racers ventured from as far away as Ecuador and California to test the trails at Plattekill, known to be some of the steepest most challenging terrain anywhere. The weekend’s race counted as the 5th race of Plattekill’s Extreme Series and as a double point finale for The Gravity East Series. The Gravity East Series in its second year presented 8 races at 7 east coast mountains spanning 6 months. The series is staffed primarily by Dieter Ward and Brady Owens and much of the credit for the series goes to their efforts, they did an excellent job.
Plattekill’s trail staff led by Delta House Racing spent many days constructing and grooming the course adding jumps and berms thru the middle of it. The top section featured fast flowy singletrack followed by a few small drops before the berms and finished off on a trail called “Omen” a classic fall line track. It was a good mix of styles not meant to give an advantage to any one type of racer. The course while not short on distance was certainly fast with the winning pro time of 2:29 posted by Ecuador’s Alejandro Ortiz. Most of the pro/expert course was shared with the sport class to give those racers a taste of what’s to come if they are moving up in class and with some of the finishing times, more than a few should do so. Shaums March was on hand running his race camp and racing to a podium finish in the pro class only three seconds off first place. Ortiz was followed by Chris Higgerson, Kyle Hickey, Gavin Vaughn and Shaums March to round out the pro podium. The Women’s Pro Class was led by Dawn Bourque, Karen Eagan and Lauren Petersen. Neko Muallay dominated the JrX class with an 8 second win with the sixth fastest time of the day. The highlight of the awards ceremony was the presenting of the checks to the pro class for the Gravity East Championships. All seven venues contributed to the awards and cash payout for the pros. Series Pro champion
Ben Moody received $1500, second place Gavin Vaughn $750 and third place Jason Memmelaar $500 fourth and fifth lace finishers Chris Higgerson and Benjamin Hulse also got to take home a nice payout. Women’s pro Gravity East Champion was Dawn Bourque $1000 with Vicki Koch and Karen Eagan also getting the podium and some cash to take home. There was also a Gravity East Summit with discussions regarding the future of the series and how to make it the premier series in the nation, industry leaders, USAC representatives, racers and team managers attended. All came away with positive thoughts regarding the future of the series with the plans for 2009 to be bigger and better

Dobermann Le Pink

October 14, 2008

Dobermann’s new DJ/Slopestyle softtail is out now!


October 10, 2008

Hot women and bikes? Sounds like an issue of Distilled. Check out the Cyclepassion 2009 calendar here:

Gunn-Rita Dahle