SALLY BIGHAM VICTORIOUS AT THE LEADVILLE TRAIL MTB 100

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 | by ergonusa

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Another win notched up for Topeak-Ergon — Sally Bigham wins the Leadville Trail 100 and boasts her 2nd victory at the Colorado super event. In the men’s race, a fantastic 3rd place for Kristian Hynek and a fourth of Alban Lakata rounds off the success for the Koblenz/Germany based Racing Team.

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Sally Bigham (36) won the famous Leadville Trial 100 for the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team in the USA with an impressive ride from the start to the line. After a distance of 100 miles (160 km) she crossed the line having ascended a total of 4,000m with a lead over the nearest rival of 42.29 minutes. The Cult race in the Rockies is one of the most difficult Marathon Races in the USA, and is touted as ”the race of all races” — and not without reason.

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After a total of 7:23:58 hours in the saddle, Sally had completed the 160km. It looked easier than it was, as Sally was keen to point out. ”Crossing the finish line was a relief because I had no idea how close the second placed rider was behind me. Also because it’s such a long race you can never be certain that things won’t go wrong in the last miles.”

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For Kristian Hynek it was an impressive Leadville premiere. The 34 year old Czech member of the German based team finished 3rd, behind Todd Wells (USA) and Christoph Sauser (CH) with a time of 6:22:47 hours. Riding for a lot of the race in the lead he had built 4 minutes on Wells and an excellent 8 minutes on Sauser, but was unable to maintain it.

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”I was about 30km from the line, and had the feeling that I wasn’t going to be able to do it”, the Cape Epic winner explained, ”with that in mind, the 3rd place really pleases me. It also means to have to come back next year and get a better result!”

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For Alban Lakata, winner of the race twice in a row, and the holder of the course record, his race had a different story. He rode at the front with Kristian, and looked to have a great chance of completing the triple win, but a puncture put pay to that.

”Of course it’s a shame. I came here to win the race! I planned to beat my own record too, giving myself under 6 hours to finish”, the Albanator explained, ”but never mind — there’s always next year”, the Austrian said, with a twinkle in his eye.

Yuki Ikeda (34) from the Topeak-Ergon US-Team finished on 28th place after a hard crash going down at the Power Line — respect.

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It wasn’t only a weekend of racing in the US, both Robert Mennen (29) and Wolfram Kurschat (39) were lined up on Sunday on Wolfman’s home trials at the 12th Sigma Sport Bike Marathon — in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. Robert completed the longer 103km with 2700m of ascent race, taking 5th place, while Wolfram completed the middle distance 57km race with 1450m of ascent also finishing 5th.

More information and results at www.leadvilleraceseries.com

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Jones Pass: The Route to the Colorado Freeride Festival and Enduro World Series

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 | by ergonusa

Words and photos by Jeff K, Ergon Bike USA
Personally, one of the best rides in Colorado exists just to the south of Winter Park, CO. Most riders, me included at times, are head down and full steam to get over Berthoud Pass to get that day started at Trestle Bike Park. Don’t get me wrong, Trestle Bike Park is amazing! But sometimes, the sense of adventure outweighs the lift lines, berms, jumps, and park features. Not many are aware that just off of Hwy 40 to the west while en route to Winter Park sits Jones Pass. This route was new to me until about 4 years ago. Now, I try to make room in my schedule to hit this out-n-back ride at least once a year. I didn’t need to be in Winter Park until 4 PM to set up the Ergon Bike booth in the expo, so I pinged Kyle Taylor from 92Fifty Cyclery, who had the day off, to meet me at the trail head to get in a few hours on this route.Jones Pass - 2014
The route starts with a 45-60 minute jeep road climb right from the parking lot. Steep in spots, but manageable with the Pivot and Canyon bikes we were on. The time spent pedaling this road, puts you right on the divide, just over 12,000 ft. Winter in Colorado was long and rough in 2013/14. Signs on the hard winter are still towering in the high mountains of Colorado. The cornice still exists and blocks the jeep road access to the top of the pass, in most cases 20 feet or higher. Bikes soon became crampons and ice axes as we scaled up the wall of snow.Jones Pass - 2014
After making our way up and over the cornice without any carnage, we were well on our way southward on the CDT. Well defined, this trail snakes along towards I-70. For the most part, this trail in 90% rideable with a few steep punches and scree to get over.Jones Pass - 2014
No matter how many times or how high in elevation I ride in Colorado, I am visually blown away by the massiveness of the Rocky Mountains. Kyle, pedals across one of the many saddles in the route….not sure if he is key’d in on the trail in front of him or if he is looking at what I am seeing through the camera to his left.

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Weather is always a factor when riding this high in elevation. We had eyes and ears to the sky all morning. Dark clouds began their early afternoon dance as we rode on.

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Traversing around 12,500 ft, we were just a few moments from turning around as our personal weather consciences began to send up red flags.

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Speechless.

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With a sense of urgency, Kyle makes his way back to Jones Pass to begin the 10 minute jeep road descent back to the cars.

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We timed it just right. We had to make our way back down the 20 foot high cornice as the black clouds built up and moved easterly. With the sun still shining, we scaled down the cornice and dropped back down to the cars. 45 minutes later, the skies would open up with rain and hail.

No doubt, this is a great way to open up the 4 day weekend at the Colorado Freeride Festival and Enduro World Series!

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TOPEAK-ERGON DOUBLES UP ON THE PODIUM AT THE TELLURIDE 100

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 | by ergonusa

July 18, 2014 

Telluride, Colorado  

Telluride, CO is known Worldwide for it’s fantastic skiing in the winter. Soon it will be well known for it’s Telluride 100 mountain bike race.  2014 marked the inaugural year for the Telluride 100 which covers 96 miles and climbs 15,000 ft.  As a first year event, the field was limited to 100 athletes.  Coming from all over the USA to tackle this demanding course, the athletes would ride 2 different loops, both starting and finishing in the town of Telluride.

Loop 1 was the toughest loop of the day and also the shortest at about 33 miles.  Starting from town at 6 AM, the racer would climb up the numerous switchbacks of Black Bear Pass to over 13,000 ft before descending down the backside to then climb up to nearly 13,000 ft again going up and over Ophir Pass.  From the start, Yuki Ikeda of Topeak-Ergon, would take to the front with a small group of riders in tow, including teammate Jeff Kerkove.

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Yuki would get a gap of 3 minutes on the opening climb up Black Bear Pass.  Jeff, who was pacing off the back of the 7 person lead group would work his way up to 2nd place by the top of the pass, followed closely by Travis Brown and Richie Trent.

Yuki would maintain his lead through Loop 1 into Loop 2.  Jeff, riding in 2nd, would take a wrong turn due to a course marking issue and have to backtrack a few minutes.  This would result in Jeff and 3 other riders coming back together for the beginning of Loop 2.  Leading the charge on Loop 2, Yuki would ride solo off the front.

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The start of the 65 mile Loop 2 would prove to be the separation point for the chase group.  The steep climbing from the town of Telluride to mid-mountain on Telluride Ski resort would let eventual 2nd place finisher Stig Somme get away on a solo mission to try to catch Yuki.  Jeff and Ricky Willis would ride together until late in Loop 2.  Not far behind was Travis Brown of Trek.  The final 65 miles would take the riders over 2 more high mountain passes as well as add 4-5 hours of racing time.  In the end, Yuki Ikeda would stay solo off the front to win the inaugural Telluride 100.  Jeff Kerkove, who was battling for 3rd would drop to 5th by the finish line after working through a nutritional miscalculation in the last 20 miles.

 

Yuki Ikeda following his victory, “My legs felt very good from the beginning, but I had some stomach issue towards the end. Sport drink and food didn’t sit well in my stomach. I could only take was plain water. However my legs still worked and Stig Somme who finished second kept pushing me. I was super happy, honored and proud to take the win for the first year, and it was my first 100-miler win! However, it was not only about racing, I enjoyed the whole experience that Telluride offers!”

 

Jeff Kerkove, coming in 5th, had this to say after finishing, “I am destroyed! The course was brutal but also visually jaw dropping. I rode a smart pace, but made a crucial mistake in nutrition planning late in the race and ran out of liquids. Now that I know the course and the timing of the aid stations, I’m looking to come back to better the result.  This event has everything to make it an iconic Colorado 100-mile race.”

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Podium (L to R): Travis Brown, Ricky Willis, Yuki Ikeda, Stig Somme, Jeff Kerkove 

 

RESULTS
Yuki Ikeda, Pro Men, 1st
Jeff Kerkove, Pro Men, 5th

Strava file: http://www.strava.com/activities/168148413

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The Rise of Enduro – Valloire, France with Joe Barnes and Ludo May

Saturday, July 12th, 2014 | by ergonusa

We ventured over to Valloire, France to cover the third stop in the Enduro World Series. We caught up with Joe Barnes and Ludo May from the Canyon Enduro team for a day to shoot this Behind The Scenes Episode 2 segment for the film. Enjoy.

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SEE THE PATH LESS TRAVELED

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 | by ergonusa

See the path. See the story posted now over on PinkBike.

http://www.pinkbike.com/u/ergon/blog/see-the-path-less-traveled.html

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WIENS TAKES THE WILMINGTON WHITEFACE 100K IN NEW YORK

Thursday, June 26th, 2014 | by ergonusa

Whiteface Mountain, NY – The Wilmington Whiteface 100k (WW 100k), now in its fourth year, is a one-of-a-kind event that combines road and mountain bike racing. Part of the Leadville Race Series and inspired by the notorious 100 mile race in Leadville, Colorado, the Leadville Trail 100, the WW 100k closely resembles, sans altitude, the race in Colorado and features miles of pavement and gravel roads, as well as rough and tumble mountain biking.

Dave Wiens, the 49-year-old Topeak Ergon Team rider, battled with an ever-shrinking group of riders at the front for more than four hours before the race finally came down to a frantic sprint to the finish between Wiens and 25-year-old Ryan Serbel of Hartford Connecticut.

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The course in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York begins with gently descending paved roads allowing for a huge group of riders to stay together at the front of the race. “I looked back once early and saw essentially all 500 riders behind us in one giant group,” said Wiens. One rider, Cristian Velasquez, attacked early, escaped and was gone. Nobody wanted any part of his ploy and there was no chase.

A switch to the gravel of Bartlett Road and some climbing breaks the race up into groups but still isn’t severe enough to make a major selection. In fact, more flat pavement allows for some regrouping before one of the biggest climbs of the race, the west ascent of Jay Mountain. The steepest portion of this climb is on the lower part and is paved. “Last year I popped off the back momentarily on the steep pavement but this year I was able to stay in the front group,” he said, “We had 12-15 riders in the lead group at the top of that section.”

Some undulations once the pavement ends give way to a stout section of climbing for the last bit over Jay Mountain outbound. “By the time we topped out, things had blown up some and we were just 5 or 6 as we began the long descent,” Wiens recalled. The descent is long and lightning fast on sketchy, dry gravel roads. A section of singletrack that forms the turnaround loop helps to rule out cyclocross bikes. “Ryan went right to the front for the trail section, which begins with some stout climbing and he was pinning it. We caught Cristian (Velasquez), who had been off the front since the beginning, and continued to hammer the trail descent,” Wiens said, “When we popped back onto the pavement and began retracing the course back toward Whiteface, we were just four riders and Cameron (Cogburn, last year’s winner) was no where in sight.”

Cogburn had been nursing a case of tendonitis and had taken three weeks off from riding. This was just his third time back on the bike since this layoff and he was being cautious on the descents. He also holds a pro contract on the road, which rightly may have tempered his competitive ambitions on the sketchy sections of the course. He was, however, a monster on the climbs. “We were four on the last long section of Jay Peak going back,” recalled Wiens, “Serbel, Velasquez, Dereck Treadwell and myself. I took a turn at the front and once finished and heading to the back of the group saw that we had lost Cristian but had regained Cameron. He caught us and went directly to the front and, climbing out of the saddle, increased the pace dramatically. I was barely hanging on and struggling. Luckily, I was able to stick over the top.”

Treadwell succumbed to cramps just over the top but would still finish in 4th. Now it was just Cogburn, Serbel and Wiens and everyone refueled and cruised the pavement prior to the gravel climb of Bartlett Road. As before, Cogburn was gapped on the descent of Bartlett and Serbel and Wiens worked together to keep the gap.

After a few miles of slightly uphill pavement, there is a deviation onto Hardy Road and two loops of the Hardy Road trails. “Ryan led in the trails and we only had about twenty meters on Cameron when we started,” remembered Wiens, “We were going hard and initially could hear him behind us. But his sound faded as we again were able to increase our gap.” They popped back out on the pavement and worked together to the final dirt of the Flume Trail and Whiteface Mountain in hopes of leaving last year’s champ behind.

The Flume Trails indicate about 15 minutes to go and non-stop mountain biking leading back to the finish at Whiteface Mountain. Riders complete two short finishing loops that feature the toughest singletrack of the event, some classic rooty, multiple line technical goodness in dark woods. “Ryan hadn’t seen the finish and I did my best to explain it to him as we rode,” said Wiens, “Since we do that last bit twice, he got a good idea of how the race would finish.”

2014-WW-results

“I was feeling okay and just stayed in front for most of this section hoping Ryan would pop off, but no dice, he stayed right with me,” recounted Wiens. “Once we topped out and had, more or less, just descending or trail riding left to the finish, I went as hard as I could with an eye toward staying in front. Passing would be tough as it was either rocky or rooty and a busy finish with short climbs, turns and an off-camber grass slope leading to the line. I was able to stay in front of him but barely. It was one of the most exciting and intense finishes I’ve ever had. Sprints are kind of a rarity in mountain bike races, especially long ones.”

Both riders were totally worked at the finish. “Cameron tore our legs off during anything that went uphill” Serbel said after the race, “and Wiens just never seemed to fade – at all.”

Next up racing for Wiens is the Tushar Crusher near Beaver, Utah July 12th, but first are two sessions of the Leadville Camp of Champions July 2-5 and July 6-9. He’ll try to defend his win from last year July 19th at the Tahoe Trail 100k at Northstar at Lake Tahoe, California.

2014 Wilmington Whiteface 100k Results

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STOKED TO GET SPANKED XC

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 | by ergonusa

Revelstoke, BC is nestled in the Selkirk Mountain Range in British Columbia. In the winter, Revelstoke is world famous for it skiing. In the summer, it boasts miles of both flowy and technical singletrack with a sleepy mountain town and river resting at the base of the mountains.

The Stoked to Get Spanked XC Race is a 35km, 2 lap mountain bike race attracting some of the best riders in BC. Sonya Looney went for the first time this past weekend. “I don’t normally race XC, but I wanted to check out Revelstoke and racing XC has been helping me fine tune my BC technical skills at high speed and high pressure.”

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Former World Champion, Catharine Pendrel would take the win for the day. Sonya followed in 2nd place. “I loved the technical, rooty terrain. My goal was to pace the day like a stage of BC Bike Race and I felt great from start to finish. I didn’t suffer, but just rode steady and enjoyed. I definitely had to earn my 2nd place with the caliber of BC women racing that day!”

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BC Bike Race is next for Sonya, starting this Sunday with 7 stages and a world class women’s field.

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A PAIR OF TOP 10 RESULTS AT THE BAILEY HUNDO FOR TOPEAK-ERGON

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 | by ergonusa

Dave Wiens and Jeff Kerkove tackle the 50 and 100 mile races of The Bailey HUNDO.

This year marked the 5th year for the Bailey Hundo, a non-profit event that uses the race entry fees to support Trips for Kids, the Colorado League of high school MTB racing, and COMBA. Add in the professional organization and the enthusiastic Bailey community and you have a top-shelf event that utilizes some of the most amazing singletrack in the state of Colorado.

In previous years, the Bailey Hundo was a stand alone 100-mile event. New for 2014, the Bailey Hundito was added, a 50-mile event. Lining up at 6 AM on a Saturday morning in downtown Bailey, CO would be nearly 500 racers, all looking to complete either the 50 or 100 mile events. Dave Wiens would represent the team in the 50-mile race, while Jeff Kerkove would saddle up for the 100-mile race.

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The race start was launched with the blast of a shotgun. Both the 50 and 100 mile racers started together, so Jeff and Dave were able to ride close to the front together as the field made its way south of town in search of the Colorado Trail. At the first climb, the field quickly separated. “I tried to hang with the top guys who, by the way were riding 55 miles more than me, but I got gapped off pretty fast. They were pinning it, said Dave in regards to the start. Jeff wasn’t far behind. “I could see Dave in front of me, but I had to keep a lid on my effort. So I never caught up to him. I was in for a 6-7 hour day,” commented Jeff.

Wiens Bailey Hundito

Dave continued to ride his pace in the 50-mile race. Really never sure of his placing in the race, Dave pushed his freshly built Canyon Lux CF to it’s limit on loose and dry Colorado Trail. “I was never sure exactly who might be ahead or behind me so I kept on the gas the entire distance,” said Dave after finishing. After racing hard for 50-mile and not really knowing his placing, Dave would cross the finish line in 1st place, becoming the first winner of the inaugural Bailey Hundito.

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Meanwhile, in the 100-mile race, Jeff was doing what he does best….start slow and finish fast. At the 60-mile checkpoint, Jeff was sitting in 7th overall with only a 2 minute gap to 5th and 6th. “I settled into a good late race pace. It didn’t take long and I moved into 5th with 20 miles to go, I could see 4th place up the road….I was very motivated,” said Jeff. Cruising the last 15 miles of the race, Jeff increased his effort, only to strain a muscle in the upper-hamstring of is left leg. “I’m not sure what happened, it has never happened before. It was a huge bummer, as I could barely pedal with my left leg.” Jeff slowed dramatically and went from hunting for that podium position to now just finishing. After finishing Jeff said, “That is the ups and downs of racing. I just need to make sure this isn’t a major injury, rest, then get back on the bike for the next events of the season.” Jeff would cross the line in 9th place in the Pro Men’s field.

Next up, Dave will head to New York for the Leadville Qualifier Series event. Jeff heads to Durango, CO for the Durango Dirty 100

Photos by Primal Wear, Inc. and Linda Guerrette Photography

RESULTS
Dave Wiens, 1st, Pro Men, Hundito (50-mile race)
Jeff Kerkove, 9th, Pro Men, Hundo (100-mile race)

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GETTIN’ RAD WITH REMY’S TEAM

Thursday, June 12th, 2014 | by ergonusa

In the last few months, the SCOTT SR Suntour Enduro team has evolved into a trio of talented riders. After great meetings and partnerships with great brands, Enduro rider Rémy Absalon has set up the SCOTT SR Suntour Enduro Team. Rémy and team are proud to present to you their first edit!

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HA2 GLOVES ARE ‘GEAR OF THE YEAR’

Monday, June 9th, 2014 | by ergonusa

Exciting news in the office as Outside Magazine puts our HA2 gloves on their ‘Gear of the Year’ list found in the Summer Buyer’s Guide. Our HA2 glove set is design for the gravity specific rider and is designed to work in conjunction with our GE1 or GA1 Evo grip sets.

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-gear/summer-2014-buyers-guide/summer-2014-buyers-guide-the-gear@gpkg/bike/The-Best-Enduro-Gear-of-2014

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