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The scene is set for a spectacular Queen Stage into Stellenbosch on Friday, as Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing dominated the 43-kilometre Time Trial around Oak Valley on Thursday. Nino Schurter and Lars Forster annihilated the course in a time of 01:38:41 to eat nearly 90 seconds into Cannondale Factory Racing’s overnight lead.

 



Much speculation had been made around a clean-sweep of wins for the men’s Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing and women’s Investec-songo-Specialized pairs ahead of Stage 3’s 107km out-and-back loop from Oak Valley Estate in Elgin; but this is the Absa Cape Epic and it’s not often that a story can be concluded prior to the crossing of the finish line at Val de Vie Estate.

 


The 2019 mountain bike season is about to officially kick off on Red Bull TV with the live broadcast of the Mons Royal Dual Speed & Style at Crankworx Rotorua in New Zealand.

 


Finishing the Absa Cape Epic requires a world-class fitness level, the alignment of any number of lucky stars and, most importantly, a partner with whom you can travel the journey of highs and lows that only the Untamed African MTB Race can throw at you.


A deafening cheer ushered the first winner of Crankworx Rotorua 2019 across the dusty finish line tonight. Local rider Keegan Wright (NZL) blasted his way past legends and seasoned slalom masters, taking the win against Bas van Steenbergen (CAN) in the 100% Dual Slalom Rotorua.

 


Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead

There was a tacit admission from their nearest rivals that the mountain biking-road riding combination of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen have already almost done enough to ensure their rivals are racing for second in the Women’s category at the Absa Cape Epic.


Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control of Absa Cape Epic

Mountain biking World Champion Annika Langvad and her road riding World and Olympic Champion partner Anna van der Breggen put down a marker in the opening Prologue of the Absa Cape Epic at the University of Cape Town on Sunday.


One week from now, international mountain bike competition season kicks off for 2019 as Crankworx Rotorua launches from the Southern Hemisphere, March 19-24.


In an unfortunate turn of events, American cyclist Howard Grotts, has announced his withdrawal from the 2019 Absa Cape Epic after falling ill over the past couple of weeks. Twice U23 World Champion and Stellenbosch World Cup victor, Sam Gaze, will now be partnering with Jaroslav Kulhavy in defence of the Absa Cape Epic title for Investec-songo-Specialized.


The Road Trip. The act of taking the idea of escaping the day-to-day, to go explore and experience new surroundings. KM1919 was no exception. Calvin Huth, Steve Shannon and I had been eager to get out and explore the vast dreamland known as Farwell Canyon. This unique and sought-after zone that was founded and ridden in the early ’90s by the pioneers of freeride mountain biking. Fortunately for us, SCOTT had just released a new, badass, do anything bike – the perfect tool for the trip.

The stars were aligning, emails were sent, and we had a plan to head out west.

The timing on this trip was a little funny. Calvin and myself were down in Utah for Rampage when we realized there was only a small weather window left up North before winter was set to strike. Needless to say, there was a bit of a “road trip” just to get to point A. The day after finals Calvin’s truck was packed, and we left Utah to embark on the mission back to Canada. After a few liters of coffee and approximately 30+ hours driving, we were in the wild, wild west of The Cariboo Chilcotin. Arriving late at night, camp was set up and the beds were hit in preparation for the next days’ adventures.

Farwell is a special place. If you were to toss Alaskan backcountry skiing, and mountain biking into a blender, you’d get a delicious Farwell freeride smoothie. Like skiing, conditions need to be just right out here. If it’s been too sunny and dry the ground firms up and you’re a dead man when you need to slow down. A little bit of rain, and your tires gunk up and stop rolling. Certain lines are also virtually impossible to scope, due to the technical and steep terrain. Last, but not least, you must earn your turns, no shuttles or chairlifts here- “hike a bike baby!”


Between Coast Gravity Park and single track trails lost in the middle of the forest, we caught up with Brendan Howey at his home to check out his summer program.




Let’s be clear - Trek’s Top Fuel is a XC race weapon. This is not your typical ‘Whistler XC’ bike, which the greater industry may characterize as a ‘trail’ or ‘all mountain’ bike. The Top Fuel is designed for World Cup XC race courses. It is meant to be precise, light and fast.


Product detail specs on the Trek website whiff of hyperbole: “...optimized, Tachyon, asymmetrical, GnarGuard...” No question Trek puts much into its R&D and continually pumps out quality so I was anxious to give this eye popping shoe a try.

 



2019 marks a new beginning for SCOTT Sports. With the SCOTT DH Factory, SCOTT looks to bring fresh talent and ideas to the Downhill World Cup Circuit. With riders from all over the world, the team looks to hunt for podiums week in, week out across both the men’s and women’s fields.



Germany’s Karl Platt has started every Absa Cape Epic since its inception in 2004 and won five times – a record of victories he shares with Swiss legend Christoph Sauser. Austrian powerhouse Alban Lakata has twice finished second – including in 2018 – and also bagged third, fourth, fifth and sixth over his 10 years of competing in the world’s premier mountain bike stage race.

 



On February 1, 2017 the Austrian mountain biker and trials rider Fabio Wibmer and his university friend Elias Schwärzler uploaded the first Sick! Series episode onto YouTube. Fabio already had several viral hits with edits like Fabiolous Escape and Out of Mind at that time but the start of Sick! Series marked a new chapter for the East-Tyrolean rider.

 


When I raised this adventure I was very clear that it must be something very special, it was the first time I was going to spend several days with an E-Bike on the mountains and I wanted to live the experience intensely, touching, smelling and savoring every second of it.






The Pioneer mountain bike stage race in New Zealand’s Southern Alps – part of the global Epic Series that culminates in South Africa’s Absa Cape Epic – is now underway, kicking off with a 20km prologue in wet and slippery conditions.


The Performance T from Pearl Izumi is a bit of a sleeper. It doesn’t really come across as much, but recently it has become my go to shirt for riding in.