World Cup DH#2, Fort William: This race never disappoints! Fort William - Round two of the UCI Downhill World Cup series. This place always delivers an amazing show and we had plenty of great action for this edition! Our riders absolutely killed it, Tahnee Seagrave won, Loris Vergier and Loïc Bruni finished 2nd and 5th! Check out all the Fox Head riders' reactions here:
Tahnee, 1st Women
This is her first victory of the year and the first time she has won at Fort William! She has been dreaming of it for ages and has proved she is fit and she'll fight for more wins this year. She is now 3rd in the overall: “This feels different to my other wins - it's at home, the crowd is gnarly, and it's a hard track to win on as well - I think I've ticked off the hardest one so I'm very happy with that! And now, on to Leogang. I think the girls are going to be pushing so hard this year so anyone could win it. It's faster and the times are always so tight so I'm excited! I've had a real bad week so for me to come out and that happen, I wasn't expecting it. It's amazing!”
Loris Vergier, 2nd Elite Men
He was so so close to 1st place, only 0.270 seconds back but still super happy! He is definitely one of the strongest riders this year and now stands 2nd place overall, only 4 points behind the leader: “I was a little bit disappointed and it really sucked what happened to Luca (his team mate), but I suppose that is racing. Other than that, it was a cool race. The fast guys were going all out and the guys who really deserved it, like Mo-mo (Amaury Pierron) stole the show and he took the win. I was almost going to cry, it was crazy! And Loïc (Bruni) was there at the podium like 'Hi guys, I'm back!' And I had a look at the general classification and it is scary! I'm 4 points behind Aaron Gwin, in 2nd place! It is all so crazy and I am really happy!”.
Loïc Bruni, 5th Elite Men
He got injured at the first round in Croatia with a dislocated elbow and has worked really hard to get back for this race. He was careful with his elbow all week, with lots of time on the massage table so he could give his best on race day. A 5th place, only 2.587 seconds behind the winner is an incredible comeback! He said: “There were so many times when I wasn't sure I would be able to ride this weekend. Even just last week, I was stiff with a painful arm and had had no riding time so I had no idea how it was going to be. I wasn't riding to win, I wasn't riding to come 5th, I was just riding to get down in one piece. So I was really happy with my result and above all absolutely over the moon for Amaury!”
Fearon Connor, 13th Elite Men
He came 7th in Qualis and put in a solid run for Finals. He came 13th but only +3.922 back from the winner: “Yeah, I was happy with my run, just a bit further back than I wanted to be. The times are so close - I was under 4 seconds off 1st place so it just goes to show how tight everyone was - that was all the way back in 13th. I was happy with the run, just it would have been good to be one or two seconds quicker here. As for next week, I've always done well at Leogang - I got the 2nd there in 2015 and I haven't been out of the top ten for the past 3 or 4 years or something, so yeah, I'm looking forward to Leogang. It's early next week so not long to wait, everyone's driving over and I think the race will be exciting there as well”.
Laurie Greenland, 16th Elite Men
Not the result he was looking for but it is still very good and he has learnt a lot this weekend! He's now 10th overall which is great: “I was pretty nervous actually, it's really weird. I normally pride myself on being quite head-strong for racing but I was actually a bit nervous. I rode it a bit tight out the gate, braked hard in the top few turns, something I didn't do through the whole of practice and then kicked myself a bit for that. I found the flow and got into it and then started pushing on a bit too much because I knew my top was not as good as I would have liked. So I pushed on a bit too hard and started getting a bit loose and made a few mistakes. It still kind of surprised me, on a day like today I can still come down in 16th but yeah, not happy. I learnt a lot today though so that's all that matters really. As for Leogang, I just like racing. Last year, I was in the mindset of liking one track and maybe not the other. But I like racing my bike, so while I obviously prefer some tracks more than others, I am pretty keen for whatever race comes and keen for whatever it throws at me!”.
Finn Iles, 19th Elite men
This is his first-year racing Elite and he is still learning. His results are impressive and we can't wait to see him riding the rest of the season: “I felt really good all weekend leading up to my race run, well, leading up to this morning. And then this morning I felt a bit stiff on my bike and I still felt pretty fast but when my race run came around, the only thought I had in my head was that I wanted to win. I think I took the wrong approach a bit to the race - because I felt so good on my bike yesterday, I needed to keep that same mindset of just riding and having fun. But today I took it a bit too seriously almost, and I think I was just too focused on trying to win instead of just trying to ride my bike. I ended up riding really stiff and making stupid mistakes and breaking in bad spots and I ended up 6 seconds back but I still pretty happy with that and it is my first top 20. For sure, my goal this year is to win a world cup - if you are racing, you are here to win - if anyone tells you different they are probably lying or just trying to be modest. That is the ultimate goal but I think I need to become a better rider first or just better at racing against the big guys like Loïc and Amaury and Loris. It takes time. I'm really excited!'
All the teams left Scotland yesterday and are heading down to Leogang (Austria). We're already super excited for this one!
Welcome to Olargues, a very pretty French village a bit lost between big mountains. The local organisation shaped and used their best and most difficult trails for Round 3 of the Enduro World Series. The rain didn't make it easier and all the riders had to ride through a lot of tough sections with safety and speed to have a chance to perform. The show didn't disappoint and our riders managed their effort on the best way possible!
DAMIEN OTON, 5th PLACE
“Taking into account the mistakes I made, I'm happy with my result! It's very motivating for the next rounds! These mistakes cost me my place on the podium but I think I was a bit too stressed and I couldn't concentrate properly! I was almost racing at home and I wanted to do too good! But like I said, I'm happy and I got some good points for the overall so it's a great weekend all in all!”
MARK SCOTT, 7TH PLACE
“I'm happy with my consistency but I got tired at the end, on the last stage I had two big crashes but I held on to my position. I was tight with Sam Hill and I just lost some time at the end but this didn't affect the result. I got 8th in Colombia and 7th here so yes, it's going in the right direction, I'm stoked!”
KEEGAN WRIGHT, 34th
“I felt good riding my bike on all the stages and had a very fun weekend but unfortunately on Stage 6 I got a front flat tyre about 20 seconds into the track and just rode and lost about two minutes on this stage! It's a shame but it's all part of racing and it's what we love! I go home for a month now and I'm gonna work on a few things and come back stronger!”
The next round will take all the enduro riders to Austria and Slovenia for a double country destination on the 30th June and 1st July! They're all
Imagine a port-side DH race with a view of the Mediterranean most of the way down. Imagine you can finish your run and jump straight into the sea. This is what the riders enjoyed all day long in Lošinj, Croatia, for the first round of the DH World Cup 2018. The beautiful atmosphere was the nicest part though: the track was short, super rocky and any mistake could cost you big time. Read on for the different Croatian experiences our riders had this weekend!
TAHNEE, 3RD PLACE (WOMEN'S)
“I made some big mistakes, I guess because this track is so short it cost me a lot of time but it's so much better compared to what I did yesterday! I think I went 10 seconds faster and on a track like this, that is quite a lot! I had a bad day for qualis but I'm all good now, I'm happy with that! For me to come from wet steep to loose stuff to this wasn't easy, I don't ride rocks ever. I can't wait for Fort William, I'm in a good position to go into it, so yes I'm excited!”
A lot of twists and turns in the men's categories! For the bad news, Loïc Bruni crashed during practice and couldn't race for the rest of the weekend. He dislocated his elbow but he's confident to be back for the next round in June. During his final run, his team mate Finn Iles crashed as well but thankfully didn't injured himself. Good and promising results for the other Fox Head riders:
LAURIE GREENLAND, 7TH
“I'm happy to start the season like this even if I'm really not happy with my run! I made two big mistakes, but to make the top 7 that was my goal and it sets me up pretty nicely for the year! It was a good weekend last weekend (he won an international race in Slovenia) and I had a solid run this weekend so I'm trying to go on the box at Fort William for the next round!“
LORIS VERGIER, 8TH
“I'm not super happy but I made the most of it I guess. My goal was to not crash and I ended up making a few mistakes, back to back which is a shame. I tried to catch up on the bottom part of the track but it wasn't enough. I'm lucky in one way because I didn't have a mechanical or a crash and I'm happy because I've got some points for the overall”
NEKO MULALLY, 12TH
“I was pretty bummed with my quali run so I rode pretty tight. On the last practice in Friday I had a huge crash so I was very 'steaf', and I worked pretty hard to get my body to be loose again and rode average for the qualis. But I knew I had so much more speed, so during my final run I just put it together how I wanted to, nothing too crazy but clean and ended up 12th which is an awesome start to the season.”
GREG WILLIAMSON, 18TH
“It's the first race of the season but I was pretty relaxed at the top which was cool. As you can hear in the background, it's such a good race with a big crowd! I'm just happy to start my season like this, I'm going to build from here and I'm looking forward to Fort William because all my friends and family live very close so it's very special for me”.
CONNOR FEARON, 27TH
“I didn't really get on with the track too well from the start, I thought I was doing alright but obviously I just wasn't fully up to speed. I'm not too worried, we've got a big break now to try and get back on it, and Fort William is a good race for me so I'm looking forward to that.”
It's clearly obvious that even if not all the riders had their best weekend ever, they're all super hungry and motivated for the next round in Fort William.
Fox Racing and the US Open of Mountain Biking have agreed to a multi-year partnership between the two iconic brands. The newly branded Fox US Open of Mountain Biking will take place at Killington Resort August 1st-5th, 2018. Following their support of the successful 2017 US Open relaunch, Fox Racing has increased their involvement with joint marketing and production efforts around the US Open brand.
“The US Open holds a special place in the history of North American mountain bike racing. Fox was excited to support the return of this great event in 2017 and we are proud to increase our involvement to title sponsor this year. Our goal is to help position the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking as the leading gravity event in the U.S. in 2018 and beyond.” – Dave Ahumada, Global Marketing Manager, Fox MTB.
The Fox US Open of Mountain biking will feature a wide range of events including the legendary Open Class Downhill, the inaugural USO Enduro, best whip comp and the Grom Bomb and Super Grom Downhill events, giving the future of the sport a chance to show what they’ve got.
“Just like us, Fox believes in the heritage of US gravity racing, and we’re thrilled to sign this multi-year partnership with them. Their unwavering commitment to the sport and reputation in the industry is second to none. We’re looking forward to developing the next chapter of the US Open with Fox. Racers and fans can expect great things!” – Clay Harper, US Open Event Director.
Killington Resort has made huge investments over the past 4 years to become a mountain biking destination. A new downhill track, onsite campground and extensive lodging options and restaurants make it the perfect venue for an event like the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking.
Fox joins an excellent list of additional US Open partners including GT Bicycles as the presenting partner for downhill and enduro events, Red Bull as the presenting partner for the USO Best Whip Comp and Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports as presenting partner for the adaptive downhill. CLIF Bar, Flat Tire Defender and Fox Factory are also onboard with plans to activate around the 2018 Open.
More event information and registration details coming soon.
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Welcome to Cairns! This Australian track is unlike any other so far this year year: very, very fast, super loose, and due to the dry weather, more dusty than ever with some tough pedaling sections which made it extremely physical too!
Loïc Bruni, 1st Place!
Just over a year ago, Loïc Bruni won his first ever World Cup on this track, so he was well aware of what could be possible here. The local crowd were cheering for hometown hero Mick Hannah, who stayed on the hot seat for much of the day, and looked as if he had possibly done enough to take the title. Unfortunately for the Aussies, Loïc became 'Super Bruni' again and laid down a superlative run to take the lead by only .039 of a second. Nobody was able to go faster, and the time stood, making Loic World Champion for his second time in his short career!
He said: “It's unbelievable, I worked so hard all year and the luck was on my side today! My team-mate Miranda did it in the women's category just before, so I just followed her lead. It's incredible, the run was crazy, it was super loose so I didn't know what to expect because I knew Mick was super fast. So when I saw I was in front of him I was super happy but still super stressed out about the other guys so to hold on until the end was insane!”
Loris Vergier, 7th
Close friend Loris Vergier was the first to congratulate Loic, and was pretty stoked with his 7th place as well: “I felt really bad on the top sections the whole week and I was just hoping for a top 10. 7th is great for me! I though Mick had the title already, but when I saw Loïc beat him, it was unreal. It's always good to see him winning!”
Connor Fearon, 24th
After missing the two last World Cups because of injury, the Aussie hoped to be back to 100% in time for World Champs. He gave his best even if he wasn't completely recovered: “It was too soon to ride 100% but I'm still happy with how I rode. I've had surgery on my hand only 6 weeks ago so I couldn't expect too much. I can't wait to be back healthy to ride my bike and start preparing for next season!”
Tahnee Seagrave, 11th
Two days before finals, she was the fastest during timed training. Deciding to risk it all in pursuit of the title she pushed too hard in the unpredictable dusty conditions and crashed: “I pushed a bit too much today and crashed... This race was mental! I'm glad the other girls pushed so hard as well, we all wanted the title so much. I don't mean it's nice to see everybody going down, but the fact we were all so competitive was awesome!”.
Finn Iles, 10th Junior Mens
After winning six World Cups this year and wearing the rainbow stripes from last years World Champs win, Finn Iles was feeling the pressure on his shoulders to prove once again he can be the fastest rider of his generation. Unfortunately, a few things went wrong on race day: “I felt really good during my last practice run, but just before my race run, I realised I had forgotten my goggles and I had to borrow one of the commissaire's sunglasses. I still knew I could do a good time even under these conditions, and I knew that Matt Walker had done a very good time before my run, but I made two big mistakes and lost way too much time. I tried to go too fast and paid the price!”
It was a great year for the Fox 2017 Gravity team. The 2017 DH season is now over and 2018 will start on the 21st - 22nd of April in Lošinj, Croatia for another intense year!
*All of the Fox DH team riders wear the proven Rampage Pro Carbon helmet and Flexair gear.
Last weekend saw the 5th round of the UCI World Cup take place in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
What was once considered a ”bikepark" track has morphed into the most unpredictable course of the year. The new course was unforgiving of the smallest mistake and FOX team riders had a tricky weekend in the office with some ups and downs! This definitely adds some flavor to the season.
FINN ILES - OVERALL JUNIOR WORLD CUP 2017 WINNER
Maybe the happiest guy in the paddock, taking another World Cup win and with it an unassailable lead in a race for the overall World Cup!
“I had a very good run and I'm satisfied with my time too! I'm stoked for the overall as well because it means I can relax for the rest of the season. The next round will be at Mont Saint Anne in Canada, my home country, and I would love to take the win in front of the Canadian crowd. It's great to go there with almost no pressure”.
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE, 5TH PLACE - ONE SLIGHT MISTAKE THAT COST A LOT
Up at all four splits, she pushed the front wheel in one of the final turns almost running off the track and losing all of her momentum. She was clearly disappointed but stayed positive:
“It's a shame to have messed up two of the five races so far! I was on a good run and I pushed a bit too hard. I finished five seconds from the winner and I know that in the past that could have been enough for a second place. It's cool that the women's level is getting higher, that's great for the sport”.
LAURIE GREENLAND, 4TH PLACE - CONSISTENT CHALLENGER
"I am really happy to of managed to get on the podium in lenzerheide, 6th to 10th place finishes have happened quite a lot now and I for sure have my eyes set on the podium! It's an amazing feeling and almost a relief at the same time... just have to do it again in a few weeks in Canada".
LOÏC BRUNI, 7TH PLACE, A DRIFT THAT COSTS HIM THE PODIUM
No crash for the frenchie but a few mistakes ruined his chances of being on the podium:
“I was pretty relaxed before my start, I had a good feeling, you know like a switch in your head which means you can do well. I started without pushing too hard but I made a small mistake in the first rock garden. I told myself to forget it and to start the race again. But I made two other mistakes in sections where it's critical to carry speed. All these mistakes cost me time and with the racing so tight right now, you can't afford to do that. Now I have the feeling I missed a good opportunity. I'm still top ten which is good, but what I really want is to be in the top three! I have to work harder!”.
LORIS, 27TH PLACE - AND A CRASH IN THE FIRST BERM
Crashing in the first corner and having to chase seconds his whole run, Loris was pretty philosophical about it:
“I have to admit that my head was on holiday already and when I did a good quali on Friday, I felt I could do well here. I was confident for finals and maybe a bit too much. After my run, I stayed 10 minutes alone to think about my crash and I realised it's not a disaster. I'm young, I didn't get injured and it didn't happen because of a mechanical. Everything worked perfectly and it just my fault. What makes me happy is that I'm still 4th overall because of my performance in qualifying, but I want more podiums!”.
CONNOR, 74TH - NO BROKEN BONES CAN STOP HIM
His crash in Vallnord was worse that he thought, he might have a broken bone in his hand and had to minimize his runs in Lenzerheide to be able to ride in the finals. Basically, he raced just to save some points for the overall:
“I looked at the points and I thought, if I can get down with a 50th or a 40thplace run, I could get some points which is always pretty good for the overall. So it's what the goal for the weekend was. I did only 5 runs during the 3 days and it was still very painful. My race run started pretty well but I crashed half way and I decided to cruise down to not take anymore risks. It's four weeks now to Mont Saint Anne so I'm going to get an X-Ray as soon as possible to assess the extent of the damage to get a better idea of what kind of shape my hand will be in for MSA”.
The DH team now has a 4 week break before heading to the penultimate round of the World Cup series in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada.
LOIC BRUNI, 4th
Unlucky since the beginning of the year, “Super Bruni” is relieved to be back: “I wasn't really happy when I passed the finish line because I was in 2nd and I saw it was super tight! But it was good, I stuck to the plan, kept it smooth, and made it to the bottom. It's my first podium of the season so 4th is perfect in the end, I'm happy enough tonight. I feel this is my first proper race of the year, in Lourdes I almost couldn't make it to the bottom because of the weather, Fort William I crashed and Leogang I even didn't race! I'm stoked to be here on the box and this has helped to build my confidence and I hope we are moving on to bigger and better things.”
LORIS VERGIER, 6th
After finishing second back to back in Leogang World Cup and Crankworx Les Gets a few weeks ago, Loris had every right to be a bit disappointed for missing the podium by only one place, but he's absolutely not and he explains why: “I'm happy because it's a long track and I started my finals run a bit too strong. I wanted to try to push my limits, but after the first minute I realised that I was a bit tired and I decided to stay focused, and try to stay on my bike! In the end, I'm 6th and only 3 seconds from the podium which is very good. I got good points for the overall, I'm now 4th which gives me a bit more confidence! I'm so happy for Loïc who's riding almost at his best again, it's cool to see him back on the podium!"
CONNOR FEARON, 28th
His run was spectacular but he crashed very close to the bottom: “I was so tired at the end and I had a stupid crash. I just couldn't hold on anymore but I'm not too disappointed because what you have to do to do well here is to leave it or on the track. The thing is, you have to go so fast here and obviously more people than usual crashed here, luckily everyone is mostly ok. Either way, I'm stoked and looking forward to Lenzerheide.”
FINN ILES, 1st IN JUNIOR CATEGORY
It's now the 3rd victory for the Canadian rider for this year. He won the race by a full 5 seconds and his time would have placed him 7th in the Elite category! “I felt that everything sort of worked on my run, I had like a few parts where I was trying to push too hard and got a bit sketchy but I think I was carrying good speed everywhere and I rode my bike well, so I'm happy! I was pretty calm this weekend even though I was a bit nervous this morning. Because this is so similar to some of the stuff I ride at home, I'm prtty experienced on steep stuff.”
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE, 2nd IN WOMEN CATEGORY
After taking her first ever win at the previous round in Leogang, Tahnee was hoping for big things again in Andorra: “Myriam Nicole (the winner of the day) has always been good here and I've never get a good result here, and it's such a contrast from here to Leogang I'm just really happy because I had a point to prove after everyone saying that the track in Leogang was too easy.
I know that my style of riding is not very aggressive even if people think it is, I love riding berms with my mates so I think Lenzerheide will suit me better”.
A few hundred kilometres away, the Enduro riders were having one of the hardest races any of them had ever experienced in their careers! Soaked by the rain for two days, the freezing temperatures and slippery mud made the stages even more gnarly than they were already!
DAMIEN OTON, 3rd
“I'm completely knackered, it was so so hard! The weather was such a nightmare and the race was super physical. The cold didn't help either! Most of the time you're racing for one day and I have to admit it wasn't easy to be motivated for the second day! I was 5th at the end of the first day, I had a little cold and I didn't expect to be on the podium at the end of the race! But somehow, I got more power in my legs on Sunday and my track speed was better as well. My last two stages helped bump me up the standings to 3rd place. It's my second podium of the year which means at least some good luck is back on my side!”.
THÉO GALY, 5th
Riding in your home town is a privilege not many riders get to experience in their careers, which was extra motivation for Théo:
“I have to admit it was pretty hard to go and ride the second day in a freezing cold and wet weather! But it's the same for everybody and I had to push myself to find again a good speed. Unfortunately I didn't feel as good as I was the day before! The battle to be on the podium was super tight and I missed it by a few seconds. I'm a bit disappointed to finish 5th but it's my best result of the year and I'm now 9th in the overall which is pretty cool!”.