1. The 2018 Perskindol Swiss Epic kicks off five days of pure mountain bike heaven in Bettmeralp. Riders navigate some 50 Valais municipalities visiting quaint mountain villages, past traditional vineyard terraces, along historic Suonen irrigation channels, beside the magnificent Aletsch glacier, while surrounded by Alpine icons. Traversing rolling valleys, navigating lush forests and scaling the vertiginous Alps of the fairytale-like Valais region, riders’ will be rewarded for their hard efforts with magnificent, sweeping singletrack. Covering 50-80km each day, with 1800-2800m of climbing, the Perskindol Swiss Epic culminates in the charming resort town of Zermatt at the foot of the magnificent Matterhorn, where riders will enjoy the spoils of the region, and a heroes’ welcome.

    Route 2018:

    1. Etappe: Bettmeralp – Bettmeralp (60km)
    2. Etappe: Bettmeralp – Grächen (72km)
    3. Etappe: Grächen – Grächen (66km)
    4. Etappe: Grächen – Zermatt (61km)
    5. Etappe: Zermatt – Zermatt (63km)

    # vimeo.com/273688562 Uploaded 65 Plays 0 Comments
  2. Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble once again lived up to its reputation as the toughest Xtreme Enduro race in the world on Sunday, June 3, 2018. The battle against the iron mountain took even the world’s best riders to their limits. Only 23 athletes reached the finish within the time limit of four hours. Briton Graham Jarvis raced to victory in a record time of 2 hours and 6 minutes after an extremely exciting race, closely followed by Jonny Walker (GBR) and Manuel Lettenbichler (GER). Austrian Dieter Rudolf finished the race with an outstanding 11th place.
    Erzbergrodeo went off successfully on the Erzberg for the 24th time. The motorcycle spectacle, which is famous far beyond the borders of Europe, provided stunning bike action for four days. Sunday saw the climax of the event with the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, which is also part of the new World Enduro Super Series (WESS) since this year. To warm up, Dakar Rally heroes Matthias Walkner, Laia Sanz and 13-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel thrilled the crowd at the starting area with a breathtaking show run. At 2.30 pm, organizer Karl Katoch waved the starting flag for the fastest 500 out of originally 1,700 participants. Despite perfect weather, Erzberg once again showed its tough side. Extremely steep ramps, huge boulder fields and slippery forest passages made the infamous track a tough test for the world’s best Enduro riders. Numerous exhausting and seemingly insurmountable sections of the track, such as the notorious Machine, Badewanne (“Bathtub”), Carl’s Dinner, Dynamite, and the dreaded Grüne Hölle (“Green Hell”), demanded everything from the participants and brought many of them to their physical and mental limits.
    From the start, the notorious Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble went straight to business. Especially the first gravel climbs took their toll. Many of the contestants already had problems here and nearly dropped out of the race. 5-time Erzberg winner and title contender Taddy Blazusiak (POL) mastered this section perfectly and led the high-carat field ahead of Jonny Walker (GBR), Billy Bolt (GBR) and Manuel Lettenbichler (GER). But suddenly the young German talent Lettenbichler took the lead and kept it until after Carl's Dinner. Until here, he was able to confidently keep Bolt, Walker and Jarvis at bay, with Bolt riding directly behind him. Thrilling moments followed at Green Hell, where Lettenbichler and Bolt both had difficulties but helped each other out. Together, they managed to push Lettenbichler’s bike out of this challenging section of the track. Lettenbichler also proved sportsmanship and gave up his leadership to help Bolt at Green Hell. Bolt continued to struggle but eventually managed to conquer Green Hell together with Wade Young. Meanwhile, Graham Jarvis had taken the lead and confidently raced to victory. The Briton clinched his 4th Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble title with an incredible time of 2:05:59 and was awarded the winner’s flag by Karl Katoch. 41 seconds behind him, 3-time Red Bull Hare Scramble winner Jonny Walker reached the finish at Erzbergrodeoarena. Manuel Lettenbichler followed in 3rd place. Celebrated by the spectators, the German was extremely happy about his podium finish after his incredible race. Wade Young (RSA) took 4th place.

    Results
    1. Graham Jarvis (GBR) 02:05:59
    2. Jonny Walker (GBR) +00:00:41
    3. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) +00:03:03
    4. Wade Young (RSA) +00:15:45
    5. Billy Bolt (GBR) +00:24:04

    # vimeo.com/273269258 Uploaded 237 Plays 0 Comments
  3. With 69km and 2000m of vertical gain standing between riders and a finisher’s medal at Val de Vie Estate, this year’s Grand Finale was arguably the toughest in the Absa Cape Epic 15-year history. With four beastly climbs punctuating the course, even the sharp end of the field would feel every metre. Despite their eight minute cushion over Cannondale Factory Racing’s Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini, Investec Songop Specialized would have to mark every attack and pray for a mechanical-free day following a string of bad luck earlier in the race.
    Cannondale Factory Racing were first to make a move, together with Centurion Vaude, but these early attacks would prove futile as both teams struggled to respond to the counter attacks launched by Trek Selle San Marco 2, Buff Scott MTB, Canyon Topeak and Investec Songo Specialized. After struggling to stay aboard the Czech Express in the earlier stages of the race, Grotts showed his pedigree – driving the pace on the climbs and controlling the lead.
    The Trek Selle San Marco 2 pairing of Fabian Rabensteiner and Michele Casagrande attacked and took the sprint on the Dimension Data Hotspot and opened up a 20 second gap in the process. Further back Cannondale Factory Racing were struggling to maintain a rhythm and risked losing their overall podium to the darkhorse Buff Scott MTB pair, who have been looking better and better as the race has progressed. For Investec Songo Specialized it was a case of minimising any unnecessary risks – particularly on the treacherous Bone Rattler descent. Their strategy paid off and despite gifting the stage to Trek Selle San Marco 2, they’d roll across the finish line at Val de Vie Estate as deserved champions after eight days of consistent riding.
    Much has been made of the Kulhavy Express hauling the Investec Songo Specialized men to victory at the Absa Cape Epic, but their corresponding women’s team has also been on rails from day one, with the Annika Express leading them to a massive overall win at Val de Vie Estate. Annika Langvad, now a four-time winner from just four attempts at the gruelling event, and young American novice Kate Courtney were sublime this week as they crushed all opposition with an almost faultless display of stage racing.
    Their perfect party was gate-crashed on the final day by the PMRA/CST Racing team of Margot Moschetti and Raiza Goulao, who spoiled the clean-sweep by winning the 67km stage from Wellington to Val de Vie Estate in Paarl on Sunday. The French/Brazilian pair was followed home on the stage by South Africans Candice Lill and Amy Beth McDougall (dormakaba), who also wrapped up the Absa African Women’s special jersey and ended fourth overall. Sabine Spitz and Robyn De Groot (Ascendis Health) claimed third on the stage, just ahead of the race winners, which secured their runner up spot on the overall standing. Annie Last and Mariske Strauss (Silverback-KMC) limped to the finish in fifth position to secure the final step on the overall podium.

    Overall Results

    Men
    1. Investec Songo Specialized 2-1 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) 2-2 Howard Grotts (USA) 25:29.48,9
    2. Canyon Topeak 7-1 Alban Lakata (AUT) 7-2 Kristian Hynek (CZE) 25:39.27,4 +9.38,5
    3. Cannondale Factory Racing 6-1 Manuel Fumic (GER) 6-2 Henrique Avancini (BRA) 25:43.01,8
    +13.12,9

    Women
    1. Investec Songo Specialized 54-1 Annika Langvad (DEN) 54-2 Kate Courtney (USA) 29:57.06,5
    2. Ascendis Health 52-1 Sabine Spitz (GER) 52-2 Robyn De Groot (RSA) 30:43.35,7 +46.29,2
    3. Silverback - KMC 51-1 Mariske Strauss (RSA) 51-2 Annie Last (GBR) 30:50.22,1 +53.15,6

    # vimeo.com/262007084 Uploaded 50 Plays 0 Comments
  4. With 69km and 2000m of vertical gain standing between riders and a finisher’s medal at Val de Vie Estate, this year’s Grand Finale was arguably the toughest in the Absa Cape Epic 15-year history. With four beastly climbs punctuating the course, even the sharp end of the field would feel every metre. Despite their eight minute cushion over Cannondale Factory Racing’s Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini, Investec Songop Specialized would have to mark every attack and pray for a mechanical-free day following a string of bad luck earlier in the race.
    Cannondale Factory Racing were first to make a move, together with Centurion Vaude, but these early attacks would prove futile as both teams struggled to respond to the counter attacks launched by Trek Selle San Marco 2, Buff Scott MTB, Canyon Topeak and Investec Songo Specialized. After struggling to stay aboard the Czech Express in the earlier stages of the race, Grotts showed his pedigree – driving the pace on the climbs and controlling the lead.
    The Trek Selle San Marco 2 pairing of Fabian Rabensteiner and Michele Casagrande attacked and took the sprint on the Dimension Data Hotspot and opened up a 20 second gap in the process. Further back Cannondale Factory Racing were struggling to maintain a rhythm and risked losing their overall podium to the darkhorse Buff Scott MTB pair, who have been looking better and better as the race has progressed. For Investec Songo Specialized it was a case of minimising any unnecessary risks – particularly on the treacherous Bone Rattler descent. Their strategy paid off and despite gifting the stage to Trek Selle San Marco 2, they’d roll across the finish line at Val de Vie Estate as deserved champions after eight days of consistent riding.
    Much has been made of the Kulhavy Express hauling the Investec Songo Specialized men to victory at the Absa Cape Epic, but their corresponding women’s team has also been on rails from day one, with the Annika Express leading them to a massive overall win at Val de Vie Estate. Annika Langvad, now a four-time winner from just four attempts at the gruelling event, and young American novice Kate Courtney were sublime this week as they crushed all opposition with an almost faultless display of stage racing.
    Their perfect party was gate-crashed on the final day by the PMRA/CST Racing team of Margot Moschetti and Raiza Goulao, who spoiled the clean-sweep by winning the 67km stage from Wellington to Val de Vie Estate in Paarl on Sunday. The French/Brazilian pair was followed home on the stage by South Africans Candice Lill and Amy Beth McDougall (dormakaba), who also wrapped up the Absa African Women’s special jersey and ended fourth overall. Sabine Spitz and Robyn De Groot (Ascendis Health) claimed third on the stage, just ahead of the race winners, which secured their runner up spot on the overall standing. Annie Last and Mariske Strauss (Silverback-KMC) limped to the finish in fifth position to secure the final step on the overall podium.

    Overall Results

    Men
    1. Investec Songo Specialized 2-1 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) 2-2 Howard Grotts (USA) 25:29.48,9
    2. Canyon Topeak 7-1 Alban Lakata (AUT) 7-2 Kristian Hynek (CZE) 25:39.27,4 +9.38,5
    3. Cannondale Factory Racing 6-1 Manuel Fumic (GER) 6-2 Henrique Avancini (BRA) 25:43.01,8
    +13.12,9

    Women
    1. Investec Songo Specialized 54-1 Annika Langvad (DEN) 54-2 Kate Courtney (USA) 29:57.06,5
    2. Ascendis Health 52-1 Sabine Spitz (GER) 52-2 Robyn De Groot (RSA) 30:43.35,7 +46.29,2
    3. Silverback - KMC 51-1 Mariske Strauss (RSA) 51-2 Annie Last (GBR) 30:50.22,1 +53.15,6

    # vimeo.com/261713600 Uploaded 33 Plays 0 Comments
  5. With 69km and 2000m of vertical gain standing between riders and a finisher’s medal at Val de Vie Estate, this year’s Grand Finale was arguably the toughest in the Absa Cape Epic 15-year history. With four beastly climbs punctuating the course, even the sharp end of the field would feel every metre. Despite their eight minute cushion over Cannondale Factory Racing’s Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini, Investec Songop Specialized would have to mark every attack and pray for a mechanical-free day following a string of bad luck earlier in the race.
    Cannondale Factory Racing were first to make a move, together with Centurion Vaude, but these early attacks would prove futile as both teams struggled to respond to the counter attacks launched by Trek Selle San Marco 2, Buff Scott MTB, Canyon Topeak and Investec Songo Specialized. After struggling to stay aboard the Czech Express in the earlier stages of the race, Grotts showed his pedigree – driving the pace on the climbs and controlling the lead.
    The Trek Selle San Marco 2 pairing of Fabian Rabensteiner and Michele Casagrande attacked and took the sprint on the Dimension Data Hotspot and opened up a 20 second gap in the process. Further back Cannondale Factory Racing were struggling to maintain a rhythm and risked losing their overall podium to the darkhorse Buff Scott MTB pair, who have been looking better and better as the race has progressed. For Investec Songo Specialized it was a case of minimising any unnecessary risks – particularly on the treacherous Bone Rattler descent. Their strategy paid off and despite gifting the stage to Trek Selle San Marco 2, they’d roll across the finish line at Val de Vie Estate as deserved champions after eight days of consistent riding.
    Much has been made of the Kulhavy Express hauling the Investec Songo Specialized men to victory at the Absa Cape Epic, but their corresponding women’s team has also been on rails from day one, with the Annika Express leading them to a massive overall win at Val de Vie Estate. Annika Langvad, now a four-time winner from just four attempts at the gruelling event, and young American novice Kate Courtney were sublime this week as they crushed all opposition with an almost faultless display of stage racing.
    Their perfect party was gate-crashed on the final day by the PMRA/CST Racing team of Margot Moschetti and Raiza Goulao, who spoiled the clean-sweep by winning the 67km stage from Wellington to Val de Vie Estate in Paarl on Sunday. The French/Brazilian pair was followed home on the stage by South Africans Candice Lill and Amy Beth McDougall (dormakaba), who also wrapped up the Absa African Women’s special jersey and ended fourth overall. Sabine Spitz and Robyn De Groot (Ascendis Health) claimed third on the stage, just ahead of the race winners, which secured their runner up spot on the overall standing. Annie Last and Mariske Strauss (Silverback-KMC) limped to the finish in fifth position to secure the final step on the overall podium.

    Overall Results

    Men
    1. Investec Songo Specialized 2-1 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) 2-2 Howard Grotts (USA) 25:29.48,9
    2. Canyon Topeak 7-1 Alban Lakata (AUT) 7-2 Kristian Hynek (CZE) 25:39.27,4 +9.38,5
    3. Cannondale Factory Racing 6-1 Manuel Fumic (GER) 6-2 Henrique Avancini (BRA) 25:43.01,8
    +13.12,9

    Women
    1. Investec Songo Specialized 54-1 Annika Langvad (DEN) 54-2 Kate Courtney (USA) 29:57.06,5
    2. Ascendis Health 52-1 Sabine Spitz (GER) 52-2 Robyn De Groot (RSA) 30:43.35,7 +46.29,2
    3. Silverback - KMC 51-1 Mariske Strauss (RSA) 51-2 Annie Last (GBR) 30:50.22,1 +53.15,6

    # vimeo.com/261712807 Uploaded 34 Plays 0 Comments

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