Emmett Wins Big Mountain Enduro #1!
17th June 2013 - filed under TeamsridersGiant Factory Off-Road Team rider Kelli Emmett won the opening round of the Big Mountain Enduro Series, a regional U.S. series held in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. Riding a prototype full-suspension Liv/giant bike with 27.5-inch wheels, Emmett won all five stages during two days of competition at the Angel Fire/Taos Enduro.
“This was one of the toughest enduros I’ve done so far, and I couldn’t believe how well the bike handled in the different types of trail conditions and terrain,” Emmet said after taking the win. “It was really rocky, and there were tons of corners that I needed to accelerate out of. The bike felt super stable yet quick in the corners.”
Emmett, a veteran XC, cyclocross and Super D racer with pro wins in all disciplines, is focusing on enduro racing this year, including the Enduro World Series. The win in New Mexico gives the Coloradan confidence going into round two of the Enduro World Series later this month in Val d’Allos, France.
Martens Wins Tour de Luxembourg!
16th June 2013 - filed under TeamsridersGerman rider Paul Martens gave the Blanco team its second overall stage race win of the week with a victory at the five-day Skoda Tour de Luxembourg on Sunday. Martens matched the winning performance of his Blanco teammate Lars Boom, who won the Ster ZLM Toer race in The Netherlands on the same day.
The Blanco squad came into the final stage at the Tour de Luxembourg with five riders in the top-20. Martens was placed highest of the group, third overall and just 3 seconds back.
The team had multiple options but in the end decided to set up Martens, the fastest sprinter pf the Blanco men who were in contention for the win. The 29-year-old made the final selection in the 144km Stage 5, then dashed to second place, gaining enough time to take the win.
“It’s unbelievable, Martens said after the race. “I’ve been close before but this is the first time I’ve actually won a stage race. My team worked unbelievably hard for me the past few days. Without them I could not have done it.”
Boom Wins Ster ZLM Toer!
16th June 2013 - filed under TeamsridersLars Boom of the Blanco team wrapped up the overall win Sunday at the Ster ZLM Toer stage race in The Netherlands. Boom took over the race lead on Saturday when he won the penultimate Stage 4 in La Gileppe, Belgium, on his TCR Advanced SL. His Blanco teammates helped him defend that lead in Sunday’s final 176km stage from Gerwen to Boxtel.
Boom’s win capped a great week for the Blanco squad. German rider Robert Wagner wore the leader’s yellow jersey for two days after winning the Stage 1 TT on his Trinity Advanced SL, and sprinter Theo Bos won Stage 2 on his Propel Advanced SL.
From the start of the five-day race through The Netherlands and Belgium, Boom was targeting Stage 4, the queen stage where he had won in 2012.
“This is really a great day,” the Dutchman said after notching the team’s 17th win for the season. “I started the stage with a good vibe from last year. In the finale on La Gileppe, I could accelerate well and I was quite satisfied. I’ve trained very hard these last weeks and that’s now paying off.”
Blanco Off to a Fast Start at Ster ZLM Toer!
13th June 2013 - filed under TeamsridersThe Blanco team is off to a winning start at the Ster ZLM Toer in The Netherlands, with two victories in the first two days of the five-day stage race. Robert Wagner won Wednesday’s opening stage, an 8km individual time trial, and sprinter Theo Bos won Stage 2, a 176km race in Breda on Thursday.
Wagner snatched the race leader’s jersey when he rode his Trinity Advanced SL to victory in Wednesday’s time trial in Zeeland. It was his first win since 2011, when he won a German national championship title. Stage 1 marked a strong start for the team in general, with GC leader Lars Boom finishing second, just 2 seconds behind Wagner.
“This is a nice victory, especially with Lars coming in second,” Wagner said after his win. “As a team we could not have hoped for a better start.”
Stage 2 featured a challenging course and a collection of some of the world’s top sprinters. Riding the Propel Advanced SL, Bos beat two of his biggest rivals—German Andre Greipel and Brit Mark Cavendish—to take his sixth win of the year.
“It was not an easy course,” Bos said. “It was a small group at the finish line, 26 I believe. All the more reason to savor the win. It’s an indication that I have progressed further. It’s a great feeling to have enough left in the tank after such a challenging ride and be able to sprint for the victory.”
Wagner retained his overall lead in Stage 2, with Boom sitting second in the GC standings heading into Stage 3 on Friday. The race concludes Sunday in Boxtel.
Hart Leads Giant DH Squad to Strong World Cup Start!
12th June 2013 - filed under TeamsridersThe 2013 UCI World Cup downhill series is underway, and the three riders from the Giant Factory Off-Road Team got off to a strong start last weekend at Round 1 in Fort William, Scotland. Danny Hart, Andrew Neethling and Marcelo Gutierrez all posted solid results on their Giant Glory race bikes, pushing the team to a fifth-place overall standing in the team rankings.
Hart led the team at Fort William, finishing first in Saturday’s qualifier and seventh in the final. Posting the top qualifier time in the elite category was a career first for the 21-year-old Brit—and a sure sign that the 2011 world champion is back in top form. After missing the second half of the 2012 season with an injury, Hart picked up enough points to gain a top-five World Cup ranking heading into Round 2 Val di Sole, Italy, this weekend.
South African Andrew Neethling sits 11th in the overall standings after Fort William, and is aiming to break into the top-10 in Italy. And Colombian rider Marcelo Gutierrez, a first-year member of the Factory Off-Road squad, is 21st heading into Round 2.
To see more photos of the team in action at Fort William last weekend, check out this photo gallery on the Giant Factory Off-Road Team’s Facebook page.
Bottrill takes National 25 Silver
11th June 2013 - filed under TeamsridersSunday morning saw the UK's finest time trialists gather in the small town of Tattershall, Lincolnshire to take part in the blue ribbon event of time trialing - the Mens National 25 Mile Championship. Riders would complete a circuit taking in Coningsby and the villages of Langrick, Antons Gowt, Revesby before returning to Tumby. With some technical bends, rough roads and windy conditions to negotiate the course would be a great test for the 150 riders.
The event started at 9am with the last rider, defending champion Michael Hutchinson away at 11.40. Despite very little traffic on the open roads, riders struggled to break the 53 minute barrier testimanent to the tough course and conditions. First rider to get under the 53 barrier was former Junior National 25 Champion Brett Harwood of Terry Wright Cycles RC, showing great form to complete the course in 52.58, followed by another former Junior Champion Ryan Mullen of IG Sigma Sport. At just 18 years of age Mullen showed great prowess finishing in 50.57 to put him well clear at the top of the leader board.
With the majority of the field home the fight for the team prize was underway between www.drag2zero.com, In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT and IG Sigma Sport. Next Home was Mark Holton of www.drag2zero.com in a time of 51.38, followed by Bronze medalist in the Men's National 10 a few weeks ago Douglas Dewey of In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT in a time of 52.58. Jeff Jones of www.drag2zero.com then finished in 51.38 to put the Drag2zero team in the hot seat for the team prize.
With Just three riders to come home - Joe Perrett of IG Sigma Sport, Matthew Bottrill of www.drag2zero.com and Michael Hutchinson of In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT - the race was truly underway.
First rider to leave was former European Junior Time Trial Champion Joe Perrett racing for IG Sigma Sport - entering the competition after a recent trip to Belgium and stage racing in the the Tour of Ireland, Perret came to the race in great shape and with an opening 12.5miles of 24.28 the youngster was flying! Just two minutes later Bottrill took the start, stamping down on the pedals to hit the first 10 miles in 19.17 putting Bottrill seconds behind Perrett. By the halfway point Bottrill had narrowed this down to to just 5 seconds at 24.33. With both riders now into the hardest section of the course it was going to be a great battle but Michael Hutchinson of In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT was also well into his ride with the aim of defending his title. Always the master of timing his rides to perfection, Hutch went through the halfway mark in a time of 24.41 putting him in 3rd place.
Finishing with the hardest section into the block headwind, the race would come down to who had the best form on the day. First home was Perrett in 49.21, then came Bottrill 10 seconds behind in 49.31. Hutchinson fought to the line but the defending Champion finished in 49.58 to take 3rd place.
There was one consolation prize for Bottrill - with his time of 49.21 and team mates Jeff Jones in 51.38 and Mark Holtons in 51.47 - www.drag2zero.com took the team prize.
After the finish an exhausted Bottrill said;
"Well what can I say - I gave it everything I had on the day and know its probably one of the best time trials I've ridden. I can't tell you how gutted I am to have come so close to winning but this time around there's nothing more I could have done. I gave it 110% but got beaten by a better rider on the day!"
Mens National 25 Mile Championship Results;
1 Joseph Perrett Team IG-Sigma Sport 00:49:21
2 Matthew Bottrill www.drag2zero.com 00:49:31
3 Michael Hutchinson In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT 00:49:58
4 Ryan Mullen Team IG-Sigma Sport 00:50:57
5 Jeff Jones www.drag2zero.com 00:51:38
6 Mark Holton www.drag2zero.com 00:51:47
7 Douglas Dewey In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT 00:52:38
8 Brett Harwood Terry Wright Cycles RC 00:52:58
9 Kieron Davies Bynea Cycling Club 00:53:08
10 Alan Thomson Sandy Wallace Cycles – SCU 00:53:12
Craig Wins Oregon Enduro Series #2!
10th June 2013 - filed under TeamsridersFor the second time this year the Giant Factory Off-Road Team showed its dominance at the Oregon Enduro Series. This time Adam Craig and Josh Carlson switched places with Craig taking the win on his home trails in Bend. Carlson joined his teammate on the podium, finishing third. Also representing the team at the top of the standings was Carl Decker, another Bend resident, in fourth.
Craig raced a prototype Giant bike with 27.5-inch wheels. Sporting the No. 2 plate after his second-place finish at the opening round in Hood River two weeks ago, he was motivated to get the win in his hometown.
“It’s always nice to use the home court advantage to the fullest,” Craig said after the win. “It was fun taking chances on the new bike in the dust.”
Craig topped a talented field of North American enduro racers in the single-day event in central Oregon. His overall time of 24:25 on the timed sections of the dry and dusty trails was 28 seconds faster than that of second-place finisher Chris Johnson. Carlson was another 3 seconds back in third.
Next up for Giant's enduro racers is round two of the Enduro World Series in Val d'Allos, France later this month.
Mollema Wins Summit Finish at Tour de Suisse!
9th June 2013 - filed under TeamsridersTeam Blanco rider Bauke Mollema launched an attack on the final climb at Sunday's Stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse, winning the summit finish at Crans-Montana on his Propel Advanced SL. It was the 26-year-old Dutchman’s first win since the 2010 season and the biggest of his career.
The 171km second stage at the nine-day WorldTour race came down to a battle of the strongest riders on the final climb. Mollema was in a small group with GC leader Cameron Meyer on the final climb when he decided to make his move. Passing under the red kite signifying 1km to go, Mollema attacked. He bridged up to Ryder Hesjedal, who was alone off the front, and went right past the Canadian toward the finish. Mollema went on to win by a margin of 11 seconds over Swiss rider Mathias Frank.
“It’s the biggest win of my career and it’s been a long time coming since the last race I won was almost three years ago,” Mollema told Cyclingnews.com. “I opened a good gap on the riders behind me and when I came up to Ryder I knew he was tired from riding alone for most of the climb.”
With the win, the Dutchman moved up to eighth overall. The Tour de Suisse continues through next Sunday.
Vos Sprints to Win in Spain!
5th June 2013 - filed under TeamsridersRabobank-Liv/giant rider Marianne Vos won the Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria race in Spain Tuesday, outsprinting a group of three other breakaway riders on her TCR Advanced SL to take the victory. It was Vos’s third career win at the hilly race in the Basque Country of Spain.
The 113km race in Durango took place on a circuit with two steep climbs in the last lap. On the first of those climbs, the Alto deo Montekalbo, 25km from the finish, several riders attacked and broke up the peloton.
The second climb, the Alto de Muniketagane, came with 9km to go. Vos, the current road world champion and Olympic gold medalist, joined a six-rider group off the front on that final climb. She hit the summit 30 seconds behind the leaders but caught up with them on the technical descent.
Coming into the finish, Swedish rider Emma Johansson jumped first, but Vos was able to come around her to take the win.
Carlson and Craig Finish 1-2 at Hood River Enduro!
28th May 2013 - filed under TeamsridersGiant Factory Off-Road Team riders Josh Carlson and Adam Craig finished first and second at the opening round of the Oregon Enduro Series in Hood River over the weekend. Both rode prototype Giant full-suspension bikes with 27.5-inch wheels.
And in the elite women's race, Giant Factory Team rider Kelli Emmett, riding a Liv/giant prototype with 27.5-inch wheels, finished second.
Carlson, an Australian now living in British Columbia, Canada, has emerged as one of the top enduro-racing talents over the past two years. The former elite-level XC racer won several major enduros in North America last year, and just last week he finished top-10 at the opening event of the new Enduro World Series in Italy.
“After our whirlwind trip to Italy for round 1 of the Enduro World Series I was really looking forward to putting to use some of the lessons I learned over there,” Carlson said. “The courses were great in Hood River, the trail conditions could not have been any more perfect.”
The two-day event in Hood River featured 7 stages with a talented field of pro enduro-racing talent in the pro men's field. Carlson went on to win 6 of the 7 stages, taking the overall victory by just under a minute over his American teammate Adam Craig.
“I’m stoked on the final result for the weekend and I’m really looking forward to the next few races and getting back to Europe for the next Enduro World Series race in France,” Carlson said.
Craig, racing in his home state of Oregon, is also an experienced XC racer who’s focusing more on enduro this year.
“I’m stoked to be honing the enduro craft and keeping Carlson honest,” Craig said after his podium appearance in Hood River. “Turns out riding these rad trail bikes all the time will up anybody’s game.”
Emmett, representing the Liv/giant colors, scored the third podium for the team in Oregon. One week after her top-10 finish at the Enduro World Series in Italy, she finished second in Hood River to New Zealander Rosara Joseph.
Round 2 of the Oregon Enduro Series takes place June 8-9 in Bend. The next international event for the Giant Factory Off-Road Team enduro racers is round 2 of the World Series, June 29-30 in Val d'Allos, France.
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