Absolutely Bananas!!!

Lopes? who the hell is Lopes?

Dan Atherton takes 4x win in Andorra

If you have not been living under a rock than you should know that you can watch live coverage of the UCI World Cup races from the comfort of your own toilet. That is of course you view the internet upon the throne. Freecaster has been broadcasting live footage with commentary from Rob Warner, Matthias Weber and other semi-celebrity voices from the racing community. The second installment of the World Cup takes place in Andorra, Cedric Gracias turf. 
The 4X finals just finished up with Dan Atherton taking the win, Lopes in second and Guido in third. This is a great win for Dan who has had a few second place finishes, he was able to stay low over most of the jumps and pull ahead of Lopes than launched himself over the quad in a true display of bike riding and secure his place. Andorra is home to Commencal, so to have one of their guys on the podium has to feel good. We are hoping that Gee is in top form tomorrow for the DH finals and that Rachel is able to keep the other ladies in check. Sundays DH finals take place at 8 am eastern time. Slovenia mountain bike site MTB.SI took some great shots of Dan boosting the lip of the quad and CG sending it like Fed-Ex over the same set. Note that CG goes from third to second in that jump.

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Andorra Day Two

Thanks again John Lawlor


Andorra Day One

Thanks to John Lawlor for getting this together.

Andorra, bitches...


"Bootleg Sessions v.2" Fixed Gear DVD Trailer.


Down but not out

Wask gets the 300th post...

Being injured isn’t exactly a fun situation in any circumstance, let alone being injured as a rider. The recovery time is a rough period, involving a lot of sitting on one’s ass. You tend to reach a certain point where there’s nothing left to look at on the internet, and nothing else to watch on TV...When I broke my platella about seven weeks ago I had no idea just how bored a person could get. Being removed from the familiarity of riding a bike as an avid cyclist is often more painful than the injury itself, but I found out along the way that I could still enjoy the sport, and even participate in something I thought I had to be riding my bike to enjoy.

That sort of led me to find alternative ways of being involved. I began to take some little sojourns as I healed a sort of way to escape the monotony of limping around school all day, only to come home and occupy my free time with activities that become tedious and boring to an active person.

This past weekend I took a trip up to the Yee-Ha race at Massanutten, Virginia. A race I had hoped to ride in, now became a chance for me to spectate, something I really hadn’t done prior. All the races I had gone to up to that point I was actually involved in, never really giving me the chance to experience the other side of the event. I limped down the entire trail, hung out in the pits, slowed down the lifts, and took pictures of the riders the whole weekend.

And as cheesy and trite as it may sound, I sort of came to realize that the sport isn’t just about riding your bike. I noticed after this weekend that having a good time with friends enjoying our silly little sport doesn’t mean I have to be riding.

I’ve come to realize that downhill, and generally cycling for the most part, manifests itself in more ways than just riding and racing, I’m only about 2 years into the game, but more and more the “community” becomes increasingly attractive to me as I continue to involve myself.

The situation is a bit of an ongoing epiphany. At the risk of sounding like a self help book, or a motivational speaker, my injury was a necessary departure from my regular contribution. That departure was something that allowed me to step back and see the bigger picture. In the end though, I can’t wait to get back on a bike; I’m Whistler bound


Another video...I know.

As if you haven't fried your retinas yet watching all the internet has to offer. Here is a good video of the Maribor World Cup. He has alot more footage and records more diverse sections of track.

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Lucky number 7

The Lisbon Downtown race is in its 7th year. Hard to believe. As most of you know the race takes place within the city streets of Lisbon as racers make there way from the top of the city down to the lowest point. With a stack of riders Peat managed to take the win for the 7th year in a row. As many people have said before, a World Championship title could be his if Lisbon simply hosted the race. Below are Kathy Sesslers words and photos.

Syndicate’s Steve Peat continues his reign of Lisbon, Minnaar finishes hot behind him in second, Filip Polc takes 3rd for the second year in a row. Minnaar jokes, “The race was good today. I think Steve was lucky. I had to fake a mistake to let the old boy win! Things went pretty good. I felt a bit of pressure from the old man. I made a little mistake on top and a costly mistake at the bottom, but that’s racing and that’s how it goes. I’m happy for Steve today, winning 7 times in a row!”

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Marv at the Mass

His best Jane Goodall impression:
Our good buddy Brady at DerailedOnline sent us over this pic of our man Marvelous from Massanutten this past weekend. Brady has a recap and bag full of photos over at Derailed so go check it out.

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A thousand words

Rachel schralping the turn?

This time of year is pretty exciting, longer days lead to longer rides and the smell of the BBQ. The World Cup is in full swing and all the East Coast racers are getting into the rhythm of driving and riding. The other perk of this time is that with the welcome of the World Cup Soap Opera are pictures from the guys that cover it. They are a link for many of us to replace the office and cubicle walls with course tape and trees, ecstatic fans and semi-psychotic racers. One of our favorites here at Traction is Gary Perkins. If you don't know his name you know his images. With a panache for composition and an ability to capture speed his photos give us a front row seat to the action. The Maribor gallery is up on "Flippers" site, so check it out and remember if a picture is worth a thousand words he is one of our best writers.

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Massanutten Report

The fog was a bit thick on Friday morning. Persistent rains and intermittent mist kept the mountain wet and muddy but through all the murky weather you could see smiles on all the riders as the first downhill race of the Gravity East Series took off.

Massanutten, Virginia would be the first stop on the GES tour. The weekend’s format would be skewed to Friday practice and Saturday race, giving us the ability to thank our mothers for giving us the chance to be here. With a truck full of bikes, riders and tires we made the journey down and were able to get a chance to walk the course and attempt to create a mental roadmap of the track.

The track was originally cut in 1997 for the UCI World Cup race. Not much has changed. With a start incorporating some large rocks and multiple lines it would give the chance to test our tires and nerves. The high left line would take a little practice to get into and some “egg shell” riding would be a valiant effort to keep air in the tubes.
This would lead you to the first fire road section that would shoot you back into the trees where the single track awaited. High speed prowess and some slick root management would be needed to flow through this section and keep the momentum for the series of high bank switchbacks that had plenty of riders with illuminated question marks floating above their helmets. These turns were high and scattered with small boulders so a concentrated entrance would reward you with a faster exit speed. Out of the woods you would hit the second fire road section, longer and a bit steeper you could increase your speed and try your hand at the “Speed Trap” your speed would flash on a giant light board giving you the ability to accurately read your velocity directly before death. In all seriousness it provided all the riders a new level of excitement in a sometimes-dull section. Back into the woods to tackle the last bit of wet roots and single track before dumping you out onto a longer rock garden riddled with baby-heads and square edge hits. Pedal, pedal and…finish line.

W.A.S.K. white-anglo-saxon-kid
Our buddy D. Wask with a busted knee would accompany the group down to the commonwealth of Virginia to help record the event for prosperity’s sake. He would join Treglia, Broughton, Marvelous and myself in making crude jokes and moto bike noises during the weekend. Dave and Matt would make the trip like the rest of us and attempt to look like we know what we are doing.

Practice would be rough as the cold rain and mud would discourage most riders from trekking out onto the track. Friday went well with no real big spills or upsets. Oh I almost forgot that Marvelous may have broken two fingers on Friday but other than that a clean bill of health. Saturdays temperature drop caught most of us off guard and during the dreaded wait under the tent adjacent to the start gate we huddled and tried to keep Matt warm. The race runs were pretty sketch for almost everyone. Treglia may have broken his wrist; Dave and Matt both took spills in their race runs as well. I faired all right no real big mistakes but many little ones that may or may not have cost me a position. But Marv pulled out the fireworks on his run, after the last rock garden he found himself gapping out to the road and found his suspension and form to be non-compliant. Over the bars and through the air the crash would end the life of the helmet and offer a separated shoulder and many tweaked muscles. Concussion? Maybe.
Massanutten put on a great race and the weekend ran quite smoothly from their end.

New bikes are on the way and the U.S. Open lurks around the corner.

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The holeshot from hell.

GP Spain was nuts, the holeshot almost killed riders and the hill climb at the end had riders strewn about. I will no longer complain about mud on a DH course.

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Throttle check...

Moto Motion 4 - Lyng

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