Last fall, Justin Olsen, Eric Porter, Kelly McGarry, Haruki “Harookz” Noguchi, and Stephen D’arrigo spent 8 days floating down the Green River in South Eastern Utah with Mountain Bike racks attached to their rafts, searching for unique and unridden terrain to ride.
Bike magazine is running a full feature article covering the trip in the July issue, which is hitting the shelves now. To coincide with the print article this video “Down River” video was just released showcasing their adventure, shot and edited by Gravity Homie Justin Olsen. It is an all encompassing video illustrating what happened on this trip.
“Down River” – Shot and Edited by Justin Olsen, Featuring Gravity Riders Eric Porter and Kelly McGarry, Still Photography by Harookz, River Support by Stephen D’arrigo.
All photography shot by Harookz
Rachel Atherton shines bright in Val di Sole
Riding her first World Cup of 2012 Rachel Atherton of GT Factory Racing took to the top step of the podium to celebrate an impressive win in front of a huge crowd in Val di Sole, Italy today.
Having missed Round One in South Africa in favour of recovering her shoulder after surgery, the youngest Atherton sibling was keen to make her first World Cup of the year one to remember. The steep and brutal track on the lower slopes of Val di Sole is one of the toughest on the circuit with new and old sections deep in loam hiding huge roots and rocks that were taking casualties all weekend.
Saturday’s qualifying session saw Rachel take second spot behind the current World Champion Emmeline Ragot despite battling with back markers on her run. Trailing the French woman by 6.6 seconds, Rachel had some work to do during Sunday morning’s practice. Working hard on her lines and bike set up she finished the session happy and ready for the finals. Times were toppling as we worked through the woman’s field with an almost constant change to the top of the leader board. It wasn’t until Frenchwoman and number three seed Myriam Nicole blasted on track that a significant lead was had. Her time of 3:53.921 was a huge 10 seconds clear of the field and looking good for the win. However next up was Rachel. She charged out of the start hut and put in a really strong top section clocking 1.9 seconds faster than Nicole, keeping up this progression through the second split where her lead improved to 2.7 seconds. A little bobble on the lower section didn’t deter her as she flew across the line in 3:49.436 seconds, 4.4 seconds quicker than Nicole, a good 7 seconds faster than Ragot’s qualifying time and a massive 12 seconds quicker than her own time from Saturday. This left Ragot on track – she went through the first split down on Rachel, the second split was a similar story, but on this track time can easily pulled back and she rode the bottom section really strong but it wash’t enough to topple Atherton. Arms aloft Rachel marked the start of her World Cup season in style showing she will be one to watch as the season progresses.
“I’m made up with the win today, I put in a big effort to pull back the gap on Emmeline, my bike was working so well despite me nearly throwing it away up there in a few places” commented Rachel after the race.
It wasn’t just Rachel who was on form over the weekend as brother Gee and team mate Marc Beaumont both qualified well on Saturday, 4th and 3rd respectively. With the course getting more and more beat up as the race went on the pair were in for a rough ride.
Gee was up first and he was chasing a great ride from Cameron Cole of New Zealand. Gee started strong, up at split one by 1.8 seconds and then pulling that out to 3.6 by split two but fading towards the bottom due to his arm injury sustained in Friday’s practice. He still managed to hold on to the top spot when he crossed the line 1.4 seconds up on Cole. Now was the time of Beaumont, a long term GT rider and previous winner on this course, Beaumont put in a strong ride clocking a 3:19.514 and slipped into 2nd spot behind Gee. With the top two seeds left on track the team was hoping for a double win but it wasn’t to be as Minnaar got stronger on the lower part of the course and edged Gee’s time by just 5 tenths of a second despite being a second back on the top two splits. Last man on the hill and favourite for the win was American Aaron Gwin, Gwin rode out of his skin and took the win in style, a good margin ahead of the rest of the field.
Marc and Gee’s performance was enough to concrete them in the top 5 in the overall with Gee sitting in 3rd spot while Marc is 87 points behind in 4th. The pair trail Gwin and Minnaar who are tied on points at the top while Rachel is up to 4th despite only riding the one event. This strong performance from the team meant that they also took the team prize from the event and also the overall lead in the team standings.
Moving on now the team head straight to the biggest World Cup of the year, Fort William in Scotland. Racing in front of the home crowd will hopefully give the team an extra boost as they aim to take more podium spots in Round three.
All photos: Sven Martin
In his first domestic appearance within his new discipline of Enduro racing Dan Atherton took a podium finish in the 3rd round of the UK Gravity Enduro Series.
Riding in glorious conditions made a welcome change to the 287 riders who made the trip up to the North of England to tackle the six exciting stages. With the stages varying in length from 2.5 minutes to 4 minutes things were a little on the short side to what Dan’s been riding and training for recently, this didn’t stop him on Saturdays seeding stage however, taking the win by one second ahead of Alex Stock.
Sunday kicked off with one of the shortest stages, just over two minutes long with a mixture of flowing singletrack and a tough fire road climb, luck wasn’t on Dan’s side however as he snapped his gear cable and got stuck in hardest gear at the middle point of the stage, leaving him to power his way to the finish. He took third just two seconds down, he scrambled to get the bike fixed in time for stage two but just managed to make his start time. A little flustered with time to make up he went a little too hard out of the blocks, overcooking a corner he crashed off the side of the track, picking himself up quickly he rode the rest of the stage with his rear brake up in the air, not the best start with two issues on two stages.
Stage three saw some controversy with a few top riders cutting a corner, Dan followed the trail and came in third two seconds down on the fastest rider. The next stage was the most technical of the race, Dan rode strong and took the win clawing a little back on the leaders.
This left the final stage which was a re-visit to the seeding stage, having won the previous evenings stage made Dan the favourite for the win, he had no problem delivering making another two seconds up on the leader Alex Stock. It wasn’t enough however to take back time for the overall win but it was a good performance all the same, second place just five seconds back.
“I felt strong out there, I was riding better in my race runs than I was in practice which I haven’t done for a long time, getting use to these shorter courses will take a bit of getting use to, you really can;t afford any mistakes and today I made two big ones. Hopefully I’ll be able to race in the UK again soon” explained a fairly happy Dan.
Dan will now be joining the rest of the team at the Fort William World Cup for his first downhill event of the year before heading onto numerous Enduro events across Europe.
Gravity and Diamondback Riders Kelly McGarry and Eric Porter had some fun while McGazza was in Utah after Sea Otter. Porter and Kelly were super busy building some back yard jumps at Porter’s house getting ready for the summer. Kelly is one heck of guy!
The Atherton’s have been putting out these videos throughout the course of this season. Check out the most famous team in Mountain Biking! The Atherton’s ride the FSA Orbit Option Angle Adjust.
In Chapter 1, Gee reflects on the World Cup season opener in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and assesses his chances for the rest of the season. He reveals how he’s getting on with his new race bike, the GT Fury, before hitting the dirt jumps his brother Dan built in their back garden.
In this second video from our exclusive four-part series filmed at home with the most famous siblings in mountain biking, the Athertons, it’s Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) who takes centre stage.
The 24-year-old talks about her recovery from injury, her hopes for the 2012 season and her favourite new bike, the GT Force, and then takes us on a cross country ride with her dog Angus.
Officially the final chapter in the series, Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) takes us on a Cribs-style tour of Atherton Racing headquarters.
Here we find the dirt jump-filled back garden, the fully tooled-up workshop, the expansive gym and the house itself – pretty much the dream set-up for any serious mountain biker.
Quinton Spaulding came through with this update on the KHS Factory DH team.
Binggeli was close to the pace on the day… But finished just off the podium in 8th.
In the big scene of things KHS Factory Racing had a solid weekend, however at this level and with this amount of support we expect to be on the wood.
We are off to New York, PLATTEKILL to be exact and hope to redeem ourselves there with a BIG FINISH!
Please stay tuned for more updates as they become available.
All the best,
James Doerfling coming through again with another banger of an edit. This session its James on his home turf in Williams Lake, BC. James and Garret both ride Gravity Light Stems, Seat Posts, Cranks, and Headsets. Be on the look out for a fresh round of print ads featuring both James and Garret on their big mountain sleds!
Gravity’s local DH shredding team “Ministry of Descent” has been killing it at the NW Cups this season. Adrian, Shawn, Andrew, Tristyn, and Weylin have been attending all the NW Cups and even securing some podiums for Gravity and MOD!
Check out MOD at the rest of the North West Cups in Mt. Hood and Steven’s Pass.
Tyler Deschaine shot and edited this video from his trip to the NW Cup #3 last weekend. It features Gravity / Diamondback Riders Charlie Sponsel and Kyle Thomas.
We had a great time at the Port Angeles stops of the NW Cup this year. Casey Northern and Scott Tucker did an amazing job on these events this year and we wanted to give a big “Thank You” to them. Awesome job guys!
The next round of the NW Cup will take place at Mt. Hood / Ski Bowl on June 15-17th, 2012.
Gravity will be there, will you?
Kelly is from Nelson New Zealand and lives part time in Whistler, BC.
Mike Hopkins is a Professional Mountain Bike Athlete bred from Canada’s B.C. Interior. He grew up amidst the outdoor driven community of Rossland,
Charlie Sponsel is from Portland, Oregon and runs the Team Robot Blog and Writes for Pink Bike. He also sends it further than you on the weekends.