Thursday 28 August 2014

Craig Phillips' Top Tools

Craig Phillips tells us what tools you should have in your toolbox. We'd love to hear what How To guides with Craig you would like to see - post your ideas in the comments box below or to see more helpful videos visit 

Rachel Atherton takes the win at the World Cup Finals in Meribel.

Taylor and Gee podium too!
In a dramatic finale to the 2014 season, three of the four GT Factory Racing riders podiumed today, while Marc Beaumont experienced a close encounter with a tree in the middle section, losing valuable time and finishing in 27th.
In the Overall Series Rankings, Rachel was 2nd to Manon Carpenter; Taylor 3rd to Loris Vergier and Luca Shaw; whilst Gee came in 5th place and Marc in 15th.
First up at Meribel were the Juniors.
Taylor had qualified in 3rd place and was lying 3rd in the overall rankings behind Luca Shaw and Loris Vergier. The track at Meribel is steep, technical and slippery – exactly the kind of challenge the riders have been begging for. What would young Taylor, buoyed with the confidence of his first World Cup win at last round Windham, bring today?
Ferran Jorba Pratts was in the hotseat as Taylor came out of the start gate. He made a mistake at the top, leaving him in 8th place for that sector, but by split 2 he had moved up to 2nd and crossed the line fastest by 0.5 seconds to take the hotseat! However, he was deposed on the next run by fellow Brit Laurie Greenland, and then Loris Vergier finished almost 4 seconds faster than Greenland - an outstanding performance which allowed him to overtake Luca Shaw (in 5th today) and take the Overall title. Taylor finished third in the Overall rankings – a truly remarkable result from a young rider who broke his back less than 60 weeks ago.
Taylor said: “I can’t believe the season is over so quickly – I’ve come a long way this year, thanks to Atherton Racing, GT Bicycles, Harris & Ross, my family, and everyone else who has helped me so much. Mistakes at the top cost me today but I know that number one spot is in reach!”

In the Women’s race, Tracey Hannah was in the hotseat when Emmeline Ragot delighted the home crowd by positively flying down the mountain. Emmeline was 4 seconds up at split 1, 10 seconds faster at split 2, and crossed the line in 3:46.524 - an astounding 8.743 seconds up on Hannah. But Manon and Rachel were still on the hill. Manon was fastest through the speed trap but couldn’t catch Ragot; she crossed the line in second place, enough to clinch her the Overall Series title.
Rachel had qualified first with a time of 3:52.116. As soon as she left the start gate it was clear that she was on a flier. Fast and precise through the top-section she was up at split one, fastest through the speed trap and fastest at split 2, crossing the line a convincing 3.4 seconds up on Ragot to take the win. The 250 points for 1st places in qualifying and finals was also enough for Rachel to overtake Ragot in the Overall rankings, Rachel moved to 2nd, 50 points short of fellow Brit Manon Carpenter and just 10 points ahead of Ragot - not a bad result considering the difficult start to Rachel’s 2014 season when she had to overcome a debilitating infection and a DSQ (with zero points for the round), after a bystander rushed to help her with a puncture at Fort William. Today’s win is Rachel’s 21st World Cup Trophy and saw her back on top form.
After the race Rachel said: “That was so nerve racking! Meribel is a proper ‘legit’ track and I knew that I’d make mistakes. I was trying to hold it back a bit at the top and save a bit of energy for the bottom section – I’m so stoked!”
In the Men’s race Marc had qualified 13th and Gee in 9th. Marc showed total commitment from the go, but as he came into the rock garden he lost his balance and hit a tree. The tree was wrapped so he was unhurt, but he lost momentum and vital seconds. He rode strongly through the rest of the course to cross the line in 15th but the damage was done. His eventual place today would be 27th - enough for 15th in the Overall. Marc said: “Well I’m gutted by that mistake – I was feeling strong and feeling good on the bike, but it wasn’t to be.”
Marcus Pekoll was in the hotseat when Gee came on course. Gee was fast.  He rode effortlessly through the rock garden, carrying unbelievable speed to go up at split 1, then was up by -2.71 at split 2, crossing the line 2.77 ahead of Pekoll. Aaron Gwin and Remi Thirion couldn’t match Gee, but Sam Hill demonstrated his incredible speed to knock 1.1 second off Gee's time. Loic Bruni slotted into 2ndthen Josh Bryceland took 2nd from him and Matt Simmonds took 2nd from Josh - the top 5 riders within 1.1. of Sam Hill!
Gee said: “That was tight! But great fun on an awesome course. Congrats to Sam, and of course to Ratboy for the overall!”

Photo Credit: Sven Martin

Monday 11 August 2014

Taylor Vernon takes his first World Cup win at Windham, New York

Race Report: Windham, New York 2014 World Cup Round 6

Taylor Vernon takes his first World Cup win!

An emotional weekend saw Taylor take his first-ever World Cup win at Windham, watched by his GT Factory Racing team mates and all of his family and friends.

It’s hard to believe that just under 13 months ago, Taylor was helicoptered off the mountainside at Crankworx Air DH in Les Deux Alpes with a broken back (he’d fractured his T7 vertebrae) and every day since he’s been dedicated to reaching this goal.

Rachel missed out to Emmeline Ragot by just 2.8 seconds but Gee and Marc had to settle for 13th and 20th places respectively.
Taylor had qualified in 5th place, but with the top five junior racers within 1.1 seconds it was all to play for as he took his place on the course. He put in a hell of a run, demonstrating the maturity and control he has learned this year under strict instructions from Team Director Dan Brown, and he was up at both splits but interestingly only 7th fastest through the speed trap. He crossed the line in 2.31.782 with 4 riders left on track. None of them could match him and he took the win by 0.844 from Luca Shaw.

Taylor said: “I’m so happy to take the win this weekend! I can’t believe I did it. Without the support of GT Factory Racing, my friends and my family there’s no way I could have done it. Big thank you to Pete Michaliszyn for getting my bike perfect. Thank you Windham!”

Dan Brown said: “We are all over the moon for Taylor; we all knew that he’d do it – but it’s taken a lot of guts and determination to get to this point, especially for a Junior. Taylor is a completely different rider to the boy we saw a year ago - we’re going to see a lot more of this.”

Taylor’s dad Jason said: “We were too scared to watch, but we always knew that it would happen, especially with the support of the best DH team in the world. It’s been a frustrating season for him so far but he’s never given up on his dream.”

In the Women’s race there was a lot of excitement as times fell thick and fast at the top of the rankings, Rachel had qualified first. Manon Carpenter had qualified in fourth but put in a blistering run to go 6.5 seconds clear of the field and take the hotseat. Tracey Hannah took advantage of a couple of tiny mistakes on Manon’s run to go 2 seconds clear of her and then Emmeline Ragot was on track. In her trademark fearless style she tore down the hill to take the hotseat from Hannah by an awesome 6.9 seconds. Rachel was last down. She rode fast but was still 2.8 short of Ragot – settling for 2nd place.

Rachel said: “Fair play to Ragot, she rode like a lion!”

In the Men’s race Gee had qualified in 15th. He put in a massively aggressive run, 100% committed despite carrying all manner of sprains and bruises but it wasn’t enough. He crossed the line in 4th – enough for an eventual 13th place. Marc had qualified 9th but in the Finals he also struggled to find the necessary speed, finishing 20th overall.

Gee said: “Not too much to say about my run – it’s all about the little butty this weekend – bloody good job Taylor Vernon!”

All Photos: Sven Martin


Men’s Elite
1 BRYCELAND Josh, Santa Cruz Syndicate, 2:24.332
2 GWIN Aaron Specialized Racing DH, 2:25.913, +1.581
3 BROSNAN Troy Specialized Racing DH, 2:26.455,  +2.123
4 BLENKINSOP Sam LaPierre Gravity Republic 2:27.544,  +3.212
5 MACDONALD Brook,  Trek Worl Racing 2:27.599, +3.267
13 ATHERTON Gee, GT Factory Racing, 2:29.076, +4.744
20 BEAUMONT Marc, GT Factory Racing, 2:30.441 +6.109

Women’s Elite

1 RAGOT Emmeline, LaPierre Gravity Republic,  2:40.146
2 ATHERTON Rachel, GT Factory Racing, 2:43.032,  +2.886
3 HANNAH Tracey, Hutchinson UR, 2:47.094 +6.948
4 CARPENTER Manon, Madison Saracen Factory Team, 2:48.873 +8.727
5 SEAGRAVE Tahnee, FMD Racing, 2:49.602,  +9.456


1 VERNON Taylor, GT Factory Racing, 2:31.782
2 SHAW Luca, SRAM/TLD Racing, 2:32.626, +0.844
3 VERGIER Loris, LaPierre Gravity Republic, 2:33.414, +1.632
4 STEWART Neil, FMD Racing, 2:35.103, +3.321
5 ESTAQUE Thomas, Lac Blanc/Scott 2:36.503,  +4.721


Men’s Elite

1. Josh Bryceland – 1007
2. Troy Brosnan – 964
3. Aaron Gwin – 925
4. Sam Hill – 802
5. Gee Atherton – 688

Women’s Elite
1. Manon Carpenter – 1180
2. Emmeline Ragot – 1110
3. Rachel Atherton – 1060

1. Luca Shaw – 214
2. Loris Vergier – 200
3. Taylor Vernon – 181

Thursday 7 August 2014

Meet the Athertons & win VIP tickets for UCI MTB World Cup Meribel

We’re excited to announce that Silverline Tools is now the Official Tool Supplier of the final Downhill World Cup round in Meribel, France from 21st-24th August.

The world’s best riders from all disciplines - Downhill, Cross Country and Trial – will come together to contest for the final podium of the season in one of France’s most impressive resorts!

After the success of Fort William, we’re extremely excited to support the event. Meribel will see the return of the popular Wattbike challenge on the Silverline stand, with a GT Avalanche Sport - signed by GT Factory Racing –to be won by the rider with the quickest time. We’ll also be bringing along our Silverline workstation, complete with bike tools for any maintenance or repairs needed by riders over the weekend.

We’ve teamed up with GT Factory Racing to give one lucky winner and a friend the chance to win VIP weekend tickets and meet the unstoppable, world class team! We’ll even throw in flights and £250 worth of Silverline tools for the lucky winner. To enter, simply head to Twitter and follow @silverlinetools, and tell us why you should win. The lucky winner will be chosen on Monday 11th August so get tweeting! 

Terms and Conditions
1. The VIP Meribel World Cup tickets are valid for Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August 2014

2. Silverline will reimburse the competition winner and their chosen friend/family member for one economy, return flight per person from the UK to France upon receipt of their flight booking confirmation. This will be reimbursed to the winner.

3. The winner will be required to spend a short amount of time at the event with the Silverline Marketing and Event team, and answer a few questions on camera to contribute to the Silverline Highlights video.

Friday 1 August 2014

Enduro World Series 2014 Round 5: Colorado Freeride Festival

Race Report: Enduro World Series 2014 Round 5: Colorado Freeride Festival

Hot, high and dusty - an exciting weekend’s racing in Colorado resulted in 6th place in the General Classification for GT Factory Racing’s 17 year old Martin Maes, even allowing for the disappointment of a last minute crash on SP7.

Teammate Dan Atherton was delighted to be back at the races and showed he is close to full race fitness with a storming Stage 1, but chose to ride conservatively for the rest of the weekend to allow his leg continue to recover. Official results show Dan in 50th place but this includes a 1 minute time penalty without which he would have achieved 22nd – not bad for a rider who was ‘taking it steady’.

Racing started Friday morning in high temperatures (87F). Both GT Factory Racing riders were on fire and couldn’t wait to get on track. Stage 1 was fast-flowing with some fast jumps. In practise both riders were getting good air and having Dan back as team-mate provided a noticeable boost to Martin’s confidence.

Martin started 13th in the rankings and had a good first stage, crossing the l

ine at 9.49.39 in 4th place. Lower down the ranks were some fast riders (including Dan who started in 62nd having raced only one stage this season). Stage winner Richie Rude started in 35th and Mitch Ropelato started 70th. Martin’s eventual rank for the stage was 9th while Dan was stoked to battle his way up to 11th.

Stage 2 was more technical and blown out after a DH race last week. The surface was loose and there were some tricky holes to catch out any riders not 100% vigilant. Dan’s knee began to feel the strain on this section, so he took it easy, tweeting: My recovering leg can’t take that pace all weekend, just looking to finish the race now.” Dan finished this stage in 07:02.374, 31st place. Martin put in another accomplished run to cross the line in 06:50.506, 8th place for the stage, but there was no rest for any of the racers as Stage 3 was opened for practise in the afternoon. Enduro Mechanic Andrew flagged a techy rock section at the start of the course as “going to need care to avoid punctures and rotor damage on an aptly named 'rotor rock!'

Going into Saturday (Day 2) the weather was cooler and slightly overcast; Martin was in 5th overall, 30 seconds off the lead. He flew down the Stage 3 course in 05:43.046, enough for 6th. After some confusion, Dan was given a 1 minute time penalty for starting the stage early. (This meant that his stage 1 position was revised to 113th). After that he put in a steady to run to post 06:06.105. Stages 4 and 5 were very short (around 90 seconds for stage 4 – a ‘surprise’ stage with just one practise run allowed). The stages led on to each other with just 9 minutes’ transfer and were fast, ‘pedally’ sections that required maximum flow to do well. Martin battled hard to take 12th on both stages: 01:29.114 for Stage 4 (about 4 seconds behind Stage winner Jared Graves) and 06:01.294 for stage 5. Dan posted 01:33.015 and 06:16.063.

At the start of Day 3 Martin was in 7th place overall while Dan was sitting in 65th – and loving being back at the races! Sunday’s Stage 6 was delayed for over 90 minutes with a racer down and requiring hospital treatment. When the race eventually started, Martin had another flyer, taking 7th on the stage.

Stage 7 - the finale to three hard days racing - was short, steep and dusty. Graves rode conservatively to protect his lead, putting in a 6:06 but tension ran high as successive riders went ahead of him - had he eased up too much? Justin Leov went clear of Graves by 10 seconds with 5:56. Martin had his sights set on a stage win and top 3 overall and he went fast, but disaster struck as he crashed out. He crossed the line in 8th (06:06.005) which held until Richie Rude flew into first place by 6 seconds clear of Justin Leov. The home crowd went wild! Rude’s fellow American Mitch Ropelato took the stage second and Melamed moved into 10th. Cedric Garcia took 11th place, pushing Martin back into 12th on the stage.

Dan posted 09:57.022 on Stage 6 and 06:09.181 (16th place) on Stage 7. He said: “Great weekend! It was exactly how I’d wanted it to be; go fast on the first stage then relax and have fun for the rest of the race. Congratulations to Martin on his fourth top ten of the series – bad luck for the slip on Stage 7 but he put in some great riding out there.”

Martin said: “So it was a long weekend! Stages were pretty different - some really enjoyable and some not so interesting for me. I rode quite steady all weekend until the last downhill stage where I wanted to win! I had a perfect run but at the end of the stage I crashed badly and probably lost 10 seconds at least. That's racing and it's why I love it! I'm trying to put everything together and get more experience so next year I'll be even more ready to fight for the win.

The Sanction has been perfect as always! Love it! Athy seems to be stronger race after race and that makes me happy for sure. Now two weeks shredding at Whistler with Athy and friends. I can't wait!”

1 Jared Graves (Yeti /Fox Shox Factory) 00:44:16.42850
2 Richie Rude (Yeti /Fox Shox Factory) 00:44:40.981 +00:24.553
3 Rene Wildhaber  (Trek/Red Bull/Dakin/Sram) 00:44:58.850 +00:42.422
4 Mitch Ropelato (Specialized) 00:45:20.192, + 01:03.764
5 Justin Leov (Trek Factory Racing Enduro) 00:45:28.999 +01:12.571
6 Martin Maes (GT Factory Racing) 00:45:38.570 +01:22.142
50. Dan Atherton (GT Factory Racing) 00:47:55.931 +03:39.503