Wednesday 22 April 2015

Martin Wins Sea Otter Classic Dual Slalom

Martin Wins Sea Otter Classic Dual Slalom! 

7th in Downhill with Dan in 9th

This weekend saw an awesome win in a third MTB discipline for 18-year-old  Martin Maes, cementing his growing reputation as an all-round riding talent in the image of his mentor and fellow team member Dan Atherton. This will be Martin's third year of riding with the team, in which time he has become Enduro World Series Overall Junior Champion 2013, taken the Junior victory at the Downhill World Cup (Fort William) 2014, and is now victorious at the iconic Sea Otter Dual Slalom against a stacked field of older and more experienced riders.

The Dual Slalom took place on the Saturday in front of an excited crowd. The weather was scorching hot, track conditions dry, sandy and loose. The GT pits were crazy busy with Mark Maurissen getting Martin's Distortion built up with some brand new Fox parts just in time for practice.

Times for the race this year were really fast, with plenty of thrills, spills and surprises seeing lots of the favourite riders relegated in the early rounds. Last year's winner Cody Kelley had to settle for 20th this year, Luca Shaw was riding brilliantly but lost out to Andrew Neethling and Kyle Strait had to settle for 12th after a first heat battle with his friend Cam Zink.

The riders raced twice per heat once in the blue lane, once in the red with the winner by the biggest margin going through to the next round. Martin made short work of his first pairing, Iago Garay Tamayo and then Adrien Loron in Round 2, Bernat Guardia in Round 3...In the semi-finals Mitch Ropelato battled with Kerr to take the Finals spot and Martin took out Andrew Neethling who would finish 4th on the day overall. 

In the first race of the final heat, Martin started in the blue lane. It was a close-run race with Mitch Ropelato, and the riders were neck and neck as they came into the home straight but Mitch edged ahead to take the first race - just. For the final race of the last heat Martin was in the red lane; he turned on the power 110% to cross the line decisively in the lead and take the Dual Slalom crown!

Jill Kintner took the Women's race.

Martin said: "It's incredible, I am so stoked right now, I really couldn't ask for anything more, I had no expectations coming into this race. Last year I crashed out really early but this year it's turned out to be one of the greatest things in the last two years of riding with the team. I had so much fun today, there were so many people cheering us on, and in this whole Festival. Awesome! It was a real team effort, massive thanks to Mark for getting my Distortion ready on time!"

In the Downhill, race times were super-tight, except for Aaron Gwin who led the field by nearly two and a half minutes! The American riders dominated with three Californians and Utah's Logan Binggeli on the podium. Canadian Josh Carlson grabbed third place.

The day was hot, the course flat, sandy and mainly through open fields. It wasn't as technical as perhaps the team would have liked but a couple of jumps and a loud and enthusiastic crowd made it a fun event to ride.

Dan said: "I had loads of fun riding Downhill at Sea Otter this year. I was happy enough with 9th here. It was good to see the Enduro boys mixing it up with the Enduro riders and it was cool to ride with Mikey Day and Martin and to hang out with Hans Rey and the GT guys."

Dual Slalom Results
1 Martin Maes
2 Mitch Ropelato
3 Bernard Kerr
4 Mike Day 

Downhill Results 
1 Aaron Gwin             2:02.16
2 Logan Binggeli        2:04.40
3 Josh Carlson           2:06.09
4 Mike Day                 2: 06.14
5 Kiran MacKinnon  2: 06.22

7 Martin Maes           2:07.00

9 Dan Atherton         2: 07.70

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Silverline announced as Official Tool Supplier of Red Bull Soapbox Race 2015

Silverline announced as Official Tool Supplier of Red Bull Soapbox Race 2015
The legendary Red Bull Soapbox Race returns to the UK this summer and Silverline are thrilled to be chosen as the official tool supplier for the event to be held on Sunday 12th July at London’s Alexandra Palace.
Now in its 15th year, the truly global event which has been held everywhere from Peru to Paris, is expected to attract up to 20 000 spectators in London as they watch 70 teams race homemade soapbox vehicles down the steep road of the historic venue. Teams will be judged on speed, creativity and showmanship ensuring an adrenaline-fuelled day of thrills, spills and hilarity!
‘We are delighted to be involved in Red Bull Soapbox Race, which is set to be one of the biggest and most fun events of the summer. This year’s race theme is The Industrial Revolution, so it quite appropriate and this event is a perfect match for our brand and our products. We’re really looking forward to it.” Rob Henry -  Silverline Global Brand Manager

Monday 20 April 2015

How To build a wood log store with DIY expert Craig Phillips

Check out our latest step by step How To video featuring DIY expert Craig Phillips! Craig demonstrates just how easy it is to build your very own wooden log store. A perfect project for the summer to prepare your logs for burning in the winter!

Let us know what How To guides and projects you would like to see in the future by commenting in the box below!

Tuesday 14 April 2015

UCI WC Round 1 in Lourdes, France

Race Report: UCI World Cup Round 1 presented by Shimano in Lourdes, France, 12th April 2015. 

Rachel takes 2nd but Gee's qualifying crash almost finishes his weekend 

It was a mixed start to the season for a battered and bruised GT Factory Racing team - 2nd place for Rachel and a solid 30th for Taylor in his first Elite race even with a broken thumb. But then a massive crash in qualifying almost put Gee out of action.

The brutal Lourdes track was running fast and really rough as the women's race got underway in front of a noisy and appreciative crowd. Far from the predicted torrents and mud, the rains had pretty much stayed away although there was some drizzle after Saturday's qualifying and some showers overnight. 

As the women took to the track, it was dry, dusty and loose. Manon Carpenter had qualified 5th and was in the hot-seat with a time of 3.40.53 as the 4th-fastest qualifier Emmeline Ragot started her Finals run. And what a huge run it was! With her trademark bravery, Ragot rode the entire course right on the edge of control. Seconds out of the start-gate, the riders face a massive rock garden; Emmeline positively flew through this with no holding back to go over 6 seconds up at the first split. She kept this blistering pace right down to the bottom, smashing Manon's run by nearly 8 seconds to take the lead. Next up was Myriam Nicole, notoriously dangerous on steep tracks such as this. Nicknamed Pompon, Myriam was on fire, going ahead at split 1, but in the end she couldn't match Emmeline and went into second by 2.5 seconds. 

Rachel was up next. Coming out of the start-gate 100% committed, Rachel charged through the rock garden with her technical skills to the fore to go first as split 1! She kept up the pace through the woods, clearly relishing the steep and challenging track to maintain that lead at split 2. But shortly after the split she stalled going into a vital right-hand corner, a relatively small mistake that had a significant effect on her momentum. She couldn't seem to regain her former speed in the bottom section and crossed the line in second, 2 seconds back on Ragot. Tracey Hannah was still on course. She was 2nd to Rach at split 1 and 3rd at split 2 but she took a tumble on the bottom section, crossing the line in 5th. 

Rachel said: "I'm happy, I loved the track and the crowd were totally wild. Well done to Ragot who was on fire today and massive respect to Gee-man!"

In the men's race, both GT Factory Racing riders were riding with broken bones. Taylor Vernon had broken his thumb during training in New Zealand and was riding in heavy strapping. He rode a solid race but lost valuable time to finish 30th today with a small mistake in the bottom section, a very encouraging start to his first Elite season under the circumstances. 

Taylor said: "This weekend was good fun! The track was brutal, not what my thumb wanted but i managed to crack on. I was feeling good during my race until a mistake took me off the track at the bottom, losing a bit of time putting me back to 30th. All in all, a great experience at my first Elite race. Time to get healed up - bring on round 2."

Only Gee's legendary toughness could have got him to the start-gate this afternoon after a front tyre washout in the woods section in yesterday's qualis left him with a hand injury, that potentially looks to be a break*.

It was strategically important that he rode to secure his place in a 90-minute timed training session in Fort William so the team attached a stopwatch to the bars of his bike and sent him out to roll down the course, heavily strapped and in a lot of pain. To secure his place Gee had to finish within 100% of the winning time - today just under 6 minutes. But as soon as he left the gates Gee's racing instincts kicked in and he rode the course just 16 seconds slower than the eventual winner Aaron Gwin, 48th place on the day!

Gee said: "That's Round 1 done! I'm happy with the result today considering the broken wrist. Always nerve-wracking to ride with your hand strapped to the bars - especially racing at a track like Lourdes!"

Gwin had been another casualty of qualis (DSQ after a big crash) and so he was another rider to drop in for his race run much earlier in the running than usual. It seemed that he must have got off lightly though as he put in an absolutely scorching run to take the hot-seat in 2.58 - the only sub 3-minute run of the finals and 4 seconds clear of the rest of the field. 

Mike Jones grabbed his first World Cup podium, crossing the line in 2nd (an eventual 3rd place result), but Neko Mulally was gutted with a broken wheel just a few seconds out of the gate. Then only Bryceland, Thirion and Loic Bruni were left on the hill. Josh couldn't get close, Remi Thirion flatted in the bottom section so it was all down to Loic, the last rider down. He almost lost control in the first corner but recovered enough for a fantastic run, going into 2nd place. 

Team Director Dan Brown said: "I'm proud of the team this weekend, Taylor rode well and there is obviously a lot of potential there. Rachel is fired up for a challenging season and Gee, well, when the going gets tough...!"

Elite Women’s Results
1 Emmeline Ragot  - MS Mondraker 3.32.62
2 Rachel Atherton  - GT Factory Racing 3.34.68 +2.06
3 Myriam Nicole  - Commencal/Vallnord 3.35.13 + 2.50
4 Manon Carpenter - Madison Saracen Factory Team 3.40.53

5 Tracey Hannah - Polygon UR 3.42.75 +10.12 

Elite Men’s Results
1 Aaron Gwin - Specialized Racing 2.58.69
2 Loic Bruni - Lapierre Gravity Republic 3.02.64 +3.95
3 Michael Jones - Chain Reaction Cycles/Paypal 3.05.69 +6.4
4 Danny Hart - MS Mondraker Team 3.05.57 +6.88
5 Sam Dale - Madison Saracen Factory Team 3.05.83 +7.13
 30 Taylor Vernon - GT Factory Racing  3.12.03 +13.34
48 Gee Atherton - GT Factory Racing 3.15.22 +16.53

* Tbc on return to the UK.

Photos: Sven Martin

Silverline 49ers hit Palma

Princess Sofia Regatta, Palma

We made the long trip to Palma having not sailed for well over a month, due to our boat being container-bound since Miami. We decided to use the Eurosaf regatta in Palma as training and a chance to get race-tuned for the upcoming World Cup regattas in Hyeres and Weymouth.

It felt great to be back on the beach in Palma again - the regatta is a favourite of ours, with mixed conditions and this year was no exception, although a little colder than we usually like! The 49er is so fun to sail that when you have a few weeks out of the boat that first sail back is pretty exciting and makes you feel ten years old again! A really strong fleet made the trip over and we had almost every condition imaginable over the regatta and four days training beforehand.

We began the regatta relatively well, with some solid scores on a very gusty and shifty first day. We started poorly and gave ourselves a lot of work to do after some deep first mark positions, but we charged through the fleet and got off to a decent start with two results inside the top ten .

Day two was a more conventional Palma sea breeze day, although we were raced late in the day after the girls finished. By this time the wind had become more unpredictable, but we sailed a great first race and won comfortably. After a solid first lap in race two we were in third, but the wind completely dropped and we made a slight tactical error, which we were punished hard for and finished 8th.

The following day we split into Gold fleet and launched to a building Easterly breeze and perfect skiff sailing conditions. Flat water, 14-18kts and some incredibly tight racing made for one of the best day's racing in a long time. We started and sailed really well, scoring a 3,6 in the first two. The final race was again late in the day and the wind began doing some crazy things. Despite being in a solid position and in the top ground about 50m from the first mark, somehow we rounded in tenth and an error on the downwind cost us further places, turning what should have been another solid result into a 16th. It  was a disappointing end to a day when we sailed really well on the whole.

Day four was a strange one for us - the wind was in the 14-18 knot range and steady - usually one of our strongest conditions. We struggled a bit for speed and managed to salvage a 10,10 from the morning races after some good comebacks. Back on shore, we found out that we were slightly off with our settings and after a tweak to the setup felt good for the afternoon race. We got a great start and won the left on the course - usually the favoured side. Unfortunately, the right came in strong and we rounded the first mark with a lot of work to do again. We missed the gain on the right again on the second lap and struggled round to a 16th, capping of a very frustrating day.

The final day of Gold fleet was sailed in lighter sea breeze conditions. We had a poor start in the first race and with a very left hand favoured track meant there was little room for position changes. In the second race we were set for a great start, but with  seconds to go a German boat took us out and destroyed our chances for a good race. The final race of the day we got off the start line to record a 4th and cemented our position in the medal race, although frustratingly we were left feeling that we hadn't given ourselves much chance in the races!

The medal race was close as ever and we finished 5th, placing us 7th overall. On the whole, we were disappointed with the end result as we felt we were fast enough to medal comfortably. Our decision-making when the wind went tricky late in the day cost us a lot of points, but this was a training regatta and it is important to remember that. We will polish our racing at a training regatta in Hyeres, prior to the World Cup regatta and we will go there with confidence and excitement.

Ed and Dave

Monday 13 April 2015

Atherton Experience Day T's & C's

Atherton Experience Day T's & C's

1. Entries must be made via Facebook or Twitter. The entrant must retweet or share the graphic telling us why they should win

2. The experience day will be help on May 6th at Antur Stiniog Mountain Bike Centre

3. Entrants must be over 16

4. Winners must cover their own transport and accommodation costs

5. Winners must provide their own mountain bike, riding kit and helmet.

6. The promoter, Powerbox Limited reserves the right to publish the name of the winner. The winner is required to give their full co-operation to all requests by Powerbox Limited or a promoter in connection with publicity for the competition, their entry, the prize or otherwise

7. The competition closes on Friday 17th April at 5pm.

8. No cash alternative will be offered and prizes are non-transferable

9. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected to this competition

10. The winners agree to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current (UK) Data Protection Legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent

11. By entering this competition, the entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions

12. If the winner is unable to take up a prize for any reason, or if Powerbox Limited has not been able, after making reasonable efforts, to contact the winner, Powerbox Limited reserve the right to award the prize (without notice to the first winner chosen) to an alternative winner. In this case the original winner will not be eligible for any share of the prize. Powerbox Limited shall not have any liability in such eventuality

13. Entries must be made in accordance with the competition instructions. They are invalid if they are received any later than the specified closing time (which shall be GMT date and time)

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Disappointment for Dan Atherton & Martin Maes from GT Factory Racing

Race Report: Enduro World Series Round 1, 28th March 2015

Disappointment for Dan & Martin at Giant Toa Enduro at Crankworx in Rotorua, New Zealand. 

Amazing dirt, amazing trails and two riders in the physical and mental form of their lives, Round 1 of the 2015 Enduro World Series seemed like the perfect race for Dan Atherton. This was his first international after a 2014 compromised by injury and young Martin Maes' continuing quest for his first win in the GC.

But both riders would end the day disappointed. 

Dan had ridden smooth and fast, and he was 7th overall as he went into Stage 5. (Official results show him 11th, 5th, 8th, 7th int he first four stages.) But he took a massive OTB and had to retire from the race - giving up a very likely top ten result.

Dan's mechanic Olly reported: "He hit his head pretty bad, hurting his neck. He went to the hospital to get checked out, especially in light of his previous neck injury, and we're stoked that he's now got the all-clear. All of us are gutted for him, especially as he'd been riding the last two stages like an absolute demon in practice." 

Martin had been strong in practice, relishing the challenge of the Rotorua trails. But come race day he took things a bit steady and couldn't seem to get into contention. Martin said: "I felt good with my fitness but maybe somehow today i was lacking sprint power - I'm not sure how some stages i did so bad!"

Ultra-tough Stage 1, the longest and arguably the most technical track of the race was wild. The crowd was so noisy , there was loads of overtaking, and loads of crashes - including spills from Barnes, Ropelato, Absalon, Keene and Barelli!! Martin narrowly avoided a crash but the real issue for him was speed - he finished 28th on the stage, +53.5 seconds behind stage winner Jerome Clementz. Dan fared better, posting 11th on the stage at +23.5 seconds.

Next up was a long liaison to Stage 2, the most remote stage of the race, deep in the forest. The stage was narrow, steep and slimy with some tricky off-camber corners but there were a lot of clean runs. Martin looked smooth and controlled throughout coming in 22nd for the stage and Dan's intense Dyfi forest training paid off with a 5th. 

Word from the hill was that Stage 3 was looking pretty blown out on the corners with even the easy lines looking rough and quite dark in places. Dan once again took the track in his stride finishing 8th on the stage. Martin came in 18th. 

Stage 4 was fairly flat, had more roots than any other stage and was very slippery. Martin finished 18th while Dan's power and famous bike-handling skills saw him safely into 7th.

Stage 5, the shortest stage of the day, again had lots of roots, was tight, technical and required a high level of commitment. Dan was giving it his all when he took a massive OTB, exiting the race. Martin was 29th.

Stage 6 incorporating the old DH track had some less steep sections so it was key to keep momentum throughout the stage. Dan and Martin had enjoyed this stage in practice but with Dan out injured it was left to Martin to fly the flag for the GT Factory Racing team which he did in style, posting his best result of the race with a 2nd for the stage, 2 seconds back from Florian Nicolai.

Stage 7 was an extended version of Friday’s DH course. Martin rode it smoothly and in control, he made no mistakes but wasn’t in contention for the time, 18th for the stage.

Martin said: “Yeah, I’m very disappointed after a long winter of hard training to come with that result, my expectations were higher. Disappointed for Dan as well for sure...”

Writing on Pinkbike, Matt Wragg seemed to agree. He said: “Martin Maes has come into the season looking better than ever… (he ) has been looking fast all week but could only convert that pace to 18th on the day.”

Team director Dan Brown said: “We're all just glad that Dan is OK. His results in the first four stages are a good indication that he's going to be up there this year big time, he was pinned!”