Four Riders + Rocky Mountain Altitude


XXC Magazine is best known for covering the endurance and xc race scene, but this video Rocky Mountain showcasing four different riders on board the Altitude was pretty cool (XXC Mag is a sucker for good video). We’ll just file it under xxcmag.cult:ure, OK?

Rocky Mountain’s riders are a diverse bunch, and we take pride in that. Our Altitude platform is equally diverse, so with this Fourtitude video we set out to explore what four very different riders could bring to the Altitude 790 MSL.

Wade Simmons, Andreas Hestler, Thomas Vanderham and Geoff Gulevich all ride the 5.18 lb Altitude 790 MSL frame in the video. The Ride-9 system allows them to set their geometry and suspension rates up in a variety of ways. Wade runs it slackest; Thomas runs it in slacker & progressive (forward & down, aka “Vanderham Mode”); both Dre & Gully run the bike neutral & progressive (furthest down).

Wade wanted to showcase the kind of “steep & deep” technical riding that he enjoys on a daily basis. These natural steeps lurk on Vancouver’s North Shore, but rarely see bikes that aren’t full travel downhill rigs. We’re pretty sure the Godfather would be stylish on an old 10-speed too, but it’s always humbling to see him bring flow to the burliest lines.

Andreas “Dre” Hestler is an Olympian and has plenty of experience racing TransAlp and Enduro events, so it’s no surprise that he coaxes blistering speed out of the Altitude. For Fourtitude he took it to Squamish, where he gunned for some Personal Bests on one of the nicest trail networks around.

Thomas Vanderham likes to take each new bike to Kamloops – a landscape he knows and loves, and the Altitude was no exception. For its maiden voyage he took it out for some true trail blasting, from corner slashing to his patented whips.

Geoff Gulevich is better known for his slopestyle riding, but he was excited to bring his playful approach to the Altitude. He decided to shoot his section on a short road trip through Oregon, where he had a few tricks up his sleeve.

Photo for graphic provided by Margus Riga provided by Rocky Mountain

For more information visit Rocky Mountain at


Grand Junction Off-Road Course Flyover

Epic Rides Releases Course Flyover Video for Grand Junction Off-Road Presented by U.S. Bank

(Grand Junction, CO) May 21, 2013 - Epic Rides today released an official course flyover video of the Grand Junction Off-Road Presented by U.S. Bank taking place this Labor Day Weekend, August 31-September 1 in beautiful Grand Junction, Colorado. The seven-minute video can be found here, and highlights the complete 40 Grand (1 mile=1 Grand) course, including the choicest sections of trail that Grand Junction has to offer.

Named for its location at the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers, the high desert town of Grand Junction has flourished over the past decade into a world-class mountain biking destination. Those familiar with Grand Junction will recognize trail names like Lunch Loops, Twist ‘n Shout, Butterknife, Tabeguache and Andy’s Trail; all of which will be featured in the 40 Grand event.

With cooperation from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), two shorter course lengths will be offered (15 Grand and 30 Grand) to challenge the skill and experience of all types of riders while four aid stations supplied by GU Energy Labs will keep everyone properly fueled.

Riders will start and finish in the heart of downtown Grand Junction with cool, early morning temperatures only steps from the mighty Colorado River.  Three partner hotels including Springhill Suites, Fairfield Inn and the Hampton Inn are located in the immediate vicinity of the start/finish/event hub on Main St. The location couldn’t be more convenient for event participants, their families and concert goers.

“Having three hotels right at the start line makes it incredibly easy for people to pull into town, park their cars for the entire weekend and ride to all the great restaurants, bars, grocery stores and some of Colorado’s wine country in Grand Junction,” said Todd Sadow, president of Epic Rides.

All riders will leave town crossing over the Colorado and hit dirt within three miles, entering the famous Lunch Loops trail system. After climbing Widowmaker Hill, riders will experience Gunny, a fun section of singletrack that gives everyone a taste of the incredible riding that’s to come. Then it’s time to Twist ‘n Shout, a trail that fully lives up to its name – you can’t help but holler out in approval. Butterknife trail is next, a 6.5-mile section of singletrack that weaves its way through juniper trees and over technical rock features. For a firsthand look of the fun in store, watch this ten-minute trail preview of the Butterknife descent.

After Butterknife, the breathtaking scenery takes over as riders drop down to the Gunnison River with expansive views of towering red rock cliffs before a long climb up Magellan Loop that peaks riders out at 6,600 feet elevation. After a brief descent, riders will then get to experience more than a mile of Tabeguache Trail, riding exclusively on a slickrock climb that offers astonishing amounts of traction, turning everyone into a climbing hero.

Riders will also pass through the rock-strewn Rough Canyon, and if conditions are right, water crossings and waterfalls will add to the unforgettable journey. Then it’s onto the technical and twisty Andy’s Trail before riders finish off on Eagle’s Tail singletrack and enjoy a proper cool down or sigh of relief on pavement to downtown Grand Junction.

For those who’ve done the Whiskey Off-Road in Prescott, Arizona, riders can expect longer sections of singletrack that are more technically challenging yet still manageable for all skill levels. The 40 Grand is 10 miles shorter in length with less overall climbing of 6,500 vertical feet compared to 7,300 vertical feet at the Whiskey Off-Road 50 Proof. The 15 Grand and 30 Grand are similar in length to the Whiskey’s 15 Proof and 25 Proof, making The Grand an event that riders of all skill and fitness levels can enjoy.

“Whether racing to win, for bragging rights with friends or simply as a personal challenge to finish, each participant in the Grand Junction Off-Road has a physical goal in mind,” said Melissa Bashara, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications for Rocky Mountain Health Plans. “Rocky Mountain Health Plans understands the mountain bike lifestyle, and since we’re a local, Colorado-based company, we’re proud to help introduce newcomers to the incredible trails surrounding Grand Junction.”

Registration is now open and is limited to 500 amateur participants.  For complete event information, detailed course maps and to register, visit the Grand Junction Off-Road Presented by U.S. Bank website.


BIKE Four Peaks Just Two Week Away


A true summit at inaugural BIKE Four Peaks

Munich, May 22, 2013 – Two weeks prior to the start of the inaugural BIKE Four Peaks, the four-day event becomes clearly a true summit – for two reasons. On the one hand, one prominent peak acts as the model for each stage. On the other hand, the top guns of the scene all aim for the title; excitement guaranteed!

Due to his title three-peat at the predecessor event Trans Germany (2010, 2011 and 2012) Christoph Sauser (SUI) is the main aspirant for the top spot in the overall ranking at the first ever BIKE Four Peaks. Especially as the 2011 World Champion now has a lot of experience being the one mountain biker everybody is chasing down.

“Being the one everyone is looking for helps. It makes you a favourite so you have to ride fast,” said the Specialized Racing athlete in a short interview. “And when I compete, I want to win!”

Chances are good to do so and even better than the last years as the 2013 Cape Epic winner is fit as never before. “This year, I won’t compete in any cross country race before the event and thus can prepare better.” And maybe have his revenge for the unsuccessful Marathon European Championships in Singen. Just a few weeks ago, Sauser missed the title on the home straight due to a technical problem.


As a result, Alban Lakata (AUT) brought home ECS Gold. However, the repeated National Champion is not only the main rival for the Swiss top gun because of that. The Austrian veteran is in a great shape for months now and is hoping to keep his form for the up-coming events.

“It’s my goal to keep the momentum for the BIKE Four Peaks and to get the fine tuning for the World Championships which are subsequent to the race,” notes Lakata. The 2012 Transalp winner might be aiming for the worlds as his Swiss rival does but it’s obvious that the BIKE Four Peaks are on his priority list.

“Of course I would like to win. But I guess I’m not the only one. There are a few who will go for it.” Besides Sauser, the Topeak Ergon Racing team member names Markus Kaufmann (GER) and Urs Huber (SUI) as top candidates for the podium. As a result, he points out that “it will be a tight battle until the very last metre!”

A few entry spots left

All mountain bike amateurs who are willing to lock horns with the who is who of the scene can still do so as some entries still remain open for public:

For further information about the race visit

About the BIKE Four Peaks

The BIKE Four Peaks promises to be a true highlight of the 2013 mountain bike calendar. Designed for a maximum of 1,000 participants, the four-day stage race will lead through the most spectacular mountain bike areas of the Alps.

Pros as well as amateurs will pedal a total of some 300 kilometres which are peppered with more than 9,000 meters in elevation gain from Ruhpolding via Lofer, Kirchberg in Tirol and Kaprun to Neukirchen am Grossvenediger.

Besides entering the race as single starter, every participant also has the chance to register for a team of four or even more mountain bikers.

Photo: Courtesy of BIKE Four Peaks (formerly known as Trans Germany).


Long Sock Classic: THIS SATURDAY!

longsockpicThis Saturday, May 18, the second round of the XCMarathon Cup MTB series will be flying through the Ganaraska Forest just 1 hour from Toronto. A perennial favourite with long flowing sections of single track and fast double track, this new-for-2013 course will provide the perfect test for the current Apogee Leaders Jersey holders, who are all planning to race in defence of the Jersey.

The 32k route will be ridden once for the Half-Marathon and twice for the full Marathon, passing a stocked neutral feed-zone every 16k. Pre-riding is now open as the course is provisionally marked for the weekend. Participants will be racing and riding for a great collection of prizes and draw prizes from Norco Performance Bikes, King Brewery and Joyride 150.

Still not sure if this is for you? After riding a 32k course with over 500 arrows guiding you through the trails, there is a BBQ for everyone. Giant Bicycles Canada will be there with their test fleet of 2013 mountain bikes. There will also be a free kids race at 10:30 before the big kids head out on the big lap.

Ride or race, this weekend at the Ganaraska forest. Pre-registration is now closed but race day registration is open until 10 for the marathon and 10:20 for the half marathon races.

For more details and registration visit

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at


Brian Matter: Pre-Trans-Sylvania Epic Interview


Earlier today, had the chance to talk with racer Brian Matter about the upcoming  Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic stage race (TSE for short), which is set to begin on May 26th.

You are most noted for racing cross and dominating the WORS (Wisconsin Off Road Series), is this your first foray into mountain bike stage racing?

Yes, the Trans-Sylvania Epic will be my first mountain bike stage race.

What attracted you to the Trans-Sylvania Epic?

The TSE just sounds like an amazing event. Every year the event sounds amazing and this year I couldn’t resist. All sorts of friends have raced it and they couldn’t stop raving about the best mountain bike weekend of the year, so I’ve got to go check it out for myself. This year I wanted to do a few new things and change it up a little. So I did Sea Otter which I haven’t done in over 10 years, the Whiskey 50 for the first time, the Trans-Sylvania Epic and I’m hoping to do mountain bike Nationals which I haven’t done in a long time also. Plus you can’t count out the fact that I’m a Steelers fan, my dad went to Penn State University, and PA is just a cool place.

How are you preparing for the more technical riding of Pennsylvania, The trails in the mountains of PA differ somewhat to the (mostly) buff singletrack found in the midwest? (I believe I saw on your blog that you were getting freaky on a Trek Fuel EX 9 out in Arizona a few months back, was that “PA rocks preparedness training?” ha!)

Rocks! I can’t wait to rip some technical trails! I really like technical mountain bike racing and there is not that much in the midwest. I come from the old school days of NORBA racing at Mt. Snow, Vermont, Snowshoe, West Virginia and Seven Springs, Pennsylvania… I’m really looking forward to the technical challenge. It was probably when I couldn’t get enough of the amazing trails down in Tucson that I started thinking about the TSE. Day after day after day of ripping on the FUEL EX and having a blast was probably what sealed the deal! I also decided last minute to do the WEMS (Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series) last weekend at the Northern Kettle Moraine Forrest (see XXC’s coverage here). It’s pretty rocky out there so I went for it and had some good times on the new Superfly 100 over some wet rocks and roots.

How, if at all, have you altered your training as you prepare for the TSE and does it differ from your normal XC training?

My training has’t changed at all.  I’m usually just doing base miles at this point in the season so the longer time on the bike should be beneficial for the TSE. I will probably spend a little more time on the mountain bike this week.

How important will your focus be on recovery each day?

I’ve done quite a bit of stage racing on the road and most of cross season seems like a big stage race so I know recovery between stages is critical. It all starts with never going too far into the red zone, eating and staying properly hydrated on the bike during the stages.  From there it’s good diet, which I hear TSE does an amazing job with the meal plans, good sleep, lots of stretching, and lots of massage.

Looking at the stages of the TSE, is there any one stage that you have your eye on as being suited for you, or do you just approach them all the same? 

Honestly I don’t know anything about the stages! I’m going into this thing pretty blind right now. Hopefully later in the week I can find some YouTube videos or something. Being a cross racer I do like the distance of the prologue! I’m also planning on bring the Fuel EX for the enduro stage!!!

You also do a bit of coaching with Momentum Endurance, surely preparing and doing a race like the TSE will help you better serve your racers in the future, no?

A lot of my clients do the longer NUE races and some stages races like Crank The Shield. It will definitely be good to have some personal experience doing a long stage race like the TSE.

Any equipment changes in 2013, I believe you are now racing on 29″ wheels, how has that been and will the 29er be your choice for the TSE?

The 29er!  It was probably hyped up a lot that I was one of the last hold outs making the jump to the big wheels. Some rides I think the change is pretty small and then others I think its huge. I guess it really depends on the terrain. I will most likely be riding the Superfly 100 for every stage. I will bring the EX with the extra travel and extra fun for the Enduro stage, but honestly I think the SF100 descends better with the big wheels.  I also think with all the rocks in PA the Superfly 100 will definitely be the bike of choice. I’ll bring my Superfly SL hard tail, but I don’t think I’ll be needing a hard tail.

Other than the TSE do you plan on doing any other stage races this season or maybe make a move into the N.U.E. (National Ultra Endurance) series?

The TSE will be my only foray into the mountain bike stage racing this year. Then it will be back to the normal schedule of WORS, Triple Crown* and cross.

Best of luck to you at the Trans-Sylvania Epic!

*NOTE: Stay tuned to XXC Magazine No. 18 (due out in June) for our special feature on the history of the “Triple Crown” race series (Ore to Shore, Chequamegon 40 and the Iceman Cometh).



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