Okay so posts have been thin on the ground of late cause of two things. First, we've been working hard on finishing issue 42 of Spoke and secondly because I've been packing to head to the States for the Teva Mountain Games and a bit of a US road trip (my first ever actually). Ross Schnell and Jason First, who we entertained in issue 37 of Spoke, will be showing me their Colorado gems for a few days, then I'll be heading out to the west coast for a look at the trails around Santa Cruz, a tour of the Easton HQ, Santa Cruz bikes and hopefully Fox Shox. But someone who doesn't lag is Justin Leov who in the weekend stormed to a 3rd place podium in the US Open. Travelling Spoke pen pal Rene Van Worderen shot this pic of Justin storming to his third Stateside podium in almost as many weeks. Let's hope he can keep time on the steps coming in Fort Bill and Leogang!!! Interestingly Justin's teammate Aaron Gwin is the first American to actually win the US Open in NINE years. Full press release from BikeNZ below...
Oh and with regards to my US trip I'll be tweeting up a storm over here so sign up to follow Spoke magazine and who knows you might get some sneek peaks and some fancy things. Plus I'll try my best to update the site as often as possible... promise! Justin Leov 3rd at US Open, Vernon, New Jersey (USA): Justin Leov (Trek World Racing, Dunedin) raced to a 3rd at the ninth edition of the US Open on Sunday, the same result he posted at this event in 2010. With the added competition from world class riders like Gee Atherton (GBR), Mick Hannah (AUS) and Stevie Smith (CAN), qualifying was a very tight affair. Fastest qualifier was Andrew Neethling (RSA), with Leov's teamate Aaron Gwin in 2nd and Justin 4th behind former World Champion Gee Atherton. On finals day the times dropped by a dramatic six seconds, and it was Aaron Gwin who won, becoming the first American to win the US Open in its nine year history. Leov improved to beat Atherton into 4th, and took home the prize money for 3rd place, yet again. Hawkes Bay's George Brannigan also raced the US Open for his Devinci Global Racing Team, posting a 34th.
Rosara Joseph 21st , Karen Hanlen 38th at Offenburg, Germany: UCI World MTB Cup Rosara Joseph (Christchurch, RaboBank-Giant) raced to a 21st at the Offenburg World Cup on Sunday. A dry, fast course had the pace brutal right from the gun, with the winning time five minutes faster than the same event last year. Riders had absolutely no time or chance to rest, and the field chased the leaders hard but ultimately the high pace led to a thinned out finishing field. Whakatane's Karen Hanlen raced to a 38th place finish at her second World Cup and maintains a handy position on the World Cup standings with a months break to Round 4 in Canada at the start of July. Also racing his first World Cup was Rotorua's Sam Shaw in the U23 mens event. Shaw was happy to get this race under his belt after arriving in Europe on Thursday and feeling tired going in. But Shaw now looks forward to a solid European campaign and heads to the next Racer Bikes Cup in Switzerland knowing the strength of his competition.
Team Lapierre International athletes Sam Blenkinsop and Cameron Cole have travelled to the United Kingdom in preparation for the second World Cup Downhill Round at Fort William in Scotland this coming weekend. Both top ten world ranked athletes are competing today at the Halo British Downhill Series in Glencoe, Scotland against a predominantly European field as a warm up for the hugely popular Fort William event.