CANNONDALE, SUGOI AND 360FLY CREATE NEW CROSS-COUNTRY MTB TEAM

Cannondale announced today a partnership with SUGOI Apparel and 360fly to create North America’s most powerful cross-country mountain bike team for the 2016 season – Cannondale 360fly, powered by SUGOI.

“Cannondale 360fly, Powered by SUGOI brings together three innovative brands with trailblazing technology to fuel North America’s fastest domestic mountain bikers,” said Matt Ohran, Team Director, Cannondale 360fly, powered by SUGOI. “This team has the talent to stand atop any North American XC race podium.”

Evelyn Dong seen here winning the  2015 Park City Point 2 Point. Photo by: Angie Harker

Evelyn Dong seen here winning the 2015 Park City Point 2 Point. Photo by: Angie Harker

The team will be comprised of five standout athletes:

  • Raphaël Gagné, Canada: 2015 Pan Am Games Gold Medalist, 2015 Canadian National XC and CX Champion, 2015 Pro XCT Overall winner
  • Alex Grant, USA: 2015 US Nationals 3rd place in both XC and Short Track and winner of the Grand Junction Off-Road
  • Evelyn Dong, USA: 2015 Go Pro Games Champion, Overall Winner at the 2015 Breck Epic MTB Stage Race, 2014 3rd place at US XC Nationals
  • Keegan Swenson, USA: 2015 2nd place at US XC Nationals, 2014 U23 US National Champion, 4x Junior US XC National Champion
  • Tinker Juarez, USA: Multiple USA National XC and 24-Solo MTB Championships, 2x Olympian, 22-year Cannondale athlete and general bad-ass bike rider

The team trucks will be loaded with the Scalpel and the F-Si, two of the most race-proven bikes in the world, and the athletes will choose the ideal machine depending upon course demands. The Cannondale Scalpel delivers the ultimate XC speed in a full suspension bike and the F-Si boasts maximum performance in a cross-country hardtail.

“In supporting this team, Cannondale is turning up the level of excitement in elite racing in North America,” said Hannah Parish, Marketing Director for Cycling Sports Group, North America. “This roster is incredibly talented on the bike and remarkably engaging off the bike and that personality and performance will get our fans on their feet and cheering.”

SUGOI will be supporting the Cannondale 360fly team as the Official Performance Apparel sponsor. Team riders will enjoy the brand’s latest advancements in pro apparel, including the all-new 2016 Racing System Elite (RSE) Jersey and Bib Short. The RSE kit is SUGOI’s lightest kit ever, engineered to provide maximum performance and comfort, anchored by the Formula FXE chamois with pioneering cradle design. Team replica kits will be available for sale at select SUGOI dealers around the continent.

“Having elite level athletes working in collaboration with our product teams to design and develop the next generation of XC race apparel is invaluable to Sugoi,” said Ian Domaas, Vice President & GM, SUGOI.

Alex leads a group down the Beatrice descent at the world cup in Mount St. Anne

Alex leads a group down the Beatrice descent at the world cup in Mount St. Anne

As the official camera, 360fly will capture fully immersive 360° video content. The interactive 360° video is easily shared to social channels such as Facebook and YouTube via the 360fly smartphone app. Additionally, by pairing the video with Google Cardboard, fans can experience the team’s videos in virtual reality.

“We’re excited to be partnering with such great brands and supporting such a talented team of riders,” said Peter Adderton, 360fly CEO. “For the first time fans will be able to view videos and experience them as if they were there.”

Cannondale 360fly, powered by SUGOI will also be supported by these important partners:

  • Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB): For tires, saddles, and grips
  • ENVE: For wheels, handlebars, and seatposts
  • Shimano: For components and shoes
  • Stages Cycling: For Hollowgram crank arm based power meters

Axial Racing: The official RC Car of The Cannondale 360Fly, providing “off the bike fun” for the team and support staff

Park City Point 2 Point

Rob Squire and Evelyn Dong Take Down Point 2 Point

Written by: Shannon Boffeli

Once again the Park City Point 2 Point lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest endurance races in the west. 78 miles, 90% singletrack, 12,000 feet of elevation gained, and stacked fields make the Point 2 Point a serious brute of a race and a major accomplishment for all who finish. Most riders will tell you racing the Point 2 Point makes the Leadville 100 seem easy.

The 7am start was unusually warm this year. Blustery winds made pack riding popular in the opening miles of the race.

After the first hour, a lead group of 12 riders took up the front of the open men’s race. As riders started the long, slow climb up to Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge Hincapie Racing rider Rob Squire made the first acceleration of the day, jumping around a pack of riders on a short section of road and putting in a hard effort on the following climb.

Squire’s “test” of the leaders proved to be a major selection as he quickly built a lead on the way to Silver Lake and kept the hammer down using his impressive climbing speed to open a sizable gap on the hour-long climb through Deer Valley.

Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist) proved to be Squire’s closest competition but struggling with a softening tire for part of the day insured he would not be able to close the gap on the lone leader which stood at 9 minutes after the Park City feed zone just 22 miles from the finish.

Josh Tostado putting in a hard effort to catch Justin Lindine. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

Josh Tostado putting in a hard effort to catch Justin Lindine. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

At that point Lindine was feeling a threat to his own position coming from a hard-charging Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz). Tostado had Lindine in his sight at the base of the day’s final big climb up Armstrong trail.

Shortly after leaving Park City Resort the Point 2 Point unleashed some added brutality on the racers as a brief storm dropped temperatures 20 degrees and pelted the lead riders with hail and rain.

Freak hailstorms weren’t enough to slow down Rob Squire as he powered through the final miles of singletrack, so cold he couldn’t feel his fingers on the brake levers.

Squire crossed the line with a time of 6:32:29 and claimed his $2,000 for the win. Over 12 minutes ahead of Justin Lindine who surged in the final portions of the race to maintain his position.

That left three riders to battle for third place, which all came down to the final mile before the finish. With just minutes left to race Drew Free (Revolution) occupied the third position with Josh Tostado just behind him and Park City resident Sam Sweetser (Cole Sport) bearing down on them both.

Aaron Campbell throwing down a big effort on the enduro segment just 5 months after breaking his femur. Photo by: Angie Harker

Aaron Campbell throwing down a big effort on the enduro segment just 5 months after breaking his femur. Photo by: Angie Harker

Sweetser had planned a late charge from the day’s start and the race was unfolding according to his plans. Shortly after making contact with Tostado the Santa Cruz rider dropped his chain and was forced to pull over. This allowed Sweetser to sprint past quickly bridging up to Free.

“I saw Sam coming for me,” Drew Free shared after the race. “I knew there was one short little climb before the finish and I sprinted up that pretty confident that I would leave Sam behind. At the top I looked behind again thinking he would be gone but he was passing me!”

With the finish line just ahead Sam Sweetser wrested third place from Drew Free and crossed the line just 10 seconds clear of the Revolution rider with Tostado crossing the line 11 seconds later.

Evelyn Dong handles the roots and everything else at the 2015 Point 2 Point. Photo by: Angie Harker

Evelyn Dong handles the roots and everything else at the 2015 Point 2 Point. Photo by: Angie Harker

The women’s race had a very different feel. With several of the best ultra-endurance racers in the country on hand, there was no clear favorite at the start.

Fresh off a win at the Breck Epic, Evelyn Dong (Sho-Air/Cannondale) was clearly in good condition but so was Sonya Looney (Freakshow Defeet) who recently won the Rincon de Viaja 100-miler in Costa Rica.

To confuse things even more, the field included Marlee Dixon (Pivot/Epic Brewing) who finished second at Breck Epic taking a stage win in front of Dong. Also sure to be in the mix was Steamboat Springs rider Kelly Boniface (Moots) and locals Sarah Kaufmann (Stan’s NoTubes) and Meghan Sheridan (UtahMountainBiking.com).

Sonya Looney got off to a great start. Opening up a lead early on in the winding singletrack of Round Valley. Unfortunately for her, about 45 minutes in she followed an open men’s rider off course and lost about 5 minutes before returning to the missed corner.

Her misdirection dropped her back in the field and allowed Evelyn Dong to get out front.

Once the climbing started Dong was in her element. A long-time resident of Park City the Sho-Air rider has spent hours and hours riding the limitless singletrack of Park City and polishing her climbing skills. Once out front she used her light, high-cadence climbing style to stretch the gap on her competitors.

Few can match Dong’s climbing speed especially at altitude and it showed as she quickly made her way through much of the open men’s field who had started 2 minutes in front of her.

Behind the leader Colorado riders Marlee Dixon and Kelly Boniface were once again locked in battle as they both crested the climb out of Deer Valley within seconds of each other.

Looney was solidly in 4th position now with Meghan Sheridan in 5th.

By the time riders reached Park City Resort Evelyn Dong had increased her lead but now Marlee Dixon occupied second place just in front of Boniface.

Kelly Boniface sits in 2nd exiting the Deer Valley climb. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

Kelly Boniface sits in 2nd exiting the Deer Valley climb. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

Neither Colorado rider had anything left to chase down Evelyn Dong who was too far out front and eventually crossed the line with a nine minute advantage.

Marlee Dixon used the final 22 miles from Park City to the Canyons to open up a slim one-minute advantage over Boniface to finish second with Boniface taking third.

Sonya Looney stayed steady in fourth all the way to the finish.

NoTubes rider Sarah Kaufmann showed good form late in the race, overtaking Meghan Sheridan for the final podium position.

For the second year the Point 2 Point featured a mid-race enduro segment that included one of the long downhill sections on course. Justin Lindine took the title in the open men’s race while Marlee Dixon claimed the title for the women. Each racer took home $100 for the win.

Click Here for full results from all categories 

Click Here for full enduro results from all categories

Breck Epic Stage 1 Results and Report

The Breck Epic is a 6 day stage race held in Breckenridge Colorado that features six big backcountry loops. Each day starts and ends in Breckenridge while taking racers on 25-45 miles around Summit County. Each day is very challenging with most days averaging around ~5000 feet of elevation gain at elevations above 9600’. Hundreds of racers come from all over the world to do the Breck Epic each year covering a total of 240 miles and ~40,000 feet of elevation gain.

Day 1 of the Breck Epic is called Pennsylvania Creek: it’s 35 miles and ~5000 ft elevation gain. Day 1 is a hard day mostly because it’s the most uncertain day. What to expect? Talking to other racers; most seemed to feel the same way, get Stage 1 over with and I’ll feel better.

Racers roll out on Stage 1 of the 2015 Breck Epic

Racers roll out on Stage 1 of the 2015 Breck Epic

Day 1 starts at 8:30am at the icerink in town. It’s a fast “neutral” roll out up the paved road towards Boreas Pass Rd. About a mile up the road, the traffic cop leaves and the race starts. It’s another couple of miles on the road until the first descent- Aspen Alley. Last fall Aspen Alley was redone and is now a fun mellow descent with a bunch of bermy switch backs. It’s a great new trail, although I do miss the old steep, loose and a little sketchy Aspen Alley. Then it’s up the Blue River trail single track all the way to the first major climb of the day- Royal Bypass to Penn Creek Rd. This is a long double track, steep, loose climb that leads to a paved road and then back onto a double track climb for a few miles. Once at the top, it’s a loose, steep descent down a road called the “Grind”. Then it’s back up for another few miles on a jeep road climb, Indiana Gulch road, before racers get to Boreas Pass Rd. Racers descend down the dirt Boreas Pass Rd into Aid 1 at Bankers Tank. Back onto single track it’s up and down Bankers Tank Trail to Pinball Alley, True Romance and down Nightmare on Baldy. Then it’s a fast descent on the non-motorized Sally Barber road to aid 2. New this year, racers rode a short climb up humbug hill to the new Wire Patch Trail. Wire patch trail is a fun up/down trail that parallels French Gulch Road. Then it’s on to the legendary Little French Climb- a 2 mile climb that’s loose and rocky. From there racers head onto the Little French Flume and back into the French Gulch area onto some fun single track: Harum Trail and Chantilly Trail, and also climbing and descending jeep roads: Spruce Rd and Prospect hill road. I’ve been riding these trails for the past 4 years and still get lost when I’m back in French Gulch due to the high amount of jeep roads everywhere. Finally we descend Gold Run Rd to the Wellington Neighborhood and then it’s a short climb up the road and the B&B Trail to V3. V3 is the last climb of the day and from there it’s a fun descent down Barney Ford and the new Barney Flow (yo!) trail to Carter Park.

Evelyn Dong (Sho-Air Cannondale) leads the Women's 6 Day after Stage 1.

Evelyn Dong (Sho-Air Cannondale) leads the Women’s 6 Day after Stage 1.

This year for the men and women there are a lot of extremely fast racers in the first 3 day Epi-curious race. Leadville 100 falls a week later and many of the top Leadville racers are putting in 3 hard days this week as they get ready to race the Leadville 100 on Saturday. The marathon distance world champion, Alban Lakata, the women’s multiple time Leadville 100 winner, Sally Bigham, are among a few of the epic-curious racers this year. For the Pro men 3 day stage 1 results – the top three men were: Alban Lakata (02:35:06), Kristian Hynek (2:35:09), and Jeremiah Bishop (2:42:37). For the Pro Women , Sally Bigham, although busting her wheel and getting a new one at Aid 1, won by 30 minutes in a time of 03:21:20. In 2nd was Mayalen Noriega with a time of 03:53:00 and in 3rd was Kata Skaggs with a time of 4:15:04.

For the Epic, 6 day race, for the pro men Frans Claes won in a time of 2:43:18. Ben Swanepoel came in 2nd at 2:45:57 and Carl Decker was 3rd with a time of 02:48:17. For the pro women Evelyn Dong won in a time of 3:15:17. In 2nd, despite getting a flat, was Serena Bishop Gordon in a time of 3:16:52 and in 3rd was Kelly Kim Boniface with a time of 03:17:33.

Full results here:

BreckEpic15_Stage1