Tuesday, January 7, 2014

SRAM | 2013 | Away With Us


In sport and life it is critical to be looking forward to the future, to plan, project and progress toward a specific goal – your direction may change and the long list of goals may swell, but it is always important to remain focused and driven no matter what happens. With the current speed of our evolution and the way we hold our nose to the grindstone, you can easily move past amazing moments such as these. Which is why it becomes just as important to stop along the way, pick your head up and take a look back at all that has been accomplished…To celebrate success and victory but also remain grateful and appreciative to all that have helped us get to where we are today. We had an amazing year in 2013 with riders pushing the limits in every aspect of what was once thought possible on a bicycle. SRAM would like to thank each and every one of our athletes and say congratulations on such a remarkable year. 

Come away with us as we take a look back through such an amazing year filled with so many extraordinary moments.  

As the season rapidly approaches, many World Cup Downhill racers look to dust off the cobwebs of a long off-season by getting a few one-off races under their belt.

 Here, Marcelo Gutierrez takes his winning run at the Valparaiso Cerro Abajo Urban race that takes place a few months prior to the World Cup Downhill season. Marcelo has quickly established himself as one of the best Urban Downhill racers, winning multiple events throughout the year as he climbs the ranks of the World Cup tour.

The field was stacked with most of the top World Cup XC racers using this year’s Cape Epic as part of their training in preparation for the upcoming season. Here, the Olympic champion Jaroslov Kulhavy and multi-time Cape Epic winner Christoph Sauser got stronger and faster as the race progressed over seven days of hard stages, clinching crucial stage wins that solidified their overall placement for the win.

“Trail House” is more than just a product launch. It is emotion and excitement – an adventure that will refresh and enlighten the senses. In 2013 we went to the magical and inspiring land of Sedona, Arizona, where we put the new RockShox Pike, Avid Trail brakes and SRAM wheels through the paces. Leaving no rock unturned, no trail unexplored and no story untold, everyone left with an aspiration to share the acquired knowledge and experiences. 

The Sea Otter Classic is known to most as the official North American season opener.. During this long weekend, the excitement of a new racing- and event-season becomes solidified through a multitude of electrifying events.

 Continuously having one of the rowdiest crowds, head-to-head, Dual Slalom racing will always be a favorite to watch on the hills of the Laguna Seca Raceway. 

No matter where we are in the world, every time we ride our mountain bikes we feel the anticipation of a new story. Each ride brings new sensations dictated by weather, riding partners, bike performance, trail conditions, trail choice and intensity of the ride—and this changes the way we feel. When we travel to a faraway place these elements are heightened and the adventures intensify. This video documents our trip to the Dolomites—definitely no exception to these factors.

After much anticipation, planning, organizing and hard work, the first-ever Enduro World Series finally arrived. Punta Ala, Italy, would host the inaugural race where a stacked field of racers, including former World Champions from multiple disciplines, would battle it out for victory. Here Curtis Keene navigates his way through the city in the opening prologue stage, finishing at the beautiful Italian coastline – a historical moment as the first ever EWS season gets underway. 

Tanja Zakelj was virtually unknown on the Elite Women's World Cup Cross Country circuit before she blasted on to the scene here in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, to claim her first elite women’s victory. This was the impact moment that eventually led to her dominating the field for the remainder of the year and clenching the UCI World Cup overall title. 

Kenny Smith does things on a mountain bike that no one else does. He finds possibilities in places where no one else even looks. Bigger, steeper, faster – that's his style. By Kenny's own estimation, a lack of fear is both his biggest strength and his biggest weakness. There have been times when he has paid the price – but that drive to push things further makes him one of the most electrifying riders to watch. On his home trails in Whistler, British Columbia, he loves inventing creative new ways to ride the same trails.

Known as the “Alien” for being one of the most decorated and respected Downhill racers of all time, Nicolas Vouilloz has returned to racing trying his hand at the new Enduro World Series. After a tough start at the first round in Punta Ala, Italy, where a flat tire put him out of contention, Nico goes on to win round two in Val d'Allos, France. His season keeps progressing on a high note with a 2nd place at round three in Les 2 Alpes. Follow Nico as he explains how he adapted his riding and training to Enduro racing, and how he perfected his bike setup over the beginning of the season to reach his goals.

Christoph Sauser and Gunn Rita Dahle continue to establish themselves as some of the fittest humans on earth. Rainbow stripes and Gold medals for the two at this years Marathon World Championships. 

The 10-time downhill World Champion Nicolas Vouilloz is back on the top spot of the podium, and with him SRAM Roam 60 wheels get their first-ever victory in Enduro racing. Vouilloz rode hard but smart, avoiding the crashes and flats that plagued the rest of the field, accumulating precious seconds that earned him the final win. A first-ever EWS victory for Nico. A first for SRAM wheels. 

Double wins for SRAM athletes at Crankworx Les 2 Alps. Yannick Granieri won Best Trick and Brandon Semenuk continued his Slopestyle dominance in true form. Fresh off a Silver medal at the X-Games in Munich, this would become Brandon’s second consecutive win at Crankworx Les 2 Alps. 

Jerome Clementz would get his 3rd career win at Megavalanche. A notoriously demanding, technical and iconic race that exemplifies what big mountain Enduro racing is all about: strategy, total confidence in the bike and components, incredible fitness, skills and pure speed. Another historical win for Clementz. 

SRAM’s highly sought-after, award-winning and proven XX1 drivetrain is expanded into the X0 family and released to the public for the first time. One And Only.

In the inevitable anticipation of Crankworx Whistler 2013, we released a short film providing a unique and one-of-a-kind, behind-the-scenes look, following Cam Zink as he prepared for the Joyride Slopestyle the previous year. A devastating crash in his first run would see him watching helplessly in the finals like never before. Relentless. 

Steve Smith celebrated his first World Cup win of the season in Mount Saint Anne. Smith then trailed by only a small margin for the overall lead, sitting dangerously close in second place behind a consistent Gee Atherton. It was much-needed momentum and a pivotal moment on his relentless pursuit for the Elite Men’s overall title. 

Brandon Semenuk entered the Joyride Slopestyle competition at Crankworx hungrier then ever. Carrying a Silver medal from X-Games and a Gold from Crankworx Les 2 Alps the week prior, Semenuk saw anything less than the top spot of the podium as failure. An event that boasts one of the largest crowds and heaviest competition, Whistler Crankworx bore the most pressure to perform of any event of the year for Semenuk. He’s not one to disappoint, and the electric crowd was in awe of a near-perfect run that sealed the deal for the 2013 Joyride Champion.

Steve Smith left the world speechless as he won nearly every event he entered at Crankworx last year. Smith proved he was maturing into one of the worlds best with his consistency and impressive results. Titled the King of Crankworx in 2012, and fresh off his first World Cup win of the season, he proved once again that no other racer could outdo him in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, winning the iconic Air Downhill for the second year in a row and Canadian Open DH for a third consecutive time. 

Schurter is one of the most dominating Cross Country World Cup racers the cycling world has ever seen—always a threat, always a contender. Out front from the beginning, and carrying the heaviest number being the returning champ, Nino took another World Championship title in South Africa with an amazing performance in the extreme climate of the blistering hot Pietermaritzburg hills.

Now a very familiar face to the Elite Women’s World Cup, Tanja would seal the deal on a breakout season, winning the World Cup Overall with consistency, poise and power. Tanja will be an undeniable force to be reckoned with for years to come. 

Wearing the World Championship rainbow stripes, Nino would follow up his amazing performance from South Africa with another victory in the World Cup series finals, solidifying his World Cup Overall title for 2013.  

Never having a rank outside of the top four since the season began, Steve Smith would remain close on the heels of Gee Atherton for the World Cup Overall title taking another win over Gee, gaining valuable momentum in the hunt. Smith would now be a mere seventeen points behind the leader going into the finals. The possibility to become World Cup Champion for Smith became a serious reality with this pivotal win. 

A long, hard-fought season would came to a conclusion in this highly anticipated World Cup Downhill finale in Austria. Emmeline Ragot took a well-deserved victory in the Women’s field over Rachel Atherton. Having led the junior’s field with confidence and consistency throughout the season, Loris Vergier won the series overall for the Jr. Men’s field with another impressive victory.

 Having won the last two World Cup rounds, sitting in 2nd overall behind leader Gee Atherton, it was evident that Steve Smith would have to be nothing short of perfect in the qualifying round and finals to walk away with the overall win. In one of the most dramatic races in years, Steve Smith overcame the immense amount of pressure to win both the qualification round and finals just seconds over Atherton, giving him vital points toward the overall and earning him one of the most highly sought-after titles for any racer. Smith was World Cup Champion — it was a crown for the king on a day where pressure made perfect. 

In just a few short years the Trans-Provance has established itself as one of the world’s ultimate multi-day Enduro stage races. The riders are given no chance for training or pre-riding before the event that unfolds over six days of racing—involving 15,000-plus meters of descending and 10,000-plus meters of climbing on some of the toughest trails in Europe. Many riders, from former downhill World Champions to XC World Cup podium finishers, regard it as one of the ultimate challenges one can do on a bike. Here, Anka Martin is on her way to winning the women’s overall, grasping her largest victory to date. 

Two history-making moments hit the Red Bull Rampage with an undeniable impact this year. One of the largest features the event has ever seen, dubbed the “Oakley Icon Sender” stood a staggering 60-plus feet from lip to landing at its highest point striking incontestable fear into every rider on the hill. Having confidently announced his plans earlier in the week, Cam Zink landed possibly the largest backflip step-down ever in competition, putting death-defying chills into everyone watching. 

Never having a multiple victor, and deemed the event no rider can ever win twice, “the champions curse” of the Rampage became nothing but a hoax as Kyle Strait stomped down with a colossal suicide no-hander on that very same drop to become the first-ever, two-time Red Bull Rampage Champion, a feat which has never been accomplished by another competitor. 

Already wearing the crown of the Enduro World Series, having clenched the overall at the previous round, Jerome Clementz entered the series finals as the clear favorite. Not one to falter, showcasing amazing consistency throughout the year, he continued his domination by taking another unquestionable win. Clementz was the only rider to win a stage at every round of the Enduro World Series inaugural season, with a tally of 12 in total. Unstoppable – from day one. 

The boys of the Coastal Crew and Logan Peat set out on an epic adventure in the Narrows Inlet, British Colombia upon receiving their new X01 drivetrains. What you will find in this video is the account of an unforgettable trip, a unique combination of amazing days of riding, searching, exploring, fishing and soaking in every bit of life in, just as it should be. All for one. 

Step into the world of ARRIVAL, a video that will bring you a raw look at the talents of the next wave of riders and photographers. Come face to face with their diverse styles as they take on new lines and new places. ARRIVAL brings viewers into the reality of a new generation of freeriders and racers; ARRIVAL is all about what is happening now. Full-length video now available on iTunes. 


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