Last weekend, the 2018 UCI Downhill World Cup series made it’s way to the trails of Mont Sainte-Anne, Canada - the only North American stop on the schedule this season. It’s the 26th time that the World Cup has been held on the technical and challenging slopes of this legendary mountain which has provided many breathtaking races over the years.
This year would be another thriller, as the top three finishers were separated by just over a second. In the end, Fox team rider and current World Champion, Loic Bruni, would claim the top spot. With Loris Vergier’s win in Vallnord, this makes it two in a row for the Fox MTB Downhill Team.
Loic was on top of his game in Mont-Sainte-Anne. He blazed through the second and third sections of the course and stayed consistent the rest of the way to secure a .3 second win over a top-flight field.
"I’ve been trying all year, and today it happened. I’m so happy; It’s a sick place for me I’ve always loved [Mont St. Anne] and yeah... strong weekend."
The victory ended a rough streak for Loic, as multiple injuries, and a series of bad luck has kept him winless in the World Cup series so far this year. It was great to see it all come together for him in Canada. Loic looks to keep the momentum going as he and the rest of the Fox MTB Global DH team make their way to the loose and grassy slopes of La Bresse France for the first time since 2011.
The Fox Downhill team uses the premium downhill mountain bike gear including the podium-proven Rampage Pro Carbon helmet, Flexair jersey, pants, and gloves, and the race tested Launch Pro D3O guards. Ride what the pros wear. SHOP NOW
For raceday MTB coverage, follow Fox Racing on Instagram at @foxmtb
The 2018 Fox US Open of Mountain Biking drew over 8000 fans, dozens of the biggest brands in the mountain bike world and hundreds of competitors to the lush green slopes of Killington Resort. The sun played hide and seek throughout the week, and the weather added even more challenges to an already tough course - even making Thursday's track walk an adventure for the riders.
The summer rainstorm made its presence felt at Friday’s qualifying session as well - wreaking havoc on the trails and leveling the playing field for some of the open division participants. Over 70 elite riders took their turn on the legendary roots and rocks of Vermont. More riders than not were caught off guard by the slippery slopes which made the racing more about survival than speed. At the end of the day, defending Open champion and newly crowned US National Champ Neko Mullally edged out fellow Fox athlete and World Cup competitor Connor Fearon by just over a second to take the top qualifying spot heading into Saturday's finals.
The skies turned angry after the qualifying sessions on Friday night and soaked the hillside throughout the night. Saturday morning saw a welcome break in the weather as the clouds receded and the sun broke through late in the morning. The temperature continued to rise into the early afternoon drying out the track and making for some exciting racing as the elite men took to the field. The first participants took turns in the hot seat as riders who had fallen during qualifying showed their true speed on the firmer conditions the sun brought out. Germany’s Bernard Kerr and New Zealand’s Wyn Masters owned the top spot for much of the afternoon until Australian Jackson Frew threw in a flyer to take the #1 spot. In the end, the race came down to a competition between Saturday’s two top qualifiers.
Kona/Fox rider Connor Fearon took the start and wasted no time showing his speed on the dryer course. He was the fastest at each of the first three checkpoints until the challenging fourth segment put an end to his podium hopes as he went rubber side up through the rocks. Showing that his speed was not an illusion he remounted and still finished in an impressive 10th place despite his crash. The last man at the start house was up next, and Neko Mulally lived up to all the expectations he and his fans had placed on his shoulders. He bested Fox teammate Fearon’s times at each of the first three checks and made it through the tough fourth segment unscathed to finish with an emphatic 6.2-second win to claim his second win in two weeks and his second Fox US Open title in as many years.
"It was awesome," Mulally said "there were tons of spectators here; the course was really tough. Lucky to come out on top, I defended my title and won two years in a row. Just stoked that the US Open is such a great event and I was happy to be a part of it."
Neko walked away with a winner’s check of $6000 for his efforts. Equal prizes were given to the women’s division winner, Vaea Verbeeck of Canada, who dominated the women’s field by over 8 seconds. In addition to the Elite open DH contest, the weekend included an Enduro race, the legendary kids DH Grombomb which featured over 70 youth racers, an inspiring and exciting adaptive DH race and the Always crowd-pleasing whip off powered by Red Bull.
"The US Open holds a special place in the history of North American mountain bike racing. Fox is excited to be the title sponsor for the next three years and to help bring the excitement of gravity racing and competition to a new generation of North American mountain biker. Our goal is to help position the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking as the leading gravity event in the U.S. in 2018 and beyond," said Dave Ahumada, "Global Marketing Manager, Fox MTB. "Plans are already underway to make next years event even better by bringing more brands, athletes, and fans to Killington Resort for the 2019 edition".
The 2018 Fox US Open of Mountain Biking overcame threatening skies to deliver a thrilling race for east coast gravity racing fans this weekend at the Killington Mountain Resort in Vermont. When the skies cleared and the times were in, Fox MTB Athlete Neko Mulally defended his Open division Downhill title with a 7 second plus victory in the elite men’s class. Neko was up at every time check and continued to build on his decisive lead until the end. He pedaled hard through the finish arch to walk away with his second DH championship in as many years and a $6000.00 winner’s purse from the premier Mountain bike gravity racing event in the United States.
"It was awesome," Mulally recalled at the finish. "There were tons of spectators here, and the course was really tough. Lucky to come out on top, I defended my title and won two years in a row. Just stoked that the US Open is such a great event and I was happy to be a part of it."
The 2018 Fox US Open of Mountain Biking brought MTB brands, contestants, and fans from all or the world to not only race but enjoy the incredible riding that Killington Resort offers. Plans are already underway for the 2019 version of the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking, check back for a full recap of the event and updates for next year’s version of the premier gravity Mountain Bike race in the US.
It was an eventful weekend in Vallnord, Andorra to say the least. The relatively short track is the steepest in the series - dropping a stunning 2053ft in just over 1.5 miles. It’s a track that magnifies every mistake, leaving riders with little room to make up time. The challenging course claimed many big names before the finals even started. When the dust settled, Fox Team riders Loris Vergier and Tahnee Seagrave stood on the top steps.
Loris Vergier took first place and claimed his first World Cup Victory. Riding on the edge, but in control, Vergier was lighting up the split times green. It was a nearly flawless ride, and he came in at the finish 4.57 seconds up on the field. 4:04:05 was the time to beat, and it would not be bested this day.
“It's just like all your life you chase something, and then the hard work pays off” – Loris Vergier.
Tahnee Seagrave is on fire. At the start of her run, she knew she had to put it all on the line – with a qualifying time 14 seconds behind the leader. Attacking the mountain with grit and determination, she put down a scorching time of 4:49:84 and took her place on the hot seat. Rachel Atherton would challenge in the final run, but a rut would send her off course, all but securing the win for Seagrave. Now with back-to-back wins, she has closed the gap in the overall standings to just 80 points.
“I've never done well in Andorra… I’m just over the moon.” – Tahnee Seagrave.
The Fox MTB Team had 4 podiums on the day, with Laurie Greenland finishing 4th and Finn Iles taking 5th. Loic Bruni finished 8th, an effort to be proud of, considering he was riding with 16 stitches from a crash in qualifying.
LO-FI Limited Edition takes us back to 1986. Back to the days of big hair, synthesizers, and early downhill mountain bike racing. True to the 80’s, the Demo and Indicator LO-FI Jerseys take an anything-but-minimal approach to styling. The pop-colored pastels and retro graphics are a blast from the past and will keep you looking rad on the mountain.
Loris Vergier will be wearing this flashback jersey at the 5th stop of the 2018 UCI Downhill World Cup series, in Andorra. The rest of the Fox MTB squad will be rocking slightly different versions of the 80’s-inspired graphic package, giving them a unique look on the legendary course.
World Cup DH#4, Val di Sole: This is a beast of the track. It's among the hardest and most technical courses on the DH MTB World Cup. Add heavy rainfall in the into the mix and then you have a course that's even more unpredictable than usual.
Tahnee Seagrave took the win in the women's downhill World Cup! She won by a hair at a tenth of a second to claim her second win of the year and re-ignite her title challenge. She had this to say following her win, “It’s been the best win so far because it was so tight and you have to work really hard for it, and that’s exactly what I had to do.”
Laurie Greenland is on fire! Back to back podiums for the Brit. He put in a fast and direct run where he took all the risks, nearly going over the bars at the start. He finished second.
You don’t have to wait long for the next DH World Cup Race. We’re back racing this weekend, July 14-15 in Vallnord, Andorra.
On July 20th, every year, we will join mountain bikers around the world by blowing off all other obligations and simply riding our mountain bikes. We encourage riders everywhere - in all regions and skill levels - to join in on the fun.
International Ride Mountain Bike Day will take place July 20th and continue annually thereafter. Otherwise known as Ride MTB Day, this yearly movement is composed of community-based events that will take place around the globe with mountain bike brands, media, professionals, retailers, parks and local riders everywhere - each showing their love and support for the sport of mountain biking by holding group rides, fundraisers, races and demos.
“The sport of Mountain Biking has an incredible culture and Ride MTB Day is a great way to celebrate it. Ride MTB Day is not a Fox-owned event, but our goal is to have the concept adopted by the entire industry and raise mountain bike awareness and participation. We look forward to more and more brands and retailers supporting Ride MTB Day year after year.” - Dave Ahumada, Global Marketing Manager, Fox MTB.
On this day, each year, mountain bikers will gather together at local trails, bike parks, and bike shops and even enjoy solitary rides, helping to bring riders all over the world together.
For more information and to find an event near you, visit www.ridemtbday.com
Follow International Ride MTB Day on Instagram: @RideMTBDay
World Cup DH#2, Fort William: This race never disappoints! Fort William - Round two of the UCI Downhill World Cup series. This place always delivers an amazing show and we had plenty of great action for this edition! Our riders absolutely killed it, Tahnee Seagrave won, Loris Vergier and Loïc Bruni finished 2nd and 5th! Check out all the Fox Head riders' reactions here:
Tahnee, 1st Women
This is her first victory of the year and the first time she has won at Fort William! She has been dreaming of it for ages and has proved she is fit and she'll fight for more wins this year. She is now 3rd in the overall: “This feels different to my other wins - it's at home, the crowd is gnarly, and it's a hard track to win on as well - I think I've ticked off the hardest one so I'm very happy with that! And now, on to Leogang. I think the girls are going to be pushing so hard this year so anyone could win it. It's faster and the times are always so tight so I'm excited! I've had a real bad week so for me to come out and that happen, I wasn't expecting it. It's amazing!”
Loris Vergier, 2nd Elite Men
He was so so close to 1st place, only 0.270 seconds back but still super happy! He is definitely one of the strongest riders this year and now stands 2nd place overall, only 4 points behind the leader: “I was a little bit disappointed and it really sucked what happened to Luca (his team mate), but I suppose that is racing. Other than that, it was a cool race. The fast guys were going all out and the guys who really deserved it, like Mo-mo (Amaury Pierron) stole the show and he took the win. I was almost going to cry, it was crazy! And Loïc (Bruni) was there at the podium like 'Hi guys, I'm back!' And I had a look at the general classification and it is scary! I'm 4 points behind Aaron Gwin, in 2nd place! It is all so crazy and I am really happy!”.
Loïc Bruni, 5th Elite Men
He got injured at the first round in Croatia with a dislocated elbow and has worked really hard to get back for this race. He was careful with his elbow all week, with lots of time on the massage table so he could give his best on race day. A 5th place, only 2.587 seconds behind the winner is an incredible comeback! He said: “There were so many times when I wasn't sure I would be able to ride this weekend. Even just last week, I was stiff with a painful arm and had had no riding time so I had no idea how it was going to be. I wasn't riding to win, I wasn't riding to come 5th, I was just riding to get down in one piece. So I was really happy with my result and above all absolutely over the moon for Amaury!”
Fearon Connor, 13th Elite Men
He came 7th in Qualis and put in a solid run for Finals. He came 13th but only +3.922 back from the winner: “Yeah, I was happy with my run, just a bit further back than I wanted to be. The times are so close - I was under 4 seconds off 1st place so it just goes to show how tight everyone was - that was all the way back in 13th. I was happy with the run, just it would have been good to be one or two seconds quicker here. As for next week, I've always done well at Leogang - I got the 2nd there in 2015 and I haven't been out of the top ten for the past 3 or 4 years or something, so yeah, I'm looking forward to Leogang. It's early next week so not long to wait, everyone's driving over and I think the race will be exciting there as well”.
Laurie Greenland, 16th Elite Men
Not the result he was looking for but it is still very good and he has learnt a lot this weekend! He's now 10th overall which is great: “I was pretty nervous actually, it's really weird. I normally pride myself on being quite head-strong for racing but I was actually a bit nervous. I rode it a bit tight out the gate, braked hard in the top few turns, something I didn't do through the whole of practice and then kicked myself a bit for that. I found the flow and got into it and then started pushing on a bit too much because I knew my top was not as good as I would have liked. So I pushed on a bit too hard and started getting a bit loose and made a few mistakes. It still kind of surprised me, on a day like today I can still come down in 16th but yeah, not happy. I learnt a lot today though so that's all that matters really. As for Leogang, I just like racing. Last year, I was in the mindset of liking one track and maybe not the other. But I like racing my bike, so while I obviously prefer some tracks more than others, I am pretty keen for whatever race comes and keen for whatever it throws at me!”.
Finn Iles, 19th Elite men
This is his first-year racing Elite and he is still learning. His results are impressive and we can't wait to see him riding the rest of the season: “I felt really good all weekend leading up to my race run, well, leading up to this morning. And then this morning I felt a bit stiff on my bike and I still felt pretty fast but when my race run came around, the only thought I had in my head was that I wanted to win. I think I took the wrong approach a bit to the race - because I felt so good on my bike yesterday, I needed to keep that same mindset of just riding and having fun. But today I took it a bit too seriously almost, and I think I was just too focused on trying to win instead of just trying to ride my bike. I ended up riding really stiff and making stupid mistakes and breaking in bad spots and I ended up 6 seconds back but I still pretty happy with that and it is my first top 20. For sure, my goal this year is to win a world cup - if you are racing, you are here to win - if anyone tells you different they are probably lying or just trying to be modest. That is the ultimate goal but I think I need to become a better rider first or just better at racing against the big guys like Loïc and Amaury and Loris. It takes time. I'm really excited!'
All the teams left Scotland yesterday and are heading down to Leogang (Aust. We're already super excited for this one!
Check Foxracing.com for the latest versions of the gear the DH team wore to success at Ft. William: Rampage Pro Carbon Helmet, Flex Air jersey/short, Flex Air glove and the all new VUE Goggle!
Fox athletes Brett Rheeder, Tahnee Seagrave and Keegan Wright takes top podium spots. This past week marked the kickoff of the famed Crankworx Mountain Bike tour. Rotorura, New Zealand was the location for the first of the 4 round series. Fox team riders had a great week in all disciplines with 7 podium finishes. Brett Rheeder, Tahnee Seagrave and Keagan Wright were the standouts all finishing on the top step of the podium.
Recovering from an off season injury, Brett Rheeder started the season off strong with a near perfect run in the final to land him on the top spot of the podium in the ultra competitive slopestyle event.
In her first visit to Crankworx, Tahnee Seagrave dominated the women's downhill event winning by 14 seconds. She also put in a great ride to capture 3rd in dual slalom.
After a great junior career, Rotorua marked the first pro elite men's race for Finn Iles. Finn would put in a great ride finishing 3rd on the day.
Current world champion Loic Buni did not have the day he was looking for. Leading early in his run, Loic would crash in the late stages and finish 7th on the day in the men's DH.
Always a fan favorite, the best whip contest has riders pushing the limits of what is possible on a bike. Kaos Seagrave was spectacular on the night finishing 2nd. Not pictured, Keegan Wright would take 1st in the Enduro event and Joe Simpson 2nd in men's speed and style. Next up on the Crankworx tour is Innsbruck, Austria June 13-17 followed by Les Gets, France June 20-24 with the final round at Whistler, Canada August 10-19. Be sure to follow all of the Fox team riders on Instagram Photos: Jay French
FOX RACING ANNOUNCES TITLE SPONSORSHIP OF US OPEN OF MOUNTAIN BIKING
Fox Racing and the US Open of Mountain Biking have agreed to a multi-year partnership between the two iconic brands. The newly branded Fox US Open of Mountain Biking will take place at Killington Resort August 1-5, 2018. Following their support of the successful 2017 US Open relaunch, Fox Racing has increased their involvement with joint marketing and production efforts around the US Open brand.
“The US Open holds a special place in the history of North American mountain bike racing. Fox was excited to support the return of this great event in 2017 and we are proud to increase our involvement to title sponsor this year. Our goal is to help position the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking as the leading gravity event in the U.S. in 2018 and beyond.” – Dave Ahumada, Global Marketing Manager, Fox MTB.
The Fox US Open of Mountain biking will feature a wide range of events including the legendary Open Class Downhill, the inaugural USO Enduro, best whip comp and the Grom Bomb and Super Grom Downhill events, giving the future of the sport a chance to show what they got.
“Just like us, Fox believes in the heritage of US gravity racing, and we’re thrilled to sign this multi-year partnership with them. Their unwavering commitment to the sport and reputation in the industry is second to none. We’re looking forward to developing the next chapter of the US Open with Fox. Racers and fans can expect great things!” – Clay Harper, US Open Event Director.
Killington Resort has made huge investments over the past 4 years to become a mountain biking destination. A new downhill track, onsite campground and extensive lodging options and restaurants make it the perfect venue for an event like the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking.
Fox joins an excellent list of additional US Open partners including GT Bicycles as the presenting partner for downhill and enduro events, Red Bull as the presenting partner for the USO Best Whip Comp and Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports as presenting partner for the adaptive downhill. CLIF Bar, Flat Tire Defender and Fox Factory are also onboard with plans to activate around the 2018 Open.
FOX ATHLETE MTB ROSTER
- Neko Mulally
- Conner Fearon
- Anthony Poulson
- Damien Oton
- Keegan Wright
- Kirt Voreis
- Magnus Manson
- Bas Vansteenbergen
- Loris Vergier
|WEDS - 8/1/18||EVENT||LOCATION|
|12pm - 5pm||Race Registration Open||K1 Venue|
|All Day||GT Downhill Track Walk||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|All Day||Bike park open for freeriding||K1, Ramshead, Snowshed|
|2pm - 5pm||Killington Bike Bum - Fun Race||Lower Sideshow Bob|
|6pm - 9pm||Bike Bum/US Open Welcome Party||Snowshed Umbrella Bar|
|THUR - 8/2/18||EVENT||LOCATION|
|8am - 5pm||Race Registration Open||K1 Venue|
|All Day||Bike park open for freeriding||K1, Ramshead, Snowshed|
|9am - 1:30pm||GT Downhill Practice - Open Class||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|1:30pm - 6pm||GT Downhill Practice - Amateur Class||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|FRI - 8/3/18||EVENT||LOCATION|
|7am - 12pm||Racer Registration Open (Cutoffs: Open Class - 8:30 AM / Amature - 10 AM)||K1 Venue|
|All Day||Bike park open for freeriding||K1, Ramshead, Snowshed|
|8am - 10:15pm||GT Downhill Practice - Open Class||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|10:15pm - 12:30pm||GT Downhill Practice - Amateur Class||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|1pm - 5:30pm||GT Downhill - Qualifiers||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|8pm||Fox Racing Bon Fire||Fox Campground (Vale Lot)|
|SAT - 8/4/18||EVENT||LOCATION|
|All DAY||Racer Registration Open (Grom Bomb & Adaptive Only)||K1 Venue|
|All Day||Bike park open for freeriding||K1, Ramshead, Snowshed|
|All Day||Enduro/Grom Bomb/Adaptive - Open Practice||Various|
|8am - 9:30am||GT Downhill Practice - Amateur Class||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|9:30am - 11am||GT Downhill Practice - Open Class||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|11:30am - 4pm||GT Downhill Finals||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|Awards to follow||K1 Venue|
|5pm - 7pm||USO Best Whip Presented by Red Bull||K1 Venue|
|7pm||Free Concert and after party||K1 Venue|
|SUN - 8/5/18||EVENT||LOCATION|
|8am - 10am||Racer Registration Open (Grom Bomb & Adaptive Only)||K1 Venue|
|All DAY||Bike park open for freeriding||Ramshead, Snowshed|
|9am||GT Enduro start||K1 Peak/K1 Gondola|
|10am||Adaptive Downhill presented by Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sport||Ramshead|
|1pm||US Kids Open - Grom Bomb Downhill presented by Horizon Hobby||Snowshed|
|Awards to follow||K1 Venue|
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World Champs, Cairns: Loïc Bruni is the new World Champion!
Welcome to Cairns! This Australian track is unlike any other so far this year year: very, very fast, super loose, and due to the dry weather, more dusty than ever with some tough pedaling sections which made it extremely physical too!
Loïc Bruni, 1st Place!
Just over a year ago, Loïc Bruni won his first ever World Cup on this track, so he was well aware of what could be possible here. The local crowd were cheering for hometown hero Mick Hannah, who stayed on the hot seat for much of the day, and looked as if he had possibly done enough to take the title. Unfortunately for the Aussies, Loïc became 'Super Bruni' again and laid down a superlative run to take the lead by only .039 of a second. Nobody was able to go faster, and the time stood, making Loic World Champion for his second time in his short career!
He said: “It's unbelievable, I worked so hard all year and the luck was on my side today! My team-mate Miranda did it in the women's category just before, so I just followed her lead. It's incredible, the run was crazy, it was super loose so I didn't know what to expect because I knew Mick was super fast. So when I saw I was in front of him I was super happy but still super stressed out about the other guys so to hold on until the end was insane!”
Loris Vergier, 7th
Close friend Loris Vergier was the first to congratulate Loic, and was pretty stoked with his 7th place as well: “I felt really bad on the top sections the whole week and I was just hoping for a top 10. 7th is great for me! I though Mick had the title already, but when I saw Loïc beat him, it was unreal. It's always good to see him winning!”
Connor Fearon, 24th
After missing the two last World Cups because of injury, the Aussie hoped to be back to 100% in time for World Champs. He gave his best even if he wasn't completely recovered: “It was too soon to ride 100% but I'm still happy with how I rode. I've had surgery on my hand only 6 weeks ago so I couldn't expect too much. I can't wait to be back healthy to ride my bike and start preparing for next season!”
Tahnee Seagrave, 11th
Two days before finals, she was the fastest during timed training. Deciding to risk it all in pursuit of the title she pushed too hard in the unpredictable dusty conditions and crashed: “I pushed a bit too much today and crashed... This race was mental! I'm glad the other girls pushed so hard as well, we all wanted the title so much. I don't mean it's nice to see everybody going down, but the fact we were all so competitive was awesome!”.
Finn Iles, 10th Junior Mens
After winning six World Cups this year and wearing the rainbow stripes from last years World Champs win, Finn Iles was feeling the pressure on his shoulders to prove once again he can be the fastest rider of his generation. Unfortunately, a few things went wrong on race day: “I felt really good during my last practice run, but just before my race run, I realised I had forgotten my goggles and I had to borrow one of the commissaire's sunglasses. I still knew I could do a good time even under these conditions, and I knew that Matt Walker had done a very good time before my run, but I made two big mistakes and lost way too much time. I tried to go too fast and paid the price!”
It was a great year for the Fox 2017 Gravity team. The 2017 DH season is now over and 2018 will start on the 21st - 22nd of April in Lošinj, Croatia for another intense year!