Last Friday, 56-year-old professional mountain biker Eric Barone set a new world record for the fastest speed ever recorded on a mountain bike at a terror inducing 141.498 miles per hour while traveling down a mountain in the French Alps, breaking his own previous record of 138.75 mph.
Bike Radar reports that Barone, who was once a stuntman for Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme, experienced shaking and stability issues during his run, not unexpected when riding a mountain bike down a snowy ski run at nearly 150 miles per hour. In a 2002 world record speed attempt Barone crashed and suffered two torn shoulders, six broken ribs, and a broken femur.
Grivko lands a powerful right hook to the brow of Kittel early in the third round. Fitting commentary for a boxing match, but things get interesting when we learn that this was the third stage of the Dubai Tour, and Andriy Grivko and Marcel Kittel are professional cyclists. The punch left blood pouring down the face of Kittel:
The blow came early in the 200km stage from Dubai to Al Aqah. Kittel stated in a post stage interview “When we passed a construction site, the sand began blowing and as soon as we went into the crosswinds we were fighting for position, which is always stressful, and Andriy Grivko punched me,”
Kittel tweeted that he would not accept an apology for the incident:
I won't accept an apology for this. That has nothing to do with cycling. What Grivko did is a shame for our beautiful sport. pic.twitter.com/vvMN5LzQN0
Grivko has been disqualified from the race and his Astana team apologised to Kittel and his team, but Grivko also stated on his Facebook page that Kittel had pushed himself and team-mate Dmitriy Gruzdev and spat at him prior to the punch, saying that Kittel created “a very tense and dangerous situation that could cause not only my fall, but a big crash in the peloton.” Grivko added: “I responded with aggressive action to aggressive action from the other side.
Kittel, winner of the first two stages of the race retained the overall race lead by eight seconds despite the incident and finishing outside the top ten on day three.
It seems the Kittel is at least finding some humor in the situation with this tweet poking fun at the whole situation:
Cycling’s premier event, the Tour De France showcases some of the world’s finest athletes battle it out in a superhuman test of endurance. In recent years however the Tour has also been a showcase for cycling, and professional sport’s dark underbelly, cheating. Perhaps no professional athlete has fallen from such high esteem than cycling’s golden boy, Lance Armstrong, a name now synonymous with both greatness and the shame of being a proven performance enhancing substance user. Armstrong is not alone, The Next Web reports that, from 1998 to 2012, nearly half of top 10 Tour finishers tested positive for performance enhancing substances.
Performance enhancing substances are not the only way to get ahead in professional cycling it seems. A 60 Minutesreport aired on Sunday the 29th, 2017, investigated a new form of cheating unique to cycling, hiding electric motors inside bike frames, complete with secret activation buttons, to give unscrupulous athletes an unfair advantage.
60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whittaker interviewed Istvan Varjas, an engineer who says he invented the motor and drive system which he claims is being used by cyclists in the Tour De France.
Varjas is also already at work developing an electromagnetic wheel-based drive system which will provide the next generation of ‘mechanical doping.’
The 60 Minutes report comes after Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and France’s Télévisions Stade 2 news station used thermal imaging cameras last April to allegedly catch as many as seven competitors using hidden motors at Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali road races in Italy.
Jean-Pierre Verdy, former testing director for the French Anti-Doping Agency who has dedicated his professional career to investigating doping at the Tour De France divulged to 60 Minutes that his sources claim that around one dozen cyclists used hidden motors in the 2015 Tour de France, an alarming trend in an otherwise great competition and sport.
Mother nature is not to be trifled with. She can throw some pretty gnarly things at you, and in a land as raw and pristine as New Zealand the extreme becomes the norm. Enter the Redbull Defiance, a twist on the traditional triathlon, a two person team, two day adventure race which combines trail running, kayaking, endurance mountain biking, and “the creative element of undisclosed special stages.”
Defiance, by definition is the presentation of challenge, but at the same time a means to overcome challenge. The course, created by multisport endurance phenom and Kiwi, Braden Currie is designed to do just that, challenge as well as push athletes to overcome by racing through and over some of the most beautiful scenery the South Island of New Zealand has to offer. Situated in the Wanaka region and focusing on and around Lake Wanaka the 2017 course consisted of a 71 KM enduro mountain bike, 39 KM trail run, 40 KM kayak, 60 M abseil, all of which combined measure out at 5238 M of vertical.
Stage one: Bike
Distance: 43 km Altitude Gain: 1200 m Terrain: Well formed 4WD/rough farm tracks/potentially muddy/river crossings Expected Fastest time: 2hr 20 min
Stage two: Run
Distance: 11 km Altitude Gain: 490m Terrain: Steep technical climb/fully formed trail/abseil Expected Fastest time: 1hr 15min
Special Stage: Abseil
The special stage for day one is a abseil descent of rocky outcrops into the native bush of Diamond Lake. All abseil equipment is provided and instruction from professionals is provided to aid the completion of this stage. Timing for this portion is halted and athletes will have no more than 5 minutes to prepare for the abseil with the equipment provided. Timing resumes as athletes begin their abseil down the rock face.
Distance: 20 km Altitude Gain: 0 m Terrain: Lake/river/rapid/fast flow Expected Fastest time: 1 hr 30mins
Stage Five: Bike
Distance: 28 km Altitude Gain: 1278 m Terrain: 4WD track/single track/rough terrain Expected fastest time: 2hrs
Special Stage: Clay Pigeon Shoot
Both team members get 1 shot each. If a shot is made then the team is free to start the next stage of the event, if both shots miss, teams will be forced to take a two minute penalty before starting the next stage of the race.
Stage Six: Run
Distance: 28 km Altitude Gain: 1848 m Terrain: Farm tracks/markers/exposed alpine route/rocks/shingle Expected fastest time: 3 hrs 15min
Details of Redbull Defiance 2018 have yet to be announced, but with a overwhelmingly positive reaction from the endurance racing community we’re sure that course info and registration for the coming year will be available soon, likely to be held in January of 2018. As Jess Simson, Women’s One Day Coast to Coast Champion 2014, and all around badass, says, “If there is any multisport race to do in the world right now, Red Bull Defiance is it!”
An ultra endurance event is one of the most challenging and rewarding events you can experience. There is little else which will completely test you physically and often much more challengingly, mentally. Many outside of the ultra endurance community wonder why people would voluntarily punish their bodies to such an extent. One of the greatest joys of an ultra event is that they allow individuals to explore and experience an area or culture in a way that isn’t possible any other way. You become intimately familiar with a place after running 100 miles of it. You see things and locations that you can’t reach by car. You interact with people you otherwise wouldn’t ever meet.
As locations go there are few places less explored and visited than The Arctic. Enter The Arctic Triple. The Arctic Triple is a series of three races held in the Lofoten archipelago of Norway. Located 68°20′N 14°40′E Lofoten is deep in the Arctic circle however it enjoys relatively warm temperatures due to its high altitude and Gulf Stream air currents which bring warm air to the region, making for the highest relative temperature anomaly in the world. It is also one of three locations which is both furthest North and has year round average temperatures above freezing. There is no better place for endurance racing in The Arctic, featuring stunning natural scenery including dramatic mountains rising from the wild Norwegian Sea, sheltered bays, pristine grasslands and untouched beaches.
Completing the Arctic Triple means successfully completing three events, the Skimo, the Ultra-Trail, the Triathlon within one year. Each event may also be participated in as a standalone event. The Skimo is a ski mountaineering (snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and running) race offering one extreme 4000+ meters and one normal distance taking place during March 16th through March 19th 2017. The Lofoten Ultra-Trail® is a trail running event with distances of 100 miles, 50 miles and 24 KM. All three routes feature near entire ocean views through and travlel through mountains, beaches, green hills. The Ultra-Trail is run June 1st through June 4th. The Arctic Triple Lofoten Triathlon is offered at two distances, Extreme and Olympic +. Lofoten Triathlon is a unique race due to it’s stunning surroundings and transition zone in the heart of Svolvær city. Held August 17th through August 20th.
With participants labeling the events as “insane” due to course and weather conditions, any one of these races will prove to be a huge challenge, however completing the entirety of the Arctic Triple would be a truly impressive and rewarding experience. As the even organizers put it, “It will be hard. It will be tough. It will be amazing.”
Registration is now open, are you up to the challenge?
The video’s description says that, “Whilst pedaling today my mate Paul went to put his bike over a fence. Half way though he realized that it was electric! So he dropped it on the fence. This is a video of him and my mate Al trying to get it off!”
The whole incident took over three minutes and involved a large stick and a whole lot of laughter. The camera man definitely had the best role to play in the whole operation.
So, as a note to self, just because you can take your fat bike anywhere doesn’t necessarily mean you should take your fat bike anywhere. Stay healthy and stay electric fence free 🙂