Archive for April, 2010

MUD AND PODIUMS

Posted in NEWS, TOPEAK-ERGON on April 29, 2010 by ergonusa

Cohutta 100 & Big Frog 65

April 24, 2010
Ocoee, TN, USA

Eddie & Namrita O’Dea of the Topeak-Ergon Team took on epic weather conditions and tough competition in the southern Appalachian Mountains this weekend. Both the Cohutta 100 and the Big Frog 65 start and finish at the Ocoee White Water Center, site of the 1996 Olympic paddle sports competitions.

Namrita took second in a stacked women’s field at the Big Frog 65 mile race, besting the third place woman in a sprint finish. “I started off a little conservatively, but once I found my pace I was able to reel in all but one of the other women. Toward the end I was trying to stay ahead of the heavy rain fall before getting into the technical single track, but that didn’t work out. Thankfully, I have great equipment. Everything worked well for me in the rain and mud.”

Eddie faced strong field of National Ultra Endurance Series contenders in the Cohutta 100 and finished with a respectable 15th place in the Open Men’s group. “The weather was a factor, but even more so was depth of talent out there on the trails. All of the big names of American endurance racing were on hand to test their fitness. The big climbs on this course are not my strong suit, but I rode my own race and finished well.” Eddie also finished in a sprint with a racer from Boone, NC. He did not fare as well as Namrita.

BAJA

Posted in ERGON PRODUCT, NEWS on April 28, 2010 by ergonusa

This is Nathan rolling through Baja with the Ergon BD2 backpack.  He posted it up on our Facebook page. Super awesome!!!

TOPEAK-ERGON AT THE WHISKEY 50

Posted in NEWS, RACING, TOPEAK-ERGON on April 27, 2010 by ergonusa

April 24, 2010
Prescott, AZ, USA

Three members of Topeak-Ergon USA made the trip to north central Arizona to take on the Whiskey 50 Off-Road. This 50 mile mountain bike race, which sits at 6,000 ft above sea level, offers a great course with long climbs, rocky sections, and sketchy loose descents.

Racing for Team Topeak-Ergon USA were Jeff Kerkove, Yuki Saito, and Sonya Looney.

Yuki would go on to take the top placing for the team in the Men’s Open race with a 6th place out of 200+ rider field. “I felt great during the whole race. However some sharp rock sliced my rear tire at about 8miles to the finish. I lost five places while I was fixing it. My legs still felt good, so I kept pushing myself and passing people to the 6th place at the finish line. Getting flat tires was very disappointing, but I was happy how I performed. I would like to come back and race again!”

Kerkove would have a slow start to the day fighting Spring allergies. He would take it easy until the big climb in the middle of the race where he spun the SRAM XX 42T chain ring up the climb to reel in suffering some riders. Kerkove would finish in 19th place overall. “It took a while to get the engine going, but after about 40 minutes of racing, my engine came on. It was just a little too late.” Said Kerkove following the 50 mile effort.

The top result of the day came from Sonya Looney who beat out some of the fastest USA female endurance racers to take 3rd overall in the 50 mile event. “It took a while for me to get going today. My legs felt heavy all day, but they still performed good enough for a solid result.”

RESULTS
Yuki Saito, Open Men, 6th
Jeff Kerkove, Open Men, 19th
Sonya Looney, Open Women, 3rd

NINER-ERGON AT THE SEA OTTER CLASSIC

Posted in NEWS, RACING on April 27, 2010 by ergonusa

IRINA WINS FIRST WORLD CUP

Posted in NEWS, TOPEAK-ERGON on April 26, 2010 by ergonusa

A clear win underlines Russian Kalentieva’s top form and secures the team a further notable success.

The reigning World Champion Irina Kalentieva confirmed her form at the World Cup in Dably Forest, Great Britain. Wolfram Kurschat and Robert Mennen also put in good performances, while Alban Lakata unfortunately had to drop out due to a mechanical.

In the English forest this past weekend, the first XC World Cup took place. The demanding and technical course was 6.5km long, and despite the difficulties travelling to the event caused by the volcanic ash problem across Europe, the field was still very well contested.

Irina Kalentieva was the first to start wearing team colours in the women’s race. Her colours, of course, dominated by the World Champion’s stripes. From the off, she was in the lead pack, and took the time to weigh up her competitors. The second lap saw the start of a one on one race between IRA and Subaru-Gary Fisher’s rider Willow Korber. The American was giving nothing away to the Russian, and Kalentieva really had to dig deep to pull the victory out of the bag. At the base of the longest climb, Irina attacked, and in the 3.5 km that remained until the finish, she managed to take 11 seconds out of Willow to win. “Following my crash last week, I am very pleased to have won today. It is the best way to start the season, a World Cup win!”

The Elite men’s race, Alban Lakata, Wolfram Kurschat and Robert Mennen lined up, expecting a good performance. The evening prior Wolfram said “World Cups are like wars. It has that much meaning, and the riding can be brutal.” From the start it was obvious how difficult it would be, as Kurschat lost a few places, however the first few laps saw him pull these back in, and it looked good for a place in the top twenty. In the end, there were too many others also hoping for this, and he crossed the line in 24th. Robert Mennen, Team Topeak Ergon’s 23 year old German rider was again showing his class. At the end of the six laps he was in 35th position and the 4th best performing German. “It was a good day for me. I am young and learning, and the race was so unbelievably fast. I am more than happy” Mennen said of his day. It was only Lakata who left disappointed. He had a mechanical on the third lap and had to drop out.

The team is now heading home, or perhaps more accurately, heading to Belgium and Houffalize. This coming weekend see the second round of the World Cup. The marathon riders, meanwhile, will be at the Bike Festival at Riva del Garda in Italy.

ERGON – TROUPE RACING CO – CRANK BROTHERS MTB RIDE

Posted in EVENTS, LIFESTYLE on April 22, 2010 by ergonusa

You would think SoCal would be sunny and warm, but that was not the case for the 2nd annual post Sea Otter MTB RIDE.  Members of Crank Brothers, Team Topeak-Ergon, and Troupe Racing Co met up at 4 PM in Laguna Beach for would be a chilly and wet ride.  West wind blasting off the ocean made the 50F temps feel darn right chilly!  10 hearty souls would take off at 4 PM for 2 hours of steep climbs, rip’n downhills, and a round of good laughs.

Crank Bros - Ergon - Troupe Racing Group Ride
2 miles out of town, we had to wait for the rain to pass over. Brrrrrrr!

Crank Bros - Ergon - Troupe Racing Group Ride
The opening climb….this got us warmed up!

Crank Bros - Ergon - Troupe Racing Group Ride
They call him “The Animal”. He’s 200+ lbs of pure muscle….and a nice guy.

Crank Bros - Ergon - Troupe Racing Group Ride
Dan felt all 30 minutes of this opening climb…..as did the rest of the group.

VIDEO

Crank Bros - Ergon - Troupe Racing Group Ride
Big views looking west. Too bad we couldn’t see the ocean 😦

Crank Bros - Ergon - Troupe Racing Group Ride
Ride complete. Thanks everyone for coming out and braving the elements!

HERO FOR THE DAY, ROBERT MENNEN

Posted in RACING, TOPEAK-ERGON on April 21, 2010 by ergonusa

The MTB season is underway in Germany.  Robert Mennen surprises with an awesome start, Alban Lakata rode his own race, and Kalentieva crashes.

The 25 year old racer Robert Mennen played his cards perfectly just one week before the first UCI XC World Cup.  The consequence, a superb race and great form.  At the same event, Alban Lakata delivered a great performance, finishing 12th in a discipline that isn’t his speciality.  For Irina, things weren’t as good, as she crashed and had to drop out.

The season kick off started as usual with the Bundesliga (national series) race in Muesingen, Germany.  It is a race known for snow and rain, but this year was on good behaviour and the weather was favourable.  The Elite men race saw Robert Mennen surprising everyone, including himself and the thousands of spectators as following at the end of the first lap he was between the World Champion and the Olympic Champion.  As the race continued he continued riding ‘up front’, until in the closing stages he had to let them slip away.  He finished 9th “It is one week before the World Cup and I have my best ever form.  It was a very tactical race and I am massively pleased to have finished ninth in such a great field.”  Mennen revealed.

Alban Lakata, Austrian born, started his season a while ago with the Cape Epic.  This was his first cross country race, and the fast start saw him drop a few positions.  The following lap he fought his way forward, but then eventually ran out of laps to do anything.  “It was a shame that the laps weren’t longer, and there wasn’t more of them!  I would have been able to reel people in!”, Lakata said following the event.

The World Champion Irina Kalentieva got off to a good start, clearly feeling comfortable on her brand new Rotwild bike.  The third lap however was decisive, as she hit a rock at the start / finish line, crashing and seriously winding herself.  It was enough for her to decide to drop out of the race, deciding that the World Cup next weekend is far more important.  “It will take a couple of days for the bruising to stop hurting, but as for Dalby Forest, it will be great.  I am looking forward to it.”