After loads of discussion and scratching of heads, the jury (my girlfriend and I) has chosen the winner of the 2008 season photo contest. Here is the winner, Xavier Bascot from l’Alpe d’Huez with a photo taken during our trip in the Queyras, so ok, it’s not a perfect shot, but we like the action in it and it brings back some great memories.

Congratulations Xavier, a WideOpen DVD is on its way!

I am delighted to welcome a new sponsor for 2009, Fiveten (5.10) shoes, sticky rubber specialist.

5.10 is originally a climbing shoe specialist but have offered in the last few years a range of mountain biking shoes featuring the infamous “stealth rubber”. What’s so special about them? An unbelievable grip which allows your feet to stay on the pedals whatever you are riding on (Sam Hill has won 2 senior world champion titles with these shoes, a title which had been unobtainable without SPD’s until then). It has been a real revelation for me who had been riding on clipless pedals forever… give it a go, you wont be disapointed!

Expect a revue of the brand new Karver this spring.

Sorry, but this post is not available in English

So, once again, I’ve been pretty bad updating the « news » page… I’m having a very busy off season.

First off I went for an “Enduro trip” with the Rocky sport guys from l’Alpe d’huez. What’s an enduro trip? Well, take a great location like the Queyras regional park (famous for it’s wild wolves population), if possible with steep mountains and windy singletracks, add an old battered Land Rover plus trailer, fill it with a bunch of singletrack rippers, a professional guide and hit as many runs as possible… we did between 4000 and 5000m vertical drop every day… yes, it was that good! Oh, and the bar in the chalet had a nice range of beers too. And you know what?! It’s SO nice to follow a guide… you should try it too!

After that, I was back in the Pyrénées where a delegation of Morzine riders came along to try out the “Perfect Pyrénées” weekend… I reckon it went pretty well, but you’d better ask them!

Since then, I’ve been in intense exploration mode, hunting out fresh trails around the family home… I’m trying two 1000m vertical drop singletracks tomorrow… as you can guess, I’m pretty excited!
I also had a quick trip across to the Roc d’Azur, one of the biggest bike shows in Europe, I managed to check out the new Hope brake levers…and find time for a few drinks (I even have a few memories from “New World Disorder9”).
And finally I’ll be doing more guiding/hosting next week with the “Perfect Pyrénéées” weekends.

So that’s all folks… for now, as there are a few more things to come before it’s time to swap bikes for skis… it’s all fun and games really!

Photos should be online very soon…

The guys at Dirt catch up with Dave Turner… (sorry about the annoying advert)

This is it! Today and tomorrow the world’s fastest racers are battling for the 08′ World Cup tittle in Schladming, Austria. I’m particulary excited by the DH, where 3 riders can still be crowned, Rachel Atherton, Sabrina Jonnier and Tracy Moseley for the girls and Greg Minaar (my favourite, go! Greg! go!), Sam Hill and Gee Atherton for the mens… it’s going to be tight!

You can watch the races LIVE here, enjoy!

Here we are again, it’s the end of the mountain bike season in the Portes du Soleil and all the lifts are closing, I guess I need lighter tyres on my bike.

It’s not time to put the old boy back on the shelf though, there’s still plenty of great riding to do and at least it’s very quite now… apart from the rally cars roaring through town!

I am moving to the Pyrénées next week where I am going to ride, eat (mum’s cuisine, yum!), ride again and also do some guiding for the lucky guys who are part of the Perfect Pyrenées weekends… there’s still some room available and guess what?! the flights are FREE at the moment! What are you waiting for?!! See you there…

Here is the brand new 09 Turner range!

The BIG news is, DT bought the right to use the DW link, you know that linkage well known for it’s pedaling ability and that Mr. Hill brought on top of the World championship’s podium twice… So here we are with a completely revamped range.

Dhr, appart from the new linkage, the big change here is the lower bottom bracket (no need to drill your swingarm anymore!) and a 1.5 headtube.

RFX, probably the biggest change in the range, because of the disparition of the Highline, the RFX got tougher.  170mm travel, lower bottom bracket, ISCG tabs, 1.5 headtube, thru axel… this is going to be a weapon of choice for all the Mega/enduro/all mountain/super D  (you name it) races we’ve got here.

Can’t wait to get on one!

Day off today… I grabed the RFX and a map and off I went for a bit of exploring! A good occasion to ride some trails I’ve only heard of so far… great! For you all technical singletrack fans, I have a few gems to offer!

Right, it’s time to go back to the sofa and enjoy the Olympics, it’s a day off after all!

Not what you buy on street corners in the US but an inflatable canoe, which also makes it very forgiving. We tried it out for you with the laid back but very pro team of Eaux~zone  in Thonon… it was great fun! If you are looking for a break from your MTB hollidays, go for it, it’s… refreshing!

Team work

Sam throwing some style

What a weekend! I don’t know where to start…trainings on top of the clouds, the perfect weather, the mates, the fast and funtrack, my amazing bike, the smooth organisation???… To cut a long story short, it was brilliant!

After seeing all the guys from Auvergne, Reunion, Rhône-alpes and it’s short term residents, I was ready for 6min (on average) of flat out riding!

The track, was fast, dusty, full of jumps and felt as looooooong as climbing the Col de Coux with your DH rig (for those who don’t know the Portes du Soleil: “long and painful”)… awesome!

On Sunday the organiser offered us an extra hour of training (or 1 hour less in bed) before the first race run, nice. My first run ended up with about 10 meters of tape carefully wrapped around my cogs… a quick rest, snack, 2 litres of good Thonon water, warm up and… 20 sec faster! I won’t tell you the ranking, it’s hurting my ego…

It was nice to see some “old dogs” coming back, the Misser brothers, Christian Taillefer (remember the WC victory in Les Gets onboard of the ug…, yellow Peugeot), Nicolas Saumur… it looks like there is some serious training going on for the Master World Championship at the end of the month so it was pretty tough to step on the Master podium though!

At the end of the Supercup (a third run for the 50 fastest riders), David Eme had wiped out the rest of the field, congratulations! The GB racers were there in force, Aston, McKnight, Ewans, Barns to name just a a few. Nimrod Hemo was there as well, coming all the way from Israel, well… Morzine in fact! Congratulations to Jerôme”Croc”Crocombette for a good 7th place and to Elodie Chesseret, camping buddy, for her victory in the girl category… Auvergne powa!

Surfing the clouds