The Brand New 2007 Nationals!

The Final

By: Alan on 10th October, 2007

The Innerleithen course for both spectators and riders offers a unique mixture of high speed sections with large jumps and drops broken up by super steep, tight and technical wooded sections. Throw in plenty of roots, rocks, screaming spectators and some of the Worlds top riders and you are at the best National Series in the World!

Fancy a spot of XC riding? Innerleithen has a killer XC/Enduro loop for you to ride. Stop and rest at several view points and watch the racing unfold before your very eyes. Then head back to the race village and checkout the retail stores and talk suspension tech with the likes of TF Tuned and Mojo.

The Sombrio Film Festival on Saturday evening is free and open to all and will be showing the U.K Premier of“Make it Happen”.  Bring your own chair and a beer and sit down and enjoy! Refreshments will be on hand with our caterer continuing their Themed Nights, this week it’s “Chinese” so bring your chop sticks..

Fenwick’s the bike cleaner people will be running a bike wash with free use of their jet washes and cleaner and we will have our fully trained Park Tool Mechanic looking after your ride, all free of charge! Hang around for the Podium and shout and scream to receive some signed goodies from the top riders. Then see the top 5 in each category receive customised trophies from Hope Technology.


09:00 - 17:00 Open Practise
18:15 Riders meeting
19:00 Sombrio Film Festival

09:00 - 12:30 Practise
13:00 - 16:00 Racing
16:30 Podium

What more do you need to know? Parking and spectating if FREE!

Many thanks again to our title sponsors:
Chain Reaction Cycles and our co-sponsors:
Loctite - Offering a track day for 4 riders in their
Formula 3 BMW’s.
Fenwick’s - Making your ride sparkle.
TF Tuned - £200 to the rider winning their category by
the biggest margin.
Ancillotti UK - £100 to the fastest rider of the day.
MFX Air Art - Offering 4 custom helmet spray jobs.
Action Cameras - Awarding hands free waterproof
Shimano - Providing course tape.
Parktool - Tool Chest
Balfa - Danger Boy products. - Holiday for two in Whistler!

Spanish lifestyle

By: Alan on 6th October, 2007

Mcknight is living it up in Spain and has started a blog to make everyone jealous. You can find his word here: fortnightly updates are on the front page and in the side bar under 'dhrider'.

2008 nps dates!

By: Alan on 28th September, 2007

Fresh off the press here is a quick note to get these dates in your diary for the Downhill National Points Series (NPS) in 2008..

Please note the middle three rounds will all have UCI Points!

Rd 1 April 20th
Rd 2 May 25th
Rd 3 July 6th
Rd 4 August 10th
Rd 5 September 21st

Venues are still to be confirmed

Inners updated

By: Alan on 28th September, 2007

Inners entry list updated.

Shimano rider breaks speed record at 210 km/h

By: Alan on 28th September, 2007

Austria’s Markus Stoeckl, 33, set a new world record for series mountain bikes in the Chile’s Alps when he hit a speed of 210.4 km/h. He shattered an eight-year-old record by an incredible 23 km/h. Stoeckl, member of Team MS Intense Racing, is one of Shimano’s official test riders. In his successful record attempt he relied completely on components provided to him by Shimano Europe like a Saint crankset and rear derailleur and the new Deore XT disc brakes with 203mm rotors for front and rear that gave him the controllability and brake power to stop savely after this amazing speed.


For years there was little news to report about speedbikes on snow, the world’s fastest vehicles without propulsion. In the 1990s, there had been a number of classic, unforgettable duels between two Frenchmen, Eric Baronè und Christian Taillefer, who set a series world speed records as they sped down the French Alps clad in rubber suits and aerodynamic helmets with spoilers attached to their bodies while riding on futuristic speeding projectiles that had only a faint resemblance to bicycles. The only other racer who came even close to keeping up with the French duo was a young man from Kitzbühel, Markus Stoeckl. Because he could not afford an expensive prototype at the time, he rode in the series bike class and managed to set a world record in that category at 187.013 km/h at Les Arches in 1999. Eric Baronè’s record in the prototype class of 222 km/h had stood since it was set at the same time.


After that, interest in France dropped off, as Markus Stoeckl explains: no races, no championships, no runs. Since then, the giant nicknamed “Hercules“ (he weighs 100 kg, and stands 1.90 metres tall) has taken part in “normal“ downhill races, founded his own company, and set up his own World Cup team “MS Intense Racing“. He was on an assignment in Portugal when he found out that the old speed track in La Parva, Chile was being renovated. He did not hesitate and quickly jumped on a plane to South America after hurriedly packing his old helmet, speedsuit and his new “Intense M6“ bike, fully equipped with Shimano components.

Just seven days later, on Friday, 14 September at 11:18 a.m., Stoeckl was standing at the highest-possible starting point directly beneath the cliffs in front of a 2000 meter long and 45-degree steep slope. The conditions for the record run were far from ideal. Because South America’s springtime weather had melted away much of the snow alongside the piste, shrinking it to a narrow strip set up between bare mountain cliffs, it was not possible to gradually raise the starting point for test runs. The final test run took place from a spot that was hundreds of metres below the starting point where a top speed of 178 km/h was recorded.

Because the protective visor on his helmet kept fogging over, Stoeckl was also forced to hold his breath for the 40-second run. “I knew that this would be my only chance,“ he said. The record run went off without a hitch. There were no problems whatsoever and despite hitting a speed of 210.4 km/h it all seemed somehow unspectacular.

Markus Stoeckl has now tasted success and he wants to try to break the other age-old records set by Eric Baronè. Fernando Habash, who is in charge of the La Parva ski resort, has promised he would have a course suitable for records set up.

Harald Troost
PR Officer

ACT-2000 head cam

By: Alan on 21st September, 2007

Product review of ACT-2000 head cam from

Physically the shape and size are good and solid, I'm sure it can take some knocks from trees and rocks. The product comes with a good selection of mounting straps and Velcro, but it required a bit of duck tape to make a more permanent mounting!

Technically the filming is easy to use. The small screen shows how many minutes filming the camera can hold and by slipping a 2gig SD card in the slot at the back you can soon achieve over 18 minutes of filming. There is just one button with audible feedback to start and stop filming making it very user friendly.

Whats in the ATC2K box

Once you get home you can whack the supplied video coax lead into the front of your tv and press play to watch your days riding. Also supplied is a usb cable to plug into your computer and you can immediately playback with windows media player.

All in all this is a great little product to film your weekends adventures, even if it is raining!

Alan Whitelaw

4x Hamsterley NPS This Weekend

By: Alan on 20th September, 2007

This weekend see the final stop of the Freerange Sports Optics National 4X Series.
This is one of the best season of racing with 7 rounds and record entry of riders this season the series finals
lot set for some amazing racing for those final series positions, check out the series points on the website for latest positions.

Hamsterley was one of the original 4X tracks in the UK designed by Phil Saxsena , this big very fast stone track was gets the harts pumping  and with the highest start hill  in the country you are always off to a fast start.
There have been improvements to the track with the 3 table top section changed so a new can be corner added to the course.

There is still to get an entry on line until 9pm Thursday night, after that you can enter on the day for either Supercross on Saturday or the National on Sunday or do both.

Fat Face Night Race Edinbrugh

By: Alan on 18th September, 2007

Fat Face goes urban in Edinburgh City Centre with the huge new Night Ride event. Over 250 top-level mountain bike riders from all over the country will take to the streets, stairways and alleyways for THE WORLDS 1ST URBAN DOWHILL AT NIGHT RACE.

Full Press release here

Climate Change Bike Ride

By: Alan on 18th September, 2007

Climate Change Bike Ride

Sat 8th December 2007

As part of the International Day of Climate Protest during the UN climate talks in Bali, Indonesia, join the bike ride from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Parliament Square. Our arrival there will be the signal for the main march to set out for the US embassy. Time is running out, yet George Bush is still undermining attempts for co-ordinated international action.

There were 600 cyclists on the last climate bike ride. Let’s double that to say to the government that global warming really is the issue of greatest concern facing us today.

10am: Assemble south side of Lincoln’s Inn Fields to ride via the Department for Transport (to call for curbs in aviation and petrol use, and greater support for cycling and public transport); and via a Biofuelwatch protest (calling on the government to introduce safeguards against importing unsustainably sourced bioenergy, eg palm oil grown at the cost of deforestation).

1pm: Arrive at Parliament Square to join the National Climate March from Millbank to the US embassy in Grosvenor Square

Please bring whistles and decorate your bikes to let

the public know why we are riding.

Campaign against Climate Change

Bike ride info call Simon: 07986 904748

Tara Llanes: The Heart of a Champion

By: Alan on 8th September, 2007

Tara Llanes: The Heart of a Champion
By James Herrera, Tara’s coach and close friend

As she lays in a hospital bed following a seven hour surgery to the back and spinal cord, one of Tara’s doctors enters the room to explain the use of the Incentive Spiromter, a device frequently utilized in the medical community to test the health of the lungs following surgery. “Tara, now put this hose in your mouth and take the deepest breath you can.” The effects of the post surgery meds are still taking their toll as Tara, half asleep, takes hold of the device and inhales. “Not bad, 1000mls,” as the doctor takes back the device and turns to put it on the bedside table. Tara sleepily asks the doc, “so how much should I be doing?” He replies, “well, in a healthy young athlete like yourself, 4000-5000 is not uncommon, but you just had surgery last night.” As the doctor turns to leave the room, Tara sternly responds, “let me see that thing again.” With all the strength she can muster, she cranks out a 1750. Later in the day, she’d stepped it up to 2500. No one knows better than I do, this girls got the heart of a champion.

On Saturday September 1, 2007, Tara had a horrible crash at the Jeep King of the Mountain finale in Beaver Creek Colorado. During a semi final heat with eventual race winner Jill Kintner, Tara entered the second to last straight on the course and went over the bars on obstacle that sent her over the bars, coming down hard on her head then back. She was rushed to Vail Valley Medical Center, then Denver Health Hospital, where a specialty spinal cord team worked on her for seven hours over Saturday night. Tara’s crash caused a fracture to the C7 and L1 vertebra and damage to the spinal cord, resulting in a below the waist paralysis, a condition her surgeons say is most likely permanent, but there is always a possibility that things will change for the better.

En route to the hospital, I received a phone call from Honda motocross superstar, Ernesto Fonseca, reaffirming our beliefs that doctors don’t always know the ultimate outcome of a patient’s condition. In March of 2006, Ernesto suffered a training crash in preparation for the Daytona Supercross, resulting in damage to the spinal cord. Like Tara, Fonseca labored through a lengthy surgery and has made tremendous progress following surgery. “Don’t believe a word the doctors tell you. You just keep telling her to push and stay strong. I’m doing way more than they told me I ever would, and it’s only been a year.”

Through the advice of Tara’s physicians, Fonseca, and a number of other medical and personal friends, the family visited the world renowned Craig Hospital in Denver, a facility specializing in spinal cord injury rehabilitation and research. The tour was rather amazing, highlighting the rehabilitation, recreation, and education efforts provided to the patient and family. As we progressed through the tour, there was a circuit training physical therapy session taking place on the facilities basketball court. The intensity of the therapists, coaches, and hard work of the patients reaffirmed my belief that Tara would fit right in and push her recovery efforts to their absolute limit.

While visiting Craig, we had the pleasure of meeting the family of Stephen Murray, the professional dirt jumper who was left paralyzed below the shoulders following a crash in June of 2007 at the Dew Tour in Baltimore, MD. Stephen’s mom and wife are both incredible individuals, offering great information about the Craig facility and their sincerest support for Tara and her family. Charitable contributions to Stephen’s relief fund can be made at

Tara has been an athlete and champion of many sorts her entire life. She began her athletic lifestyle with a basketball in the third grade, going on to win a high school national championship. While in junior high, she discovered the sport of BMX. “My mom and I used to always pass this track, Orange BMX, on the side of the freeway. I think my nagging finally got to her and one night we stopped and watched the racing. By  the next week, my mom bought me a pink CW with matching pink and grey AXO gear and we went back to the track. I ended up getting second place. Who would have known that night would have changed my future?” For the next few years, Tara and her biggest fan and supporter, MOM, flew around the country competing at national level events. Along the way, she acquired Haro as a sponsor.

“After a few years on the team I started to here about mountain biking. I was 16 years old and talked to my team manager about getting me a mountain bike to try out. He finally agreed and I went to a race in Big Bear and won in the junior class. Since then I've been able to travel the world and meet a lot of new friends. Throughout everything I can't thank my mom enough for being behind me 110%. She was the one who would drive me to every single basketball practice, track meet, softball game, or BMX race. She was the one who would work on my bike for me at the BMX track just like all of the dads were doing for their sons. She was the one who would put streamers up in the hotel room at the BMX Grand Nationals in Oklahoma, because that race always happened to fall on my birthday. She's the best!”

Being a close friend to Tara and her coach for the past two years, I can’t even begin to express just how incredible this girl is. As an athlete, she is a coach’s dream: a fierce competitor, dedicated, motivated, and upbeat in every way. Having to pull back the reins on how long or hard she’d train was my biggest chore. I can quite honestly say, I’ve met very few people in my life that are even remotely this driven. But her athleticism and competitive spirit are only a small part of what makes Tara the person she is. She is compassionate, grateful, and helpful to every person she comes across, always placing the wellbeing of others before her own. On more than one occasion, her actions, the way she lives her life, became my example to follow. 

My friends in the industry, Tara needs our help. She’d certainly never ask for it herself, but I’m definitely not above seeking a little assistance for one of my dearest friends. T’s at the beginning of a long and costly road to recovery. Following her two week stay at the Denver Health Hospital, she will begin a six to seven week inpatient rehabilitation stay at the Craig facility, also in Denver Colorado. From there, she will travel back to her home in southern California and continue outpatient physical therapy. As you can imagine, there are a number of costs associated with the entire effort ranging from the immediate medical to rehabilitation, travel, communication, home wheelchair modifications, and so on. Through your generosity, we can make certain Tara receives every opportunity for the best care that can be afforded. To make a charitable contribution to Tara’s Road to Recovery Fund, please visit Contributions can be mailed, wired, credit card deposited, or taken directly to a Bank of America. Some account set-ups are still in the works, but immediate contributions can be mailed to:

Tara Llanes
Road to Recovery Fund
4068 Green Ave.
Los Alamitos, CA 90720

From the jungle of flowers in her room, number of texts, MySpace messages, and phone calls, I know Tara’s got some incredible friends and one of the most amazing support mechanisms anyone could hope for. She loves receiving your messages of support on her MySpace page at T and her family would like to express their sincerest thanks for your gifts, thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. We’d also like to send a special thanks to Ted Martin and the Jeep King of the Mountain Series group for immediately lending support towards travel and housing costs for Team Llanes, Travis Chipries at Giant Bicycles, Brian Hawkins with Giant for Women, Leah Garcia for brightening the room with her laugh and positive energy, and all the other sponsors, industry friends, and publications who have agreed to lend their support and spread the word about the Road to Recovery Fund. Tara is deeply grateful.

For major corporate/sponsor contributions to the Tara Llanes Road to Recovery Fund, please contact Tara’s Mom, Barbara Llanes at 714-322-9055.

Information on Tara’s progress will be made available on her MySpace page daily.

For media related inquiries, please contact me at

Thank you.


Enquiries to:

SPS ltd.
Office 0121 422 1032
Mobile 07968 229 359