G-RÄF unchained from Whyex Productions on Vimeo.
Gates Nicolai Team rider David “G-RÄF” Graf unchains and belts his Nicolai BMXTB. The video features some nice pump track riding and a smooth music track from Audio Agency.
This past weekend Taylor Nye from Team Gates Carbon Drive took a hard-fought podium at the Colorado State Cyclocross Championships!
Jesse Swift testing the aerodynamic properties of the Gates belt.
After wrapping up the Boulder Cyclocross Series overall win just the week before, Taylor was coming into the weekend of the State Championships with great form. Though everyone knew there was going to be no shortage of big guns out for the win in an ever-increasingly competitive Colorado single speed category. The sandy and mostly flat course in Loveland, CO also featured some tricky surprises, a brutal run-up and nowhere for rest. Nearly 50 starters toed the line under cold grey skies, and the depth of the field was obvious, as any 10 of those starters were easy choices to take the win on a good day. Team Gates Carbon Drive had a strong line-up, with Taylor Nye, Mitch Westall, Carlos Casali, Derek Strong, Taylor Jung and myself flying the team colors.
Colorado State Championships featured a tricky, dusty course.
As expected, the start was brutal and the lead group quickly separated themselves, with Nye making the selection. Carlos and Jesse showed great teamwork, sacraficing themselves to get Mitch back towards the front of the race after a tough start for him. Derek, Jung and myself were all flying through the field, making up spots after terrible call-ups at the start.
Taylor Nye chasing hard.
A powerhouse in any field, and any discipline, Colby Pierce was able to separate himself from the duo of Nye and season-long rival Will Iaia. These two fought the remainder of the race, constantly trading and countering attacks and the second place position. At the sprint finish, Nye came up just short behind the road-specialist Iaia. Dropping those around him, Mitch came home safely in fourth place and Carlos just behind in 5th place. I was still making up postions at the end, finishing 11th as Derek was just behind in 13th. After all his hard work, Jesse was still racing well, when he suffered a flat that had to be run back to the pits, dropping him to 19th, still in the top 20. Unfortunately Taylor Jung went down on a particular nasty portion of the course, suffering a broken collarbone and fractured scapula – you can’t say he wasn’t pushing hard! Heal up soon Taylor!
Taylor Nye on a stacked podium at the Colorado State Champs.
After the final points calculations, Team Gates Carbon Drive handily took the Colorado Cross Cup Team competition with no one else even close. Mitch Westall just missed winning the individual competition by a mere two points. But still, the team had three riders in the top four, and five in the top 10. And just as importantly, everyone on the team had a great time this season, and earned a well-deserved winter break. The support we recieved from Gates has been top-notch, and the Carbon Drive System has been an absolutely flawless advantage for everyone on the team. So I know I speak for all the riders when I say thanks for the support, the cheering on the sidelines and endless work behind the scenes to make our jobs easy!
It was another succesful weekend for the Gates Carbon Drive Cyclocross Team as the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross came to town for two days of racing in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Jesse Swift at the USGP Smartwool Cup #1
Saturday was the Smartwool Cup #1, and a single speed field of over 40 riders took to a chilly start line, just before the rains started coming down. Lining up for the the team was Jesse Swift, Mitch Westall, Carlos Casali, Taylor Jung, Tim Lucking and Ryan McFarling. Carlos drove the pace hard right from the start, working to setup a group of leaders. Ryan was there, but unfortunately had a skewer break which forced him to drop from the group. He was able to rejoin the race, and put in some of the fastest laps of the day, trying to chase, but unfortunately lost too much time at the start. Up front, the battle was on, and as the rain fell, making the course slick and treacherous, good handling was as important as putting down the power.
The lead group ended up just out of reach for Jesse, who fought his way home for fourth place in a stacked field. Gates wasn’t done representing though, as Mitch and Carlos finished together in 7th and 8th places, while Taylor and Tim weren’t far back in 17th and 24th.
Garrett Davis rounds one of the tight corners at USGP Smartwool Cup #2
The team was back the following day for Smartwool Cup #2, as the drier but slightly revised course provided just as many challenges under the sunny skies. Sunday Gates was represented by Mitch Westall, Ryan McFarling, Garrett Davis and Taylor Jung facing off against another 35 racers on day two. The previous day’s mud had dried into a fast, but bumpy course for the riders. Once again Gates drove the pace at the start, with Garrett and Taylor pushing hard at the gun. Mitch caught their goup, and as the real fireworks flew, he was able to stick close to the leader by pushing a big gear and riding consistently. Ultimately Mitch finished in 2nd place, while Ryan had some unfinished business after Saturday’s mechanical, finishing close behind in 3rd. That put two Gates riders on the podium, and Garrett was so close–coming home in 5th place.
There was no avoiding the steep steps every lap!
I wasn’t able to make it to the USGP races, but rather hit the first Boulder Ultra Cross “unofficial event.” It turned out to be a super fun ride, covering 50 miles with nearly 6,000 feet of climbing. Even with the racing in Fort Collins, nearly 80 people showed up for one giant lap of the course. Having the Gates Carbon Drive belt kept things simple and flawless, and it was easy to enjoy the incredible route, great weather, and riding with lots of different people I normally don’t get to. I hope there will be more non-events of this type!
It’s been a very busy week for Team Gates Carbon Drive, and it’s tough to keep up with posting all the action and great results for the team!
Raleigh Hodala frame, Easton wheels, TRP brakes & levers and FSA components!
Last week, action started for the team with twisty, fast, staircase-filled racing at Valmont Bike Park. I think everyone in the single speed race was surprised by the depth of talent and speed present at the start line – a great sign for an action-filled season here in Colorado! Jesse Swift, Taylor Nye, Carlos Casali, Garrett Davis and Taylor Jung represented for Gates. And at the end of a fast race, it was Swift and Nye filling the second and third place steps of the podium!
Jesse Swift and Tayler Nye filling the 2nd and 3rd spots on the Valmont podium!
Meanwhile Mitch Westall took an impressive 4th place in the 35+ Masters race against the geared guys! Cristina Begy flew the colors in the Women’s Open race, also with an impressive showing against the geared racers. And just to mix things up, I was up in the mountains, racing my Gates Belt Drive mountain bike to a 3rd place in a biathlon with the Colorado Biathlon Club.
Casali, Davis, Nye and Swift swooping through the Valmont Bike Park course.
After a quick day off the team packed up and was off to Las Vegas for Interbike and the CrossVegas race
. There the team was ready to face-off against hot temperatures, a power-robbing course that was all grass and impressive competition. However Taylor Nye flew (literally!) to a second place finish in the Single Speed race, and fourth place overall! Cristina Begy impressed everyone, racing on the only single speed in the Women’s UCI race.
Cristina Begy flying under the glare of CrossVegas lights.
No time to rest, the team was right back to Colorado for another weekend of racing. This time the weekend started in Longmont at the always-popular Xillinx course. This time Taylor Nye wasn’t going to be denied, and he took the win as Carlos Casali redeemed his flat tire in Vegas taking second place! Taylor Jung powered through to 8th place. Later in the day we also had newest member of the team Ryan McFarling representing with a strong 11th place in the Masters Open race against another strong field.
Brian Hutchison in 3rd place at The Queens of Cross race in Golden, CO.
Sunday meant yet another day of racing, this time in Golden with the Queens of Cross race. Early in the day Mitch Westall was again in the Masters Open race, impressing all with a 4th place finish. I raced the Single Speed race, and after a long week, I was happy to ride strong for a 3rd place finish. And then later in the day, Cristina Begy took the win in a rare Women’s Single Speed race! Congrats Cristina!
This weekend the team will be right back to action with racing on both days! Check back in to see what kind of results the team will be able to post.
The lead up to SSWC has been great. I’ve met a ton of cool people from South Africa and all over the world and gotten to ride in both South Africa and Swaziland. On my first real ride down here at the Groenkloff Nature Reserve, I saw giraffe, zebra, ostriches, wildabeest, impala, hartebeest, kudu, mongoose and sable antelope all within the first hour. It was awesome!
I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow. The course is true Africa. The trails are mostly just cow trails so they meander back and forth slowly making their way from A to B. There are tons of thorns, a good, hard climb, and some super fun singletrack descents. The REEB and belt drive are holding up spectacularly and people keep stopping me to ask about it. It’s a great conversation starter and has made me quite a few friends!
There is going to be some stiff competition tomorrow for the SSWC tattoo, but I think I have a good shot at the title. I know Garth (SSWC 2010 Champion) is here as is Dax Massey (finished 3rd at Breck Epic). There is also a rumor that Barry Stander (represented South Africa in the Olympics this year) will be participating…
I’ll let you know how it goes!