Introduction by Francis Cebedo
Now this is pretty cool. The crankbrothers Race Club XC team has partnered with Leelikesbikes.com. Why is that good? Well mtbr realizes that everyone can get better at descending and bike handling on technical terrain. While most race teams focus all their efforts on climbing, descending has become an afterthought and is usually ignored through the endless hours of training.
But there is a lot to be said about learning how to corner and descend technical terrain on a sport that is known as mountain biking. Most adults just reinforce old, bad habits and stop improving mountain bike skills. But is safer, more fun and faster when one learns how to descend. And Lee McCormack is certainly an able coach as he’s worked with hundreds of top-level athletes.
And let’s not forget Scott Bikes and Magura. Scott has a plethora of bikes and wheel sizes to choose from so we hope they optimize the bike for the racer and the course. Magura is a favorite of ours as the make really light stuff that work. The MT8 brakes and the TS8 fork have served us very well in the past year.
We did a little Q&A with Team Director Tim Vangilder and here’s some insight on the team.
Mtbr: How did the relationship with Scott USA come about?
Tim: First off, we love our frame sponsor from last season, Ibis. They make wonderful bikes and were very easy to work with. However, we wanted to find a bike set up that was more contemporary with what is happening on the race courses. (Their Hakkalugi is certainly a world class ‘cross bike, btw). Plus, we wanted to find a partner that would be equally excited to work with us in terms of team PR. Adrian at Scott USA and I chatted a number of times, and the fit for both of us was perfect. We put together some ideas that you’ll see pan out as the season progresses. It’s going to be very cool.
Mtbr: Why did make the unusual move of getting a technical, downhill coach in addition to the other coaches for a Cross Country race team?
Tim: Judy has worked with Lee on an ongoing bases this past season, and has really up’ed her skills. As you know, World Cup XC is changing and getting much more challenging. Its no longer enough to have just lungs and legs – you need to know how to handle the bike more now then ever before. Judy suggested we bring him in as a team tech coach and Lee really liked the idea. I think that will be really fun to have Chloe and Judy work with him and develop skills.
The crankbrothers Race Club began in 2011 with the goal of creating a passionate program built around crankbrothers’ love of racing culture, classic style, and design. Whether we’re racing in the U.S. or European World Cups, our goal is the same; to share our stories from the trails and to give our fans and followers a glimpse of life as a pro. In 2013, the Race Club returns for its third season with a new line-up of sponsors set to take the riders to the podium of World Cup and National events. Introducing the 2013 crankbrothers race club.
Official Press Release:
The crankbrothers Race Club returns for its third season with a new line-up of sponsors set to take the riders to the podium of World Cup and National events. The 2013 team is comprised of just two riders – Chloe Woodruff (Tucson, AZ), and Judy Freeman (Boulder, CO).
“We’ve been very happy with our two riders,” said Team Director / crankbrothers Art Director, Tim VanGilder. “They both represent our brand perfectly and work together very well. They’re extremely dedicated to racing, yet are wonderful people to chat with on the trail – if you’re able to catch up with them. All of us at crankbrothers are very proud of our little team, and we couldn’t ask for two better individuals to represent us.”
While the riders remain the same, there are plenty of changes in the team’s supporting line-up. Scott USA joins as the official bike sponsor, providing a range of bikes to cover the team for a variety of course conditions.
“I’m very excited to partner with the crankbrothers Race Club,” said Adrian Montgomery, Marketing/PR Director for SCOTT Sports Bike Division USA. “My philosophy in sponsorship is to support well rounded athletes who can perform year-round and in multiple cycling disciplines. These two can race XC at the top level as well as cyclocross, which is a focus for SCOTT currently. This partnership fills a niche in our national marketing initiatives that will unfold throughout the season, so stay tuned.”
Also new to the program for this year is Magura, who will be the team’s official brake and suspension sponsor. Kenda will provide tires, and Clif Bar joins as the team’s official nutrition sponsor. Lazer Sport has created a custom light blue Nirvana XC helmet specifically for the Race Club, which is available at crankbrothers online store. Fi’zi:k returns as the official saddle supplier. WD-40 Bike also joins as the team’s bike care provider, while athlete skin care is provided by Soigneur Embrocation – a new brand out of Grand Rapids, MI. Oakley joins as the official eyewear provider.
“We’ve also selected a few interesting new sponsors, too. To address the increasingly difficult handling skills that riders need at World Cup events, Chloe and Judy will be working with Lee McCormack of LeeLikesBikes.com to improve their technical skills,” added VanGilder about the program’s expanded list of sponsors.
The team will be outfitted by Pactimo. “Pactimo has fantastic technical gear and their ability to do custom pieces is above the rest. They compliment the vision the crankbrothers brand. It’s a great match,” added Tim.
The two riders have an aggressive season ahead and will be racing at Pro XCT events before heading off to Germany for the first of the World Cups.
For more information on the race club, visit www.raceclub11.com.