The 2020 Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro Team
We’re excited to return to the Enduro World Series this year with our existing Canadian partner, Race Face Performance Products. Over the past two years, the Rocky Mountain Race Face Enduro team has made its mark on enduro racing and we’re thrilled to keep up that momentum.
Over the past few seasons, we’ve watched Jesse Melamed, Andréane Lanthier Nadeau, and Rémi Gauvin come together as a team and add their own flavour to enduro racing. We’re proud to have all three of them on board this year and excited to bring the world along for the ride with a second season of “The Jank Files”.
With the recent news of race cancellations in South America, we'll be ready as a team for when the race schedule is back to normal.
Peter Ostroski has been riding for Rocky Mountain in one way or another for 18 years! He’s been on every enduro race team we’ve ever had and these days his race schedule includes a mix of EWS races, the Trans Madeira, and the BC Bike Race. 2020 marks a particularly exciting season for Peter, with the announcement of his home tracks being raced at the EWS #6 in Burke, Vermont.
Guiding in the Dolomites
We hope this story inspires you and allows you to daydream about your past riding adventures. As riders, we know that spending time on the trails helps us during these times of uncertainty, but we ask that you minimize the risks to yourself and others, and join us in following all local health guidelines as you venture outside.
Story by Julia Hofmann
Photos by Mattias Fredriksson
When I was young and exploring in the garden and woods around my house, I always found the most joy in sharing my discoveries with others; a new hiding spot or some exciting forest treasure. As I’ve gotten older, it’s still a favourite pastime, only now my world extends further, and my discoveries are much bigger.
I’ve spent several years riding my mountain bike through remote, little-known places around the world. Usually, I’m barely back at home before the next wave of wanderlust comes over me and I feel the pull to set off again.
I am fascinated by the people I’ve met, different cultures and landscapes I’ve experienced, and the incredible singletrack I’ve ridden. Each country has had unique trails; in Chile they are deep and dusty, in Canada they are steep and technical tracks through the forest, and in Norway the trails run between the fjords and over stone slabs and tree roots. Kosovo, Albania, France, Spain – each has had a different flavour. In sharing details about my travels, I am able to inspire others to also explore the world with their bikes – and it feels as joyful as sharing my garden hiding spots back in the day.
It was this passion for travel and inclusion that led to my guiding career. I wanted to help other mountain bikers enjoy what I was experiencing; nature, the trails, and the local culture in these special places. So when I was asked if I wanted to do some skills training and guiding in the Dolomites, I couldn’t refuse.
The Dolomites are one of the most unique and impressive rock formations in the world. And although they are just three and a half hours drive from where I live, I had never been to the area. I only knew of the Dolomites through winter sports and road bike racing – every road biker dreams of doing the famous Sellaronda route one day – but I had no idea that a world-class mountain biking paradise was also tucked away there.
When I finally stood in the mountains there I was overwhelmed by impressiveness of the landscape. Whichever way I looked – north, south, east or west – each and every vista was picture-postcard worthy. The sight of these huge, sheer rockfaces rising up out of the pale green undulating meadows is so powerful that it literally takes your breath away. The infrastructure is perfect for mountain bikers too; all the gondolas take bikes and there are plenty of lifts to access the riding zones. I knew instantly that this was one of those big discoveries and I couldn’t wait for the joy of sharing it with others.
For the first few years, I found the layout of the mountains confusing. There are so many different interconnecting valleys in the Dolomites that I would suddenly find myself in the wrong one. Often it would be getting late and I had no idea how to get back to where I was meant to be. (Having an e-bike came in handy in these situations.) I was grateful that my friend, Arno Feichter runs the local bike shop in Sexten and is also a guide. He gave me the lay of the land and also introduced me to all the secret little gems that can only be found with local knowledge.
The natural trails here are steep and technical at the top, often taking you over rugged, rocky slab formations – with no room for error. Further down the valley and below the treeline, the ground gets softer and the trails become more flowy and playful, with a slippery tree root here and a natural berm there. Back down at the bottom, it’s either time for a pizza or another lift to head back up the mountain.
Over the past few years, more and more flow trails have been developed in the Dolomites, allowing even the greenest of mountain bikers to enjoy the high-mountain scenery and creating the perfect environment for my beginners’ skills courses. Combining a guided experience with some skills training – correct position for braking, pushing, and jumping – allows riders to feel more confident and therefore get more enjoyment out of the trails and stunning environment.
Whenever I’m in the area, Arno shows me yet another, even more stunning trail in the Tre Cime region. Last autumn we spent five days together; on E-bike reccies, carrying our regular mountain bikes up technical sections via ferratas, and doing laps on the Helm; the local mountain near the village of Sexten. And even with that, I’ve hardly even covered a quarter of the trails, so there really is plenty experience – and share.
Julia Hofmann has been a part of the Rocky Mountain family for several years. While she spends her time on a myriad of different bikes from us, the ones featured in this article include her Altitude Powerplay, Altitude, and Slayer.
Thomas Vanderham Slayer Raw
Starting with Carson Storch in Utah, following up with Rémi Gauvin on Vancouver Island, the Slayer Raw Cut series wraps up with freeride legend Thomas Vanderham riding Kamloops, British Columbia. Over the years, Thomas has filmed numerous riding segments in BC’s interior. His riding style seems to work so well on the trails around Kamloops, being that the trails give him plenty of opportunity to ride fast and send it big. Known for throwing massive whips, Thomas always looks incredibly composed on his bike.
Rémi Gauvin Slayer Raw
The first Slayer Raw Cut featured Carson Storch riding big hits in the Utah desert, a stark contrast from Episode 2 in the dark and dank forests of Vancouver Island. Rémi Gauvin grew up in those woods, and the technical, wet trails of the coastal rainforest have played a major role in shaping him as a rider.
Rémi first signed with Rocky Mountain in 2015 and the next year began racing enduro. Fast forward to current day, and Rémi finished his 2019 with his best results yet, placing 6th overall in the Enduro World Series and winning the Canadian National Enduro Championship. Off the track, it’s full throttle, riding just as hard as when the clock’s ticking. Wet roots, blind corners, and slippery chutes are all part of what makes the riding on Vancouver Island some of the best in the world.
Carson Storch Slayer Raw
When we introduced the new Slayer back in August, we released “Oscillation” featuring Thomas Vanderham, Rémi Gauvin, and Carson Storch. That video showed the three riders tackling the dry and dusty trails in of BC’s interior, the wet and rooty trails on Vancouver Island, and the big moves and lines of Virgin, Utah. From that shoot, we shot enough footage to cut together three raw videos in a mix of the best clips and never before seen footage. One for each rider in the locations they helped choose.
For Carson’s section we went to Virgin, Utah, known for its massive features and big mountain lines. This project was shot in the spring, which gave Carson a chance to put his tires in the dirt a few months before this year’s Red Bull Rampage. 2019 marked Carson’s 6th year competing at Rampage, and in that time, he’s stomped some massive spins, drops, and unique features. For this project he wanted to push it outside of a contest environment and land switch spins, flip combo’s, and fresh lines on a brand-new bike.
The Jank Files - Episode 6
It’s been a long season for everyone and what better way to end it than at a new venue in some of the most impressive mountains in the world. With 360-degree panoramic views of the Monte Rosa, the famous Matterhorn, and glaciated valleys, Zermatt is impressive in every sense of the word. Traditionally a hiking and mountaineering town, the riding here is tight, technical, and for the lack of a better word – jank.
New for this year was the Trophy of Nations, described by the EWS as an event to “Work with your team, strategize, pace each other, and share the experience.” All that is true, but when we asked the Canadian Men’s team, comprised of Rémi Gauvin, Jesse Melamed, and Kona’s Rhys Verner, their opinion, they put it simply as “a party train going 100%.”
The Trophy of Nations event also featured the Industry Trophy, a race on the same course as the pro's where brands could put together a team of staff, athletes, or anyone they wished. We looped in our team rider, Peter Ostroski, Brand Manager, Stephen Matthews, and Product Manager, Ken Perras to form “Team Slayer”. The team started strong flexing custom Race Face jerseys, tapered in the middle with a leg hematoma, and finished strong with good memories and beers on the beach.
Filmed by Caldwell Visuals
Photos by Dave Trumpore
A big thank you to all our sponsors!
Race Face, Maxxis, Fox, Shimano, Smith Optics, WTB, OneUp Components, Stages Cycling, Peaty’s Products, EVOC, RideWrap
Back and forth, forward and back. Mastery on the bike comes from constant repetition. Whether it’s your hundredth time down a trail or you’re about to drop into a new one for the first time, steady, well-rehearsed motions are what will get you through. So, ride fast and send it deep because the Slayer is built for those who charge.
THE SLAYER – Official Trailer release
“In a small mountain town, a new terror haunts in the woods.” Watch the Official Trailer for THE SLAYER – coming August, 2019.
In one small town, trick-or-treating turns to terror. Scott Secco’s THE SLAYER brings a rider’s worst nightmare to life, as they fight to survive against an unstoppable killing machine. The film, from the writer-director, features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the iconic horror films of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Watch it, if you dare.
#TheSlayer #RockyMountain #LovetheRide #OfficialTrailer #Trailer
East of the Divide
Slayer earns top marks at the Bible of Bike Tests
"This is the most capable all-mountain bike Rocky Mountain has ever made. But the Canadian company didn’t just create something that rides well, it designed a masterpiece that is both aesthetically refined and technologically advanced." — Bike Magazine
"The Slayer ushers in a new era of all-mountain bikes, taking riders farther than ever."
"The combination of the bike’s geometry and its 27.5-inch wheels makes it controllable and predictable–for such a big bike, it’s surprisingly coordinated and graceful. With a slack 64.75-65.85 headtube angle (adjustable via Rocky’s Ride4 geometry chips), stubby 425-430-millimeter rear end and low-slung bottom bracket, it’s no surprise that the Slayer slays the steepest, rowdiest mountain descents riders can find."