Specialized at the 2021 MTB World Championships
It was once again a successful Mountain Bike World Championships for Specialized this year. With much promise going into the 2021 championships in Val di Sole, Italy, Specialized athletes repaid the faith and came home with a locker full of metal in disciplines ranging from e-MTB to downhill. With fierce competition from all angles in every single race, our athletes needed some truly special bikes to maximise their incredible abilities. Let’s take a look at how they got on in Trentino and the bikes that joined them there.
Short track supremacy
Specialized athletes truly are the kings and queens of short track. Coming away from Italy with rainbow jerseys in the first XC Short Track World Championships were women’s champion Sina Frei representing Switzerland, and the men’s champion, young American Christopher Blevins. Both races were exhilarating and showcased just why so many MTB fans have fallen in love with the event. Blevins powered away from his opponents in a fast-paced sprint finish and Frei lunged ahead of Evie Richards to take the title by a tyre’s width.
Both took the ‘W’ on our lightweight XC bike, the S-Works Epic. The riders were able to get the very best performance out of themselves thanks to the bike’s lightweight carbon fibre construction that limits added weight while not compromising on strength. The Brain technology works out the suspension settings for you so that you don’t need to waste valuable concentration on flipping a switch. We like to say that the Epic combines hardtail efficiency with full-suspension capabilities, and when paired with the talents of Frei and Blevins, it decimates the competition.
The podium success didn’t stop there either. On the long course XC races, Frei backed up her short course victory with a bronze medal and Austrian talent Laura Stigger won silver in the under 23 women’s race.
Electrifying world champions
A year after securing the men’s e-MTB mountain bike title, the S-Works Turbo Levo was ridden to victory in the women’s race by Swiss rider Nicole Göldi, once again proving that it’s unmatched in the e-bike game. Also, on the podium was German enduro rider Sofia Wiedenroth, whose bronze medal ride marked a successful comeback from injury. Check out our earlier article What the pros ride: Sofia Wiedenroth for a full profile on the talented 26-year-old. Christopher Blevins also took bronze in the men’s category, his third medal of the week.
The S-Works Levo has a superior battery life and combines with the 2.2 motor, SRAM’s Eagle AXS XX1 drivetrain and FOX Performance Elite suspension for a ride quite unlike any other. These features worked in unison to amplify the efforts of Göldi and the gang.
Gnarly custom paint jobs
At the end of the week, it was time to turn attentions towards the thrilling downhill races. The Specialized Gravity crew had two men ready to drop in, four-time elite world champion Loïc Bruni and Canadian youngster Finn Iles. The pair both missed out on a medal, but finished inside the top ten in sixth and ninth place respectively.
They may not have podiumed, but both raced in Trentino atop custom painted Demo Race downhill bikes. Designed by Lumar Colors and frame artist Tom Briggs, with input from the riders’ backgrounds and local trails, Briggs went about creating a truly personal frame design. Iles’s mostly white colourway with a dark criss-crossing pattern represents the snow-covered cedar trees that line the 22-year-old’s favourite trails in winter. For Frenchman Bruni, the design pays homage to the Val di Sole Black Snake track, one of the roughest, steepest and gnarliest trails around. Bruni found this out for himself when he crashed in qualifying, but still managed to dial it in for sixth place.
The shoe that did it all
Rounding out the race day looks of many of the Specialized athletes were the all-new S-Works Recon Lace MTB shoes. Not least in the aforementioned women’s e-MTB race where they helped Göldi to the top step of the podium. Ideal for the gravel style conditions that were found throughout the relatively dry week at Val di Sole, the shoes combine a stylish look with comfortable features thanks to Body Geometry technology. The construction has been tested to increase efficiency and reduce the chance of injury by keeping the hip, knee, and foot aligned. With an XC FACT carbon plate to maximise power transfer, there’s no wonder Göldi flew to victory.
id="docs-internal-guid-4a7f3480-7fff-d7ac-eec8-11b4c3ed8814">Feeling inspired by a truly epic MTB World Championships? To find out more about the bikes mentioned in the article, come down to one of our stores. Search out the mountain bikes we have in stock and see the all-new Recon lace range for yourself. Speak to one of our friendly staff members, feel which bike fits you best and learn all about the innovations we are making at Specialized.
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