Specialized at the upcoming MTB championships
It’s championship season with the Europeans, Worlds and Enduro World Cups all coming up in August, which means it most certainly is crunch time for Specialized MTB athletes. Whether you prefer cross country (XC), downhill (DH), or eMTB racing, this month is all about shredding trails and getting hang time.
Our champions are no strangers to the podium thanks to our advanced yet nimble bikes, and with a wide range to suit every discipline, budget and ride style, you too can ride like the pros. Let’s take a closer look at who is competing on what this month and the specs that can elevate your off-road performance.
There are jerseys to defend in this year’s world championships in Les Gets, France. Last year Christopher Blevins and Sina Frei both won the short track titles, and both will be looking to stay in the rainbow bands for another season. The rest of Specialized Factory Racing will also be medal hunting. French 2020 champion Jordan Sarrou, Italian Gerhard Kerschbaumer, five-time European champion Laura Stigger from Austria and American Haley Batten, will all line up on the best Specialized has to offer.
The S-Works Epic is the bike for the moment. A super lightweight frame of FACT 12m Carbon, stiff rear triangle, Brain rear shock and SRAM’s XX1 Eagle AXS groupset all combine to make this the perfect XC bike across all sorts of terrain in any condition. Expect the team to be bringing back jerseys and your MTB performance to be enhanced by the Epic’s epic ride, it’s called that for a reason.
Some of the most exciting adrenaline-fuelled action of any MTB championships, the gravity defying DH MTB races are always a thrill to watch. Five-time world champion ‘SuperBruni’ Loïc Bruni will be sending it alongside Canadian Finn Iles and American Christopher Grice.
They will all be racing on the Demo Race, a bike designed for all out speed. Customisable wheel sizes between 29er and 27.5 provide the perfect balance of traction and manoeuvrability over different terrains, matching the racer to the race. A 200mm fork gives the riders a huge amount of travel while the SRAM DH-specific XO1 drivetrain will keep you blazing at speed from start gate to finish tape.
As new bike styles become more popular, there’s a growing chance that they carve out their own place in championship events. That’s exactly what has happened with the ever-rising popularity of e-MTBs as this category is not only part of the enduro circuit but also in its second year of having a standalone world championship race. Last year, while racing as a Specialized athlete, Tom Pidcock took the crown atop a S-Works Turbo Levo and a year later it will be none other than three-time road world champion Peter Sagan who defends Specialized’s title. The Slovak, whose last MTB race was the Rio 2016 Olympic cross country, has been out in America preparing for the event and becoming acquainted with his new machine.
His extensive talent and power will be backed up by the perfect combination of ride quality provided by the Turbo Fuel Power 2.2 motor and MasterMind Turbo Control Unit that provides up to 4x amplification. The chassis boasts 150mm of custom-tuned rear suspension to match Sagan, and the bike is capped off with SRAM’s premier Eagle AXS XX1 drivetrain, FOX Factory suspension and super light, super tough Roval Traverse SL wheelset. If anyone can get the best out of this bike, it’s Sagan.
When it comes to downhill racing, there’s only one helmet our athletes trust and that’s the Gambit. A helmet that redefines your comfort zone, the DH-certified full-face design provides ample ventilation and was designed by our development team, utilising a comprehensive approach that has resulted in all out performance in gravity races. Bruni, Iles and Grice will be flying.
The majority of the XC racers will be choosing the new S-Works Prevail 3 helmet. The new AirCage results in added ventilation and there are tons of new features for safety, ventilation and performance. Learn more here. The Ambush 2 and Camber ranges are more traditional MTB helmets and are perfect for the everyday trail hunter. Better still, you can currently save 36% on the Camber line.
Inspired to ride like the pros? To find out more about all the Specialized MTB kit, bikes and tech mentioned in this article, come down to one of our stores, and try it out for yourself. Speak to one of our friendly staff members and get inspired to take on any challenge and become the next SuperBruni, Batten, Sagan or Stigger.
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.