Stumpjumper pilots top the table at the Sea Otter Classic
For anyone questioning the extreme performance promises of the new S-Works Stumpjumper 29, two trail-blazing Californians have just proved beyond doubt that the iconic bike is everything that it seems, and more. Specialized supported mountain bikers, Jared Graves and Curtis Keene, flew to first and second at the Sea Otter Classic enduro event this weekend, the only two riders to duck under the 10-minute mark.
The S-Works Stumpjumper ST 29 crushes the opposition
The Sea Otter Classic, a four-day cycling festival held in Monterey, California, is a haven for cyclists across all disciplines; none more so than the dirt trail loving mountain bikers who year on year flock to this part of the US to rag their bike over every conceivable bump and berm. For Specialized, and the new S-Works Stumpjumper ST 29 in particular, this was a long weekend of complete domination.
In the show-piece enduro event, it was Jared Graves who cruised to victory, defending his 2016 and 2017 titles in emphatic fashion. On his way to victory, the native Californian also stomped his way to three stage wins out of four, crushing the opposition over every berm and bend. The first rider to follow him home was Curtis Keene, also riding the new Stumpy, which tells us all we need to know!
Perhaps it was the man himself that bested the rest and left those behind chomping his Monterey dust, but the fact that he trimmed a massive 24.5 seconds from his 2017 time would certainly suggest he was not the only factor in a winning partnership he shared with the new Stumpjumper ST 29.
The premium S-Works carbon build, fitted with SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain and Guide RSC disc brakes, dominated not just the enduro event, but the downhill competition as well. In a performance that has all but made downhill-specific bikes redundant, Jared Graves flung himself down the speedy circuit and once again ducked under a minute mark that no others would surpass. 1:59.20 proved the winning time and Curtis Keene came home 3rd at 2:02.13, reinforcing the powerful credentials of the stiffer and more agile new Stumpjumper.
Not content with trouncing the field in both the Enduro and Downhill events, Jared Graves also entered his affectionately named ‘Stumpy ST29’ into the slalom event, still kitted out with 100% enduro race trip. A third place in the technical course, won by Mitch Ropelato, continues to hammer home the versatility of this Specialized trail bike. Graves himself gave his new bike a glowing report: “With this thing, the 1 bike quiver is truly for real!”.
With steeper geometry, sublime suspension and fast rolling 29er wheels, the Stumpjumper ST 29 is everything Graves describes and more. The goal for the new Stumpjumper range as a whole was to create what might as well be a telepathic connection between bike and rider, improving the responsiveness and handling so that it feels more like an extension of the body than a bicycle.
Jared Grave’s and Curtis Keene’s gnarly rides at the Sea Otter Classic show just how effective this connection between rider and bike is, an unparalleled experience that few, if any, other trail bikes can live up to.
For maximum performance that also ensures maximum enjoyment, look no further than the S-Works Stumpjumper ST 29. Though we can’t promise that you’ll be achieving the record-breaking downhill runs or break-neck slalom speeds of Jared Graves (yet!), we can still look upon the infinitely versatile Stumpjumper with fondness. In the words of Curtis Keene, nothing beats a “good ol’ day on the bike with the boys!”
Encapsulating the essence of what makes a great trail bike, every model in the range, from the entry-level Stumpjumper Alloy to the top-end S-Works Sea Otter champion, is fundamentally an all-round, ‘do it all’ kind of bike. The Stumpy will no doubt increase the fun, and performance, of any group ride or solo adventure. Whether you’re ripping down death-defying runs or cruising across open country, the new Stumpjumper promises to take your riding to the next level.
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