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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Ever wonder how FSA does it? Take a walk through the factory and find out
Classic Colnago steel frame with gorgeous pantographed Campagnolo components
Ben Thomas leads into the change over area at the 2012 TwentyFour12 endurance event at Newnham Park, Plymouth
New British mountain bike team to focus on endurance racing
The new Mountain Trax - Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team revealed its line-up for 2013. With riders Ben Thomas and Tim Dunford, the British team will specialize in endurance mountain bike racing in the United Kingdom and around the world.
Over the last few years, Thomas has become a regular visitor to the top step of the podium at elite category events in different parts of the world. He has ridden World Cups, the London Olympic Mountain Bike Test Event, the Cape Epic, and the 2012 world championships. He has been a silver medallist in the Under 23 National MTB Championships, won the Kielder 100 in 2011, and in 2012 was fourth in the Senior National MTB Championships and finished 31st in his first European Championships.
"2012 was a great year for me with some fantastic results but with the support we have for next year, I know Tim and I can ride to even greater success," said Thomas. "Pulling all the sponsors, equipment and calendar together has been hard work which started way back in the summer months but it's been super rewarding to see the positivity from all the sponsors who want to be involved."
"It's great to have Tim on board, we've known each other for years and train together regularly. We also have similar racing ambitions and I think we'll work very well together at multi-day pairs stage races. Mountain Trax have exceeded all my expectations in terms of support this year so it's fantastic to have them on board as title sponsors of this team. With Vauxhall's support we can travel in comfort and style to races all around Europe."
Dunford's results show his progression in 2012, with highlights including winning the Kielder 100, TORQ 12-hour, and the UK Endurance Series. Like Thomas, this year Dunford has moved his focus towards marathon distance events. Following his successful year, British Cycling rewarded Dunford with a place on the GB Team for the marathon world championships.
Excited about 2013, Dunford said, "Ben and I have been racing each other since we were in the expert category back in 2008. More recently we have both focussed more on the longer marathon events and have had some great battles over the last few seasons. Next year we will be teammates, but I'm sure there will still be some healthy team rivalry! Our plans for 2013 are now coming together and it's going to be an amazing year. I'm super motivated to get the new season underway and currently putting in lots of rather damp winter miles to be in the best condition possible for next year."
The team's goals for 2013 are to medal at the UK marathon national championships and to win the champion's jersey, retain Dunford's UK Endurance Series title, including winning the Kielder 100, finish top 20 at the European marathon championships, and top 30 at the marathon world championships. The team is still working on assembling its complete race schedule for 2013.
John Newport will serve as the team's Logistics Manager.
The Mountain Trax - Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team will race in red, black and orange kit. Thomas will race Scott bikes while Dunford will race Cannondale bikes.