Mountain Bike Athlete News This Week

It’s a slow start to competitive mountain biking, being February and all, but things are stirring. Lea Davison has officially retired and Lael Wilcox put the hurt on 24 Hours of Old Pueblo — a departure from the ultra endurance bikepacker’s usual route hammering, though it appears there was plenty of suffering to be had. Check out all the news below.

FMB World Tour adds women’s division for 2022

Photo: FMB.

The Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour is adding a women’s division following years of planning. The highlights include equal payouts among the men’s and women’s podiums and a new title — FMB World Tour Women’s Champion — for the top-ranked athlete at the end of the season.

Lael Wilcox rides circles around the competition

So, what did you do last weekend? Unless you’re Lael Wilcox, you probably didn’t ride your mountain bike 279 miles in 24 hours. Wilcox cranked out 17 laps at the fabled 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race in Arizona, handily winning the women’s solo division, and besting most of the 2- to 5-person teams as well.

Lea Davison officially announces retirement from World Cup racing

File photo.

This week American professional mountain bike racer and Olympian Lea Davison officially announced her retirement from World Cup MTB racing. Davison began her race career back in 2001 at the age of 17 and over the years notched multiple national and international wins in addition to competing in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Davidson to see what she has in store for her next adventure.

Rebecca McConnell and Matthew Dinham win Australian National XCO titles

Graves putting the hammer down in Australia. Photo: Yeti.

Mountain bike season is in full swing down under and the country recently held its National XCO and XCC championship races at Maydena Bike Park. Rebecca McConnell and Matthew Dinham won the elite women’s and men’s XCO races on Saturday, respectively. On Sunday, Yeti’s Jared Graves took first place in the men’s XCC short track race while McConnell notched another first place finish in the women’s division.

Jared Graves hangs up his helmet

It looks like Jared Graves wanted to end on a high note. Graves came back from cancer in recent years and returned to a Yeti Cycles sponsorship two years ago in 2020 and got back to racing, though not at a level near where he was at his prime.

After a crash at the Australian National Championships in the XCO race he won the short track the next morning, as noted above.

“I’m stoked to go out on top and I’m excited for the next phase of my career with the Yeti crew,” said Graves. Graves announcement regards “full-time racing” so this definitely may not be his last race and it sounds like he’s got things brewing with Yeti still.

Red Bull Valparaíso Cerro Abajo

If your riding plans for today ended up getting cancelled, you’re in luck. Tune in to Red Bull’s premiere urban downhill mountain bike competition, Valparaíso Cerro Abajo, now in its 18th running. The competition was last held in 2019 so we’re stoked to see athletes lining up once again to contest this one-of-a-kind urban downhill course.

Intense Factory Racing ends partnership with Kenda Tires, Starts with Vee

Intense Factory Racing to include Aaron Gwin, Seth Sherlock, Dakotah Norton and Joe Breedon are using Vee Tires from now on and have parted ways with Kenda. Vee may not have the name recognition of Kenda but they do have some solid gravity tires out like the Snap WCE, which we’re assuming the team will be using unless of course they are all working on something new.