One helluva of a weekend for Trek MTB athletes

11 podiums, 5 wins and 3 national titles across 3 continents ... yep, racing is BACK

Trek mountain bikers raced in three different continents this past weekend, proving that they have some of the fastest stuff across North America, Europe and Oceania. 

The UCI MTB World Series doesn’t kick off until April when Round 1 of the XC World Cup takes place in Brazil. And for Downhill and Enduro athletes, the World Cup doesn’t start until May. But this is still a vitally important part of the season for riders. For the first time since the end of the 2023 World Series last October, they get to see how their form stacks up against their peers, and evaluate how they’ve done with their offseason prep.

And in that sense, Trek athletes should have a lot to look forward to in 2024. This past weekend, they racked up three national titles, five total wins and 11 podiums. These races sometimes go overlooked in October after six months of World Cup racing have wrapped up. But as the building blocks to the biggest events, they can mean the world.

Lachie Stevens-McNab celebrating his elite New Zealand title.

Trek lights up New Zealand national title podiums

Trek’s Kiwi contingent is thriving.

Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli XC’s Anton Cooper took back the iconic Silver Fern kit after briefly relinquishing it last season. The jersey had been his for six straight seasons, and on Sunday he may have begun a new streak, winning his ninth overall national title by nearly a minute over Matthew Wilson.

Anton Cooper rode to a ninth New Zealand national title.

On the downhill track, it was a particularly good day for Trek’s newest and most unique devo squad. Lachie Stevens-McNab and Ellie Hulsebosch, both riding Trek Sessions for The Union, won the elite men’s and junior women’s titles, respectively. Just behind Hulsebosch — and we mean just at nine hundredths of a second — Sacha Earnest took second in her first race as an official member of Trek Factory Racing DH.

Hulsebosch and Earnest are part of a wicked fast rising generation of Kiwi women downhill racers. Last year, Earnest helped New Zealand sweep the junior women’s World Championship podium. Expect to see much more great racing between Hulsebosch and Earnest all year.

Ellie Hulsebosch made it a double for The Union.

Gwendalyn Gibson racks up gold in a monsoon

Derailleur-deep trenches of water were no match for Gwendalyn Gibson in Puerto Rico. Heavy rain made a mess of the so-called “Tropical MTB Challenge” course, but Gibson persevered to score her third victory in a five-day span by nearly two minutes over second-place Ella MacPhee. 

Gibson also won last Wednesday’s C1 race, and Friday’s short track race, pulling off a hat trick in Puerto Rico for the second year in a row.

Riley Amos also got in on the fun with three straight podiums, each a step higher than the last. Racing as an elite, he took fourth on Wednesday, third in short track on Friday, and second on Sunday. Amos will be racing in his last year of U23s in 2024. He is doing everything he can to prove he is ready for the next step up in his career.

Jolanda Neff and Evie Richards celebrating another double podium.

Jolanda Neff, Evie Richards and Vlad Dascalu tune up in Banyoles

TFR XC’s European contingent drove five hours north from Chelva to Banyoles, Spain, this past week for another World Cup-caliber bout. 

Jolanda Neff thrived on a technical track, taking second after finishing fifth in Chelva. Her teammate, Evie Richards, finished fourth after taking second the week before. With two podiums apiece, they are both in fine form for April’s World Cup kickoff in Brazil.

Vlad Dascalu is off to a hot start in 2024.

Vlad Dascalu followed up his win in Chelva with a fourth place finish in Banyoles just 51 seconds out of first and 15 seconds out of second. Dascalu is eyeing his first elite World Cup win having finished in the top five 10 times in his career. Through two weekends in February, he is flashing the form that could make him one of the field’s most formidable riders come this spring.