Mont Tremblant Canada Cup- Part 1 of 3

Here we go again with more UCI racing action up in the Canada Land. The past three years that I have gone to theses races I always learn and improve a little bit. These races are every bit as fast as any Pro XCT that I have participated in. When your racing with the likes of the fastest Canadian riders like Raphael Gange, Matthew Hadley, Kris Sneddon, Peter Glassford to name just a few its going to be blistering. I managed to get 16th out of 70+ which isn’t to bad and Matt had a little bad luck with some rocks and had to go to the pits finishing in the 50’s. We left it all out there on the 850+ climbing per 4mile technical track. My legs still are burning when I stand out of a chair or walk stairs and Matt was cramping on the car ride home. That’s a good thing because racing that fast only means one thing…you get faster. Hopefully I improve this weekend in Canada Cup Part 2: Baie ST. Paul!! I do have to say that my Giant XTC 29er is the best bike I have ever ridden. Even for how rocky the track was i don’t think i would have wanted a dual suspension. With the big wheels equipped with 2.2 Schwalbe Racing Ralphs and snappy handling with a plush RockShox Sid out front. I had the perfect tool for the job!!

The trip as a whole was more or less an in and out mission for Matt and I so there’s not a lot more to report on except we were both wishing we had some more time to ride some really sweet single track that was everywhere!!! Also, its amazing the amount of people doing things in Canada. I always ask myself “what do these people do up here”. Pretty ignorant I guess but I’ve come to the conclusion that they just live. When all you see is people out walking, riding, fishing, riding dirt bikes and little “PEE WEE” racers decked out with Sram XX parts and hauling down rocky trails makes me think the Canadians know how to live.

Cant wait to get back up there this weekend to toe the line again and see what happens. Stay tuned for part 2!!!

                                         Squirrels and Orange Juice?


The Jungle

Rumble in the Jungle (H2H series)

As I was sitting in the car this morning before my friend started the sport race, a short hipster dude walked by in some fresh Adidas sunglasses. Looked a lot like team mate Matt Miller. As we awkwardly made eye contact I convinced myself that there is no way that it’s Matt. He was racing in Canada less than 24 hours ago. Sure enough, it was Matt who decided to drive straight through and miraculously made it to another bike race this weekend. We hit a pre lap on the Rumble in the Jungle’s gnarly course that had a resemblance to bear creek minus the climbs.

“Fueled by Gummy Bears, Forrest races his Anthem X Advanced to 3rd in the pro men at H2H Rumble in the Jungle”

After I fueled up with a handful of gummy bears and a Raw Revolution bar, we headed to the start line; Matt in the middle somewhere and I on the front. I was second into the one track behind some guy who was getting real squirrelly. I think he needed some Giant Maestro suspension. Fortunately I got around him with one other guy who got by and hit it pretty hard creating about 30 or so seconds on the first lap. We got to an intersection went what seemed to be the obvious choice and… Wrong. We finally found where the course had gone just in time for everyone to catch us. Then we cruised over the rocks trying to keep it smooth and get away again. One other guy came with us this time. I was conserving a lot of energy by carving corners with my Schwalbe Racing Ralphs while ahead and behind were squealing breaks. After a big attack and some silly mistakes on the last lap I ended up 3rd in the Pro race. Matt rode his Anthem X 29er to 6th. Not too shabby for right after a 12 hour drive and a UCI race the day prior.

The Schwalbe Racing Ralphs hooking up

As everyone around was complaining about their backs, their arms, and their butts following the finish, the Giant midatlantic crew was comfortable due to our ESI chunky grips, four inches of maestro suspension, and the dynamic duo of Selle San Marco Concors and Enzo’s Buttonhole chamois cream.
Look out for Matt Miller at the legendary, Stan’s NoTubes Transylvania Epic starting on sunday. A week long stage race through some of the most epic trails in Pennsylvania… Maybe the world! Seamus will go to the second round of the Canada Cup for some more UCI madness.

Michaux Maximus


The Michaux Endurance Series is known as the roughest, toughest and stupidest race series around.  Aside from the State College area (MTB mecca of the Universe?), it has the biggest trail mass in the region.  The 40 mile races are long, extremely technical, have tons of climbing and often make you question why you do this sport.  Or maybe affirm why you do this sport.  One thing is for sure: you either love it or hate it.
Me? I love it.

This past weekend was the first of the three race series and it ended up being a beautiful day!  I brought along the XtC Composite 29 hardtail to race.  I knew it wasn’t the best choice when compared to my Anthem X 29, but it’s light weight and sharp handling had me feeling it would do the job just swell.

I started off rather easy as I usually do in these races, but this time, easy put me into the first singletrack in the top 5.  My goal was to watch the power on the climbs, hold a pace that would be manageable for 4+ hours, and rip the one-track like a good boy should.  Here is the file for you nerds.  Keep in mind I run a buck twenty five on the scale, so other than me just landing on the suck side of fast, that’s my excuse for why the numbers are weak.

Mostly I just added this because I have no pictures other than the jar of pickle juice I just downed.

 ok, fine.  here’s the pickle juice, too.

Anyway.  I feel I rode quite well.  Maybe should have given a little more on some of the long climbs and maybe lost a little on the slow tech sections with the hardtail, but certainly gained on some of the rippers and maintained a rather steady pace.  Good news is that I didn’t bonk, my one flat sealed itself and I had no bike issues other than the scratches and gouges from the endless rock.  Oh, and I crossed the line as the fourth soul with an emptied tank.  The views were scenic, the trails variable and the competition was good.  Furthermore, paired with the hilly ride from the preceding day, it was an excellent workout with an eye on the main goal of the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

TSE Countdown: less than a month.
Fast guys: still signing up.
Scared factor: 10
Psyched factor: 11

-the matt miller experience

26’ers, Ain’t Dead Yet: Giant Anthem X Advanced 2 Bike Review

Giant Anthem X Advanced 2:  Affordable Rocket Ship

While everyone and their grandma has a 29’er these days, we here at Giant Mid-Atlantic would like to take the time to point out:  26’ers ain’t dead yet!
Take for example the Giant Anthem X Advanced 2.  Built using Giant’s Advanced carbon technology, this frameset is the standard for lightweight and responsive in a full-suspension race bike.  Throw in a reasonable pricetag, and you’ve got yourself a budget racer’s dream bike.  Now for the skinny:
Fast has many angles

The First Impression:  Once built, the bike weighs in at roughly 25lbs.  Not too shabby.  This can be knocked down easily by swapping out the stock wheels for lighter ones (like our Stan’s Crest or Podium MMX wheelsets).  The build is solid, with SRAM X7 mostly, and an X9 rear mech.  The rockshox suspension feels smooth out of the box and is easy to set up.  Other upgrades to this bike included Giant’s Contact SLR bar and seatpost, a team issue Selle San Marco saddle, and our custom white/blue ESI grips (BLING!).   Otherwise, the bike was stock.
The Ride:  Just as with Anthem X’s prior, this bike is quick handling and SUPER fun to ride.  Climbs in and out of the saddle are made easy with the Maestro suspension keeping the rear wheel glued to the ground.  Descents are tamed with the 4″ of maestro suspension as well, playing rock gardens and roots like a fiddle.  Cockpit length is slightly on the long side, and the test rider (Giant Mid-Atlantic racer Jordan Kahlenberg) kept a 90mm stem in place to handle the steering.  
Test rider, Jordan Kahlenberg, racing the Anthem X Advanced 2
Despite the fact that the bike isn’t decked out with top-end XX or XO, you don’t necessarily miss it as the stock X7 works well.  The 2×9 drivetrain is perfect for racing and trail riding, and is right at home on a bike like this.  
The Verdict:  If you don’t have $6K to spend on a race bike, but crave carbon full-suspension, then the Giant Anthem X Advanced 2 is a must ride.  For smaller riders, or riders that still prefer 26″ wheels, this bike will more than satisfy you needs.  After several races and many hours of training, the bike has been holding up well overall and has had no issues.  We love it!

Root 66 #2 Fat Tire Classic

That was fun. When is it not fun to slide around in the mud for a couple of hours with 20+ of your fastest New England friends. I’m not sure if i have said it before but i might have in a an interview …not sure… but i’ll talk about it here. The Root66 Pro race contingent is fast. I love it. It feels great to line and know that its going to be a tough one to squeak out a podium. But pushing your limits is how you get better. I truly believe if it weren’t for the number of years of my parents driving to the Root66 races as a junior and even still as a pro i probably wouldn’t be racing. Going to those races is like a family reunion every weekend. Seeing you friends, having a genuine good time and racing your face off. Just wanted to say that. The Race day was a great time. My Brother Ian came to be my support for the weekend which usually brings a level of comical relief when he comes to a race event. He brought his bike so he could do a recon lap before the race. It was fun because he has a knack of finding sweet lines, “Bro Line’s” as we call them. I found them pretty handy during the race when the Sky’s opened up and the temperature dropped. With the race being a 1:30pm start we were all hoping that that wet weather would hold off for the pro race. Well as we know it didn’t and the nice buff single track and open road/packed sand section’s quickly turned to grease. The Game plan as usual, get to the front and hammer and hope i don’t blow up. That seems to be working…sort of. Since my school schedule has limited my training to 3days a week I’ve been left with no choice but to train through my non-priority races. So really not the freshest pie in the pack. But i guess i had enough power to get on the front and ride for a lap with New England crosser Jeremy Durrin. After riding a couple of steep up hill sections cleanly and a bobble on his part i found my self with a good gap and increasingly tiring legs. I could see a rider coming through a few single track sections behind but my goal was to just keep it up right and smooth due to the deteriorating track. But inevitable like a bad dream i came through the feed zone on the last lap and was dogging it. minutes later i was passed by Shawn Milne. He got a small 20 sec gap that i managed to salvage to a mere 7sec. I’m happy with that. I love a hard race. Turns out Shawn Races Pro Road for Kenda-5Hr energy and is pretty fast…of course he is. Hope he comes around more often. Fat tires are a good time!! Rubber side down!! -Seamus

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