Racing is in our blood at Wideopenmag …

Introducing the 2017 Team Wideopenmag line up.

Photos by Ian Lean

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Racing is in our blood here at Wideopenmag.

From day 1 we’ve been covering the UK race scene, shouting that it’s the best in the World and doing our bit to push it forward.

It’s important that we don’t just sit behind a keyboard looking in. We’re deep in British racing – paying entry fees, winning races, shouting when things need to improve, celebrating what’s good about it and getting stuck in to making it happen.

We do that through Team Wideopenmag – our own downhill and enduro race team.

The team’s goals are pretty simple. Win races, report on the racing scene, grow talent and help grow the UK race scene. We’ve done a pretty damn good job so far. Our rider line up has included Laurie Greenland (Junior World Champion and 2nd place 2016 elite World Champs), Mark Scott (Santa Cruz Factory racing), Charlie Hatton (Team Intense UK), Joe Parfitt (FMD / Transition Factory Racing).

We’ve raced (and won plenty) of the British Downhill and Enduro national series and National champs for nearly 10 years. We’ve also raced a tonne of regional events to support our favourite little events.

For 2017 Team Wideopenmag has grown to bring in two new riders and to sharpen our focus on young talent and UK racing.

Our rider line up is …

Kye Forte (downhill)

BMX legend, father of two and probably the most stylish man on the UK race circuit. Kye entered downhill after a career as a pro in BMX and some encouragement from Dan Atherton. We brought him onto the team, taught him to run less than 60psi in his tyres and he set about smoking the field!

Look out for Kye at the British Downhill Series and in a tonne of video projects in 2017.

Kye will ride a Large Nukeproof Mega and Large Nukeproof Pulse.

Chris Hutchens (enduro)

Chris is a legend in British racing having already completed downhill in the UK. He shifted to Enduro a couple of years back and we’ve been supporting him hard at the UK enduro races and in Enduro World Series ever since.

Chris placed 2nd overall at the 2016 British Enduro Series, took the Scottish Enduro Series overall and raced a tonne of other events.  At the end of the year he quit his well paid and comfy career in engineering to focus on racing and adventure – this year is a big one for him.

In 2017 Hutch will race Scottish Enduro Series, full Enduro World Series, Ard Rock Enduro, the Mega Avalanche, Tweedlove and a heap more. We’re stoked to help him with the year of his life.

He’ll ride a medium Nukeproof Mega 275 – the 27.5″ version of the Mega.

Kelan Grant (enduro)

Belfast steeze! Kelan Grant joins the team for 2017 and will bring wild style, raw speed and plenty of banter. Nukeproof have supported Kelan’s racing for years and moving up to Wideopen is a natural step. We were stoked to meet him at the team launch and enjoy his loose, tyre-burping style!

Kelan will race Enduro World Series, Irish National Enduros, Scottish Enduro Series, Tweedlove and a heap of other events.

He’ll ride a Large Nukeproof Mega 290 – the 29″ version of the Mega.

Morgan Tyrrell (downhill)

Morgan Tyrrell is back for 2017 and is hungry to dominate the Youth field of the British Downhill Series. Morgs joined us as a tall, skinny, quiet young gun but has been hitting the uplifts and the gym and has turned into a powerful, stylish and super confident racer. He’s been hitting the gym hard with MTBStrengthFactory and his banter game is also strong after a year on the team!

Look out for Morgan (and his dad Adrian!) at the British Downhill Series and Pearce Cycles Downhill Series. Also, out in the South Wales hills attacking the uplifts in Ade’s pickup!

Morgan will ride a Nukeproof Pulse.

Chris Cumming (downhill)

Our new young gun downhill racer – Chris and the Cumming family are rad. Fresh out of Juveniles, Chris is a fast and super talented young Irish downhiller.

His parents run Rostrevor Mountain Bike Centre, they’re absolutely fanatical about downhill and they’re buried deep in the Irish mountain bike scene. Like Kelan, Chris was supported by the Nukeproof Development programme and has joined our family to go faster at the British Downhill Series.

Chris will ride a Nukeproof Pulse.

Launching the 2017 team

To kick 2017 off properly we invited the whole crew to the Forest of Dean for a proper team launch weekend and our first race of the year.

Friday night was a chance to catch up, cheers a few beers, chat about racing and get to know the new guys.  It was also a chance to give everyone their new Nukeproof race bikes and their first batch of Fox Head kit.

A proper little session

On Saturday, we spent the day hammering the Forest of Dean’s muddy, rooty, wintry trails. We started out practicing the weekend’s Mini Downhill track and then moved on for some photos on the less-busy, more-gnarly stuff.

With the race track dialed we did a bit of exploring and discovered a super-fun little area with a hip-jump, berm, ski-jump combo that the team set about tearing up alongside a few locals.

It’s rare to see the whole team together – to have them all in one spot sending gaps and pushing each other on is awesome.

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Team Wideopenmag have raced on board Nukeproof bikes since 2009. For 2017, we’ll be working even more closely with the guys at NP as their official ‘development’ team.

Like us, Nukeproof want to support young talent and help see the UK race scene grow – so joining forces and bringing Kelan and Chris on board (both were already supported by Nukeproof) was the obvious move. We’re stoked. 

The downhillers will be on board the 2017 Nukeproof Pulse Comp with tires from Conti Tires, wheels and tubeless sealant from Stans No Tubes, bolts and springs from Ti-Springs and brake pads, cables and rotors from Widget components.

The Enduro guys will be racing on the Nukeproof Mega Pro. Hutch will race the 27.5″ version – favouring a medium bike after testing different size bikes back to back. In a world where everyone seems to be chasing bigger bikes it’s interesting to see Hutch actually go down a bike size.

Kelan will race on the 29″ version, the Nukeproof Mega Pro 290 in size large. He loves the big wheels for big, fast tracks so has jumped on to that full time.

The enduro bikes have the added support of kit from One Up Components.

Race day at the Mini Downhill

For our second day of the weekend we took on the mighty Mini Downhill – the biggest little downhill race in the UK. Chris Roberts puts on a great event with loads of riding, no stress and great tracks. The whole team – including Mechanic Dru – hit the track and put in a time.

Winning races.

The elite race was won by ex-team rider Charlie Hatton. Second place went to Wideopen test pilot (and retired World Cup racer) Rich Thomas on his Nukeproof Mega and third went to Kelan on the big wheeled Mega.

Young guns Morgan and Chris Cumming were hammering runs all day and starving hungry for the podium – they both did a killer job with Morgan taking the junior win and Chris in second. It was Chris’ first ever race in Youth, straight out of juvenile, so was an awesome result for him.

Oh – and Mechanic Dru went and smoked the hardtail field putting a total of 5 Wideopen riders on the podium!

See you at the races

For 2017 the team will be racing the full British Downhill Series, Irish National Downhill Series, Scottish Enduro Series, Enduro World Series, Tweedlove, Ard Rock, Irish Enduro Series AND a heap of other UK one-off events.

We’ll see you on track – come say hi if you see us!

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