Orange Monkey Pro Team
News: Fletcher moves on...

David Fletcher David Fletcher will leave the team at the end of the season after 3 years with Orange Monkey Pro Team.

Fletch joined us in 2012 and went on to record some great results including 44th at the La Bresse World Cup in 2013 and 2nd in Lesotho, Africa in 2014.

Competing in World Championships and coming close to a National Championship win have also been highlights in a period which has included some nasty injuries.

News: Fletcher & Strauss selected for Commonwealth Games!!

Commonwealth Games 2014 Orange Monkey Pro Team are delighted to continue with Cycleops in association with Paligap UK for 2014 and now incorporating the new Powertap brand.

The Powertap unit is essential in the athletes training and collecting the data makes a huge difference to looking for the "marginal gains" in all areas of training.

The team will continue to be supported by Paligap UK but with the added backing of Cycleops & Powertap in the USA it is the perfect sponsorship.

Racing: Podium for Guschi in Swiss Cup

Martin GujanAfter the World Cup in Albstadt I made a training break. I put the bike to the side and made just two enduro rides at the end of the week. After that I restarted my training with new freshness. Then already on the weekend was the next race on the schedule. On the diverse course of Gränichen you could expect an exciting race with anticipation.

At the first climb I couldn’t go with the pace of the leaders but I was in a good position. After that I felt really good and I could gain some positions. For a short time I was in the group who were fighting for 3rd place - unfortunately I couldn’t hold their speed. After the 5th lap of 7 I was doing my own race. A group were chasing me but I could hold my position and crossed the finish line in 5th place.

Racing: British Series Round 3 – Margam Park, Wales

Billy Harding The course at Margam was drastically improved from 2013 with some good technical sections more befitting to a National level race and with the sun beaming and the team in high spirits we were looking forward to a great weekend of racing.

However expectation is high. As the countries leading mountain bike team people expect results. The reality however can sometimes be that with pressure, specific training blocks and higher goals the results don’t quite meet expectation.

Racing: World Cup Round 4 – Albstadt, Germany

Martin GujanMoving across from the Czech Republic to Germany we took some time out at Martin’s hometown to enjoy the great training roads and coffee in a beautiful part of Switzerland leaving us refreshed and raring to go in Albstadt!

Mariske put aside last weeks disappointment and rode an absolutely stunning race using her sheer mental strength to get a finish of 23rd, a remarkable result.

Racing: World Cup Round 3 – Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic

Mariske Strauss After skipping round 2 in Australia the team were raring to go in the Czech Republic. This venue is the most well regarded on the XC circuit drawing huge crowds and tight fast racing on a truly World Class course.

Nove Mesto hasn’t bought us too much luck in the past with crashes and mechanicals giving us a hard time there until last year when Mariske took 6th place in the U23 Women’s race.

Racing: Swiss Cup in Solothurn

Martin Gujan Race Report: Martin Gujan

Every May there are the Bike Days in Solothurn. During the festival there is the BMC Racing Cup.

The first lap is really important on the fast course. There is a flat part where you need a good group that you don’t have always to try to catch other contenders there.

Racing: British Series #2 - Cornwall

Orange Monkey Pro TeamAfter a hard block of racing in South Africa the British riders headed to the far corner of the country for the latest round of the British National Series. Cornwall was given much credit for its course last year and after a few small changes it didn’t disappoint again with a fast flowing lap of just under 15 minutes.

A great start by all three of our Elite Men saw them power into the first corner side by side leaving the management watching on with baited breathe hoping for a clean run into the first piece of single-track.

Racing: Top 10 in Haiming

Martin Gujan Race Report: Martin Gujan

After the World Cup in South Africa there was the next big race on the schedule, the Hors Category race in Haiming. I was looking forward to the really nice course in Oetztal. It’s a real mountain bike course with tons of roots.

I was standing in the second start line next to famous names in mountain bike sport. My start was good and I was in the Top 10. Unfortunately a contender made a gap in the first downhill to the front group. In the next uphill we tried to catch them again but I had to pay for that in the next technical section.

Racing: David Fletcher – Back to his best in Lesotho!

David Fletcher After finishing the World Cup in Pietermaritzburg four of the team travelled north and into a small country called Lesotho for the first ever UCI ranked race to take place there. Sitting at 3200m it was going to be a tough challenge in the thin air but the organizer’s had done a good job with the course and facilities and we spent the week getting used to the new climate.

For our Junior Billy Harding this race had added importance as it forms part of the new World Junior Series.

In the Elite men’s race David Fletcher was under some pressure after being dropped from the British Cycling Performance program and not showing his usual form in both Cyprus and Britain he needed a good performance. We were all confident as we knew Dave’s form was good having been racing towards a top 30 in the World Cup before a late crash gave a different story on the results sheet.

Racing: World Cup Round 1 – Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

World Cup 1The new World Cup season is here and round one was once again in the Kwala-Zulu Natal area of South Africa. The venue for last years World Championships had some major course changes and missed out the famous amphitheater but instead incorporated a much more TV and spectator friendly version, which lost none of its technical toughness it has become renowned for.

The Tree-House rock garden was still a big part of the course but with the course designer moving the rocks and changing the lines it was an intense 4 days of practice for the riders leading up to Sundays race.

It was to be a day of “firsts” for us as Ben Roff went into his first World Cup in the U23 race and took a very respectable 31st place gaining lots of experience. Ben has only recently finished the Cape Epic and his form is getting better by the day!

Racing: Cape Epic 2014 “The Worlds Toughest MTB Stage Race”

Absa Cape Epic When Paarl Media & Pragma offered us the opportunity to race the Cape Epic it was almost impossible to turn down! We have watched for many years as the race has evolved into one of the biggest showcases of our sport. Worldwide media attention, broadcast live on television and the Internet – this race is one of the pinnacles of our sport… it is also the hardest!

For the 2014 edition we would have two teams, one consisting of our talented young rider from South Africa who would be paired with previous Epic winner, Hanlie Booyans. This team was supported by the Pragma brand. An asset management company based in Cape Town.

The other team would be our young rider Ben Roff alongside experienced stage racer Rab Wardell from Scotland. Both were Epic newbies and supported by Paarl Media, a huge print business also based in Cape Town who are concentrating on developing the sport for young South Africans.

The “Epic” is different in every way to a normal mountain bike race but when the time came we grasped the opportunity with both hands and this is how it unfolded…

Racing: Gujan 15th in bad conditions at Swiss Cup

Martin GujanNasty weather at BMC Racing Cup in Buchs

Well, my motivation to race was not that high when I woke up in the morning. Outside was snow. Especially before and after the race it's not so comfortable in these conditions. During the race I have less problems but rather I have an advantage to the most contenders. Due to nearly zero degree I chose to ride with a raining vest. I hoped to freeze later than the others like this...!

News: The Cape Epic awaits for Orange Monkey Pro Team...

Absa Cape Epic In under one weeks time Orange Monkey Pro Team will be making their debut in the Absa Cape Epic with team riders represented in both the women and men UCI races.

African Champion Mariske Strauss will take to the start line along side Hanlie Boonyens for Pragma Orange Monkey. Strauss is in incredible form having taken a series of podium finishes recently, including convincing victories in two UCI Olympic Cross Country races this month, at the Western Cape Open and the Cascades Classic in Pietermaritzburg. Boonyens was victorious in the 2009 Cape Epic and has been a podium finisher in on numerous occasions. Such experience will be a valuable for Strauss in her first epic and this pairing could make an impact on the overall, although Strauss is aiming purely to use her first outing to gain experience.

Racing: Gujan debuts for Orange Monkey Pro Team in Tamaro

Martin Gujan Our new signing, Martin Gujan, raced in our colors for the first time this weekend. In his own words…

The Swiss Mountain bike season kicked off this weekend in Ticino. I was excited to see where I am in the international comparison and how my winter training was.

I was a little bit nervous before the start. Actually I shouldn't have a reason to be because the stage race in South Africa and the road race in Croatia went pretty well. But a cross-country race is a little bit different. You have to be ready from the first meter on.

Racing: Another win but a big crash in KZN

Orange Monkey Pro Team Mariske takes second win in two weeks, Ben continues progression towards Cape and a big crash for Rab made for a mixed weekend in the Kwazulu-Natal city of Pietermaritzburg.

Mariske carried on her impressive vein of form as she led from start to finish, replicating her race from the Western Cape just 7 days ago and showing what great form she is in just one week ahead of the Cape Epic!

Racing: Great start in Cape Town...

Orange Monkey Pro Team In preparation for the Absa Cape Epic, Mariske, Ben & Rab started a series of warm up races starting with the Western Cape Open on the small hillside in Tyger Valley, Cape Town. The race was set on a challenging course full of features including rock gardens, gap jumps and steep ups and downs.

Mariske made the perfect start with a win, leading from start to finish and challenging the lap times of many of the men. Sitting on board the newly modified Polygon it was the first time Mariske had tested the new Hope brakes and Prologo gloves.

Racing: Sunshine Cup 2014 - Afxentia Stage Race

David Fletcher Keeping up our participation at the Sunshine Cup, David Fletcher made the trip for the new format stage race on the sunny island of Cyprus. The team has been travelling to the island for 8 years now and was happy to once again take part in this “mini world cup” race!

A good opening Time Trial on day one gave Dave the springboard he was looking for with a nice grid position for stage two. Riders came from all over the world to compete in the 4-day race including many of the world’s top 10!

News: New suspension partner for 2014 shows who is BOS!

Bos MTB Suspension We are delighted to announce a new partnership with Bos Suspension. Bos have a reputation as being one of the best high-end suspension forks for Downhill, Freeride and Enduro. Now XC!

We are proud to introduce “Dizzy” - the all-new Cross-Country fork. The 29er model comes with an option of 100 or 120mm travel and is lightweight at 1580g. The attention to detail is quite staggering and our athletes are looking forward to testing the fork over the coming weeks.

News: Orange Monkey Pro Team to take on Absa Cape Epic with Paarl Media

Absa Cape EpicLeading South African commercial printing company, Paarl Media are to sponsor top Cross Country Mountain Bike team for 2014 Absa Cape Epic.

Orange Monkey Pro Team will partner with Paarl Media as riders Ben Roff & Rab Wardell take on the world’s toughest Mountain Bike stage race. The team have a strong alliance with South Africa having had two of the countries best talents in the team over past years and will now enter the race with the full backing of a company with parallels in work ethic, community values and investment in youth development.

Ben and Rab have embarked on a strict training regime aimed solely at preparing for a race they know will test both physical and mental capacity to the maximum.

News: Mariske to debut in Absa Cape Epic 2014!

SpiukIn 2004 a stage race at the tip of Africa started as a ripple in the mountain biking pond. A few adventurous souls took up the challenge. That year Hanlie Booyens won it with Sharon Laws and Bryan Strauss came 2nd in the master category. His daughter (Mariske) was 13 and rode around the campsite on her bike. Wide energetic bundle of excitement!

The race’s ripple became a tidal wave and grew into the most prolific mountain bike stage race in the world. Hanlie went on to complete 6 Epics, finishing on the podium on 5 occasions with 4th her ‘worst’ finish ever. And the young Mariske?

She has become one of mountain biking’s rising stars! Turning elite in 2014 she will team up with Hanlie to get her first taste of the race she grew up with. It will be a chance to learn the ropes from the old guard without expectation and pressure. A stepping stone for the young one and farewell for the elder!

Racing: Fletcher's brave performance at CX World Championships

David Fletcher After a stunning performance to take the Silver medal at the British National Cyclo-Cross Championships in Hoogerheide, Holland.

After a bad start getting caught behind two crashes, our star CX pro moved through the field to take a commendable 46th at a muddy but exciting race.

Racing: Mariske Strauss is Champion of Africa!

Mariske Strauss In a dominant display leading from start to finish, Mariske became the Champion of Africa in only her first year as an Elite rider since moving up from the Under 23 category.

Despite being in the middle of training for the Absa Cape Epic which includes long distance training miles and losing some of the 'zip' needed for the short style XC racing, Mariske rode a controlled race finishing over a minute ahead of her nearest rival showing that she is currently the stringest rider in the continent of Africa!

News: Orange Monkey MTB Pro Team to wear the Spiuk Dharma helmet

SpiukUK-based Orange Monkey Pro Team will wear the new Dharma from Spiuk at the 2014 MTB World Cup. It will be the first appearance on the circuit of the new helmet developed by the Basque maker of cycling accessories. The British team will also wear the 15 MC shoes for mountain biking races, in a season that promises to be exciting.

About to embark on their 10th season, Orange Monkey have grown to become one of the most well recognised outfits on the World Cup circuit. The UCI Mountain Bike Team has a reputation for developing talent and allowing it to flourish.

Breaking News: Martin Gujan to ride for Orange Monkey Pro Team in 2014

Martin GujanTop Swiss mountain biker Martin Gujan will ride for the UK’s number one Cross-country team in a breakthrough 2014 season for Orange Monkey Pro Team. The established professional from Switzerland will move across from TX Bianchi after spending most of his career with Cannondale Factory Racing.

Gujan, 31 years old, is at his peak in a career that has already seen him become one of the best riders in the most competitive XC mountain bike country in the world.

In 2009 it was only Florian Vogel that stopped Gujan - one of the nice guys of the sport - reaching his dream of Swiss Champion, beating the likes of Nino Schurter, Christoph Sauser & Ralph Naef in the process. That same year Martin recorded his highest finish in a World Championships with a 13th position in Australia.

News: Dare2B clothing to support Orange Monkey Pro Team in 2014

Dare2B ClothingDare2B sponsor some of the best athletes in the world boasting road pro Oscar Periro and Ski sensation Emily Sarsfield among others. Orange Monkey Pro Team are delighted to have the support of this established and well respected clothing brand who will provide the teams casual clothing in 2014.

Orange Monkey Pro Team have built a reputation and pride themselves on looking smart both on and off the bike and with Dare2B this will continue into 2014.

Dare2B had this to say on our new partnership: “We are very pleased to sponsor the Orange Monkey Pro Team with Dare 2b kit. We pride ourselves in creating sports clothing that is carefully crafted to fit perfectly for supreme comfort and performance and with Orange Monkey being one of the most recognized and successful XC Mountain Bike teams in the UK we envisage the sponsorship to be a success for everyone involved”

Race: Every Cloud has a Silver Lining!

Cyclo-Cross National Championships It was the perfect start to 2014 for Cyclo-Cross Pro, David Fletcher. Riding on board the new Prototype Polygon Helios CX, Dave showed all of his experience and skill to ride to a 2nd place finsih and a silver medal at the National Cyclo Cross Championships in a mud soaked Derby!

Dave rode a tactically perfect race and was only bested by dedicated Cyclo-Cross expert Ian Field. Dave will now start to turn his attention to the Mountain Bike season, unless he is selected for the World Championships of course, which is now a very real possibility!

News: Exciting new deal with Defeet for 2014

DefeetIt is with pride that we announce a new deal with Defeet socks. We will be in the priviledged position of having custom made socks from the Worlds best Sock manufacturer. Lets face it if every cyclist could ride Defeet, they would!

Defeet have strong company values that we admire and aspire to. Our riders will use the Defeet LeviTator Lite sock which has been specially designed to keep your feet cool whilst keeping the feel in the shoe.

Orange Monkey Pro Team are excited by this new and exciting sponsorship and cannot wait to ride Defeet in 2014!

News: Taya Chains to Sponsor Orange Monkey Pro Team in 2014

Taya Chains Taiwanese based Taya Chains are to sponsor Orange Monkey Pro Team in new 2014 deal.

The team will use the flagship 10 speed ultralight chain - The DECA-101 UL on all of there Mountain, Road and Cyclo-Cross bikes in 2014.

Orange Monkey Pro Team wanted a chain they could rely on and after extensive testing in 2013 the team had no doubt that Taya would be the best choice moving forwards.

News: Powerful start expected fom Orange Monkey Pro Team

Cycleops Orange Monkey Pro Team are delighted to continue with Cycleops in association with Paligap UK for 2014 and now incorporating the new Powertap brand.

The Powertap unit is essential in the athletes training and collecting the data makes a huge difference to looking for the "marginal gains" in all areas of training.

The team will continue to be supported by Paligap UK but with the added backing of Cycleops & Powertap in the USA it is the perfect sponsorship.

News: Rab Wardell joins Orange Monkey Pro Team for milestone 2014 season

Rab WardellScottish Commonwealth mountain biker Rab Wardell has joined the UK’s leading mountain bike cross country team for a milestone 2014 season. The Glasgow based racer was left stranded following a last minute announcement that his 2013 team, Trek Factory Racing, would be downsizing their cross country program to focus on the road, cyclocross and enduro market. Following talks with a number of teams and sponsors at the end of 2013 the perfect deal was struck with the Orange Monkey Pro Team.

‘Orange Monkey’ are about to embark on their 10th season and have grown to become one of the most well recognised outfits on the World Cup circuit. The UCI Mountain Bike Team has a reputation for developing talent and allowing that to flourish, and are a great fit for Wardell, now into his 10th season an elite racer. The deal gives a boost to the Glasgow based racers campaign to represent Scotland in his second Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow this summer.

News: Team debuts worlds first Polygon Cyclo-Cross bike

Polygon Cyclo-Cross BikeOrange Monkey Pro Team are delighted to introduce the new Helios CX. The frame has been in the process of production for some time and with the team having such talented Cyclo-Cross riders in their roster it was a priority to work with Polygon and develop this milestone product.

The frame and fork from Polygon is fully carbon, lightweight and stunning in its design and simplicity. It is complimented by the teams co-sponsors which include the equally stunning deep section F6D disc wheel from FFWD, the trusty rubber of Schwalbe UK, the lightweight scandium componentry and fully titanium cassette from KCNC, the reliable Shimano Ultegra parts from Madison UK, our beautiful saddles from Prologo in Italy and the lightweight chain from Taya in Taiwan.

News: Orange Monkey Pro Team to use FFWD in 2013/14

FFWD Orange Monkey Pro Team are delighted to announce a new partnership with Dutch wheel builder FFWD for the 2013/14 Cyclo-Cross season!

This is a fantastic development for the team who will soon be launching the all new Polygon Cyclo-Cross frame and with such a quality wheel connecting the riders to the ground the team are super excited.

Team manager, Paul Beales cant wait to get the wheels rolling.. "This is a big opportunity for the team and with two of the best Cyclo-Cross riders in the country in our team im sure we will roll our way to many podium successes this season".