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Race Report: Ben Picks Poland for Points!

Ben RoffBen took it upon himself to take one last trip into Europe and take part in the final UCI Cat 2 race in Poland this weekend. Ben started his season back in February making his first season as a Senior a long one.

Here Ben describes his race...

It has been hard season. Moving up to Elite from the Junior ranks has meant starting most races from the back of the field and it has been a steep learning curve, competing directly against the best riders in the UK and the World.

Overall I had been pretty pleased with my first senior season, securing my first race win at Elite level and putting together some consistent finishes in the British Series. The one thing I hadn’t achieved though was to get my first UCI points and get on the road towards competing in World Cups. I had a good chance in Israel earlier in the year with Paul, but a mechanical issue ended any hope of some points there.



News: Rourke takes Rider of the Year award for 2011!

Rourke CroeserIt is with great pleasure that we announce Rourke Croeser to be Orange Monkey "Rider of the Year" for 2011.

Rourke started his season at a blistering pace taking 4th spot in the Continental Championships before going on to take his National title, win a UCI Category 2 race and finsih 13th in the World Cup Round 1.

Its not just been his results that have caught the eye though. Rourke has been influential in coaching other athletes on the team using his vast experience and knowledge to help them further their own careers.

We congratulate Rourke on this achievement (voted for by the riders and staff) and wish him every success in 2012.



Race Report: Season Finale on best course of the year

Paul Beales It seems like such a long time ago since the team announced that it was to become a UCI registered team in 2011 but finally after months of travelling the world, racing at the highest level, we were back at the season ending race in Plymouth for one last effort before a well deserved rest.

What a treat we were in for! The organisers had put on a course that was to rival any World Cup course we had experienced in 2011. Some good climbing but some real technical parts that made the riders think.

The weather had been kind but previous rain had left the course very greasy in places and gave the guys lots to think about in practice as they worked on their lines.



News: High speed crash puts star rider on the sidelines after surgery

Rourke CroeserIt is with regret that we bring news of a big crash whilst Rourke was competing at his first race since flying back to South Africa, the Hill2Hill marathon, a race between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

Whilst riding in the front group with Burry Stander among South Africa's best racers, Rourke was blinded by the sun coming up over the horizon and hit a tree stump sending him flying at over 50kph. Landing on his shoulder, Rourke was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.



Race Report: Orange Monkey-Cannondale ~ Coupe Du Monde 2011

Rourke Croeser There are somethings in life that you must treasure, remember and be able to look back on with a sense of pride and satisfaction. When Orange Monkey was introduced to the mountain bike world back in November 2004 there were dreams, ambitions and goals and although the thought of supporting one of our riders through a World Championships was distant, it was of course achievable.

This weekend that dream, ambition and goal was realised.



Race Report: The Finale - World Cup Round 7

Orange Monkey - Cannondale The team travelled to Italy this week straight from there base in the Czech Republic for the final round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series.

It has been a long road, literally at times, but the team showed a tremendous spirit supporting each other through ups and downs on our final World Cup of this season.

Arriving on Tuesday evening, it was straight to work on Wednesday as the riders started preparations. The team staff soon got to work in making our pit area look as good as any in a large exhibition area deep in the Val Di Sole mountains. True to its name “The Valley of Sun” was scorching throughout the week hitting highs



Race Report: Team "Czech Out" World Cup Round 6

Orange Monkey - Cannondale It seems like only yesterday that we were heading towards Dalby Forest and Offenburg for our first World Cup experiences, yet four months on and the team are heading off to the final two World Cups in the Czech Republic and Italy. Having gained that all important World Cup experience we were looking forward to getting things perfect in our preparation and made our way across five countries and over 900 miles to a stunning location 200km from Prague in the town of Nove Na Mesto for round six of the UCI World Cup series.

With an extra place available on our team bus we had decided to invite CNP-Orbea rider, John Whittington along with us – a well liked rider among the UK Mountain Biking fraternity, John had recently placed 7th in the UK National Championships and wanted to have a good crack at the final two World Cups.



Race Report: British National Championships 2011

Alex Baker Podium In the best ride of his career to date Alex Baker produced a stunning performance at the British Cross Country National Championships in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

Still in his first year as a Junior, Alex took 2nd place and the silver medal after a hard fought race with Ben Sumner in what was by far the ride of the day for team Orange Monkey – Cannondale.



Race Report: International success at Belgian Grand Prix

Belgacom Belgian Grand Prix After a fantastic race weekend last week the team travelled to southern Belgium for the latest round of the Belgium National series. Having elected not to go to Canada and the USA this year due to budget restraints this was surely the next best thing with a host of top names attending and a 100+ strong field in the Elite race. Names such as multiple World Champion cyclo-cross rider Sven Nys made this a mini world cup.

The Belgians really know how to put on an event and based in the small town of St Vith, not far from the famous Houffalize World Cup course the beer was flowing and the fans were getting into party mode as race time beckoned.



Race Report: Podium Joy at British Round 4!

BMBS Elite Podium Margam Park has been on the cross country mountain bike calendar for over a decade and is well recognised as being a true “Mountain Bikers course” with tough climbing and some decent technical descents. For Orange Monkey-Cannondale this would be a chance for the riders to excel on a course that suits them with all of our riders strong on both the climbs and the technical aspects of the course.

On arrival in Wales we were greeted with the normal rain we have come to expect when crossing the border but with an ever improving forecast, a beautiful B&B and morale so high it was sure to be a great weekend.



Race Report: Wet and Wild at Wasing!

Alex Baker After a short break since returning from the World Cup in Germany, the team headed to the latest British round of the cross country series in Wasing Estate near Reading.

The forecast for the weekend was far from set in stone but after a reasonably dry Saturday practice the team were optimistic until rumours circulated that we were in for a downpour on Sunday. With this in mind some riders changed over from the traditional Schwalbe racing Ralphs to the grippier Rocket Rons.



Race Report: Ben takes his first Elite win!

Ben Roff In his first season as an Elite rider Ben was hoping to get on the podium at an Elite race. It was beyond his expectations that he would take the top step of the podium in his first season as an Elite rider.

It had been 3 weeks since the disappointing performance at the Welsh Championships, since then the team had been to the Dalby and Offenburg World Cups supporting team riders Rourke Croeser and Alex Baker. Ben was keen to get some racing in before the team move on to the next round of the British XC series at Wasing Park next week. So it was on a windy, warm and sunny day that we rolled into Tunstall Woods to take on the 3rd round of the Eastern Regional Mud Sweat and Gears race series. With a departure from the normal shorter race distances introduced this year, the fast, sandy and very dry course was a 4 mile loop and the riders would tackle eight laps with an expected race time of just over 2 hours.



Orange Monkey-Cannondale - World Cup 3

Orange Monkey The Offenburg World Cup in Germany! Without doubt the biggest World Cup of them all for 2011 and with a suspected 200,000 people watching trackside it was going to be another nerve racking and hard working weekend for the team just one week after the success of Dalby.

The team headed to Germany on Wednesday morning in the luxury of the team bus and once again with high expectations – morale was extremely high and banter continuous for the 8 hour trip.

We would be staying 20km away from the race arena on the edge of the Black Forest in a stunning apartment overlooking France!



Orange Monkey-Cannondale - World Cup 2

Rourke Croeser After six years as a cycling team, Orange Monkey entered the world stage!

Now Orange Monkey-Cannondale, and with young talented riders looking to make an impact on the world of cycling we made our way to the familiar Dalby Forest in Yorkshire, England for the second round of the UCI World Cup surrounded by the biggest brands, riders and teams from across the globe.



Team together for First Home World Cup

Rourke Croeser It feels like the season has been going for sometime now but this week was a very exciting week and the real “season” was only just beginning! As the management made there way to Heathrow to welcome the teams reigning South African U23 National Champion there was genuine excitement as the guys all hooked up the following day for the first photo shoot as a complete team.

This was of course followed by the excitement of the teams first full World Cup on home soil as the team prepared to roll into the Expo of the biggest series in mountain biking for the very first time.



Race Report: Regional Championship round up

Alex Baker The team have enjoyed some fantastic results this season and at some point a bad day is enevitable and as hard as we try to avoid them sometimes it is just not meant to be. Today was one of those days.

The team split up to race in there own regional Championships around the UK and it was the first race of the season in the UK for our South African National Champion. So with Alex & Paul in the South, Ben in Wales and Chris & Rourke in the Midlands we set off with high expectations.



Race Report: Motivated in Antwerp

Alex Baker With great excitement Chris, Ben & Alex headed to Antwerp, Belgium for the Antwerp Cup.

After checking in to our hotel in Belgium, we made our way to the race venue. The race had an interesting setting on the outskirts of Antwerp in the docks. With hard packed, flowing, technical single track & a few tough obstacles; it was going to be a fast race.



Race Report: Hungary for Success

Paul Beales While the majority of the team crossed the channel and took the short drive to Belgium for the Antwerp Cup, Paul took a flight to Hungary for the Pilis Kupa (the first round of the Hungarian National Series).

A fantastic venue awaited our Elite rider as he looked for some vital UCI points in the beautiful hills of Pilisvörösvár, just outside Budapest. The course was made up of a long ascent with varied terrain and then some really fun descents including a dusty shoot with a top speed of 54km through narrow tree lined singletrack.



Race Report: Alex & Ben head to the Netherlands

Alex Baker Orange Monkey-Cannondale riders are all around the world right now and just two days after Rourkes exploits in South Africa, Ben and Alex were racing in the Netherlands - this time it was the UCI Class 2 Rabobank Paasbike event in Nieuwkuijk. A solid race for both riders with some more International racing in the legs saw Alex take 11th in a strong Junior field with another buildingblock completed for Ben with a solid 53rd position. Alex reported back on his race...



Race Report: Orange Monkey-Cannondale open World Cup campaign in SA

Rourke Croeser Orange Monkey-Cannondale rider, Rourke Croeser, took on the eagerly anticipated World Cup round one in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa this weekend to kick start the teams World Cup campaign.

With new rulings this year it was to be a separate Under 23 race (previously joined with Elite Senior) meaning the top Under 23 riders in the world could showcase their talent for all to see, and that they did.



Race Report: Fantastic team display at Dalby BMBS

Alex Baker The warm up race for the British round of the World Cup at Dalby Forest in Yorkshire would provide the perfect setting once again for round two of the British XC Series. With fantastic weather and dry dusty trails, a big surprise for this time of the year, the team were raring to go and get stuck in to another big race.

The excitement was confounded when the team management introduced the new team vehicle for this year which would house the team and their equipment all over Europe.



Race Report: Shocking Conditions for World Cup warm up

Rourke CroeserAfter the success of the Karkloof Classic, Rourke went into the first round of the South African National Cup with high expectations and a positive outlook, but nothing could have prepared him for the monsoon that was about to move over the World Cup course of Pietermaritzburg! In challenging tough conditions, Rourke rode a strong race against some tough European competition including Britains David Fletcher, as riders from around the world test out the course in preperation for next weekends World Cup.



Race Report: Huge win for Rourke at the Mr Price Karkloof Classic

Rourke CroeserRight now, Rourke Croeser just can't stop winning. The UCI Class 2 Karkloof Classic Festival, promoted by Mr Price was set to be another test for our young South African as he prepares for the World Cup in South Africa.

With a winning time of over 10 minutes and a faster lap than former U23 World Champion, Burry Stander, it shows that Rourke will stop at nothing in his quest for perfection.

In his own words....



Race Report: First British round brings mixed emotions

Alex BakerAfter a heavy start to the 2011 season Team OMC headed to Sherwood Pines for the first round of the British Mountain Bike Series, with what was arguably the largest men’s elite field to start a British national race. Now regular for the opening round of the series, Sherwood offers a flat out, no rest course filled with undulating technical sections.

The team were using their brand new arena/pit set up, provided by ZipVit Sport this weekend. After an early start both manager & mechanics, the riders arrived at the Orange Monkey-Cannondale pits which by now looked stunning.



Race Report: Rourke Wins National U23 Marathon Champs!

Rourke CroeserJust one week after winning the National XC title, our star rider produced another stunning display in South Africa to take the National U23 Marathon title.

Rourke is in scintillating form and showed just how strong he is by hanging onto the leaders (including former U23 world champion, Burry Stander) in the main Elite race until the last few kilometres and taking 4th overall.

Fresh off the back of his National XC win, Rourke was full of confidence and couldn’t wait to get stuck into the 80km course at the Inanda Dam near Durban.



Race Report: Rourke Croeser - National Champion!

Rourke CroeserOrange Monkey-Cannondale rider, Rourke Croeser produced a stunning display of grit and determination to win the Cross Country National Championships in South Africa.

This was to be the first National Jersey for Orange Monkey-Cannondale and a proud team manager who never doubted the form Rourke has shown at such an early stage in the year. Rourke will now look towards the first World Cup in Pietermaritzburg before coming over to Europe.



Race Report: Frustration in Israel

Wet Race in Israel After some disappointment in the two previous races, Ben and Paul had been highly motivated and confident going into their final race in Israel. Practice the previous day had been very wet with torrential rain which suited the two British riders perfectly – an amazing course with what felt like more downs than ups!

The day of the race bought better weather but the course was still very wet and the guys were raring to go by the time the start of the race came around.



Race Report: Final race in Cyprus a success!

Alex Baker The third and final race of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2011 took place in a very hot and sunny Amathous. With Ben and Paul in Israel, it was up to Chris and Alex to put in a strong performance and represent the team.

Alex was first off in the Junior men, and after a strong start loop he was tucked in behind first place going into the first lap, a position which he held well, until disaster struck following a crash, breaking his rear gear shifter. This left him to ride singlespeed around a rather hilly course! Not wanting to give up, he railed the descents to put in a strong performance and finish in an excellent 6th place… not bad given the circumstances!



Race Report: One of those days in Haifa!

Haifa Practice Today was always going to be tough after the race in Yokne’am yesterday but as it was a class 1 race the riders decided to give it a go. Ben was nursing a severely swollen knee as well as wounds from a practice crash in Cyprus but made a good start in the strong field of riders on another particularly hot day in northern Israel.



Race Report: Paul & Ben head to Israel

start Yokne'am race Two days after the stage race in the mountains of Cyprus the team made a split and while Chris and Alex stayed in Cyprus to compete in the final round of the sunshine cup completing the series, Paul and Ben took a flight over to Israel for a succession of three events starting with back to back races in Yokne'am and Haifa.

It was an eventful first night for the two riders getting lost directly from the airport and straying into Palestine territory in the early hours of the morning meaning a 5am arrival at the Hotel in Haifa!



Race Report: Rourke wins prestigous Wortburg Classic!

Rourke Croeser Rourkes account of the Wortburg Classic.

It's always good standing on the top step of the podium! The Wortburg classic is one of KZN's biggest races and one I look forward to each year. The track is always in awesome condition with loads of technical single track and some quality climbs - the steepest and by far hardest was a 21% 1.5km climb.



Race Report: Three Day Stage Race Success in Cyprus!

Ben RoffThe team took on the three day stage race in the Marcheras Mountains for the fourth year in a row this weekend and in good company with five time National Champion, Oli Beckingsale and top UK Elite, Lee Williams.

The stage race is a gruelling three days starting with a Time Trial (one lap of the XC course). Day two is a point to point race with nearly 5000 feet of climbing and some fast technical downhills. The final day is a 5 lap XC race on a technical course deep in the Marcheras mountains.



Race Report: Good first day for Orange Monkey-Cannondale in Cyprus

Alex BakerThe first race in the Sunshine Cup series in Voroklini took place today. Overnight rain had the riders worried but some morning sunshine helped to dry the course out and leave the riders with some early season tan lines!

Alex Baker took part in his first race as a Junior against a quality field in the UCI event and got off to a stunning start jumping on the back of the lead group around the opening start loop. Once the field splintered Alex was right in the thick of it and pushed himself into 3rd position at the end of the second lap. Lap three was another good effort and a scrap with another top Junior saw Alex just lose out and take 4th – a remarkable ride in his first junior UCI event and a good sign for the season ahead.



News: Orange Monkey-Cannondale Team head to UCI opener

Orange Monkey-Cannondale The UK based riders from Orange Monkey-Cannondale flew over to Cyprus for the first of their UCI calendar races in the season opener, Sunshine Cup.

They have been joined for the series of races by multiple national Champion, Oli Beckingsale and top UK rider Lee Williams.



News: STOLEN BIKES - Cannondale Flash F1 Team Bikes

Cannondale Flash F115 FEB 2011: Orange Monkey-Cannondale have today had two of their brand new Cannondale Flash F1 Team training bikes stolen from inside a house in the Northampton area. These bikes (one Medium/one Large) are distinctive as they are fitted with bright yellow Magura Raceline brakes, Mavic SLR wheels, KCNC finishing kit and Crank Brother eggbeater pedals.

Please look out for these two bikes (pictured) both online and on the trails and contact us if you here/see anything.

info@myorangemonkey.co.uk



Race Report: Mixed emotions for Rourke at Continental Champs!

Rourke CroeserAlthough early in the season, the Continental championships were a big goal for our new rider, Rourke Croeser. He had made it clear early on in his winter training that all focus would be on this special race that included Africa’s finest riders including former World Champion, Burry Stander.



News: Rourke heads to African Continental Champs!

Orange Monkey - CannondaleOrange Monkey-Cannondale rider, Rourke Croeser will take on the best riders across all continents of Africa in the much anticipated Continental Championships this weekend.

Rourke has already shown good early season form and has already stated the African Championships is a priority. The race will take place just outside Stellenbosch, a little west of Cape Town and see's former World Champion Burry Stander start the Men's Senior Elite race, however new kid on the block, James Reid looks as if he could give Rourke some stiff competition in the Under 23 race.



Race Report: First Podium for UK riders at 4 Hour Enduro

Orange Monkey - CannondaleAfter a freezing cold week across the country, the temperatures rose when Orange Monkey – Cannondale HQ received the first new bikes for the season from our title sponsor and the team gathered together to get the bikes set up for the first race outing of the year........the next day!

Come Sunday morning and an early start for the team after a late night getting the kit ready, Paul, Chris and Ben arrived at a very cold and overcast (but dry) Thetford for round three of the Winter series. Alex hadn’t managed to get over recent illness so had to spend the day recovering at home.



Breaking News: Orange Monkey - Cannondale confirms UCI status for 2011

Orange Monkey - CannondaleWe are thrilled to announce that for 2011 Orange Monkey will be a UCI registered team, now known as Orange Monkey - Cannondale.

The team has grown at an outstanding pace since its introduction in 2004 and now boasts some of the best sponsors in world cycling. The team continue to be supported by Cannondale bikes who have stepped up to become our title sponsor.



News: Orange Monkey - Cannondale 2011 Kit Preview

Orange Monkey - Cannondale A new adventure calls for a new image and our designers have once again produced a fantastic looking kit for the 2011 season. This shows a preview of what our kit will look like this season.

The team will model the new designs in early February so stay tuned!



Race Report: First win of the season at KZN Road Championships - South Africa

MTN Ultra Marathon Rourke took on the KZN Road Championships this weekend at a rain soaked course in South Africa. Avoiding an early crash and only just missing the attack he still managed to outsprint his rivals to take a first win of the season for Orange Monkey - Cannondale.



Race Report: MTN Ultra Marathon - Attakwas - Oudtshoorn, South Africa

MTN Ultra MarathonA stunning opening ride by our new signing, Rourke Croeser in the first UCI marathon race in South Africa this weekend saw the Under 23 rider finish 18th in a strong field including Cape Epic regulars Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm.



News: Orange Monkey - Cannondale sign talented South African Rourke Croeser

Rourke CroeserWe are delighted to announce that the team have signed the talented South African rider, Rourke Croeser on a one year contract.

Rourke spent some time with the team in 2010 and chose Orange Monkey - Cannondale as his choice for 2011. The team will provide strong support for the South African as he looks to further his career after impressive results in recent years.

South African XC National Champion 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.



News: Orange Monkey 2010 Review of the season

Orange MonkeyOrange Monkey has been around for over half a decade! That’s a long time since two boys from Essex thought it would be a bright idea to start a cycling team! Fast forward to November 2009 and as the team prepared for its sixth full season of racing we said goodbye to a popular character, welcomed a new sponsor and prepared to do battle in another season of adventure!

Nat Jarvis had been with us for 3 of those 5 seasons and it was a sad goodbye as he moved onto pastures new but as we looked to focus on our upcoming training camp to Cyprus we welcomed a new brake sponsor (Hygia) who would prove to be a good sponsor throughout the season as we helped to test and develop an already top class system. These two changes aside, the team remained the same and travelled to Europe together for the first time.



News: Olympic Course Preview

Paul BealesThe team were extremely honoured to be invited to send one of our Elite riders to test ride the new Olympic course at Hadleigh Castle, Essex. The team sent Elite rider, Paul Beales who along with Billy-Joe Whenman of Whyte Bikes and Maddie Horton of Team Certini was the first rider to ever roll around the new course since its ongoing construction started last year.