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Racing: World Championships - Saalfelden, Austria

World Mountain Bike Championships 2012 After narrowly missing out on an Olympic place both of our star riders had extra motivation for what was for them, the biggest race of the year. The World Championships!

The race was set in a stunning location not far from Salzburg in Austria, with the backdrop of the mountains and on a course many considered “easier than usual” for a World Championship event, however, very tough to race - this was all set to be one of the most exciting championships in years.

News: African Champion to race Kielder 100

National MTB Champion 2012 - Rourke Croeser We are delighted to announce that African Continental Under 23 Champion, Rourke Croeser will ride at this weekend’s Kielder 100 mile mountain bike race!

It is fantastic for us to be able to enter a rider into the event for the first time and an opportunity to add some variety to our racing. Rourke has competed in Ultra Marathons in South Africa and is well accustomed to pacing himself for a long day on the bike.

Racing: British XC Series RD 5 - Essex, UK

British NPS Number Plate 1 - David Fletcher The finals of the British National series took place this weekend and before the event started we had the bad news that both Ben and Alex would not be able to take part due to illness. Both riders were understandably disappointed but we still had a strong team line up and with Dave in contention for the overall title we were excited to be at our home race in Essex!

Dave and Rourke got off to a great start and led the field for the opening 4 laps showing the talent and form they both have at the moment towing a select group of 6 riders. On lap 5 series leader Oli Beckingsale put in a stinging attack through the feed zone and as our riders responded it was clear that the opening laps had taken their toll as they struggled to stay in contention.

Racing: UCI Rocky Roads World Cup RD 7 - Val d'isere, France

World Cup Round 7 - Val d'isere Val d’isere in France was the host for the final of the World Cup series. It has been a long and eventful season as the team have taken part in every World Cup for the first time in their history.

This was the second World Cup held in France in 2012 and was an idyllic setting hidden deep in the mountains on a tough course with steep climbs and some technical descents not to mention the “cool” wall ride.

News: South African National Champion!

National MTB Champion 2012 - Rourke Croeser Congratulations Rourke Croeser, on becoming the National Under 23 Champion for 2012!

Racing: National Championships 2012

British MTB Championships - David Fletcher PodiumSaturday 21st July – South Africa

The great thing about having a multi-national team is come Championship day, the riders fly back to their respective countries to do battle against the best their country has to offer.

Sunday 22nd July – Great Britain

Spurred on by the victory the day before our UK athletes were full of fighting spirit as they entered the rolling course of Wasing Estate, near Reading.

Racing: UCI Rocky Roads World Cup RD 6 - Windham, USA

Cannondale - RockyRoads.net The second week of our first trip to North America took us down from Canada to Windham, New York state, the scene of devastation just a short time ago after it was hit by Hurricane Katrina and destroyed. The people of Windham have rebuilt this now iconic World Cup venue and can be proud of what they have achieved in such a short period of time.

Windham would be an ideal venue for our sponsors SIP Events to hold one of their prestigious events, surrounded by countryside with miles of dry dusty trails set deep in the hills of New York.

Racing: UCI Rocky Roads World Cup RD 5 - Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada

Rourke CroeserThe team travelled to Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada for the first time in their history last weekend in a much anticipated World Cup round 5. This would be the first time a British UCI XC team had competed in a North American World Cup. The pressure was on after a disappointing weekend at the British Series race just one week before.

Preparation would be vital as the riders had a long travel from London to Quebec. The bad news leading up to the race was a mild cold for both riders after the plane travel during the week had left them feeling lethargic but they were both in positive spirit as race day approached and ready to fight hard for the big results that they crave.

Racing: British XC Series RD 4 - Kirroughtree, UK

British NPS Number Plate 2 - Rourke Croeser The team took the long trip north to Kirroughtree in Scotland for the 4th round of the British MTB series without their popular junior rider, Alex Baker, who is preparing for an exam.

With riders in good form coming off the back of the success in round 3 the team were in high spirits on a course that suited the technical ability of athletes. Torrential rain however had made the course a mud fest and certain sections un-rideable.

News: Team about to make history in North America

UCI Rocky Roads World Cup The team are delighted to announce that they will be taking two riders to the World Cups in North America for the first time in their history.

The trip, sponsored by SIP Events is believed to be the first time an Elite male British Cross Country UCI team will compete in World Cups on American soil. Both David Fletcher and Rourke Croeser will travel across the Atlantic on Monday with team support and begin preparations for the first of two World Cups.

Racing: British XC Series RD 3 - Hopton Woods, UK

Alex Baker Podium British XC Series - Hopton Woods After the busy World Cup schedule it was back to domestic racing for Orange Monkey-Cannondale as the team made their way to Hopton Woods in Shropshire for the latest British National Series event.

Notable absentee was Rourke Croeser who flew back to South Africa for a well-deserved rest after a hectic schedule of racing over the past 16 weeks. All four remaining athletes went into the event in confident mood and good form as they looked to add to the podiums of round 2 in Dalby a few weeks previous.

The course was what is now referred to as “old school” with a lung busting climb broken up into three different segments followed by a sweeping fast downhill. In a rare turn of events the weather was actually hot and we had the chance of a dry race for the first time in weeks!

Racing: UCI Rocky Roads World Cup RD 4 - La Bresse, France

Rourke Croeser A long drive across the Czech Republic, Germany and into France gave us the chance to admire some great scenery as well as the numerous monster trucks from the Elite UCI teams that were also making their way to La Bresse for round 4 of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. This of course included the number one monster truck from Cannondale Factory Racing.

We arrived in good time in Munster, just short of La Bresse for a great team dinner before making our way to our team apartment, just 5km outside the stunning town which would host the World Cup XC race for the very first time.

Racing: UCI Rocky Roads World Cup RD 3 - Nové Město na Moravě, CZ

Rourke Croeser The team entered the double World Cup in confident mood after a run of excellent results across the team in recent weeks. We were also delighted to welcome back Ben Roff from injury after a wrist break set him back in South Africa early season.

After the experience last season we had little doubt what we were in for in the Czech Republic with passionate fans, a tough course and excellent organisation. As last year we would not be let down.

Racing: African Continental Championships

Rourke Croeser PodiumAfter much consideration it was decided that to aid his Olympic hopes our South African star, Rourke Croeser would fly to Mauritius for the African Continental Championships. The risk would be the extreme about of travel going into two important World Cups but with 200 points on offer and a potential Olympic place there was little doubt that it was a risk worth taking.

Rourke flew to a luxury five star accommodation where he would be able to relax with the other South African athletes before the race on the small island on Sunday.

Racing: Belgacom Series RD 1 - Stoumont, Belgium

Rourke Croeser As the race for Olympic places heats up and with every athlete searching for those all-important last minute points the team made their way over to Belgium for a category 1 race with our two Olympic hopefuls, David Fletcher (Great Britain) and Rourke Croeser (South Africa).

It was a familiar setting deep in Southern Belgium having only been up the road a few days earlier for the Houffalize World Cup. This however was an even tougher course than the World Cup itself with super steep climbs and technical wet off camber descents that had the majority of the field running.

Racing: British XC Series RD 2 - Dalby Forest, UK

Elite Podium BCXC Three steps to the podium!

Orange Monkey-Cannondale recorded their most successful International race weekend with three podium positions on a wet and muddy course at the British Cross Country Series in Dalby Forest, UK.

After arriving back from a successful World Cup in Houffalize the riders were excited to carry there good form into a home race. Set on the World Cup course of 2011 with just a few minor changes the riders knew the course well. A hail storm and torrential rain changed a lot but not our rider’s spirits.

The Olympics are just around the corner and with both our top Elite athletes, David Fletcher and Rourke Croeser still very much in contention for Great Britain and South Africa this was a pressure race like no other – and they delivered.

Racing: UCI Rocky Roads World Cup RD 2 - Houffalize, Belgium

Rourke Croeser Belgium. Beer, Waffles, Chips and Mayo, and thirty thousand crazy fans screaming for their hero’s to push that little bit harder up another lung busting climb. Houffalize. The Cathedral of World Mountain Biking!

After the experiences of South Africa the team were set once again to push new boundaries as they look to improve both results and profile on the world’s biggest stage and it was safe to say that everyone in the team, from rider to mechanic was excited to start the journey to one of the most famous courses in the world.

There was no doubt that the enormity of just being there as a UCI team for the first time would set nerves on red alert but with the team spirit on an all-time high it was time to check out this world famous course!

Racing: Rabobank Bikecenter van Tuyl Paasbike - Nieuwkuijk, Holland

Rourke Croeser With the prospect of racing in the Netherlands this season, the team, were, excited to say the least. With a heritage in the sport of mountain biking as strong as the Dutch, racing was always going to be tough & super fast.

Alex was to race first for Orange Monkey-Cannondale in the Junior category, with a less than positive grid position of last, he moved his way through the large field of riders quickly. Settling into 17th by the end of the first lap. At motorbike pace the Junior’s weaved their way through the tight twisty circuit at incredible speed. At the half way stage of lap 2, Alex had moved into a group fighting for the top 10 & looking strong. As the exciting race was reaching its final stages the group of four, containing Alex, had split in two. Alex found himself having a flat out road race style sprint to the line. A great race & showing good form moving into World Cup week.

Racing: British XC Series - Sherwood Pines, UK

Elite Men Start After the euphoria of South Africa the team returned to the UK with just days before the first round of the British Series! With new organisers and back to the classic venue of Sherwood Pines which is well renowned for its high spectator attendance this would be a great opportunity to showcase the new look Orange Monkey-Cannondale for 2012.

The athletes attended an organised dinner thanks to close team friend Jacque Ferreira at his Michelin star restaurant Iberico in Nottingham town centre giving an ideal start to the weekend of racing that lie ahead.

Racing: UCI Rocky Roads World Cup RD 1 - Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

David Fletcher After much anticipation and over four weeks in beautiful Africa the World Cup was upon us and our young athletes had never been more ready! Last week’s race had used the same course as the World Cup would use giving the riders plenty of opportunity to practice the lines on arguably one of the most technically demanding courses ever built.

Rourke Croeser has been in stunning form in recent weeks and was pumped to race in front of a home crowd on a course he described as “perfect”. He would kick off not just our own World Cup season but also the first race of the new 2012 Rocky Roads Network World Cup with a 9.00am start on a damp course from rain the night before.

Racing: KZN International - Cascades, South Africa

Race Start - Alex Baker Orange Monkey-Cannondale riders made the most of the opportunity to test out the new World Cup course designed by Nick Foley and his team this weekend as South Africa prepared for the first round of the Rocky Roads World Cup series.

The International Cat 2 race attracted riders from around the world as they prepared for next week’s big race. Being based near the course our riders had the opportunity to check out the course before most but a crash in training cost Ben not only his place on the start line but also the remainder of his time in South Africa as a broken wrist meant he was to fly home early for an operation and some recuperation time.

Racing: Karkloof International - Karkloof Falls, South Africa

Race Start - Rourke Croeser Orange Monkey-Cannondale went into their third race in as many weeks in Africa with a full strength team for the first time since arriving. A dry dusty course with little climbing but some tough technical rock gardens and world class competition from South Africa, France and Germany this was sure to be an exciting day of racing.

Junior rider, Alex Baker started the day with a great opening first lap that had him flying through the feed in 2nd position before taking the lead as the riders exited the arena. It wasn’t long before three riders, including Alex were well away from the rest of the field. On lap 4 of 5 it was Carl Dorkin who stormed to the head of the race and continued on to take the win with Alex finishing in 2nd place in only his second race of the season!

Racing: Wartburg Classic - Wartburg, South Africa

Podium The team continued their training camp in South Africa with the Wartburg Classic this weekend. A classic race is a cross between a marathon and an XC race – the distance is XC but rather than laps its point to point. The event itself is a Mountain Bike festival and attended by thousands of riders and spectators.

We were given a wonderful reception by the organisers of this prestigious race and started on the front row of the start line, interviewed around the arena and treated like royalty. Race organisers from around the world could certainly take note of how to put on a mountain bike event as these guys really know what they’re doing!

Racing: KZN MTB International – Giba Gorge

Rourke Croeser The team landed in sunny South Africa on Thursday evening ready for their 5 week training camp in the home country of our U23 rider, Rourke Croeser. With new ride Dave Fletcher on board and guest for our time away, Lee Craigie thoughts quickly turned to our first event of the camp, Giba Gorge on Saturday.

The race was based at a Mountain bike park and Fridays practice was in some very light rain on what was a fantastic course. Saturdays forecast however was heavy rain and after returning to our base in Pietermaritzburg we prepped for our first race on South African soil.

Racing: National Cup 1 - Cape Town, South Africa

Rourke CroeserRourke has given us his account of the first South African National Cup race in Cape Town...

We arrived on Wednesday, which gave me more than enough time to get the course pinned. The track was set in such a way, that one could see 80% of the course from the start/finish making it spectator friendly.

Some really big training blocks prior to the event left me feeling confident, although I have just finished base. It is always a good opportunity to race the elites, however they need to sort out the start seeding structure. Starting from the back doesn't give us (U23), a fair chance to compete.

News: Orange Monkey-Cannondale continue with Crankbrothers in 2012

Crankbrothers 2012 Orange Monkey-Cannondale is delighted to announce that for the second year running we are supported by Crankbrothers and 2Pure.co.uk. We are excited to stay with a product that we know not only works well but are one of the lightest on the market.

Kylie Hendrie, Marketing Co-ordinator for 2pure, UK distributor of Crankbrothers commented on the deal – “We are delighted that Orange Monkey will be using Crankbrothers pedals for their 2012 season. They will be using the iconic Eggbeater 11 pedals which at 174g, are specifically designed for XC racing and shed mud like water off a duck. We are confident that the Eggbeater 11's will help the team have a successful 2012.”

News: Orange Monkey-Cannondale "Gear Up" for life with Shimano

Shimano 2012 Orange Monkey-Cannondale is delighted to announce that the team will be using Shimano XTR in the upcoming 2012 season. Shimano are the most world recognized componentry supplier for bicycles around the world.

XTR is the very top of the range in Shimano cross-country mountain bike products. New XTR can cover a wide range of MTB through the "rider tuned" concept, with new innovative performances, such as the new Dyna-Sys MTB 10-speed drivetrain system.

News: Orange Monkey-Cannondale head to South Africa for Pre-Season

SA Champs Kit 2012 After a long winter in the UK the British based riders from Orange Monkey-Cannondale are finally about to jet off to South Africa to hook up with Rourke Croeser and Ben Roff as the team meet for the first time in 2012.

It has been a long, testing pre season for the team but as everything begins to fall into place the team are now set for a series of 4 UCI races culminating in the first round of the UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, just north of Durban.

Ben joined Rourke in his native country on New Years day and the pair have been training hard in 40+ degree heat. This weekend they travel to Cape Town for the first round of the National Cup MTB Series, a qualification race for Rourke and a big test for Ben, his first XCO race in SA.

News: David Fletcher signs with Orange Monkey-Cannondale

David FletcherGreat Britain Olympic hopeful, David Fletcher has signed a two year contract with Professional UCI Team, Orange Monkey-Cannondale for the start of the 2012 Mountain Bike season.

Fletcher has been coached through the famous British Cycling academy, which bought him success from a young age, taking the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in 2007. In more recent times, David has had top ten results in the Elite Under-23 category at World level and now moves up to the Senior ranks for the first time in arguably the best form of his life.

News: Orange Monkey-Cannondale renew crucial sponsorship deals

Sponsorship 2012We are delighted to announce that we have renewed our sponsorship agreements with Zipvit Sport, Mavic, KCNC and Squirt lubrication for the 2012 season. This is a positive step in continuing our relationship with these amazing brands and giving the team the stability we need.

We feel genuinely priviledged that in 2012 we are once again working with the very best brands in the business!

News: Staying Pro with Prologo - New Saddle Sponsor for 2012!

Prologo 2012 Orange Monkey-Cannondale is delighted to introduce Prologo as their new saddle sponsor for 2012. This is a new relationship with a brand that is regarded by many as one of the most innovative in the business.

The team will use the Nago EVO X10 complete with its unique slide control feature as well as the Scratch Pro for training. Prologo have developed a saddle that can cater for every one of all shapes and sizes. The Nago Evo X10, at just 158g and with its active density padding is without doubt the benchmark for Cross Country Mountain Bike saddles.

News: Primed for Primal - New Apparel Sponsor for 2012!

Primal Wear 2012 We are very excited to be able to announce that we have a change of cycling apparel for the 2012 season and are delighted to start a new relationship with Primal Wear!

After meeting the team from Primal it became clear instantly that this was a company we wanted to work alongside. Primalwear have a clear vision of how a company should operate and like us want to see the sport of cycling progress within the local communities.

A new beginning deserves a new design and working with the clever graphic designers at Primal Wear we have a life like image of our 2012 kit!

News: Competition!

Orange Monkey-Cannondale Can you guess our next and final signing for the 2012 season?

We will be awarding some great prizes including an Orange Monkey t-shirt, Pen and some fantastic goodies from Zipvitsport.com, plus a signed photocard from the team!

What do you have to do?

Simply tweet us with the words @TeamOMC (the name of our new signing) and your own twitter name. Dont follow us on Twitter yet? Follow this link

The first tweet to guess correctly will win a host of prizes!

News: Cannondale stay as title sponsor

Orange Monkey-Cannondale We are delighted to announce that Cannondale will stay as title sponsor to the team in 2012.

The team continue a great relationship, now in its third year, with a brand that has aligned itself as the most innovative in the business. Lance Armstrong said “It’s not about the bike” and whilst this maybe true (to a degree), Cannondale sure know how to make life easier for our athletes as they focus towards the 2012 Olympics and a season of World Cup competition.

Almost as famous as Lance himself, our young South African rider stated last year that he “felt sorry for everybody not on a Cannondale”, which goes to show the confidence these machines give our young athletes.

News: Baker & Beales sign new deals for 2012

Alex Baker Junior rider Alex Baker has renewed his contract with Orange Monkey-Cannondale for a further two seasons, this will see him race for the team in his final year as a Junior & first year as an under 23 Elite competitor. Alex had a fantastic season in 2011, which saw him compete in his first World Cup at his home race, Dalby Forest, UK. Baker’s season highlight was his second place result in the British National Championships, which made him the highest placed first year Junior.

Paul Beales has also signed a short term 1 year deal with the team. Paul brings his vast experience to the younger riders on the team. He had several great results in the 2011 season, claiming his best result in the British National Championships.

News: Ben Signs the papers and Fly's to SA!

Ben Roff The team are excited to announce that Ben Roff has signed a new two year deal with the team keeping him on until 2013. Ben's progression has been outstanding with his focus and commitment shining throughout the 2011 season.

Ben was consistent throughout 2011 with some outstanding results in his first year Under 23. He now looks to build on his first UCI points picked up in Poland back in October to give him the springboard he needs to work his way up the World Cup grid.

We are delighted with this long term signing and are positive that with this continued focus Ben will become one of the best riders in the UK.

News: Team sign young South African on two year deal!

RourkeCroeser We have great pleasure in announcing that the team have secured the services of Rourke Croeser on a two year deal that will take him to the end of his under 23 campaign in 2013.

This is a real sign of intent from both the team and the rider as Orange Monkey-Cannondale look to build on the success of 2011 and move forward with their long term goals. Both Rourke and the team are clear on the vision for the future and by Rourke gaining valuable experience in Europe we hope to watch him develop into the very best in South Africa.

Rourke spent some time with the team in 2010 before signing a one year deal last season. In his first year with the team Rourke made history by winning the team its first National Championship. He also won a UCI Category 2 race, placed 13th at a World Cup and gave the team its first National Elite podium in Britain.

News: Chris Andrews released at the end of 2011

Chris Andrews It is with a heavy heart and a fond farewell that we announce the departure of popular Elite rider, Chris Andrews at the end of 2011 after two successful years with the team.

Chris joined us from Kinesis in 2009 and has moved through the ranks to compete with some of the best riders in the UK. Chris joined the team on numerous journeys around the world and was a popular character.

We would like to thank Chris for his services to the team and wish him all the very best for the future as he continues his progression as an Elite athlete in 2012.

News: TeamOMC reveal first sponsor for 2012 - Schwalbe UK

SCHWALBE 2012 Orange Monkey-Cannondale are delighted to renew their sponsorship with Schwalbe UK for 2012.

The team have been using Schwalbe for the past 4 years and are very excited about continuing this great relationship. One of the most important things for a rider is to trust his tyres and have confidence that when descending an alpine peak at 50kph he is on safe rubber!

Schwalbe UK's Marketing Manager, Dave Taylor commented: “Schwalbe UK has always envisaged its association with Orange Monkey-Cannondale to be a long term partnership so, once again we are proud to confirm support for the guys in their quest for more MTB glory in 2012. As one of the most well recognised and successful Cross Country Mountain Bike teams in the UK we believe that they should be riding on some of the most well recognised and successful rubber in the industry”

News: Orange Monkey-Cannondale ~ Review 2011

Orange Monkey-Cannondale There are many cycling teams around the world – all with there own story and all in it for different reasons. When Orange Monkey was formed in 2004 there was a clear vision, to reach the top in the sport we love, Mountain Biking.

2011 moved us a step closer to this dream with the arrival of a UCI license, this changed things on many levels but most importantly gave us a huge boost in confidence that we can actually fulfil our goals. To mark this historic event we made a bold decision to move away from our trademark orange kit and go for a more subtle black and white combination, this worked well and in our view was our best kit yet.

We have worked hard over the years to secure sponsors for our riders and are lucky enough to work with some of the best brands in the sport! We have always maintained that if we were a paying customer we would buy a Cannondale – there is simply no point in riding anything else! As well as some of our existing sponsors from 2010 we welcomed Mavic, Zipvit, Magura, Cycleops, Casco, Squirt, XCRacer.com, Pedal Precision, FSA, Crank Brothers and No Tubes. As im sure you will agree that is some line up! Now all that was left to do is sign up the riders!