Racing: Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge

LIMBC Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge

As the plane glides seemingly over the Indian ocean and dips beneath the cloud you are suddenly wowed by the tremendous scenery beneath you – no high rises, no smog and no traffic… instead it’s a sparkling blue sea, white sandy beaches and a deep jungle… It must be Langkawi!

When we were offered the opportunity to work with Human Voyage, the promoter of LIMBC we were overjoyed not just at the prospect of helping market this up and coming event but also at taking the team to compete in what turned out to be one of the toughest races they have ever done.

On arriving you are presented with a wall of humidity, a heat none of us had experienced before but once the body acclimatizes its not so bad. It’s a beautiful island an hour flight from mainland Malaysia and we were excited to get the race underway.

Racing: World Championships - Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

UCI MTB World Championships To do well in a World Championships everything has to come together on that one day. Months of hard training and sacrifice all come down to 90 minutes of adrenaline-fuelled carnage on the track and can end with ecstasy or despair.

The despair started early when the call came that David Fletcher would not be selected by British Cycling, despite a career best result in Canada and a fight back from injury that was nothing short of remarkable. Not only this but they would actually take neither a senior man or women full stop! This was obviously a blow but we had a secret weapon – the pocket rocket! Mariske Strauss!

In Mariske's Words... World Championships 2013

Mariske Strauss - Orange Monkey Pro TeamMariske Strauss is at the top of her game. Currently the best female mountain biker in South Africa with a year she could have only dreamt about just 12 months ago. African Continental and National Champion, Mariske has won all but the World Cup UCI races put in front of her in 2013 with a 6th and 8th position. As an Under 23 she has dominated in South Africa riding through the entire Elite Womens field at the recent National Championships in Port Elizabeth.

Now with the World Championships coming to her beloved South Africa she is as ready as she has ever been! In her own words, Mariske tells us what it means to race a Worlds on home soil…

Racing: World Cup Round 4 - Pal, Andorra

UCI MTB World Cup Round 4 Hitting dizzy heights!
The fourth round of the World Cup Series took us to the small principality wedged between France and Spain – Andorra. We may well not have arrived at all after a disastrous start to the journey firstly being stopped by UK police for a weight check before a delayed train and clutch problem left us over 5 hours behind schedule.

All this did little to relieve the pressure of having the guys from top worldwide magazine, Privateer following our every move, but hopefully gave them more of a story!

Racing: National Championships 2013

National Mountain Bike ChampionshipsNational championship weekend is always the big one. The team would be going into battle on several fronts. The first race results would come from South Africa on the Saturday morning with the rest to follow on the Sunday.

The South African Championships were held on a course just outside of Port Elizabeth, both Mariske & Rourke would be racing in the under 23 categories. Rourke was looking to keep hold of his national title for the third consecutive year.

Racing: British XC Series Round 4 - Margam Park

British Cycling - Orange Monkey Pro Team Today was another special day as our star rider was back! David Fletcher re-introduced himself to the British Series in Margam Park, Wales after a lengthy injury. This was just his 2nd major race back and Dave immediately showed us what we had missed getting involved at the head of the race chasing Australian, Dan McConnell, winner of World Cup round 1.

Racing: World Cup Round 3 - Val di Sole, Italy

UCI MTB World Cup Round 3 The Valley of the Sun!
The big news from Italy was the return of our Senior Elite rider, David Fletcher. David suffered a broken elbow and wrist during a fall in Cyprus back in March and it was a great boost to see him back in action!

Val di Sole (The Valley of the Sun) is without doubt the toughest track on the XC circuit 2013. Its relentless long steep climbs together with its technical features and scorching heat make it a course that only the brave survive.

Racing: British XC Series Round 3 - Hopton

British Cycling - Orange Monkey Pro Team The third round of the British Series in Hopton turned into an historic day for Orange Monkey Pro Team. Nine years since starting the team we gained our first Elite National series win with new signing, Mariske Strauss riding from behind after a tough contest with Beth Crumpton.

The first warm race of the year bought lots of good news for the team with Dave Flecther putting in valubale training time on the course and coming through unscathed after his injuries have meant he missed the first part of the season. This was great to see and a big step forward in the road to recovery for our talented team leader.

Racing: World Cup Round 2 - Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic

UCI MTB World Cup Round 2 Exclusive!!

We are proud to present our first official short film to show you the highs and lows of World Cup number 2 from the Czech Republic.

Take a look and enjoy.

Exclusive: Introducing Mariske

Mariske Strauss - Orange Monkey Pro TeamWe are delighted to announce the shock signing of Under 23 African Continental Champion, Mariske Strauss.

The team had originally been scouting Mariske with a view to signing the talented athlete in 2014 but during the first block of World Cups circumstance has meant an early signing. The deal will become official with the UCI in the July transfer period.

Racing: World Cup Round 1 - Albstadt, Germany

UCI MTB World Cup Round 1 The show begins...

It seems a lifetime ago that the team left Val d’isere in France after a first full season of World Cups; a lot has changed since then with plenty of activity in the off-season including rider transfers, new sponsors and a change of bike brand.

The biggest news was the signing of Jovana Crnogorac (Serbian National Champion), the introduction of as the headline sponsor and new bike brand Polygon all joining us for 2013.

Although it was a long hard winter and the racing had already started with the team flying around the world for races including the Sunshine Cup in Cyprus, the Cape Epic in South Africa and a selection of Euro races we knew this was the “real” start to the season and we were ready!

Racing: British XC Series Round 2 - Cornwall

British Cycling - Orange Monkey Pro Team As the British national mountain bike series grows year on year, the second round of the 2013 series was to be as far south west as you could get. Some of the most picturesque views in the UK & miles of rolling countryside surround Redruth in Cornwell.

Orange Monkey Pro Team head to Cornwell with a strengthened team compared to round one. Jovana & Ben join Billy after their many races around Europe to open the season. Also racing is Paul, taking on the Elite field once again.

With the team’s new arena space fitted with extra comforts this year compared with previous, this really helps the athletes relax & enjoy practice days.

Racing: British XC Series Round 1 - Sherwood Pines

British Cycling - Orange Monkey Pro Team The opening round of the British National XC Series is now traditionally held at Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire. The past two seasons the race has been a wash with sunshine & warm weather, this year would be an exception to the rule. A snow hit Britain was seeing out door events being called off up & down the country, would the same happen to the national XC series round one? This was the question being asked on a cold, snow swept March morning.

Orange Monkey Pro Team would have only one athlete from the 2013 roster racing, with Jovana & Ben racing in Israel, Rourke was pushing himself to new limits at the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa & Dave having suffered a nasty injury from a training accident, out.

News: Orange Monkey Pro Team reveal 2013 Product Sponsors Orange Monkey Pro Team - Product Sponsors

Having the right products and brands is essential to any good Mountain Bike Team. We are extremely fortunate to once again have products that not only we believe in, but who believe in us.

This year we welcome new sponsors Formula Forks & Brakes, Taya Chains, Salomon Outdoor wear and Hedcamz cameras. We are delighted that they will be joining us on our journey towards Rio 2016.

News: Orange Monkey Pro Team reveal more Sponsors for 2013 Orange Monkey Pro Team - Sponsors

Schwalbe UK
Schwalbe UK started in 1985 and are run from their high-tec warehouse in Shropshire, which has the storage capacity of 500,000 tyres! Schwalbe Tyres are the market leaders in Europe.

SIP Events
SIP Events is one of the UK's most experienced event management companies having had a role in the 2012 London Olympics and organising events such as the Kielder 100.

XCRacer are one of the only Cross-Country dedicated websites in the UK. A fully interactive site with News, Forums, Blogs, Reviews, it is a lifeline to many "xc-racers" from around the country!

Parsons Restaurant
Parsons Restaurant offers a unique fine dining experience in the heart of Essex. Head Chef Adebola Adeshina has worked under celebrity chef Gordan Ramsey and has now bought this experience to Waltham Abbey.

Breaking News: Team announce headline Sponsor for 2013


Orange Monkey Pro Team is delighted to welcome the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge, in association with Human Voyage as its headline sponsor for 2013.

The LIMBC stage race – inaugurated in 2010 - is the biggest Mountain Bike stage race in Asia with athletes such as Fabian Giger (Giant Pro XC Team), Chris Froome (Sky Pro Cycling) and the late Burry Stander taking to the hot, picturesque trails that this race has to offer.

Racing: Israel - Race Report Summary

IsraelAfter leaving most of the team in Cyprus, Ben and Jovana went to Israel in search of UCI points. Israel has been a place of much press speculation regarding the troubled times it has endured and still faces yet for anyone who has been there they will know that it is a place of beauty, tranquility and culture. As it so happens it has some pretty cool race tracks too!

Both Ben and Jovana committed themselves to a gruelling 3 weekends containing 5 races and coming off the back of a tough race block in Cyprus.

Racing: Sunshine Cup Round 3 - Amathous

Sunshine Cup Round 3 Podium Cyprus is a stunning setting for a three-week race series. As the Sunshine Cup draws to a close for 2013, Orange Monkey Pro Team had two athletes competing in the final round.

Monday afternoon after the three-day stage race, the athletes had been for a well-earned recovery spin. Once packed & ready to fly Jovana, Ben & Nem headed off to Israel for a gruelling schedule of racing.

Amathous race course is a steep, tight & twisty course set on the side of a seafront hill (Cliff); with amazing views & lots of heritage this race will truly test all competitors.

Racing: Sunshine Cup Round 2 - Afxentia Stage Race

Orange Monkey Pro TeamThe “stage” has been set

A bright sunny Thursday morning, Orange Monkey Pro Team wake to the news that the youngest member of the team has made it on to the world renowned British Cycling Olympic Development Programme, a great achievement.

With the arrival of Billy to Cyprus, the team will have four athletes competing in the second round of the Sunshine Cup 2013. After a wet start to the series for Dave, Ben & Jovana the weekend before, everyone was looking forward to sun, over the three tough days in the saddle.

Racing: Sunshine Cup Round 1 - Voroklini

Orange Monkey Pro TeamThe now traditional start to the European Cross Country season, the Sunshine Cup, Cyprus, is a series of three race weekends, with a 3-day MTB stage race held on the middle weekend. Orange Monkey Pro Team, no strangers to the Cyprus sun, headed over, with three athletes at this years opening round held in Voroklini.

David Fletcher, Jovana Crnogorac & Ben Roff landed in Cyprus ready for a steep & technical opening race to the 2013 season.

Race day arrived, with a bright early start to the morning. As is the nature of costal weather the clouds soon rolled in. 30 minutes to the start gun the rain came down.

News: Orange Monkey Pro Team reveal Polygon Bikes and New Signings

Orange Monkey Pro Team - Polygon BikesThe newly named Orange Monkey Pro Team is delighted to announce a new deal with Polygon Bikes for 2013. The team will start the season with a strong team of 5 riders - including 2 exciting new signings - competing internationally throughout the world.

Polygon Bikes are one of the most up and coming brands on the world scene with top world class Mountain bike free riders Yannick Granieri and Sam Reynolds as well as professional Road and Downhill teams. The Indonesian brand now looks to push into Europe on every level and we are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting venture said Paul Beales, Orange Monkey’s PR Manager.

Orange Monkey Pro Team will race the Cozmic RX29 3.0 29er Mountain Bike and compete as a UCI world team for the third year in succession, concentrating on the UCI World Cup Series, as well as selected European events & the British and South African National races. The team will finish the season in Malaysia at the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge 2013.

News: A New Beginning - 2013

As the New Year approaches we are delighted to announce that we will be continuing into 2013 with a new team name - Orange Monkey Pro Team.

This brings to an end our 3 year relationship with Cannondale Bicycles – we thank Cycling Sports Group UK for their support during this time, in particular Mike Cotty.

The team will now focus on Rio 2016 and a UCI Elite Team license as they head into a new 4 year plan.

We say goodbye to Alex Baker who has been an integral part of growing this team over the past 6 years. He will be missed and we wish him well for the future.

We will release details of the teams’ new sponsors, signings and calendar in the coming days.

Thank You to all our sponsors, supporters and athletes for an incredible journey in 2012 and we wish you all a Happy New Year!

News: 2012 Review of the season

Orange Monkey-Cannondale Review of the season 2012 After the huge success of 2011, our first year as a professional UCI team, we were extremely excited to start 2012 with a bang! It was for this reason we decided to start our year in South Africa with a 5 week training camp near the home of our South African National U23 Champion, Rourke Croeser. This would be the first time we had not started the year in Cyprus at the Sunshine Cup but would provide us with the perfect base to go into the first round of the UCI World Cup.