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Continental Bicycle Tires: Continental and Pivot Factory Racing kick-off bid for 2023 UCI Enduro and Downhill World Cup glory with new film

  • New film celebrates Pivot’s first year with Continental and lifts the lid on preparations for 2023

  • Kelsey Rollet, Bicycle Marketing Manager: “2022 was an absolute dream year for Continental and Pivot.

Hanover, Germany, June 8, 2023. Continental and Pivot Factory Racing have released a new film celebrating the success of Pivot’s first full season rolling on Continental’s Gravity Range, and outlines the team’s goal to dominate the 2023 Enduro and Downhill UCI Mountain Biking World Cups. 

Continental’s Gravity Range was officially launched in April 2022, following three year’s development by Continental’s category-leading R&D team and testing by athletes including those at Pivot Factory Racing team. A wide-ranging tire portfolio engineered from the ground up to meet every rider's demands, the Gravity Range was designed to instil maximum confidence on all trails and in any conditions.

This close relationship between athlete and engineering was proven with Pivot Factory Racing enjoying an exceptional 2022 season. Highlights came thick and fast for Pivot’s riders in races taking in all possible course conditions, with multiple podiums and a rainbow jersey to celebrate at the close of World Cup racing in September.

Pivot celebrates various individual titles and overall Team Championship

A mud-soaked UCI Downhill World Cup in Snowshoe was home to a second-place podium finish for Bernard Kerr on Continental’s Argotal tire - designed for loose, wet terrain - a result which supported him on his way to securing a fifth-place overall. Jenna Hastings took home the Women’s Junior World Champion rainbow jersey following a matchless performance on a combination of the Argotal and Kryptotal Fr tires at Les Gets, even as conditions switched from dry to drenched ahead of race day.  

Meanwhile, the Pivot team delivered an Enduro masterclass across 2022, securing the overall Team Championship plus significant individual results. Morgane Charre completed her most successful season ever, finishing on the podium in more than half of her EWS appearances and taking second overall; plus Ed Masters and Matt Walker consistently finished in the top 10, with Ed securing third place in Val di Fassa and Matt matching this feat at Sugarloaf, leading to an overall fifth and tenth position respectively. 

Outlook: MTB season 2023 also marked by strong partnership

For 2023, Pivot and Continental are already working together to learn from the successes and challenges of last year to make their mark on Enduro’s first season as a UCI World Cup race. Morgane secured her first win of the season at Finale Outdoor Region running a pair of Kryptotal Fr tires, alongside a second-place finish in Maydena and fifth in Derby; while Matt and Ed took ninth and tenth in Derby, adding to Ed’s ninth place in Derby. The UCI Downhill World Cup kicks off in Lenzerheide this weekend, where Jenna will face her first race in the Elite Women’s division and Bernard will look to capitalise on his career-best 2022 result with a renewed push for the top step of the podium.

Bernard Kerr, Team Manager, Pivot Factory Racing, said: “Conti was a new partner for us in 2022 and what an awesome year it was for the team. The crew has grown and we can’t wait to take what we learned and charge even harder for 2023.”

Kelsey Rollet, Bicycle Marketing Manager - Bicycle Tires, Continental, said: “2022 was an absolute dream year for Continental and Pivot. The team put down some unbelievable race runs and demonstrated exactly what we’ve been working so hard to deliver with our tires. Looking ahead to 2023 and it’s clear there’s even more good news to come. There’s great new talent coming on board in the form of Jakob Jewett, plus last year’s results are an incredible baseline for the rest of the team to solidify and build upon. We’re super stoked to continue to work alongside Pivot’s racers and can’t wait to see them pushing their limits on the Gravity Range and our prototype tires in the season ahead.”

Eryri / Snowdonia...

The first in our new series of rider blogs, we start with brand manager at Cambrian Tyres, Shelley Childs who headed north to Eryri, one of the most scenic areas in the UK for some summer miles.

The chance was too good to give up on. With some fine summer sun & my cousin's late invite for a couple of nights stay just south of Caernarfon in a B&B, (or AirBnB as they say these days), it meant a hastily arranged holiday booking at work. In any case, i had my new Grand Prix 5000 Creamwall tyre samples to test out.. 

The creamwall GP5000 had been a long time coming and limited numbers were distributed worldwide for the original date of LeTour - July, Covid-19 put a spanner in the works and so whilst the tyre rolled out on time, the race itself was delayed until September. Either way, it was great to finally see the world's most popular all-round road tyre available in the popular yet retro sidewall option.

IMG 1206Having lived in Wales my entire life, and cycled all over it's gloriously challenging lands, i love the different 'feel' that each area provides. Everyone has a feel about an area they visit. It may provoke a memory, or if visited for the first time, that feeling is made in real-time - some good, some bad, some indifferent, but in Wales, its almost always good!

Cycling enriches this 'feel', each climb is remembered years later over a catchup with those that were there, descents and coffee stops too. One friend forgot his leisure clothing on a trip to Bala and spent the whole weekend in cycling kit back in 2010, it's not forgotten!

My feeling for Snowdonia harks back to those previous rides & races. Rugged, sometimes rainy, challenging, the people, the language, magnificent. The views of the huge mountains are simply unforgettable, especially on this ride, the back road off Llyn Ogwen heading north towards Bethesda - cycling paradise. Definitely one for the memory banks..

This ride started just a few miles from Bontnewydd at Rhostryfan, and headed south along Lon Eifion cycle path before heading east into Penygroes and onto the B4418 towards Nantlle. This road is recommended to any cyclist, with breathtaking scenery which just gets better and better as you head inland.

Riding from Nantlle to Rhud-Du involved a climb so scenic, that i actually enjoyed the pain of the pretty stiff gradient. The Drws y Coed (door to the forest) climb has been used as the timed KoM for the Etape Eryri sportive in the past and you can see why. Ranging from 5% to almost 14 towards the top, the road widens just where riders would naturally regroup near the summit before the descent to Rhyd Du.

From the Welsh Highland Railway station in the village you turn south and follow the main road which crosses the steam railway line in places before descending to Beddgelert. This descent is almost straight and speeds up towards Beddgelert and care is needed as you get into town.

Climbing north then and its 'Mission Nant Gwynant', scene of many a battle between local roadies over the years, a few in which I've been involved in, where its first to the top of Pen y Pass. We weren't heading all the way to the top this time, and took some pics of the new creamwall tyre at the top of the Gwynant before heading east again to Capel Cuirig and the A5 where we rode north towards Bethesda and the stunning unclassified road at Llyn Ogwen after a decent cuppa at the visitor centre. 

After Bethesda we headed left and climbed again towards home via a 3 mile slog along Moel Lyci. Former British Hill Climb champion Dan Evans has the course record and so it's obviously taken seriously in these parts. 

The last few miles were spent rolling along down into Caernarfon and a welcome pint at the Anglesey pub which is under the castle walls overlooking the Menai Straights.

If Carlsberg did bike rides.....!

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Snowdonia Ride

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