Early this month Giant Bicycles New Zealand joined the ranks with the Whaka100 to help you become "one of the toughest". This week we caught up with Alex Clarke to ask him a few questions.
Q: What inspired GIANT to get involved with Whaka100?
A: Giant has followed the Whaka100 with interest for a few years now, it has a reputation as a very organised and well-run event. With Giants revised focus on XC with our new Anthem 29er that Josie Wilcox rode to victory last year, we were excited to support the event for the next two years.
Q: How has GIANT’s Cross-country bikes evolved over the years, and what is the recommended bike for the 100km?
A: The modern XC bike needs to handle increasingly rough courses in the XC World Cup circuit, and we are seeing a return of full suspension XC race bikes to suit these types of tracks. Our bikes have evolved to flourish in these conditions, and the new Anthem 29er is proof of that. It is also out top pick for this race.
Q: Who are the riders that Giant are supporting in the event this year?
A: Our Giant/Liv sponsored winner from last year, Josie Wilcox ( Crank It), as well Giant Ambassadors Matt Merrick and Tanya Sharpe.
Q: How have you seen cross country racing change over years?
A: Cross country has gotten a lot tougher as a whole, the tracks have gotten rougher, the descents have gotten far more technical, enough that dropper posts on XC race bikes are now a common sight. These changes demand a bike that will confidently attack at all sections of the track, while not losing any efficiency in pedaling. It is a tall order that has pushed the development of these bikes to a new level.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A: Just a big thank you to all the people behind the scenes that offer up their time for other people to enjoy riding bikes in the forest, whether it be course marking, marshaling or just tidying up at the end, we appreciate the effort put in for others to enjoy their day.