Bike news round-up: Blake Samson signs for Saracen

Plus eBrompton, Pace and Stif demo days, disturbing events at Hamsterley

From the latest product news to details of routes and events, our news round-up is a collection of short snippets of information in one handy article.

Today we bring you Saracen Dirt team's latest recruit, an update on the eBrompton electric bike, demo days from Pace Cycles and Stif Cycles, disturbing goings on at Hamsterley Forest and more.

Product and team news

Samson delighted to join Saracen

Zimbabwean born Blake Samson has joined the Saracen Dirt team for 2012. Samson, who is also a member of the Animal Bike Tour and Bike Riders United collective, has ranked consistently in the top 50 on the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour over the past two seasons and joins Lance McDermott on the roster. He will be riding the Saracen CR3 and ALX frames as well having involvement in development of the 2013 models.

Brompton reveals (a little) more e-bike info

Brompton's teaser last September regarding their electric bike revealed little in the way of spec or images, simply confirming that it was in development and would hopefully be in production in 2013. Their latest update divulges even less, other than to brush away inaccurate reports about its development.

These reports perhaps refer to the company they have partnered with on the project, electric drive train firm Ultra Motor, selling their own brand A2B electric bike range to Indian company Hero. While they say this move caused setbacks and delays, the eBrompton development is back on track now Ultra Motor has got its house in order. Brompton added that they hope to have the limited edition e-bike on sale by the end of this year.

Pace Cycles to host demo day...

Dalby Forest-based Pace Cycles, in association with Stif Cycles, will holding a demo day of their entire 2012 range on Saturday 11 February from 9am-5pm. It will be held at Stif HQ in Summerbridge, North Yorkshire. Visit their website for information on how to book your test.

...as will Stif Cycles

They’ll be hosting their own party on Saturday 11 February (9am-5pm) to celebrate two years at their base in Summerbridge, North Yorkshire. Guests will be able to demo bikes from brands such as Pace, Orange, Santa Cruz, Cube and Cannondale, with ride guides including former cross-country rider Nicky Craig. Visit Stif's website for more info.

Jessica Stone on-board Unior Tools Team for 2012

Unior Tools Team have unveiled their roster for the 2012 downhill season. The Slovenian outfit, who will compete in the UCI World Cup, have added 2010 British National Champion Jessica Stone to ride alongside current riders Harry Heath, Nejc Rutar, Žiga Pandur and Maria Michalogiannaki. The squad will be looking to improve on a successful 2011 season and are looking at being a top 15 team in the World Cup standings.

Routes, racing & rides

Rogue rope strikes again

A mountain biker was catapulted from his bike after hitting a rope tied across a steep trail at Hamsterley Forest, according to the Teesdale Mercury. Lukasz Sikorski, a 29-year-old from County Durham, was travelling at 20mph when he struck the rib-high rope and was lucky to escape unscathed.  Helmet camera footage of the incident was posted on YouTube, while a substantial reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest.

It follows a similar incident on a Bristol bike path late last year. You can call Durham Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Louis Garneau Gran Fondo returns for 2012

The Gran Fondo Garneau-Cascades presented by Quebecor returns to Quebec, Canada for a fourth time in 2012, scheduled for 12 August at 10am. The event is hoping to attract 2,000 participants, making it one of the largest of its kind in the country. Rolling out from the Centre Sportif Alphonse-Desjardins in Trois-Rivières, riders will clock 110km before arriving at the Louis Garneau Sports factory in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. Entry is $125, which includes a jersey valued at $90. To register, visit the event website.

Ullrich to ride GranFondo Cannondale Vail 2012

GranFondo USA has announced that 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich will ride the inaugural GranFondo Vail in Colorado on Sunday, 19 August. Ullrich hasn't had the best of weeks after being banned from racing for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport  but this shouldn't present too much of a practical problem as the German retired from racing several years ago and the GranFondo Vail isn't a race.

The event is being billed as the most challenging of the GranFondo USA series, being run at altitude (8163ft above sea level) and offering two mountainous routes, over 120 miles or 50 miles. To find out more, visit granfondousa.com.

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