Travel the globe, ride the best trails in world-class terrain, and dedicate your life to mountain biking. It’s the stuff dreams are made of for 10 riders competing in the Pinkbike Academy for a shot at one pro contract with Orbea and a $25,000 cash prize purse.
With cameras rolling and challenges laid out, a new reality is waiting for 10 aspiring professional riders on Pinkbike’s new reality series, the Pinkbike Academy — riders who are on the cusp of pro Enduro racing and need a boost to level up. Presented by Shimano and Orbea, 10 men and women were given personalized Orbea Rallons from MyO and put through a series of 10 tough elimination challenges in British Columbia, Canada, designed to bring one rising star to the top. The winner will ride home with $25,000 in their pocket and a one-year pro contract on the Orbea Team.
Every week, riders will be forced to grind through grueling competitions, mid-ride sabotages, skill tests and more in hopes of avoiding elimination by the rotating judging panel of professional riders. But for these competitors, making it to the next round doesn’t always mean crossing the finish line first. Skill, technique, attitude, creativity, style and, yes, speed are all put to the test to weed out the most ambitious and motivated riders. Which is also why riders will be competing together — not in individual categories. Because determination and grit have no gender.
So who will be crowned victor in the first-ever Pinkbike Academy and become the newest athlete to join the Orbea Factory Team? Tune into all 10 episodes to find out, with the series premiere launching Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 7am PST. Find the links to every episode right here. We’ll continue updating this blog post as new episodes are released.
The Pinkbike Academy is presented by Shimano and supported by Orbea, Fox Racing, Fox Factory, GoPro, Garmin, Pro Bike Gear, Maxxis, Stan’s NoTubes and Ride Concepts.
Jason Lucas welcomes the ten lucky Canadian contestants to PB Academy in Big White, BC and they get their first taste of what it would be like to be a professional athlete with swag bags galore. The contestants also get their first look at the bikes they’ll be riding.
But before being able to ride the new bike, they have to pass the bike building challenge. 10 workstands, 10 piles of parts and a whole lot of stress. Not every racer is competent with tools, but the position they finish this first challenge in is the order they’ll start the second challenge in…
A sabotaged rear tire and subsequent flat marks the start of their time for the one stage enduro challenge and each rider has to frantically fix their tire before dropping into the stage. Who will be able to fix their flat the fastest, but also stay composed throughout the race run?
At the end of the race, the judges have to eliminate a first contestant based on their performance in the flat fixing challenge and their race run. Of course, attitude is always considered.
The contestants are divided into three groups of three and sent out on a photo challenge. They have next to no time to pick a winning outfit and just one hour to work together to nab the best action shot they can.
Each team then presents three photos along with a witty social media caption to a team of judges that includes none other than freeride legend Thomas Vanderham, someone who knows exactly what it takes to get a winning shot.
Two teams get to breathe easy as they are saved from elimination, while the three contestants on the last team are suddenly in the danger zone and have to do an additional individual photo session challenge with professional mountain bike photographer Chris Pilling. At the end of the shoot and their presentation, the loser is sent home.
Dropping November 5, 2020…