Pinkbike Academy: And the winner is…

See who gets crowned the winner in the last episode of the Pinkbike Academy, a contest that began with 10 riders competing against each other and will end with a new professional cycling career path for the single winner on our Orbea Enduro Team!

Good luck, riders!

Relive the adventure!

Inthelast 10 weeks, we’ve closely followed the contest, watching every fall, every tear, every smile and every victory. We’ve cheered them on during all the challenges they overcame. And now, we’re cheering on the winner as they start a new chapter with their professional cycling career, alongside Orbea.

Relive all the episodes from the beginning.

Episode 1

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…

Episode 2

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.

Episode 3

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. 

Episode 4

We’ve found out which riders are technically savvy and which ones are stylish in the first three episodes, but now it’s time to see who is fit as each contestant completes a strenuous test well-known to endurance athletes called an ​FTP test​. 

As soon as their gruelling ramp test is complete on the Tacx trainer, contestants find out that they must do a timed race on their bikes that very same day. 

At the end of the two fitness challenges, the contestant deemed “least fit” is sent home.

Episode 5

It’s episode 6 and we’re down to just six contestants. These six contestants are randomly paired off and they must compete in a massive set of challenges as a team.

First, they must fit their bikes and gear into a tiny car. Then, one contestant jumps in the driver’s seat while the other must guide them to their next destination using only hand signals. Once they’ve arrived, they must build each other’s bikes, without being allowed to help each other other than speaking. Then, they have to work together to find Jason Lucas as quickly as possible using the Trailforks app. 

The winning team gets to breathe a sigh of relief, but the teams in second and third place are up for elimination…

Episode 6

Contestants are paired up and sent out on a massive challenge to see how well they can work together.

It’s episode 6 and we’re down to just six contestants. These six contestants are randomly paired off and they must compete in a massive set of challenges as a team.

First, they must fit their bikes and gear into a tiny car. Then, one contestant jumps in the driver’s seat while the other must guide them to their next destination using only hand signals. Once they’ve arrived, they must build each other’s bikes, without being allowed to help each other other than speaking. Then, they have to work together to find Jason Lucas as quickly as possible using the Trailforks app. 

The winning team gets to breathe a sigh of relief, but the teams in second and third place are up for elimination…

Episode 7

Contestants must work with a suspension tech to dial in their suspension for the big race. 

We’re down to just four contestants after the last double elimination and it’s time for another technical challenge. Contestants must follow along as a Fox Suspension Tech shows them how to do a lower leg service on a Fox 38 fork. 

After the tutorial, the contestants must attempt to complete the same service on their own suspension as quickly as possible. 

Then, they’re shown a picture of a feature on the mountain that will truly test their fresh suspension – the rock crevice on Big White’s Rock Hammer. They must get there as quickly as possible and hit the feature or risk being eliminated.

Episode 8

Being a racer isn’t just about results. 

An important part of being a professional mountain biker is the ability to create media that showcases your riding and your sponsors. For this challenge, each of the remaining four contestants is given a GoPro and must film and edit together a video showcasing their skill in a very short time window. 

Once the time is up, professional freeride mountain biker Geoff Gulevich judges their videos. In addition, the riders sit down and watch each other’s videos and rank them… But will they rank them according to how good the edits are? 

At the end of this episode, another contestant will be sent packing.

Episode 9

The final three contestants take part in a massive enduro race.

The contestants are given course maps and sent out to tackle the biggest race of the season. Professional Enduro World Series racer Damien Oton and Pinkbike’s Christina Chappetta set the pace to see how well the contestants would stack up in a world-class event. 

At the end of the first big day of racing, the contestant sitting furthest back is sent home.

Episode 10

We award the winner with their pro sponsorship after a massive second day on the bike. 

It’s another big day on the bikes with a lot on the line as the final two contestants complete the remaining stages of the enduro race. When results are calculated, one contestant deals with disappointment while the other wins the pro sponsorship with Orbea and $25,000.

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