A few observations:
1. If Lawlor doesn’t change the formula for the next videos, we’re going to be listening to a lot of Eric Carter this season. Eric had a lot of insights and inspiration to share with us, with Aaron, with Troy, there was even a part in the video where some guy at the gas station was filling up the rental team van, and EC just kept telling the random South African guy to believe in his dreams and keep working, that he deserved to live up to his potential and to never give up. Inspiring stuff.
2. Aaron Gwin is still very much Aaron Gwin. And he’s really fast. Troy is still an amazing rider, and the fact that 110 pound Troy got 5th on the flattest track of the year is nothing short of incredible. This is Mitch Ropelato’s first full World Cup season, so that’s pretty cool. We at Team Robot are expecting big things.
3. Aaron and Troy both got to the podium on a one-off 650b Specialized Enduro Evo, which is crazy. Smaller travel, custom modified to run bigger wheels, probably all sorts of cool tweaks to get the head angle and BB height the team guys wanted. This is the first time we’ve ever seen a 650b Enduro Evo, 650b wheels are starting to break into the Specialized lineup, and now this bike wins the first World Cup of the season. And Specialized didn’t mention any of that in their 7 minute recap video. So far in this paragraph I’ve talked more about the bike than Specialized has.
They never mention the bike. They mention Gwin’s good seasons, bad seasons, his first win ever on this very track, his training, his breakfast, but no mention of his bike.
What I find interesting is that Specialized doesn’t sell race seasons, wins, tracks, training, or breakfast, they sell bikes, but bikes are the one thing they don’t talk about in their own video. Clearly they think the bike isn’t good news or good press, and they don’t want to mention it. Somehow this amazing winning bike is an embarrassment for Specialized, because it’s a little out of the ordinary or because it doesn’t exactly fit in their own neat and tidy Morgan Hill-centric version of the world. In other words, this video is classic Specialized.
How is this bike not good news for Specialized? They should make that exact bike available and market the hell out of it. They should talk all about what they did to get Aaron the best bike possible, and then they should say it was the best bike possible; according to the results, it was. They should have all the industry guys test ride Gwin’s exact race setup from Pietermaritzburg. They should talk and talk and talk about that bike, but instead of learning about their world cup winning bike I learned that Aaron Gwin really likes peanut butter and oatmeal for breakfast.