For two years the crew of 3 MINUTE GAPS have followed the world’s best mountain bike racers around the globe documenting them as they trained, prepared, rode, ate, traveled, raced, celebrated, commiserated, and made sacrifices simply because of the weight of ambition to be the fastest. There is no truer, more accurate and intimate depiction of the hallowed worlds of the very best World Cup rider's than 3 MINUTE GAPS.
Filmed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA, and every round of the 2009 and 2010 World Cup Series and World Championships.
Director Clay Porter has traveled the world capturing a story of triumph and struggle.
From multiple World Champions to future World Champions - including Gee Atherton, Sam Hill, Aaron Gwin, Sam Blenkinsop, Brendan Fairclough, Greg Minnaar, Andrew Neethling, Danny Hart, Matti Lehikoinen, Ben Reid, and Josh Bryceland - this film chronicles the new breed of racers who are re-shaping modern downhill racing, and indeed, riding.
This movie is more than a Post-It note stuck on a page of mountain bike history, it is a leather bound pop-up book printed on sheets of polished stone with a crystal ball for the contents. For years to come this movie will still be referenced in conversations and discussions about when riding was re-imagined.
- Seb Kemp
- Pine Valley, California
- Guildford, England
- Morzine, France
- Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Helsinki, Finland
- Temecula, California
- Wanganui, New Zealand
- Perth, Western Australia
- Queenstown, New Zealand
- Capetown, South Africa
Pine Valley is a small riding area located outside of San Diego, California. Built and cared by pro rider Sean "Griz" McClendon, PV is filled with big jumps crafted specifically for long travel bikes. It is a playground for those blessed with the skills to loft a bike long distances. Brendan Fairclough filmed part of his section here as he was a natural choice because of his ability to whip it out with more style than anyone on the World Cup circuit.
Guildford was home to the last alchemist in England, James Price, who when asked to prove his powers of transmutation committed suicide in front of his peers. These days Guildford is no less remarkable in managing to produce incredible downhillers despite being a moderate market town just outside of London and having no mountains for racers to hone their craft. Instead the few hillocks that it does possess and the cluttered back yards of its riding inhabitants yield some of the best bike handlers in the world. A leftover of one mans magical experiments to find gold perhaps?
Deep in the European mainland there is a near mythical gossamer network of chairlifts that span mountain range and even nations borders called the Portes Du Soleil. At the heart of the Portes Du Soleil is Morzine, which becomes the hub of British, Australian and Kiwi downhillers during the summer months. Riders can come to pound teeth to stubs with endless laps on the popular trails around the town then sip Radler on bar patios or go further afield and link mountain huts and riding areas through an expansive tangle of ribbony singletrack.
When asked where in the world he would like to film for 3 Minute Gaps, Ben Reid had no hesitation in stating that it had to be Pila. Another one of the European ski resort gems that has opened up to downhillers in the summertime, Pila is an old favourite for many racers. Once a venue for a World Cup round, it has not seen the circus in a few years, but the riders in the know go there for a legitimate downhill experience. The trails are fast, rocky and dry, whilst the food and culture is anything but.
There is a fine tradition of romantic and picturesque imagery associated with Ireland, but when you spend day after day getting rained upon in the blustery cold of the Atlantic winters harsh grip in your quest to train for the World Cup circuit, then the other Irish characteristics of resilience, perseverance and dogged tenacity come to the surface.
About a quarter of the Finnish population – more than one million people – live in the Helsinki region. In some respects Helsinki is a dream city; for example, there is a larger proportion of women in Helsinki than there are men. However, it is also one of the coldest cities in the world and there really are no mountains to speak of. Despite the hardship of the long winter arctic chokehold and the severe lack of geographical advantage, Matti Lehikoinen has battled the adversity of the locale to become one of the worlds top racers.
Perhaps home to more motocross riders than anywhere else in the world. Where every other piece of head wear is an energy drink endorsement and the only thing bigger than the lift kits on the trucks is the size of your backyard tracks. Aaron Gwin moved there recently to train with John and Eli Tomac. The former is regarded by many as the greatest racer of all time, the latter is a future mega star of motocross, and Gwin is a former motocross racer who swiftly changed gears to become one of the worlds most promising mtb racers.
Wanganui is not a mountain biking destination by any means. In fact it is another example of less than likely places that has bred a rider with such incredible talent, and proves if you plant the seed of natural aptitude anywhere it will still flourish. That’s not to say that Wanganui has had no hand in Sam Blenkinsops rise to the top tier of racing; Wanganui is a rough place and to even survive you have to get tough quick.
When you spend at least six months a year traveling around the globe living out of a bag then the pull of home becomes as powerful as gravity. If your home is one of the most remote cities in the world then this feeling is compounded. Sam Hill has profoundly influenced racing but he is a genuinely hometown kind of guy. Aside from the traveling circus of the World Cup the racers have often very different home lives. Perth is where Sam Hill calls home when he is home, and it is here we see that it takes more to be the most revered racer than to just ride bikes.
Queenstown is tiny town with big sensibilities. A community that inhabits a thin line of land outlined by the lake under the shadow of towering peaks. If you are a serious biker and you find yourself in New Zealand, then you simply cannot miss out on a visit to Queenstown. From the gondola which services a steep and hefty mountainside of trails that slide riders into downtown to some of the worlds largest and most perfectly manicured jumps, it is obvious why Queenstown has enticed so many to make it their home.
There has been very few downhill racers who manage to make the jump to the World Cup level, but the few that have don’t waste anything once they are there. South Africa can boast it spawned a multi-time World Champion and a world cup contender with Greg Minnaar and Andrew Neethling. Many road and cross-country racers travel to South Africa in the off-season to take advantage of the weather for training purposes, but there is far more to Capetown than endless road miles and time in the gym.
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FOX Racing Shox are concerned only with making the highest quality suspension products and this comes from testing their wares in the front line of the race circuit. If there is an advantage to be made through suspension developments that will make racers faster, then FOX Racing Shox will be at the forefront of developing that technology. FOX Racing Shox have been behind Clay Porters films since the very beginning exactly because his films focus on racing and the worlds very best racers.
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