Construction Equipment GLOBAL

Volvo helps Mountain bikers to hit the slopes.

Question: What do you get if you put an igloo, a fruit bowl and a 40ft drop together? (Don't worry; this isn't one of those bad jokes).

Answer: White Style - one of the most prestigious mountain biking events of the year - and the above, bizarrely-named, obstacles form part of a course built entirely from snow by Volvo construction equipment.

Set in one of the biggest bike parks in Europe - Leogang, Austria - White Style is one of the only international mountain biking events to be held on snow, rather than dirt. So Volvo was keen to provide its best construction equipment for the mammoth task of building the course within two weeks.

With the help of a 20 tonne Volvo EC210 crawler excavator, the snow was piled-up into huge ramps and jumps. With an operating weight of 21.7t and 110kw (150hp) of engine power to play with, this productive and reliable machine made light work of the task, digging, sloping and levelling with ease.

The course took 10 days to build with an additional three days afterwards for the snow to freeze and harden to provide better bike grip.
The obstacles, which are built beforehand, were then placed strategically around the course.

Course designer and rider, 26-year-old Grant Fielder, was happy to explain their unusual names. "A fruit bowl is where you jump into a dip and then jump out again, the igloo is a much smaller dip" he said. "You've just got to be as creative as you can, it's not a race, you get judged on the difficulty of your tricks, the height of your jumps and the overall impression of your performance - the crowd loves it!"

This year has seen an impressive array of international riders, such as Swedish biker Martin Söderström and US representative Cameron McCaul, all competing for the 1,800 Euro prize money - cheered-on by a 2,000-strong crowd.

British winner, Sam Pilgrim, triumphed over the other riders by wowing spectators and judges with his no-hands back flip, but he admitted that snow riding isn't easy. "Crashing on snow isn't funny, because it's much harder than you might think" said Sam. "It took me a while to get used to it when I competed for the first time at White Style, but it was fun this year and Grant did a really great job, big respect!" 

Grant, who came ninth, agreed that, although mountain biking is starting to replace BMXing in popularity; the dangers are just as real. "Mountain biking is a great sport and it's really gaining recognition on a global scale. It can be dangerous, but then I'm an adrenaline junkie and I love the rush it gives me. It's the best job in the world and I can't wait for the next White Style."

And neither can Volvo.

Mountain bikers impress at White Style 2010


Tiffany Cheng

Director, External Communications
Volvo Construction Equipment

Brian O'Sullivan

Tel: +44 7733350307