Marco abs-o-lutely killed it this season. It became shameless. In August, he didn't stop winning. He even won the Pro GRT in Mammoth in September during the Kamikaze Bike Games aboard his enduro bike. 160/95mm convertible bike with a Lefty versus discipline-specific downhill pros aboard full-on downhill bikes. He won it. Then he went on to grab second behind Brian Lopes in the California Enduro Series Kamikaze Bike Games that same weekend. Crazy. He took first at Big Mountain Enduro's grueling 5-Day Ultra in Crested Butte, cleaned up multiple times at Northstar, owned the gnar gnar Dirty Sanchez - if there was a race, chances are you'd find Marco in the top 5. He'd be standing up there, that part was for sure. He took 21st in Chile, his second Enduro World Series race ever, then secured a top 20 at EWS Crankworx in Whistler - a course that left everyone wincing, limping, and licking their wounds. I could go on and on, list everything and it could get overwhelming. He did it all in the cool, calm, professional poise that doesn't usually seem to emanate from burgeoning second season racers - well, second full season pro anyway. Interbike mayhem time he cruised by in his early 90s Toyota pickup and dropped off his Crankworx race rig and asked if we needed a hand getting everything together, he meant it too - he stayed and made sure he said hi to everyone; seemed as though he wanted to stay longer even, we just shooed him out while throwing tires around. While we were setting up his bike in our booth, he was winning on his other bike in Crested Butte, it was crazy.
I could go on.
Instead, Marco kindly took the time to reflect over his season and respond to some questions I abruptly threw his way. Enjoy his responses and some photos courtesy of Nick and Brandon Ontiveros of Big Mountain Enduro and, in the case of the lovely photo below and atop, Nate Byrom, may his soul find everlasting happiness and comfort at the local police academy.
WTB: What was your favorite course of 2014? Favorite race? Why?
Marco Osborne: Favorite race course of 2014...? Wow, thats a tough one. I would probably have to say stage 5 of the EWS Crankworks was the best stage of the season. Known as the Top of the World, this diverse stage was about 23 minutes long at race pace and dropped from high alpine single track to flowy bike park trails all the way to the village.
My favorite race would have to be EWS Chile. It was only my second time out of the country and was absolutely amazing to see the Chilean culture and take in the South American atmosphere. The terrain was mind blowing, we were surrounded by volcanic boulder fields, huge glaciers and endless rutted-out singletrack. It was fall while we were there and all the trees and bushes were changing colors, the orange and yellow leaves gave the scenery a very unique and beautiful appeal. All the stages were so enjoyable to ride and just put a smile on everyones' faces.
Smiles on faces - Ben, Marco, and Jerome at BME's Crested Butte 5-Day Ultra Enduro.
WTB: How’d you feel the overall season went? At a certain point did you feel like you hit your stride? Sure looked like it following you but I’d be curious if you started to feel better as the season progressed.
Marco Osborne: I feel the overall season went great, no big injuries and only a couple of poor finishes. I feel I hit my stride about two different times this season, for the month of April and August. The month of August was unreal, I had a winning streak going for 4 weeks in a row. It was a remarkable way to top off the season. I owe it to my teammates, especially Mark Weir, these guys gave me the opportunity to represent Novato and team WTB/Cannondale.
Marco owning the Northstar Enduro. He seems to like winning at Northstar, does it a lot.
WTB: Is there anything you’re going to focus on in the off season? Anything you’re looking forward to now that, I assume, most racing is over? Spending time with family? Shredding Marin? Giving Ben Cruz a hard time?
Marco Osborne: During the off season I am going to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and hopefully start a more structured workout routine. This winter I hope to get a road bike and start doing big rides once or twice a week. Now that the season is over I need to get back on my moto and twist some throttle. Brraap braap!! I would also like to go chase a couple big storms in Tahoe and ride my snowboard. I would like to spend more time with my family and my girlfriend Maya as well.
As for Ben Cruz, he always deserves to be heckled... But, it's good that he is going to be living in Novato again, having another training partner alongside Weir is key. Looking forward to putting in big days at the ranch.
A healthy lifestyle and routine starts with IT being SENT. Marco sending it, BME Moab, photo: Nick Ontiveros. Now, onto getting pitted:
The WTB Hightail Saddle: It doesn't buzz your tire... so you can. Photo: Nick Ontiveros / Big Mountain Enduro
WTB: Is there anything you’re going to try to do differently for next season? Training for anything in particular?
Marco Osborne: As for next season, I would like to stay focused during the winter by riding my road bike and putting in solid workouts. I want just be consistent and get through the long season. I will try to dominate local events and try focusing on EWS events. The EWS is on another level, it's so competitive and difficult to even be in the top 20. So one of my biggest goals for the 2015 season is to place in the top 10 at an EWS stop.
Aspens, lay tuck tuck triple, Marco, Snowmass, another stellar stop on the BME tour.
WTB: What was the craziest thing that happened to you over the season? You raced a ton, traveled even more, there’s got to be something wild that went down – either on course or off.
Marco Osborne: The craziest thing that happened off the track this season is probably not worth repeating. As for on the track, I would have to say winning the Mammoth Pro GRT on my Lefty equipped Cannondale Jekyll was pretty crazy. I surprised myself and everyone watching. I didn't intend to win that race, I just wanted to have fun. I thought of it as just another added stage to the Enduro race and tried to enjoy ripping a rowdy course.
Marco putting his Breakouts to good use during BME's Keystone stop.
Here's to another great season to our Novato native - may the pow be deep, the rest time revitalizing, and the road bike... well, the road bike not purchased, ha. Well done Marco, we couldn't be more proud nor more fortunate to have such an incredible representative from our home in Marin county out subjecting race courses worldwide to speed and shame, all the while helping hone in our never-ending quest to refine and provide even better product. Here's to Marco in 2014 and to a great 2015!