Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
“Jarno Saarinen tribute bike”
Every child grows up with a hero. Someone to look up to and inspire you. Here at Nukeproof we have an incredible roster of riders that we hope are helping inspire the next generation of mountain bike riders.
As a downhill world cup winner racing for the legendary Honda program and our longest serving pro athlete; Matti has been heavily involved with much of the development behind our products. Matti’s skills, drive, determination and personality is a great reflection of our brand attitude. Now in his 5th year with Nukeproof, Matti is focusing on racing his Mega 275 in the Enduro World Series and other adventure races, including here at the Megavalanche, Alpe D’Huez. For 2016 we wanted to return to the spiritual home of the Mega with our latest generation of our all mountain frame, it seemed a fitting to launch this special project at the same time.
As a rider hailing from an area covered in snow for over 6 months of the year and in a relatively flat area of Finland, who was it that inspired Matti to ride? As with many racers Matti is a huge moto fan, be it Supercross, MX, rally or cruising round on his Harley, Matti loves speed! Growing up around speed his hero is Finnish bike racing legend Jarno Saarinen (1945-1973).
Jarno “the flying Fin” Saarinen is Finland’s only moto road racing World Champion winning the 250cc title in 1972. Racing against the sporting legends likes of Agostini and Barry Sheene he looked set to repeat his success in 1973 in the 250cc and 500cc class, but tragically lost his life in an accident at the Monza race. He was a factory Yamaha rider and rode to glory aboard his custom red, white and blue Yamaha. We took this colour scheme as inspiration for Matti’s Mega 275.
Rockshox/ Sram/ Mavic equipped Nukeproof Mega 275
Dedicated to Jarno Saarinen 1945-1973
The Mega 275 on the side of Mount Pic Blanc
Modern day “Flying Finn” Matti at 100+ KPH in the snow during the Megavalanche practise. Mavic supplied this complimentary Blue and Red kit to match the frame.
Earlier this year Matti’s team mate from the 2009 Stevie Smith tragically passed away. He will ride this one off frame as a gesture to his hero Jarno Saarinen and also his friend and former team mate Stevie. At the end of the season we will auctioning/ raffling this unique frame, with all proceeds going to the Stevie Smith Legacy Fund.
Photos: Laurence Crossman-Emms