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Cross country racing starts in Cluj Napoca
Romania's competitive mountain bike season will start officially in Cluj Napoca on Sunday, April 25. The Maros Bike XCO Cup, a UCI-category 2 cross country event, will take place in the Faget forest, situated on the outskirts of Cluj Napoca and will consist of three to six laps on a 5.4km long track.
The competition is organized by the Maros Sports Club of Cluj Napoca and is sponsored by Maros Sport importer in Romania for Cannondale, Focus Bikes, Univega, Drag BBB parts and Continental tyres. The Romanian Maltese Relief Organisation is also onboard with support. The event is promoted by the Antena1 Cluj TV, Zile si Nopti, Mbike and www.ON-BOARD.ro.
For more information on the race, visit www.cupa.marosbike.ro.
Deadline for new, larger grant is August 15
Applications are being accepted for the 2010 USA Cycling/IMBA trail tune-up grant until August 15. This year, one US$2,000 grant will be awarded to a mountain bike group seeking to jump-start trail improvement projects. Revamping the grant into one, larger lump sum allows the winning group to make a bigger impact with its project.
In addition to the cash, the winning group will also receive hands-on technical assistance with its trail project from IMBA's Trail Care Crew.
Projects that create or improve trails used for mountain bike racing will receive the highest consideration, but funding can also be used to improve trails for race training and recreational riding. Applicants must be current members of IMBA, as well as USA Cycling member clubs/race promoters.
Trail Tune-Up Grants are completely funded by USA Cycling members through an optional land access checkbox on USA Cycling license applications and renewal forms. The program is administered through a partnership between USA Cycling and IMBA.
Grant winners will be announced in September at the Interbike trade show and notified by IMBA and USA Cycling.
Grant applications must include a one-page, typed description of the proposed project that demonstrate how funds will be productively used to preserve and enhance trail access, promote environmental education and inspire conservation in your community; a budget outline to show how all funding will be used; club name; digital copy of a completed W-9 tax form; Contact name, address, phone, email, club website; and the Not for Profit code if the applying organization is non-profit.
Submit applications via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the following in the subject of your email submission: Trail Tune-Up Grants (Your Club Name or Acronym).
US national gravity series draws international talent
Although the World Cup cross country racers are busy getting underway with their opening round in Dalby, United Kingdom, this weekend, the gravity racers still have nearly a month to go until their World Cup opens in Slovenia. That said, many of the top international racers who journeyed to the Sea Otter Classic last weekend have decided to race the US Pro GRT opener in Port Angeles, Washington, this weekend.
The first of five rounds will include racers such as former World Champion Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) and former World Cup Champ Josh Bryceland (Santa Cruz Syndicate), as well as 17-year-old American phenom Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) and reigning USA Cycling National Champion Aaron Gwin (Yeti-Fox Shox). Other American riders to keep an eye on will be Duncan Riffle (Team Giant), Joey Schusler (Yeti-Fox Shox), and Chris Boice (Yeti-Fox Shox).
Justin Leov (Trek World Racing), Jared Rando (Giant), Danny Hart (Giant), Bryn Atkinson (Transition), Lars Sternberg (Transition), Luke Strobel (MS Evil), Steve Smith (MS Evil), Dan Atherton (Commencal), Ben Reid (Dirt Norco) and Dan Stanbridge (Dirt Norco) are some others who could podium.
In the women's competition, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jill Kintner (Transition Racing) will be up against other world-class riders like former World Champion Rachel Atherton (Commencal) and former World Cup champ Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing).
The action officially gets under way with a Pro GRT kick-off party on Friday night, seeding runs on Saturday, and the finals on Sunday.
New signings Mulally, Batty bolster team's downhill, cross country rosters
Just prior to the Sea Otter Classic, the Trek World Racing team launched its team at a 2010 training camp in Arizona. For this season, the team features new members Canadian Emily Batty and American Neko Mulally. The team's main goals include the World Cup and World Championships, but it will also send riders to other key events like the Swiss Racer Bikes Cup series, the US Pro Gravity Tour and Crankworx, to name a few.
"I have been so impressed and amazed at the team set up, this is a such a dream come true for me and I know I will have the greatest support as I set out for the 2010 race season," said Batty, who debuted her new team colors at Sea Otter for two fifth-placed finishes in the elite women's cross country and short track.
Fresh from their two stage victories in South Africa at the Cape Epic, Swiss brothers Mathias and Lukas Flueckiger joined their new cross country teammate Batty for their first time in Arizona and enjoyed their time out riding the trails on their new Top Fuels.
"For me having two World Cup podiums last year was a great start on this new team for me, but we have learned a lot and the engineers have done some great work over winter," said Lukas Flueckiger. "We're excited by the developments we have seen at camp, so I would really like to get my first World Cup win this year."
Both Mathias Flueckiger and Batty have the under 23 World Championship title as shared major goals for 2010, while Lukas Flueckiger wants to finish top five overall in the World Cup, something he narrowly missed doing in 2009.
"I'm really looking forward to Champery, at the middle of the season," said Mathias Flueckiger. "That's for two reasons. One is because that's where Luk and I made history as brothers on the podium last year, in front of our family and friends...but also because from Champery onwards, I become a full time racer having completed my studies and other work."
On the gravity side, last year's...
100-miler racing begins in southern US
The National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series of 100-mile races across the US will kick off Saturday with the Cohutta 100. The race will begin at the Ocoee Whitewater Center in Copperhill, Tennesee. It features a 100-mile loop around the Cohutta Wilderness area with 12,000 feet of climbing en route.
The Cohutta 100 covers challenging rolling terrain with big climbs. The wildest terrain includes 35+ miles of singletrack trails. The remainder mixes remote forest service roads, mountainous curves, and breathtaking mountain pass vistas.
Accomplished 100-miler racers like Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing), Jeff Schalk (Trek Co-op), Christain Tanguy, Harlan Price (Team Cystic Fibrosis) and Sam Koerber (Gary Fisher 29er crew) are expected to attend. NUE Series regular Chris Eatough will not be racing; he retired at the end of 2009.
"It's all the usual guys," said Bishop on the eve of the race to Cyclingnews upon considering his competition. "But you never know - someone always surprises."
The racers may be in for a drenching. "The weather forecast looks a little dodgy with a 70 percent chance of showers in the morning and severe thunderstorms in the afternoon," said Bishop. "It could get interesting."
2008 NUE series champion Cheryl Sornson (Team Cystic Fibrosis) and Daniel Musto (Kenda) are among the women's favorites.
The race is often referred to as the fastest 100-miler. Last year, Schalk won in a blistering six hours, 23 minutes and six seconds ahead of Bishop and Chris Beck. Carey Lowery, who will be absent this year won the women's race in 8:06:47 ahead of Paula Burks and Musto.
The men's winner will take home $700 while the first woman will win $500.
Russian World Champion battles American for cross country win in Dalby
Reigning World Champion Irina Kalentieva confirmed her good form with a victory at the cross country World Cup opener in Dably Forest, Great Britain, on Sunday.
Kalentieva and the others facied a demanding, technical, 6.5km course at a new World Cup venue and a top-notch field despite travel difficulties encountered by many after to the interuption of flights due to volcanic ash.
From the start, Kalentieva, clad in her rainbow striped jersey, moved into the lead group. By the second lap, she was in a two-woman race with American Willow Koerber (Subaru / Gary Fisher). The American gave nothing away to the Russian, and Kalentieva had to dig deep to pull off the victory.
At the base of the longest climb, Kalentieva attacked, and in the 3.5km that remained until the finish, she managed to take 11 seconds out of Koerber on her way to the win.
"Following my crash last week, I am very pleased to have won today," she said. "It is the best way to start the season, a World Cup win!" Kalentieva had been forced to abandon the Bundesliga - Internationale Frühjahrsklassiker race one week ago after her handlebar slammed into her stomach during a fall.
She travels next with her teammtes to Houffalize, Belgium, for the second round of the World Cup.
Koerber rides to second; Gould gets fourth
The 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season got underway on Sunday in the United Kingdom with two Americans on the podium in the women's cross country contest. Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) earned her best-ever finish in international competition finishing second, only 11 seconds behind reigning World Champion and Russian Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon). After leading a chase group in pursuit of the leading pair, American compatriot Georgia Gould (Luna) joined Koerber on the podium in fourth.
Kalentieva and Koerber were able to establish a lead around the second of the five-lap, 36-kilometer affair. The Luna squad quickly formed a chase group to hunt down the reigning world and Pan-American champions with Gould, Katerina Nash (Luna) and Catherine Pendrel (Luna) leading the way. The group drew to within 14 seconds of the leaders before fading to finish nearly half a minute behind the Kalentieva.
Other Americans in the top 15 were Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) in ninth and Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-Notubes) in 14th.
The best American men's finisher was Todd Wells (Specialized) in 19th.
Round two of the UCI World Cup will continue this weekend, May 1-2 in Houffalize, Belgium.