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MTB News & Racing Round-up, August 10, 2010

Date published:
August 10, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Pombo starts on path to recovery following serious Val di Sole crash

    Portuguese National Downhill Champion Emanuel Pombo recovers in the hospital after a crash at the Val di Sole World Cup
    Article published:
    August 06, 2010, 11:00 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Portuguese National Champion optimistic about his recovery

    Portuguese National Champion Emanuel Pombo is recovering in the hospital following a serious crash on the downhill course at the mountain bike World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy.

    During the last practice session before the finals in Val di Sole, the Portuguese rider crashed and was evacuated immediately by helicopter to a hospital in Trento. By the end of the day, doctors had confirmed a fractured a vertebra, the most severe injury of Pombo's career.

    "Sometimes it seems so easy to follow a childhood dream and fight for what we believe is part of our happiness as human beings, but in reality, there are always unexpected things that happen and nothing is guaranteed in life," said Pombo. "But this is where we are put to the test, and we value the things that we do not give due importance for several reasons."

    "One thing is certain, this is not the END. It is just the beginning of a new battle in my life," said Pombo. "I will come back stronger than ever, always with a smile on my face and prepared for new challenges. Where there is a will, there is always a way. Thanks to everyone for all the support and see you soon. Cheers."

    Pombo's manager Luis Lopes said messages of support for Emanuel during his recovery can be sent to him on Facebook.

  • Peat leads British team to mountain bike worlds

    Steve Peat (GBr) Santa Cruz Syndicate
    Article published:
    August 06, 2010, 15:21 BST
    Cycling News

    26 riders heading to Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec

    British Cycling announced the team which will represent Great Britain at the forthcoming UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont-Saint-Anne, Quebec, Canada, from September 1-5, 2010.

    World Champion Steve Peat will be looking to defend his title in the downhill competition whilst Gee Atherton, currently leading the World Cup series, and Marc Beaumont, winner of the last World Cup in Val di Sole, also make the squad.

    First-year junior Manon Carpenter makes her debut at the World Championship level after having already scored three top 10 results in the elite women's downhill World Cup this year.

    Commonwealth cross country gold medallist Liam Killeen has also been selected.

    Great Britain's Olympic Academy rider and current National Champion Annie Last has had a strong season this year with two podium finishes at World Cup level in the Under 23 category. She is joined by fellow Academy riders Lily Matthews and David Fletcher, whilst Olympic Development Programme riders Grant Ferguson, Kenta Gallagher and Steve James - all of whom have produced top 10 finishes at World Cups this year - also make the selection.

    "The strength and depth of talent which Great Britain has across all the mountain bike disciplines continues to increase, and the size of the squad we're sending to the World Champs reflects this," said British Cycling's Performance Director Dave Brailsford.

    "It's also good to see the number of young riders which have made it onto the squad again this year, particularly the crop of young talent we have in the Olympic discipline of cross country with just under two years to go until London 2012."

    British National Team for 2010 UCI Mountain Bike Worlds

    Cross Country

    Elite men
    Oli Beckingsale
    Liam Killeen

    Under 23 men
    David Fletcher

    Under 23 women
    Annie Last

  • Canada bringing large team to mountain bike World Championships

    Geoff Kabush (BC) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain claims his 8th national title
    Article published:
    August 06, 2010, 20:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Pendrel, Prémont, Kabush among the favorites for a medal on home turf

    The Canadian Cycling Association selected the riders who will represent Canada at the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, to be held on home turf in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec, from September 1-5, 2010.

    "This event is a great opportunity to showcase our talented athletes and the strong national program to Canadian cycling fans in Québec and in Canada. The team we have selected will represent their country with one goal, to win medals," said Jacques Landry, Chief Technical Officer for the Canadian Cycling Association.

    The team is highlighted by many of the biggest names in mountain biking such as Catharine Pendrel, Marie-Helen Prémont, Geoff Kabush, Emily Batty, Antoine Caron and Steve Smith just to name a few.

    The 2010 edition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships marks the third time the event has been held on Canadian soil and is the second time it will be at the Mont-Sainte-Anne resort. Bromont, Quebec, held the first edition of the event on Canadian soil in 1992, and Mont-Sainte-Anne last hosted in 1998.

    "Everyone on the team, whether it's athletes or the support personnel, is excited about the World Championships being held in Canada for the third time. People from all ages have an amazing opportunity to come out, celebrate our athletes, see our Olympians, and learn more about the exciting sport of Mountain Bike and Trials," said Landry.

    Catharine Pendrel is the current World Cup leader in cross country and also is the current Canadian Champion. Marie-Hélène Prémont, ranked eighth in the World Cup cross country standings, is an eight-time Canadian champion and Olympic silver medalist from Athens 2004. Prémont will be riding on the same hill where she began her development and progressed towards international stardom.

    Geoff Kabush is leading the charge in the men's cross country discipline as the only men's rider with Olympic experience in the...

  • Spitz aims to defend marathon world title

    Sabine Spitz (Central Pro Team) is returning to form after an early season absence.
    Article published:
    August 07, 2010, 9:17 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Strong contingent of men vies for rainbow stripes in Paulissen's absence

    All eyes will turn to St. Wendel, Germany, for the World Marathon Championships on Sunday, August 8.  Rainbow jerseys will be up for grabs in the elite men's and elite women's races.

    Four of the top five placers from last year's men's race will be on the starting line. Alban Lakata (Austria), Christoph Sauser (Switzerland), Christoph Soukup (Austria) and Wolfram Kurschat (Germany), finishers two through five from last year, are the favorites. Two-time marathon World Champion and last year's winner Roel Paulissen (Belgium) will be notably absent after he failed a doping test and then retired last month.

    Host nation Germany is sending a strong team in addition to Kurschat, who's been recovering from a rib injury.  He'll be racing with German teammates Hannes Genze, Karl Platt and Mortiz Milatz.

    Former marathon World Champion Sauser will get extra Swiss support from Ralph Naef and Urs Huber while Spain is fielding a powerful three-man team including José Antonio Hermida, Marc Trayter and Sergio Mantecon.

    Hermida offered his prediction of how the race will unfold, "There will be a 10-man group facing the last kilometers together. Strategy and the psychological factor will be the key. Those moments will be where you really need to know how to play your cards in order to get a good result."

    Other men to watch are Australia's Adrian Jackson, France's Thomas Dietsch, Italy's Mike Felderer and Mirko Celestino, Namibian Mannie Heymans and South Africa's Burry Stander and Kevin Evans.  American Jeremiah Bishop is reportedly not racing, so the US team will have no male representation.

    Racers will compete on a 90km, single-lap course through Saar-Hunsrück Nature Park that is fast and open for the first half before hitting a bunch of singletrack mid-way through. They'll pass quickly through the start finish area before heading out for the final 30km.

    "The course profile is comparable to a...

  • TransRockies and TR3 return to Alberta

    Racers in the TransRockies
    Article published:
    August 07, 2010, 16:24 BST
    Cycling News

    Craig, Decker, Plaxton among those duking it out in Canadian stage race

    The TransRockies mountain bike stage race will kick off in the historic mountain town of Fernie, British Columbia, on Sunday, August 8. 450 mountain bikers from 20 countries are expected for the ninth edition of the race. The TR3, a shorter, three-day version will be run in conjunction with the first three days of the TransRockies.

    The seven stages of the TransRockies include six point-to-point courses along the spine of the Rockies and a technical day 1 time trial loop through Fernie's singletrack. Riders who choose to ride the TR3 will finish their ride at the end of stage 3 after having covered 167km of riding with 5,150 metres of climbing including a new crossing of the Continental Divide at nearly 2400 metres above sea level.

    The 2010 edition of the TransRockies returns to the traditional Alberta route upon which its legend was built. Its route includes two stopovers at western ranches and rides through the pristine Kananaskis Country Wilderness. It's this combination of wilderness adventure and camping, authentic Western ranches and small town hospitality that's unique to the TransRockies.

    When the TransRockies riders roll across the finish line in Canmore on Saturday, August 14, they will have earned their finishers' medals with 400km of riding and 12,000 metres of climbing on a new route through the high Rockies and spectacular scenery.

    Along the way they'll be tested by epic climbs, the always unpredictable Rocky Mountain weather and endless singletrack including highlights like Cox Hill and Jumpingpound Ridge in Kananaskis Country and Porky Blue, a new singletrack ride in Fernie which serves up 1,000m of vertical in one continuous descent.

    In 2010, the TransRockies and TR3 applied for and were granted S2 stage race status by the UCI. This means that top finishers will receive international ranking points along with a cash purse of CAN$30,000. With that in mind, this year's events feature the strongest-ever...

  • Ripon College seeks support for proposed nearby trails

    A Ripon College racer negotiates a technical section of trail.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2010, 12:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Wisconsin school's program supports mountain biking

    A proposal by the Ripon College Red Hawks Cycling Team to build singletrack mountain bike trails in the wooded areas of the College's Ceresco Prairie Conservancy has been accepted for voting by the Pepsi Refresh Project. This is a competitive voting program in which the College is seeking US$25,000 to hire the International Mountain Bicycling Association's Trail Solutions Crew to design and build the trails so that they are both technically challenging and environmentally sustainable.

    This fall will mark the third year of the Ripon College cycling team. The Red Hawks have experienced moderate success already, but the team has no mountain bike trails within 20 miles on which to train.

    "Adding this resource right in our own backyard will make a tremendous difference in bolstering the success of our team and making our program one of the best in the nation," said Head Coach Ric Damm.

    The College has been giving out more than 150 free mountain bikes a year to incoming freshmen who pledge not to bring a car to campus. These trails will give those students, as well as all mountain bikers a place to ride in Ripon.

    "There are many deserving projects competing for limited dollars. Only the 10 projects with the most votes will be awarded grants. Therefore each and every vote is critical," said Damm.

    To vote for Ripon's mountain bike trail, visit Interested persons can vote once every day through August 31.

  • Passant wins Colorado Trail Race

    Eszter Horanyi descending.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2010, 22:05 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Horanyi first woman to finish

    Ethan Passant won the Colorado Trail race after four days, 13 hours and 43 minutes. He finished ahead of Jesse Jakomait and Jefe Branham. The unsupported multi-day race is roughly 470 miles, with 60,000 feet of climbing, and it takes racers from Denver to Durango through some of the most rugged and remote terrain that Colorado has to offer.

    Jakomait was a little over an hour behind Passant and crossed the line in four days, 14 hours and 55 minutes. Branham wrapped up his race after five days, two hours and 10 minutes.

    Eszter Horanyi was the first woman to finish. Her time was six days, five hours and 25 minutes. Behind her was runner-up Cat Morrison in six days, 19 hours and 19 minutes.

    "This is the hardest thing I've ever done on a bike," said Jeff Kerkove, who eventually withdrew after having problems with swollen feet, tingly toes, and some numb spots. He also said on his blog it was the "best thing" he'd ever done on his bike.

    As of this writing on August 9, thirteen racers are still out on course. The race began on August 7. Riders are expected to take four to nine days to complete the course.

  • Armstrong withdraws from Leadville 100

    Lance Armstrong at the Leadville 100
    Article published:
    August 10, 2010, 15:33 BST
    Cycling News

    American has no further racing planned for 2010

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) has withdrawn from the Leadville Trail 100. The American opted out of the 100-mile long mountain bike race citing the after-effects of his troubled Tour de France. Last season, he rode and won the event before going on to ride the Tour of Ireland. His participation in the event in 2008 was the genesis of his comeback to professional racing.

    His manager Mark Higgins told VeloNews that Armstrong is carrying an injury. "He is still suffering from a nagging injury to his hip from the Tour de France," he said. "His girls will also be in Aspen with him this weekend so he will be staying home."

    Armstrong has maintained a relatively low profile since the Tour, and has no other races planned for the remainder of 2010. However, he will appear in two events linked to his Livestrong organisation, in Philadelphia at the end of August and in Austin in late October.