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MTB News & Racing Round-up, August 13, 2010

Date published:
August 13, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Mountain bike titans to battle at Leadville 100 this weekend

    Riders take a break while training on the Leadville 100 course this past weekend
    Article published:
    August 11, 2010, 14:59 BST
    Dave McElwaine

    Leipheimer's attendance uncertain in Armstrong's absence

    Largely due to the participation of Lance Armstrong, the Leadville 100 has grown into one of the country's most prestigious single day mountain biking epics. Two years ago, Armstrong lost a hard fought battle with Dave Weins (Topeak Ergon), but last year, he crushed everyone with his Tour de France fitness. This year, however, Armstrong has withdrawn from the race citing a nagging hip injury suffered in the Tour de France as the reason.

    The news came after he was seen out on the course this past weekend with US Marathon National Champion Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski. "We rode 60-70 miles of the course or so," said JHK.

    Armstrong's Radio Shack teammate Levi Leipheimer is still registered to race and would automatically become one of the race favorites given his Tour de France fitness and the roadie-friendly fireroad nature of the course. However, Leipheimer is recovering from a wrist injury that was sustained in the Tour de France and may not want to risk that recovery with a grueling race on dirt. In addition, Leipheimer announced last week that he will race in the demanding Tour of Utah set to begin next week, just a few days after Leadville.

    Nearly 1,600 racers, selected by lottery, will depart the former silver mining town of Leadville at 6:30 am on Saturday morning for a grueling day in the saddle. They will be supported by six aid stations and have a 12-hour deadline to complete the course. Nearly every state in the country is represented, along with racers from nearly 20 other countries as far away as New Zealand and Hong Kong. The average racer age this year is 43. The oldest is 74, and the youngest is 21. The women's field totals 257 racers while the men's field consists of 1,293 racers.

    What is very different this year is the level of competition. If he races, Leipheimer will have to contend with two current US mountain biking national champions. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, who is the US marathon national champion, is a...

  • Schurter leads powerful Swiss team to mountain bike worlds

    Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) leading a climb on lap three
    Article published:
    August 11, 2010, 21:12 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    30 selected for cross country, four cross squads

    Swiss Cycling has selected 30 cross country and four cross riders for the Swiss National Team heading to the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on September 1-5. The worlds will be held in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada.

    Current World Champion Nino Schurter will be going for his second consecutive title. He'll be joined by former World Champion Christoph Sauser, Lukas Flückiger, Fabian Giger, Martin Gujan, Ralph Näf and recent World Cup winner Florian Vogel.

    On the women's side, European cross country champion Katrin Leumann will lead a strong team including newly crowned marathon World Champion Esther Süss, World Cup round winner Nathalie Schneitter and Sarah Koba and Marielle Saner-Guinchard.

    The Swiss team often excels in international-level men's and women's individual cross country events at the junior, U23 and elite levels, and after winning the European Championship in July, it is also a favorite for the team relay at worlds.

    Not as well known for its four cross accomplishments, the Swiss team will send two men and one woman: David Graf, Roger Rinderknecht and Lucia Oetjen for that event.

    The downhill roster is still pending following the European Championships this past weekend.

    Swiss National Team for the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

    Cross Country

    Elite men
    Lukas Flückiger
    Fabian Giger
    Martin Gujan
    Ralph Näf
    Christoph Sauser
    Nino Schurter
    Florian Vogel

    Elite women
    Katrin Leumann
    Sarah Koba
    Marielle Saner-Guinchard
    Nathalie Schneitter
    Esther Süss

    Under 23 men
    Severin Disch
    Mathias Flückiger
    Martin Fanger
    Patrik Gallati
    Thomas Litscher
    Pascal Meyer

    Under 23 women
    Michelle Hediger
    Vivienne Meyer

  • Former pro Tammy Jacques-Grewal recovers from life-threatening illness

    Tammy Jacques-Grewal of Honey Stinger/Erikson showed she still has some speed with a top 15 finish at US Mountain Bike Nationals..
    Article published:
    August 11, 2010, 21:26 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Retired road and mountain bike racer happy to be back on a bike

    2010 has been the year of the comeback for retired pro racer Tammy Jacques-Grewal, first in cross country ski racing, then in mountain bike racing. After nearly dying of an illness that was misdiagnosed for years, Jacques-Grewal was just happy to be alive as she lined up for the start of the elite women's cross country mountain bike race at the US Mountain Bike Nationals last month.

    The 44-year-old lives in Colorado and decided to celebrate her renewed health with some bike racing and a weekend out with her husband, former pro mountain biker Rishi Grewal, and their two children, Dmitri, 6, and Sofia, 9.

    Jacques-Grewal took a somewhat early retirement from pro racing in 1999, when she was 33 years old. "I was sick, but we didn't know why. The doctors never could figure it out. In the later part of my career, I'd have random stomach pain. My abdomen would just start hurting, and I'd have really good days and then really bad days. and all of the sudden I'd just feel horrible."

    After retirement, Jacques-Grewal's health problems only got worse, but not significantly so until after she'd had two healthy pregnancies.

    "Over the years, I was hospitalized several times for what doctors thought was high enzyme levels and hyponeutremia. They tried to bring my body back in balance. I always ate well and loved to cook, but food was going right through me. I was wasting away.

    "I started getting really, really sick in 2006, and we didn't know what was going on," she said. "They were doing blood tests, and I didn't have any weird diseases. I got to the point where I couldn't drink real water any more. I could only drink bubbly water. I lived on San Pellegrino and applesauce. It was horrible." Before long, even the applesauce wouldn't stay down, and she weighed only 88 pounds (39.9 kilograms).

    It wasn't until she and her family moved to Steamboat Springs and she found a new doctor, that the mystery was solved. "Dr. Harrington...

  • Beer brothers lead Swiss downhillers at mountain bike worlds

    Emille Siegenthaler (Scott) races to a top ten finish.
    Article published:
    August 12, 2010, 14:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Selection of downhill team completes Swiss roster

    The Swiss Cycling Federation selected its final riders for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, on September 1-5.

    Brothers Nick and Marcel Beer will compete in the elite men's downhill while Emile Siegenthaler will race in the elite women's category. The Swiss are also sending two junior men: Freddy Hunziker and Marius Paccolat.

    The Swiss cross country and four cross riders were previously selected.

    Swiss National Team for the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships


    Elite men
    Nick Beer
    Marcel Beer

    Elite women
    Emile Siegenthaler

    Junior men
    Freddy Hunziker
    Marius Paccolat

  • 53 Americans bound for mountain bike world championships

    American Champion Todd Wells (Specialized) having a top 20 ride
    Article published:
    August 12, 2010, 15:53 BST
    Cycling News

    USA Cycling selects cross country and gravity racers

    A total of 53 Americans will compete at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada on September 1-5. Of those, seven men and seven women will wear the red, white and blue while competing for world titles in the elite cross country races.  All racers were selected by USA Cycling.

    As the reigning national champion, and winner of the 2010 US Pro XCT, Todd Wells (Specialized) earned the only automatic nomination to the elite men's cross country squad. He'll be joined on the course by discretionary nominees Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek), Adam Craig (Giant), Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek), Michael Broderick (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes), Carl Decker (Giant), and Spencer Paxson (Team S&M Young Guns).

    Three women received automatic nominations to compete in the elite women's contest in Mont-Saint-Anne. Georgia Gould (Luna) earned her nomination by way of winning the national championship cross country race as well as the overall US Pro XCT. In addition, the Colorado rider earned a silver medal in the third stop on the World Cup and is currently ranked fifth in the overall World Cup standings. As the highest-ranked American woman in the UCI rankings, in sixth-place, Willow Koerber (Subaru-Trek) also picked up an automatic nomination to the team. In addition to her UCI ranking, Koerber met several other qualification criteria to receive an automatic nomination, including finishing second at the first World Cup of the season, placing second in the second World Cup, and currently sitting in third in the overall World Cup standings. With a fourth-place effort in the fifth stop on the World Cup circuit, Katie Compton (Planet Bike) also earned an automatic nomination to the team.

    Gould, Koerber, and Compton will join forces with the four discretionary nominees Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes), Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek), Kelli Emmett (Giant), and Allison Mann (Rock N Road).

    Eight Under 23 athletes...

  • TransWales kicking off this weekend

    Racers cross a river at the TransWales
    Article published:
    August 13, 2010, 15:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Seven days of action with a mix of linking and race stages

    The seven-day Gore Bike Wear TransWales point-to-point mountain bike race begins this weekend and runs through 487km (302.6miles) and up 14,795m (48,540 feet) of climbing in and around the wilds of Wales in Great Britain.

    Born as a way to create an epic event in Wales - where, as in England, archaic right of way laws prohibit bike racing on public bridlepaths - the TransWales mixes seven non-competitive marathon stages together with a selection of special competitive stages on the cream of Wales' purpose-built trails for singletrack speed shakes: Cwmrhaedr, the Cli-Machx trail, and Nant y Arian.

    The peloton will descend on the Penmaenau Farm in Builth Wells, Wales on Saturday in preparation for the big off early on Sunday. The first stage will take the riders 58km and 1810m of climbing and descending to Knighton, including the first special stage of the event. Riders will be competing for the overall honours in mixed or same sex pairs, or soloists in their respective categories.

    As in 2009, for this year's TransWales, all the special stages will have the racers tackling rally-style time trials in pairs and in relay during the day or at night in the form of a night time special stage; these special stages are blended into the linking stages themselves - either at the beginning, during, or at the end.

    As one rider wrote after last year's event, "The combination of relaxed linking stages and the eyeballs out special stages combine to provide an unforgettable experience."

    But unlike last year the organisers, Mike Wilkens and John Lloyd - the pairing responsible for Britain's Chain Reaction Cycles MTB Marathon Series - have fine-tuned the format still further. The TransWales is all about finding the single best overall rider in each category so for 2010 there will be specific hill climb, downhill and general trail riding special stages to truly find the strongest all-round rider to be crowned champions.

    For the first...

  • High school racing comes to Colorado

    Nate Byrom is just one of many several successfull riders who have come up the ranks of the NorCal High School Cycling League.
    Article published:
    August 13, 2010, 19:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Inaugural race series scheduled

    The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) took its first step outside of California by starting a new high school bike racing league in Colorado, which will host its first mountain bike series this autumn. An estimated 100 high school mountain bikers from schools across Colorado are awaiting the inaugural opening event of the four-round 2010 Colorado High School Mountain Bike Racing Series, starting on September 19.

    The series spans six weeks and opens at Chalk Creek Ranch, Nathrop, near Buena Vista, Colorado, with a classic Colorado desert mesa course that includes many technical challenges and fast climbs.

    Schools in Boulder County, Carbondale, Chaffee County, Colorado Springs, Crested Butte, Parker, Durango, and Fort Collins have all expressed interest in the fledgling series.

    "I continue to be impressed by the breadth of support and depth of experience associated with the many people stepping up to lead teams, provide race expertise, and promote the Colorado High School Cycling League is outstanding," said Colorado League executive director, Kate Rau.

    "Emails arrive every day from folks interested in starting or helping with teams, parents and students looking for local teams, and supporters wanting to volunteer at races. I can hardly wait for September 19 to experience the buzz in the Pit Zone at Keith Darner’'s ranch."

    Prior to the race series, mountain bike coach Lee McCormack will lead several one-day camps to prepare both coaches and riders for a safe and fun season of riding.

    "Even for those who attended our Leader's Summit in June, I highly recommend these informative clinics. They effectively teach the fundamentals to riders from a wide range of abilities," said Rau. "Whether you are a novice or experienced rider, people always learn something at Lee’s clinics."

    The complete schedule for the 2010 Colorado High School Mountain Bike Racing Series is below. For more...