Junior champion signs with German mountain bike team
German junior national champion Mona Eiberweiser will be racing her first event for the central Ghost Pro mountain bike team this weekend at the German national series Bundesliga round in Bad Salzdetfurth. The 18-year-old will race as teammates with Olympic champion Sabine Spitz.
Eiberweiser has signed with the team for the remainder of the season including the World Championships and the final two rounds of the World Cup. She will also race for the squad in 2010.
Eiberweiser was third in last year's junior world championship cross country race. She was also the 2008 European junior champion.
USA Cycling selected 43 athletes to represent the United States at the upcoming 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia, on September 1-6.
In the first mountain bike World Championship event since the Olympic Games in Beijing last summer, American cross country athletes will square off against rivals from across the globe in the only Olympic mountain bike discipline. Seven men and six women have been nominated to the elite cross country squad.
National cross country and marathon champion Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) received the only automatic nomination to the men's team. He is joined by short track national champion Adam Craig (Giant), Todd Wells (Specialized), Sam Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher), Michael Broderick (Kenda), Carl Decker (Giant) and Sam Jurekovic (Sho-air-Specialized), who received discretionary nominations.
On the women's side, Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher), Mary McConneloug (Kenda) and national cross country and marathon champion Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) were automatically nominated. Koerber and McConneloug won spots by virtue of podium performances at UCI World Cup events earlier this season and Irmiger secured hers with her nationals win. Georgia Gould (Luna), Katie Compton and Judy Freeman all received discretionary nominations based upon international results.
In the gravity events, Aaron Gwin (Yeti) received the lone men's downhill automatic nomination by virtue of his third-place World Cup finish and his national championship in that event. Kyle Strait, Duncan Riffle (Duncan Riffle Racing), Luke Strobel (Maxxis), Cody Warren (Decline), Brian Lopes (Oakley) and Joey Schusler (Yeti-Fox Shox) received discretionary nominations to the elite men's downhill team.
As the winner of the national downhill championship, Melissa Buhl (KHS) received the only automatic nomination to the elite women's downhill squad. Kathy Pruitt (Jamis) will join her as a...
The TransAndes Challenge returns for its second edition in 2010, and registration is now open for the epic journey from Pucon, in Chile, to San Martín de los Andes, in Argentina.
The inaugural edition, run during February this year, was won by Chilean duo Javier Püschel and Carlos Cardemil. Next year's event runs from January 25 untill January 30 and takes riders on a 520km journey through some of South America's most spectacular terrain, in the vein of the TransAlp or TransRockies.
"This is a race that challenges cyclists to overcome their own limits, because throughout the six days, they will have to ride over technical singletrack, dirt roads, cross streams, rivers, bridges and gateways; all this amidst one of the most unique landscapes in the world. This is one of the the world's last boundaries, where the untamed nature invites you to discover it," said race director Juan Pablo Santiagos.
Registrations are now open at www.transandeschallenge.com.
Thousands of legal trails could be compromised in California if parks are closed. According to recent reports, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is prepared to close as many as 100 California state parks after Labor Day, September 7.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is urging its California-affiliated clubs and mountain bike patrols to contact the state parks they use in their areas and discuss with them ways that the mountain bike community can help relieve the financial stresses on individual parks.
Nationwide, mountain bikers volunteer almost a million hours to public trails and other facilities annually. California state parks stand to benefit from volunteers who give their time to repair trails, keep an eye on maintenance issues and perform other tasks as determined by park staff.
"Mountain bikers have partnered with California parks on literally hundreds of projects over the years, providing free labor and a heartfelt desire to help protect and preserve these public resources," said Tom Ward, IMBA's policy advisor in California. "The specific services our volunteers provide will be unique to each park. We hope to create action plans with a number of parks in the next several weeks."
Ward served as a director of recreation during a 20-year career with California State Parks. He notes that the final list of which parks stay open may be influenced by the number of local groups that come forward to help during the financial crisis.
Ward is available to assist clubs in making agreements with their local state parks. His phone number is 916-441-6035.
Colombian finishes preparation at home and heads to Austria
Colombia's Leonardo Paez is heading to Austria on Wednesday in preparation for the UCI Marathon World Championships being staged in Graz, Austria this Sunday. Along with his TX Active-Bianchi teammate Julio Caro, also fo Colombia, he will spend several days adjusting to the time zone and checking out the courses.
"I managed to the best preparation," said an excited Paez. "I will try to spend the next few days of preparation peacefully. I'm conscious of having done everything I can to arrive in the best possible shape."
"On Wednesday, Julio and I will study the most critical portions of the course, then we'll focus on resting."
Paez has been spending some time preparing in Columbia, where he finished first and second in races on home turf.
"I knew I needed to stay healthy and I also wanted to test myself," said Paez. "In Colombia, I was able to train consistently and in ideal conditions."
He is optimistic about his chances. "Compared to 2008, I feel more secure. The race will give the verdict, but I will do everything to be among the protagonists."
Paez finished fourth in last year's marathon worlds, after Roel Paulissen (Belgium), Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) and Urs Huber (Switzerland). He was also fourth in 2007 and second in 2006.
Team Sho-Air/Specialized wins US ProXCT men's team title
Team Sho-Air/Specialized wrapped up the inaugural ProXCT men's team title this past weekend in Windham, New York, thanks to a second and fourth place by its riders, Max Plaxton and Sid Taberlay, at the final round.
Throughout the six-round series, both Plaxton and Taberlay never finished worse than second place at any given round between them, and each rider also collected a win. The duo made double podium appearances together at Sea Otter, Bump 'n' Grind and finally, at Windham - capping off a stellar season for the team.
Taberlay and Plaxton ended up second and third, respectively, in the individual ProXCT standings.
The 2009 season proved to be a rebirth for Taberlay after the former World Cup rider and Olympian found himself in the United States and without a ride at the end of 2008. The scrappy Australian was a factor at almost every round this year, taking a big win at round three at the Bump 'n' Grind in Alabama and narrowly missing winning the overall title.
For Plaxton, 2009 was a confirmation of the 23-year-old Canadian's talents. Plaxton took over the ProXCT lead at Sea Otter in April and held the jersey for several rounds, even taking his first US national career win in Colorado Springs. If not for an off day at the Mount Snow round, the Canadian may have won the overall jersey. Regardless, he bounced back the following week to take a well-fought second at the series final in Windham.
With his fifth-place finish at the final round of the US ProXCT Windham, New York, this past weekend Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) locked up the first-ever US ProXCT championship ahead of Sid Taberlay (Sho-air-Specialized). For the women, Catherine Pendrel (Luna) pulled off the narrow series victory ahead of teammate Georgia Gould.
The weekend also marked the end of the four-round Trailwatch.net Short track series. Although Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis / Rocky Mountain) won the race at Windham, Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing) won the overall series. Lea Davison (Team Maxxis / Rocky Mountain) won the women's finale, but Heather Irmiger's (Subaru-Gary Fisher) finished fifth and locked up the series crown.