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MTB News & Racing Round-up, August 2, 2010

Date published:
August 02, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Paez looks forward to getting back to competition

    Leonardo Paez (Team TX Active Bianchi) will return to racing soon after breaking his hand.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2010, 6:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Colombian will resume racing in August after broken hand

    Colombian mountain bike pro Leonardo Paez returned to Italy a few days ago to rejoin his TX Active-Bianchi team. He underwent surgery at left hand in Colombia following a nasty crash during a training session in Chile while preparing for the Pan-American games in April.  Since then, he's been recovering and awaiting the chance to return to competition.

    The 2010 South American Games winner, who excels at marathons and cross country events, spent three months at home in Colombia to recover, assisted by the Colombian Olympic Committee and monitored remotely by his team's medical staff.

    TX Active-Bianchi President Felice Gimondi and team manager Massimo Ghirotto welcomed Paez, who is eager to get back to competition as soon as possible. He recently underwent a scan of his left scaphoid in Northern Italy and discussions are underway between team management and the medical staff to decide when Paez will be able to contest his first mountain bike race post-injury.

    For the moment TX Active-Bianchi's Colombian racer is training on his road bike for three to four hours per day. "I feel confident that Leonardo will back to competition at the end of August," said team manager Massimo Ghirotto.

    "Unfortunately he missed the first half of the season, but he will be able to do some good races in September and October, too."

  • Gravity East Series heads north to Sugarbush

    Gerritt Beytagh won the Massanutten Yee Ha!, which opened the 2010 Gravity East Series
    Article published:
    July 28, 2010, 6:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vermont venue hosting next round this weekend

    The Gravity East Series will to Sugarbush Resort in Vermont for its next round of downhill racing August 1. At this point in the series, the standings are close as the favorites continue to battle for the overall.

    In the elite men's field Geritt Beytagh (Morewood USA) and Gavin Vaughan (Giant/HBG) will have to contend with Jason Memmelaar (Giant/HBG), Adam Morse (VonCooper/GT), Richie Rude (Specialized Allride) and Ethan Quehl (East Coast Gravity Pros), who are all hungry for a Gravity East win.

    Sugarbush is known for some of the most diverse terrain in the East. It is located on the Western side of the Mad River Valley.

    Practice will open on Saturday, July 30 and the racing will happen on Sunday, August 1, beginning at 11:15 am local time.

  • No European World Cups for Kintner

    Jill Kintner pilots her Team Transitions' Blindside to an elite women's first place.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2010, 12:00 BST
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Former four cross world champ on track with switch to downhilling

    For Jill Kintner, 2010 has been all about doing something different. First, there was a new team. Then there was a new discipline of racing: downhill.

    Kintner is a proven four cross and BMX racer.  The American has won three four cross world titles and a bronze medal in BMX at the Olympic Games in 2008. However, the 28-year-old has been racing her bike since she was seven years old, and it was time for her to mix things up. At the start of the year, she joined Team Transitions and made a commitment to downhill racing.

    "It's my first year racing downhill, and I've been doing a lot of it. I feel like I have accomplished something," she said to Cyclingnews after winning the US Downhill National Championships in Granby, Colorado, in the middle of July.

    "I was up for a new challenge and am feeling pretty good," said Kintner. "It's good to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. I'm really enjoying it. I like the technical aspects of downhill and no one really runs into you. There is more variety in the downhill training. You're not limited to a BMX track. It's a great vibe and good people."

    Kintner is taking a break from four cross training and racing. "I'm taking a full year's break from four cross this year. Doing full gate starts every day is not how I want to spend my time any more."

    To make the switch between disciplines, Kintner has had to alter her training.

    "You take more hits in downhill, but the main difference is that it's 3.5 minutes verses 30 seconds, so I get really tired. I've changed my training a lot to adapt."

    Kintner's biggest challenge en route to becoming the new US downhill national champion was finding her way over the jumps on this year's course.

    "I don't think any other women rode those jumps but Katie Holden, and she broke her wrist in practice. I was happy to accomplish those jumps. I felt like I won just by doing those before I even...

  • NUE Series leaders Schalk, Sornson among favorites for Wilderness 101

    National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series defending champion Betsy Shogren
    Article published:
    July 29, 2010, 16:00 BST
    By:
    Garth Prosser

    Good weather, fun trails forecasted for Pennsylvanian 100-miler

    Endurance racers, hang on tight and prepare for the oldest, 100-miler in the Kenda National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Mountain Bike Series, The Wilderness 101, in Coburn, Pennsylvania, not far from the town of State College.

    Stop number five on this year's NUE circuit has roots dating back to the early 90s. "The 101", as named by many, had an initial short run of just three years, suffering an early death, before being resurrected in 2001 by promoter Chris Scott of Shenandoah Mountain Touring.

    2010 marks the 10th race since its reinvention. Though the original race was mostly fireroad, the course has evolved to include more singletrack over the last decade. As a result, this year's edition may prove to be one of the sweetest courses to date.

    After a rainy, early NUE race season, perhaps the best news involves the long-term forecast that currently - as of the writing of this preview - shows no rain in sight and temperatures in the low 80s (degrees Fahrenheit), which could lend itself to record times along the 101's super-fast race course.

    In the men's division, reigning series champion Jeff Schalk (Trek Mountain Co-Op) leads all contenders with three straight victories at the Cohutta 100, Mohican 100 and Lumberjack 100. In race number four, Schalk was defeated, in part due to mechanicals, by undefeated, six-time Breckenridge 100 winner Breckenridge 100 Champion, Josh Tostado (Bach Builders/Santa Cruz). So far, there is on sign of Tostado for the 101.

    Although it's possible, if not likely, that Schalk could wrap up four race wins at the 101, Tostado has demonstrated all season that he has the power and potential to unseat the champion and win the next three races which would include the Fool's Gold 100 in Georgia, the High Cascades 100 in Oregon and the Shenandoah 100 championship race in Virginia, where ALL ties will be decided.

    Besides the two titans, there will be plenty of additional heat gunning for the top 10 in...

  • North American women rock the 2010 cross country World Cup

    Georgia Gould (luna)
    Article published:
    July 29, 2010, 19:42 BST
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Koerber, Pendrel, Gould in the midst of a standout season

    North America's top female mountain bikers are having a stellar year on the World Cup cross country circuit. They occupy five of the top 15 spots in the World Cup standings after four of six rounds. The best of them, American Willow Koerber (Subaru/Trek), sits second overall with 640 points, just 15 behind series leader Italian Eva Lechner (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol).

    "All of us are riding so well at the World Cups," said sixth-ranked Georgia Gould (Luna) to Cyclingnews. "Sometimes, the momentum builds. You see someone else do well and you think, 'wow, that's awesome, it's possible. Then they see you doing well."

    "It shows you how much of this is confidence. It's now like, 'I belong in front of this race'. I think it's cool to see everyone getting that confidence at the same time."

    It all started in Dalby in the United Kingdom, in April when Koerber finished second to World Champion Irina Kalentieva (Topeak-Ergon) of Russia, and American Gould was fourth. Koerber logged another second place in Houffalize in May while Canadian Catharine Pendrel (Luna) took the final spot on the podium.

    Then in Offenburg, Pendrel stepped it up for a victory. Gould was second, and Canadian Marie-Helene Premont (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) was fourth. In last week's round in Champery, Switzerland, where the World Cup resumed its second half after a summer hiatus, Koerber made the podium yet again, this time with a third place.

    It's as if the top North American women have matured in their careers to fill out the roster of top World Cup contenders all in the same season. While other North American women, like American Julie Furtado, for example, have previously dominated the World Cup, seeing so many talented women capable of podiuming on any given World Cup weekend is noteworthy.

    Koerber explained just how much of a role the mental game has played for her and the others. "There is so much behind it. I care so much...

  • World Cup returns to former World Championships site in Val di Sole

    The climbs on the cross country course are steep.
    Article published:
    July 30, 2010, 15:41 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones

    Italy hosts first triple MTB World Cup of the season

    One week after the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup began the second half of the season in Champéry, Switzerland, the circuit moves to the mountainous countryside bordering the Lombardia and Trentino regions in the northeast of Italy. Val di Sole (Valley of the Sun) was the location of the 2008 World Championships and is a fitting locale for the first triple event of the season, where all three disciplines - cross country, four cross and downhill - come together.

    The organizers have made adjustments to all three courses, so the former champions here cannot necessarily count of being favourites. Plus, the close standings in almost every category means that we can expect to see some real battles in every race.

    It rained heavily all day Thursday, which was actually a blessing, because it removed some of the dust that covers the dry trails. However, sun is expected for the rest of the weekend, and the circuits will be back to dry and dusty by the time racing begins.

    Downhill

    The downhill is almost identical in length to the one last weekend in Champéry, at 1,560 metres, but the course is very different in style. Whereas Champery is the steepest course on the World Cup, with sections of over 75 percent grade, Val di Sole averages a "mere" 30 percent. The course is a favourite of many riders, making use of the natural terrain for a flowing run. The upper section is rough and rocky, while the lower portion is new since the Worlds, and riders are saying that it is very dry and loose.

    Sabrina Jonnier (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) holds an almost insurmountable lead in the women's series, with 850 points to second placed Floriane Pugin's (Scott 11) 645 and World Champion Emmeline Ragot's (Suspension Center) 615. However, these riders will certainly be looking for individual World Cup wins, and Jonnier has shown that she can be beaten, with Ragot taking the honours in Champéry.

    The men's...

  • New Zealand selects mountain bike World Championship team

    George Brannigan (Ancillotti Doganaccia Racing Team) takes over the lead in the Junior World Cup standings.
    Article published:
    August 02, 2010, 21:53 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    29 racers headed for Mont-Sainte-Anne

    Mountain Bike New Zealand (MTBNZ) announced its team to compete at the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont Saint Anne in Quebec, Canada, between August 31 and September 5.

    The 29-rider strong team of athletes will be travelling to Canada from various locations around the world - most of the team is currently preparing for the World Championships with world class racing like the UCI World Cup.

    The final round of the World Cup will take place on the August 27-29 in Windham, New York, and New Zealand athletes competing there will travel directly to Mont Saint Anne to join a small contingent of athletes and staff travelling from New Zealand that weekend.

    New Zealand team for 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

    Cross Country
    Richard Anderson
    Mathew Waghorn
    Locky McArthur
    Bradley Hudson
    Alexa Peters
    Dirk Peters
    Samara Sheppard
    Mike Northcott
    Stu Houltham
    Rosara Joseph
    Nicola Leary
    Fiona MacDermid
    Jenny Smith

    Downhill

    George Brannigan
    Rupert Chapman
    Jed Rooney
    Sam Baker
    Daniel Franks
    Jimmy Wilson
    Charlotte Clouston
    Madeline Taylor
    Sarah Atkin
    Wyn Masters
    Justin Leov
    Sam Blenkinsop
    Nathan Rankin
    Kieran Bennett
    Matt Scoles
    Brook MacDonald

    Four Cross
    Wyn Masters
    Daniel Franks

    Support Staff

    Chris Mildon (Manager)
    Aaron Fowler (Mechanic)
    Ant Croucher (Physio/Masseur)