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MTB News & Racing Round-up, December 15, 2009

Date published:
December 15, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Amy Dombroski signs with Luna

    Amy Dombroski is Luna's newest recruit.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2009, 20:56 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Rising cyclo-cross, mountain bike star looks toward 2010

    American Amy Dombroski has signed with the Luna Pro Team for the 2010 season. Fresh off a third place at the elite women's US Cyclo-Cross National Championships this weekend in Bend, Oregon, she is looking forward to a mix of mostly off-road racing next year.

    "I'll be doing mostly mountain bike races with a few road races here and there. Then we'll be hitting cyclo-cross really hard again," said the current Under 23 women's cross country national champion to Cyclingnews. She is also a three-time Under 23 Cyclo-cross national champion and the Under 23 road race national champion.

    Dombroski's move to the Luna team, means she will join up with some new teammates who are accomplished international riders like American Georgia Gould, Czech Katerina Nash and Canadian Catharine Pendrel on the racing circuit. "I'm so excited to be racing with them."

    "My focus will be more domestic. I think Catharine and Georgia will be doing full mountain bike UCI World Cup schedule. Katerina and I will do a few road events, too. With mountain biking, I'll be trying to get my foot in the door."

    Despite being a current mountain bike national champion, Dombroski doesn't have that much experience racing her mountain bike. "My experience was mostly just dabbling. I was riding [as a professional road racer] for Webcor, and that was my first pro team experience. When I was feeling burned out on the road, I'd get on my mountain bike. Before this summer, I had only done a handful of mountain bike race, but every time I did it, I'd have a big grin on my face."

    "I thought, 'If I'm having this much fun racing my mountain bike, why not give it a shot?'. When I found out that nationals were in Colorado, and I had a break in my road season, it was a perfect opportunity."

    Dombroski moves up to the elite ranks full-time for 2010, when she'll compete in many of the top US national-level cross country races, select international...

  • Team IMBA raises $80,000

    Racers at the Massanutten Hoo Ha!
    Article published:
    December 15, 2009, 13:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Fundraising program a success

    Eighty-seven members joined the Team IMBA program to raise US$84,937 in 2009 according to Participants raised nearly $50,000 in donations, and thanks to a matching grant from SRAM, clubs earned $60,000 while IMBA trailbuilding projects benefitted by $20,000. Throughout the season, riders raised funds for local and national trailbuilding projects by riding their bikes at designated events.

    The top fundraiser was the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The club raised $19,804 for new trail construction on the Massanutten Western Slope, as well as pump track construction at Hillandale City Park. The first venue is the host of the annual Massanutten Hoo Ha! cross country race while the later has hosted events like Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. At the Hoo Ha!, Team IMBA participants raised $26,853 for four different clubs. Those participating in the Team IMBA program got to do a pre-ride with pro racers and Team IMBA members Jeremiah Bishop and Sue Haywood. They also got a coupon for a 20-minute massage after the race, hot meals and mechanical assistance.

    The San Francisco Urban Riders earned $13,012 to realign a defunct social trail system into revamped shared-use trails, and to create a large bike skills facility. The club's seven team members raced at the Sea Otter Classic.

    Finally, the Colorado Mountain Bike Association netted $6,853 to design and build black-diamond trails in the cross country oriented Buffalo Creek trail system on the Front Range. Team members competed at the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo, in Arizona, and the Firecracker 50, in Colorado.

    GT, Cascade Huts, Camelbak, Ergon, Boulder Performance Network, Clif bar, Ryders Eyewear, Smartwool, Epic, and Better Ride backed the program.

    To apply to be a corporate sponsor for the 2010 Team IMBA, contact Wendy Kerr at 303-545-9011, ext. 113.  For more information on IMBA, visit

  • Boom Brondello becomes GT-Brondello Pro Team for 2010

    The GT Bronello Pro Team logo
    Article published:
    December 15, 2009, 13:05 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Italian mountain bike team gets new name and sponsor

    The Boom Brondello mountain bike team is becoming the GT-Brondello Pro Team for 2010 after it picked up GT Bikes as a sponsor for the New Year. The squad will attend all the European rounds of the UCI World Cup, the Internazionali d'Italia series, the Marathon Tour series, the Piemonte Cup and other international races including some in Switzerland.

    The one-year-old team from Cuneo, Italy, is getting bigger, too, with eight racers to be named to its pro roster - six elite, one Under 23 and one student - and seven athletes on its local roster. The squad is currently in process of applying to the UCI for Mountain Bike Trade Team status.

    "We are so proud and satisfied about this agreement. GT is the beginning of our future," said Team President Gianni Alloi. "We would like to improve our team and grow with our sponsors. We have a lot to do. Talented and gifted athletes will compose GT MTB Brondello Team in 2010... [they] have been chosen considering their technical skills, talent and potential to meet the team's goals."

    GT has previously backed mountain bike legends like Brian Lopes, Eric Carter, Hans Rey and Juli Furtado. It is standing by the team as a way to grow its brand in Italy.

    "We are going to define some important economic investments in communication and partnership within mountain biking, including cross country and downhill disciplines," said Simone Maltagliati, Brand Manager for Cycling Sport Group Italia, which distributes GTs.

  • Break the Cycle premiers in Belfast

    A rider
    Article published:
    December 15, 2009, 13:51 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    New film features Irish downhillers

    Mountain bike enthusiasts from all over Ireland showed up at the Movie House cinema this weekend in Belfast for the world premier of Break the Cycle, a film about Irish downhilling produced by Irish downhiller Andy Yoong.

    The dress code was black tie, but the downhillers interpreted that in their own way, showing up with everything from monocles to gimp masks being worn on the night. Attendees enjoyed a pre-viewing reception and an after-party which included a pillow fight that got a bit out of hand.

    Break the Cycle is film that gives an insight into 10 of Ireland's best downhill riders and how they break the cycle of every day life through their love for bikes. Ireland is relatively unknown in the downhill scene; therefore the film shows the scenery and trails to be found around the Island.

    Featured riders include current Irish Downhill Champion Ben Reid, Redbull Rampage and Masters World Champion podium rider Glyn O'Brien, Women's Masters World Championships silver medallist Meave Baxter, Irish National Points Series Champion Colin Ross, Irish team members Dan and Gerard Wolfe, 021 Racing riders Tom Power and Greg O'Keefe, and up and coming riders Jamie McCullough, and Ewan Doherty.

    The film also features music Irish bands such as The Frames, Joe Echo, and Rigger.

    To view a trailer, visit For more information on the film or to order the DVD, visit

  • Blenkinsop joins 10-time world champ Vouillez at Lapierre

    10-time world downhill champion Nico Vouilloz
    Article published:
    December 15, 2009, 14:51 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Three cross country, three downhill racers comprise elite French squad

    The French company Lapierre is backing Team Lapierre International, a team of elite cross country, downhill and enduro racers for 2010 including Sam Blenkinsop, Nicolas Vouillez, Cédric Ravanel and Cécile Ravanel. The bike manufacturer is a long-time sponsor of mountain bike teams.

    Blenkinsop is just 21 years old, but has a long list of podiums and even a World Cup win to his name. The young New Zealander will lead the new downhill portion of the team. He'll be joined by Frenchman Nicolas Vouilloz, who is known as E.T. on the race circuit and who will be participating in the enduro mountain bike circuit while also racing a selection of prestigious rally car competitions like Monte Carlo and San Remo. Known for his attention to detail, the 33-year-old Vouilloz will spend time at the downhill race paddocks in 2010 in his role as product developer for Lapierre.

    "It's going to be great to ride alongside 10-time world champ Nico Vouilloz, someone I really respect," said Blenkinsop. "I'm really looking forward to getting to know everyone on the team. I reckon the bike is the best looking bike out there, and I can't wait to start testing next month. After learning so much with my last team, I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my career with Lapierre."

    Blenkinsop and Vouilloz will be joined by a third downhiller on the team, Sam Flockhart of the United Kingdom. Though he was still in the junior category last year, Flockhart finished 15th in the overall of the Maxxis Cup.

    The cross country team will be composed of three French riders: Alexis Vuillermoz, who placed second in the Under 23 race at the World Championships and who won the French Under 23 national championship title; 2008 and 2009 French national champion Cécile Ravanel; and Cédric Ravanel, who placed sixth at the 2009 World Championships. All three riders finished the 2009 season strong and will continue to work towards the upcoming...

  • Massanutten races change dates

    Racers at the Massanutten Hoo Ha!
    Article published:
    December 15, 2009, 15:41 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Cross country moves later; downhill earlier on 2010 calendar

    Two national-level races held at Massanutten Resort near Harrisonburg, Virginia, will be moving dates for 2010. The Hoo Ha! cross country race, which is scheduled tentatively as the final of the new US Mountain Bike Racing League (MBRL) will slip a few weeks to June 20 while the Yee Ha! downhill race, a round of the Gravity East Series (GES) will move up a week to May 1.

    The Hoo Ha! has been run on the first weekend of June in recent years, but is shifting so as to avoid conflict with other races such as the Teva Games, the Bump & Grind US ProXCT round and the Trans-Sylvania stage race. "We had been set on that date for at least four years. We chose to fly instead of fight," said Masannutten's George Willetts. "I hope that we hit gold by moving the date to father's day." The race will also serve as the first stop in the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association (WVMBA) ultra series.

    The Yee Ha! move comes in order to avoid conflict with the local university's graduation weekend. "We wanted to get away from James Madison University graduation. The race has been on Mother's day weekend, which didn't seem to help or hurt us because we run the race on Saturday." The move also helps Massanutten avoid conflicts with opening weekend events at other ski areas in the mid-Atlantic and north east.

    A large turnout for the downhill race is expected again next year. "For two years in a row, we've had 23 states or Canada represented. We had over 250 competitors."

  • Aussie mountain bikers call for cancer support

    Brendan 'Trekky' Johnston earlier this year.
    Article published:
    December 15, 2009, 23:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Charity auction to aid Brendan Johnston's cancer treatment

    Australian national team mountain biker Brendan Johnston was diagnosed with cancer prior to this year's world championships and with a long bout of chemotherapy about to get underway, a charity auction has been established to assist in his recovery.

    Up for auction on ebay is an official Australian national team jersey signed by members of the Australian mountain bike squad that raced the world championships at Mt Stromlo, Canberra, in September 2009.

    The brand new medium Santini jersey is a replica complete with MTBA logo, as worn by the Australian national team. Most of the team members have signed the jersey, including Beijing Olympian Dan McConnell, national champions Rowena Fry and Lachlan Norris and many more, including Katherine O'Shea and Paul Van Der Ploeg.

    Johnston, known affectionately as 'Trekky', had urgent surgery to remove the cancer before the world titles and in an incredible effort was able to get back on the bike to race the championships on home soil, finishing 50th in the men's cross country. He now begins on the long road with multiple rounds of chemotherapy.

    All proceeds from this auction will go to assist Johnston in his fight against cancer. You can read more on Trekky’s website.