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MTB News & Racing Round-up, December 2, 2009

Date published:
December 02, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Lupato signs with Giant Italia

    Junior rider Denny Lupato is Team Giant Italia's newest signing.
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 14:25 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Junior rider bolsters team's roster for 2010

    Team Giant signed second-year junior racer Denny Lupato to its mountain bike team for 2010. Lupato joins other recent signings like Under 23 rider Bryan Falaschi and Francesco Grillo

    The Italian Lupato is transferring from Team Gebi Sistemi, with whom he won the international Maremma Cup race this season. He also excelled at the Internazionali d'Italia rounds in Montichiari and Nalles, and he was seventh at the Swiss Racer Bikes Cup round in Tesserete, Lugano.

    Lupato got a taste of World Cup racing experience in the junior races at Houffalize and Offenburg.

    In 2010, he will race major European events such as rounds of the Internazionali d'Italia, Racer Bikes Cup, Coupe de France, Bundesliga and Open de Espana with his new teammates. He'll also attend the World Cups, the Italian national championships and the European Continental Championships.

  • 2010 Mountain States Cup Schedule released

    Forest singletrack
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 14:26 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Series will visit three new venues

    Bigfoot Productions unveiled the 2010 Mountain States Cup schedule, with three new venues including Keystone, Telluride and Winter Park, Colorado. The season will consist of nine weekends and 35 events across the disciplines of cross country, downhill, four cross, dual slalom, super D, short track, hill climbs and time trials.

    "We are committed to bringing fresh tracks each season," said Sarah Rawley of Bigfoot Productions public relations. "We are fortunate to have world class terrain in our backyard, and strive to use our region's diversity and challenging features to give our racers the best all-around experience."

    The series will kick off in Fruita, Colorado, on April 24-25 with an early season off-road time trial prologue and epic backcountry cross country race at Rabbit Valley Rally. Then the gravity season kicks in gear alongside the endurance events with the classic Chalk Creek Stampede in Nathrop, Colorado, on May 15-16; Chile Challenge in Angel Fire, New Mexico, on June 5-6; Wildflower Rush in Crested Butte, Colorado, on June 26-27; and Blast the Mass in Snowmass Village, Colorado, on July 10-11.

    After USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships in mid-July in Colorado, the Mountain States Cup will take a turn for new venues including Keystone Revival in Keystone, Colorado, on August 7-8; Full Tilt in Telluride in Telluride, Colorado, on August 22-23; the Winter Park Pursuit in Winter Park, Colorado, on September 4-6; and the Fall Classic in Breckenridge, Colorado, on September 11-12.

    "We're excited to add more events for all disciplines to the 2010 season," said Keith Darner, Mountain States Cup race director. "Our series is the foundation for many regional riders who move on to the National and World Cup levels. We want to provide the courses and competition to make it possible to produce National and World Champions."

    All Mountain States Cup events will be qualifiers for USA Cycling Mountain Bike National...

  • Bikes Belong awards US$50,000 in grants

    A mountain bike peloton
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 14:28 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, Arkansas, South Carolina to benefit

    Bikes Belong awarded six new grants to mountain bike and other cycling recipients in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. The grants, which leverage federal funding, build momentum for bicycling and make communities better places to ride, were made possible by the Bikes Belong Employee Pro Purchase Program.

    In Fairfax County, Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts, Inc. (MORE) will reroute and construct three sections of machine-built trail in Fountainhead Park. The US$10,000 grant will combat erosion and improve unsustainable trails and the overall riding experience at the popular park. The new segments of trail, the first of four planned phases, will be the first step in completing a safe, sustainable stacked-loop system for mountain bikers of varying abilities. The Conservation Fund and IMBA are contributing to this project.

    The American River Conservancy will use a $10,000 grant to construct and revitalize six miles of singletrack and a bridge, connecting nearly 50 miles of trail for bikers, hikers, and equestrians on the South Fork American River Trail in Sacramento, California. The new trail, which spans BLM and California State Parks lands, will significantly expand off-road riding options in the Sacramento area, particularly for the youth mountain bike clubs and teams that use these trails as training grounds.

    A US$10,000 grant will go to the Colorado Mountain Bike Association for constructing the first phase of the Golden Bike Park. Phase one will include a youth area, skills-development trail, and pump track, and is aimed at riders of all ages and abilities. The bike park's location - near well-loved singletrack and within an existing community park - will also give great access and exposure to the sport.

    In Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia will use $10,000 to help complete the Schuylkill River Trail Network. This high-profile campaign has...

  • Australia terminates High Performance Mountain Bike Program

    Tasmania's Rowena Fry deep in thought
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 20:36 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Cycling Australia limits support to just three mountain bikers for 2010

    Cycling Australia is ending its Mountain Bike Cross Country High Performance Program effective December 31, 2009. The cut is a result of budget shortfalls after Cycling Australia's funding has rolled over for the past three years while costs of international travel, training and preparation have gone up.

    "This has been a very difficult decision to arrive at and one that has come after a considerable period of review," said Cycling Australia CEO, Graham Fredericks on the organization's website. "The key reason for this decision is the stretched resources available for our High Performance Programs."

    "Federal Government funding in 2009 was approximately one million dollars less than in 2008 and there is no indication this will change in the future," said Fredericks. "As a result, all High Performance programs have been stretched to maintain operations at a standard that is capable of continuing to produce medal results in Olympic events.

    Cycling Australia saw some increase in commercial sponsorship support, but prospects for additional funding were insufficient to sustain the current program.

    "We are being very pragmatic about using the limited resources we have in targeting athletes and programs with very genuine medal prospects in London in 2012."

    That means cross country mountain biking, with only two medal events - the men's and women's races - is out of luck. Cross country racing is the only Olympic mountain biking discipline.

    Fredericks thanked the Tasmanian Government and its Institute of Sport for its significant program support as well as other sponsors. He promised that Cycling Australia would continue working to develop and grow the mountain bike discipline with the hope that the program may return in the future.

    As part of the transition, Head Coach Neil Ross will remain in the High Performance network and potentially oversee training programs for cross country athletes. He will coach the...

  • Buchanan on a winning streak

    Caroline Buchanan (Australia) rode away from the Americans.
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 20:41 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Australian cycling award winner tops the US

    Canberra four crosser and BMX racer Caroline Buchanan has had a stellar week. She won two Australian Cyclist of the Year awards last weekend and then became one of four finalists in the Young Australian of the Year Awards. This weekend, she continued her successful run by winning the ABA Grand Nationals BMX race in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Buchanan's win marks the first win by an Australian woman while countryman and World Cup series winner Sam Willoughby - also a mountain biker - from Adelaide, placed fourth.

    The overall ABA series women's winner was second placed American rider, Dominique Daniels After placing second to Daniels on Friday in the preliminary race, Buchanan went one better on Sunday to win one of the most prestigious races in the United States.

    The BMX racing will help keep Buchanan's form sharp during the mountain bike World Cup off-season, which will resume in the spring of 2010.

  • Breck Epic route released for 2010

    Race leader Jeremiah Bishop charges up a climb with Travis Brown hot on his heels.
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 20:43 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Second edition will be longer

    The Breck Epic mountain bike stage race released a tentative route plan for its second edition in 2010. The race will include six stages over 227 miles (365km) with 34,350 feet (10,473m) of elevation change.

    A change of base venue has been implemented with the new location at The Steve. There will be two queen stages and a long time trial. The organizer has promised a race that will be a total of three to five hours longer and beer at every finish.

    The opening stage on the Colorado Trail is getting longer by six miles. It'll also incorporate a bit of the Firecracker 50 course in reverse. The second stage, the Pennsylvania Creek Time Trial is also getting longer by about 40 minutes.

    Stage three will be a new stage linking Montezuma and Keystone, pending Forest Service approval.

    Stage four, the Circumnavigation of Mt. Guyot, will stay the same, again crossing the Continental Divide twice, once at French Pass and once at Georgia Pass before returning via the American Gulch. Stage five, Wheeler, will be largely the same except for the removal of a rock garden section near the beginning of the Peaks trail. No changes are planned for stage six.

    The categories for 2010 will be Solo Open Men, Solo Open Women, Solo 40+ Men, Solo 50+ Men, Solo 40+ Women, Solo 50+ Women, Solo SS Men, Solo SS Women, Duo Coed, Duo Women, Dou Men, Duo 80+ Men, Team Relay (three to six riders).

    Breck Epic 2010
    Sunday, August 22 - The Colorado Trail, 41 miles / 6,000 feet
    Monday, August 23 - Pennsylvania Creek Time Trial, 33.5 miles / 5,300 feet
    Tuesday, August 24 - Montezuma/Keystone. 44 miles / 6,200 feet
    Wednesday, August 25 - The Circumnavigation of Mt. Guyot. 39.5 miles / 6,500 feet
    Thursday, August 26 - Wheeler. 36 miles / 6,550 feet
    Friday, August 27 - Gold Dust. 33 miles / 3,800 feet.