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MTB News & Racing Round-up, December 4, 2009

Date published:
December 04, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • MTB Australia reaffirms its commitment to elite riders

    Rowena Fry celebrates her win
    Article published:
    December 03, 2009, 0:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    Will continue lobbying for high performance funding

    Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) will continue to lobby for high performance program funding for its athletes, according to Executive Officer Tony Scott. His comments come after Cycling Australia announced the winding up of its Mountain Bike Cross Country High Performance Program at month’s end yesterday.

    "Although the reduction in funding for our high performance program is disappointing, MTBA remains committed to supporting our elite riders and providing a pathway to the elite level of the sport," Scott said. "A key part of that is the current four round national series, the national championships and state series run by our member clubs.

    "The national series has always been an important stepping stone for riders with ambitions to race on the international stage and has been the proving ground for some of Australia's best cyclists, across any discipline of the sport, including Cadel Evans and Trent Lowe," he said.

    Scott noted that Australia’s mountain biking success wasn’t dependent on Government funding, with successes outside of the high performance program including those by current four cross world champion Jared Graves and dual downhill world champion Sam Hill.

    "MTBA will continue to work with Cycling Australia to look at ways we can maximise the overall cycling resources to benefit those currently within the MTB High Performance Program and those who are just on the fringe of achieving that level," said Scott.

    MTBA believes success on the international stage has helped drive the organisation's annual 10 percent growth over the past four years. With that in mind Scott said he’ll continue to push lobby for a mountain biking high performance program.

    "We see part of the sport's growth coming from the inspiration provided by our elite riders," Scott said. "It is for this reason that we will continue to lobby for the funding of our high performance program and continue to invest in the...

  • TransAlp route planned for 2010

    Racing the TransAlp
    Article published:
    December 03, 2009, 15:19 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Registration opening soon for 13th edition

    The 13th annual TransAlp mountain bike stage race will open registration on December 6 for up to 550 teams of two to race from July 17 to July 24, 2010. The race, which crosses the Alpine divide, will kick off in Füssen, as it did in 2008, and it will stop in Austria's Imst and Ischgl before crossing the boarder to Switzerland where it will visit Scuol.

    From there, the route leads to Livigno in Italy. The next two stages to Ponte di Legno and further on to Male, a stage town from 2002 and 2006, are brand new as Ponte di Legno celebrates its debut as TransAlp host.

    Finally, the mountain bikers will travel from Madonna di Campiglio to Riva del Garda. The traditional final stage town will welcome participants for the 11th time in 2010. By crossing the finish line at Lake Garda, all finishers will have pedalled more than 598 kilometres and climbed about 19,685 metres in altitude.

    Participants will start in teams of two split into five categories: men, women, mixed, masters (men with a combined age of over 80) and grand masters (men with a combined age of over 100).

    TransAlp 2010
    Stage 1: Füssen - Imst, 78km,1,999m
    Stage 2: Imst - Ischgl, 77km, 3,184m
    Stage 3: Ischgl - Scuol, 75km, 2,518m
    Stage 4: Scuol - Livigno, 74km, 2,377m
    Stage 5: Livigno - Ponte Di Legno, 107km, 3,461m
    Stage 6: Ponte Di Legnol - Male, 73km, 2,363m
    Stage 7: Male - Madonna, 48km, 2,321m
    Stage 8: Madonna - Riva, 67km, 1,462m

    For more information or to register, go to

  • Cyclingnews posts 2010 elite mountain bike calendar

    Julien Absalon (Orbea) descends a very steep trail.
    Article published:
    December 03, 2009, 15:59 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Over 320 cross country, endurance, gravity events listed

    Cyclingnews has been busy putting together the elite mountain bike race calendar for 2010 including over 320 events like the those that are part of the following: the UCI World Cup and national series for the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Croatia and other countries. Plenty of single-day UCI races and major international stage races are also listed as are National Championships and Continental Championships.

    The mountain bike calendar covers downhill, four cross, cross country, marathon, super D and stage race disciplines.  Take a look at the calendar here.

    As it's only December, the calendar will continue to evolve, with more events added as dates are determined. Check back regularly for updates.

    Note that once each event happens, you'll be able to click on each event to see its coverage - making the calendar a handy reference tool going forward.

  • USA Cycling revises mountain bike rules for 2010

    Lea Davison (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) climbing
    Article published:
    December 03, 2009, 20:10 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Changes to tech assistance, singlespeed championships and some categories

    USA Cycling's mountain bike board of trustees met in Colorado Springs in November to approve several new rules and changes to existing mountain bike rules in its rule book for the 2010 racing season. The changes define permitted technical assistance and categories for nationals.

    Singlespeeders will get their own category at US marathon national championship events. That means both men and women will be eligible to win a stars and stripes jersey.

    Juniors will see changes across mountain bike disciplines. The junior men's and women's 15-18 field will be split into two categories: junior 15-16 and junior 17-18 for national cross country and downhill contests.

    The 2010 rule book will elaborate on technical assistance zones for mountain bike races. Feed/Technical Assistance Zones will be permitted in ultra-endurance events (marathon, six-hour, 12-hour, 24-hour), UCI cross country events (UCI classes only) and cross country national championships for the UCI classes (pro men, pro women, junior 17-18 men, and junior 17-18 women); however, when the category 1 junior 15-16 juniors are on the course at the same time as the category 1 junior 17-18 riders, they will also have access to technical assistance zones.

    USA Cycling defines authorized technical assistance during a race as repairs to or the replacement of any part of the bicycle other than the frame. Bike changes are not permitted, and the rider must cross the finishing line with the same handlebar number plate that he or she had at the start.

    Technical assistance and feeding will normally only be given in the feed/technical assistance zones. Also, physical contact between the feeders/mechanics may only take place in these zones. However, technical assistance may be given between teammates outside of the technical assistance zones, subject to the above limitations on bike frame swapping.

    For Olympic format cross country events, two zones should be set up. For...

  • Australian mountain biker Jodie Willett wins award

    Jodie Willett has joined the Merida Flight Centre team and hopes to make the 2012 Olympic Games team.
    Article published:
    December 03, 2009, 21:24 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Willett named Queensland road cyclist of the year

    Australian mountain bike team member Jodie Willett has been named as Queensland's elite female road cyclist of the year.

    Brisbane-based Willett, 32, recently joined the Flight Centre Merida professional mountain bike team and is focussed on representing Australia at the 2012 London Olympics.

    Willett, who only took up cycling seriously in her late 20s after injuries curtailed her recreational running, was honoured at the 35th Annual Cycling Queensland awards in Brisbane.

    Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares took out the cyclist of the year award and was also named elite female track cyclist of the year.

    Willett, who was competing in a mountain bike event interstate and unable to attend the awards, said she was thrilled to be acknowledged in such illustrious company.

    "I have been concentrating on mountain bike racing lately and haven't had a lot of competition on the road this year so the award comes as a bit of a surprise, but it's still a great thrill and encouraging for me to win this," she said.

    Willett has a number of road race commitments scheduled in January of 2010, including the women's criterium at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.

    "It's great exposure competing in the tour criterium and the $15,000 prizemoney is a major attraction as well," she said.

    Willett combines elite level mountain bike and road racing with owning a sports and remedial massage business Frixshon, studying for a commerce degree and raising her seven-year-old daughter Helica.

    The single mother from Bardon in Brisbane's west, who has worked in her business with the Brisbane Lions and Queensland Reds, represented Australia at September's world mountain bike championships in Canberra. She also won the women's race at the Flight Centre Cycle Epic in South-East Queensland in August.