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MTB News & Racing Round-up, December 7, 2009

Date published:
December 07, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Dolomiti Superbike 16th edition happening next July

    Massimo De Bertolis (Full Dynamix RSM) on his way to a win
    Article published:
    December 05, 2009, 15:00 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Italian race held annually in Dolomite Mountains

    The Dolomiti Superbike, which bills itself as the hardest mountain bike race in the Dolomites, is scheduled for its next edition on July 11, 2010. The race will return to Niederdorf in South Tyrol in Italy for the 16th time.

    In 2010, the race will run in a counter-clockwise direction. Racers will head up to Platzwiese via one of two routes. The short route will cover 56.9km with 1,800m of climbing while the longer one will run 115.9km with 3,500m of climbing.

    Italian Massimo De Bertolis (Full Dynamix RSM) and German Katrin Schwing (Trek) won the 2009 men's and women's races, respectively.

    Racers are limited to 3,5000, and registration is now open on the race's website

  • Intermontane Challenge returns in 2010

    Racers on the trails of the Intermontane Challenge
    Article published:
    December 05, 2009, 16:29 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Rest day added, courses shortened for year two

    The Intermontane Challenge mountain bike stage race will return for its second edition in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, on July 26-31, 2010. This five-stage race will showcase new parts of the local trail system to riders from near and far.

    Solo racers and teams of two riders will be competing, making two separate races within the race. The race loop on the first four stages will start and end in Kamloops. The fifth stage on the final day of the race will consist of a time trial in the heart of Kamloops. Organizers have changed three of the cross country stages, and the time trial stage will also see some small modifications.

    "The Intermontane Challenge is a five-stage 'clover leaf' shaped mountain bike race that will take riders over the world's best singletrack," said race owner Chuck Brennan. "Ascending long singletrack climbs will present the riders with the payoff of big descents. Too bad they won't have much time to enjoy the magnificent views."

    Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar voiced his support for the race which augments Kamloops's reputation as a sports destination town. In addition, Tourism Kamloops is putting its marketing might behind the endeavour.

    Racers reported some problems with the first edition of the event, including problems with course markings and feed zones.

    "We had the typical first-year race problems," responded Brennan to Cyclingnews. "The course markings were sometimes confusing for those who didn't look over our maps that we supplied. We plan to have our own logo-ed marking tape in 2010 to remove any confusion. We also had a couple of instances of course sabotage...that didn't help. We will be stepping up security on the our stages.

    "The feed zone issue is another area that we will be dealing with. Unfortunately, we had racers who passed through these zones for the sake of saving some time, but after the first day, the racers realized that we were dealing with extreme heat,...

  • Partnership will strengthen Swiss gravity racing

    A Swiss rider descending in the woods
    Article published:
    December 05, 2009, 17:12 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Swiss Cycling federation, iXS Downhill Cup working together

    The Swiss Cycling federation and the iXS Downhill Cup have set themselves a goal of working together to enhance and promote the gravity racing scene in Switzerland. The two organizations have promised to collaborate closely going forward, with the Swiss federation giving more attention and support to downhill racing.

    The two organizations are holding an open meeting on Monday, December 7 at 5:00 pm (17:00) at the Maison du Sport in Ittigen. The federation, organizers, teams, athletes and the media are invited. The meeting will be a chance for Swiss Cycling and the iXS Downhill Cup organizers to meet, but a new Swiss National Downhill and Four Cross Coach will also be presented to attendees.

    Swiss Cycling will also award a free wildcard entry, courtesy of the iXS Sports Division, for all iXS Swiss Downhill Cup races for 2010. Departing national coach Ernst Schurter will be involved in the decision to select the athlete, who will have demonstrated great potential. 

    Switzerland already has a strong contingent of international-level cross country racers. In the past three years, Switzerland has taken the top honors at the men's cross country World Championship on two occasions: Christoph Sauser in 2007 and Nino Schurter in 2009.

  • Spitz awarded Olympic Trophy for anti-doping stance

    Sabine Spitz (Central Ghost) gives maximum effort.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2009, 18:08 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Mountain biker honoured by IOC and German Olympic Committee

    Sabine Spitz was award the International Olympic Committee "Trophy 2009 for Sport and the Fight against Doping" by the German Olympic committee, in honour of her anti-doping stance. The award was made at the German Olympic committee meeting this weekend in Düsseldorf.

    "Only fair sport has a future," Spitz said. "The most recent decisions make me optimistic that this path will be followed."

    She supported calls to make doping a criminal offence, saying, "Why should doping be considered anything other than cheating? Sport is only successful without doping."

    The 38-year-old has long been known for her anti-doping views. Claudia Bokel, the German IOC representative who made the award, noted that the mountain biker "rejects the idea of success at any price".

    In 2003, Spitz became the first German to win the World Championship title in cross country mountain biking. She won the gold meal at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 with a dominating solo effort.

  • MTB Cruise reaches out to all levels in Canberra

    A rider at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra, Australia
    Article published:
    December 07, 2009, 13:25 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Aussie Mountain bike event set for 2010 at Stromlo Forest Park

    Stromlo Forest Park, site of the 2009 Mountain Bike Championships, in Canberra, Australia will host the Real Bike Insurance MTB Cruise on March 6, 2010. Organizers Rocky Trail Entertainment selected Mt Stromlo for its versatile mountain bike trails, where options to cover10km, 30km, 50km or 80km will be set out.

    "It was important to us to host the event at a venue with lots of variety in terms of track lengths and difficulty, to suit all types of bike riders," Rocky Trail's Martin Wisata said. "From highly experienced competitive racers to the enthusiastic weekend warriors. And newbie racers who have never participated in an organised cycling event before, don't worry and give it a go - this is especially for you!"

    Riders get to pick the distance that will provide them with their personal challenge - and at the same time take the opportunity to ride alongside experienced racers and share the passion for the sport. The shorter two courses will be on easier terrain while the longer two courses will cover more challenging terrain.

    "If you can ride a bike, you can ride The Cruise," said Wisata. "We have created a new fun, entry level and family-friendly cycling event where racers can set their goals themselves."

    "The Real Bike Insurance MTB Cruise is an event that will inspire riders of all levels to challenge themselves," said Theo Grobler from Real Insurance. "Our aim is to support cyclists in all 'real-life-riding' situations - and that includes such fun events and races."

    The event is being billed as family friendly with entertainment for kids, including kids races.

    For more information, visit

  • Cross country indoor invitational returns to Ray's

    Emily Batty won first place at Ray's Indoor MTB Park invitational in 2009.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2009, 13:29 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Indoor cross country time trial competition set for mid-January

    The second annual Tri-Flow XC Indoor Invitational will return to Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Ohio on January 15-17, 2010. In the indoor event, during the heart of the North American winter, pro racers from around the country will test their skills against the course and the clock.

    Qualifying runs are set for pros only on Friday morning, January 15. Both the top five men and top five women will advance to the finals. Finals, also done as an individual time trial, will be run the next day, on Saturday,

    The finals course will be slightly different than the qualifying course, and at the end of it, men's and women's top five will take home $1000, $800, $400, $200 and $100 each.

    On Sunday, Ride with the Pros day, riders can come out for a day of meeting and riding with the pros at the park.

    Ray's is also hosting two indoor cross country time trial series. The first is in progress, having started November 14 and running through January 10, 2010. The second will begin on January 23 and go through April 3. The races are held from 7:00 am to 9:00 am on weekends and holidays with eight-15 minute time trial slots available each race day. Racers can sign up for slots online.

    For more information, visit

  • 2010 US Mountain Bike Nationals confirmed for Granby, Colorado

    Mary McConneloug in the short track at US Nationals
    Article published:
    December 07, 2009, 20:17 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    USAC considering venues for multiple championships over several years

    USA Cycling confirmed that the 2010 Mountain Bike National Championships, scheduled for the weekend of July 15-18, will return to Sol Vista in Granby, Colorado. When 2010 the US National Championship calendar was released in recent weeks, USAC had confirmed only that the mountain bike nationals would be somewhere in Colorado, with no certainty that they would return to Granby.

    The town of Granby, located in the Rocky Mountains generally northwest of Denver and north of Winter Park, hosted mountain bike nationals for the first time 2009, and a return to the venue was in process of being negotiated.

    "We are moving forward with Sol Vista resort in Granby, Colorado, for 2010," said Andrea Smith of USA Cycling to Cyclingnews. "We're working on a signed contract. They (at Sol Vista) have signed a letter of intent."

    The resort will again host national championships for downhill, cross country and four cross events for elite, junior, master and amateur categories.

    "Sol Vista has huge potential. They're going to tweak some things in the basin area. For example, they will re-do the cross country course, so you'll be able to see more of it as your watching," said Smith of the proposed changes.

    "They'll move the expo area over and open the main area up for teams and vendors. Hopefully, it'll be even more of a festival like atmosphere."

    In an effort to reduce the contracting and administrative logistics involved in constantly moving the nationals, USAC has been moving toward a model in which hosts serve as venues for multiple years, though perhaps for different disciplines.

    "Right now, we are just focusing on 2010, but ultimately, we're looking to restructure things a little bit and look at places that can host one national championship or another for a number of years," said Smith. "It might be a place that can host two years of the US Mountain Bike National Championships and then two years of Collegiate...