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MTB News & Racing Round-up, February 16, 2010

Date published:
February 16, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Price to Team CF

    Mountain Biker Harlan Price is racing for Team CF in 2010.
    Article published:
    February 12, 2010, 20:27 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Plenty of racing planned for semi-retirement

    After retiring from full-time elite competition, endurance mountain bike racer Harlan Price will continue to participate in a few competitive events for the new Team CF in 2010.

    During the past four years of his career, Price raced with Independent Fabrication, but in 2010, it was time for a change. "I decided to retire. What that meant was that I wanted to get a job and not keep living the poor pro lifestyle any longer. I needed some normality," said Price to Cyclingnews.

    "I want to have fun but not have as much commitment (to racing) as I did for the past four years," said Price, who was a regular for years at the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series events, a collection of 100-milers. He is also a former series champion.

    Price will still have plenty of involvement in cycling. He's now working as the Cycling Editor for regional Mid-Atlantic outdoor magazine Liberty Sports Magazine. He is also promoting a Super D series at Bear Creek ski area in Pennsylvania. Each Super D will be run in conjunction with a cross country event this summer.

    "They had a Super D race there a few years ago, and had 64 racers show up. It was a mix of the different disciplines. We had a bunch of the gravity guys and cross country guys. It really mixed up the race scene."

    Price has racing plans that include two popular national-level super Ds this summer, including Downieville in California and Ashland in Oregon.

    In addition, he will race the BC Bike Race, the Colorado Trail race and the New Mexico endurance series - "a series of five or six underground, unofficial races that are kind of like the Colorado Trail Race" according to Price.

    "The races pique my interest because they are still long endurance events, but they are more of a backcountry journey and it's more about the ride and the adventure. I didn't want to do a full schedule. I was looking for an opportunity to ride, have fun and maybe try out...

  • Greece gets its first UCI mountain bike team

    A Podilatis - Bianchi undergoes baseline physiological testing.
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 16:20 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Podilatis - Bianchi to support young riders, raise profile of sport in Greece

    Greece has supported three professional continental cycling teams in the past few years, but 2010 marks the first year it has a UCI-registered mountain bike team. The Podilatis - Bianchi squad aims to promote the sport of mountain biking in Greece while also supporting several young athletes.

    Greek junior national champion Nikos Tahopoulos will be on the elite men's squad along with up and coming talent Charoun Molla Amet Ali Oglou. Dimitra Plessioti, also a road and track cyclist, will represent the women while Panagiotis Vlachos, who was third at last year's junior Greek national championship, will continue to compete in the junior category.

    The team will be running on a pilot basis for 2010, taking advantage of the 12 international races being held in 2010 in Greece. Those events will give the team's young athletes useful experience as well as UCI points. The team will also participate in the World Cup at Val di Sole in Italy.

    The racers are being supported by a team of sports science experts including an Assistant Professor of physiology at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Kosmas Christoulas, who is monitoring the physionlogical performance of the racers. Assistant Teacher of Sports Medicine, Evagelia Kouidi, is responsible for their cardiological and health monitoring, and Stavros Kavouras, Assistant Professor of physiology and nutrition the Harokopion University of Athens is serving as team nutritionist.

    Podilatis shops are the main sponsor of the team. The team will race on Bianchi Kyklopodilatikis.

    Thomas Mittaw, the manager of Outsports sports management and a UCI international commissaire since 2001, will direct the team. He coached the Greek National Mountain Bike team from 1995 to 1999 and was facilities manager for mountain biking during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

    The team kicked off operations with physiological testing, which will be completed next week. Riders will begin...

  • Mountain biker Evans aims for South African road title

    Kevin Evans (MTN-Energade) at the MTN Attkwas marathon.
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 16:41 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Three national titles to be contested in just over a week

    South Africa's top mountain bike marathoner, Kevin Evans (MTN-Energade), is always up for a challenge. Later this week just outside of Klerksdorp, he'll take on another challenge on the road, where he is hoping to make South African cycling history by becoming the first mountain biker ever to win the gold medal in the elite men's individual time trial.

    It is not an impossible goal. Two years ago, when the South African National Road Championship took place in East London, Evans nearly pulled it off. He finished third, less than 30 seconds behind the winner of the gold medal.

    Last year he was all set to give the individual time trial another go, but unfortunately he injured his knee during the Giro del Capo Tour.

    "I had no choice but to withdraw because it was more important for me as a mountain biker to achieve good results in the Cape Epic. But next week I will be ready to take on the time trial."

    According to Evans, it makes perfect sense for mountain bikers to compete in individual time trials.

    "In time trials, as in mountain biking, it is all about pushing yourself to the limit. In most mountain bike races it is every one for himself. The winner is the one who is able to push himself through the pain barrier for the longest stretch of time. The same applies to time trials.

    "Time trialing is perhaps the most scientific discipline of cycling. It is not just about a rider's power-to-weight ratio. Aerodynamics also plays an important part and, because every second counts, it is perhaps the single most important aspect that should be taken into account when riding.

    "I love the whole aerodynamic challenge. There is always something new that can be done to your bike or yourself to enable you to become just that fraction of a second faster.

    "What counts in my favour is that I am rather small and, therefore, able to ride in a relatively low position on my bike without influencing my power-to-weight...

  • Mountain biker Osl named Austrian cyclist of the year

    Elisabeth Osl (Central Ghost) wins her third world cup this year
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 21:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Women claim top two spots in national vote

    Mountain biker Elisabeth Osl is Austria's cyclist of the year for 2009. Second place went to Christiane Soeder, with Matthias Brändle taking third.

    Osl, 24, topped the UCI women's mountain bike world ranking in 2009, and was national champion. She won three World Cup races during the season on her way to the World Cup overall title. She received an overwhelming 80 percent of the vote.

    "The World Cup title, the world number one ranking, and three of eight World Cup races : these results speak for themselves," said Rudolf Massak, general secretary of the Austrian cycling federation.

    Second place, with ten percent of the votes, went to another woman, Christiane Soeder. Riding last year for Cervelo TestTeam, she won the national road title and finished second overall in the Grande Boucle Feminine. The 35-year-old also won the Grand Prix de Suisse.

    Matthias Brändle, 20, finished close behind Soeder. He rode for the Austrian Professional Continental team Elk Haus last year, wining the national time trial title and finishing third in the U23 Eschborn-Frankfurt City Loop. Brändle rides for Footon-Servetto this year.

  • World Champions to line up at Otway Odyssey

    A group races through the rainforest at the Otway Odyssey.
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 22:47 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Aussie mountain bike marathon draws retired pros, elite roadies, triathletes

    A stellar field featuring current and past World Champions, Olympic medalists and Australian title holders will race for glory in the Otway Odyssey Mountain Bike Marathon on February 20, between Apollo Bay and Forrest, two hours southwest of Melbourne. In its fourth year, the event has grown to be the largest mountain bike event in Victoria and second largest in Australia. The popular event sold out before Christmas with 1,750 competitors tackling the 100km, 50km Shorty and 15km Pioneer races.

    This year's edition draws its strongest-ever field, ranging from sprinters to 24-hour mountain bike racers. The men to watch are reigning 24-hour solo World Champion Jason English, former 24-hour solo World Champions James Williamson and Craig Gordon, five-time cross country national champion Sid Taberlay, 2007 Otway Odyssey race winner Murray Spink and numerous others who could knock them off including Dan McConnell, Shaun Lewis, Locky Norris, Adrian Jackson, Ben Hogarth, Paul van der Ploeg, Matthew Fleming and Troy Glennen.

    Phil Anderson, the cycling legend who put Australia on the map with his Tour de France feats is a regular at this race in the veteran category. No doubt he'll be nipping at the heels of the elite men reminding them that age is no barrier.

    The women's field is equally as strong with 2009 winner Katherine O'Shea will be going head to head with 2007 winner Tory Thomas and two-time Australian cross country national champion Rowena Fry. Judith Ardnt, HTC-Columbia team member and German Olympic medalist in both the road race and individual pursuit will also be a force. Forrest local Jessica Douglas, Terri Rhodes, Naomi Hanson, Jodie Willett, Joanna Wall, Jo King and Jenni King are also featuring heavily in the betting ring.

    Racers are coming from all over Australia. They will be rewarded for tough hill climbs with beautiful views over the Great Ocean Road and rainforest of the well built and maintained tracks of the...