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MTB News & Racing Round-up, February 27, 2010

Date published:
February 27, 2010, 23:02

Edited by Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

Welcome to our regular roundup of what's happening in mountain biking. Feel free to send feedback, news, & releases to mtb@cyclingnews.com and results, reports & photos to cyclingnews@cyclingnews.com.

  • Taberlay aims to defend at Sage Brush

    Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air / Specialized)
    Article published:
    February 27, 2010, 18:35
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Bishop, Juarez, Prado to challenge Australian short track champion

    The Kenda Cup West Series opener, the Sage Brush, is drawing a talented field for the southern California race on Sunday including last year's Sage Brush men's pro winner Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air/Specialized). The Australian was recently crowned national short track champion Down Under and he's looking to defend his Sage Brush title.

    Taberlay will be hard pressed to do so with the likes of Cannondale Factory riders Jeremiah Bishop and Tinker Juarez, 2009 La Ruta and Costa Rican cross country champion Manny Prado (Sho-Air/Specialized team) on hand.

    Last year's women's winner, Pua Sawiki (Team Mata/Okle Stuff.com) looks likely to repeat as a two-time race winner. Sawicki will face a solid line-up of women racers with Rock N Road's Allison Mann leading the charge of those trying to knock her out of the top spot.

    The San Diego area race will open the 2010 Kenda Cup West Series. It features a traditional loop with multiple distances ranging from 26.8 miles and 3,500 feet of climbing for the pros and cat. 1s to a shorter 18-mile loop for the cat. 2s and 3s.

    The course uses existing jeep and motorcycle trails of the Lake Morena OHV park and offers racers a wide variety of terrain, with rolling Whoop De Doos, banked berm corners and a flowy style of riding.

  • English returns to defend Mountains to Beach title

    World Champion Jason English wears the number one plate.
    Article published:
    February 26, 2010, 01:48
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Blair aims to go one better in Australian stage race

    The final details are being put into place for the 2010 Mountains To Beach stage race with the organizers out this week signing the first few stages of the near 400km of an intricate route through the bush of south eastern NSW, Australia. The racing will begin on Monday, March 1.

    Jason English, defending Mountains To Beach champion and World 24-hour solo champion, has been musing on his chances for the 2010 event. "The Mountains To Beach was my favourite event last year with its awesome combination of short, fast race stages and long marathon stages - all with the backdrop of stunning landscapes - except for the Ay Up Dawn Raid raced in the dark, when all you could see was the track lit up in front of you."

    "Last year I was riding as part a team who helped me throughout the week, and I also had the full support of Dirt Works and my wife Jen to keep bike and body going. This year I'm racing as an individual."

    All of last year's top five riders will return for this year's edition. Andy Blair, pumped after his World Championship and World Cup racing, is keen to avenge the 20 seconds he got beat by in 2009 after five days of racing.

    "I can't wait for the start," said Blair. "After losing the race on the final stage last year I am hoping that I can go one better this year. The course changes from last year will probably favour the enduro men, but I have had a very good preparation this year and should be a bit fresher on the start line in Thredbo. I think tactics will once again play a huge part in the race, with allies an important factor for a good result on the two long, decisive stages."

    Other favorites, Nick Menager and Dennis Van Mil, are always threats in long races.

    English is using his experience from last year. "I'll be riding a brand new bike. Last year I broke a chain on one stage, got a little lost on another. In 2010, I'll run heavier tires and try and limit any chance of a mechanical and will be watching the signage more carefully!"

    "It's great to be back in Thredbo for the 2010 race," said Event Director Huw Kingston of organizer Wild Horizons. "The whole route is looking spectacular, with everything so verdant after the February deluges. Mind you the 600mm of rain received on the Far South Coast of NSW has made some of our final coastal race stages a little more interesting. We've told riders to pack their water wings and snorkels."

    Riders will take the chairlift from Thredbo to the start on the slopes of Mount Kosciuszko and will finish with a beach sprint across the sands at Narooma some 2,000 metres lower and 400km in distance on Friday, March 5.

    The event consists of six timed race stages and four untimed cruise stages and covers all types of terrain from downhill runs, snow plains, high country and lush rainforest. Riders will finish with a run up the coastline, crossing rivers and creeks swollen from recent torrential rains and negotiating sandbars which weren't there a week ago.

  • Hayes reveals final details on Prime brake platform

    Hayes says the Poppet Valve design is more resistant to heat-related issues and will last longer than conventional 'timing valve'-type systems.
    Article published:
    February 26, 2010, 00:34
    By:
    James Huang

    Poppet Cam pad details surface

    Hayes Disc Brake today finally released the remaining details on its new Prime brake platform and as promised, the Poppet Cam pad contact adjustment mechanism is indeed quite clever.

    Currently, the standard layout of all pad contact or 'dead stroke' adjustment systems is very similar in that there is some internal mechanism that varies the point when the master cylinder piston seals the chamber and actually begins to move fluid through the hose. While the traditional solution is to move the piston itself relative to a 'timing port' drilled transversely into the chamber (Avid's new Taperbore is similar in concept but with a necked-down cylinder wall that the piston seals against instead of a timing port), Hayes' system instead uses an additional poppet valve that runs right through the center of the piston itself.

    The free stroke adjustment comes courtesy of the external 'Tophat' thumb-operated dial, which rotates an internal cam that then sets how far the master cylinder piston has to move before the poppet valve is sealed – unlike other systems, Poppet Valve doesn't alter the position of the master cylinder piston itself. Those familiar with RockShox's Motion Control damper might also find some similarities between its Floodgate mechanism and the Hayes setup, at least from a design standpoint.

    Touted benefits of the Poppet Cam system include greater fluid flow to reduce heat buildup and lever pump and improved seal durability relative to traditional systems in that the master cylinder seal has no transverse port – and thus no sharp edges – to pass over. Based on the lever cutaways provided by Hayes, critical sealing surfaces on the poppet valve aren't subjected to wear during use, either, so that mechanism should be fairly robust as well.

    More information (and some illustrative videos) can be found here (link to external website opens in new window).

  • US 100-miler mountain bike race series set for 2010

    Betsy Shogren (WV Big Wheel/Cannondale)
    Article published:
    February 25, 2010, 20:16
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    High Cascades 100 added to National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series

    The US National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series of 100-mile mountain bike races will kick off in just under two months with the Cohutta 100 in Tennessee on April 24. The 2010 series includes eight races and will wrap up at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 in Virginia on September 5.

    The High Cascades 100 on August 7 marks the first time the Kenda-sponsored NUE series will visit Oregon. "The High Cascades 100 replaced the Sierra-Tahoe 100 race of last year in the series," said NUE Series co-organizer, Ryan O'Dell to Cyclingnews. "I'm excited we will have a race in Oregon."

    All of the races will be run at about the same times of year as in 2009; however, the series will end a little sooner with the Shenandoah Mountain 100 returning to its traditional role as the series finale on Labor Day weekend.

    O'Dell encouraged interested racers to sign up for the various events soon. "The Lumberjack sold out earlier than ever this year, and overall, race registrations are ahead of schedule from last year. The only race that doesn't have a field limit is the Mohican 100."

    Racers will be scored on their best four events as in previous years. The Shenandoah Mountain 100 race will serve as the tiebreaker.

    Exactly who will contend for the series yet is still to be determined. "It's too early to say who will be coming," said O'Dell. "So far, we only know that our first-ever series champ, Harlan Price (Team CF), will do four races. Cheryl Sornson, Gerald Pflug and Amanda Carey are also expected."

    Betsy Shogren and Jeff Schalk won the 2009 NUE series.

    Looking ahead, O'Dell hinted that the series could see some new events for 2011. "We have other races that want in for 2011. I think we have two or three potential new races," he said.

    For more information, visit www.usmtb100.com.

    National Ultra Endurance Series for 2010
    April 24: Cohutta 100,Tennessee
    June 5: Mohican 100, Ohio
    June 19: Lumberjack 100, Michigan
    July 17: Breckenridge 100, Colorado
    July 31: Wilderness 101, Pennsylvania
    August 7: High Cascades 100, Oregon
    August 21: Fool's Gold 100, Georgia
    September 5: Shenandoah Mountain 100, Virginia

  • Paez, Caro, Cominelli to lead TX Active-Bianchi mountain bike team in 2010

    The 2010 TX Active Bianchi Team at its season-opening presentation
    Article published:
    February 25, 2010, 16:46
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Italian team looks out for young riders and the environment

    The TX Active-Bianchi MTB team was presented for the second consecutive year in the province of Bergamo's Sala Viterbi on Thursday. Team members were introduced to local authorities, managers, sponsors, the public and the press.

    This year marks the 19th consecutive year Bianchi has set up its own mountain bike and cyclo-cross team. With its international line-up, the team is chasing big results. However, the team TX Active-Bianchi will also emphasize the care of its young athletes and their education as well as acting responsibly with regard to the environment.

    Colombians Julio Caro and Leonardo Paez Italian Cristian Cominelli, Portugal's Ricardo Marinheiro and Frenchman Stephane Tempier are ready to start the 2010 elite offroad season in the under the guidance of Massimo Ghirotto.

    The junior team, running under manager Andrea Ferrero, features seven athletes: Cesare Fognini, Filippo Galli, Edoardo Togni, Federico Barri, Cristian Boffelli, Giorgio Rossi and Oscar Vairetti.

    Team Manager Massimo Ghirotto is feeling confident looking toward the new season. "We built up a competitive all-round team which can play a part in both cross country and marathon races, in particular with Paez and Caro."

    "We are also expecting a lot from Cominelli, who won the Italian cyclo-cross under 23 National Championship for the second year in a row, and from the Portuguese Marinheiro and French Tempier. Above all, we believe in everyone's moral qualities and humanity, apart from the physical and athletic qualities."

    "For the second year in a row, Italcementi is the proud main sponsor of the team along with the TX Active brand," said Italcementi Communication Manager Lorenzo Colombo. "... both Bianchi and Italcementi ... are based in Bergamo but think and act globally to promote Italian excellence. The TX Active-Bianchi team aims to be a world class mix of the best the sport has to offer in terms of integrity and commitment, regardless of racing results."

    The team's president Felice Gimondi also shared his thoughts. "We have built up an excellent team, which is capable of achieving results in the most important international races, and I think the junior team has excellent chances as well.

    "Despite the world economic depression, confirming (existing sponsors like) Italcementi and the entry of new partners like UBI Bank makes us proud and spurs us to do better and better," said Gimondi.

    Other sponsors include FSA, GTM and Elite.

    Shortly after the presentation, the elite and Under 23 team will head to Terracina in central Italy to start its training camp,which will run through March 7, when the riders will take part in their first race of the 2010 season, round one of the Internazionali d'Italia.

    The team will race Bianchi Methanol SL Team Edition mountain bikes.

    2010 TX Active-Bianchi MTB Elite / Under 23 team
    Julio Caro (Colombia)
    Leonardo Paez (Colombia)
    Cristian Cominelli (Italy)
    Ricardo Marinheiro (Portugal)
    Stephane Tempier (France)

    2010 TX Active-Bianchi MTB junior team
    Cesare Fognini (Italy)
    Filippo Galli (Italy)
    Edoardo Togni (Italy)
    Federico Barri (Italy)
    Cristian Boffelli (Italy)
    Giorgio Rossi (Italy)
    Oscar Vairetti (Italy)

  • Overend, Fisher, Furtado help make Trips for Kids' fundraiser a success

    Mountain bike pioneers and Bay Area Community members raised nearly $3,000 for Trips for Kids at the annual Brews, Bike and Bucks party.
    Article published:
    February 25, 2010, 12:10
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Brews, Bikes and Bucks brings in $3,000

    Trips for Kids' annual Brews, Bikes and Bucks fundraiser held Sunday, February 21, attracted more mountain bike pioneers, along with dozens of Bay Area-based mountain bikers, than it has since its inception 12 years ago. The raffle ticket and drink sales along with the silent auction revenue brought in nearly $3,000 to support Trips for Kids' mission to take underserved youth around the world on mountain bike excursions.

    Mountain bike superstars in attendance included Gary Fisher, Ned Overend, Juli Furtado, Joe Breeze, Scot Nicol, Otis Guy, Ross Shafer, Jacquie Phelan, Charles Kelly, Sky Yaeger, Steve Potts, Rich Sutton, Michael Kelley and Chris Lang.

    "This event is such a great opportunity for the founders of mountain biking and mountain biking enthusiasts to gather and celebrate the sport," said Marilyn Price, Trips for Kids (TFK) founder and director.

    "Many of the same people attend every year because the party is such a good time, but I think this year's Brews, Bikes and Bucks event was enormously successful because of the energy of the people there."

    The donated raffle and silent auction prizes that helped make the fundraiser successful included a 2009 Jamis Bakar cross country dual suspension bike and a 2010 Marin Bikes Alpine Trail 29er. Broken Drum Brewery, the annual venue host, added to the event's success by donating all of the Brews, Bikes and Bucks drink sales to TFK.

    "I like donating my place to Trips for Kids because it is such a great locally based organization that gets kids out of the concrete jungle into nature," said Noah Berry, Broken Drum owner. "With Marilyn at the helm and all the great people, I can't imagine a better group to donate time and effort to."

  • Bikes Belong awards $55,000 in grants

    Brian Matter races the trails in Chequamegon, Wisconsin.
    Article published:
    February 24, 2010, 20:09
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Cycling projects in six states win support

    Bikes Belong awarded US$55,000 for seven projects grants in six states to help communities build singletrack, bike paths and bike parks while leveraging federal funding and building momentum for bicycling nationwide.

    Wisconsin's Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association won $5,000 to complete the final phase of its development of trails in the Cable, Hayward, and Seeley clusters, thereby creating 28 miles of continuous singletrack at this well-loved mountain bike destination.

    In Boone, North Carolina, the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority (WCTDA) will spend a $5,000 grant toward developing a mountain bike trail system at Rocky Knob Park. Though Watauga County and the town of Boone are emerging as fast-growing destinations for outdoor enthusiasts, residents and visitors must drive outside of the county to access legal singletrack trails - a situation the WCTDA's new outdoor recreation planner, who is an avid mountain biker, is determined to change.

    The Moab Trails Alliance received $10,000 to go toward its project to complete the Moab Canyon Path (aka The Old Highway), one of the key components of the North Moab Recreation Areas Alternative Transportation System. This paved path will link Moab's Lions Park Trail and Transit Hub with Arches National Park and the beloved singletrack trails north of town, providing a safe, scenic route for avid, recreational, and new riders alike. This Utah group estimates that if 20 percent of Moab's visitors use the network once it's complete, roughly 500,000 people will leave 200,000 cars behind while exploring public lands.

    Redmond, Washington, will get a new bike park with help from its $10,000 grant. The city has forged strong partnerships with the bicycling community - including the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, the Cascade Bicycle Club, and local bicycle shops and suppliers to design and build this park. Roughly 2,450 mountain bikers live within two miles of the facility, which will be easily accessible by bike from several local schools and serve as a great destination for the Seattle Trips for Kids chapter.

    In Ohio, $10,000 will help Ohio River Way, Inc. pave a segment of the Ohio River Trail to link downtown Cincinnati to Lunken Airport. This path offers views and serves both recreation and transportation needs. The path could serve up to half a million people.

    The Cuyuna Lakes Trail Association in Minnesota will use $10,000 to construct two sections of paved trail that will connect an elementary school, a senior housing facility, and a community center to the five miles of existing trail in Crosby, Minnesota. When complete, the 39-mile Cuyuna Lakes State Trail will link to the popular Paul Bunyan Trail as well as an IMBA Ride Center currently under development, enabling people to extend their rides and introducing bike-path enthusiasts to the sport of mountain biking.

    Finally, the City of Middleton, Wisconsin will assist the Capital Off-Road Pathfinders (CORP) build a bike park adjacent to the city's public golf course. Middleton, a suburb of Madison, has been working to improve its bike friendliness, and sees this facility as a key step in the process. The city will make the park a central element of its trails master plan, so mountain bikers can ride to trails instead of drive.

    The Bikes Belong Grants Program is funded by its Employee Pro Purchase Program.

  • US Professional Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT) launched

    The USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT) will kick off April 24 with the Northwest Cup in Port Angeles, Washington.
    Article published:
    February 24, 2010, 15:43
    By:
    Cycling News

    2010 downhill series features five stops in four states

    Heading into its second year, the 2010 USA Cycling Professional Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT) announced a five-event series for 2010. The gravity series has been set up with the goal of raising the level of racing across the United States by providing a consistent stage of international-caliber events for elite gravity racers to showcase their downhill skills.

    The Pro GRT will remain a downhill-only series for 2010 as it visits four states from April to September, beginning with a return visit to Port Angeles, Washington, for the Northwest Cup on April 24-25.

    The series will then make a trip to the opposite coast for the Plattekill Gravity Open in New York's Roxbury Bike Park, May 22-23. Midway through the season, racers will contest the Northstar-at-Tahoe event in Truckee, California on June 26-27. The Pro GRT will then move to Winter Park, Colorado for the Trestle Bike Park, also known as Crankworx Colorado on July 31-August 1, before concluding again with the Whiteface fifth Annual 5K Downhill in Lake Placid, New York on September 11-12.

    Each of the five stops will offer series ranking points to top finishers, resulting in overall individual titles for professional men and women. Additionally, competitors will have the opportunity to accumulate international ranking points as two of the five races are inscripted on the UCI calendar. The racers with the most points throughout the five-race series will be recognized as the best gravity athletes competing on American soil.

    The 2010 series will also feature an Amateur GRT which, like the Pro GRT, will give Expert-level category 1 racers the opportunity to compete against each other for an overall series crown.

    For more information on the series, visit www.progrt.com.

    2010 USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT)
    April 24-25: Northwest Cup, Port Angeles, Washington
    May 22-23: Plattekill Gravity Open, Roxbury Bike Park, New York
    June 26-27: Northstar-at-Tahoe, Truckee, California
    July 31-August 1: Trestle Bike Park (Crankworx Colorado), Winterpark, Colorado
    September 11-12: Whiteface 5th Annual 5K Downhill - Lake Placid, New York

  • Fumic signs with Cannondale Factory Racing team

    Cross country racer Manuel Fumic is riding for Cannondale Factory Racing in 2010.
    Article published:
    February 24, 2010, 13:58
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    German cross country star switches teams

    Cannondale Bicycles signed two-time Olympian and former under 23 World Champion, Manuel Fumic, to its Cannondale Factory Racing team according to an announcement on Wednesday.

    The 28-year-old German has been a regular on the international cross country circuit since 1999. He's won national and world titles during his 11-year career. He was the German national elite champion most recently in 2008. Most recently, he rode for the Fumic.Brothers.International team.

    "Cannondale Factory Racing recruits athletes who share our vision for the sport of mountain biking, and Manual Fumic is a great example of the modern style we represent," said Daniel Hespeler, Team Manager.

    "I am confident that the team infrastructure will not only support Manuel's current level of competition, but will allow him to develop his skills so he can move to the next level."

    Fumic will make his racing debut with Cannondale Factory Racing at the Maremma Mountain Bike Cup in Italy in March alongside his Italian teammate Marco Aurelio Fontana.

    Fumic is aiming high for this season. "The World Cup podium is my goal for this season and then the total focus will be on London 2012," said Fumic. "I can't wait to get on my new Flash and Scalpel and to put Cannondale's innovation to the ultimate test in pursuit of my goals."

    With its sights set on the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, Cannondale Factory Racing plans to continue to strengthen its roster with riders like Fumic.

    Other racers already signed by the Cannondale Factory Racing team including Roel Paulissen, Marco Aurelio Fontana, Martin Gujan, David "Tinker" Juarez and Jeremiah Bishop.