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MTB News & Racing Round-up, February 3, 2010

Date published:
February 03, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Swiss Cycling establishes new Gravity commission

    Roger Rinderknecht (Gt Bicycles)
    Article published:
    February 02, 2010, 11:06 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    A mix of riders, managers, promoters look out for gravity's future

    Following up on the first meeting of Swiss gravity racing stakeholders in December 2009, a new Swiss Cycling federation Technical Committee (FAKO) has been incorporated to continue to serve the downhill, four cross and freeride community.

    The new commission, which includes a mix of commissioners, team managers, athletes and promoters, will take into account the demands and trends in gravity racing. Its first official meeting, focusing on event planning for the Swiss Championships and racing in the European Championships, will be held on March 2 at Ittigen.

    Future topics may include preparing the next generation of young riders. The Commission cites the example of the desgination of an Under 17 category for endurance sports, which has seen a recent rise in popularity like the increase in participation in gravity racing. Most downhill races recognize elite and Under 19 categories. The commission will take on the ongoing task of working toward getting the UCI to update its regulations, too.

    For more information, contact Technical Director Roland Richner at

    FAKO - Swiss gravity Commission
    Ingo Hofer (Commissioner)
    Rachel Seydoux (Four cross athlete)
    Nathalie Däppen (Downhill athlete)
    Albert Iten (National coach)
    Claudio Caluori (Team manager and Track builder)
    Jan Gehringer (Coordinator iXS Cup Downhill)
    Roger Rinderknecht (Four cross athlete) and Pascal Seydoux (Four cross athlete) - common representation
    Raphael Walter (representing Switzerland)
    Rene Wildhaber (Freeride athlete)
    Marcel Waldmann (Downhill athlete)
    Rene Schauff (Team manager)

  • Iceman Cometh makes changes to reduce traffic congestion

    Alison Dunlap leads Kelli Emmett and Heather Irminger
    Article published:
    February 02, 2010, 15:48 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Popular American point-to-point race alters categories, starting waves

    One of the most popular races in the US, the Iceman Cometh Challenge, announced changes to its race categories and starting waves for 2010. In 2009, the race attracted 4,000 competitors, some of whom complained of traffic jams.

    "The 2010 race categories will no longer be based on ability and age. They will be based solely on age," said Iceman Promoter Steve Brown in an email to previous participants. "Additionally, the 2010 waves will be based on your 2009 time."

    While evaluating 2009 results, organizers discovered that approximately 25 percent of the Iceman riders had been riding up an ability level compared to where they should have been racing. "Whether that has been due to simply wanting to arrive at Timber Ridge Resort earlier in the day (and leave more time for the Ice Hole Beer Tent), a desire to test themselves against faster riders, or avoid the traffic in some of the larger waves, a solid portion of riders have opted to choose an ability level that is one step above where they realistically belong," said Brown.

    What that means is that 25 percent of riders falls off the pace of their respective waves and end up being caught by those racing in later waves.

    "We also heard from many of you about the traffic congestion at the top of the Wall during the Sport waves. Traffic on your commute home is one thing, but having to wait five to eight minutes in the middle of the woods is unheard of!" said Brown.

    Categories for junior men and women, pro men and women and the MYC scholarship classes will remain the same.

    Waves will be set by qualifying times - that is the 2009 race times. The exact time criteria for each wave will likely be determined at the end of October. Within each time wave, there will be riders of different age classes. That should ensure riders are racing more among racers of their own speed and ability; however, the downside is that each racer will likely not start with all of the riders in his...

  • Boulder Team receives USA Cycling Center of Excellence recognition

    Jill Behlen
    Article published:
    February 02, 2010, 22:32 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Boulder Junior Cycling / Tokyo Joe's Development team wins award, funding

    The Boulder Junior Cycling (BJC) Team, formerly known as Boulder DEVO, was recently recognized by USA Cycling with the Center of Excellence Award. The junior team earned the honor for the second consecutive year and is one of five programs to receive funding for its junior and U23 cycling athletes.

    With the award, BJC will receive funding for its achievements in the amount of US$1,000 which will help provide coaching and team support for juniors. The development team backs both under 15 and under 19 juniors. It's under 15 program is designed for youth ages 12 to 15 years old and/or in sixth through ninth grades. The under 19 program, which is also known as the Tokyo Joe's Junior Development Team, is for youth ages 14 to 18 years old and/or in eighth through 12th grades and who are currently racing Cat. 1 or 2.

    In 2009, five athletes from the BJC / Tokyo Joe's Development squad participated in USA Cycling Training Camps and worlds qualifying races including Jill Behlen, Brae Patten, Ellen Patten, Wesley Geer and Lydia Tanner.

    The 2009 UCI mountain bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia included two BJC athletes. The top US junior rider was Jill Behlen placing 16th, and the top-ranked Under 23 US rider was Chloe Forsman in 15th place. Forsman is a previous member of the BJC Development Program and is expected to ride for Tokyo Joe's again in 2010 after several years racing for the Luna team.

    USA Cycling certified coaches guide the skills and performance development of the team's riders for national and international competition. Boulder Junior Cycling (BJC) is a local grassroots and volunteer-based program providing Cycling Racing Development for Juniors. It is run under the Boulder Valley Cycling Alliance, which was established in 2005 to promote junior cycling and create life-long cyclists in Boulder Valley.

    The team is hosting a 2010 season kick-off event on Thursday, February 4 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. local...

  • Miguel Martinez ready for fresh start at new team

    Miguel Martinez (Team G-Skin Deforche)
    Article published:
    February 03, 2010, 12:30 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Former Olympic Champ presented with G-Skin Deforche Mountain Bike Team in Paris

    The G-Skin Deforche MTB Racing Team presented its 2010 roster, including former Olympic cross country champion Miguel Martinez on Friday in the Latin Quarter of Paris, France. Master of ceremonies Jacques Ninane introduced the team's riders, ranging from juniors to experienced international racers.

    "I am delighted today to present this wonderful team," said Manager Simon Gueuning. "At first I was hoping to get into the top 25 mountain bike teams. Today, I began dreaming of entering the top 10."

    Frenchman Miguel Martinez is the team's best known rider. The multi-time World Champion and World Cup round winner has won two Olympic medals, including gold in Sydney, Australia, 2000. His long-term goal is the 2010 Olympic Games, and he'll be working over the next two years to collect more UCI points as a way to get there. In 2010, he is aiming for a top-10 finish in the World Cup.

    "2009 was a bad year for me in sport and out of sport," said Martinez. His Felt International team folded early in the season, and he had to address allegations from a former domestic partner.  2010 is already  looking brighter for him. 

    "Atalian, my private sponsor, signed me up until the London 2012 Games, which should be my last race. Then I will continue working at my mountain bike centre project in Fayence - which I've put aside for now to dedicate my self to training and racing."

    Martinez said he was motivated to continue racing after hearing of Jean Christophe Peraud's departure from mountain bike racing to road racing.  "That was the trigger," he said.  "There will be three Frenchmen in London.  If (Julien) Absalon and (Alexis) Vuillermoz seems inevitable, the third spot should be played out between (Cedric) Ravannel, (Stephane) Tempier and me!"

    Martinez explained just how he might help his fellow French racers in international competitions like the worlds and Olympics.  "I could...

  • Norco backs Reid, Stanbridge for 2010

    Ben Reid (Dirt Norco Team)
    Article published:
    February 03, 2010, 13:35 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Four Norco mountain bike teams announced

    Norco will sponsor 15 mountain bikers on four squads for the 2010 racing season. Its off-road teams for the new year include the Norco World Team, the Dirt Norco Team, The Norco Factory Team and the Norco BMX team.

    At the elite level Fionn Griffiths and Bernard Kerr will represent the Norco World Team at major international events.

    Partnering with Dirt Magazine, Norco is sponsoring Ben Reid and Dan Stanbridge as the Dirt Norco Race Team. The two will compete in the full 2010 World Cup downhill circuit, beginning with a trip to Slovenia on May 16. They also contest the World Championships in Canada. Look for them at a few North American venues, too, including Sea Otter Classic and Crankworx - Whistler.

    "Norco is extremely excited to have come on as a sponsor for the Dirt Norco Race Team," read a Norco press release about the team. "Over the past years Norco's World Cup Race Program has made large strides through the sponsorship of Fionn Griffiths and the Norco World Team. The addition of the Dirt Team is another step forward in proving the new Norco downhill platform on a world stage."

    The Norco Team has grown in recent years and the different teams have been formed with various levels of sponsorship.

    2010 Norco World Team
    Fionn Griffiths
    Bernard Kerr

    2010 Dirt Norco Team

    Ben Reid
    Dan Stanbridge

    2010 Norco Factory Team
    Ryan Leech
    Jay Hoots
    Dylan Korba
    Mislav Mironovic
    Darcy Turenne
    Andrew Watson
    Catherine Vipond
    Nick Geddies
    Sam Dueck

    2010 Norco BMX Team
    Ben Kaufmann
    James van de Kamp

  • Cyclists unite on new team to promote cystic fibrosis awareness

    Team CF aims to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and research about the genetic disease.
    Article published:
    February 03, 2010, 18:09 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Endurance racer Sornson among new Team CF racers

    A Cystic Fibrosis researcher and professor has put together a new mountain bike team for 2010 to raise awareness of the disease and funding for research relating to the disease. The squad will support athletes ranging from elite professionals to beginners, and it will include some young adults living with cystic fibrosis (CF).

    The Team CF elite mountain bike squad, based in the mid-Atlantic US, will include Kristin Gavin, Cheryl Sornson, Nikki Theimann, and Selene Yeager. Kaitlyn Broadhurst, an athlete with CF who is new to cycling, will also take on the challenge of mountain bike racing. Sornson is a regular on the domestic endurance mountain bike scene, especially at stage races and 100-milers.

    Retired pro Chris Eatough will serve as coach for the mountain bike team.

    Dr. James Wilson, of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, is the founder and manager of the team. Wilson, also a competitive bike racer for 10 years, has been researching CF for over 20 years. He's been impressed by the role exercise can play in improving the quality of life for those living with CF.

    Approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States have cystic fibrosis. An additional 10 million more - or about one in every 31 Americans - are carriers of the defective CF gene, but do not have the disease. Most people are diagnosed with CF at birth through newborn screening, or before the age of two.

    CF is a life-threatening genetic disease with no known cure. It causes mucus to build up and clog some of the organs in the body, particularly the lungs and pancreas. Mucus also can block the digestive tract and pancreas.

    Complementing the elite team, a club-level version of Team CF will recruit cyclists with CF who have bike-related objective for 2010 such as competing in amateur races or participating in a cycling benefit. It will also consider applicants in two other categories: 1) health care providers or...