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MTB News & Racing Round-up, February 9, 2010

Date published:
February 09, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Celestino to captain Semperlux Axevo Haibike team

    The Semperlux Axevo Haibike team kit for 2010
    Article published:
    February 05, 2010, 10:33 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    New Italian mountain bike team launched

    Italian marathon champion Mirko Celestino will lead a new international mountain bike team, Semperlux Axevo Haibike, for the 2010 season. The team also counts Oscar Lazzaroni and Andrea Giupponi among its leaders.

    Despite it being only February, Giupponi netted the team its first win of the season on Sunday, at the Capriate San Gervasio, near Bergamasco, Italy, he won the Trofeo del Ventennale.

    Celestino has raced for Polti, Saeco, Domina Vacanze and Milram as a pro roadie.  He won the Giro di Lombardia in 1999 and the Milano-Torino twice (2001, 2003).

    The team was the brainchild of Semperlux owners Cristian and Denis Lunghi. Denis is a former professional road racer with Team Polti, Colpack and Alessio. He won the 12th stage of the Giro d'Italia in 2002 before physical issues forced him to retire in 2004.

    Semperlux Axevo Haibike's riders will race bikes from Italian manufacturer Haibike.

    Semperlux Axevo Haibike for 2010
    Mirko Celestino
    Oscar Lazzaroni
    Andrea Giupponi
    Peter Bortolotti
    Cornaro Nevio
    Maurice Erca
    Daniel Falconi

  • Trips for Kids to host 12th annual "Brews, Bikes and Bucks" party

    Mountain bike pioneers and Trips for Kids supporters gather at a past Brews, Bikes and Bucks party.
    Article published:
    February 06, 2010, 19:15 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Mountain bike legends Fisher, Ritchey, Overend among those expected to attend

    Trips for Kids (TFK) will host its annual "Brews, Bikes and Bucks" raffle event on Sunday, February 21 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Broken Drum Brewery in San Rafael, California.

    Now in its 12th year, this fundraising event has become an annual gathering of local mountain bike legends and a much anticipated tradition in Marin County. The local mountain biking legends likely to attend include Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze, Ned Overend, Scott Nicol and Otis Guy.

    Admission to the event is free and attendees are encouraged to arrive early to get their seating and food before the raffle begins. Bike-related prizes will be raffled throughout the afternoon, including the grand prize 2009 Jamis Dakar XC dual suspension mountain bike (retail value US$1,025) donated by Jamis Bicycles. The silent auction will include items such as a 2010 Marin Bikes Alpine Trail 29er mountain bike (retail value $785).

    The prize bikes are on display at the Broken Drum Brewery in San Rafael, where advance raffle tickets are on sale. All proceeds from the event's food and drink sales will benefit Trips for Kids, thanks to the generosity of Broken Drum.

    Advance raffle tickets are also available at the Trips for Kids' Re-Cyclery Thrift Shop in San Rafael.

    Attendees can purchase tickets at event, and ticket holders do not need to be present to win.

    For more information, visit www.tripsforkids.org.

  • Peat renews with Santa Cruz Syndicate

    Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
    Article published:
    February 06, 2010, 21:19 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    World Champion extends with current team

    Downhill World Champion Steve Peat renewed his contract with his existing team, Santa Cruz Syndicate.

    "I've just signed another three-year contract with Santa Cruz so I'm going to be racing downhill pretty seriously," Peat confirmed to BikeRadar.com. "Who knows after that? I'll see how I feel and hopefully carry on forever!"

    Peat, at age 35, is one of the older, most experienced racers on the downhill World Cup. Though the British rider has had plenty of success at international competitions, the 2009 World Championships was his first-ever World Championship title.

    When asked about his plans for 2010, Peat said, "[I want] to enjoy the World Champ jersey! I've always got goals in racing, and I like being stood up on the podium. I want to do good things for the sport..."

    Peaty, as he is often called, has a history of giving back to the sport by mentoring younger, up and coming downhillers, among them currently are teammate Josh Bryceland and Steve Peat Syndicate riders Josh Lewis and Billy Matthews.

    Look for Peat at World Cup races where he expects tough competition from riders like Sam Hill, teammate Greg Minnaar, former World Champion Gee Atherton, Fabien Barel, Brendan Fairclough and Sam Blenkinsop. He'll also race events like the Megavalanche in France and the Lisbon Downtown urban downhill race.

    In the same interview with BikeRadar, Peat said that contrary to some rumors, his teammate Minnaar would also be staying with Santa Cruz Syndicate.

  • Mountain biker lights winter Olympic cauldron

    Mountain biker Tyler Allison lights the Olympic Cauldron in Whistler, British Columbia, in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
    Article published:
    February 07, 2010, 17:12 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    17-year-old Allison does the honors in Whistler

    A mountain biker was given the honor of lighting the Olympic Cauldron in Whistler on Friday night in preparation for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games in British Columbia. Cycling BC team member Tyler Allison, who is both a cross country racer and a downhiller, performed the honors one week in advance of the Winter Games.

    2010 Olympic freestyle skier Julia Murray handed off the flame to former Olympic alpine skier Steve Podborski, who made his way carefully on skis toward the waiting 17-year-old Allison according to Montreal's The Gazette, which also reported that organizers wouldn't let Allison ride his bike up to the cauldron because the crowd was too big and the pathway too small.

    When Allison lit the cauldron, spectators went wild.

    The Canadian Allison is a hopeful for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. He was nominated for his cauldron lighting duties by Councillor Thompson. 

    All Olympic cycling disciplines - road, mountain bike and track - are part of the summer Olympics.

  • TransRockies stage race adds UCI points

    Racers in the TransRockies
    Article published:
    February 09, 2010, 15:16 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    More prize money for 2010 Canadian race

    In the same year that the TransRockies will return to the Alberta Rocky Mountains, the race has also earned UCI status. The seven-day TransRockies became the second North American stage race to earn UCI status. This year, the S2-category race will begin in Fernie, British Columbia, on August 8 and will finish on the edge of the Banff National Park in Canmore, Alberta on August 14.

    "2010 is a very important year for TransRockies," said the race's director Aaron McConnell. "We are returning to our roots in Alberta with an awesome new course that's more fun, rideable and challenging than ever before. And, given that our team has organized numerous World Cups, applying for UCI sanctioning seemed like a natural next step in the race's evolution."

    With the points chase for the 2012 Olympic spots about to kick off in earnest, the opportunity to earn some of the over 2,500 UCI points on offer should attract some of the top riders in North America to the start line in Fernie, British Columbia.

    "Having TransRockies become part of the national calendar along side the other exciting events in Canada this summer, will help to solidify Canada as one of the strongest mountain bike nations in the world," said Nicholas Vipond, Mountain Bike and BMX coordinator for the Canadian Cycling Association.

    The TransRockies brought the concept of mountain bike stage racing to North America and continues to push the format forward. The race will offer more prize money to elite teams in 2010, with a purse for the top teams in the seven-day, two person team TransRockies and the three-day solo TR3 at over CAN$30,000.

    "While we're looking forward to a deep and competitive elite field, we're still completely focussed on making sure that we offer all of our riders the adventure of their lives," said McConnell. "We're hoping that the presence of more pro riders just adds to the excitement for our recreational riders. We're confident that we're going to...

  • Spitz, Osl to race Aphrodite Trophy

    Cyclists racing at the Aphrodite Trophy in Cyprus.
    Article published:
    February 09, 2010, 17:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Marathon on Cyprus boosts early season fitness

    The central Pro Team of Olympic champion Sabine Spitz will take part in the premier edition of the Aphrodite Trophy in Cyprus on March 21. In the week before the race, Spitz will also lead a ride for mountain bike enthusiasts.

    In previous years, the mountain bike competition of the Aphrodite Trophy was known as the Tochni-Kalavasos race. The course has changed slightly from the past years, so it is more suitable for recreational riders, but it remains a rough ride through an impressive landscape past the Kalavasos dam.

    The central Pro Team boasts World Cup winner Elisabeth Osl, who will join Spitz in racing the Aprhodite Trophy. Osl may in fact be the team's best hope for the win as Olympic Champion Spitz will be in her first competition after two recent operations to address a groin problem.

    Riders will get a taste of the culture of Cyprus, too, as they will have the chance to see how the famous Halloumi cheese is made.

    "Besides the beautiful nature and the attractive mountain bike trails on Cyprus, I think we are offering an interesting week in Tochni," said the organizer of Aphrodite Trophy, Mike Hadjoannou.

    One day prior to the mountain bike competition, a running competition will take some through the narrow roads of Tochni village and the surrounding area. The 6.2km course will start just a few meters from the Tochni  village old church.

    For more information on the race, visit www.mtbcyprus.com.

    Aphrodite Trophy 2010
    March 20: Tochni Mountain Run
    March 21: Tochni Mountain Bike Marathon

  • Peat, Minnaar back for more winning action with Santa Cruz Syndicate

    The Santa Cruz Syndicate team's top downhillers
    Article published:
    February 09, 2010, 19:05 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Top-ranked downhill team presents 2010 roster

    The Santa Cruz Syndicate announced its roster for 2010. The team will continue with downhill stars Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar and Josh Bryceland while Jamie Goldman will rock the freeride world and John Waddell will race cross country and endurance events Down Under.

    The team capped off a successful 2009 season with a win by its Steve Peat at the downhill World Championships. With that win Peat, who renewed his contract with the team, put himself in the history books with 17 career World Cup downhill wins, 50 World Cup career downhill podiums and finally the elusive championship.

    "It's great to be part of the Syndicate family again. We have built up a pretty special group over the years and I feel we have the best support from Santa Cruz Bicycles and all our affiliate sponsors," said Peat. "The Syndicate program has gone from strength to strength over the years and 2010 is no exception. We have had test sessions on new equipment, that I think will raise our game considerably for the coming season."

    Teammate Greg Minnaar also had a good season with three World Cup downhill wins, and the young Josh Bryceland contributed to the team with a 13th overall at the World Cup. All together, Santa Cruz Syndicate earned itself the top-ranked spot in the UCI Downhill Team world rankings for the second consecutive year.

    "I've had two great years with the Syndicate, so why change something that works?" said Minnaar after renewing his contract. "We have a couple new changes to our Santa Cruz V-10 for 2010. I can't wait for the season to kick off!"

    "I'm superstoked to be spanking some shred with the raddest savages in the settlement!" said former junior World Champion Bryceland.

    Rob Roskopp, owner and CEO of Santa Cruz Bicycles, said, " I'm excited to see the Syndicate continue on for the coming years. It's been a huge source for R&D, allowing us to come out with so many advanced products in such a short time. Having such a...