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MTB News & racing round-up for April 14, 2006

Date published:
April 14, 2006, 1:00 BST
  • Kona expands Bike Park Program

    Article published:
    April 14, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    The Kona Bike Park program is equipping mountain resorts all over the world with the tools and the...

    The Kona Bike Park program is equipping mountain resorts all over the world with the tools and the know how to operate world class bike parks, giving freeriders, new and old alike, a place to call their own. The latest inductees, in no particular order, are: Verbier, Switzerland; Killington, VT, USA; Canada Olympic Park, Calgary; and Levi, Finland. Check them out at the improved www.konabikeparks.com.

    As with all Kona bike parks, Verbier, Killington, Canada Olympic and Levi will be supplied with a fleet of durable and high-performance freeride and downhill mountain bikes for guides and clients alike. Kona will also lend assistance to the parks with event development and promotion, design of trails and park features and coordinate marketing of the resorts to assure summertime success for their bike park partners.

    The four new parks join Kona Bike Park All-Stars; Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb and Panorama, the U.S.’s Winter Park and Snowshoe, Austria’s Leogang, Germany’s Todtnau, Italy’s Livigno, France’s Les Gets, Bolivia’s Gravity Bolivia and Australia’s Mount Buller.

    For more information about Kona's Bike Park program, visit their Web site: www.konabikeparks.com.

  • Bendigo MTB three-stage tour

    Article published:
    April 14, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    The Bendigo MTBA Club in central Victoria will be running it's second annual three-stage MTB tour on...

    The Bendigo MTBA Club in central Victoria will be running it's second annual three-stage MTB tour on the weekend of the 29th and 30th of April. The Tour is designed as an event that is achievable by riders with a reasonable level of fitness. Each stage starts and finishes at the same venue; on private property bordering the Sedgwick Forest, with the stages utilizing 3 various short course race tracks in the area.

    Camping at the start venue is available on the Saturday night, $5.00 per person, or enjoy Bendigo's variety of accommodation options, only 15 minutes drive from the event venue.

    Stages: Saturday 29th 1.00pm, Point to Point 37km 60% single trail; Sunday 30th 10.00am, 10km Individual time trial; 1.00pm, Cross country lap race 100% single trail.

    Event Classes: - Elite, Expert, Under 19, Under 17, Under 15, Veteran (30-39), Master (40-49), Super master (50+), Sport A and Fun Sunday at 12.00 there will be a kids participation event for 9—14 yr olds.

  • 2006 Yeti Cycles Mountain States Cup

    Article published:
    April 14, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    The Mountain States Cup Schedule has been released and racers are gearing up to compete in the Rocky...

    The Mountain States Cup Schedule has been released and racers are gearing up to compete in the Rocky Mountain Regional mountain bike championship series. The Mountain States Cup (with seven world-class venues in 2006; Angle Fire, N.M., and Colorado stops including Crested Butte, Nathrop, Nederland, Snowmass, Telluride and Keystone) is pleased to announce a partnership with Yeti Cycles of Golden, Colo.

    The MSC will continue to host various disciplines at each event, including endurance events such as Cross Country, Hill Climbs and Short Tracks. In addition, the venues will host gravity events such as Downhill, Mountain Cross and Dual-Slalom. Most venues also offer Super D, a new event combining the best of both gravity and endurance genres. Series Champions will be crowned in Cross Country, Gravity and Super D at the Series Finale Sept. 2-4 at Keystone Climax in Keystone, Colo.

    Details regarding the Yeti Cycles Mountain States Cup Series can be found at www.racemsc.com.

  • Chile Challenge turns eighteen

    Article published:
    April 14, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    For the eighteenth consecutive year, Angel Fire, New Mexico will host the Chile Challenge mountain...

    For the eighteenth consecutive year, Angel Fire, New Mexico will host the Chile Challenge mountain bike race and kick off the 2006 Yeti Cycles Mountain States Cup Series.

    The event opens Friday May 19th with practice for all disciplines. Saturday will feature the leg-burning Jalapeno Cross Country and head-to-head action with the Cayenne Mountain Cross, and the Biker Bash to follow. Sunday will feature the much-anticipated Habanero Downhill event and the Serrano Super-D. The event offers competition for everyone from first-timers to seasoned pros.

    For more information please go to www.cyclecyndicate.com.

  • Global MTB wrap-up

    Article published:
    April 14, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    MTB - Città di Brescia - Trofeo G. Cigala, Ita (E1), April 8: Full results MTB - Swisspower Cup /...

    • MTB - Città di Brescia - Trofeo G. Cigala, Ita (E1), April 8: Full results
    • MTB - Swisspower Cup / Swiss National Race Series, Swi (E1), April 8 - 9: Full results
    • MTB - 15. Kamptal-Klassik-Trophy, Aut (E1), April 9: Full results
    • MTB - Worldclass MTB Challenge, Ger (E1), April 9 Full results
    • MTB - Swisspower Cup #2, Swi (E1), April 8: Top 10
  • Sea Otter tech

    Article published:
    April 14, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Cyclingnews tech writer James Huang made the trip to Sea Otter and filed three days worth of...

    Cyclingnews tech writer James Huang made the trip to Sea Otter and filed three days worth of reports. Among the finds, these new MTB component groups from Shimano and SRAM.

    First ride on Shimano's new XTR shifters and derailleurs - We told you about it, we showed you pictures of it, and now we’ve finally tried it ourselves. This year’s Sea Otter Classic offered up the first opportunity to not only lay our hands on the new XTR trigger shifters and Dual Control shifters, but also to ride them. Ok, I will admit that both test rides consisted of short little spin around the expo area, but it was enough to get an impression on how the actual production bits will feel.

    The new Two Way Release, Multi Release, and Instant Release features of the new trigger shifter combine to deliver amazingly fast shifts, particularly when using the thumb to actuate the forward release trigger. Shifts can still be performed with the index finger as before, but the new ‘thumb-thumb’ Rapidfire Plus style of shifting is both faster and easier to use.

    The new Dual Control shifters represent the biggest change from the current M960 generation to the new M970. Shimano obviously took note of criticisms of the current Dual Control levers and seem to have addressed all of them. The new radial master cylinder and hose routing produced a substantial improvement in brake feel and also results in a much more compact assembly. Shift action is enhanced as well: moving the lever up requires much less effort than before, and lever throws have a shorter and more precise feel overall.

    Without a doubt, both styles of shifters are a definite improvement over their predecessors with much more tactile feedback, a more precise feel overall, and greatly enhanced ergonomics. More significantly, Shimano seems to have backed away slightly from its hard-line Light Action philosophy having incorporated a noticeably stronger return...

  • Mud bogging; the Chris Davidson diary

    The otter came by
    Article published:
    April 14, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Ford women's cycling team road manager and wrench Chris Davidson kept up his Cyclingnews diary while...

    Ford women's cycling team road manager and wrench Chris Davidson kept up his Cyclingnews diary while he rebuilt and rebuilt mud-damaged bikes at Sea Otter. He sent us entries from almost every day including this one from the mountain-bike time trial.

    The sun rose on day two and the rain gave us a reprive until mid afternoon. However, the quagmire that is the ground here at Sea Otter started to congeal and the mud actually started to take a greater hold on the riders and bikes. The time trial was super short, about a six minute effort, as most of the track was a swamp. Downhill sections had to be traversed on foot, because there was little controlling the bike on these sections.

    There were lots of crashes, with the wheels spinning and sideways sliding on the course. One of our riders, Melanie Meyers, crashed and hit her knee pretty seriously. This was a big blow, as Mel had gone so well in the SuperXC the day before, her first pro race. She has such a great excitement about her first pro season that she really wants to continue to race, but the best course of action may be not to race. A hard situation to be in for a neo-pro. She continues to impress me every day.

    After washing two bikes again today and taking nearly four hours, I am beginning to wonder what the promoters are thinking about the racing. The courses are in really bad shape. The daily mudbaths are really not great for the riders, the bikes or the ground that we are constantly dredging. There was talk today about why they haven't sought alternative courses or added more road sections. In an environmental sense, this county park that Laguna Seca sits in is going to take years to recover from what we are doing to it over four days.

    Read the entire day two diary here. Follow the links for day one's

  • Sea Otter Classic wrap-up; a short track race for the ages

    Liam Killeen
    Article published:
    April 14, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    By Steve Medcroft The famous Laguna-Seca raceway hosted the sixteenth edition of the Sea Otter...

    By Steve Medcroft

    The famous Laguna-Seca raceway hosted the sixteenth edition of the Sea Otter Classic this past weekend. After ten weeks of on-again off-again rain, the skies were clear for almost all four days of the event but the damage had been done; the soil on the muddy hillside MTB time trial, short-track, dual slalom and mountain-cross courses turned to mucasy feces under the wheels of the several-thousand pairs of mountain-bike tires. Only the cross country (held on long stretches of fire road and singletrack through the hills surrounding Monterey) and road (held on the raceway itself) races were spared the mud baths.

    By far, the short-track race left the most lasting impression. Layered from start to finish in a liberal frosting of the afore-mentioned mud, the course was populated by hub-deep holes by the time the pros took to the start. It's not often you see riders of the caliber of those at Sea Otter (former and current Olympic, world, continental and national champions) reduced to what looked more like the under-five kids race at a NORBA. It's also not often that a group of hecklers forms at a mountain bike race but the carnage at one particularly nasty short-track corner was too much for even the kindest of fan to avoid letting the laughs rip when a rider held a yard sale in front of them or boo when someone cut the course tape to avoid the worst of the terrain.

    There were three pro short track races. The...