TechPowered By

More tech

MTB news & racing round-up for August 31, 2007

Date published:
August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
  • NPS Round 4 to Caersws

    Article published:
    August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price

    This weekend sees round four of the Chain Reaction Cycles British Downhill Series come to Caersws in...

    This weekend sees round four of the Chain Reaction Cycles British Downhill Series come to Caersws in Powys near Newtown to the west of Welshpool and Shrewsbury. Pro riders will be using the race as a warm up for worlds the following week; Team G-Cross Honda and Animal Commencal will be in full attendance ripping down the tight, twisty and technical track of Caersws. Seeding is scheduled for Saturday, September 1 with the finals on Sunday, September 2.

    The Sombrio Film Festival on Saturday evening is free and open to all and will be showing the United Kingdom Premier of the latest Anti-Gravity series movie Unhinged. Bring your own chair and a beer.

  • Swisspower Cup preview

    Article published:
    August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price

    The Swisspower Cup will wrap up this weekend September 1-2 in Muttenz. Held just one week before the...

    The Swisspower Cup will wrap up this weekend September 1-2 in Muttenz. Held just one week before the World Championships, many top stars are expected to be at the start line including Julien Absalon, Christoph Sauser, Jose Antonio Hermida, Frederik Kessiakoff , Roel Paulissen, Jean Christophe Peraud, and Lado and Manuel Fumic. On the women's side, look out for Sabine Spitz and Katrin Leumann as favorites.

    The Spanish racer Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida), one of the few riders to seriously challenge Absalon this year, said he hopes the Swisspower cup will help him arrive in the best possible condition to Fort William. Before heading to Swizterland, Hermida said, " I go to the Swiss Cup, with a lot of illusion, to take the final feel of form with a view to the Fort William. On Saturday I will take part in the short race, and on Sunday I will dispute the cross-country race. I am satisfied with my condition, but never you can never know for sure."

    Orbea's Team Manager Ixio Barandiarán was optimistic about the participation of his riders, Absalon and Peraud. "The riders go in with an impressive morale, after the last race (the French Cup) left them in good shape." Barandiarán indicated that the Swisspower Cup route was good preparation for the World Championship. "It will be the typical Swiss circuit - a route with short, but hard unevennesses and also very technicial, the perfect training for the Worlds course.".

    Saturday's program features a short, 20 minute elite race and kids races, and the juniors, amateurs, and elite men and women will race a cross country event Sunday.

  • Barbara Howe diary: On Sugar Mountain

    The crew
    Article published:
    August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price

    This month's special recovery tip is to spend many, many hours in a car; it makes your legs feel...

    This month's special recovery tip is to spend many, many hours in a car; it makes your legs feel great. Well, not really but I thought I'd try it anyway. I joined Shannon G., her brother Chris, our bikes and cases in Chris's Audi sedan for a haul from Vermont to the city where corruption and destruction spring forth, Washington DC.

    Chris was a hero and drove the whole way through sun, rain and traffic, and stopping to fulfil our eating requirements. We stayed at his place in the Adams Morgan neighbourhood, enjoying scrumptious dining and urban cycling. One evening I took a metro train ride to the furthest reaches of the orange line to visit my Auntie in Annapolis. On the way home some of the District's finest inhabitants sat behind me and engaged in a rather loud inebriated and nearly violent argument. Of course they stayed on until my stop.

    Chris played hooky from work for a day trip to Gambrill State Park near Frederick, Maryland. The trails there are super fun with lots of rocks, some roots and a few riders (mid-week). I must have forgotten how to ride a bike because in the first ten minutes I hit the ground twice and drew blood.

    Thursday afternoon we flew to Charlotte, North Carolina, and met my father at the airport. Two hours later we were in Boone, North Carolina, enjoying a meal with the rest of the team. We then drove in the fog and dark up an ever narrowing gravel road to our home for the weekend, the Hilltop Hideaway Cabin. The name says it all, the cabin was at the end of the road at the very top of a mountain and in the morning the view was breathtaking.

    To read the complete diary entry, click here.

  • 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Championships set for weekend

    Brothers in arms, and glory: The Fumic brothers,
    Article published:
    August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price

    The ninth annual 24 Hours of Adrenaline World Championships head to Laguna Seca Raceway near...

    The ninth annual 24 Hours of Adrenaline World Championships head to Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, California September 1-2. Last year's race was made famous by the movie 24 Solo, which documented an epic battled between Craig Gordon (Cannondale) and Chris Eatough (Trek / VW). Gordon ultimately won, but it cost him a trip to the hospital after his body started to shut down from the epic effort.

    This year, neither Eatough nor last year's women's winner Sue Haywood (Trek / VW). Both will be contesting the NUE series finale in Virginia. However, racers like endurance pro Pua Sawicki will be there vying for the title.

    New for this year, teams will also compete for a world title. Teams can be comprised of any three riders.

    Fumic Brothers & Polc rule Maribor rehearsal

    Last weekend, the courses for the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals coming up September 15-16 in Maribor, Slovenia, got a test run in competition.

    Slovenia Cup finals hosted a UCI Class 1 race which was won ruled by brothers Lado and Manuel Fumic of Fumic Brothers International. Racer competed on a 4.5 kilometre lap with 150 metres of elevation change per lap. 31 year-old Lado led from the start of the eight-lap race to be later joined by his six-years-younger brother Manuel, the former Under 23 World Champion.

    "I stayed in front from the start, I was trying to test my shape," said Lado. "It was working okay, then I waited for my brother and we continued together. It worked perfectly on this course, here riding in a small pack is faster than riding in a larger group."

    In the end Lado was faster than Mani, finishing a few meters in front of him. Ukrainian National Team member Sergiy Rysenko finished in third just under two minutes behind. Czech Merida team rider Jiri Friedl followed in fourth and Austrian champion Christoph Soukup. Soukup rode in third close to FBI riders for...

  • Singlespeed Worlds to Scotland

    Article published:
    August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price

    Just one week before cycling's mainstream mountain bike media descends on Fort William for the UCI...

    Just one week before cycling's mainstream mountain bike media descends on Fort William for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, many riders are making the trip north sooner. The Single Speed World Championship (SSWC) are slated for this weekend, September 1-2 in Aviemore, Scotland.

    Competitive festivities start Saturday, when an event will be held to determine the hosts of the 2008 SSWC. The main action kicks of Sunday morning with the title event. For more information, visit www.sswc2007.com.

    Last year's worlds were in Stockholm, Sweden, in mid-August. Sveinung Bjørkøy (Norway) and Tiffany Allmandinger (USA) won the men's and women's divisions.

  • MTB Hall of fame names 2007 inductees

    Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain)
    Article published:
    August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price

    Four individuals will be inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Wednesday,...

    Four individuals will be inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Wednesday, September 26, 2007, at Interbike, in Las Vegas: Hill Abell, a leading Texas advocate, Sal Ruibal, mountain biking's biggest supporter in the mainstream media, Alison Sydor, a world champion racer and industry innovator Frank Wadleton.

    According to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame website, www.mtnbikehalloffame.com, Hill Abell earned his nomination in the advocate category. He's been mountain biking since 1984. That same year Hill and his wife Laura bought the Bicycle Sport Shop in Austin, Texas. Their store became the only shop in Austin to specialize in mountain bikes. Besides sharing his passion daily through the shop, Abell has worked tirelessly as an access advocate in Texas, which although it is the second largest US State, it only has 3.8% of it is public land. Abell has played an important advocacy role with his local Austin Ridge Riders, the Texas Mountain Bike Racing Association and the Texas Bicycle Coalition. He has also been on the IMBA board of directors for nine years. His most recent project is with the Austin chapter of Sprockids.

    Sal Ruibal, the cycling reporter at USA Today, was the first prominent journalist to chronicle the sport in the mainstream media. Since he began covering the sport in 1995, he's introduced mountain biking to a mass audience around the world. His articles in the largest American newspaper reach more than 10 million readers every day many non-cyclists. He's written about people, tactics, equipment, and "the culture and the societal impact of mountain biking" as stated on the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame website. The list of athletes he has covered reads like a who's who of mountain biking. He once wrote about his ride with well known mountain biker, US President George W. Bush. In his free time, Ruibal mountain bikes, even racing at 24 hour events.

    Alison Sydor is a household name in mountain biking....

  • Jeep KOM series to wrap up at Beaver Creek

    Michal Prokop
    Article published:
    August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price

    Heading into the grand finale of the 2007 Jeep King of the Mountain summer series on September 1 at...

    Heading into the grand finale of the 2007 Jeep King of the Mountain summer series on September 1 at Beaver Creek Resort in Beaver Creek, Colo., the only certainty in a season packed with unpredictable outcomes is the fact that never in the event's history have the standings been so tight with so many athletes in contention for the overall crown.

    Five pairs of athletes are tied, and no fewer than six competitors have a chance to catch fire in the Rocky Mountains and capture the championship, while also enjoying the spoils in the form of part of a US$100,000 cash purse and the keys to a new 2008 Jeep Liberty.

    Only 10 points separate the top four men's racers, all Americans, and no story is more compelling than that of Brian Lopes. The Laguna Beach legend, a three-time world champion, nine-time national champion and now six-time World Cup Champion, has brought home every trophy imaginable except that of Jeep KOM series champion. He now stands tied for first place in the season standings following a win at the second race of season in San Luis Obispo.

    Lopes knows a win is anything but guaranteed with ultra-talented fellow Californians breathing down his neck. Leading the charge is Temecula's Rich Houseman, a 2006 NMBS champion, trailed by Eric Carter, also of Temecula, the 2007 national series champion and 2006 US national champion, and Cody Warren of Alpine, a former US national champion and multiple NMBS titlist. Also in the mix are Australia's Wade Bootes, fellow Aussie Jared Graves and Open Qualifier Chris Del Bosco.

    Anneke Beerten of the Netherlands, the world's second ranked racer with two world cup wins in 2007, shares the lead in the women's series with Melissa Buhl, recently crowned US national champion and former NMBS Champion. There is no shortage of depth behind the top two, including Tara Llanes, Fionn Griffiths, Leana Gerrard and Joanna Petterson. Others to keep an eye on include Open Qualifiers Neven Steinmetz and Lisa...

  • Shenandoah Mountain 100 sets stage for Eatough & Landis battle

    Winner Chris Eatough
    Article published:
    August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price

    By Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price The National Ultra...

    By Sue George in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with assistance from Harlan Price

    The National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series wraps up Sunday near Harrisonburg, Virginia, at the Shenandoah Mountain 100.

    Chris Eatough (Trek / VW) has the men's series locked up after his win last weekend at the Endurance 100, but the stage is set for an exciting battle among a strong field of contenders. Perhaps the most anticipated battle is the one between two proven endurance giants: six-time 24 hours of Adrenaline World Solo champion and mountain biker Eatough vs. 2006 Tour de France winner and roadie Floyd Landis, who announced last week his intention to attend the race as he continues to await a verdict for his anti-doping arbitration hearing for a positive doping test result from Stage 17 of last year's Tour de France. Landis' hearing was held in May.

    Landis got his racing start in mountain biking and has recently returned to form in the discipline with a second place at the Leadville 100.

    When asked about his guaranteed series win, Eatough said, "It takes a little bit of the pressure off. I don't need to be as conservative." After hearing the news that Landis would be joining the stellar men's field, he observed, "It's a pretty unique opportunity. It doesn't come along very often." After all, how many pro mountain bikers ever get to race Tour de France contenders?

    Eatough has switched his focus this year from the 24 hour worlds, which he previously announced he will not contest in 2007, to the NUE series. "My training hasn't changed that much," said Eatough. "It used to be that the 100s were training for the 24. I tried to do extra climbing, for the bigger days." He called the Shenandoah Mountain 100 is one of his favorite courses.

    The lure of the 100 milers was strong for Eatough who commented on the growing popularity of the race format. "It's a huge challenge, for the fitness of rider and durability of equipment, and the races are...

  • Absalon takes aim at #4

    A familiar view of Julian Absalon: winning
    Article published:
    August 31, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Wendy Booher

    By Wendy Booher An athlete who has achieved as much as Julien Absalon has, such as three world...

    By Wendy Booher

    An athlete who has achieved as much as Julien Absalon has, such as three world championship titles and almost too many national titles to count - not to mention the Olympic gold medal - commands a degree of respect that's difficult to bestow upon someone so upbeat and downright approachable.

    Absalon has just one week to go until the World Mountain Bike Championships, when he will take aim at a fourth, consecutive world title. With nods to his competition, he revealed a bit of how he will defend the Olympic gold medal in Beijing.

    The audacity to think that it is possible to turn a 45-minute interview into an exposé of an entire career must seem laughable - if not highly irritating - to a pro racer like Julien Absalon. Often forced to speak a language that is not his own and answer the usual battery of questions relating to his multiple championship titles (for which most answers can be found online), the 27 year-old Absalon searches for words with which he feels comfortable and tends to grow uneasy as questioning plods onward.

    No doubt like many other athletes, Absalon may regard interviews as perhaps one of the burdens to being a pro. However, bring up the Olympic gold medal that Absalon brought home from Athens three years ago, and he responds with a brilliance beyond compare. Only two other men own gold medals for the Olympic cross-country event and the rarity of that distinguish Absalon even more. To really capture an impression of Absalon though, watch him race; for only then does his persona become quintessentially clear.

    Where others gingerly roll down a steep, scree-carpeted descent, Absalon locks his brakes and "skis" down using his rear wheel as a rudder for balance and stability. With only two chainrings, he's built up enough power by training in the rugged, mountainous region in the northeast of France to outsprint and outkick the competition nearly every time. His skill at appraising a...