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MTB news & racing round-up for August 4, 2007

Date published:
August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
  • Chris Davidson diary: Off in the mud

    Puddles everywhere
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Brian Metzler

    First off I must apologize for the lack of reports from both the Mt Snow National Championship and...

    First off I must apologize for the lack of reports from both the Mt Snow National Championship and Sugar Mountain NMBS races. The excuses for the lack of updates can be enumerated like this, in descending order of importance:

    1. Mud
    2. Rain, cold temperatures and humidity
    3. Mud
    4. Lack of wireless internet connectivity
    5. Mud
    6. Travel logistics

    I had to travel to the east coast for both of these two events and that usually means an increase in the levels of humidity that I am used to in the west. However, for two straight weekends the humidity for both Mt Snow and Sugar Mountain was greater than 100% most of the time. This leads to items 1, 3 and 5 above.

    Bikes ridden at both venues required both 1+ hour washings, then meticulous relubing, swapping cables and housing, new chains, etc. Easily both weekends involved 12+ hour days to attend to four race bikes. Add to that working and washing in the rain at times and I was a pretty soggy mechanic at the end of the day, hence the lack on touching electronic devices such as my camera and laptop.

    There are some advanced techniques that I employ in nasty conditions that may be of some interest to techy readers out there. The first would be for mud build-up on frames. Some like to add fenders to the bike, both commercial available ones and homemade soda bottle variants. I am not a fan of these, but I defer to the rider choice when they are trying to keep mud out of their eyes.

    Instead I prefer to spray key mud build-up parts of the bike with Pam cooking spray. I suggest that you try this locally and see if it works for you, as some variations in soil/mud conditions work well, others not so well. I usually try to spray the back of the seat tube/seat post, under the saddle, the down tube and the back of the fork crown. Be liberal with this stuff, it easily washes off with soap and water after, and...

  • Gran Canaria set for 2008

    The Elite Men's field takes off.
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Brian Metzler

    The fourth annual Marathon MTB Open Gran Canaria has been confirmed for March 8, 2008, one week...

    The fourth annual Marathon MTB Open Gran Canaria has been confirmed for March 8, 2008, one week prior to the first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

    "The 38 kilometer long semi-marathon covers the same route as in 2006, from Parque del Sur in Maspalomas to Ayagaures and back through the valley. The long route with 92 kilometres distance contains parts of the 2005 marathon course which boasts stunning landscapes, great downhills and challenging climbs, however next year we ride it the other way around," said organizer Petra Wonisch. "It also includes the unique single trail from Chira Dam down to the valley. Our route partly leads through nature reserves. After crossing Tablero the riders head back to our fiesta at Parque del Sur in Maspalomas."

    The MTB Open Gran Canaria serves as one of the season-opening fitness tests for many top pros, and many pros and amateurs come early for a training camp. Next year, the race will again award the Fabian Wonisch Trophy. The trophy was created in memory of Wonisch's mountain bike enthusiast son who was killed 2005 in a tragic road accident. After her son's death, Wonisch established a trust which aims to get children into mountain biking and educate them about road safety at the same time. Equipment donations are being accepted year-round to support the trust's mountain bike school.

  • IMBA picks 2007 Dirt Jump Grant program winners

    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Brian Metzler

    Ten International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) clubs received US$1,000 cash grants to...

    Ten International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) clubs received US$1,000 cash grants to create new freeriding, downhilling, and dirt jumping opportunities in 2007. Sponsored by Kona, the grant program provides financial assistance in creating technically challenging riding facilities that are completed in partnership with progressive local land managers.

    "Legal freeride opportunities that will be maintained as community amenities are at a premium," said IMBA Field Programs Director, Scott Linnenburger. "Kona is leading the way in working with IMBA to take dirt jump, freeride and downhill styles of riding from the back of the woods to the forefront, where community leaders can see the positive response from riders and the improvement in their recreation offerings."

    Friends of Pathways (Jackson, Wyoming): The Teton Pass Area Downhill-Specific Risk Management Plan
    Dirt Corps (Snoqualmie, Washington): The Snoqualmie Bike Skills Park
    Gateway Off-Road Cyclists (St. Charles, Missouri): Klondike Park Advanced Features Development
    Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike Patrol (Fort Collins, Colorado): Spring Canyon Park Skills Area
    Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association (Boise, Idaho): Idaho Velodrome and Cycling Park
    Minneapolis Off-Road Cycling Advocates (Minneapolis, Minnesota): Theodore Wirth Park Black Diamond Trail Redevelopment
    Chicago Area Mountain Bikers -West (Plainfield, Illinois): Van Horn Woods East Bike Park
    Fat Tire Trail Riders Club (Spokane, Washington): Camp Seikani Downhill Trail Improvements
    Fraser Valley Mountain Biking Association (Abbotsford, British Columbia): McKee Peak Mountain Bike Park
    Langley Mountain Bike Association (Langley, British Columbia): Willoughby Mountain Bike Park

  • Lewis to return early to Australia

    National Under 23 Champion Shaun Lewis
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Brian Metzler

    An injured SouthAustralia.com rider Shaun Lewis will end his season early and return to Australia to...

    An injured SouthAustralia.com rider Shaun Lewis will end his season early and return to Australia to heal. The 20 year-old will miss out on representing Australia in next month's World Championships in Fort William, Scotland. Lewis was selected after winning the Under 23 national title in Canberra earlier year, placing a creditable fourth in elite.

    Lewis' foot injury has been slow to heal, and a specialist at the Mapei Centre confirmed he had a bone bruise on the bottom of his heel combined with pain in his lateral ankle structure. The specialist said he felt it would be at least two weeks before significant improvement could be expected, which means that he will not be ready to take part in the Hexagonal which starting in one week's time.

    In consultation with coach, Neil Ross, Lewis has made the difficult decision to end his season early to focus on recovery and commence his preparations for next year rather than struggle through to Worlds in September with injuries and poor preparation. Long term, Lewis has his sights set on earning a spot on the team for the 2008 Olympics.

    Dylan Cooper will take Lewis' place on the SouthAustralia.com which also includes Daniel McConnell and Lachlan Norris.

  • Speculation grows about Lance vs. Landis in Leadville

    Landis negotiates some singletrack
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Brian Metzler Will Lance be in Leadville? Seven months after Lance Armstrong said he couldn't...

    By Brian Metzler

    Will Lance be in Leadville? Seven months after Lance Armstrong said he couldn't ride in the Leadville 100, there is growing speculation that he might enter the race after all.

    Race director Ken Chlouber said last week Armstrong was in Leadville recently to ride a portion of the course with longtime Colorado Springs-based coach Chris Carmichael and believes the seven-time Tour de France champion will ride in the August 11 race. Landis confirmed last month that he plans to participate.

    "They rode the course and Chris called me that night to talk about it," Chlouber said. "I think it would be great if Lance came to the race, and after talking to Chris, I think he's probably coming."

    Carmichael recently wrote a blog on the Carmichael Training Systems website about the early July Leadville training ride, which covered about 45 miles and included four of the course's five climbing sections, but didn't say whether Armstrong would be doing the race or not.

    "For the record, Lance is not only quite fit, but he's also very good on a mountain bike," Carmichael said in the blog.

    Armstrong announced last November that he planned to ride in the Leadville race. The plan was to ride with Carmichael, who finished the race in 2006, and Bart Knaggs, president of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, Mari Holden, a world champion and Olympic silver medalist rider, and Morris Denton, vice president of global marketing for computer chip giant AMD (one of Team Discovery's sponsors). Carmichael later divulged the group's simple but potentially pricey wager: Last one to the finish line buys dinner and drinks in Aspen.

    But in late December, two weeks after Landis said he'd also enter the race, Armstrong cited a scheduling conflict and backed out of his original commitment to ride in the Leadville 100.

    Armstrong said three weeks ago at a press conference for the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament in...

  • Prokop & Kintner aim for threepeat at Jeep KOM

    World champion Michael Prokop
    Article published:
    August 04, 2007, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Brian Metzler

    The first round of the Jeep King of the Mountains 2007 Mountain Biking World Professional...

    The first round of the Jeep King of the Mountains 2007 Mountain Biking World Professional Championship series kicks off at the Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah, Saturday. Czech Republic's Michal Prokop and Seattle's Jill Kintner will suit up with the goal of making it three in a row.

    For the past two Jeep King of the Mountain seasons, these young standouts have weathered a storm of bumps, bruises and frayed nerves inflicted by the most savvy, accomplished athletes in the sport to capture their fair share of the sport's richest cash purse. Having already earned a pair of Jeep vehicles, including a 2006 Jeep Commander and 2007 Jeep Compass, Prokop and Lopes will attempt an unprecedented three-peat to protect their throne and add a 2008 Jeep Liberty to their rapidly expanding vehicle fleets.

    While there's no match for sheer talent, a good deal of luck also comes into play during the high speed, close shoulder action taking place on the Y-Cross race course unique to the Jeep KOM series. Not only will the duo have to navigate banked turns, tabletops, step-down jumps and rollers, but they'll have to do so within inches of any one of seven highly skilled foes just itching to break the streak and earn their own place in history.

    Heading into Park City, Prokop and Kintner, both reigning UCI World Champions, have shown equal brilliance on the dirt. After stunning 2006 seasons, Prokop has added a Czech Republic BMX and Mountain Bike National Championship, as well as multiple World Cup podium finishes to his list of achievements, while Kintner has captured two World Cup titles.

    On the men's side, Brian Lopes, the three-time World Champion, five-time World Cup Champion, and nine-time National Champion will challenge Prokop along with Australia's Jared Graves, veteran Australian Wade Bootes as well as Americans Rich Houseman and Eric Carter.

    Lesser known open qualifiers will include local Park City's Chris Van Dine, perhaps best known as the...