TechPowered By

More tech

MTB news & racing round-up for July XX, 2008

Date published:
January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Stellenbosch Challenge

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    As the official venue of stop number four on the South African Mazda MTN National MTB Series, this...

    As the official venue of stop number four on the South African Mazda MTN National MTB Series, this year's Stellenbosch Mountain Bike Challenge will take place on August 2. The 66km route will pass through 21 vineyards although 42km and 15km options will also be available. Tania Raats, John-Paul Pearton and David George are among the favorites expected to attend.

    For those seeking entertainment outside of racing, the event will be held in conjunction with the Stellenbosch Wine Festival. Dylan Victor, one of South Africa's premier trials riders will be performing his trick show at the challenge.

    For more information, visit www.mtbchallenge.co.za.

  • Top riders to Adidas Slopestyle

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    The fourth annual Adidas Slopestyle will take place with 40 of the world's top freeriders from 13...

    The fourth annual Adidas Slopestyle will take place with 40 of the world's top freeriders from 13 countries on July 31 to August 3 in Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria.

    Attendees will include superstars like Canadian Ben Boyko, who won the 2007 Crankworx Slopestyle in Whistler; Lance McDermott, overall winner of the Qashqai Challenge 2008; "Chopper" Grant Fielder; and big mountain rider Pierre-Edouard Ferry as well as style kings Timo Pritzel, Alex Reveles, Phil Sundbaum, Benny Korthaus and Trond Hansen. The latter placed second and third at this year's Qashqai Challenge.

    Europe's shooting stars Martin Soederstroem and Sam Pilgrim, who excelled at international contests this season thus far, will be at the start, and last but not least, the German and Austrians Joscha Forstreuter, Marius Hoppensack, Carlo Dieckmann, Niels Peter Jensen, Amir Kabbani and Niki Leitner will be competing.

    Racers will be competing for US$30,000 in prizes on a course with more than 1,680 person-hours behind the construction.

    For more information, visit www.adidas-slopestyle.com.

  • Girls' participation sees growth spurt in NorCal League

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    In a shift that bucks the trend in sports participation statistics, the participation of girls in...

    In a shift that bucks the trend in sports participation statistics, the participation of girls in the Northern California (NorCal) High School Mountain Bike Racing League increased 50% over last year, compared to a 10% increase in the participation of boys, who saw their number grow substantially a few years ago.

    The League's executive director, Matt Fritzinger, is delighted by the growth. "I'm totally in awe of this phenomenon and can't fully assume credit for this. I think the girls are just catching onto something. I know that every step of the way, our assistant director, Nadine Budbill, has ensured our programs are attractive to girls, nevertheless, I'm amazed by this rate of growth," he said.

    Fritzinger paid tribute to the work of coaches, parents, and partners such as the Luna Chix Ambassadors and the Subaru Gary Fisher Pro Team, all of whom have been supporting the female league membership.

    Nicola Cranmer, general manager of the Proman Women's Cycling Team, commented on the benefits of competitive cycling for young women. "Participating in cycling and racing at an early age helps young women develop not only riding skills but self confidence, focus, team work and camaraderie."

    Participation of girls rose this year from 50 to 80 girls in the NorCal League. Feedback from these girls suggests that the reasons for joining in include new opportunities, confidence enhancement, sisterhood, and desire for a healthy outdoor hobby.

    "I think it is excellent that girls are now starting to invade mountain biking and are creating a space for themselves in the sports world," said Aviva Prager of Albany High.

    "The NorCal League has changed my life by providing an opportunity that is virtually nonexistent elsewhere. I was not a biker before I entered high school, and I didn't even know that biking could be considered a sport. Without my school's team and its part in the League, I never would have picked up such a great sport," said...

  • 24 Hours of Nine Mile returns to Wausau

    Pua Sawicki (Team Mata)
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    The USA Cycling 24-hour National Championships will return to Wausau, Wisconsin, this weekend August...

    The USA Cycling 24-hour National Championships will return to Wausau, Wisconsin, this weekend August 2-3. More than 900 mountain bike enthusiasts from across the United States and Canada are expected to participate. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the event and the third year it has hosted the US Nationals.

    A record number of attendees are expected, including current and former national champions vying for top honors. In addition to the six national championship categories, twenty non-national championship categories will be contested. These include team and solo events in the 12-hour and 24-hour categories. Support staff and spectators will bring total attendance to about 2,000.

    Last year's race was won by Pua Sawicki and Chris Eatough.

    For more information, visit www.24-9.com.

  • No Olympics for doper Riis Andersen

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    Danish National Champion Peter Riis Andersen tested positive for the banned substance EPO in a...

    Danish National Champion Peter Riis Andersen tested positive for the banned substance EPO in a anti-doping control conducted on June 25. Riis Anderson, 28, was fired from his team after both his "A" and "B" samples came back positive. He will not be allowed to represent his country at the Olympics next month.

    "I am sorry for what I have done," Andersen said in a news conference according to the Associated Press. "Until Tuesday last week, I had the idea that I had done nothing wrong. I (then) realized how gross a violation it was. I got it through criminal channels because this cannot be provided legally without a receipt. I joined the club of sinners." After poor results early in the year, Riis Andersen said he was afraid of not making the Olympic team when explaining his motives for doping.

    "I can not explain," said Team Manager Robert Dorn in a statement by the team. "We have never put pressure on the racer and his contract for next year was safe. He had no need to dope. Common sense does not explain his actions. What hurts even more is the personal disappointment."

    "We want to make way for a clean sport going forward, even if this situation is very difficult," said Dorn after firing Anderson.

    Sponsor ALB-Gold issued a statement expressing its shock at the news, but continued support for the rest of the team. "Performance enhancement through illicit means does not agree with our company philosophy. But we are aware of our responsibilities to the rest of the team," said company chief Klaus Freidler. "We will continue our contract until the end of the year. We still believe in the team and the honest work of team manager Dorn." The sponsor will not renew the team's contract after the end of the season.

  • Aussies blitz solo 24-hour worlds

    Andreas Seiber
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    John Stevenson

    By John Stevenson In a staggering show of domination, Australian riders grabbed the top four places...

    By John Stevenson

    In a staggering show of domination, Australian riders grabbed the top four places of the men's race at the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo Championships mountain bike race in Canmore, Canada, this past weekend. The women's event was won by reigning world champion Rebecca Rusch (Specialized).

    New South Wales rider James Williamson (Giant/Ritchey) took the overall title in fine style, clocking up 16 laps in less than 23 hours and taking an early finish when it became clear that second-placed Jason English (BMC/Ritchey) couldn't catch him.

    Williamson took the early lead ahead of evergreen enduro star Tinker Juarez but at about the eight-hour mark, Juarez pulled away from Williamson, only to later drop out with vision problems caused by mud from the wet Canmore course.

    "It was bloody hard early and I didn't think I could hold it," Williamson said at the finish.

    Like Williamson, Rusch remarked on the toughness of the hilly Canmore course. "That was the hardest course I have ever done," she said after the finish. "Add in the rain and the cold and it's ten times harder."

    See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the 24 Hours of Adrenaline.

    Siber and Rucknagel win round two in Canzei

    Germany's Andreas Sieber and Harriet Rucknagel won the iXS European Downhill Cup's second race. The European tour stop brought the gravity community to the Dolomites. In Italy's Canazei, riders from many different countries from all over Europe rolled to the start of the 3.2km long course.

    None of the participants knew what to expect from Canazei's first showing as a race venue so getting accustomed to the conditions at hand was the first thing to do. The course was a high-speed track, which supported the race's motto "release the brakes and give it a go". As with this series' first stop, the weather conditions were unsettled.

    Rain set...

  • Team-mates Sornson and Schalk victorious in Pennsylvania

    Cheryl Sornson crosses a bridge
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Harlan Price in Coburn, Pennsylvania

    By Harlan Price in Coburn, Pennsylvania Stop number five of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE)...

    By Harlan Price in Coburn, Pennsylvania

    Stop number five of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series arrived outside of State College in Coburn, Pennsylvania, last Saturday, with over 300 racers filling up the small city park for the 7:00 am start. A lack of substantial rainfall the night before was a detour from the norm from the previous series races, which all experienced enough rain to significantly affect the courses. Even though racers for the Wilderness 101 were met with moderate temperatures and good trail conditions, the heat of the competition determined there would be a shortage of comfort for all vying for podium spots.

    Sornson's new form rears back and strikes

    Twenty two women on the start line marked a new record for attendance in the overall women's division. In the line up was hometown favorite Michelle Stopper (Visit PA), 2006 and 2007 winner Betsy Shogren (Sobe Cannondale), 2007 series winner Carey Lowery (Outdoor Store) and second at the Lumberjack 100 Karen Potter (mtbmind.com). Cheryl Sornson (Trek VW East Coast) looked at the competition and decided to race her own pace to a victory over the stacked field. En route, she shored up her overall first place in the series' standings.

    "I had a great start and got in a pack with the guys. I was able to get on some good trains (in the opening road sections)." She managed to lead up through mile 40 but was caught by Stopper on one of the descents soon after. The two rode together briefly, but as the climbs began, Stopper pulled away.

    "When she (Stopper) passed me," said Sornson, "I got a little gloomy, but when my friend Tom gave me some encouraging words, I just put it out of my head and tried to stay in my target heart rate zone."

    Stopper managed to hold onto her lead until about mile 85 where the Sornson "came blowing by" on the flat, rolling dual track. At the finish line Sornsoncame in just one minute behind the course record, but more...

  • A second Olympic quest

    Adam Craig (Giant)
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    By Sue George Just two weeks after being named to represent the United States at the upcoming...

    By Sue George

    Just two weeks after being named to represent the United States at the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing in August, Adam Craig successfully defended his US national cross country and Super D titles in Mount Snow, Vermont. Last weekend, at the Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, World Cup, Craig logged an impressive fourth place podium place. Craig spoke about his preparation for the Olympic Games and the effect the Games have had on his season.

    It's not the first time Adam Craig has built a season around the Olympic Games. In 2004, Craig was one of four contenders for two positions on the US Olympic team. After a season-long, global quest for the UCI points needed to make the team, Craig was not selected. However, in 2008, things have worked out quite differently.

    "It is a lot better this time around - in part because the [selection] criteria is not absolutely ridiculous," said Craig when asked how his two experiences of trying to make it to the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games compared. "But I'm also four years older and four years faster, and I know what I need to do now." Craig will turn 27 just one week before the Olympic race.

    "It - the effort to make the Olympic team - has been pleasant and pretty easy as far as hard things go," said a joking Craig as he looked back on his spring campaign.

    Four years has brought Craig more maturity, perspective, confidence and experience travelling in Europe. "I know as long as I'm riding decent that I can always be top 15 top 20 World Cup. I'm comfortable with myself racing now."

    He also credited his Team Giant for providing a mechanic and a soigneur this time around. "I have better support. We have a good set up. Knowing that's necessary and being able to put my foot down makes a difference. I said, 'You know last time my bike broke a bunch and I didn't make the Olympic team - let's try to avoid that.'"

    USA Cycling named Craig to the US Olympic team in early July...

  • World champions win at Mont-Sainte-Anne 4X

    Melissa Buhl (KHS) was happy
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec

    By Sue George in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec Clad in their rainbow striped jerseys, world champions...

    By Sue George in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec

    Clad in their rainbow striped jerseys, world champions Melissa Buhl (KHS) Rafael Alvarez de Lara Lu marched through qualifying and finals to win the World Cup 4X in Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada.

    Buhl defeated Mio Suemasa (MS-Intense Factory Racing), Fionn Griffiths (Norco World Team) and Anneke Beerten in the big final. Beerten crashed in the final, but managed to get up and ride to the finish.

    "I had an outside lane choice which gave me a disadvantage from the start," said the American winner Buhl. "I had a lot of track to make up there. Anneke had a good start but then she slid out." The turn in question one was the only turn with two options, according to Buhl.

    "If you stayed below the lower rock," said Buhl, "you could get on the inside. Problem was we ran out of real estate, and I almost missed the blue gate. It was a bit of a scramble, but I'm glad I didn't miss it and was able to get out." On that turn, where Beerten crashed, Buhl came underneath to make a pass. "I was in front of her when she crashed. I'm not sure what happened."

    In the men's race, Alvarez de Lara Lu beat Romain Saladini (Team Sunn), Guido Tschugg and Cedric Gracia in the Big Final.

    "It was an easy race as I was first through each round," said Saladini through a translator after his final run. Saladini was all smiles after his race and he said he was not nervous for his first World Cup appearance since winning the World Championships just over one month ago. "I tried to race as if it was the same as any other race. It wasn't any different."

    Behind Alvarez de Lara Lu was a chasing Romain Saladini (Team Sunn). The Frenchman was content after his race, his first back after breaking a finger at the Fort William round of the World Cup in early June. "It was smooth for me," said Frenchman Saladini. "I didn't see the crash."

    Neither he nor Alvarez de Lara Lu knew what was going on in...

  • Premont solos to win at home

    Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain) wins
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec

    By Sue George in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec Racing near her home, Canadian Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky...

    Canadians excel at Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup

    By Sue George in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec

    Racing near her home, Canadian Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain) rode away from her competition on the first lap and never looked back on her way to victory in the cross country at the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup. She was followed by Catherine Pendrel (Luna Women's MTB Team), another Canadian riding solo to a second place. Norwegian Lene Byberg (Specialized Factory Racing) rode steadily to a strong third place finish.

    "It was really crazy to win here at home," said Premont. "The crowd was here for me and it really helped." Premont's popularity drew many spectators – it appeared there were more out to watch the women's race than the men's race. Cheers followed her around the course; it was easy to tell when Premont was coming by the reactions of her fans, many of whom were carrying and waving signs with Premont's photo.

    The local heroine got a good start, but she also looked strong throughout the race. "My strategy was to be fast at the beginning and try to get that gap and to be careful after that," she said. In a clean ride finished up in 2:06:30, she had no mechanicals or crashes and her solid technical skills enabled her to ride everything.

    Going into the first technical section on the initial lap, Premont led, followed by Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) and Pendrel. The latter eventually passed the Norwegian Dahle Flesjaa who dropped back to finish fifth. American Georgia Gould (Luna MTB Women's Team) finished fourth.

    "I had the best World Cup start I've ever had in my life," said fellow Canadian Pendrel. "We were all close at the top of the first climb, but I wasn't aggressive enough and I went into the woods third wheel instead of on Marie's. That allowed a gap to form between us, and Marie started to pull away in the first woods section."

    Pendrel said it was helpful for the two Canadians...