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MTB News & racing round-up for June 1, 2006

Date published:
June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
  • Number three in Madrid: the Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa diary

    In Madrid
    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    It was an amazing experience for us to win the world cup race in Madrid . It's the third year...

    It was an amazing experience for us to win the world cup race in Madrid . It's the third year running that we've taken first place at this race track, which has become a classic of sorts within mountain biking circles. We've entered an exciting and important phase of the 2006 season, with three world cup weekends in a row, so this result was a big positive.

    After the race I was lying on my bed with my legs raised,with my pulse dropping as the adrenaline in my body gradually receded. I was still sweating after a very tough day on my bike in the scorching sun and temperatures well above 30 degrees centigrade. The first hours after crossing the finish line were spent talking to Norwegian and international press, plus the awards ceremony, warming down on the rollers, doping control, photos and writing my signature for all our Merida supporters here in Spain. I had a good massage and a delicious dinner together with the team.

    The weekend before we took part in the Bundesliga at Heubach in the south of Germany, which was a demanding and exciting warm up before the World Cup race. We arrived in Madrid on Monday afternoon and the week was used for some rest, training and fine tuning with a focus on regaining energy. Through the past weeks my physical shape has been steadily improved, and we've received the feedback we'd been looking for on the race track, regarding both my feeling physically and my performance.

    Read the entire Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa diary here.

  • Getting my head in the game; the Kristin Danielson diary

    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    After a long month of traveling, I'm happy to be back home in Durango. My adventures lead me first...

    After a long month of traveling, I'm happy to be back home in Durango. My adventures lead me first to the Tour de Georgia. Tom put in a great race, proving that he has improved his time trialing skills and is ready for all his upcoming races.

    After the Tour de Georgia , Tom and I traveled to Italy where we met up with one of the Discovery Team directors, Sean Yates. We spent a week driving up and down the incredible switchback roads that are precisely situated among the Dolomite mountain range. When we approached a climb that had been designated apart of the Giro course Tom jumped out and off he went. Tom made the steep grades look easy as he pedaled a fast cadence and was barely breathing. Any other person would have been all over their bike just to get up the extreme roads.

    I have to say Italy quickly became one of my favorite places in Europe. The small mountain towns were so beautiful and quaint. The roads among the mountains are so incredible. I can't get over how they even managed to build them. Or the towns for that matter.

    Read the entire Kristin Danielson diary here.

  • Canberra bids for 2008 MTB Worlds

    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Vice-President, Ray Godkin, and technical delegate, Scott...

    Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Vice-President, Ray Godkin, and technical delegate, Scott Sharples, visited Canberra this week to assess Canberra's bid for the 2008 UCI Mountain Bike and Trails World Championships.

    Cycling Australia (CA) President, Mike Victor, CA Chief Executive, Graham Fredericks, Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) President, Gillian Duncan and MTBA Executive Officer, Tony Scott, accompanied the UCI delegates on their visit.

    Before touring the Mount Stromlo facility, Canberra Off-Road Cyclists (CORC) and Apis Consulting presented Canberra's bid to hold the Championships. Former CEO of the Sydney Organising Committee, Sandy Hollway lent strong support to the bid in his closing presentation to the delegates.

    The delegates travelled by helicopter to the course, giving them an aerial view of the facility and its urban proximity. Course Designer, Glen Jacobs, spent over 4 hours with the delegates, walking the proposed downhill course and explaining the cross country, 4X and trials courses.

    CORC President Anthony Burton said “the Canberra bid team had received positive feedback from the delegates who were impressed by the outstanding quality of the bid, the Mount Stromlo facility, and the commitment of the ACT Government to Mountain Biking. Canberra really is the Australian Cycling Territory.”

    Mount Stromlo and its surrounds have been home to mountain biking in Canberra for decades. In the fires that devastated parts of Canberra in 2001 and again in 2003, most of the riding tracks were destroyed. Since this time, the ACT Government has committed over six million dollars to constructing a purpose-built world class cycling facility on the eastern side of the mountain. This facility is planned for completion in December 2006 and will form the event hub.

  • Australia MTB series dates announced

    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    The national series for the 2006/2007 season has been finalised. Once again the season sees four...

    The national series for the 2006/2007 season has been finalised. Once again the season sees four high quality venues conducting events from October 2006 through to February 2007.

    The season kicks off with the much-anticipated mountain cross (MTNX) at Sydney Olympic Park, which last season saw over 200 riders coverage on the first purpose-built and permanent MTNX course in a major city. It's expected that this season's opener (October 21) will be bigger and held in conjunction with the Sydney Festival of Cycling. The following day (October 22) sees XC#1 being staged at the very well known Yellowmundee Regional Park near Richmond by the Western Sydney MTB Club.

    The first downhill event will be hosted by Central Tablelands MTB Club on their awesome course at Lithgow the following weekend (October 29).

    National level mountain bike competition will see a welcome return to Tasmania (November 25-26) with the Hobart Dirt Devils hosting XC#2, DH#2 and MTNX#2 at the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park, whose Glen Jacobs-designed courses were very favourably received last season.

    Thredbo (December 16-17) hosts the third round in all disciplines, with chair-lifted DH competition, high altitude XC and a Jacobs-inspired MTNX course. The final round of the MTNX series (MTNX#4) will be hosted at Blackhill, near Newcastle (January 7), and the final rounds of XC and DH (XC#4 and DH#4) will be staged at the ever-popular Mt. Beauty (February 24-25).

    The Australian MTB Marathon Championships (Toowoomba, September 3) and the Australian MTB Championships in Canberra (January 24-28) will also feature on the calendar with a view to hosting the 2008 World MTB Championships, the details of which are available on the MTB Australia web site.

  • Pakistan MTB race to help earthquake victims

    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    An epic three days of mountain biking over some of the most exciting and gruelling terrain in the...

    An epic three days of mountain biking over some of the most exciting and gruelling terrain in the world, the Tour of the Karakoram in Pakistan is being promoted to help victims of last October's earthquake that destroyed much of the area and killed thousands of people.

    Organised by former Marco Polo Cycling Team member Nathan Dahlberg, all funds generated from the race will go to the Kaghan Memorial School Project of the Kaghan Memorial Trust. This school is being built in Balakot, one of the areas worst-affected by the earthquake, where thousands of children were killed when their schools collapsed on top of them.

    To be held from September 1-3, 2006, the Tour of The Karakoram is a combined mountain bike stage race and bike tour. 20 invited riders will participate in the three-day race that will cover 250 kilometres on dirt, paved and track only roads, crossing the Babusar Pass at more than 4,100 metres above sea level (that's 13,600 feet!). A further 20 tourists will cover the same distance, and any others who are game (read: mad - ed.) enough can also tackle the race.

    Organisers warn this is not a trip for the physically, mentally or culturally weak, and a documentary for British television will also be filmed during the race.

    Race prizes:

    Daily prizes for the first three on each stage
    King of Babusar pass and special prizes for second and third up the pass
    King of Karakorums for the overall winner and prizes for the first 10 on overall classement
    Special prizes for oldest, most combative, best sportsman

    More information: tr.nelson.co.nz/tour_of_the_karakorum.htm

  • U.K. marathon series kicks off this weekend

    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    Round one of the all new Trek national marathon series in conjunction with the MBR Big Weekend. For...

    Round one of the all new Trek national marathon series in conjunction with the MBR Big Weekend. For the first time the best long distance riders in the country will be able to race head to head, completing four laps of 25km in England, Scotland and this weekend, Wales.

    Margam Park plays host to the first gruelling 100km marathon which will include the killer climbs and bone shaking descents that gave Margam such a great reputation in 2005. Current marathon champ Nick Craig will be looking to add the series to his impressive string of results, but there will undoubtedly be some other elite’s looking to claim a share of the prize money.

    Riders wanting an easier task have the choice of sampling 25 or 50k’s of pleasure and pain on a course which will have been extended from the previous day’s National Points XC Series following a course that couldn’t be more different than round one at Sherwood.

    Expect to see Oli Beckingsale at the head of the elite field and a cracking atmosphere as 900 riders test their metal against the best in the country and enjoy the rocky descents.

  • NORBA clarifies series rules

    Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) and Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna Chix)
    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    A raft of rule and schedule changes across all disciplines in the current National Mountain Bike...

    A raft of rule and schedule changes across all disciplines in the current National Mountain Bike Series has become necessary as a result of the recent relocation of the National Mountain Bike Championships from Mammoth, Calif. to the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on July 14-16, 2006.

    The event relocation was necessary because of unusually deep and persistent snow on the ground at Mammoth Mountain. USA Cycling and the National Mountain Bike Series have devised these changes to reflect a new, condensed, series schedule.

    The Cross Country (XC) Series will now consist of six events with one race drop allowed in any race except the cross country finals in Snowmass, CO. Racers must have a total of five finishes – four plus a finish at the finals in Snowmass – to be eligible to be crowned NMBS Champion in the Pro, Semi-Pro, and all Expert categories for men and women

    The Downhill (DH) Series will now consist of seven events with two race drops allowed in any two races except the downhill finals in Snowmass, CO. Racers must have a total of five finishes -- four finishes plus a finish at the finals in Snowmass -- to be eligible to be crowned NMBS Champion in the Pro, Semi-Pro, and all Expert categories for men and women. The Sonoma, Calif. National Championships event will also be counted as part of the downhill series.

    The Marathon (MA) Series will now consist of four events with no race drops allowed. The four finishes must include the Marathon finals in Brian Head, UT. Racers must finish all four races to be eligible to be crowned NMBS Champion in the Pro, Semi-Pro, and all Expert categories for men and women.

    The Gated Event (DS) Series will now consist of seven events with one race drop allowed in any race except the Gated Event series finals in Snowmass, CO. Racers must have a total of six finishes -- five finishes plus a finish at the finals in Snowmass -- to be eligible to be crowned NMBS Champion in the...

  • Global MTB racing round-up

    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    Coupe Québec SISU, Can (E1), May 27-28: Top 17 MTB - Szilvasvarad Maraton, Hun (E3), May 28: Full...

  • Aussie Sam Hill tops the DH World Cup

    Sam Hill
    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    West Australian Sam Hill has moved to the top of the World Cup downhill mountain bike rankings after...

    West Australian Sam Hill has moved to the top of the World Cup downhill mountain bike rankings after victory in the second round raced at Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.

    The 20 year old was second fastest in qualifying but clipped four seconds off that time to post 4min25.33sec for the final run. His time was 1.20sec faster than second placed Frenchman Cedric Gracia with South African Greg Minnaar a further second back in third.

    Hill now has 352 points and is 22 points clear of second ranked Steve Peat (GBR) with four rounds remaining. Hannah is sitting fourth on the rankings with 274 points and fellow Australian Nathan Rennie, who placed eighth in Fort William, is ranked fifth on 266 points.

    In the 4X events Australians Chris Kovarik and Katrina Miller finished third and fourth respectively in their finals.

  • U.S. National MTB Ultra-Endurance Series opens Saturday

    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    The newly-formed U.S. National MTB Ultra Endurance Series , a collection of six 100-mile races held...

    The newly-formed U.S. National MTB Ultra Endurance Series, a collection of six 100-mile races held across the U.S., gets its start Saturday June 3 at 7am at the Mohican 100. Based out of the Mohican State Lodge near Loudonville, the first race winds through Ohio's Walhonding Valley.

    In it's fourth annual running, the Mohican has doubled its numbers each year since inception and besides the racers vying for early leads in the new Ultra MTB National Series, promoters expect to field over 150 riders in the 100-mile category.

    Check back on Cyclingnews.com for post race reports, results and photos.

    The National MTB Ultra Endurance Series races

    1. Mohican MTB 100 (Ohio, June 3)
    2. Founder's Lumberjack 100 (Michigan, June 17)
    3. Breckenridge 100 (Colorado, July 15)
    4. Wilderness 101 (Pennsylvania, July 29)
    5. The Endurance 100 (Utah, August 26)
    6. Shenandoah 100 (Virginia, September 3)

  • Fort William World Cup round-up

    Nina Göhl (Multivan Merida)
    Article published:
    June 01, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    By Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa suffered her first real adversity in the...

    By Rob Jones and Steve Medcroft

    Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa suffered her first real adversity in the Fort William world cup cross-country race last weekend. No, it wasn't illness, bad weather or an overwhelming competitor that pushed her into an uncharacteristic fourth place. The seemingly unbeatable double World Champion fell to simple mechanical problems.

    Dahle-Flesjaa went to the front at the start of the women's race as usual, but when the leaders came through at the end of the lap, the blue jersey of the world cup leader was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) had a 40-second lead over Nina Göhl (Dahle-Flesjaa's teammate) and Irina Kalentieva (Topeak-Ergon).

    Dahle-Flesjaa had flatted, and then found out after changing the tube that her air cartridge didn't work. So, she had to make a two kilometre run to the tech zone. "I lost many spots, I think I heard 59th or 60th when I got going again." For the remainder of the six-lap race, Dahle-Felsjaa worked her way through the field and managed fourth place by the end calling it, "my strongest effort this year. I felt so good out there all day today."

    Göhl won after Premont faded off her leading pace and Margarita Fullana Riera (Spiuk) finished third.

    The story of the men's race was not so much who won (Julien Absalon, Bianchi - Agos, took his third World Cup in a row) but the American in fifth place. Right from the gun, a group of ten riders distanced themselves from the rest of the field. American cross-country National Champion Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) was there along with Absalon, Bart Brentjens (Giant), Christoph Sauser (Specialized), and others.

    When Absalon made a push to get away from the group on the third lap, only Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) Hermida and JHK could respond. Aware that he couldn't maintain the pace of the front group, JHK dropped back to a chase group...