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MTB news & racing round-up for June 12, 2008

Date published:
June 12, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Casalegno out with injury

    Article published:
    June 12, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Junior woman Vittoria Casalegno will have to sit out the World Championship race in her home country...

    Junior woman Vittoria Casalegno will have to sit out the World Championship race in her home country next week after a road accident. The Italian racer from Piedmont suffered fractures and other injuries requiring surgery. Officials from her Giant Italia Team reported that an operation was completed, but have no word yet from her doctors on expectations for her recovery.

    "Vittoria was on track to be in good physical condition after some earlier problems, and she was ready to take part to the World Championship," said Technical Manager Gianfranco Bechis. "Unfortunately this accident happened but we are sure that, thanks to her determination, she will be able to start mountain biking again soon. The Team will continue to support her."

  • Kalentieva rides with her head, too

    Kalentieva won the Worlds last year, saying that she really wanted it.
    Article published:
    June 12, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Susan Westemeyer Irina Kalentieva came originally from the little-known Russian province of...

    By Susan Westemeyer

    Irina Kalentieva came originally from the little-known Russian province of Chuvash to conquer the world – the world of mountain biking. She won the World Championship title in cross country last year in Fort William, and will look to defend that title next week in Val di Sole, Italy. She has lived in Germany for the past five years.

    Talking with the 30 year-old, one is struck by how often she mentions her motivation, leading to the question, does she ride with her head as much as with her legs? "My head – the motivation – is the most important. All the riders have good legs, good training, we are all equal physically. Five or six of us, all the same," she said. "But the one who will win in the end is the one who is strongest in the head, who thinks positively. For me, I use my head a lot in racing, for example in tactics." She continued, "In the World Championships, all are strong and it is very difficult, but I tell myself that I can do it. That is my strength."

    That was also how the Topeak Ergon racer won the World title last year. "It was something very special, all the strongest riders in the world were there, even (Gunn-Rita) Dahle Flesjå (Multivan Merida). It was very special. I thought I could finish in the top three. The course was very good for me, the downhill, everything worked out 100 percent.

    "I had the strongest motivation to win and to become World Champion, that helped. Perhaps I was no stronger than the others, but with this motivation ... that I one day wanted to become World Champion, that helped" to bring her the title.

    Winning that title was the best moment in her career. The worst moment was four years ago, in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. "I got sick two days before the race. We figured on a medal and then I got sick. I rode anyway, and finished 13th out of 32, fever and all. I could have died, but that didn't matter."

    The Russian is from...

  • German, Swiss, US & Canadian teams for worlds

    Article published:
    June 12, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Luke Webber in Fort William

    The American, German, Swiss and Canadian Cycling Federations finalized their selections for...

    The American, German, Swiss and Canadian Cycling Federations finalized their selections for representatives for the 2008 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships next week in Val di Sole, Italy, from June 17-22. Teams for each nation are listed below.

    US for the 2008 World Championships

    Cross country
    Elite men: Adam Craig, Todd Wells, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Jeremiah Bishop, Michael Broderick, Sam Schultz
    Elite women: Mary McConneloug, Georgia Gould, Willow Koerber, Heather Irmiger, Sue Haywood, Lea Davison, Kelli Emmett
    U23 and junior: Kevin Aiello, Naish Ulmer, Joseph Schusler, Taylor Borucki, Dustin Belcher, Graeme Pitts and Geoffrey Ulmer were named as additions to the previously announced junior and U23 cross country teams.

    Downhill
    Elite men: Kyle Strait, J.D. Swanguen, Duncan Riffle, Cole Bangert, Cody Warren, Kain Leonard, Lars Steinberg
    Elite women: Melissa Buhl, Kathy Pruitt
    Junior men: Kevin Aiello, Naish Ulmer, Joseph Schusler, Taylor Borucki, Dustin Belcher, Graeme Pitts, Geoffrey Ulmer

    4X
    Elite men: Brian Lopes, Ross Milan, Mike Haderer, Erik Nelson, Blake Carney
    Elite women: Melissa Buhl, Neven Steinmetz, Jessica Vogt (declined nomination)

    Canada for the 2008 World Championships

    Cross country
    Elite men: Geoff Kabush, Seamus McGrath, Derek Zandstra, Max Plaxton – wildcard selection
    Elite women: Marie-Helene Premont, Catharine Pendrel, Kiara Bisaro
    U23 men: Neal Kindree (injured and unable to attend), Raphael Gagne
    U23 women: Emily Batty
    Junior men: Evan Guthrie, Tyson Wagler, Jonathon Boucher
    Junior women: Leah Kirchmann , Bianca Adolf

    Downhill
    Elite men: Steve Smith, Andrew Mitchell, Charles -Alexandre Dube, Hans Lambert
    Elite women: Claire Buchar, Micayla Gatto, Denise Uyesugi, Kim Huard, Marie-Eve Marcotte
    Junior men: Yann Gauvin,...

  • Record numbers to compete at World Championship

    Article published:
    June 12, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Luke Webber in Fort William

    Italy will host the UCI World Championships for the third time from June 17 to 22, when a record...

    Italy will host the UCI World Championships for the third time from June 17 to 22, when a record number of racers are set to compete. Val di Sole is hosting this edition while Ciocco (1991) and Livigno (2005) have hosted previous Italian editions

    More than 970 racers from 52 countries will compete next week. The breakdown includes 532 in the cross country, 261 in the downhill, 96 in 4X and 100 in trials according to the UCI's website. The large numbers are due in part to the upcoming Olympic Games - many riders will use the World Championships to prepare.

    By comparison, last year's worlds in Fort William, Great Britain drew 715 racers from 47 countries. In 2004, the last Olympic year, there were 794 racers in Les Gets, France. 2005 and 2006 (Rotorua, New Zealand) saw 702 and 482 racers respectively.

  • Second Trans Germany crowns winners

    The peloton races the final stage
    Article published:
    June 12, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    The Craft & Friends / Team Bianchi won the second Trans Germany after its Thomas Dietsch and Martin...

    The Craft & Friends / Team Bianchi won the second Trans Germany after its Thomas Dietsch and Martin Kraler triumphed on the final 79km stage from Oberwiesenthal to Seiffen in 2:48:48 hours. In total, over seven stages, the French and Austrian pair race 23:22:34 hours for the 658 kilometres and 15,259 metres of elevation gain.

    After their fourth stage victory, Kraler was more than pleased. "In the beginning of the Trans Germany we had some bad luck and weren't in shape for 100 percent. We weren't able to compete during the weeks prior to this race. But as the days went by we were getting better and better. That's why we controlled the competition over the last stages. I'm happy that we won."

    For a short time during the final stage Anna-Sofie and Kristine Norgaard questioned the outcome of the their women's race when they faced some scary moments. Kristine's tube and tyre were damaged. "We had to change the tube, so we put in our last one! We also fixed the tyre with an ordinary tape. I was hoping that this would work out," said Kristine after the final stage in which the two Danish sisters finished third (3:14:09).

    The tyre repair did in fact work, so even a final stage win by Team Rocky Mountain with Alison Sydor and Pia Sundstedt (3:11:02) didn't affect the final standing. In the end, Team Cube WLS secured their second consecutive title with a lead of 15 minutes over Team Rocky Mountain. "It was a stressful day and for a few minutes I was really scared of losing our lead but it finally worked out. We are super happy that we were able to win again after 2007," said Kristine Norgaard.

    See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Trans Germany.

    Experience pays off at Big Bear

    The third event of the 24 hour National Points Series (NPS), the 24 Hours of Big Bear, started just days after heavy rains the previous week threatened to make the technical,...

  • Moseley wins on home turf

    Tracy Moseley celebrates in front of the home crowds.
    Article published:
    June 12, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Luke Webber At the World Cup downhill in Fort William, the elite women's event saw a return to...

    By Luke Webber

    At the World Cup downhill in Fort William, the elite women's event saw a return to form for British national champion Tracy Moseley (Kona). After an average start to the season, a return home gave Moseley the ideal opportunity to start fresh on a course that has been a favourite for many years now. In the past her victories have been on a very different course - wet, windy and damaged, but the dusty, sandy track over the weekend was different in character than anything seen before was not expected to suit Moseley so well; in fact, Sabrina Jonnier (Team Maxxis) or Rachel Atherton (Animal Commencal) were the preferred favourites for many.

    But Moseley's experience on such a long and physical course was her asset and she used it to exploit big time gaps across the course. Five seconds was the deficit at the end of the race to Jonnier and a jubilant Moseley took her lap of honour in front of a home crowd that powered her to another victory at the Fort.

    "It's amazing to get the season back on track, great for my confidence and good timing to get it in front of the home fans too. I'm definitely going quicker now than early on and hopefully I can keep that going through the rest of the year. I haven't yet been to the Worlds track so I'll be riding it blind, but I'm on such a high already I am confident of a good result there."

    Sandwiching between Moseley and third placed Atherton was Frenchwoman Jonnier who regained her World Cup leaders' jersey, but was unhappy with her overall result. "The race went well today, but I ended up making too many mistakes in the top section, I started out too fast and ended up scaring myself! I'm pretty upset with finishing second, but Tracy did a very good ride today. The main thing was I took back the leaders jersey - that's the one good thing for today. The Worlds is going to be hard, the same battle between Tracy, Rachel and I as last year though. I like the course over in Italy,...

  • Gold to Graves at Fort William

    Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox)
    Article published:
    June 12, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Luke Webber in Fort William

    After finishing seventh at the BMX World Championship in China last weekend, Jared Graves showed his...

    After finishing seventh at the BMX World Championship in China last weekend, Jared Graves showed his versatile skills by taking a win in the 4X final at the third round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series in Fort William, Scotland, this past weekend.

    "I haven't won here for a couple of years," said Graves. "I love this course but it's always hated me and with so many quick guys you never know what's going to happen, so to get the win is just great."

    The 25 year-old Graves is ranked number two in the world in BMX, in which he hopes to gain selection for the Olympic Games in Beijing, but he also boasts a solid resume of mountain bike results including a silver medal in the 4X at the 2005 World Championships.

    The 4X event in Fort William was raced in warm, dry conditions not usually experienced on the Nevis Range course, and Graves made the most of them to qualify fastest. He headed into the final as the man to beat despite admitting last weekend he would be training through this World Cup and the World Championships in Val di Sole in Italy in preparation for BMX in Beijing.

    See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the elite men's and elite women's 4X Fort William World Cup.

  • Tough luck tests Merida in Fort William

    Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos (Multvan Merida)
    Article published:
    June 12, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Luke Webber

    At the World Cup in Fort William, tough luck kept José Hermida and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan...

    At the World Cup in Fort William, tough luck kept José Hermida and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan Merida) from scoring top finishes. Dahle Flesjå lost a brake lever in the first lap of her race, while Hermida suffered a flat as he made part of a lead group early on in the race.

    After a tangle in the first lap Dahle Flesjå lost one of her brake levers, forcing her to ride the first lap without a rear brake, which cost her several positions on the long downhill after a good start. At the repair zone, team mechanic Ralph Tiede showed a record-worthy performance. Within less than a minute, he dismounted a brake lever from a back-up bike and mounted it on the Norwegian's bike. The quick intervention allowed Dahle Flesjå a chance to catch up from 39th and still finish eighth.

    For Dahle Flesjå, this mishap was kind of a déja-vu experience: In 2006, the Norwegian suffered a flat tire in the first lap on the same course only to catch up with the entire field from way back. Back then, she finished in fourth position. Speaking of this year's misfortune, she said, "That really was a lot of tough luck here, but it can happen. The fast lap times have shown me that I might have finished way up front under normal circumstances though."

    Hermida was riding in a lead group together with podium finishers Christoph Sauser, Florian Vogel and Nino Schurter. But he was dropped when he suffered a flat tire and had to walk for almost a kilometre before getting a fix. His bad luck just got worse when he suffered a second flat.

    "A top finish would have been well within my capabilities. When I took the lead together with the Swiss guys, I really thought that this was the day it might work out," said Hermida at the finish, but he added that he was fully focussed on August 23 when he is hoping for better luck at the Beijing Olympic games.

    Their team-mate Ralph Näf also suffered some misfortune when he had to...

  • Premont captures first World Cup victory

    Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain)
    Article published:
    June 12, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Luke Webber in Fort William

    By Luke Webber in Fort William Marie Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain), overall leader of the World...

    By Luke Webber in Fort William

    Marie Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain), overall leader of the World Cup series, has always finished consistently. Podiums at every event have put her amongst the best, if not the most feared. But her victory in the cross country at Fort William in Scotland left everyone with something to think about heading into the second half of the season.

    After a fast start on yet another perfect day in Fort William, Premont and Marga Fullana (Massi) both distanced themselves from the chasers. Neither looked likely to be caught but on the downhill it was obvious Premont wanted to get into clearer air. On lap two she got that break but it came to nothing. Fullana was too strong, countering on the brutal climb and making a gap of her own.

    Premont was patient though, waiting for the time when Fullana would tire which eventually came on the final lap. With nowhere to hide Premont overtook her competitor on the upper slopes and attacked again on the downhill without fear of repercussion and claim her first victory of the year.

    After the race Premont spoke about the closing stages. "I took some risks on the final downhill, I had to," she said. "On lap two I tried to get away but when Marga could follow me she could keep up but not on the final lap. I'm really happy that I have finally won a race. Marga was very strong today I knew it was her kind of course and I had to stay with her if I was to get a result.

    "The longer I could stay on her wheel the better, but on lap three she got a gap," said Premont. "I kept trying though and on the last lap I gave it everything I had. I knew I was faster on the downhill but it was not easy. Tomorrow I go back home to train and rest for the worlds where I can hopefully keep my good form going."

    In the elite men's cross country, the podium was an all Swiss affair with Florian Vogel (Swisspower Mtb Team) winning in a time of 2.06.27. Nino Schurter (Swisspower Mtb Team)...