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MTB News & racing round-up for June 15, 2006

Date published:
June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
  • I want to live on Sugar Mountain - the Chris Davidson diary

    ‘Dirt Nap’ results
    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    The second stop of the 2006 NORBA circuit took me to a new venue, Sugar Mountain, tucked in the...

    The second stop of the 2006 NORBA circuit took me to a new venue, Sugar Mountain, tucked in the hills of western North Carolina. As I live in Utah, the idea of skiing at a venue this far south and at only 5300 feet elevation seemed odd to me, but there is a reason why this place is called Sugar Mountain - the sugary snow on the slopes. The new NORBA stop meant a new race course - this one was interesting, with lots of double track and paved climbing and then some "east coast" descending. Watch out for the rocks and roots.

    It was difficult to get a good cell phone signal in this remote region and wireless internet was impossible, so here is a summary of the race weekend:

    Thursday: Get to the venue and wash the vehicles in the rain. Setup the tech area and get bikes ready to go. The girls rode in the wet as there was some rain about. Tyre choice was key and we ended up changing all the tyres to some real knobby tread designs. Most of the race wheels still had minimally treaded tires still on from Fontana. Bike wash Thursday night took until the sun went down with all the mud.

    Read the entire Chris Davidson diary here.

  • Entries open for Oz 24 Hour MTB champ's

    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Entries for the largest 24-hour mountain bike races in the world, the Scott Australian 24 Hour...

    Entries for the largest 24-hour mountain bike races in the world, the Scott Australian 24 Hour Mountain Bike Championships and the Scott Australian Solo 24 Hour Mountain Bike Championships, will open online on Thursday, June 15. The races will be held on October 7-8 2006 in Kowen Forest, Canberra.

    This year, there are 2750 spots up for grabs, but organisers recommend that competitors enter early. The event sold out four months prior to last year's race and 850 riders missed out.

    More information or to enter: www.scott24hr.com.au

  • Irish MTB series continues this weekend

    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Team WORC is staging the fourth round of this year's Irish National Points Series MTB XC series in...

    Team WORC is staging the fourth round of this year's Irish National Points Series MTB XC series in Ballinastoe Woods, near Roundwood, County Wicklow this Sunday, June 18. The event will be based at the Luggala entrance to the forest on the Sally Gap Road.

    In past years this event has been promoted as the Pog Chase, a very long single-lap, mass start race that had proved very popular. This time around, however, the event has UCI E2 status and as a result has to conform to the more usual multi-lap format with separate start times for the various classes.

    The elite men's race will feature another encounter between perennial favourite Robin Seymour of the promoting club and the Niall Davis (IMBRC), the young pretender. Both competitors have been competing abroad in recent weeks and have scored some impressive results.

    Seymour has secured a sponsorship deal this year with the UK-based Endura Voodoo Singletrack Team, which means he'll ride the British National Points Series and the Trek Marathon series. He placed fifth in the XC event two weeks ago at Margam Park in South Wales and followed this with an excellent second in the marathon event the next day. The women's elite race is perhaps more open, depending on who makes the start. Tarja Owens (Team WORC), Jenny McCauley (Bray Wheelers) and Beth McCluskey are all capable of winning.

    Sign-on starts at 10am, with underage and sports classes starting at 12pm. All other classes begin at 1.30pm.

  • Call for volunteers at Worlds

    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    In August 2006, the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships will return to the Southern...

    In August 2006, the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships will return to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time in ten years and volunteers are desperately needed for the Rotorua, New Zealand event.

    Event promoters are looking to fill a variety of roles for the three-week event. Help is need for both general and specialty jobs, including first aid, media, construction, timing, logistics and marshalling.

    One of the world's most famous sporting brands, Adidas, will be sponsoring the hard-working volunteers. Adidas will provide a cap, polo shirt and jacket for all volunteers.

    Contact the Volunteers Director volunteers@2006rotoruamtb.com for further information, or visit the 2006 Rotorua Worlds web site.

  • Two victories for Byberg at Tour L'Hexagonal

    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Lene Byberg (Nor) member of Team Bikin'Cyprus, had a successful short visit to the Tour l'Hexagonal...

    Lene Byberg (Nor) member of Team Bikin'Cyprus, had a successful short visit to the Tour l'Hexagonal in France by winning the first two stages of the eight-stage race. She won the 48-kilometer cross-country race in the outskirts of Paris, beating Cecile Rode (Fra) by five minutes, and the stage-two time trial, gaining five seconds on Hélène Marcouyre (Fra).

    She didn't defend the leader's jersey though, pulling out of the event after two stages because she wants to keep her focus on the next World Cup event at Mont Sainte Anne, Canada, where she will defend her UCI ranking of seventh.

  • Global MTB racing round-up

    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    US national series, Sugar Mountain NC (NE), June 10-11: Main Bike Festival Willingen, Ger (E2), June...

    • US national series, Sugar Mountain NC (NE), June 10-11: Main
    • Bike Festival Willingen, Ger (E2), June 5: Full Results
    • Swisspower Cup #6, Swi (E2), June 5: Full Results
    • Portugal Cup, Por (E2), June 4: Top 5
    • Gran Premi Massi-Copa Catalana #5, Spa (E2), June 4: Full results
    • National Points Series XCO #2, GBr (E2), June 3: Full results
    • Kisnana Kupa, Hun (E2), June 4: Full results
  • Lenosky takes TEVA Games trials win

    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    LAKE Cycling sponsored free-rider, Jeff Lenosky, demonstrated his skills on June 3 by winning The...

    LAKE Cycling sponsored free-rider, Jeff Lenosky, demonstrated his skills on June 3 by winning The Freeride Challenge of the TEVA Mountain Games, held in Vail, Colorado. The head-to-head speed trials course included difficult jumps, ramps and other obstacles, which put riders up to eight feet in the air and on top of structures only two feet wide.

    “This year's course was faster than ever and the group of riders that showed up to compete was a talented bunch…I was definitely psyched to take the win this year,” said Lenosky shortly after being named Teva Mountain Games Freeride champion.

    At the Teva Mountain Games, professional and amateur outdoor adventure athletes from around the world competed in six sports and ten disciplines including: freestyle and extreme kayaking, kayak and raft paddlecross, bouldering, speed and dyno climbing, mountain bike freeriding, cross country racing and the Vail Hill Climb, trail running championships and the GNC adventure sprint race.

    Super MTB husband-and-wife team, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger (both Subaru/Gary Fisher), each won $2,500 for winning their respective cross-country events.

    A feature television program about the event will be aired on the Outdoor Life Network and on Fox Sports to an expected audience of over 150 million.

  • U-23 alum finishes fifth at Sugar Mountain

    Men's podium
    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    USA Cycling Under-23 program graduate Nick Waite (Davis, W.V./Kelly Benefit Strategies) rode to his...

    USA Cycling Under-23 program graduate Nick Waite (Davis, W.V./Kelly Benefit Strategies) rode to his first NORBA National professional podium place on Saturday when he placed fifth at the NMBS#2 Showdown at the Sugar Mountain Resort, NC.

    "[The U-23 program] always had us riding with the pros, but now that I'm not a U-23, there's a little more pressure on myself," Waite said. He signed with the Kelly Benefit Strategies professional team this April.

    The top finisher for the current U-23 team was Sam Jurekovic, who placed 13th among the field of 96 pro riders - a personal best for Jurekovic. He completed the four laps of the 6.6-mile course in 2:20:10.

    "It was hard, I just had my suffer face on all day," Jurekovic said. "I was riding really well, just got back from Europe so I had some good fitness from that, but I got some cramps and I just worked them out. Other than that - no problems. I've been waiting for a good race with no crashes or technical problems or anything like that and it finally happened."

  • Sundstedt wins Willingen marathon

    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Pia Sundstedt (Rocky Mountain Business Objects) won the marathon at the Bike festival in Willengen,...

    Pia Sundstedt (Rocky Mountain Business Objects) won the marathon at the Bike festival in Willengen, Germany last week. She took control in the 5 ½-hour epic and rode home for a comfortable win, 37-minutes ahead of Birgit Demel (Ghost Racing Team). The 2005 European Marathon Champion was completely in her element on the long climbs and fast gravel roads.

    Roman Peter (X.0-Felt-Wick) won the men's race, 1.07 ahead of Bart Brentjens (Giant).

    For complete results of the Bike Festival in Willingen, click here.

  • New German national champs crowned

    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Erhard Goller Sabine Spitz (Specialized) and Moritz Milatz (Multivan-Merida) were crowned national...

    Erhard Goller

    Sabine Spitz (Specialized) and Moritz Milatz (Multivan-Merida) were crowned national champions of Germany last weekend at the Gonso Albstadt-MTB-Classic in Albstadt.

    In front of an enthusiastic crowd of more than 10,000 (despite the competition from the football World Cup), Spitz earned her sixth title in a row, beating Fort William winner Nina Goehl and three-times cyclo-cross World Champion Hanka Kupfernagel. "I was a little bit uncertain because I was sick last week," Spitz said. "But at the end, the legs were working very well. Together with my first title [this is] the most emotional one. I'm happy to wear the jersey another year. If I could, I would take this crowd in a big bus and take it with me to every race, it's fantastic."

    Lado Fumic, six-time consecutive winner of the men's title, was beaten by the impressive Milatz, who won his first title. Jochen Kaess placed third. "I cannot understand ... what I have done, not yet," Milatz said. "My legs were very good and after being in the lead I took my rhythm and enjoyed this super atmosphere. It was sensational."

  • Ultra series heads to Michigan

    Singlespeed series leader Dan Jansen
    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    Steve Medcroft The new Ultra MTB National Series heads for the Big M Ski Area in the Manistee...

    Steve Medcroft

    The new Ultra MTB National Series heads for the Big M Ski Area in the Manistee National Forest in Wellston, Michigan this weekend. At the Founders Lumberjack 100 (June 17, 7am), men's, women's, singlespeed and master's category racers will be competing for both local honors and points towards the overall Ultra Series.

    In only its second year, attendance at the 2006 Lumberjack is up 70 percent from 2005 as 170 racers have signed up. More are expected to register on the day of the event.

    All four winners of last week's Mohican 100 (current leaders of the National Ultra Series) are signed up for the Lumberjack 100. Harlan Price leads the open class, Dan Jansen leads singlespeed, Tricia Stevenson is the women's category leader and 56 year old John Majors sits atop the master's standings.

    The series leaders will expect a challenge at the Lumberjack from a couple of brand-name endurance racers. Most notable are Chris Eatough (Trek/VW), six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Adrenalin Solo World Championships and Ernest Marenchin, who was second in the 2005 Worlds. Marenchin is also fresh off a second place finish at the 24 Hours of Big Bear in West Virginia. Eatough recently spent the weekend mixing it up at round two of the NORBA National Series in Sugar Mountain, North Carolina.

    Racers are in for a different kind of 100-mile challenge from the Mohican. Instead of an extended back-country 100-mile loop, the Lumberjack is run over four laps of a 25-mile course, which makes the action more visible...

  • Sugar Mountain NORBA wrap-up

    JHK wins by 2:45'
    Article published:
    June 15, 2006, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Steve Medcroft

    by Steve Medcroft Round two of the NORBA National series is in the books. Held for the first time at...

    by Steve Medcroft

    Round two of the NORBA National series is in the books. Held for the first time at the Sugar Mountain ski resort in Banner Elk, North Carolina (June 10-11), the race was well received and well attended by both domestic and international pros.

    Subaru/Gary Fisher rider Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (fresh from a World Cup podium place in Fort William) put up a dominating performance on the steep, ten-kilometre cross-country loop. He took the lead before the end of the first of four total laps ahead of a chase group including 2005 NORBA series winner and Canadian national champion Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis), Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) and Todd Wells (GT/Hyundai) and extended that lead to almost three minutes by the end.

    Kabush and Horgan-Kobelski went head-to-head in the short track on Sunday, trading the lead three times in the last lap alone. Kabush had the final advantage, proving that the infection that caused him vertigo at the Curacao leg of the World Cup (and threw off his form for the first half of his season) is behind him.

    The Luna Chix were in fine form in the women's cross country. Shonny Vanlandingham won her second consecutive NORBA on Saturday ahead of Subaru/Gary Fisher's Heather Irmiger.

    On Sunday, the Luna Chix achieved a first in NORBA short track; all four team racers in attendance took spots on the podium. "We talk about it before every short track," Vanlandingham, who came fourth behind teammates Katerina Nash, Jimena Florit and Georgia Gould, said after the race. "We have four strong riders and we were able to tag team at the front, one after the other."

    Australians Sam Hill (Monster Energy) and Tracey Hannah (Team Edge) managed to keep the rubber side down better than anyone else on the world-class Sugar Mountain downhill course. Hill, who recently won the Fort William...