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MTB news & racing round-up for May 22, 2008

Date published:
May 22, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Nat Ross diary: Singlespeed USA

    Mark Lalonde
    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Lukas Haider

    Held in conjunction with the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendar for Ultra Endurance event...

    Held in conjunction with the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendar for Ultra Endurance event #2 "Dirt, Sweat and Gears (DSG)", Singlespeed USA was a fun event for singlespeeders that went down the day before. The event description on the website for Singlespeed USA (SSUSA) described the event as "The Trifecta of Singleness beginning at noon the day before DSG. Participants will ride their single speeds on an undisclosed course for more than one hour and less than 46,000. Five percent of the field will go on to participate in the second chapter of pedal pushing. The third and final chapter is quite bumpy…"

    Hmm...sounded intriguing. Initially, I had wanted to race my Rig in this event, but figured it would hamper my ability to defend my title in the 12-hour race on Saturday. Looking back, I should have done both.

    The men's field was stacked and the women's field was whacked (only one woman tough enough registered). The event promoter Clay Higgins wanted my personality involved by commentating, so I asked two of my partners in crime Rebecca Rusch and Yuri Hauswald to join me in my freak show on the mike. Styled out in our festive attire we started the event in true singlespeed style with a psych-out in the cross-country. All the fast guys lined up in what they though was the front of the line while talkin' smack amongst each other before the gun went off. Grant (the co-promoter) psyched everybody out when he started the race backwards from the rear of the field, so everybody quickly turned around and chased his bunny ears and mailbox bike into the ground.

    The cross-country course entailed two shortened laps on the DSG course, without the first two miles of steep hills taken out for the wimpy singlespeeders. Right away, Jesse and Marko LaLonde developed a gap on the competition and went on to finish one-two in the first event. Did I mention that competitors had to chug a PBR [Pabst Blue...

  • Tour of Durango launch party set

    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Lukas Haider

    The Tour of Durango, set for October 11-12, announced a launch party on Thursday, June 5 from 4:00...

    The Tour of Durango, set for October 11-12, announced a launch party on Thursday, June 5 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Carver's Brewing Company located at 1022 Main Avenue in Durango, Colorado. The Tour of Durango is a weekend-long event to showcase the interconnectivity and proximity of the local trail network and to encourage etiquette and sharing of Durango's local trails. On June 5, organizers will unveil the route.

    The first day of the event, includes a competitive mountain bike and trail running event that will start and finish at Three Springs. On the second day, the Tour will begin on the Animas River Trail, and hit all local trailheads in town. The event concludes with a block party on Main Street. Cyclists and runners are invited to form teams or enter individually.

    The event is supported in part by Trails 200, a non-profit that builds and maintains local trails and educates trail users in the Durango area.

  • Test of Metal route changes

    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Lukas Haider

    Organizers of the Test of Metal announced a rideable re-route of the Rock & Roll, the much-dreaded...

    Organizers of the Test of Metal announced a rideable re-route of the Rock & Roll, the much-dreaded hike-a-bike in first half of the 67km point to point race in Canada.

    "There's some talk that it should be renamed Muzak, " Miller joked about the trail work done. The hike-a-bike has always been a concern for racers and organizers, and this year, Test of Metal, Inc., the not-for-profit that runs the Test, paid to build an alternate route that runs parallel and switches back to the top of the hike-a-bike.

    "This year we're allowing riders to choose their route," Miller said. "The hike-a-bike and the ride will be open, but I think that most people want to stay on their bikes and will choose the riding route." Which route will be faster will depend on the rider.

    The Test of Metal will also continue its popular Ambassador Program for this year. It's a group of nearly a dozen local mountain biking enthusiasts who ride the course and assist racers encountering difficulty.

    "These folks have all ridden the race and felt the pain. They will do almost anything to get a stranded rider back on the trail from fixing mechanicals to offering encouragement," Miller said.

    The race kicks off Saturday, June 13 at 11:00 am in Squamish.

  • Peaty continues reign as downhill king of Lisboa

    Steve Peat races some steps
    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    The ninth annual Lisbon Downtown race sent riders on the infamous cobblestone stairways winding down...

    The ninth annual Lisbon Downtown race sent riders on the infamous cobblestone stairways winding down the old city from the Castelo de Sao Jorge. As cats scrambled off the race track, citizens watched from their laundry-filled balconies to see Steve Peat take his seventh consecutive win. Santa Cruz Syndicate team-mate Greg Minnaar was in second, just 0.46 seconds behind him with Filip Polc (Kenda Tomac) in third at 2.33 seconds.

    The Lisboa Downtown came just a week after racing the UCI World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia. The urban downtown downhill event took place on Saturday with four scheduled practice runs, a semi-final and the final.

    Minnar won the semi finals with Peat and Polc in second and third. Local talent Roger Gonzalez finished fourth followed by Emanuel Pombo in fifth. Peat was riding with an injured finger, which he had dislocated on his final practice run.

    "My [semi-final] run was solid, but kind of hard because photographers step into the course and it is hard to set up for your lines," said Minnaar. "I managed to hit everything I wanted, and some sections I just rolled through really well."

    In the finals, Peat continued his reign as downhill king of Lisbon, finishing ahead of Minnaar and Polc.

    "The race was good today. I think Steve was lucky. I had to fake a mistake to let the old boy win!" joked Minnaar after his second-placed run. "Things went pretty good. I felt a bit of pressure from the old man. I made a little mistake on top and a costly mistake at the bottom, but that's racing and that's how it goes. I'm happy for Steve today, winning seven times in a row!"

    "I'm stoked!" said Peat after his win. "It's luck! I don't know why I get good luck, but I did. After practice and qualifier I really didn't think I could win today. I knew everyone was fast, especially Greg. My qualifier was shocking. I really had to focus, but I've been in this situation before and I can deal with it."

    See...

  • Swiss excel at European cross country championships

    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Lukas Haider

    Swiss racers dominated the European cross country championships in St. Wendel, Germany last weekend...

    Swiss racers dominated the European cross country championships in St. Wendel, Germany last weekend by taking the top two spots plus fourth place in the elite men's race and winning both the U23 men's and women's events.

    Among the elite men, Florian Vogel won with a time of 2:06:42, 34 seconds ahead of Christoph Sauser and 1:14 ahead of Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark). Ralph Näf (Switzerland) and Christoph Soukup (Austria) rounded out the top five.

    Eight men got away early. Eventual winner Vogel rode with physical and mental strength and intensified the pace to whittle down the group further. World Champion Julien Absalon, who has already won three of three World Cups this season, was a victim of the high pace and eventually finished 15th.

    Before the end, Sauser attacked and got away. Vogel and Fuglsang chased until Vogel attacked his companion and bridged up to Sauser. On the final lap, the Vogel proved to be the stronger of the two Swiss riders on the steep climbs as he escaped for a solo win.

    In the elite women's race, it was defending champion Sabine Spitz (Germany) who kept her title for another year with a win in 2:08:59. In second was world champion Irina Kalentieva (Russia) at 38 seconds and in third was Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway). Laurence Leboucher (France) and Eva Lechner (Italy) rounded out the top five.

    Spitz attacked on the fourth lap and last year's European championship silver medallist Kalentieva couldn't answer. After three weeks off from competition due to illness, Kalentieva took second in a sprint finish with Dahle Flesjaa.

    "It was extremely close – to be honest, I didn't think that I was going to be able to take Gunn-Rita, so for me I extremely happy that I did. That said I would have been...

  • NMBS round #3 cross country sees new winners

    Kelli Emmett (Giant MTB) was ecstatic with
    Article published:
    May 22, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Dave McElwaine in Santa Ynez, California

    By Dave McElwaine in Santa Ynez, California With 103 degree temperatures at the Chamberlain Ranch in...

    By Dave McElwaine in Santa Ynez, California

    With 103 degree temperatures at the Chamberlain Ranch in the California's Santa Ynez Valley, the heat was a bigger obstacle for racers to overcome than the course itself at round three of the National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS).

    Kelli Emmett (Giant MTB) rode a smart elite women's cross country, picking off riders one at a time, and notched her first cross country win in an NMBS race. Australian Sid Taberlay (Avanti SRA) succeeded in the elite men's cross country, a race of attrition, ahead of Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) and Barry Wicks (Kona).

    In the women's race, Georgia Gould (Luna MTB) led for three quarters of the race but succumbed to heat exhaustion and had to be taken to the hospital. While Gould is leading the competition to qualify for one of the two United States Olympic Team women's positions, the heat exhaustion brought an end to her streak of NMBS wins that dates back to 2006.

    Catherine Pendrel (Luna MTB) battled Emmett for the lead but could only manage second place while the Trek/VW women rounded out the podium with Lea Davison, Jenny Smith, and Mical Dyck filling the remaining sports.

    The race started like so many other NMBS races, with Gould quickly going to the front, followed by team-mate Katerina Nash. Nash seemed to falter uncharacteristically and fell back a few positions, leaving fellow Luna MTB rider Catherine Pendrel to chase Gould.

    "I definitely was feeling the heat out there," said Prendrel. "Then Kelli caught me at the beginning of the second lap and that actually saved my race, because before that all I could focus on was suffering, and after she passed me I had a rabbit."

    Emmett slowly but surely pulled herself up from eighth position towards the leading riders. She could be seen high above the race venue...