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MTB news & racing round-up for November 1, 2007

Date published:
November 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
  • USA Cycling seeking National Calendar races

    Article published:
    November 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    On the subject of national calendars, USA Cycling is soliciting applications to be part of the...

    On the subject of national calendars, USA Cycling is soliciting applications to be part of the second-annual USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendar. 57 events joined the calendars in its first year. In 2008, the structure will again feature three different national-level calendars to recognize the top competitive off-road cyclists in cross country, gravity and ultra-Endurance categories.

    Meanwhile, applications are also being accepted to host a 2008 USA Cycling Mountain Bike State or Regional Championship. The goal of these races is to recognize the best off-road cyclists in each state and region and also serve as qualifiers for the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships, set for July 17-20, 2008 at Mount Snow Resort in Vermont.

  • Gould & Kabush win US National Cross Country Calendar

    Geoff Kabush
    Article published:
    November 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Following the Piney Hills Classic this past weekend, Canadian Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) and Georgia...

    Following the Piney Hills Classic this past weekend, Canadian Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) and Georgia Gould (Luna) were named overall winners of the inaugural USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Cross Country Calendar.

    After 29 events, Kabush topped the men's standings ahead of Todd Wells (GT-Hyundai) by 55 points (500 - 445). Jeremiah Bishop (Trek-VW) was third overall with 400 points, followed by Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) in fourth with 399 points and Adam Craig (Giant) in fifth with 365 points.

    Gould won the women's division with 650 points, many of which were accumulated by seven victories, ahead of Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) who earned 361 points. Shonny Vanlandingham (Luna) scored 355 points to finish third, while Katerina Nash (Luna) finished fourth with 325 points and Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher) rounded out the top five with 305 points.

    Gould's victories included the Sea Otter Classic, the Fontana National, the Deer Valley National, the Sugar Mountain National, the Nova National, the Santa Ynez Valley Mountain Bike Classic and the Snowmass National. She also scored points at the national championships with a second in the cross country and fifth in the short track races.

    By the end of the season Kabush boasted six victories including Sea Otter, the Nova National, the Santa Ynez Valley Classic, the Fontana National, the Deer Valley National and the Snowmass National. Kabush also scored significant second-place points behind at the Sugar Mountain National.

    Jared Graves and Melissa Buhl have already been named the gravity calendar champions while Nat Ross and Rebecca Rusch have earned top honors in the ultra-endurance calendar.

  • Final NMBS 2008 schedule sees changes

    Article published:
    November 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Sue George NMBS organizers issued a revised schedule for the 2008 series. The series will consist...

    By Sue George

    NMBS organizers issued a revised schedule for the 2008 series. The series will consist of six, not eight rounds relative to the draft version. Gone from the originally published list are the Showdown at Sugar in North Carolina and the round in Snowmass, Colorado. The 2008 finals at Tamarack Resort move up one week to the Labor Day holiday weekend (as celebrated in the US).

    "The long and the short of it is that we're always looking at new venues and to bring events to new regions," said Jeff Frost of Blue Wolf Event Productions, the organizers of the NMBS Series. We were disappointed in the Sugar Mountain [North Carolina] attendance and went with New York. Windham is only 75 or 90 minutes from New York City." Frost expects to draw from a whole new demographic. The event is in the Catskill Mountains of New York and will also be fairly close to racers in several New England states.

    The NMBS previously visited northern Idaho with a stop at Schwiezer, but Tamarack Resort in southern Idaho is a new stop. "Boise has a huge cycling community. Tamarack is just two hours north. We've been trying for three years and it's finally worked out [for an Idaho venue to join the series]," said Frost to Cyclingnews.

    Commenting to the disappearance of Snowmass, Colorado from the calendar, Frost said, "Snowmass had a three to four year run. The Venue never really worked for us; whether it was a course problem or an expo problem. But it thrives under the Mountain States Cup. We want both series to benefit and we believe not having it as part of the NMBS will allow it to grow as a Mountain States Cup event."

    Frost hinted that the NMBS had not left Colorado for good. "It's important for us to be in Colorado from a national series perspective. Colorado and California are two key states. We're looking to return to Durango in 2009. Adding a venue to the NMBS is about a two or three year process."

    All but the East Coast...

  • Colorado and North Carolina schools battle at US Collegiate Nationals

    Chloe Forsman (University of Arizona)
    Article published:
    November 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals , held last weekend in Banner Elk, North Carolina,...

    USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals, held last weekend in Banner Elk, North Carolina, turned into a battle between Colorado and North Carolina schools in both the Division I and Division II categories.

    Fort Lewis College used wins in the men's cross country and downhill and the women's downhill to help them take the overall Division I team omnium title over host Lees-McRae College in second and University of Colorado-Boulder in third. In Division II, the Colorado School of Mines used a balanced attack to edge North Carolina's Warren Wilson College for the Division II all-around team award.

    In addition to awarding individual champions in the cross country, dual slalom, and downhill disciplines, USA Cycling awards omnium champions for both team and individuals. The omnium awards are what make collegiate cycling like no other, using points from each men's and women's event to tally an overall team winner.

    "We brought a very, very solid team and things went well for us," said Fort Lewis College Coach Rick Crawford. "This is really what it all comes down to. There are a lot of teams getting into the mix these days and that's good to see. We hope for collegiate cycling to become the development program for the pros."

    The individual omnium awards help showcase some of the country's best young all-around talent. Past collegiate winners who've gone onto international success include Alison Dunlap (now retired) and Willow Koerber (still racing internationally for Subaru / Gary Fisher).

    Fort Lewis College used the top three individual performances in the men's Division I omnium to help grab the team overall. Cross country and short track winner Benjamin Sonntag came out on top of his two team-mates, Rick Wetherald and Adam Snyder for the win. Chloe Forsman (University of Arizona) edged Eszter Horanyi (University of Colorado-Boulder) after they exchanged...

  • Olympic national team sizes almost determined

    Julien Absalon (Orbea) will be a favorite for the 2008 Olympics
    Article published:
    November 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    The UCI rankings between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2007, will be used to determine Olympic...

    The UCI rankings between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2007, will be used to determine Olympic starting spots by nation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. On January 1, a country's 2006 ranking will simply be added to its final 2007 ranking to determine an overall score. A nation's ranking for any given season is calculated by adding together the point totals of its top-three athletes in the individual rankings for that year.

    To send the maximum team of three men and two women to Beijing, a nation must have a top-five ranking in the men's standings and a top-eight ranking for the women. Current rankings for 2007 (as of October 18) are listed below.

    Once the point totals for 2006 and 2007 are combined, the order of ranking for the men is France (7,864), Switzerland (7,349), Spain (5,472), Belgium (4,364), and Germany (4,353), and the US (4,224). For the women, it's China (7,236), Germany (6,346), Canada (6,182) and the US (6,123).

    Unlike the selection system for the 2004 Games in Athens which only recognized points from the 2003 season, the new two-year qualification window set by the UCI rewards a country for consistency over a longer period of time. The system also protects traditional mountain bike powerhouses from a lackluster pre-Olympic year that could be caused by illness or injury suffered by one of its star riders. Looking ahead, there has been some discussion of implementing a four-year cumulative qualifying period.

    Only a few events offering UCI points remain on the 2007 calendar. It's a gamble as to what countries will send riders to places like Chile to collect the final points up for grabs.

    The US is just one nation hoping to make the cut for sending the maximum possible number of athletes. For the 2004 Olympics, the US fielded a three person mountain bike contingent of only one woman, Mary McConneloug, and two men, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Todd Wells. The US has all but assured itself of two entries in the...

  • NUE Series sets 2008 tentative schedule

    Harlan Price and Chris Eatough were regulars at NUE Series races in 2007
    Article published:
    November 01, 2007, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    By Sue George Organizers of National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series released a tentative schedule for...

    By Sue George

    Organizers of National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series released a tentative schedule for 2008. The series grows to eight total races with the addition of two new venues and the departure of one former venue.

    "Several new venues contacted us and were considered; however, some were first-year events, lap races, or had race dates just didn't fit well for the overall NUE schedule," said Ryan O'Dell, a co-organizer of the NUE series to Cyclingnews.

    The Fool's Gold 100, held in Georgia, will join the series by slotting into a mid-August spot for its second running. "The race took about three years to come together and 2007 was the first year it happened," said Eddie O'Dea who promotes the race along with his wife Namrita. "I knew of the series before we had our race, but I wanted to pull our race off and make it actually happen before we became part of the series. I wanted to make sure everything came together logistically."

    The Fool's Gold race is somewhat unusual for the series in that it covers two 50 mile laps instead of a single lap, but the course also boasts plenty of singletrack which slows down even the top racers. "The fastest finish time was 10 hours and 22 minutes," said O'Dea.

    Also new is the Tahoe-Sierra 100, which will fill a void for the series in the western US. By occupying the September 6 spot on the calendar, the Tahoe-Sierra 100 will serve as the finale, a niche last year filled by the Shenandoah Mountain 100 in Virginia. It will be the first time the NUE finals are held in the West.

    "2008 will be the first year for this event; however, racers were invited to participate in a pre-race evaluation of the course in September and provided NUE with rave reviews," said O'Dell. "According to race director Jim Northey, there will be US$20,000 in cash prizes awarded at this event." Northey also directs the "Coolest 24 Hour Race," a non-profit event that raised US$44,000 for the ACCEF in...