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MTB news & racing round-up for November 12, 2006

Date published:
November 12, 2006, 0:00 GMT
  • Coffs Coast Cycling Club gets new name

    Article published:
    November 12, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Coffs Harbour Cycle Club has changed its name to Coffs Coast Cycling Club. The club will host a...

    Coffs Harbour Cycle Club has changed its name to Coffs Coast Cycling Club. The club will host a three-hour mountain bike race on November 26th. It also plans an enduro event for next July. Coffs Coast has previously hosted rounds of the State Downhill Championships & Cross Country Championships.

  • Winter downhilling in Switzerland

    Article published:
    November 12, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Freefall Zermatt announced a downhill race coming on December 10th on Switzerland's longest ski run....

    Freefall Zermatt announced a downhill race coming on December 10th on Switzerland's longest ski run. The course will travel from the Matterhorn glacier down to the town of Zermatt. Racers will drop 2,222m in less than 20 minutes after a Le Mans style mass start.

    Promoters described the course as "long and wide for the first half" and "narrow, steep and full of curves in the second half." They also advised participants to dress warmly given typically frigid temperatures at nearly 4000m in December.

  • US ski ace Bode Miller gets a mountain bike

    Bode Miller's new mountain bike.
    Article published:
    November 12, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    US skiing star Bode Miller is not planning to trade in his skis for a bike, but he recently received...

    US skiing star Bode Miller is not planning to trade in his skis for a bike, but he recently received a new BMC Superstroke 01 mountain bike for use when cross training off the slopes.

    Miller became a household name after he won two silver medals in the Giant Slalom and Combined events at the 2002 Winter Olympics. As a teenager, Miller shaved seconds off his World Cup times by using what were then innovative hourglass-shaped ("parabolic") skis. He drew attention to himself in the 2002 Olympic Slalom race, during which he hiked back up the course and then finished anyway after missing a gate.

    The American ski star will use his bike for more mobility at world cup venues. For example, it will be a quicker way for him to get to media conferences. He'll also warm up on his bike on rollers right before the start of a race.

    Referring enthusiastically to his new machine, Miller said, "What a fantastic bike!"

  • NZ’s premier mountain bike race attracts international sponsor

    Karapoti start
    Article published:
    November 12, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    New Zealand’s Karapoti Classic, the longest running mountain bike event in the Southern Hemisphere,...

    New Zealand’s Karapoti Classic, the longest running mountain bike event in the Southern Hemisphere, received international recognition with the signing of Scott Bicycles as its naming rights sponsor. Scott may renew sponsorship for up to five years.

    Established in 1986, Wellington’s Karapoti Classic has been a key race in New Zealand mountain biking for more than 20 years. It was the first to attract 100 riders and the first to attract 1,000 riders, now the event’s self-imposed entry limit. Racers are drawn to a 50km course through Upper Hutt’s scenic, but rugged Akatarawa Ranges. Last year's event attracted riders from 11 countries.

    “Scott is excited to be behind New Zealand’s premier mountain bike event,” said Colin Walker, who helped arrange the sponsorship. Initially a world leading innovator in the ski market, Scott ventured in to the bicycle market in 1986 with innovations in the mountain bike and triathlon markets. In more recent years, Scott has focused on carbon fiber technology, and the 2007 edition of the race will correspond to the launch of Scott's new lightweight carbon-fiber Spark bike.

    Launched only this week, organizers report they already have 300 entrants toward the 1,000-rider limit. The Karapoti waiting list has created a culture of its own, with last year’s 500-strong waiting list prompting Karapoti Classic entry auctions on TradeMe.

    “Karapoti’s popularity never fails to amaze us,” says event manager Michael Jacques of MDJ Media & Events Ltd. “Last year we sold out shortly after New Year, but right now we have twice as many entries as November last year so we think the 2007 event could be full before Christmas.”

    In 2006, the record entries also brought a record winning time. Australian professional Peter Hatton clocked 2 hours, 18 minutes and 1 second to smash the record set by Kiwi Olympian Kashi Leuchs in 1998 by almost three minutes. Up...

  • Simonson & Emmett win Iceman Cometh

    Kelli Emmett
    Article published:
    November 12, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Mike Simonson and Kelli Emmett won the 17th Annual Iceman Cometh race near Travers City, Michigan....

    Mike Simonson and Kelli Emmett won the 17th Annual Iceman Cometh race near Travers City, Michigan. Both won in a similar style--solo and off the front. This year 2,800 racers tackled the course at this popular, season-ending race. Unlike many other years, racers enjoyed near-perfect course conditions over the 28.5 mile point to point route.

    Race director Steve Brown said, "We had a very wet October. Since we live on a big sand dune, the water packed the course down really well and made it fast. This was as good as it can get in Michigan." Amateur racers started early in the morning and faced below-freezing temperatures, but the day stayed clear except for occasional light snow and rain showers. Pro racers started later in the day, in a second wave, but they still competed in temperatures just above freezing.

    Kelli Emmett (Ford) convincingly won the women's race by nearly eight minutes. "I felt really good. It's the strongest I've ever felt at an Iceman. I went right from the gun." This was the fourth time Emmett won the race out of more than a half dozen appearances. "I'm from Michigan, and it's a race I've always done, usually with my dad. Unfortunately, he was very sick this year, so he couldn't do it." Emmett kept her dad in mind as she raced to victory in front of friends and family.

    Left on her own for the duration of the race, Emmett says she kept motivated by racing with the men. "I raced with the guys for most of the race. They encouraged me and pushed me."

    Emmett finished ahead of second-place Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek/VW). Johnson suffered from end-of-season burnout as she tackled her second-ever Iceman. "I felt sluggish. I didn't have a good race. Then I lost my contact about 10 miles into the race. I contemplated quitting because the race is so sandy, you need to be able to see well to pick your lines. But I didn't want to quit." Poor vision notwithstanding, Kylander-Johnson rode most of her race alone. "It was a time...

  • Mountain bikers' sanctions raise questions

    The men's race at a NORBA National
    Article published:
    November 12, 2006, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    In the past week, USADA has reported one-year sanctions for three US mountain bikers, and another...

    In the past week, USADA has reported one-year sanctions for three US mountain bikers, and another possible sanction is in process. What all the athletes have in common is that they missed an anti-doping control after a major race.

    Cyclingnews reported that Jason Sager of Park City, Utah, and Cale Redpath of Durango, Colorado, "failed to present themselves for testing following the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series Race #4 in Deer Valley, Utah" on July 8th, and Alice Pennington "failed to show up for an anti-doping control" after the NORBA Series final event in Snowmass, Colorado, August 12th. In addition, Bart Gillespie, a 32-year-old racer from Utah, missed a doping control at another UCI race.

    Is USADA getting better at catching mountain bikers who dope or is something else going on? The question can not be answered with any certainty, but it is worth taking a closer look at information surrounding the cases.

    According to the USADA's information about the testing procedure on their website, "The DCO [doping control officer] is obligated to make a reasonable effort to locate the athlete for testing. Before reporting to USADA that an athlete is unavailable for testing the DCO is specifically required to visit within a 24 hour period all locations on the Athlete Location Form and any applicable Athlete Change of Plan Form provided by the athlete." Interpretations of "reasonable effort" could vary.

    Sager dropped out of the Deer Valley event after he'd finished the originally scheduled three laps only to discover he had one to go. He decided not to complete the race and spent some time at the finish area watching other riders. According to his blog, "there wasn't another lap in the legs. Absolutely deflated, I watched a few guys race through, chatted with friends and...