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MTB news & racing round-up for October 3, 2008

Date published:
January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • 9th Poor Mountain Hill Climb

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    James Huang

    Roanoke County will host the ninth annual Poor Mountain Hill Climb challenge in Roanoke, Virginia,...

    Roanoke County will host the ninth annual Poor Mountain Hill Climb challenge in Roanoke, Virginia, just ten miles west of the city.

    On October 5, racers will tackle a 6.75 mile long climb with 3,000 feet of climbing. For the first 1.5 miles, the course is paved and climbs gently. A wall of a half-mile of 13% grade (paved) then follows before a final four miles of hard packed dirt with some rocks over a grade ranging from 7 to 10%, with a few shorter, steeper sections. At the end, racers climb 0.75 miles with grades of 15 to 16%.

    Last year's event was won by Jeremiah Bishop, who set a course record of 37 minutes and 16 seconds.

  • Countdown to North Brisbane 8 hour

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    James Huang

    An 8 Hour Enduro race will happen in North Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, on October 5, and will...

    An 8 Hour Enduro race will happen in North Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, on October 5, and will feature solo racers and teams of two, three and four racers.

    Thanks to some local trail work, riders will enjoy a new section of singletrack at Kurwongbah and a sweeping, switchback descent called "The Serpent's Tail". The track is also expected to be drier than that used for past races due to extensive work on new sections that will allow organizers to omit traditionally boggy sections in the case of heavy rain.

  • Copa Chile heads to La Serena for round two

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    James Huang

    The city of La Serena, in Northern Chile, will host round two of the Copa Chile Jeep series on...

    The city of La Serena, in Northern Chile, will host round two of the Copa Chile Jeep series on October 4-5. La Serena is a special venue in that is considered one of the most difficult race circuits in Chile.

    "This circuit will test the physical and technical capacity for all the riders," said Pan-American Champion and Olympian Cristóbal Silva of the cross country course where Saturday's event will be run.

    On the other hand, the downhill course, full of rocks, jumps and loose dirt, is expected to take about five minutes when raced on Sunday. National Champion and round one winner Antonio Leiva will be back to race again.

    "This course is physically exhausting and technical which is why it challenges," said Leiva.

    Among the locals will be Olympian Francisca Campos, ready to win on home ground.

    For more information, visit www.copachilemtb.cl.

  • Mountain Bike conference coming to London

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    James Huang

    The UK chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) has teamed up with the CTC to...

    The UK chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) has teamed up with the CTC to host a conference in London, on October 9 looking at the state of mountain biking across the United Kingdom and beyond.

    Conference attendees will look at lessons learned during recent years, which have seen a boom in the construction of mountain bike trails nation-wide. Questions such as "How sustainable are the trails we are building?", "Is health and safety killing the future of mountain biking?", "Will mountain bike tourism dwindle with the rising costs of fuel?" and "Where will trails be built in the future?" will be addressed.

    IMBA-UK Chairman Karl Bartlett, IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel and CTC Director Kevin Mayne are just three of the ten invited speakers.

    For more information, visit www.ctc.org.uk/mtb.

  • Interbike Coverage, Part 10 - Hitting pay dirt in Las Vegas

    Rocky Mountain jumps into the carbon hardtail fray
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By James Huang Rocky Mountain revisits hardtail roots Rocky Mountain arguably made its name with...

    By James Huang

    Rocky Mountain revisits hardtail roots

    Rocky Mountain arguably made its name with racing hardtails and now brings a carbon platform to the range with the Vertex RSL.

    Not surprisingly, Rocky Mountain's goals for its premium race bike were stiffness and weight. While we don't have official weight figures just yet (though it's apparently the company's lightest frame to date), the stiffness claims seem well founded with the pronounced lateral ribbing throughout, heavily reinforced seat cluster and enormous down tube.

    Details include a stainless steel chainsuck guard, continuous seat stay/chain stay assemblies that are hollow throughout (even at the dropout), and a new direct-mount front derailleur that allows for more material around the bottom bracket shell. In typical Rocky Mountain fashion, the dropped top tube offers plenty of standover clearance.

    Rocky Mountain will offer the Vertex RSL as a complete bike in two men's and one women's model plus a frame-only Vertex Team that uses higher modulus carbon fibers. All of the Vertex models are slated to be available this January.

    New on the road side is a carbon fiber time trial bike called the Solo 90 SST. Though it's Rocky Mountain's first foray into the aerodynamic arena, the usual array of currently hot technologies are still included such as the shielded rear wheel, dropped down tube, two-position seatpost and internal cable routing.

    Ellsworth reaches for lower price point

    Ellsworth hopes to tap into new markets with a new, lower-priced full-suspension rig called the Glimpse. Unlike the rest of the Ellsworth line which will continue to be US-made, the Glimpse will be built overseas but the upside is that complete bikes with Shimano SLX will go for as little as US$3,299.

    Rear travel is set at 130mm (5") and Ellsworth's excellent ICT (Instant Center Tracking) design will be faithfully maintained to retain the company's...

  • Geoff Kabush diary: Teaching Yao Ming about beer drinking at the Olympics

    Big air in front of big buildings
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Welcome to another Kabush Report. The season is almost over and I am trying to hold it together for...

    Welcome to another Kabush Report.

    The season is almost over and I am trying to hold it together for another week. I have one more trip to Europe for World Cup Finals at which point I may figuratively drop off the side of the earth. Actually, I am going to go to Belgium for a week to visit a friend and, well, that's where all my favourite beer is from. I thought it would be a good idea to put together a race report before that.

    At last check I was out in Quebec racing two World Cups. I finished fourth in the second race in Bromont, which was quite a nasty affair, but I liked it. It was also polar opposite to the conditions I would soon face over in Beijing. In final preparation for Beijing I headed back to Victoria, where the weather was spectacular; I wouldn't know, because I was doing a bunch of training indoors with the water boiling and the heat cranked up to 35 degrees Celsius.

    I was also staying up until 3:00 am watching the Olympics; it was a little surreal knowing I was going to be over there in a few days. At around twelve each morning I would roll out of bed and make my way over to Pro City Cycles and pull myself some espresso; it was a pretty simple life for a while but I was glad to finally hit the road again for Beijing.

    So, Beijing was a pretty big deal, I guess.... and I had my hopes up pretty high when I headed over. Obviously it didn't work out for me, which was frustrating; mountain biking is a complicated and unforgiving sport. It is not as easy as just trying hard; usually we have another chance the next weekend, but the problem with the Olympics is the next chance doesn't come around for four years.

    Read the complete diary entry.

  • Platt earns German marathon title at last while Brandau surprises

    Men's winner Karl Platt
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Su Spencer

    Karl Platt and Elisabeth Brandau won the German national marathon titles. In Singen, near Lake...

    Karl Platt and Elisabeth Brandau won the German national marathon titles. In Singen, near Lake Constance, Platt won his first national title ahead of his Bulls Racing teammate Stefan Sahm and of two-time champion Hannes Genze. In the women's competition Brandau earned the title by beating Adelheid Morath and Anja Gradl. Olympic champion Sabine Spitz left the race after 40 km.

    Karl Platt (Bulls Racing) waited a long time for a medal in a championship. For many years he was named a co-favorite but the medals always were dedicated to the others. So after crossing the finish line, he was full of euphoric. One minute and 35 seconds later, his team-mate, friend and Cape-Epic companion Stefan Sahm (Bulls Racing) earned the silver medal ahead of Hannes Genze (Alb-Gold).

    Platt went with an attack that formed a 30-man lead group after 30km. Eventually, only five men remained and at 70km, while racing through the beautiful Hegau landscape, title defender Jochen Kaess (Alb-Gold) couldn't follow and dropped off the pace. A short time later Moritz Milatz (Multivan-Merida) also dropped. With about 20 kilometers to go, Platt launched the next attack.Sahm hesitated a moment too long and then decided to stay with Alb-Gold biker Hannes Genze to secure the gap of Platt, who at 30 years-old, went on to a solo win.

    "It's unbelievable, a dream come true. I felt really well, and before the last attack, I thought, 'okay boy, you are strong, you can do it'," said Platt.

    Morath crashed after chasing hard

    The women's competition unfolded in a strange way. Some minutes after the licenced women, the male hobby category racers started. Soon the best of them caught the women. When they moved to the front of women's bunch, Elisabeth Brandau (Team Haibike best parts), decided to go with them, while Sabine Spitz (Central Ghost) and all the other women decided to do their own race. So Brandau got benefit of slipstream from the men and soon had 40 seconds'...

  • Killeen and Flueckiger brothers signed to new Trek World Cup Team

    Liam Killeen (Great Britain)
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Su Spencer

    Great Britain's Liam Killeen and Swiss brothers Lukas Flueckiger and Matthias Flueckiger will ride...

    Great Britain's Liam Killeen and Swiss brothers Lukas Flueckiger and Matthias Flueckiger will ride for the new cross country World Cup team sponsored by Trek Bicycles for 2009.

    At 26 years-old, Liam Killeen is the senior rider of the program. A two-time Olympian, two-time U23 World Cup Champion and reigning Commonwealth Games champion, Killen finished fourth at the 2008 UCI World Championships. After a crash near the start of the Olympic mountain bike race in Beijing put him in last place, Kileen worked his way back up to seventh, logging lap times that would have put him in medal contention.

    "I'm really excited to join this new and well supported program as I begin my long term preparation for the London Olympics in 2012," said Kileen. "The new bike is phenomenal and I'm convinced that my training, coupled with the support of the team, will see my results continue to improve as they have been for the last half of the 2008 season. I'm also excited to have the Flueckiger brothers as teammates, we'll make a strong team."

    Lukas Flueckiger, 24, had an impressive 2008 season with no less than three World Cup podium appearances, including a second place in Bromont in round seven, and a fourth place in Schladming at the finals. An injury earlier in the year kept him from a higher overall World Cup standing; he was ninth. Lukas heads into 2009 with the goals of placing more consistently in the top five of the World Cup events. He also hopes to win a World Cup in the next year or two and medal at the Olympics in 2012.

    "I'm honoured to ride for this team," said Lukas.

    Younger brother Matthias Flueckiger is considered by many to be a real superstar of the future. This 2006 Junior World Champion just turned 20, and already has a medal at the Under 23 World Championships. With another two years in that category, expect Matthias to be picking up more medals and titles in the near future. He has his sights set on the U23 World Cup title for 2009...

  • Good weekend for Naaf

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Su Spencer

    Last weekend, Ralf Näf took home not just one, but two victories in the Czech Republic. The Swiss...

    Last weekend, Ralf Näf took home not just one, but two victories in the Czech Republic. The Swiss racer won both mountain bike races in Nove Mesto. On Saturday he won a sprint race against Jaroslav Kulhavy, Yader Zoli and his teammate José Hermida. One day later, he dominated the cross country race, leading from the start. Just before the end, his Hermida caught him and the two crossed the finish line together.

  • TAKMBD celebrates fifth year

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) will celebrate its fifth annual Take a Kid...

    The International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) will celebrate its fifth annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (TAKMBD) on Saturday, October 4. IMBA-affiliated clubs and patrols around the globe will take anywhere from just a few to a few hundred kids out on bikes to give them a taste of mountain biking.

    In addition, the two Subaru / IMBA Trail Care Crews will be participating. Kelly and Collins will join the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) at Middlesex Fells Reservation near Boston, and Anna and Jason will be partnering with the Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association (SWIMBA) at the Idaho Velodrome Park in Boise. Organizers are expecting close to 100 participants each and some special guests like Gary Fisher, Eric Carter and Randy Drielling.

    For a complete list of TAKMBD registered events, visit www.imba.com.

  • 2008 Hall of Famers inducted at Interbike

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inducted six new members for 2008 at the Interbike trade show last...

    The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inducted six new members for 2008 at the Interbike trade show last Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nevada: Oakley's Steve Blick, inventor and pioneer John Finley Scott, suspension designer Bob Girvin, advocate Philip Keyes, four time World Champion Brian Lopes and endurance racer Nat Ross.

    According to BikeRadar.com, the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame now totals 107 inducted individuals and four groups. Three to seven new members are selected each year.

    To read bios on this year's inductees, visit www.completesite.com/mbhof.

  • Felt announces team for 2009

    Kashi Leuchs (New Zealand) at the 2008 Olympic Games
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    James Huang

    Team Felt International announced its roster for 2009 last weekend at Gimondibike, in Iseo, Italy....

    Team Felt International announced its roster for 2009 last weekend at Gimondibike, in Iseo, Italy. It will be lead by cross country rider Kashi Leuchs of New Zealand. The team will race the World Cups, the Swiss series and some rounds of the German Bundesliga and Internatazionali d'Italia.

    In 2008, Leuches rode with Cannondale-Vredestein and finished 24th at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. He is looking forward to the role of team leader.

    "I'm confident this is going to be a really great team! I have always enjoyed helping younger riders and with this team I have the chance to be a little bit of a team leader. This will be a new challenge for me and motivate me a lot," said Leuchs.

    He will be joined by Swede Emil Lindgren (from Full Dynamix); Swiss Jürg Graf (ex-Swisspower MTB Team), Andreas Kugler (from Fischer-BMC); Italian Andrea Tiberi; and Slovenian Blaza Klemencic.

    At 23 years-old, Graf doesn't yet have the international results like the rest of his team-mates, but he has been attracting attention in Switzerland where he's competed with some of the best talent in the world.

    "Our objective is to be among the top teams," said Team Manager Antonio Brozzu, "for this all our athletes have signed two-year contracts, except Kashi Leuchs, who has signed for four years, in view of the next Olympic Games of London."

    The Felt International Team will also have a second squad of elite and amateur racers that will race primarily in national-level contests.

  • Mature riders excel at Simpson Desert Bike Challenge

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Su Spencer After three days and six stages of the 383km Simpson Desert Bike Challenge, just two...

    By Su Spencer

    After three days and six stages of the 383km Simpson Desert Bike Challenge, just two riders have thus far been able to complete 100% of the race distance.

    Leading the event is first-timer, but experienced enduro rider, Lynton Stretton of Queensland in the 50-59 year category. An hour and 19 minutes behind is race veteran Heinz von Holzen from Bali. Heinz will turn 50 later this year. After the success of the oldest rider in 2007, Bruce Wood, it seems that riding smart and knowing what your body can handle is the secret to success in this arduous adventure race. In third place, at 355km (93% of race distance completed ) is another "mature rider" - Warren Quinn from Parkes, NSW. And a very creditable fourth place, at 325km (85% of race distance) is being held by former Crocodile Trophy competitor Roman Petr from Slovakia.

    Race conditions have been hot (41 degrees on day three and less than 5% humidity) with sandy, with track conditions similar to the tough 2007 edition. Unfortunately this has caused an existing shoulder injury for Mt Isa adventure rider Ron Whitehead to flare up and force him out of the race. Also suffering under the tough conditions were the father and son pairing of Lawrence and Emerson Reece, both first-time entrants.

    Day four will see riders tackling the gibber plains and corrugated tracks from the southern end of the old Birdsville track heading north. The weather is expected to be possibly hotter, the UV will be extreme, and it will be a very tough day for all riders and supporters.

  • Marathon World Cup wrapping up this weekend

    Thomas Dietsch (Gewiss Bianchi)
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The 2008 UCI World Cup series comes to a close this weekend with its final event, the second...

    The 2008 UCI World Cup series comes to a close this weekend with its final event, the second marathon World Cup in Ornana, France on October 4-5. The cross country and gravity World Cups have already closed for the season after wrapping up in mid-September in Austria.

    The marathon final will also served as the French Marathon Championships and the top draw as part of a festival running in Doubs from October 1-8. Going into the second and final marathon round aks known as the Xtrem Loue Race, Frenchman Thomas Dietsch and Finn Pia Sundstedt are leading the standings.

    Men will compete 83km while the women will race 60km.

  • UCI World Cup revised for 2009

    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    James Huang

    At the UCI Road World Championships last week in Varese, Italy, the UCI released the 2009 calendar...

    At the UCI Road World Championships last week in Varese, Italy, the UCI released the 2009 calendar of World Cups and Continental Championships. Missing from the list were two rounds of the downhill and one round of the cross country World Cups, but on Wednesday, those holes were filled.

    La Bresse, France will host the second round of the downhill World Cup on May 9-10. This is a first for La Bresse, which makes its debut on the World Cup calendar. Bromont, Canada, will host a triple UCI World Cup event on August 1-2. In 2008, Bromont returned to the World Cup Circuit after a hiatus of nine years.

    The complete, revised 2009 UCI Major Events calendar is below.

  • Belgian Legend Returns to Crocodile Trophy

    Marc Herremans at the 2007 Crocodile Trophy
    Article published:
    January 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Su Spencer

    A former Paris-Roubaix champion, who won the green jersey and wore the yellow jersey of the Tour de...

    A former Paris-Roubaix champion, who won the green jersey and wore the yellow jersey of the Tour de France, will headline a thirty-strong Belgian contingent at the 2008 Crocodile Trophy, which begins later this month in the wilds of Australia's Tropical North. At the age of 46, Belgian cycling great Eric Vanderaerden will dust of his cycling shoes to race in the name of the Marc Herremans Foundation, honouring the man behind the greatest single achievement in the race's history.

    Last year, Herremans inspired the sporting world when he completed the 1,300 kilometre journey on a hand cycle. One of Belgium's most celebrated sportsmen, the paraplegic Ironman endured suffering beyond the imagination of most athletes and required constant medical atten-tion during a feat which is now the stuff of legend. It was a performance that left an imprint on all involved and obviously inspired his countrymen, who will return en-masse to make the race their own.

    Including support crew, a posse of 50 Belgians will venture into the Australian outback in 2008 to test themselves against the extreme elements and fellow competitors from 14 countries.

    "Marc Herremans showed us last year, it is the power of mind more than body that drives each of us from within to discover our true strength," said Crocodile Trophy Supremo Gerhard Schoenbacher. "It is no surprise to see so many of his countrymen, including the great sprinter Eric Vanderaerden, return to take part in the race for themselves."

    In his prime two decades ago, Vanderaerden won the classics, Paris Roubaix (1987) and the Ronde Van Vlaanderen (1985). His palmare also included five Tour de France stage wins, five days in the yellow jersey and an overall victory in the Tour's green jersey points competition (1986).

    "Eric Vanderaerden has been a long time retired and it is simply not possible to turn back the clock," Schoenbacher said. "But he has worked on the Crocodile Trophy previously (driving...