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MTB news & racing round-up for September 4, 2008

Date published:
September 04, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Lehikoinen looks towards next season

    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    It's been a season to forget for the Finland's Matti Lehikoinen, with his latest crash in training...

    It's been a season to forget for the Finland's Matti Lehikoinen, with his latest crash in training at the Canberra World Cup last weekend taking him out of action for the duration of the 2008 season.

    Lehikoinen returned home to Finland on Monday, after he decided to have surgery in his home country rather than in Australia. He broke the radius bone in both of his hands, with the right hand being worse than the left. There's still no 100% confirmation on the condition on his scaphoid bones in both hands at the moment, but the possibility of fractures does exist and will need to be explored with his doctors.

    His estimated recovery time is at least eight weeks, so Lehikoinen is now looking to the 2009 season.

    Before boarding his flight home, Lehikoinen summed up a mediocre year. "This season was really bad for me. Eight weeks recovery time means that I will have been out of game for seven months out of the past 13 months. So now I can forget this unlucky season and concentrate on next year."

    (Additional editorial assistance provided by Tomas Nilsson.)

  • Nielsen appointed Danish Champion after Andersen positive

    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Harlan Price

    Klaus Nielsen has been appointed Danish MTB Champion by the Danish cycling federation. The winner of...

    Klaus Nielsen has been appointed Danish MTB Champion by the Danish cycling federation. The winner of the championship race in Aalborg July 20, Peter Riis Andersen, tested positive for EPO at an out of competition test on June 25. The test results were not ready until after the championships. Riis Andersen admitted the use of EPO July 28.

    Nielsen was Riis Andersen's team-mate at Team Alb Gold. The silver medal now goes to Christian Poulsen of Kolding Bicykle while Thomas Christian Bonne, Team Rivette, gets the bronze. The champion will be presented with his jersey and medal at a later occasion.

  • Youngest winner yet at Birkebeinerrittet

    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Harlan Price

    The 20 year-old Anders Hovdenes became the youngest elite winner of the popular Norwegian...

    The 20 year-old Anders Hovdenes became the youngest elite winner of the popular Norwegian Birkebeinerrittet on Saturday. En route to victory, Hovdenes logged a new record time of 2.40.50 on the 91 km parcours from Rena to Lillehammer, where he took a two-up sprint against Lars Ragnar Manengen. Hovdenes heads next to the World Cup final in Schladming, Austria, in two weeks.

    Team CSC - Saxo Bank professional Kurt Asle Arvesen, a Giro d'Italia and Tour de France stage winner, also took the start and finished 19th in the elite field. On the final descent, he climbed off his bike to be on the safe side, avoiding possibility of an injury that might interfere with his road career.

    "It was to steep, simply," said a smiling Arvesen after the race which he enjoyed as a nice outing with some friends.

    Finland's Pia Sundstedt won the women's race in 3.09.06, and in total, an impressive 15,047 racers finished.

  • Zander sweeps all three stages and overall at Laddies Loppet

    Jenna Zander leads
    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Harlan Price

    Maplelag Resort played host to round nine in the Minnesota State Championship Series and a stop on...

    Woodruff captures win for second consecutive year

    Maplelag Resort played host to round nine in the Minnesota State Championship Series and a stop on the USA Cycling National Calendar series over Labor Day weekend. The Laddies Loppet stage race featured a three mile timed trial on Saturday morning followed by short track racing in the afternoon. Sunday featured the cross country event which included the infamous "lakeside drops". Tempted by the US$3,000 prize list, most of the top Midwest pros opted to race closer to home versus racing in the NMBS finals in Brian Head, Utah.

    In the women's elite field, Jenna Zander (Sobe/Cannondale) swept all three events to take the overall stage win over Kyia Anderson (Echo/Cannondale). Velo Rochester rider and former Minnesota state champion Jennifer Fisher placed third with Corey Coogan (Ridley) and Linda Cooper (Great Plains Cycling) rounding out the top five in overall classification.

    In men's elite, three riders cracked the 10 minute barrier in the opening time trial with Doug Swanson (Grandstay) taking home $50 extra dollars with a sub 10-minute time of 9:40. TJ Woodruff (BMC) and Brendan Moore (Velo Rochester) were just 10 seconds behind with only a tenth of a second separating Woodruff and Moore. Swanson scored his second win of the weekend by making a move on the final lap to hold off Woodruff and the rest of the field. A group of seven riders jockeyed for position the final three laps after brothers Sam and Eric Oftedahl (Hollywood Cycles) did work at the front in the first chase group to bring everything together.

    Warm and windy conditions dried the course making for dusty conditions in the cross country on Sunday as Doug Swanson set a blistering pace on the first lap to open the race. Woodruff and Sam Oftedahl kept Swanson in check as Oftedahl eventually made his way to the front. Woodruff continued the chase in second after Swanson had to let up and recover from his torrid pace....

  • Eatough nabs win as Sornson and women steal the show at Shenandoah 100

    Cheryl Sornson (Trek / VW) celebrates
    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Harlan Price

    By Harlan Price The women's field at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 set a new turnout record for any of...

    By Harlan Price

    The women's field at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 set a new turnout record for any of the 100 milers in the National Ultra Endurance series. 52 women lined up along with 450 men to start a long day in the saddle. In the end, a record number of women crossed the line to collect their finishers' pint glasses. Cheryl Sornson (Trek VW East) took the top honor in the women's class on a course dampened by a rain storm the night before.

    It was a win Sornson never expected, but by this point she is used to achieving more than she has hoped. "Getting back into racing was a long shot and a tough undertaking. I am fascinated at what I can do with my mind and body at this point in my life," said Sornson after being asked about her season and first place standing in the series.

    In the early 90s Sornson raced as a professional but eventually put aside the racing to pursue motherhood and a career as a guidance counselor. With school back in session, the last couple of weeks have been difficult for training for many of the women racers. Second place finisher Trish Stevenson (IFracing.org) also found herself juggling the books, a couple of jobs and training.

    True to form, Betsy Shogren (Sobe Cannondale) launched herself up the first three climbs and built a padded lead by the time she reached the top of Hankey Mountain, but a flat tire cost her some time and the lead as she was passed by Sornson and Stevenson.

    Despite a bee sting between the eyes, Sornson pulled away from Stevenson on a pavement section before the race's half-way point. Now in first place, she put her head down and let her legs do the talking.

    Stevenson pushed on and despite having only ridden once since the Fool's Gold 100 race two weeks prior, was able to hold on to second only 11 minutes down. Shogren fell to the fate of a second flat and ended the race in third with 36 minutes behind.

    Eatough gets one

    24 hour solo national...

  • Nash, Horgan-Kobelski win NMBS final round

    Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru)
    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Dave McElwaine

    By Dave McElwaine Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru) claimed his first cross country win...

    By Dave McElwaine

    Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher/Subaru) claimed his first cross country win this season at the National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) finals in Brian Head, Utah. While he narrowly lost the American Mountain Classic stage race last weekend, also held at Brian Head, it did allow him the chance to acclimatize to the 10,000 ft. altitude, which paid off for him today.

    "I put Brian Head on my radar early in the year. I thought 'what a great way to end the season it would be to win there,'" said Horgan-Kobelski.

    Ross Schnell (Trek/VW) continued an amazing weekend by finishing second while Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) took third ahead of Colin Cares (U-23 National Team), and Andy Schultz (Kenda Titus).

    Kabush's third placing was enough to win the Canadian his second consecutive NMBS Cross Country Championship.

    "For the first 10 minutes the race was neutral up the road climb, which was good for me," said Kabush. "I crested the hill in about 10th place. It is hard to just race 80 percent so I just started to go hard. It definitely hurt but I could see the leaders ahead of me. Most of the race I was sixth to eighth and was able to pick off a few guys near the end. J.B (Jeremiah Bishop) had a flat, then I passed Colin - he looked really strong."

    Cares made it onto two podiums this weekend, easily his best result as a young professional. Schultz also capped off his best season by finishing fourth in the series. He and brother Sam (Gary Fisher/Subaru) are two of the brightest lights on the mountain biking horizon.

    Katerina Nash (Luna Women's MTB) got her second cross country win in the women's race at Brian Head. After appearing on countless podiums for many years, Nash earned her first cross country victory at Deer Valley earlier in the season.

    Olympian Georgia Gould (Luna Women's MTB) was second, followed by Heather Irmiger (Gary Fisher/Subaru), Lea Davison (Trek/VW), and Willow Koerber (Gary...

  • Kabush completes epic intercontinental weekend

    Geoff Kabush
    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Dave McElwaine

    By Dave McElwaine Canadian Geoff Kabush completed what was perhaps the most impressive feat of the...

    By Dave McElwaine

    Canadian Geoff Kabush completed what was perhaps the most impressive feat of the weekend, claiming two podium finishes on opposite sides of the world. After finishing the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup cross country round in Canberra, Australia on Saturday he left the Asia-Pacific nation early Sunday morning to compete in the National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) Finals in Utah in the United States of America that same day.

    "It was interesting," said Kabush. "I was glad I booked an insurance flight from Vegas since I missed the scheduled flight. [His wife] Keri met me at the airport and I brought a radar detector…it was very tight."

    Despite the incredible journey, totalling nearly 13,000 kilometres point-to-point, Kabush was ready to race in time for the start in Utah. Kabush needed to contest the North American event to preserve his NMBS championship lead.

    "We got to Brian Head half an hour before the start, so I kitted up and got ready to race," he added.

    With time zones on his side as he travelled east across the international date line, Kabush raced to a strong third place finish at Brian Head in Utah. The podium finish was enough to secure Kabush his second consecutive NMBS title.

    "It is great to win the series again," said Kabush according to organizers. It was his fourth career NMBS series win, which tied him with the great Ned Overend.

    "It's nice to be on the same page as a rider like Ned," said Kabush. "One more NMBS cross country win, and I'll tie John Tomac. He had 14."

    See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the elite men's and elite women's downhill at the Canberra World Cup

  • Minnaar & Mosely triumph in World Cup downhill

    South Africa's Greg Minnaar took victory from Santa Cruz Syndicate team-mate Nathan Rennie
    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Verkuylen in Mount Stromlo, Australia

    By Paul Verkuylen in Mount Stromlo, Australia South Africa's Greg Minnaar stole the victory from his...

    By Paul Verkuylen in Mount Stromlo, Australia

    South Africa's Greg Minnaar stole the victory from his Santa Cruz Syndicate team-mate and local Australian favourite Nathan Rennie, as he blasted down the course as the last remaining rider to take the victory by over four seconds. Gee Atherton (Animal Commencal) rounded out the podium in third just over a second behind Rennie.

    Minnaar's victory was well met by the local crowd, even if they were all jeering on Rennie as he sat in the hot seat waiting for his two team-mates, who had qualified second fastest and fastest in the semi final.

    "The Springboks beat the Aussies last night and today we did it again," Minnaar said while accepting a local beer from the crowd. "Sorry to rub it in but it does feel great!" Minnaar was referring to a rugby match the night before.

    Rennie was happy with his second place, even if he did come oh so close to winning on home soil. "This is my best result this season, with a second. It was hard to push through the mud; it almost feels like a win," Rennie said. "A good solid result, I am happy."

    Minnaar had nothing but praise for his Australian team-mate. "He has had an up and down season but today he has shown what he is really made of. He rode an awesome race."

    Like Minnaar, Great Britain's Tracy Mosley (Kona) was on track to take her second World Cup win of the season. She outclassed her compatriot Rachael Atherton (Animal Commecal) in wet and slippery conditions. Moseley was the last to start after taking the fastest time in the semi finals earlier in the day.

    In the end Moseley finished over four seconds ahead of Atherton, who was just 15 one-hundredths of a second faster than Sabrina Jonnier (Team Maxxis) in third.

    A long flat run into the line made for a difficult finish to the demanding circuit, with many of the women complaining that it dragged on way too long. Overnight rains turned the dust to paste like mud, which...

  • Buchanan storms to hometown win

    Australia's Caroline Buchanan
    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Verkuylen in Mount Stromlo, Canberra, Australia

    By Paul Verkuylen in Mount Stromlo, Canberra, Australia Local wonder-child Caroline Buchanan stormed...

    By Paul Verkuylen in Mount Stromlo, Canberra, Australia

    Local wonder-child Caroline Buchanan stormed to her first World Cup victory in the women's four cross. The 17 year-old Australian, who hails from Canberra, took advantage of her intimate knowledge of the circuit to dominate first her semi-final and then the final.

    "It feels like so much more than just another race on my home track. It feels amazing," an emotional Buchanan said. "The best riders in the world are here and this is only the second time that I have made a World Cup final and to be on top of the podium at only 17 – I am stoked, it hasn't set in yet."

    Buchanan used her explosive power to take the hole-shot and build up an early lead ahead of the Anneke Beerten, who would finish second and take over the World Cup lead going into the next round in Schladming, Austria..

    The huge Canberra crowd went nuts upon Buchanan's win. Receiving the congratulations of her competitors on the podium, it slowly sunk in just what she had achieved. As the huge Australian crowed sang along with the national anthem Buchanan, draped in the Australian flag, bust into tears.

    An Australian also won the men's 4X, but few would have guessed that the final would be an all Australian affair. .

    "It's the best to come to races like this and get the home crowd support," winner Jared Graves said. It was Graves' last race for the season after a hectic build up to the Olympics, to come away with a win was bonus.

    "It's good for the head to go home and know that I finished the season strong," he said after even a mechanical could not derail his winning ride.

    "I lost my rear brake at the top. It is pulling right to the bar. Trying to slow down for the corners with just the front brake was a bit sketchy."

    With four Australians in the final, the crowd was pumped as they lined up for the final run down the course. Interestingly, Graves was the only rider in the...

  • Kalentieva rides to second World Cup win while Naef silences critics

    Irina Kalentieva
    Article published:
    September 04, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Paul Verkuylen in Stromlo Forest, Canberra, Australia

    By Paul Verkuylen in Stromlo Forest, Canberra, Australia A week after taking a bronze medal and the...

    By Paul Verkuylen in Stromlo Forest, Canberra, Australia

    A week after taking a bronze medal and the Beijing Olympics, Irina Kalentieva left the rest of the field trailing in her dust as she rode to her second World Cup victory of the season in Canberra, Australia. Rosara Joseph stormed her final lap to pass Catherine Pendrel for second, with Tereza Hurikova taking fourth place and the under 23 race win in the process. Mary McConneloug took the final podium position in fifth.

    The event featured four of the top 10 placed riders from the Beijing Olympics, but unfortunately the gold and silver medal winners, Sabine Spitz and Maja Wloszczowska opted to skip the eighth round of the World Cup in favour of returning home to Germany and Poland respectively.

    This left Kalentieva as the hot favourite coming into the event. She did not disappoint. Taking an early lead on the first lap, Kalentieva never looked in trouble leading from start to finish. "I felt good today, it was my [type of] weather and course," Kalentieva explained shortly after crossing the finish line.

    Joseph's last lap surge to claim second place, her highest finish in a World Cup event, surprised not only the crowd, but also Joseph herself.

    "I was basically not feeling very good all this week," she said to Cyclingnews. "Then this morning I was feeling really tired and on the verge of being sick. So I didn't know what to expect. As I went on I was feeling stronger. I was riding technically very well, and putting the power down when I could."

    Catching and passing Pendrel in the dying moments of the final lap, Joseph couldn't afford to savour the moment until after she crossed the line. Pendrel was just six seconds behind her and Hurikova a further 11 seconds down.

    In the men's race, after the disappointment of not being selected to represent Switzerland at the Beijing Olympic Games, Ralph Naef showed that he is still one of the best cross...