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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Friday, April 19, 2013

Date published:
April 19, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Bresset breaks collarbone

    Julie Bresset is tended by medics after crashing and breaking her collarbone in Germany
    Article published:
    April 16, 2013, 17:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Olympic champion sidelined with injury

    Julie Bresset (BH - SR Suntour - KMC), current Olympic and world cross country champion, crashed and fractured her collarbone in a round of the Bundesliga National Series in Münsingen, Germany this weekend.

    Bresset crashed shortly after the start on a high speed paved section of the first lap.  She went down with four other women, but was the only one who had to abandon the race due to injury.

    Initial examination suggested that her collarbone was not broken; however, further tests once back home France showed that in fact it was broken, according to Bundesliga race organizers.

    There is no word yet on whether Bresset will need to undergo surgery or about when she will return to racing.

    The first World Cup of 2013 will happen in mid-May in Albstadt, Germany. The much anticipated battle with road and 'cross world champion Marianne Vos at some major races early this season may have to wait.

  • Riders praise new Albstadt World Cup course after pre-ride

    Fabian Giger, Maja Wloszczowska and Maxime Marotte check out the Albstadt World Cup
    Article published:
    April 17, 2013, 15:30 BST
    Cycling News

    One month to go until mountain bike World Cup kicks off

    With a month to go until the first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Albstadt, Germany, on May 17-19, several top mountain bikers have checked out the new cross country course. Initial impressions of the track, formerly part of the Gonso Albstadt MTB Classic, were positive.

    After just one lap, Frenchman Maxime Marotte (BH-Suntour KMC team), who was fifth in the World Cup overall in 2011 said, "Pooh, pretty tough," before adding, "I like the track, just as it is. It is steep and technically challenging. It's real mountain biking."

    "Perhaps the toughest World Cup course in the whole circuit," said Dutchman Henk-Jaap Moorlag (Giant), "but very fair. I like it."

    Moorlag's teammate Maja Wloszczowska was one of several riders who took advantage of the Albstadt World Cup's proximity to Sunday's Bundesliga race in Münsingen to inspect the new track. "Very tough climbs and the downhills are already tricky, although not everything is finished," said 2010 world champion Wloszczowska, who won on Sunday in Münsingen and showed she is back in form after a nine-months off due to injury.

    "I'm excited about the rock garden, because that is certainly also something exciting," she said, referring to one of several technical details that are yet to be added. The work on the course is not yet finished due to a long winter.

    "The downhills are really cool. If you're fresh, you can have lots of fun. But in the last two laps it will certainly be very difficult when you're exhausted," said the Polish woman.

    For world number four-ranked Fabian Giger (Giant Pro XC) from Switzerland, the course is "super cool".

    "The climbs are actually tougher, but the track is more 'modern' than before," he said, "I think this is one of the highlights this year, and I believe a lot of spectators will come to Albstadt to watch the World Cup."


  • NICA and IMBA launch "Spirit of Howdy" trail etiquette initiative

    NICA and IMBA recently launched a joint "Spirit of Howdy" initiative
    Article published:
    April 17, 2013, 21:31 BST
    Cycling News

    Simply slowing to say "Howdy" makes a world of difference

    The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) introduced "The Spirit of Howdy", a new trail etiquette initiative designed to illuminate and advance a trail riding ethos key to the national high school mountain biking movement.

    A website,, offers mountain bike coaches tools for working with young athletes to engender responsible and respectful trail use practice and develop them as future trail stewards.

    The initiative will be officially launched at the screening of Singletrack High at the Golden State Theater in Monterey, California at 7:30 pm on April 20th. Board and staff members of both IMBA and NICA will be on hand to talk about the success of the program in its pilot phase.

    "Teaching young student-athletes that their behavior and riding style on the trail directly affects other trail user and the natural environment and, ultimately, the support from their schools, has always been central in our philosophy," said NICA's executive director, Austin McInerny. "Recently NICA student-athletes coined the phrase 'Spirit of Howdy', and I'm thrilled to work with IMBA to launch the Spirit of Howdy website as the site effectively advances what our community stands for."

    IMBA's executive director Mike van Abel said, "The Spirit of Howdy campaign represents the values that both IMBA and NICA wish to teach our youth. The Spirit of Howdy is more than being friendly to other trail users - it's also about caring for the trails and our environment, stewarding our parks and natural resources, and giving back to our communities."

    The idea behind Spirit of Howdy began back in the late 1990s when NICA founder Matt Fritzinger then a math teacher and coach, came up with a simple trail-use code for riders on his Berkeley High School team.

    Fritzinger explained the rule as, "'Slow down enough so you can...

  • Blair and Mullens set to defend Australian marathon titles

    Peta Mullens
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 0:58 BST
    Cycling News

    National championships happening this weekend in Atherton

    Australia's premier mountain bike marathon riders will venture to Australia's tropics when the 2013 Australian Marathon National Championships happen on Sunday. The championships will be held in Atherton, Queensland on April 21 with reigning national champions Andrew Blair and Peta Mullens set to light up the picturesque tablelands.

    "There are probably up to 10 guys that can win the championships," Blair said. "It's definitely the hardest race of the year with the deepest field out of any marathon in Australia."

    Blair recently took out the Capital Punishment marathon in Canberra following six weeks off the bike due to a serious injury.

    "I broke my scapula (shoulder blade) which sidelined me for the [cross country] national championships, one of my big goals for the year. Because I missed them, it has meant all I have been thinking about is trying to make (my injury) right," he said.

    In the women's race, defending champion Mullens will bring her recent Cape Epic experience in South Africa to the fore when she takes on strong competition in Jodie Willett and Irish national Jenny Fay.

    "I think my climbing form is there on the back of the Cape Epic," Mullens said. "I feel like I've come a long way technically in the last year to the point where I don't feel that I have a weakness people can target in a marathon race."

    "If I'm incident-free and have good legs, I think I'll be standing on top of the podium on Sunday," Mullens said.

    The Victorian heads into the championships fresh from winning the Wombat 100 marathon last weekend which followed a dominant victory at the cross country Australian Championships in February.

    "I have a season goal of being a triple national champion this year across cross country, marathon and cyclo-cross, so the pressure is on," Mullens said.

  • Gold Rusch Tour 2013 makes first stop at Sea Otter

    Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) at the finish
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 15:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Leadville champ Rusch's Tour in third year of encouraging female cyclists

    Led by three-time 24-hour solo world champion mountain biker and four-time Leadville 100 winner Rebecca Rusch (Specialized), the 2013 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour is kicking off at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, this weekend. In its third year, the annual tour aims to get more women on bikes and into bike racing.

    The SRAM Gold Rusch Tour events held at Sea Otter will include Ladies Lounge sessions with short clinics on cycling tech, gear and face-to-face conversations with professional cyclists from all disciplines of the sport. Rusch and other SRAM-sponsored pros will also host no-drop MTB and road rides with SRAM support on site and technique tips on the rides.

    "The Sea Otter Classic is such a part of the American cycling experience that it's a natural first stop for the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour," said Rusch. "I look forward to connecting with women of all fitness levels, ages, and interests there this year and deepening their affection for riding and being outdoors."

    2013 Sea Otter Classic Stop on the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour
    Thursday April 18, 2:00 - 3:30 pm, Road and MTB rides with the pros
    Thursday, April 18, 3:30 pm - 5:00, Happy hour with the pros
    Friday & Saturday, April 19 & 20, 3:00 - 5:00 pm, Meet the pros & snacks at the lounge
    Sunday, April 21, 10:00 - noon, Road and MTB No-Drop Rides with the pros

    The SRAM Gold Rusch Tour will make subsequent stops at six key cycling events in Ontario, Idaho, and British Columbia before returning to California. The tour is a series of women's-specific clinics and rides hosted in tandem with major races and bike festivals. These clinics will focus on riding techniques, fitness planning, equipment maintenance, and will feature one-on-one interaction with professional athletes from all cycling disciplines.

    According to Rusch, a...

  • Enduro World Series recruits its own to create new trophies

    The Enduro World Series logo.
    Article published:
    April 18, 2013, 19:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Anke Martin to design series world championship awards

    The yellow jersey, pink jersey, green jersey, polka dot jersey. The rainbow stripes. Cycling is full of iconic trophies, and the new Enduro World Series aims to offer its own distinctive recognition for winners. The series announced on Thursday its plans for the design and making of a trophy to honor the winners of the inaugural 2013 series.

    The announcement both creates a new tradition for the Enduro World Series, and breaks with the tradition of other cycling disciplines by awarding the world championship title to the Enduro World Series' overall winner, rather than to the winner of a single world championship race within the series.

    "Traditionally, winning the trophy meant winning a one day world championship. Enduro World Series won't have a one day world championship. Instead, the rider who wins the overall series will be crowned the world champion," said EWS Managing Director Chris Ball.

    "Enduro is a combination of a lot of individual stages, so the world champion should be the one who rides all the stages, the overall best."

    The new tradition being established will mean an annual call-out within the extended enduro community for an artist or designer to design and craft the trophy.

    Anka Martin, along with husband Sven, has agreed to serve as designer of the inaugural trophy.

    Bike pilgrims and former South Africans, Anka Martin and her photojournalist husband Sven, live their Antipodean summers in the "sunniest town in New Zealand" where they guide epic MTB trips, and out of a trusty European-based van for the northern riding season, from which Anka races enduro and other disciplines and Sven shoots the World Cup circuit.

    Anka has put in thousands of kilometres in the saddle for years racing the likes of the Trans-Provence, the Megavalanche, Enduro Nations, Mountain of Hell, and Cape Epic rides. Also an artist, with a background in textile design, Anka recently collaborated on the design of the...

  • Sea Otter 2013: Specialized creates Enduro SX

    The Specialized Enduro SX is a limited-edition gated-racing frameset
    Article published:
    April 19, 2013, 8:50 BST
    Ben Delaney

    Limited edition 100mm gated-racing frame

    At the Sea Otter Classic just outside Monterey, California, Specialized unveiled a new frameset for gated racing, the Enduro SX. This 100mm, four-bar-linkage aluminum frame was built at the request of sponsored athletes, said Specialized PR man Chris Riekert.

    "There are no longer a ton of dual slalom or four-cross races, but our athletes have been asking for it," Riekert said.

    Specialized used to have an Enduro SX Trail, but that has gone away. The Enduro EVO, was launched at last year's Crankworkx as an aggressive, 165mm all-mountain machine, alongside the P Slope, a single-pivot, concentric-bottom-bracket bike. And the Specialized Enduro 29 was brought out in in late February. But the Enduro SX "Is a straight-up race bike," Riekert said, with Specialized's FSR rear suspension design. The seat stays are relatively short but the slack head tube gives stability and a longer wheelbase, Riekert said.

    The frameset, which does not yet have a price, will come with a Fox Float CTD shock in two lengths, S or L. Only 100 will be sold.

    For all of our Sea Otter coverage, click here.

  • Rose Vaujany Pro Mountain Bike Team expands into enduro racing

    The Rose Vaujany team
    Article published:
    April 19, 2013, 14:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Fewer riders on 2013 team

    The first season of the Rose Vaujany Team was successful, but the team said that's no reason to keep everything like it is. Its 2013 mountain bike team has fewer riders this year and has shifted its focus to enduro racing.

    The team said it has not forgotten four cross and downhill disciplines. Its schedule includes - besides the new Enduro World Series and the Specizialed-SRAM Enduro Series - the 4X Pro Tour, the iXS Downhill Cup and some World Cup Downhill races. The team will also be present at the big bike festivals like Crankworx, Bike festival and the IXS Dirt Masters.

    Team manager Joost Wichman sees a big future for enduro. "It is the fastest growing mountain bike discipline, and it suits the potential customers of our sponsors. For us, it is a great challenge. Last year we already learnt a lot. The Trans-Provence was an unforgettable experience and we did quite well."

    The team consists of Petrik Brückner, reigning European four cross champion Katy Curd and Joost Wichman.

    "With this team, we can be successful in every discipline," said Wichman. "In fact, I expect Katy to battle for the world champ's jersey and Petrik to be at the top 10 at every enduro race he enters... they are ready for the season."

    The team is still in development according Wichman. "There are plans for 2014. It's too early to reveal anything, but the talks about it are promising. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, and focus on this season. We have to give our sponsors value for their money. We certainly started well with three wins already."