The USA Cycling Pro Gravity Tour (Pro GRT) concluded this weekend with the Northstar Pro GRT at the Northstar California Mountain Bike Park in Truckee, California. With 190 and 132 points respectively, Logan Binggeli (KHS) and Jacqueline Harmony (IXS-510-Smith Optics) became the overall race calendar winners.
Bingelli placed second in the final round, allowing him to overtake the first place position from Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing), who was absent in Northstar. In addition to his second place finish, Binggeli also won the Chile Challenge and Whiteface Pro GRT rounds this season. Gwin finishes the 2012 US Pro GRT in second with 160 points while Northstar winner Kevin Aiello is third with 98 points, and Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) and Phil Kmetz (Von Cooper) round out the top five with 82 and 60 points respectively.
Harmony officially claimed the women's US Pro GRT title after winning her third straight round in Northstar. After the final round, the women's standings went unchanged. Harmony is at the top with 192 points while Lauren Daney (DRD Intense) finished the season in second with 128 points. Amber Price (Royal Racing USA) is third with 86 while Elinor Wesner (F.L.R. Wheel & Heel) and Joanna Petterson (Nema Maxxis) are fourth and fifth with 70 and 65 points.
Participation in ladies and mixed categories grows
The Absa Cape Epic is celebrating Women's Day today (August 9) by paying tribute to its fairer sex participants who have conquered the most televised mountain bike stage race in the world. The seven-day race saw 85.57 percent of women who participated cross the finish line in 2012, along with 87.49 percent of the male participants respectively.
Hanlie Booyens sets the bar in the ladies category, with the most stage wins in the history of the race. This year she secured her 17th stage win in the race.
"I've won it twice with Sharon Laws in 2004 and 2009. I've completed five Cape Epics. Beside the two wins, I've finished in second, third and fourth place - maybe I must try for fifth in 2012."
"It's been amazing to see the race grow from a far-fetched dream to what it is today. The increase in the ladies prize purse since last year is a very positive step as well," said Booyens. "This is a super tough event - I think even more so for women! There are no shortcuts. It's just hard, hard work.
"Day 7 of all of my Cape Epics has been tougher than any of the other crazy things I've done. It has caused me many a tear in anguish and despair and hate and joy, all at once. The reward lies in crossing that finish line and the amazing sense of achievement that it brings. You hate yourself for doing it, you love yourself for completing it. Competing in such a challenging mountain bike stage race teaches you commitment, perseverance, patience and teamwork. Above all, respect for your body, your mind, your partner and your support structures such as family and sponsors. It's a humbling experience!"
The number one position in the 2012 Cape Epic Ladies category was won by Sally Bigham and Esther Süss of team Wheels4Life. The team achieved a time of 38:34.12 and were placed 29th overall. They were followed by the Biogen Britehouse team of Theresa Ralph and Nina...
The Andalucia Bike Race, a mountain bike stage race, announced its dates for 2013. The third edition of the early season race will begin on February 24 and run through March 1.
The format will continue to be teams of two riders, but there will be some new categories for next year. Elite men and women will be able to chose to race under UCI regulations or not. Masters will be split into 30+ and 40+. However, the mixed category will continue as usual.
The race has stepped up to a UCI designation for those racing for UCI points. It will be an XCS class 1 event.
The 2012 edition will visit a new host city for stage 5 although the venue has not yet been revealed. Finally, stage 4 will get a new format: a team time trial.
Americans dial in their lines on short, fast course
Four Americans will take to the start this weekend at the Olympic Games mountain bike races. Georgia Gould and Lea Davison will race Saturday while Todd Wells and Sam Schultz will race Sunday.
Gould and Wells are experienced Olympians, and they've been able to share that experience with Olympic newbies Davison and Schultz. It's been an informal sort of mentoring relationship.
"I think in general, Sam learns a lot from Todd. I don't think it's the kind of mentoring that is obvious, it's more like osmosis," said Marc Gullickson, USA Cycling Mountain Bike Programs Director. "Through osmosis, he's learning from Todd. Todd has the confidence of being to two Olympics. Todd is rolling with all of this stuff more than Sam would, because this is Sam's first time.
"It's the same with Georgia and Lea. I wouldn't say the mentoring is right out there, in your face. I think there's stuff to be learned by Sam and Lea from Todd and Georgia."
Davison said, "It's nice to have teammates here who have experienced the Olympics. Georgia has definitely been helpful and so has Todd in what to expect, when we get here, now this is going happen. It's all exciting. We're definitely coming together as a team. Georgia and I pre-rode the course yesterday together. We're helping each other out."
Schultz said, "It's good to have the veterans on the squad to give us the scoop and fill us in on some of the questions we have. They've been through it all and know what's happening. It's cool because Lea and I are completely wide eyed and blown away. It actually makes more a good mix. Lea and I are super pumped and then we have the veterans that keep it a little bit more grounded and know the ropes. It's been good." Schultz is the only one of the American mountain bikers staying in the athletes' village.
Following a training camp in southern Germany, the US team has been in London since...
With less than a month until Tour de Timor begins, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, Chief of Staff of the Office of the President of Timor welcomed journalists to the Presidential Palace on Thursday, August 9. Also in attendance were 2012 Tour de Timor Timor-Leste riders who are currently training for the race.
Talking about the upcoming race, Magalhães said, "It is wonderful to see so many local riders riding in this year's race. There are a total of 83 Timor-Leste riders competing, compromising of 71 men and 12 women. The PNTL and FFDTL are contributing five teams between them and in addition this year race organisers have also allowed an under 18 team of six riders to participate in three days of the race. Timor-Leste's cycling talent is increasing, and it is events like the 2012 Tour de Timor which act as a catalyst for identifying potential athletes. I encourage all our local riders to continue their preparation for this year's race and wish them all the very best."
"It is important that governmental institutions give their support in order to ensure that this year's Tour de Timor is the most successful yet. National events are a great way to build cooperation and communication between the various ministries and I invite all of the newly sworn-in cabinet to participate and join us for the start and finish of the race in Tasi Tolu, Dili on the 10th and the 15th of September."
Amongst the international institutions that support the Tour de Timor are returnees from the National Critical Care and Trauma Center, of Darwin Australia, who will be sending a team of 20 medical staff in support of the event not to mention over 100 other international volunteers who will also accompany the riders through their ardurous challenge.
The fourth Tour de Timor promises to be the most varied of all editions so far for the riders. The route includes a split mix of two challenging hill climbing days, two road racing days and two...
Jose Antonio Hermida has been in London for the past five days doing final preparations for the Olympic Games cross country mountain bike race, which will happen on Sunday. The Spaniard has been checking out the course and doing some easy training sessions.
Hermida won a silver medal in Athens Olympics in 2004 and was 10th in 2008 in Beijing. He earned his first and only cross country world championship title in 2010.
"I'm calm and happy with the feelings I've had, and there have been no setbacks," said Hermida. "I feel good and motivation is high."
Hermida has trained twice on the circuit and plans to see it again on Saturday.
"It's a very fast circuit with very good drainage, so mud is not expected," he said. "There are some fairly complicated technical areas, but generally it's going to be a very fast course. There are no steep climbs nor long climbs, but it will be very demanding for the riders. On Saturday, the goal is to see that there have been no changes in the track due to the riders training."
Although he is expecting a high speed race, Hermida does not think the course lends itself to the formation of large groups of riders. "I imagine there will be small groups of two and three riders with small gaps between them that are difficult to close."
"My work is already done," said the Multivan Merida rider. "Sunday is the time to put into practice all those months of intense sacrifice."
Last two chances for Great Britain to gain Olympic cycling medals
Great Britain enjoyed Olympic Games success on the road with Bradley Wiggins and on the track with Chris Hoy, Laura Trott, Vicky Pendleton and others, but the Olympics aren't over yet. This weekend is Team GB's final chance to score more Olympic hardware. Annie Last will race the women's cross country mountain bike race on Saturday while Liam Killeen will race the men's event on Sunday.
Killeen was seventh at the 2004 Olympic Games and fifth in 2008. The 30-year-old crashed in both previous editions, but considered his results good.
However, despite his past success, only three reporters showed up at a Team GB press conference featuring Killeen earlier this week. "Personally I don't crave the spotlight. I will do whatever I can to achieve a great result," he said according to Reuters. "But whatever happens to me, I think the mountain bike race will be a great spectacle for the sport. There are going to 20,000 spectators there and hopefully that will inspire a few more riders to the sport."
Killeen is looking forward to racing on home turf on Sunday. "I personally find the home crowd gives me a boost so I'm hoping it will again this time," Killeen told echo-news.co.uk. "I had the opportunity to race the Commonwealth Games in Manchester back in 2002 and I can still remember it now. I had goose bumps going up all the big climbs. It really lifted me big time and more of the same would be great at the weekend."
Killeen thinks it is a challenging course and expects it will produce a good race.
Annie Last will be the first Olympic female mountain biker from Great Britain since the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The...
Bike's winning bidder brings bike to Leadville headquarters
"Reba's Ride," the mountain bike ridden by Rebecca Rusch in her record-setting third Leadville100 winning ride, will live on in the Colorado town where it became famous.
The 2011 Specialized Fate mountain bike, which carried Rusch to her third straight victory in the Leadville Trail 100 race in 2011, had been listed on the auction website eBay by Rusch as a benefit for the Wood River Bike Coalition. Rusch intended for the bike to be shipped to a winning bidder for their riding pleasure.
But the winning bidder, mountain bike racer Nate Whitman, had other plans.
"There's a lot of history in that bike," said Whitman, who has been racing Leadville for 10 years and has been a top 10 finisher for the race.
Whitman, who lives in California but travels to Colorado annually for the Leadville Trail 100, will be donating the bike for a display in honor of Rusch's achievements in the Leadville Race Series headquarters in the former mining town.
"As much as any athlete out there, male or female, Rebecca Rusch gives back to the sport of mountain biking," Whitman said. "This bike is going to be a symbol of Rebecca Rusch and the spirit of the race."
The 2012 Leadville Trail 100 is set for Saturday, August 11. Rusch will be racing for her fourth time.
The bike's auction fetched $4,200, after a flurry of dozens of bids for the bike, which began its listing at $2,500. The proceeds benefit the Wood River Bicycle Coalition, a group devoted to bikes and bike culture in Rusch's hometown of Ketchum, Idaho and the Sun Valley area. The Wood River Bicycle Coalition advocates for a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly community throughout Idaho's Wood River Valley.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage from the Leadville 100 this weekend.