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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Friday, August 24, 2012

Date published:
August 24, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Injured Hart sidelined from world championships

    Danny Hart (Giant Factory Off-Road) will miss 2012 Worlds while his injured shoulder continues to heal.
    Article published:
    August 22, 2012, 19:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Downhill world champ will not defend his title

    Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Danny Hart is currently recovering from shoulder surgery and will miss the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships and the final UCI Downhill World Cup race of the season. The current downhill world champion dislocated his shoulder in a training crash in France on July 12, the day after the Air DH event at Crankworx Les Deux Alpes.

    Following the crash, Hart immediately returned home to Great Britain, where he underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left shoulder.

    He started physical therapy a few weeks ago and has already regained 70 percent range of motion. Hart's recovery is right on track, but he won't be ready for the final races of the 2012 season. He is focused on building his strength for 2013.

    Hart put in an impressive and now famous world championship run to win the downhill in Champery, Switzerland, last year in treacherous, wet conditions while many of his rivals struggled to stay upright.  It was his first elite world title.

  • La Ruta de los Conquistadores celebrates 20 years

    Riders on the infamous La Ruta railroad trestle bridges
    Article published:
    August 22, 2012, 21:10 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Special edition includes optional rafting segment

    Mountain bike stage races have come and gone, but one that has endured is La Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica. The race will celebrate its 20th edition on November 1-3, 2012.

    The race is notoriously difficult with its jungle-like setting, often hot temperatures, extreme amounts of climbing and lengthy stages, but race founder and organizer Roman Urbina promised that this year's event will be more accessible to more racers.

    "It'll be a much easier race to ride. It'll be the three-day format," said Urbina to Cyclingnews.

    In recent years, the race has stretched as long as four days. "The second day is gone. Personally, it's my favorite day, but it's gone," said Urbina, who is looking to return the race to its original three-day plan. Cutting the second day will also take out a lot of climbing. The race traverses the country from the west coast at Jaco Beach to the east coast at La Playa Bonita.

    Another big change is the shortening of the final day's riding and the addition of an optional morning white water rafting segment. The extracurricular activity will not count toward the GC.

    "We are going to add a rafting section to the last day. All of the mountains of the last day are gone, and it will be decided on a flat course the last day," said Urbina.

    "Twenty years ago, I started La Ruta as an expedition following the path of the Conquistadores. They travelled by boats a lot because it was easier than going up and over the mountains. It's a world class river, one of the best. I used to be a raft guide."

    Don't expect the rafting to be a long term addition to La Ruta. "I don't know if we'll ever have the rafting again because it's logistically complicated. We wanted to give back a little more to people participating. We want them to relax. The racers will get into Turrialba on Friday afternoon. Bikes will be serviced, washed...

  • Swiss Cup's future bright after title sponsorship renewal

    The lead of the elite men's cross country race swayed to and fro throughout the six-race affair with Swiss rider Nino Schurter once again emerging victorious ahead of local hero Burry Stander
    Article published:
    August 23, 2012, 16:10 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC extends support for Swiss MTB series until 2015

    Two weeks after the BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team announced the signing of two-time Olympic champion and world champion Julien Absalon, BMC Switzerland announced a further three-year contract as the main sponsor of the the Swiss BMC Racing Cup through 2015.

    "The BMC Racing Cup is an ideal platform for our brands to get in front of Swiss and international audiences and athletes. We already had an excellent response to our sponsorship and our presence at the Cup in the first year. We are therefore very excited about furthering our collaboration," said Steven Jonckheere, sports marketing manager at BMC Switzerland.

    The bike company took over title sponsorship of Switzerland's national series at the beginning of 2012.  BMC also sponsors a development mountain bike team with young racers around the globe.

    "Competitors in the various BMC Racing Cup races are still world class," said Thomas Binggeli, CEO and co-owner of BMC Switzerland. "A well-organised top series like this is unique and fits perfectly with our image. Our long-term commitment to the BMC Racing Cup also emphasises how important youth development and recreational sport are to us. This is where the World and Olympic champions of the future begin!"

    Race organizer Andi Seeli was also happy about the extension of the main sponsorship contract with BMC. "I am extremely pleased with the development of the BMC Racing Cup and with the contract extension for the next three years. It means we can maintain the continuity and quality of the Cup and even expand it."

    The final round of the 2012 Swiss BMC Cup will happen in Muttenz on Sunday. Olympic medallists Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) and Marco Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) will face athletes such as Absalon (Orbea) and Florian Vogel...

  • Nicole out of mountain bike Worlds due to injury

    Elite women's podium in Val di Sole World Cup: Floriane Pugin, Myriam Nicole, Rachel Atherton, Emmeline Ragot, Morgane Charre
    Article published:
    August 23, 2012, 17:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Broken collarbone for downhiller

    Downhill racer Myriam Nicole (Commencal/Riding Addiction) will have to sit out this year's UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang, Austria due to injury.

    The French woman broke her collarbone according to

    Nicole has had a strong 2012 World Cup season. She finished second in Val di Sole and Mont-Sainte-Anne; third in Fort William; fourth in Val d'Isere; and fifth in Pietermaritzburg and Windham. With one round remaining, she is ranked third in the World Cup standings.

    She joins the list of top women's downhillers who will miss Worlds.  Tracey Hannah (Hutchinson), is also out due to injury.

  • Switzerland finalizes team for mountain bike Worlds

    This shot captures the gnarly rock drops that riders like World Cup downhiller Nick Beer (Scott) encounter.
    Article published:
    August 23, 2012, 19:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Rest of squad named

    Switzerland finalized its team for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang and Saalfelden, Austria, from August 31 to September 2, 2012. Cross country racers had previously been named, but the most recent announcement from the federation on Thursday also included rosters for the cross country team relay, four cross and downhill events.

    Swiss team for the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

    Elite men downhill
    Nick Beer (Verein IG Bergvelo)
    Ludovic May (Bike Club Verbier / Val de Bagnes)
    Lars Peyer (SC - Intense)
    Lutz Weber (RC Steffisburg)

    Elite women downhill
    Miriam Ruchti (SC-Intense)

    Under 19 men downhill
    Jonas Bernet (RMV Cham Hagendorn)
    Maxime Chapuis (VC Lancy)
    Noel Niederberger (Scott 11)
    Felix Klee (RV Hinwil)

    Under 19 women downhill
    Geraldine Fink (Velo Cliub Trial Stäfa)

    Elite men four cross
    David Graf (BMX Power Bike Winterthur)
    Benjamin Kistner (BMX Power Bike Winterthur)
    Werner Muther (BMX Power Bike Winterthur)
    Roger Rinderknecht (BMX Power Bike Winterthur)
    Simon Waldburger (VC Leibstadt)
    Adrian Weiss (Scott 11)
    Mirco Weiss (Scott 11)

    Elite women four cross
    Lucia Oetjen (BMX Power Bike Winterthur)

    Team Relay
    Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida Biking Team)
    Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing Team)
    Reto Indergand (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team)
    Dominic Zumstein (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing

    Elite men cross country
    Lukas Flückiger (Team Trek World Racing)
    Mathias Flückiger (Team Trek World Racing)
    Fabian Giger (Rabobank Offroad Team)
    Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida Biking Team)

  • Canadians send large contingent to mountain bike Worlds

    Catharine Pendrel (Canada) finished ninth
    Article published:
    August 23, 2012, 22:05 BST
    Cycling News

    39 cyclists heading to Austria

    Cycling Canada is pleased announced the racers who will represent Canada at the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, in Austria, in both the downhill and cross country competitions.

    The event will kick off with the downhill event on Saturday, September 1 with the official downhill timed session. The championships races for all downhill categories will happen on Sunday, September 2. The downhill races will be held in Leogang, Austria.

    Canada will send 15 downhillers to the event. The team will be headlined by Canada's top-ranked rider Steve Smith. Claire Buchar, who won a bronze medal at last year's Worlds, will also be a top contender for Canada. Canadian Champions Furthermore, Matt Beer and Casey Brown will be among the Canadian contingent racing for top honours.

    The cross country races will be held the following weekend, in Saalfelden, Austria.

    On the women's side, 2011 world champion Catharine Pendrel will head the team and will be defending her title. Pendrel will be joined by 2012 Olympian Emily Batty and Marie-Hélène Prémont. All three riders are expected to be among the top contenders in Saalfelden. Sandra Walter and Amanda Sin will also compete for Canada in the elite women's race. The nation's women's team is currently the highest ranked team in the world.

    The men's team will be led by Geoff Kabush, who recently posted Canada's best ever Olympic result in men's mountain bike - finishing eighth. He will be joined by Derek Zandstra who is fresh off a breakthrough victory at the most recent US Pro XCT. Raphael Gagné and Cameron Jette will also compete for Canada at the event.

    2012 Olympian Max Plaxton elected not to compete at this year's...

  • Marion and Flynn win Triple Crown East series

    Reid Peacock pushes the paces under the lights at the short track at the North Carolina round of the Triple Crown East
    Article published:
    August 24, 2012, 14:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Two-year-old series will return in 2013

    The inaugural Triple Crown East presented by Sho-Air International came to a conclusion at Fontana Dam in North Carolina earlier this month. By all indications, the first year "All Mountain" series concept was a hit with riders and fans. Rider turnout was up over last year, especially in the short track and super D events.

    Having started in early June at the Bump N Grind in Pelham, Alabama, the series then rolled into the mid-Atlantic visiting Massanutten resort near Harrisonburg, Virginia the following weekend. The series then took a brief hiatus and concluded in conjunction with the US Cup/SERC east series finals at the Fontana Dam Jam in North Carolina.

    Robert Marion (American Classic / Xpedo Pro) took the men's 2012 Triple Crown East title over Florida's Ryan Woodall (Top Gear Bicycles / Mtfmx.Com), who is hot off seventh and third places in last weekend's US Pro XCT Subaru Cup cross country and short track races. Victor Alber (Super cool bike shop) rounded out the final podium spot for the elite men.

    "The Triple Crown East series was a great way for me to prepare for the final round of the Pro XCT in Wisconsin," said Woodall. "The fact I got to race some short track with the high intensity really prepared me for the effort I would face here at the Subaru Cup. It's good to see a variety of racing like the Triple Crown offered closer to home."

    In the women's elite category, Kim Flynn (Us Stove Trek) took home top honors for 2012.

    All category winners, including amateurs, received a custom champion's jersey for their efforts. The series banquet and Triple Crown final awards were held in Fontana Village banquet hall to a full house, with champions and top finishers honored.

    Special awards were also given including most improved junior Luke Vrouwenvelder, most improved woman...

  • IMBA announces sessions for its biennial World Summit

    Sam Schultz (Subaru Trek) leads teammate Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski through the singletrack at the 2010 Subaru Cup. Schultz went on to win his first Pro XCT Cup in Wisconsin
    Article published:
    August 24, 2012, 19:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Santa Fe to host 2012 summit in October

    With two months to go before the sixth biennial IMBA World Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico on October 10-13, the organization released a full schedule of speakers and sessions.

    "We received exceptional proposals for summit content," said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. "At this point, the strongest applications have been selected and the speakers have been notified. Mountain bike leaders from around the globe are eager to present their best ideas at this gathering and help shape the sport."

    The IMBA World Summit officially begins on the evening of October 10, with opening ceremonies at the Santa Fe Convention Center, the home for most summit activities. Festivities will kick-off with an early celebration honoring IMBA's 25th birthday featuring guest speakers and live music from the Daniel Day Trio. A series of pre-summit events, including a riding field trip to neighboring Los Alamos, are also scheduled including a Trips for Kids Conference, an IMBA Trail Solutions Bike Park Workshop, the Southwest Trails Conference, and a Race and Event Promoter Gathering.

    Luther Propst, founder and executive director of the Sonoran Institute, will deliver a keynote address on the first full day of the summit. As the leader of a successful nonprofit devoted to helping communities understand and embrace conservation goals and promote local quality of life, Propst offers a valuable perspective for summit attendees.

    "Mountain bikers and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts are poised to lead conservation efforts in valuable new directions," said Propst. "People that recreate outdoors have an intimate understanding of the environment - one that lends itself to an authentic public policy platform that benefits not only mountain biking but the quality of our lands and water and the desirability of our communities as places to live, work and play."

    Updates on key IMBA...