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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Friday, November 11, 2011

Date published:
November 11, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • NUE series announces the 2012 schedule

    NUE Series Singlespeed podium: Jason Pruitt, Gerry Pflug, Matthew Ferrari
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 19:00 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    New venue added plus finals move to Georgia

    The Kenda National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series announced its 12-race schedule for 2012, including a new venue as well as a switch in which event will host the final round. Last season, in addition to its eight established venues, the series made stops in Mountain View, Arkansas; Alta, Wyoming; and Park City, Utah. The 2012 Series will remain a best four of 12 races with all ties broken at the championship race.

    The Hampshire 100 in New Hampshire becomes the first New England venue to be part of the series.

    "The Hampshire 100 Race Director, Randi Whitney, along with numerous volunteers have spent five years refining her event and NUE is very excited to add New Hampshire to the 11 great states hosting NUE Series races next season," said NUE Series Director Ryan O'Dell.

    "Located in the cooler, scenically beautiful northeast on Sunday, August 19 should make this a popular NUE venue this year and with a registration limit of 500, many racers will be able to get in when registration opens on January 15."

    The other major change for 2012 is a switch in the series final location. The Fool's Gold in Georgia, will host the championship event. The race, traditionally been held on a weekend in August, is moving to September 8 for 2012.

    "The cooler fall weather may make the Fool's Gold 100 even more attractive to racers. This will mark the first time the NUE Series Championship has been held in the southeast." In previous years, the Shenandoah Mountain 100, in Virginia, hosted the finals.

    An accomplished mountain bike racer who fought his way to a seventh place finish in the NUE Men's Open Division this year, his best performance so far, race director Eddie O'Dea, describes the new championship race course this way, "The 2012 Fool's Gold 50/100 will again be based out of the beautiful Montaluce Winery in Dahlonega, Georgia. Expect lots of fast and flowy singletrack, some...

  • Mountain bike legend Overend to host NorCal CycleFest

    Former World Champion Ned Overend (Specialized) took on many man less than half his age
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 20:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    High school league fundraiser set for the weekend

    Mountain biking's first world champion Ned Overend will be the special guest at the 10th annual NorCal CycleFest, the Bay Area's cycling social event of the season on Saturday, November 12 at the Mill Valley Community Center in Mill Valley, California.

    The event will raise funds for the NorCal High School Cycling League, the organization that led to the formation of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.

    The evening of cycling stardom starts with special patron hour, then a mixer combined with silent auction, before a presentation of featured student athletes and a gourmet dinner accompanied by an on-stage conversation with Overend himself. A live auction will conclude the evening's entertainment. Ten people will be able to bid on an small-group mountain bike ride on Sunday with Overend.

    "The NorCal High School Cycling League showed us not only that high school mountain biking is possible as a widespread activity, but also they showed us the right way to plan and manage this," said Overend. "Having been a keen follower of this movement since its inception, I continue to be more and more impressed by the high level of professionalism and the desire to continue learning that is contained within this organization."

    "The NorCal League has played a leadership role in the national movement, and like any strong leader they aren’t resting on their laurels. For anybody who loves cycling, or is interested in the well-being of California's youth, this is one of the most important organizations to support, and it is my honor and privilege to speak at the NorCal CycleFest, and help them raise funds for their ongoing work."

    Overend has raced for the Specialized team for about as long as anybody can remember. He virtually owned the US cross country mountain bike title between 1986 and 1992, winning every year except 1988. In 1990, aged 35, he won the inaugural UCI world championship, and the next year placed third. In...

  • Fleming targets Highland Fling victory

    Husky 100k women's leader Sue Thompson
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 21:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Thompson hopeful among the women

    More than 2,000 competitors will compete in the Briars Highland Fling, the final round of the inaugural Real Insurance XCM Series on Sunday, November 13. After a tightly contested series, it will all come down to the final result for both the Real Insurance XCM Series competitors and the Half XCM Series competitors.

    The overall competition will be between series leader Matt Fleming (Rockstar Racing) and contenders Dylan Cooper (Trek) and Ben Mather (Avanti Plus)

    Having never won the Highland Fling, Fleming is hoping to make 2011 his year by taking out both the Fling and the series

    "The Briars Highland Fling is one of the toughest enduro races on the calendar. The Fling is one race that has always eluded me," said Fleming. "I've had many places but never a win overall. My form has been a little down of late but I will be firing on the day nonetheless. My goal is to finish in front of Ben Mather and Dylan Cooper and take out the XCM Series, but a win would be a great way to finish off the series. I'll be well supported in the race by new teammates from Rockstar Racing, and I'm hoping I can deliver a win as well as the XCM series for the Rockstar Racing team."

    Unfortunately for Cooper, his series preparation hasn't been ideal "Although I'm usually racing overseas and miss the Aussie winter, this year I've had a long off-season with the plan to build up to racing this summer. The Fling is what I was hoping to kick things off with. Although I'd left the start of my training very late, things were looking ok... until I caught a nasty virus last week."

    "I've been off the bike with a chest infection and am not too confident about my chances of doing well now, but if I get well in time I'll certainly give it a crack. You never know in mountain biking, as results can come from nowhere. My plan is to race unfit but fresh, which will mean my endurance won't be so good. But maybe my legs will be rested enough to use some speed on a...

  • MTN Qhubeka team looks toward 2012

    Adrien Niyonshuti chases Burry Stander
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 23:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    MTB squad to focus on marathons, Cape Epic and Olympics

    The MTN Qhubeka team generally will focus on the South African MTN Marathon National Series and the Absa Cape Epic as core races for 2012 while one of its stars, Adrien Niyonshuti, prepares to be the first ever Rwandan mountain biker at the Olympic Games in London next August.

    Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Niyonshuti have just completed their first mountain bike team event together, the Cape Pioneer Trek, and the duo performed well. They will continue to fine-tune their teamwork as the Cape Epic approaches in late March.

    Karien van Jaarsveld will join the women's team. As the 2011 South African Marathon Champion and 2011 Absa Cape Epic women's team winner, she will aim for further podiums and victories.

    Team MTN Qhubeka is a multi-disciplinary African team for men's and women's road, mountain bike and BMX racing.. "Qhubeka" means "to move forward" in Nguni. Altogether, its riders have garnered 390 victories since 2008, including a myriad of national and continental championships.

  • Gutierrez signs with Elettroveneta-Corratec

    Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez signs with Elettroveneta-Corratec for 2012-2013
    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 16:21 GMT
    Cycling News

    Two-year deal for Spanish mountain biker

    Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez signed a two-year contract with the Elettroveneta-Corratec mountain bike team starting in 2012. The news comes one week after marathon rider Alexey Medvedev renewed his contract with the international squad.

    After an up and down year in 2011, the Spaniard is looking ahead to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

    "I'm very happy that I signed with one of the best teams in the World Cup circuit," said Gutierrez. "I've gotten to know the D.S. Marco Fincato, with whom we have already planned a program and equipment. I am absolutely convinced that he has made the right choice."

    In recent years, Gutierrez has placed eighth at World Cups in Mont-Sainte-Anne and Bromont in Canada; 10th at Dalby Forest in the United Kingdom and 14th at Val di Sole in Italy.

    "[He is a] great person and athlete," said the team's General Manager Andrea Pendini. "We needed to strengthen the cross country team with a rider of his experience already capable of finishing in the top 10 of the UCI rankings."

    Pendini thanked Gutierrez's former manager at Team Giant Italia for helping with the move.

    Gutierrez has won international-level victories in France, Spain, Germany and Italy. He will target the Olympic Games and the cross country world championship in 2012.

  • Van Hoovels and Vanderbeken win Granny Awards

    Kevin van hoovels leads Henk Jaap Moorlag
    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 18:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Best riders and moments of 2011

    Mountain bikers and best and worst moments of the year were named at the annual Granny Awards in Bornem last weekend. Belgians Kevin Van Hoovels and Joyce Vanderbeken won the elite men's and women's honors while Sebastien Carabin was voted the top U23 rider.

    Van Hoovels earned the coveted 2012 Olympic team selection for Belgium thanks to his world championship performance, and his achievement was named as "best moment of the year".

    Jens Schuermans's crash at the world championship was selected as the "toughest moment of the year".

    Elite men
    1. Kevin Van Hoovels
    2. Kenny Belaey
    3. Sven Nys
    4. Robby De Bock
    5. Jimmy Tielens

    Elite women
    1. Joyce Vanderbeken
    2. Petra Mermans
    3. Kim Saenen
    4. Kristien Nelen
    5. Githa Michiels

    Under 23 men
    1. Sebastien Carabin
    2. Ruben Scheire
    3. Jeff Luyten
    4. Jonas De Backer
    5. Bart De Vocht

    Junior men
    1. Jens Schuermans
    2. Kevin Panhuyzen
    3. Didier Bats
    4. Boris Cara
    5. Pieter Geluykens

    Best Moment of the year
    1. Olympic selection of Kevin Hoovels
    2. European title won by Jens Schuermans
    3. European title won by Kenny Beleay
    4. Fourth by Versluys at the Cape Epic
    5. Iciar Van den Bergh among the world

    Worst moment of the year
    1. Crash of Jens Schuermans at the Worlds
    2. Crash of Sven Nys in Dalby Forest
    3. The entire season of Didier Bats
    4. Elise Marchal stopping

    Up and coming girls
    1. Lize Struyf
    2. Eva Maria Palm
    3. Lotte Van Thillo
    4. Emmeline Detilleux
    5. Sara Beeckmans

    12-year-old boys
    1. Laurenz Rex
    2. Jens Vertongen
    3. Timo Kielich
    4. Robbe Platteeuw
    5. Pieter Janssens

    13-year old boys

  • Ettinger honored as USAC male athlete of the year

    National champion Stephen Ettinger (BMC Development)
    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 20:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Another mountain biker, Matthes inducted into Bicycling Hall of Fame

    Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountain Bike Development Team) was honored as the USA Cycling Male Athlete of the Year at a ceremony on November 5 at the US Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis, California.

    Ettinger got his start as a 10-year-old in Washington state's local race scene. By age 16, he was competing for national titles, and by age 18 was competing at world championship events. He finished third is his inaugural pro race and has posted 23 top-10 finishes (including eight victories) in the more than 40 races he has entered since 2009.

    As a member of USA Cycling's National Development Program, Ettinger has consistently shown that he is able to compete among the world's best. This summer, at the USA Cycling Cross Country National Championships, he won the under 23 men's cross country race by more than three minutes.

    At the same ceremony, Ruthie Matthes was inducted into the US Bicycling Hall of Fame in the off-road competitor category. Matthes won the cross country world championship in 1991 although she was also an accomplished road cyclist, too. She was cross country World Cup champion in 1992 and finished 10th at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia in 2000.

  • High school cycling leaders will visit Madison, Wisconsin

    The Sophomore Boys race start at a NorCal High School League Division 1 race.
    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 22:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    Wanted: New clubs and league development

    The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) is hosting an educational outreach event in Madison, Wisconsin, on November 16 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm with the aim of forming new high school mountain bike clubs in the state and region.

    The Madison outreach event - led by NICA's Executive Director and the Development Director, Matt Fritzinger and Ben Capron - will outline NICA's vision and methods, as well as how people can get involved in the flourishing high school mountain bike movement.

    In September, NICA launched its Indie Club Program, whereby high school mountain bike clubs can join NICA as fully insured and supported high school mountain bike clubs before a formal league exists. New Wisconsin clubs may also participate in the recently formed Minnesota League. The meeting will include discussions about the formation of clubs, and also answer questions about the process of forming a Wisconsin league.

    The Minnesota and Wisconsin initiatives are part of NICA's plan to establish mountain biking as a high school sport reaching from coast to coast by 2020. NICA currently has leagues in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington. This year, 15 new states enquired about becoming a NICA League.

    NICA founder, Matt Fritzinger said, "A lot of outstanding mountain biking development work has already been done in Wisconsin. We are hoping to put the high school piece into this puzzle, and are looking for a range of people who will create new high school cycling leagues. Mountain biking is our focus, which we find provides a great basis life long involvement in all disciplines of cycling."

    NICA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Leagues receive no funding from schools, school districts, athletic funds or any other tax-based revenue.

    The Wisconsin meeting will be held at the Madison Concourse Hotel, 1...