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MTB News & Racing Round-up, January 20, 2010

Date published:
January 20, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • 2010 Trans Germany sold out

    The peloton races the final stage
    Article published:
    January 16, 2010, 11:01 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Shorter fourth edition changes deemed popular

    The Trans Germany mountain bike stage race organizers announced the fourth edition of its event has sold out. 1,200 registrants will race from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany on June 2 to Bregenz, Austria on June 5.

    "We are absolutely stoked by this huge run on the entry spots which we witnessed over the past weeks. This shows us that we made the right changes concerning the alternating route and cutting the stages down to four," said Anika Stephan, Project Manager for Event Agency Plan B.

    The race was seven days in 2009, and also happened slightly later in the season.  Organizers had first allowed 800 entries, but then expanded the registration to 1,200.

    "We are super motivated to ensure that every participant will have a great time at the upcoming Trans Germany."

  • Gujan down after unfortunate badminton game

    Martin Gujan of the Cannondale Factory Team
    Article published:
    January 16, 2010, 20:03 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Mountain biker out of competition due to knee injury

    Martin Gujan's 2010 season got off to an unlucky start when he injured himself during an evening badminton match with friends on Wednesday. The Swiss Cannondale Factory Racer underwent surgery on Thursday to repair his cruciate ligament.

    "We had a good match, but then I suddenly stepped backwards, my knee lost stability and I fell. It was very painful and I knew that something was broken," said Gujan, a regular on the international mountain bike race scene. He went to a doctor immediately and was transferred to a knee specialist in St. Moritz.

    Gujan's injury came just days after he finished sixth place at the Swiss cyclo-cross national championships last Sunday. He is expected to be hospitalized until Monday, but he's already begun his recovery program.

    "I started on Friday with my physiotherapist and will work on a quick recovery," he said.

    Exactly when he will be able to return to competition is still to be determined.

  • Bump & Grind organizers explain US Pro XCT series withdrawal

    Lea Davison (Rocky Mountain/Maxxis) leads Sue Butler (MonaVie/Cannondale) on the pavement at the 2009 Bump
    Article published:
    January 16, 2010, 22:23 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Alabama race cites costs, will continue to serve southeast US

    After news on Wednesday that the Bump & Grind race had withdrawn from USA Cycling's cross country national series upon deciding not to pursue UCI categorization, the US Pro XCT, race organizers explained their decision.

    "Due to the extra costs associated with hosting the Bump & Grind as a UCI-sanctioned event, coupled with the loss of series organizer sponsorship, the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (B.U.M.P.) made the difficult choice to present the race as a non-UCI categorized event for 2010," read a statement issued by the B.U.M.P.

    "The Bump & Grind attracts many racers from the Southeast who view it as a premier event on their racing calendars. BUMP will take this opportunity to focus our limited resources on serving this core group of racers, to improve their prize awards and overall event experience . We look forward to another great race this June 5th and 6th and have not ruled out again making the Bump & Grind a source of UCI points in the future."

    The Bump & Grind was part of the US Pro XCT in 2009, when the series was run by the US Cup. The US Cup withdrew as organizers for the 2010 series in December, but USA Cycling will continue to run the national series on its own. After the series' organizational shuffle and the inclusion and withdrawal of several events, the US Pro XCT presently stands at five events for 2010.  Due to the timeline for UCI race inscriptions, it is unlikely that additional races will be added to the series.

    The Bump & Grind may be run as part of USA Cycling's National Mountain Bike Calendar of cross country events or as part of the American Mountain Bike Calendar (AMBC) series.

  • Blenkinsop breaks wrist

    Sam Blenkinsop (LaPierre) on his way to winning the first round of the New Zealand downhill cup.
    Article published:
    January 17, 2010, 22:12 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Practice run crash sidelines New Zealander from national series competition

    While participating in the official practice for the second round of the New Zealand Downhill Mountain Bike Series in Dunedin this weekend, Sam Blenkinsop (Lapierre) crashed and broke his left wrist.

    "Full details on the injury aren't available yet," said a representative from his Team. "Sam is flying back to his hometown of Wanganui in order to have the wrist x-rayed in the morning, and have a full assessment made. The wrist was too swollen to be x-rayed in Dunedin."

    Blenkinsop is expecting results and a recovery prognosis within a day although he does not think the injury is "too serious".

    As a result of his crash, Blenkinsop had to sit out the racing this weekend in Dunedin, just one week after he won round one of the New Zealand Downhill Series in Christchurch.

  • Intermontane Challenge adds singlespeed category

    Racers on the trails of the Intermontane Challenge
    Article published:
    January 20, 2010, 5:00 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Mountain bike stage race on track for second running

    The Intermontane Challenge 2010, a mountain bike stage race, added a singlespeed category for its July 26-31 event. The change applies to both men and women.

    "The Intermontane Challenge has been fielding questions on why there is no singlespeed categories in our event, and we felt that to live up to our commitment to listen to our racers, we would add the additional categories," said Promoter Chuck Brennan.

    Singlespeeders will race the same courses as the geared categories. A prize break down will be released once we have seen the response to the new category.

    Brennan is presently preparing for what will be the race's second edition by securing permits for the various stage routes.

    Registration is current open for the event, with early registration ending on January 31. For more information, visit

  • Taberlay, Plaxton head 2010 Sho-Air / Specialized team

    Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air/Specilaized) rides. Only the moto could stay with Sid.
    Article published:
    January 20, 2010, 14:00 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    New addition Elliot strengthens team

    Australian Sid Taberlay and Canadian Max Plaxton will anchor the Sho-Air / Specialized team for the 2010 seaon. Both will be assisted by new signing Tad Elliot and returning endurance racer Manny Prado.

    "Sid Taberlay and Max Plaxton will be our two main players, and they will focus on the US Pro XCT and the Triple Crown series," said Sho-Air Specialized team spokesperson Ty Kady to Cyclingnews. Last year Taberlay finished ranked number two in the US Pro XCT, winning the Bump & Grind round en route. Plaxton was third overall in the US Pro XCT and won the Sand Creek International Classic round.

    Taberlay is fresh off an Australian short track national championship win this weekend in Adelaide where he won his first-ever career short track national title though he has previously won the cross country national title three times.

    Costa Rican Manny Prado will continue to race for the team, but instead of concentrating on the US national series, he will focus on west coast cross country events and international endurance races. "Prado is hoping to defend his La Ruta stage race win and may also hit the Breck Epic or BC Bike Race," said Kady. "He excels at longer stage races and will be our top tier endurance athlete."

    Team newbie Elliot, an under 23 American racer, joins as more of a development rider. "He can learn from Sid and Max while having the benefits of a better support crew," said Kady. "From what I hear from Ned Overend, Tad's got phenomenal genetic attributes, is a great kid and is as humble as can be. He may be the next Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Todd Wells or Adam Craig."

    The 21-year-old Elliot, who is based in Durango, Colorado, is fast not only on wheels, but also on skis. He won the 2008 Under 23 cross country championships, but had to sit out the 2009 mountain bike nationals with a broken scapula. Earlier this month, he finished second in the 15km freestyle US Cross Country Skiing National...

  • Southern California endurance racing going strong

    Tinker Juarez chases another rider at a race in southern California.
    Article published:
    January 20, 2010, 15:41 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    2010 calendar announced including 12-hours, marathons and Super D stage races

    Southern California Endurance Mountain Biking announced its 2010 race calendar - a mix of 12-hour races, 50-milers, Super D stage races and high school league events.

    The SoCal Endurance race series gets underway this weekend, January 23, with the 12 hours of Temecula #1 at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, California. For 2010, the 12-hour series features three stops. Round two will be held on June 12 at a location still to be determined, and round three, the finale, will return to Temecula on November 13.

    Endurance enthusiasts will have three other opportunities to race, too. The SoCal Fat Tire Epic 50, which served as the West Coast Marathon Championships in 2009, returns to Temecula on October 2. For this year's race, there will be a new one-lap category and a two-person team category.

    In addition, two Super D stage races will be held on both July 14 and September 4. The unique events are really three different Super D races on three different courses - all in one day.

    Finally, organizers are hosting two of the SoCal High School League rounds on March 7 and 21 respectively.

    For more information, visit

    12-hour race series
    January 23:  12 Hours Of Temecula #1 " Vail Lake Resort, Temecula, California
    June 12: 12 Hours Of TBD, Location To Be Determined
    November 13: 12 Hours Of Temecula #2 Series Final, Vail Lake Resort, Temecula, California

    Other events
    October 2: SoCal Fat Tire Epic 50 - West Coast Marathon Championships, Vail Lake Resort, Temecula, California
    July 14: SoCal Super D Stage Race #1, Vail Lake Resort, California
    September 4: SoCal Super D Stage Race #2, Vail Lake Resort, California

    SoCal High School League Events
    March 7: SoCal Interscholastic High School MTB League Race #1, Warner Springs,...

  • Whole Athlete Junior Development Team launches 2010 season

    The Whole Athlete Development team
    Article published:
    January 20, 2010, 22:38 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Young cyclists prepare for Windham World Cup

    The Whole Athlete Junior Development Team recently kicked off its 2010 season with a two-day training camp in Marin County, California. The team of 20 junior and under 23 riders spent two busy days filled with sponsor presentations, season planning meetings, yoga, and plenty of riding, all in preparation for what promises to be an ambitious third year for the squad.

    The team's roster includes proven talents such as 2009 NorCal High School MTB League Varsity Champion John Bennett, 2009 California Junior state road champion Nick Newcomb and Will Curtis and Davis Bentley. The latter two participated in USA Cycling's European Mountain Bike Race Camps in 2009. Another standout member of the team is 2009 NorCal High School JV League championship runner-up Victoria Yoham.

    The Whole Athlete team is looking to build on a highly successful 2009 season. By registering as a UCI trade team in 2010, the team will provide providing the opportunity for 10 riders to compete at the international level in the World Cup Finals in Windham, New York, at the end of August. This will be the focus of the third of three nationwide camps and event-specific trips, the first being the "Spring Classics" of North American cross country racing, which include the Fontana and Sea Otter Pro XCT rounds, followed by a Lake Tahoe / Colorado Altitude training camp in July, which includes the Colorado Springs Pro XCT and the US Mountain Bike National Championships.

    Team founder and head coach Dario Fredrick, himself the current 40-44 cross country mountain bike US Champion, said that working with the Whole Athlete juniors is a constant source of inspiration. "We have some very talented individuals on our team, riders who have the potential to become successful professional cyclists if given the right tools and opportunities. But what constantly amazes me is the team's sense of cameraderie and their ability to balance dedication to pursuing goals with having fun on their...