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MTB News & Racing Round-up, January 6, 2010

Date published:
January 06, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Cyclingnews MTB Cyclepassion Calendar 2010 Contest

    Lene Byberg is one of mountain biking's fastest cross country racers.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 20:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Win a calendar featuring female mountain bike celebrities

    Ever wonder what some of the world's elite female mountain bikers look like under all the mud and their jerseys, helmets and sunglasses? A few of the fastest female mountain bikers - and a few roadies - bare not quite all to show off their super fit bodies in the 2010 Cyclepassion calendar.

    Enter Cyclingnews' contest to win a copy of the Cyclepassion calendar, now in its fifth edition.

    Photographer Daniel Geiger has captured images of the following six of the sport's elite racers in a 40 cm x 68 cm (15.75" by 20.72") calendar.

    - German Sabine Spitz, 2008 Olympic Cross Country champion, 2009 marathon World Champion
    - Norwegian Lene Byberg, 2009 Bromont Cross Country World Cup winner, Runner-up at 2009 cross country World Championships
    - Frenchwoman Julie Krasniak, fourth overall in Cross Country World Cup
    - Brit Nikki Harris, 2007 Under 23 Road National Champion
    - Italian Monia Baccaille, 2009 Road National Champion
    - Spaniard Anna Sanchis, 2008 Under 23 Road National Champion
    - German Steffi Marth, 2009 Four Cross National Champion
    - Swede Solveig Lindgren, Downhiller

    Unlike the earlier calendars, all photos for this one were taken in an old factory loft in Germany. This calendar is more focused on the personality of the cycling pro compared to previous editions. The contest's winner will be selected at random from all correct answers to a mountain bike trivia question.

    Visit the Cyclepassion website. Cyclepassion produces annual calendars and some posters featuring some of cycling's favorite stars.

    Hurry and enter now. Good luck!

  • Wiens to lead Dirt Bowl fundraiser ride

    Dave Wiens headed into the Columbine climb with an unfamiliar gap to the leaders.
    Article published:
    January 06, 2010, 14:29 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Super Bowl Sunday event benefits on and off road advocacy

    Six-time Leadville 100 winner Dave Wiens will lead a new annual cycling event for the Bay Area, The Dirt Bowl, to be held on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2010, in California.

    The Dirt Bowl is produced by Marin County Bicycle Coalition in partnership with the The NorCal High School Mountain Bike League. It is a benefit ride to ensure that kids have trails and safe roads. Proceeds from the Dirt Bowl will support the ongoing advocacy work being conducted by both organizations.

    "Great trails make for happy, healthy people," said Wiens. "We cannot put too much emphasis on trail advocacy and our simple but important messages will spread further and become actionable to more trail users if we can educate our youngest trail users, such as members of the NorCal League."

    Kim Baenisch, Executive Director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition said, "We are excited to be partnering with the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League on this ride. Our organizations have a shared interest in getting more kids on bikes, which is good for their health and good for the environment."

    "It's great to join the Marin County Bicycle Coalition in creating this exciting new ride. The League has been working to teach our young riders a high standard of trail etiquette and to do their part in maintaining trails, and the proceeds will bolster these efforts," said Matt Fritzinger, Director of the NorCal League.

    The ride is for both recreational and competitive cyclists. Road cyclists are also invited to participate in the Dirt Bowl and will be supported by the Marin Cyclists. The start is at the San Geronimo Golf Course west of Fairfax, California. Riders may join the supported mountain bike route through the famous Camp Tamarancho, or plan their own route (trail or road).

    After the ride, there is a BBQ at the San Geronimo Golf Course, with local beverages and the Superbowl Game. Participants are required to raise a minimum of...

  • Copnall retires from pro racing

    Jenny Copnall during her final season of pro racing.
    Article published:
    January 06, 2010, 15:18 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Five-time British cross country champ moves on

    Five-time British cross country national champion Jenny Copnall announced her retirement from professional racing on Wednesday. After 17 years dedicated to cycling, Copnall counts 14 national championship medals in the cross country and marathon disciplines. She also has one marathon national championship title and five cross country national series titles.

    "This is a decision that has been in my mind for a couple of years now, but I have always delayed making a firm decision and, every December, have found myself clicking back into gear for another year," said the 34-year-old Copnall. "The same began to happen this year and, before I knew it, I was knocking out 20-hour weeks all over again despite knowing deep down that it was time for a change of direction."

    Copnall is the only senior British racer - male or female - to have won the national cross country series, the national cross country championships and the national marathon championships in a single year (2006).

    She has raced for Motorex-Bianchi (2002-2003) and Subaru-Gary Fisher (2004-2008) and competed on the international circuit where she finished 30th in the 2002 World Cup overall and 18th in the 2007 marathon World Championships.

    In 2009, her final season, Copnall returned to a purely domestic schedule, representing the Look Racing Team. Despite two untimely punctures, she finished with a silver medal at the British cross country Championships and the marathon championship. Copnall said she enjoyed her final season as much as any other, but acknowledged that it is time for her to step down due to a number of personal and professional factors.

    "While I feel I could train like this forever, and still love getting out for hours whatever the weather, I also know that, in order to make the transition from athlete to normal life, I cannot continue to do this. From here on, I will be limiting my riding to a few hours per week, and the odd local fair weather race,...

  • Elite cyclists cooperate to promote sport's growth in Israel

    Presenting the Israeli cycling team
    Article published:
    January 06, 2010, 17:05 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    New project leverages 2009 Israeli cycling success

    Israel cycling received a boost in 2009 thanks to the performances of several established and up and coming elite cyclists, some of whom have banded together to support a project to continue to grow cycling in Israel. Noga Korem, Rotem Ishay, Ran Margaliot and Niv Liber are among those who put in noteworthy performances to make 2009 a breakthrough year for Israeli cyclists.

    Korem made history in the 2009 mountain bike World Championships when she finished fifth in the junior women's race in Canberra, Australia. She was recently drafted into the Israeli Army and is presently finishing up her basic training.

    Ishay won both the short track and the cross country races at the US Collegiate Mountain Bike championships in Truckee, California, and Margaliot and Libner became the first Israelis ever to finish the European Road Championships, held in Belgium.

    The cyclists, led by Margaliot, have banded together to launch a cooperative effort going into 2010, when Israel will host the European Mountain Bike Continental Championships in Haifa. The project exists at

    This cooperation is designed to increase and empower international exposure for Israelis and to encourage young Israeli cyclists, who are just getting into competitive cycling, to reach the heights of their potential.

  • 2010 British Downhill Series launched

    2009 NPS Elite overall winner Tom Deacon (Team 2stage Bikes)
    Article published:
    January 06, 2010, 19:40 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    National series gets new name and UCI points

    Organizers officially launched the 2010 British Downhill Series (BDS) on Tuesday. The national-level series offers UCI world ranking points, 10,000 pounds in prize money and 15,000 pounds worth of prizes.

    With the new decade comes a new name for the series. It was previously knows as the "NPS" or "National Points Series".

    Though organizers have not confirmed any particular riders yet, they have invited current World Champion Steve Peat, Dan and Gee Athertons, Greg Minaar, Brendan Fairclough and Josh Bryceland.

    The series will kick off on April 10-11 in Rheola in South Wales. Other rounds follow in May, June, August, and the final is set for September 25-26 in Caersws, Wales.

    British Downhill Series
    April 10-11: Round 1 - Rheola, South Wales
    May 8-9: Round 2 - Fort William, Scotland
    June 26-27: Round 3 - Llangollen, Wales
    August 7-8: Round 4- Moelfre, Wales
    September 25-26: Round 5 (Finals) - Caersws, Wales

    For more information, visit

  • Houffalize Mayor confirms World Cup round is "saved"

    Julien Absalon (Orbea) takes a 15 second victory in the men's race.
    Article published:
    January 06, 2010, 20:46 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Belgian cross country, four cross round will happen in May

    The Belgian round of the UCI World Cup will take place on May 1-2 as scheduled according to the mayor of Houffalize on Tuesday. Prior to the New Year, Belgian media had reported the race was in jeopardy due to financial shortfalls, although yesterday, the UCI issued a simple statement saying it was confident the race would still take place.

    "Following various contacts in the last two weeks between the town of Houffalize on one hand and All Event Organisation and Impact Diffusion on the other, a collaborative agreement has been reached," read a statement by Houffalize Mayor Marc Caprasse.

    "The decision will delight all lovers of mountain biking. Competitors and the public, who are particularly attached to this global event, have an appointment in Houffalize for May 1-2."

    Houffalize will host two World Cup disciplines: four cross and cross country.

    The mayor noted that tens of thousands of spectators attend the annual World Cup round. "Tourism and hospitality sectors of the Houffalize community will surely benefit once again from the impact of the global event - both in financial terms and media impact.

    "The joint organizers - All Event Organisation and Impact Diffusion - and the community of Houffalize will put all the energy necessary needed to uphold the confidence of cyclists and fans who have spontaneously expressed their support through the web, letters, telephone calls and text messages," promised Mayor Caprasse.