Four cross racer Caroline Buchanan has her sights set on two World Championships this season. Buchanan, who won the 2009 Australian National BMX Championships and the Four Cross National Championships will compete in the worlds for both disciplines in the coming weeks and months. Both will be held in Buchanan's home nation of Australia.
The 18-year-old intends to start her world title chase when she competes in this month's UCI BMX World Championships in Adelaide. Buchanan is aiming to cap off a stellar year by adding a mountain bike four cross world title to her already impressive resume racing four cross on the World Cup circuit. This year, Buchanan won the World Cup four cross in Maribor, Slovenia, and also finished second at the World Cup four cross in Fort William, Great Britain.
Final team nominations for the mountain bike World Championships, to be held in Canberra, will be announced in August, and Buchanan is confident of a spot. She is a favorite for the worlds after she won the four cross World Cup when it was held there last year.
At the BMX World Championships, Buchanan will line up with the current Olympic silver medallist, Laetitia le Corguille of France. While current World Champion Shanaze Reade from Britain will not compete due to injury, her absence will give riders like Buchanan a chance to claim the crown. Likely challengers could be world-ranked riders like Frenchwoman Eva Ailloud and Kiwi Sarah Walker, currently first and second respectively. Also in the line up will be Australia's Olympic finalist, Nicole Callisto from Perth.
Buchanan is set to train in Adelaide with the Australian BMX National Team leading up to the BMX championships, which will run from July 23-26.
The mountain bike World Championships will run from September 1-6.
Sheppard and McGrath win four stages en route to overall
Seamus McGrath and his Team Jamis / Santa Cruz teammate Chris Sheppard won the BC Bike Race, which wrapped up this weekend in British Columbia, Canada. As a hometown favorite, McGrath and his teammate Sheppard won four of the seven stages of the race. The two Canadians took the lead on stage one in Vancouver and carried it all the way to the finish in Whistler.
"I'm so stoked," said McGrath. "We won the final stage into Whistler, wrapped up the race, and never relinquished the leader's jersey. It could not have been a better week for us."
Sheppard and McGrath won one more stage before taking the final two stages. Kona's Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon, who finished second overall, were hot on their heels for the entire race, sometimes taking stage wins, but never able to overtake McGrath and Sheppard.
After the race, McGrath commented on the upcoming Canadian National Championships, his next objective which is scheduled for this weekend.
"Well, I think my form will be just perfect - usually after big training blocks or stage races, my engine is primed and warm. I'll spend a few days taking it easy, then we'll travel to the course and give'er. The maple flag jersey would be a nice addition to my closet."
After the husband and wife duo of Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger (both Subaru-Gary Fisher) took home the elite men's and women's titles at the US Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships on July 4 in Breckenridge, Colorado, USA Cycling updated its Mountain Bike National Calendar for Ultra-Endurance events.
Harlan Price (Independent Fabrication) and Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) lead the standings with six of seven events completed.
Price is presently racing the Breck Epic stage race, and Rusch is preparing for the 24-hour World Championships.
Nearly 3,000 expected including former Giro d'Italia winner
Nearly 3,000 racers from 27 nations and 82 Italian provinces are expected to compete at the Dolomiti Superbike on July 12. Among them will be South Tyrolean Mike Felderer, who won the Black Forest Ultra Marathon over 116km just 10 days ago. He'll be joined by two-time Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni, from Palu di Giovo. Italy's marathon champion, Mirko Celestino, is perhaps one of the favorites for the win in the men's race, and Elena Giacomuzzi is expected to return to defend her title in the women's race.
Ekkehard Dörschlag belongs to a group of long-time racers who have competited in various editions of the Dolomiti Superbike over the years. He was the winner of the very first competition and will return to the race this weekend.
"During the last months I've concentrated on long distances and during the past winter, I set a new world record in Tour Skiing at 18,288m above sea level over a period of 24 hours. Last weekend I attempted 'The Race across the Alps', an innovative 530km haul at 13,700m lashed with storms, rain and snow which I don't anticipate at the Superbike!"
"To celebrate this year's 15th anniversary, we've included a new stretch which leads straight up the Helm," said president of the organizing committee, Kurt Ploner. "In other words, competitors doing the long-distance course will have an additional elevation gain of 400m on about 2km of the course, while enjoying the Sexten Dolomites and a beautiful view of Hochpustertal."
Competitors will choose from two distances. The longer option will gain 3,658 metres (11,998 ft.) in 115.5 km (71.8 miles); and the short course will gain 1,785 metres (5,855 ft.) in 60.5 km (37.6 miles).
The race will be the only event in Italy where the GT Golden Race Series stops. The overall amateur winner of the long distance contest will get to take the golden GT bike home.
Highland Mountain Bike Park to host next round of downhill and dual slalom
On July 11 and 12, New Hampshire's Highland Mountain Bike Park will be invaded by the fastest gravity racers in North America as it hosts both the Gravity East Downhill Series and the Gravity East e.thirteen Dual Slalom series. It's only fitting that Highland Mountain will host the largest gravity racing series in North America. With new additions and continued expansion, the focus of the venue's staff and management is on building a world class bike park.
The Highland Mountain Bike Park is almost unrecognizable from the dilapidated remnants of the Highlands Ski Area that greeted owner Mark Hayes and riding buddy - turned-business partner Will Gaudette when they started running the venue in 2003. According to the New England Lost Ski Area Project, Highlands Ski Area opened in the mid-1960s, although the mountain was known to have been used for skiing as far back as the 1930s. Skiing continued through major expansions in the 1980s until closing somewhat mysteriously in 1995 as a result of "a broken snowmaking system and due to the worst winter in the Northeast's history."
Hayes, Gaudette and their staff revitalized the facilities, dropped skiing from the program and set about turning Highland Mountain into a mountain bike park. The 2009 season features no less that 17 different races and jump contests, countless photo ops and 15 staffed camps in addition to July's Gravity East weekend.
"Hosting a Gravity East race weekend is just one more way for us to reach out to new riders," said Hayes.
Watch the world's best mountain bikers battle in Canberra
Tickets are on sale for the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships being hosted at Stromlo Forrest Park in Canberra, Australia. From September 1- 6, the venue will turn into a battleground when the world's best mountain bike riders descend upon the nation's capital to compete in the sport's toughest competition.
Current cross country world champions Christoph Sauser of Switzerland and Margarita Fullana of Spain; four cross champions Rafeal Alvarez De Lara Lucas of Spain and Melissa Buhl of the United States; and downhill champions, the brother and sister duo of Rachel and Gee Atherton of the United Kingdom are expected to attend.
Australia has plenty of favorites for the titles including two-time World Champion Sam Hill (downhill), Jared Graves (4X) and Caroline Buchanan (4X).
Tickets can be bought in advance at a discounted rate via Ticketek. Included in the ticket price is bus transport from Canberra City to Stromlo Forrest Park or car parking is available at the venue and all-day bus shuttles up and down the mountain during racing.
The event village will also include a trade show.
Tickets will be required for Friday, Saturday and Sunday sessions; admission will be free from Tuesday to Thursday. Single day, three-day and family passes are now available.
Tickets for the event can be purchased via the Ticketek website: www.ticketek.com.au. For more information on the worlds, visit www.mtbworldscanberra.com.au.