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MTB News & Racing Round-up, June 14, 2010

Date published:
June 14, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Beytagh, Bourque to defend Gravity East leads at Seven Springs

    Alejandro Ortiz sails to a runner-up finish at 2009 Gravity East Seven Springs Downhill
    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 9:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Round two heads to western Pennsylvania

    The stars of the newly-renamed Gravity East Series will head to Pennsylvania's Seven Springs Mountain Resort this weekend for round two of America’s largest downhill racing series.

    In the pro divisions, Gerritt Beytagh (Morewood USA) and Dawn Bourque (Chainline Cycles/Roc) hope to keep rolling following their wins at the season opener at Massanutten. 13 classes of amateurs will join the pros racing on a highly-rated course that's largely unchanged since last season.

    "It's an excellent track at Seven Springs, with an exceptional staff," said Gravity East's Director, Dan McDonald. "That's why we decided not to mess with an already fast and challenging track for the second round."

    The racing weekend will kick-off at 10:00 Saturday morning with official practice, followed by race runs for all classes starting at 11:15 am Sunday morning.

    Seven Springs Resort will also be open for public freeriding and course inspection this Friday, with lift service available. It has previously hosted events like three mountain bike National Championship Series races and two Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships.

    For more information, visit

  • Strauss takes on Speedy in Mankele

    Women's winner Yolande Speed is in a class of her own.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 11:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Road champion Taylor to challenge herself in national cross country round

    MTN-Energade's Yolandé Speedy and Mariske Strauss will resume their ongoing battle in the South African National Cross Country series that will take place in Mankele, just outside of Nelspruit, on Saturday, June 12.

    The battle between these two riders will undoubtedly be one of the main highlights in the series this year, because women's mountain biking has been dominated by one rider at a time for the greater part of the past 10 years. The last battle of the women that is worth mentioning was between Erica Green, the first female mountain biker to represent South Africa at an Olympic Games, and Hannelé Steyn-Kotzé.

    After Green retired to attend to family duties, Steyn-Kotzé continued to dominate local mountain biking for women all by herself for some years. Anke Erlank was the rider who took over from her and now, for the past few years, Speedy has been the queen of South African mountain biking.

    Strauss, who has only started her career as an elite rider this year, is the current crown princess. In all likelihood, barring serious injuries, she will be the one who will take over from Speedy.

    The S(peedy) & S(trauss) factor has certainly dominated women's racing during the past few weeks by taking first, second or third positions on six occasions. As far as the MTN series is concerned, their performances could not have been more equal.

    Speedy won in Alberton, came second in Pietermaritzburg and third in George, while Strauss was third in Alberton, won in Pietermaritzburg and came second in George.

    Speedy's racing experience and greater physical strength should give her the edge for a win on Saturday. However, if she should make just one serious mistake, Strauss would be ready to capitalize on it. She proved her ability to do that in both Pietermaritzburg and George.

    Another contender, Eszther Erdelyi-Cluer (Jeep/Garmin), who won the race in George, will not be competing on...

  • Vogel, Spitz aim to defend titles at Gonso Albstadt Classic

    Florian Vogel takes the Worry Gill drop.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 15:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Bundesliga round three happening for this weekend

    The third round of Bundesliga International, the German national mountain bike series, will take place this weekend in Albstadt at the sixth annual Gonso Albstadt Classic. Olympic champions Sabine Spitz and Julien Absalon are among those expected to attend along with other favorites like Florian Vogel and Lisi Osl. In all, 1000 riders are expected from 20 different nations.

    Spitz recently returned to competition after eight months off to recover from an injury.

    "I'm in a training period to prepare for my goals in the second half of the season, but for sure I'm trying to come to this race in good form. I like this race and the atmosphere," said Spitz.

    Only the racing will prove whether Spitz is able to defend her win from 2009, when she finished ahead of teammate Lisi Osl. Other women expected to challenge the Central Pro ladies are Blaza Klemencic (Felt-Ötztal-X-Bionic), Annika Langvad (HMTBK) who was the winner of the second round at Heubach, and Rosara Joseph.

    Orbea's Absalon heads the men's list of entrants, but other favorites on the list are German Champion Wolfram Kurschat (Topeak-Ergon), who wants to win the HC-categorized race, last year's winner Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower), Ralph Näf (Multivan-Merida) and Lukas and Mathias Flückiger (Trek World Racing).

    "Even though I had a break after Offenburg (World Cup), I think I'm in a good shape, and I'm very motivated for the race. The long steep climb suits me," said Vogel.

    Sunday's racing will include separate races for both the junior and under 23 men.

    The event will happen in Albstadt, in the southwestern part of Germany.

    For more information, visit

  • Beti Bike Bash makes history

    Heather Irmiger (Subaru / Gary Fisher)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 16:40 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Colorado's first women's-only mountain bike race this weekend

    Team Yeti Beti and Yeti Cycles are encouraging female mountain bikers to come out for the Beti Bike Bash this weekend on June 12 in Colorado. Racers will have an option to compete solo or with two other friends in a three-woman relay race. The event is being billed as Colorado's first women's-only mountain bike race.

    The race course is a four-mile loop with approximately 300 feet of elevation gain per lap featuring rolling, non-technical terrain at Bear Creek Lake Park and views of Red Rocks and the surrounding park. It's mostly singletrack riding with four, short, punchy climbs.

    Category 3 beginners will ride two laps, with the category 2 sport riders racing three laps, and the elite/category 1 racers doing five, fast laps.

    The event is being billed as family-friendly and includes a kids' race (for six years and younger). A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Singletrack Mountain Bike Adventure (SMBA), a junior mountain bike program.

    For more information, visit

  • Rocky Mountain Bicycle Festival moves to Leadville

    Postcard scenery: Lance Armstrong powers along in the Leadville 100
    Article published:
    June 10, 2010, 20:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Festival will happen same weekend as Leadville 100 race

    The 2010 Rocky Mountain Bicycle Festival shifts gears with a move to Leadville, Colorado, on Friday and Saturday, August 13 and 14, running at the same time and independent of the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race.

    The event will feature a custom framebuilder's gallery, an outdoor demo with members of the local Cloud City Wheelers available to guide test riders on the road or dirt, the latest gear from industry upstarts and stalwarts, bicycle non-profits, and local food with plenty of Colorado craft-brewed beer.

    The move to Leadville was assisted by the City of Leadville and Lake County to provide additional attractions for the 25,000 people who come to Leadville for the race each year and to relieve some of the pressure on the town from those massive crowds.

    "We thrilled to have the Rocky Mountain Bike Festival in Leadville during the Trail 100 weekend. There is a huge audience for something like this. We hope to see it back here year after year," said Leadville Mayor Bud Elliot.

    "With the incredible new demo capabilities that we have with the Lake County Pump Track, the Mineral Belt Trail (and dozens of other off-road trails), and the miles of breathtaking roads around Leadville we are concentrating on reaching out to companies with Demo Fleets right now," said event director Carol Johnson of Miles Ahead Events, Inc.

    "At the same time, we have always had a strong relationship with custom framebuilders around the country, and each year we're excited to see this feature of the festival grow."

    The Festival will be open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Friday and on Saturday right after the racers have headed out on course until 6:00 pm. It will be located on the race course - 300m from the start/finish - at 6th Street and Leiter.

    For more information on the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Festival, visit

  • Avid to release even-lighter XX World Cup disc brake

    The matching Avid XX World Cup caliper is identical to the current XX brake save for a different finish. Avid says BlackBox racers will be on the new brake in time for the world championships later this fall.
    Article published:
    June 14, 2010, 10:50 BST
    James Huang

    Total system weight just 276g

    SRAM's elite BlackBox cross-country racers will soon save a few more grams with the recently announced Avid XX World Cup disc brake. The World Cup version will offer the same stopping power and modulation of the current XX system but will omit the adjustable pad contact feature in order to save up to 12g per wheel – bringing the total system weight to just 276g (front, post mount, 160mm rotor).

    The pared-down lever body will remain a forged magnesium piece as will the caliper, which is wholly carried over save for the new black finish.

    Avid product manager Paul Kantor admits that the XX World Cup brake won't be for everyone but for weight weenies looking to shave every gram, this new iteration presents yet another ultralight option.

    The matching Avid XX World Cup caliper is identical to the current XX brake save for a different finish. Avid says BlackBox racers will be on the new brake in time for the world championships later this fall.

    Pricing is yet to be announced and consumer availability won't be until late 2010. However, BlackBox athletes are expected to be using the new Avid XX World Cup brakes in the UCI World Championships in early September.