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MTB News & Racing Round-up, June 22, 2010

Date published:
June 22, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Defending Champ Craig faces tough field in Oregon

    Adam Craig racing and winning at the 2009 Test of Endurance
    Article published:
    June 18, 2010, 20:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Test of Endurance 50-miler draws top racers to Blodgett

    Riders from all across the region will converge in the small town of Blodgett, Oregon for the 6th annual Test of Endurance and Kenda Cup Qualifier this Sunday, June 20.

    Defending Champion Adam Craig (Rabobank/Giant) will have his hands full to keep his 3:43 course record intact and fight off the likes of Chris Sheppard (Jamis) Barry Wicks (Kona),Carl Decker (Giant), Ryan Trebon (Kona) and Erik Tonkin (Kona/S&M).

    He'll also face endurance specialists, including Ben Thompson (Trek Mtn Co-op) and Evan Plews (

    In the women's race, defending Champion Sue Butler (Rivercity Bicycles) will be noticeably absent as Alice Pennington (Team S & M) and Lizzy English )Giant/Northstar Tahoe) are left battle it out with other local Oregon elite women.

    Many of the riders are using the race as training for the upcoming BC Bike stage race at the end of the month. With 8,200 feet of climbing and 50 miles to sort things out, the Test of Endurance should be excellent preparation.

    Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage.

  • Video: Amazing stunt riding ... on a carbon road bike

    Martyn Ashton on the rocks
    Article published:
    June 20, 2010, 11:07 BST

    Already a YouTube hit

    It’s not every day that you see a carbon road bike being used as a stunt machine – hopping over boulders at the beach and styling it up at the skate park.

    British trials legend Martyn Ashton does just that and more in his latest video, The BikeRadar Roadie, currently the top sports video on YouTube.

    The clip sees Mountain Biking Hall of Fame member Ashton hit the tarmac on his carbon Raleigh Avanti Team on his way to the UK’s premier bike festival, BikeRadar Live – which takes place on 10-11 July.

    He stops off at a skate park, sessions his local trials spot, rides an impossible-looking rock face in Bristol – which may be familiar to viewers of the classic Getta Grip bike vid – and tops it all off with an epic backflip using one of the jumps from the Animal Relentless Bike Tour.

    Ashton said: "I got into riding bikes back in the early Nineties from attending UK events like the Malvern Classic – events that got top pros hanging out with everyday bike lovers and just enjoying great riding.

    “For one reason or another that level of event had disappeared. However, Bikeradar Live has fixed that problem.

    “It's such an important event in the calendar because it brings the cycling community together for a celebration of bike riding. There are no egos or preference on riding disciplines; it's really got something for everyone.

    “I made this video with those thoughts in mind. I wanted to get on a bike that would take me out of my comfort zone and show some fun riding.

    “It was an awesome experience and like learning to ride all over again. I have to admit I fell in love with riding road while...

  • Graves rolls out third World Cup victory in Austria

    Jared Graves (Yeti-Fox).
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 17:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Three out of four for Australian so far in 2010

    Reigning world four cross champion Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox) took his third win of the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season in Leogang, Austria, on the weekend, to further extend his lead in the men's four cross standings.

    The 27-year-old Queenslander continued his march towards back-to-back World Cup titles, defeating RSP 4 Cross trio of Tomas Slavik, Michal Marosi and Joost Wichman in the final.

    In cold and wet conditions, the men's competition came down to those riders who could remain upright, with many of the top guns crashing out in the earlier rounds after slipping and sliding in the muddy conditions.

    However in the final, Graves got out in front immediately with his usual fast gate, and maintained control all the way to the finish line.

    Wichman made attempts to close in on the Australian; however some bad line choices cost the Dutch rider, who slipped back to fourth position.

    "I knew things were gonna get crazy," said Graves. "Those RSP guys, they gang up on me.

    "It's wild racing in the mud. Always a ton of fun. Anything can happen, so I had a great time today. I think this (type of course) is what we need more of. I loved it from the first time I saw it. Big lines, big gaps; you can really make some time."

    Graves' third win now puts him 175 points ahead of Slavik in the overall standings, with Wichman 190 points behind in third.

  • Dalby Forest organizers pleased with return of World Cup

    Willow Koerber (Subaru / Gary Fisher) leads on the first lap of the Dalby World Cup.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 17:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Cross country World Cup racing returns to UK venue in 2011

    The UCI mountain bike World Cup will return to Dalby Forest in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, for the second consecutive year in 2011. Next year's event has been granted a slightly later slot on the calendar, on May 21-22, 2011.

    The World Cup was held for the first time at Dalby Forest in late April, 2010. Organizers see the return next year as a "ringing endorsement of the work of British Cycling and its partners in promoting the first ever world cup in Yorkshire".

    "For this year's Dalby World Cup, we brought together vast expertise from within the sport, the Yorkshire region and from partners such as the Forestry Commission but the event was very much new territory to us all," said Jonny Clay, British Cycling's Cycle Sport & Membership Director and Event Director of the World Cup, after hearing the news.

    "The UCI's decision to award the event to us again is the ultimate endorsement of the great joint effort of British Cycling and its partners that went into staging the event and also cements Dalby Forest's and Yorkshire's growing reputation as one of the best mountain biking destinations in the world.

    "We are delighted that we have been given the opportunity to continue the long term legacy projects that this year's World Cup began and we look forward to seeing the world's best riders here in the United Kingdom once again."

    Planning for the 2011 Cross Country Mountain Bike World Cup gets underway straight away with organisers promising to continue the innovative approach to the cross country discipline. In 2011, cycling fans can expect to see the return of the Pro Sprint Eliminator and Dalby Dare.

    Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon) and Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) both won the elite women's and men's cross country races at the inaugural Dalby World Cup.

    The UCI announced the 2011 World Cup schedule late last week.

    Organizers are recruiting sponsors for the 2011 event. Interested parties should...

  • Retired cross country pro Leuchs returns to racing at endurance downhills

    Three-time Olympic cross-country rider Kashi Leuchs, of Dunedin, New Zealand, will turn his attention to downhill for the next three weeks as he competes in two of the world's biggest downhill endurance races in France: the Enduro de Nations at Val d'allos from June 25-27 and the Mega Avalanche at Alpe d'huez on July 11.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2010, 19:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Former Olympian heads to Europe for some gravity events

    It has been a year since 31-year-old Kashi Leuchs of New Zealand finished racing at the elite level in cross country World Cups, but in late June and early July he will don a different helmet and reignite his passion for racing.

    The three-time Olympian for New Zealand will be racing in two selected downhill endurance events in France: the Enduro de Nations at Val d'allos, France, on June 25-27 and the Mega Avalanche at Alpe d'Huez, also in France, on July 11.

    Both events attract the world's best in this fast-growing discipline of mountain biking that tests riders against each other over 20 to 40 minutes of downhill terrain.

    "These events really show the overall riding ability, as they combine the technical aspect of downhill racing with the endurance and power demanded from a cross country race," Leuchs said.

    "I would love to see more events bridging the gap between cross country and downhill... events that everyone can enjoy and get some thrills, without having to be an elite athlete as in cross country races."

    Downhill racing is actually nothing new to Leuchs - he has been in the top three in New Zealand downhill competition before and he and friend Laurence Mote won the team event at the 2009 Brake Burner, which was held at Coronet Peak.

    "It was so fun to just spend the day up on the mountain in a really social atmosphere, competing as a team with a good friend and riding some sick trails over and over - it was legendary," he said, reflecting on their win.

    "I have always loved downhill riding, but this was never regarded as a sensible activity for a pro cross country rider." Leuchs recently acquired a big travel bike that has helped open the door to riding tougher lines and steeper terrain.

    So what are his chances in these fast, dangerous and super-competitive races in France? "While in the States recently I was riding with some top downhillers and realised that I can keep up pretty well on...