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MTB News & Racing Round-up, June 24, 2009

Date published:
June 24, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Retired pro Haywood featured at Canaan Valley festival

    Sue Haywood
    Article published:
    June 23, 2009, 11:45 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Mountain bike rides for all in West Virignia

    Canaan Valley in West Virginia will be holding its first mountain bike festival from June 26 - 28. The weekend includes a women's riding tour, group trail rides of various levels, a night ride, beer, music, trail work and a kids' ride.

    The action kicks off on Friday with a women's mountain bike tour led by retired pro Sue Haywood. The ride will leave Blackwater Bikes at 10:00 am local time and run throughout the Davis area. The rider is geared toward the intermediate woman who wants to try more technical terrain in a fun, supportive atmosphere. To sign up, contact

    Saturday will feature group trail rides, including rides at the following levels: hardcore, intermetzo, fitness, pleasure pace and nice 'n easy. Rides begin at 9:00 am from Blackwater Bikes. A Saturday night ride will take riders around the West Virginia State Championship course and downhill riding is another option all day at Timberline Four Season Resort. Group rides are free, but a US$15 donation to the Tucker County Trails Club is recommended.

    On Sunday, the Tucker County Trails Club will lead trail work at 9:00 am. Kids can join in a group ride for them and their families at 10:00 am. In the afternoon, a Bike Hash will be run - especially for drinkers with a mountain bike problem.

    For more details, visit

  • Dahle Flesjå returning to racing after having a baby

    Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa
    Article published:
    June 23, 2009, 12:27 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Norwegian star kicks of racing comeback with a marathon

    This weekend, Norway's Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå will return to mountain bike racing after her break from competition due to having a baby. The former cross country World Champion and reigning marathon World Champion will compete at a race named after her, the Gunn-Rita Marathon in Montebelluno, Italy.

    "Together with my husband Kenneth, I am planning to compete in the 76km marathon. This is going to be a hard test after my lengthy break," Dahle Flesjå said of her comeback. "But the Gunn-Rita Marathon is a perfect opportunity to get back to racing."

    "I don't have any specific expectations regarding this race. Finishing is an obvious goal apart from getting back to competing step by step. The Gunn-Rita Marathon was both an obvious and conscious decision as the comeback event as it is one of Italy's most scenic and popular long-distance races. Besides, for the reigning World marathon champion, returning to racing at a long-distance event is a point of honour."

    In March, Dahle Flesjå gave birth to her first child, a son named Bjørnar. She plans to return to the highest level of competition. The eight-time World Champion wants to return to the podium at the World Cup and other top events.

  • Britain elated about hosting two rounds of UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2010

    A large crowd headed to Fort William for the worlds
    Article published:
    June 23, 2009, 13:59 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Opening round goes to Dalby Forest & series returns to Fort William

    Just after securing the UCI BMX World Championships in 2012, British Cycling received the news last week that two rounds of the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will be held in Britain. Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire will hold the opening round of the cross country World Cup on April 24-25, and Fort William in Scotland will, once again, hold a downhill and four cross round on June 5-6

    "Securing two rounds of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2010 is another great development for cycle sport in the UK," said Ian Drake, CEO at British Cycling. "The UK is the only country to hold two separate rounds of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2010 covering the three disciplines of cross country, downhill and four cross, sending a strong message to the mountain bike community that we are serious about mountain biking. Both events will ... prompt further investment into world-class facilities, helping inspire new generations of riders."

    Both rounds are expected to draw the sport's top competitors. Dalby Forest should attract thousands of spectators, too, given its convenient location, strong transport links and top-notch visitor facility. Racers will compete on a purpose-built, technical course.

    British Cycling, Yorkshire Forward and UK Sport combined efforts to win the Dalby Forest World Cup bid.

    "Bringing high profile events like the World Mountain Bike World Cup is a fantastic way for us to showcase our region to the world and attract new investment," said Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Forward. "The visitor economy contributes over £6 billion to Yorkshire and Humber's economy every year, so it is vital that we use our natural assets - like the Dalby Forest - to grow this important industry and our regional economy."

    Fort William's success to secure its ninth consecutive UCI World Cup competition testified to the consistency of Scottish organisers in delivering high quality world class events.

  • Tasmania's Wildside Mountain Bike Stage race sells out for 2010... almost

    Racers at the Wildside
    Article published:
    June 24, 2009, 11:08 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Entries still open for international riders

    The 2010 edition of the Pure Tasmania Wildside Mountain Bike sold out just three weeks after registration opened. However, the popular Australian race is still accepting entries from riders from outside of Australia, and it has reserved a few places specifically for elite riders.

    Australians who missed out on an entry can bid for two more chances to compete by participating in an EBay auction that will run on September 1. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Tasmanian Cancer Council.

    The Wildside MTB will begin at Cradle Mountain on January 30, 2010 with 450 racers. It will finish four days later in Strahan.

  • No date change for US ProXCT finale after all

    Georgia Gould (Luna MTB Team)
    Article published:
    June 24, 2009, 12:48 BST
    Daniel Simms

    All categories will still race on September 26

    Despite recent efforts to shift the date, the US Pro Cross Country Tour (US ProXCT) series finale will stay as scheduled for all categories on Saturday, September 26. Organizers had considered shifting just the elite races a few days earlier to the previous Tuesday in order to hold the race in conjunction with the Interbike Dirt Demo and avoid conflicts with the cyclo-cross racing calendar.  Many North American mountain bike stars also compete in cyclo-cross.

    "I wanted to inform the media, racers and industry that after much thought and deliberation, the final round of the ProXCT series set in Las Vegas will stick to its scheduled running date of Saturday the 26th [of September] at Boot Leg Canyon," said US Cup Marketing Director Ty Kady on Wednesday.

    "While we had overwhelming support from the industry, teams and riders to host the pro races on Tuesday the 22nd ..., logistics and permit issues don't make it feasible for 2009."

    Looking ahead to 2010, the US Cup is already engaged with talks to host a pro-only event in conjunction with next year's Dirt Demo.

  • Graf suspended for two years

    Jurg Graf
    Article published:
    June 24, 2009, 17:13 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Swiss Olympic finds mountain biker used illegal blood pressure medication

    Jürg Graf has been suspended for two years after testing positive for the blood pressure medicine Oxilofrin, the disciplinary committee of Swiss Olympic announced Wednesday. The suspension ends May 15, 2011.

    Graf, the Swiss national champion in 2007, tested positive after wining the Racer Bikes Cup in Schaan on April 5. The 25-year-old claimed never to have knowingly taken such a medication.

    Oxilofrin is used for low blood pressure, and this was the first time a cyclist has ever tested positive for its use.

    Graf was also ordered to pay a fine of 500 Swiss Francs, and also to pay not only the costs of testing the A and B sample but also 1,500 Swiss Francs for the cost of the investigation.  He was also disqualified from his win of the Race Bikes Cup race.

    Graf, the national federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency may appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.

    In addition, Swiss Cycling cancelled its contract with Graf's father, Urs Graf, who was the national mountain bike trainer for elite and under 23 cross country, marathon and cyclo-cross racers. He also served as his son's trainer.

    Editorial Assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer