Following the Mellow Johnny's round of the 2010 USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (US Pro XCT) in Dripping Springs, Texas, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis / Rocky Mountain) and Georgia Gould (Luna) lead the series standings.
Max Plaxton (Sho-Air Specialized) came from behind to win the elite men's contest, holding off hard-charging fellow Canadian Kabush and American Todd Wells (Specialized). Sam Schultz (Subaru-Gary Fisher), who was fourth, and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher), who was fifth, finished just shy of the podium.
On the women's side, American Georgia Gould (Luna) pulled away from the pack to win, while Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles) beat out Katerina Nash (Luna) to finish second. Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Allison Mann (Rock 'n' Road) rounded out the top five.
Kabush’s second-place finish allowed him to leapfrog Wells for the overall US Pro XCT lead. With three events in the books and two remaining, Kabush leads Wells by just five points in the pro men's standings. Meanwhile, Gould sits atop the women's leaderboard with a 95-point cushion over Koerber.
The next round of the US Pro XCT will happen at the Subaru Cup in Mt. Morris, Wisconsin, on June 25-26.
Vuelta a España winner to compete in new mountain bike race
Vuelta a España winner Roberto Heras is headed to Mongolia for the inaugural Mongolia Bike Challenge. The ex-professional, Spanish road cyclist confirmed his presence in the mountain bike stage race that will take place on the East Asian Steppes. He and Italian Marzio Deho are the two favorites for the race, which will take place from August 7 to 22.
Since his retirement from racing, Heras has competed in various events including the La Ruta de los Conquistadores and the Brompton World Championships.
84 racers from 10 nations are currently registered to compete in the land of Gengis Khan for the Mongolia Bike Challenge. The field size is limited to 108, a sacred number in Buddism. 108 is the number of Stupa placed in the walls of the Erden Zuu Monastery where the race will end after 10 stages and 1,400km.
Heras raced as a road pro from 1997 to 2005. During his career, he won three editions of the Vuelta a Espana in 2000, 2003 and 2004. For a time, he was also a US Postal Service teammate of Lance Armstrong. He won the Vuelta in 2005; however, he was disqualified from that result after testing positive for EPO.
18-year-old mountain biker wins elite race at Portugal Cup round
In winning the elite men's race at the Portugal Cup round in Rio de Mouro this weekend, the young Ricardo Paulo Reis Marinheiro again showed the form that got him noticed last year at the World Championships in Canberra, Australia, where he won a silver medal in the junior cross country race.
The 18-year-old Marinheiro is in the first year of a three-year contract with the TX-Active Bianchi Team. The deal will carry him through much of the often difficult transition from junior to elite ranks.
"My short term principal objective is to do well in the Under 23s," said Marinheiro to Cyclingnews. "I want to finish top 10 at worlds in Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, in September." He is also hoping to do well through the World Cup season. He's been adapting his training to get more comfortable in the longer races characteristic of the under 23 and elite categories.
Marinheiro lives in Village Mafra, 25km from Lisbon. He and his younger brother Michael are the only two members of his family who race, although his father helps him out with training and mental preparation. His cycling career started with some BMX riding as a youth. Then he went to a local bike shop and was invited to a race, his first - a cross country - which he did at age 12. There's been plenty of racing ever since.
Marinheiro is good at the technical parts of mountain bike racing - downhills, singletrack, drops and climbs. He's still working on getting stronger on the flatter sections, and has been adjusting his training accordingly.
In 2009, Marinheiro won the World Cup in Champery, Switzerland. He took the silver medal at the World Championships in Canberra, Australia, behind Italy's Gerhard Kerschbaumer .
"Canberra was a great course for me. I did well in the technical parts," he said. "That race was very special for me because it was one of my objectives. Gerard was very strong, and I was happy for him, but it is one of the dreams of my...
South African anticipating race on favourite XC course
It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Burry Stander (Specialized/Mr Price) will win the MTN South African elite cross country race for men at Mankele on Saturday, June 12. Even if Stander should have a really bad day, the rest of the riders would have to produce a super-human effort to beat him. And, even then, there is no guarantee that they will win.
Mountain biking fans might still remember the occasion when the cleat on one of Stander's cycling shoes was torn loose during a race at Mankele. He had to stop to borrow a pair of cycling shoes from a rider standing next to the course while his dad, Charles, ran to the car to fetch another pair of shoes for him.
Stander continued to race with the borrowed shoes, but after one lap he stopped again to change shoes. In spite of all this, he still managed to outride Brandon Stewart and Max Knox to achieve an overall victory.
During last year's African Cross Country Championshp, which also took place at Mankele, Stander still qualified to race as an under 23 rider, which meant that his race started five minutes after that of the elites. He nevertheless managed to catch up with the elites and pass all of them.
According to Stander, Mankele is his favourite cross country course.
"The old Mankele course was the nearest that you could get to a World Cup course. If I understood the organizers correctly, they have changed the course slightly for Saturday's event to make it easier for the less experienced riders. But it will still be an exciting race."
Philip Buys and Marc Bassingthwaighte (both Garmin-adidas) who achieved podium finishes in each of the MTN Cross Country events so far this year, will not compete on Saturday. They are racing in Germany.
Kevin Evans (MTN-Energade), who made a comeback to cross country racing at the MTN event at George, will also be absent. He is a member of the South African road team that is currently competing in an eight-day...
Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park is expanding to offer a second location. After an extensive search, a 110,000 square foot former Menards Home Improvement Center was found as the location for the new venue in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area. It is undergoing the transformation from empty warehouse to indoor mountain bike park.
Building upon the success of the our original Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park of Cleveland, Ohio, Ray's of Milwaukee will provide cyclists from across the Midwest a place to ride, train, and develop their skills throughout the long winter months when local trails are closed or often unridable.
Ray Petro, founder and namesake of Ray's Indoor MTB Park, had quietly planned the opening of a second Ray's Milwaukee locale for the past few years. When financing stalled at the last minute, Trek Bicycle stepped in to purchase the business and ensure the continued expansion of Petro's indoor MTB park vision.
"Without Trek, Ray's Milwaukee could not have happened," said Petro, "I'm ... excited about the work that's already going on at our second park. The most exciting thing for me about this partnership is that I can now focus all of my time and energy on the design and creative direction of the parks."
"Bringing Ray's to the Midwest has been a dream I have participated in with Ray for some time," said Joe Vadeboncoeur, Vice President of Product Development and Marketing at Trek.
While Ray's new Milwaukee location is currently under construction, with opening ceremonies scheduled for November 2010, as riders of the original have come to anticipate, Ray's in Cleveland will be renovated throughout the summer.
"I've loved riding at Ray's in Cleveland since it opened," said Vadeboncoeur, "With Milwaukee, Ray will be able to implement the things he has learned over the past five years and have them in place from day one. The new Ray's is going to be unlike anything anybody's ever seen before."
The Tour Divide will kick off this Friday, June 11 at 9:00 am in Banff, Alberta, Canada. 48 racers, the largest field ever, are set to start the north-to-south transcontinental mountain bike competition across much of North America.
Riders will race over 2,700 miles down the spine of the Rocky Mountains along Adventure Cycling's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Banff to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. Pedaling the entire distance to the Mexican border along primarily dirt roads, without any outside assistance, competitors will climb nearly 200,000 vertical feet from start to finish.
In classic touring tradition, racers carry everything they need - food, water, shelter - on their bikes and backs, with refueling stops in small-town stores along the way. Riders are truly on their own, with no support crews, SAG vehicles, or massage-teams allowed, making the Tour Divide the longest, most-challenging cycling race in the world.
"This year's line-up is colorful and packed with rookies - out of 48 racers, only 14 are veterans - so wide-eyed newbies providing fresh accounts of the racing and route are sure to dominate the call-ins," said Matthew Lee, race organizer and five-time Tour Divide winner. "Nineteen states and 6 different countries are represented. Four women will take the start and a record five single-speeders. The oldest racer is 55 and the youngest is 26."
The race is free to enter and there are no prizes.
This year's Tour Divide has been unofficially dedicated to the preservation of the Flathead Valley in British Columbia, which was recently integrated into the Canadian portion of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The valley is by all accounts stunning, remote, and home to countless species of plants and animals.
"This scenic area is called the 'Serengeti of North America' by biologists for its unrivaled wildlife populations; it is the last major valley in southern Canada to be completely uninhabited,"...