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MTB News & Racing Round-up, May 19, 2010

Date published:
May 19, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Off-road cycling gets a boost in England

    British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Ian Drake and Forestry Commission CEO, Simon Hodgson shake hands on the new deal at the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country World Cup in Dalby.
    Article published:
    May 15, 2010, 15:39 BST
    Cycling News

    British Cycling and Forestry Commission form partnership agreement

    British Cycling and the Forestry Commission have signed a 10-year, preferred partnership agreement that is designed to bring more cycling events to forests across England. In its capacity as Forestry Commission's preferred partner, British Cycling will authorise and help manage cycle events across 250,000 hectares of English forests and woodland overseen by the organisation.

    As a result, British Cycling-affiliated event organisers will benefit from preferential rates and a standard process for staging cycle events, from local club rides to major international competitions such as the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country World Cup which took place in Yorkshire's Dalby Forest in April.

    The agreement will also improve the development of new trails and event venues and will make 24 visitor centres nationwide more bike friendly for cycling clubs, tourists and local communities.

    "This partnership is crucial to the development of off-road cycling and mountain biking," said Ian Drake, British Cycling's CEO. "By working together with the Forestry Commission we can further drive participation in our sport and identify areas of funding for future investment in trail centres and event venues.

    "The new course in Dalby Forest, which was created for the recent World Cup, is now open for anyone to ride and is a good example of how the partnership will work to create new opportunities for more people to enjoy cycling in England's most scenic beauty spots.

    "The agreement covers all mountain bike disciplines of cross country, downhill and four cross and is a significant step in driving the development of mountain biking in this country from the grass roots to a world-class level."

    "Getting more people doing more things in our forests for their enjoyment, excitement and keeping them healthy is incredibly important to the Forestry Commission," said Simon Hodgson, CEO at the Forestry Commission. "Cycling is a great way for people to...

  • New direction, new era for mountain biking in South Africa

    Kevin Evans on his way to second place overall at the MR Price Karkloof marathon in KwaZulu-Natal.
    Article published:
    May 15, 2010, 19:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Cycling SA MTB Director Nicholson shares vision of sport's future

    South African mountain biking has been riding on a high with the likes of Burry Stander (MR Price Specialized), Kevin Evans (MTN Energade) and the fresh prince of big air, downhiller Greg Minnaar, consistently performing on both the local and international scenes.

    Current under 23 World Champion Stander has been setting the world alight carrying the South African flag and putting the bar for others to follow. His performance at the Cape Epic in March and his win at the Sea Otter Classic in April proved his versatility and raw talent among elite racers worldwide.

    The question some have been asking, however, is, "What is being done to get other riders on his level and use his example to catapult South African Mountain Biking into the 'big time'?".

    The unprecedented success Evans has been enjoying so far this year can be attributed to the vision and efficacy of the MTN National Series. The Ultra Marathon platform helped provide local riders with a solid base for preparation on an international standard through proper sync with the international calendar.

    New management behind South African mountain biking has formed a new strategic committee consisting of influential race organizers, top professionals and key role players in the sport to represent the sport as a whole and to formulate a strategic plan. For the first time, a plan will be made public for all to see and to measure against results.

    "This also ensures that all aspects of the sport are covered and represented in decision making," said Andrew Nicholson, the new Director of Mountain Biking for CyclingSA. Nicholson added that guidance will be provided to guide the recreation through high performance parts of the sport in the same direction.

    The first meeting of the new "brain trust" of South African mountain biking met earlier this week. Even with some rivals and enemies in the same room, the result was a consolidated pull in the same direction for the...

  • Former World Champion Gordon to return to 24-hour worlds

    Craig Gordon (Rock Star Racing) will return to 24-hour World Championship competition in October 2010.
    Article published:
    May 15, 2010, 23:27 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    First worlds appearance planned since 2006

    Rockstar Racing's Craig Gordon is set to return to 24-hour solo World Championship racing this season. The Australian won the 2006 24-hours of Adrenalin Solo World Championship, when the event was run in Conyers, Georgia. This year, the championship will be held in Australia for the first time.

    Despite having pushed his body beyond its physical limits and ending up in the hospital with kidney problems, Gordon won the event ahead of defending multi-time champion and favorite Chris Eatough, who has since retired. Gordon made history by becoming the first Australian to win the title. His performance was documented in Gripped Film's 24 Solo movie.

    It will be Gordon's first World Championship since then. The 2010 World Championship is happening at Mt. Stromlo, Canberra in October.

    Whilst Gordon has not raced a solo 24-hour event since 2007, the decision to race was made easier due to the event being located on home soil.

    "Racing these events is not just about physical preparation but coping with the mental pressures as well. I hope to be a little more prepared this time rather than just turning up with an esky (cooler - ed.) and my bike!"

    Craig's preparation will include competing in most of Australia's top marathon events as well as many hours spent on the bike.

  • Round two of the US Pro Gravity Tour set for this weekend

    Bryn Atkinson (Transitions) races to a win at the opening round of the US Pro GRT
    Article published:
    May 19, 2010, 10:31 BST
    Cycling News

    National downhill tour heads to Plattekill Bike Park in New York

    The second round of the 2010 USA Cycling Professional Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT) is set to hit the east coast at Plattekill Bike Park in Roxbury, New York, for the KHS Bicycles Gravity Open on May 20-23.

    The New York event, a category-3 UCI event, is the second of five international-caliber downhill events that make up the US Pro GRT and is attracting the nation's and world's top riders representing teams like Trek World Racing, DRD Tomac, Team KHS, ODI XFusion, and others. With no gravity World Cup happening this weekend, many downhillers will be looking for non-World Cup races to keep their form and skills ssharp.

    Going into round two, Bryn Atkinson leads the men's standings with 75 points compared to the 60 earned so far by Justin Leov. In the women's competition, Tracy Moseley leads Rachel Atherton 75 to 60.

    The race will double as a Junior World Team Qualifier for the World Championships. The pro leader of the Pro GRT Series will also be automatically qualified to the USAC World Team. This race is an Innagural Eastern States Cup Race.

    Pros will compete for a US$1,575 Cash Purse. Amateurs will compete for four complete KHS Bicycles - going to the fastest Cat 1,2,3 Men and the fastest amateur woman.

    Plattekill Bike Park has been hosting downhill mountain bike races for well over a decade. The fall line trail sections are very steep and the natural terrain offers loose shale with large rock drops.

  • Bishop, Rusch among contenders set for Trans-Sylvania Epic

    Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) flying up the fire road climb
    Article published:
    May 19, 2010, 18:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Inaugural Pennsylvania mountain bike stage race draws talented field

    The Trans-Sylvania Epic (TSE), the longest mountain bike stage race in the US is offering seven days of action in the Alleghenies region of Pennsylvania. The East Coast race is attracting a competitive field of endurance racers.

    Mountain bike luminaries such as Cannondale Factory Racing's Jeremiah Bishop and WTB's Mark Weir alongside's National 24-Hour Solo Series Champions Bradon Draugulis and Rob Lichtenwalner; perennial NUE series contenders Christian Tanguay and Harlan Price from Team CF as well as endurance race stalwart Evan Plews and top US Ruta finisher Alex Grant (Cannondale) are some of the stars who will be battling it out daily with a slate of regional stars and local legends for the right to wear the leader's jersey.

    The women's entrants are just as powerful with multiple time World 24-hour Champion, Rebecca Rusch (Specialized), women's 2009 Iron Cross Champion Selene Yeager and her Team CF-mates Nikki Thiemann and Kristin Gavin,'s Carolyn Popovich and Karen Potter ( amongst those ripping each other apart daily.

    "The quality of the racers taking part in our first year is fantastic; there hasn't been a field like this assembled for a mountain bike race in the region in a long time," said Race Director Mike Kuhn. "We can't wait to show mountain bike enthusiasts and racers from across North America just how good the riding is in Pennsylvania as this event unfolds."

    "This is a great opportunity to meet and interact with some of the nation's best racers," said co-director Ray Adams. "If you love mountain biking, you'll have a whole week to ride incredible trails and compare notes with some of the finest riders around the bonfire each evening.

    "Yes, seven days of great trail riding in a row is not easy, but it is absolutely possible for a lot of riders. What's more, the sense of accomplishment from riding seven back to back days is beyond words. Everyone should - and...

  • Plews and Borelli lead US Ultra-Endurance mountain bike standings

    Evan Plews celebrates his win in Spa City.
    Article published:
    May 19, 2010, 19:05 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Standings tallied after Dirt, Sweat & Gears event in Tennessee

    The third event on the 2010 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Ultra-Endurance Calendar, Dirt, Sweat & Gears, took place on May 15 in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

    Brandon Draugelis won the elite solo men's event ahead of second-place finisher Josh Tostado. On the women's side of competition, Amanda Carey grabbed the win over runner-up Selene Yeager.

    With three of the five races in the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Ultra-Endurance Calendar complete, Evan Plews leads the elite men's standings with 120 points compared to the 85 earned so far by his nearest threat, Brandon Draugelis. In the women's standings, Rita Borelli has 100 points and the lead over Selene Yeager, who has amassed 80 points.

    The next stop on the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Ultra-Endurance Calendar will be the US National Marathon Championships, on the Fourth of July in Breckenridge, Colorado.

    USAC National Ultra-Endurance Calendar standings as of May 19, 2010 (after three events)

  • Minnaar's bike stolen

    A bike with the Santa Cruz Syndicate team paint job.
    Article published:
    May 19, 2010, 21:24 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    World Cup downhill leader's Carbon Nomad taken in California

    World Cup Downhill Leader Greg Minnaar's bike was stolen just days after he won the opening World Cup round in Maribor, Slovenia.

    The South African's Santa Cruz Carbon Nomad, with the team's unique Syndicate paint job and Edge Carbon wheels, was last seen near Saratoga, California. It was stolen on Tuesday, May 18.

    Since Minnaar has been competing on the carbon Santa Cruz V10, the stolen bike is not believed to be one of his World Cup race bikes.

    Team Manager Kathy Sessler is asking anyone with leads to contact 831-459-7560 or

  • Elite Men
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Evan Plews 120  pts
    2 Brandon Draugelis 85  
    3 Ernest Marenchin 55