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MTB News & Racing Round-up, May 7, 2010

Date published:
May 07, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Snow cancels Big Bear shootout

    Triple Crown regional men's series leader Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air / Specialized)
    Article published:
    May 06, 2010, 13:18 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Kenda Cup West Series shuffles to accommodate the change

    Race organizers cancelled the Big Bear Shootout #1, which was scheduled for May 15-16. They cited excessive amounts of snow and trail damage and closures.

    "We did our best efforts to clear the snow, as well as work with the forest service to re-issue a permit for another date, however, we were forced to cancel the round all together," said Ty Kady on behalf of the Kenda Cup West series

    That means the next round of the Kenda Cup West Series event will be at Ellings Park on June 6, now round number five of the series. The series final for the Kenda Cup West Series, Round number six will now be at Big Bear Shootout #2, scheduleon June 19-20.

    The Kenda Cup West series winners will still be determined from the best five results of the six-event series.

    For the California State Series, Ellings Park will be the next round. It means the California State series will be a seven-race series, with the final still set for Big Bear Shootout #3 on July 18. The best five of seven rounds in the California State Series will count towards that series title.

  • Absalon, Schurter face off again at Swiss Racer Bikes Cup

    Eva Lechner (Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol) on her way to her first World Cup win .
    Article published:
    May 06, 2010, 15:02 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    World Cup winners Kalentieva and Lechner set for women's contest in Solothurn

    Round three of the Racer Bikes Cup will head to Solothurn this weekend, May 8-9, in conjunction with the Velofestival Bike Days, which last year attracted 15,000 people. Olympic Champion Julien Absalon and World Champion Nino Schurter are set for another round of a battle they most recently waged at the Dalby World Cup two weeks ago. In the women's race, local hero Nathalie Schneitter will race two-time World Champion Irina Kalentieva, among others, as she attempts to defend last year's win.

    The festival weekend will include a four cross-style cross country on city streets. On Friday evening, 16 men and eight women will race throug brief rounds of four riders in an urban setting. The Flückiger brothers, Christoph Sauser and Moritz Milatz are among those starting the men's short race. Schneitter, World Cup winner Eva Lechner, Swiss champion Katrin Leumann and Esther Süss will contest the women's short race.

    The feature event of the weekend, the elite cross country on Saturday, is looking like a mini World Cup given the level of competition as many riders stay in Europe between the Houffalize and Offenburg World Cups. In addition to Schurter and Absalon, Swiss champion Florian Vogel, multiple World Cup winner and Swiss champion Sauser, the Flückiger-Brothers, Thomas Litscher, Martin Fanger and Milatz will be on the start line.

    The 24-year-old Schneitter will be looking to repeat her cross country victory of last year, but fresh off her win at the Houffalize World Cup, Lechner will be tough competition. Dalby World Cup winner Kalentieva will add to the challenge to the defending champion. Others expected to contend for podium places are Swiss champion Kathrin Leumann, the marathon specialist Esther Süss, Marielle Saner-Guinchard and Petra Henzi. The latter has resigned from international racing, effective this year.

    For more information, visit

  • 2012 Olympic Games mountain bike qualification system set

    Sabine Spitz of Germany crosses the line in first carrying her bike and the German flag over the line at the 2008 Olympic Games cross country mountain bike race.
    Article published:
    May 06, 2010, 17:55 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Two-year period of qualification begins this month

    The UCI published on Wednesday the qualification system for mountain biking in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This system is similar to that used for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

    Up to a total of 50 men and 30 women may compete in cross country mountain biking at the Olympics. The majority of the rider spots are allocated based on national rankings as tallied by the UCI. National rankings are compiled from the points of the top three best placed individual riders for each nation.

    A nation's UCI Olympic Qualification Ranking will be calculated from a combination of the UCI national rankings as of May 23, 2011 and May 23, 2012. The UCI ranking by nation as of May 23, 2011 is based on results from May 23, 2010 to May 22, 2011. That means that results from UCI races starting later this month will begin counting toward Olympic qualification for 2012. The May 23, 2012 national ranking will be based on results from May 23, 2011 to May 22, 2012.

    For the men, nations ranked first through fifth will send up to three mountain bikers to the Olympics. The sixth through 13th ranked nations will send up to two per nation while the 14th through 24th nations will send one rider each.

    For the women, the top eight ranked nations will send up to two mountain bikers each. Ninth through 18th ranked nations may enter one rider.

    African, American, Asian and Oceanic nations who do not qualify riders based on their country's rankings may qualify riders based on individual rankings from their respective 2011 Continental Championships. The top two ranked men and the top ranked women from each Continental Championship, if not already qualified through their nation's rankings, may go to the Olympic Games.

    Any open Olympic spots not filled by the above criteria by June 15, 2012, may be filled by eligible nations which request invitations from the Tripartite Commission. Should remaining spots not be filled by the Tripartite...

  • Rusch, English to race MTB Enduro - Red Centre

    Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) gets off to a terrific start
    Article published:
    May 06, 2010, 21:55 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Five-day stage race kicks off in Alice Springs, Australia on Monday

    The Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro - Red Centre, a five-day mountain bike race, will start on Monday, May 10 as hundreds of riders descend on Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory of Australia, for a week of riding, racing and socializing. The stage race will wrap up on May 14.

    The race will run all week in and around Alice Springs. Now in its third year, it has attracted nearly 250 professional and recreation riders from throughout Australia and overseas and is a way to see the scenic MacDonnell Ranges.

    "The riders just love coming to Alice Springs," said Event Manager Sam Maffett from Rapid Ascent. "For many of them it is their first time to the Red Centre and so the landscapes and environment are unique. Add to that the fact that there is some terrific riding on the local trails that are challenging but enjoyable plus a friendly atmosphere. Many say it is the best holiday they've ever been on!"

    The competition at this year's event is expected to be especially fierce with a large number of Australia's best riders once again attending the event. Leading the charge is expected to be the reigning 24-hr Solo World Champion Jason English from Port Macquarie, but not having been to the event before may make things a little tough for English with the 2009 race winner Ben Mather and the 2008 race winner Adrian Jackson also attending in addition to a number of other elite male riders.

    On the women's side of things, reigning 24-hr Solo World Champion Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) from the USA is racing. Rusch is the three-time World Champion and has previously been dubbed the "Queen of Pain" due to her ability to keep racing through the pain barrier, a fact that has helped her accrue a long list of international race victories and experiences. Rusch won't have it all easy though with the 2009 race's second place Jodie Willet keen to take home the 2010 leader's yellow jersey.

    MTB Enduro - Red Centre formed a new partnership with...

  • Location selected for 2011 New Zealand Singlespeed Championships

    New Zealand women's champion Anja McDonald racing in Queenstown
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 6:47 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Date still to be decided

    A week after the 2010 New Zealand Singlespeed Championships, a host and venue were announced for 2011. The seaside town of Napier and the Hawke's Bay Mountain Bike Club will host the New Zealand Singlespeed Championships.

    Napier, on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, is world-renowned for its art deco architecture, Pacific Ocean coastline and high sunshine hours. Hawke's Bay is one of New Zealand's "fruit bowls" and leading wine growing regions.

    "Apart from being a very nice place, Napier's also home territory for Vicki Butterworth," said Rotorua Singlespeed Society president, Gaz Sullivan, announcing next year's venue. "Vicki was one of the RSSS members who raced in the Singlespeed World Champs in Durango, Colorado, and helped get this year's Worlds to Rotorua this October."

    Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest trail network will host the 2010 Singlespeed World Mountain Bike Championships on October 23, powered by Kiwibikes and a bunch of other great local partners. With six months still to go, nearly 750 riders have entered. They come from over 25 countries all round the world, including Japan, India and Greenland.

    "This is well up on the previous highest number of countries at a Singlespeed Worlds, which was 17 in Berlin in 2004," says Sullivan. The limit on New Zealand entries was reached on March 21, less than three months after they opened at midnight on New Year's Eve. However, because of the big on-going demand, 50 more entries for Kiwi riders are currently up for grabs.

    The South Island tourist mecca of Queenstown hosted this year's New Zealand Singlespeed Championships on April 24, with over two thousand dollars raised for trail development. "John McCartney from the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club was the second Rotorua Singlespeed Society rider in Durango, last year," adds Sullivan. "So it's great both Queenstown and the Hawke's Bay Mountain Bike Clubs will host the New Zealand Singlespeed Champs in...

  • Specialized recalls 2010 Epic and Era models

    A problem has been found on Brain shock-equipped bikes from Specialized including the Epic Marathon Carbon.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 9:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Voluntary recall of 26-inch wheeled full-suspension bikes

    Specialized is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to announce a voluntary recall of their 26-inch wheeled Epic and Era full-suspension bikes.

    Specialized recommends that consumers stop using the affected bicycles immediately unless otherwise instructed by a Specialized dealer or representative.The shock mount for the Brain reservoir on the models’ swing arm could break causing loss of control of the bicycle.

    The following models are affected: 2010 Specialized 26” Era and 26” Epic bicycles: 2010 Epic Marathon Carbon, 2010 Epic Marathon Frame, 2010 Epic Expert Carbon, 2010 Epic Expert, 2010 Epic Comp Carbon, 2010 Epic Comp, 2010 Era FSR Expert Carbon, 2010 Era FSR Expert and 2010 Era FSR Comp.

    Authorized dealers in the US sold the bikes from September 2009 through October 2009 for between $2,000 through $5,500. The bikes were manufactured in Taiwan.

    Specialized estimates 1,350 frames could be prone to failure. No incidents or injuries have been reported to the CPSC.

    Specialized proactively sent out a letter to consumers and a ‘Stop Sale Notice’ to dealers in November 2009, once they became aware of the problem, which BikeRadar reported.

    Riders should immediately stop riding affected bikes and contact their Specialized dealer for a free repair. For additional questions, contact Specialized toll-free at (877) 808-8154 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday or visit

  • New race in Antwerp draws international field

    Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) climbs.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 16:27 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Kabush will take on top Belgian and Dutch mountain bikers

    Antwerp will host the inaugural Belgacom Belgian Grand Prix mountain bike race this weekend, May 8-9. It will serve as the first round of the six-round national series, with some top international-level racers attending between European rounds of the World Cup in Houffalize and Offenburg.

    The race is being run a venue that is new to mountain biking, and it was designed with input from retired pro racer Filip Meirhaeghe.

    "In consultation with the leaders of the city, we took a site, unknown to many people of Antwerp, and transformed it into a place for mountain biking," said organizer Luc Mattens. "The green surroundings and the embankment of the Schelde up to the Noordkasteel lent themselves perfectly to it."

    "When I first came, there was nothing but bushes," said Filip Meirhaeghe, who was asked for his expertise during the project. "I mapped out a route through the jungle-like vegetation. With spade and shovel, I helped indicate the first singletrack, which was then cut into wider paths. It is a great technical trail now. "

    At the beginning of this week, the Belgian Cycling Association was reporting that it had received over 400 entries.

    "Jimmy Tielens and Nicolas Vermeulen, the most famous Belgians, will race against the best Dutchmen Gerden de Knegt and Thijs Al. The big attraction will be Canadian Geoff Kabush, ranked number nine in the world."

    Mattens is ambitious for the future of the race. He is aiming for UCI category 1 status in the future and the opportunity to host a World Cup round in the future. Mattens was pleased that his race earned UCI category 2 status in its first running, something unusual for mountain bike races.

    The overall series standings will be calculated from the best five of six race results.

    Children, masters and fun riders will race on Saturday. On Sunday, novice and young girls open the competition followed by elite, junior and under 23 men, women and...

  • World Champion Peat aims for ninth win at Lisboa Downtown

    Steve Peat (Santa Cruz Syndicate) on his way to winning the urban downhill at the Lisboa Downtown in 2009.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 20:00 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Urban downhill race returns to Lisbon

    Gravity racers will speed downhill from Castelo to Largo do Terreiro do Trigo during the Lisboa Downhill in downtown Lisbon, Portugal, on Saturday, May 8. World Champion Steve Peat will return to defend his winning streak at the annual urban downhill event, which features stairs and navigation around buildings and across tram lines instead of the more usual downhill race obstacles like rocks and roots.

    Great Britain's Peat has won eight of the 10 previous editions of the race. This year, his toughest competition may come from within his own Santa Cruz Syndicate team, from South African Greg Minnaar and compatriot Josh Bryceland.

    Frenchman Cedric Gracia (CG Brigade), Slovakian Filip Polc (MS Evil Racing), Australian Mick Hannah (GT) are other top candidates for the win.

    Portugal will field Madeira Emanuel Pombo (Liberty Specialized) as its favorite. Last year, he finished fourth.

    "After my progression in the years before I take the field clear to fight for a podium place!" said Pombo, whose brother Daniel will also be racing.

    In 2009, Peat defeated Hannah by 0.185 seconds and Minnaar by 1.733 seconds for the victory.

    For more information, visit