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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Monday, April 29, 2013

Date published:
April 29, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Wells moves into Pro XCT lead after Sea Otter Classic

    Todd Wells (Specialized) rode very well today, finishing a strong 3rd, to make the podium.
    Article published:
    April 24, 2013, 0:55 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Woodruff remains atop women's standings

    Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) claimed the top spot in the USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) men's standings with his performance at the Sea Otter Classic, while Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers Race Club 11) maintained a firm grasp on the women's lead.

    Men

    Wells, in third place, was the top American rider at the Sea Otter Classic on Saturday in Monterey, California. It gave him a total of 655 points for the season and moved him 10 points ahead of previous leader Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) in the Pro XCT men's standings. Bishop finished in 11th in Monterey.

    Benjamin Sonntag (American Interbanc) held on to third place in the standings with 333 points after an 18th-place finish, while Ryan Woodall (Top Gear Bicycles) leapfrogged the idle Sam Schultz (Trek Factory Racing) to move into fourth place with 285 points. Schultz sits in fifth place with 280 points.

    Women

    The top of the Pro XCT women's standings remained largely unchanged as the first six riders in the standings all placed in the top 20 at the Sea Otter Classic. Woodruff, Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) and Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing) all finished within a minute of each other in Monterey, with Batty placing eighth, Davison ninth and Woodruff 10th to maintain their top-three places in the standings.

    Woodruff now leads with 505 points, followed by Batty (445) and Davison (410). Annie Last (Trek Factory Racing) kept pace in fourth place with a 13th-place finish on Sunday to give her 375 points. The only shakeup at the top of the standings was Erica Tingey (Jamis) emerging from a tie with Judy Freeman (Crankbrothers Race Club) to claim sole possession of fifth place with 325 points. Tingey crossed the line in 16th place at Sea Otter while Freeman was more than two minutes back in 20th position.

    ...
  • Defending champ Kabush leads stellar line-up at Whiskey Off-Road

    Geoff Kabush (Scott/3-Rox) is having an awesome opening weekend of racing, coming in 2nd today.
    Article published:
    April 24, 2013, 15:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Record attendance expected among the pros

    Looking at the start list, the Whiskey Off-Road is shaping up to be a sort of North American mountain bike championship. Record attendance in the Whiskey Off-Road elite field is drawing 51 women and 88 men to vie for a $40,000 elite cash purse in Prescott, Arizona on Sunday, April 28.

    Returning champion Geoff Kabush (Scott/3Rox) is confirmed to start along with his teammates Derek Zandstra and Cameron Jette. Flanked with strength and strategy, and showing superb early season fitness last weekend at the Sea Otter Classic, Kabush is a strong candidate for the $6,500 first place payday among the men's field.

    Kabush will face riders like Max Plaxton and Jeremiah Bishop (both Sho-Air/Cannondale), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Trek), Adam Craig (Giant), Ben Sonntag (American Interbanc-Cannondale), Barry Wicks (Kona) and Todd Wells and Howard Grotts (both Specialized).

    Unfortunately, Pua Mata (Team Sho-Air/Cannondale) will not be defending her 2011 and 2012 Whiskey victories as she continues to heal a broken leg. However, Team Luna Chix will be showing up with its strongest presence yet including Olympic bronze medalist Georgia Gould, Katerina Nash, Teal Stetson-Lee, Suzanne Snyder and Shonny Vandlandingham. Gould has previously finished second while Stetson-Lee was fifth last year.

    Another woman to watch will be Lesley Paterson (Scott), the 2012 X-terra World Champion, who won the Bonelli Park Pro XCT earlier this season. Paterson will be among several women chasing after the $6,500 top women's prize, which is equal to the men's top payout.

    Heather Irmiger (Trek), Amanda Carey (Stan's No Tubes), Kelli Emmett (Giant) and Chloe Woodruff and Judy Freeman (Crankbrothers) will also be on the start line.

    "The quality of racers the Whiskey Off-Road is drawing to...

  • La Ruta adds fat bikes

    There will be a new fat bike category at La Ruta de los Conquistadores this year.
    Article published:
    April 24, 2013, 21:35 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    New category for Costa Rican mountain bike stage race

    The La Ruta de los Conquistadors mountain bike stage race is adding a new category for fat bikes in its next edition on October 24-26 of this year.

    "The idea came from Will Mucke, who participated last year on a regular bike and is training to do the Iditarod in 2014," said La Ruta promoter Roman Urbina.

    "Two years ago, Milton Ramos, one of the top pros at La Ruta, rode the last day of the race on a fat bike and we have pictures of him riding the railroad bridges. He is the only cyclist who has ever done this in 21 years of the race."

    Urbina has previously entertained the idea of having a singlespeed category, but thinks there is not enough interest. However, he noted that there is more interest in racing La Ruta on a fat bike.

    Urbina himself has never ridden a fat bike and wouldn't speculate on how doing so would change the La Ruta experience. "It looks like a lot of fun. I hope in the next few weeks that Will will let me borrow his!"

    Mucke, who rides for the non-profit Team CoreCo, said, "Despite now being that fastest-growing category of cycling worldwide, fat bikes in Costa Rica are as yet a total curiosity, and I get stopped to have pictures taken by giggling passers-by all the time."

    "Riding the bike here in the Costa Rica environment is just so darn fun that I can only imagine there will be more 'girthy' tires here in the future. While by no means a scientific report, I can tell you that my qualitative assessment of the fat bike is that while most people think snow and sand, the bike is as just as capable a machine as any in the dirt, rocks and roots."

    Mucke admitted that the fat bike can be a disadvantage on pavement due to the added friction from the greater contact area, but said it pays off on the climbs and descents, and especially in the mud.

    "Such a large contact area where the tire meets the road means better traction in the loose and on the steeps, which translates into (with a...

  • Vos enjoying new success in mountain biking

    Marianne Vos (Rabobank) was following every move in the XC race, followed closely by Trek's Annie Last.
    Article published:
    April 25, 2013, 16:20 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Dutch rider welcomed into off-road peloton

    It should come as no surprise that Olympic, road and cyclo-cross world champion Marianne Vos (Rabo-LivGiant) would have no trouble with her transition into mountain bike racing, but after taking back-to-back wins in the short track and cross country against a strong field at the Sea Otter Classic, the Dutch rider said her fat tire debut has gone "better than I expected, and better than everybody expected I guess."

    Vos is no stranger to off-road pursuits: she's won five straight world titles in 'cross, but more importantly raced mountain bikes successfully as a junior - winning her national title and a medal at the European championships at a young age before choosing to focus on road and 'cross.

    After a highly successful but stressful Olympic year, Vos is taking a more relaxed approach to racing this season, and is enjoying the laid-back mountain bike scene.

    "Mountain bike is more freestyle, it's more relaxed, and more individual. If you're good and have no technical problems you finish in front. On the road, you play tactics and you're in a team. With these tactics it's not always the best who wins, and then you have this tension around the races all the time that you don't have in mountain bike.

    "In mountain biking it's just racing, you get in your rhythm and you're good. It's a nice world. Especially here in America, it's a good atmosphere. I wanted to come here for the Sea Otter Classic - it didn't matter it was right after Flèche Wallonne and that I have a race next week. It might...

  • Cyco-cross pros head to Alpentour Trophy

    Italy's Enrico Franzoi racing a World Cup round on home turf.
    Article published:
    April 25, 2013, 22:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Peeters, Franzoi, Aeronouts among 'cross stars at mountain bike stage race

    The 2013 Alpentour Trophy stage race in Austria is shaping up to be a battle between mountain bike stage race specialists and some top cyclo-cross riders.  The race will happen from May 30 to June 2.

    The Telenet-Fidea 'cross team is sending a strong contingent to the UCI-categorized S1 event. Team leader Rob Peeters will be joined by fellow Belgians Tom Meeusen and Joeri Adams and Dutchman Tijs Al. U23 'crosser Jens Vandekinderen is also attending.

    Another squad, the AA-Drink Cyclo-cross team, is sending Bart Aernouts and Thijs Van Amerongen.

    They will all compete against former U23 'cross world champion Enrico Franzoi, an Italian who has raced for Liquigas and Lampre. Franzoi has been steadily improving his mountain bike skills and last month finished an impressive fourth place in the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race. Franzoi will race on the same team as 2012 AlpenTour Trophy winner Kristian Hynek, who is also the reigning European marathon champion.

    Top male mountain bikers already registered include Thomas Diestch and Simon Stiebjahn (Team Bulls); Jiri Novak, Hans Becking, Jeroen Boelen, Bart Brentjens and Paul Rodenbach (Superior=Brentjens); and Spencer Paxson, Cory Wallace, Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon (Kona).

    Anne Terpstra (Superior-Brentjens) and Helen Wyman (Kona) are the likely favorite in the women's race among those already pre-registered.

    Each stage will start and finish in Schladming except the stage 2 time trial, which will finish at the Schafalm Planai. All four stages are held in the famous Austrian ski areas of Schladming Dachstein, Planai, Ramsau, Reiteralm and Haus im Ennstal.

    Last year's Alpentour Trophy was won by Hynek and Sally Bigham.
     

  • Back-to-back Worlds a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for South Africa

    The UCI MTB World Champs is the biggest event ever in the history of South Africa cycling," says Cycling South Africa's General Manager Mike Bradley
    Article published:
    April 26, 2013, 6:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Pietermaritzburg ready to host elite and masters mountain bike Worlds

    South Africa's cycling fraternity and the country's general public will have a golden opportunity to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience when Cascades MTB Park plays host to the UCI Mountain Bike Masters World Championships and the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships within a 12-day window in August later this year.

    "Outside of the road world championships, this is the greatest cycling event in the world and is the pinnacle of the mountain biking calendar!" said Cycling South Africa's General Manager Mike Bradley.

    "It is the single most important event South Africa has ever had the privilege of hosting. No cycling event this size nor this spectacular has ever taken place here before and it is definitely something everyone should seek to be a part of in whatever way they can.

    "To have not only been awarded not only the main world championships but the masters as well really is an exceptional honour and it is now up to us as South Africans to ensure we get behind the event and show it the support the previous host countries have shown."

    With previous events such as the 2010 UCI BMX World Championships, the 2011 and 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Pietermaritzburg and the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour Final all having been staged in Pietermaritzburg, the city has a rich history of hosting top international cycling events however, never quite something as prestigious as this.

    "I urge all those who live in Pietermaritzburg to take ownership of this event and give it your full support whilst those from out of town start planning your trip to come watch some of the most exciting, extreme mountain biking you'll ever witness.

    "With such a wide variety to choose from there will always be something on the go of interest to you," said Bradley. "With trials, where guys will be jumping over a variety of obstacles, downhill, which is the extreme adrenalin pumping cycling discipline, and cross country, which...

  • Bike Festival returns to Garda Trentino

    The Bike Festival Garda includes a marathon
    Article published:
    April 28, 2013, 18:28 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    20th edition scheduled for early May

    Garda Trentino will host its 20th Bike Festival in Riva del Garda on May 3-5. The annual mountain bike festival draws attendees and racers from many nations to Italy. 25,000 visitors and 140 exhibitors are expected from around Europe.

    Highlights of the 2013 edition will include the Rocky Mountain Bike Marathon on a brand new course on Sunday, May 5. Like in the previous years, riders will choose from four different distances: easy (26.6km/597hm), small (44.79 km/1523hm), big (75.7km/2822hm) and dxtreme (93.93 km/3.813hm).

    Enduro racers will also have a chance to compete in the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series.

    Non-racing events include the Bikeunit King of Dirt, a dirt jumping show that has delighted attendees since 2008; competitions for 14-and-under riders; guided rides for all ages and abilities; and a Saturday, May 4th party with food, drinks and fireworks.

    On the occasion of the festival's 20th edition, a special award will be given to its creator Uli Stanciu.

    For more information, visit www.bikefestival.it.

  • Trans-Sylvania Epic details enduro plans

    The State College classic Three Bridges trail will play a role in the all enduro Stage 4
    Article published:
    April 29, 2013, 19:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Separate sub-classification added to mountain bike stage race

    The Trans-Sylvania Epic revealed details of the enduro competition that will be part of its week-long mountain bike stage race starting on May 26. During seven, technical east coast stages, racers will have the chance to compete for a daily leader's jersey by way of one or more enduro segments placed on each stage. Much like the sprinter's jersey in a major road tour, the enduro classification offers a different goal than GC finish and may better suit certain athletes.

    Rather than racing hard both up and down the endless Pennsylvania ridges, enduro competitors can make the choice to cruise a little more casually until a segment start flag puts them back into race mode. All participants are able to take part in the enduro competition whether riding at a relaxed pace or focused on the overall GC.

    "This is something we've been working on since year one, and we're really excited to now have the technology to make a daily enduro competition happen." said TSEpic co-director Ray Adams. "TSE launched with an enduro type stage in the mix - the 'mini-XCs/super D' stage at RB Winter in years one and two - but the format wasn't quite what we wanted. We tweaked the competition and we are really happy with the result."

    The brand new stage 4 - Galbraith Gap Enduro Stage - will be entirely an enduro stage while other stages will have enduro segments in them. Five separate timed sections with more than 3,000 feet of drop and some of the most technical descents of the week dot stage 4.

    Organizers noted that participants need not rush to purchase full face gear and body armor for this enduro competition. "While we are absolutely putting in some fast and technical descents, many segments have been part of TSEpic, cross country events or the Wilderness 101 in the past. You likely will be faster on a bike specific to the demands of the day, but special equipment won't be...