British Cycling have selected 10 cross country and team relay riders to represent Great Britain at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Champéry, Switzerland, from August 31 to September 4. Four cross, downhill and trials riders will be selected after the final World Cup of the season.
Five recently crowned national champions will represent Great Britain in the cross country, including 21-year-old Annie Last who has ridden in the elite category this season despite being an under 23 rider. She has scored three top-20 finishes at World Cup level. For the World Championships, she will ride in the U23 category in accordance with the UCI rules in an event in which she won the silver medal in 2010.
Nine riders were selected for the cross country. Three of those riders, plus downhiller Tracy Moseley, will race the team relay.
British Cycling's Olympic Mountain Bike Coach Phil Dixon said, "I'm pleased with the GB team we're submitting for the cross country event, with all of the riders having performed consistently at World Cups this season. The team will be looking to build on the 2010 World Championship performance across all age categories in September."
"We're also submitting a strong team into the relay event this year as it holds Olympic qualification points for us and I'm pleased to have downhill world champion Tracy Moseley on the team for this event."
"We'll announce the downhill, four cross and trials riders after the final World Cup of their season to ensure that everyone has every possible opportunity to gain selection."
Cross country Elite men: Liam Killeen, Oli Beckingsale U23 men: David Fletcher, Kenta Gallagher U23 women: Annie Last Junior men: Grant Ferguson, Matt Sumpton Junior women: Bethany Crumpton, Katy...
Lea Davison (Specialized) won the final race on USA Cycling's Pro Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) calendar (Pro XCT), the Missoula XC on Marshall Mountain in Missoula, Montana to overcome a 10-point deficit to Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) and top the final women's standings. Despite hometown hero Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) winning the last race on the US Pro XCT schedule, Max Plaxton (Specialized USA Factory Racing) topped the men's standings.
Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing) finished between Plaxton and Schultz in the final standings. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) finished fourth, 30 points ahead of Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant).
Davison and Gould were followed by Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) in third place while Chloe Forsman (BMC MTB Development Team) placed fourth and Krista Park (Cannondale-No Tubes) finished fifth in the final women's Pro XCT standings.
In earning her first win on the Pro XCT, Davison was nearly two minutes faster than her closest competitor, Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek), and three minutes faster than Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) in the final results. Nash took a slight lead on the second of the four-lap women's contest. Davison capitalized on Nash riding off the singletrack to take the lead and never relinquished it. Proving to be the fastest climber and a strong descender, Davison gradually expanded her lead throughout the remaining two laps of the race.
Schultz won with a time of 1:18:49, one minute faster than his teammate Jeremy...
Catherine Vipond (Norco Factory Team) and Matthew Hadley (Xprezo - Borsao) both won the highest honors of the Canada Cup series as the 2011 season concluded Sunday in Edmonton, Alta, with the presentation of the fourth and last race of the 2011 Canada Cup Mountain Bike Series.
Vipond and Hadley, a married couple, participated in all four events across the country this year, and have posted the best overall results of the season.
Hadley won the first two races of the season, which gave him a solid lead midway through the season. After an average placing in the third race, Hadley raced back to the podium with a third place finish on Sunday, securing the Canada Cup title.
Cameron Jette (3-Rox-Racing) took the second place with 470 points, stepping twice on the podium, in second and third places.
Evan Guthrie (Rocky Mountain Factory Team) and Léandre Bouchard (Cyclones d'Alma), two U23 riders, finished tied in third place with each 435 points. With his win on the last race in Edmonton, Guthrie won the tie breaker to give him the third and last spot on the podium, leaving Bouchard, the 2011 Canadian U23 Champion, in fourth place.
In the women's category, Vipond stepped on the podium in all four races, winning the first and last race of the season. She fought a hard and tight race the entire season alongside Jean-Ann Berkenpas with only five points differentiating the top two riders in the final standings. Berkenpas accumulated one win and two silver medals, and could have won secured the title with a win on the last stage of the series.
A total of 99 elite male mountain bikers scored points this year on the Canada Cup series in the elite races, while 38 women took part in the elite series.
In the junior races, it was no surprise to see Frédérique Trudel take the top honours in the women's category, even though she...
Team Sho-Air/Specialized signed current African continental cross country junior champion Brendon Davids for the 2012 season. Davids is currently ranked as the number six junior in the UCI World Rankings and will start racing for his new team in September of this year.
The South African will come to the United States to focus on the under 23 division in 2012 US Pro XCT and US Cup mountain bike races. He will join current endurance pro riders Manuel Prado of Costa Rica and Monique Pua Mata of Hawaii as part of a three-pronged line of attack for the pro mountain bike squad.
Davids' current sponsors Team Jeep and Ellsworth bicycles have released him from current contractual obligations for the rest of 2011.
"We at Team Jeep are very proud of Brendon and all he has achieved, he has been in the Team Jeep South Africa program for four years now and we are delighted that we have managed to secure this opportunity for him," said his current sponsor.
"It proves that our system is working and that we are able to give our athletes the skills and tools that they need to promote themselves on an international platform. Brendon is the fourth athlete that we have been able to provide this opportunity for through the team, we couldn't be happier and wish him the very best of luck."
"We are very grateful that key partners ... saw the value in Team Sho-Air/Specialized enough to release him early from his contract so he can begin working with the team after Worlds in September," said Sho-Air/Specialized's team director Ty Kady. "We hope this move is another step forward for Brendon as he chases his dream of becoming a top professional cyclist in the years to come."
"We love working with and developing up and coming talent," said Sho-Air/Specialized Team Owner R. Scott Tedro. "I feel our success with riders like Max Plaxton, Sid Taberlay and Tad Elliot will provide Brendon with that same winning environment for his racing career. ...
American back to racing cross country on international circuit
Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) has committed to joining the chase for US Olympic mountain bike team spots for the Games in London in the summer of 2012. With just over one year to go until the big day, Bishop will be competing in the Olympic test event at Hadleigh Park on Sunday.
Bishop used to race regularly on the international cross country circuit, but in recent years, he had switched to endurance racing with a focus on mountain bike marathons and stage races. However, starting earlier this season, he shifted his training and racing back to participating again in the shorter distance formats.
"Going for the Olympics is my first priority. I think I've shown that with my actions this season," said Bishop to Cyclingnews.
In US Pro XCT racing this season, Bishop won the Bonelli Park cross country and short track, was second at the Fontana cross country and was third at the Sea Otter cross country.
The USA Cycling Professional Ultra Endurance Tour (US Pro UET) continued last weekend with the Galena Grinder in Ketchum, Idaho. With two remaining rounds, Manuel Prado and Pua Mata (both Sho-Air/Specialized) lead the series standings.
Prado won the 45-mile Galena Grinder ahead of Jonny Hintze (Bikers Edge) and Brett Nichols and now holds a 60-point lead over Colin Cares (Kenda-Felt) in the men's series standings. Jay Henry, Hintze and Jonathan Schottler (Michelob Ultra-Big Shark) are tied for third place with 40 points each.
Mata all but cemented her position atop the women's standings by winning her third of three events, thus far. Mata had already won the Spa City Extreme 6-Hour in March and the Firecracker 50 earlier this month.
Three women are tied for second place, trailing Mata by 80 points. Jennifer Smith (Alpine Orthopaedics), Andrea Wilson (Mid South Velo) and Jana Repulski each have 40 points. Kelly Boniface and Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) are tied for fifth with 30 points apiece.
In the Galena Grinder, Mata impressively finished the race second among all riders - male and female - only three minutes behind Prado in the final results.
The next US Pro UET event will be the Hampshire 100 in Greenfield, New Hampshire on August 21.
The Canadian Cycling Association named the national team for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champéry, Switzerland, from August 31-September 4. Canada will bring to the start lines some of the best riders in the world, including all of its newly-crowned Canadian Champions and Canada Cup Champions, in all categories.
Amongst the star-studded line up in elite women's cross country category are three-time Canadian Champion and 2010 World Cup Champion Catharine Pendrel (Team Luna Pro), five-time Canadian champion and 2009 World Cup champion Marie-Hélène Prémont (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) and a four-time U23 Canadian Champion now racing in the elite category Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek).
Canada's Pendrel and Prémont currently sit second and third in the UCI World Cup rankings. Thanks to the performances from Pendrel, Prémont and Batty notably, Canada is ranked number 1 in the world in the elite women's UCI Olympic Qualification rankings.
Six-time Canadian Champion and Olympian Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) and the new Canadian Champion and US Pro XCT series champion Max Plaxton (Specialized Factory Team) will be Canada's top riders in the elite men's cross country category.
"The World Championships in Champery will be another great chance for our athletes to fine tune their performances before the 2012 Olympic Summer Games London," said Dan Proulx, Head Coach of the Canadian Mountain Bike program.
"Our women's program is very strong right now and we have some talented young riders coming up through the ranks. Our men's program is also increasing in strength and depth from the elite level down to junior. We saw some very...
World marathon champion racing in South Africa in October
Marathon world champion champion Christoph Sauser (Specialized) confirmed that he will be back racing the DCM Cape Pioneer Trek in the Klein Karoo in October 17-22, 2011. While he could have taken a break during that time, the Swiss rider has instead committed to the South African mountain bike stage race.
"I have so much fun during and after the stages when I race the DCM Cape Pioneer Trek," said Sauser. "For me it feels like a great holiday. I like the Klein Karoo and we always go to beautiful places. I love to explore, and to do so on my mountain bike is the very best way."
"The staff and riders become like members of my family over the six days. The comradeship among the riders is unbelievable. The Cape Pioneer Trek is not only about racing and winning. We have so much to laugh and joke about and we have enjoyed some legendary parties after the stages.
"The fact that some of the stages have been long, windy and rocky, has only made the rest of the time better. The race is always superbly organized.
Sauser is not yet sure who will be his partner for the six-day tour.
"I was hoping to ride the tour with Silvio Bundi again, but it might not happen because Silvio will become a dad about mid-August and he has to clear his participation with his wife first.
Sauser and Bundi won the 2006 Cape Epic together. Sauser also won the Absa Cape Epic with South Africa's Burry Stander this year (2011).
One thing is certain. It will not matter with whom Sauser teams up to race the Pioneer Trek. Even though he claims to be on a holiday, he will not be just fooling around. Even if Sauser should decide to put in just a 70 to 80 percent effort, it would in all probability be enough to give him a realistic chance to finish on the podium.