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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Monday, December 12, 2011

Date published:
December 12, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Rebagliati signs with Giant Italia

    Marco Rebagliati has signed with the Giant Italia team for 2011.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 1:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former in-line skating champion now a mountain bike racer

    Marco Rebagliati is the newest addition to the Giant Italia Team for the 2012 season. The former in-line skater has made the move from skating to road cycling to mountain biking.

    "Since I was a child, I did in-line skating. I got several national and international titles in the junior and elite categories. I twice won the world championships," said Rebagliati.

    In 2008, he made his debut in mountain biking, and he dominated the Giro della Provincia di Savona series. At the same time, he placed 12th in the overall ranking of Mediofondo Val di Fassa Bike. He gained important experience in 60 races in 2009 and 2010 and won events like the Tour dell'Assietta and GF di Spotorno.

    "I was positively in shock when I spoke to Giant Italia Team for the first time. I'm very impressed by its organization and professionalism. The Giant Italia Team is interested in developing young cyclists. How could I refuse their proposal?" said Marco.

    Rebagliati said he's been assisted along the way by Mirko Celestino. "He helped me develop my technical skills on the road and then again when I started mountain biking. Road racing and mountain bike racing are so different. When you attend road races, you have to focus on your teammates. When you mountain bike, you can decide whether and when to do your race pace and attack."

    Rebagliati is still working with his new team to set his specific goals for 2012.

  • Brosnan, Hill headline Gravity Cup in Thredbo

    Troy Brosnan (Monster Energy / Specialized / Mad Catz)
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 4:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former downhill world champion Hannah returns to major competition

    After a successful series debut for the All Mountain Cup in Perth in November, the 2011-2012 Australian Mountain Bike Season heads to Thredbo this weekend for the first round of the newly-created Gravity Cup on December 10-11.

    South Australia’s Troy Brosnan, the 2010 and 2011 junior downhill world champion, returns to Australia after an amazing year of international racing. The jewel in the crown was the successful defence of the junior world championships, with Brosnan completing an amazing run in Champery, Switzerland that would have put him in second in the elite field.

    The MTBA Gravity Cup in Thredbo will mark Brosnan's first official race at a national or international level in the elite category.

    Triple downhill world champion Sam Hill from Western Australia returns to Australian mountain bike season racing in Thredbo. After an international season affected by injury, this weekend Hill will be hoping to regain the form that has seen him dominate the world downhill scene for much of the last five years.

    In the women's field, Tracey Hannah will return to major competition for the first time in four years after taking a break from the sport. Hannah was the 2006 junior women's downhill world champion and also has a World Cup round win at the elite level, and she has made clear her goals of returning to international competition in 2012. Holly Baarspul, the 2011 Oceania Champion, will be another to watch. Baarspul won the Oceania Continental Championships in a breakthrough race at the end of her debut elite season.

    In the junior categories, reigning national champion Connor Fearon and the always-fast Danielle Beecroft are the favorites to watch.

    Gravity Cup racing will take place at Thredbo,...

  • British Cycling increases support for mountain biking

    2010 Downhill World Champion Tracy Moseley
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 18:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    All off-road disciplines to benefit from greater resources

    British Cycling announced on Thursday an increase in resources for its downhill mountain bike riders in 2012, which will act as a stepping stone for a more integrated off-road development programme for 2013 - 2017, encompassing the cross country, downhill, four cross and cyclo-cross disciplines.

    Four-time British Mountain Bike Champion Will Longden has been appointed as Downhill Co-ordinator and will also provide additional support to British Cycling's existing cross country and cyclo-cross programmes. The increase in resources will allow for more budget to be allocated to downhill training and competition, plus an increase in downhill riders on the Athlete Medical Scheme.

    2011 World Cup Champion Tracy Moseley, who has been involved in the project from the outset and has benefited from the support of British Cycling over the past two years said, "The British downhillers have consistently enjoyed success over the years at world championship level so it's very exciting to see British Cycling get involved in the discipline and to receive more support from them.

    "The downhill discipline can only benefit from the knowledge, experience and training methods British Cycling has successfully proven across the cycling disciplines and this is a real boost for riders and the future of the sport in our country."

    At the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champery, Switzerland, Britain's Danny Hart won the elite men's downhill world championship while Manon Carpenter earned the rainbow stripes in the junior women's downhill race.

  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Durango Devo Sweet Elite team announced

    Sarah Sturm at Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals in Angel Fire, New Mexico
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 22:07 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Six riders named to 2012 squad

    The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Durango Devo Sweet Elite mountain bike team is heading into its second season with another strong line-up. The development team, based in Durango, Colorado, will focus on regional events, some national-level events and the Windham World Cup.

    Four riders are new to the team including Sarah Sturm, Lauren Catlin. Payson McElveen and Sepp Kuss. Tad Elliot and Colton Anderson are both returning members.

    In its short history, the team has claimed several national championship titles thanks to Howard Grotts, Alicia Rose Pastore, Tad Elliot, Sage Wilderman and Teal Stetson-Lee. Sturm is also the current collegiate short track national champion while Caitlin is the current collegiate cross country national champion.

    Chad Cheeney, also the manager of the Durango Devo (non-elite) program, is taking over as manager of the team for 2012. "Last year I was busy with the other Devo stuff, but I helped with the idea to have this team back in the day. Durango Devo was seven years old and our under 19 members started graduating from our program and they had nowhere to go, so we created this elite team. This year I'm pumped to be more involved."

    The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Durango Devo Sweet Elite was formed in 2011 with a goal of promoting and supporting riders age 17-25 that are prepared to move to the next level of race competition. The team focuses on providing riders coaching, management, equipment, and funding to travel and compete at a regional and national level. The Sweet Elite is an extension of the successful Durango Devo Youth Cycling Program that provides riders age 5-19 structured after school riding programs with an emphasis on creating life long cyclists.

    To be a member of the Durango Devo Sweet Elite Team, you have to be a non-elite Devo program graduate, be a college student at Durango's Fort Lewis College or be a Durango local.

    Speaking of the squad's schedule for...

  • Elite women to test early season legs in Lanzarote

    A group of racers compete at the Club La Santa two-day mountain bike stage race.
    Article published:
    December 09, 2011, 16:14 GMT
    James Ouchterlony

    Two-day race expands to four days in 2012

    Several elite female mountain bikers, including recent Cyclingnews Reader Poll winner Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa, world marathon champion Annika Langvad and Sally Bigham are expected to test their early seasons legs a at a four-day mountain bike race at Club La Santa in Lanzarote from January 28 to January 31, 2012.

    Racers from Spain, Germany, Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom are expected and will cover a total of 195km over four days in the Canary Islands.

    Saturday's race features a single 30km loop that will not be too technical. On Sunday, racers will do a 60km loop with more technical sections, including the lava field of the National Park of Timanfaya.

    On Monday, a 25km off-road time trial will take racers on a gradual uphill route. And finally, on Tuesday, an 80km marthon will finish off those freeh January legs.

    Among the elite men, Julien Absalon, Karl Platt and Kevin Van Hoovels have expressed interest in participating, but are not yet confirmed starters.

    For more information on the race, visit

  • Kulhavy, Stander and Wells renew with Specialized

    Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Racing)
    Article published:
    December 09, 2011, 18:30 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Youngster Grott added to team

    With the contract renewals of several top athletes for 2012, Specialized Racing is well positioned to continue its success on the elite men's cross country race circuit. Jaroslav Kulhavy, Burry Stander and Todd Wells will continue racing in Specialized's colors for the upcoming Olympic year as will the previously renewed Christoph Sauser.  The team also signed the young rider Howard Grotts.

    "All is good for the year ahead, " said Specialized Racing Team Manager Bobby Behan to Cyclingnews. "Also, yes we have signed young Howard Grotts, who will do select World Cups. It's good to give a young kid like this the chance."

    Kulhavy dominated the elite men's cross country scene in 2011, winning most of the World Cups and taking the overall. The Czech rider, who was the first to win a World Cup on a 29er, capped off a stellar season with a win at the world championships in Switzerland.

    Sauser managed to mix disciplines again in 2011 with success in both the cross country and marathon. He took the marathon world championship title mid-season and was a regular finisher in the top 10 of World Cups. The Swiss rider also won stage races such as the Cape Epic and Trans Germany.

    Wells, the US national cross country champion, defended his 2010 title in 2011. He was the top male American performer on the World Cup and won events like the Leadville 100...

  • Hall goes solo on global cycling record attempt

    Endurance racer Mike Hall will tackle the global cycling world record next.
    Article published:
    December 09, 2011, 21:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Endurance racer targets Guinness World Record

    Endurance rider Mike Hall has announced that this coming February he will take on a Guinness World Record attempt for fastest bicycling circumnavigation of the earth. The record attempt which will begin in London with a short tour of the city's most famous landmarks was originally planned to part of the "Global Bicycle Race" but Hall now plans to go solo with his attempt.

    "I was excited when I first learned of the Global Bicycle Race but after discussions with my sponsors, we have decided that it is best to focus our efforts on my attempt."

    Hall, who competed in this year's 2,700-mile Tour Divide and who is a winner of two 24-hour solo titles, will tackle the 18,000-mile challenge around the planet as an individual. However, he says that he will still be racing and will be leaving his job early to focus on his training and final preparations such as launching the website that will follow his attempt.

    "There is still a world record up for grabs and multiple attempts going off at the same time so effectively there's no difference. We just decided it was too close to February now to be distracted as many details of the race have yet to be confirmed. I want to show full commitment to my sponsors who are kindly supporting me with significant financial backing for this endeavour. I wish the organisers well with their race plans. It was a great idea."

    Hall plans to announce his sponsors and more details of his attempt in the next few weeks. "The guys who are supporting me have been great through all this, I'm itching to tell everyone once the paperwork is all sorted. I also have some great friends in the mountain biking community who have agreed to help out, I'm really lucky"

    Additionally as Director and Owner of Velometrics, an engineering consultancy company, Hall is offering to pay the fee for fast-track processing of the Guinness...

  • Kabush to lead new cross country team

    Geoff Kabush will race for the Scott-3Rox Racing Team in 2012
    Article published:
    December 12, 2011, 16:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Scott-3Rox Racing sponsoring eight North Americans for 2012

    Geoff Kabush will lead a new cross country mountain bike team based in North American in 2012. The Canadian makes the move to the Scott-3Rox Racing Team from the Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Team. He will target the UCI World Cup, the 2012 London Olympic Games and select North American events.

    "Changing programs the year before the Olympics had the potential to be stressful, but I couldn't be happier about how things have worked out with Scott-3Rox," said Kabush. "I had a lot of decisions, but Scott-3Rox was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

    "It was also a big deal to me that Scott showed a desire for a long-term commitment," said Kabush. "I am really excited about several ideas we discussed and their plans for the future. Partnering with the 3Rox program and the support I will have from them was also a big factor in my decision. One of the main reasons I race is to have fun, and I am looking forward to some good times with a great group of people. I have everything I need for success in place now."

    Scott-3Rox Racing Team Manager Kyle Douglas was happy to have Kabush onboard. "I am very excited about signing Kabush, as it has been a fun and new experience for me. I believe that a successful program relies on having a strong foundation, and adding Geoff to the squad allows the team to get to the next level. Geoff has many aspirations, and we wanted to make sure that going into the Olympic year he has all the support he needs to perform. There will be many challenges, but having strong companies supporting the team, I feel that we will attain our goals."

    Scott Sports' Adrian Montgomery gave some background on how the team came to be in its current incarnation. "Scott-3Rox began four years ago as a developmental program supported by MICA...