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MTB news & racing round-up, Monday, December 14, 2009

Date published:
December 14, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Swiss Cycling appoints new national gravity coach

    Nick Beer (Switzerland)
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 15:11 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Former World Champion Iten charged with developing four crossers and downhillers

    The Swiss Cycling Federation named Albert Iten as its new national downhill and four cross mountain bike coach on Tuesday in Ittigen. He replaces departing coach Ernst Schurter and is charged with developing Swiss gravity-racing talent.  Switzerland is already a powerhouse in cross country and endurance mountain bike racing thanks to riders like former and current World Champions Christoph Sauser and Nino Schurter.

    In his own racing career, Iten was successful in downhill and cross country mountain biking and in cyclo-cross. The now 37-year-old was the European Champion in both downhill and cross country in 1992. Iten, who resides in Oberägeri, won the World Championship downhill title in 1991. In addition, he placed on other podiums at international championships.

    After his retirement from the sport in the mid-90s, Iten took a step away from elite sport professionally though he remained linked closely to cycling in his private life.  The current owner of an electronics-related company is newly charged with the mission of developing the Swiss Cycling potential in downhill and four cross.

    "Swiss Cycling thanks Ernst Schurter for his tremendous commitment in recent years and looks forward to working with Albert Iten. We wish him success and motivation for this new challenge," read a statement by the federation issued Tuesday.

  • Popularity of Trans Germany exceeds expectations

    Racers at the Trans Germany
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 16:10 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Organizers increase number of entries after record sellout

    Within three weeks of the opening of registration, the 2010 Trans Germany sold out all 800 entries for its fourth edition. As a results, Plan B agency event organizers reacted by increasing the number of participants by another 400 entries.

    The mountain bike stage race, set for June 2 to 5, will be the largest it has ever been. It will run on a new route over four stages from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany to Bregenz, Austria.

    "We have expected a run on the Trans Germany. But we must confess that we are a little bit surprised about how fast all 800 entries were gone," said Trans Germany Project Manager Anika Stephan.

    "Due to this we are boosting the field to a maximum of 1,200 participants in order to give more interested mountain bikers the possibility of experienceing the Trans Germany's new route. We expect that all left entries will be sold out until the end of the year."

    For more information on the race or to register, visit www.bike-transgermany.de.

  • Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup Team signs Karl Markt

    Karl Markt together with the two professional Hungarian boxers Karoly Balzsay (coached by Fritz Sdunek) and Zsolt Bedak from Universum Box-Promotion. Charly climbed into the boxing ring for a photo session.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 20:28 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Third pro joins team

    Karl "Charly" Markt became the third male pro to join the Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup Team, which has already signed Austrian Under 23 champion Simon Scheiber and his German counterpart Manfred Reis.

    At 29 years old, Markt, who is a business student, will be the senior rider on the team. The two-time Austrian marathon champion grew up in Zams, Austria, and now lives in Haiming at the entrance of the Ötztal, where he often trains with Scheiber.

    Markt's greatest cross country achievements, besides being runner-up in 2009 are numerous top 20 World Cup placings. He makes the move from the SRM Stevens team and hopes to establish himself among the world's elite.

    "I want to become Austrian Champion in cross country and land consistently in the top 20 in World Cup. But my biggest goal is London 2012 (for the Olympic Games)."

    Team Manager Jörg Scheiderbauer expressed his confidence in Markt. "Karl was looking for a new challenge. If he trains hard and uses the internal competition within the team positively, he can improve his performance significantly. He is also very important for the younger riders on the team."

  • Mont Sainte Anne World Cup wins award

    The start of the women's race at Mont Sainte Anne
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 22:21 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Canadian round wins IMTTO "Event of the Year"

    The Mont Sainte Anne World Cup won top honors as the 2009 IMTTO Event Of The Year, the organization of International Mountain Bike Teams, Technical Support companies and Event Organisers announced on Tuesday.

    Votes were cast by the organization's trade teams and tech support members. The Fort William World Cup finished second, and the Offenburg World Cup was third.

    It's the second such award for Mont Sainte Anne, which hosted a triple World Cup with downhill, cross country and four cross rounds again this year. In late October, the UCI named the venue as best four cross World Cup in 2009. It also finished in the top three for best cross country World Cup and best downhill World Cup.

    Mont-Sainte-Anne will host the 2010 Mountain Bike World Championships. The venue has previously hosted the worlds in 1998 and has held many World Cups and long served as a popular venue among racers.

    IMTTO Event of the Year 2009 Results
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup    
    2 Fort William World Cup    
    3 Offenburg World Cup    
    4 La Bresse...
  • Organiser withdrawal shakes up US ProXCT on eve of 2010 season

    US ProXCT Series Final Podium (L to R): Katerina Nash (Luna Womens MTB) fourth, Georgia Gould (Luna Womens MTB) second, Catherina Pendrel (Luna Womens MTB) first, Heather Irmiger (Gary Fisher/Subaru) third, Pua Sawicki (Ellsworth) fifth
    Article published:
    December 09, 2009, 9:15 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    USA Cycling, US Cup will back two different national series

    The US Cup Mountain Bike Event Management has pulled out of its role as organizer of the USA Cycling-backed US ProXCT, the American series of national-level cross country races, heading into its second season in 2010. The news came Tuesday after the US Cup organization learned on Friday that International Cycling Union (UCI) inscription had been denied for its Bonelli Park race, which was set to be the opening round of the 2010 US ProXCT. Both the US Cup and USA Cycling shared their reactions with Cyclingnews.

    The result of the split, which comes after a working partnership of over one year, looks to be two separate national series oriented toward professionals. One is USA Cycling's US ProXCT, with its UCI-inscripted events, and the other is the US Cup's Mountain Bike Racing League (MBRL), a series of national-level events offering plenty of prize money to professionals, but no UCI points. Organizers of both series say their respective series will support grassroots racing, too.

    "I don't know if I'm in a soap opera or not. We had some issues with USA Cycling," said Ty Kady of the US Cup media relations to Cyclingnews. "It's been a hard relationship with USAC. The final straw was on Friday." That's when Kady learned that the Bonelli Park event was denied UCI inscription status. "The UCI said we filed too late. I thought, 'We've known about these dates since August and we were suposed to release them at Interbike. We effectively negotiated ourselves right out of an inscripted race because we kept messing around until late November and early December.'"

    "Bonelli was the final event that made us ask, 'are we spending our money wisely?'" Our business model of the US Cup describes how we want to support both amateurs and professional. Right now, per business model, working with USAC is not a good fit. It may be a good fit down the road. For now, we'll focus on what we do best. We'll be less encumbered and...

  • TransRockies returns 'home' to Alberta in 2010

    The Transrockies will be making a return to the Canadian province of Alberta in 2010.
    Article published:
    December 11, 2009, 9:57 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Registration now open for revered Canadian MTB epic

    Heading into its ninth edition, the 2010 TransRockies will return to the race's spiritual 'home' in Fernie, British Columbia, next year, from August 8-14, with a new route that takes riders to Canmore, Alberta, over seven stages and 400km.

    Supported by Travel Alberta, the TransRockies route from Fernie to Canmore passes through spectacular scenery with organisers including a smorgasboard of singletrack riding, big mountains, complete rider support and a host of new event services like shuttles to local towns and later start times.

    The 2010 TransRockies opens with a time trial around the iconic mountain biking destination of Fernie, BC before heading North and East to Elkford, the highest incorporated community in Canada. Stage three takes riders up and over the Continental Divide and across the border into Alberta where four days of riding on the legendary trails of Kananaskis Country await. Overnight stopovers include scenic wilderness campsites and two authentic Western ranches.

    On stages five and six riders spend two days ridgeline riding on the spine of the Rockies. The final day sees riders tackling a singletrack ride along the TransCanada Trail to Canmore Nordic centre, site of the 1988 Olympics and multiple World Cup mountain bike races, before descending onto the Main Street in Canmore for a finish line party.

    "We are thrilled that the TransRockies is coming back to Alberta," said Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Cindy Ady. "Participants will experience firsthand the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies in Kananaskis Country plus Alberta's famous western hospitality and culture along the way. Worldwide media coverage of this epic event is sure to attract more adventure seekers from around the world to Alberta."

    Registration is open now for the 2010 event at www.transrockies.com.

  • Wanted: New Executive Director for NorCal High School Cycling League

    The Girls' State Championship race
    Article published:
    December 14, 2009, 15:50 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Fritzinger switches focus to national level

    The Northern California (NorCal) High School Cycling League is looking for a new executive director. NorCal League founder and outgoing executive director, Matt Fritzinger, is moving on to build the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), which was launched in October of this year.  Both organizations promote high school mountain biking.

    Faced with more work than he can handle, Fritzinger will focus his efforts on the national level. "I've been trying to manage the two, but we knew this wouldn't work, and it isn't working. The interest for building Leagues is ramping up faster than expected. Just in the last few days, we've been having conversations with folks in Oregon, Wisconsin and Georgia, and they don't want to wait."

    The NorCal League is in transition from being the guiding light of other leagues to becoming a chapter league of NICA.

    The executive director's job has a broad scope that includes fund and sponsor development, risk management leadership, program planning and implementation, human resources management, operations planning and management, financial management, community relations and advocacy, and also board relations.

    Candidates with experience in non-profit leadership, success in fundraising, and a passion for mountain biking are being sought. A job description can be downloaded from the homepage at www.norcalmtb.org, and applications with a cover letter and resume should go to info@norcalmtb.org.

  • Downhill sensation Neko Mulally joins Trek World Racing

    The young American gravity star, Neko Mulally, will ride for Trek World Racing in 2010.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2009, 15:56 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Junior looks forward to his first World Cup season

    Trek World Racing signed the young American gravity star Neko Mulally for the 2010 season. Mulally, who hails from Reading, Pennsylvania, will join the downhill team, including Tracy Moseley, Justin Leov and Andrew Neethling for a full UCI World Cup program as well as other key events throughout 2010. His first race with the team will be in Vigo, Spain, at the end of March.

    Neko had an impressive 2009 season. Despite being too young - at 16 years old - to race World Cups, he had the privilege of being the course fore-runner at the Mont-Sainte-Anne and Bromont World Cups, and had some great results throughout the year in east coast racing culminating in a win at the US Pro Gravity Tour finals. At Crankworx, his fifth in the Canadian Open Downhill, only a few seconds behind established World Cup top 10 pros, turned some heads. He also finished fourth in the dual slalom at Crankworx.

    "I'm so excited to get my first full pro tour of the World Cup circuit confirmed, to be racing at the level I have always dreamed of, and to have such a professional team supporting me," said Mulally, who is transferring from Specialized Team America. "I'm stoked on the bikes and equipment and technology.

    "I can't wait to learn as much as I can from my teammates. Like any junior in my position, I will be hoping to do well in the junior World Cup standings, and win a medal for the US at the World Championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne on a course I like. I can't wait for the season to start!"

    Mulally began mountain biking at age 13 after a BMX career that he started when he was five-years-old.

    "Adding Neko to our team makes perfect sense. He has the right attitude, is a committed athlete who takes his training very seriously, and has a head that is far wiser than his years," said Team Director Martin Whiteley. "He will fit in perfectly and we are confident we can support him in reaching his goals. Next year we will have seven riders in total, with our...