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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Monday, December 20, 2010

Date published:
December 20, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Ingkerreke Mountain Bike Enduro returns for another year

    Jodie Willett crosses the last river in Stage 7
    Article published:
    December 15, 2010, 21:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Alice Springs stage race set for May 2011

    The Ingkerreke Mountain Bike (MTB) Enduro is returning to Alice Springs again next year from May 16 to 20, 2011. The race, previously known as the Red Centre Enduro, will run again under the Ingkerreke name thanks to a new, two-year sponsorship deal. The race will cover seven stages over five days.

    "Ingkerreke is excited about being involved with what has become an iconic event in Alice Springs that brings positive national press coverage for our town and our community," said Scott McConnell from Ingkerreke Commercial of the event in the Northern Territory of Australia.

    Rapid Ascent has organised and managed the event in Alice Springs since 2008. The event is held annually with a consistent increase in participants from interstate and overseas by elite and recreational mountain bike riders.

    "The Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro captures the spirit of mountain biking in the heart of Australia," said General Manager of Rapid Ascent Sam Maffett.

    The 2010 event was won by Jodie Willett and Jason English.

  • UCI announces elite mountain bike teams for 2011

    Jose Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spain) descending through sharp rocks with one lap to go.
    Article published:
    December 16, 2010, 10:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Fifteen teams each in UCI Elite Mountain Bike Team category

    The International Cycling Union announced the 30 teams which will be ranked as "UCI Elite Mountain Bike Team" for the first time. There are 15 cross country teams and 15 gravity teams.

    The new ranking for the highest-tier of UCI-registered mountain bike teams was based on the teams' ranking as of September 27.

    Members of the new ranking will have free entry at all UCI MTB World Cup races and UCI Mountain Bike International Calendar events. They are required to enter at least one rider in each 2011 World Cup race and to display the UCI Elite Mountain Bike Team logo on their race kit and team cars.

    The top team in the cross country, or endurance, section is US-based Specialized Factory Racing Team. There are five German teams, three from the US, and two from Spain.

    In the gravity category, the top team is Swiss-based Scott II. This group features Four US-based teams, three Austrian, and two each Swiss, French and British.

    UCI Elite Endurance Mountain Bike Teams
    • Specialized Factory Racing Team (USA)
    • Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team (Swi)
    • Subaru-Trek (USA)
    • Multivan Merida Biking Team (Ger)
    • Orbea Racing Team (Spa)
    • Trek World Racing (Spa)
    • Team Colnago (Ita)
    • Luna Pro Team (USA)
    • Central Pro Team (Ger)
    • Cannondale Factory Racing (Ger)
    • Topeak Ergon Racing Team (Ger)
    • BH SR Suntour (Fra)
    • Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team (Ned)
    • Rubena – Birell – Specialized Cycling Team (Cze)
    • Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team (Ger)

    UCI Elite Gravity Mountain Bike Teams
    • Scott 11 (Swi)
    • Commencal (GBr)
    • Yeti Cycles Races Team (USA)
    • Suspension...

  • Rudi van Houts tests positive for Clenbuterol

    Rudi Van Houts (Multivan Merida) on the North shore ladder section.
    Article published:
    December 16, 2010, 14:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch MTBer of the year claims results came from contaminated Mexican meat

    Dutch mountain biker of the year Rudi van Houts has tested positive for Clenbuterol. He returned the positive doping control immediately after returning from a trip to Mexico in late October.

    “I know I am innocent,” he said in a press release issued Thursday. “In Mexico, we ate a lot of meat, it is possible the Clenbuterol was in this food. Otherwise I wouldn't know how the Clenbuterol came into my body.

    “I'm going to do everything I can to prove I am innocent,” he said. Van Houts has already given a sample for a hair analysis test.

    The Dutchman is looking to other athletes who have recently tested positive for the same substance, including Alberto Contador. He cited German table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov, who was found innocent.

    A more similar case is that of Italian cyclist Alessandro Colo, who tested positive for Clenbuterol at the Tour of Mexico in April. The ISD-Neri rider was given a reduced one-year ban after his defence offered official data showing that 18 percent of all meat in Mexico is treated with Clenbuterol.

    “I hold on to these cases. I am not quitting,” van Houts said. “If you know you didn't take the Clenbuterol, you have enough reasons to prove you are innocent.”

    The 26-year-old rides for Multivan Merida Biking Team He won the Dutch cross country national title this year and was the highest-ranking Dutch rider in the UCI World Cup rankings for 2010, as 20th.

  • UCI releases its new mountain bike race regulations

    Racers tangle on the four cross course.
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 18:58 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Big changes set for marathon and four cross disciplines

    Rules governing mountain bike racing are set to become clearer next year after the International Cycling Union (UCI) released its new regulations for the sport this week. The disciplines of marathon and four cross are set to face the biggest changes when the new rules come into effect from January 1, 2011.

    The revision comes after the UCI conducted a survey of athletes, spectators and the media in September asking them what changes those groups would like to see across the sport.

    The biggest changes include the introduction of the new UCI Mountain Bike Marathon Series and card-based penalty system for four cross, similar to that used in soccer. The new regulations also include the introduction of the UCI Elite Mountain Bike Team label for professional endurance and gravity teams, as well as clarification of the criteria for riders' eligibility for World Cup rounds.

    Riders in the endurance sector of the sport are likely to be pleased by the changes. The new regulations overhaul the current points system for both cross country and marathon events. The latter has been given significant attention with the UCI to introduce its UCI Mountain Bike Marathon Series. The series will be made up of existing marathon events and will simplify the process of qualification for the marathon world championships.

    Professional and elite racers will benefit most from the new format, with an automatic entry system allowing them to qualify for the marathon worlds with less impact upon their participation in more lucrative cross country events. Riders who finish in the top-20 at an event included in the new marathon series will automatically qualify for the world championships, with those finishing in the top-50 of series' overall ranking also eligible for the world title race.

    The UCI has also clarified the criteria for World Cup rounds. Riders with a minimum of 20 UCI points in both the cross country and downhill disciplines will be eligible,...

  • Austrian mountain biker suspended for eight years

    An example of the trails
    Article published:
    December 19, 2010, 11:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    NADA says Kircher also distributed products

    Mountain biker Robert Kircher has been suspended for eight years for doping by the Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).  It is the longest ban that the NADA has ever handed out.

    The NADA ruled that Kircher ordered and received forbidden products in March 2009.  This violation carries a two-year ban. 

    In addition, he was given a further ban for distributing the products to others, although he denied having used the products himself. Because of the many violations, the NADA said that the minimum four-year ban was insufficient, and handed down a suspension of eight years. Kircher, 33, has said that he plans to appeal the ban in civil court. 

  • Enduro challenge to be held in memory of James Williamson

    2008 Solo 24-hour World Champion James Williamson leads 2009 Solo 24-hour World Champion Jason English into the start pen.
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 2:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Race set for one year after endurance pro's death

    The inaugural James Williamson Enduro Challenge will be held on March 13, 2011, in memory of James Williamson, the 2008 World and 2006 Australian 24-Hour solo mountain bike champion. Williamson passed away on March 23, 2010, while he was participating in the Cape Epic Mountain Bike Race in South Africa.

    The James Williamson Enduro Challenge, in the Wingello State Forest, Southern Highlands NSW, is a joint initiative between the Southern Highlands Cycling Club and Canberra Off-Road Cyclists and is intended to be a ride for those who love mountain biking, and a race for those who love to ride hard.

    Categories will include Open Male & Female (75km, 50km & 25km), Under 19 (50km & 25km), Under 17 (25km & 13km) and Under 15 (13km).

    Proceeds from this race will be used to finance a range of activities in support of developing young mountain bike riders in New South Wales and the ACT including an annual training camp, assistance packages and other forms of support to be determined by the administrators of the James Williamson Fund.

    Entries will be limited to 600 riders, and registrations will cease after this number is reached. For more information, contact Meg Patey at or visit

  • Vastaranta wins Finnish Cyclist of the Year honor

    Jukka Vastaranta (Milka-Trek MTB Racing Team) is the 2010 Finnish Cyclist of the Year
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 14:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Mountain bike national champion honored

    Jukka Vastaranta has won the honor of 2010 Finnish Cyclist of the Year. Each year, the winner is chosen by readers of the only Finnish cycling magazine, Fillari.

    Vastaranta collected 40.8 per cent of all the votes, three times more than Jussi Veikkanen, a French racer for Francais des Jeux. Third place went to ex-road pro Kimmo Kananen, who is currently racing in Finland.

    "I have gotten some bigger results than I did this year, but it was my first time becoming the Finnish Cyclist of the Year," said Vastaranta. "I think that the reason that gave me the most of the votes was that my season was quite colourful."

    "I started on the road. It didn't go well, and in June I changed to mountain biking and won many races and was fourth in European Championship marathon," he said. "I won the Finnish cross country and marathon championships and signed with Trek-Brentjens Mountain Bike Racing Team powered by Milka, which made me the only Finnish male pro mountain biker."

    "I have a lot of appreciation for this title of Cyclist of the Year. I think it is even better than being Finnish Champion. To become Finnish Champion, you just have to ride hard, but to be Finnish Cyclist of the Year, you have to be a world class rider."

  • Gwin teams up with mountain bike legend Tomac

    US National Champion Aaron Gwin (Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team)
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 15:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    American targets Worlds, World Cup podium

    Trek World Racing's Aaron Gwin has teamed up with mountain bike legend John Tomac for some guidance for the 2011 downhill World Cup season.

    Tomac's resume and reputation speak for itself, so when it came time to making the decision on who and what could make Gwin's program better, Johnny T. was an obvious candidate.

    Already well into the training program under Tomac's guidance, US National Champion Gwin had this to say about his new trainer. "I'm super excited to be working with Johnny T. this year. I think the experience he brings with racing and training, is going to be a huge asset to my program. I couldn't be happier and I look forward to developing this relationship for many years to come!"

    "I believe my racing experience and my training approach will help him rise to another level," said Tomac. "I'd really like to see an American back on top of the podium in both World Cup and world championship downhill racing"

    Gwin recently signed with Trek World Racing after a season in which he finished fourth at the Worlds and in the World Cup series. He has been riding for the Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team.

    Tomac won a cross country world championship in 1991 and is a 10-time US National Champion. He raced BMX, road, downhill and cross country over a successful career that stretched more than 20 years.