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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Monday, February 18, 2013

Date published:
February 18, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Santa Fe Brewing - Pivot team announces 2013 team

    Karen Jarchow
    Article published:
    February 13, 2013, 21:05 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Franklin, Jarchow and Thompson aim for results and fun times

    The Santa Fe Brewing - Pivot Professional Mountain Bike Team announced its roster for 2013, including 2012 singlespeed stage race world champion Macky Franklin, Karen Jarchow and Steve Thompson. The domestic, US-based team will focus on cross country and enduro racing.

    "I'm stoked to race with Steve and Karen," said Cyclingnews blogger Franklin. "I'm also stoked to be representing brands that are doing great things to promote the sport."

    Franklin placed fourth at the Downieville Classic, third at super D nationals and second at singlespeed worlds in 2012, and he won the Mountain States Cup series overall title. He's looking to build on these successes in 2013 with appearances at the US Pro XCT series, Big Mountain Enduro series, Colorado Freeride Festival and Downieville among other races.

    Jarchow will focus on racing cross country, but will participate in some enduros, too. Look for her at US Pro XCTs, Teva Mountain Games, Breck Epic and the Big Mountain Enduro series. 2013 will be her fourth year riding mountain bikes. In her first season, she went from beginner to expert in her local series, earning her the "anti-sandbagger award." She's since gone on to win even more prestigious titles and placed second in the 2012 Rocky Mountain Endurance Series. She is the current women's record holder for fastest lap at the 12 Hours of Snowmass.

    Thompson will focus on enduro races in the Rocky Mountain region as well as some marathons. He will be splitting his time between racing, managing the team and competing in motocross.

    The team will race Pivot Bikes: the Les for Cross Country and the Mach 5.7 Carbon for enduro.

    The Santa Fe Brewing-Pivot team is serious about results, but is also just as serious about having fun and promoting the sport.

    "Racing is a great way to meet people and share my passion for bikes," said Franklin. "I want to build this community and get people excited about racing bikes....

  • Brosnan returns to racing at nationals

    Troy Brosnan races to second place
    Article published:
    February 14, 2013, 4:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian recovered from back-to-back injuries

    Two time junior downhill world champion Troy Brosnan will make his return to racing at the 2013 Australian Mountain Bike National Championships at Mount Stromlo, Canberra on February 20-24.

    Brosnan's return comes after an injury-plagued 2012 season in which the West Australian suffered life threatening injuries after crashing heavily racing in Leogang, Austria in May.

    "I knew I could have died, I only just got to the hospital in time because I was losing so much blood from my spleen," said Brosnan, who suffered a dislocated shoulder and ruptured spleen in the crash.

    Brosnan underwent three months of rehabilitation before he was allowed back onto a downhill bike, making his return in September at the UCI Downhill World Championships also in Leogang, in what would also be his elite world championships debut.

    Returning to the same track which almost cost Brosnan his life, the 19-year-old's world championship dream was shattered when he crashed on the second corner of his race run, once again dislocating his shoulder.

    "I had felt pretty fit going into the world championships. I felt confident I could have won a medal," Brosnan lamented.

    "But all of that was taken away from me in the second corner of the race, I couldn't even get a first split to see how fast I was going, and that hurts a fair bit."

    The three-time national champion admits that his second injury came at a greater toll than his life threatening one just four months earlier.

    "At the time of my first injury, I was more worried about my spleen and only did a little bit of rehab on my shoulder," he said.

    "After my last accident, I had surgery on my shoulder and that took a lot of time to heal and to progress up to where I was previously in terms of strength. I felt like I could ride a bike, but I wasn't...

  • Byberg aims for balance between racing and school

    Lene Byberg (Nor Bicycles)
    Article published:
    February 14, 2013, 17:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norwegian motivated by 2014 Worlds to be held at home

    The last few seasons have been challenging for Lene Byberg. Injuries and illnesses have kept her from achieving top results in the cross country World Cup. So for 2013, Byberg will be aiming to balance both bike racing and school.

    "I have had some time where it has been hard to stay motivated when the results are not there, and my lifestyle situation has been changing some," said Byberg. "This year, I will combine my cycling with full time studies."

    That doesn't mean Byberg is stepping away from elite racing. "I have a really strong motivation to get back to the highest level of World Cup cross country racing, especially thinking of the world champs to be held in Norway in 2014." The UCI recently awarded the 2014 Worlds to Byberg's home nation of Norway.

    The petite blond racer has signed with Nor Bicycles for 2013.

    "Byberg is a merited cyclist who has competed in two Olympics, has several previous national championships in road and MTB categories and has a World Cup victory to her name," said CEO Ken Meland at Sandnes Sykkelfabrikk AS. "Lene is one of our biggest profile racers in the mountain bike scene and has tons of experience which we can benefit from in our product development."

    "Lene lives just 2km from our factory and almost daily, we can spot her on her bike going to her favourite riding spot, the forest next to our building," said Meland.

    Nor Bicycles lets customers design their bikes online based on component and color preferences and seven body measurements.

    "I think it is exciting to work with Nor Bicycles and the people working there," said Byberg. "It is a small company, with passionate employees. I think that the concept Nor Bicycles have developed is the future for bicycle production. Having the assembly factory and painting facility just next to my house is also very special."

    Byberg is...

  • Racers migrate to the desert for Old Pueblo

    24-Hour Town hosts up to 3,500 racers and spectators for the weekend of the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo race
    Article published:
    February 14, 2013, 21:50 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Popular 24-hour race draws 1,800 riders

    Mountain bikers from around the world are arriving in Tucson, Arizona for the 14th Annual 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, set to begin at noon, on Saturday, February 16, at Willow Springs Ranch.

    Welcoming 1,800 participants to "24 Hour Town" - a round-the-clock, temporary city of mountain bikers - the 2013 event filled in record time. Registration closed a full two months ahead of the event, earlier than ever before. Racers will enjoy a 16.1-mile fast and flowing course in the Sonoran Desert. Weather conditions are expected to be optimal, especially during a time of year where most of the US is still blanketed by snowfall.

    Tinker Juarez will return to the solo class for the first time since 2009 while his Cannondale/Sho-Air teammate Pua Mata will ride on an Arizona High School Mountain Bike League team of teenage girls. Defending co-ed duo champions Rebecca Rusch and Nat Ross, local professional talents TJ and Chloe Woodruff and the president of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Mike Van Abel are among those attending, and the Stan's NoTubes Elite Women's Team will also be back to defend its team title.

    For the seventh consecutive year, the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is the largest 24 hour mountain bike event in the US. But the event itself is just one facet of what Epic Rides President Todd Sadow describes as "the mountain biker's Burning Man"; with 24 Hour Town suddenly emerging from the desert with tents, campers and RVs, forming a temporary city of more than 4,000 spectators and participants.

    The 2013 edition of the race is dedicated to the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).

  • New direction for husband and wife Horgan-Kobelski and Irmiger

    Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) races back to a fourth place finish after a slow start.
    Article published:
    February 15, 2013, 4:04 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    American cross country duo trades skinsuits for singletrack

    Former US cross country national champions and long-time Trek mountain bike athletes Heather Irmiger and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski will apply their talent and experience to enduro racing in 2013 and beyond. After a multi-decade career of cross country-focused racing during which the American pair took many titles, the duo will return to their riding roots to compete in the sport's fastest-growing race discipline.

    The husband and wife pairing will represent Trek Factory Racing in an enduro-focused schedule. For the 2013 season, they will load their bikes into a 25-foot Airstream Safari and set out with their two canine companions for adventure at stops in the Big Mountain Enduro Series, North American Enduro Tour, and select Enduro World Series events.

    Racing will take them from Whistler, British Columbia, to Val D'Isere France, to the Trestle Enduro held at Winter Park, Colorado, which holds particular importance to Irmiger.

    "The Fraser Valley of Winter Park is where my family chose to go for mountain bike trips when I was a kid. Watching the Trestle Bike Park develop and grow into a top notch cycling destination has been very special - I can't wait to return and see what great features this season's race will bring."

    Irmiger, the 2011 Pan American Games gold medalist, 2009 US National Champion and 2009 Singlespeed World Champion, said the new direction comes from wanting to get back to what got her into mountain biking in the first place:

    "From the first day I ever rode a mountain bike, the biggest appeal was challenging myself to be the best in the natural setting and terrain of the forest and mountains," she said. "I loved testing myself around tight corners, through rushing streams, over awkward roots and rocks or seeing how far I could push myself up a high alpine climb."

    ...
  • Ride Sun Valley mountain bike festival adds enduro race

    A mountain biker flies down smooth, fast singletrack in Sun Valley, Idaho
    Article published:
    February 16, 2013, 19:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two-day pro competition added to week-long event

    The third annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival will return to Sun Valley, Idaho on June 29 - July 6, 2013 with a new super enduro highlighting eight days of races and events.

    With a $5,000 purse, Sun Valley Shimano Super Enduro will offer four different downhill stages and one bike park stage for riders to test their skill and ability to keep the throttle wide open.

    "This style of racing suits Sun Valley perfectly and with over 11,000 vertical feet of descending over two days. Riders are definitely going to feel as though they got their money's worth. The trails are fast and flowy and more about speed and flow than sheer technical skill which makes it possible for all levels of riders to compete and have a blast," said event director Greg Randolph.

    Recently named as an IMBA Epic Ride Center, Sun Valley hosted the US Cross Country Mountain Bike National Championships in 2011 and 2012. In addition, Ride Sun Valley will play host to the US Marathon National Championship in 2013 and 2014.

    For more information, visit ridesunvalleysuperenduro.athlete360.com or www.ridesunvalley.com.

    2013 Ride Sun Valley
    June 29-30: Super Enduro
    July 1-2: Bike Demo and Expo
    July 3: Ketchum Criterium (road and team relay categories)
    July 5-6: MASSV Music Festival www.massvmusicfest.com
    July 6: US Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships
    July 6: Bald Juan Cross Country

  • Saalfelden Leogang welcomes four cross worlds and downhill World Cup

    Four cross racers in Leogang
    Article published:
    February 17, 2013, 18:20 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Austrian venue builds on success of 2012 mountain bike Worlds

    Elite racing is returning to Austria's Saalfelden Leogang, which will be hosting the final 2013 UCI Downhill World Cup stop and the UCI Four Cross World Championships from September 19 to 23.

    Last year's UCI Mountain Bike World Championships entertained the masses with more than 43,000 visitors, 750 riders and over 350 journalists from all over the world. Each of the five mountain bike disciplines crowned their world champions after thrilling competitions. Cross country, trials and the debut of cross country eliminator were all hosted in Saalfelden, while downhill and four cross contests took place at the Bikepark Leogang. Organizers said the event was a success and noted that the 2012 Worlds were completed with balanced books.

    The UCI decided to double up on holding the 2013 downhill World Cup final in Saalfelden Leogang as well as the four cross world championships in part due to the success of the 2012 events.

    Last year's downhill world champions Greg Minnaar and Morgane Charre will have to fight off the world's elite to remain the fastest in Leogang. Rivals such as Aaron Gwin, Steve Smith, Sam Hill, the Atherton siblings and the Austrian riders like Markus Pekoll and Petra Bernhard already know the Bikepark's downhill track like the back of their hand and will give everything in the battle for the World Cup title.

    The decision to move the four cross Worlds from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa to Saalfelden Leogang was only announced in February 2013. It means that for the first time ever, a four cross world championship will not be arranged within a UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championship, but as a separate UCI Four Cross World Championship event.

    The UCI's MTB coordinator Peter van den Abeele said, "There is appropriate enthusiasm in Saalfelden Leogang about hosting the four cross world championships. This event could...

  • Albstadt mountain bike World Cup course construction underway

    Purpose-built banked turns have been added, especially to the new downhill section, in Albstadt, Germany for the 2013 World Cup opener
    Article published:
    February 18, 2013, 18:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cross country World Cup to return to Germany

    Course construction is progressing well for the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, which will open in Albstadt, Germany on May 17-19th. It will be the first time Albstadt has hosted a World Cup, although the venue has previously hosted German national series events.

    Preparations for the season opener are in full swing, especially for the course, for which Holger Blum is responsible.

    Blum has been working all out to create the new World Cup course since organizers did not find out from the UCI until the late fall of 2012 that they would be hosting a World Cup round. Work began on the course before Christmas, despite the winter weather.

    An additional uphill and downhill section have been added to the German national series course. Another new loop features a rock garden designed by Mark Ringle, and the infamous Bull Climb. A portion of the course, previously leading to the high point, has been eliminated.

    "The technical sections should be challenging, but they won't be too extreme," said Blum, who also owns a bike park in Tailfingen City and is the 2006 German senior downhill champion. "There are some jumps, but have not exaggerated them. We wanted the course to have a nice flow, that's the most important criterion."

    To create more flow, Blum added a few small banked turns on the new downhill section.

    What's next is to pack the soil so that the course will hold up well in any weather. "It's not that simple on the clay soil of the Swabian Alb," said Blum, "but we'll get through this."

    A 3D profile of the course can be viewed at www.albstadt-mtb-classic.de. The exact distance, altitude, and GPS data of the course will be available as soon as the work is completed.

    The UCI World Cup was last held in Offenburg, Germany in 2011. Germany did not host...