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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Monday, January 28, 2013

Date published:
January 28, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Stan's NoTubes Women's Elite Team strengthens roster for 2013

    Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) smiles, knowing she is done with the hardest section of the course.
    Article published:
    January 22, 2013, 19:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    Carey and Dyck join team

    The Stan's NoTubes Women's Elite team announced new additions to its roster for the 2013 season, including Amanda Carey and Mical Dyck.

    Carey and Dyck will join returning team members include Nina Baum, Vicki Barclay, Shannon Gibson, U23 rider Kaila Hart, Susan Haywood, Sarah Kaufmann, Kathy Sherwin and Jenny Smith.

    "With our new additions Amanda Carey and Mical Dyck we add some serious wattage to the team engine," said Team Manager Shannon Gibson. "Amanda and Mical both bring incredible talent and proven success to the squad."

    Endurance top performers Carey and Barclay will refocus their race season on shorter distances and stage races. Carey, who has dominated the endurance mountain bike scene over the past three years and was the NUE overall champion in 2010 and 2011, will compete to defend her Breck Epic win.

    Barclay, who was sidelined by a training crash in 2012, is gearing up for a return to her hometown stage race, the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic.

    Both Gibson and Dyck are coming off impressive cyclo-cross seasons. Gibson is the defending Masters World Champion and now 2013 Masters Women 45-49 US National Champion and Dyck is the current Canadian Cyclo-cross National Champion and will be competing at the elite world championships as part of the Canadian National Team.

    Dyck is also hoping to repeat her wins at the TransRockies and Furious3Fernie.

    Once again, the women will make their debut race at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, to defend their 2011 and 2012 wins in the four-person women category. The team's full schedule will include US Pro XCT, World Cup cross country, national and world championship, marathon, National Ultra Endurance (NUE), mountain bike stage race, super D and enduro events.

    2013 Stan's NoTubes Women's Elite Team
    Nina Baum (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
    Vicki Barclay (State College, Pennsylvania)
    Amanda Carey (Victor, Idaho)
    Mical Dyck...

  • Former world champ Vouilloz commits to racing Enduro World Series

    Nicolas Vouilloz in action in the Superenduro
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 15:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Lapierre confirms its participation in new series

    The Lapierre mountain bike team will back several riders, including former 10-time downhill world champion Nicolas Vouilloz, on the enduro racing circuit this season. Vouilloz has committed to race the Enduro World Series in its inaugural season.

    Vouilloz will be joined by some of his fellow downhill specialist teammates, including Sam Blenkinsop, Loic Bruni, Loris Vergier and Emmeline Ragot. The four downhillers will race at least two rounds of the Enduro World Series including the opener in Punta Ala and round three at Crankworx Europe at Les 2 Alpes.

    "The arrival of the new Enduro World Series gives a boost to our discipline! I'm sure everyone is as eager as me to see what this new format will bring," said Vouilloz, who is deeply involved in Lapierre's R&D activities. His schedule will be adapted accordingly to accommodate his enduro races and training sessions.

    "Talking about training, I'll have to take it seriously again!" said Vouilloz. "This is why I will be trained by Laurent Solliet, Loic Bruni's coach, who is now with Team Lapierre International."

    "There is a big buzz around this new project. Just look at the riders who will attend the races: with the pure enduro racers, plus the downhill and cross country riders who will take part in some of the series, the bar will be set very high, and I'm excited by this prospect."

    Vouilloz retired from downhill racing early in the last decade and spent several years on the rally car racing circuit. The four-time World Cup overall champion returned to some downhill and enduro-type mountain bike racing in 2007.

    Nico Vouilloz's 2013 Enduro Program
    May 18-19: Superenduro PRO - Punta Ala, Italy
    June 29-30 : Enduro Series - Val d'Allos, France
    July 6-7: Crankworx Les 2 Alpes - Les 2 Alpes, France
    July 27-28: Colorado Freeride Festival - Winter Park, United States
    August 10-11: Crankworx Whistler - Whistler, Canada

  • South African marathon season gets underway at Barberton

    South African marathon champion, Max Knox (no. 4) and 2012 Attakwas champion, Matthys Beukes (no. 1) lead the front group up a stony ascent.
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 18:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tough competition expected despite absence of Stander and George

    The 2013 South African MTN Marathon National Series will get underway as usual this weekend on Saturday, January 26 at Barberton. Series promoter Tim Fair is expecting dramatic battles throughout the series.

    Two of the races will be UCI sanctioned including MTN Sabie on February 23 and MTN Clarens on May 4.

    Since 2010 Max Knox (Specialized), Kevin Evans and David George (Nedbank360Life) have dominated the series by winning 17 of the 22 races.

    The late Burry Stander (Specialized) achieved two victories (he won both races he entered) and Jacques Rossouw, Karl Platt (Bulls) and Adrien Niyonshuti (MTN-Qhubeka) with one victory each, are the only other riders who were victorious in the MTN series.

    The tragic loss of Stander after he died in a training accident will also have a significant impact on the series. In addition, the series will be without George, who was caught for using EPO and banned.

    South Africa's other Olympian cross country rider Philip Buys (Scott) is planning to do more of the MTN races this season. Buys has not quite made up his mind, but mentioned that MTN Sabie, MTN Hilton, MTN Clarens and the MTN Ride Crater Cruise suit his style of riding. He won once in Hilton and came second in the other three races.

    The youngster Lourens Luus, who has signed to ride for RE:CM this year, could just cause one or two surprises, and so could James Reid, who was second in last year's MTN Ride Crater Cruise.

    Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck (Westvaal-Columbia) will be the other two riders to watch.

    2013 South African marathon series
    January 26: MTN Barberton
    February 23: MTN Sabie
    April 13: MTN Tulbagh
    May 4: MTN Clarens
    May 11: MTN Gravel Travel (Wellington)
    June 15: MTN Rooiberg
    July 28: MTN Hilton
    October 12: MTN Ride Crater Cruise (Parys)

  • McConnell, Henderson and Last join Trek Factory Racing

    Sam Schultz (USA) was pleased with his 15th-place result in London
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 22:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    All-Olympian roster for 2013 team

    Made up entirely of Olympians, the Trek Factory Racing team announced its roster for the 2013 season. Formerly known as the Subaru-Trek team, the elite cross country racing squad has set its sights squarely on lighting up the 2013 UCI Cross Country World Cup.  New signings Dan McConnell, Rebecca Henderson and Annie Last join Sam Schultz, Emily Batty, Russell Finsterwald, Heather Irmiger and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski on the team.

    With riders from four countries across three continents, Trek Factory Racing's global roster represents the new generation of cross country stars who are short on age and long on race results.

    After a USA-best result in London, reigning US Cross Country National Champion Schultz will make the jump to focusing on the World Cup next season. Joining him will be Batty of Canada, whose steady rise to the top of the sport makes her a constant podium threat. Batty drew the admiration of many riders last year when she raced the Olympics despite breaking her collarbone just days beforehand.

    As previously announced, Great Britain's 23-year-old standout cross country star Last will look to build on her seventh place overall from the 2012 World Cup.

    Rounding out the team are Australia's top male and female riders as well as current national champions: two-time Olympian Dan McConnell, and 22-year-old Henderson, who earned multiple podiums in the 2012 U23 World Cup on her way to the London Olympics.

    In his final year as a...

  • Craig switches focus to enduros

    Adam Craig (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)
    Article published:
    January 24, 2013, 18:00 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Time to move on after 10 years of World Cup racing

    After a decade of World Cup mountain bike racing, Adam Craig is looking forward to changing up his game plan for the 2013 season. Craig, who recently moved back onto the Giant Factory Team from the Rabobank-Giant Team, has reset his goals to focus on enduro racing and cyclo-cross rather than the Olympic-style cross country racing that has been the emphasis of his career thus far.

    "I'm trying to have a more holistic approach to racing in the future. Being on the Factory Team gives me more leeway to do the races I want to do," said Craig. "For the next few years on the Factory Team, we'll be focused on enduro racing and cyclo-cross. Those are different things, but I think they will be complimentary."

    "I can train for those and have less fatigue in the summer hopefully. I want to do some different stuff and freshen it up."

    Craig spoke to Cyclingnews after a week at US cyclo-cross nationals in Madison, Wisconsin, where he won the singlespeed national title and finished 16th in the elite men's race.

    "The singlespeed race went well, and I felt good. I was cautiously optimistic going into the elite race." However, elite race day dawned with frigid temperatures that produced challenging conditions.

    "It was humbling," said Craig of the elite race. "I couldn't mentally deal with the frozen rut situation. I had some close calls the first few laps. I was tight and not riding effectively on that stuff. I rode around wishing I could ride around...

  • Elite mountain bikers start season in Spain

    Racers roll out for the start of the Club La Santa mountain bike race.
    Article published:
    January 25, 2013, 17:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Club La Santa tests winter legs over four days

    While many elite international mountain bike racers will focus on the Sunshine Cup in Cyprus to warm up their legs and gain some useful UCI points, a few top international, Spanish and Canarian riders have confirmed their participation in the Four Day Mountain Bike Race that takes place in Lanzarote from January 26-29.

    There are no UCI points, but there are 6450 Euros in prize money to be won, so some riders are using the four-day race to get ready for the upcoming Andalucia Bike Race in February or the Cape Epic in March.

    Among the favorites are Spanish Olympians Carlos Coloma and Sergio Manticon (both Wild Wolf-Trek), multi-time Cape Epic winners Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm (Team Bulls), endurance racer Ismael Ventura (Megamo RC), former British champion and 2010 race winner James Ouchterlony (Mondraker) and 2009 Titan Desert winner Israel Nuñez (Spain). Marathoner Jesus Del Nero Montes (Rotor-Spiuk) and Fran Pérez and Juan Pedro Trujillo (both Wildwolf-Trek) will also be on the line.

    WildWolf-Trek's team manager said his riders are not at 100 percent, but will do their best to raise the level of the competition. For most of its riders, the race is the first competition of the year and a chance to get acquainted with teammates and team staff. WildWolf's riders are doing early preparations for the World Cup, starting in Germany in May.

    2012 Cape Epic winner Sally Bigham will be the woman to beat. The number-one ranked UCI marathoner will battle 11-time Spanish national champion Sandra Santanyes.

    The Four Day Mountain Bike Race, organized by Club La Santa, features four stages including a time trial. Ninety percent of the course is off-road, covering sand, lava fields and singletrack and doubletrack on the north of the island.

    Club La Santa Four Day Mountain Bike Race
    Saturday January 26: Stage 1 - 30km single loop
    Sunday January 27: Stage 2 - 60km single loop

  • 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo dedicates 2013 edition to IMBA

    24-Hour Town hosts up to 3,500 racers and spectators for the weekend of the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo race
    Article published:
    January 27, 2013, 19:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Classic race celebrates 25 years of mountain bike advocacy

    Every year, Epic Rides dedicates the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo mountain bike race to a person in the mountain biking community who's had an unforgettable impact on growing the success of the sport. 2013 is the first year that the race on February 16-17 is dedicated to not just one person, but a group of dedicated people who've guarded and grown the rights of mountain bikers through advocacy and sustainable trail building - the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

    Founded in 1988 by a group of California mountain bikers, IMBA is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great mountain biking experiences. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013, IMBA has contributed to the sport of mountain biking; a young but growing sport that has struggled to gain equal access to lands that equestrians and hikers previously had exclusive access to. Without IMBA, many of the trails mountain bikers ride today would still be off limits.

    "IMBA's staff, board and invited guests are getting stoked to ride the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo," said Mike Van Abel, the IMBA's Executive Director. "It's a privilege for us to work on trail access issues every day, and it's even better when we have the chance to ride with the mountain bike community that we serve."

    For the seventh consecutive year, the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo is the largest 24-hour mountain bike event in the USA. 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.

    Tucson, Arizona is not only home to race organizer Epic Rides and the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, but it is also an internationally recognized outdoor recreation destination thanks to the trails development community consisting of...

  • BMC MTB Racing Team preps for season in Switzerland

    BMC MTB Team: Francois Bailly-Maître (Fra), Jérémy Huguenin (Swi), Julien Taramarcaz (Swi), Lukas Flückiger (Swi), Julien Absalon (Fra), Stephen Ettinger (USA), Ralph Näf (Swi), Martin Fanger (Swi), Moritz Milatz (Ger), Reto Indergand (Swi), Matthias Stirnemann (Swi), Florian Golay (Swi)
    Article published:
    January 28, 2013, 20:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Absalon's new squad gathers for first time in 2013

    The 2013 BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team gathered for a first team training camp in Saillon, Switzerland, last week. Riders and staff prepared the upcoming season during four packed days of training, testing, workshops, photo shoots and info sessions.

    With no fewer than four riders in the top-20 of the UCI mountain bike world ranking, including two-time Olympic and former world champion Julien Absalon, who has made the move from Orbea, the team has high expectations for 2013.

    French national champion Absalon, cross country Worlds silver medallist Lukas Flückiger, eliminator world champion Ralph Näf and European cross country champion Moritz Milatz help make up one of the strongest line ups in mountain biking thus far.

    The team also includes two professional enduro riders, Francois Bailly-Maître and Florian Golay, who will focus on the Enduro World Series.

    "These were very interesting days for all of us. It was to first time we had the whole team together. We worked on the final race calendar with each single rider," said BMC MTB Team Sports Director Alexandre Moos.

    The riders met sponsors and learned about the race-testing program for their sponsors' equipment.

    Steven Jonckheere, Sports Marketing Manager at BMC Switzerland, said, "We have a high-level team of winners together here. From cyclo-cross over cross country to enduro. The presence of so many top riders is a big motivation for both athletes and staff. The riders will learn from each other, train and work together and push each other to a higher level. We can't wait for the race season to begin."

    The official BMC MTB Racing Team presentation will take place on March 7 at the end of a second team camp in Fréjus, France. Until then, the riders will continue their individual training programs in the South of France, the Canary Island or...