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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Monday, November 21, 2011

Date published:
November 21, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Residents want mountain bike course open post-Olympics

    Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) on one of the rocky descents of the 2012 Olympic mountain bike course.
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 20:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Essex locals aim to open up Hadleigh Park venue

    The 2012 London Olympic Games mountain bike course may stay open to the public in Hadleigh Castle Country Park in Essex if local residents have their way. In a recent survey by the Essex County Council, nine of 10 residents think cycling is important for planned post-Olympic park development according to The Enquirer.

    More than 60 percent of respondents all ready walk and ride at the venue. The survey included residents who live near the course and spectators who attended the Olympic Test Event at the end of July.

    "As we had hoped, the people of Essex are keen to maintain the mountain bike course and open the venue up to the wider pubic for a number of different uses. We are committed to making the most of the opportunity of hosting the London 2012 mountain bike events to create a legacy for not just Hadleigh but for Essex," said Councillor Stephen Castle, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and the 2012 Games to The Enquirer.

    A series of workshops, open to interested residents, will study in further detail the priorities for the site after the Olympic Games. A proposal is expected to be finalized next spring.

    The London Olympic Games will happen in August, 2012.

  • Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro wins award

    A rider in the award-winning MTB Enduro.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 3:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Coveted Brogla Tourism gong goes to Aussie event

    The Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro was recognized with a Brogla Award this weekend by the Northern Territory's Tourism Minister, Malarndirri McCarthy.

    "The winners of the Brolga Awards, now in their 25th year, are truly worthy of this year's theme of Celebrating Tourism Excellence," said McCarthy, who congratulated all winners saying that the high standards they had attained were a credit to the [tourism] industry.

    The event's promoter, Rapid Ascent, won its Brolga Award in the "Festivals and Events" category for its five-day Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro stage race, which attracts mountain bike riders both elite and recreational to travel to Alice Springs for a seven-stage, five-day race along the town's singletrack.

    In winning the Brolga, Rapid Ascent's event was judged to be the Territory's best hallmark festival or event, one that had "created substantial economic impact, attracted visitors from interstate and/or overseas, generated national or international media profile, and had positively promoted the destination".

    "We are honoured to be awarded a Brolga and pleased that adventure events - ours and others in general - are starting to receive recognition for the important and growing role they play in generating tourism and exposure for destinations such as the Northern Territory and Alice Springs" said Rapid Ascent Event Manager Sam Maffett.

    "We're strong believers that not only do adventure events like a mountain bike enduro lure visitors from interstate and overseas, but it also showcases the iconic landscapes to national and international audiences. That then raises the profile of the destination in general even among audiences that may not be into the particular adventure activity."

    The Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro in its current form has been run in Alice Springs for four years, attracting 250 riders annually....

  • Canada's largest 24-hour mountain bike race to celebrate 15 years

    Racers cross a bridge
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 19:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Chico Racing cancels its other 24-hour race

    The 24 Hours of Summer Solstice will celebrate its 15th annual running on June 23-24 at the Albion Hills Conservation Area. Albion Hills is located just 45 minutes north of Toronto, Ontario. Chico Racing, the organizers of the event, also announced the end of its Hot August Nights 24-hour race.

    The 2012 24 hours of Summer Solstice weekend will be part of a two-day mountain bike festival with live music, trials demonstrations, kids' races and camping.

    Course Designer Sean Ruppel of Chico Racing, talked about the 2012 course. "We have continued to improve the singletrack at Albion Hills over the fall of 2011. Many trails have had eroded sections eradicated - and replaced with more sustainable trail designs. The flow and fun factor has never been better."

    For those riders that are familiar with the area, they can expect trail extensions and improvements to Handle with Care, and Sugar Shack Shuffle.

    The three and four-person "No-Night" category, introduced in 2010, has gained in popularity over the last two seasons. Teams will ride during the day on Saturday, and by dusk their lap total and time will freeze until dawn on Sunday - at which time they can head out for the remainder of the event. Chico Racing also offers categories from solo to 10-person teams.

    The 24 Hours of Summer Solstice has sold out eight of the past nine years, with up to 2,100 participants. Registration will open on January 2, 2012.

    For more information visit

  • US Grand Prix of Mountain Biking announced

    Jill Kintner (Transitions) on her way to winning US Pro GRT #3.
    Article published:
    November 16, 2011, 16:34 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Dean plans new national-level race series for US

    The US is getting a new mountain bike national series in 2012. Dean Racing Development announced officially the US Grand Prix of Mountain Biking (MTB GP) on Monday. Initially the series will focus on downhill and super D disciplines although cross country events and gated racing will be added in the future.

    Dylan Dean, the man behind Dean Racing Development, used to coordinate the USA Cycling US Pro Gravity Tour (US Pro GRT), but he has stepped out of that role following this 2011 series and into coordinating his own national-level series for 2012.

    Open to athletes worldwide, the MTB GP has been created to bring consistency and growth of the sport of mountain bike racing in a competitive and fan-friendly atmosphere according to an official statement. The MTB GP will consist of top-tier events, in cooperation with key regional and independent races across the nation. The overall goal of the new series is to bring the mountain bike race community together as a whole.

    "The Grand Prix of MTB is the next step in the evolution of US mountain bike racing. I've spent the majority of my life racing, working in all aspects of the cycling industry, and now as a team owner and race promoter. I have seen our sport at its peak, and at its rock bottom," said Dean. "There is an outcry for the need of a proper US national series to finally be implemented. With the support of the industry and athletes alike, we can finally take it upon ourselves to guide the evolution of our sport. This is a dream come true!"

    Dean told Cyclingnews that a MTB GP schedule will be announced by no later than sometime in December. "The schedule depends on the big resorts. For example, resorts like Tahoe and Mammoth are keen on being part of the tour, but because they are geared up for snow season, it can take awhile to get the final word," said Dean. "Right now about half the schedule is done. There are about three or four more open weekends, and...

  • 2012 South African marathon national series announced

    Cape Winelands, site of the MTN Gravel Travel
    Article published:
    November 16, 2011, 23:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Eight rounds feature including a race in the UCI Marathon Series

    The 2012 MTN South African Marathon National Series was announced on Wednesday. It will include eight events, kicking off in late January and running through mid-October.

    Barberton and Tulbagh will host the first two rounds on January 28 and February 18 respectively. The third round in Sabie, on February 25-26, will double as the first 2012 event of the UCI Marathon World Series.

    Wessel van der Walt, race director of the MTN series, announced that from next year the Sabie Event will be a UCI-sanctioned event where international ranking points will be on offer.

    "The decision makers of the UCI have decided to put on a World Marathon series. It will be organized on the same principles as the UCI World Cup cross Country and downhill series.

    According to Van der Walt there is an excellent chance that riders such as German Karl Platt (Team Bulls), Swiss star and marathon world champion Christoph Sauser (Specialized) and Burry Stander (Specialized) will be racing in Sabie.

    "The MTN Sabie race will be perfect preparation for the Absa Cape Epic which starts four weeks later.

    "I find it exciting that our young riders will have an opportunity to race against some of the world's top riders. It will be a reality check for many of them and they will find out what they need to improve if they really want to be internationally competitive."

    Round four will take racers to Clarens on May 5-6. The Attakwas event will not be included in the series, but the Mabalingwe event on May 12 will be incorporated as round five.

    "We would have loved to keep the Attakwas race because it is a well-organized and exciting event, but the problem is that we have no alternative to offer to the riders who do not want to race such a long distance. Logistically it is not possible to put a marathon on at the same time," Van der Walt said.

    "We have decided on Mabalingwe because, although the MTN series is a national series, there...

  • South African Strauss to compete for Mars Hill

    Mariske Strauss on her way to winning the Under 23 title
    Article published:
    November 19, 2011, 17:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cross country national champ will race several disciplines

    Mars Hill College near Asheville, North Carolina, picked up some extra firepower for the 2012 collegiate season. South African under 23 cross country champion Mariske Strausse, 19, will join the school's team in January according to the team's website.

    Strauss has logged top 10 finishes in the UCI World Cup and finished 18th in the under 23 race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. She also has experience racing in the women's professional road peloton.

    She has been a national champion of some sort for each of the past 10 years and is looking earn some collegiate titles as she pursues a dream of being selected to South Africa's 2012 Olympic team

    Strauss will race road, mountain bike and 'cross and she will also dive into some track racing.

    "I always put my wheel on the start line with winning in mind. I don't come to races to finish second," she said according to the Mars Hill College Cycling website.

  • Van Houts and Turpijn named Dutch mountain bikers of the year

    The five winners of the 2011 Dutch mountain bikers of the year
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 20:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Beerten honored as top gravity racer

    Dutch mountain bikers of the year were honored at the National Bike Museum Velorama in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, this weekend. The awards, given by Wielerland Magazine and as an initiative of the Club van 5, covered five categories.

    Rudi van Houts was honored as Dutch mountain biker of the year. He finished fifth at the European Championships and also was nominated for the 2012 Olympic Games. He is the current Dutch national champion.

    Laura Turpijn took top honors as the female mountain biker of the year. The 33-year-old is the Dutch national champion, the champion of Benelux and the top-ranked Dutchwoman according to the UCI.

    Anne Terpstra and Henk Jaap Moorlag were recognized as top Mountain Bike Talent of the year. Terpstra finished fifth at the under 23 cross country world championship while Moorlag was second at the under 23 cross country European championships and third at Worlds.

    Anneke Beerten received the Best Gravity Mountain Biker Award. She won the UCI World Cup for the fourth time and earned her first four cross world championship title.

    The Club van 5, which was involved in the awards includes Leo van Zeeland, Lieske Liebregts, Marcia Jansen and Marcel Slagman.

  • US cross country mountain bike nationals head east in 2013

    Georgia Gould (Luna) celebrates victory in the US cross country national championship race in her former hometown of Ketchum, Idaho
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 22:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sun Valley will host marathon nationals

    The US cross country mountain bike nationals will head east for the first time since they were held in Mount Snow, Vermont, in 2008. The 2013 and 2014 USA Cycling Cross Country Mountain Bike National Championships will be held in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. Sun Valley, Idaho, the 2011-2012 host of cross country nationals will instead host the USA Cycling Marathon National Championships in 2013-2014.

    "We're excited to get ahead of these events," USAC Managing Director of National Events Micah Rice said. "To be able to announce some our national championship events this far in advance creates great opportunities for our partner cities as well as the riders to plan ahead."

    The Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, received strong support from Discover Lehigh Valley Sports. It will be the first time this national championship event will be held in the mid-Atlantic region. Additionally, it is located 10 miles from cycling hotbed Trexlertown and approximately an hour away from Philadelphia.

    "Bear Creek is excited to showcase our resort and challenge the best riders in the country on our demanding and technical trails." Bear Creek Mountain Resort Events Manager Gary Klein, who will be the event's Race Director.

    Sun Valley, Idaho, has proven to be a huge hit as a destination after its first year of hosting cross country nationals. The vast network of trails and the atmosphere associated with the Ride Sun Valley Festival make it an ideal host of the marathon nationals.