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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Monday, November 26, 2012

Date published:
November 26, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • TransAlp dates set for 2013

    A singletrack section of TransAlp stage 4
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 2:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    New presenting sponsor backs 16th edition

    Organizers have set the TransAlp mountain bike stage race dates for 2013 and announced a new presenting sponsor. The 16th edition of the race will take place from July 13 to July 20.

    Each summer, the race crosses the Alps over 600km, with approximately 21,000m of climbing en route, and ends in Italy. Teams of two contest the eight-day event.

    Sigma Sport has signed up as presenting sponsor of the race.

    "We are more than happy to welcome Sigma Sport on board... Besides the race itself, also every single participant will benefit from the new cooperation over the course of the eight-day event next July," said Mathias Ley, CEO of the Hamburg-based organising event company Ley Events GmbH.

    "We are proud to support the possibly best known mountain bike stage race of the world and to be even closer connected to the TransAlp than we were previously," said Robin Schendel, CEO Marketing of Sigma Sport.

    The 2012 edition of the race was won by Robert Mennen & Alban Lakata (Topeak Ergon) and by Sally Bigham & Milena Landtwing (Centurion Vaude/Topeak Ergon).

    For more information on the race, visit The popular race sells out each year.

  • Milka terminates sponsorship of Bart Brentjens MTB Racing Team

    National Champion Annie Last (Great Britain National Team) rode to her best World Cup result to date, cheered on by the home crowd
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 16:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Squad renamed as Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team

    Milka has terminated its sponsorship of the Bart Brentjens Mountain Bike Racing Team after three years. Brentjens, the first Olympic mountain bike champion, runs the squad, which will be called the Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team in 2013.

    Superior, a Czech based bike manufacturer, will stay onboard as the team's official bike supplier for 2013.

    "It was an honour to have been working with Milka the last three years. We shared the same goal, which was [having] two participants at the London 2012 Olympic Games. With Annie Last and Marek Konwa, we succeeded in reaching this goal," said Brentjens.

    "Due to another company strategy by Milka, it decided to back out of [sponsorship of] the team, which I sincerely regret. Now I am working hard to find another partner who wants to share our goals and join us on the road to Rio 2016 Olympic Games."

    Andreas Gollhofer, Manager of International Event Marketing at Milka said, "After three years of very good cooperation with Bart and his team, we are sorry that we have to stop this sponsorship."

    "Bart was a valuable partner and both sides appreciated this close cooperation very much. Due to a reorientation of Milka' sponsorship strategy for the summer months, we had to come to this decision and we wish Bart and his team many successes and all the best for their future."

  • Minnesota High School Cycling League closes inaugural season

    Minnesota High School Cycling League participants
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 19:39 GMT
    Cycling News

    Initiative announced to recruit more girls and women for 2013

    The inaugural season for high school mountain bike racing in Minnesota closed with an awards party on Saturday, November 10. Held at Quality Bicycle Products, the event drew close to 200 racers, parents, and volunteers.

    "I'm very proud of our racers, coaches, and parents for their outstanding support of our new league," said Minnesota League Director Gary Sjoquist. "Many parents said to me tonight, 'Thank you for starting this and giving our kids a healthy, outdoor activity,' so you know what we've put in place connects not only with the student-athletes, but also with their parents."

    Besides the individual awards and team trophies, attendees were able to tour QBP, bid on silent auction items, share a great meal, and purchase Minnesota League apparel.

    At the awards party, the top finishers in each of the age group classes within the racing categories were recognized. Also recognized were "Racers with Heart", student athletes who gutted it out to complete tough races and score points for their teams. The "Courageous Coach" award went to Mary VanPilsum-Johnson, the head coach for the Hopkins team for her "unrelenting efforts to start a team". Additionally, thanks to League sponsor Park Tool, each racer received an inaugural season engraved mini-tool as a commemorative gift.

    A highlight of the awards party was the announcement of a statewide initiative to recruit girl student-athletes as mountain bike racers and women as coaches in the Minnesota League. League Director Sjoquist received checks totaling nearly $6,000 to fund this effort thanks to Morgan Luzier of the Balance Fitness Studio and Mark Hartney, the local Specialized rep who offered to match funding gathered to put student-athletes on mountain bike. Several others stepped up to write big checks to fund this new initiative.

    "Our awards party was simply an amazing event, which is fitting because it was an amazing year," said Sjoquist. "The initiative to recruit more...

  • Buchanan returns to mountain bike racing

    Female BMX rider Caroline Buchanan
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 22:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former four cross world champ switches focus to downhill

    2012 London Olympian Caroline Buchanan has announced that she will be returning to the Australian mountain bike scene in 2013 after three years away from the sport.

    "I am really hungry to keep pushing myself so my goals for next year are to race more mountain bikes and downhill," said Buchanan, the 2012 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup champion.

    "I raced downhill when I was a junior, but I usually only focused on the four cross. But because the 4X doesn't have a World Cup circuit anymore, I want to see how far I can go in downhill," she said.

    Buchanan was the first entrant into the Cycling Australia & Mountain Bike Australia's 2013 National Gravity Cup Series for rounds one and two in Mt Buller and Thredbo respectively. The Australian Mountain Bike National Series will kick off in Mt. Buller, Victoria on January 18-20. Subsequent stops will be in Thredbo, NSW on February 8-10 and Bright, Victoria on March 15-17.

    Buchanan won the four cross world championship in her hometown of Canberra in 2009 and successfully defended the title in 2010 in Canada. Although shortly after this success and while at the top of the sport, Buchanan "hung up" the mountain bike to focus solely on her 2012 London Olympic BMX campaign.

    In London, Buchanan qualified fastest and dominated the early BMX rounds, however after a poor start in the final meant she had to settle for fifth behind Colombian Mariana Pujon.

    Following that disappointment, Buchanan set her sights on gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but in the interim, the 22-year-old will be looking to qualify for the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

    "I want to do well in the downhill in 2013," Buchanan said. "I'm looking for a good performance in Canberra at the nationals and...

  • USA Cycling unveils 2013 mountain bike national championships calendar

    Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) was locked in four-lap battle with defending champion Todd Wells (Specialized)
    Article published:
    November 23, 2012, 23:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Five venues named as hosts

    USA Cycling announced its 2013 calendar of mountain bike national championships, including stops at several new locations. New Mexico, Idaho, Pennsylvania and North Carolina will host nationals next year.

    On June 15-16, the nation's top endurance riders will contest the 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships in Gallup, New Mexico. In most recent years, the 24-hour nationals have occurred in October.

    On July 6, Sun Valley, Idaho, will host the Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships. It will be the third year in a row for nationals in Sun Valley. In 2011 and 2012, Sun Valley hosted the Cross Country Mountain Bike National Championships. Marathon nationals has been moved up on the calendar. Instead of being run in September on the UCI-designated date, the championship will be run in conjunction with the Ride Sun Valley festival.

    In 2013, the Cross Country Mountain Bike Nationals move east to a new venue, Bear Creek Resort in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, on July 18-21. The date shift brings the US nationals back in line with the UCI-designated cross country national championships weekend.

    Then on August 2-4, the Gravity Mountain Bike Nationals will take place in Angel Fire, New Mexico. Both the date and the location are new for gravity nationals although Angel Fire is no stranger to hosting national championship events.

    The season will wrap up with the Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships in Banner Elk, North Carolina from October 25-27.

    "We are excited about all of our national championships venues," Vice President of National Events Micah Rice said. "What's also exciting is that our relationships with our existing venues continue to get stronger and those events will continue to grow."

    2013 USAC US MTB National Championships
    June 15-16: 24-hour nationals, New Mexico
    July 6: Marathon nationals, Idaho
    July 18-21: Cross...

  • Schurter and Vogel continue as Scott-Swisspower leaders in 2013

    Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) in action
    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 8:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Two juniors Fasnacht and Gemperle sign with Swiss-based team

    The Scott-Swisspower mountain bike team finalized its roster for the 2013 season. The squad will continue to enjoy the support of both Scott and Swisspower next season, and it has added two young riders to its roster while saying goodbye to another.

    Cross country world champion Nino Schurter will continue to lead the team along with fellow Olympian Florian Vogel.

    Two juniors are joining the team: Manuel Fasnacht and Robin Gemperle ,while the team's former juniors Dominic Zumstein and Andri Frischknecht will stay with the team as they both make the move to the U23 ranks. Fasnacht was 10th in the junior world championships in 2012 and was the Swiss U17 junior champion. Gemperle won the 2012 BMC Cup in the U17 category.

    All of the team's racers will continue to be under the management of Thomas Frischknecht and the coaching of Nicolas Siegenthaler.

    Roger Walder is leaving the team. After completing his military service, he will focus on his studies. One of his best results during his time with Scott-Swisspower was winning the European junior title in 2010.

  • MTB-Bundesliga series calendar set for 2013

    Sabine Spitz (Sabine Spitz Haibike)
    Article published:
    November 26, 2012, 17:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Four venues comprise next year's German mountain bike series

    The German cross country mountain bike national series, MTB-Bundesliga, announced its calendar for 2013, including four weekends of racing from March through July.

    The series will kick off on March 31 - April 1, Easter weekend, in Bad Säckingen, which hosted the 2012 German national championships. Next up will be two back-to-back weekends of competition: the Spring Classics in Münsingen on April 13-14 and Bike the Rock in Heubach on April 20-21. Saalhausen will host the finals on July 6-7.

    With just four events, the series is smaller than in many past years. Bad Salzdetfurth is not part of the series in 2013 because it will be hosting the German national championships instead. Its organizers took over the nationals after the organizer who was originally awarded the bid for the 2013 German nationals gave it back.

    Albstadt was also to be a round of the 2013 Bundesliga, but it stepped up to become a round of the UCI World Cup on short notice a few weeks ago.

    Bad Säckingen, Münsingen and Saalhausen will also host an eliminator while Heubach is expected to host another still-to-be-announced short format style race.

    There is also expected to be a sort of "second division" for the Bundesliga series in 2013. In it, riders would get half the points of regular series events in races tha tare nationally registered or UCI category C3 events. Details are to be confirmed.

    The MTB-Bundesliga is expected to have more than four rounds in 2014.

    2013 MTB-Bundesliga International
    March 31 - April 1: Bad Säckingen (C1)
    April 13-14: Münsingen (C1)
    April 20-21: Heubach (HC)
    Juli 6-7: Saalhausen (C1)

  • Test of Metal undergoes changes for 2013

    Neal Kindree on his way to third in stage 1
    Article published:
    November 26, 2012, 20:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    New title sponsor for next year's

    The Test of Metal mountain bike race announced a series of changes for its 18th edition on June 15, 2013 in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.

    "We've got some new partnerships, a new title sponsor, and some changes in our registration," said Cliff Miller, president of Test of Metal, Inc.

    Nesters Market has come on as the title sponsor for this year, replacing North Shore Credit Union.

    "NSCU was a fabulous sponsor of the Test of Metal for eight years. We really appreciate all they did for us over that time," said Miller.

    Speaking of Nesters Market, he said, "They've been a an amazing community sponsor of the Test of Metal for years, so we're extremely happy to have Nesters step up and increase their support."

    For 2013, the finish line will be returning to Squamish Logger Sports Grounds

    Two hundred locals-only spots have been reserved and open for registration on December 1. Residents from Furry Creek to Pemberton are eligible.

    Riders also have a new option to enter all of the Test of Metal races: The Ore Cusher, The Test of Metal, The Gearjammer, and JABR. "If you're one of those riders who wants to compete in all four races, we are opening 150 spots from December 15 to 30 just for you. Any of those 150 that aren't taken will be added to the 700 registrations available on January 1."

    There will be a total of 1050 spots open for the race.

    "We keep trying to make it better, " said Miller. "This is our 18th year running on the current course, but we did two years on a short course above Alice Lake, so it's a bit of a milestone."

    Neil Kindree and Wendy Simms won the 2012 edition of the Test of Metal.

    For more information, visit