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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Monday, November 8, 2010

Date published:
November 08, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • New stage and host town for BC Bike Race

    2011 BC Bike Race Route Map
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 15:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Mountain bike stage race announces 2011 route

    The BC Bike Race (BCBR) announced its 2011 route including a new stage and host town. 2011 will be the fifth edition of the week-long mountain bike stage race in British Columbia. The race will run from July 2 to 9.

    Campbell River, a small resource based town on the East Coast, has never previously been included in the BC Bike Race, but it will debut next summer as the host of a new stage, which will start and finish on the waterfront, offering amazing Base Camp views and a true taste of the West Coast. The BC Bike Race offers something new, route-wise, with each edition of the race.

    After participants register in North Vancouver, they'll head out for day one in Cumberland and day two in Campbell River, both on Vancouver Island, before moving over to the Sunshine Coast and back onto the tried and true route. Though days three through seven - featuring Powell River, Sechelt, Squamish and Whistler - will remain in the same towns as last year, each one will see a small tweak to its course, perhaps even a purpose built trail just for the BC Bike Race.

    "As you would expect, being included in the BCBR is no easy task. Having enough singletrack of sufficient quality to even be considered worthy is difficult, but the fact that we got the nod - amazing," said new course designer Martin Ready.

    "The BC Bike Race is in the business of discovering the best singletrack out there and making it available to our participants. By moving the course every year, we continue to offer and improve our product and increase our database of potential towns to ride in," said President Dean Payne.

    While the BCBR prides itself on being the singletrack epic that sets the bar for 'trail' racing, the event will offer a "Challenge" version for the second year, which sends racers out for half the distance.

    The event sold out early in 2010, and registration numbers for 2011 are ahead of last year. As in previous years, the race will offer 500...

  • Horgan-Kobelski aims to defend Iceman Cometh title

    Jeremiah Bishop topped the men's podium at the 2008 Iceman Cometh.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 18:15 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    BMC, Bissell also sending its riders to mountain bike race

    The 21st annual Iceman Cometh Challenge, a 27-mile point-to-point mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City, Michigan, will happen on Saturday, November 6. Some top road and mountain bike pros are among the more than 4,000 racers expected at the start.

    Run in every condition from warm and sunny to cold and snowy, the Iceman Cometh is the traditional American mountain bike season-ending race. Some snow is in the forecast as a possibility for Friday, the day before the event, which means racers could see their first snowy course in five years.

    "Right now, according to the weatherman, we're supposed to get one to three inches of snow on Friday, and then it's supposed to clear up on Friday night, right before the race," said Promoter Steve Brown to Cyclingnews. "Partly cloudy, sunny and 40 (degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday should make it really fast."

    This year's race will feature a showdown between elite mountain bikers and road racers. Who will have the advantage? "Some of it depends on the weather. If it is snowy, I'd give the edge to a mountain biker, especially if it's a little sketchy or slippery," said Brown. "The course isn't that technical, but there are a few spots where the mountain bike experience will be an advantage."

    The favorites on the men's side are defending champion Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and his wingmen Sam Schultz and Russell Finsterwald. Kenda is bringing Andy Schultz and Colin Cares and Specialized is sending Todd Wells while 2008 race winner Jeremiah Bishop and another past winner Brian Matter will also be on hand. On the roadie side, Bissell is bringing 10 of their guys and Kenda is likely to send a few, too.

    "Mark Bissell, president of the company, has been riding the Iceman for many years now, and all of his guys want to do it," said Brown.

    BMC will also be represented with Brent Bookwalter, Cole House and Larry Warbasse. Bookwalter established himself early cycling...

  • Solo full distance TransRockies racing becomes a possibility for 2011

    Racers in the TransRockies
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 20:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    New four-day individual event added to three-day event

    The TransRockies mountain bike stage race has always featured two-person teams for its seven-day event in the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada, but in recent years, solo opportunities for racers at the even have been expanding. For the past two years, racers could compete in the TR3 - a three-day version of the stage race overlapping with the first three days of the full TransRockies. New for 2011 will be the addition of a TR4 solo event, which will overlap with the final four stages of the TransRockies.

    The TransRockies will celebrate its 10th year when the race is run from August 7 to 13, 2011. The first solo event, the TR3, which debuted in 2009, has grown quickly over the two years it has been held. With demand for solo riding opportunities continuing to increase, the TR4 will give riders a chance to take on another part of the route through front ranges of the Alberta Rockies.

    The TR4 will be closely modelled on four-day TransGermany, a partner event of the TransRockies that drew over 1200 riders last year to ride through the Alps.

    TR4 riders will ride concurrently with the field for the TR7 team event and will take on the same revamped route for stages 4 and 5 that has been extensively scouted during the unseasonably warm and dry Alberta fall. With help from local riding clubs and trail experts, the TransRockies team has spent this fall developing a new race routing along higher terrain and away from the lowlands which turned muddy after the unseasonably wet weather in 2010.

    Starting east of the village of Millarville in Kananaskis Country, the TR4 will finish with the TR7 the main event in Canmore, Alberta. Racers will camp two nights at the Little Elbow Campground, used for the first time in 2010, allowing stage 5 to be a loop on some of the favourite mountain bike trails of the area. The third night of camping for TR4 will be at Rafter Six Ranch, near Seebe, Alberta. Rafter Six, the traditional last night of the...

  • Antonello signs with Giant Italia team

    Giacomo Antonello signed with Giant Italia for 2011.
    Article published:
    November 05, 2010, 12:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cross country racer aims for Worlds

    Italy's Giacomo Antonello will join Giant Italia Team in 2011. General Manager Gianfranco Bechis confirmed the signing of the cross country racer on Thursday.

    In his first year as a junior, Antonello raced for Team ADV. He won the Granfondo dei Cimbri, Folgaria Megabike, Civetta Superbike and Adamello Bike di Ponte di Legno. In 2008, he signed an agreement with Team MC2 Racing and split his calendar in two parts - competing nationally, but also internationally for the first time. He finished seventh at the UCI cat. 1 cross country race in Montichiari and he was selected for an Italian National Team training camp in Lugagnano.

    In 2009, Antonello competed in the Under 23 category for Team Bike Pro Action di Enzo Simonato. Graduation interfered with his pursuit of cycling, but in 2010, he won the regional marathon championships and won several national and international races. He was seventh at the European marathon championships and fifth at the Italian cross country national championships.

    "I'm so happy, because I have never raced for an international team," said Antonello.

    Ambitious as always, Antonello said he is inspired by Andy Schleck and Cadel Evans - the latter because he has achieved great international results both on and off road.

    Antonello will race the team's Giant XtC Advanced SL Pro Team Edition Bike. For 2010, he is targeting the cross country world championships, which will be in Champery, Switzerland.

  • Ray's Indoor MTB Park partners with Wisconsin Off Road state series

    Ray's MTB founder Ray Petro raced his Trek Remedy at the WORS Subaru Cup Midwest Regional Championships in June.
    Article published:
    November 05, 2010, 15:08 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    New Ray's location opening in Milwaukee

    The Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS), America's largest state mountain bike racing series, and Ray's Indoor MTB Park have formed a new partnership to further improve mountain biking in the Upper Midwest part of the United States.

    When the all-new Ray's MTB Milwaukee location celebrates its grand opening next weekend on November 12, guests will find a dedicated WORS area with information about the popular mountain bike series, now in its 20th year. The partnership between WORS and Ray's will include special events throughout the coming season.

    "We know that Ray's MTB pays just as much attention to creating a great rider experience as we do at WORS events," said WORS Series Director Don Edberg. "The development of Ray's Cleveland over the last few years has been amazing. Ray's MTB has created the same high quality, positive, community environment that also makes WORS special."

    While the Wisconsin Series hosts a national-level US Pro XCT race and some of the fastest and most competitive amateur racing in the nation, WORS Series Director Don Edberg believes believes that mountain bike racing, especially WORS racing, is not just for the highly trained and talented.

    "Mountain biking is a great physical activity that can add to your health and quality of life. WORS is as much about fun, shared experiences and making new friends as it is about the racing," said Edberg.

    "We're happy that the enduring popularity of the WORS Series helped convince Ray to bring this new location to Wisconsin," said WORS race reporter Claire Cannon. "WORS is excited to be there for Ray's new beginning and continued growth, especially because Ray's MTB Milwaukee location will have a unique emphasis on singletrack flow and mountain bike features."

    WORS and Ray's MTB share many goals, so a partnership was natural.

    "I had a great time at the WORS Subaru Cup Pro XCT this summer," said Ray. "The course was fun and the crowds during the...

  • Leishman signs with Avanti

    Mark "Cabin" Leishman has signed a two-year deal with Avanti.
    Article published:
    November 05, 2010, 20:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Fresh off Singlespeed Worlds, New Zealander looks forward to season

    New Zealand mountain biker Mark "Cabin" Leishman has signed a deal to race Avanti bikes for the next two years. Leishman, who is the current Oceania Championship short track titleholder, will pilot the brand new Avanti Team Competitor 29er mountain bike, along with road and time trial bikes.

    The signing allows Cabin to join forces with his partner Nic Leary to form a powerful combination as "CabiNic Racing". The two hope to dominate the off-road scene in New Zealand this summer.

    "This deal has actually been in the works for quite a while. To ride for a New Zealand company with such an exciting vision for the future is quite special," said Leishman. "Obviously the stumbling block prior was the absence of a 29er in the Avanti range. But the new Team Competitor 29er is a stunning bike, and I'm quite excited about showcasing its ability in events this season," said Leishman.

    Leishman competes in mountain biking and multi-sport events.

    "Avanti is excited to welcome the hugely passionate cyclist and cycling advocate Mark 'Cabin' Leishman to our family," said Avanti's Tony Rogers. "Cabin has proved he's one of New Zealand's most versatile athletes with his ability to dominate the local mountain bike scene and secure podium finishes at XTERRA, triathlons and other multisport events. Avanti is looking forward to working with Mark on specific bike development projects in future."

    Cabin will be lining up at the Huka XL mountain bike event at November's Taupo Cycle Challenge, quickly followed by Christchurch's Festival of Cycling. He then will kick into a busy season on both sides of the Tasman that includes Half Ironmans, national mountain bike and XTERRA Championships and the 3D Multisport Championship.

    Leishman started off this season with a win at the Whaka 100 marathon, and he placed fourth at the Singlespeed World Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand, last month.

  • Two-year ban recommended for Paulissen

    Roel Paulissen (Cannondale) on the first row
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 13:09 GMT
    Susan Wesetmeyer

    Former mountain bike world champion positive for female hormone

    Belgian cycling federation prosecutors have recommended that mountain biker Roel Paulissen be suspended for 24 months and pay a fine of 87,500 Euro. He tested positive twice this summer for a female hormone.

    Paulissen, 34, was reigning mountain bike marathon world champion when he tested positive on June 6 and 19. Traces of clomiphene, a female hormone generally used in infertility treatments, was found in both tests. It is often taken by male anabolic steroid users because it increases the natural production of testosterone.

    The Belgian denied having taken the drug and blamed his positive tests on a tainted supplement. He announced his retirement after the positive results emerged and the Cannondale Factory Racing team subsequently ended its links with him.

    A final ruling on the prosecutor's recommendation is expected on November 22.

  • Mountain bikers of the year selected among Dutch, Belgians

    Laura Turpign (Merida) on her way to a win
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 18:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Van Hoovels, Turpign win elite titles

    Top Dutch and Belgian mountain bikers of 2010 were awarded at a ceremony this weekend. Kevin van Hoovels and Sebastien Carabin won the most votes for the elite male and under 23 male mountain biker of the year titles while Dutchwoman Laura Turpin took the top women's honors.

    It was the fourth edition of the Mountain Biker of the Year awards, also known as the Granny Awards. Martin Paulissen hosted the evening, which featured a trials show by Iciar Van den Bergh.

    After a fantastic season, Belgian Kevin van Hoovels (Lingier-Versluys) won the overall elite men's mountain biker of the year crown. He won his national championships and stood on the podium several times in international stage races this year. He'll have a hard time doing better next year although he'll have an advantage in 2011. In January, he'll become a full-time pro. Dutchman Rudi Van Houts finished second, ahead of teammate Nicolas Vermeulen, Bas Peters and Belgian Sven Nys.

    Laura Turpijn (Combee Merida) proved her role as the leading lady of Dutch mountain biking, having won the national title this year in both cross country and marathon disciplines. Turpin defeated Kristien Nelen for the top honors while Anne Terpstra, tipped as the successor to Turpin, finished third.

    Belgian Sebastien Carabin took top honors in the under 23 category with Henk Jaap Moorlag in second ahead of Robby de Bock, Ruben Scheire and Niels Wubben. This year, Carabin showed his class at the European Championships, where he finished fourth, just off the podium. Despite his eighth place at the Worlds in Canada, Scheire only managed fourth place in the standings.

    A sick Elise Marchal was not on hand to receive her award, which her father accepted instead on her behalf. The Belgian Marchal finished well ahead of Steffi Derveaux and Britt van den Boogaart. The talented racer was the national title winner for the second year in a row and finished fifth at the world championships in...