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MTB news & racing round-up, Monday, November 9, 2009

Date published:
November 09, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Past women's winners Emmett, Carey return to Iceman

    Kelli Emmett (Giant) uses her descending skills.
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 17:33 GMT
    Claire Cannon

    Rinehart going for the Triple Crown

    Five-time winner Kelli Emmett will be one of several past winners in Traverse City, Michigan, this weekend for the 20th annual Iceman Cometh. If anyone knows what to expect in the race its Emmett. She's raced nine previous editions, and is looking forward to another.

    "I know that Outdoor Magazine listed the Iceman on their list of 'Things To Do Before You Die'. And I really believe anyone can do this race. My whole family comes out, and it's wonderful. My mom can do this race, and this year my cousins will be out racing. The crowd and the spectators and the atmosphere are all so great."

    Last year's women's winner Amanda Carey is also returning. "Iceman was the most fun I had racing all last year," said Carey. "It's the way mountain bike racing should be, and the support of the fans at the end makes it very special for the pros. Unless you race World Cups or cyclo-cross, most of us are used to being cheered on by a handful of people, most of whom we know."

    "My race in 2008 was my first Iceman, in addition to being my first Iceman win," said Carey. "I had never participated in a Midwest race before.

    Carey is taking nothing for granted when it comes to defending her title. "Every woman out there is a challenge. No one, not even me, expected that I would win last year."

    Other top female contenders include former World Champion Alison Dunlap and current marathon and cross country national champion Heather Irmiger.

    "I love the Iceman Cometh because of the 'What's up with that' element!" said Irmiger, who grew up in Michigan, and now lives in Colorado. "November is an interesting time for a mountain bike race - you never know what the weather will be like, how hard people have been training, or who exactly will show up. I keep coming back because I love not knowing what to expect - even from myself. Every Iceman is different, and I love the prospect of duking it out with people I would have never...

  • NICA and IMBA forge new alliance

    2009 California High School State Championships at Boggs Mt.
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 18:10 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Two associations will cross promote each other

    The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) signed a partnership agreement which states that IMBA and NICA will work together to cross-promote their efforts and engage the broad cycling community.

    "We are very pleased to formalize our partnership with IMBA - the continued growth of high school mountain biking depends on trail access," said NICA executive director Matt Fritzinger.

    "Riding bikes is a freedom all youth should enjoy, and parents greatly support their kids riding on trails away from the dangers of traffic. IMBA does an incredible job of working with communities to build and maintain sustainable trail systems that work for all trail users."

    "The success of the Northern and Southern California High School Mountain Bike Leagues has been truly remarkable," said IMBA executive director Mike Van Abel.

    "When I learned about the plan to replicate those successes on a national scale under the NICA banner, I hoped IMBA's club network might become a useful resource," he added, also noting that the partnership would help expand IMBA's demographic diversity and compliment existing youth programs such as National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.

    The partnership supports several areas for both organizations including

    - Seeking opportunities for board and staff members to interact, discuss, and develop mutually beneficial opportunities.
    - Taking advantage of cross-promotional opportunities in print and electronic media and at relevant public events.
    - Recognizing the IMBA/NICA partnership as both communicate with our respective constituents, corporate supporters and media.
    - Working in concert to promote responsible riding practices, sustainable trails and healthy competition for young riders.
    - Preparing and updating an annual workplan detailing specific activities for collaboration.

    The news comes not long after NICA...

  • Oosthuizen is the woman to beat in South Africa

    Samantha Oosthuizen in action at the MTN series race in Clarens.
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 19:06 GMT
    Daniel Simms

    Favorite looks forward to defending at Fifty-Miler

    Looking at her results during the past few weeks, Samantha Oosthuizen (W.I.N/Karsten Cycles) can be considered the favourite to win the MTN 50-Miler on Sunday, November 8 in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal. If she does win, it will be the second time in two years.

    Judging by Oosthuizen's performances during the past six weeks, she is the in-form women's rider in South African mountain biking at the moment. She won the Silver Star Casino Race, the 60km Race of the Ride Crater Cruise, Hill2Hill, MTN Asishove and the Telkom Satellite Race. She also finished second in the MTN Clarens Race, as well as in the 105km Race of the Ride Crater Cruise.

    Her turn-about in mountain biking is impressive. During the first eight months of this year, Oosthuizen managed to win a few races but more often she had to settle for lesser placings.

    Mannie Heymans (Garmin adidas) is the reason why Oosthuizen is at the moment almost a fixture on mountain bike podiums across South Africa.

    "It was all Mannie's fault. Mannie and I were involved in an argument about the quality of women's racing in South Africa. Mannie does not have a high opinion about the way women race. According to him, women's cycling is more or less a waste of time," said Oosthuizen.

    Upset by her Heymans' opinion, Oosthuizen was motivated. "In retrospect, the argument between Mannie and me was perhaps the best thing that could have happened to my cycling career. At the moment I am super-motivated to prove Mannie wrong."

    When asked about her memories of her victory in the MTN 50-Miler, Oosthuizen said, "Mud, mud, mud. It made cycling extremely difficult. The mud got into your gears and into every other moving part of the bike. But I do not want to sound as if I am complaining. I actually enjoyed every minute of it - especially the constant climbing.

    Oosthuizen makes no secret about her intention to win again on Sunday. "I will try to make the racing hard whenever there is...

  • Scheiber signed by Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup team

    Brothers Simon (on the bike) and Florian (on skis) Scheiber
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 20:30 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    21-year-old becomes team's first male rider

    Austrian Under 23 cross country champion Simon Scheiber signed with the Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup team for 2010. The 21-year-old is the first male rider for the new team. Scheiber is from Sölden, Austria. This year, he finished 21st at the World Championships in Canberra, Australia.

    "I'm very excited about the upcoming season. With the professional environment of the new team, I hope to defend my national title. I also want to be in the top 50 in World Cup and finish in the top 10 among the U23."

    "I'm very happy that we were able to engage a young talented rider. Simon has already demonstrated that he has talent," said the team's director Jörg Scheiderbauer. "We are confident that he has a chance of making the Olympics in London 2012."

    Elite sports run in Scheiber's family. His older brother Florian is one of Austria's top skiing talents. Last season, Florian won the European Cup and he is part of the Austrian World Cup team. During the off-season he trains on his mountain bike.

    The team has already signed female cross country racers Adelheid Morath and Sabrina Enaux.

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  • Iceman wraps up successful Midwest racing season

    Jeremiah Bishop topped the men's podium at the 2008 Iceman Cometh.
    Article published:
    November 06, 2009, 18:45 GMT
    Claire Cannon

    Popular point-to-point mountain bike race draws 4,000

    In its 20th year, the Iceman Cometh is attracting 4,000 racers. The race is more popular than ever and reflects a strong tradition of racing in the Midwestern United States.

    The Iceman is famous for drawing lots of spectators, too. "The Iceman is the only Midwest mountain bike race that I have ever done," said Sam Schultz (Subaru / Gary Fisher) of Montana. "I heard a lot about the huge crowds that turn out for the Midwest races but I didn't realize the extent of it until my first Iceman last year. The scene was good, with tons of amateurs and pros all mixing it up together. It seems like mountain bike racing in the Midwest right now is awesome."

    Schultz's teammate Heather Irmiger, who grew up in Michigan, has also been impressed with the Midwest's racing scene. "I only have experience racing in the later part of the season, but these experiences have always been wonderful. The promoters and the participants are so enthusiastic - the attitudes at Iceman and Chequamegon have always taken me back to my roots and remind me why I started racing. In contrast to the National scene, the Midwest races I've done have that great festival atmosphere which equates to the perfect balance of serious competition and laid-back love for the sport."

    Five-time winner Kelli Emmett (Giant), who is originally from Michigan, noted a contrast between what she's seen at the national level and the regional level. "It feels, sometimes, like interest in mountain bike racing has been going down lately on the national scene. There are fewer spectators at national events like the US Cup, and I think sponsorship has suffered. But that doesn't seem to be the case in the Midwest. The races I've done in the Midwest have had great areas for spectators."

    Local Sheboygan racer Tristan Schouten explains why the racing is so good. "In our region we have the biggest series in the country [the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS)], good prize money, decent courses...

  • Fox Racing seeks a few good mountain bikers

    Short track national champion Adam Craig (Giant)
    Article published:
    November 09, 2009, 17:10 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    2010 resumes being accepted for sponsorship opportunities

    Fox Racing Shox is currently accepting mountain bike racing sponsorship applications for the 2010 race season.

    "Fox is a racing company and supports race events on a technical and grassroots level across the US and globe," read a statement from Fox. "If you have a team or are a rider that has what it takes, Fox wants to help with your success by sponsoring you with the best performing suspension on the market.

    Resumes can be submitted online at or by mail to

    FOX Racing Shox
    Attention: Mountain Bike Race Program
    130 Hangar Way
    Watsonville, CA 95076

    Be sure to specify discipline, racing level, goals for 2010 and beyond, accomplishments from 2008 and 2009, your 2010 race schedule and your contact info. Fox wants to know what you do to help the sport grow and how you would represent the company. Photos are encouraged, but applications shouldbe limited to one or two pages due to the volume of requests expected.

    The deadline is December 19, 2009.

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  • Paulissen, Turpijn win international Granny Awards

    Roel Paulissen is the winner of the 2009 Granny Award for the elite international category.
    Article published:
    November 09, 2009, 18:54 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Tielens, Nelen take home top national honors

    Roel Paulissen and Laura Turpijn were among the winners of the 2009 Granny Awards presented this weekend in Diest, Belgium. Awards were given out to Belgian and Dutch mountain bikers who excelled in racing at a national and international level.

    Paulissen won the international elite men's award ahead of Rudi Van Houts and Bas Peters. The Belgian beat the two Dutchmen after winning his second world marathon title this season. Jelmer Pietersma finished fourth and Sven Nys was fifth.

    "My best accomplishments are winning gold medals in the marathon World Championships - especially doing it two years in a row. I am proud of that. Maybe next year, I will win for a third time?" said Paulissen.

    "My next target is the Olympic Games (in 2012). So I will get as many points as possible next season with the hope we can send a minimum of two, maybe three riders for Belgium. Curently only one cyclist is qualified to go."

    "In the sport of mountain biking, the circuits have changed," said Paulissen, an experienced racer. "Everything is faster and more technical. I am in the sport for almost two decades. When I started, the races were longer. Now they have shortened up."

    The international elite women's award was a tight contest between Laura Turpign and Githa Michiels. Both women had good World Cup results and World Championship results. Turpign eventually emerged as winner ahead of Michiels and Monique Zeldenrust. Kritien Nelen was fourth and Arielle van Meurs was fifth.

    It was the second year Turpign won the women's award. "It was much harder this year," she said. "I trained more than six hours per day - that was something."  She explained what is behind her success.  "I always look at life positively. Mountain biking is a fun sport, and the 2012 Olympic Games is my next goal."

    A final international award went to Under 23 rider Irjan Luttenberg who was voted number one, ahead of Sebastien Carabin and...

  • Outsports Cup gets TV time for 2010

    2009 Outsports Cup podium
    Article published:
    November 09, 2009, 20:59 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Greek mountain bike series schedule announced

    Greece is stepping up its television coverage of two sports - mountain biking and running. The SKAI Channel reached an agreement with organizers of the Outsports Cup to show parts of the seven races that will comprise the 2010 series.  The series dates and venues for next season was also released.

    The races will get air time on the network's morning zone and the Saturday zone. The two organizations are partnering to bring more coverage of both sports to the public given the increasing popularity of each activity. Additionaly, the partnership is trying to draw awareness to environmental concerns through sport.

    The Mountain Bike and Running Cup (MBRC) will start on March 13,2 2010, in Krioneri in Attica. Both disciplines will race a time trial in one of the few remaining green areas of the capital. Six more rounds of point to point cross country racing will follow. All events are category 1 or 2 UCI events.

    The 2009 Outsports Cup series drew 1,144 athletes from all over Greece and seven other countries during seven races.

    2010 Outsports Mountain Bike Cup
    March 13-14: Round 1 - Krioneri in Attica (time trial) (C2)
    March 27-28: Round 2 - Kardamyli in Messinia (cross country) (C2)
    April 17-18: Round 3 - Lailias in Serres (cross country) (C2)
    May 8-9: Round 4 - Palaioi Porroi in Pieria (cross country) (C1)
    May 29-30: Round 5 - Kalavrita in Ahaia (cross country) (C2)
    June 19-20: Round 6 - Elati in Trikala (cross country) (C1)
    July 3-4: Round 7 - Vigla Ski Resort in Florina (cross country (C2)

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