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MTB News & Racing Round-up, November 18, 2009

Date published:
November 18, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Praloup to host first European Masters MTB Championships

    Praloup, France will be hosting two major masters mountain bike events in 2010.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2009, 15:05 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Venue also hosting French Masters nationals

    Praloup, France, which has previously hosted the Masters Mountain Bike World Championships, was awarded a contract to host two editions of the European Masters Mountain Bike World Championships.

    A directing committee of the European Cycling Union (UEC) decided on Pra Loup as the host of the first European Masters championship in 2010 and another in 2013. Cross country and downhill events will be contested from August 24 to 29, 2010.

    "We are grateful for the trust placed in us and assure all 45 nations affiliated with the UEC that the inaugural championships will be befitting of a European sporting event," said organizers.

    The French Cycling Federation (FFC) also offered Praloup the opportunity to host the French Masters Championships in 2010.

    Registration for both 2010 events is now open. For more information, visit

  • La Ruta gallery: One of the world's toughest races

    And there was plenty of emotion on a rain-soaked afternoon in Costa Rica.
    Article published:
    November 16, 2009, 14:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Rain-soaked La Ruta de los Conquistadores an adequate test of the best

    It may only be four days long, but La Ruta de los Conquistadores has become one of the best-known and loved mountain bike stage races in the world. A look at the images from this year's race give you an indication why this is the case.

    Rain, immense terrain, spectacular scenery - everything an epic mountain bike race needs. Take a look through some of the images captured from this year's event and find out why the likes of former Vuelta a España winner Roberto Heras, mountain bike legend Tinker Juarez and former world superbike rider Ben Bostrom immersed themselves in the race.

    Click here for complete coverage of this year's event, and be sure to stay tuned to Cyclingnews as we bring you all the news and coverage of the 2010 race.

    Some days just making it home is an achievement - this was one of those days.

    An amazing backdrop in anyone's language for the La Ruta de los Conquistadores.

    Roberto Heras finished in eighth overall, almost an hour behind Prado.

    The spirit of La Ruta: friendship on the road less travelled.

  • Kaufmann confirms with Trek-Brentjens

    Lukas Kaufmann (Switzerland)
    Article published:
    November 17, 2009, 17:38 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Swiss talent to target 2010 World Cups in first season as a professional

    Swiss rider Lukas Kaufmann has been confirmed as the latest signing to the Trek-Brentjens MTB Racing Team for 2010.

    After a year of competition as an Under-23 rider, Kaufman will enter what will be his first full season as a professional rider. A winner of the Under 23 Bundesliga title in Germany and ninth at the Under-23 World Championships in Canberra, Australia, he said today that his performances this year had been enough to convince him to delay a career as an architect in favour of the bike.

    "I have had a very good year. After this season I've decided to focus 100 per cent on mountain biking in 2010," said Kaufmann. "With the Trek-Brentjens MTB Racing Team I have found the perfect team to achieve my goals for the coming years."

    Kaufmann, 22, joins Dutchmen Jelmer Pietersma, Frank Beemer, Irjan Luttenberg and Belgian Tim Wijnants on the team's roster. He will focus on the World Cup circuit in his debut season as a senior rider.

    "My first impressions of the team convinced me to join, there's a lot of talent from different nations and a good organization to focus on the World Cups," he said "I'm really looking forward to devoting next year to mountain biking."

    Team owner Bart Brentjens predicts that Kaufmann will improve on his previous results as he increases the quantity and quality of races in which he will compete.

    "With Lukas we have another strong talent in the team. I am confident that he is going to make progression for next year," said Brentjens. "Besides the biggest international races and World Cups he will also participate in some Dutch events as well as some races close to Switzerland."

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  • Roger Rinderknecht dropped by GT

    Roger Rinderknecht (GT) takes fourth place.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 14:30 GMT

    Swiss four cross star will continue racing

    Swiss four cross and BMX racer Roger Rinderknecht has been dropped by GT after four years on their team and is looking for a new bike sponsor.

    His departure comes after former four cross world champion Jill Kintner and her partner, Australian downhiller and four cross racer Bryn Atkinson, were axed from the squad last year. A year earlier, multiple four cross and dual slalom world champion Brian Lopes was summarily dropped from the team after seven years.

    According to a press release issued by the Rasolution agency, in future GT plan to focus on downhill racing - where the team is represented by Australian Mick Hannah and Britain's Marc Beaumont - rather than four cross.

    GT says it regrets losing Rinderknecht but insists his contract "could not be renewed" due to budget cuts caused by the global financial downturn.

    Rinderknecht, who has finished second at two World Championships (2006 and 2008) and has graced countless World Cup podiums, said, "I felt really comfortable with GT and regret this decision. At this point, I want to thank everybody at GT for the time we shared. But the whole thing is also a big chance for me. I am looking forward to next year and the new challenges."

    Rinderknecht is looking for a new bike but will retain his long-term sponsors Oakley, IXS, Onza, SR Suntour and DT Swiss. He plans to continue competing on the World Cup 4X circuit and hopes to qualify to ride BMX at the 2010 Olympics in London.

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  • Superbike racer Ben Bostrom surprises at La Ruta

    Ben Bostrom paces Sho-Air / Specialized teammate and eventually overall race winner Manny Prado.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 15:03 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Bostrom's Sho-Air teammate Prado wins the overall

    Perhaps the biggest surprise of this year's La Ruta de los Conquistadores, which wrapped up this weekend, was the performance of AMA Superbike rider Ben Bostrom, who not only won the Men's Master A classification, but also took fourth overall in the general classification.

    The 35-year-old American motorcycle racer won the AMA Superbike Championship in 1998 and the AMA Supersport Championship in 2008. He is a relative unknown in the sport of professional mountain biking, but his La Ruta performance has confirmed he can ride with the top endurance riders in the world.

    He played a key role in his Sho-Air / Specialized team's success, which was capped off with an overall win by Costa Rican cross country champion Manny Prado. On stage 3, when Prado bonked hard early on, Bostrom sacrificed his own performances to drop back and play team domestique. He towed Prado back into contention with the race leaders.

    The win brought Prado's career full circle. He started out as a boy working in the local Costa Rican pineapple fields before coming to America to chase his pro cycling dreams. Prado won the opening La Ruta stage and rode a controlled race in the remaining three stages to take the overall win with a 22-minute margin. He was the first racer to win La Ruta while racing a dual suspension bike.

    Bostrom and Prado will continue to compete in select endurance events in 2010.

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  • Beckingsale auctions item for charity

    Oliver Beckingsale (Giant Mountain Bike Team) was have a great race until he blew up on the last lap.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 15:29 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Bid for Olympic-edition fork, national champ's jersey, Giant skinsuit

    Giant's Oli Beckingsale is auctioning off several items to raise money for the Springboard Opportunity Group charity, which provides support, learning and play facilities for children up to age five with special needs and their families in North Somerset, England.

    "As a professional cyclist, I am lucky enough to get given a fair amount of bits and bobs that are limited edition or generally expensive. Normally it sits around in my garage or is given to friends or family, but I have decided to get some of the best bits that money cannot buy and auction them off to raise money for a charity called Springboard Opportunity Group," said the British cross country racer.

    "Springboard does a fantastic job and I know this first hand as my eldest daughter Zoe has benefited from their support for the last year," said Beckingsale.

    Beckingsale has been racing full-time for 12 years and has competed in three Olympic Games, won a Commonwealth Games silver medal and been the British national champion five times.

    Beckingsale is auctioning a Rock Shox SID Beijing fork, a SID team fork with special graphics and given only to sponsored riders for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. There were a dozen or so made, and this a unique one as it also has the British flags on it. The lucky winner will also get a Team Great Britain Olympic T-shirt.

    A second item for auction is a Giant British National Champion's jersey from the 2008 season. "This jersey was one of five that was printed for me for the 2008 season when I was National Champion," said Beckingsale. "It's unworn and cool as ice."

    Finally, Beckingsale is auctioning a

  • Under 23 German champion Reis joins Felt Ötztal X-Bionic

    Manfred Reis is the latest signing of the Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup Team.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 18:59 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Young rider is latest addition to growing World Cup squad

    Under 23 German racer Manfred Reis signed with the Felt Ötztal X-Bionic World Cup Team beginning in 2010 and running through 2012. Last year, when he was just 18, "Manne" drew attention to himself by becoming the youngest rider to win the Under 23 German cross country championships.

    Reis joins the Austrian Under 23 Champion Simon Scheiber as the second young male rider on the team.

    "I'm still young. At 19, I'm still two years younger than Simon. I have the possibility of learning from top stars on the team and benefiting from being in a professional environment," said Reis, who considers the Olympic Games to be a long-term goal, though he's not yet focusing on a particular year. "This is a perfect opportunity for me to develop as a rider."

    Reis still has four years to race in the Under 23 category before he moves to the elites. "In the long term I want to establish myself in the elite category and achieve good World Cup results."

    "Manne is not only one of Germany's biggest mountain bike talents, he is also a great guy. If he continues his improvement over the next few years, there is no reason why he cannot achieve his goals," said Team Director Jörg Scheiderbauer.

    Reis committed to pursuing a mountain bike career in 2005, but that's not how he got his start in sports.

    "Like most young guys, I grew up playing soccer," he said. "Eventually I had to decide on one sport, the choice fell to mountain biking. Here, the prospects were simply better. Now I am, of course, happy with my decision."

    In 2010, Reis will attempt to defend his current Under 23 national cross country title. "It's my focus, of course, but it's never easy. The competition is very strong and now all eyes are on me. I will certainly give it my best to reach the top of my sport both nationally and internationally. I want to mix it with the best in the Under 23 National series, and finish under the top 20 at the Under 23 European...

  • Jongewaard loses jail sentence appeal

    Chris Jongewaard getting air
    Article published:
    November 19, 2009, 0:01 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Judges uphold prison term for involvement in hit-and-run accident

    Australian pro cross country mountain biker Chris Jongewaard will remain in jail after he lost an appeal of a sentence for involvement in a hit-and-run accident in 2007. In September of this year, he had been sentenced to two years of imprisonment following a conviction by the court, which had previously found him guilty of aggravated driving without due care and leaving the scene of an accident.

    "It's a significant fact that, for all Mr. Jongewaard knew, he had left someone seriously injured and lying on the roadway, exposed to further damage from motor cars," Chief Justice John Doyle said on Wednesday according to Reuters.

    Jongewaard's lawyers appealed on the grounds that the sentence was excessive and that the sentencing judge ought to have suspended the sentence. Three judges reviewed the appeal and upheld the jail term.

    According to the Adelaide's The Advertiser, a disappointed Jongewaard shook his head after the decision was read in court while his father Leo stood up and cursed at the judges.

    The accident involved Jongewaard's former training partner Matthew Rex following a night of celebrating Rex's 22nd birthday. Jongewaard drove the car that hit Rex, who was on a bicycle. Rex suffered serious, career-ending injuries including a broken back, broken hip, fractured leg, punctured lung, severed arteries and internal bleeding following the accident.

    Jongewaard will remain in prison serving his sentence until at least June of 2010, when he is first eligible for parole.

    "He's obviously disappointed with the judgment but he now plans on focusing on his rehabiliation and returning to the champion cyclist he was," said his lawyer Anthony Allen according to ABC News.

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