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MTB News & Racing Round-up, October 24, 2010

Date published:
October 24, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Sauser, Bundi team up for Cape Pioneer Trek

    Christoph Sauser (Specialized) at the Cape Pioneer Trek
    Article published:
    October 18, 2010, 14:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Former Cape Epic winners take on another South African stage race

    Officially, Switzerland's former world champion, Christoph Sauser, is on holiday in South Africa, but that's not stopping him from taking part in the six-day Cape Pioneer Trek that started today and runs through October 23.

    Sauser, who rides for Specialized, said he is participating in the South African mountain bike stage race for the joy of it, but even a less than 100-percent effort could put him in contention for the podium.

    During last year's race, Sauser seemed to get stronger and more motivated as the tour progressed. This led to a final stage victory for him and teammate Bobby Behan. They were also second in the third stage. Overall, they finished fourth.

    "South Africa hosts many mountain bike stage races, and the Cape Pioneer was such a relaxed event over six days in the Klein Karoo," said Sauser. "The comradeship was awesome, and we had so much to laugh and joke about. The fact that some of the stages were long, windy and rocky, made the rest of the time even better."

    This year, Sauser has partnered with fellow Swiss racer Silvio Bundi. The pair won the 2006 Cape Epic together.

    Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage of the Cape Pioneer Trek.

  • Brentjens, Huber return to the Crocodile Trophy

    Race favourites Bart Brentjens
    Article published:
    October 19, 2010, 6:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Epic Australian mountain bike stage race kicks off

    Tuesday marked the start of the 16th Crocodile Trophy Race in Australia. With the course marked and the battle lines drawn, two of the race's past rivals took to the start: last year's winner Urs Huber and the legend he beat, Bart Brentjens. The race runs through October 28.

    Huber is riding solo and without support. The defending Swiss marathon champion is riding for the GC following his success in 2009.

    Brentjens, a former Dutch champion and gold medalist in the 1996 Summer Olympics, is again competing to claim the overall prize which was snatched from him last year. This year he has returned, fresh from winning his own race - the Bart Brentjens challenge - and on a new prototype, a 2011 29er hardtail.

    With both challengers racing for the second time, the 1200km course will not be such a surprise this time around although there are some new obstacles to overcome. The race will again throw riders into the wildest terrain Far North Queensland can muster between Cairns and Cape Tribulation.  This year, the final stage has been converted into a new, 38km "hilly" individual time trial.

    "The last one with the time trial it is an exciting stage" said Brentjens. "At some stages (of the race), you're just really flat and not that many things will happen normally, but you never know," he said "It is going to be interesting."

    Riding his final race of the season, Huber was again drawn to the race after his success last year and is looking forward to revisiting all 10 stages. "The race was great last year, so I thought this year -I have to do it again!" he said. "I think all 10 days are special."

    "It's been a normal season like every year. I did a lot of races, and this is the final of my season, and yeah it's great and I'm very happy to be here again," said Huber.

    Whatever the result, both riders will be faced with obstacles of epic proportions as they cover 1200km of sun, sand and sweat over 10 days. Both...

  • Dalby, Fort William, Windham venues win Best World Cup awards

    Willow Koerber (Subaru / Gary Fisher) leads on the first lap of the Dalby World Cup.
    Article published:
    October 23, 2010, 20:37 BST
    Daniel Simms

    New organizers impress

    Three UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events - Dalby Forest, Fort William and Windham - won the "Best World Cup" awards for cross country, downhill and four cross for 2010. Two of the three winners were new to the World Cup calendar for 2010. Fort William was the only established venue to win top honors.

    The 2010 edition of the World Cup included six rounds for each discipline for a total of nine events. Of these events, three made their début on the World Cup calendar: Yorkshire Dalby Forest (Great Britain), Leogang (Austria) and Windham (United States). All of them lived up to expectations and, in two cases, outclassed well-established events. All of them will also host a World Cup again in 2011.

    In keeping with tradition, riders, UCI mountain bike teams, media, sponsors and UCI officials voted for the best events of the World Cup. At the end of each season, a trophy is awarded to one of the organisers in each of the three disciplines: cross country, downhill and four-cross.

    Cross country: Yorkshire, Dalby Forest wins voters

    Part of the World Cup calendar for the first time, the British event convinced all connected with the event. The riders praised the very technical course, the teams the perfect organisation and the short track event and the media the quality of the infrastructures at their disposal.

    All the same, it was a big challenge for the organisers: the circuit went through a zone where the entire communication network had to be specially installed. In addition, the eruption of Iceland's volcano Eyjafjöl cast doubt on the venue and necessitated speedy action from the organisers British Cycling.

    2008 winner Offenburg (Germany) came in second, with Windham in third.

    Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon) and Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) won this cross country round.

    Downhill: Fort William back at the top

    Although it was beaten last year,...

  • Crocodile Trophy stage neutralised after Heuker's death

    The late Weit Heuker
    Article published:
    October 24, 2010, 12:03 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Competitor died during the night

    Stage six of the Crocodile Trophy mountain bike race was neutralised following the death of Dutch rider Weit Heuker. The 59-year-old died during the night of the 23rd-24th October.

    Heuker, who had been lying in 6th place in the M3 general classification, suffered cardiovascular and circulatory failure. It is understood that Heuker had previously suffered cardiac arrest but that the event’s medical officers were not aware of his history before the race.

    “We learned this morning – unfortunately only now – that Weit Heuker already had suffered a cardiac arrest a few years ago and had been under medical care since then,” said Dr. Alexandra Reimann, head of the race’s medical support team.

    Sunday’s stage 6 was cancelled as a mark of respect to the late Heuker. The competitors assembled for a minute’s silence before riding a neutralised route along the main road from Chillagoe to Mt. Mulgrave, where the seventh stage begins.

    Race organiser Gerhard Schönbacher offered his sympathies to those close to Heuker. “Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and teammates,” he said.


  • Dean enjoys the spirt of singlespeed mountain bike Worlds

    Professional road racer Julian Dean raced singlespeed Worlds in an orange tracksuit.
    Article published:
    October 24, 2010, 20:42 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Second world championships of October for Garmin-Transitions racer

    "There is logic to this madness," was the quote of the day at the singlespeed mountain bike world championships this weekend in Rotorua, New Zealand. Attributed to race director Dean Watson, the Kiwi overseeing more than 850 one-geared and free spirited cyclists prepare to race whilst he was perched in a cherrypicker.

    The first time New Zealand had ever hosted singlespeed Worlds, the scene was set as riders took part in the biggest rolling fancy dress party of their lives. It was somewhat spiritual. The riders were trance-like, live music adding to their focus as Watson sent them away onto the world famous Rotoruan mountain bike trails.

    It may be the only world championships event in the world where Muppets and superheroes alike could line up with cycling stars. At one end of the event were the racers, primed and ready to hurt themselves for the chance to be crowned world champion. But the majority, including New Zealand pro road rider Julian Dean (Garmin Transitions), were there for fun.

    The Waihi-born professional roadie lives in Rotorua when not in Europe and was a late entry, talked into going off road by Dale Hollows, the legendary wrencher to several Kiwi cycling stars.

    Dressed in a splendid orange tracksuit, Dean looked a cross between a 1980s sports star and Boogie Nights protagonist Dirk Diggler.
    It was the perfect disguise to walk up the hills and partake in the odd beer shortcut.

    "This is my track suit - I thought it might be a goody but there are some pretty good costumes here," said Dean, laughing. He admitted that he'd re-claimed the threads from his parents in time for his second world championships of October. He'd earlier competed in the UCI Road World Championships in Australia.

    "Obviously there are some people here that want to win, but most of the people just want to have fun - it's good to be part of something that's so relaxed," said the New Zealand national team...

  • 2011 Singlespeed Worlds to Ireland

    Singlespeed Worlds Winner Garth Weinberg's new tattoo
    Article published:
    October 24, 2010, 22:08 BST
    2010 SInglespeed Worlds Organizing Committee

    Bungee competition decides next host

    Immediately after the finish of the 2010 Singlespeed mountain bike Worlds on Saturday in Rotorua, New Zealand, the top two remaining candidates for hosting the 2011 Worlds faced off. Ireland defeated South Africa in the horizontal bungee contest deciding next year's hosting rights.

    Four members of each team bungee'd out to place a can of Speights on the ground before being dragged back by the bungee cord.

    The competition had started in the days prior at Agroventures, where five hosting candidates were vying for glory. Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy and South Africa made the start line, but the Phillipines, which had expressed interest, did not turn up.

    Whether that was due to sabotage will never be known, but the absence of the Philippines meant that only one team would get the chop after an arduous first round of competition. Hundreds of singlepseeders turned up to stand around and drink the first layer of a hug pile of the sponsor's ale, and more than a few took a turn on the Shweeb to see how fast they could go.

    Skills required to prevail included balancing a cup of water while taking a ride in a 100kph jet boat, milking a cow into a shot glass, showing skills and coordination while riding a blast of air on top of an airplane motor, shweebing at speed, hurling water balloons at their teammates (and spectators) while dropping off a six story high crane in a sleeping bag, and herding a squad of recalcitrant sheep through a couple of gates.

    After hours of strife in the gathering dusk, one team had to be eliminated, and it turned out to be Australia. "This is no reflection on their efforts, they looked about as out of their depth as all the others, but somebody has to lose and after their gold-medal gluttony at the Commonwealth Games it seemed fair it was Australia," said organizers in a statement.

    Round two, held on the eve of the actual bike race, was a quiz show.  Italy and Canada were eliminated, leaving...