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MTB News & Racing Round-up, October 8, 2010

Date published:
October 08, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Erdelyi-Cluer takes on Speedy at Crater Cruise

    Eszter Erdelyi
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 12:32 BST
    Cycling News

    South African mountain biker continues her rise up the ranks

    One of the most exciting rivalries in South African mountain biking resumes on Saturday when Yolandé Speedy (MTN-Energade) and Eszther Erdelyi-Cluer (Jeep) get on their bicycles to race the MTN Ride Crater Cruise, the final round in the South African marathon series.

    Judging by the way Speedy has been dominating the local women's mountain bike races throughout the year, she should be the outright favourite. But Erdelyi-Cluer has been victorious the last three times she raced in South Africa. In two of the three races, she managed to beat Speedy.

    Then there is also the fact that Erdelyi-Cluer, just like Max Knox (DCM), is on the verge of completing a very unique hat trick in South African mountain biking.

    In the last four weeks, she first won the Hill2Hill and a week later, she outrode Speedy to also win the MTN 50 Miler. Erdelyi-Cluer now just needs a victory in the MTN Ride Crater Cruise to make it three in row.

    There is no arguing the fact that Erdelyi-Cluer is in top form at the moment. During the MTN 50 Miler, she had her fair share of bad luck. First she crashed and had to fix her bike's handlebars. Then she remembered that she had forgotten her water bottle at the feeding station which led to her running back about 40 meters to go and fetch it and she had to run back before she could continue racing yet still she won.

    Afterwards, Erdelyi-Cluer admitted to having surprised herself. "I can't believe how strong I am at the moment. Even steep climbs do not phase me. I just want to keep on riding because I love it."

    Erdelyi-Cluer also managed to beat Speedy at the MTN National cross country event in George.

    She comes from a strong track running and multisport background and is the 2007 Xterra European Champion, after winning the 2008 South African Xterra Championships in Grabouw, she picked up a serious knee injury which made it difficult for her to keep on running, and she had to go for an...

  • TX Active-Bianchi signs Kerschbaumer

    Gerhard Kerschbaumer and TX Active Bianchi team manager Felice Gimondi sign a two-year contract.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 14:23 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Former junior world champion under contract for two years

    Gerhard Kerschbaumer will ride for the TX Active-Bianchi mountain bike team in 2011 and 2012 after signing a two-year contract with Felice Gimondi's team. Kerschbaumer, a former junior world champion and a first-year Under 23 racer, finished fifth at the U23 world championship race in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada, last month.

    "I'm proud to be part of TX Active-Bianchi as I've always looked at this team as a truly professional one, and I've been impressed by their attention to small details. They leave no stone unturned," Kerschbaumer said.

    "They always take place in the most important races of the international calendar. It is the right team for me and I'm looking forward to getting into the next season with my new teammates and staff."

    The 19-year-old Kerschbaumer won the 2009 junior cross country world championship in Canberra, Australia, ahead of Portugal's Ricardo Marinheiro, who joined the TX Active-Bianchi team in 2010. At the 2009 Worlds, Kerschbaumer was also a member of Italy's team relay winning squad, and he was European and Italian champion. The two talented, young riders will form a strong pair looking toward to the next season.

    Team President Felice Gimondi was obviously delighted to have signed Kerschbaumer. "Thanks to our sponsors, we were able to seal the deal with Gerhard, the Italian mountain bike hope. We are very happy to have him in our roster and we believe he will be able to improve his qualities and abilities looking forward to 2012 Olympic Games. Last year, he dominated the stage but also in 2010, in his first year as an under 23, he proved himself to be one of the most gifted bikers in the world."

    TX Active-Bianchi has also added another young rider to its squad for 2011: the 14-year-old Chiara Teocchi will race cross country and cyclo-cross for the team.

  • Kirkland, Tostado among favorites for 24 Hours of Moab

    Josh Tostado (Bach Builders Santa Cruz) leads the race
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 18:01 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Utah race doubling as US 24-hour mountain bike national championships

    Fifteen US national titles will be awarded at this weekend's 24 Hours of Moab in Moab, Utah, on October 9-10. While the soloists typically draw much of the attention, stars and stripes jerseys will also go out to the top two-person and four-person teams in various age and gender categories.

    In the elite men's solo race, 24-hour National Champion & two-time 24 Hours of Moab Champion Josh Tostado is returning to defend both titles. Kelly Magelky and Ernesto Marenchin, who finished second and fourth respectively last year, will give Tostado a run for his money.

    In the elite women's solo race, Jari ("Yari") Kirkland will face challenges from Laureen Coffelt, Kris Cannon and Timari Pruis. Kirkland won the title in 2008. Defending champion Ester Horanyi will be missing as she will be racing the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Championships in Australia this weekend.

    The date conflict between the US and world championship races arose after the 24 hours of Big Bear, scheduled for June of 2010, was cancelled. The race, which like Moab is run by Granny Gear Productions, was cancelled this spring, and the US championships were shifted back to the 24 Hours of Moab, which also hosted nationals last year.

    The forecast for the weekend of racing is looking good with temperatures maxing out at 70 degrees (Fahrenheit) and drop to the mid 40s. No precipitation is expected. Promoter Laird Knight reported that as of last weekend, the 14.91-mile per lap course was riding well with its usual fast sections and sandy sections.

    "If the current forecast pans out, this will likely be the fastest course and the most dust-free year in the 15-year history of the race," said Knight.

    The course includes some big chain ring sections where racers hit 40+ miles per hour, and pros consistently break the one-hour mark for lap times. Each lap includes 1,360 feet of climbing.

    Follow the race via Granny Gear's real-time tracking system...

  • English returns to defend title at 24-hour Worlds

    The course map and profile for the 2010 24 Hours of Adrenalin Solo World Championship
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 18:45 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Tough competition predicted in men's and women's championships

    For the first time since its inception in 1999, the 24 Hours of Adrenalin Solo World Championships will happen outside of North America. It's set for this weekend, October 9-10 in Australia. 411 solo athletes and 15 countries will be represented while another 2,300 racers will participate in the 24-hour racing this weekend as part of teams.

    This weekend's 24-hour solo championship is being run in conjunction with CORC's Scott Australian 24-Hour Mountain Bike Championships, now the largest of any 24-hour race in the world.

    The Canberra Off Road Cycling (CORC) group is running the event at Mt. Stromlo Park in Canberra, which is the venue that hosted the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.

    All competitors - team and solo - will be racing at the same time; however, solo riders will be riding a completely separate course than the team riders. The courses, which are marked with different colored arrows, come together under the start finish each lap. Solo racers will do 20km laps. The open character of the course means the lone racers will be able to see their competition for much of each lap.

    Eszter Horanyi, 2009 US 24-hour solo national champion, is one of the favorite international riders in the women's race. She'll be challenged by British national champion Rickie Cotter and Italian national champion Anna Mei. Australian national champion Jessica Douglas will be looking for a win on home soil. Last year's winner, Rebecca Rusch, will be absent.

    In the men's contest, British national champion Matt Page, Canadian national champion Cory Wallace and Australian national champion Jason English are the favorite riders to watch along with Thomas Widhalm, the winner of Europe's largest 24-hour event.

    Sadly, the race will be run without James Williamson, who passed away in his sleep while at the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race this spring. Williamson won the 24-hour solo mountain bike world championships in...

  • Ferrand Prevot signs for Team Lapierre International's cross country squad

    Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France) in the rainbow jersey after the race
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 15:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Cole, Bruni bolster downhill roster

    Junior cross country champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot will ride for Team Lapierre International in 2011. She is one of several new signings by the French mountain bike team.

    Ferrand Prevot earned her second consecutive junior cross country world mountain bike championship in September at Mont-Saint-Anne, Quebec, Canada. It was also her second world title of the year; earlier this season she won the junior women's road race world championships.

    The young French woman will join current team member Alexis Vuillermoz in the quest for an Olympic medal at the 2012 Games in London. French national team member Thomas Lapeyrie will complete Lapierre's cross country roster.

    The squad also boasts a strong downhill contingent. Its Sam Blenkinsop had an excellent year and finished third overall in the World Cup rankings. Blenkinshop will get a new teammate in 2011 - fellow Kiwi Cameron Cole, who finished second at this year's World Cup round in Fort William, Scotland.  This season he broke his wrist and had to sit out the world championships.

    The junior downhill roster is also growing with new addition Loïc Bruni, an up-and-coming French rider with a promising future. Bruni joins current team member Sam Flockart, the current European Champion.

    Mountain bike legend and 10-time downhill World Champion Nicolas Vouilloz will continue to have an important role within the team, acting as Competition Coordinator for Lapierre. Known for his professionalism at the races, Vouilloz's experience is a useful resource, in particular for the team's younger riders.