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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Saturday, August 13, 2011

Date published:
August 13, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • New venue for 24-hour US mountain bike nationals

    Jari Kirkland raced to her second Breck 100 win
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 20:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Palmer Park takes over hosting from US Air Force Academy

    The USA Cycling 24-hour mountain bike national championships have changed venues and will now be held at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The event's date remains October 1-2, 2011.

    The 24-hour nationals were moved due to a change in security protocol at the previously planned venue, the United States Air Force Academy.

    Palmer Park is a 104-year-old park named for the founder of Colorado Springs, General William Palmer. The park features over 25 miles of trails used for hiking, equestrian or biking. Riders will experience views of Pikes Peak and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

    The proposed course in Palmer Park is 13.5 miles of varying terrain weaving throughout the park.

    Racers who wish to compete in the park prior to the national championships may participate in the Pro Cycling Palmer Park 50 on September 18.

    The 2010 24-hour nationals were held in Moab, Utah, and were won by Josh Tostado and Jari Kirkland.

    See more information on the 24-hour nationals or the Palmer Park 50.

  • Australian Mountain Bike Series gets facelift

    Sam Hill (Monster Specialized) at the Australian Mountain Bike National Championships in Adelaide.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 23:31 BST
    Cycling News

    New formats for cross country and gravity

    The Australian Mountain Bike Series will take on a new look this summer, with two new formats to be introduced for the benefit of riders and spectators alike. The 2011-2012 season will be split into two, with the cross country riders vying for the "All Mountain Cup" and the downhillers contesting the "Gravity Cup".

    Spectators across Australia will have the opportunity to witness the nation's best riders, with events to be staged in Perth, Canberra, Thredbo, Mount Buller, Adelaide and Newcastle.

    Each round will feature an activity staged in the center of each host town to bring spectators closer to the action than ever before.

    The new formats will allow for growth in both disciplines, by offering riders the chance to compete in additional events over the weekend.

    The All Mountain Cup will include a number of additional elements over the course of each two-day event. Riders will compete in a stage-like environment, in which performance results will be tallied to determine the overall event winner.

    In addition to the centrepiece Olympic cross country event, other formats such as the cross country eliminator (four cross for cross country), cross country time trial, cross country enduro (25km to 50km), super D and the return of the short track event will be scheduled over the weekend of competition.

    In the Gravity Cup, all downhill classes will now have seeding races on the Saturday, followed by finals on the Sunday.

    "Mountain Bike Australia has completely re-written the way the national level events are delivered," said Tony Scott, Executive Officer of MTBA.

    "The new All Mountain Cup is going to be a spectacle of cross country mountain bike racing that will appeal to all levels of skill and experience and one that will involve both riding prowess and strategy in several different short duration activities.

    "For the gravity riders we have expanded the seeding races to include all classes. This...

  • Dahle Flesjå celebrates fifth European title

    Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida)
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 19:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Emotional victory for mountain biker

    At the European cross country mountain bike championships in Dohnany, Slovakia, this weekend, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan Merida) reaped the rewards of her long and consistent build-up to form after a break to have a baby in 2009. She won her fifth European championship title with an advantage of 33 seconds over reigning world champion Maja Wloszczowska. Just as during the pre-baby days when she was at the top of the sport, she dominated the race from start to finish.

    "This is a very emotional moment," said Dahle after winning. "A lot of people did not believe in my comeback, and today I had the opportunity to prove that I am definitely back in the world's top 10."

    After a long period of illness and the birth of her son, the Norwegian has been working back to top form with full determination despite the setbacks along the way over several years.

    "We have laid our focus on the second half of the season," she said. Her European Championship performance bodes well for the world championships coming up the first week of September in Champery, Switzerland.

    Follow the adventures of Dahle Flesjå in her Cyclingnews blog.

  • Leadville 100 organizers present IMBA with contribution

    Kelli Emmett (Giant) should be a big factor in the Leadville 100 this year.
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 5:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Lifetime Fitness donates $32,940

    At the opening ceremonies for this year's Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race this weekend, Life Time Fitness chairman, president and chief executive officer Bahram Akradi will present the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) with a check for US$32,940 to support IMBA's mission of new and better trails for mountain biking.

    "Since the inception of the first Leadville Trail 100 race in 1994, our goal has been to make a difference - and a contribution - to those who support the mountain biking industry and the town of Leadville," said Akradi. "We're honored to partner with IMBA as its mission mirrors our dedication to growing and enhancing the sport of mountain biking to riders of all abilities and to help create trails for cyclists."

    "Both IMBA and Life Time want to see more people, healthy, outside and mountain biking. Combining our two robust networks can do great things for the sport," said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. "We see a natural alliance between Life Time's goals and IMBA's."

    Jenn Dice serves as IMBA's Government Affairs Director; she's also a 12-year Leadville vetaran competitor. "Between the vision of community leaders like Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin to the movies the race has inspired and now Life Time's involvement - Leadville has become one of the premier endurance events in the nation," said Dice. "By partnering with Life Time, IMBA hopes to engage thousands of racers to take a stand for trail advocacy."

    Launched in 1994 with 13 riders, the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race now attracts nearly 2,000 of the world's fiercest competitors. On Saturday, participants from 50 states and 28 countries will race on a demanding course with steep, technical climbs and descents.

    Competitors paid $15 to enter a lottery for race slots. More than 500 entrants chose to contribute...

  • 2012 US Cross Country National Championships dates announced

    Todd Wells (Specialized) riding the last rock garden
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 17:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Event returns to Idaho, but two weeks earlier

    USA Cycling set the dates for the 2012 US Cross Country Mountain Bike National Championships for July 5-8. The nationals will return to Sun Valley Resort in Ketchum, Idaho, but they will no longer be held in conjunction with the national championships weekend dates set by the UCI for July 21-22 next year.

    The US championship dates were moved up two weeks to coincide with the second annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival. The Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival begins June 29 with the Wood River Cup Finals. The Galena Grinder, an event on the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Professional Ultra Endurance Tour (US Pro UET), will take place on June 30. A road criterium will fill the streets of downtown Ketchum on July 4 before the national championship event begins on July 5.

    The 2011 nationals attracted more than 1000 riders in its first year in Ketchum. The 2012 event will feature updated courses and race schedule, both still in the planning phase.

    "We are thrilled to come back to Sun Valley Resort," USA Cycling National Events Director, Kelli Lusk said. "The July Fourth weekend is a great time of year for riders and spectators to come out to Ketchum and watch world-class mountain bikers. While we were thrilled with our rider turnout and unparalleled community support in 2011, we expect to even be bigger and better in 2012."

    "We are committed to putting the athletes first," said Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce General Manager Greg Randolph. "Ride Sun Valley strives to embrace everyone who makes the journey with a great experience and make it as easy as possible for everyone to get around, get out and ride, and of course have the performance of a lifetime. We are stoked to have another year with this great group of athletes and are hard at work to deliver an even better event next year."

    The new dates do not conflict with any UCI World Cups, which will...

  • RockShox 2012 sneak peek: Monarch XX

    RockShox has provided some of its sponsored riders with these prototype Monarch XX rear shocks, which use the same XLoc hydraulic lockout technology as on the XX-level forks. Consumers can expect to see these officially launched at Eurobike as part of the 2012 model lineup.
    Article published:
    August 12, 2011, 21:51 BST
    James Huang

    Hydraulic rear lockout system using same XLoc lever as XX forks

    Subaru-Trek rider Sam Schultz provided a sneak peek at one of RockShox's new products for the 2012 model year: a Monarch XX rear shock featuring the same XLoc hydraulic remote lockout technology as found on the company's current XX-level forks.

    "That is something we're working on, using the same XLoc technology we use in our forks," RockShox product manager Jeremiah Boobar told Cyclingnews.

    Boobar declined to provide more detailed technical information but based on what we know about the analogous forks, we expect the hydraulic fluid to simply actuate a small plunger inside the shock's damper unit while also providing the side benefits of a lighter, fully sealed system as compared to conventional mechanical setups.

    The advent of the hydraulic rear lockout also brings with it the enticing possibility of a purpose-built single XLoc lever controlling both front and rear ends. Given that RockShox plans to launch this technology at Eurobike, however, Boobar was expectedly noncommittal on whether this possibility would manifest into an actual product. "The one you see on the team bike only controls just the rear shock – one lever to a rear shock, one to a fork," he told us.

    "I'm not prepared to talk about what projects we may or may not be working on," said Boobar. "We're not revealing a ton about it right now just because we have to get it out there and we have to get it tested. We'll be more prepared to talk about at trade show time."

    Boobar did say that spectators attending the upcoming World Cup round in the Czech Republic will likely see more of the prototype rear shock used by other SRAM-sponsored riders. "Keep your eyes open at the World Cup," he said. "I know a lot of people have them but I don't know who is...

  • British roster finalized for mountain bike Worlds

    Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing)
    Article published:
    August 13, 2011, 18:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Four cross, downhill riders added to cross country and team relay picks

    British Cycling announced the riders who will represent Great Britain in the downhill, four cross and trials disciplines at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, taking place in Champéry, Switzerland from August 31 to September 4. Cross country and relay team riders were announced last month.

    Current World Champion Tracy Moseley will be looking to defend her title in the downhill event and has also been selected for the relay, an event which scores Olympic qualifying points for top nations. 2010 downhill World Champion Steve Peat and 2010 World Cup overall champion Gee Atherton will both be looking to put in strong performances in the elite men's category.

    Junior female rider Manon Carpenter is currently leading the junior World Cup series, whilst both of the selected junior male riders, Lewis Buchanan and Mark Scott, have had a fantastic World Cup season and they are all looking on good form ahead of the World Championships.

    Fionn Griffiths will represent in the four cross, having had a podium performance this year. In the trials, James Hyland has bounced back from an ankle injury to make his mark on the British scene.

    "We have a massive pool of mountain bike talent in Great Britain and this is reflected in the size of the squad we have selected for the World Championships," said Great Britain Performance Manager Shane Sutton. "The downhill guys perform consistently well year-on-year and it’s exciting to see the young talent, like Danny Hart, up there on the podium alongside the best elite riders in the sorld.

    "From an Olympic perspective, I believe we're gaining momentum as we approach 2012 and we've seen some...

  • Canadian gravity roster set for mountain bike Worlds

    Lauren Rosser (Canada) on her way to a win
    Article published:
    August 13, 2011, 21:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Rosser aims to defend junior downhill title

    The Canadian Cycling Association completed its national team roster bound for the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Champéry, Switzerland, from August 31-September 4, 2011. Downhill and four cross racers were named to the team this week. Cross country racers selected for Worlds were named two weeks ago.

    Lauren Rosser of Squamish, British Columbia, will return to the Worlds to defend her junior women's downhill title of 2010. Last season, on home soil in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Rosser surprised everyone - even herself - as she sped down the course to post the fastest time for the world championships title. This season, Rosser won the Canada Cup title in the women's elite category, with two victories on the tour.

    In the men's elite race, Steve Smith, silver medallist at the 2010 world championships and World Cup medallist this season on the UCI World Cup tour, will lead the team. The defending Canadian Champion Andrew Mitchell will also be racing while Olympic ski-cross rider Chris Del Bosco will make his Worlds debut.

    Rob Fraser, the 2011 Canada Cup Champion in downhill, will also be part of the group. Fraser won the Canada Cup by a mere five points in the very last race of the season in Panorama Mountain Village.

    On the women's front, Claire Buchar, the defending Canadian Champion, will be joined by Micayla Gatto, Canada's top ranked rider on the UCI World Cup tour and Miranda Millar amongst others.

    Canadian team for the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

    Elite men: Steve Smith, Andrew Mitchell, Chris Del Bosco, Rob Fraser, Yann Gauvin, Dean Tennant
    Elite women: Micayla Gatto, Claire Buchar, Miranda Miller, Casey Brown, Danice Uyseugi, Anne Laplante, Katarine Short
    Junior men: Kyle Sangers, Riley Suhan, Luke Stevens,...