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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Saturday, November 10, 2012

Date published:
November 10, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Cape Pioneer Trek to strip George of results, prizes

    David George (front) and Kevin Evans of Nedbank 360Life push the pace up a climb as they break clear of their rivals on their way to winning Stage 1
    Article published:
    November 08, 2012, 4:46 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Organisers feel shock, disappointment and anger at EPO positive

    The South African mountain bike stage race Cape Pioneer Trek is currently re-assessing the 2012 results and allocation of prize money following the doping admission and EPO positive by David George.

    George and his teammate Kevin Evans won four individual stages en route to the overall victory in the two-rider team category last month, netting an extra haul of R100,000 (US $12,500) for winning the difficult the stage 2 "queen" stage, and a total of R125,000 ($15,625) for the race..

    George tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test on August 29, the news of which was only announced on Monday, November 6.

    "When I heard the news I had the same feeling as if I'd just been told a family member had died," said Henco Rademeyer of Dryland Events, the organisers of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek.

    "Utter shock followed by disappointment and then anger. As organisers of a number of high profile events, we do not condone doping or any form of cheating and are pleased to see success in the fight against this from the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport.

    "We will be guided by Cycling South Africa in terms of the protocol in a case such as this, but are obviously preparing to review all results in the open men's division at this year's event.

    "Once the official process has been completed, we will announce the changes to the results and reallocation of prizemoney," said Rademeyer.

    George and Evans won the prologue and stage 2 over Matthys Beukes and Ben Swanepoel, and stage 1 and 6 over Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck. Bell and Combrinck were second overall to the pair.

    Despite the tarnish George's doping has put on the sport, the organisers said the sponsors are still supportive of the race, and are committed to continuing.

    ...
  • Cape Epic organizers respond to George positive

    Former multiple national champion on the road, David George is gunning for his first ever national mountain bike title on Saturday.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2012, 16:37 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Decision pending on George's prize money and results

    Cape Epic mountain bike stage race organizers responded to news earlier this week that David George had tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO). George, with his riding partner Kevin Evans, finished in second place overall in this year's Absa Cape Epic, his best performance in the event to date. George has also won the African jersey at the Cape Epic three times (2008, 2009 and 2012).

    Cape Epic founder Kevin Vermaak said, "David George and his riding partner since 2008, Kevin Evans, have been the main contenders to become the first ever all-South African team to win the Cape Epic. Many South Africans were obviously supporting David to achieve this milestone next year in our 10th anniversary race."

    A disappointed Vermaak said, "Much of the race's allure is linked to the pro-am nature of the event. We have the world's best mountain bikers riding alongside amateurs from every walk of life. George's suspension has no detrimental effect on this element of the race, but he has certainly let down the South African mountain biking community that were supporting him for the all-South Africa win.

    "It's a shock. George is a convert to mountain biking from road cycling. Mountain biking gave him a chance to re-start his cycling career after a European road career that was starting to taper. Many South African mountain bikers might feel that he has let down the sport that gave him a second chance in his cycling career. It's a sad day for South African mountain biking. Personally, I'm sad and angered that the sport in which I've invested 10 years of my life, and worked so hard at making more professional in South Africa, has now also been tainted by this disease within the sport of cycling."

    "Next year's race will be the most competitive in the Absa Cape Epic's history, with seven of...

  • Albstadt becomes a World Cup venue for 2013

    And the men are off for their turn in the mud
    Article published:
    November 08, 2012, 18:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Mountain bike World Cup returns to Germany

    A mountain bike race in Albstadt, Germany, which was previously part of the German Bundesliga, will step up and become part of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2013. Last week, the UCI announced that it had awarded the bid to organizers for a World Cup round on the weekend of May 17-19.

    Albstadt is located in the southwestern part of Germany, in an uplands region called the Swabian Jura (Schwäbische Alb). Knowing that there will be a lot of work to be done during the coming seven months, the Skyder Sportpromotion organizing team said it is eagerly looking forward to its debut in the World Cup series.

    The short-term bid and the quick confirmation came as a surprise. Six weeks ago, when the Albstadt MTB Classic, a well-established UCI Category HC race, took place, the thought of playing host to a World Cup event in Albstadt was not more than a distant goal for some indefinite time in the future. Now, the event will host the opening round of the 2013 World Cup.

    "We were dreaming of this, and yes, it was a defined goal, but we would never have thought, that this dream now will come true in 2013 already. When all of a sudden the door was wide open for it, we didn't need any time to make our decision," said Stephan Salscheider, CEO of Skyder Sportpromotion.

    The municipal administration of Albstadt, led by mayor Dr. Jürgen Gneveckow, immediately sent a positive signal to support the bid. "We are happy that the UCI and BDR confirmed the Albstadt bid. The people in our town are very enthusiastic about sports, and I think they will welcome the athletes from all around the world and cheer them strongly," said Dr. Jürgen Gneveckow.

    With seven months to go until its first World Cup, Albstadt is asking a lot from its sponsors and...

  • 2013 Canadian Mountain Bike Calendar released

    Geoff Kabush (Can) settled into eighth place with two to go.
    Article published:
    November 09, 2012, 6:49 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Three national championships among featured events

    Cycling Canada released its 2013 Mountain Bike calendar on Tuesday. The season will be highlighted by the UCI World Cup race in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, a race that has become a tradition on the UCI World Cup and is a favorite among international riders.

    The 2013 Canadian mountain bike domestic calendar features three national championships for 2013. The traditional Canadian cross country championships will be held at the popular Hardwood Ski and Bike resort near Barrie, Ontario, the site that will host the mountain bike competitions for the 2015 Pan American Games.

    The Canadian downhill championships will take place in Panorama, British Columbia, making a return to the popular destination for a third time in four years, while the Canadian marathon championships will make a return to St-Raymond for a second straight year after a highly-successful inaugural event in 2012.

    The calendar also features an improved Canada Cup for both cross country and downhill. Five races will be held for cross country racers, while the downhill racers will ride in three events. The 2013 Canada Cup Finals will be held in Whistler, British Columbia, marking the return of racing at the popular destination. The 2013 Canada Cup series will be held in three provinces: Québec, Ontario and British Columbia.

    Mathieu Boucher, director of development for Cycling Canada, is excited about the opportunities for next season. "We are pleased to host three different Canadian Championships for 2013 catering to all our riders, in three different provinces. The Canada Cup is also promising to be stronger than ever in 2013, with committed and experienced organizing committees in place. Riders taking part in both the Canadian Championships and Canada Cup events will experience the best mountain biking that Canada has to offer."

    2013 Canadian National Mountain Bike Calendar
    July 6-7: Canadian Mountain Bike Downhill Championships [elite...

  • Hermida renews contract with Multivan Merida Biking Team

    Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) loves racing at Mont-Sainte-Anne
    Article published:
    November 09, 2012, 14:45 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two more years for former world champion

    Spaniard José Hermida has signed for two more years with the Multivan Merida Biking Team. The former cross country mountain bike world champion has been riding with the team since 2004.

    Since joining the team, Hermida has been a regular contender on the international racing circuit. He won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and won the world championship in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada in 2010. He has earned multiple European championships and finished in the top five of the World Cup year after year.

    2012 was no different as the Spaniard finished the season in a fifth overall World Cup position. At the Olympic Games in London, he crossed the finish line in fourth, only five seconds behind the bronze medallist Marco Aurelio Fontana. Now the 34-year-old Spaniard has signed for two more years with the Multivan Merida Biking Team.

    "For the next two years, my goals remain unchanged: Of course, I want to continue competing at the very top in the cross country World Cup. On top of that I plan to start at select marathon and stage races such as the Cape Epic in South Africa."

    By dominating last year's Andalucia Bike Race stage race from start to finish, Hermida has already shown that he is competitive in these kind of races as well.

    "The team management has set the course for the future going into the next season. For me, it's going to be both interesting and challenging to be on the same team as highly talented athletes such as Rudi van Houts, Thomas Litscher and Ondrej Cink," said Hermida. "I'm sure that we will push each other to even better performances and get the chance to learn from each other."

    "Knowing that I can fully rely on an ideal team to me is just as important as having the best equipment at hand. As the Multivan Merida Biking Team...

  • Trans Germany becomes Bike Four Peaks

    The start of the fourth and final Trans Germany stage.
    Article published:
    November 09, 2012, 18:12 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    New name for German mountain bike stage race

    The Trans Germany mountain bike stage race is getting a new name for 2013. The German four-day race will become the Bike Four Peaks and will run its sixth edition from June 5 to June 8, 2013.

    The new name better captures how the race has evolved over the years. It started as a race from west to east across Germany, but in recent years has taken place in the foothills of the Alps.

    The new name also takes into account that the routing is not limited to Germany.

    "Our goal is to provide a varying routing for upcoming events which will not only lead through the most beautiful scenery of the Alps but also cross the German borders from time to time. We want to provide an attractive course every year," said Race Director Marc Schneider.

    The route of the 2013 Bike Four Peaks will be released in mid-November. It is expected to cover about 300km with 9000m of climbing over the four days. Solo and team entries are accepted.

    The 2012 Trans Germany was won by Christoph Sauser (Specialized) and Milena Landtwing (Team Centuiron Vaude).

    For more information, visit www.bike-fourpeaks.de.

  • 2013 New Zealand Mountain Bike Calendar released

    Anton Cooper (New Zealand) on his way to winning the junior world championship in Saalfelden, Austria
    Article published:
    November 09, 2012, 22:15 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    BikeNZ announces national series and championship dates and venues

    BikeNZ announced the 2013 New Zealand Mountain Bike Cups and 2013 Mountain Bike National Championships to be held in the New Year.

    The New Zealand MTB Cup will include five downhill and four cross country events, starting in Bluff on January 4 and concluding at the series finale in Hunua, Auckland on February 10 where series champions will be crowned.

    On the back of New Zealand's recent success at the world championships in Austria, in particular the junior rainbow jersey-winning ride of Anton Cooper, this series is set to attract a large following from fans and riders alike.

    "Anton is going to be a huge draw card for spectators at some of these events after earning his world champion status in September," said event manager Vicki Butterworth.

    "All of our top Kiwi riders will be coming along to compete because they love racing at home, but also want to do well in New Zealand to push their claims for selection in national teams later in the year."

    The Kiwis may not have it all their own way, however, as a significant international presence is expected to head down under for the European winter and may challenge for the title.

    "For the most part, the international riders who come to New Zealand will be using this series for off-season training, but these guys can't help themselves when put in a competitive environment so will be giving it everything to win," said Butterworth.

    Consistency will be the key to success in this compact competition with every point crucial. Riders can drop their worst performance from their overall tallies, but any further slip ups could be very costly.

    "These riders have a busy summer ahead with the NZ MTB Cups and the nationals all happening in a short period of time so they'll need to be switched on in order to get the most out of it," said Butterworth.

    The 2013 New Zealand Mountain Bike National Championships, for both downhill and cross country, will be held in...

  • Nedbank ends team sponsorship after David George doping positive

    Overall leaders, David George (left) and Kevin Evans (Nedbank 360Life) were content with second place on Stage 5
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 21:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Kevin Evans calls teammate's doping "all time low"

    The fallout from South African David George's positive for EPO and admission to doping continues as his former Team 360Life squad has lost Nedbank as a sponsor over the affair.

    Nedbank, one of the major sponsors of cycling in South Africa, has said it would continue in other aspects of the sport, "particularly youth development and events which benefit our clients, staff and communities".

    The company will also continue to support cycling events such as the Tour de Tuli, Sani2C and the Pick n Pay Cape Argus. "There will be no change to our level of support of these events," a statement said.

    George tested positive in an out-of-competition control on August and subsequently admitted to doping. He faces disqualification from two prominent mountain bike stage races, the Cape Pioneer Trek, which he and teammate Kevin Evans won, and the Cape Epic, in which he and Evans took second overall.

    "Nedbank’s decision was made all the more difficult given the immediate impact it has on riders Kevin Evans and James Reid who have represented Team 360Life and their sport commendably. This decision is in no way a reflection on either rider, but purely a consequence of recent events.

    "Nedbank will continue to remunerate Kevin and James to the end of their contract periods, to ensure that they are not financially impacted by this decision."

    The company also stated that David George's salary would be donated to the South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport.

    Evans was disappointed to lose his sponsor. "I realise how hard this decision has been for Nedbank but will continue to support them in their contribution to the development of cycling...