The Swiss cycling federation set the location for the next Swiss marathon mountain bike national championships. In 2011, the marathon nationals will be held in Scuol in Graubünden in conjunction with the established National Park Bike Marathon race on Saturday, August 27.
The National Park Bike Marathon starts in Scuol, the capital of the Lower Engadine and runs through the famous resort of Livigno, Italy. The race is 138km long and ascends 4010m. It also finishes in Scuol.
Andreas Kugler and Esther Süss won the elite men's and women's Swiss marathon titles in Mendrisio in 2010.
Following in the footsteps of his teammate and world champion Jose Antonio Hermida, Ralph Näf extended his contract with the Multivan Merida Biking Team for two years. The contract will cover Näf as he works toward his goal of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Näf is always a contender to win mountain bike races in both the Olympic distance cross country format and in longer distance races. This year, the former (2006) marathon World Champion won the European Marathon Championships. He also anchored the winning Swiss team in the team relay at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
The Swiss rider finished on the podium at three of this season's World Cup cross country races, contributing significantly to his team's win in the overall World Cup standings.
Bicycle manufacturer Merida said Näf had contributed decisively to the development of the company's fully suspended race bike, the Ninety Six, and that he is still working closely with engineers on various mountain bike-related projects, which it did not specify.
Trayter, Lozano, Villar favorites for penultimate round
The next round of the GP Massi International Copa Catalana BTT takes place in Calaf on Sunday, September 19. Calaf is a regular venue on the circuit, and this time, it is hosting the penultimate stop of the 2010 series.
The race will be held in the area that has traditionally hosted the previous editions, on a 10.5km circuit, the longest track in the GP Massi. This time, it features more technical sections, and some flat sections have been eliminated. The route runs through the southwest part of the town, visiting Puig de Sant Sebastià and Sant Martí Sesgueioles.
In the men's race, the battle will continue between series leader Marc Trayter and Under 23 Spanish champion David Lozano.
The women's race looks likely to have a more obvious winner, Anna Villar, who comfortably leads the overall series, could mathematically secure the overall title on Sunday before the final round on Montjuïc Mountain on October 3. Cristina Mascarreras, who won the Marathon de Cartes last week, is the only woman likely to challenge Villar.
Race distances for each category will be determined on race day, and the forecast is for dry, sunny conditions. The course is already marked and open for pre-riding and training today and on Saturday.
US domestic downhill national series wraps up near Lake Placid
The USA Cycling Professional Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT) wrapped up last weekend with Bryn Atkinson and Jill Kintner (both Transition Racing) claiming the overall wins in the five-race series. The best of the best in gravity racing converged on the Whiteface Mountain Bike Park in Lake Placid, New York, for the final which was won by Justin Leov and Tracy Moseley (both Trek World Racing).
Though not present in Lake Placid, Atkinson had accumulated 205 points over the US Pro GRT season and kept the number one spot after the final. Neethling, who made the podium in the final round, was second in the series with 195 points while Leov moved into third-place with 190 points after winning the Whiteface event.
In the women's race, Moseley's win wasn't enough to help her regain her US Pro GRT lead however, and Kintner stayed in the number spot with 335 points compared to the British rider's 240. Coming in third in the final women's Pro GRT standings was Melissa Buhl (KHS Bicycles) with 180 points.
The final 2010 USA Cycling Pro GRT standings are as follows.
HooHa! and YeeHa! mountain bike races scheduled for next season
Massanutten Resort announced its mountain bike race dates for 2011. The ski resort, near Harrisonburg, Virginia, hosts one weekend each of downhill and cross country racing each year. The YeeHa! Downhill will happen on April 29-30, 2011, and the HooHa! Super D and Cross Country will occur over June 4-5, 2011.
"The trails keep improving every year," said co-promoter George Willetts to Cyclingnews, "thanks to our relationship with Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) and the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA)." The organizations have partnered over the years to build many miles of new trails now integrated into the race course.
The HooHa! race weekend will celebrate it's 22nd annual edition in 2011.
In 2010, the events were part of the Gravity East Downhill Series and the US Cup's Triple Crown, respectively. The HooHa! weekend may also include a short track, which debuted this year.
The dates mark a slight shift from last year when the HooHa!, which served as the finals of the Triple Crown series, was run over Father's Day weekend, the third weekend in June.
Last year's cross country race was won by Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) and Kelli Emmett (Giant). The downhill was won by Geritt Beytagh (Morewood USA) and Dawn Bourque (Chainline Cycles).
Detailed weekend event schedules are yet to be determined.