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MTB News & Racing Round-up, September 2, 2009

Date published:
September 02, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Pisgah stage race teams up with with SORBA

    Two volunteers complete trail work.
    Article published:
    August 29, 2009, 15:07 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Partnership highlights trails in southeastern US

    The Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race has teamed up with the Southern Off Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) to support the association's mission to promote land access, trail preservation, and new trail development in the southeastern United States. Race organizers have donated US$3,000 to SORBA. In turn, SORBA members will be integral to staffing the inaugural edition of the race as volunteers and course marshals.

    The partnership with SORBA is a win for both organizations. "The [race] is a great chance to highlight some of the best riding opportunities we have in the Southeast," Branham said. "For SORBA it's an opportunity to spread their message and fund future projects, while supporting the race with great volunteers to help put on an excellent event."

    Race director Todd Branham and SORBA volunteers have planned nine trail work days in the Pisgah National Forest, of which two have already taken place. Prior to the start on October 15, Branham's goal is to have volunteers complete one hour of trail work for every racer that will tackle his event.

    Racers are encouraged to participate in the trail work, and many, including MonaVie-Cannondale's Jeremiah Bishop, have already signed up.

    Following the race, Branham plans to lead volunteers through another round of trail maintenance, to focus on any necessary repairs or tune-ups.

    The partnership highlights SORBA's vision to enhance mountain bike touring, racing, fun and fellowship for mountain bikers in the southeast. The trails of Pisgah are an example of the success achieved using national open spaces for sustainable recreation. "It's a special place that has become iconic to mountain bike enthusiasts in the east," said Branham.

    The race will run from October 15-18. For more information on the race, visit For more information on SORBA, visit...

  • Crash dents hopes of New Zealand worlds team

    Clinton Avery (New Zealand)
    Article published:
    September 01, 2009, 18:55 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    New Zealanders ready for solo races

    New Zealand's chances in the cross country races at the UCI mountain bike worlds in Canberra, Australia, were dented on the eve of the competition when Rotorua's Monique Avery broke her arm after an accident on the featured, rocky step nicknamed "The Hammerhead". Fourteen members of the team will still compete in the junior and under 23 women's competition kicking off the solo cross country races on Wednesday.

    "It was such bad news for Monique. She was definitely one of our top hopes," manager Chris Mildon said. "She was practising through this really tough technical section when she crashed. "It is a pretty nasty drop and it has claimed plenty of victims already."

    The cross country course is a tough, but unusual course with a long rocky technical section as well as a demanding downhill run.

    "It is not the usual course that the Europeans will be used to, and it's difficult to get into a rhythm. It will certainly stretch out the field and requires skill as well as strength, courage and endurance."

    Mildon said there are hopes of a strong performance from Wellington's Samara Sheppard in the Under 23 women's class and Sarah-Kate McDonald (Clyde) in the junior women's division.

    Sheppard said the course has improved but is still daunting.

    "It has improved heaps since I was last here, the laps have been shortened and several 'dual slalom' type sections have been added to create more passing room in the singletrack," Sheppard said. "It's full on though, some real technical sections and heaps of drops and jumps. The course is not something you would want to do tired or half hearted as we found out. Crashing here is never going to be nice."

    The weather has also improved markedly from the cold and wet conditions over the weekend with sunshine forecast for the rest of the week.

    New Zealand will be looking for downhill professionals Sam Blenkinsop (Wanganui) and Justin Leov (Christchurch) to lead the way toward...

  • Garmin-Slipstream's Vaughters will speak at NorCal CycleFest

    Jonathan Vaughters (Slipstream)
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 13:25 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Team Director helping with fundraiser in support of cycling's future

    Jonathan Vaugthers, head of the Garmin-Slipstream road team, will speak as a special guest at the NorCal high school mountain bike league's CycleFest 2009 in the Bay Area in California on November 6-8. The three-day event is the main fundraiser for the league, a non-profit organization supporting student cyclists from both public and private schools.

    "It is an honor to be invited speak. Two of the pro riders on the Garmin-Slipstream team, Lucas Euser and Steven Cozza, raced mountain bikes in the NorCal League, and so from the perspective of somebody like me, the importance of a program like NorCal's cannot be overstated," said Vaughters.

    "I am delighted to support it and urge everybody reading this to add their support too. This is the future of cycling in the USA."

    The former road pro has a reputation for fostering talented young riders and helping them through the difficult years when they progress from the junior level to ground zero in the senior ranks. The philosophy of his team has always been to do things differently while maintaining a strong ethical position, to which end he pioneered a transparent, drug-free cycling team early in the new millennium.

    Vaughter's appearance will be an opportunity to gain his insight on cycling development as well as his thoughts on the past, present and future of the sport.

    Organizers hope to raise US$60,000 at the NorCal CycleFest.

    Also on show at the CycleFest dinner will be a vintage poster show displaying European poster art with a cycling theme. Elizabeth Norris of Vintage European Posters will be displaying a portion of her collection of original posters from as early as 1890.

    CycleFest 2009 Schedule
    November 6: Cocktail reception with Jonathan Vaughters in Mill Valley
    November 7: Benefit dinner, silent auction and vintage poster show, hosted by Jonathan Vaughters at the Mill Valley Community Center
    November 8: Scenic road ride...

  • Heath, Harvey take inaugural US ProGRT downhill crowns

    Chris Heath riding off a big drop
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 13:50 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Mulally, Bourque win finale at Whiteface

    Chris Heath (Manitou-Hayes) and Darian Harvey (Cannondale) won the US's only national pro downhill series as the inaugural US ProGRT wrapped up on Sunday. The final results were tallied after the last round of racing at Whiteface Mountain in New York.

    Sixteen year-old Neko Mulally and 44-year-old Dawn Bourque (Rhino Bike Works) won the Whiteface 5km downhill race. Mulally outrode dozens of the region's best downhillers to post the day's best time of 7:48.15, while Bourque put up the best women's time at 9:41.29.

    With his win, the young Mulally moved into sixth place in the final ProGRT standings as Bourque propelled herself into fourth overall.

    The US ProGRT four cross series wrapped up on August 14 with 17-year-old Mitch Ropelato (Cafe Rio-Canfield Bros) taking the men's overall crown. Downhill winner Darian Harvey (Cannondale) also wrapped up the women's four cross series title.

    See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Whiteface 5km Downhill.


  • Behind the scenes in Canberra

    LOTS of singletrack makes for happy riders.
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 15:45 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    A look at the infrastructure supporting mountain bike worlds

    This week, 530 mountain bike racers, 96 trials riders and 160 journalists from 41 nations have gathered in Canberra to compete in and report on the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships. The events are being staged from September 1 to 6 in Stromlo Forest Park.

    What does it take to support such an event? To illustrate some of the behind-the-scenes logistics work that goes into the world championships, organizers have shared the following statistics.

    The 2009 UCI World Mountain Bike and Trails Championships includes

    • 430 volunteers helping out
    • 2,000 square meters of signage
    • 48 exhibitors
    • 150 toilets
    • 4 big screen TVs
    • 21 grandstands
    • 13 site sheds
    • 51 heaters
    • 1 purpose-built stage for entertainment
    • 1 purpose-built IT system
    • 23 camera scaffolding decks for TV broadcasters
    • 2.6km of event fencing
    • 23 lighting towers

    Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world -

  • Elite men downhill final standings
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Chris Heath 176  pts
    2 Joey Schusler 100  
    3 Kain Leonard