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MTB News & Racing Round-up, September 22, 2009

Date published:
September 22, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • US Cup Unification Race pits East vs. West

    Jamie Dinkins
    Article published:
    September 16, 2009, 20:05 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Bonelli Park finale draws top contenders from both series

    The US Cup will hold its series finale in Bonelli Park, California, on Sunday, September 20, with a unification race that will pit top US Cup East and West cross country mountain bike racers against each other for top bragging rights.

    The shootout is open to all pro and amateur riders, whether they competed in the series or not; however, only the top 15 riders in each class from either series standings will be awarded starting points to vie for the US Cup Unification series title and champion's jersey. Riders who haven't competed in either series will still be eligible for the one-day US Unification Cup title.

    In the men's elite field, Sho-Air / Specialized's Sid Taberlay, the winner of the west series will go up against east coast series winner Sam Koerber (Gary Fisher 29er crew). West coast cup winner Krista Park (Incycle Team) will take on east coaster Jamie Dinkins (Motor Mile Racing Team) in the elite women's competition.

    Working in conjunction with the southern California cyclo-cross series, US Cup organizers have established a "C-X-C" racing weekend. Racers can compete in the cyclo-cross series kickoff on Saturday and then go for the US Cup unification title in the cross country race on Sunday.

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  • Martinez to Costa Rica Trophy Bike

    Miguel Martinez will race the Costa Rican Trophy Bike Race in October.
    Article published:
    September 16, 2009, 20:07 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Stage race coming up in mid-October for former World Champion

    Former World Champion Miguel Martinez will race the Costa Rica Trophy Bike from October 15-19. Martinez returned to mountain biking earlier this year with the now-defunct Felt International team.

    Martinez and other solo racers and teams of three will race from the Arenal Volcano to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Stage 1 will begin with an 18km time trial around the Arenal Volcano. The second stage will cover 74km from Arenal to Monteverde and take racers over the the Rio Chiquito. Finally, the third stage will cover a 53km circuit around Monteverde.

    Martinez won gold at the Olympic Games in Sydney and bronze in Atlanta in 1996. He was the cross country World Champion in 2000 and twice before (1995, 1999) was second at worlds. More recently, he won the cross country at the Sea Otter Classic in 2008.

    Martinez switched to the road in 2001, and he raced for Mapei in 2002, including racing the Tour de France. Next came Phonak in 2003, but then he retired. In 2008, it was back to the road, this time with Amore & Vita.

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  • Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inducting four

    After mountain biking, Anne-Caroline Chausson returned to BMX and won an Olympic gold medal.
    Article published:
    September 16, 2009, 22:38 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Two individuals and two groups honored for their achievements

    The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame (MBHOF) of Crested Butte, Colorado, will induct its newest members in a ceremony next week at the Interbike Trade Show in Nevada. The 2009 inductees are Anne-Caroline Chausson, the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association (COPMOBA), Dave Garoutte and The Larkspur Canyon Gang.

    The 31-year-old Chausson won 15 world championships, 14 continental championships and seven World Cup downhill titles. She also won a gold medal in BMX at the Olympic Games. The Frenchwoman started racing as junior, when she won three world titles from 1993 to 1995, then continued her winning ways as a senior for another eight years. For much of her career she battled racers like Missy Giove and Tara Llanes. Since Chausson began racing, the French have consistently produced some of the best elite women downhillers.

    COPMOBA is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009. The organization partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to develop the 144-mile Kokopelli's Trail, connecting Loma, Colorado and Moab, Utah, and the 142-mile Tabeguache Trail, connecting Grand Junction, and Montrose, Colorado. Both projects served as a model for the BLM in creating a National Mountain Bike Strategy. COPMOBA added the 345-mile Paradox Trail to its lists of accomplishments in 1995, and in total, has worked on over 75 regional trails.

    Mountain bike pioneer Garoutte has made contributions to the sport through his work in the industry and mountain bike advocacy. Garoutte grew up in Marin County with some of the sport's earliest mountain bikers. His metal fabrication and machine shop, DKG, worked on fabricating one of the first production mountain bike frames, the Koski Trailmaster. Garoutte played a role in technology development and production for Cunningham, Lawill, Fisher, WTB, Salsa, Fat City, Serotta, Moots, Calfee and Kent Ericksen. On the advocacy side, in 1987, he founded and was the first president of the Bicycle Trails Council...

  • Australian National Marathon winners too tough to pick

    Jason English
    Article published:
    September 18, 2009, 17:00 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Elite field packed with favorites

    Picking the winner of this year's Australian Marathon National Championship is tough. Any one of 10 riders could win the national jersey when racing gets underway near Bendigo this Sunday, September 20.

    Current World Solo 24-Hour Champion, Jason English is on top of the pile of favorites after he won the title in July. English has proven that the marathon distance suits him after winning the 100km Dirt Works in St Albans in May, also breaking the race record. James Williamson will be hot on English's heels and lays claim to the 2008 World 24-Hour Solo Championship title.

    However, an in-form Ben Mather of Tasmania will add to the challenge. He recently won the King of the Mountains in the Grafton to Inverell race and also impressed with a victory at the Anaconda MTB Enduro in Alice Springs earlier this year.

    Canberra's Shaun Lewis, who raced this year's Marathon World Championship, will race in the number one plate. Lewis claimed a respectable 78th place at worlds and could show some good form after racing in Europe.

    Matthew Fleming is looking to his brother Joshua Fleming, an Olympian, for help support getting into the lead. Matthew won the BMC 100km event earlier this year and is chasing the elusive Australian national jersey.

    Others to watch include Hamish Elliott, Nick Both, Adrian Jackson, and Tour De Timor winner, Neil Van der Ploeg.

    By all accounts, the women's race winner will be even harder to pick with a wide range of talent in the line-up. The women's Tour De Timor, Tory Thomas, is also a favorite. She has won several national titles in the past including a marathon championship.

    Jessica Douglas will get the number one plate after placing fourth at the World 24-Hour Solo Championships. However, the 2008 silver medallist, Katrien Van der Spiegel, may have a depth of experience to match the challenge, and cross country racer Jo Wall will have an advantage thanks to her local knowledge.

  • Eatough retiring in October

    Chris Eatough (Trek Racing Cooperative)
    Article published:
    September 21, 2009, 20:09 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    24 hours of Moab will be the end of the trail for the endurance specialist

    Six-time 24-hour Solo World Champion and long-time Trek mountain biker Chris Eatough will retire from professional cycling following the upcoming 24 Hours of Moab, which will also double as the 24-hour US National championships, on October 10-11.

    Eatough turned pro in 1998, and he initially focused on cross country races, but soon found his forte in endurance racing - in both 24-hour races, 100 milers and off-road stage races. When making the transition to racing endurance events, Eatough combined cross country race speed with a meticulous approach to logistics and support. His trademark highly choreographed transitions during 24-hour races set the bar high for his fellow competitors in such races.

    "For the past 10 years, I have lived my dream as a professional mountain bike racer," said Eatough. "Now, it's time for me to move on. I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family while still staying involved with the sport I love through product testing for Trek and my coaching business. Championships are great, but even more special to me are the friendships I have gained through my time in the racing community."

    Eatough, who recently celebrated the birth of his second child, became famous to many in the mountain bike community as the star of 24 Solo, a movie which told the story of his bid for a seventh-consecutive 24-hour Solo World Championship.

    In his career, he has also won 10 100-mile mountain bike races. He claimed the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series title in 2007, and he's won races like the BC Bike Race, and the 24 Hours of Moab.

    Eatough raced his entire pro career aboard Trek Bicycles and has most recently raced for the Trek Racing Cooperative after his former team, Trek / VW disbanded at the end of 2008. "He embraced a burgeoning discipline (of endurance racing) - quite possibly the most physically demanding the world has ever seen - and turned it into his specialty," said Trek's Michael...

  • Shogren, Schalk clinch 100-miler series titles

    NACT series leader Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry)
    Article published:
    September 22, 2009, 17:40 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    National Ultra Endurance (NUE) final results tallied

    Betsy Shogren (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Jeff Schalk (Trek Racing Co-op) took top women's and men's honors in the 2009 US National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series, which concluded with its eighth and final race at the Tahoe-Sierra 100 on September 12. The best four of each racer's results were used to calculate the standings. Eight races comprised the series, which commenced at the Cohutta 100 on April 25 and visited Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, Georgia and California.

    Shogren completed six 100-milers, winning at the Lumberjack, Mohican and Fool's Gold. A second place at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 netted her the overall win. She also raced to third at the Wilderness 101 and fourth at the Cohutta.

    Shogren beat Karen Potter ( and 2007 series runner-up Danielle Musto (Kenda/Tomac/Hayes), who were second and third respectively in the overall. Both completed five total races and while neither took any 100-miler race wins, consistency in placing in the top six at each race paid off.

    In the men's series, Jeff Schalk defended his NUE title by racing at six events. His top four finishes included wins at the Cohutta, Lumberjack and Wilderness plus a second place in Breckenridge.

    Christain Tanguy (Team Fraser/ Cannondale) started the season slower with a ninth place at the Cohutta, but he just got faster as the season progressed. He finished six total races, including a victory at the Fool's Gold and second places at the Wilderness, Mohican and Shenandoah rounds.

    2007 NUE series winner and soon-to-be retired Chris Eatough (Trek Racing Co-op) finished third overall thanks to three third places (Fool's Gold, Wilderness and Lumberjack) and a fourth at Cohutta.

    Gerald Pflug (Speedgoat/SPK) won the singlespeed series with four wins, giving him the best possible score. He had the series locked up early enough that he skipped the singlespeed race at the penultimate round at...

  • New Zealand wins contest to host 2010 singlespeed worlds

    Costumes were encouraged for racers and fans.
    Article published:
    September 22, 2009, 18:42 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Karaoke and basketball contests decide next year's hosts

    New Zealand's Rotorua will host the 2010 edition of the Singlespeed World Championships. The North Island city was selected after New Zealand won a tense and unconventional bidding process at at the singlespeed worlds in Durango, Colorado, this past weekend.

    Round one of the competition was a Karaoke/American Idol-style elimination contest entered by four nations. John McCartney, representing the Rotorua Singlespeed Society (RSSS), assumed the role of Freddie Mercury. Italy also made the cut, but Canada and Hungary were eliminated.

    Contestants traded microphones for gym clothes for round two - a smash-mouth game of basketball with McCartney, fellow Kiwi Vicki Butterworth and a pick up team of locals who out-lasted the Italians to win 42-37.

    "Vicki and John are both dedicated singlespeeders and the Rotorua Singlespeed Society contributed a thousand dollars to each of them to help them get to Durango to compete in the race and the bidding for 2010," said Graeme Simpson from the RSSS.

    Both Vicki and John are members of the Society, but neither live in Rotorua. "Vicki's from the Hawkes Bay and John's from Queenstown on the South Island, so it's not about geography, it's about love for the sport and a great single-minded community," said Simpson.

    "Vicki won the best costume award at the 2009 New Zealand Single Speed Championships, held in Rotorua. She wore full 1940s dress and rode a matching bike. John is on the organizing committee for the next New Zealand Single Speed Championships in Queenstown on Anzac weekend in 2010."

    Rotorua has previously hosted the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in 2006. It hosted the national singlespeed championships in 2008 and 2009. This past month, it also hosted a UCI Trials World Cup round. It features dramatic geothermal landscapes, iconic, historic buildings and it is a centre of Maori culture and adventure sports.

    The race will likely be run in the...