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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Sunday, December 18, 2011

Date published:
December 18, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • 24-hour world championships return to Canmore

    Josh Tosado en route to his third straight US national 24-hour title.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2011, 20:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Juarez, Wallace, Tostado among favorites chasing title

    The 24-hour Mountain Bike World Championships will return to Canmore, Alberta in Canada in 2012. Solo, two-person and three-person teams will battle it out to claim the title of 24-hour world champ on September 13-17.

    The championships are re-visiting their roots. Canmore is the birthplace of the 24-hour Mountain Bike World Championships, having hosted the first-ever running of the event in 1999.

    "Canmore is a gem in the heart of the Canadian Rockies," said Stuart Dorland, President of the promotion company Twenty4sports. "We are ecstatic to announce the return of the Worlds to where it all started, and racer feedback has been nothing but stellar. We've already got a world class field signed up and we're nine months away from the event!"

    "We are thrilled that twenty4sports are bringing the World's back," said Ron Casey, Mayor of Canmore. "It's going to be sort of a 'homecoming', so we're building on the excitement for next year and welcoming these fine athletes into our community."

    Racers like Tinker Juarez, Josh Tostado, Kelly Magelky, Cory Wallace and Leighton Poidevin are already signed up for the solo men's race.

    In addition to the established solo men's, women's, singlespeed and age group categories, the 2012 championships will award world titles to two-person open and three-person co-ed teams.

    "We've tested the team format over the years, and have been receiving global requests for multi-person categories," said Dorland. "We're pleased to accommodate the needs of the mountain bike endurance team community starting with the 2012 Worlds."

    The 24-hour Mountain Bike World Championships is limited to a total field of 530 riders, who need to qualify in order to participate. Solo and team riders can qualify at approved events, while team riders must also provide a team race resume for consideration.

    For more information, visit

  • A look ahead to the Pietermaritzburg World Cup

    Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) wins in Pietermartizburg.
    Article published:
    December 15, 2011, 19:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Round 1 to kick off in Africa in March

    December is prime off-season time for most of the World Cup mountain bikers, but in just three months, the 2012 World Cup cross country and downhill season will kick off in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. It will mark the third time the international series has visited African soil.

    The Cascades mountain biking venue, which hosted both the 2009 and 2011 UCI MTB World Cups, has undergone many transformations, and the cross country course in particular was lauded in 2011 as a challenging, fun track.

    Hoards of spectators and numerous international trade teams are expected to descend on the city once again as cross country mountain bikers vie for all-important UCI-points early in the Olympic year for this Olympic discipline.

    Downhill and cross country competitors alike will be looking to start their year on a high note and with maximum points before embarking on the international season, which will span almost six months and take them to many countries including Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Great Britain, Canada, United States, Norway and Austria.

    The 2012 event will be organised by Cycling SA, and Alec Lenferna will once again serve as the Event Director. The event organisers have been hard at work to secure offers for athletes who wish to be part of this event, and are pleased to announce that national carrier South African Airways (SAA) is an official event partner.

    Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and the KZN Department of Economic Development and Tourism proudly support the 2012 UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, an event that showcases the beautiful and diverse Zulu Kingdom.

    Cross country racers will compete on a 5.15km course with 707m of elevation change. The course was designed by Nick Floros.

    Downhill racers will cover 2.88km and drop 361m on a "pedally" course designed by Nigel Hicks....

  • UCI names 2012 Elite Mountain Bike Teams

    The beginning of the elite men's cross country at the Offenburg World Cup
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 16:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    15 endurance and 14 gravity squads on the elite roster

    The UCI announced the 15 "endurance" (Olympic cross country) teams and 14 "gravity" (downhill and four cross) teams that will race with the "UCI Elite Mountain Bike" label in 2012.

    These teams will benefit from numerous advantages: notably free entry at UCI Mountain Bike World Cups and free entry for all races on the UCI Mountain Bike International Calendar. In return, they are obliged to enter at least one rider in all rounds of the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and to display the UCI Elite Mountain Bike Team logo on their race outfits and team vehicles.

    According to the UCI, the creation, in 2011, of a higher tier of mountain bike teams was well received and in addition stimulated competition between teams wishing to achieve the status of UCI Elite Mountain Bike Team.

    Invitations to join the elite teams were issued to the top teams of a UCI ranking established on September 26 by adding up the UCI points of the best riders within each team. They had until December 10 to confirm their interest. A maximum of 15 of the top 20 ranked teams can feature on the list of UCI Elite Mountain Bike Teams in their category.

    Two teams, Trek World Racing and Ghost Factory Racing Team, will have the elite status in both the endurance and gravity categories in 2012.

    To see a list of all UCI registered mountain bike teams for 2011, including elite and non-elite, visit

    The final list of the UCI Elite Mountain Bike Teams for 2012, in ranking order, is below.

    2012 UCI Elite Endurance Mountain Bike Teams
    Specialized Racing Team (USA)
    Multivan Merida Biking Team (Ger)
    Felt Oetztal X-Bionic Team (Ger)
    Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team...

  • New Four Cross Pro Tour set for 2012

    Anneke Beerten (Netherlands)
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 18:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    One round's date and location still to be determined

    Following the UCI's decision to eliminate four cross from the mountain bike World Cup circuit at the end of the 2011 season, the Four Cross Alliance has been working to ensure a new four cross series would exist for 2012. The new series will be known as the "4X Pro Tour" and will consist of five rounds in at least four countries.

    The first four rounds of the series are set for Houffalize, Belgium on April 15; Szczawno Zdroj, Poland on May 5; Val di Sole, Italy on June 2; and Four William, United Kingdom on June 2.

    Round 5 is still being planned and an announcement of its venue is expected after the New Year begins.

    "The 4X Alliance has been working with the UCI and race organisers to create the new 4X Pro Tour," read a statement by organizers. "As you can see from the calendar, we are stoked that some of the existing World Cup events have made this statement and continued with their belief that four cross should be on the World stage in 2012. Houffalize, Val Di Sole and Fort William will all host rounds of the 2012 4X Pro Tour alongside World Cup cross country and downhill during those weekends.

    The men behind the new series are Chris Roberts and Scott Beaumont.

    "Four cross has been gaining popularity over the past few years, and after the UCI announced it would not be part of the World Cup in 2012, we knew we had to create our own series and continue to grow the sport," said Roberts. "2012 will be important for the development of four cross and together with some fantastic support from organisers, riders and...

  • Canada releases 2012 Mountain Bike Calendar

    Marie-Helene Premont (Team Maxxis - Rocky Mountain)
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 19:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six Canada Cups and Nationals at St-Félicien in the New Year

    The Canadian Cycling Association unveiled its 2012 mountain bike calendar, which features the UCI World Cup at Mont-Sainte-Anne, the 2012 Canadian Mountain Bike National Championships as well as six events on the Canada Cup series, for both downhill and cross country.

    "Once again this year, Canada's mountain bikers will be treated to some exciting races, especially at the 2012 Canadian Championships and the classic UCI World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, which marks 21 years of non-stop international racing," said Mathieu Boucher, Director of development for the Canadian Cycling Association.

    "In addition to these great events, the Canada Cup will also mark key dates on the calendar, in its 21st year of operations, providing great advancement opportunities for the up-and-coming athletes, as well as established Canadian elite racers."

    The 2012 Canadian Mountain Bike Championships will happen in St-Félicien, Quebec for the cross country races and the team relay on June 16-17, while the downhill championships races will be disputed at Mont-Sainte-Anne on July 7-8.

    The cross country championships will feature some of Canada's top athletes, notably Catharine Pendrel, Marie-Hélène Prémont and Emily Batty - all ranked in the top 10 of the World Cup standings. Max Plaxton will attempt to defend his 2011 title, while Geoff Kabush will make a run to become the most decorated Canadian mountain biker of all time, gunning for an eighth elite title.

    The downhill portion of the Canadian Championships will be held at Mont-Sainte-Anne on a similar course used for the 2012 UCI World Cup. Many of Canada top riders will race against the clock to win Canada's most...

  • Fate of new DH1 series uncertain

    Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate)
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 21:52 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Announcement expected Monday

    Mountain bike racers and fans are awaiting news on the fate of the new DH1 downhill series that was launched for 2012.  Recent news suggests that the series may fold before it ever runs its first race in the New Year.

    The new series came about after Freecaster's rights to broadcast UCI Mountain Bike World Cup action were not renewed for 2013. Those behind Freecaster - including owner Raymond Dulieu - proposed a new international-level downhill series that would feature major events slotted between UCI downhill World Cups on the calendar. Elite-level athletes were expected to want to attend both high profile series and were promised the events of both series would not conflict.

    At the time of this publication, DH1 had announced three locations on its website. Status of the remaining three locations and dates were still to be announced. However, with freshly rumored news that UCI World Cup live streaming was going to happen through Redbull, further related rumors started circulating on the internet that there would be no DH1 series.

    "DH1 will post this Monday 19th December a full reaction to the news that Red Bull will cover the UCI World Cup and the incidence of that deal on DH1," read an official post on the DH1 Facebook Page on Saturday.

    Transcend Magazine reported earlier this weekend that Redbull Media House was going to take over direction and production of alll MTB World Cup events.

    In an interview with Velovert Magazine, Dulieu said that if Redbull took over the UCI World...

  • Video: Beckingsale's road to recovery part 2

    Oli Beckingsale, the leading British finisher in the elite men's race
    Article published:
    December 18, 2011, 17:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    British racer rebuilds his atrophied muscles

    Here is part 2 of our inside look at British cross country mountain bike racer Oli Beckingsale's rehabilitation from the broken leg he suffered on the circuit this season.

    The 35-year-old Beckingsale fractured the neck of his left femur in what he describes as a fairly innocuous fall during the Nove Mesto World Cup round in August in the Czech Republic. He is now putting everything into recovering during the off season with the aim of getting fully fit for the 2012 Olympics.

    In part 2 of the series, strength and conditioning coach Andy Wadsworth (My Life PT) explains how he's working with Beckingsale to rebuild his muscles so that he can ride a bike normally again.

    Beckingsale raced for Great Britain at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

    See part 1 and stay tuned for more from his recovery in the coming weeks.

    The video below is provided courtesy of Jon Riley/

  • Dropped chain cancels direct Vos and Compton duel

    Elite women's podium: Lucie Chainel-Lefevre, Marianne Vos, Katherine Compton
    Article published:
    December 18, 2011, 21:05 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    American national champion salvages podium spot as Vos claims victory

    The entertaining cyclo-cross course at the citadel in Namur was expected to produce a World Cup duel between world champion Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) and US national champion Katherine Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team). A mechanical meant that would not be the case and both riders missed the chance to go head to head.

    While the snow started to fall in Namur, the women lined up at the foot of the citadel. "Vos was laughing and saying that she should've worn long tights and gloves, too," Compton said.

    Both Compton and Vos started well initially, but then Compton had to put her foot down. "I'm disappointed with my bad start. My chain dropped when I shifted before reaching the steeper part of the starting straight. I had to stop, get off the bike and get the chain back on. I was DFL," Compton said.

    Meanwhile Vos powered away up front. For a short time, she was accompanied by French rider Lucie Chainel-Lefevre. By the end of the first lap, Vos dropped Chainel and from then on, Vos worked her way through the mud to her second World Cup win of the season. "It was a shame that Katie [Compton] had a problem in the beginning. It's more fun to fight it out with the best in front. I heard the announcer saying that she was moving up, but she had no chance to come back as she was nearly a minute down," Vos said.

    During the second lap, Compton risked a lot by flying through a tricky off-camber section. She went head-first over the handlebars and in the second lap, she got stuck in the wiring at the bottom side of the section. "Running is so slow, so I gave it a go," Compton said. During the following two passages, things went smoother. "It still wasn't good, but I didn't want to change from riding to...