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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Sunday, December 23, 2012

Date published:
December 23, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Morath joins Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team

    Adelheid Morath will race for the Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team in 2013.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2012, 17:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    German rider a good fit for the team

    German Olympian Adelheid Morath has joined the Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team, effective in 2013. The 28-year-old , who finished second at the German cross country mountain bike national championships, has known her new teammate and 2012 Olympic silver medallist Sabine Spitz for years, often sharing training camps.

    "The team offers a professional environment with great partners," said Morath, who is transferring from the Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team. "I understand Sabine very well, and I think I can be of benefit to her. We've previously done some training camps together."

    "Adelheid fits perfectly into our team concept, and I am convinced that we can be the world's best," said Spitz.

    At the Houffalize World Cup, Morath showed her promise by finishing ninth, and she was 16th at the Olympic Games.  At the Worlds in Saalfelden, she ended up in 12th.

    "What I saw at the Olympic training camp impressed me because physically she is already within striking distance of me," said Spitz of her new teammate. "In terms of mental strength, there is still room to work." She noted especially the value of being able to stay calm before races.

    The two German women seem to have hit it off. "I see myself a little in Adelaide, with her training zeal and consistency," said the 40-year-old Spitz. "She has the will needed to get to the top. I have experienced her as a very loyal person, which is good for teamwork."

    Team manager Ralf Schäuble said it...

  • Superior steps up to title sponsorship of Brentjens' team

    The new Bart Brentjens Team logo for 2013.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2012, 18:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bike manufacturer replaces chocolate company Milka

    The Milka Superior Mountain Bike Team will become the Superior Brentjens Mountain Bike Racing Team in 2013 after Superior renewed its sponsorship of the UCI trade team owned and run by 1996 Olympic champion Bart Brentjens.

    After a successful cooperation in 2012, Superior and Brentjens decided to work together again in 2013. The bike manufacturer is based in the Czech Republic and sells bikes in about half of Europe's countries. It claims to have made the first production 29er mountain bike in Europe.

    Previous co-title sponsor Milka announced it would no longer sponsor the team in November; hence it's name has been dropped by the team for next season.

    The team also re-designed its logo (see photo).

  • Craig and Hart return to lead Giant Factory Off-Road team

    Adam Craig (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)
    Article published:
    December 21, 2012, 19:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Mountain bike squad expands for 2013

    With former world champion Danny Hart and with US Olympian and multiple-time national champion Adam Craig, the Giant Factory Off-Road Team is looking toward one of its most exciting seasons yet in 2013. The mountain bike team will focus on enduro, cross country and downhill events.

    Enduro and cross country

    On the enduro and cross country side, long-time Giant rider Craig is making the jump from the Rabobank-Giant team (now the Giant Pro XC Team), which focuses on World Cup cross country racing, to the Giant Factory Off-Road Team. Craig, who won the 2012 US super D title, is looking forward to a greater focus on enduro racing in 2013.

    "I have a pretty sweet schedule lined up, pretty much hitting all the most interesting races out there," Craig said. "Enduros, cross country, all the types of events that most riders are stoked about these days."

    Craig will be joined by fellow Oregon resident Carl Decker, the three-time defending champion of the Downieville All-Mountain World Championship, as well as Kelli Emmett, the current US women's super D national champion.

    Australian Josh Carlson, a breakout talent on the enduro racing scene last year, rounds out the enduro/cross country arm of the 2013 team.


    2011 world champion Hart returns to lead the downhill team. The 21-year-old Brit is looking forward to picking up where he left off after an injury cut his 2012 season short last summer. Hart scored three podium finishes and was fourth overall in the 2012...

  • New Feenstra-Felt Mountain Bike Team announced for 2013

    The jersey for the new Feenstra-Felt p/b Kenda Pro Mountain Bike Team in 2013
    Article published:
    December 22, 2012, 18:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Youngsters Scheire and de Bock to lead UCI trade team

    Feenstra, a Dutch environmental control company, and Felt Bicycles have partnered to sponsor the Feenstra-Felt p/b Kenda Pro Mountain Bike Team, a new UCI trade team for 2013.

    The new team is a blend of young international talent. Up-and-coming riders Ruben Scheire and Robby de Bock of Belgium will lead Feenstra-Felt for 2013. Scheire posted an impressive fifth place earlier this year in the under 23 World Cup event in Mont-Sainte-Anne and was second in the highly competitive Belgian Cross Country National Championship for the under 23 riders.

    The pair joins Dutch sensation Thijs Zuurbier along with several other to-be-announced top Dutch hopefuls. The complete roster will be introduced at the Feenstra-Felt p/b Kenda media launch this week at the team's base in Holland.

    "Feenstra-Felt powered by Kenda showcases Felt's ever-expanding commitment to pro mountain bike racing including all the advantages that come with competing at the highest level," said Felt Bicycles' International Marketing Manager Uwe Daniel. "This talented new team is the perfect mechanism to showcase our products and will push us to stay at the leading edge of performance and technology."

    "For us, this team represents a new milestone in MTB racing and we are very excited to get going," said Team Feenstra-Felt p/b Kenda Manager Maarten Kemperman.

    The team's long term vision and goal is success at the mountain bike cross country event in the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As part of the holistic initiative to place riders on the Olympic Team for 2016 Team, Feenstra-Felt p/b Kenda has enlisted professional trainer and former top triathlete Rob Barel and sports psychology consultant Bart Boogard. Kemperman and Frank van Dulmen will manage sporting operations for the...

  • US Pro GRT and US Pro UET announced for 2013

    Jacqueline Harmony (USA)
    Article published:
    December 22, 2012, 20:21 GMT
    Cycling News

    USA Cycling unveils gravity and endurance series

    USA Cycling announced the dates and locations for the 2013 Professional Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (US Pro GRT) and the 2013 Professional Mountain Bike Ultra-Endurance Tour (US Pro UET).

    Pro GRT expands

    Racing into its fifth year, USA Cycling's Pro GRT will feature 10 events from coast to coast, an increase over the six events that made up the 2012 calendar.

    The tour kicks off in March with three new additions. Reaper Madness Downhill & Super D leads things off in Boulder City, Nevada. Riders will then head west for the Fontana City - California Golden State competition a few weeks later. In April, the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, will host the Pro GRT's third stop.

    Racing resumes in May with two east coast favorites: the Mountain Creek Spring Classic 2013 in Vernon, New Jersey, followed by the 2013 Plattekill Gravity Open in Roxbury, New York. Both events are also part of the POC Eastern States Cup.

    Another race familiar to Pro GRT riders, the Chile Challenge, marks the start of the second half of the calendar. The June event takes place in Angel Fire, New Mexico, less than two months before the venue will host the 2013 USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships.

    Riders will head to the China Peak Ski Resort for the California Golden State event later that month before crossing the country for the Windham Downhill in Windham, New York on June 30, which is a UCI C2-inscribed race. July's sole event is the Snowshoe Mountain Pro GRT in West Virginia. The Pro GRT concludes in early September at the Mammoth Kamikaze Bike Games in Mammoth Lakes, California.

    Series points are given to top finishers at each event and used to determine the individual men's and women's standings that rank the best downhillers competing in the US. The 2012 men's top ranked rider was Logan Binggeli (KHS Factory Racing), while Jacqueline Harmony (IXS-510-Smith Optics) finished first in...

  • Team Topeak-Ergon USA announced

    Dave Wiens (Topeak Ergon) seemed to be in a bit of trouble but bridged up to the leaders.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2012, 22:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six riders on roster for 2013

    Team Topeak-Ergon USA announced its line-up for 2013 on Thursday, including six racers. For 2013, The USA roster will consist of Dave Wiens, Jeff Kerkove, Sonya Looney, Yuki Ikeda, Eddia O'Dea and Namrita O'Dea.

    The team will focus on various cross country races, mountain bike marathons, the Bailey Hundo, mountain bike stage races and Xterra events around the world.

  • Gallery: Michal Červený 2012 photo highlights

    The Olympic mountain bike race in London 2012 was impressive.
    Article published:
    December 23, 2012, 18:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Photos capture many memorable mountain bike moments

    Michal Cervený captured the action at many international mountain bike races throughout 2013.  From the season opening World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 2012 was going to be a big year as elite racers all over the globe had one thing on their minds: the Olympics in London.

    In the associated gallery, Cervený's photographs bring back memories of many Cape Epic, World Cup, Olympic and world championship moments. His season wrapped up at the Roc d'Azur in France, where the racers were clearly enjoying themselves before the off-season.

    Check out the gallery.

  • Mountain Bike World Cup sponsorship in question

    The start of the 2012 mountain bike season: World Cup #1 - Pietermaritzburg
    Article published:
    December 23, 2012, 21:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Status of title sponsor RockyRoads uncertain

    The status of the title sponsorship of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup seems uncertain only a month or two after the UCI announced the finalized 2013 RockyRoads UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano on November 1, 2012.

    Title sponsor stopped publishing new content in English on its site in mid-November, shortly after the 2013 World Cup announcement. Content has since been posted in some other languages, but not all of the site's six languages, with the most recent update being in Polish on December 18. reported on Wednesday that the site's top journalists were not getting paid as promised and have since ended their involvement with the site.

    Over a year ago in an article from October of 2011, had also questioned whether the RockyRoads site had falsely claimed higher than actual website traffic - 221,000 visitors per day, and it considered whether the site had bought Facebook and Twitter subscribers.

    RockyRoads made a splash into the mountain bike news world when it debuted, and owners soon signed the 2012 World Cup title sponsorship deal with the UCI. As a title sponsor, RockyRoads got top billing in the World Cup series naming, and its banners were seen all around the World Cup courses.

    Unconfirmed rumors circulated during the 2012 season that RockyRoads was not making its full sponsorship payments to the UCI, but the company's title sponsorship naming rights continued at all major World Cup events through until the end of the...