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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Sunday, December 9, 2012

Date published:
December 09, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • iXS Downhill Cup announces 2013 calendar

    2012 iXS Downhill Cup overall winners: Johann Potgieter, Robin Wallner and Damiano Spagnolo
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 16:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six round comprise European gravity series

    The iXS Downhill series published its 2013 calendar, listing dates and events for the coming season. With 17 races in seven different countries, top gravity racers will cover some substantial ground across Europe.

    The flagship event remains the iXS European Downhill Cup, which heads into its sixth season. The series makes six stops next year, with two new additions that should be well-known in the scene.

    With Wiriehorn, one of the oldest event promoters in Switzerland joins the club. The venue has hosted 10 rounds of the iXS Swiss Downhill Cup and last year's Swiss downhill national championships.

    Another new addition is Maribor in Slovenia, which is well-known for hosting the World Cup several times, with the course still being mentioned by many pros as their favourite.

    The national race series have also become institutions. The iXS Swiss Downhill Cup will be in its 11th year in 2013, and the iXS German Downhill Cup is taking place for the eighth consecutive time.

    The iXS Rookies Cup will also be continued in Germany, as it returns positive results after now five years, with more and more riders entering the series with international status with much more race experience under their belt. There are also many international riders in the starting lists who value the opportunity to take part in races as early as at the age of 11.

    The iXS European Downhill Cup is posted below, and all other national series race dates and information can be found on

    2013 iXS European Downhill Cup
    June 22-23: iXS European Downhill Cup #1 Leogang, Austria
    June 29-30: iXS European Downhill Cup #2 Spicak, Czech
    August 3-4: iXS European Downhill Cup #3 Pila, Italy
    August 17-18: iXS European Downhill Cup #4 Wiriehorn, Switzerland
    September 7-8: iXS European Downhill Cup #5 Châtel, France

  • Preparations underway for 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

    Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida)
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 19:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Back-to-back masters and elite championships for first time

    Organizers of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships have been busily working behind the scenes to begin getting ready for the 2013 event. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa will host the Worlds for both the elites, U23s and juniors as well as the masters.

    The world championship racing will kick off with the masters from August 21 to 25, 2013. The elite, U23 and junior championships follow from August 26 to September 1.

    Speaking of the masters Worlds, Event Director Alec Lenferna said, "After being successfully staged in Brazil for the last number of years, we are hugely excited to welcome everyone to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa for the 2013 UCI MTB World Championships. The event is eagerly awaited, and I and my team are already hard at work preparing for the event and we hope that these preparations will lead to an enjoyable time for all, as well as hard and good racing so that we can hail a new crop of UCI MTB Masters World Champions for 2013."

    "What makes the 2013 edition of the masters Worlds unique is the fact that it is being staged the week prior to the elite MTB World Championships... It is the first time that these two events are being staged in the same country in the same year, and we are very honoured that the UCI has entrusted us with the challenge of ensuring that both events are staged to the very highest level to ensure that all people involved have an exceptional experience."

    Lenferna and his Real Events Management Team are organizing the Worlds under the auspices of Cycling South Africa. They have put on various UCI sanctioned road, BMX and MTB events since 2008. Recent major mountain bike events include the World Cup in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

    The MTB Worlds website is now live at

  • Orbea-Tuff Shed mountain bike team grows

    Kalan Beisel (Orbea-Tuff Shed)
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 20:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Chambers, Coplea and Swirbul added to 2013 roster

    The Orbea-Tuff Shed professional men's mountain bike team is growing its roster for the 2013 season. While Kalan Beisel will be returning to the team to race US domestic cross country and marathon events, he will be joined by new signings Cameron Chambers, Tyler Coplea and Keegan Swirbul.

    "This team has taken time to grow and develop, and as we go into our second year as Orbea-Tuff Shed, we are confident all of the time and energy it has taken has been well worth it," said Laura Kindregan, Team Owner.

    Chambers, who hails from Colorado Springs, is a two-time US national champion in the mountain bike disciplines of singlespeed cross country and 24-hour solo.

    Coplea, a U23 rider, is a former BMC Development Team rider who will mix it up with the pros on the elite cross country circuit.

    Swirbul, a protégé junior racer out of Aspen, Colorado, will be growing with the team in 2013 as well.

    Returning racers include Frank Webber, who is back for a second year to compete in marathons and National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series events. Daniel Kindregan will also be staying with the squad.

    The team will race Orbea bikes, equipped with SR Suntour carbon forks, Shimano components, and White Industry hubs laced to Enve all mountain carbon rims and Geax Tires.

    The team is backed by owner and manager Laura Kindregan and Tuff Shed's Phil Worth.

  • Kulhavy makes decision about his future

    Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) shows off his gold medal.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 16:58 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Olympic champion extends contract with Specialized

    After months of thinking about his future, 2012 Olympic mountain bike champion Jaroslav Kulhavy has decided to keep his career off-road. The Czech rider had been mulling over whether to switch to the road, a path several other top mountain bikers, such as Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, have followed before him.

    Instead, Kulhavy extended his contract with Specialized Racing for the next two years according to his website

    "I made the final decision about mountain bikes last Friday. I got [a] very nice offer from my current team Specialized Racing, and I didn't want to wait anymore. I am very happy with the conditions of this contract," said Kulhavy, who won the cross country world championships in 2011.

    "Road cycling, or competing in the Tour de France, has always been my dream, but I'm standing with my feet on the ground. Now I am focusing on next four years as a mountain biker, and I would like to defend my Olympic title in Rio 2016. Maybe after that, there will be some time to try road cycling?" said Kulhavy in a press conference Thursday.

    Kulhavy's manager Zdenek Löffelman confirmed that a WorldTour road team had expressed interest in him. "I can't tell from which team, but it was one riding Specialized bicycles," he said. "Unfortunately the dealing took too much time and Jaroslav's and my deadline was set to the end of November."

    Kulhavy heads next to Gran Canaria for a training camp beginning on Saturday.

  • Thomas and Dunford partner on Mountain Trax-Vauxhall Motors Team

    Ben Thomas leads into the change over area at the 2012 TwentyFour12 endurance event at Newnham Park, Plymouth
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 18:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    New British mountain bike team to focus on endurance racing

    The new Mountain Trax - Vauxhall Motors Cycling Team revealed its line-up for 2013. With riders Ben Thomas and Tim Dunford, the British team will specialize in endurance mountain bike racing in the United Kingdom and around the world.

    Over the last few years, Thomas has become a regular visitor to the top step of the podium at elite category events in different parts of the world. He has ridden World Cups, the London Olympic Mountain Bike Test Event, the Cape Epic, and the 2012 world championships. He has been a silver medallist in the Under 23 National MTB Championships, won the Kielder 100 in 2011, and in 2012 was fourth in the Senior National MTB Championships and finished 31st in his first European Championships.

    "2012 was a great year for me with some fantastic results but with the support we have for next year, I know Tim and I can ride to even greater success," said Thomas. "Pulling all the sponsors, equipment and calendar together has been hard work which started way back in the summer months but it's been super rewarding to see the positivity from all the sponsors who want to be involved."

    "It's great to have Tim on board, we've known each other for years and train together regularly. We also have similar racing ambitions and I think we'll work very well together at multi-day pairs stage races. Mountain Trax have exceeded all my expectations in terms of support this year so it's fantastic to have them on board as title sponsors of this team. With Vauxhall's support we can travel in comfort and style to races all around Europe."

    Dunford's results show his progression in 2012, with highlights including winning the Kielder 100, TORQ 12-hour, and the UK Endurance Series. Like Thomas, this year Dunford has moved his focus towards marathon distance events. Following his successful year, British Cycling rewarded Dunford with a place on the GB Team for the marathon world championships.

    Excited about 2013, Dunford said,...

  • Todd Wells to appear as guest at 2012 NICA awards

    Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) takes the lead heading in to the last lap
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 20:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Ceremony to honor outstanding contributions to high school mountain biking

    The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) annual awards dinner will take place January 12 at the Specialized Bicycle Company headquarters in Morgan Hill, California. NICA will acknowledge student-athletes, coaches, volunteers and partners that have made outstanding contributions toward the expansion of high school cycling across the United States. Six-time US national champion, 2012 Olympian and Specialized Factory Team rider Todd Wells will be the guest speaker at the event, sharing inspiring stories from his illustrious career.

    "I wish NICA was around when I was going to school!" said Wells. "Many kids that would never have picked up a bike before NICA now have the chance to ride and take part in a sport they may otherwise never would have experienced. It's great to see NICA expand to new states each year and the momentum they are building is amazing. The best part is giving kids another option to get outside and be healthy. I think the people driving NICA definitely need to be recognized and appreciated."

    NICA's executive director Austin McInerny said, "The people we honor at the NICA Awards are just the tip of the iceberg of support we have, without which NICA would not exist. The student-athletes are of course the focus of our activities, but many of them and their parents remain involved with their regional leagues after their racing years have ended. The people who volunteer their time and expertise to build the framework in which high school mountain biking happens are all heros and should be thanked for bringing new opportunities in high school sport and youth wellness to this nation."

    Awards in 10 categories will be given to 13 outstanding individuals from across NICA's 10 current leagues.

    In addition to the awards dinner, a benefit ride with Wells, hosted by Specialized...

  • TransAlp route announced for 2013

    A TransAlp racer in action
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 19:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Race will run from Mittenwald to Riva del Garda

    Organizers of the Craft Bike TransAlp mountain bike stage race announced the race's route for its 16th edition from July 13 to July 20, 2013. The TransAlp will cover 600km and feature 21,000m in climbing.

    As in 2005, the two-person race will kick off in Mittenwald, Germany and head toward Mayrhofen, Austria. Mayrhofen is the sole Austrian town on the route for next year. What happens next will be a stop in Brixen, Italy as the race will pass through the heart of the Dolomites.

    Then it will follow the 2011 routing, where Race Director Marc Schneider has some innovations up his sleeve for the course via St. Vigil and Alleghe to San Martino di Castrozza in Trento.

    New for 2013 will be routing over some military paths on Monte Grappa. "It's pure mountain biking at its best," said Schneider.

    With its penultimate stop in Crespano del Grappa, the town becomes the 46th stage town to host the TransAlp. Stage 7 will bring 600 teams of two to Rovereto before the race wraps up in Riva del Garda, which will host the finish of the TransAlp for the 14th time.

    Robert Mennen & Alban Lakata (Topeak Ergon) and Sally Bigham & Milena Landtwing (Centurion Vaude/Topeak Ergon) won the 2012 TransAlp.

    For more information, visit

  • Ironbike to celebrate 20th edition

    Riding to altitudes where snow is still present, in July at the Ironbike
    Article published:
    December 09, 2012, 14:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Mountain bike stage race extended to nine days in 2013

    The Iron Bike mountain bike stage race will celebrate its 20th edition in the summer of 2013. Held in July and situated in the Italian Alps, the event is regarded as one of the hardest mountain bike stage races in the world.

    The 2013 edition will begin on July 20 at Limone Piedmont (Cuneo) and will finish nine days later at Sauze d'Oulx (Torino), making it one day longer than previously. Racers can expect huge Alpine climbs followed by long, technical descents.

    Next year's event will feature some new terrain, right from the go. Stage 1 will include a helicopter uplift. After riding to a height of 2200m, everyone will be lifted to the peak of another mountain, Testa Rimà to start a descent to the stage finish at Vinadio. Other race highlights will include passing through the Buco di Viso tunnel, a small alpine tunnel crossing the French/Italian border at an altitude of 2882m. The old favourites will not be missed, with Mt Chabberton at 3200m and the 4000 steps of the Fenestrelle fort also featuring.

    The final route will not be unveiled until the evening before the race, when riders are handed the road book, but guided by 2012 statistics, over 700km and 27,000m of climbing can be expected. It is not for the faint hearted, but comments from previous finishers prove it is worth the effort.

    "Beyond a bike race! A biblical challenge of epic proportions that will push you further than you thought you could ever go!" said Rickie Cotter, 2012 women's winner.

    The 120 entries are expected to sell out within 24 hours of opening on December 15.

    For more information, visit