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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Sunday, June 9, 2013

Date published:
June 09, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Orange Monkey team signs Strauss

    Mariske Strauss (Orange Monkey)
    Article published:
    June 03, 2013, 23:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    South African rider looks forward to more support

    U23 rider Mariske Strauss has signed with the Orange Monkey mountain bike team. The squad has had its eye on the young rider, who is the African U23 Continental Champion, for awhile.

    "This is a great addition to our already talented and successful group of athletes and we welcome Mariske's talent, skill and bubbly personality, which will no doubt be a blessing to the team," said Paul Beales of the Orange Monkey Team.

    Strauss said, "It's been a bit of a bumpy ride. I've been through ups and downs like all riders go through. This will be the first time I'm travelling with a European-based team. It will be so much easier. Having support behind you is a definite must-have in many athlete's eyes.

    The team had originally been scouting Strass with a view to signing the talented South African in 2014 but during the first block of World Cups, circumstances led to an early signing. The deal will become official with the UCI in the July transfer period.

    Strasse was eighth in the Albstadt World Cup last week and sixth in the Nove Mesto World Cup this weekend.

  • Broderick and McConneloug selected for US marathon Worlds team

    Mary McConneloug and Mike Broderick above Haiming, Austria
    Article published:
    June 05, 2013, 18:55 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Only two American riders going to Austria

    USA Cycling announced its team for the 2013 UCI Marathon World Championships in Kirchberg, Austria, on June 29.

    Michael Broderick (Kenda-Seven-Stan's No Tubes) will represent the US in the elite men's race, while Broderick's wife, two-time Olympian Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-Stan's No Tubes) will contest the elite women's race. McConneloug, who competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, took first place at the 2013 Pan American Continental Mountain Bike Championships in Tucuman, Argentina, where Broderick placed 25th.

    "We have named a small but solid team for this year's marathon world championships," said USA Cycling Mountain Bike Director Marc Gullickson. "Our hope is that participation in this event by our best endurance riders will grow in the coming years, but the scheduling and location of the race this year makes the travel and logistics difficult for many racers. Mary and Mike should represent well this year."

    Both the men's and women's competitions are slated for Saturday, June 29, in Kirchberg, Austria. The men's elite course is 94 kilometers with 4,400 meters of climbing, while the elite women's course will be covering 85 kilometers, with 3,700 meters of climbing.

  • Wells and Woodruff maintain Pro XCT standings lead

    Todd Wells (Specialized Racing Xc)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2013, 22:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Latest round held at Bump 'N Grind

    Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) raced to victory at the Bump 'N Grind on June 2, in Birmingham, Alabama, to keep the top spot in the USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) men's standings, while Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers Race Club 11) stayed on top of the women's standings.

    Men

    With his victory in Birmingham, Wells extended his series lead from 10 to 35 points over Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale). Bishop finished second to Wells at the Bump 'N Grind, giving Wells an 830-795 advantage in the season standings.

    The rest of the top five men also remained unchanged with Benjamin Sonntag (American Interbanc) holding on to third place with 433 points after finishing fifth in Birmingham, Ryan Woodall (Top Gear Bicycles) maintained his fourth-place position with a sixth-place finish and now has 375 points, and Sam Schultz (Trek Factory Racing) retains fifth place with 280 points.

    Women

    Erica Tingey (Jamis) vaulted up to second place in the Pro XCT women's standings by virtue of her third-place showing at Bump 'N Grind, and now trails standings leader Woodruff by 50 points. Woodruff has 505 points on the season to Tingey's 455. The top five in the women's standings is rounded out by Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) in third with 445 points, Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing) in fourth with 410 points, and Annie Last (Trek Factory Racing) in fifth with 375 points.

    Team

    On the strength of Wells' victory, Specialized Racing has taken over the top spot in the Pro XCT team standings. With four races remaining on the calendar, Specialized Racing holds a 1320-1226 advantage over Sho-Air/Cannondale. Trek Factory Racing sits in third place with 1095 points, followed by Kenda/Felt in fourth place with 401 points and Kona in fifth place with 283 points.

    ...
  • Absalon and Süss top favorites list for Graenichen BMC Cup

    Julien Absalon (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team) finished a close second-place at Nove Mesto
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 16:35 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Race serves as tune-up for upcoming European cross country championships

    European marathon champion Esther Süss (Wheeler-iXS) and two-time Olympic champion Julien Absalon (BMC) will be leading the elite fields at the fourth round of the BMC Racing Cup in Gränichen, Switzerland. Taking place one week before the World Cup in Val di Sole and two weeks before the European Championships in Bern, the star-studded hors categorie competition will have the function of a status report. .

    "Of course I would prefer to win. It is something very special to win in front of a home crowd, and it would be extremely motivating considering the European Championships in Bern," said Süss.

    "Sure, a championship medal may have higher significance, but emotionally, it is as important as the European Championship for me." Süss is a member of the organizing racing club, which is putting on the 21st edition of the event.

    With the exception of the European Championships in Bern, Gränichen's cross country race offers the highest amount of prize money and world ranking points available in Switzerland this year. Two weeks prior to the European Championship on the "Gurten", it is also an important test event, not only for the Swiss mountain bikers.

    Süss, winner of the all three previous BMC Cup races this season, will have to face a considerable level of competition from domestic riders in Gränichen. Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing), third in the World Cup opener in Albstadt, and U23 world champion Jolanda Neff (Giant Pro XC) will most likely be her fiercest rivals, apart from German Adelheid Morath (Sabine Spitz-Haibike). However, on the only slightly altered course, last year's winner Süss will try to use her...

  • Catamount Pro XCT to pay women more than men

    Eventual winner Lea Davison (Specialized) battles Chloe Woodruff (Crank Bros) in the women's short track at Fontana
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 19:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vermont round of US MTB series steps up support of women's racing

    Vermont's Specialized Catamount Classic is the newest addition to the US Pro XCT calendar for 2013. The Catamount Outdoor Family Center will host the finals of the American national cross country mountain bike racing series in early August. Organizers are making a strong statement by bringing women's racing into the prime time.

    Like other Pro XCT races, the Catamount Classic will have both elite women's and men's races, but, for the first time in mountain bike racing history, this race will prioritize the women's field. According to organizers, the goal of this event is to make up for lost time and inequalities in the sport in a way that will support the growth of the sport for women as equally as it has supported men.

    The UCI mandate for a category 2 race, like the Catamount Classic, states that women be paid 65 percent of what men are paid. Not only is the prize money mandate unequal, the rules state that men should be paid 15 deep while the women are paid nine deep.

    Organizers have partnered with the G-Form company to support women's racing. G-Form will not only equal prize money, but will pay the women more.

    Catamount Classic Race Promoter Eric Bowker said, "We have been striving to support women in cycling for years and are excited that we can do this on a national stage with the support of companies like G-form and Specialized."

    The weekend will also serve as an ideal example of equality for the next generation of female mountain bike racers. Little Bellas, a non-profit mentoring on mountain bikes program born at Catamount and inspired by the local Vermont Davison sisters, Lea and Sabra, are putting on a camp at this event. These young girls will get the opportunity to not only watch Olympians, world champions, and national champions battle for the win, but they will also be able to interact with them.

    Sabra Davison, sister of Olympian Lea Davison, said, "Catamount and G-form are leading the charge, and...

  • Beckingsale and Bigham among favorites for British marathon champs

    Women's winner Sally Bigham in the snow during the AlpenTour Trophy
    Article published:
    June 07, 2013, 16:48 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Selkirk hosting a weekend of racing

    Over 100 elite mountain bike racers are expected in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders for the 2013 British Marathon National Championships on June 8. Joining former Olympians Oli Beckingsale (Endura MTB Racing) and Nick Craig (Scott Syncros Pioneer) on the start line will be 2012 British Marathon Champion Lee Williams (Gateway Cycles), eight-time winner of the Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross Rob Jebb (Team Hope Factory Racing) and Scottish cross country mountain bike legend Rab Wardell (Alpine Bikes Racing).

    Among those fighting for the women's title include the 2012 British Marathon Champion Jane Nuessli (Fischer-BMC), Sally Bigham (Topeak Ergon Racing Team), Amber Southern (WXC World Racing), currently ranked number one in the UK and Rachel Fenton (AW Cycles), who will be determined to go one better after her second place British Marathon Championships performance in 2012.

    All of the elite riders will take on an 80km single lap course that includes a mix of natural and hand-made singletrack, double-track forest roads, ancient drove roads and man-made trail centre routes at Innerleithen in their bid to claim British honours.

    The British Marathon Championships will be run alongside the Selkirk MTB Marathon, where as many as four hundred "sportive" riders will take on one of three fully marked courses - 25km, 50km and 80km. These routes that pass through the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick will suit families, novices, intermediates, enthusiasts and racing snakes alike.

    Course designer Pete Laing has been scouting new sections to freshen up the marathon courses. For those taking on the 80km course, he is determined to include a few optional timed "enduro" sections (an uphill, a downhill, and one that's a bit of both) to add a little more spice to those who want to race their mates and have the opportunity to claim the unofficial title of "King or Queen of the Hill".

    Paul McGreal of the Durty Events organisers said,...

  • Moab gets new stage race

    Alex Grant rides one of countless slickrock sections at the Enhilada Enduro
    Article published:
    June 08, 2013, 21:09 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Three-day mountain bike race schedule for October

    Organizers of the TransRockies mountain bike stage race are launching a new event in Moab, Utah for later this season. It will be called the Moab Rocks and will take place on October 12-14, 2013.

    Moab Rocks will take some of the region's classic and new routes and combine them into a three-day collection of cross country and timed descents in a fully supported format.

    "TransRockies Events is thrilled to announce the launch of Moab Rocks. Long known as one of the world's most iconic mountain biking destinations, Moab, Utah has played host to riders from far and wide," read a statement from organizers. "In recent years, the Moab mountain biking community has worked tirelessly building epic trails and growing its reputation as a mountain bike Mecca."

    TransRockies Events started organizing the week-long TransRockies Challenge in 2002. In 2009, they added a three-day option known as the TR3 for those seeking a shorter version of the race.

    Moab Rocks will work in partnership with the Moab Trails Alliance, Moab Trail Mix, and under permit from the Bureau of Land Management and the Manti-La Sal National Forest. The inaugural edition of the event will take place in mid-October.

    Moab is known as a mountain bike destination. It has also hosted major events such as the 24 Hours of Moab and the US 24-hour national championships.

    For more information, visit www.transrockies.com.

    2013 Moab Rocks
    October 12 - Stage 1, 29.8 miles, 4,200 feet of elevation gain
    October 13 - Stage 2, 32.7 miles, 5,000 feet of elevation gain
    October 14 - Stage 3, 30.9 miles, 3,500 feet of elevation gain

  • Atherton siblings pull off the double World Cup win

    Gee and Rachel Atherton, brother and sister, celebrate both winning the first 2013 Downhill World Cup in Fort William
    Article published:
    June 09, 2013, 21:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Success in Fort William for Rachel and Gee

    Siblings Rachel and Gee Atherton (GT Factory Racing) pulled off a double victory at the opening round of the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William, Scotland on Sunday afternoon.

    While it's not surprising for Rachel and Gee to win a major downhill on the same day, it was by no means a given. Rachel had never previously won her home World Cup round in Fort William, but she got the day and the 2013 World Cup series off to a raging start by winning the elite women's race by over 10 seconds.

    "Fort William is ridiculously hard. I've qualified first a few times here and you can't let your guard down," said Rachel to Redbull.tv after her winning run. She had qualified fastest on Saturday.

    "This is one I've never been able to win. All the way down the track, people are saying your name and it's hard to concentrate. Finally, I crossed the line here and heard cheering and not groaning."

    Gee raced down the mountain as the second last man and set the fastest time to move into the hot seat, but fastest qualifier Danny Hart (Giant) was still to go. However, Hart failed to come close to Gee's time, and Gee got to celebrate his first Fort William World Cup win in three years.

    "It's been awhile since I've won here. For me, it doesn't get better than this," Gee told Redbull.tv. "It was a good, smooth run. I couldn't have asked for a better run, really."

    "I'm stoked to start the World Cup series like this. Bring it on, I say."