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

Date published:
June 9, 2013, 22:00

Edited by Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

Welcome to our regular roundup of what's happening in mountain biking. Feel free to send feedback, news, & releases to mtb@cyclingnews.com and results, reports & photos to cyclingnews@cyclingnews.com.

  • Orange Monkey team signs Strauss

    Mariske Strauss (Orange Monkey)
    Article published:
    June 3, 2013, 22:45
    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 5, 2013, 17:55
    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 5, 2013, 21:00
    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.

    Next round

    The next round of the Pro XCT will be the Missoula XC on June 22.

    Standings

    Men Pro XCT standings after round 5
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Todd Wells 830  pts
    2 Jeremiah Bishop 795  
    3 Benjamin Sonntag 433  
    4 Ryan Woodall 375  
    5 Sam Schultz 280  
    6 Cameron Jette 273  
    7 Daniel Mcconnell 250  
    8 Mitchell Hoke 245  
    9 Alexander Grant 201  
    10 Raphael Gagne 200  
    11 Tristan Uhl 195  
    12 Ryan Trebon 190  
    12 Derek Zandstra 190  
    13 Zachary Valdez* 181  
    14 Miguel Martinez 175  
    15 Antoine Caron* 165  
    16 Robert Mccarty 158  
    17 Colin Cares 156  
    18 Geoff Kabush 150  
    19 Adam Morka 144  
    20 Casey Williams* 133  
    21 Barry Wicks 130  
    22 Lukas Flückiger 115  
    23 Travis 110  
    24 Kerry Werner* 107  
    25 Russell Finsterwald* 101  
    26 Max Plaxton 100  
    27 Macky Franklin 98  
    27 Kris Sneddon 98  
    28 Christoph Sauser 90  
    29 Menso De Jong 84  
    30 Stephen Ettinger 80  
    30 Victor Alber 80  
    31 Cole Oberman 78  
    32 Peter Glassford 77  
    33 Jason Sager 75  
    34 Rotem Ishay 73  
    35 Shawn Milne 71  
    36 Omar Fraser 70  
    36 Payson Mcelveen* 70  
    37 Thomas Turner 69  
    38 Clinton Claassen 64  
    39 Howard Grotts* 60  
    39 Sid Taberlay 60  
    40 Jason Siegle 57  
    41 Keegan Swenson* 55  
    41 Emil Lindgren 55  
    42 Tristan Cowie 54  
    43 Michael Zanetti* 50  
    44 Elliot Reinecke 40  
    44 Sean Donovan 40  
    44 Joseph Maloney 40  
    44 Josejuan Escarcega 40  
    44 Colin Osborn 40  
    45 Kalan Beisel 38  
    45 Charles Jenkins 38  
    46 Jacob Albrecht* 37  
    46 Ivan Lizardi 37  
    47 Miguel Valadez 36  
    48 Alex Ryan 35  
    48 Garet Steinmetz 35  
    48 Kohei Yamamoto 35  
    49 William Melone 34  
    50 Connor Mccutcheon* 32  
    50 Taylor Smith* 32  
    51 Michiel Van Der Heijden* 30  
    51 Joel Titius* 30  
    52 Sean Leader 29  
    52 Jakub Valigura 29  
    53 Drew Edsall 28  
    53 Ryan Chandler 28  
    54 Gerald Drummond* 26  
    54 David Hanes 26  
    55 Michael Danish 25  
    56 Davis Bentley* 24  
    56 Ignacio Torres* 24  
    57 Matt Gordon 23  
    58 Bryan Fawley 22  
    58 Brian Matter 22  
    59 Riley Howard* 21  
    59 Tanner Hurst* 21  
    60 Ernie Watenpaugh 19  
    60 David Flaten* 19  
    60 Jeremy Martin* 19  
    61 Dana Weber 18  
    61 Osias Lozano 18  
    61 Samuel Morrison 18  
    61 Jonathan Sundt 18  
    62 Craig Wohlschlaeger 17  
    62 Kyle Taylor 17  
    62 Conrad Stoltz 17  
    62 Martin Cox 17  
    63 Jaroslav Kulhavy 16  
    63 Mathieu Bilodeau 16  
    63 Filippo Barbieri 16  
    64 Ely Woody 15  
    65 Carl Decker 14  
    65 Derek Hermon 14  
    65 Nathan Guerra 14  
    65 Michael Hosey 14  
    66 Sam Chovan 13  
    66 Eliel Anttila* 13  
    67 Nathan Brown 12  
    67 Kevin Bradford-Parish 12  
    67 Jim Hewett 12  
    68 Blake Harlan 11  
    68 Sepp Kuss* 11  
    69 Brad Wilhelm 10  
    69 Matthew Freeman 10  
    69 Keith Hargis 10  
    70 Billy Wood 9  
    70 Juancarlos Nunezgalvan* 9  
    71 Paul Freiwald 8  
    72 Josh Carlson 6  
    72 Nick Truitt 6  
    72 Miguel Ramos 6  
    73 Hal Helbock 5  
    73 Garnet Vertican 5  
    73 Adam Looney 5  
    74 Craig Kunz 4  
    74 Ryan Geiger* 4  
    75 Sam Gross* 3  
    76 Wiley Mosley 2  
    76 Thomas Bundgaard 2  
    77 Alex Wild* 1  
    Women Pro XCT standings after round 5
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Chloe Woodruff 505  pts
    2 Erica Tingey 455  
    3 Emily Batty 445  
    4 Lea Davison 410  
    5 Annie Last 375  
    6 Judy Freeman 321  
    7 Nina Baum 300  
    8 Erin Huck 290  
    9 Rebecca Henderson* 265  
    10 Lesley Paterson 250  
    11 Christina Gokey-Smith 230  
    12 Marianne Vos 175  
    12 Pua Mata 175  
    12 Evelyn Dong 175  
    13 Larissa Fitchett 173  
    14 Caroline Mani 152  
    15 Rebecca Gross 150  
    15 Annika Langvad 150  
    16 Shayna Powless* 138  
    17 Amanda Sin 134  
    18 Catherine Pendrel 130  
    19 Erica Zaveta 115  
    19 Georgia Gould 115  
    20 Karlee Gendron* 105  
    21 Jamie Busch 101  
    22 Kelli Emmett 100  
    22 Catherine Peacock 100  
    22 Mikaela Kofman 100  
    23 Erin Alders 97  
    24 Emily Shields* 90  
    24 Katerina Nash 90  
    25 Tereza Hurikova 80  
    26 Lisa Uranga 76  
    27 Krista Park 70  
    28 Beth Utley 69  
    29 Victoria Barclay 65  
    30 Kata Skaggs 62  
    31 Vanessa Humic 61  
    32 Katherine Sherwin 55  
    32 Sarah Ruth Jansen 55  
    33 Sydney Fox 50  
    33 Amy Beisel 50  
    34 Deidre York* 45  
    35 Deyanira Guerrero 40  
    35 Anna Dvorak 40  
    36 Kelsey Withrow 35  
    37 Amanda Carey 27  
    37 Jill Behlen* 27  
    38 Teal Stetson-Lee 24  
    39 Mical Dyck 22  
    40 Lorenza Morfin 19  
    41 Rebecca Rusch 18  
    42 Maghalie Rochette* 12  
    43 Laura Bietola* 11  
    44 Selene Yeager 10  
    45 Haley Smith* 9  
    46 Tracy Moseley 8  
    47 Abby Strigel 5  
    48 Heidi Rentz 4  
    49 Kaila Hart* 3  
    Teams Pro XCT standings after round 5
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Specialized Racing 1320  pts
    2 Sho-Air-Cannondale 1226  
    3 Trek Factory Racing 1095  
    4 Kenda-Felt 401  
    5 Kona 283  
  • 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 6, 2013, 15:35
    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 home advantage.

    For the first time this season, World Champion Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) will not be at the start in the BMC Racing Cup. Since the fight for the front positions in the overall standings of the World Cup is very tight, he is concentrating on the upcoming round in Val di Sole. Currently, he is training in Tuscany.

    Therefore, the only way to win in Graenichen will be to get past Julien Absalon. So far BMC rider has been on an equal footing with Schurter in every race, although Schurter has won the first three BMC Cup races.

    Absalon will be the leader of a strong BMC contingent, which includes Lukas Flückiger. Finishing third at the World Cup in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, Flückiger has proven that he is in great shape.

    "I believe that I have stabilized my fitness level. Two weeks after the World Cup, you never know exactly how your form will develop, but my relaxation has always been superb," said Flückiger.

    With the preparation for the European Championships on his mind, he will also participate in the road race GP Aargau on Thursday. "Perhaps this will not be optimal preparation for Gränichen, but I have never really had any problems with it in the past. Julien has to be the favourite, but of course I will seek my oportunities too," said Flückiger:

    "I have always done well on the race course in Gränichen. The terrain, the topography, it all suits me."

    Besides Absalon there are some more promising candidates for the podium, including Thomas Litscher (Multivan-Merida) who was fourth at the World Cup in Nove Mesto; Mathias Flückiger (Stöckli Pro); Fabian Giger (Giant Pro XC) and former world champion Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan-Merida).

  • 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 6, 2013, 18:30
    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 we are excited to have the Little Bellas experience positive momentum surrounding women and sports. The Catamount Classic is prioritizing the current and future generation of female mountain bikers showing that these racers deserve the spotlight too."

    The elite cross country race will happen on Saturday, August 3. Amateurs can try their legs on the same course during races on Sunday, August 4.

  • Beckingsale and Bigham among favorites for British marathon champs

    Women's winner Sally Bigham in the snow during the AlpenTour Trophy
    Article published:
    June 7, 2013, 15:48
    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, "We're really chuffed to be organising the British Championships alongside the popular Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon. We believe we have the best trails the Scottish Borders has to offer. We are determined to provide an achievable challenge for all our riders in fantastic surroundings with a lot of fun thrown in too."

    The marathon weekend's cycling festivities will begin on the evening of Friday, June 7, when Selkirk High Street will be transformed into a traffic-free street party. There will be a number of cycling events and activities that spectators can not only watch and marvel at but also take part in too.

    For more information, visit www.selkirkmtbmarathon.com.

  • Moab gets new stage race

    Alex Grant rides one of countless slickrock sections at the Enhilada Enduro
    Article published:
    June 8, 2013, 20:09
    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 9, 2013, 20:50
    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."