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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Sunday, May 27, 2012

Date published:
May 27, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Sun Valley contest opened to mountain bikers

    A mountain biker in Sun Valley, Idaho
    Article published:
    May 23, 2012, 20:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Win an all expenses paid trip for two to ride Idaho singletrack

    Many mountain bikers will be headed to Sun Valley, Idaho just after the Fourth of July US holiday for the US Mountain Bike National Championships. Two lucky mountain bikers will win an all expenses paid trip to Sun Valley from July 1-8, 2012.

    Displaying their sense of humor, the folks in Sun Valley put together a video explaining why mountain bikers suffering from singletrack deficit disorder might want to enter the contest to win a trip to Sun Valley that will cure their symptoms.

    Sun Valley is home to lots of singletrack. In conjunction with the US Mountain Bike Nationals, it will be hosting its second annual mountain bike festival called Ride Sun Valley from June 29 to July 8.

    For more information and to enter the contest, visit Entries are accepted until May 27, and the winner will be announced on June 15.

  • Plaxton and Pendrel head to NIMBY Fifty

    Catharine Pendrel at the Nimby Fifty
    Article published:
    May 23, 2012, 22:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Kindree and Shulz aim to defend titles against tough competition

    Max Plaxton and Catharine Pendrel top the list of favorites at the third annual NIMBY Fifty marathon mountain bike race in Pemberton, Canada coming up on May 26.

    Racers will cover 37km with 4,500 feet of climbing and 90 percent singletrack. The NIMBY Fifty is a true test of one's skill, fitness and mental focus. It's been dubbed a mountain biker's mountain bike race, and has become a draw to Canada's best, as word of the course has spread and prize money grown, totaling CAN$3700 this year.

    Former Canadian junior national champion, Neal Kindree, made his comeback at the first annual NIMBY Fifty in 2010, placing third. Kindree went on to win the event in 2011, and calls it "the most savage race course I've ever ridden".

    2011 Canadian National Champion Paxton, who had a breakthrough 10th place finish at last weekend's World Cup in La Bresse, France, has confirmed he will race while Kindree will line up to defend the men's title.

    2011 World Cup Champion Catharine Pendrel, who took the win at NIMBY Fifty 2010 but missed the 2011 event, will also start this year after finishing fourth last weekend in La Bresse, while Jennifer Shulz will return to defend the women's title.

    The NIMBY Fifty is now the second largest single day mountain bike race in British Columbia drawing 300 racers in 2011. According to organizers, this year’s race is expected to reach the cap of 400 riders

    Apart from the course, what makes this race unique are an equally epic down-home after party. Live music and plenty of local gourmet food are provided as racers relax on the lawn of Mayor Jordan Sturdy's Farm, situated at the base of 8.000-foot Mount Currie.

    New for this year is a downhill stage of NIMBY Fifty - a race within a race. The...

  • Moseley to carry Olympic torch

    Former world champion Tracy Moseley (TMO Racing) has moved to to eliminator racing from downhill
    Article published:
    May 24, 2012, 9:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Flame heads to Fort William World Cup

    British mountain bike star Tracy Moseley (T-Mo Racing) will be the Olympic Torch bearer when it visits Fort William, Scotland in the United Kingdom on June 9.

    As the Olympic Torch Relay cavalcade cruises through the Scottish Highlands, its appearance at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will be at the downhill start just before qualifying on the Saturday according to the UCI.

    A five-time winner of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William and 2010 World Champion, this year Moseley is making a name for herself in enduro events and eliminator races.

  • Minnesota High School Cycling League continues to build

    NICA girls in action
    Article published:
    May 24, 2012, 18:58 BST
    Cycling News

    New league's racing kicks off in 15 weeks

    With the first race in the Minnesota High School Cycling League's debut only 15 weeks away, teams throughout Minnesota are being formed and registered for the new high school mountain bike racing league.

    Teams from Washburn, Rochester, Cannon Valley, and Minnetonka have set up web sites, which can be found at Teams already registered with the Minnesota League include Anoka, Burnsville-Lakeville, Cannon Valley, Rochester, Minneapolis Washburn, East St. Paul Metro, White Bear Lake and Grand Forks, North Dakota.

    Some of the teams are being formed by women interested in supporting the new league. "In a sport that is traditionally dominated by male participation, it's cool that several of our teams are being formed by women," said Minnesota League Director Gary Sjoquist.

    "Sue Welch down in the Cannon Valley area and Martha Flynn in the East St. Paul area are not only helping form teams, but are also working on becoming licensed coaches. Both the Minnesota League and [National Interscholastic Cycling Association] NICA work hard to encourage female participation both at the student-athletes and the coach level."

    Getting teams registered with the Minnesota League and identifying parents to help as coaches and volunteers is only part of the story. Many locations are hosting meetings at high schools and middle schools to recruit student-athletes, boys and girls, to become team members.

    "We had a bunch of kids and parents attend a meeting last week at Northfield High School," said Sjoquist. "In the next two weeks, recruiting meetings will take place for District 196 team (Apple Valley, Rosemount, Eagan, Eastview), as well as for teams in Roseville and Burnsville/Lakeville area."

    Team meeting locations and contact information, as scheduled, will be posted at

  • Bishop awaits decision on US Olympic team selection

    Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing)
    Article published:
    May 25, 2012, 20:26 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Training, racing continue according to plan after strong La Bresse World Cup

    It's been a long and busy spring for Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing) as he travelled the globe chasing results in an attempt to qualify for the US Olympic Mountain Bike Team. Well, the chase is over after the La Bresse World Cup this past weekend in France, but the waiting game is not. Bishop, who was named to the US Olympic Long Mountain Bike Team in late 2011, will have to wait to find out if he is going to London until USA Cycling names the final US Olympic Team on June 15.

    "I'm proud to have put in the top US performance there," said Bishop of his 27th place finish in La Bresse, France on Sunday. He was the best placed American in the elite men's cross country race.

    Bishop shared his impressions of the course that many called "old school". "It was a great course, but being that it was narrow, I wasn't sure how far I'd be able to move up. I started in the mid-90s in the grid. The course was wet and there was a lot of running on the first lap, but I punched through. It was like the wolverine in the chicken house."

    "I probably wouldn't have used the words 'old school'. I think it if was old school, the course would have been less technical. It was an extremely technical course, with a natural surface and lots of technical features. Maybe what people meant is that it had a significant elevation gain, with one big uphill and one big downhill." Like many ski resort-based races of the past.

    The US will get to send two men and two women to the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

    "None of us men met the mandatory selection criteria," said Bishop. "We all have our reasons that we think we fit the bill to go. It's going to be a tougher...

  • New high school cycling league on a roll in Utah

    Students check out the Utah High School Cycling League information tent at East High School earlier this year.
    Article published:
    May 26, 2012, 14:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Cyclefest fundraiser June 2 to support scholarships, operations

    The National Interscholastic Cycling Associations (NICA) has arrived in Utah, and though races don't begin until the fall semester, more than 300 students involved in 30 teams across the state have already signed up to ride in sanctioned mountain bike events.

    Utah is the latest state chapter in the fast-growing cycling organization and is already setting records for early involvement. A coaches training session nearly doubled the largest previous clinic attendance and student sign up has outpaced other first-year leagues.

    "The beauty of the NICA program is that no one rides the bench, everyone rides a bike," said Utah High School Cycling League Director Lori Harward. "We've seen so much enthusiasm from kids, coaches, teachers and parents it's amazing. And not only are these students getting on bikes, but other leagues have seen huge rates of fathers and mothers of these kids take up cycling."

    To augment funding from the national NICA office, as well as numerous sponsors and donors in Utah, the new chapter is hosting a fundraising event in the Rice-Eccles Stadium Varsity Room on June 2. "Cyclefest" will feature a cocktail hour and dinner with a program by two-time Olympian and multi-time - and multi-discipline - national champion Todd Wells (Specialized).

    Silent and live auctions during the evening will feature everything from complete high-end mountain bikes and entries into some of Utah's most popular - and sold out - races to stays in southern Utah condos and massages.

    "It's our first year, but the generosity our donors have shown for high school cycling has been overwhelming," said Harward. "The cycling community in Utah, really the whole Utah community, is so excited about this opportunity for our kids and we're hoping to generate a lot of support for the teams and provide scholarships so everyone who wants to can pick up this life-changing sport."

    Scholarships for both individual students and grants for teams...

  • Swiss finalize 2012 Olympic mountain bike team selections

    Ralph Naef (Multivan Merida Biking Team)
    Article published:
    May 26, 2012, 15:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Three men and two women to race in London

    Swiss Cycling has selected the three male and two female mountain bikers who will comprise the Swiss National Team headed to the 2012 Olympic Games in London in August.

    Florian Vogel and Ralph Näf joined the already selected Nino Schurter on the men's team while Katrin Leumann and Esther Süss will make up the women's team.

    Based on his past performances, Schurter was selected in September 2011. He won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and finished second at the 2011 world championships in Champery.

    In addition to Vogel, 30, and Näf, 32, three other men had met the selection criteria: Fabian Giger, Lukas Flückiger and Christoph Sauser. Giger, 24, was selected as the reserve team member.

    It will be Näf's third time at the Olympic Games. He was also in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008, although as a reserve rider, he did not race in Beijing. Vogel will be at his second Olympic Games, having already raced in Beijing in 2008.

    Süss, 38, will make her Olympic debut while Leumann, 30, will be in her second Olympic games after having already competed in Athens in 2004. No reserve female rider was nominated because no other Swiss woman met the selection criteria.

    The elite women's cross country Olympic race will take place on Saturday, August 11, 2012 while the elite men's cross country race is scheduled for Sunday, August 12, 2012.

    Swiss 2012 Olympic Cycling team

    Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida Biking Team)
    Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing)
    Florian Vogel (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing)

  • Brosnan sidelined by injury

    Troy Brosnan (Monster Energy Specialized)
    Article published:
    May 27, 2012, 22:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian will have to miss Val di Sole World Cup

    Team Monster Energy Specialized's Troy Brosnan injured himself during training at the IXS Downhill Cup in Leogang, Austria this weekend and will be out for an undetermined amount of time.

    "I'm super bummed about the crash, but I'm looking forward to making a speedy recovery and getting back on my bike as soon as possible," said Brosnan.

    His team did not provide details on the Australian's injuries, but said the junior world champion will be out long enough that he has to miss the downhill World Cup next weekend in Val di Sole, Italy.