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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Sunday, May 29, 2011

Date published:
May 29, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Strong Canadian contingent for Dalby, Offenburg World Cups

    Max Plaxton (Specialized) gets the hole shot
    Article published:
    May 20, 2011, 7:41 BST
    Cycling News

    National and trade team riders to compete in next two rounds

    Canada is sending a strong contingent of athletes to the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup races in Yorkshire, Dalby Forest, United Kingdom on May 21-22 and Offenburg, Germany on May 28-29.

    Les by Head Coach Dan Proulx, a total of 10 riders will compete under the Team Canada banner, including 2010 Canada Cup winner Andrew Watson current US Pro XCT series leader Max Plaxton and Canadian junior national champion Evan McNeely as well as elite women's riders Amanda Sin and Mical Dyck to name a few.

    In addition to the Canadian national team members, other Canadians will be racing with their respective pro teams, including Catharine Pendral (Team Luna), Marie-Hélène Prémont (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) and Francis Morin (BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry).

    Canadian Delegation for the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Cups in Dalby Forest & Offenburg
    Derek Zandstra (Trenton, ON)
    Andrew Watson (Barrie, ON)
    Max Plaxton (Victoria, BC)
    Raphaël Gagne (Lac Beauport, QC)
    Amanda Sin (Collingwood, ON)
    Mical Dyck (Victoria, BC)
    Antoine Caron* (Stoneham, QC)
    Evan Mcneely* (Kingston, ON)
    Mikaela Kofman* (Toronto, ON)
    Laura Bietola* (Greenwood, ON)

    * indicates Under 23

  • Gwin steps up into US Pro GRT lead

    Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing)
    Article published:
    May 24, 2011, 18:16 BST
    Cycling News

    Kintner retains women's series lead

    Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) and Jill Kintner (Transitions Racing) lead the US Pro Gravity Tour (US Pro GRT) after the most recent round over the weekend at the Plattekill Gravity Open in Roxbury, New York.

    The men's Pro GRT standings were overhauled with Gwin climbing into first place out of a tie for fourth in last week's standings. Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) moved into second place, six points ahead of Cody Warren (DRD X-Fusion Intense). Last week's standings co-leaders, Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) and Danny Hart (Giant Factory Off Road Team) tumbled to fourth and fifth respectively. Mulally holds a two-point edge over Hart.

    In the Plattekill race, which was round three of the series, Gwin crossed the finish line two seconds ahead of his Trek World Racing teammate Leov. Warren was four seconds behind Gwin in third place. Curtis Keene (Specialized-SRAM) and Logan Binggeli (KHS Factory) rounded out the race's top five.

    Jacqueline Harmony (All Mountain Cyclery-Vixen Racing) leapt into third place in the women's US Pro GRT standings after winning the women's Plattekill race. Harmony is 60 points behind tour leader, Jill Kintner (Transition Racing), and 20 points behind the second-place rider, Joanna Petterson (Specialized). Lauren Daney (Specialized Grom) and Darian Harvey (Vixen Racing) are tied for fourth place.

    In the Plattekill race, Harmony crossed the finish line two-tenths of a second ahead of Petterson and 2.33 seconds ahead of Harvey. Daney placed fourth, nearly 16 seconds behind Harmony and Becky Gardner (Kona-Beacon Cycles) placed fifth.

    See full results of the US Pro GRT in Plattekille.

    The next event on USA Cycling's Pro GRT calendar is the Wildflower Rush in Crested Butte, Colorado, on June 25-26.

  • London 2012 Olympic hopefuls preview mountain bike course

    This is a narrow rock garden, with little margin for mistakes
    Article published:
    May 24, 2011, 20:25 BST
    Rob Jones

    Mixed initial reviews for Hadleigh circuit

    The day after the Dalby World Cup, many teams and riders made the long trek down from the north of England to the outskirts of London for an opportunity to try out the 2012 London Olympic Games cross country course for next year.

    The Olympic circuit is located in the town of Hadleigh, approximately one hour east of London, overlooking the Thames River Estuary. It is wide open, rolling terrain, and the course is completely man-made.

    Organizers have built a roughly five-kilometre loop that sends the riders up and down the rolling hills multiple times, and they have constructed a number of rock garden sections dotted through the circuit. Most of the surface is crushed gravel, with a few grass and hard packed dirt sections. It should hold up well in both wet and dry conditions. It will be very spectator and TV friendly, with large sections viewable from a single vantage point.

    A detailed trip around the circuit

    After a start loop, there is a doubletrack, switchback climb into a rock garden descent (three route options). Riders then climb along a ridge and hit another rock garden descent after a small section of wooded singletrack. Next up is another short uphill traverse to a wooden ramp descent with two options - one a jump over some rocks.

    From here, there is a fast downhill through an open meadow, into a single/doubletrack slight downhill through a wooded section. The course makes a left and goes up a short gravel climb, traversing across the base of another climb and hitting a small uphill rock garden before a longer switchback climb to the highest point of the circuit.

    From the top, there is a sweeping descent into a steep rock drop-off, over a bridge. The course continues descending into the first pass through the tech zone. From the tech zone, it loops back under the bridge and then climbs back up to the highest point.

    Once again, the course drops down, with a steep, rocky...

  • European and British four crossers head to Afan

    Four cross racers in Afan, United Kingdom.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 18:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Longden to return to action after injury

    The third rounds of both the Schwalbe Euro Four Cross Series, and the British Four Cross Series will take place this weekend on May 28-29 in Afan, South Wales, United Kingdom.

    Some of the world's top four crossers will be there racing on both days at the new venue. Phil Saxena designed the track, and it is one of the roughest ever seen in the United Kingdom, with a massive rock section, corkscrew bridge and pro line that has double jumps over 35 feet long.

    After a long time-out due to injury, Will Longden will make his return at Afan. The defending series and national champion will be looking to stop Scott Beaumont's flawless start to his 2011 campaign. Beaumont has been unbeaten at rounds one and two of the British series and will no doubt be looking to continue that form when the world's best come to Afan.

    Blake Carney, Johannes Fischbach, Lucas Mechura, Michael Mechura, Adam Stasek and Kamil Tatarkovic are just some of the riders confirmed to be racing this weekend.

    Round three of the British series will happen on Saturday, May 28 while round three of the European series will occur on Sunday, May 29.

    Last weekend, world champion Tomas Slavik won round two of the Euro Four Cross Series in Poland.

    For more information, visit

  • Cannondale's Fontana and Fumic earn Dalby podium spots

    Marco Aurelio Fontana takes the sprint for 3rd
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 20:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Teammates in the mix at second World Cup round

    Both Marco Fontana and Manuel Fumic made the podium for the Cannondale Factory Racing team at the Dalby round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup this past weekend.

    Fontana picked up a bronze medal in the cross country after also finishing third in the eliminator two days prior in the town center of Pickering. Fumic collected a fifth place.

    Fumic, Fontana and their Cannondale teammate Martin Gujan were visible mixing it up with the contenders throughout the race. After Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) escaped off the front and Julien Absalon (Orbea) went solo to follow him, the three Cannondale riders were part of the main chase group containing most of the rest of the World Cup contenders.

    "I am so happy about my racing at the moment," said Italian national champion Fontana. "Things worked out great and I'm backing it up with results. We as a team are on the right path."

    "I rode a calculated race and when it came down to the sprint, I knew that this was one for me," said Fontana. "Two World Cups so far and twice on the podium, this is amazing." Fontana beat Maxime Marotte and Fumic for third as the first rider across the line in the chase group at Dalby. That followed up a fifth place finish at the opening World Cup in Pietermaritzburg.

    German racer Fumic was present at the front of the chase group all race long. "I might have worked a bit too much, but somebody has to do the work," said Fumic. "With Marco and at the beginning also Martin in the group, it was such a good feeling and I knew that at least one of us would make it on the podium, now it turned out to be two. I had a hard time the last lap, but somehow was able to pull out a nice sprint. It feels good to be back...

  • US Pro Ultra Endurance Series adds fifth round

    A racer in the Spa City six-hour mountain bike race.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 21:00 BST
    Cycling News

    US Cup-Six Hour Sunset Challenge

    USA Cycling added a fifth event to its US Pro Ultra Endurance Tour (US Pro UET) for 2011. The US Cup Six-Hour Sunset Challenge will close out the debut year of the endurance series with overall champions crowned at the end of the six-hour event running from 3:00 to 9:00 pm on Saturday, August 27 in Fontana, California.

    "We're very excited and pleased to add a fifth stop on the inaugural Pro UET this year," said USA Cycling National Events Director, Kelli Lusk. "The US Cup organizers have a proven record of producing top-notch events, and Fontana will be a nice fit for a six-hour race."

    Fontana hosted a round of the US Pro Cross Country Tour (US Pro XCT) earlier this year.

    For more on the Six Hour Sunset Challenge, visit

    For more information on the Pro UET, visit

    2011 USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Ultra-Endurance Tour (US Pro UET) (revised)
    March 12: Spa City Extreme 6-Hour, Hot Springs, Arkansas
    July 4: Firecracker 50, Breckenridge, Colorado
    July 23: Galena Grinder, Boise, Idaho
    August 21: Hampshire 100, Greenfield, New Hampshire
    August 27: US Cup-Six hour Sunset Challenge, Fontana, California

  • New cross country course for European Masters MTB Championships

    A cross country rider gets some air in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
    Article published:
    May 26, 2011, 7:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Downhill will be run on existing track

    With one month to go until the European Masters Mountain Bike Championships in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, organizers announced a new cross country course for the event. The Championships will be run on June 25-26.

    The new course will partially follow an established course used during the 2010 Slovenia Cup. The course will share a start/finish area with the downhill course at the bottom of the ski slopes. Racers are expected to take about 11 minutes per lap on the 2.8km course with 130m of elevation gain per lap.

    The cross country races will be run on Saturday, June 25 while the downhill finals will happen on Sunday, June 26. The downhill race will used an existing track already used in the 2009 championships.

    For more information, visit

  • Photo Gallery: Images from the Offenburg World Cup

    Gravity World Cup winner Brian Lopes is mixing it up in the eliminators and short tracks this season
    Article published:
    May 29, 2011, 9:03 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Elite racers face a rooty but fast and dry course

    Elite racers awoke to bright sunshine and comfortable temperatures on Sunday morning in Offenburg, Germany, where round three of the UCI cross country mountain bike World Cup will be run today.  The elite women and under 23 women race first, followed by the elite men.

    Cyclingnews walked the approximately 5km course.  It's very shady, but the sun does come through the mostly forested course in places.  The course is well packed and riding fast.  Recent rains mean it's not too dusty.  The elite men will race seven laps while the elite women do five, and the under 23 women do four.

    On Friday night, the action got underway with the eliminator.  Riders qualified with an individual time trial on a short course that was a bit like a short track.  Following qualification, heats of six led to the finals.

    Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage after today's races..