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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, January 19, 2012

Date published:
January 19, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Death March returns for second edition

    Two racers plot their next stop at the inaugural Death March race
    Article published:
    January 13, 2012, 20:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Orienteering race features cemeteries for checkpoints

    The second annual Death March bike race will be run on Saturday, March 10 at the Maumee Boy Scout Reservation in Norman, Indiana. Run by Sub-9 Productions, the event is a race for teams of two, who will aim to reach a select list of historical cemeteries in and around the Hoosier National Forest.

    Racers may use a combination of gravel forest roads, mountain bike trails and some pavement. Teams must visit five mandatory check points, two of which are randomly drawn and announced the morning of the event. Check points can be reached in any order, using any route and digital picture taken in front of each cemetery sign is proof of reaching the check point.

    In its first year, the Death March attracted nearly 100 teams representing seven states. The 2012 event is open to 200 teams competing in four categories: men, women, co-ed and tandem with more than $2000 in cash and prizes available.

    Visit for more info.

  • Leov set to race New Zealand Downhill Cup

    Justin Leov races to fourth
    Article published:
    January 13, 2012, 22:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    This weekend's round in his hometown of Dunedin

    Justin Leov (Trek World Racing) missed the first round of the New Zealand Downhill Mountain Bike Cup last weekend, but he had a good excuse; he was married over the weekend and in process of moving.

    "I had to put my priorities in order and it would not have been fair on my wife to pack my bags up on the Sunday and go racing," said Leov to the Otago Daily Times.

    Leov, 26, is from Dunedin, but lives much of the year in Spain, Nonetheless, he promised to make round 2 of the New Zealand Downhill Cup this weekend in his hometown. He is also expected at the Christchurch round next weekend and the New Zealand downhill national championships wrapping up this month in Nelson.

    The downhiller is using his time back home to train for the upcoming World Cup season, which kicks off in mid-March in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He is aiming for top 10s and some top five podium appearances after finishing ninth in the 2011 UCI Downhill World Cup overall.

    Earlier this off-season, Leov had said, "2012 is going to be an exciting year; with a new coach on board I feel a new motivation towards my racing. My hopes and goals are to have fun at the events like I did this year and aim for those top steps of the podium, which so many times have just alluded me."

  • New venue for Mellow Johnny's Classic

    Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) wins her second Mellow Johnny's Classic
    Article published:
    January 16, 2012, 18:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pre-event Q&A with pros to benefit NICA's new Texas League

    The Mellow Johnny's Classic mountain bike race is back for another year in 2012, but it will be run at a new venue. Held on March 3-4, the cross country race will again be a part of the US Pro XCT as a UCI category 1 event.

    "New for 2012 is Flat Creek Crossing Ranch as the race venue," read a statement on the race's blog. "Located near Juan Pelota Ranch on the Pedernales River, Flat Creek Crossing was a long-time favorite of Texas Mountain Bike Series, and features eight-plus miles of prime singletrack and facilities for the race. We would like to thank the owners Child Inc, for re-opening the venue to us."

    The race was previously run at the Juan Pelota Ranch, which was owned by Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong before he sold it.

    The weekend will begin with a kick-off party at Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop on Friday, March 2 at 7:00 pm, with a suggested donation to benefit the 2012 launch of the NICA Texas High School Mountain Bike League. Top participating elite men and women will be on hand for some Q&A at 7:30 pm.

    As the first round of the US Pro XCT and coming two weeks before the opening UCI World Cup, the event is expected to test the legs of many North American pros before they head to South Africa.

    The race also just signed a new title sponsor: Subaru of Georgetown.

  • Four high school girls selected for Mata's Temecula team

    Camilla Fernandez Arredondo
    Article published:
    January 17, 2012, 2:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    ShoAir team chosen for 12-hour mountain bike race

    Pua Mata (Team ShoAir) has selected four young women for her five-person women's team for next weekend's 12 Hours of Temecula race. The pro endurance racer had run a contest for high school girls who mountain bike. The US Pro UET champion sorted through the many entries, narrowing her selection down to one rider from each high school year.

    "To my surprise, I began receiving entries from across the country and as each day passed, not only did I realize that I was doing the right thing, I realized the predicament that I was putting myself into," said Mata. "Every entry and every girl was amazing in her own unique way. They each had a story and they each wanted it more or just as much as the other and I had no idea how I was going to decide."

    The team includes freshman Ksenia Lepikhina from Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado; sophomore Ellen Noble from Kennebunk High School in Kennebunkport, Maine; junior Camilla Fernandez Arredondo from Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, California; and senior Elizabeth Duchetta from Glendora High School, California.

    "My intention of this contest wasn't to create a killer team that would be rippin' up the course and taking everyone down. The intention was and is to bring awareness to all girls out there from every walk of life and level and show them how awesome we are and what we can do if we just try. I felt that by calling on all high school girls and giving them an opportunity to join another force of girls who love to get out, have fun, get dirty and ride bikes it would encourage them to get out and try or at the least...begin to think about it."

    The team will race this coming weekend at the Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, California from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

  • Team RE:CM expands for 2012

    Neil MacDonald (left) and Waylon Woolcock will again contest marathons and stage races and have added the prestigious Cape Epic to their race schedule for 2012.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2012, 15:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Roberts joins MacDonald and Woolcock on South African squad

    Following a dream debut year in 2011, Team RE:CM, the South African-based professional mountain bike racing team, will tackle 2012 with a bigger team and a more ambitious racing schedule that includes some of the world's most significant events. This was announced as the team was introduced to media, sponsors and key industry figures in Cape Town on Tuesday night.

    Neil MacDonald and Waylon Woolcock, who surprised many with early success as mountain bike racers in the colours of Team RE:CM last year, have been joined by rising young Olympic cross country star, Luke Roberts in the team's 2012 line-up.

    MacDonald, 34, and Woolcock, 29, made the conversion from professional road racers in May 2011 and, in their first race, promptly won six of the nine stages and the overall title at the joBerg2c - one of South Africa's premier mountain bike stage races. The pair of experienced road pros competed with determination at other high profile South African mountain bike events during the remainder of the year, collecting a number of victories on the less technical race routes in the process.

    The addition of Roberts to the team will ensure expansion from a purely marathon and stage racing set-up to one that includes Olympic cross country racing, the only Olympic discipline in mountain biking.

    Roberts completed his final year as a junior in 2011 with distinction, winning the South African Cross Country Championship title, the South African Cross Country Cup Series title as well as the South African Junior Marathon Championship title. The 19-year-old, who finished 12th at the 2010 junior world championships (he crashed out at the 2011 Worlds), will be competing internationally in his first year in the under 23 category.

    "It's fantastic to have Luke...

  • Wichman creates new Rose Vaujany team

    Rose Vaujany team bike testing
    Article published:
    January 18, 2012, 20:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Gravity squad will target downhill, enduro, four cross races

    Joost Wichman has put together a new gravity pro mountain bike team called Rose Vaujany. Wichman, who won the bronze medal at the 2011 four cross world championships, combined the support of two sponsors, Germany bike brand Rose and the French village of Vaujany, located in a well known mountain bike region near Alpe d'Huez and also a host of the Mega Avalanche.

    Nico Vink, Kathy Curd, and Petrik Bruekner will join Wichman on the new international team, which is focusing on downhill, four cross and enduro racing. Rose Vaujany will attend the downhill World Cups, the brand new four cross pro tour, the IXS Downhill Cups and, of course, the Mega Avalanche. In addition, the team will be present at all major European bike festivals.

    Wichman, a multi-time European four cross champion and World Cup winner, will double as team manager and four cross/enduro racer.

    Vink, known for his downhill skills and unique style, is aiming for top 20s at downhill World Cups.

    Curd, a two time British four cross national champion, won the 2010 British Downhill National Points Series and has appeared on five World Cup podiums. She will race downhill and four cross in 2012.

    Bruekner, is a regular top-10 four cross racer, but he'll also contest enduros this season.

    The Rose Vaujany team will be riding the Rose Beef Cake downhill bike, the Uncle Jimbo enduro bike and the custom made Rose four cross bike.

  • World Cup winner Bresset to race Cyprus Sunshine Cup

    The start of the 2011 Sunshine Cup in Voroklini
    Article published:
    January 19, 2012, 15:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Marotte, Fumic and Gujan also confirmed for early season races

    Several more racers have confirmed their participation in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup coming up in February and March, including 2011 World Cup winner Julie Bresset and her French BH-SR Suntour-Peisey Vallandry teammate Maxime Marotte, plus Cannondale Factory Racing's Manuel Fumic of Germany and Martin Gujan of Switzerland.

    Bresset won the elite World Cup last season even though she was still an under 23 racer. This season, she is looking forward to competing full time as an elite, including at the world championships, World Cups and Olympic Games. Bresset will use the Sunshine Cup as preparation for the World Cup opener in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in mid-March.

    Marotte has similar intentions for heading to the sunny island for early season racing. The 25-year-old mountain biker stepped up to race among the world's best in 2011. He finished fifth overall in the 2011 World Cup rankings.

    Fumic is expecting to race the Sunshine Cup opener at Voroklini as well as the Afxentia stage race five days later in the Macheras Mountains.

    "The Sunshine Cup is perfect for Pietermaritzburg preparation," said Fumic. "I want to be at a top level at the World Cup opener, and therefore I need some races."

    Fumic's Cannondale teammate Martin Gujan of Switzerland will join him in Cyprus.

    "I'm very excited about the level of competition coming. It seems to become the best we ever had on Cyprus. And I expect that the riders will already show up in a very good shape," said organizer Mike Hadjioannou.

    Several other racers, like...

  • Team BH SR Suntour Peisey Vallandry launched for 2012

    Maxime Marotte anchored the French team into a gold medal.
    Article published:
    January 19, 2012, 17:28 GMT
    Cycling News

    Marotte and Bresset head French mountain bike team

    The BH SR Suntour Peisey Vallandry mountain bike squad for 2012 was officially presented on Sunday evening in Peisey Vallandry. This season, the French team of nine racers will led by its two top elite riders: Maxime Marotte and Julie Bresset, both returning for another season. The talented pair is likely to represent France at the 2012 London Olympic Games in August.

    New riders to the team include three under 23 racers: Belgian Ruben Scheire, Frenchman Thibault Geneste and Switzerland's Lorraine Truong.

    The team has already had success in 2012. Lucie Chainel won the French cyclo-cross national championship earlier this month.

    Arnaud Grosjean and Hélène Marcouyre will focus on marathons as well as do some French national cups.

    All the riders attended the presentation although according to the team's Facebook page, Marotte and Bresset could not stay for the duration of the team's camp due to Olympic-related French national team obligations. The others stayed on to enjoy a team camp including skiing, hiking and other activities.

    2012 BH SR Suntour Peisey Vallandry Team

    Elite men
    Maxime Marotte (Fra)
    Arnaud Grosjean (Fra)

    Elite women
    Julie Bresset (Fra)
    Hélène Marcouyre (Fra)
    Laura Metzler (Fra)
    Lucie Chainel (Fra)

    Under 23 men
    Ruben Scheire (Bel)
    Thibault Geneste (Fra)

    Under 23 women
    Lorraine Truong (Swi)