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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, June 23, 2011

Date published:
June 23, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Fort William keeps World Cup through 2013

    Women's downhill Fort William World Cup podium (L to R) Myriam Nicole, Rachel Atherton, Tracy Moseley, Floriane Pugin, Sabrina Jonnier
    Article published:
    June 16, 2011, 18:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Two more years of hosting for popular mountain bike venue

    The popular Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup will remain as a stop in the UCI's international series for at least another two years. Organizers of the Scottish event announced the news after the 2011 World Cup round held there earlier this month, and the UCI confirmed the agreement according to Lochaber News.

    For 10 years, Fort William has hosted World Cup or world championship events annually. In 2011, both downhill and four cross World Cup races were run featuring 300 racers from more than 25 countries.

    Anneke Beerten and Roger Rinderknecht were victorious in the four cross while Tracy Moseley and Greg Minnaar won the downhill.

    All races enjoyed courses that had benefitted from £100,000 worth of upgrades.

    The Fort William venue has proved popular among racers for years. It's won the best downhill World Cup award six times (most recently in 2010) and it has also been voted best mountain bike event in the world by the International Mountain Bike Trade Team Organisation (IMTTO).

    The Lochaber News reported that more than £2.5 million gets poured into the local economy each year due to the event's fans, teams and media.

    "The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William has undergone some amazing changes in the past 10 years and is now firmly established as one of the premier events on the international circuit as well as being one of the biggest sporting events in the Highlands," said organizer Mike Jardine to Lochaber News.

    "We’re delighted that the UCI has continued to recognise the classic status of Fort William by awarding a round of the world...

  • UCI releases 2012 Mountain Bike World Cup and Worlds calendar

    Racers roll out just after the start of the Champery World Cup.
    Article published:
    June 16, 2011, 19:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Venue/date changes and a new format mean a longer next season

    The UCI announced the major events that will comprise its 2012 mountain bike calendar including the World Cup and world championships venues and dates. Its management committee approved the calendar today in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

    Furthermore, the UCI announced a new World Cup and world championship discipline and confirmed worldwide dates for the national championship weekends.

    World Cup changes

    Next year's edition of the World Cup series will comprise 10 events in nine countries on three continents. There will be seven rounds for each of the traditional mountain bike disciplines: Olympic cross country, downhill and four cross.

    The cross country eliminator will be a new discipline introduced to the World Cup for 2012. Several rounds will count toward a final, overall ranking.

    As in 2011, the 2012 World Cup will open in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, although it will happen about one month earlier. Traditional venues such as Fort William, Great Britain; Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada; Val di Sole, Italy; and La Bresse, France once again feature on the 2012 calendar.

    However, La Bresse, known for its downhill course, will next year organise a round of Olympic cross country in honour of Julien Absalon, multiple World Champion and double Olympic Champion, who lives just 15km from the French World Cup venue.

    A new triple event will be organised in Val d’Isère, France, site of the 2009 World Ski Championships. This will be the final cross country event of the World Cup season, and the last time these specialists will meet before the 2012 London Olympic Games.

    Meanwhile, the final downhill and four cross events will take place in a new venue, the Hafjell Bike Park, Norway, which hosted the 2010 European Championships. Notably, this final World Cup round will occur after the world championships.

    Other venues for the 2012 Mountain Bike World Cup are...

  • World champion Lakata to return to Trans Zollernalb

    Andreas Kugler, Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek at the Trans Zollernalb
    Article published:
    June 17, 2011, 17:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Mountain bike stage race is back for second running

    Current marathon world champion Alban Lakata (Topeak Ergon) will return to the Trans Zollernalb mountain bike stage race in Germany on September 23-25. He will take on defending champion Hannes Genze (Multivan Merida) and his teammate Andreas Kugler. In 2010, Lakata finished third, but just one second behind Genze in the overall.

    The Blacktusk Racing Team has also committed to the race and will be sending René Tann, who was seventh last year, and local heros Torsten Marx and Marcel Reiser.

    The three-day race will take riders 215km from Bad Imnau to Albstadt-Ebingen and then to Hechingen. So far, 300 racers are registered but 500 to 600 total are expected. The stages will be 60, 75 and 80km long with six intermediate sprints en route.

    As in 2010, leaders' jerseys will be awarded to both licensed and recreational riders.

    For more information on the race, visit

  • 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships awarded to South Africa

    Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) wins in Pietermartizburg.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2011, 19:00 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Successful World Cup venue wins bid

    The UCI Management Committee awarded the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The decision was announced after the committee's meeting in Maastricht, the Netherlands, on Friday.

    Pietermaritzburg has twice hosted a triple round of the UCI World Cup - first in 2009 and then in 2011. Yesterday, the UCI announced that the World Cup would return to Pietermaritzburg for another round in 2012. The venue will again open the international series next season.

    South Africa is a popular early season training destination, especially for European elite riders. Many elite mountain bikers also race the Cape Epic each year in late March. 

    South African riders have been increasingly mixing it up in the World Cup races including those like Burry Stander in the cross country and Greg Minnaar and Andrew Neethling in the downhill.

    Since the first South African World Cup in Pietermaritzburg in 2009, organizers have continued to make changes to both the downhill and cross country courses.

    This year's UCI Mountain Bike World Championships will be held in Champery, Switzerland.  In 2012, the Worlds will happen in Austria.  That will be the first year the championships are split over two weekends with the downhill portion in Leogang on August 31 to September 2, 2012 and the cross country portion in Saalfelden from September 6-9, 2012.

  • Canada cancels four cross national championship

    Jared Graves (Australia) leads Tomas Slavik (Czech Republic) before the final corner
    Article published:
    June 20, 2011, 21:24 BST
    Cycling News

    New Worlds team selection criteria under development

    The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) has cancelled the 2011 edition of the Canadian Four Cross National Championships.

    The CCA investigated several different venues and solutions in hosting this event, however no sustainable and viable option was retained, and it has been forced to make the difficult decision.

    As an alternative, the CCA is encouraging affected athletes to attend the UCI World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne on July 1-3. The triple round of the World Cup will include four cross, downhill and cross country races.

    Those interested in racing at Mont-Sainte-Anne are invited to contact CCA Mountain Bike coordinator Nicholas Vipond by Wednesday June 22.

    As a result of the cancellation, the CCA is in the process of reviewing and modifying its 2011 Four Cross World Championship team selection criteria and will be posting a new criteria shortly.

  • Offenburg organizers disappointed about 2012 World Cup omission

    The beginning of the elite men's cross country at the Offenburg World Cup
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 17:46 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Popular mountain bike event left out of next year's World Cup

    Organizers of the popular Offenburg World Cup were disappointed to learn late last week that their event would not be part of the 2012 Mountain Bike World Cup calendar. The news came just three weeks after the fifth annual running of Germany's only mountain bike World Cup.

    "Sports Scheiderbauer learned last Thursday of this decision. After the initial shock, the disappointment of the organizers is great," read a statement from surprised organizers. "Scheiderbauer Sports can not explain the decision of the UCI and was almost overwhelmed by the development."

    "The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2011 in Offenburg, in the opinion of the organizer was a very successful event," read the statement. "Spectators, athletes and sponsors were enthusiastic about the three-day event that, as in the four (previous) years went well.... The media attention was enormous and 20,000 spectators are the best proof of how high the interest of fans in the Ortenau is. Here mountain biking has been priority for years. It's commonplace and no longer a fringe sport."

    During its tenure in the World Cup, the Offenburg round has twice (2008 and 2009) won the award of Best Cross Country World Cup. This year's event included both an eliminator, which is the new format the UCI is adding to the World Cup series in 2012, and a cross country.  The Offenburg eliminator was reportedly cancelled, then re-instated in the week prior to the most recent running.  Thomas Litscher (Felt Oetztal X-Bionic) and Pavla Havlikova won the eliminator while Julien Absalon (Orbea) and Julie Bresset (BH Suntour) won the cross country.

    "On paper and in reality, Offenburg seems to be the perfect venue and in the past five years, the UCI, organizers and teams were always in agreement and have...

  • High hopes for defending marathon worlds champions Lakata and Süss

    Alban Lakata (Topeak Ergon) racing downhill
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 20:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Marathon world champions to try to defend titles this weekend

    Alban Lakata and Ester Süss will try to defend their marathon World Championship titles this Sunday, June 26 in Montebelluna, Italy, just 50km from Venice and not far from Lake Garda. They will race the Gunn-Rita marathon which is doubling as the 2011 UCI Marathon World Championships.

    "For the moment I just feel great! The highlight of the season is coming closer and my shape improves each day," said Lakata, who will represent Austria.

    "Unfortunately the final rehearsal at the European Championships didn't worked out as planned. I had some technical problems and with not the best legs I managed to fight back to eighth position. Anyways, I think my form was basically good even though. My goal for these Worlds is to achieve the podium again. The course fits me and of course so does the distance."

    The men will race 115.7km.

    In 2010, the Gunn-Rita marathon hosted the European championships, which both Lakata and Süss contested.

    "Last year's European Championships were well organized, although, if you're not speaking any Italian like me, it can sometimes be a bit hard," said Süss, who is from Switzerland. "I am looking forward to racing in Montebelluna. It will be a hard and demanding race, since we (the women) never had the chance to race against each other until now, so it's difficult to evaluate your opponents.

    "I am very curious to see who'll be on the start line on Sunday and how the race will unfold. I'll give my best. I am feeling good right know, always have many things to do, but that's ok. I hope to defend my title, but for sure - this won't be easy!"

    The women will race 98.3km.

    Süss and Lakata will be among more than 2,200 racers competing over the weekend. Racers from 35 countries have signed up for...

  • Carey continues winning streak

    Kenda/Felt's Amanda Carey takes a victory in the TSEpic home with her to Idaho
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 23:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Endurance mountain biker takes victory at Lumberjack 100

    Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) continued her winning streak at the Lumberjack 100 this weekend in Michigan. Her latest victory came at round four of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series.

    Carey won the first NUE round at the Cohutta 100 in Ducktown, Tennessee by a 30-minute margin. She followed up two weeks later with a win at the Syllamo's Revenge 100km in Mountain View, Arkansas. At Syllamos', Carey fought back from a flat tire and a random mechanical to take the win by 15 minutes over second place. Then, this past weekend at the Lumberjack 100, she not only won by 18 minutes, but also set a new course record.

    All three events had wildly varying terrain, from super-tight twisty 95 percent singletrack (Lumberjack), to rock garden-filled Syllamo's to the gravel road and climbing-heavy Cohutta 100, clearly demonstrating that this western gal is no one-trick pony.

    Carey currently leads the NUE series with three wins in just four events so far completed in the 11-race calendar. Each racer's top four race results are added to determine the overall winner.

    The endurance pro was missing from the third round of the NUE because she was busy racing at the seven-day Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race in State College, Pennsylvania. Against a stacked field, she won four of the seven stages, with the last day being a handshake-parade pace women's group ride, and she was on the podium for ever stage. That gave her the overall general classification win with a 15-minute margin over second place.

    The Trans-Sylvania Epic stages varied from buff...