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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, May 10, 2012

Date published:
May 10, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Sauser gears up for Trans Germany

    Christoph Sauser (Specialized Racing)
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 9:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Marathon champion looks forward to title defense

    Defending Champion Christoph Sauser (Specialized) will be back racing at the Trans Germany on June 6-9.

    "I'm going for the three-peat!" said the Swiss rider, who also won in 2010 and 2011.

    The 36-year-old, who won a bronze medal in the 2000 Olympic Games, is in good form already this season. Together with South Africa's Burry Stander, Sauser won this year's Cape Epic in April.

    Sauser has plenty of racing to do between now and the Trans Germany. "I'm currently facing the last two World Cups counting as Olympic qualifiers and thus some very important weeks. I definitely am focusing on those two races right now."

    In previous years, Sauser stepped into the lead in the very first stage. When asked if he'd take the same approach this year, he said, "It could be as the first stage is normally the hardest one. It's easier to defend a lead than to try to catch up - especially since it won't be technically very demanding."

    Sauser has not checked out the course's route. "I will take it stage by stage. During the race, I will stick the altitude profile to my handlebar. It's important to know, where I am over the course of the stage and what I still have to expect."

    "It's perfect to have a new stage town (Seefeld). It's always nice to have a mix of new towns and old ones. It's good to have stage finishes in the middle of town."

    Stage races are important to Sauser, who as marathon world champion, excels at long distance racing, and he'd like to add another Trans Germany win to his palmares.

    "Stage races are more important than single day races. The Trans Germany is a very well organized race which gets recognized in many different countries."

    For more information on the Trans Germany, visit

  • IMBA Trail Tune-Up grants opens May 15

    Racers trying to negotiate the new technical singletrack at Fontana
    Article published:
    May 04, 2012, 17:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Applications accepted this summer

    USA Cycling and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) announced that, beginning on May 15, the application period will open for the annual USA Cycling/IMBA Trail Tune-Up Grant.

    Each year, the Trail Tune-Up Grant is awarded to a mountain bike group seeking to jump-start trail improvement projects. These grants are completely funded by USA Cycling members through an optional land access check box on USA Cycling license applications and renewal forms.

    For 2012, one $2,000 grant will be awarded. Additionally, the winning group will receive a follow-up visit and technical assistance from one of the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crews.

    Following is a timeline for this year’s Trail Tune-Up Grant application process: The grant application period is May 15 to Aug. 15, 2012. The winner will be chosen on September 1. The winner will be officially announced during Interbike, September 19-21.

    For more information on the Trail Tune-Up Grant, including information on how to apply, visit the Trail Tune-Up Grant webpage.

  • Sea Otter Classic dates set for 2013

    Typical Sea Otter fireroad
    Article published:
    May 05, 2012, 15:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Ford Ord portion of venue becomes US National Monument

    The Sea Otter Classic announced its dates for its 23rd edition on April 18-21, 2013. The multi-discipline cycling event and expo will return to the Laguna Seca Recreation Area surrounded by the newly created Fort Ord National Monument.

    On April 20, US President Barrack Obama signed a proclamation to designate federal lands within the former Fort Ord as a National Monument under the Antiquities Act. Fort Ord is a former military base located on California's Central Coast.

    "Fort Ord's dramatic landscape lives in the memories of thousands of veterans as their first taste of Army life, as a final stop before deploying to war, or as a home base during their military career. This national monument will not only protect one of the crown jewels of California's coast, but will also honor the heroism and dedication of men and women who served our nation and fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century," said President Obama.

    "Already, over 100,000 people come every year to enjoy all that Fort Ord has to offer. President Obama's action, with the strong support of the people of California, will ensure that this special place continues to thrive for generations to come. At the same time, the creation of this new national monument is good for tourism, recreation, and local businesses that cater to the tens of thousands of people who come to experience this remarkable place," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

    President Obama first used the Antiquities Act in November 2011 to designate the Fort Monroe National Monument, a former Army post integral to the history of slavery, the Civil War, and the US military. First exercised by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to designate Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, the authority of the Antiquities Act has been used by 16 presidents since 1906 to protect unique natural and historic features in...

  • Whole Athlete-Specialized juniors head to Europe

    Lucas Newcomb takes a bottle on his way to a podium finish at the Mellow Johnny's Classic.
    Article published:
    May 05, 2012, 19:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Five young Americans to get some experience across the Atlantic

    Five juniors on the Whole Athlete-Specialized team headed to Europe to compete at the highest level of the sport this month.

    Fresh off his win at the Whiskey Off Road 25 Proof this past weekend, Cypress Gorry will be joined by Sea Otter Classic winner Kate Courtney as they compete in the World Cups in the Czech Republic and France on May 13 and 20.

    Josie Nordrum, Lucas Newcomb and Shane Skelton are also headed across the Atlantic for some international racing later in May and June. They are participating in the USA Cycling Junior Cross Country Mountain Bike Race Camp.

    Confirming their strong spring campaigns thus far, Nordrum, Newcomb and Skelton will compete against some of the world's best juniors at the Grand Prix d'Europe in Belgium on May 27 and Swiss Bike Trophy in Bern, Switzerland on June 3.

  • Windham Mountain Bike World Cup picks up extra support

     Zephanie Blasi (No Tubes Elite Women's Team)
    Article published:
    May 08, 2012, 18:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Two companies step up sponsorship of American round

    Two well-known companies in the mountain biking community signed on as major sponsors of the Windham, New York round of the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup from June 28 to July 1. Scott Bikes has become the title sponsor of the World Cup cross country race while Stan's NoTubes is now the title sponsor of the downhill race.

    "This year's race preparations have been challenging. Windham (the town and the mountain) suffered devastating losses after Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Lee swept through late last summer. The damage was monumental, businesses were ravaged and houses swept downstream. But the community rallied around amazing support from near and far to get ready." said Nick Bove, race director of the Windham 2012 Mountain Bike World Cup.

    "Scott Sports and Stan's NoTubes have shown tremendous faith in our rebuilding efforts and we are ready and eager to welcome back the international mountain bike racing community."

    Scott USA already sponsors race team programs in North America. "We have two globally dominant cross country programs and a downhill program," said Adrian Montgomery, marketing director for Scott USA. "The Scott-3Rox Team [of Geoff Kabush] was created to develop North American riders and our commitment to the Windham World Cup will help showcase the talent of the Team here in the US. It's so important to support bringing the World Cup back to the birthplace of mountain biking and Scott is wholeheartedly supportive of the event."

    Based in the relatively nearby Big Flats, New York, Stan's NoTubes is supporting its home World Cup. "Stan's NoTubes is proud to sponsor the downhill race at Windham for 2012. We have lent our support to the UCI events held at Windham for the past three years have found it to be a very positive experience for both sponsors and competitors alike and we're extremely pleased...

  • Bishop tops list of favorites for Trans-Sylvania Epic

    Two- time winner Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) in Trans-Sylvania Epic leader's jersey
    Article published:
    May 08, 2012, 20:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Cannondale rider will return to defend title

    The 2012 edition of the Trans-Sylvania Epic (TSE) mountain bike stage racing is drawing another strong field of elite men to the start line later this month.

    Cannondale's Jeremiah Bishop, the two-time defending champion at TSE, leads the line-up on the men's side. With two victories in hand and a string of mountain bike stage race wins nine deep, Bishop has to be the odds on favorite to don the leader's jersey. However, indications are that going home with that jersey will be harder than ever for this Olympic hopeful.

    Leading the field of contenders is stage race maestro Jason Sager (Jamis), an experienced mountain bike stage racer. Sager has completed Cape Epic and Trans Andes this season in prep for his run at TSE. His 2012 preparation combined with confidence that he was the strongest racer over the last several days of the 2011 TSE should leave Sager well positioned to take victory home with him.

    Team CF brings another likely contender for the overall victory in Christian Tanguy, who was a contender for the first edition of TSE in 2010 and then focused his talents on the NUE series in 2011. He made the most of this effort, taking home the NUE title to stake his claim as the best endurance racer in North America. At the recent Cohutta 100, Tanguy finished a mere four minutes behind Bishop. With TSE's shorter courses forming the battlefield, the war at front will be tight and hard fought.

    Lining up with Bishop, Sager and Tanguy are a host of men who have the ability to win TSE and battle for the overall podium. Barry Wicks is demonstrating some of his best form in several years, and this Kona Bikes rider is ready to avenge last year's...

  • Danish women help out Langvad's Olympic chances

    Langavad was strong today.
    Article published:
    May 09, 2012, 21:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Racing29ers team travels to Turkey to collect more UCI points

    Marathon world champion Annika Langvad is hoping to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and this past weekend she got some help doing so from two Danish women, Rikke Kornvig and Helle Qvortrup Tvilum Bachmann, of the Racing29ers team.

    The pair went one-two at the Salcano Cup round 5, a UCI category 1 race in Arvavutkoy, near Istanbul, Turkey. The points should help boost Denmark's rankings enough to qualify a single female racer to race in London. The UCI Olympic rankings will be finalized on May 22, after the next two World Cups in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic and La Bresse, France.

    The UCI points of the three highest ranking riders of each nation are combined to create the national rankings, which are used to determine the number of starting spots at the Olympic Games. While Langvad's results stand out, it was necessary to call upon the assistance of Kornvig and Qvortrup Tvilum Bachmann to ensure that Denmark would have enough points to secure a high enough nations ranking.

    The Racing29ers women have used events like the Salcano Cup to get some international racing and travel experience. The two riders were selected to head to Turkey on very short notice, and scoring 100 UCI points (60 for first place, 40 for second place) exceeded expectations.

    The Aarhus based team races regularly throughout Denmark as well as in some international cross country, marathon and stage races.

  • Brasil Ride set for September

    The Chapada Diamantina National Park hosts the Brasil Ride mountain bike stage race each year.
    Article published:
    May 09, 2012, 23:19 BST
    Cycling News

    MTB stage race returns to Chapada Diamantina National Park

    The Brasil Ride, a mountain bike stage race in Brasil, will return for its third year in 2012. The next edition of the race will be held from September 23 to September 29.

    The Chapada Diamantina National Park will again serve as the starting point for the seven stage, seven day event.

    In 2011, Kristian Hynek and Robert Novotny (Futurecycling-Sweep) won the men's classification while Adriana Nascimento and Sabrina Gobbo (Ladies Brasil Soul-RC Bikes) won the women's classification. Ivonne Kraft and Mateus Ferraz (Brasil Soul-RC Bikes) topped the mixed standings.

    All told, only 67 of the 113 teams on the original start list finished all seven stages in 2011, a testament to the massive difficulty of this race.