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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, November 11, 2010

Date published:
November 11, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Experience pays off for Matter

    2010 Iceman Cometh winner Brian Matter celebrates on the podium with Gary Fisher. It was Fisher's 60th birthday.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 19:28 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Wisconsin racer earns his third Iceman Cometh title

    Iceman Cometh veteran Brian Matter (Gear Grinder) rode to his third victory at the 21st edition of the race in Michigan on Saturday. Matter, who lives in Wisconsin about eight hours from the Traverse City race, outwitted the other favorites in the 27-mile point-to-point race.

    Matter previously won the Iceman Cometh in 2004 and 2007. This victory was a sweet one from the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) regular and national-level cyclo-cross racer.

    "The level of competition was the hardest so far - with the roadies Jeremiah (Bishop), (Jeremy Horgan Kobelski) JHK and Todd (Wells). Many of them have been here before, but this year they all happened to come."

    Matter and another WORS regular, Tristan Schouten were the two "local" Midwest favorites. They also had to battle Sam Schultz and about a dozen roadies from various pro teams such as BMC, although in the end, slippery conditions the day after snow had fallen turned out to favor the mountain bikers.

    Experience paid off for Matter, who did his first Iceman Cometh in 1993. He says he's missed "maybe one year in there somewhere" since.

    "The race panned out exactly how I thought it would play out," said Matter. "I know the course and general geography quite well. The last seven years, I've been doing it full on in race mode, going for the win."

    "It started out fast on hard pack, two track. Drafting and staying toward the front were important," said Matter. "This year, I figured it'd play out different because there was a higher level of competition. The past years, it was JHK and Sam Schultz teaming up and beating up on the local guys."

    "This year, I was the underdog and JHK and Sam were trying to beat up on Todd and Jeremiah and those two were marking each other. Tristan and I asked each other, 'how are we going to win this thing?'. We're Midwest guys, and we couldn't let these guys come and take our big prize money."  US$10,000 was on ...

  • First two Australian mountain bike series events cancelled

    Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Shox Factory Race Team).
    Article published:
    November 09, 2010, 1:46 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sydney rounds eliminated after Xsport Games called off

    Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) announced the cancellation of the first two four cross rounds of its national mountain bike series on Monday. The rounds had been scheduled for this weekend, November 13-14 at the Sydney Olympic Park.

    "We were staging these rounds in conjunction with the Xsport Games ... who have this morning informed us of their cancelation of the entire Xsport Games event. This is evidently due to a legal injunction and a dispute with ESPN," read a statement from MTBA on its website.

    "Unfortunately this cancelation is beyond our control and many other national sporting bodies have also been affected by the cancelation."

    "We understand that this may impact on travel costs which are not refundable and as a good will gesture MTBA will be happy to consider reimbursement of any non-refundable travel costs."

    Those affected are urged to submit claim information for consideration and the organization promises that entry fees for the event will be refunded.

    MTBA said it is looking for alternative venues to host two four cross rounds.

    The Australian Mountain Bike National Series will now kick off with cross country and short track events at You Yangs Regional Park on November 19-20.

    The complete schedule for the 2010-2011 Jayco Australian MTB Series is now:

    November 19-21: You Yangs MTB Park, Victoria (cross country #1 and short track #1)
    December 10-12: Glenorchy MTB Park, Tasmania (cross country #2, short track #2, downhill #1 and four cross #1)
    January 14-16: Baw Baw, Victoria (downhill #2)
    February 4-6: Mt Buller, Victoria (cross country #3, short track #3, downhill #3)
    March 18-20: Shepparton, Victoria (cross country #4, short track #4, downhill #4, four cross #2)*

    * indicates the event will be held in conjunction with the 2011 Oceania MTB and Road Championships.

  • Trek World Racing signs national champion Gwin

    US National Champion Aaron Gwin is a regular on the World Cup downhill scene and a podium finisher, too.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 12:02 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Full 2011 downhill team roster announced

    American Aaron Gwin, who is ranked third in the world by the UCI, is the newest signing for Trek World Racing. The team announced its full downhill roster for the coming season.

    "I'm really excited to be joining Trek World Racing," said US National Champion Gwin. "I've looked up to Trek bicycles since I was a kid watching Lance Armstrong win the Tours so to be part of that same American brand and adding to all that racing heritage is pretty cool."

    "The support this team provides is second to none, and I believe I'll have all the tools I need to achieve my goals."

    Gwin will be teammates with Trek World Racing returning athletes including World Champion Tracy Moseley, silver medallist at the junior Worlds Neko Mulally and Justin Leov.

    "It's great to be returning to Trek World Racing for a third year and this time in the World Champion's jersey," said Moseley. "I'm looking forward to an exciting year and hope to be able to help Trek World Racing become the number one team in 2011."

    "I know this program as well as I know the bike, inside out now, and working with amazingly focused people is what I'm all about," said Leov. "I look forward to having a solid crew of staff and riders to work alongside these next two years and a lot of fun times and great rides along the way. I just want to get on with it for 2011 and prove I can put down great race runs in the World Cups and at World Champs."

    "I'm looking forward to racing next year," said Mulally, who spent much of the 2010 season sidelined with a broken wrist. "To have such top notch support and a great group of people around me allows me to be the best I can be. I have taken in a lot this past year with Trek World Racing and with a better understanding of racing at the professional level I can't wait to put down some solid performances in 2011."

    When asked about the brand's involvement with the team, Trek Vice President Joe Vadeboncoeur said, "Trek is more...

  • Carey's second Iceman Cometh victory sweeter

    Endurance mountain biker Amanda Carey (Kenda-Felt) is at home on the singletrack.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 16:34 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Endurance pro wins cross country Classic

    Last Saturday, Amandy Carey (Kenda) cruised to her second-ever Iceman Cometh win in Traverse City, Michigan. Two days later, she was flat on her back with a case of the flu.

    "I'm so glad I didn't get sick until after the race," said Carey, who is optimistic about recovering in time to compete in this weekend's USGP cyclo-cross racing in Fort Collins, Colorado.

    It was Carey's third time racing the Iceman Cometh and her familiarity with the course from past races and the pre-ride helped the Victor, Idaho resident to the win.

    "I had it in my mind where was a good place to attack," she said. Carey's attack proved successful, and she pedalled away from eventual second place finisher Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek Co-op) to win by over two and a half minutes.

    "This Iceman victory was sweeter. Last time (in 2008), I was a first-year pro and didn't have a game plan," Carey said to Cyclingnews. "This time there was pressure to repeat my victory, especially with a small field. I wanted to be up front and to animate the race."

    "When you go in to a race as a past champion and have a plan and pull it off, it's great," she said.

    Carey spent most of the season racing endurance mountain bike races. She won the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series championships, a series of 100-mile mountain bike races across the United States.

    "This year was the first year I focused on endurance," she said. "I found my niche and my true passion. I'm fortunate that doing the long stuff is my passion and also what I'm good at."

    Carey took a longer break than usual after the end of the endurance mountain bike season. Then she switched over to cyclo-cross. She thinks racing mostly endurance and not so much cross country may be helping her in 'cross this year.

    "I wasn't burning my high end all year which is really exhausting," she said. "It made it easier to just do a few of the right kinds of work outs and up...

  • Pros head to La Ruta de los Conquistadores

    Samuel Schultz (Subaru-Trek) was top North American in 22nd.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 19:55 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rusch, Schultz to take on past winners

    With one week to go, the countdown is on to the start of La Ruta de los Conquistadores, a four-day mountain bike stage race crossing Costa Rica from November 17 to 20, 2010.

    In the women's race, multi-time former winner Louise Kobin is expected to battle fellow American and Leadville 100 winner Rebecca Rusch.

    The men's field includes local favourites and past winners Manuel Prado and Federico Ramirez. Americans Sam Schultz, Blake Harlan, Jason Sager, last year's runner-up Alex Grant and Thomas Turner are making the trip as is German Ben Sonntag.

    Schultz will be racing his first La Ruta while Sonntag will be looking to improve on his eighth place finish of last year. Portugal will be represented by Luis Leão Pinto and Spain by Ismael Ventura.

    The long-running La Ruta is famous for its gruelling courses which push racers to the limits of their endurance.

    "They call it an adventure race for a reason. This race will test your mind, body, and spirit. Not everyone finishes, but those who do, have much to be proud of," said Rusch.

    Lance Armstrong's long-time coach Chris Carmichael will also be participating in the event.

    Since its first running 18 years ago, La Ruta has been growing popularity and world recognition. The Costa Rican Tourism bureau officially declared the event a tourist attraction. The race was developed by promoter Roman Urbina and it crosses the central American nation from the Pacific Coast to the Caribbean Coast, passing through rain forests, active volcanoes, mountain ranges, rivers and native communities en route.

    After serious flooding affected Costa Rica last week - causing mudslides and closing roads - organisers have been checking the course to see if any route modifications will be necessary.

    The race is famously hot, long, muddy and steep, and includes significant hike-a-bike sections and railroad bridges.

    Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full...

  • Second Ray's Indoor MTB Park location opening delayed

    The sport course at the new Ray's Indoor MTB Park in Milwaukee
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 22:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Milwaukee grand opening postponed for mountain bike park

    Plans for the grand opening of Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park at its second location, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this weekend have been delayed.

    "Although we've made a lot of headway building our new park, unfortunately RaysMTB Milwaukee will not be opening this weekend as scheduled," said Eric Schutt of RaysMTB.

    "Despite a furious work pace, we were unable to complete all the work in time to acquire all the permits from the City of Milwaukee. We'll continue to work around the clock, and we look forward to riding ... at RaysMTB Milwaukee before Christmas."

    Photos of the park show that much of the construction work has been completed.

    RaysMTB will announce revised grand opening information once available on its website at www.raysmtb.com. Its original location, in Cleveland, Ohio, reopened last weekend on November 6.

  • Titus closes their doors as financer takes control

    The El Guapo is a new 160mm platform from Titus,
    Article published:
    November 11, 2010, 0:13 GMT
    By:
    Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com

    Mountain bike manufacturer faces uncertain future

    Titus Cycles has stopped trading. The company's major lender Factors Southwest operating as FSW took over on Tuesday 11 November according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry news (BRAIN) the U.S. industry trade publication.

    Titus Cycles was founded by Chris Cocalis in 1991. He remained at the head of the company until selling his final stakes in 2006 to Vyatek Sports.

    Since Cocalis' departure, Titus had trouble finding stable footing. In 2008, Vyatek sold the brand to GAI Cycles of Phoenix. From there it went through two CEOs before the FSW foreclosure this week.

    BRAIN reported that FSW is looking for a buyer to take the company whole and doesn’t currently have plans to start selling assets.

    “We were trying to get some investment in [last week] and when we couldn’t get the investment closed the bank foreclosed,” said Mike Gaumond, Titus’ former, told Cyclingnews.

    Gaumond resigned last week once the brand’s last effort at investment fell through.

    “We had run out of money,” he said. “And they laid everyone off at that point anyway.”

    Gaumond confirmed that there is currently inventory at Titus’ now closed headquarters.

    “Factors Southwest took the company over and I have not spoken with them about whether they’ll try to sell that [inventory] off or if they’ll [keep it and] try to sell the company or how they’re going to move forward with that,” he said.

    The future also remains uncertain for current Titus owners in regards to warranty issues and replacement parts.

    “We were working through a plan, assuming we came out whole, in terms of what would happen with warranty,” said Gaumond. “We don’t have a plan in place now, because frankly, we have no control over it now that the bank has taken over.

    “I think their hope is to sell the company to someone...

  • British Cycling article puts Olympic mountain bike course in context

    Cannondale rider Paul Beales demonstrates one of the man-made features on the Olympic mountain bike course at Hadleigh Farm in Essex
    Article published:
    November 11, 2010, 15:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    A second look at the newly revealed Hadleigh Farms venue

    Two weeks ago, more details about the 2012 Olympic Games mountain bike venue were released to the media. Although the UCI gave the course an official thumbs up, public reactions varied widely and British Cycling responded by posting an article putting information about the Hadleigh Farms course in context relative to other Olympic and World Cup venues.

    Hadleigh Farms was actually the second proposed venue for the 2012 Olympic mountain bike race. Weald Country Park was the initial choice and at first, it seemed promising, but it was later rejected so that the London Olympic Games Organizing Group (LOGOG) could create a more challenging course as well as one that worked better for spectators, TV broadcasters and athletes living in the near the Olympic village.

    While one of Britain's many trail centres may have seemed like a better venue choice to mountain bikers, there were several reasons a trail centre was not selected. "For the Olympic Mountain Bike Event to be considered a success, tickets have to sell out, television viewing figures have to be high, there has to be a legacy of increased participation in the sport and mountain biking has to be seen to have reached a new audience," reads the article on the British Cycling site.

    "And you won't achieve those objectives by putting the World's most prestigious mountain bike race in the middle of nowhere, with a pre-existing facility, an established following and a low population density," it continued.

    Another advantage to the Hadleigh Farms location is that after the Games, locals will likely be left with a mountain bike venue that's open to the public and in a place where there was not one previously. The fact that the venue doesn't actually have a mountain on premises may encourage other venues without mountains to create mountain biking facilities, recreational and racing opportunities.

    The Hadleigh Farms venue is expected to draw huge crowds given its proximity to the...