Following her second place at this year's world championships, French downhill national champion Ragot will be looking to reclaim her title at the 2013 Worlds. She previously won in 2009 and 2011.
Loris Vergier, one of the fastest youth on the planet, will also join Team Lapierre for his first year racing as a junior. With the UCI's creation of a proper junior World Cup circuit, Vergier will strive to complement his first season as a junior by winning the first-ever Junior World Cup.
The Lapierre International Team has dropped its dedicated cross country World Cup-level team due to its "commitment and focus on DH racing". The team disappears for the first post-2012 Olympic year.
In 2013, the downhillers will race the World Cups in Fort William, Val di Sole, VallNord, Mont-Sainte-Anne, Hafjell and Leogang. They will also race Worlds in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and all rounds of the iXS European DH Cup, British DH Cup, Mountain of Hell, Crankworkx and national championships
Canadian mountain biker makes the podium in his first Croc Trophy
Cory Wallace was one of the few top non-European contenders at the Crocodile Trophy mountain bike stage races a few weeks ago. The Canadian raced his first-ever Croc Trophy through the Australian Outback and ended up finishing fourth overall in the GC, despite a crash early in the race that injured his knee and took fellow racer Jason English out of the competition with a broken collarbone. Wallace shares his experiences during the race and between the stages in the account below:
The Crocodile Trophy is one of the greatest mountain bike adventures I have experienced. It's one part bike racing to one part playing Boy Scout in the Australian Outback . With blazing heat, crazy and deadly animals, euro racers and the "X-factors" of the Outback it makes for one heck of a challenging nine days and 900km of bike racing.
Coming into the race, I knew I should have good form, but having raced the Scott 24hrs just five days earlier, it was a bit of an experiment to see how the body would respond to such a tight turn around.
The race started out with a short, hard day on the Smithfield 1996 UCI Mountain Bike World Championship trails, which was concluded later that afternoon back in Cairns with the sighting of a Euro rider wearing black compression tights in 35-degree (Celsius) heat. I'm not sure what was going on there, but it just wasn't right. The rider must've been affected by heat stroke or something. I shook my head, grabbed some carbs for dinner then prepped for the eight days of true Croc Racing to come.
On stage 2 the fireworks went off early with fresh Euro legs taking off all over the place. 24-hour World Champ Jason English and I weathered the storm together and then started picking off casualties for the rest of the day. Fifteen kilometers from the finish we were comfortably in second...
The xceliminator.com website calculated and published final 2012 world rankings for the young cross country eliminator discipline. First-ever eliminator world champion Alexandra Engen topped the women's rankings, which were released shortly after the previously posted men's eliminator rankings.
Engen collected 1005 points and dominated the upper end of the rankings. The next best racer was Eva Lechner of Italy with 610 points. Engen's Swedish compatriot Jenny Rissveds finished third with 590 points. Kathrin Stirnemann and Anne Terpstra rounded out the top five rankings.
Eliminators made their debut as test events in the World Cup in 2011 and the first-ever eliminator world championships were held in Saalfelden, Austria, in September of 2012. Next year, there will be a record five World Cup rounds of the eliminator.
The UCI does not maintain separate rankings for the eliminator sub-discipline of mountain biking, but the xceliminator.com website decided to fill that void and calculate rankings based on standard UCI points for major eliminator events.
McInerny replaces Selee in high school mountain bike organization
The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), the youth development organization governing high school mountain biking in the United States, announced on Tuesday the appointment of Austin McInerny, formerly NICA's education programs director, as executive director. In his new role, McInerny will strengthen NICA and provide leadership to reach its goal of being coast-to-coast by 2020.
"The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) board of directors announced today that Doug Selee has transitioned out of his role as executive director, and Austin McInerny, formerly NICA's education programs director, will take over as executive director effective immediately," said NICA Board president, Rick Spittler. "The board is thankful for Doug's contributions and looks forward to working with Austin in his new role as the organization continues to build capacity and ensure that we are coast-to-coast by 2020."
McInerny has been a dedicated and influential member of the NICA team since its inception, serving as a member of the founding committee, a coach for the Berkeley High School mountain bike team and president of the NorCal league’s Board of Directors. In his most recent position, he oversaw the development of the NICA Coaches' Manual and served as instructor at various leaders’ summits in all of NICA's 10 leagues.
"Austin's achievements and efforts have already garnered respect from NICA's Board, sponsors and fellow staff members, and we are thrilled to announce his new role as executive director," said Spittler. "His knowledge, passion and proven ability to lead give us confidence that this seamless transition will strengthen NICA in achieving its goals."
Luna Team sponsorship continues while Orbea shifts resources toward enduro
Bike manufacturer Orbea is making some changes to its sponsorship within mountain biking. While it will continue to back the successful Luna Pro women's team, which primarily races cross country mountain bike events, it has eliminated its World Cup-level elite men's team in favor of sponsoring enduro racing according to its website.
The Luna team's top racers continue to include 2011 cross country world champion and winner of the 2012 cross country World Cup Catharine Pendrel, bronze medalist in London Olympic Games Georgia Gould and Katerina Nash. Its racers also compete in cyclo-cross events.
In 2013, Orbea will sponsor OKI Orbea, a Spanish cross country racing team including Carlos Portilla, Ever Alejandro Gómez and Javier Salamero.
In keeping with recent trends supporting the fast-growing discipline of enduro racing, Orbea is focusing on a new enduro racing project. It is also continuing to sponsor all-mountain racing, including test riders and product advisors...
Swiss rider will race cross country and marathon in 2013
Martin Gujan signed a one-year contract to ride with the TX Active-Bianchi team. The Swiss rider is the second new face on the squad for 2013, after Austrian Alexander Gehbauer.
"I chose TX Active-Bianchi because I know they have a lot of experience from the past years with great riders. They know how it works. And it's really interesting to have a company with such a big history on my side," Gujan, 30, said.
"I prefer cross country races. But as I could see in 2012, some marathon races could also provide some good opportunities. In cross country, I like fast races with no big climbs, and featuring some technical elements," he said.
TX Active-Bianchi's President Felice Gimondi said of his new signing, "Gujan is a multi-skilled and experienced rider. He will enter both cross country and marathon races. His presence will also be very important for our young talents [Gerhard] Kerschbaumer and Gehbauer."
In 2012, Gujan won the short track race in Guiyang in China; took second at the Bundesliga in Munsingen (Germany), the BMC Cup in Davos (Switzerland), the O-Tour in Alpnach (Switzerland) and the cross country in Guiyang (China); and was third in Bundesliga in Bad Salzdetfurth (Germany). With the Swiss national team, he won the silver medal in the team relay at the European Championships in Moscow (Russia).
"In 2013, my goals are top 10 spots in the World Cup and also podiums in the national series in Italy, Switzerland and Germany. I haven't ridden any Bianchi bikes yet, but I can't wait to test the new Methanol 29 Full Suspension" Gujan said.
He makes the move from Cannondale's World Cup team.
Despite 2013 being a post-Olympic year, a time when many cross country teams fold or cut their budgets, BH SR Suntour Peisey Vallandry is strengthening its roster of nine riders.
Tempier finished 11th at the London Olympic Games and was ninth at cross country Worlds. He finished 15th overall in the World Cup standings and won the season-ending Roc d'Azur race. The French man is making the move from the TX Active Bianchi Team.
Le Corre is transferring from Roubaix Lille Métropole after his contract was not renewed. He is an accomplished 'cross racer, though he got into the sport via mountain biking.
Julie Bresset is still the team's most successful rider. Currently the Olympic and world champion, Bresset is ranked number 1 in the UCI rankings and is the French national champion. In 2011, she won the World Cup overall.
Maxime Marotte, a regular top 10 contender in the UCI World Cup, continues with the team. He was 13th overall and part of the French national team which won the silver medal in the team relay at Worlds in Saalfelden,...
Fourth edition gets some changes as mountain bike stage race evolves
The Trans-Sylvania Epic presented the fourth edition of its annual mountain bike stage race in and around State College, Pennsylvania. In 2013, the seven-day race will run from Sunday, May 26 to Saturday, June 1. As the race continues to evolve, a few changes are on tap for next year.
"We're always looking for opportunities to include more singletrack," said Mike Kuhn, who co-promotes the race with Ray Adams.
Bountiful local singletrack and novelty are two factors behind the changes for 2013.
"We also want to keep the race fresh and people who come back for multiple years can have different experiences. We don't want the same stages year after year after year. There is so much to showcase locally," said Kuhn to Cyclingnews.
Perhaps the biggest changes for 2013 are the return of an enduro stage and the elimination of the Raystown Lake stage.
The enduro stage was not part of the 2012 edition; but it was previously run at RB Winter State Park. This year RB Winter State Park will host a cross country race, but the course will include some different trails and be run generally in the opposite direction.
The new enduro stage will be held near Tussey Mountain, closer to State College and race headquarters at the nearby Seven Mountains Boy Scout Camp. Kuhn said he is close to finalizing the route for the enduro stage, which will feature three to five timed segments (individual time trial format) with pleasure pace rides in between the segments.
"The enduro will give us another day in Rothrock State Forest. Riders will go on the timed segments at about 30-second intervals. Because they can self-pace themselves in between, you just kind of ride and then get to your segment and do your thing. I'm not anticipating any mass start segments."
Kuhn said he is also considering having some timed enduro segments each day that count toward an enduro overall. BC Bike Race, a seven-day stage race in...