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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, October 4, 2012

Date published:
October 04, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Ruzafa moves on to triathlon

    Rubén Ruzafa at the 2008 Xterra in Maui
    Article published:
    September 29, 2012, 20:38 BST
    Cycling News

    2008 Xterra World Champion quits mountain biking for good

    After a successful mountain bike career, Andalusian athlete Rubén Ruzafa (Orbea) decided to resign from mountain biking and commit fully to triathlon. Ruzafa has already had success in the three-sport discipline; he became Xterra world champion in 2008 in Hawaii and was the runner-up at the European triathlon in Sardinia, Italy in 2009.

    "For several years, I have been struggling between mountain bike and triathlon. My Xterra victory in Maui made me seriously think about switching sports, but I had been chasing the dream of becoming part of the Olympic mountain bike team since my start and having been so close in 2008, I wanted to try for 2012," said Ruzafa.

    "After two difficult years, specially this last one, in which I lost any chance of being an Olympian due to an infection after the World Cup in South Africa and overtraining, the opportunity to show what I'm capable of in triathlon has come."

    Ruzafa has four national titles in cross country and marathon mountain bike disciplines and one team relay world title from Livigno, Italy in 2005. He's got several World Cup top 10s and podiums, including fourth in Madrid, Spain in 2008 and second in Schladming, Austria in 2009.

    "In the short term, I want to tackle the Xterra European series and win again the world championship," he said. "I will also debute in middle distance triathlons, such as Ironman 70.3. In the mid term, my aim is to fight for the victory in the Ironman 70.3 world championship in Las Vegas. My long term goal is to compete for the Ironman world championship in Hawaii, triathlon's mecca".

    At the moment, Ruzafa is recovering from a simple surgery that forced him to end his mountain bike season a bit early. He will soon resume training for triathlon

  • Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge celebrates third year

    Karl Platt (Team Bulls) wins in Langkawi
    Article published:
    October 01, 2012, 0:20 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Platt and Schneitter aim to defend titles

    The Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge will run its third edition on October 15-20, 2012 in Malyasia. The action will happen all over the island of Langkawi as racers compete for US$125,000 in cash.

    Defending champion Karl Platt of Germany will return to defend his title. Steffen Thum, who is ranked number one in the UCI marathon world series, Simon Gegenheimer, Burry Stander, Florian Vogel, Todd Wells, Fabien Giger and Nick Craig are among the other top contenders expected in the men's category.

    Among the ladies, Burry Stander's wife Cherise Stander, who races both road and mountain bike events, will be challenging defending champion Nathalie Schneitter, Blaza Klemencic, Eva Lechner and Lea Davison.

    Origins of a young mountain bike stage race

    Race promoter Datuk Malik Mydin explained how the event came to be. "It was an idea that had been germinating in the mind of Malaysia's longest-serving Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who also generated the idea of Le Tour de Langkawi in 1996. He wanted a cycling event of an international stature to help promote Langkawi to the world."

    "With Tun Dr Mahathir as the driving force, I was given the task of executing the idea, given my background as a former national cyclist and my role as the CEO of Human Voyage Sdn Bhd, an event management company. So within a short period of time, we managed to pull all our resources and with the help of our sponsorship partners, we attracted as many as 800 riders for the inaugural event."

    LIMBC is open to all levels so that the more casual enthusiast can also experience a world class course and participate alongside the world's best - a format adopted by many such mountain bike stage races.

    "Participants will get to enjoy the best Langkawi can offer - treasured landmarks and beauty spots including Eagle Square, Telaga Harbour, Oriental Village, Langkawi GeoPark and a stunning beach finale at...

  • Team Type 1’s Morris ready for assualt on Crocodile Trophy

    Justin Morris (Team Type 1 - Sanofi) hooks through the corner
    Article published:
    October 01, 2012, 6:10 BST
    Alex Malone

    Australian looking forward to European calendar in 2012

    Australia's Justin Morris (Team Type 1 - Sanofi Development) returned home from the United States a little early this year but his season is far from over. Morris has been one of the team’s most valuable assets since joining in 2010 - having being diagnosed with diabetes when he was 10-years-old - and it’s not just his sporting potential that his team wishes to retain. One of the reasons for remaining with the team is that he truly believes that people with Type 1 diabetes can do it all. It’s a message the team strongly supports and it’s something Morris spends much of his own time talking about.

    Morris has taken the opportunity to speak publicly in the US and back home in Australia on multiple occasions. Taking to the stage in an effort to educate and encourage diabetics and non-diabetics alike to overcome life’s difficulties in order to achieve their life goals.

    "It’s something I put my hand up for, it’s something I’m passionate about on top of my racing," Morris told Cyclingnews.

    "I love doing that. It’s one of the things that motivates me to stay with the team. The team has a real powerful message for diabetics and being able to spread that message throughout the United States, here in Australia and around the world really excites me.

    "They are trying to prove that even with the challenge of diabetes in our life, that we can still achieve our goals. Cycling is one of the hardest sports and if we can compete and beat the best in the world, with the challenge of diabetes, then we hope people can see that anything really is possible.

    "When you are first diagnosed you see a lot of doctors and they tell you about everything you can’t do but as I and my teammates have discovered there’s so many more things that you can do, as opposed to focusing on those you cannot," he...

  • 2013 Whiskey Off-Road MTB Fest announces dates, prize money

    Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) being interviewed before the race
    Article published:
    October 02, 2012, 21:00 BST
    Cycling News

    $35,000 cash purse offered to elite men and women

    The Whiskey Off-Road Mountain Bike event announced its dates and cash prize purse for its 10th edition in 2013. The weekend of racing will take place in Prescott, Arizona, on April 26-28, 2013.

    Known for offering huge cash purses and plenty of fun, Epic Rides upped the ante again, announcing one of the biggest one-day cash purses in mountain bike history - US$35,000. And because Epic Rides firmly believes in equal pay for equal anaerobic suffering, each of the top 10 finishing elite men and women will receive equal payout for their masochistic efforts.

    For the entrants who mountain bike for fun, fitness and maybe a little competition, the Whiskey Off-Road rewards everyone with memorabilia like a t-shirt, water bottle, collectible poster, finishers pint glass and, for those true hammerheads who make it on the podium, a genuine stainless steel whiskey flask.

    What started 10 years ago as a small mountain bike event in a charming, Wild West frontier town has since grown into one of the largest mountain bike celebrations in the United States and the essence of what mountain biking - and simply enjoying life - is all about; having fun, staying fit and making lifelong memories with family, friends, and yes, even random strangers in old west regalia.

    "The Whiskey Off-Road is more than just a mountain bike event," said Todd Sadow, President of Epic Rides. "It's a celebration of life and community regardless of whether or not you're a cyclist. From the free Saturday concert, kids race and weekend-long industry expo to experiencing all the outstanding restaurants, art galleries, bars on Whiskey Row and even the simple pleasures of nature surrounding Prescott, the Whiskey Off-Road offers something for everyone."

    The three days of festivities will start on Friday with a Fat Tire Criterium for elite men and women through the streets of Prescott, an industry and vendor tech expo complete with demo bikes and the newest mountain bike gear...

  • Mountain biker Vuillermoz signs with Saur Sojasun

    Alexis Vuillermoz (Lapierre International)
    Article published:
    October 03, 2012, 19:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Cross country racer switches to road

    Mountain biker Alexis Vuillermoz will switch to pro road racing with Saur Sojasun for 2013 according to The Frenchman has been racing with Lapierre International for the past four years, but since August 1 he's also been riding as a trainee for the Saur Sojasun road team.

    The 24-year-old Vuillermoz is a two-time national U23 cross country national champion (2009-2010). He finished second in the U23 cross country world championships in 2009. He was also part of the French team that won the team relay in 2008 at both the world championships and the European championships.

    He is fresh off a victory this weekend at the Catalan Cup cross country in Spain and will start Paris-Bourges road race tomorrow and then race the Roc d'Azur mountain bike race next weekend.

  • Quaker Cannondale Cups step up in UCI rankings

    The Copa Quaker Cannodale racers get underway
    Article published:
    October 03, 2012, 21:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Chilean mountain bike races set for 2013

    The Quaker-Cannondale Cups in Chile have been assigned new UCI categories for their 2013 editions. The cross country and downhill cup held in the mountains of Nevados de Chillán will be a category 1 race while the marathon in the small town of Puchuncaví will be part of the UCI Marathon Series.

    After three years of being a category 2 race, the Nevados de Chillán Quaker Cannondale Cup is stepping up a notch. In past editions, the race has been attended by top racers. This year, Rubens Valeriano (Brasil), Fabio Catañeda (Colombia), Luciano Caracioli (Argentina), Javier Pûschel (Chile), Cristóbal Silva (Chile) and Alex Grant and Tinker Juárez (both United States) were at the start line. The next Nevados de Chillán Quaker Cannondale Cup will be held on March 23-24, 2013.

    The Puchuncaví Rally Quaker Cannondale Cup marathon is well known for its difficulty both on the steep uphills and technical descents. Pros and amateurs, men and women take the challenge on the first Sunday of October each year. In 2013, this new stop on the world marathon series will happen on October 6.

    For more information visit,

  • Rotorua Mountain Bike Festival set for February

    Blazing through lush forest singletrack on Old Chevy trail in Rotorua
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 3:12 BST
    Cycling News

    New Zealand National Championships included in new event

    The 2013 New Zealand Mountain Bike Championships will be held in Rotorua in conjunction with the first annual Rotorua Bike Festival on February 8-17. The festival will culminate with the New Zealand MTB Nationals on February 16-17 and will be a celebration of all things cycling - a mix of fun and frivolity and serious competition.

    "There will be brand new events designed specifically for the festival, some established events that will move within the festival and a bike film festival," said festival coordinator Neil Gellatly of Dare2Sweat Events, who will be running the 2W Gravity Enduro and Bike Expo during the festival, as well.

    "The final weekend of the festival is a big one with the serious business of the national champs when the country's top riders will compete for the 2013 titles and the 2W Gravity Enduro on Sunday. This is when the weekend warriors can mix it up and have some fun to finish the week on the fast, flowing trails that the Whakarewarewa trail network is world famous for."

    Behind the scenes a lot of work has been going on to ensure the Festival is a success. More information about what's on and when over the next month or two will roll out in the next month. There is a Facebook page online and a comprehensive website is under construction.

    "It's been a long time coming and now it's happening, it's very exciting," said Martin Croft from Event and Venues, Rotorua, who will be supporting the inaugural event.

    "Over the past 10 years, Rotorua has hosted two world mountain bike championships, Oceania mountain bike champs, numerous national events and annual races that have shone the spotlight on what a great cycling destination this city really is and the festival will just underline and reinforce that reputation."

    The Bike Festival will open with the 6, 12 and 24-hour Cateye Moon Ride, starting on Friday February 8. It's the iconic event...

  • Decision on China Mountain Bike World Cup round is imminent

    Women XC podium: Eva Lechner, Blaza Klemencic, Sarah Koba
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 17:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Test event successful last weekend

    One week ago, the first Guiyang MTB Invitation Contest was run in Guiyang, China. The short track and cross country races were World Cup test events and may become a part of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in 2012.

    Guiyang is a city in the south-western province of Guizhou. Eighty riders from 30 nations were at the start, including athletes from countries rarely seen on the international circuit such as India, Aruba and Ecuador. The racing attracted large crowds and was also broadcast on national television.

    Martin Gujan (Swiss Cycling) and Eva Lechner (Colnago Sudtirol) triumphed in the short track while Fabian Giger (Rabobank-Giant) and Blaza Klemencic (Slovenian National Team) won the cross country races.

    According to the UCI, the idea to launch the mountain bike event in the rapidly growing Guiyang stemmed from the desire of the authorities to promote environmentally-friendly practices and healthy living in the new district of Jinyang.

    UCI Mountain Bike Event Coordinator Mélanie Leveau said on the UCI's website that teams and riders had appreciated this new race on the Asian continent. "The feedback has been very good and the UCI is also satisfied with the way things went at the Invitation Contest. If it does become part of the World Cup, some changes will be made to the cross country course and we will also have to create an eliminator course. We would work together to ensure that the event meets everybody's expectations and the UCI World Cup standards."

    She added that the organisers had gone to great lengths to ensure the smooth running of the event. They had undertaken a...