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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, September 29, 2011

Date published:
September 29, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Injury prematurely ends Spitz's season

    Sabine Spitz (Central Haibike)
    Article published:
    September 27, 2011, 22:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Fractured arm sustained in training

    Sabine Spitz (Central Haibike Pro Team) sustained a season-ending injury while training prior to the final German Bundesliga final round in Bad Sazdetfurth.

    Spitz was planning to race the sprint cup event on Saturday, one day prior to the cross country, but she crashed and broke the radius bone in her left arm during warm-up.

    A technical problem caused the German cross country national champion to stop suddenly and she flew diagonally over her handlebars. Her arm took the impact with the ground. At first, it seemed as if she just had a laceration on her knees and a slight pain in her forearm. She managed to finish fifth in the sprint eliminator and also did a practice lap on the 4.5km long cross country circuit.

    However, later in the evening, the pain worsened and after a tough night she went to the hospital in Hidesheim. Spitz was outfitted with a cast.

    "My season is done," she said. "This is a shame because I wanted to ride for the win in the final and had prepared well." She will also have to drop plans to race the UCI Marathon World Series in Ornans, France next weekend.

    Whether Spitz will need an operation to repair the bone is still to be determined.

  • Mulally doubles up on medals at US Nationals

    Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) crosses the line.
    Article published:
    September 28, 2011, 14:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Junior rider clocks downhill time faster than the elites

    Neko Mulally (Trek World Racing) picked up two medals and a fastest time of the day honor at the US Gravity National Championships held this past weekend in Beech Mountain, North Carolina.

    The 18-year-old junior's first medal came in the dual slalom in which he was able to compete against the best pros in the US. He worked his way into the final, where he faced Mitch Ropelato. In the first round, the two riders were within hundredths of a second of each other, and the gap between the two at the end of the match up was only 0.37 seconds.

    "This was the first time I'd raced slalom all year and I really enjoyed it," said Mulally. "It was tight racing and the crowd was huge, which made for a fun night of riding. The crowd was so loud I could hardly hear the cadence in the gate!"

    In the downhill championships, Mulally had to race the junior category per his age. He won it decisively by nearly 11 seconds over Austin Warren in very wet conditions. Although his teammate Aaron Gwin, the 2011 World Cup overall winner, crashed and finished second, Mulally's time of 2:43.2 was 1.5 seconds quicker than anyone else that day and would have won him the elite men's title. However, rules are rules and Mulally will have to wait until 2012 to contest the elite race.

    "The National Champs were something I have been looking forward to all year," said Mulally. "It was a fun atmosphere down in North Carolina. So many familiar faces and good people around. All the tracks were...

  • Andalucía Bike Race gets UCI designation

    The racers set off for a long stage 4 at the Andalucia Bike Race
    Article published:
    September 28, 2011, 16:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Mountain bike stage race classified as S2 event

    The Andalucía Bike Race will be categorized as a UCI XCS S2 event in its second edition 2012. With the designation, it becomes part of a group of 11 such mountain bike stage races in the world. It is the only Spanish stage race with the designation.

    The UCI rankings, based on points, is used to determine eligibility for the Olympic Games. The Andalucía Bike Race will offer cross country UCI points to the first 25 teams, which could assist those still looking for Olympic spots as of early next season.

    The Andalucía Bike Race will award more than €17,000 of prize money, available for the men's and women's categories.

    The event, which will be raced in pairs split into four categories and consists of an urban prologue and five marathon stages, will take place from February 26 to March 2, 2012. It is run in the provinces of Córdoba and Jaén.

    For more information on the race, visit

  • Stirnemann to race Cape Pioneer Trek

    Under 23 racer Kathrin Stirnemann (Central Haibike)
    Article published:
    September 28, 2011, 19:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Swiss woman headed to South African stage race

    If Switzerland's Kathrin Stirnemann (Central Haibike Pro Team) could make one request to the organizers of the DCM Cape Pioneer Trek on October 17-22, it would be that there should be no cows on the route. She had a bad bovine experience last year thanks to an unexpected encounter.

    "A cow came running straight at me and then she kicked me off my bike. I had blue bruises all over my body and some scrapes as well," said Stirnemann.

    "I guess I should not complain because it could have been worse. Luckily the cow did not fall on me or jump upon me. However, since that incident, I cannot help to be scared stiff of cows," said Stirnemann.

    Despite this "mad cow" fear of hers, Stirnemann has no fear of coming out to race in South Africa, country of the Big Five. She did not hesitate when Carel Herholdt, organizer, phoned to invite her to return to the event.

    "I heard from other riders about their amazing experiences during the six-day tour and I saw pictures of the beautiful South African landscape. So when I received an invitation from Carel, it was an easy decision to make."

    Even though it will be the first time that she will compete in a multi-stage event, it is safe to say that Stirnemann will be a podium contender. She is a former junior Swiss cross country champion, as well as winner of a junior World Cup race; finished fourth in a junior cross country world championship; finished second in the under 23 race at the European Championship and was second during the under 23 race at this year's World Cup event at Dalby Forest.

    According to Stirnemann, she has been riding her mountain bike for about 17 years. "I started to ride my mountain bike when I was five years old. My dad taught my brother and me to play with the bike like with other toys. "

    She still...

  • Becking joins Milka Trek MTB Team for 2012

    Hans Becking is the newest signing for the Milka Trek Mountain Bike team for 2012.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 16:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Young Dutch racer hopes to build on promising 2011

    Hans Becking, 25, has signed with the Milka Trek Mountain Bike Racing Team run by Bart Brentjens for 2012. He will concentrate on cross country races in the Benelux, but will also do some other international and World Cup events.

    "I'm looking forward to working with Bart and his crew. The professional guidance is a step forward in my career," said Becking. "With my young age, I am sure I can make progress with Bart's experience. My motivation is high, and I am confident that I will show some good results in the coming years."

    Dutchman Becking lives in Wetteren, Belgium, and did his first mountain bike race at age 13. Racing as a junior, he became more serious and was eventually picked up by the Dutch Cube Nutswerk team. For 2012, his goal is to win the Dutch cross country national title. In 2011, he was second at nationals.

    "It is great that Hans has chosen to ride for our team," said Brentjens. "When he was a junior, he showed great talent. He made huge progress at national level in the elite category this season. I think Hans can make a lot more progress next year, especially at international level."

    He has been a national champion three times and twice won bronze at the European Championships. In 2011, he won the DynaSys Topcompetition and the first Bart Brentjens Trophy.

  • Future of Hadleigh 2012 Olympic MTB course under consideration

    Catharine Pendrel (Canada) celebrates her victory at the Hadleigh Farm International
    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 17:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Essex County Council seeks input from local residents

    Essex County Council has been holding a consultation to decide the future of the 2012 Olympic Games mountain bike course in Hadleigh Park. Residents from across the county are being urged to comment through September 30 on the track's post-Olympic future. So far, the Council has received significant input that people want to see the track open for public use.

    "The residents of Hadleigh and the surrounding area still have time to get their views across and we are urging them to do so," Stephen Castle told

    "We are committed to delivering a legacy for the Hadleigh Farm venue and this consultation gives us the opportunity to listen to what is important to them and what they would like to see."

    The 570 Hadleigh residents who have provided comment so far have spoken in favor of public cycling, walking and bird watching as possible venue uses after the Olympic Games.

    Residents also have the opportunity to give input on what they thought of the Olympic mountain bike test event that was held on July 31.

    For more information on the consultations, visit

  • 2012 iXS European Downhill Cup schedule announced

    Markus Pekoll and Miriam Ruchti win the 2011 iXS European Downhill Cup overall
    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 20:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Seven stops scheduled in seven nations

    The iXS European Downhill Cup will feature seven races in seven countries in its fifth season in 2012. Organizers announced the series schedule for next year.

    Just as in 2011, the season will kick off in Monte Tamaro in Switzerland on a course dug into the mountain by Claudio Caluori. The first race of the year will show who's made best use of the winter.

    The second leg will take the downhill community to Leogang, Austria. Up until now it has always been a World Cup location, but in 2012, Leogang will crank things up a notch, with the Salzburger Land region hosting the world championships. The iXS European Downhill Cup will provide the perfect pre-Worlds test option.

    Innerleithen in Great Britain is scheduled as the third stop on the itinerary. The series returns here after one year away. Taking place exactly one week after the World Cup in Fort William and located just off the return route to the airport, the world's elite will have yet another opportunity to catch up with each other.

    The fourth and thus middle race will take place in Italy. Pila may provide what is the most challenging course on the circuit. Corrado Herin, himself a former professional competitor, will be ensuring that the 2012 course is once again breath-taking and thousands of enthusiastic Italian cycling fans will be ensuring that the atmosphere is also right.

    The series will head next to Spicak in Czech when the Cup visits the land of wafer papers and Slivovitz for the third time. Despite this year's poor weather, racers still enjoyed a course completely revamped for 2011.

    Right after the world championships, the series will head for downhill mecca Portes du Soleil; to be more exact, to Châtel in the French part of the region. 2012 marks the fifth time the Cup visits, with the race taking place on the Bike Patrol course, not for nothing classed as a black run.

    And the grand finale will re-visit a familiar old haunt. In 2011,...

  • Course length issue threatens Hondsrug Classic

    Eva Lechner (Italy) on her way to bronze
    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 21:36 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI requires shorter course for Dutch race

    The future of the Hondsrug Classic, set to run in Gieten, the Netherlands, on Sunday, October 2, is uncertain due to an issue with course length.

    The course for the UCI Category 1 cross country race runs on a 27km circuit in contrast with UCI regulations that stipulate a maximum of six kilometers. The longer route has worked out better for organizers in that it allows more recreational riders to participate.

    "A shorter distance is not possible - much of the charm of the Hondsrug Classic would disappear," said organizers according to "If the UCI sticks to its prescribed length, the 15th edition this weekend may well be the last." also reported that the race is drawing a strong field including favorites Eva Lechner, who won bronze at the mountain bike Worlds, Nathalie Schneitter and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa for the women's race and Fabian Giger, Henk Jaap Moorlag, Emil Lindgren, Marek Konwa, Chris Jongewaard and Kevin Hoovels for the men's race.