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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Date published:
April 23, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Colnago-Südtirol women's mountain bike team gets season off to good start

    Eva Lechner and Andrea Waldis (Colnago-Südtirol)
    Article published:
    April 19, 2013, 21:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Lechner continues successful streak at home race

    The women's Colnago-Südtirol mountain bike team got its 2013 season off to a good start. The team chose to keep its roster the same as in 2012 with Eva Lechner and Nathalie Schneitter as its established elite riders and younger riders like 2012 junior world champion Andrea Waldis, Julia Innerhofer and Lisa Rabensteiner.

    "We now have an experienced team with Eva and Nathalie, and we are able to ride with the best in World Cup," said Team Manager Edmund Telser.

    "Our goals include top positions in the overall UCI World Cup ranking and medals at the European and World Championships. Following a difficult year plagued with injuries, Nathalie's goal is to fight her way back to the top. We expect our younger riders, Andrea, Julia and Lisa, to gain experience in the U23 World Cup category and to qualify for European and world championships."

    The first mountain bike tests of 2013 came for Lechner and Waldis at the Cyprus Sunshine Cup. Lechner finished fourth in the CSC's stage race while Waldis was ninth overall and second among the U23s. Lechner had plowed straight into the mountain bike season after she finished within seconds of the podium at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville.

    After a short road racing diversion at the Energiewacht Holland Tour, where Lechner managed to win the Club Riders Tricot (the award for the best non-pro team), and a training camp in Prad, South Tyrol, the team was ready to really kick off its mountain bike season at the Marlene Sunshine Race in Nalles, South Tyrol, last weekend.

    The Colnago-Südtirol women rocked the race on their home turf and filled the podium at the

  • Sea Otter: Continental goes all in with 650b

    Continental is going "all in" with 27.5-inch tires, offering its four most popular styles for 2014. From left to right: the Race King, the X-King, the Mountain King, and the Trail King.
    Article published:
    April 20, 2013, 8:11 BST
    James Huang

    Four popular treads in the 27.5in format for 2014

    European bicycle, wheel and tire companies may have been slow to the 29er game but they're certainly not sitting on their hands this time around. Continental is adopting the resurrected 27.5in format in a big way, producing its four most popular mountain bike treads in the 'tweener size for 2014.

    Continental's 27.5in range will include the fast rolling Race King, the more versatile X-King, and two all-purpose trail treads: the Mountain King and the Trail King. Of those two, the Mountain King features a more rounded profile and bigger gap between the center tread and shoulder blocks for more of an 'on-off' cornering feel while the Trail King's more squared-off shape and evenly distributed blocks should provide a more predictable and forgiving personality according to Continental North America brand manager Brett Hahn.

    The Race King will be offered only in a 2.2in width but the rest of the range will be available in 2.2 and 2.4in sizes. Continental also plans to release the new 27.5in tires in its tubeless-ready ProTection casing and ultralight RaceSport versions – both with Black Chili rubber compounds – plus lower-priced Sport variants with wire or folding beads.

    All of the new 27.5in tires should be available in August and suggested retail price for premium versions is $64.95. Claimed weights are still TBD.

    Meet the Kaiser Projekt

    Continental also showed off its latest downhill tire, the Kaiser 2.4 Projekt, which was developed in cooperation with GT racer Gee Atherton. As compared to the existing soft-conditions Baron 2.5, the Kaiser Projekt 2.4 is meant as more of a all-conditions tire with a more linearly arranged shoulder tread and aggressively ramped center blocks for a faster roll.

    Underneath, a two-ply casing with additional sidewall reinforcement helps ensure the tire will survive to the end of the run, too.

    As with all of its higher-end tires, Continental molds the...

  • Last and Hart and among UK Mountain Bike Hall of Fame nominees

    Oli Beckingsale, the leading British finisher in the elite men's race
    Article published:
    April 20, 2013, 20:35 BST
    Cycling News

    List of 2013 nominees announced

    The UK Mountain Bike Hall of Fame announced the nominees for 2013 on Saturday. In the first year, 2012, along with 22 industry supporters, 12 people were selected to be the first inductees to set the ball rolling. In 2013, the Hall of Fame Supporters from the industry have chosen 22 nominees, but only 10 of them will actually make it into the Hall of Fame.

    By creating a virtual UK MTB Hall of Fame in the form of a website, Twitter and Facebook page, the Hall of Fame creators have provided a social media vehicle through which voters from all around the world will be the judge and jury of who will be elected. Voting starts on Saturday, April 20th and continues until Sunday, June 2nd on Facebook.

    The UK MTB Hall of Fame was created in 2012 in order to show recognition of mountain bikers of all disciplines and also key figures in the mountain bike industry. Over a period of time, these figures will have all made a significant contribution towards making mountain biking in the UK what it is today through sport, passion and sheer hard work.

    The UK Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony will take place at Gatcombe Park on Friday evening, June 14. It is being held in conjunction with the Mountain Mayhem race.

    2013 UK Mountain Bike Hall of Fame nominees
    Martin Ashton
    Scott Beaumont
    Oli Beckingsale
    Steve Behr
    Perry Bellisario
    Michael Bonney
    Adrian Carter
    Jenny Copnall
    Tim Davies
    Dafydd Davis
    John Dight
    Gary Foord
    Tim Greenland
    Danny Hart
    Martyn Hawyes
    Annie Last
    Rob Lee
    Tym Manley
    Steve Toze
    Geoff Waugh
    Ian Weatherill
    Steve Woods

  • Coloma injured during training crash in Germany

    Carlos Coloma
    Article published:
    April 22, 2013, 20:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Spanish World Cup racer breaks bone ahead of Bike The Rock Bundesliga

    Carlos Coloma crashed and broke a bone during practice on the Bike the Rock Bundesliga mountain bike race course on Saturday, one day before the event. The Spaniard, who is on the Wildwolf-Trek Team, went down hard over the bars.

    Initial reports suggested a broken collarbone, but his team later said on its website that he had fractured the head of his humerus (upper arm bone).

    Coloma, who had made the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup podium, also bruised himself all over and required stitches on his knee and his chin.

    He headed back to Spain after his crash to begin recovery.

  • Croc Trophy releases 2013 race details

    Cory Wallace and Ondrej Fojtik in the Crocodile Trophy
    Article published:
    April 23, 2013, 0:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Lengthy individual time trial added to mountain bike stage race

    Organisers released details of the 2013 edition of the Crocodile Trophy mountain bike stage race. Nearly all of the stages will be the same as last year, with three slight changes, including the addition of a lengthy individual time trial.

    "The stages will stay shorter than in previous years, however, they will include considerably more singletrack again," said organiser Gerhard Schönbacher. "Furthermore, a time trial will ensure more variety and a huge challenge on day six."

    Stage 6 will feature a 97km individual time trial on the road to the former gold mining town of Maytown.

    After the successful finish on Grassy Hill in Cooktown in 2012, the spectacular landing site of the legendary Captain Cook will crown the stage race at its grand finale again in 2013. Overall, the participants will ride 855km and climb more than 15,000m in elevation.

    Favorites for 2013

    Three serious candidates for the final podium have signed up already, including second place in last year's overall classification and 2008 race winner, Czech rider Ondrej Fojtik. Wolfgang Krenn from Austria, third last year and second in 2011, said that he wants to climb to the highest step of the podium in his third attempt. Finally, Canadan Cory Wallace, will be back. He finished fourth last year.

    Others who will be on the start line include Belgian rider Mike Mulkens, who won last year his first stage in Maytown after two second overall positions in previous events - and best Australian finisher in 2012, Steve Rankin. Nobody else knows the Outback like the strong Queensland rider.

    New category: Team relay

    Organisers introduced a new category for the Crocodile Trophy 2013: the team relay. Each such team will consist of three participants, where one rider of each team has to ride a day's stage and the other two team riders go to the next camp in an official vehicle. Each rider of a relay team has to...

  • Sea Otter: Kona Carbon Operator, disc Super Jake

    Kona's flagship carbon 'cross racer is now the Super Jake, complete with a redesigned carbon frameset and offered exclusively with disc brakes.
    Article published:
    April 23, 2013, 6:13 BST
    James Huang

    Kona's DH platform tightens up

    This article originally appeared on Bikeradar

    Kona launched two big platforms at this year's Sea Otter Classic: a new Carbon Operator composite downhill bike and a new Super Jake disc brake-equipped 'cross bike. The aim of both bikes is simple: go faster.

    Kona's DH platform tightens up

    Kona's existing aluminum Operator Supreme is already a popular race chassis, but according to industrial designer Jack Russell, the company was looking to take its flagship gravity machine into a new direction.

    "We really weren't trying to iterate that bike. We threw that bike away and were like, let's start with a whole new thing and try to make the raddest bike we can – a totally blank sheet of paper," he told BikeRadar. "When we started, we actually looked at a lot of different suspension designs and stuff like that. We really wanted to make a really responsive, jumpy downhill bike, not a 'plow' bike."

    As a result the new Operator Supreme sports a substantially modified geometry that includes 420mm chain stays (7mm shorter than the aluminum bike) for more agility, just 3.5mm of bottom bracket rise (9mm lower) for a more planted feel at high speed and through corners, and a lower main pivot for less chain growth through the 200mm of travel.

    While Kona set out to create a new personality for the Carbon Operator, the new bike carries on with the company's familiar modified four-bar linkage architecture. The leverage ratio has been tweaked, however, with less of a falling rate initially so the bike will tend to sit up a little higher in the travel.

    "Our original ideation sketches had a lot of crazy linkages and stuff like that but when we were looking at linkage designs, we really found that doing an evolution of the four-bar walking link we've had forever really gave us the...

  • Vos to make mountain bike World Cup debut in Albstadt

    Marianne Vos (Rabobank) was following every move in the XC race, followed closely by Trek's Annie Last.
    Article published:
    April 23, 2013, 15:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Road and 'cross world champ to race at World Cup season opener

    Marianne Vos will race the first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Albstadt, Germany on May 17-19. She had intended to take part in the Val di Sole, Italy round of the MTB World Cup, but she changed her plans.

    "First I wanted to go to Val di Sole, but that's right in front of the national road championships. Therefore, I decided to go to Albstadt. It's nice to race the first World Cup of the season, because everything is still open," said Vos.

    Vos, who is the current Olympic and road world champion as well as the current 'cross world champion, hadn't raced her mountain bike since she was a junior until earlier this season. She went to Cyprus for the Sunshine Cup where she spent extra time working on her technical skills with former downhill pro Oscar Saiz. She won the race, admitting afterward that her success had surpassed all of her expectations.

    Since then, Vos won two mountain bike races in the Netherlands and both the short track and cross country races at the Sea Otter Classic this past weekend.

    When competing on the road, Vos races for Rabobank Liv/Giant and when off-road, she races for the Giant Pro XC team.

    Vos had predicted that this year would be a "learning year" on her mountain bike, but that doesn't seem to be stopping her from winning as she spends this year training on a mountain bike with an eye toward the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Mountain biking is the next cycling discipline where she wants to win Olympic gold.

    "I have never lost sight of mountain biking. As a junior, I have always liked it," she said in an interview. "It's great, no question, this sport...

  • Bear Creek Challenge offers US mountain bike nationals preview option

    The Pennsylvania woods
    Article published:
    April 23, 2013, 21:22 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Cross country, short track and super D races to be held on championship courses

    For the first time since 2008, US Mountain Bike Nationals is returning to the east coast on July 18-21. Pennsylvania's Bear Creek Resort in the Lehigh Valley will host the cross country nationals both this year and in 2014. Racers will have the chance to preview the courses a few weeks ahead of nationals at the Bear Creek Challenge race on June 1-2.

    "Having nationals come to Bear Creek on July 18th - 21st is a huge deal," said US MTB Nationals Promoter Gary Kline of Bear Creek Resort. "I can't think of a better venue to bring back nationals to the east then Bear Creek. Say goodbye to thin air and long fire road climbs, and say hello the rocks and technical descents."

    The Bear Creek Challenge will also serve as the Pennsylvania State Championships and as a nationals qualifier. It is part of the AMBC Series, the MARC Series and the MASS Series.

    "What better way to prep for Nationals then to race at Bear Creek," said Kline."We thought it would be cool to run the identical course that we plan on running at nationals for this race. So, that's what we are going to do."

    "Riders will have a unique opportunity to race on the nationals course just seven weeks prior to nationals. The Saturday June 1 race will include a short track and a super D. We will be offering shuttle service to the top of the mountain for the super D. Sunday will be the cross country race."

    For more information on the Bear Creek Challenge, visit

    For more information on US Cross Country Mountain Bike Nationals, visit