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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Date published:
December 14, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Five new stages for TransAlp race

    Team Bulls' Stefan Sahm and Karl Platt win the TransAlp overall for 2010
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 16:42 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Longest TransAlp yet to take racers into the Dolomites

    Eight of the nine stage towns have been named for the 14th edition of the TransAlp race across the Alpine divide. The classic European mountain bike stage race will kick off in Mittenwald, Germany, on July 16, 2011, and wrap up eight stages later on July 23 in Riva del Garda, Italy.

    From Mittenwald, the route will go through Mayrhofen. Then, it will cross the Italian border. In South Tyrol, Brixen and St. Vigil will welcome the maximum of 550 participating teams of two. Thereafter, the mountain bikers will pedal to Alleghe, TransAlp new host town San Martino di Castrozza and Trento before going on to their final destination at Lake Garda.

    The 2011 course features a total of 670km and 21,504m of climbing, making it the longest TransAlp in history although there have been previous editions with more total climbing. One climb in particular stands out for 2011 - with 1400m of elevation gain from Brixen to Wuerzjoch.

    "Five stages are brand new, including some epic trails. Take the 'Strada de la Vena' on the course from Brixen to Alleghe. It's a 15km long singletrack - super nice to ride," said Race Director Uli Stanciu.

    Thinking of the Dolomites, he said, "It's the best mountain range in the world. The third, fourth and fifth stage will be a panorama dream come true. In addition, we have superb stage towns. So, I guess 2011 will see the most beautiful TransAlp we have ever had."

    Germans Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm (Team Bulls) and Danes Kristine Norgaard and Anna-Sofie Norgaard (Rothaus-Cube) won the 2010 edition of the race.

    Registation opens on December 14 at noon. For more information or to register, visit www.bike-transalp.de. Traditionally, the race's 550 entries sell out within minutes.

  • Beti Bike Bash returns for second year

    Singletrack fun for women racing the Beti Bike Bash
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 18:58 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Unique event supports women's mountain bike racing

    The first women's only Beti Bike Bash was such a success that it will return again next year. The women's mountain bike event will be held at Bear Creek Lake Park, located in the foothills west of Denver, Colorado, on June 12, 2010.

    Last year's inaugural event saw a field nearly 200 women with 90 beginner women. "The success of last year's event proved to us that women indeed want to race," said Amy Thomas from team YetiBeti. "Our goal is to continue to build on this momentum and make this a marquee women's event. It's great to see the support."

    The event will offer something for all ages and abilities. The course at Bear Creek is a four-mile, non-technical and fast singletrack loop with views of surrounding Red Rocks Park. Beginners (Category 3) will ride two laps, with the sport (Category 2) riders racing three laps, and the Open/Pro/Singlespeed race featuring four fast laps.

    With support from new presenting sponsor Stan's NoTubes, the pro women will be competing for a cash purse that will pay 10 deep, with $1000 for first place.

    "It's unique venue sets it apart and we are pleased to support this one of a kind event for women," said Cindy Koziatek, co-owner of NoTubes and wife of Stan Koziatek. "Promoting mountain biking for women who want to compete in this sport will provide an invaluable experience for female competitors. "

    "The Beti Bike Bash is sandwiched between TEVA Games race (on June 4) in Vail, Colorado, and the US ProXCT race (on June 18) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We know several top national and Colorado pro women will already be racing at those events. It's a great opportunity to really showcase the amazing women's mountain bile talent at the Beti Bike Bash," said Sarah Rawley of Bigfoot Productions public relations.

    A portion of this year's proceeds will support Mountain2Moutain, a non-profit organization based out of Denver, Colorado which believes the education of women and girls is the...

  • Batty switches to Subaru-Trek team

    Emily Batty (Canada) warms up on a trainer before the race.
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 19:55 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Full squad roster announced for 2011

    Emily Batty and Willow Koerber have effectively switched teams for the 2011 season. The Canadian Batty, who has been riding for Trek World Racing, will compete for Subaru-Trek next year while the American Koerber has moved from Subaru-Trek to Trek World Racing.

    "Trek World Racing was great," said Batty. "With Subaru-Trek, I'll continue to get the best possible support. Also, Subaru-Trek offers a family feel. Being around that collection of riders who are all at the top of their game will be very motivating."

    While the transfers weren't orchestrated as a swap, the moves should benefit both women. "It's worked out well for both teams," Travis Ott of Trek Bikes told Cyclingnews. "Willow wanted to focus on international World Cup racing while Emily is graduating from the Under 23 ranks and wanted a program that will offer World Cups and domestic racing. The scopes of the programs were ideal for each rider."

    Trek World Racing concentrates on international events, such as World Cups, while Subaru-Trek does some international events, but also maintains a strong domestic presence.

    "We want to be the top North American team out there," said Ott of the Subaru-Trek team. "Consistently year in and year out, we are. We have an accomplished roster of riders, and we're also proud that our roster includes riders with diverse talents. We are well rounded."

    Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (JHK), Heather Irmiger, Sam Schultz and Russell Finsterwald are all returning to the Subaru-Trek team for 2011.

    JHK and Irmiger are the current US marathon national champions, and JHK also had a strong performance at Leadville this year, finishing second to Levi Leipheimer and finishing faster than Lance Armstrong's record time from the previous year. Sam Schultz is a World Cup regular who just completed La Ruta de los Conquistadores mountain bike stage race and the young Finsterwald, a University of Colorado freshman, is working his way up the...

  • KHS Team announced for 2011

    Chris Heath (KHS) races toward fourth place.
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 22:19 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Aiello joins team

    The KHS mountain bike team announced its roster for 2011. The US-based team races on an American brand of bike and focuses on domestic gravity racing.

    Kevin Aiello is the newest member of the team. He has signed for 2011 and 2012, making the move from GT. "I am extremely excited about joining KHS for the 2011 season," said Aiello. "KHS has the products and the support I need to be on the podium. With my personal focus and drive, along with KHS's support, I feel that 2011 will be a very promising season."

    Logan Binggeli, Chris Heath, Blake Carney and Quinton Spaulding are returning to the team.  Binggeli finished second at the US downhill mountain bike championships this year while Carney was fifth in the four cross national championships.

    "I am stoked to be a part of such a great team," said Carney. "We have a young team with great support and great bikes. I am excited to see the growth in the team and there is no limit to the success we can achieve this year."

    Heath also affirmed his excitement about the squad, calling it the "strongest U.S.-based downhill team" and predicted that 2011 will be his "best season ever".

    Training in Mexico, Binggeli was unavailable for any comments.

    Missing currently from the 2011 team roster is former World Champion Melissa Buhl. Team Manager Quinton Spaulding said, "We have no ladies on the Factory Team Roster for 2011. We are still in negotiation with Melissa Buhl right now for 2011. We are trying to create a 'KHS gravity youth program' for all the young ladies of the United States, this will be spear-headed by Melissa, and supported with the KHS Brand." Spaulding called the prospects for a new contract with Buhl "good".

    The team will race at the Sea Otter Classic, US Open, Pro GRT series, Crankworx, the Southridge events in Fontana, California, and some select World Cups (domestic and abroad).

    KHS Mountain Bike Team for 2011

    Logan...

  • Three new venues added to the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series

    Jeff Schalk (Trek Co-op) on his way to winning the 2010 Mohican 100 miler.
    Article published:
    December 12, 2010, 15:47 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Expanded 100-miler series tentative schedule released for 2011

    The Kenda National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series is adding three events for 2011, bringing the total for its tentative schedule to 11 rounds. In addition to its eight established venues, the series will visit Mountain View, Arkansas, Alta, Wyoming and Park City, Utah.

    "The races that have been added are outstanding, more western located venues," said Ryan O'Dell, NUE Series Organizer to Cyclingnews. "With four races in the West, Western racers now have great opportunity to complete the four-race minimum without the necessity to travel to the East." The change comes in response to racer requests for additional western venues. "The races that have been added this year have been described by racers as well managed events along epic courses."

    An added consideration is the growing popularity of endurance races, in particular, 100-mile endurance events. "Nearly all of the NUE Series races sold out last year. If we fail to add races, there is a risk that racers might not be able to get in to complete the minimum four events, compromising their chances in the series.

    What will remain constant is that series standings will continue to be determined by the best four of the now eleven possible results for each racer. Ties will be broken at the series finale at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 near Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Labor Day weekend.

    The series will open on April 30 at the Cohutta 100 in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Ducktown, Tennessee. From there, racers will have an opportunity to mix it up in the Ozarks at the first new series venue, the Syllamo's Revenge 100, in Mountain View, Arkansas, on May 14

    "Syllamo's Revenge continues to be a very popular 50-mile race, but for this year, the race will offer two-lap option for 100 100-miler racers," said O'Dell. "It's a mostly singletrack course, and it attracts many racers from Texas and Arkansas to mix it up on their home turf with 2010 NUE Champions like Jeff Schalk,...

  • Irish location, date selected for 2011 singlespeed Worlds

    Winners of the 2010 Singlespeed mountain bike Worlds received this tattoo.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2010, 15:27 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Shannon region's Limerick county to host on Ballyhoura MTB Trail

    Ireland won the right to host the 2011 singlespeed world championship at the 2010 edition in Rotorua, New Zealand. On Monday, organizers announced a specific venue and date for next year's race. The Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trail, located on the borders of counties Limerick, Tipperary and Cork, will host an estimated 500 competitors from more than 30 countries around the world. The Sports Academy International, with the support of Shannon Development, is putting on the event on Saturday, August 27.

    "We successfully beat competition from around the world to host the annual event, which was held this year in New Zealand," said Tomas Madigan, Joint CEO of Sports AI. "Since 1999 the event has attracted participants from throughout the globe and we are delighted to be able to bring hundreds of competitors to the southwest next August, bringing a much needed boost to the local economy."

    "Winning this prestigious and colourful event for Co. Limerick continues to endorse the Shannon Region as a premier sports and event destination, which brings over 60 million euro in revenue annually," said Dr. Vincent Cunnane, CEO of Shannon Development. "With Limerick City's designation as the European City of Sport for 2011 and the array of events already secured for the Region, 2011 is going to be a fantastic year".

    The Singlespeed World Championship (SSWC) is an annual event. It is only open to bicycles with a single gear ratio. Those bicycles can be either singlespeeds or fixies. Most of the bicycles used in these races are mountain bikes. However, many people take part in the race on cyclo-cross bicycles, racing bicycles and bicycles defying easy categorization.  Each year, the winners are branded by a tattoo.

    "Tomas Madigan from Sports ai is a true ambassador for the Shannon Region. He competed in a sports event in New Zealand to win this event for Limerick beating South Africa and Italy his worthy opponents," said Karen Brosnahan from...

  • Beullens wins second edition of The Andes Trail

    A rider in the Andes mountains
    Article published:
    December 14, 2010, 19:47 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Four months from Ecuador to Argentina

    Racers in The Andes Trail expedition competed during four months from the equator near Quito in Ecuador to the most southern city in the world, Ushuaia in Argentina. Belgian Peter Beullens proved the strongest. Dutchman Erik Volger was second and Martin Neitzke from Germany completed the podium. Lea Degen from Switzerland took victory in the women's race.

    "The Andes Trail" is a unique cycling race expedition with a length of 11,000 kilometres. It passes through and over the longest mountain range in the world. A group of 34 cyclists left Quito on August 6 and finished after 107 stages at the Beagle Channel in Ushuaia, nicknamed the "End-of-the-World".

    The riders, from 12 different countries, had to overcome the most extreme conditions. The route doesn't always follow paved roads, and the trail varied from rough, sandy tracks to riverbeds, and from old railroads to salt lakes. The high Andes passes, the thin air and the Patagonian wind and weather conditions make "The Andes Trail" to one of the most challenging bicycle race expeditions.

    It was already clear from the start in Ecuador that the competition would turn into a race among three riders. Dutchman Volger was strong on the paved sections, German Neitzke gained a lot time on the unpaved passages, and Beullens was strong in all kind of circumstances.

    Neitzke had a bad accident when he hit with a donkey while riding downhill at full speed in Bolivia. The young German recovered soon, but an overall victory was gone.

    Volger lost a lot of time on the unpaved stages and surrendered definitely during the windy climb of Volcano Tromen in Patagonia. The Belgian entrepreneur Beullens toughed it out in all conditions and proved to be the best endurance athlete, physically as well as mentally.

    Lea Degen dominated among the women. She arrived on most stages as first female rider. She was joined on the podium by Rachel Dieckmann from Australia and Anna Rimark from...

  • Van Der Ploeg back on track after injury

    Paul van der Ploeg on his way to third place.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2010, 21:42 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Excellent weekend racing at home in Aussie national series

    Australian Paul Van Der Ploeg proved he was back in form this weekend after a knee injury earlier this year. The 21-year-old finished third in both the cross country and short track at the Australian Mountain Bike Series in Hobart.  He was also the top Under 23 finisher in each race.

    In both events, Van Der Ploeg was beaten only by four-time national champion Chris Jongewaard and last year's national series champion Lachlan Norris. With his good results in Australia, Van Der Ploeg showed his ambitions ahead of the upcoming World Cup season.

    The Felt Ötztal X-Bionic racer had suffered a patellar tendon injury halfway through the season, forcing him to miss the world championships in September.

    Please with his cross country results in Hobart, he said, "It's a technical track, so that suits me and I'm very happy I came in third against the elite guys. Chris and Lachlan really made it a thrilling race. I could not train much over the last months and now, after a few weeks of solid training, I feel like I'm riding faster every day."

    Winner Jongewaard recognized the young Australian's efforts, "These young guys were snapping at my heels and have made a big improvement since last season. They have really stepped up the level of mountain biking in Australia."

    Of the second day of racing, Van Der Ploeg said, "It was a very hard short track, and I was very tired after Saturday's long race."

    After two rounds of the Australian Mountain Bike Series, van der Ploeg leads the Under 23 rankings. Nonetheless, he's trying not to come into top form too soon. His focus, the World Cup season, will not begin until April 2011 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.