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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Date published:
February 08, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Marathon world champion Lakata confirmed for Sunshine Cup

    Alban Lakata overtakes another racer in the time trial at the Afxentia Stage Race.
    Article published:
    February 02, 2011, 21:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spitz, Byberg, Craig among others attending

    The 2011 European mountain bike season kicks off in under three weeks, on February 20, with the Cyprus Sunshine Cup's opening round.

    With qualification points for the London Olympics on offer, more top international racers have committed to attending the Sunshine Cup, which offers category 1 and Hors Categorie (HC) points.

    Current Olympic cross country champion, Sabine Spitz, will be starting her season with the race. The German rider, who finished 10th in the 2011 cyclo-cross World Championships last weekend, will be training in Cyprus with members of her team, Central Haibike ProTeam, including Kathrin Stirnemann, Tereza Hurikova and Elisabeth Brandau.

    Spitz will be racing against 2009 cross country world championship silver medallist and current Norweigan cross country champion, Lene Byberg, among others.

    In the men's race, registered racers include current marathon World Champion Alban Lakata as he prepares for the Cape Epic, junior cross country World Champion Michiel van der Heijden, and under 23 silver medallist at the 2010 cross country Worlds Thomas Litscher. American Adam Craig and Swede Emil Lindgren, both of Rabobank-Giant, are also confirmed to ride.

    The Sunshine Cup is made up of two single-day races, at Voroklini and Amathous, and a stage race at Afxentia that includes a time trial, marathon and cross country.

    For more information on the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, visit

  • Subaru Cup moves up to UCI category 1 status

    Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) leads Willow Koerber (Subaru Trek). The two traded the lead, but Gould ultimately pulled away to take the win at the 2010 Subaru Cup Pro XCT.
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 16:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    WORS event to host penultimate US Pro XCT series round

    The Subaru Cup will host the penultimate contest of USA Cycling's 2011 national mountain bike racing series (US Pro XCT) in Wisconsin. As part of the popular Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS), the two-day Subaru Cup event, presented by Trek, also will include a full slate of amateur racing.

    New for 2011, the Subaru Cup has been awarded UCI category 1 status on the international mountain bike calendar. The category 1 designation will attract racers interested in chasing UCI points as the 2012 London Olympic Games loom on the horizon. Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) and Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) won the most recent edition of the Subaru Cup Pro XCT in 2010, when the race was categorized as a 2 by the UCI.

    Trek Bicycle also announced on Wednesday that it will continue to support both the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) and the Subaru Cup Pro XCT in 2011. Trek returns as the presenting sponsor of the Subaru Cup Pro XCT race.

    "As the world leader in mountain bike technology, Trek chooses only premier partners," said Michael Browne, Global Mountain Bike Brand Manager at Trek. "Not only is WORS that premier partner, they set the standard for mountain bike racing in the United States."

    Outstanding spectator turnout and amateur participation are hallmarks of events hosted by the Wisconsin Off Road Series, and the Subaru Cup is no exception. At the 2010 Subaru Cup, hundreds of enthusiastic fans lining the course led many pro racers to draw favorable comparisons to the atmosphere at a World Cup race. The most popular spectator areas will return in 2011.

    Based on the modern World Cup model, the Subaru Cup Pro XCT course is approximately four miles in length. Over an area of 60 acres, it winds in on itself several times to provide spectators convenient access and numerous viewing opportunities. With wooded singletrack, fast descents and short, steep climbs, the Subaru Cup will offer all racers a real taste of Midwest mountain...

  • Search2retain ready to pounce at Mt. Buller

    Paul van der Ploeg races to third place in the short track.
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 17:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian's first joint mountain bike team makes off-road debut

    Australia's first professional combined mountain bike and road racing team will descend on Mt Buller this weekend to compete for the first time in the fourth leg of the 2010-2011 Australian Mountain Bike Series.

    The team, named Search2retain, comprises of a 14-strong squad of elite, home-grown riders which embrace both mountain bike and road racing disciplines.

    Boasting a promising line up, team members include Brodie Talbot, Cal Britten, Jack Lamshed, Jake Klanbat, James Boal, Jay Burke, Luke Fetch, Neil van Der Ploeg, Paul van Der Ploeg, Scott Liston, Steven Robb, Tom Donald, Nathan Elliott and Charles Howlett.

    Team Director and Founder, Peter Shandon believes the team has what it takes to be successful and sustainable. "It's extremely exciting to officially announce the team. The unique combination of riders gives us the edge to compete both on the road and in the dirt all year round," said Shandon.

    "Our goal is to compete at the highest level within Australia and we believe our impact will be strong given the experience our riders have gained on the elite circuit over the years."

    Six of the team members will compete among more than 300 cross country and downhill riders in Mt. Buller on February 5 and 6, including Adelaide young gun Troy Brosnan who was crowned junior downhill world champion in Canada last year.

    Looking forward, the team will chase their cycling dreams in 2012 with plans to compete on the international circuit in Asia.

    The official team launch will be held in March 25 in Melbourne.

    Team Search2retain for 2011

    Elite men cross country
    Jack Lamshed (VIC)
    Scott Liston (VIC)
    Neil van Der Ploeg (VIC)

    Under 23 men cross country
    Cal Britten (VIC)
    Luke Fetch (VIC)
    Paul van Der Ploeg (VIC)

    James Boal (VIC)
    Jay Burke (VIC)
    Tom Donald (VIC)

  • Olympic champion Brentjens backs new race

    Bart Brejntjens chasing on stage one
    Article published:
    February 04, 2011, 16:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Twenty4 is new 24-hour race for the Netherlands

    Former World and Olympic Champion, Bart Brentjens, is behind a new mountain bike event - Bart's "twenty4" - a 24-hour race on an eight-kilometre track in Schaijk, the Netherlands.

    The race will take place on May 21-22, 2011, and teams of two, four and eight can register for the event, which is open to all levels of riders, from amateurs to elite.

    Brentjens is also involved in organising the Bart Brentjen's Challenge, a mountain bike marathon race, which in 2011 will be the venue for the Dutch Marathon National Championships on October 9. The 10-time Dutch Champion was the UCI mountain bike cross country World Cup winner in 1994, crosss country World Champion in 1995, and was the first rider to ever win an Olympic gold in cross country mountain biking in 1996.

  • Mountain bike-related injuries decline in US

    Going down!
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 18:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    New study attributes decrease to improvements in bike technology

    Mountain bike-related injuries are down 56 percent according to a new national study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. With the decrease, 15,000 cases are still treated each year in US emergency departments.

    The study covered a 14-year period from 1994 to 2007. At its peak in 1995, 23,000 mountain bike-related injuries were reported. In 2007, just 10,000 were reported.

    "The large decline we found in mountain bike-related injuries is likely due to a combination of factors," said Lara McKenzie, PhD, principal investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

    "While some of the decline may be explained by a decrease in the number of people riding mountain bikes, there have also been a number of improvements to the bicycle design, such as disc brakes and dual suspension systems, that give the rider greater control of the bike and may help to reduce the incidence of injuries."

    According to the study, appearing in the February 2011 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the most frequent diagnoses were fractures (27 percent), soft tissue injuries (24 percent) and lacerations (21 percent), while the most commonly injured body parts were the upper extremities (27 percent), shoulder and clavicle (20 percent) and the lower extremities (20 percent). Falls (70 percent) or being thrown off the bike (14 percent) were the most common mechanisms of injury.

    Several differences in injury patterns were found among subgroups. While the majority of injuries overall were sustained by boys and men, girls and women were more likely to sustain an injury severe enough to require hospitalization. In addition, bikers aged 14 to 19 years old sustained twice as many traumatic brain injuries than bikers of other ages.

    "While the number of mountain bike-related injuries has decreased, they continue to be a concern," said Dr. McKenzie, also a...

  • Unior Tools Team signs Heath, Rutar

    Harry Heath is the newest signing for the Unior Tools Team
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 19:48 GMT
    Cycling News

    Slovenian UCI team ready for World Cups

    Unior Tools Team, the Slovenian gravity UCI mountain bike squad, has big ambitions for 2011 with the addition of two new signings: United Kingdom rider Harry Heath and top Slovenian Nejc Rutar. In total, Unior Tools will sponsor five riders from three countries - four downhill and one four cross.

    The team began with the objective of supporting the best Slovenian riders, but the team grew over the winter into an international UCI mountain bike team with riders from Britain, Greece and Slovenia. For the second consecutive year, the team will race World Cups.

    The biggest signing is the 19-year-old Heath, who finished sixth at the 2009 junior world championships in Canberra, Australia, and finished 42nd twice on the World Cup in 2010.

    Heath plans to step it up for 2011. "I want solid top 20 results at all World Cups. Last year I saw Unior Tools Team in the pits and could see they have got a great program with everything accounted for: from full mechanical support to a professional team area, all of which takes stress off my mind so I can just get down to the racing. This is a big advantage for me."

    Team manager Tine Mahkovec explained how Heath came onto the team. "The idea was developed last season as part of the business strategy to promote Unior Tools in the UK. Harry is managed by Martin Whiteley's 23 Degrees, always a good reference for a rider. We saw what Harry can do and realize that he could also have a positive influence on other riders."

    Top Slovenian downhill rider and national champion Nejc Rutar also joins the team after having travelled at times with the team in the past. He first wants to improve his best results in the World Cup. "Last year my best result was 51st place in Champery, [Switzerland]. That needs to be improved. I'm happy to have good support and a rider like Harry on the team. I believe he will motivate all of us to ride better and get good results."

    Three others are returning from last...

  • Medalist Sports to manage Leadville qualifiers

    Matt Shriver (Fort Lewis) paces the leaders to Columbine.
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 21:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Georgian company expands partnership with AEG

    The Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) selected Medalist Sports to oversee the event management of the new Leadville Trail 100 Qualifier Series for 2011. Medalist, based in Atlanta, Georgia, already partners with AEG on the technical and operational production of the Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race.

    Medalist will assist AEG in the development and execution of the national Leadville Qualifying Series races, each of which will provide athletes the opportunity to earn guaranteed entry into the perennially sold-out Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. Prior to this year, the only way to get into Leadville was to participate in and win a registration lottery.

    "Medalist Sports continues to deliver an impeccable standard of excellence," said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. "In addition to their leadership role in the production of professional road cycling events, the focus on high-level mountain bike events like the Leadville Qualifying Series is a natural area of growth for our partnership."

    Medalist Sports brings its own reputation and general experience to the partnership as well as the personal experience of Managing Partner Jim Birrell, one of the 2010 Leadville finishers.

    "It is an exceptional opportunity to promote an endeavor that affords more opportunities for deserving cyclists to undertake the Leadville 100 journey," said Birrell.

    The Leadville Qualifying Series will initially consist of three races in 2011 and will expand to eight races by 2013. The three 2011 qualifying events will be held in June and July in California, Colorado and the Northeast. In 2012 and 2013, additional qualifying races will be added in Texas, the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and an additional race in California.

    Medalist Sports will be responsible for the technical and competitive planning and execution for the series, as well as coordination with each host venue. In addition, Medalist Sports will...

  • Glassford, Batty, Morka return with Trek Canada Mountain Bike Team

    The Trek Canada Mountain Bike Team
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 23:39 GMT
    Cycling News

    U23s Brooks, Bailey added to roster

    The Trek Canada Mountain Bike Team announced its roster for 2011 including three returning and two new athletes. The team is backed by Trek Bikes and Trek Bicycle Store of Toronto. The squad has re-signed Peter Glassford, Eric Batty and Adam Morka and added two of Canada's top under 23 racers: Cayley Brooks and Mitch Bailey, who both attended cross country Worlds in 2010.

    In 2011, the Trek Canada Mountain Bike Team will maintain its focus of attending many global events, beginning March 31 in Southern California for the first US Pro XCT followed in April with another round of the US Pro XCT series, the Sea Otter Classic.

    "I am excited to keep growing with Trek for 2011. The guys are so close that we have a great opportunity to push each other and also work together as the sport becomes more tactical. I can't wait to get on the line again in March!" said Glassford via mobile phone while climbing an unknown category 1 climb near Oxnard, California.

    In 2010, the team raced in Canada Cups, US Pro XCTs, World Cups, and world championships. Aside from the big races, its riders attended community events like the Trek Hardwood Canada Cup, the Offroad Squeezer and many weekly series races.

    Showing the colorful personalities and humor of the team's riders, a few of the team's other riders had more to say.

    "I'm on rest week now, so its all meat and vegetables," said Morka. "Next week though, I'm eating waffles."

    "My week has a lot of variety right now, school, three-hour roller ride, school, three-hour roller ride, school, three-hour roller ride," said Bailey.

    Eric Batty, brother of World Cup racer Emily Batty was not available for further comment. "Don't call me, I'm up north with no cell service doing back-to-back four-hour days of snowshoeing."

    Addressing a pressing issue may or may not have been on the minds of her new teammates, Cayley Brooks said, "Trek Canada Team? Awesome, does this mean we get the...