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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Date published:
January 21, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Record year of fundraising for NICA

    Scott Tedro of Sho-Air topped the NICA Booster Club individual contributor’s list in 2013.
    Article published:
    January 15, 2014, 19:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Booster Club online enables support for high school mountain biking

    Cycling enthusiasts and leaders across the United States are demonstrating increasing support for youth development through cycling programs by making individual contributions to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association's (NICA) Booster Club.

    NICA's 2013 Booster Club fundraising campaign culminated in the "Strong Finish" drive, which netted $36,000 in the month of December and brought the year's total to over $100,000.

    Scott Tedro of Sho-Air topped a distinguished list of cycling leaders contributing during the "Strong Finish" campaign. Others who made outstanding contributions include former pro mountain bike racers and Booster Club Honorary Board members Nat Ross, Ned Overend and Jimena Florit Dolzadelli, who actively promoted the Strong Finish campaign.

    "Not only is NICA good for the sport of cycling - as more kids are riding than ever before - but also NICA programs are motivating kids to get outside, experience the great outdoors and become both mentally and physically strong young adults who are going to be leaders in whatever they do," said Tedro. "I am proud to support NICA's efforts as an event promoter, business owner and Booster Club member."

    Austin McInerny, NICA's executive director, said, "I am grateful and proud of the way mountain bikers have come forward, from leaders to casual riders, to make financial contributions to the future of mountain biking and cycling in the USA. Our ability to meet the growing demand for high school cycling will be met in years to come by Booster Club members. Simply put, this is about mountain bikers supporting the growth of mountain biking."

    The NICA Booster Club is a fundraising program that provides equipment subsidies to families in financial hardship, travel expenses to coaches, bursaries to leagues, and a range of other expenses needed to maintain and grow the high school mountain biking movement.

    Membership in the Booster Club is open to anyone. NICA...

  • Local prodigy Brosnan headlines Australian Mountain Bike Season opener

    Troy Brosnan (Specialized Racing DH)
    Article published:
    January 16, 2014, 1:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Adelaide kicks of mountain bike racing season Down Under

    Racing will be fast and furious at Eagle Park in Adelaide when the Subaru Australian National Mountain Bike Season begins for 2014 this Friday and continues throughout the weekend.

    In a year that will see Australia host its first mountain bike World Cup round since 2008, all riders will be competing for both national season honours as well as UCI points to assist them in qualifying for the international event to be held in Cairns over Anzac day weekend.

    Troy Brosnan is headlining the list of favorites for the downhill race. Brosnan was crowned junior world champion in consecutive years 2010-2011 and last year made had an impressive dlite season to finish ranked in the world's top 10.

    "The first round is always exciting, and Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) are looking forward to bringing riders and fans an exciting season of racing," said MTBA President Russ Baker. "The season brings together the best riders our country has and sets them on the path to take on the world. At the same time, it offers something for all levels of riders."

    Baker reflected on the location's history in the sport. "Eagle Park in Adelaide has a great record of mountain bike events, including three years of national championships they hosted from 2011-2012."

    Racing will start on Friday with the relatively new cross country eliminator format, where heats of four riders battle each other in an elimination format on a short course that brings technical cross country action to the fans in the Eagle Park event centre.

    Saturday's focus will be the Olympic cross country races. Many riders will be looking to capitalise on the first round absence of our top-ranked riders, 2012 mountain bike Olympians Bec Henderson and Dan McConnell. 2012 season champion Andrew Blair headlines the men's field and a talented women's field is only missing Henderson from the country's top five riders.

  • Sauser aims for repeat victory at Attakwas marathon

    Marathon world champion, Christoph Sauser, splinters the front group up a rough climb on his way to winning the 2013 edition of the Attakwas Extreme mountain bike race. He lines up as one of the favourites to win the 2014 edition on Saturday.
    Article published:
    January 17, 2014, 19:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Stellar field set to start marathon race season opener

    The eighth edition of the Fairview Attakwas Extreme mountain bike marathon has attracted a strong field for Saturday's year-opening showdown in South Africa's Western Cape province. In addition to South Africa's best marathoners, top Swiss, German and Czech racers will do battle at the 121km race that starts and finishes just outside the town of Oudtshoorn.

    Topping the start list in the men's race is defending champion Christoph Sauser (Specialized Racing). The Swiss rider is the current marathon world champion and a four-time winner of the Cape Epic.

    Sauser brings with him new Specialized Racing international teammate, Frantisek Rabon of the Czech Republic. This will be Rabon's first participation in the event in a year where he switches his focus from road racing to mountain biking. He raced previously for ProTour teams T-Mobile and Omega Pharma Quickstep.

    A powerful German contingent will also be on the start line. Karl Platt, a four-time Cape Epic winner will head up the four-man Team Bulls squad, which includes compatriots Stefan Sahm, a three-time Cape Epic champion, and Simon Stiebjan. Platt and Sahm have both previously finished on the podium at Attakwas.

    Another high profile German that will make his Attakwas Extreme debut is Manuel Fumic. Better known as one of the world's top cross country racers, Fumic was seventh at the 2012 Olympic Games and was runner-up the 2013 world championships in Pietermartizburg. The Cannondale Factory Team racer competed in his first Cape Epic last year, finishing fifth.

    Urs Huber, the Swiss who partnered Platt to second place at the 2013 Cape Epic is also confirmed to start the race for Team Bulls.

    The South African challenge is led by three-time Attakwas Extreme winner and multiple former national marathon champion, Kevin Evans (FedGroup Itec), who makes a return to...

  • USA Cycling announces 2014 Pro GRT calendar

    Logan Binggeli uses his moto skills to pull a tear-off over the hip jump.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2014, 20:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six rounds from coast to coast

    USA Cycling has announced the dates and locations for its 2014 Professional Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT). Racing into its sixth year, USA Cycling's Pro GRT will feature six events from coast to coast.

    The tour will kick off in April with a new addition to the calendar, the NW Cup in Port Angeles, Washington, which will take place April 17-20. Two east coast favorites make up the May lineup: the Mountain Creek Spring Classic in Vernon, New Jersey on May 16-18, followed by the 2014 Plattekill Gravity Open in Roxbury, New York on May 21-25.

    Another new addition to the Pro GRT calendar, the Bikes, Brews and Views in Beech Mountain, North Carolina, marks the start of the second half of the calendar on July 19. Riders will then head to the Snowshoe Wild Hare in Snowshoe, West Virginia on July 26-27, before the Pro GRT concludes on September 20 at the Kamikaze Bike Games in Mammoth Lakes, California.

    Series points will be given to top finishers at each event and are used to determine the individual men's and women's standings that rank the best downhillers competing in the US.

    Logan Binggeli (KHS Factory Racing) captured his second consecutive men's title in 2013, while Anne Galyean (Trek-Integrity Racing-Deity) finished first in the women's standings.

    2014 Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour
    April 17-20: NW Cup - Port Angeles, Washington
    May 16-18: Mountain Creek Spring Classic 2013 - Vernon, New Jersey
    May 21-25: Plattekill Gravity Open - Roxbury, New York
    July 19: Bikes, Brews and Views - Beech Mountain, North Carolina
    July 26-27: Snowshoe Wild Hare - Snowshoe, West Virginia
    September 20: Kamikaze Bike Games - Mammoth Lakes, California

  • Viviani to lead Cannondale Pro Cycling in Australian races

    Elia Viviani is looking for an early season victory
    Article published:
    January 18, 2014, 22:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian looks for success at People's Choice Classic and Tour Down Under

    Cannondale Pro Cycling is kicking off its Australian campaign by attending the first of three events. The People's Choice Classic, a 50km fast-paced criterium, in Adelaide, will be the debut for the Cannondale Pro Cycling team in 2014 and be a sort of preview for the the Tour Down Under on January 21-26. Following the Tour Down Under, the team will head to the big island for the Herald Sun Tour on February 5-9.

    The People's Choice Classic and Tour Down Under routes present many opportunities for sprinters to excel. This year, sprinter Elia Viviani will lead the team. The 24-year-old rider knows the terrain after previously racing in 2011.

    While Down Under, Viviani will be supported by two long-distance-riders, Tasmanian Cameron Wurf and Austrian Matthias Krizek; while Canadian Guillaume Boivin will be the lead-out man during the sprints. In addition to long-distance support, Viviani will be backed by Kiwi climber George Bennett, who will lead the mountain stage - Willunga Hill. For new riders, Slovenian Matej Mohoric and Italian Alberto Bettiol, Australia will prove to be their "baptism by fire" in pro cycling.

    "I had a different off-season compared to the last," said Viviani, "after the national and European track championships, I had a really short rest period. Thanks to the training I did during camp in Tuscany, I was able to keep my condition at a good level."

    "My goal is to win in Australia. There are many chances for a win, and I'll be facing strong riders. A stage win is really important. The People's Choice Classic and the Tour Down Under are WorldTour events and leaving my mark on the first race of the season will be a huge boost of confidence."

    Viviani's 2014 race schedule is different from years past. By March, he will have completed the track world championships, and Viviani plans to capitalize...

  • Montoya signs with Specialized Racing

    Paolo Montoya leads Todd Wells across the railroad bridge
    Article published:
    January 19, 2014, 19:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Costa Rican looks forward to racing the Cape Epic

    Paolo Montoya has signed with Team Specialized Racing for 2014. The Costa Rican mountain biker will race the biggest races in his home country as well as an international program.

    "I'll do my first important races in Costa Rica, then I'll be off with Team Specialized at the Cape Epic," said Montoya according to

    "It's a dream come true . Last year, they won - Jaroslav Kulhavy and Christoph Sauser - and this year they will be my teammates. I will ride with Ben Bostrom , definitely a very well known name among fans of Superbike, and our goal will be to work to bring the team to another victory."

    He is expecting to race most of the World Cups except for the round in Meribel, France, and he'll also race the world championships in Norway, La Ruta de los Conquistadores and the Central America Games.

    Montoya won the Costa Rican cross country national title in 2012 and 2013 and the marathon title in 2013. He also won La Ruta de los Conquistadores in 2012 and represented his country in the London Olympics.

    He has previously raced for the Infotre Lee Cougan, Giant Italia, GT Brondello and GT Stacplastic teams.

  • Orange Monkey Pro Team signs Gujan

    Martin Gujan of Switzerland
    Article published:
    January 21, 2014, 18:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Swiss rider looks forward to time with his new team

    Swiss cross country mountain bike racer Martin Gujan will ride for the UK's number one cross country team, the Orange Monkey Pro Team, for 2014. The established pro makes the move from TX Active Bianchi. He previously rode for Cannondale Factory Racing.

    Gujan, 31, is at the peak of his career and is a regular on the cross country mountain bike circuit, especially in Europe and at the World Cups.

    He has yet to win a Swiss national title, faced with stiff competition from the likes of Florian Vogel, Nino Schurter, Christoph Sauser and Ralph Naef. His best finish to date at Worlds was a 13th in Australia in 2009.

    Fast-forward to 2013, and Gujan showed glimpses of his capabilities, leading the Canadian World Cup for the first lap and finishing third at the Chinese Invitational in Guiyang.

    "I'm very happy to be a part of the team and looking forward to the season," said Martin. "I'm sure that I can reach my goals with the support of the team and hope that the whole team can step to the next level."

    For Orange Monkey Pro Team, Gujan's signing is another step toward its goal of being one of the best elite mountain bike teams in the world.

    Team manager Paul Beales said, "Signing Martin is another positive step towards reaching our goals, and we envisage the signing to have an excellent impact on both team profile as well as developing the younger riders on the team."

    Orange Monkey Team has been in existence for 10 years, with four of the as a pro team.

    Martin will fly to South Africa to finish preparations for the season before the first cross country World Cup in Pietermaritzburg.

  • Gaimon faces first test today as Tour de San Luis leader

    Phil Gaimon won stage 1 of the Tour de San Luis ahead of Emiliano Contreras and Marc de Maar.
    Article published:
    January 21, 2014, 18:38 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Garmin-Sharp ready to defend jersey on first mountain stage

    Phil Gaimon's second day racing for Garmin-Sharp will see him resplendent in the Tour de San Luis's leader's jersey, and the 27-year-old American faces the Argentinean race's first test today with a mountain finish on the Mirador de El Potrero.

    Of all the stages in the 2014 Tour de San Luis, this stage is the one most familiar to the six Garmin-Sharp riders as their hotel is situated within sight of the climb and the team is well acquainted with the sinuous, 4.8km ascent to the finish.

    After winning yesterday's opening stage from the day's early break, Gaimon starts stage 2 with a 4:35 advantage over all the pre-race general classification favourites, and the Garmin-Sharp team has every confidence in Gaimon's ability to defend the jersey.

    "He has a good cushion," Garmin-Sharp team director Chann McRae told Cyclingnews. "The optimal scenario is for him to reach the climb with the bunch and let him race from there. We'll see how the race plays out before that, and we'll have to do a lot of things to make that happen. I think there are other teams who have ambitions as well so we'll work together with those other teams."

    Gaimon has arrived in San Luis in solid form having put in a good winter's block of training and his lean physique will pay dividends on each of the Tour de San Luis's trio of mountain finishes.

    "He's a skinny guy, and I know his numbers and they're definitely those of a climber - that's one of the reasons we signed him," said McRae.

    There's also a 19.2km time trial looming on stage 5, another test for the Garmin-Sharp debutant.

    "He worked on his time trialing this winter and before we signed him we told him it was going to be really important for him this year," said McRae. "He's been working on it, his position's good so he's going...