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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Date published:
January 08, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Beti Bash to double as Colorado women's state championships

    Racers in action at the Beti Bash
    Article published:
    January 03, 2013, 22:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Little Bella and Elevation Cycles help promote junior MTB participation

    The annual Beti Bike Bash presented by Stan's NoTubes will return in 2013 for its fourth edition. The Colorado race supports women's mountain bike racing from grassroots to elite categories.

    The highlight of the weekend's activities will again be a full day of racing on Sunday, June 2 at Bear Creek Lake Park, in the foothills west of Denver, and this year the race will double as the Colorado women's state championships. Annual licensed racers will be eligible for titles in each category as well as the top 15 in each category will qualify for the 2013 USA Cycling Cross Country National Championships at Bear Creek Resort in Pennsylvania.

    "We are fortunate to expand on several levels of sponsorship this year," said Amy Thomas from team YetiBeti. "With support from Elevation Cycles, we will offer a complimentary entry for the first 50 junior racers (18 years and younger) who register at one of their shops. We want to make the Beti Bike Bash as attainable as possible for young racers. Elevation Cycle's support makes this possible."

    Junior registration will be available at Elevation Cycles in Highlands Ranch and Boulder beginning March 1, 2013.

    "The organizers of this annual all women's mountain bike event are a fully committed group of women with vision and outstanding ethics," said Cindy Koziatek, Co-Owner of NoTubes. "This well-rounded event has continued to make a substantial impact for participating females in the biking community. Each year it has prospered and our hopes of seeing that continue are reflected in our renewed sponsorship."

    The course at Bear Creek is a four-mile, non-technical, fast singletrack loop with views of surrounding Red Rocks Park. A new category added for 2013 is the Never Ever category—a modified beginner category for women who have never raced before. All Beginners (Cat. 3) and Never Ever racers will ride two laps; Sport racers (Cat. 2) will ride three laps; Expert (Cat. 1), Open/Advanced...

  • Cyprus Sunshine Cup set to open European season

    Jaroslav Kulhavy wins the Cyprus Sunshine Cup round in Voroklini in 2012.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 17:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Traditional three rounds scheduled for February and March

    The Cyprus Sunshine Cup continues in 2013 with a similar set of venues and dates as in recent years. Three races within two weeks will occur on the Mediterranean Island in February and March. 

    Each year, several top racers kick off their season at the Sunshine Cup. Olympic gold medalist Jaroslav Kulhavy and silver medalist Sabine Spitz started their 2012 seasons in Cyprus, and Spitz is among those returning again in 2013.

    "Cyprus Cycling Federation and Cyprus Tourism Organization are happy to have the Cyprus Sunshine Cup in 2013, continuing the long lasting work on the race series, which is good for the riders and good for the development of our beautiful island," said Mike Hadjioannou, head of the Bikin' Cyprus event agency.

    For years, the round in Voroklini has been a kind of season opener in Europe. This year, the race will occur on Saturday, February 23, one day before the presidental election in Cyprus on February 24.

    "We wanted to avoid a conflict on organization matters. So we decided to race on Saturday," Hadjioannou said.

    The change adds an extra day of training time before the next round, the Afxentia stage race in the Macheras Mountains, which kicks off the following Friday. The stage race, a UCI category HC event, includes a time trial, point-to-point race, and cross country. Last year Kulhavy and Tereza Hurikova (Sabine Spitz-Haibike) won.

    The Sunshine Cup finale will again be held in the ruins of Amathous, on the outskirts of Limassol.

    Emil Lindgren (Rabobank-Giant) and Annika Langvad (Fujibikes-Rockets) won the overall Sunshine Cup title last year.

  • More details emerge in Stander's fatal accident

    Burry Stander
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 19:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    Memorial foundation to be established toward safer cycling

    Family, friends and the cycling community mourned the loss of Olympian Burry Stander after he was killed in an accident while training on Thursday.

    "No parent should ever have to see his child lying on a tarred road after an accident, knowing that there is absolutely nothing he can do to save his life," said Charles Stander, father of Burry. "It is definitely the worst moment of my life. Words cannot even begin to describe how one feels when it happens. It was terrible."

    Burry Stander was out on a training ride in Shelly Beach, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on January 3, when he was hit by a taxi. Apparently the driver did not see Stander when he made a turn. Stander died on the scene.

    Colonel Jay Naicker, a spokesperson for the police, confirmed that a docket for culpable homicide was opened.

    According to Charles Stander, he and his family will remember his son not just for his successes as a mountain biker. "For us Burry will always be more than just a mountain bike champion. In fact, he was a champion on and off his bike. For him his family always came first. He never hesitated to help when, and where ever, he could."

    When asked what he considered to be the highlights of his son's cycling career, Charles Stander said that it was almost impossible to make a selection. "Where does one start? There were some special moments. Burry really made us all very proud."

    Charles Stander asked the cyclists who are planning to participate in Memorial Rides in memory of his son, not to let their emotions get the best of them. "This is the last thing that Burry would have wanted."

    The funeral arrangements will only be finalized by next week.

    Remembering Burry

    Zoon Cronje, ZCMC, said that a Burry Stander Foundation will be established to fund...

  • Burry Stander's wife Cherise issues statement after his death

    Burry Stander and his wife Cherise
    Article published:
    January 06, 2013, 15:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    No decisions on her own career at this time

    "I love you," were the last words of mountain biker Burry Stander, to his wife Cherise before he was tragically killed by a taxi while on a training ride on Thursday in Shelley Beach in South Africa.

    An emotional Cherise Stander, South African marathon mountain bike champion, said on the day her husband died he went out later than usual for his training ride. "I woke up tired and we decided to go ride a bit later, it ended up being so hot we could only train quite late in the afternoon."

    "Burry phoned me when he was halfway in Port Edward. He was excited to get back home soon because he had a tailwind coming back. We ended our conversation confirming our love for each other." Approximately an hour later, Stander was dead.

    The accident happened a few hundred meters from the Concept Cyclery Shop in Shelley Beach where his father, Charles, was working. He was killed instantly. He suffered serious head trauma and there are indications that his neck might have been broken on impact.

    Stander finished the 2012 season as the second best cross country rider in the world. He had had a brilliant season winning the Cape Epic with Christoph Sauser for the second consecutive year, also winning the World Cup race in Windham, New York and finishing second overall in the World Cup series. He was fifth at the Olympic Games in London, a mere 30 seconds behind Jaroslav Kulhavy, the eventual winner.

    Cherise Stander said that she does not bear a grudge towards the driver. "Burry was always paranoid about abiding the traffic rules, he always keeps everyone in line on group training rides. Burry was always the one who constantly emphasized that we had to be careful and alert. There were quite a few times when Burry would get cross with me when he thought I was taking unnecessary risks."

    "Once at...

  • NICA announces annual award winners

    2012 NICA Award Recipients from L to R: (Back) Mark Doty, Ken Mozek, Ed Fischer, Whitney Pogue, (Middle) Josie Nordrum, Nick Gualtieri, Kate Courtney, DeShaun Smith, (Front) Zach Tucker, Mike Sinyard, Martha Flynn, Lucas Newcomb, Lori Harward
    Article published:
    January 07, 2013, 21:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Thirteen people to be recognized at annual banquet

    The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) announced its NICA Annual Award winners from 2012. This year, NICA Awards will be given to 13 individuals in 10 different categories that were selected from a field of more than 222 nominees from NICA Leagues across the country.

    Awards will be presented at the NICA Awards Benefit Ride and Banquet on January 12 at the Specialized World Headquarters in Morgan Hill, California.

    The NICA Awards were established in 2010 to honor student-athletes, coaches, volunteers and partners that have made outstanding contributions toward the development of high school cycling and the national high school mountain biking movement.

    Student-Athlete Leadership Award

    The Student Athlete Leadership Award honors student-athletes who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, sportsmanship, academic performance and volunteerism in their team, school and community. The recipients are:

    - Josie Nordrum, Redwood High School, NorCal High School Cycling League
    - Zachary Tucker, Lyons High School, Colorado High School Cycling League

    Student-Athlete All Star Award

    The All-Star Student Athlete Award recognizes student-athletes for their outstanding competitive achievements and potential for future success in competitive cycling. The recipients are:

    - Kate Courtney, Branson High School, NorCal High School Cycling League
    - Lucas Newcomb, Sir Francis Drake High School, NorCal High School Cycling League

    Extraordinary Courage Award

    The Extraordinary Courage Award recognizes student-athletes who have persevered through challenging circumstances and overcome adversity to develop and excel as a model student athlete. The recipients are:

    - DeShaun Smith, C.K. MCClatchy High School, NorCal High School Cycling League
    - Mark Doty, Oakley High School, Utah High School Cycling League

  • King and Boyer eager for beginning of Australian mountain bike season

    Rick Boyer in fifth in the elite men's race
    Article published:
    January 08, 2013, 0:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Major summer mountain bike races spread across the nation

    Cycling Australia and Mountain Bike Australia's summer of mountain biking will encompass five states and territories across the nation this year - the first time all have been included in a season together.

    Victoria and New South Wales will host rounds within the National Series during January and February, the Australian Championships heads to Canberra in February, while Tasmania will boast the Mountain Bike Oceania Championships in March and Queensland will round out the season with the Australian Marathon Championships in April.

    2012 cross country national champion and All Mountain Cup overall series winner Jenni King (TORQ) will be looking to repeat her stellar season starting in round one of the National Series, Mt Buller on January 18.

    King took the hat trick in 2012, winning all three rounds. The 33-year-old then carried her winning form into the Australian Cross Country National Championships - something which she says was a great honour.

    "Winning the national cross country title in Adelaide was a definite highlight for me last year. Everything came together on the day, and I won quite convincingly so it made the win all the sweeter," King said of her two minute 35 second win over Rowena Fry and Jodie Willett.

    "I travelled overseas and raced some of the world cups so to wear the national jersey was a great feeling.

    "People look at you differently and respect you a little bit more when you have the green and gold colours on your back," the Victorian said.

    King now has her sights set on claiming back-to-back national titles and will look to clinch victory in the Oceania Championships after finishing third at the event in New Zealand in 2012.

    "I want my form to peak for nationals and the Oceania championships again this year. I really want to defend my national title. With the race being in Canberra I am hoping they will use the technical world class trails because they suit me quite well.

  • Gwin switches to Specialized Racing Team

    Aaron Gwin storms to a second consecutive World Cup overall title
    Article published:
    January 08, 2013, 15:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Trek World Racing team unhappy with broken contract

    Portions of this article were originally published on

    Downhill World Cup champion Aaron Gwin has signed with the Specialized Racing downhill team. In a surprise move, the American gravity star broke off a new three-year deal with his previous team, Trek World Racing. Gwin joins the Specialized team with its continuing riders, Troy Brosnan and Mitch Ropelato.

    "I'm super excited to start this new chapter in my career with Specialized bicycles. The entire Specialized staff has welcomed me with open arms, and I'm blown away by the level of support they've shown me," said Gwin. "This is my dream program, and I can't thank them enough for this opportunity. Bring on 2013!"

    Team manager Sean Heimdal is pleased have Gwin onboard. "The combination of Aaron Gwin and the Specialized brand have an American storyline written all over it that was always meant to be. Aaron will not only bring another element to the program, but it'll be amazing watching this trio ripping down the tracks together. We can't wait to get started with this new exciting opportunity and look forward to the season ahead."

    Signing the mild-mannered Gwin is a win for Specialized. The company is hoping to take advantage of his interest in product development, advocacy and junior development according to the Geoff Rogers of the company's Sports Marketing division.

    Former junior world champion and Gwin's new teammate Troy Brosnan said, "I'm stoked to have a new...

  • Brown, Gannicott and Callaghan join Dirt Norco team

    Casey Brown (Dirt Norco)
    Article published:
    January 08, 2013, 20:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Gravity team expands roster and adds enduro racing to plans

    The Dirt Norco mountain bike team is adding three new riders to its roster for this year including Casey Brown, George Gannicott and Greg Callaghan. They join existing riders Ben Reid and Dan Stanbridge to complete the newly diversified team.

    Returning racer Reid said, "I think 2013 is going to be the most exciting year yet for team Dirt Norco. It has always been our goal to use the team as a platform to help out new talent, and we are pleased to announce our new teammates joining Dan Stanbridge and me for 2013. All of these riders have impressed us by their skills and achievements on different occasions during the 2012 season and we are delighted to bring them on board."

    Brown is the first woman to join the Dirt Norco Race Team after a fantastic 2012 season in which she won the Canadian National Championships, took fourth place at the Hafjell, Norway World Cup and finished seventh at the 2012 world championships.

    "I am super stoked to be on a new team this year! Dirt Norco is well established and has awesome riders who I'm sure I'll learn a ton of good things from," said Brown. "Right now I'm working hard and getting prepared for the next few months of training. I have some big plans for 2013!"

    Gannicott joins the Dirt Norco Race team in his final year as a junior. "I am excited... It is a great opportunity to be part of the team and be with experienced riders like Ben and Dan," siad Gannicott. "I'm keen to prove myself in 2013 and signing with the team will help me loads!"

    In a shift of direction, the Dirt Norco Race Team has signed its first enduro rider to the roster: Callaghan. He will represent the team on the new Enduro World Series in Europe and North America. "Having looked up to Ben as the top Irish rider since I started...