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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Date published:
July 24, 2012, 17:00

Edited by Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

Welcome to our regular roundup of what's happening in mountain biking. Feel free to send feedback, news, & releases to mtb@cyclingnews.com and results, reports & photos to cyclingnews@cyclingnews.com.

  • Banned Weiss makes waves winning Breckenridge 100

    Michael Weiss on the final climb over the continental divide near Boreas Pass
    Article published:
    July 18, 2012, 22:00
    By:
    Cycling News

    NUE Series addresses controversy

    When Michael Weiss (Team SRM Profiles) won the Breckenridge 100, round five in the Kenda National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series in Breckenridge, Colorado, this past weekend, it caused a bit of an uproar. Weiss is currently banned from competition for doping.

    Weiss beat local favorite and past multi-time winner Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz) and Ben Swanepoel (Squirt Lube) in the 100-mile mountain bike race. Weiss, who is the 2011 Xterra off-road triathlon champion, was banned for two years for a 2005 doping offence from when he was previously racing as a pro mountain biker. The ban was handed down in late November 2011 and runs until November 2013.

    The Austrian rider, who is now living in Colorado Springs was suspended by his National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) for two years after being named by Bernhard Kohl, a former professional road cyclist, who said Weiss visited the Vienna blood plasma lab in 2005. He admitted to visiting the same lab and received a two-year ban from cycling.

    The case against Weiss was thrown out in 2010, but was recently overruled, which means Weiss is now forbidden from competing in triathlons as well as other sanctioned events until late in 2013. However, NUE Series races are sanctioned by neither USA Cycling nor the UCI.

    Prior to the race, he was up front about his suspension with the Breckenridge 100 race director, who approved his entry into the race, but he did not notify the NUE Series of his intended participation.  The NUE Series was forced to address the issue after Weiss won and several mountain bike pros like Evan Plews and Todd Wells publicly questioned Weiss's participation. 

    After the race, the NUE Series reported, "Weiss, who is currently under suspension from NADA for two years, readily agreed to forfeit his NUE Series points to Josh Tostado, who placed second. NUE policy forbids racers from competing in the NUE Series for points while under suspension... Weiss will become eligible to compete in the NUE Series after his suspension expires."

    Weiss had released the following statement on his website at the time of latest ruling. "I was disheartened to learn that despite NADA Austria closing my case in September 2010, followed by the Vienna State attorney also ruling in my favor, the Independent Arbitration Commission of NADA still chose to issue a two year suspension effective immediately. The decision contradicts NADA's Legal Commission and the judgment of Vienna's state prosecutor and is founded solely on one individual's verbal accusation with no factual evidence which dates back to 2005.

    "I maintain my innocence and have been given the opportunity to appeal the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). After consideration of the time and expense to pursue an appeal, I have chosen to dedicate my time and resources to my family and training and will focus on my future comeback to triathlon, a sport I have grown to love and respect."

    Of the Breckenridge 100, Weiss said, "It was a very tough day. It's a brutal course, with lots of long steep climbs, rocky trails combined with extreme altitude. Wheeler Pass, which is on 12,500ft elevation, is the limit and there are hardly any other sports or events which go up that high.

    "It was my first 100-mile mountain bike race, although my roots and background as an athlete is in mountain biking. Since I raced triathlon the last four years, I said before the race, 'It's going to be like an Ironman on the mountain bike'."

    Weiss won the race on Sunday despite three flat tires. He rode his rim after the final flat for the last four miles of the race.

    The problem of doping riders competing has happened once before in the NUE Series when Floyd Landis raced the Shenandoah Mountain 100 in 2007.  At the time, proceedings regarding Landis' case were still underway and a final verdict had not been reached.

  • Woodruff gets acquainted with the podium

    Chloe Woodruff (Crank Bros) finishing a podium ride
    Article published:
    July 19, 2012, 18:15
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Mountain biker logs several personal bests in recent weeks

    Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers Racing) has been logging a lot of best performances lately. At the US Mountain Bike National Championships earlier this month in Idaho, she had two good back-to-back results in the elite women's cross country and short track races. She followed that up this weekend with another solid race at the fourth round of the US Pro XCT in Missoula.

    In the cross country national championship, Woodruff finished in sixth place.

    "That was by far my best nationals cross country finish. It was a good ride for me. I had a few years of bad luck at nationals, and I knew I could do well on this course," said Woodruff. "I spent the last month training for this race and trying to get acclimated and ready for the heat. I'm happy I pulled off a decent ride.

    "It's a little bittersweet - I was sixth place, one place off the podium, and I really wanted to be top five."

    The next day, Woodruff got her podium in the short track. She finished fourth. "This was my best short track at nationals. I had one short track win before this - in Fontana last year."

    The petite rider noted the lack of short track racing on the domestic calendar in recent years. "This was our second short track of the year - we don't get as many any more."  The discipline was once a regular part of national series events and many regional events.

    Woodruff primarily races cyclo-cross and mountain bike events in the US, but she did venture further afield earlier in 2012. "I tried my hand at World Cups this spring, and they're hard," she said. "They are a whole different type of racing, and it's so exciting to see how well Georgia [Gould] and Lea [Davison] are riding. I hope the best for them come August. I'm excited for them." Gould and Davison will represent the US at the Olympic Games in London.

    Following US nationals, Woodruff went on to finish in third place behind Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) and Pua Mata (Sho-Air) at the Missoula XC. She is also planning on racing the final US Pro XCT at the Subaru Cup in Wisconsin in mid-August.

    "After that, I'm going to try to turn the page a bit and take a little break then and get ready for cyclo-cross. Last year I raced the cyclo-cross season for the first time, and I want to do a full season this year. It might mean cutting the mountain bike season a little short. I'm ready to do some cyclo-cross."

  • BH Suntour Peisey-Vallandry pleased after French nationals

    Julie Bresset (BH Suntour Peisey-Vallandry), happy after winning the French national title
    Article published:
    July 20, 2012, 11:01
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bresset defends cross country title

    Team BH Suntour Peisey-Vallandry was pleased with its performance at the French mountain bike national championships last weekend in Les Gets. Its riders came home with two titles, a silver medal and one bronze.

    Team Manager Michel Hutsebaut said, "This is the best record of the team, with the year 2008, since the beginning of our collaboration with BH in 2006."

    The team opened the championships with a team relay win.

    "We did not think at all of victory! On paper, we were not the strongest, but our team is very homogeneous," said Laura Metzler. "I gave everything in the end of my turn to get ahead." Metzler clocked the fastest lap of any of the women in the relay.

    Julie Bresset and Lucie Chainel added to the medal count when they went one-two in the elite women's cross country while Laura Metzler was fifth.

    "For two years, I have had this jersey on his shoulders, and I did not want to give it up," said Bresset. "I am preparing for London, but I wanted this race. It's not always easy, especially since Lucie was very strong. On a course like this, you could very easily make mistakes."

    "I did not want to take risks, I have never been so slow to descend in all of my life. I will stay in red, white and blue, and it makes me very happy." Bresset won the French U23 and elite titles in 2010 and 2011.

    Chainel said, "I expected to fight with Sabrina (Enaux) and Laura (Metzler) for the podium, and I realized that I was cut above. The circuit suited me. Finishing 1:43 after Julie, I think that's pretty good." Chainel signed with the team after taking the French national cyclo-cross title this winter.

    In the elite men's race, Maxime Marotte was third. He had to come back after a crash in the first lap.

    "It was a complicated race. I made the effort to take the lead in the technical section, but I ended up spread out in the mud," said Marottte. "I made a mistake in my choice of front tires. I wasn't feeling it today, but in the end, I still managed to get the medal. It's nice to stay on the podium." He was beaten by Julien Absalon and Stephane Tempier.

    The team will race a World Cup on home turf in Val d'Isere on July 28-29.

  • Gullickson optimistic about US Olympic mountain bike chances

    Sam Schultz, Georgia Gould, Lea Davison and Todd Wells model the 2012 US Olympic Cycling Team kits.
    Article published:
    July 20, 2012, 19:55
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    One World Cup and a training camp in Germany to go

    The United States hasn't won an Olympic medal in mountain biking since Susan DeMattei won bronze at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the first time mountain biking was including in the Olympics. There haven't been any more medals since then, but this year, the US has qualified to send four mountain bikers to London for the 2012 Olympics and winning a medal seems possible.

    "I think all of them, especially Georgia [Gould], are within a shot of the medal," said Marc Gullickson, Mountain Bike & Cyclo-cross Programs Director of USA Cycling. "They are all capable. It's nice to say that because after the first two World Cups, I would not have said that."

    Georgia Gould, Lea Davison, Todd Wells and Sam Schultz will represent the US after they were named to the team on June 15. Earlier this season, the four racers weren't exactly tearing it up on the World Cup circuit, and Wells had to sit out a round due to injury.

    "Everyone was training super hard over the winter to get on the teams," said Gullickson. "You'll see some of those riders who were flying earlier dropping off. In the end, it's probably good that Georgia and Lea came in to the season at the speed they did. It seems like they've reached their good form now instead of earlier."

    "All four seem to be on good form," he said after the two men and two women went one-two in their respective cross country races at the US Championships. "It was nice to see them all convincingly confirm their selections at the last two World Cups and nationals."

    Gullickson noted that all four had had positive races at the most recent World Cup in Windham, New York. "It's good for them to have had that. It's not the last World Cup race before the Olympics, but it was before this block of training before the Olympics. I think it puts them all in a good frame of mind. I think they're all super happy with their fitness. Now it's a matter of them staying healthy and maintaining that fitness."

    The trick will be to keep their momentum. "They have to make sure to rest enough and not overdo it on the training."

    Schultz and Wells raced last weekend at the US Pro XCT in Missoula, Montana, and all four except for Davison will race the final World Cup in Val d'Isere, France, this coming weekend.

    "Lea will take the World Cup off. That's a nice wild card for the team because it's a different preparation than the rest of the team," he said. "Georgia is doing the World Cup, and I think most of the elite women will. It's nice to have someone who might come out of a training block faster into the Olympics."

    The entire US team will head to southern Germany after the Val d'Isere World Cup. They'll train and rest up in the lead-up to the Olympic Games prior to heading to London.

    "It's a nice place to stay with great training. I think Canada is doing something similar in France. It will be a similar time zone and they can regroup there and get ready for the big week."

    "As always the case, we North Americans have this extra leg of travel that the Europeans almost never have. Luckily our athletes are used to it and know how to deal with it pretty well."

    Tags:
    Olympic games
  • 2012 Mountain Bike National Championships index page

    Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) did almost all of the work on the front
    Article published:
    September 23, 2012, 12:15
    By:
    Cycling News

    Quick links to national championships around the globe

    Mountain Bike National Championships happen year-round depending on country and discipline, but a majority of the cross country championships, among countries in the northern hemisphere, happened on the weekend of July 21-22.

    Late September is when many nations will hold their marathon national championships, as suggested by the UCI, while a few nationals wrap up their marathon championships in October.

    Below is an updated index of 2012 National Championship coverage on Cyclingnews. Click on the appropriate link to access coverage for cross country, downhill, four cross and marathon disciplines.

    Australia: cross country, downhill, four cross, 24-hour solo
    Austria: downhill, cross country
    Belgium: cross country
    Canada: cross country, downhill
    Chile: cross country
    Costa Rica: cross country
    Croatia: cross country
    Cyprus: cross country
    Czech: cross country, marathon
    Denmark: cross country, marathon
    Estonia: marathon
    Finland: cross country, downhill
    France: cross country and downhill
    Germany: cross country, downhill, marathon
    Great Britain: cross country, 24-hour solo, marathon
    Hungary: cross country
    Italy: cross country, marathon
    Israel: cross country
    Japan: cross country and downhill
    Netherlands: cross country
    New Zealand: cross country and downhill
    Poland: cross country
    Russia: cross country
    Slovakia: cross country, downhill
    Spain: cross country 
    South Africa: cross country, downhill, marathon
    Sweden: cross country
    Switzerland:
    cross country, downhill
    United States of America: cross country, short track and super D, marathon, downhill, dual slalom

  • Wloszczowska's Olympic participation in doubt

    Maja Wloszczowska claimed the elite women's cross country race
    Article published:
    July 23, 2012, 20:17
    By:
    Cycling News

    Injured foot for Polish mountain bike star

    Former cross country world champion Maja Wloszczowska (CCC Polkowice) may have to sit out the Olympic mountain bike race on August 11 due to injury.

    The Polish rider crashed during training and hurt her right foot while in Livigno, Italy. She headed home with her leg in a cast and was planning to undergo further tests today to judge the seriousness of the injury.

    "First of all, I'm damn sorry that so many fans believed in me and so many people have been helping me prepare for London," said Wloszczowska according to www.thenews.pl.

    She may have fractured a metatarsal bone in her foot or there could be soft tissue damage. Depending on the nature of the injury, she may be out for several weeks or longer.

    "If I can take part then I will," said Wloszczowska, who as runner-up at last year's mountain bike world championships is one of the favorites for an Olympic medal.

  • Juarez and Mata top final US Pro UET standings

    Tinker Juarez (Cannondale Factory Racing Team)
    Article published:
    July 23, 2012, 23:27
    By:
    Cycling News

    Snowmass 12-hour race wraps up series

    Pua Mata (Sho-Air) and Tinker Juarez (Cannondale) won USA Cycling's Pro Ultra Endurance Tour (Pro UET) this weekend. The Tour consisted of five events, wrapping up in Snowmass, Colorado, this weekend with the 12 hours of Snowmass.

    Juarez won the elite men's final race in Colorado, posting three wins in the three races he contested to bring his season total to 180 points and top the final Pro UET men's standings. Eric Bostrom (Team Sho-Air-Specialized) overtook Brendon Davids (Team Sho-Air-Specialized) in the standings after placing second on Saturday, adding 40 points to his total and finishing 27 points behind Juarez. Davids, tumbled from the top spot in the previous standings into third place, 40 points behind Juarez. Kip Biese finished the season in fourth place with 66 points, while Ryan Clark (Surf City Cycles-CAS) rounded out the top five with 55 points.

    In the women's standings, Mata, who won the first four races of the season, had clinched the top spot with 240 points and did not compete in Colorado. Jessica Cerra (Cal Coast Bikes) finished in second place with 70 points. The winner of Saturday's race, Sari Anderson (Honey Stinger Trek), collected 60 points and sits in third place. Also with 60 points, but sitting in fourth place (due to better single-race finishes) is Tonya Bray (MTBchick.com). Four women each have 40 points, including Amanda Carey (Kenda-Felt), Sarah Jansen, Leanne Miller, who finished second in Colorado, and Andrea Wilson (Mid South Velo).

    See full results from the 12 hours of Snowmass. Final US Pro UET standings are below.  (Note: Full standings were not available at the time of posting.  Brief standings are shown).

    Men's USA Cycling Pro UET Final Standings
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 David "Tinker" Juarez (Cannondale Factory) 180  pts
    2 Eric Bostrom (Team Sho-Air-Specialized) 153  
    3 Brendon Davids (Sho-Air - Specialized) 140  
    4 Kip Biese 66  
    5 Ryan Clark (Surf City Cycles/CAS) 55  
    Women USA Cycling Pro UET Final Standings
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Monique 'Pua' Mata (Team Sho-Air Specialized) 240  pts
    2 Jessica Cerra (Cal Coast Bikes) 70  
    3 Sari Anderson (Honey Stinger Trek) 60  
    4 Tonya Bray (MTBchick.com) 60  
    5 Amanda Carey (Kenda-Felf) 40  
    5 Sarah Jansen 40  
    5 Leanne Miller 40  
    5 Andrea Wilson (Mid South Velo) 40  
  • Juarez to defend title at Butte 100

    John Curry leads Tinker Juarez and Bill Martin in the early morning hours of the 2011 Butte 100 mountain bike race.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2012, 15:36
    By:
    Cycling News

    Montana 100-miler features enormous amount of climbing

    The sixth edition of the Butte 100-miler will happen on Saturday, July 28, in Butte, Montana. Run by Triple Ring Productions (TRP), a 50-miler option is also offered.

    David "Tinker" Juarez (Cannondale Factory Racing) will return to defend his 2011 100-mile victory. The former Olympian, mountain bike world champion and hall of fame member will be chased by the most competitive 100-mile field the Butte 100 has had. Other racers looking to de-thrown Juarez include last year's runner-up John Curry (GAS Intrinsik), 2010 race winner Ben Parsons (Hammer Nutrition), and previous two-time champion Bill Martin (Muleterro).

    This year's course will take the 100-mile racers on a figure-eight course starting on a 50-mile loop north of I-90, then joining the 50-mile racers on the southern loop. Recent rerouting of the north loop due to safety concerns has resulted in what race organizers predict will be the fastest track in the history of the race.

    The southern 50-mile course remains as one of the most demanding tests of mountain bike endurance racing in the country with an amount of climbing not seen anywhere else: approximately 11,459 feet for the 50-mile racers (approximately 17,920 feet for the 100-mile racers).

    The northern loop highlights include singletrack and doubletrack trails through vastly different environs, from dense forest to the Pipestone area's high-altitude desert, while the southern loop features nearly 30 miles of Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

    Demand for the race has exceeded organizer's expectations as the 250-racer cap was reached within 10 days of open registration. A waiting list of racers has exceeded 130 additional racers.

    For details on the Butte race, visit www.butte100.com.