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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Date published:
July 05, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Warren and Kintner lead US Pro GRT standings

    Cody Warren (United States of America)
    Article published:
    June 29, 2011, 19:30 BST
    Cycling News

    One round remaining for American gravity series

    Following the Wildflower Rush this past weekend in Crested Butte, Colorado, Cody Warren (DRD E-Fusion-Intense) stepped up and into the lead of the USA Cycling US Pro GRT series. Jill Kintner (Transition Racing) extended her lead in the women's series.


    On a beautiful day in Crested Butte, Warren moved into the lead of the men's US Pro GRT standings after placing second at the Wildflower Rush. Australian Jared Graves (Yeti Fox Factory) used his technical skills to overcome a steady breeze to top the men's field with a time of 3:32.30. Ben Furbee (Transition-Fox Shox-e*thirteen) placed third on the wide open, dry ski run ahead of Richard Rude, Jr. (Yeti Fox Factory) and Logan Binggeli (KHS Bicycles Inc.), who placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

    "Mt. Crested Butte set the stage for a competitive race with spectacular racing and a ripping fast course where only split seconds differentiated first, second and third," said Keith Darner, race director of the Mountain States Cup. "With world champions and World Cup competitors stacking the fields, it was great training ground for U.S. competitors looking to place well at upcoming Mont Sainte Anne (World Cup this weekend)."

    Warren currently leads the standings ahead of Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) and Curtis Keene.  Justin Leov and Richard Rude round out the top five.


    Kintner returned to the top of the women's podium after posting a 3:54.51 at the Wildflower Rush. Jacqueline Harmony (Vixen Racing) placed second and was the only other female rider to complete the course is less than four minutes. Melissa Buhl (KHS Bicycles) placed third, eight seconds ahead of Darian Harvey (Vixen Racing). Rebecca Gardner (Beacon Cycles) was fifth in the final results.

    In the standings, Kintner leads Harmony and Harvey.  Joanna...

  • Gravity East Windham round to benefit Arthritis Foundation

    A racer catches some air at the Gravity East Series.
    Article published:
    June 29, 2011, 21:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Lars Tribus Masters Challenge part of Windham World Cup Festival

    In support of the Arthritis Foundation, the Gravity East Series announced the Lars Tribus Masters Challenge to be held during the series' next round on Saturday, July 9 at the Windham Mountain Bike World Cup Festival in Windham, New York.  The non-World Cup downhill race will be held in conjunction with the World Cup festival although the track used for the Gravity East competition will be different than that raced by the pros in the World Cup.

    A sort of race within the race, the Lars Tribus Masters Challenge is a special masters category charity race in support of the Arthritis Foundation with 100 percent of the entry fees donated to the foundation.

    One of the foundation's "Heroes", professional downhill mountain bike racer Lars Tribus has become a spokesman and avid supporter of the foundation. He was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of nine and battled symptoms throughout his childhood. When he was 12, he was told by his doctor he'd spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. The doctor got it half right-he did spend his life on wheels, just not sitting down.

    Eligible participants are all 30+ men and women pro downhill license holders. Registration entitles racers to participate in all World Cup festivities at Windham Mountain including a Friday night Block Party on Main Street in Windham; live music on Saturday night; and a "Big Wheel" race down a steep, paved course (BYOBW).

    Windham will serve as round five of the downhill and cross country World Cup on July 9-10.

    For additional information including details about registration, visit the Gravity East Series website at For more information on the Windham World Cup festival, visit

  • Australian flood damage forces MTB course changes to FCE

    Damage from January's floods in Queensland was so severe that it moved boulders that featured on many of the MTB courses.
    Article published:
    June 30, 2011, 3:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Race to go ahead with shortened route

    The Flight Centre Epic, one of Australia’s biggest mountain bike marathon races, will undergo drastic changes to its route after damage from south east Queensland’s devastating floods destroyed large parts of the traditional course.

    Flood waters were so strong that large boulders were moved on to parts of the original track, making it unusable for racing. The area the race is staged in, the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, will still host the race, but the route will have to be shortened, as race organizer Peter Creagh explained.

    "Unfortunately, the January floods which caused loss of life and enormous damage in the Lockyer Valley also took their toll on the Epic course," he said. "Sections of the Bicentennial National Trail were totally destroyed, Ma Ma Creek is no longer recognizable and there is no track in some places."

    Creagh was adamant that while changes do need to be made, the race will still aim to be as big as past editions in 2011. The biggest change is that the Epic will cover 75km instead of the traditional 104km.

    "We have had to reinvent the Epic otherwise we would have lost our flagship product and the Queensland tourism industry would have lost one its iconic adventure events," said Creagh. "Even though this is a significant shift from the original Epic, the tradition of the challenge remains and it is one of the Queensland's must do events," he said.

    The Flight Centre Epic takes place from August 6-7.

  • Hermida hopes for better luck in Mont-Sainte-Anne

    World Champion Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida)
    Article published:
    June 30, 2011, 20:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Memories flood Spanish champion's mind at venue where he won Worlds

    For cross country world champion José Hermida (Multivan Merida), Mont-Sainte-Anne is a special race venue. It's where he won the 2010 title, the first in his then 14-year career. Since that September victory, however, Hermida seems to be plagued with bad luck.  It is, perhaps, the dreaded curse of the rainbow-striped jersey, and he's hoping to return to success on one of his favorite courses at this weekend's cross country World Cup, also in Mont-Sainte-Anne.

    Speaking of the cross country World Cup on Saturday, Hermida said, "I want to leave the bad luck of recent months behind."

    Hermida arrived at Mont-Sainte-Anne earlier this week and thoughts of last year filled his mind. "When I came back a few days ago, all the memories from last year came back like flashes from the past," said Hermida. "But I realised that I have to stop dreaming and focus on Saturday's race. Now I am back in reality, and I really want to get back on the podium after two catastrophic races in Europe."

    So far in 2011, Hermida's best World Cup performance is a fourth place in Pietermaritzburg. When asked what has gone wrong, he said, "My start of the season was definitely not as I had expected. But this is racing! Sometimes luck is on your side, sometimes it’s not. I really hope that I can change the situation with the World Cup races in Mont-Sainte-Anne and in Windham."

    Hermida will also race the next World Cup in Windham, New York in the United States on July 9-10.

    The Spanish star has described the effects of getting dressed in the rainbow jersey as both motivating and pressuring.

    "First it is funny to have everybody's eyes on you. But than you realise,...

  • Sauser and Stander give Mont-Sainte-Anne course the thumbs up

    Racer leader Christoph Sauser (Specialized) stays in yellow.
    Article published:
    July 02, 2011, 2:01 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Wet or dry, "real mountain bike course" will challenge World Cup racers

    While many of the world's fastest cross country racers have been enjoying a month off the World Cup circuit, Christoph Sauser (Specialized) has been keeping himself busy winning endurance races. Sauser, known as "Susi" among his friends and teammates, is fresh off winning the marathon world championships on Sunday. Earlier in the month of June, he also won the Trans Germany four-day mountain bike stage race.

    "On Monday, it was back to reality again," said Sauser. "It was a long trip from Italy, but it was such a big success to have won the second biggest race of the season. That helped a lot with the travel."

    Sauser and his Specialized teammates Burry Stander and Jaroslav Kulhavy piled into a car after flying across the Atlantic and drove up to Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada venue where they will race on Saturday in World Cup cross country round four.

    "Every square centimeter of space inside that car and on the roof was filled up. We had too small of a car and too much luggage," said Sauser.

    Sauser and Kulhavy finished one-two at marathon Worlds in Montebelluna, Italy, and they have just five days in between to travel from Europe to North America and put themselves back together.

    "For me, it's been about recovery - sleeping well, eating well and little bits of training. I haven't done anything more than one hour and 45 minutes on a bike," said Sauser. "Today was my first time on the course, but it felt good. I have energy again, but we'll see if I have the acceleration I'll need for the first half of the race."

    It's been a wet month leading up to the World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne...

  • Dual slalom replaces four cross at US Gravity National Championships

    Melissa Buhl (KHS) on the dual slalom course
    Article published:
    July 02, 2011, 17:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Change to mountain bike nationals program

    Dual slalom racing will return as a part of the 2011 and 2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships. The 2011 edition will not happen during the UCI-specified National Championships weekend in mid-July, but instead will happen on September 23-25 in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. 2011 is the first year that cross country and gravity nationals will be held separately.

    Due to rider feedback, USA Cycling said that the head-to-head dual slalom competition will replace the four cross event at the gravity national championships this fall.

    2007 dual slalom national champion Christopher Herndon is building the course at Beech Mountain with the goal of increasing participation in the gravity national championship event.

    Although the discipline is changing, the categories will remain the same for dual slalom including pro men; category 1 men: 15-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40+, Junior: 14 & under; and category 2/3 men: 18 & under, 19-29, 30-39, 40+. The women can compete in a pro category or combined category 1/2/3.

    For more information, visit the USA Cycling National Championship web page and the Beech Mountain Resort Website.

  • Spitz abandons in Mont-Sainte-Anne after two crashes

    Sabine Spitz (Central Haibike), dirty after a crash early in the race in Mont-Sainte-Anne
    Article published:
    July 03, 2011, 15:08 BST
    Cycling News

    No Windham World Cup for German

    Sabine Spitz (Central Haibike Pro Team) had a day of bad luck on Saturday afternoon at the cross country World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada. After two crashes, the German rider withdrew from the race in too much pain to continue.

    On the first lap, Olympic Champion Spitz crashed and hit her chest on a rock. The bruising made breathing difficult so that after three of five laps, Spitz abandoned even though at the time, she was still in the top 10.

    Her abandon came after a second crash, during which she hit her thigh on a rock. She was in too much pain to continue and was helped off the course on the back of an ATV.

    Fortunately for Spitz, further examination revealed no broken bones, but the severe bruising will mean two weeks off her bike and therefore, she will not be participating at the Windham World Cup in New York next weekend.

    "It's extremely annoying. I felt very good," said a disappointed Spitz. "The weather and the course would have been perfect today for me. But I could finish it."

  • Clara Hughes and Tim Johnson biggest attractions to The Crusher

    American Tim Johnson led the chase group early on
    Article published:
    July 05, 2011, 4:52 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Off-road race attracts quality Pros to its first edition

    Former professional road racer Burke Swindlehurst is organizing his first off-road cycling event dubbed "The Crusher" to be held on July 16 outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The burly race has attracted the likes of six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes along with cyclo-cross talent Tim Johnson and road racers Tyler Wren and Paul Mach.

    "It's absolutely thrilling for me to have people like Tim and Clara coming to the event," Swindlehurst told Cyclingnews. "I'm honored that they see the race as a worthy addition to their schedules and I'm also really excited to simply share one of my favorite places on earth with so many of my friends and colleagues."

    "In addition to Tim and Clara, I also have my good friend and training partner Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home) coming," he added. "He's had an amazing season so far including winning a mountain stage of the Vuelta Chile this spring and also one of my former stablemates at team Bissell, Paul Mach, who wore the KOM jersey at the 2010 Tour of California will also be toeing the line."

    Categories offered include Pro/Open men, 29 and under, 30-39, 40-49, 50+, single speed, Pro/Open women, 35 and under women and 36+ women. Hughes, who now resides in Utah, began her athletic career as a road racer and won her first two Olympic medals in the time trial and road race. She made the switch to speed skating where she won four additional Olympic medals. She then returned to professional bike racing this year and recently won the Pan Am Championships time trial and her Canadian National Time Trial Championships.

    "As a speed skater or a cyclist, I've always felt like it's easy to get caught up in how hard things seem when I'm doing the same thing all the time," Hughes said. "There's nothing like an epic day of training or racing to put things back in perspective. When I...