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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Date published:
March 22, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Scott11's riders are ready for 2011

    Scott11 riders cheer on their teammate during a downhill run
    Article published:
    March 17, 2011, 16:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    First training camp done

    It's an important year for the Swiss-based downhill team Scott11. The world championships will be in Champéry, Switzerland, in September.

    Scott11 athletes have been working hard through the winter preparing for the upcoming season and have already completed their first training camp of the year in Massa Marittima, Italy. The team is registered as a UCI "elite" mountain bike team for this season.

    Nick Beer prioritized his fitness by logging miles on his road bike instead of spending the winter skiing. Fabien Pedemanaud spent hours at the gym weight lifting and strengthening his shoulder after a surgery in October.

    Emilie Siegenthaler left home during the winter months to concentrate on riding her downhill bike in New Zealand.

    Floriane Pugin, Freddy Hunziker, Adrian Weiss and Mirco Weiss all spent the winter at home, but enjoyed the benefits of being able to train through this year's relatively mild, dry Swiss winter.

    The first major international downhill competition is the opening UCI World Cup round in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, April 22-24.

  • Costa Rican Cross Country Series hosts UCI-sanctioned events

    Federico “Lico” Ramírez won round one of the Costa Rican National Cross Country series in late February
    Article published:
    March 17, 2011, 20:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Two rounds inscripted as Costa Rica's first UCI cross country events

    Costa Rica's National Mountain Bike Association (ANCM) has unveiled the course for the second event of this year's Cross Country National Cup (AMPM) on March 27. Round two is a category two UCI inscripted race.

    According to ANCM's Events Director and Vice President Francisco Chacón, the course venue for the upcoming event is located in the rural community of Santa Rosa de Poás, 40 kilometers northwest from the capital San José. The profile shows a typical cross country tack, with a total length of 4.6 kilometers per lap.

    This circuit has been designed on the slopes of the Poás Volcano, at a height of 1,152 meters above sea level. A particular combination of sunny skies and cold winds are very common in the area at this time of the year.

    While the elite men and women, under 23 men and junior men and women will be awarded with UCI points, master and other categories will be competing to earn points for the local series ranking.

    The Costa Rican National XCO Cup opened last month with a race at the end of which local legend Federico "Lico" Ramírez crossed the line in the first place. He also won the Cup in 2010 for the eighth time in his 16-year career.

    Lico is expected to be at the start in Poás, too. He will face rivals such as cross country national champion Paulo Vargas, former pro roadie and 1999 Pan-American cross country champion Adrián Bonilla, 2005 Pan-American cross country champion Deiber Esquivel and Manuel Prado.

    "Our intention is to test ourselves. This is the first time we will have a National Cup event registered with the UCI," President of the National Mountain Bike Association Hernán Solano said.

    "The idea is to include the whole series next year. This is a very good chance for our racers to obtain UCI points in order to improve their possibilities of going to the London Olympics."

    The country has a few other UCI inscripted...

  • Past winner Brentjens returns to Cape Epic

    Bart Brentjens will return to the 2011 Cape Epic for his sixth time at the race
    Article published:
    March 17, 2011, 21:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Stage win a target for Olympic medal winner

    Dutchman Bart Brentjens, who won the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in 2005, will return to the race for his sixth time this year. He'll team up with Jeroen Boelen as part of the Milka-Trek 1 team. The Cape Epic will run from March 27 to April 3 in South Africa.

    Brentjens explained why he'll be on the starting line. "The environment is beautiful, the course attractive and challenging, it's a multi-stage race, the weather is good, some of the best riders of the world participate, we get great exposure, the organisation of the race is perfect, and I have a feeling that the organisers like it when I'm racing there," he said.

    Brentjens is a two-time Olympic medalist (gold in 1996, bronze in 2004) and a former world champion and World Cup winner. He is a national marathon champion and has won the Dutch national cross country title 12 times. In 2005, he partnered with Roel Paulissen of Belgium, and the duo won seven of eight stages en route to the overall victory. All in all, Brenjens has won 12 stages of the Cape Epic.

    Although Brentjens reckons his too old to win the race again, he and his teammate will give it their all. "Jeroen is driven by mountain biking, the same as I am. He's very good at multi-stage cycling events, always friendly and has a good character. We also speak the same language and live in the same area, which makes it easier to train together almost daily. We make a good team."

    "I don't really have a special training programme and rely on experience from the last couple of years," he said. "I try to ride as much as possible - between 12 and 17 hours a week - and we'll also be participating in several races before the Cape Epic for intensity training."

    Brentjens was riding with two broken ribs to the finish line of the Cape Epic last year and said it was tough. This year, his sights are set on a stage win.

    "I've won at least a stage each year that I've participated. This year, I'm very happy...

  • Trebon signs with Felt

    Ryan Trebon (Kona)
    Article published:
    March 21, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    New team for mountain bike and 'cross racer

    American off-road racer Ryan Trebon has signed with Felt Bicycles for the 2011-2012 season. The former national cyclo-cross (2006 and 2008), cross country (2006) and short track (2007) champion will ride the Felt Nine hardtail and a new carbon 'cross bike that's due to be unveiled at the Sea Otter Classic in April.

    "I'm thrilled to be with Felt this year, and can't wait for the race season to begin," said Trebon. "I'm already working with Felt's engineers to fine-tune my bikes for 2011, and we're all excited about the results."

    "Ryan is a great fit for our company and our cyclo-cross and mountain bike racing efforts," said Doug Martin, Felt's director of marketing.

    "Ryan is one of the most recognizable figures in American fat tire racing and a legend in the sport. We're ecstatic to have him as one of our athletes."

    Trebon makes the move from the Kona Team.

  • Beti Bike Bash women's race adds skills clinic

    Racers lined up at the Beti Bike Bash
    Article published:
    March 21, 2011, 20:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team fundraiser coming up in April

    Team YetiBeti's second annual Beti Bike Bash, a mountain bike race for women, set for Sunday, June 12, 2011, at Bear Creek Lake Park in the Foothills west of Denver, Colorado, has added more activities to its schedule.

    A day of mountain bike racing for women is already on tap. Last year's inaugural event drew 200 women, including 90 beginner women through top pros. What's new for this year's event is the addition of a mountain bike skills clinic and pre-ride with Specialized pro racer Rebecca Rusch on Saturday, June 11. She'll also be participating in a question and answer session with several other elite women.

    "Rebecca's participation will really enhance the whole weekend since there still may be women who won't race, but could really benefit from the clinic and opportunity to ask questions," said Amy Thomas of the Yeti Beti team to Cyclingnews.  The Beti Bike Bash supports women's mountain biking and brings together amateur and elite racers.

    The course at Bear Creek is a four-mile, non-technical and fast singletrack loop with views of surrounding Red Rocks Park. Beginners (category 3) will ride 2 laps, with the sport (category 2) riders racing 3 laps, and the Open/Pro/Singlespeed race featuring 4 fast laps. The pro women will be competing for a cash purse that will pay 10 deep, with $1000 for first place.

    There will also be a showing of the "Race Across the Sky" movie in conjunction with the weekend.  It is expected to play on June 10.

    Team YetiBeti, which is behind the Beti Bike Bash, is also hosting a team fundraiser at the Great Divide Brewery on Saturday, April 9 from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. For a cost of $25, attendees will get all the Great Divide beer they can drink, food, a silent auction and a raffle, including an entry into the popular Growler race from Dave Wiens.

    For more information, please visit

  • Graves to contest Australian Mountain Bike Series four cross finale

    Elite men's winner Jared Graves
    Article published:
    March 22, 2011, 2:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Rescheduled final two rounds happening this weekend in Toowoomba

    The 2010-2011 Australian Mountain Bike Series will officially wrap with the staging of the final two rounds of the four cross in Toowoomba this weekend.

    As a result of the series of floods that Australia experienced before and after Christmas, rounds three and four of the four cross were postponed and a replacement double header round will take place this Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27.

    The UCI's World No. 1 ranked rider Jared Graves is geared up to contest the elite men's event, which provides perfect preparation and a chance to gain valuable UCI points prior to competing at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Pietermaritzburg - South Africa next month.

    A seasoned rider, the 28-year-old is no stranger on the world stage. He has represented Australia in BMX, downhill and his primary discipline, four cross.

    "I am feeling confident and hope to be up there with some of the fastest riders as the series progresses into its final stages," he said.

    "If I come out with a win here, it's a good indication that I am on the right track for the World Cup next month."

    National series leader Richard Levinson will return to defend his position after a silver medal performance in Shepparton last weekend helped him overtake former leader Blake Nielsen in the national series standings.

  • 2011 Milka-Trek Mountain Bike team presented

    The 2011 Milka-Trek Mountain Bike Team
    Article published:
    March 22, 2011, 14:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    Brentjens' team has Leadville, Cape Epic and Olympic aspirations

    The 2011 Milka-Trek Mountain Bike Racing Team was presented late last week at the luxurious De Koperen Hoogte hotel. Dutch marathon skater and singer Erik Hulzebosch presented the team of his friend Bart Brentjens to the press, sponsors and the public.

    Chocolate company Milka and bike manufacturer Trek Bicycles have joined forces to sponsor Brentjens' team. For 2011, the squad got a new name and logo. Previously the squad was known at the Trek-Brentjens team.

    "I am extremely proud to be able to present this team and to be the manager of this team, sponsored by two major companies," said Brentjens. "This will be the third year that my team is riding on Trek Bicycles and the second year with Milka. A new team name, a beautiful new team logo and flashy lilac outfits with matching lilac helmets - we will stand out in the crowd."

    "Our main goal is to bring two of our riders to the start of the Olympic race in London, 2012," he said of his aspirations for the team.

    Manager Brentjens knows something about the Olympics. He won the first-ever mountain bike Olympic cross country race in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia. He also won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games

    For 2011, the Milka-Trek team includes Jukka Vastaranta (Finland), Marek Konwa (Poland), Tim Wynants (Belgium), Jeroen Boelen (Netherlands), Jelmer Pietersma (Netherlands),Anneke Beerten (Netherlands) and Brentjens (Netherlands) himself.

    One of Brentjens' top goals is to transfer his experience and knowledge to his riders. Furthermore he will also be at the start of some select races, competing. Brentjens will race the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado - it will be his first time at the event.

    The Milka-Trek Mountain Bike Racing team is an official UCI-registered trade team. Its riders will be seen worldwide in their trademark lilac-colored outfits, racing cross country and four cross...

  • World Champion Hermida ok after crash

    World Champion Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida Mountain Bike Team)
    Article published:
    March 22, 2011, 16:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard cleared to race Cape Epic

    Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) can breathe easy again after a crash at the Open de Espana cross country race in Madrid, Spain, on Sunday. His injured wrist is already feeling better, and he is expected to resume racing again this weekend at the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in South Africa.

    The World Champion was leading Sunday's race on the second last lap when he crashed hard and injured his wrist, which he had apparently used to break his fall.

    "Sunday night I could rest, and yesterday I went out riding on my mountain bike. I checked how it was feeling, and I realized nothing was broken," said Hermida. "As the hours go by, I feel better."

    "I haven't crashed that badly in a long time, and I was scared at first. I thought that this part of my season as the World Champion might be over." Hermida has been enjoying racing in the rainbow stripes for the first time in his career.

    Hermida will be back to racing on Sunday at the opening stage of the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race.