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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Date published:
May 14, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Sauser, Lakata and Illias among favorites for European marathon championship

    Former world champion Christoph Sauser races in Schaan
    Article published:
    May 07, 2013, 15:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Past and current marathon world champs to battle for 2013 title in Singen

    The reigning marathon world champion and his two predecessors will compete for the European Marathon Championship title on Sunday, May 12, 2013, at the Rothaus Hegau Bike-Marathon in Singen, Germany. Periklis Ilias, Christoph Sauser and Alban Lakata are among the top favorites.

    Sauser has been marathon world champion twice - in 2007 and 2011. He was the runner-up at Worlds in 2008 and was the bronze medallist in 2009. Riding most recently with his Specialized teammate Jaroslav Kulhavy in March, Sauser won his fourth Cape Epic, a feat he has accomplished with three different riding partners.

    "Right now I'm not training for the champs as I used to, but when I'm at the start, I always give 110 percent," said Sauser, who recently raced the Sea Otter Classic and the BMC Cup cross country in Solothurn.

    Sauser was the European marathon champion in 2007, when the race was also held in Germany, in St. Wendel.

    Sauser's opponents for the title are no strangers. Periklis Ilias, current marathon world champion, comes with big ambitions to the volcanic landscape near the Bodensee (Lake Constance). Ilias recently won the UCI Marathon World Series round in Roc Laissagais a few weeks ago. The long solo that netted him the 2012 world title is unlikely at the European marathon championships since the 94km course is very susceptible to wind and is quite fast.

    Alban Lakata, 2010 marathon world champion and a winner at the Leadville 100, is also one of the favorites. The Austrian is consistently one of the favorites for the title in bigger marathon events.

    Defending European marathon champion Kristian Hynek from the Czech Republic proved his top form in 2012 when he won in Jablonev and then he confirmed it with third place at the world championships in Ornans. However, Hynek prefers long and steep climbs.

    Germany's best will be represented by local hero Tim Böhme and his Bulls teammate Karl Platt. His Cape Epic teammate...

  • Süss, Spitz and Bigham to battle at European marathon championships

    Sabine Spitz (Haibike)
    Article published:
    May 08, 2013, 15:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Top guns in the women's race ready to race in Germany this weekend

    Two former world champions and last year's European silver medalist are considered the top favorites for the European Marathon Championships that will take place as part of the Rothaus Hegau Bike-Marathon in Singen, Germany on Sunday, May 13. Sabine Spitz (Haibike), Esther Süss (Wheeler iXS) and Sally Bigham (Topeak Ergon) are the top contenders for the women's gold medal.

    "A title is a title," said Swiss rider Esther Süss, leaving no doubt about her ambition. Süss, who finished fifth at the Olympic cross country race in London, is one of the best marathon racers in the world. She was world champion in 2010, runner-up at Worlds in 2009, 2011 and the bronze medallist in 2012. She is also a two-time European Champion (2008 and 2010).

    Spitz, who has many similar successes in endurance racing, believes that it will be hard for her to beat the rider from Eidgenössin. "In my opinion, Esther is the top favorite for the title. She is certainly hard to beat," said the rider from Südbadenerin, Germany. Spitz was marathon world champion in 2009 and won four world championship silver medals (2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011). She also won the European Marathon Championships in St. Wendel in 2007.

    The fact that the European Marathon Championships will take place again in Germany is motivating Spitz to go for her 26th international medal. "Singen is very close to where I live, and the course there suits me. My goal is to win a medal," said the three-time Olympic cross country medalist.

    The course suits Süss. The profile is similar to the one in Albstadt, where the cross country World Cup opener is scheduled to take place a week later.

    "A good run at European Champs would also be a good motivation for the World Cup," said Süss....

  • Blair to defend title at Ingkerreke Mountain Bike Enduro

    Andy Blair and other racers at the Ingekerre MTB stage race
    Article published:
    May 09, 2013, 6:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian mountain bike stage race happens next week

    The five-day, seven-stage Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro is set to heat up the mountain bike trails of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory in Australia during next week, from Monday, May 13 to Friday, May 17.

    In the men's category, Andy Blair returns for a third year to defend his 2011 and 2012 Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro titles. The 2012 Australian Marathon National Champion will have some tightly fought stages to contest as he goes head-to-head with 2010 Austrlian Marathon National Champion Ben Mather, who also has an Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro title to his name (2010).

    South Australian Ben Hogarth is looking to redeem his second place to Blair in 2012. Hogarth will no doubt provide some strong competition to both Blair and Mather after placing eighth at the Oceania Cross Country Championships last year.

    The women's field will be equally as strong and should provide some quality racing amongst some of Australia's top female mountain bikers, despite the absence of defending champion Melissa Anset.

    Tasmanian Rowena Fry has adjusted her focus back to the mountain bike after a year on the road with Orica-GreenEdge-AIS. The six-time National Champion across short track, cross country and marathon racing will have her work cut out for her with Swell-Specialized team rider Jenny Fay, and the 2012 Australian Cross Country National Champion Jenni King hot on her tail.

    Local rider Jess Harries of Alice Springs is also expected to be amongst the top female contenders after a respectable performance in 2012.

    Race participation numbers are 15 percent higher than in 2012, with many riders returning to the event

    Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro
    Monday, May 13: Stage 1 - 42km
    Monday, May 13: Stage 2 - 300m Hill Climb
    Tuesday, May 14: Stage 3 - 49km
    Wednesday, May 15: Stage 4 - 88km
    Thursday, May 16: Stage 5 - 23km...

  • Inaugural Enduro World Series to make first stop in Punta Ala

    A rider on a trail in Punta Ala, Italy
    Article published:
    May 09, 2013, 17:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Italy to host opening round

    Over 500 riders from almost every nation will set up camp in the outdoor paddock at Punta Ala beachside resort, in Maremma on the southern tip of Tuscany, over the weekend of May 18-19, to take part in the first race of the seven-stop inaugural Enduro World Series.

    The 62km course will offer 1,600 vertical metres of climbing over five to six hours of riding with a total of 20 minutes of racing. Organizers also boast excellent coffee to start the day and wine to finish it. It is Italy, after all.

    Race organiser and SuperEnduro founder Enrico Guala said of the "over-sold-out" event, "On top of the 100 EWS riders, there are the best 20 riders from the most developed enduro ‘nations' and a lot of 'not so well known' riders who could surprise everybody."

    That surprise factor is what excites Enduro World Series Managing Director Chris Ball the most. "This is the first time ever that the experienced enduro specialists like [Jerome] Clementz go head-to-head with top World Cup legends and it's the first time in many years that Nico [Vouilloz] will race against Peaty, Minnaar, Barel [Steve Peat, Greg Minnaar and Fabien Barel - ed.]. It's a meeting of minds and clashing of titans! There's no telling how this is going to pan out."

    Five stages plus a downtown prologue will showcase the best trails of the region, from the cobblestoned passageways of the medieval town citadel, to the singletrack of the surrounding cork and pine forests, through dense scrub and rolling hills down to a strip of golden sand on the Mediterranean.

    "The first part of the course has stages more suited to the skilful rider, while the second part suits the more powerful rider," predicted Guala. "Race strategy, 'clean' riding, energy management and tactics will be the winning mix."

    In addition, stage 3 of the race, "Rock-Oh", is a time rush stage, offering an added...

  • New Zealand names partial long team for mountain bike Worlds

    Amber Johnston in action
    Article published:
    May 11, 2013, 3:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Twelve junior riders confirmed for South Africa

    New Zealand selected junior riders for a short list team for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in South Africa in late August. The under 19 squad includes 12 confirmed riders and four riders still to be confirmed for the championships at Pietermaritzburg on August 28 to September 1.

    The full team will be named next month.

    New Zealand under 19 team (Confirmed riders so far)
    Cross country
    Harriet Beaven
    Sam Gaze
    Amber Johnston
    Brad Jones
    Ben Oliver
    Craig Oliver

    Lawrence Cawte
    Carl Goodwin
    Joshua McCombie
    Leo Sandler
    Kyle Lockwood
    Jamahl Stringer

    Riders to be confirmed
    Cross country
    Simon Lawson

    Raphael Kammlein-Cutler
    Connor Harvey
    Michael Melles

  • Counting down to the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Fabian Giger, Maja Wloszczowska and Maxime Marotte check out the Albstadt World Cup
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 16:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Just a few more days until round 1 in Albstadt, Germany

    After a long eight months off, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup resumes this weekend in Albstadt, Germany. The World Cup begins with back-to-back rounds; round 2 will happen the following weekend in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.

    The start to the 2013 World Cup season comes two months later than the 2012 Olympic year and one month later than in many typical seasons.

    The first two rounds of the 2013 World Cup will include eliminator and cross country races. 2013 is the first year that Albstadt is hosting a World Cup round, while Nove Mesto is a returning venue, popular among racers. Both defending cross country World Cup champions, Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower) and Catharine Pendrel (Luna) are expected to be back in action to defend their titles.

    Downhillers will have to wait until early June at Fort William to begin their World Cup series.

    The following World Cup preview video was done by the UCI.

    A complete schedule is below. Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage of the Albstadt World Cup.

    2013 UCI Mountain Bike Calendar
    May 17-19: Cross Country #1, Eliminator #1 - Albstadt, Germany
    May 24-26: Cross country #2, Eliminator #2 - Nove Mesto, Czech
    June 8-9: Downhill #1 - Fort William, Great Britain
    June 14-16: Cross country #3, Eliminator #3, Downhill #2 - Val di Sole, Italy
    July 26-28: Cross country #4, Eliminator #4, Downhill #3 - Vallnord, Andorra
    August 9-11: Cross country #5, Downhill #4 - Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada
    September 13-15: Cross country #6, Eliminator #5, Downhill #5 - Hafjell, Norway
    September 20-22: Downhill #6 - Leogang, Austria

    World championships
    June 29-30: Marathon Worlds -...

  • SRAM to introduce X0 1x11 drivetrain for 2014

    Assuming our information is correct, SRAM will soon trickle down its 1x11 drivetrain technology to lower price points, including an X0-level trigger shifter.
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 18:50 BST
    James Huang

    1x11 expected to trickle down to even lower price points, too

    This article originally published on BikeRadar

    Most readers won't be at all surprised to hear that SRAM's fantastic XX1 1x11 drivetrain technology will be trickling down to lower price points for MY2014, mirroring the roll-out for the company's 2x10 systems. However, we now have some actual confirmation to that fact, meaning riders with more realistic budgets will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of single-ring living.

    SRAM has been extremely tight-lipped about new 1x11 offerings so far but we stumbled upon a spec sheet with some tantalizing part numbers that give a hint of what's to come – assuming it's accurate. At the very least, we can expect an X0 1x11 group including a clutched Type 2 rear derailleur and matching trigger shifter plus an XG-1195 cassette with the same super wide-range 10-42T gearing and likely requiring the same XD freehub body.

    We anticipate a corresponding X0 1x11 crankset as well (after all, it'd only require a new spider) although we've also caught wind of the non-series X1 model crank, both of which will use the same alternating thick-thin chainring teeth profiling as on the current XX1 setup.

    Will we see 1x11 trickle even further down, to the X9 and X7 levels or beyond? We can't say for sure but it's a safe bet given SRAM's past history.

    Prices, weights, and additional details are still unavailable.

  • Canada Cup kicks off this weekend

    Pro women were hamming it up before the race, here Catherine Pendrel (Luna Chix) responds to a fan's joke.
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 21:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Canadian national series features cross country and downhill races

    The 2013 Mountain Bike (MTB) Canada Cup Cycling Series is back for another summer, with cross country and downhill mountain bike races to be disputed in three different provinces, starting this weekend.

    The mountain bike series, in its 22nd edition, will feature four cross country and three downhill races in 2013, hosted in three provinces throughout the summer, travelling to Québec, Ontario and British Columbia, with the finals hosted in Whistler British Columbia.

    2011 world champion Catharine Pendrel labels the Canada Cup series as critical to her international success. "The Canada Cup was a critical stepping stone in my development. The courses were challenging technically and physically, and by racing Canada Cup races, I met the racers that pushed and inspired me to improve. Learning to race for the win on World class course at home allowed me to transition to success at the international level."

    Geoff Kabush, who was Canada's top mountain biker at the 2012 Olympic Games and posted the country's top result in its history at the Olympic Games, also credits the Canada Cup in his international success. "The Canada Cup was definitely a major stepping stone in my career. The Canada Cups refined my skills, taught me valuable racing lessons, and gave me the confidence I needed to progress to the World Cup. I still remember the accomplishment I felt in 1997 when I won my first Canada Cup in Bromont."

    Neither Pendrel nor Kabush is expected at the Canada Cup opener, due to a schedule conflict with the UCI World Cup opener in Albstadt, Germany. Pendrel is the defending World Cup champion.

    In the 2012 Canada Cup, Raphael Gagné took the title in elite men's cross country, while Sandra Walter took the overall title in the elite women's cross country category. Mark Wallace won the overall downhill series of the elite men's category, while...