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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Date published:
May 15, 2012, 22:00

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.

  • Video: Tracy Moseley's Trek Superfly 100 29er

    Former world champion Tracy Moseley (TMO Racing) has moved to to eliminator racing from downhill
    Article published:
    May 10, 2012, 13:07
    By:
    BikeRadar

    Former world champion gives a tour of her bike

    This article originally appeared on BikeRadar.

    Former downhill world champion Tracy Moseley decided to turn her hand to a broader range of racing in 2012 and under her new T-Mo Racing banner, cross country is high on the agenda. She has also been racing the new World Cup eliminator.

    Though she left Trek World Racing at the end of last year, she's still riding Trek's bikes, and for cross country she's aboard the Superfly 100 29er. Take a look at the video below for Tracy's own guide through its setup.

  • Canada sends larger crew to next two MTB World Cups

    Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) dictating the pace early in the race
    Article published:
    May 10, 2012, 18:05
    By:
    Cycling News

    Nove Mesto and La Bresse final rounds for Olympic qualification

    A larger crew of Canadian mountain bikers will be racing the next two UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events and hoping to score some very precious points for Canada in the UCI Olympic qualification process.

    There are two events left on the Olympic qualifying calendar for the 2012 Olympic Games in London: UCI World Cups in Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic, and in La Bresse, France.

    Canada is ranked comfortably in first place of the women's UCI Olympic Nations Ranking, and in 13th place of the men's ranking with 1633 points. According to the UCI Olympic selection protocol, countries ranked sixth through 13th will receive two spots on the start line of the men's Olympic race, while Canada has secured the maximum two spots for the women's Olympic race.

    Catharine Pendrel (Team Luna Pro) is the reigning world champion in the discipline, and is currently holding the World Cup leader's jersey, sitting on top of the 2012 UCI World Cup standings. Emily Batty (Team Subaru-Trek) is sitting in fourth place of the UCI World Cup standings after a medal-winning performance in Pietermaritzburg, while Marie-Hélène Prémont (Rocky Mountain) is ranked in 19th place.

    A total of 18 Canadian athletes will race these World Cups, either representing the Canadian National Teams or their respective professional cycling teams, in the elite and U23 categories. UCI Olympic qualifications points are awarded to the nation of the competing riders in the elite category.

    The UCI World Cup in Nove Meso Na Morave will be held from May 11-13, while the UCI World Cup in France will be held the following weekend, from May 18-20.

    Canadian athletes racing the UCI Mountain Bike World Cups in Czech, France

    Elite men
    Geoff Kabush (Scott-3RoxRacing)
    Cam Jette (Scott-3RoxRacing)
    Tyson Wagler (Scott-3RoxRacing)
    Adam Morka
    Max Plaxton (Team Specialized Racing USA)
    Derek Zandstra (Scott-3RoxRacing)

    Elite women
    Amanda Sin (Scott-3RoxRacing)
    Mikaela Kofman (Scott-3RoxRacing)
    Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team)
    Catharine Pendrel (Team Luna Pro)
    Catherine Vipond (Canadian National Team)
    Emily Batty (Team Subaru-Trek)
    Jean Ann Berkenpas (Canadian National Team

    Under 23 men
    Evan Guthrie (Canadian National Team)
    Evan McNeely (Canadian National Team)
    Etienne Moreau (Team Xprezo-Borsea)

    Under 23 women
    Laura Bietola (Canadian National Team)
    Andreanne Pichette (Canadian National Team)

  • Olympic mountain bike qualifying in the home stretch

    The men's race should be an exciting battle from the gun
    Article published:
    May 12, 2012, 05:55
    By:
    Rob Jones

    Two more rounds of UCI World Cup will finalize spots by country

    The third round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic this weekend and the fourth round in La Bresse, France next weekend are the final opportunities for nations to score valuable ranking points for 2012 Olympic Games qualification and for riders to meet Olympic standards for their respective nations. The level of competition at both rounds is expected to be more intense than ever, with riders fighting for every position.

    In the Olympic qualifying battle, the women's category for the maximum possible two spots on the start line is pretty much set. It is based on the total number of points a nation has for the combined total of 2010-2011 as of May 23, 2011 and 2011-2012 as of May 23, 2012. Norway, in eighth place, has a 457-point lead over Russia as of May 1. The remainder of the nations (down to 18th place for one spot each on the start line) are pretty much safe, except in the battle for the final two spots (17th and 18th ranked). Sweden is currently in 17th place, followed by Hungary in 18th and Denmark in 19th. All three are separated by less than 100 points, with Hungary and Denmark a mere six points apart for the final spot. Denmark has the added problem that their top World Cup rider, Annika Langvad, ninth in the world rankings, is out of action with broken ribs. Potentially, this regular top-10 rider could miss out on going to the Olympics.  Her fellow Danish women recently tried to help her out with a special trip to score some more UCI points.

    In the men's Olympic qualifying battle, the top five nations are safe for the the maximum three spots, as are sixth through 13th ranked nations for two spots. In fact, it is almost impossible for the remaining 14th through 24th place nations that get one spot to lose a spot either.

    Not mentioned in the above paragraphs is the fact that some nations will also be qualifying riders through their respective continental championships - if they do not otherwise qualify through the nations' rankings.

    Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave all weekend.

  • Schurter takes care of unfinished business in Czech

    Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) races uphill
    Article published:
    May 14, 2012, 18:10
    By:
    Cycling News

    Swiss star earns mountain bike World Cup win on his birthday

    Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower)  took his second UCI Mountain Bike World Cup cross country victory of the 2012 season on Sunday when he defeated his rivals in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic. The win was the perfect birthday present for Schurter, who turned 26 on race day.

    Schurter fought in one of the tightest World Cup battles yet and came out just six seconds ahead of his rival Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized), who was racing on home soil, and 17 seconds ahead of Burry Stander (Specialized). It wasn't until just before the final lap, that the five-man lead group, which also included Marco Fontana (Cannondale) and Ralph Naef (Multivan Merida) began to splinter.

    After Fontana and Naef dropped off, Schurter attacked the two Specialized riders with about two minutes to go on the final lap. He charged up the last climb in the lead and held off his challengers until the finish in front of a huge crowd packing the stands.

    "I still had a little open bill with Jaroslav as he won against me at the Worlds in my country (Switzerland) last year in Champéry," said Schurter. "It was really hard to race today but in the end I felt super strong to win this race."

    Schurter celebrated his 26th birthday with a well-deserved bottle of champagne.

    It wasn't all smooth sailing though for Schurter, who finished second in the second World Cup in Houffalize, Belgium after winning round 2. "I made a mistake in the first lap. I dropped my chain and had to catch up to the leading group," said Schurter on his tough start to the race.

    Throughout the race, the Swiss rider was impressed by the crowds lining the course. They cheered all the racers, no matter their nationality. "It was an awesome race in front of the Czech crowd," said Schurter.

    Schurter now leads the World Cup ranking with 700 points, a comfortable 190-point leader over Stander.

  • Bresset moves into Mountain Bike World Cup lead

    Julie Bresset (BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry) leading Nash and Kalentieva
    Article published:
    May 14, 2012, 23:29
    By:
    Cycling News

    French woman wins her first World Cup of the season in Czech

    Julie Bresset (BH Suntour Peisey-Vallandry) cruised to her first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup cross country victory of 2012 in Nové Mesto na Morave, Czech on Sunday, and she took over the lead in the overall World Cup standings from previous leader and reigning world champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna). She now has 590 points to Pendrel's 540 points.

    Bresset crossed the line in one hour, 29 minutes and 17 seconds, nearly 30 seconds ahead of Irina Kalentieva (Topeak Ergon Racing Team) of Russia and 50 seconds ahead of Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), who was racing in front of a home crowd.

    Although Bresset won the elite World Cup overall in 2011 as an under 23 racer and took three victories en route to doing so, Sunday's win in Nove Mesto was her first World Cup triumph among the elite women this season. She had finished fifth in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in March, and second in Houffalize, Belgium, in April.

    Bresset was on or at the front for most of the race although Nash is the woman who had jumped into the early race lead. Eventually Bresset caught the Czech rider and halfway through, she attacked to solo to the finish.

    "She knew what she had to do and where she could put pressure. She raced in full control, it's a really great day for her," said BH Suntour Peisey-Vallandry assistant team manager Pierre Lebreton according to www.universalbikeracing.com.

    Bresset is especially looking forward to next weekend's World Cup in La Bresse, France.

    See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the elite women's cross country at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Czech.

  • Video: The Athertons, chapter 2

    Rachel Atherton
    Article published:
    May 15, 2012, 14:15
    By:
    BikeRadar

    A chat and a ride with Rachel Atherton

    In this second video from our exclusive four-part series filmed at home with the most famous siblings in mountain biking, the Athertons, it's Rachel Atherton (GT Factory Racing) who takes centre stage.

    The 24-year-old talks about her recovery from injury, her hopes for the 2012 season and her favourite new bike, the GT Force, and then takes us on a cross country ride with her dog Angus.

    Check it out below or have a look back at chapter 1.

  • Lukas Flueckiger keeps Olympic hopes alive in Nove Mesto

    Lukas Flueckiger (Trek World Racing) in action in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic
    Article published:
    May 15, 2012, 19:06
    By:
    Cycling News

    Trek World Racing rider hopes to represent Switzerland in London

    Lukas Flueckiger (Trek World Racing) kept his hopes of making the Swiss Olympic team alive on Sunday at the cross country World Cup race in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic.

    Racing more than 180 other elite men, in cold, seven-degree Celsius temperatures, Flueckiger got a good start and was initially with the race leaders on the start loop.

    He stayed in the top 15 throughout and posted fast lap times on laps four and five of six total laps. He spent most of his time in the third chase group, and near the final lap he caught the group with Christoph Sauser (Specialized) and Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida), but then had a crash and lost all he had gained.

    Impressively in this Olympic selection race, six of the top 13 finishers were Swiss, which makes life tough for a rider who wants to be one of the three men who will be selected to represent Switzerland at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Currently, Flueckiger sits as the third Swiss rider in the World Cup overall, and has been the second most consistent rider.

    "This Olympic selection process was really playing on my mind. It's so much pressure," said Flueckiger. "It was like the wires between my brain and legs were crossed, when I asked the legs for more, nothing happened, but they were feeling great."

    "I just need to focus on racing and not the other stuff going on around me, and aim to have a great race this weekend in La Bresse."

    The next World Cup, round 4, the last one in the Olympic team selection process for most nations, is this weekend, May 19-20 in La Bresse, France. Held near the home of Julien Absalon, organizers are expecting a record turn-out.

    Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage from La Bresse.

  • Top notch women's field to line up for Trans-Sylvania Epic

    Past winner Selene Yeager will be back at the Trans-Sylvania Epic
    Article published:
    May 15, 2012, 20:25
    By:
    Cycling News

    Podium wide open as NoTubes and Team CF field large teams

    While neither Vampira nor Elvira is on the registration list, a host of hellishly fast women are targeting the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic (TSE) starting later this month in State College, Pennsylvania. As is the case with the men's field, the talent assembling for the women's mountain bike stage race is as good as it gets.

    With two years of TSE experience, including overall victory in 2010, Team CF's Selene Yeager is one of the first to consider for the win. Interestingly, some of Yeager's top competition may come from her own teammates as Team CF is also fielding former NUE series champion Cheryl Sornson and TSE veteran Kristin Gavin. Sornson is fresh off a storming win at the Cohutta 100, where she knocked last year's TSE and NUE series champ Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) from the top of the podium. Teammate Gavin was just behind in third place. Without doubt the women of Team CF are ready for TSE, but are they ready for NoTubes?

    Even with its talented line-up, Team CF will be challenged to have the strongest team at the race. The NoTubes elite women's team is fielding no less than five racers with the goal of nothing less than total and absolute domination of their sponsor's top mountain bike event.

    Vicki Barclay, who happens to call State College home, and teammate and former US National Champion Sue Haywood both have a year of TSE experience to call on and are showing excellent early season form. Haywood has claimed both the Maryland and Delaware State Championship titles on recent weekends and Barclay was fourth at Cohutta.

    Joining these two will be NoTubes team captain Shannon Gibson, 2011's US Pro XCT top 10 finisher Sarah Kaufmann and former New Zealand World Championship Team Member Jenny Smith. The mountain bike stage race podiums under the belts of these NoTubes women ensure that there will be plenty of neon pink mixing it up with that bright blue plaid of Team CF at the sharp end of the race.

    Several solo women are not to be counted out and will be battling against these formidable teams on every stage. Mountain bike racing is about nothing more than who tears whose legs off and who is willing to go deepest. Last year MTBRaceNews.com racer Karen Potter served notice that she was at TSE for the win and held the leader's jersey after the stage 1 time trial. A stomach bug took Potter out of the running for the overall, but she came back late in the week to win a second stage. Potter, too, has seen early season success in both cross country and double cross country distance events.

    Kona's Alice Pennington will not have teammates to call upon, but this talented and experienced racer is also heading to Trans-Sylvania prepared to take on all comers and do her part to give Kona a sweep of the men's and women's titles. And while Niner's Donna Miller is making her first appearance at TSE, she has no less than podium intentions in mind.

    The 2012 Trans-Sylvania Epic will roll out with the Bald Eagle Prologue on Sunday, May 27 near State College, Pennsylvania, and it runs for seven days. The TSE benefits PA Trails through the Outdoor Experience Organization.

    For more information on the race, visit TSEpic.com and stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage.