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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Date published:
May 21, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Schurter motivated for Albstadt World Cup while Fumic hopes for home success

    Manuel Fumic (Cannondale) on his way to winning the Marlene Sunshine Race
    Article published:
    May 15, 2013, 16:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Vos makes her World Cup debut against favorites Wloszczowska and Pendrel

    Mountain Bike World Cup fans will turn their attention to Albstadt, Germany this weekend for the first round of the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. In the men's race, home crowd favorite Manuel Fumic (Cannondale) will battle the big three favorites: Nino Schurter (Scott-Swisspower), Julien Absalon (BMC) and Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized). In the women's race, Catharine Pendrel (Luna) will try to defend her World Cup title against Maja Wloszczowska (Giant) and Marianne Vos (Giant)

    Ten months have passed since the last cross country round of the 2012 World Cup in Val d'Isere, France, and more than eight months have gone by since the World Cup elite met for the last time at the world championships in Saalfelden, Austria.

    The races will take place on a newly designed 4.2km course with 190 meters of altitude per lap.

    "The toughest course in the World Cup," is the impression of many riders after their training, but the course also has some fun sections. It is designed in such a way so that the public can see most of the action right in front of them.

    Men: Locals cheer on Fumic

    The "Big Three" have been dominating the World Cup since 2011 and includes current world champion and overall World Cup title holder Nino Schurter, the most World Cup-winning racer Julien Absalon and 2012 Olympic champion Jaroslav Kulhavy. No other rider has shown such capabilities up until now.

    However, the cards are reshuffled in the beginning of the season. After a long winter and a long preparatory phase, no one knows for sure who is at his/her best and from time to time, new faces emerge in the lead group.

    Schurter has already won three races this season in a close battle with Absalon. Kulhavy still hasn’t taken part in a cross country race with his two rivals, but he did win the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race with teammate...

  • Fumic out of Albstadt mountain bike World Cup

    Manuel Fumic (Cannondale) on his way to winning the Marlene Sunshine Race
    Article published:
    May 16, 2013, 16:45 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Home crowd favorite injured in crash

    Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) was so popular among the local fans expected to attend the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup opener in Albstadt Germany that his image was selected for posters for the event. Unfortunately, Fumic will have to sit out the race this weekend after injuring himself in a crash yesterday.

    "Sad day for @FactoryRacing today. @ManuelFumic crashed in training and injured his shoulder," read a tweet from the Cannondale Factory Racing Team.

    Fumic was scheduled to undergo surgery on his shoulder today. There is no word yet on when he will be able to return to racing.

    In Fumic's absence, the Cannondale Factory Racing Team will continue to be represented by Olympic bronze medallist Marco Fontana, Keegan Swenson and Anton Coooper.

    Fontana tweeted, "I would like that all my followers make a big wish to @ManuelFumic to get back soon racing. C'mon bro I'm with you."

  • Enduro World Series launches in Punta Ala

    Jerome Clementz (Cannondale Factory Racing)
    Article published:
    May 16, 2013, 20:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Round 1 draws world champions from downhill and four cross disciplines

    The first round of the inaugural Enduro World Series (EWS) begins this weekend in Punta Ala, Italy. The format for this first-ever race will be a round of the Superenduro, and the new series has attracted many heavy hitters, including some from both gravity and cross country disciplines.

    Current downhill world champion Greg Minnaar is among those crossing over from gravity racing. He'll face some tough competition in enduro specialist Jerome Clementz, two-time Italian champion Andrea Bruno, many-time downhill world champion Nicolas Vouilloz, US enduro specialist Curtis Keene, Fabian Barrel, Dan Atherton, Sam Blenkinsop, Steve Peat, Brian Lopes, Ross Schnell, Rene Wildhaber, Cedric Gracia and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski.

    On the women's side, the best known competitor may be many-time downhill and BMX world champion Anne Caroline Chausson. She will race former downhill world champ Tracy Moseley, four cross world champ Anneke Beerten, Cecile Ravanel, Emmeline Ragot, Anka Martin, Heather Irmiger and Pauline Dieffenthaler.

    Chris Ball, Thomas Daddi, Enrico Guala and Franco Monchiero are the men behind the new Enduro World Series. They're excited for the racing to begin after  many months of planning.

    "Finally, enduro has risen to the international level, and I am proud that the first race of the EWS will use the Superenduro PRO format," said race director Franco Monchiero. "At Punta Ala, we will have a field of riders unlike any that has been seen before. Not just for the quantity, but for the number of riders who compete at the highest level of our sport. For me, it will be an honour to run a race for international riders of this calibre."

    The field of riders for the inaugural Enduro World Series race is almost twice the number hosted in Punta Ala for previous SuperEnduro races.

    Racing will start on Saturday, May 18 with the prologue through the streets of Castiglione della Pescaia. On Sunday, it then moves to the...

  • Fun facts and figures relating to the Albstadt MTB World Cup

    The start of the elite women's race in Albstadt.
    Article published:
    May 17, 2013, 16:50 BST
    Cycling News

    World Cup visits Germany for the 16th time

    The 2013 UCI MTB World Cup will kick off in Albstadt Germany from May 17-19. Below are some fun facts and figures relating to the World Cup opener.

    - 676 athletes from 40 countries are registered to take part in the World Cup opener. The largest contingent, however, doesn't come from Germany. The strong cross country racing nation of Switzerland is in the first spot with 92 athletes. The German Cycling Federation (BDR) is sending 70 athletes. France comes in third with 72 athletes.

    - Regarding the continents, Asia represents the smallest contingent with four athletes. These include Kohei Yamamoto (26th in the world rankings) and his compatriot, U23 rider Toki Sawada, as well as Korean Sang Hoon Na and Iranian Mohsen Ramezani Alavi.

    - Albstadt is the 176th cross country World Cup in the official history of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, which began in 1991.

    - Albstadt is the 16th World Cup to be held on German soil. It ran six times in St. Wendel and five times in Offenburg.

    - Only six male riders on the start list of World Cup opener have ever won a World Cup. These are Julien Absalon (25), Nino Schurter (7), José Antonio Hermida (6), Jaroslav Kulhavy (6), Ralph Naef (2) and Florian Vogel (2).

    - Nine women on the start line have won World Cups: Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (28), Catharine Pendrel (10), Irina Kalentieva (7), Elisabeth Osl (3), Maja Wloszczowska (3), Eva Lechner , Nathalie Schneitter, Sabine Spitz and Nina Wrobel (1 each). The absent and injured Julie Bresset claims 4 such wins.

    - Among nations, France can boast 43 men's World Cup wins to Switzerland's 42. The Swiss could catch up in Albstadt. In the women's category, the battle is between the USA and Canada, with 36 and 34 wins respectively.

    -In the elite men's category, the last German victory in the cross country World Cup discipline dates back...

  • Gagne makes podium at Albstadt World Cup eliminator

    Christian Pfäffle and Raphael Gagne gut it out at the start
    Article published:
    May 18, 2013, 17:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Canadian starts season on a high note by making his way into Big Finals

    Canadian mountain biker Raphaël Gagné took the fourth spot on the podium in the eliminator race at the opening event of the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Tour in Albstadt, Germany on Friday.

    "I'm glad I qualified. I didn't know what to expect. Making it to the final is super positive, even though I'm a little disappointed with how it turned out at the end of the final," said Gagné afterward.

    "In some ways, I was used to the format because I used to compete in swimming where there is a heats and finals format. I think that experience came in handy today. Part of the success was team support and I share that success with everyone. I'm looking forward to the World Cup cross country on Sunday and the Czech World Cup next week."

    Dan Proulx, Head Coach of the Canadian Mountain Bike Team, said, "Raphael had a superb race today. He easily controlled each round of the eliminator, doing only what it took to move onto the next round. We were pretty certain that Raphael was capable of the win. Unfortunately all of the riders were pushing the limits of control. In the final turn, Raphael was taken out by another rider."

    "Mountain biking is becoming faster, more tactical and more spectacular. We felt that it was important for the entire team to take on this challenge. Our riders learned a lot today. This is one of the best ways to gain experience quickly. It will pay off in the future for our team."

    This fourth place marks the top Canadian performance in an eliminator race at the World Cup level. The eliminator race in its second season as a World Cup event, but it is the first year that overall standings are being compiled.

    Austrian Daniel Federspiel won the race of...

  • Cairns to host UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Riders line up on the Cairns esplanade
    Article published:
    May 18, 2013, 23:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Queensland venue bids for rounds in 2014 and 2016

    Queensland, Australia secured two UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events to be held in Cairns in 2014 and 2016.

    Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey congratulated Cycling Australia on its bid for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cups and said the events would leave an important tourism and events legacy for Tropical North Queensland.

    "Today's announcement represents a major coup for Cairns and Queensland, providing an opportunity to showcase a region renowned for being 'Adventurous by Nature' as well as bringing economic benefits to the State," Stuckey said.

    "The World Cup events in 2014 and 2016 will see Cairns become the focus of the world's mountain biking community. The events, bid for by Cycling Australia with the support of the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland, are expected to attract attendees from 45 countries around the world."

    "In addition, a series of participatory marathon races will be held in the lead up to each World Cup, encouraging cycling enthusiasts from across the country to bring their bikes to Cairns, test themselves on the trails and stay to watch the World Cup events.

    "Investing in the events will also mean ongoing infrastructure, positioning Queensland as a great destination for hosting future mountain bike world championship events."

    Stuckey said that hosting the mountain bike events would demonstrate to the international sporting fraternity Queensland's ability to host world-class sporting events ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

    UCI Board of Management Committee Member and President of Oceania Cycling Confederation Tracey Gaudry congratulated Cycling Australia and Tourism Events Queensland for the bid to host the UCI MTB World Cup events.

    "Today's announcement is a significant one for cycling in Australia. It marks the beginning of a new suite of major cycling events that the UCI and...

  • Mountain bike races bring big bucks to local economies

    Linfield College Professor Jeff McNamee
    Article published:
    May 20, 2013, 16:20 BST
    Cycling News

    New study measures financial payoff of Oregon small town events

    A recent study in Oregon measured the effects of mountain bike races on the local economies. The research by Linfield College Professor Jeff McNamee documents the economic benefits of mountain biking events in the small Oregon towns of Bend and Oakridge. He also surveyed customers of a mountain bike tour company in Bend.

    Oregon's rural communities, particularly communities that once relied on timber revenues, are seeking new business models to sustain themselves, and many are looking to the recreation industry to drive business growth and create jobs. Once-booming timber towns are repositioning themselves as adventure destinations for tourists, with mountain biking often taking center stage.

    McNamee's research is some of the first in the United States to quantify the economic impact of mountain biking events.

    "Mountain biking is taking off in Oregon and across the world, so it makes sense that communities are beginning to see the value of mountain biking events," said the Linfield health and human performance professor.

    His research shows that the one-day High Cascades 100 Endurance Mountain Bike Race, three-day Mountain Bike Oregon, and one-day USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships drew more than 1,700 people from 28 states, along with Canada, Austria, Australia and New Zealand. Sixty-five percent of the visitors were from outside Oregon.

    "One thing that was staggering was the number of participants from outside the state," McNamee said. "Five...

  • Illness ruins Cooper's U23 mountain bike World Cup debut

    Anton Cooper on his way to a win
    Article published:
    May 21, 2013, 4:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Junior world champ races despite stomach bug

    Anton Cooper (Cannondale Factory Racing) was notably absent from the top of the results in the U23 men's cross country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup opener in Albstadt, Germany this weekend.

    The junior world champion had won every junior World Cup race he contested during the past two years and was expected to mix it up with the top U23s this season; however, illness struck the young rider, who finished near the rear of his field on Saturday.

    The 18-year-old suffered from a painful stomach upset and vomiting throughout the night prior to his race, but still decided to start in his first World Cup for his new Cannondale Factory Team at Albstadt.

    "I spent the night with a terrible stomach ache and vomiting and got little sleep," Cooper said."I could not keep any food down. I guess these things happen."

    Cooper was well off the pace, struggling home in 85th place, a lap behind the winner Markus Schulte-Leunzum of Germany.

    "I need time to let the body recover, and I hope I can be right for the next round at Nove Mesto in a week," said Cooper.

    Round two of the cross country World Cup will happen in Nove Mesto, Czech this weekend.