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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Date published:
November 12, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Australian Mountain Bike National Championships have "Bright" future

    Paul van der Ploeg (Australia) wins the eliminator world championships in Pietermaritzburg
    Article published:
    November 07, 2013, 1:36 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Venue selected for 2014 and 2015

    Cycling Australia (CA) and the Alpine Shire announced that the township of Bright in Victoria will host the 2014 and 2015 Australian Mountain Bike National Championships.

    "Alpine Shire has aspirations to secure a reputation as the standard for national, and potentially international, mountain biking," said Mayor of Alpine Shire, Cr Peter Roper. "The opportunity to secure the Australian champs is achieving our greater ambitions for the sport in the Alpine Shire. We are looking forward to working with CA and the mountain bike community to run a successful event."

    With a change of venue reflecting the changes afoot in the sport, Cycling Australia's Technical Director of Mountain Biking, Tim Sheedy, sees this announcement as a key step in the evolution of the sport.

    "The introduction of a new venue as host of the national champs for the next two years breathes new life into mountain biking." said Sheedy. "The integration of the Real Insurance XCM series into this event is a key development in the evolution of the Australian Mountain Bike Championships. I am thrilled for all MTBA members and the broader mountain bike community who are sure to have the time of their lives next March in Bright, a spectacular location to host MTB's flagship event. There's a lot planned for mountain biking at Cycling Australia."

    Hailing from the hill overlooking Bright, Australia's newly crowned eliminator world champion, Paul van der Ploeg, clearly sees the potential of this marquee event.

    "You could turn up to the champs with your mountain bike, your road bike, your children's bikes and a tent and have the weekend of your life," he said. "You'll do some racing, watch the big dogs go round, swim in a river with your kids and eat great food. It's mountain bike heaven."

    As the sport of mountain biking grows throughout the world, so does the need for trail development.

    Mountain Bike Australia President Russ Baker congratulated Alpine...

  • US Pro XCT drops a few rounds for 2014

    Todd Wells (Specailized) clinches the Pro XCT title by beating Jeremiah Bishop at the Catamount Classic
    Article published:
    November 07, 2013, 18:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    All races will be UCI-categorized

    The US cross country mountain bike national calendar, known as the US Pro Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) will shrink for 2014. The national series, run by USA Cycling, is expected to return to closer to its previous size, in terms of the total number of rounds.

    The 2013 Pro XCT calendar included nine events, with all events counting and no options to drop any rounds. Some top pros complained that was too many events to attend, especially in addition to the UCI World Cup series and the national championships. Along with a fixed number of available weekends during the season being a limiting factor, some teams lacked the budget to send their riders to so many national series rounds.

    In prior years, the Pro XCT has tended to contain five or six rounds.

    The news comes after Sho-Air, which had previously supported two or three Pro XCT races in recent years, announced it was calling it quits on running USAC-sanctioned events, but USA Cycling said plans were already in the works to shrink the calendar back down to size.

    "Due to feedback from our mountain bike advisory committee, we are cutting back on the number of events on the Pro XCT for 2014," said Bill Kellick, USA Cycling Director of Communications to Cyclingnews. "Our plan is to have fewer events and ALL of them be UCI-inscripted. This was the plan with or without the Sho-Air events."

    The 2014 Pro XCT calendar has not yet been announced, but three likely rounds are already showing up on the UCI's 2014 mountain bike calendar. They include the Missoula XC in Missoula, Montana on June 21, the Subaru Cup in Mt. Morris, Wisconsin on July 12 and the Catamount Classic in Williston, Vermont on July 26.

    There is no official word yet on whether non Sho-Air-sponsored events such as the Mellow Johnny's Classic, the Sea Otter Classic or the Bump 'N Grind will be included in the 2014...

  • Enduro World Series schedule set for 2014

    Tracey Moseley on her way to winning the women's division in Val d'Allos
    Article published:
    November 08, 2013, 19:55 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Series heads to the Andes to kick off its second year

    The Enduro World Series (EWS) will return for its second year in 2014. Round 1 will kick off the series in the Southern Hemisphere, where the EWS has not previously visited.

    From the high peaks of the southern Andes to the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders, the Enduro World Series will expand geographically to include two more dynamic enduro mountain bike racing communities - Chile, the only country in Latin America with a recognized Enduro Championship, the five-year-old MontenBaik Enduro, and the United Kingdom, home of the four-year-old TweedLove Bike Festival.

    "The Enduro World Series' 2014 search for the world's best all around mountain biker will take us all over the world, into varying terrain and spectacularly diverse environments," said Chris Ball, Enduro World Series Managing Director.

    "We're excited to be able to branch into two new countries in our second year and create a series of races that will cross oceans and hemispheres, and grow the community of global enduro mountain bike riders and fans."

    The winners of the 2013 Enduro World Series were crowned last month in Finale Ligure.  Jerome Clementz and Tracy Moseley topped the final standings of the new series.

    2014 Enduro World Series
    April 19-20: Andes, Chile
    May 30 - June 1: Tweedlove Festival, Scotland, United Kingdom
    June 21-22: Valloire, France
    July 13-14: La Thuille, Italy
    July 26-27: Colorado Freeride Festival, USA
    August 9-10: Crankworx Whistler, Canada
    October 4-5: Finale Ligure, Italy

  • Caroline Buchanan named Australian Cyclist of the Year

    Caroline Buchanan accepts an Australian Cyclist of the Year Award
    Article published:
    November 08, 2013, 22:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Double world champion sweeps 2013 awards with four category wins

    Caroline Buchanan's record-breaking 2013 has continued with the Canberran sweeping the 2013 Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards held at Melbourne's Crown Entertainment Complex on Friday night.

    The 2013 dual world champion grabbed the night's highest honour, the Sir Hubert "Oppy" Opperman Medal & Trophy as the Australian Cyclist of the Year, joining Anna Meares (2008 & 2012) and Anna Wilson (1999) as the only women on the honour roll.

    Buchanan, who became the first Australian cyclist to claim two world titles in two different disciplines in the same season, scooped the pool by winning each of the four award categories in which she was eligible.

    The 24-year-old was also named the Elite Female Mountain Bike and BMX Cyclist of the Year and received the tick of approval from cycling fans by winning the SBS People's Choice Award public vote.

    "To win an 'Oppy', it is without a doubt the biggest award or achievement I have ever won. It shows that all the hard work and stress not just in 2013, but since I was a little girl, has paid off," said Buchanan who claimed the 'Oppy' ahead of finalists Michael Hepburn (elite male track) and Richie Porte (elite male road).

    "Since I was a little girl going to the Cycling Australia awards dinner, I've been looking up at riders like Anna Meares and Cadel Evans and really aspiring to be at that level.

    "So it is very humbling to be up with these names and to set the history for the BMX and mountain bikers of the future.

    "But to also win the People's Choice is incredible as cycling is so popular in Australia, as a BMX and mountain biker amongst the road and track cyclists, to even be nominated I felt was an achievement and an honour," Buchanan said.

    It was a superb 2013 season from Buchanan, who embarked on an ambitious campaign of winning a unique cycling world championships 'triple crown' in just two months and across three continents.

    Buchanan's...

  • National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series announces 2014 schedule

    Racers lined up for an early morning start at the Mohican 100 round of the NUE Series
    Article published:
    November 09, 2013, 3:56 GMT
    By:
    Ryan O'Dell

    A more geographically balanced series for next season

    The eighth annual Kenda National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series www.nuemtb.com announced its 2014 schedule, including stops at two new venues in California and Colorado. This follows the addition of the True Grit 100 in Utah and the Tatanka 100 in South Dakota this past season.

    To claim the series title in any of the four divisions next season will again require a minimum of four races. All racers who complete four races will receive a national ranking and series awards based on their best four races. All ties will be broken at the Fool's Gold 100 in Georgia on a new later date, September 20, the final race of the season. The NUE Series will continue to be run with unsanctioned events, meaning no license is required to participate in any race.

    The series has grown from just a few races in 2005 to 13 races held in 13 different states in 2014. Next year's series is the most balanced yet, with six races in the east and six in the west.

    The 2014 series will roll out on March 15 in the southwest at the True Grit Epic in St. George, Utah. "The race is long, tough, and technical. The first 20 miles are along rocky and steep terrain that requires excellent bike handling skills and upper body strength," said Race Director Cimarron Chacon. "This course is a roller coaster of desert riding with over 70% of the 89 miles on singletrack and slightly over 13,000 feet of elevation gain. We will drop our 23-mile format this year so we can focus on our 100- and 50-mile riders."

    Next up is the Cohutta 100 on April 26 in Ducktown, Tennessee. "The Cohutta 100 makes its home in the Appalachian foothills of Southeastern Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest. Our 100 miles of race course traverses the mountain terrain by world class singletrack and fireroads. Our singletrack is fast and flowing, tight and technical. Our fireroads are demanding but rewarding with long ascents, fast descents, and beautiful mountain views," said race director Charles...

  • NICA High School Cycling News Round-up - November 11, 2013

    At the 2013 US national championships, Kate Courtney (right) with her close friend and rival Kaylee Blevins, who competes in the Colorado League
    Article published:
    November 11, 2013, 19:00 GMT
    By:
    Paul Skilbeck

    Fall season, female participation and meet Kate Courtney

    NICA high school cycling races have been taking place in five states this fall: Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee and Utah with a total of 1,795 registered student-athletes participating.

    For the Tennessee and Arizona leagues, this is their inaugural race series, and after helping get them both off to successful starts, NICA staff returned to the Berkeley, California headquarters to work on the ongoing process of refining the league development and training processes.

    As demand across the nation increases for leagues in the NICA system, fundraising, development and training are high on the agenda.

    Interest in forming new leagues is higher than ever. According to NICA's programs director, Lauren Duensing, several groups around the US - many with very impressive experience - have enquired about starting leagues in 2015. The goal of coast-to-coast high school cycling by 2020 is looking ever more attainable.

    Although NICA has already recruited and trained 1,000 coaches to serve its leagues and teams, more coaches are always needed and those interested can find more information on the NICA website.

    NICA's Booster club is now in full swing, working to raise funds for numerous NICA programs. One of the most funding-intensive of these is inner-city development, where demand is steadily growing among both teams and coaches. "We'd love to lower the barrier to entry for coaches in inner city areas, and if providing scholarships is what it takes to do that, then we will work to provide scholarships. One of the foundation principles of NICA is inclusivity, which means we make our services available to people across the whole economic spectrum," said NICA's executive director, Austin McInerny.

    Female participation continues to grow within the NICA ranks, and currently lies in the 20-25% range across the 10 current...

  • MacDonald and Brannigan lead Trek World Racing in 2014

    The four riders of the 2013 Trek World Racing team will stick with the squad in 2014.
    Article published:
    November 12, 2013, 0:55 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Junior Greenland added to World Cup roster

    Trek World Racing is expanding its roster for the 2014 season to include a total of five downhillers. New Zealander Brook MacDonald will continue to lead the team along with his compatriot George Brannigan.

    "I'm stoked to be heading into 2014 on Trek World Racing with a new shoulder and new beginnings," said MacDonald. "I am already itching for the 2014 season to start and getting things underway with such great support and people behind me. Everything is pointing towards a strong season and I can't wait."

    Brannigan said, "Next year I'm determined to get back to where I left off before knee surgery in 2012. I finished 2013 strong and finally I know where I need to be. With a good off-season not having to focus on recovery I know I'll be well prepared for 2014, so I'm already impatient for the season to start."

    Also returning are riders who both hit the top 10 in World Cup racing for the first time this past season: American Neko Mulally will be back for his fifth season with the team, and Greg Williamson, whose promising season was unfortunately cut short by injury at the world championships.

    Mullally said, "I'm really excited to be returning for my fifth season with Trek World Racing. I've got good people around me; it feels like family to me! Next year I want to be a consistent top 10 rider and push towards the podium. Can't wait to get out there and make it happen!"

    Williamson said, "After an up-and-down season, I'm really looking forward to getting back to racing in 2014 with a different approach. I'm seeking a very successful second year with Trek World Racing. To have another British rider on the...

  • US may get enduro national championships

    Retired from World Cup level XC racing, Adam Craig (Giant) is clearly having a good time out there racing (in baggies)
    Article published:
    November 12, 2013, 17:19 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Newest mountain bike discipline gaining popularity

    The US may get a new national championship event for the growing enduro discipline of mountain bike racing. In typical enduro mountain bike races, riders are timed during multiple special stages, which are generally mostly or entirely downhill. In between timed sections, they usually ride, but do not race.

    "Regarding an enduro national championships, we have been looking at the possibility of holding one in 2015, but we haven't finalized details," said USA Cycling's Director of Communications Bill Kellick to Cyclingnews.

    While several regions in the US presently host their own various enduro series, there is currently no national enduro series or national championship event. There is, however, an international series, called the Enduro World Series, which is heading into its second season in 2014.

    USA Cycling already holds national championships in a variety of off-road disciplines, including cross country, short track, downhill, dual slalom, super D, marathon, various collegiate individual and team categories, and 24-hour solo and team racing.

    Several former gravity, cross country and short track American racers have recently switched their focus to enduro racing, including Adam Craig, Carl Decker, Heather Irmiger and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, to name a few.