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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Date published:
December 14, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Trek World Racing finalizes 2012 roster

    World Cup winner Aaron Gwin (Trek World Racing) going fast downhill
    Article published:
    December 12, 2011, 18:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Willow Rockwell to return to racing; Moseley moves on

    Trek World Racing announced its roster for 2012, returning once again with a talented line-up of cross country and downhill racers ready to take on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, world championships, Olympics and a selected set of major events including Crankworx in Whistler, the Sea Otter Classic and the Sunshine Cup in Cyprus.

    "After the successes of the past three years, the team returns once again with a strong line-up of athletes, and the same talented staff and sponsors we’ve been lucky to have with us in 2011, building on all that we've achieved to date," said Team Owner Martin Whiteley. "New signings Anton Cooper and Myles Rockwell bring both youthful enthusiasm and experience."

    Cross country

    The team will field four cross country riders including new signing and junior cross country phenom Anton Cooper of New Zealand, who will be racing selected events throughout 2012 while continuing with his education.

    "I am very excited to join Trek World Racing for the 2012 season. It is a significant step forward in my goals of becoming a world class rider," said Cooper. "This is aided by the fact that the team's focus is at the World Cup, world championship and Olympic stage where they are able to provide top level support that is required to perform at this level. This is a great way to kick-start my career as a professional mountain biker, and I look forward to what lies ahead."

    American Willow Rockwell (formerly Willow Koerber) will return to full time racing after getting married and having a child in December with husband Myles, with the goal of being selected to race for the USA at the 2012 London Olympics.

    "I look forward to being the fastest mom on the planet," said Koerber. "With the support of my Trek World Racing team and sponsors, I know I have...

  • Biennial Wildside MTB race back for 2012

    Zoe King sits in second wheel along the beach.
    Article published:
    December 12, 2011, 20:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Four days of racing in Tasmania

    The Pure Tasmania Wildside MTB race will happen again in 2012 over four days from January 28 to 31. Racers will journey over 140km of competition and 60km of cruising from the mountains to the sea in Australia's Tasmania. The event will start beside the Cradle Mountain World Heritage Area and finish in Strahan - two of Tasmania's adventure and tourism icons.

    The Wildside MTB is open to competitive and recreational riders. They can race hard against some of the best riders in Australia or just enjoy riding, but a reasonable level of skill and fitness is required.

    The race was held annually from 2002 to 2006 and thereafter every two years. When last run in 2010, Daniel McConnell and Rowena Fry won the open men's and women's categories.

    The event will be formally launched on January 12, 2012.  For more information, visit

  • Australian Mountain Bike Series secures new title sponsor

    Sid Taberlay in second ahead of Andy Blair in a rock garden
    Article published:
    December 13, 2011, 4:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Real Insurance partners with MTBA

    The Australian National Series has picked up a new title sponsor for the remaining races on its calendar. Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) has partnered with Real Insurance for both the All Mountain Cup and the Gravity Cup events.

    The sponsorship continues Real Insurances' support of cycling. It has also been backing the the Real Insurance XCM Series and Real Insurance Summer and Point Score Series' in 2011.

    "Having an out of sport Sponsor like Real Insurance gives us enormous confidence in the direction we are taking the sport this season, and more importantly shows that they have confidence in what we are doing," said MTBA Executive Officer, Tony Scott.

    "Bringing on Real Insurance as the Naming Rights Partner for the two Cups builds upon the work undertaken in the last two seasons and will enable MTBA and Real Insurance to further build the sport of mountain biking in Australia."

    Real Insurance CEO, Clive Mendes said, "We are very excited about the new partnership with MTBA. After our involvement in a very successful XCM Series in 2011, we look forward to being involved in the sport on a National body level as well."

    The Real Insurance All Mountain Cup is set up in a stage race format where athletes contest three or four varying cross country type formats over the course of Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. The cumulative time an athlete takes to complete all stages determines the winner; the least time taken wins. The formats on offer in the 2011-2012 All Mountain Cup are Olympic cross country (XCO), cross country time trial (XCT), cross country endurance (XCP) and super D (SD).

    The Real Insurance Gravity Cup is a traditional downhill race where athletes travel at speed downhill and along the way negotiate technical features on the trail that are inspiring to watch. The quickest time wins.

    In the 2011-2012 Series we have spiced it up a little by having additional ranking points on offer for the timed...

  • Gould sets sights on 2012 Olympic season

    Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) on her way to back-to-back national championships at Sun Valley, Idaho
    Article published:
    December 13, 2011, 17:06 GMT
    Daniel Benson & Sue George

    Luna racer skips 'cross Worlds to be ready for MTB World Cups

    Georgia Gould called an early end to her cyclo-cross season so she can get ready for the 2012 mountain bike season. The Luna racer has her sights set on the 2012 London Olympic Games.

    "The Olympics is the biggest reason as to why I'm not going to the cyclo-cross national championships," said Gould to Cyclingnews. "The mountain bike World Cup starts so early next year that I need to switch gears now and start to focus on that. Definitely the first four World Cups will be the biggest goals leading up to the Olympics because those events will decide qualifying."

    Gould was recently named to the US Olympic Mountain Bike Long Team, the first step in qualifying for one of what will likely be two female spots. "So far no one has qualified automatically, and standards are pretty high on the women's side."

    "Winning the Olympic gold is my aim," she told Cyclingnews. "I finished second in the test event after a crash and a mechanical, so I know I can ride well on that course. I'm confident that I can be one of the contenders."

    In addition to the World Cups, Gould says she will also do a few US Pro XCT races in 2012.

    The American cross country national champion said that in 2012 and 2013, after the Olympics, she will get back to doing more cyclo-cross racing. "Obviously the 'cross world championships and national championships will be a goal during the next cyclo-cross season. [2013] Worlds are going to be in Kentucky, and that's going to be exciting for the sport."

    While Gould spent much of...

  • Moseley to compete under T-Mo Racing banner in 2012

    Tracy Moseley (Trek World Racing)
    Article published:
    December 13, 2011, 19:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Downhill World Cup champ will expand focus to enduros and eliminators

    One day after Trek World Racing announced that its 2012 team would not include Tracy Moseley, the 2011 downhill World Cup champion and 2010 downhill world champion shared her plans to ride under the new T-Mo Racing banner for the coming season.

    Still sponsored by Trek, Moseley will expand her calendar to include a variety of race formats. She began her elite racing career specializing in downhill racing starting in the 1990s, but has always enjoyed mixing up her mountain biking. Going forward, she will return to her multi-disciplinary roots and will participate in several races in 2012, including World Cup downhill events, cross country eliminator races, and enduros.

    "After 12 years on the World Cup downhill circuit and the achievement of all the goals I set for myself, I felt that the end of 2011 was a perfect opportunity to make a change in direction and pursue some new challenges," said Moseley on her website.

    "I would like to extend my thanks to Trek World Racing and everyone working behind the scenes at Trek for the most successful three years of my career to date. That support has allowed me to attain both a world championship title and a World Cup title. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Trek as both an athlete and ambassador, as I pursue new ventures," she said.

    With support from Trek, her new objective is to elevate her profile as an all-round mountain bike athlete. She has set goals to finish in podium positions across all of her planned races, and to gain points for world championship selection in both cross country eliminator, and downhill.

    She will have a variety of bikes from...

  • Cooper too young for 2012 London Olympics

    New Zealander Antoon Cooper will ride for Trek World Racing in 2012
    Article published:
    December 14, 2011, 5:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    New Zealander will have to wait for 2016

    New Zealand's Anton Cooper, who signed for the Trek World Racing team in 2012, will have to wait another four years before he can try to fulfill any Olympic dreams. An application by Mountain Bike New Zealand (MTBNZ) through the New Zealand Olympic Committee to the UCI to waive the minimum age for Olympic cycling competition for Cooper was denied according to

    During the 2011 season, Cooper, who is 17, emerged as New Zealand's top cross country mountain bike racer. On his first trip to Europe he won a junior World Cup and he finished with a silver medal at the junior cross country world championship. Despite starting two minutes behind the elite racers at the New Zealand national championships, he caught and passed all of the older competition en route to victory.

    Cooper does not turn 18 until August 2012 and according to the rules, he would have to be 19 by the end of 2012 to compete in the Olympics in London.

    MTBNZ's Chris Mildon made the request because if granted, Cooper would have been among those considered for what will like be one New Zealand Olympic spot.

    "We wanted to see if there was any flexibility around the age cut-off," said Mildon to "Anton misses by eight months and they weren't willing to sway on it.

    Cooper will have to defer any Olympic hopes until the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

    "If you don't ask you're never going to get anything. If I was born eight months earlier I would have been all right," said Cooper.

    Some non-cycling Olympic sports such as swimming an gymnastics allow younger...

  • East Coast Mountain Bike Triple Crown set for 2012

    Tad Elliott (Sho-Air / Specialized) races at the Massanutten HooHa!
    Article published:
    December 14, 2011, 15:45 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Three promoters bring over 50 years of organizing experience to series

    The US Cup's East Coast Triple Crown will include events in Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia in 2012. Racers can compete in a cross country, short track and super D during each of the weekends and do not have to attend all three events to be eligible for the overall.

    The Triple Crown will kick off with the Bump N Grind at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama, on June 2-3. Next up will be the Massanutten Hoo Ha! near Harrisonburg, Virginia, on June 9-10. The series will wrap up with the Fontana Dam Jam at the Fontana Village Resort in North Carolina on August 4-5.

    The typical weekend format will include a super D and short track on Saturday and a cross country on Sunday.

    Categories for the overall Triple Crown will be kept simple with male and female winners awarded for juniors, amateurs and pros. The individual races, however, will still run all the usual categories. Each weekend of racing will award an overall champion, plus the results will be combined to tally up an overall East Coast Triple Crown champion.

    "What is impressive is how much experience all of us promoters bring to the series," said George Willetts of the Massanutten Resort, which hosts the Massanutten Hoo Ha! "Between us, we have over 50 years of experience putting on mountain bike races. At Massanutten, we've put on races since 1989, and the Bergers have been promoting since 1993. The Bump and Grind is 17 years old."

    Unlike in previous years, points for all three events - short track, super D and cross country - are expected to count equally toward the overall.

    For more information on the Bump and Grind, visit

    For more information on the Massanutten Hoo Ha!, visit

    For more information on the Fontana Dam Jam, visit

  • Irish stage race returns for second edition

    Nic Smith races to victory in Ireland
    Article published:
    December 14, 2011, 17:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Mountain Bike Challenge Lough Derg set for April 2012

    The picturesque village of Killaloe/Ballina, based on the shores of the river Shannon in the West of Ireland will again play host to the Mountain Bike Challenge Lough Derg, Ireland's mountain bike stage race on April 21-22, 2012. The event will take place over two days and will incorporate four stages, giving a total of over 80km of racing.

    The 2012 Mountain Bike Challenge will be the second year of the event and after a successful first race in 2011, the organisers expect the entries to sell out.

    "We had a great weekend in Killaloe last year with a variety of riders from novices right through to very competitive international entries," said Andrew Deakin from the organizing company Dolmen Sports. "The feedback we got was superb, everyone seemed to really enjoy the format and the atmosphere was just great all weekend. We are really looking forward to this one again in 2012."

    With riders from as far afield as the United States and Denmark, the 2011 race had a very competitive edge at the front end with Nic Smith from the United Kingdom taking the overall win in the male category and Lone Sand from Denmark taking the female category.

    The stage distances ensure fast times for the leading pack, but are also manageable for novices. The event served as a first-ever race for many last year.

    The setting for the race is Lough Derg with scenery taking in the mountains on the East and West sides of the lake.

    For more information, visit