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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Date published:
December 08, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Mini downhill racing is back for another season

    A racer speeds through the air past spectators
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 9:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Three rounds open to grassroots racers and pros

    661 Mini downhill racing will return to the Forest of Dean for three events this season. Mini downhill racing is aimed at new riders to the sport, but there is also a pro/am category for the more established racers. Each event includes two race runs.

    "There are loads of people who ride around the area that have never raced, so we have brought a race to their local track, The courses are fun and following to ride but a real challenge to ride flat out on the limit," said Chris Roberts, who is the race organizer.

    Roberts came up with the idea while watching some guys racing each other down a short downhill track in the Forest of Dean and loving every second of it. The races take place over short courses of around 30 to 120 seconds long. The courses are not the longest or hardest but to race it at full gas will be an intense riding experience.

    Rounds will be held on Sundays, December 5, January 23 and February 20th in the Forests of Dean - Gloucestershire. Racers must be 10 or older.

    "We're really excited to be involved with the Mini Downhill series again - it's a great format and is a fantastic grass roots event," said Andy Gowan. "I think many first timers find the traditional downhill race format quite intimidating - the 661 Mini Downhill opens up downhill racing to a bigger audience and at a much more accessible price, offering a course which will offer challenges for more accomplished riders but not too much to scare off the mere mortals!"

    For more information, visit

  • Gaddoni suspended for 18 months after testosterone positive

    A switchbacked climb on the 2012 Olympic mountain bike course.
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 9:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian female mountain biker banned

    Elena Gaddoni has been given an 18-month suspension after testing positive for testosterone earlier this year. The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) announced the ban on Thursday, according to Italian media sources.

    The 30-year-old showed an unacceptably high testosterone value in an out-of-competition test done at a training camp in Garda on April 24.

    Her suspension runs from June 1, 2010, until November 30, 2011.

    Gaddoni, who rode for Team Scapin-Stihl Torrevilla MTB, has finished as high as fifth in the women's marathon cross-country race at the UCI world championships.

  • iXS steps up to promote European Championships

    This shot captures the gnarly rock drops that riders like World Cup downhiller Nick Beer (Scott) encounter.
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 17:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Gravity events set for one week before Worlds

    Starting in 2011, the gravity events of the European Championships will be run by iXS, already known for running national and European series events. In an agreement announced at Eurobike, iXS will run the European downhill and four cross European Championships for three years with the first edition held in Zermatt, Switzerland, on August 27-28, 2011.

    The extremely demanding downhill track on the slopes of the famous Matterhorn will be modified to move the finish area directly into the village. The four cross track, on the other hand, is situated at the Sunnegga paradise, at 2250 metres above sea level. That means spectators can also enjoy the views of no less than 38 surrounding peaks rising above 4000m.

    iXS says the experience that it has gained in promoting downhill and four cross races in recent years will help lift the level and reputation of the continental championships.

    "A first important goal was to find venues that are situated in central Europe, making them easy to reach for most national teams," read a press release. "Of course, the fact that next year's world championships will be held just one week later around the corner in Champéry (Switzerland) is helpful as this lowers travel expenses."

    Zermatt hosted the 2010 Swiss Downhill and Four Cross National Championships which were won by Pascal Seydoux (four cross), Nick Beer (downhill) and Emilie Siegenthaler (both).

    iXS Euro Champs 2011 Teaser from iXS Downhill Cup on Vimeo.

  • Ride Giant / Ride Northstar seeking riders

    The Northstar at Tahoe Resort was an able host.
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 20:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Grassroots sponsorship program

    Northstar-at-Tahoe and Giant Bicycles are partnering to offer a special grassroots sponsorship program that reaches out to competitive mountain bike athletes eager to conquer goals and share their passion for the sport.

    The Ride Giant / Ride Northstar grassroots sponsorship program will provide an effective skill-set to help competitive athletes in California and neighboring states reach their full potential at local and regional mountain bike race events.

    The team is seeking "humble athletes who will be great ambassadors in the Cat. 2 & Cat. 1 level categories with riding styles from downhill to cross country for the Northstar-at-Tahoe and Giant Bicycle brands," said a press release.

    "We look to support athletes who are driven when it comes to achieving short term and long term goals, helping the community, conquering obstacles, and relishing success."

    Selected athletes will have the opportunity to purchase a Giant bicycle at a preferred price that includes a choice of a Glory 1 or Glory 0 in the downhill disciplines and an Anthem X 29er 1 or an Anthem X1 in the cross country disciplines offering a package of benefits that include a coaching clinic, Northstar-at-Tahoe Mountain Bike Park Season Pass, comped Entry Fees at Northstar-at-Tahoe Sanctioned Competitions, and discounted purchasing opportunities with participating sponsors.

    To apply, write about what defines you as an athlete and a mountain biker. Submit a cover letter along with a resume outlining races you have competed in along with accomplished results to founding director, Justin Swett, at

    For more information visit

  • Trek-Brentjens Team signs Beerten

    Four cross star Anneke Beerten will race some cross country in 2011.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 19:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Four crosser will also race cross country

    Dutch four cross star Anneke Beerten has signed with the Trek-Brentjens Mountain Bike Racing Team effective January 1, 2011. During her career, Beerten has won the four cross World Cup three consecutive times from 2007 to 2009, but in the coming season, she will also race some cross country events.

    "It will be quite a challenge to race both in four cross as well as cross country races this year," said Beerten. "I love a challenge, and I will do everything I can do to reach my goals."

    "I am proud and happy to be joining Bart Brentjens' mountain bike team. His experience, both in racing as well as in team management, reassures a solid foundation for my plans. I look forward to the upcoming season with my new team, new sponsors and new challenges."

    "In her discipline, four cross, she has been at the top of her game for years and is competing at the very highest world level," said Team Manager Brentjens. "Anneke is also very professional with her own PR, and I am sure we as a team and our sponsors will benefit in this respect as well. Plus, I am excited to have Anneke compete in several cross country races for next year. With the cross country being an Olympic discipline, we will do everything we can to support her in achieving her goals."

  • Trek-Brentjens mountain bike team signs roadie Boelen

    Former roadie Jeroen Boelen will race for the Trek-Brentjens mountain bike team in 2011.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2010, 16:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider targets off-road goals

    Former road racer Jeroen Boelen signed with the Trek-Brentjens mountain bike team for 2011. The 32-year-old, who made his mountain bike debut this season, has his sights set on both national and international races, including the Cape Epic stage race, which he'll contest with team owner Bart Brentjens in South African in March.

    "After riding on the road for long time, I needed a new challenge and this year I started doing mountain bike competitions," said Boelen. "During the season, it went better and better. For me, this team is the perfect chance to get to a higher level. They offered me a beautiful (inter)national race schedule and good facilities."

    In the upcoming season, the Dutchman Boelen wants to move up to be among the top riders of Benelux. He'll race the cross country and marathon national championships as well as road nationals.

    "I think it is great that Jeroen is going to ride for our team," said Brentjens. "This year he started mountain biking and he did surprisingly well. He won the KNWU MTB-regularity-classement this year and was on the podium seven times in national-level races, including twice on the highest step.

    "And I could hardly beat him in the Bart Brentjens Challenge. Jeroen is very motivated and he knows exactly what he wants to accomplish and how to do this."

    Boelen's most memorable result thus far in his career is a victory at the Tour of Luik on the road in 2005. In his first season of mountain bike racing, he won races in Norg and Havelt and was sixth at the Dutch Marathon Championships and eighth at the Dutch cross country championships.

  • Koerber changes teams

    Willow Koerber (Subaru-Trek) warming up before the race
    Article published:
    December 08, 2010, 18:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    American mountain bike star signs with Trek World Racing

    Willow Koerber will be switching teams, but not necessarily bikes for the 2011 season. The American mountain biker is making the move from the Subaru-Trek team to the Trek World Racing team for next season after signing a two-year contract.

    "I am very happy!" said Koerber to of her recent accomplishments and future plans. "Of course, I would have liked to win a World Cup and the world championships, but I was very close with second places, and a bronze medal at the world championships. I know I can win and I am excited to train and race in 2011."

    Koerber lives in Durango, Colorado. She finished second overall in the 2010 World Cup, behind Catharine Pendrel (Luna). As she prepares for the coming season, she said she'll spend time cross country skiing, doing pilates, snowboarding, running and snowshoeing.

    Reflecting on the past season, Koerber said on her blog, "In many ways, the best year of my life has also been the hardest. It has been worth every second. No doubts, no fear, all new. Big changes are my speciality!"

    Looking to the future, Koerber named her goals. "I want to win the world championships in 2011 and 2012 and also the gold medal in London (at the Olympic Games) 2012."

  • Cannan set to fire at Glenorchy this weekend

    Kaine Cannan rode smoothly to post a time to put him on the podium.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2010, 22:21 GMT
    Cycling News

    Hometown favorite looking forward to Aussie downhill season opener

    Hobart rider Kaine Cannan will carry the hopes of the Apple Isle on his shoulders when he takes on the nation's best downhill riders at the Australian Mountain Bike Series to be staged at Glenorchy MTB Park in Hobart this weekend, December 11-12.

    Despite a strong field of Australian downhill talent including current world champions Sam Hill (elite men) and Troy Brosnan (junior), Cannan is feeling confident ahead of the opening round of the downhill season and may have a few tricks up his sleeve on his home course.

    "I'm feeling pretty good on the bike at the moment, and I'm looking forward to it," said Cannan. "I definitely have a hometown advantage. I can ride the track as much as I want, and it suits my style of riding as its pretty technical."

    After finishing fourth at the 2010 Australian national championships in Adelaide back in January, Cannan has been working hard during the off-season to ensure he finishes on the podium during this 2010-11 season.

    "I've been working on my technical skills and my pedalling, so I'm consistent throughout my whole race run. I've also been working on the mental stuff. I want to finish on the podium as much as I can throughout the Australian series and produce consistent top five results.

    "I'm looking at going overseas to compete at the World Cups for the first time next year, spending some time in Europe and doing as much racing as I can. Seeing Sam and Troy win world champs was a massive inspiration and I want to try and make something happen."

    The 25-year-old electrician began racing downhill at the age of 15, and despite taking a year off to mend after breaking his femur five years ago, Cannan still manages to balance his mountain biking along with time on the road bike.

    "I went along to a state race as a spectator when I was 15 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I do some cross country enduro races as well, along with a lot of road riding to keep fit. It's an interesting...