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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Date published:
February 02, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • World Champion English heads to JetBlack 24-hour race

    24-hr Solo World Champion, Jason English, in winning form at the JetBlack twenty four hours Sydney race at Wisemans Ferry in 2010
    Article published:
    January 27, 2011, 21:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Defending champ returns to Wiseman's Ferry

    Jason English will make his first 24-hour race appearance of the 2011 season after wining the 2010 solo World Championship. He'll be on the start line for the JetBlack 24-hour race at the Del Rio Riverside Resort at Wiseman's Ferry on February 5-6 in Australia.

    The Port Macquarie physical education teacher won his second consecutive 24-hour world solo mountain bike title in Canberra in October last year and said he still has some form even four months later.

    Defending JetBlack 24-hour champion English claimed wins at the two previous editions of the race, but last year, he faced a strong challenge from John Blankenstein from Tathra, near Bega.

    "It was close. I got a fair workout because of John (Blankenstein) last year," said English.

    Blankenstein finished on equal laps with English, but took second to English with only 18 minutes separating the pair after 24 hours.

    "I have done a bit more training in the last few weeks," said English, who recently signed with Merida. "We (Port Macquarie) had plenty of dry days compared to other places, so it has been good preparation."

    All riders will complete as many laps as possible of the 9.8km circuit between 12 noon on Saturday until 12 noon on Sunday.

    Organisers, Rocky Trail, also confirmed the addition of a new 6+6 Hours racing category. "There are only a few who can complete such a race on their own," said Rocky Trail's Juliane Wisata. For the six plus six hours category, participants can get normal night's sleep then get up and do the final six hours in the daylight.

    The teams categories also allow other keen riders to race for 24 or 12-hour in a relay-style.

    Among other competitors for the JetBlack 24 -hour, Para-Olympian and Ultra marathon racer John Domandl, and his guide, Tony Brown, will be on the start line. There will also be two unicyclists from Blaxland.

  • Kenda-Felt Mountain Bike Team roster announced for 2011

    Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) on a technical descent
    Article published:
    January 27, 2011, 21:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Carey, Schultz, Freeman, Cares back for another year

    The Kenda - Felt Mountain Bike Team will look just like it did last year with all four of its riders returning to race for the squad again in 2011. Amanda Carey, Colin Cares, Judy Freeman and Andy Schultz will race the national US Pro XCT series and the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series along with the Leadville 100, the Iceman Cometh, the Teva Games, the BC Bike Race, the Iron Horse Classic and USGP Cyclo-cross races. Riders will also compete at three cross country World Cup rounds: Dalby Forest, Offenburg and Quebec.

    Over the past few years, the team's riders have earned numerous podiums in elite competition and have represented the US National Team at the world championships.

    Carey won both the Iceman Cometh and the NUE series in 2010, and Schultz, in his fourth year with the team is looking forward to the upcoming season. "2011 it going to be a great year for the Kenda-Felt Team," he predicted.

    "Kenda is once again very proud to be affiliated with the Kenda-Felt Professional Mountain Bike Team in 2011," said Jim Wannamaker, North American Marketing Director at Kenda USA. "The athletes on this team are great ambassadors for all the sponsors. The riders are also all around great people. We use this team for testing new tires and for marketing purposes and our results with them have been great!"

    Bicycle sponsor Felt is in its second year of sponsorship of the team. "We are thrilled to be working with the Kenda-Felt Pro mountain bike team again in 2011. They represent all that is professional in the sport and give us a high-visibility, accessible group of fantastic athletes," said Doug Martin, Marketing Director at Felt Bicycles. Racers will be aboard the Nine series bikes, including hardtails and an all-new four-inch travel carbon cross country rig.

    2011 Kenda-Felt Pro Mountain Bike Team
    Colin Cares (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
    Amanda Carey (Victor, Idaho)
    Judy Freeman (Boulder,...

  • Aphrodite Trophy returns for second year

    Racers get views of the sea while in the Aphrodite Trophy
    Article published:
    January 29, 2011, 20:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Three distance options for mountain bike marathon

    The second edition of the Aphrodite Trophy will be held on March 26-27, 2011 in Cyprus. As part of the weekend's competition, which also includes a running race, a mountain bike marathon will be held on Sunday.

    The mountain bike marathon will feature three distances. For the less fit riders, there is a 20 kilometer course. Though it's a short course, it offers a beautiful scenery and nice tracks, starting in the traditional village of Tochni with its stone-built houses and narrow streets.

    Two other distances, 48 kilometers and 72 kilometers, will take racers through picturesque mountains up to Kalavasos dam, ending on Kalavasos square.

    Last year, Sabine Spitz used the race as part of her post-injury comeback.

  • Atherton back on bike after injury

    Dan Atherton (Commencal Racing) has recovered from breaking his neck.
    Article published:
    February 01, 2011, 15:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    British mountain biker will return to racing at Fort William

    In July of 2010, British mountain biker Dan Atherton sustained a terrifying injury. A crash, in which he landed on his head at his own dirt jumps in North Wales, resulted in a break of the C1 disc in his neck - a life threatening injury. After months off the bike, Atherton received positive results of a final CT scan, and he is cleared for riding and "full training".

    Atherton's commitment and dedication which he usually puts into his riding went into getting him through his recovery. With months in a brace and none of his life's usual manic activity, there were low moments along the way and plenty of time for contemplation. He is determined to recover and return to the highest level of the sport according to a statement released by his team manager.

    Dr. Robert Bray delivered the results of the final CT scan. Red Bull's Darren Roberts, the Atherton family's personal trainer, accompanied Dan and said, "The fractures have all healed and the tiny fragments of bone which are loose will be absorbed by the body over time. There was a slim possibility that an operation was going to be required to remove these - but thankfully that op is not needed.

    "More importantly Dr Bray said the words we've been waiting to hear since July 2010, 'You're good to go Dan, totally healed - get back on your bike and get riding hard. Try not to break it again'."

    Atherton is aiming to return to World Cup competition at the second round in Fort William, Scotland. He'll concentrate on downhill racing and aims to return to the podium glory he enjoyed prior to the incident.

    Atherton, along with his racing siblings, teammates Gee and Rachel, gave thanks to all who supported him during the difficult time of the recovery.

  • TX Active-Bianchi training in northern Italy

    Under 23 racer Gerhard Kerschbaumer is the newest signing for TX Active Bianchi.
    Article published:
    February 01, 2011, 17:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Mountain bike team readies for upcoming presentation

    The TX Active-Bianchi team is getting ready for a training camp in the north of Italy starting on February 4 and running through February 8. Following the camp, the team will be presented in Milan by its president Felice Gimondi on February 9.

    For 2011, the team will again feature an elite/under 23 team and a junior squad, managed respectively by former professional rider Massimo Ghirotto and Andrea Ferrero.

    Frenchman Stephane Tempier, Portuguese racer Ricardo Marinheiro and Italian Cristian Cominelli will return to the elite/under 23 team while Italians Tony Long and Gerhard Kerschbaumer are new to the roster for 2011.

    The elite/under 23 racers will compete on Bianchi Methanol SL "Team Edition" carbon frames while the juniors will race the Methanol SX model.

    At the team camp, racers will fine-tune bikes and clothing and plan the upcoming mountain bike race season. The team's international race calendar will be unveiled at the presentation next week.

  • Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race gets new date

    Amanda Carey racing in the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race
    Article published:
    February 01, 2011, 19:25 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Longer race planned for third edition

    The third edition of the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race is moving to a new spot on the calendar for 2011. The North Carolina stage race will happen from September 27 to October 1. Last year the race was run in mid-September and in its first year, it happened in mid-October.

    "We changed the dates to avoid conflict with other events. It is now a week after Interbike to allow sponsors to make it to the event," promoter Todd Branham of Blue Ridge Adventures told Cyclingnews. "The NUE series is over, yet these endurance riders aren't quite into cyclo-cross yet. The marathon national championships do not conflict, and the collegiate national championships do not conflict. Brevard College is one of our partners and helps mark the course so this was done specifically to allow them to be present for the event.

    "Our closest conflict is the 24-hour national championship which is on October 1-2." However, Branham does not think there will be much conflict between those wanting to do his event and the 24-hour race.

    "As you can see, a lot goes in to such a simple step as picking the date of an event," he said.

    The gruelling five-day Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race will cover 175 miles in 2011 and showcase some of the best singletrack that Pisgah National Forest has to offer.

    "There are only three sanctioned off-road stage races in the United States, and people are flying in from out of the country for the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race," said Branham, who boasts about the quality of the trails covered by his race.

    "For rugged, real mountain biking, we have 433 miles of singletrack here in this one county. And it's hard to argue with pros like Jeremiah Bishop and Amanda Riley-Carey saying that this is one of the most fun and challenging races around." The race features 40,000 feet of climbing.

    According to Branham, last year's winners Bishop and Carey as well as elite 40+ winner Andy Johnston are "licking...

  • Mountains to Beach stage race starts later this month

    Crossing one of three rivers during the final stage of the Mountains to Beach race
    Article published:
    February 01, 2011, 21:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Five-day race runs from roof of Australia to the surf

    Australia's third annual Mountains to Beach mountain bike stage race will start on Monday, February 28 at the top of the Thredbo resort's Kosciuszko Express Chairlift at nearly 2,000 metres in New South Wales. Over 100 riders are expected to take on the 400km of Australian riding and racing toward the sea over the following five days.

    The event consists of six timed race stages and five untimed "cruise" stages. Riders will take the chairlift to the start at Thredbo on day one and finish with a beach sprint across the sands at Narooma on Friday, March 4.

    All types of terrain are included: screaming downhill runs, snow plains, high country and lush rain forest. It will finish with a run up the coastline, crossing rivers, creeks and sandbars.

    The race through southeast Australia takes participants through both private property and publicly owned national park and state forest lands. The 2011 edition promises to be just as challenging and scenic as in previous years.

    Jason English and Megan Dimozantos won the 2010 edition of the race.

    2011 Mountains to Beach race
    Monday, February 28: Stage 1 - Thredbo, 12km
    Monday, February 23: Stage 2 - Lake Crackenback Resort, 31km
    Tuesday, March 1: Stage 3 - Perisher - Kosciuszko National Park - Lake Eucumbene, 82km
    Wednesday, March 2: Stage 4 - Buckenderra Resort, 26km (pre-dawn riding under lights)
    Thursday, March 3: Stage 5 - Cooma Visitors Centre - Bermagui, 90km
    Friday, March 4: Stage 6 - Eurobodalla - Narooma, 50km

  • Team CF strives for bigger, better sophomore year

    Cheryl Sornson returns with Team CF for 2011.
    Article published:
    February 02, 2011, 17:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Newcomers Beck, Draugelis, Popovic join team for 2011

    Team Cystic Fibrosis (Team CF) is returning in 2011 with some fresh faces on the mountain bike circuit and with a new title sponsor, Specialized. Founded by Dr. James M. Wilson, a physician, scientist and avid cyclist, the team will again spin the wheels toward achieving far-reaching goals.

    2010 was a banner year for the small, but elite Team CF, which focused heavily on the National Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike Series (NUE) and other endurance events.

    Last year, the squad's Harlan Price, Cheryl Sornson and Christian Tanguy won many individual NUE events and each placed second overall in their respective professional categories of singlespeed, open women's and open men's. Additionally, Sornson took first place in the Michaux Endurance Series. Selene Yeager won the open women's category of the Trans-Sylvania Epic; she also won the Mid-Atlantic Super Series endurance series. Tanguy dominated the Michigan cross country scene, taking first in seven races.

    "Our elite cyclists had outstanding success in 2010 in many different disciplines," said Team Director Jim Wilson. "Their results helped raise the visibility of the Team and awareness of our mission which is to encourage physical fitness through cycling in those living with CF and to raise awareness of this disease and money to support CF research."

    All the familiar faces will be returning in 2011, along with newcomers Chris Beck, Brandon Draugelis and Carolyn Popovic. This group will focus on national and international marathon, cross country and stage races.

    Price, Sornson, Tanguy and Beck will strive to win national championships in the NUE series in their respective categories. Yeager will focus on stage races including the 2011 Cape Epic in South Africa in a duo category with Sornson, the Trans-Sylvania Epic, and the Breck Epic. Sornson, Tanguy and Beck will also test their abilities in stage racing with Beck competing in the Trans-Sylvania Epic, Tanguy competing in the...