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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Date published:
January 19, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Australian mountain bike series heads to Mt. Baw Baw

    Junior racer Troy Brosnan was faster than all the elite racers in the downhill at Glenorchy MTB Park.
    Article published:
    January 14, 2011, 12:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Downhill talent travels to revered Victorian venue

    Australia's top downhill riders will tackle the challenging terrain of Mt. Baw Baw this weekend in the second round of the 2010-11 Jayco Australian Mountain Bike Series.

    Up to 300 downhill riders are expected to compete on January 15-16, including Adelaide young gun Troy Brosnan, who was crowned junior world champion in Canada last year.

    In the opening downhill round held in Hobart in December, Newcastle rider Rick Boyer broke through to claim the first national series win of his 10-year career.

    The 29-year-old Boyer will return to defend his victory on Sunday afternoon in the elite men's final and is expected to face strong opposition from Rhys Atkinson and Kaine Cannan.

    Competing on her home track, Leonie Picton from Maffra will start as favourite in the elite women's category after taking out the opening downhill round in Hobart, but emerging talent and Hobart runner up Holly Baarspul has other ideas.

    "Leonie is my biggest threat, I have to try and knock her off if I can," said Baarspul. "I'm looking forward to Mt. Baw Baw this weekend actually, it's a bit wet but it should be good. I haven't raced there, but I rode there last year and it's a fun track.

    "There are not too many technical sections, but we will just need to hold our speed, and because of the rain it's going to be tricky trying to go fast down some of the fast fire roads and around the corners."

    The 18-year-old Baarspul from Perth is one of the hottest young prospects in mountain biking, not just within Australia but on the world stage.

    Despite being troubled by broken fingers, Baarspul narrowly missed out on a spot on the podium at the world championships in Canada last September, placing fourth.

    She competed as a junior back then, but 2011 is whole different story. Having made the transition into the senior elite ranks, Baarspul is thriving on the new challenges and opportunities.

    "I'm enjoying being up with the...

  • New kit for Lapierre International team

    Cameron Cole training with the new Lapierre Pendbox DH bike
    Article published:
    January 14, 2011, 18:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Blenkinsop kicks off racing season with victory

    Team Lapierre International presented its downhill and enduro mountain bike team and kit for 2011. Sam Blenkinsop, Sam Flockhart, Cameron Cole, Loic Bruni and Nicolas Vouilloz are sporting new black and orange and white colors for this season.

    Cole and Blenkinsop have been hitting the dirt early. Cole will race the third round of the New Zealand Downhill Mountain Bike Cup in Rotorua while his teammate Blenkinsop has already been racing the New Zealand series; he logged his first win at the opening round in Tauranga last weekend and will compete again in Napier for round two this weekend.

    Roman Favoino and Andy Ward are new to the staff side of the Lapierre International team. Favoino will serve as "race consultant". As the well known manager of Team Lapierre Playbiker Italy, he brings a wealth of experience to the squad while Ward is an established mechanic on the World Cup circuit.

  • Gwin among celebrities for Ray's MTB Park Grand Opening

    Riders on a elevated "trail" at Ray's MTB Park in Milwaukee
    Article published:
    January 14, 2011, 21:24 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Other stars to participate in official Milwaukee celebration

    Building on its success in Cleveland, Ohio, Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park opened a second location on New Year's Eve in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rider celebrities like US downhill national champion Aaron Gwin, Jeff Lenosky, Ross Schnell, Kirt Voreis and Ryan Howard are scheduled to appear at the official Grand Opening on January 29-30.

    "Our park opened with an outstanding response," said Eric Schutt of Ray's Mountain Bike Park. "People have shown up in droves, and are having a great time!"

    On Saturday, January 29, pro riders will serve lunch to Ray's customers at a Celebrity BBQ. A product raffle will follow at 5:00 pm. Sunday will be a "Ride with the Pros" day followed by "BMX Night" from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

  • Davison returns to 2011 race circuit with new team

    Lea Davison (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) climbing
    Article published:
    January 14, 2011, 21:52 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Specialized signs cross country racer upon comeback from injury

    Cross country mountain biker Lea Davison will return to the race scene in 2011 after most of a year off competition due to an injury and subsequent recovery. The 27-year-old American is making her comeback as the newest signing by Team Specialized.

    "I am raring to go," said Davison. "I am just so excited to get back out there and race."

    After completing some warm weather training blocks in California and Hawaii, the Vermont resident will spend the rest of the pre-season at home, including plenty of Nordic skiing.

    Davison will race domestically and internationally again in 2011. She'll begin her early season with the US Cup Triple Crown and US Pro XCT races in California and Texas. "I'll miss the first World Cup in South Africa, but then I'm off to do Dalby, Offenburg and the rest from then on."

    Coming back

    Late last winter, Davison experienced two incidents of hip injury, one while skiing and one while weight lifting. "I tore my labrum. It took two months to figure out what was going on - it was a super frustrating time," she said. At the time, she was contracted by the Maxxis - Rocky Mountain team.

    The labrum is a ring of cartilage found in both the hip and shoulder ball and socket-type joints. The tear caused Davison pain whenever she flexed her left hip.

    Davison had the choice to race last season with a cortisone shot or have surgery to repair the problem. Concerned about racing on a partially healed hip and the effect on her pedal stroke as well as the possibility of compensation injuries, she chose arthroscopic surgery.

    "I didn't want complications, and I wanted to come into this season fully prepared. I had surgery on April 30."

    "They stitched up the torn labrum and anchored it back to the bone," she said. "I have some new hardware, but I won't be setting off any metal detectors.

    "I was recovering all summer and working with a trainer and my doctor to...

  • Welsh Mountain Bike Series makes comeback in 2011

    Lee Williams (Team Wiggle) leads John Whittington (Mini Adventure/Orbea) over the climb at the 2010 Welsh Championships
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 18:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    Four rounds scheduled at new and former venues

    The Welsh Mountain Bike Series announced its dates and venues for 2011. Four cross country race rounds are planned, starting in February and wrapping up in May.

    "Historically, Wales was one of the heartlands of the UK mountain bike scene with several classic venues such as Coed y Brenin, Margam Park and Fforest Fields playing host to National Points Series events and National Championships," said this year's organizer Scott Bugden to Cyclingnews.

    "In recent years, the Welsh cross country scene has struggled, and the Welsh series has all but died out. It is essential for the development of the sport that we reverse this trend. If there is no racing scene, what is there to attract young riders and without young riders, the future of cross country racing is not bright."

    In 2010, just one round of the series took place and in 2009, only three of the four schedule rounds occurred.

    "For 2011, we have been working hard to revive the series. We have four great venues arranged - two classics and two new to cross country. We also have first aid support from Extreme Medical, professional timing services from Tap Timing and women's prizes donated by Ana Nichoola. There will be over £500 of cash prizes available at each round and racing for everybody from Under-8s to Grand Vets (50+)."

    More details on the series and how to register can be found here.

    2011 Welsh Mountain Bike Series

    February 13: Round 1 - Cwrt Y Celyn Farm, Pontypridd. CF37 5BJ. This round includes fast grass sections combined with a technical descent, a rooty cambered section through trees and a leg-burning switchback climb.

    March 5: Round 2 - Builth Wells. Postcode TBC. This round features doubletrack paths combined with fast, flowing natural singletrack through trees and a...

  • Pendrel among athletes honored by Canadian Cycling Association

    Catherine Pendrel (Canada) rides in second place on the start loop
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 20:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Worlds named best Canadian mountain bike event

    Catherine Pendrel was one of several mountain bikers honored for accomplishments during the 2010 season by the Canadian Cycling Association. Fellow mountain bikers Lauren Rosser and Steve Smith were also recognized for their achievements at the world championships.

    Pendrel won the 2010 cross country elite women's World Cup overall after winning the rounds in Offenburg and Windham and taking second in Val di Sole, fifth in Houffalize and sixth in Dalby. She is also the current elite women's Canadian cross country national champion.

    Rosser earned a gold medal in the junior women's downhill at the mountain bike world championships while Steve Smith won silver in the elite men's downhill.

    "These awards recognize the talented and dedicated cycling community we have in Canada. The contributions of event organizers, coaches and officials along with the commitment of our many volunteers and our membership is what strengthens cycling in Canada," said Greg Mathieu, chief executive officer and secretary general of the Canadian Cycling Association.

    "It is always a difficult task to select a few individuals and events from such a large pool of qualified and deserving candidates. These people and organisations have all contributed to the excellent year Canadian cycling enjoyed in 2010."

    On the event side, the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships held in September 2010 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec were named top Canadian mountain bike event of the year. The Worlds were run by organizer Gestev Inc.

    The mountain bike awards were part of a series of awards for all cycling disciplines.

    Other award recipients include

    Road organizer of the year: Grand Prix ProTour Québec, Serge Arsenault
    Track organizer of the year: National Championships, Bromont, Quebec, Sylvain Richard
    BMX organizer of the year: National Championships, Airdrie, Alberta,...

  • Kintner to New Zealand for early season racing

    Jill Kintner (Transitions) on her way to winning US Pro GRT #3.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 22:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former world champion racing national downhill series

    Past four cross world champion Jill Kintner will get in some racing in New Zealand this weekend ahead of the start of the 2011 UCI World Cup season. Kintner, an American who has made the transition from four cross to downhill racing, will make an appearance at the New Zealand Mountain Bike World Cup round in Rotorua on January 22-23.

    Kintner, who rides for Transitions/Red Bull, will be making a surprise raid from her Australian base to race in Rotorua.

    Kintner is also a bronze medallist from the 2008 Olympic Games in BMX. She's won three four cross world titles. In her first season as a converted downhiller, she won the US downhill national championships and the US Pro GRT series overall.

    Other big names expected to compete in the men's race include Justin Leov (Trek World racing) and Cam Cole (Lapierre International). The series has been attracting some of the world's top downhillers as they prepare for the upcoming UCI season.

  • English to defend win at Capital Punishment mountain bike enduro

    Jason English on the stage from Cooma to Bermagui
    Article published:
    January 19, 2011, 9:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Second-year race draws top talent to Canberra

    Mountain bikers from all over Australia will flock to the ACT on March 19 to tackle the Capital Punishment MTB Enduro. Back for its second year, the race will link together singletrack riding around the nation's capital. Kowen Forest, Sutton Road cross country track, Majura Pines and the world class Stromlo Forest Park will all feature.

    The inaugural edition of the Capital Punishment MTB Enduro lived up to the name with wet and muddy conditions forcing over half of the 2,000 riders to prematurely end their race with only the hardest competitors completing the full course. After selling out in 2010, the 2011 event is well on the way to repeating that feat with entries coming in fast.

    Defending champion Jason English will return, but will have to fend off the likes of Craig Gordon, Matt Flemming, Brent Miller and Joel Ryan. Becky Mates, third in 2010, is looking to take the overall win in 2011 which may be made easier with Heather Logie, the defending women's champion yet to commit to attending.

    Whilst attracting some of Australia's top riders, the Capital Punishment MTB Enduro is good for riders new to enduro racing as it has limited climbing, flowing singletrack and fast fireroad sections.

    For more information on the race, visit