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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Date published:
June 26, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Pietermaritzburg mountain bike Worlds courses get UCI stamp of approval

    Marco Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing)
    Article published:
    June 17, 2013, 19:53 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    South Africa readies for elite and masters world championships

    With the UCI MTB & Trials World Championships Pietermaritzburg less than three months away, local organisers received a major boost recently when International Cycling Union (UCI) MTB International Commissaire Joel Obodov of Israel gave the event's mountain bike curses an unqualified thumbs up.

    With the elite spectacle preceded by the UCI Mountain Bike Masters World Championships - a historic occasion in itself as the two events have never previously been staged consecutively at the same venue - Obodov looked at both the elite and masters courses during his time in the host city and is very happy with the preparation and progress being made.

    "I was fortunate to have been able to visit the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg recently and meet up with Event Director Alec Lenferna and some of his team," said Obodov. "Alec was kind enough to show me parts of the course and how things will be setup and things are looking very good."

    "Since the Cascades MTB Park has been used for top level international events before, there is a very good infrastructure in place already. It's a beautiful area and perfect for mountain biking," he said.

    During his visit, with cross country course designer Nick Floros as his guide, Obodov enjoyed a first-hand experience of the masters cross country route and left fully satisfied with the basic structure and standard of the loop.

    Despite a similar offer from downhill course designer Nigel Hicks, Obodov respectfully declined, although he did visit various sections of the course via vehicle and was impressed with what he saw there too.

    "Nick Floros rode around part of the Masters cross country course with me and explained the different possibilities and all looks and sounds very good," said Obodov.

    "Nigel Hicks was also kind enough to offer to ride the course with me, but there was just no ways. I'm no downhiller!" he chuckled. "But I did still visit parts of it and it looks very...

  • Wallace and Adamson will defend Mongolia Bike Challenge titles

    The lead peloton in the Mongolia Challenge
    Article published:
    June 19, 2013, 0:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Strong field confirmed for this year's race

    The 2013 Mongolia Bike Challenge is shaping up to be the most competitive edition yet with endurance athletes from around the world set to take the starting line on September 1, 2013. The elite field is a diverse mix of world-class international athletes, including mountain bikers, road racers, triathletes, and adventurer racers, all with the same goal of reigning supreme in the Land of Genghis Khan.

    Canadian Cory Wallace (Kona) will return to defend is title of 2012. He was also second in 2011. Jason Sager and Thomas Turner (Team Jamis) will make the trip from the US. The pair was the top team at the BC Bike Race last year. Other top male riders include 2008 Crocodile Trophy champion Ondra Fojtik (Team Crocodile Trophy) of Czech and 2011 Crocodile Trophy runner-up Wolfgang Kren of Austria.

    In the women's race, regular stage racer and two-time Breck Epic winner Sonya Looney (Topeak Ergon) will be joined by Italian Giuliana Massarotto (Rudy Project Pedali Di Marca Team Performance), Australian Elisabeth Adamson (3FIDI) and Canadian Jennifer Schulz (Balance Point Racing). Adamson is the defending Mongolia Bike Challenge Champion while Schulz won the BC Bike last year.

    The 2013 Mongolia Bike Challenge will take place September 1 - 7, 2013.

    For more information visit www.mongoliabikechallenge.com.

  • 2013 Cape Pioneer Trek route released

    Team Westvaal BMC's Gawie Combrinck (left) and Nico Bell, the 2012 champions, at the Johannesburg launch of the 2013 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek.
    Article published:
    June 19, 2013, 21:47 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Beukes and Bell offer praise for this year's course

    The route for the 2013 Cape Pioneer Trek has been revealed. The fifth edition of the mountain bike stage race will travel through South Africa's Western Cape Province this October 20-26.

    The total distance of 549 kilometers over seven days is in line with the organizers' quest to deliver quality distance, not quantity distance. The ratio of vertical ascent isn't excessive, but it's relatively high and indicative of the gradient the route will cover. There's a total of 11,657 meters of vertical ascent, which is spread evenly throughout the event.

    Organizers moved the race a week later this year to avoid some conflicts with some other major races in Europe and Asia; however, it will still overlap with the Crocodile Trophy, the Brasil Ride and the La Ruta de los Conquistadores stage races.

    As with 2012, the 2013 edition incorporates a mountaintop stage finish. Day 3, stage 2 covers a distance of 92km but includes a total ascent of 2,760 meters. This averages out to 30 meters of ascent per kilometer, much of which comes in the final 30km.

    The final climb up the Swartberg Pass is 12km in distance and climbs 1,100 meters, giving it a HC (out of category) rating, unique in South Africa. Also unique is the R100,000 (US $10,000) prize for the first team to cross the finish line.

    "It's a relatively short stage, but we have added some tough sections before the riders reach the final climb to the finish. This will ensure that the stage winning team really has to be good all around mountain bikers and not just strong climbers," said Henco Rademeyer of Dryland Event Management, the organizers.

    "We're constantly looking to add more soul to the Cape Pioneer Trek and with our adjustment in making the route shorter, we've been able to spend time creating great riding experiences in some of the most dramatic and varied terrain of any race anywhere," said Rademeyer. Organizers are also aiming to include more singletrack this...

  • Knox to lead South African team at marathon Worlds

    Max Knox rides across the finish line as the winner at the Gravel Travel marathon
    Article published:
    June 20, 2013, 22:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Seven riders picked to head to Austria

    Cycling South Africa's Mountain Bike Commission announced its selection for the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships, taking place in Kirchberg, Austria on June 29.

    The following riders have been selected according to the 2013 Cycling SA Mountain Bike Selection Criteria:

    Elite men
    Max Knox
    Charles Keey
    Lourens Luus
    Nico Bell

    Elite women
    Robyn de Groot
    Samantha Sanders
    Candice Neethling

    Cycling South Africa looked at results from eight selection races. According to the "Special Rules for the Mountain Bike Marathon Series", the top 20 men and women of each round of the UCI marathon series as well as the top 50 of the individual general marathon series ranking obtain a qualification for the UCI MTB Marathon World Championships.

  • Windham returns to 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup circuit

    Rachel Atherton (GBr) GT Factory Racing took her 2nd straight World Cup win
    Article published:
    June 24, 2013, 19:37 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    UCI announces next year's schedule

    The UCI published its calendar for the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano. Approved by the UCI Mountain Bike Commission but still subject to approval by the UCI Management Committee, the tentative 2014 calendar will comprise nine rounds in nine different countries.

    The popular Windham, New York venue will return to the 2014 World Cup after a one-year absence. Next season it will host a triple round including cross country, eliminator and downhill races.

    Two new World Cup destinations in 2014 will be Cairns, Australia, and Méribel in France, both hosting a triple event (Olympic cross country, eliminator and downhill). The second round in Cairns will prepare the way for the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, which have been awarded to the Tropical North Queensland.

    Méribel will provide the stage for the final round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup (August 23 - 24). It will be the last chance for the athletes to confront each other before the world championships which will get under way in Hafjell, Norway, 10 days later.

    After a successful debut in 2013, Albstadt (Germany) will feature again on the calendar for the second time with Olympic cross country and eliminator competitions.

    2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
    April 5-6: UCI World Cup XCO/XCE/DHI Round 1 - Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
    April 26-27: UCI World Cup XCO/XCE/DHI Round 2 - Cairns, Australia
    May 24-25: UCI World Cup XCO/XCE Round 3 - Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech
    May 31-June 1: UCI World Cup XCO/XCE Round 4 - Albstadt, Germany
    June 7-8: UCI World Cup DHI Round 3 - Fort William, Great Britain
    June 14-15: UCI World Cup DHI Round 4 - Leogang, Austria
    August 2-3: UCI World Cup XCO/XCE/DHI Round 5 - Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada
    August 9-10: UCI World Cup XCO/XCE/DHI Round 6 - Windham, New York, United States
    August 23-24: UCI World Cup...

  • Beckingsale and Beaumont among UK Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductees

    Oli Beckingsale, the leading British finisher in the elite men's race
    Article published:
    June 25, 2013, 17:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Ten total riders added in 2013

    The UK MTB Hall of Fame inducted its members for 2013. Inductees were selected from a list of nominees by public voting on the MTB Hall of Fame Facebook page from a list created by members of the bike industry, the founder supporters of the UK MTB Hall of Fame.

    The 2013 inductees included Martyn Ashton, Scott Beaumont, Oli Beckingsale, Steve Behr, Michael Bonney, Adrian Carter, Dafydd Davis, John Dight, Rob Lee and Steve Toze.

    "These guys are all at the top of the tree in the UK mountain biking world. They are legends, not only here, but in some cases around the world," said Patrick Adams & Jill Greenfield of Pacific Edge Events who came up with the whole idea.

    "We felt it was time they were recognised for everything they have done that has shaped UK mountain biking into what it is today. They have built a sport on which an entire industry has grown. We are proud of each and every one of them."

    Inductees were honored at a ceremony held in conjunction with the Mountain Mayhem race at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire on June 14.

    For more information on the UK MTB Hall of Fame, visit www.ukmtbhalloffame.com.

  • Woodruff extends Pro XCT lead while Wells' margin shrinks

    Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers Race Club) chased in 2nd place for most of the race.
    Article published:
    June 25, 2013, 20:05 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Standings updated after Missoula XC round

    Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers Race Club) extended her lead in the USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) women's standings, while Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) saw his advantage reduced in the men's standings after a thrilling day of racing at the Missoula XC on June 22 in Missoula, Montana.

    Women

    Woodruff finished second in the elite women's race behind Monique "Pua" Mata (Sho-Air Cannondale) in Missoula and extended her cushion in the Pro XCT women's standings, from 50 to 218 points, with three races remaining on the calendar. Erica Tingey (Jamis), 23rd in Missoula, remains in second place in the standings with 487 points. Ascending to third place by virtue of a fifth-place showing over the weekend was Judy Freeman (Crankbrothers Race Club), who now has a season total of 461 points. The top five in the women's standings are rounded out by Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) in fourth with 445 points, and Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe's) who enters the top five with 440 points after crossing the line in fourth place in Missoula.

    Men

    In the elite men's race, Wells recorded a sixth-place finish in Missoula but saw his Pro XCT men's standings lead over Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) shrink to just 15 points after Bishop finished ahead of him in fourth place. It's shaping up for an exciting final three races on the calendar with Wells holding a slim 960-945 edge on Bishop. Benjamin Sonntag (American Interbanc) remains in third place with 433 points and Ryan Woodall (Top Gear Bicycles) maintains his fourth-place position with 375 points. A seventh-place finish in Missoula by Mitchell Hoke (Kenda-Felt) propels him into...

  • Wells and Bishop continue season-long battle at Windham Pro XCT

    Lea Davison (Specialized) before racing to an eighth place finish at the Nove Mesto World Cup
    Article published:
    June 26, 2013, 18:00 BST
    By:
    Dave McElwaine

    Nine-round national series takes a toll on riders and teams

    Many of North America's top pro mountain bikers head to Windham, New York this weekend for round seven of USA Cycling's Pro XCT series. The site of World Cups during the past two years, Windham will treat the racers to one of the best tracks on this year's schedule.

    In addition to elite cross country racing, the mountain will be hosting amateur cross country races, Pro GRT and Gravity East series downhill races, a super D and a kids' race.

    Men

    In the national series standings, Todd Wells (Specialized) narrowly leads Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) by just 15 points heading into the weekend. Both are committed to winning the series if their schedules allow it. Each has a massive 500+ points over Ben Sonntag, who sits in third place.

    Sonntag told Cyclingnews this week, "I broke my hand in a training crash and will be off the mountain bike for a few weeks. I started riding the road two days ago and so I'm hoping for a strong late season starting in July!"

    Wells won the Pro XCT races at Fontana and Bump N Grind, while Bishop won at Bonelli Park. Another epic battle between the two was shaping up this past weekend in Missoula when Wells lost time due to mechanical issues. He later said, "I'm looking forward to Windham. I had my best ever World Cup there last year. It's close to where I grew up, and it looks like it could be muddy this year."

    The World Cup course at Windham has been extended by 0.5 miles for the racing this weekend. There appears to be slightly less time spent on the steeper sections in the trees, but riders will still see plenty of bridges. The climb is split up into two major sections, with some wide traversing...