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MTB News & racing round-up for December 1, 2005

Edited by Steve Medcroft

Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in the dirt. Feel free to send feedback, news and gossip to mtb@cyclingnews.com

Keith Bontrager joins 24 hour race promotion team

Really, he's not sleeping...
Photo ©: KB and friends
Click for larger image

Keith Bontrager (seen here in a quieter moment) has become a technical director for a new 24-hour race taking place in 2006, called Twentyfour12. It will be run at the purpose-built venue of Lodgewood Park, Ellesmere in Shropshire, England on July 22-23; the 24-hour and 12-hour races will be run concurrently, with both starting at midday on July 22. According to organisers, Bontrager has improved the area's less popular features and added new elements, coming up with a more diverse race structure than any previous 24 hour event.

Bontrager has long been associated with endurance mountain bike competitions, including stage and long distance racing, and has said of the race, "After racing in as many of these as I have I'm looking forward to finally helping put a race on. I know what I've liked in a 24 hour race and what I haven't, so it'll be a challenge to put as much of the good stuff together in one event. It will definitely be fast and fun, designed for the racer in every respect."

Categories include: Expert mixed (minimum 1 woman), Men's Open (max 1 elite/expert rider), Women's Open Fun (up to five riders, any ages, any sex) and Just for fun (6-12 riders, any ages, any sex)

Sub categories with the open categories: Masters (combined age 130+), Veterans (Combines age 170+), Shop (2 stores or less), Singlespeed and University

For more information on the endurance event of 2006 and to download entry forms go to: www.twentyfour12.com

New date for Salzkammergut Trophy

Austria's biggest mountain bike marathon, the Salzkammergut Trophy has moved from its traditional date of early July to slightly later - the 2006 event will take place on July 15. As well as the 200km distance, there will again be marathon events over 100, 53 and 27 km. The Coca-Cola Junior Trophy in Gosau for kids and teenagers between four and fourteen will also take place on July 15, 2006.

Australian four-cross series round 4 postponed

Amiel Cavalier
Photo ©: Tony Ross
Click for larger image

Ongoing bad weather has forced the organisers of round 4 of the Australian National Mountain Cross Series - originally scheduled for this weekend in Armidale, NSW - to postpone the event until early next year.

Armidale's race director, Dave Rugendyke, said although the race track is in good condition, due to the unusually high amounts of rainfall in the area over the past month, the rain soaked event site surrounding the four-cross course has unfortunately suffered badly.

Glen Jacobs from MV Australia flew into Armidale late yesterday afternoon for an urgent inspection, and recommended the event be postponed to a later date. "With event vehicles, trucks, lighting towers and work crews driving across the course and surrounding grasslands setting up the infrastructure for a major event, the site will become unusable," Jacobs said. MTBA chief executive officer, Tony Scott has agreed that this seems the best option for Armidale as well as the riders.

Rugendyke and Jacobs said they regretted the decision, but would use the time before the rescheduled event to improve the track. "Now that we have some extra time available to us, we can use this window to make some exiting new additions to the famous Armidale site," Jacobs said.

The new date will be announced in the coming week.

Change of date for '06 NORBA National opener

USA Cycling announced today a change in the previously announced 2006 National Mountain Bike Schedule. The opening round at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, Calif. that was originally scheduled for May 5-7 has been rescheduled for April 22-23, 2006. The rest of the six-race series remains unchanged:

2006 National Mountain Bike Series Schedule

April 22-23: Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park - San Dimas, Calif.
June 10-11: Sugar Mountain Resort - Banner Elk, N.C.
June 17-18: Mount Snow Resort - West Dover, Vt.
July 8-9: Deer Valley Resort - Park City, Utah
August 5-6: Brian Head Resort - Brian Head, Utah
August 12-13: Snowmass Resort - Aspen, Colo.

Ford Cycling 2006 MTB roster

The Ford Cycling mountain bike team has announced its roster of riders and sponsors for the 2006 season. Seasoned professionals Kelli Emmett and Sara Bresnick-Zocchi will both be returning to ride for the Ford Team in 2006. Joining the team this season will be fourth year pro, Kathy Sherwin. Additionally, the Ford team continues its mission to develop talented female riders by welcoming U-23 rider Melanie Meyers to the squad for 2006.

Kelli Emmett, of Colorado Springs, CO, returns as the reigning US Super D champion. Kelli also had the distinction of being an automatic qualifier for the US World Mountain Bike Team and represented the US at Pan Am Championships where she earned a silver medal. Kelli also made 3 podium visits at the 2005 Sea Otter finishing that event 5th overall. For 2006, Kelli will compete in both World Cup and NORBA races as she builds a foundation for the 2008 Olympic team. In addition to her racing, Kelli works as a senior coach for Carmichael Training Systems. She manages the training programs of her 20 athletes, day or night, from anywhere in the world. Kelli is also regular visitor to Michigan where she participates in many activities that support the growth of mountain biking in her home state.

Click here for the full announcement.

2005 Australian MTB athletes of the year

Amiel Cavalier,
Photo ©: John Veage
Click for larger image

In a night full of glitter and the cream of Australian cycling the awards for Junior (male and female), male and female MTB athlete of the year were awarded at the annual Cycling Australia Awards night, held in Sydney.

Junior male athlete was Amiel Cavalier (also nominated were Liam Panozzo and Lachlan Norris) and junior female athlete was Tracey Hannah (also nominated was Erica Oldfield).

Male athlete was Sam Hill (also nominated were Jared Graves and Daniel McConnell) and Female athlete was Katrina Miller (also nominated was Emma Colson).

2006 TransRockies 50 per cent sold out

Who knew so many people were up for the toughest mountain bike race in the World?

Registration opened for the 2006 edition of the TransRockies Challenge on November 1 st , and in the four weeks since, the race already reached 50 per cent of capacity. “We're running months ahead of last year's registration,” said TransRockies Event Director Aaron McConnell. “We're really gratified since it tells us that riders are recognizing all the hard work which our staff and volunteers have put into building this race.”

2005 was the first time in its four-year history that the TransRockies Challenge reached its full capacity of 175 2-person teams and they were treated a week of epic riding and tough Rocky Mountain conditions on a new route. The 2006 Edition of the TransRockies Challenge promises more of the same. It will be held August 6-12, and during the course of the seven day Southern Canadian Rocky Mountain traverse, the race will once again take in hundreds of km of singletrack, epic climbs, technical descents, and unbridged river crossings. 

“The Course and conditions have been different every year that we have held the race, and there's no reason to expect anything different in 2006,” said McConnell. “Most people rated 2005 as the toughest edition yet, but there's always next year . . . “

For registration details or more information, please visit www.transrockies.com.

SunCor Coyote Classic added to AMBC

The 4 th Annual SunCor Coyote Classic, has been added to the American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) 2006 race calendar.  The race will take place about 30 miles outside the city of Boise on Sunday, May 21, 2006 just off Horseshoe Bend Hill Road.

The major sponsor of the Coyote Classic is SunCor Idaho, developers of the community, Avimor.  The cross country race has three courses; beginner, sport and expert loops. Course lengths vary from eight to 24 miles, with varied terrain such as long downhills, technical tight single track, water crossings and granny gear climbs.  A cash pro purse of approximately $2,500 will be up for grabs for pro men and pro women.

The 4 th Annual SunCor Coyote Classic racers have the opportunity to qualify for NORBA National Finals in Mammoth, California.  The SunCor Coyote Classic  is part of the Idaho State Championship Series. 

2006 marks the NORBA sanctioned Knobby Tire Series' fourth year.  Each year the series has grown.  It now is composed of two downhill races and six cross-country races.  Racers of every age and ability are welcome to come and race.

For more information on the series, please go to www.knobbytireseries.com .

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