MTB News & racing round-up for December 8, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Landing on her feet: Marks Marino signs with Titus/Kenda for 2006
Photo ©: Chris Davidson
When the Ford Cycling team reorganised a few months ago, 2005 Snowmass
Short Track winner Dara Marks Marino was left with what she says seemed
like a daunting lack of sponsorship. But, she says in the following press
release, she has been overwhelmed with support from the friends she's
made in the industry and in just a few short weeks has been able to put
together a successful freelance spnsorship group that will allow her to
do what she loves to do; race her mountain bike.
Dara Marks Marino has renewed her partnership with Titus Cycles, her
original bike sponsor from 2001 and 2002. After her most successful season
to date (including one national win and four second places), Marks Marino
will return to a grassroots effort with support from the industry's finest
companies. Said Marks Marino, "Reconnecting with Titus is like coming
full circle for me. The amount of support that I have received from the
industry is staggering."
"It is great to have Dara back on Titus. She is an incredible athlete
and great representative for our sport," said Chris Cocalis, founder
and president of Titus Cycles. "We feel that having Dara on Titus
bikes will take her to the highest level of success in professional racing.
We are truly excited to have Dara representing Titus in 2006!"
Kenda tires will join Titus as Marks Marino's title sponsor. Sram, DT
Swiss, Crank Brothers, Zeal Optics, and Athlete Octane will all be contributing
to her program. Specialized will also continue their support of Marks
Marino by providing helmets, shoes, and gloves.
Marks Marino will focus on the mountain bike National Championships,
NORBA series, Sea Otter, and North American World Cups, with Redlands
and other road races rounding out her schedule. Marks Marino will also
maintain her role as a community bicycle advocate and mentor to aspiring
mountain bikers. She continues to be a writer/rider by launching a new
Along with blogging, the site will be a place for others to ask questions
and get answers, learn more about training and racing, link to her sponsors,
and contact her.
Michael Prokop helps open four-cross course in Prague
By Steve Medcroft
The Prague 4X course
Photo ©: Michael Prokop
An Olympic-calibre four-cross mountain-bike park, designed by 2004 Four-Cross
World Champion Michael Prokop, is under construction in the Czech Republic.
"They started to build it three weeks back," Prokop said in
an email to friends. "Everything should be done by the end of this
The course, nestled on a gentle hillside in a Prague residential neighborhood,
will be open for competition for the first time May 1, 2006, just a few
days before the four-cross World Cup season opener (May 6-7, Vigo Spain).
"It should be good race," Prokop says, "with fine prize
money (3,000/2,000/1,000/500 EUR) and a big show with bands, fireworks,
plus an after party with cute Czech chicks."
Prokop's email was sent as an open invitation to the world-class four-cross
field to make a pilgrimage to his new hometown course in May. "Come
race and visit beautiful Prague," he said.
Interested racers can contact promoter POLIS Productions at email@example.com.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Canadian college to offer MTB operations course
College (Sunshine Coast Campus) in British Columbia, Canada, will
offer a "Mountain Bike Operations" Certificate program in September,
2006. The program is a full-time, eight-month program (26 credits) and
covers courses in tourism, risk management, event planning, first aid,
mountain bike skill development, trail design and trail building.
Author Bike Challenge set for 2006
The Author Challenge, a six-stage mounatin-bike stage race in the Polish
and Czech mountains, is back on the schedule after a successful 2005 event.
Organized by Grzegorz Golonko (organizer of the biggest Polish marathon
series – Intel Powerade Bike Maraton) and well-known Czech marathon rider
Vena Hornych (Rock Machine Cyclomax), the race is scheduled for July 24th
through the 29th and will both start and finish in Duszniki Zdrój,
a health resort famous for the International Chopin piano Festival.
Some of the highlights of the 350km (with 7,500 meters of climbing) route
are “Podziemne Miasto Osówka”, a complex of the post-German tunnels
built during WW II (riders will ride several kilometers under ground!),
a famous uphill to Okraj pass and some of the most technical trails riding
the Czech Republic has to offer. Riders will also pass through three national
parks: Park Narodowy Gór Sowich, Karkonoski Park Narodowy and Park
Narodowy Borumovskie Steny, one of the most beautiful places in Poland
and Czech Republic with hundreds of marked mountain bike trails.
The rules of the event are simple and similar to other races such as
TransAlp or Cape Epic. Teams composed of two cyclists compete on the stages,
the fastest wins. Teams will compete in following categories:man, woman,
mix (man and a woman) and masters (two person whose total age is over
80). Registration is opened until 30.06.2006, discount entrance fee (330
Euro per team) will be due before 28.02.2006. Race will be opened and
closed with a traditional pasta party.
2006 Author Bike Challenge stages:
Prologue - 24.07.2006: Duszniki Zdrój (Town center) - Duszniki
Zdrój (Jamrozowa Polana), compulsory for all teams,
Stage 1 - 25.07.2006: Duszniki Zdrój - Police n/Metui (the Czech
Stage 2 - 26.07.2006: Police n/Metui (the Czech Republic) - Gluszyca,
Stage 3 - 27.07.2006: Gluszyca - Karpacz,
Stage 4 - 28.07.2006: Karpacz - Teplice n/Metui (the Czech Republic),
Stage 5 - 29.07.2006: Teplice n/Metui (the Czech Republic) - Duszniki.
For more information at www.bikechallenge.pl.
BBC Midlands honours Rachel Atherton
The awards keep coming for Great Britain's first ever World Champion
in Downhill racing, and why shouldn't they! After a stellar season that
saw not only the awarding of the Rainbow stripes, but also an international
presence that had Atherton rattling the cages of the best World Cup elite
riders like Anne-Caroline Chausson, Sabrina Jonnier and Tracy Moseley,
the awards and recognition are greatly appreciated.
This time it was the BBC Midlands Sports Awards, which are held annually
for outstanding sporting achievements by those who reside in the region
where Atherton lives. Like the previous award from the Sunday Times, Atherton
won for the category of 2005 Young Sportswoman.
The event was held last night at the National Motorcycling Museum in
Birmingham and was jam packed with sport stars from the Midlands, including
Olympic medallist Denise Lewis and cricketer Ashley Giles who was recently
part of the great Ashes win for England.
Atherton, who celebrated her 18th birthday last week, said "I was
totally surprised by winning as the other nominees were really strong.
Not a bad birthday present. I'm honoured to be recognised like this and
can't wait to race again next year."
The awards will be on shown on BBC Midlands at 6.30pm throughout the
New Arrivals - Cateye Double Shot & Triple Shot
Cateye Double Shot
Cateye revolutionized mountain bike lighting a few years ago with the
Stadium, the first ever HID mountain bike headlamp. With a beam equivalent
to an 80 Watt halogen bulb from its 20 Watt Xenon lamps, the Stadium put
out more light than just about anyone could actually use and quickly found
itself competing with less powerful but substantially lighter HID systems,
usually based on 12 Watt HID systems.
The Triple Shot and Double Shot are effectively Cateye's replacements
for the Stadium. Instead of going for ultimate power this time, Cateye
has tried to strike a balance between light output and weight, so the
Shots use rapidly emerging white LED technology to put out the light,
powered by NiMH battery packs. Double Shot has two three Watt LEDs and
is intended for helmet of handlebar mounting, while Triple Shot has three
LEDs and no helmet mount in the pack. Both units come with the same 2700mAh
battery pack which gives a claimed run time of just over three hours for
the Triple Shot and five for the Double.
Cateye Triple Shot
In our 'point the light at your colleagues' tests in the office, both
Shots produce significant spots before your eyes and throw a bright beam
that's easily seen even under strong indoor lighting. We like the look
of construction details such as the locking plug and socket connecting
battery and lamp, and the universal charger that will run off just about
anything and charge the battery in three hours. More when we've had some
night-time trail time.
More info: www.cateye.com
See the rest of the New
Arrivals in the tech section here.
Kona designs AfricaBike
The Kona Bicycle Company has always designed bikes for specific riders'
needs. Kona bicycles have been piloted to World Championship titles, National
Championships titles and World Cup victories. But, in partnering with
Bicycling magazines BikeTown Africa project and Bristol-Myers Squibb
Foundations Secure The Future program, Kona has embarked upon the
design of what could be the most important bicycle the company has ever
The Kona "AfricaBike" will address the unique needs and demanding
conditions that health care workers will face in treating HIV and AIDS
patients in two Botswana cities, Bobonong and the capital city of Gaborone.
More than 200 of the specially-designed will be delivered in late March
The research, design, development and delivery of the Kona AfricaBikes
will be documented at www.konabiketown.com. Konas Design Group has
assembled a bike that will address the challenges southern Africa presents,
including rough, unpaved roads, diverse terrain, long distances, thorns,
and general lack of service personnel and facilities.
The AfricaBike will be a 26 wheeled, single-speed, step-through
frame design, with a Shimano coaster brake, chain guard, comfort saddle
and basket. As well, Kona is working with Kenda to develop a special edition,
puncture-resistant tire that will withstand the rough terrain the bicycles
will travel over.
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