MTB News & racing round-up for December 21, 2005
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in the dirt. Feel
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Rando dual leader in Aussie downhill Nats
By Sharon Payne
Jared Rando dominates two mountain bike disciplines in Australia now
after winning the Iron Horse Downhill at Thredbo December 18th. Rando
had a dream run on the 4.3km Cannonball Run to finish comfortably ahead
of Liam Panozzo and Justin Havukainen in third. With temperatures of 2.5
degrees at the start line, Rando let nothing stand in his way with the
quickest run of the day in 6:14.08.
The win gives Rando his first for the weekend after crashing in the
semi-final of the mountain cross on Friday night. He still maintains his
lead in that series. Coming into the downhill event, Rando was second
on the points, but after today's win he takes over the lead from World
Silver Medallist, Sam Hill from Western Australia.
Rando was closely watched by Jared Graves, the winner of the last two
events at Thredbo. Graves, the World silver medallist in Mountain Cross
also lined up in the downhill and turned in the best qualifying run of
6.19.22. However, Graves crashed mid way down in the final run, costing
him precious seconds.
Adding to the excitement, snow started to fall at the top of the run
just as the finals were beginning, with the chill factor an extra challenge
for riders used to warmer climates. According to Graves it was the snow
and rain affected track that caused his stack.
"I was having a really good run and just tried a little too hard in
the middle section and it's all sort of greasy in there from the rain
we've had in the last couple of days. Pretty well I hit a root, and before
I knew it my back wheel was in front of my front wheel and I was heading
back up the side of the hill into the bushes."
Rando however said the track was in great condition despite the snow.
"It didn't really effect it, actually it was really grippy and almost
perfect for racing on. It was just like hero traction."
In the qualifying run the previous day's rainfall took its toll and
times were slower than expected. Graves qualified fastest with Rando just
off the pace and Bryn Atkinson third fastest of the day. Sickness struck
Atkinson, ruling him out of the final run which left the door open for
Liam Panozzo, who had the most improved time of the day.
The downhill comp takes place on the legendary 4.2km Cannonball Run,
which is packed full of jumps, berms and turns, and it seems, even the
odd real-life cannonball!
Sydney rider Rohan Gearing was the unfortunate victim of a rogue boulder...
"I was just at the start gate ready to race, and unfortunately, just
as the clock was about to let me go, a rock rolled down the side of the
hill and just bowled me over," he explained. "It just damaged the gear
mechanism at the back there, the rock sort of smashed it, yeah I've just
got to fix it up and make it go so I can race again.
Officials allowed Gearing to ride the final run and he managed 23rd
For complete results, click here.
Double Celebrations for Graves in Thredbo
By Sharon Payne
Jared Graves celebrated his 23rd birthday and a win in his first Mountain
Cross race in Australia at Thredbo on Friday night. The Toowoomba rider
won the final just beating ex-World BMX Champion, Wade Bootes from the
Gold Coast. The two had last raced at the World Championships in Italy
in September where Graves won the silver medal and Bootes finished tenth.
Graves won in straight heats and chose the inside track to keep Wade
Bootes, his closest rival, on his outside. "They didn't know who to give
lane choice to because we'd both won all our rounds," said Graves. "We
did paper, scissors, rock and I won that so. I chose Lane 2." The decision
paid off for Graves. "I knew Wade and I would be pretty similar to the
first corner, so for me it was pretty important to be on his inside,"
The Toowoomba rider had just recovered from a training injury just in
time to make the trip down to Thredbo.
Bootes, 34 now bows out of Mountain Cross riding to focus his attention
on gaining selection in the Australian BMX Olympic squad to race in Beijing
in 2008. "I'll start focusing on the Olympics. It's going to be tough
getting on the team," stated Bootes.
Third was Shane Wode from Brisbane.
The favourite to win was National Series Leader, Jared Rando from Canberra
crashed in the first turn of the semi-finals with Luke Strom.
The new style of track design got the approval of the World Class riders.
International track designer, Glen Jacobs has created a unique mountain
cross track that allows for closer and more exciting racing.
For a complete list of results, click here.
Cycling BC 2006 MTB calendar and ranking system
Cycling BC has announced the 2006 BC mountain bike race calendar and
ranking system. A departure from the BC Cup series held in previous years,
the BC mountain bike ranking system is intended to promote growth of participation
in mountain bike competition by providing incentives for cycling clubs
to organise races and recruit new racing members. In addition to BC Cup
events, provincial ranking points are awarded for most races on the provincial
calendar. The scale and depth of points awarded at each race corresponds
to its level of sanction.
By making it possible to accumulate points at most races, Cycling BC
hopes to encourage strong club-level racing in all regions of the province,
making it possible for Cycling BC members to maintain a ranking by supporting
local races, as well as some of the higher-level events. As such, Cycling
BC affiliated clubs are encouraged to register their events on the provincial
calendar so that riders in each region of the province can earn more points.
All points accumulated by each rider between January 1 and October 15
are used to determine the provincial ranking in each eligible category
for 2006. There is no minimum or maximum number of races, nor is attendance
at any particular event mandatory in order to maintain a ranking. For
all beginner and sport ability categories, as well as the senior expert
categories, ranking points will be maintained for upgrade purposes.
Complete details of the Ranking System and 2006 Mountain Bike Calendar
can be found on the Cycling BC web site (www.cycling.bc.ca)
. Cycling BC still expects to add more events to the Calendar as the winter
progresses; new versions of the Calendar will be posted periodically.
Cannondale announces new MTB team
Cannondale has announced the formation of a new powerhouse cross country
racing team this week, which will contend for the top spot on the World
Cup circuit. This multi-year partnership with global tire manufacturer
Vredestein blends established winners with young rising stars for a program
that Cannondale expects to make its way onto podiums well into the future.
This cross country team is a fundamental part of Cannondale's commitment
to mountain bike racing and development in all disciplines; from top level
pros to aspiring young athletes, from cross country to gravity.
"With the continued diversification in the sport of mountain biking,
we felt it necessary to communicate our cross country product story with
a team focused on cross country racing," said Matt Mannelly, President
of the Cannondale Brand. "In addition, we recognise that the gravity disciplines
and riders are best served through a program focused on those races and
events and not contained within a classic cross country-based team structure."
The team's 2006 roster includes Swedish rising star Fredrik Kessiakoff,
who remains aboard a Cannondale and will continue his rise to the top
levels of the sport with the new team. Fredrik finished fourth overall
in the UCI Cross Country World Cup rankings in 2005 and eighth in the
Marathon World Cup after winning his home round of Falun, Sweden.
Kiwi Kashi Leuchs will return to the Cannondale family in 2006, joining
Fredrik as a formidable pairing for the World Cup season. In addition,
Kashi is targeting the 2006 World Championships which will be held in
his native New Zealand. "I'm excited to return to the Cannondale family
and also to be able to contribute to a racer support program like the
one I started with," stated Kashi, referring to Cannondale Europe's plans
to launch a grassroots program in 2006.
Peter Riis Anderson also joins the team from Denmark. Peter is currently
ranked 12th in UCI world rankings, and finished fourth at the Marathon
Completing the team is another Danish Dynamite, Jakob Fuglsang, the
2005 Under 23 World Cup Champion and currently the top ranked rider in
the UCI U23 ranking. Jakob comes from the Heijdens-Ten Tusscher Team,
also sponsored by Cannondale and Vredestein in 2005.
The team is managed by Jan ten Tusscher and Ruud Poels and is linked
with the Heijdens ten Tusscher development team, which gives promising
young riders like Jakob a chance to compete at the highest level of the
sport and ultimately paves their way to a professional racing career.
With three riders in the UCI top twenty, this young and focused team
will target World Cup events, the World Championships, and the 2008 Olympic
Games to be held in Peking. The team will race aboard the Cannondale Scalpel
equipped with Lefty fork and Vredestein new line-up of mountain bike tires.
Irmiger to Subaru-Gary Fisher
Heather Irmiger, winner of the NORBA NCS cross country at Brian Head
and sixth place overall in the NCS Series, has joined the Subaru-Gary
Fisher team for 2006.
"Heather was already a big part of our program last year," said team
manager Jon Rourke. Heather raced for the Gary Fisher-sponsored Tokyo
Joes team, and at National events based her endeavours out of the Subaru-Gary
Fisher team truck. "She brings such a youthful exuberance to everything
she does, working with her in the past has been great and it will be even
better having her as an official member of the squad. She really earned
this. She had a great year last year with eight NORBA podiums, and will
have more time to focus on racing and training this season. I am very
optimistic about her potential."
For 2006 Heather will focus on the NCS Series, the US National Championships,
and North American World Cup events. Her signature strength is on climbing
courses, but she is training for more power next season so that she can
contend for a win on any course.
Sydor tops Canadian cycling achievements list
CanadianCyclist.com has announced the results of the first-ever poll
on Canadian cycling achievements. After two weeks of voting, thousands
of readers chose the top-10 individual achievements of Canadian cyclists,
from a list of 25 significant athletic accomplishments.
"We began this project after Forbes.com released a list of the top-20
athletic achievements," explained CanadianCyclist.com editor Rob Jones.
"After compiling a list of nearly 50 significant achievements by Canadian
cyclists, we pared it down to 25 and let our readers decide. When you
read through the list, there are some incredible accomplishments for a
so-called 'non-cycling' nation."
Leading the list were Alison Sydor and Steve Bauer, who took four of
the top five spots between them, and seven of the top-10. Also on the
top-10 list were Lori-Ann Muenzer (4th) for her Olympic gold medal in
Athens (the first Canadian cyclist to win an Olympic gold medal), Roland
Green (tied for 7th) for his incredible 2001 season, and Curt Harnett
(9th), for his world record in the flying 200 metre time trial, a record
that has not been broken after more than 10 years.
The full top-10 list is:
1. Alison Sydor's three consecutive world titles (1994-96)
2. Steve Bauer's 1990 Tour de France, when he spent 10 days in the Yellow
3. Steve Bauer's 1988 Tour, when he won a stage, finished 4th overall
and spent 5 days in Yellow
4. Lori-Ann Muenzer's Olympic gold medal in the sprint at the 2004 Olympics,
Canada's first Olympic gold medal in cycling
5. Alison Sydor's 17 World Cup victories (mountain bike cross-country)
6. Alison Sydor's 13 consecutive years of top-5 finishes (cross-country,
1992-2004) at the World Championships, including 3 gold, 5 silver and
2 bronze medals
7. Roland Green's 2001 season, when he was World Champion, World Cup Champion,
World Team Relay Champion, National Champion and won two U.S. national
(NORBA) series titles
7. Steve Bauer wins the silver medal at the 1984 Olympics as an amateur,
immediately turns professional and wins a bronze medal one week later
at the Professional World Championships
9. Curt Harnett's world record in the flying 200 metre time trial (9.865
seconds) at the 1995 World Championships, a record that still stands
10. Alison Sydor's silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in the inaugural
Olympic mountain bike event
A full list of the achievements that were voted on can be found in the
Daily News section of CanadianCyclist.com
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