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MTB News & racing round-up for November 24, 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

Marla Streb to be guest coach at Nevada downhill camp

Marla Streb will make a guest coaching appearance at the January BetterRide Downhill Camp in Boulder City, Nevada. With attendance limted to an athlete to coach ratio of 7 to 1 the camp is an amazing opportunity to learn from one of the most talented racers in the sport and her long time training partner Gene Hamilton.

Their first camp Hamilton and Streb held together in January 2005 sold out and was a big hit with the riders. "My first run down the mountain was on a trail that I had ridden many times before," said 2005 camp attendee Chris Shelley. "Gene was following me half way down (to see if I was really paying attention) and it was my best run ever. That one run alone was worth the fee for the clinic, I was so impressed with what I had learned so far! And talking about someone that knows, the highlight of the clinic (how about my life) for me was getting several chances to ride behind Marla. She is so fast and makes it look so easy it's almost like watching a ballerina on a bike it was amazing and very helpful for me."

Designed for downhill racers, this Downhill Camp focuses on core skills, course inspection, finding the fast "pro" lines, memorizing the course and mental preparation and fun. This camp will help racers shave 30 seconds or more off their race times (guaranteed).

For more information or to grab one of the limited seats at the camp, go to www.betterride.net.

Ready for 12 hours in South Florida?

Riders looking for an early, early season challenge (or a chance to get off the rollers if you live in a cold-weather location), check out what race promoter GoneRiding has planned for you; solo or team racing in tropical Southern Florida's Oleta State Park January 7th.

Held on a 10-mile loop of rooty and tight single track with wide jeep-road passing, and a long section with banked turns and jumps, registration for the solo and four-person categories for the 12 Hours of Oleta is open at the promoter's Web site: www.goneriding.com.

Three times a lady: An interview with Louise Kobin

By Steve Medcroft

While Thomas Frischnecht becoming the first non Costa Rican to win La Ruta de los Conquistadores was big news, Louise Kobin, the non Costa Rican women's winner, didn't grab nearly as much limelight. But her success may even be more remarkable than Frischy's.

Remarkable not only because La Ruta truly is every bit the endurance challenge it is advertised to be – in three days, riders climb from ocean front, over a 10,000 foot volcano, up grades as steep as 25%, across rivers, along railroad tracks and through acres and acres of mud that can only be described as like peanut butter – Kobin's win is remarkable because it was her third is as many years.

So who is this queen of La Ruta? Turns out, she's a 37-year-old San Jose-based physical therapist. “And I actually used to be a marathon runner,” Kobin said Wednesday between client appointments. “Then I hurt my back five years ago. I started cross training on my mountain bike and realized I was better at it than running.”

Click here for the full interview

Applications available for NORBA championships

Applications for National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) State and Regional Championships are now available through the USA Cycling Web site. Applications will be accepted Nov. 16, 2005 through March 1, 2006. Championship titles will start to be awarded Nov. 20, 2005, so early submissions are highly encouraged. Championships serve as a qualifier for the USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Championships slated for July 20-23, 2006 in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Click here to go to the application.  If you have any further questions about the NORBA State and Regional Championship program, please contact the NORBA Regional Manager for your region

AMBC calendar announced

USA Cycling has announced the 2006 American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) calendar. The series kicks off March 12 in Reddick, Fla. with the South Eastern Regional Championship Series (SERC) and concludes with the Piney Hills Classic XIII Oct. 22 in Ruston, La. The seven months in between provide opportunities to racers of all abilities to contest top-level regional competition from across the country. AMBC races will also serve as qualifiers for the 2006 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships.

The 2006 calendar features 33 events with the following four new events added to the calendar.

May 13, Idyllwild Spring Challenge, Idyllwild, Calif. XC, Team Relay
May 21, 4th Annual Coyote Classic, Boise, Idaho, XC
June 25, 11th Annual Bulldog Rump, Andover, N.J., XC
July 23, Dawg Days MTB Classic, North Little Rock, Ark., XC

In addition to the senior, master, and professional races, some AMBC events also host the Alison Dunlap Junior Olympic Mountain Bike Series (ADJO-MTB) and the Shimano Youth Series classes. The AJDO-MTB offers riders age 10-18, the chance to test their skills against competitors of the same age. The Shimano Youth Series provides a first-time racing experience for kids who are 12 years old and younger.

For a complete 2006 AMBC Series Calendar, click here.

2006 Canadian Cycling Calendar

The Canadian Cycling Association has presented the preliminary 2006 Canadian Cycling Calendar. More then 37 cycling events will be presented across Canada from May to September 2006. The Mountain Bike sector still leads the Canadian cycling scene with a total of 16 events for 2006, with perennial favourite Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup and new comer Whistler Crankworx cycling festival. The Road sector is following closely with 14 events including the Tour de Beauce Bell and the Montreal Women World Cup. Three events will be held in BMX and Track while Cyclocross got only one race at this time.

All of these events will be part of the newly created Canada Cup Ranking. The ranking will include all national and international events, as well as some selected provincial events presented in Canada. The ranking will be maintained in Road, Mountain Bike (XC, MX, DH, 4X), BMX, Track as well as Cyclocross; and include junior, U23 and elite categories. Leader jerseys will be awarded on a monthly basis in Junior and Elite Categories.

For the complete calendar, go to www.canadian-cycling.com.

Gran Canaria Marathon returns

After a successful inaugural event in 2005 with 70 participants from 11 nations, Gran Canaria will present its second mountain bike marathon on March 18 next year. With 10,000 Euro in prize money thanks to new sponsor Spanish department store group El Corte Ingles, the 2006 edition will be the opener for two race series as well as offering an early-season training camp.

Gran Canaria will open a new Bavarian marathon series, despite being 2,500km from the rest of the races, and the Austrian TREK Mountain bike Challenge. "Let's be honest. The Alps are stunning, but in March mountain bikers are better off if they visit us," said Canaria organiser Petra Wonisch who lived many years in Southern Bavaria herself.

Wonisch is hoping for 300 participants in this years race and there will be two distances on offer. The demanding 80 kilometre long circuit from Maspalomas to Roque Nublo has a total of 2500 metres in elevation gain and is full of breathtaking views and scenic highlights. The route leads through several climate and vegetation zones; it passes reddish Canyons, spectacular rock formations, century old pine and laurel woods, striking plateaus and deep ravines. Alternatively riders can chose the 45 kilometre distance with 1200 metres in elevation gain.

For more information see www.canary-bike.com

Tour de Tryptophan/24 Hours of the Fullerton Loop

The second Annual Tour de Tryptophan/24 Hours of Fullerton will take place in Fullerton, California, from Friday, November 25 at noon until Saturday at noon. Proceeds from this Thanksgiving weekend event will go to Hans Rey's Wheels 4 Life charity that provides bikes to people in underprivileged societies.

The Fullerton Loop is a 12-mile mountain bike ride through city parks, neighbourhoods, horse trails and single tracks in Fullerton, California. There have been regular weekly mountain bike rides on the loop since about 1983. Overnight camping has been arranged at the bottom of the Brea Dam on Harbor Blvd., north of Chapman Ave at the end of the loop. Plenty of snacks, prizes, raffles, event T-shirts, coffee and a free tech area will be available.

For more information about Wheels 4 Life, click here.

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