MTB news & racing round-up for December 16, 2006
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Edited by Sue George
Ross gears up winter training with eye toward 2007
Photo ©: Xavier Fane
Nat Ross (Subaru-Gary Fisher) racked up countless hours of endurance
racing during a successful 2006. The endurance racer won the 24 hour National
Point Series thanks to race wins at the 24
Hours of Moab, Landahl, and Temecula. In between the 24 hour races,
Ross found time to compete in the Race Across America (RAAM).
Ross, with his affable, easy-going personality, spoke to Cyclingnews
about 2007, which will be his fifth season with the Subaru-Gary Fisher
team. He will focus on 24 hour races and repeating the 24 hour series
title. He'll also mix in some shorter, grassroots events.
"I'm very excited for the upcoming season. My team's philosophy
for me fits perfectly with my program. In the shorter races, I get fit
and in the longer races, I try to do well," said Ross. "I found
myself racing 170 days per year, but that was too much, so now I don't
race both types as much. I do a lot of grassroots races and festival-style
races to cover that scene for Fisher."
Ross was returning from a weekend of cross-country ski racing. The versatile
athlete is planning some interesting off season activities. He hopes to
go to winter triathlon worlds in Italy for a race comprised of cycling,
cross-country skiing, and running.
"I'll get a lot of riding in during the winter on my mountain bike.
I just moved to Golden, Colorado, and I'll do some fun, long rides to
explore my surroundings," said Ross, who made the move to focus more
on cycling, in particular, his speed and power.
Ross will ride his 29'er in 2007. He's looking at the NORBA ultra-endurance
races, the 24 hours of Old Pueblo, Leadville, the Firecracker 50, and
he said, "I'd like to go back to Moab."
As for the road, Ross said, "I'm also doing the Race Across America.
It wasn't on my calendar before last year because I used to spend June
in Europe. I'll do it again next year. But I'll never do it solo, only
as part of a team."
Don't expect to see him at any 100 milers. "I don't particularly
enjoy the 100 milers. You go as hard as you can for 9 hours, and I find
I can either do that for 3 hours or 24 hours, but not that middle distance.
I also have a huge support crew for the 24 hours, but I don't drag them
to the 100 milers. I don't want to burn them out, and so I'm on my own."
Mountain Bike worlds worth $33.5 million to the economy
Defending men's XC champion Julien
Photo ©: Rob Jones
mountain bike and trials world championships, held in Rotorua in August,
had an economic impact of NZ$33.5 million. Studies undertaken by Market
Economics and Waiariki Institute of Technology show that the championships
generated NZ$12.2 million in direct new money spent in Rotorua that would
not have occurred otherwise. At a national level, an additional NZ$17.7
million was attributed to the UCI MTB World Champs. Once the flow on effects
are assessed, the contribution to GDP rises to NZ$21.1 million nationally.
The Waiariki Institute study estimated that visitors to the World Championships
spent NZ$2,712,533 per day in Rotorua, and this did not include the money
by the competitors and those directly involved in the event.
"This is a great result," said event director, Arthur Klap.
"The initial feasibility study, in 2001, estimated an economic impact
around $9 million. It is a wonderful that the actual results have far
The worlds impact translated into sustaining the equivalent of 143 full-time
workers for a year based on the money spent in Rotorua. Nationally, the
spending correlated to sustaining the equivalent of 191 full time workers
for a year. Again, factoring in flow effects, the numbers are more like
219 fulltime workers for a year in the region and 340 nationally.
Klap was delighted to learn that Rotorua benefited to such an extent
and that there is likely to be a long term benefit from the event. "More
importantly, there was a great atmosphere throughout the week and Rotorua
was able to promote itself on the world stage as a premiere mountain biking
destination. This will drive future tourist dollars to the region."
The New Zealand Community Trust estimated that the worlds attracted 40,000
spectators over the six days, 538 riders from 36 countries, and 1,818
accredited visitors, including 246 media.
Australia national mountain bike resumes this weekend with Round #3
Photo ©: Mikkeli Godfree
Cross country racing returns to Thredbo this weekend as part of round
three of the National Mountain Biking Series. After five years, the ski
slopes will once again see riders like Olympian Sid Taberlay of Tasmania
and fellow Commonwealth Games star, Chris Jongewaard of Adelaide racing
at altitudes over 1350m. A win for Taberlay would give him the series
lead since the current leader, Aiden Lefmann, will be absent. The 2005
Series Leader, Dylan Cooper is currently in the third spot with fellow
Canberra rider Shaun Lewis sitting poised in fourth. Jongewaard is ranked
eighth, and a podium placing could mover him into contention.
Lachlan Norris from Bendigo leads the Under 23 division with Ben Henderson
from Canberra close behind. Hendersons younger sister, Rebecca has
had stunning performance this season and at just 15 years-old is leading
the Under 23 women's division.
Photo ©: Mikkeli Godfree
Womens elite racing is being dominated by Tory Thomas. However,
two riders being developed as part of the Dirt Roads to London
program, Zoe King and Renee Fortunato are sitting in second and fourth
respectively. Caroline Jackson, a former English champion is third on
the points tally while Rowena Fry from Launceston has consistent rides
to place fifth overall.
The course in Thredbo has received good reviews by cross country riders
with a vertical rise of 200m every lap. Elite women will race four laps
beginning at 9:30 am The elite men and under 23 division will race six
laps of the 5.75 km course starting at 12:45 pm.
Cross country riders take a back seat Sunday as many of the world's best
downhill riders take to the ski slopes in round 3 of the National Series.
World bronze medalist, Nathan Rennie will race current series leader and
winner of the last round Amiel Cavalier.
Subaru-Gary Fisher announces 2007 roster
JHK, Irminger, Koerber, and others renew
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary
Photo ©: Susan Candee
Subaru-Gary Fisher announced its 2007 roster. The team's core will return;
Jeremy Horgan Kobelski, Nat Ross, Heather Irmiger, Willow Koerber, Jenny
Copnall, Ken Onodera, Asa Erlandsson, and Dror Pekatch have renewed their
contracts. New riders for 2007 include current U23 US champ, Sam
Schultz, and Great Britains Phil Spencer.
Next year's team is looking to build on past success. In 2006, Horgan-Kobelski
captured the overall NMBS cross country title in the US, and Ross pulled
in the overall National Point Series 24 hour solo title in addition to
finishing the Race Across America (RAAM).
Horgan-Kobelski's wife, Irmiger, and Koerber round out the American women's
roster. Irmiger finished second overall in the NMBS Series that included
a first place finish at the Brian Head NORBA series race for a second
straight year and a first at Deer
Valley NORBA series race. Koerber looks to build on her international
momentum from 2006. She finished as second overall American in the World
Cup series and fifth overall in the NMBS standings in 2006.
In fact, the Subaru-Gary Fisher team has two divisions: a National Team
and a Global Team. The National Team will race largely in North America
with a focus on the US National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS), World Cups,
premier domestic events, and select international races.
On the global side, Copnall won the British womens overall cross
country title. She returns to Subaru-Gary Fisher for her fourth season
after finishing as the British National XC Champion, British National
Marathon Champion, British National Points Series Champion and ranked
first in the British National Rankings. Her teammate Asa Erlandsson took
the Swedish womens overall marathon win in 2006.
23-year-old Spencer was the third-ranked British cross-country racer
on the UCI circuit in 2006. The 21-year-old, Japanese Onodera, Swedish
Asa Erlandsson, and Israel's Dror Pekatch round out the men's Global team.
On test: Formula Oro Puro disc brakes
Lightweight stoppers with plenty of bite
Formula's new Oro Puro hydraulic
disc brake is a true lightweight,
Photo ©: James Huang
Few components demonstrate the trade-off between light weight and performance
more plainly than disc brakes, but Formula somehow manages to walk the
line to deliver a package that is not only easy on the scale, but offers
impressive clamping power.
Formula has had a bit of a tough time in the hydraulic disc brake world.
Although it has had its share of standouts, including the ultralight,
but somewhat fragile, B4SL+, things just never quite caught on and the
company was left standing squarely on the B-list while others gobbled
up market share and race wins. Formula clearly wasn't content to stay
on the lesser rung, though, as it introduced an entirely new brake last
year that was a dramatic departure from its previous offerings.
Keep it in the family
Instead of introducing just one new hydraulic disc brake, Formula saw
fit to launch a whole new platform. The Oro line consists of four distinct
models: the wallet-friendly K18, the mid-level K24, the top-end Puro (caught
on to the naming convention yet?), and the so-chromed-out-that-your-retinas-bleed
Greg Minaar signature-edition Bianco.
Each member of the family shares the same basic ingredients but varies
in features, materials, finish
and, of course, cost. On the whole,
the Oro is a pretty slick-looking design. Common architecture includes
a compact flip-flop master cylinder with a cleverly concealed reservoir
for the DOT 4 hydraulic fluid, a tidy two-piece, two-piston aluminum caliper,
and a full range of stainless steel rotors that start at 140mm in diameter
(for rear only) and go all the way up to a pizza-sized 220mm. With the
exception of the base-model K18, all Oro brakes also include Formula's
neatly concealed Feeling Control System (FCS), which adjusts the pad contact
point a la the Speed Dial on select Juicy models from Avid.
To read the complete review, click
To read other mountain bike tech news, click
USA Cycling awards US$5,000 to local mountain bike clubs for trail improvement
USA Cycling announced the recipients of the 2006 USA Cycling/International
Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Trail Tune-Up Grants.
Funded by USA Cycling, two US$1,000 grants and six US$500 grants were
awarded to several groups seeking to jump-start trail improvement projects
with an emphasis placed on trails used for competitive racing.
After receiving applications from all corners of the United States, USA
Cycling and IMBA selected recipients from Virginia, Colorado, Wisconsin,
California, Ohio, Alabama, and New York. In order to be eligible for the
funding, clubs had to be members of both USA Cycling and IMBA.
The Shenandoah Mountain Bike Club in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the
Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association in Cable, Wisconsin were awarded
The Shenandoah Mountain Bike Club, in partnership with the Massanutten
Four Seasons Resort, is in the process of completely rebuilding a 2.5-mile
section of trail featured prominently in the Massanutten Hoo-Ha mountain
bike race. The funds awarded will be allocated to help road-to-trail conversions
of old logging routes, leaving behind environmentally-sustainable trails
full of table-tops, berms, and hand-constructed rock gardens.
The Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association is home to the nationally-recognized
Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, a 40-mile race that caters to 1,800 riders
annually. The funds will be used for a trail construction initiative proposed
by the club in order to take better advantage of the active Midwestern
racing scene. The construction efforts will be centered around the community
of Hayward, Wisconsin, where a 29-mile cluster of trails will be groomed
to increase racing opportunities.
The six US$500 grants were awarded to the Platte Canyon High School Mountain
Bike Team in Bailey, Colorado, the Bicyclists of Nevada County/Nevada
Union Independent Mountain Bike Team in California, the Miami (Ohio) University
Cycling Team, the Trail of Legends Association in Wetumpka, Alabama, the
Elkhorn Valley Cycling Club/Andrew Bicycle and Fitness, and the New York-based
Westchester Mountain Bike Association.
The Platte Canyon High School Mountain Bike Team will use the funds to
purchase trail construction tools that will assist in the construction
of a competition-oriented course for the team.
Bicyclists of Nevada County/Nevada Union Independent Mountain Bike Team
will use the money to improve existing race courses at the Old Nevada
City Airport in Nevada City by installing permanent trail signage and
undertaking additional maintenance activities.
The Miami University Cycling Team, in conjunction with schools
engineering department, will construct two trailhead kiosks, an additional
2.5 miles of trail and five small bridges in Hueston Woods State Park,
its primary training ground.
The Trail of Legends Association plans to re-route and lengthen sections
of the course used in the Attack on Swayback race.
The Elkhorn Valley Cycling Club and Andrew Bicycle and Fitness are teaming
up to support trail improvements of the Maskenthine Lake Mountain Bike
Trail. The improvement will feature an extension of the trail system used
for a race in the Nebraska Psycowpath Mountain Bike Race Series.
The Westchester Mountain Biking Association plans on using the funds
to permanently mark the course used in the Chainstretcher Mountain Bike
Race and assist in the promotion of the riding and racing opportunities
provided by the club.
24 hour solo film enters post production
Photo ©: Bill McCarrick
Directors of the film 24 Solo announced the film has moved into post-production.
Some highlights of the film which follows Trek/VW's Chris Eatough's bid
for a seventh consecutive 24
hours of Adrenalin world solo championships, includes helicopter shots
of Eatough training and night-vision shots of the race course.
The film will make its world premier on April 13, 2007, in Monterey,
California during the Sea Otter Classic.
Kranked 6 draws mainstream attention to mountain biking
Video footage from Progression - Kranked 6 was loaded onto the first
two million copies of Microsoft's Zune Digital Media Player. The
device, which retails for US$249.99 went on sale to the public in mid-November.
Besides mountain biking footage, it comes with a variety of songs, videos,
films and images, the device. So why mountain biking? David Paleschuck
of Microsoft said, "We selected the video trailer of Progression
- Kranked 6 because we wanted to give our consumers some fresh and exciting
material that they will want to share with their friends. Were infusing
the spirit of discovery and sharing into everything we do-from the experience
we crafted around the device and service to pre-loading music and videos
on every device to expose people to something new."
The Kranked 6 video features footage of Ben Boyko, Ryan Leech, Jamie
Goldman, James Doerfling, Mike Kinrade, Steve Romaniuk and Eric Porter.
Registration opens for 2007 Australian Mountain Bike Championships
Registration is now open for the 2007 Australian Mountain Bike Championships
for four mountain biking disciplines: cross country, downhill, mountain
cross, and trials. The championships will be hotly contested on the newly
established courses at the purpose-built AUS$6 million Stromlo Forest
Park in Canberra from January 24 - 28, 2007. Over 1,500 competitors and
10,000 supporters and spectators are expected during the four days of
competition. The venue is conveniently located only 10 minutes from a
On the back of winning Cycling Australias highest honour for cycling
events for the 2006, the SCOTT 24hr Australian Mountain Bike Championships,
CanberraOff-RoadCyclists (CORC), and Apis Events will again join forces
to host the nationals.
Mountain Bike Australia Executive Officer Tony Scott said "Australia's
top riders will contest the nationals with an eye on winning the Australian
title in their respective discipline. Success at the pinnacle of Australian
MTB competition will open up the possibility to be selected on the Australian
team to contest the World MTB Championships, which in 2007 will be held
in Fort William, Scotland."
Dellys Starr at last year's Australian
Photo ©: Mikkeli Godfree
CORC president Anthony Burton said that while the elite categories will
attract Australias best riders, the event is open to all riders
from junior (under 15) through to masters and super masters in the over
50s. "You dont have to be a professional rider to compete
in the nationals," Burton said.
Glen Jacobs, internationally renowned course designer, created the course,
which is also the proposed home of the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials
CORC and Apis Events, who form the provisional organising committee for
the potential world championships, will discover during the event if Canberras
bid has been successful. Burton said, "Fingers are crossed that we
will be celebrating more than just national titles over the Australia
Day long weekend."
Organizers are also looking for volunteers to fill a variety of roles
for the week prior to the event, the week of the event and the week following.
Volunteers will perform a wide range of important tasks including course
marshals, parking and traffic control, race and event installations, administration,
timing, merchandise sales and general duties.
For more information, visit www.nationalseries.com.au or email email@example.com.
Friberg signs with SRM Simplon Team
The 25-year-old Calle Friberg, a top Swedish rider and former national
U23 champion, signed with the German based SRM Simplon Team. He is the
first international rider to join the German squad. Looking to 2007, Friberg
will race the Swedish national championships, the German Bundesliga series,
the European World Cup races, and various races in Austria and Switzerland.
Long term, he is looking toward a spot on the Swedish Olympic Team for
Friberg will head to Mallorca/Spain for some winter training and will
begin racing in Cyprus in March.
Swisspower partners with DT Swiss
Thomas Frischknecht (Swisspower/
Photo ©: Rob Jones
Scott USA announced that its Swisspower team will ride DT Swiss suspension
front and rear this season. Scott and DT, both Swiss companies, will extend
their developmental partnership to include team sponsorship.
DT Swiss entered into a two-year agreement with the team, and will use
input from the riders to further develop the Nude rear shock for Scott,
as well as its new front suspension offerings. Swisspower team riders
Thomas Frischknecht, Nino Schurter, and Florian Vogel will compete on
the brand new Scott Spark, which is already the lightest XC race bike
"We're really excited about the partnership," said Adrian Montgomery
of Scott USA. "The Nude project allowed us to share the traction
control function with a suspension company. Having three travel modes
available at your fingertips is a distinguishing characteristic of Scott
Dirt Devils to host first Tasmanian 24 hour race
Hot off the success of hosting round #2 of the Australian National Mountain
Bike Series, the Hobart Dirt Devils will be presenting Tasmania's first
ever 24 hour Mountain Bike endurance event.
The action will take place on May 5, 2007, at Kellevie in Tasmania's
South East. Located in the Sorell Municipality, Kellevie is only 25 minutes
from the Hobart International Airport.
Planning is well underway for this event with the promoters continuing
to build quality tracks and develop the race venue. There is a myriad
of tracks and places to camp in the area, but further logistical details
will be posted on www.kellevie24.com
13th Annual Onabike Cup slated for this weekend
Britain's longest established downhill race, the Onabike Cup happens
again on December 17th in Ashcombe. It was established in 1994. Over the
years, the course and the bikes have evolved. At the 1994 edition, only
four racers rode full suspension, including the winner Steve Kitchen.
The race has been held at Ashcombe every year and was originally a one-off
downhill race. It now wraps up the South West downhill series, with its
regular near-Christmas, season-ending date.
Ashley Mullane won the even the last two editions in 2004 and 2005.
NMBS heads into 2007 with team, industry alliances
The 2007 National Mountain Bike Race Series (NMBS) is set to run from
March through August of next year, with six stops in five US states. The
series will operate in conjunction with, and constitute a major portion
of, USA Cyclings new mountain bike national calendar, which seeks
to replicate the success that the National Racing Calendar has enjoyed
in the American road racing scene.
"USAC has a new initiative, but for the NMBS, nothing has changed,"
says co-owner Jeff Frost. "We maintain the same priorities that we
have done throughout the years of running the series. Those priorities
are: the growth of the sport of mountain bike racing through provision
of good courses and venues in accessible locations, the support of the
elite athletes, teams and manufacturer in the sport, and the entertainment
and involvement of the amateur riders and fans."
The NMBS was once known as the "NORBA" National Championship
Mountain Bike Series, but now it is owned partly by Tom Spiegel of Team
Big Bear, an event organizer from the early days, and the ubiquitous Jeff
Frost of BlueWolf Events. The series visits Arizona, California, Colorado,
North Carolina, and Utah and is geared toward racing professionals, enthusiasts,
and industry leaders alike.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)