MTB News & racing round-up for January 6, 2006
Edited by Steve Medcroft and Jeff Jones
Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in the dirt. Feel
free to send feedback, news and gossip to email@example.com
Meirhaeghe back at Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
2003 MTB world champion Filip Meirhaeghe has signed a three-year contract
with Belgian Continental Pro team Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, for whom he
had already raced in 2002. The 34-year-old will participate in road and
MTB races, as this discipline is still the Belgian's greatest ambition.
Therefore, the team has announced the creation of a mountainbike squad
"I've known Filip Meirhaeghe as a valuable rider on road, mountainbike
and even track," said the team's general manager Gerard Bulens. "Indeed,
I'm a great supporter of his and want to give him a second chance." Meirhaeghe
tested positive for EPO at the Mont Saint Anne race in Canada in June
2004 and then admitted his doping offence openly. While being punished
with a 15-month ban from cycling, the Belgian wrote a book Positive.
His ban is due to end on January 14, 2006.
"I'm very happy and would like to thank all my sponsors," said Meirhaeghe.
"I will keep on fighting and do everything I can to fulfil my promises.
I shouldn't say this, but Beijing 2008 could be a goal for me; at least
I have two years to prepare for it," he added.
Haro Bikes signs Eric Porter, re-signs Cody Warren
Photo ©: Haro Bikes
Photo ©: Haro Bikes
Haro Bikes recently announced the consolidation of it's 2006 MTB team
roster with the addition of Eric Porter and the re-signing of 2005 breakout
Freerider Eric Porter will compete on Haro frames in all the major slopestyle
and freeride events, along with many filming and photo trips. “I
am really psyched to be riding for Haro for at least the next 2 years,”
said Porter. “They have always sponsored the best riders in the
world: Voreis, Strait, Nyquist, Mirra, the list goes on, so it’s
a real honour to join that group of riders”.
In addition to several podium appearances, Porter has appeared in videos
and magazines worldwide. He’s also credited with being the first
rider to grind handrails on a mountain bike without pegs and the first
rider to do flairs on a mountain bike. “We’re thrilled to
have Eric on board,” said Jill Hamilton, Haro Mountain Bike Brand
Manager. “After 3 great years with Iron Horse, Eric has switched
to Haro to expand his opportunities and work on new projects”.
2005 U.S. National Downhill Champion Cody Warren returns to Haro for
the 2006 season and will be looking to defend his title on Haro downhill
and mountain cross frames. “I’m very happy to have re-signed
with Haro for the upcoming season,” says Warren.
Warren had a breakout season last year, finishing 2nd overall in the
NORBA mountain cross series standings and 5th overall in the NORBA downhill
standings. He was also the top American finisher in downhill at the 2005
UCI World Championships. “Haro has supported Cody for the past three
years; it’s been really exciting to see him grow as an athlete,”
says Jill Hamilton, Haro Mountain Bike Brand Manager. “We’re
obviously really excited to have the opportunity to support Cody again
Cody Warren and Eric Porter join Haro freerider/racer Cameron Zink to
round out the Haro Bikes roster for 2006.
Chris Kovarik to MS-Intense Factory-Racing
Australian DH and 4X star Chris Kovarik has signed for MS-Intense Factory-Racing
for the 2006/2007 seasons. After a couple of top results in his comeback
season in 2005, Kovarik is aiming for the top three in overall UCI world
cup and the UCI world championships. He will join his Swiss teammate Claudio
Caluori and the Australian newcomer Darren Pokoj to represent MS-Intense
Factory-Racing at all UCI world cups, the European IXS series and chosen
international events like the Sea Otter Classics or the Crankworx Festival.
Beside the international riders, the Austrian athletes Petra Bernhard,
Mathias Haas and Georg Engel complete the team with main focus on European
"We are very lucky about the actual team structure and the development
of MS-Racing," commented team manager Lukas Haider. "The closer cooperation
with Intense cycles and the engagement of C.K. are further steps on the
way to realise the vision of the MS-Racing founder Markus Stoeckl of an
ideal working mountain bike racing team."
Jill Kintner to GT
24 year-old gravity specialist Jill Kintner has signed with GT Bicycles
for 2006. Kintner has a background in BMX riding, which she was very successful
at in her late teens, before switching to MTB when she was 21. In 2005,
she won the 4X World Championship, World Cup, US Championship, Jeep King
of the Mountain, Australian Series, Sea Otter, Crankworx, and took first
place in the NORBA Slalom at Deer Valley.
"I'm a competitor and want to win every time I compete, but I also enjoy
the camaraderie of the sport," said Kintner. "I have met extraordinary
people from around the world and feel very lucky in my life to have had
these opportunities through my bike racing.
"GT has always had the best of the best on their program, so for me
to make it to that level and for them to recognize my accomplishments
means a lot."
IMBA announces 12 U.S. National Parks bike projects
This week, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and
the National Park Service (NPS) announced twelve partnership trail maintenance
projects for 2006 including three pilot programs to be carried out in
Big Bend National Park (Texas), Fort Dupont National Park (Washington,
DC) and Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio).
Big Bend National Park (Texas): John King, Big Bend's superintendent,
says his park is close to initiating an Environmental Assessment study,
a necessary first step toward creating opportunities for singletrack riding
in the 801,000-acre park. "I expect that we'll be able to start the
study in a matter of weeks," says King. "First, we'll find out
if mountain biking is appropriate for Big Bend. If the results of the
study are favourable, we'll move forward with a rule-making procedure that
would open the way for mountain biking in non-Wilderness areas."
Jeff Renfrow, a local mountain bike advocate with the Big Bend Trails
Alliance, is excited about the prospect of working with park staff and
IMBA. "We are especially honoured to be a part of a process that we
hope will lead to the creation of additional mountain biking opportunities
in the national park system," says Renfrow.
Fort Dupont National Park (Washington, DC): Fort Dupont provides
a unique opportunity for singletrack mountain bicycling inside the Beltway
with eight miles of existing trails open to biking. However, the trails
are in need of repair to make them more environmentally sound. "National
Capital Parks-East is very excited about the opportunity to work with
IMBA and its local affiliate, the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts,"
says Superintendent Gayle Hazelwood. "The assessment of the hiking
and biking trails within the Fort Circle Parks will greatly assist our
park with the goals of improving both trail sustainability and visitor
access and enjoyment of the trail system."
Dan Hudson, for Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE), added: "The
Fort Circle Trail is a great resource for trail users on the east side
of town. There are segments where erosion has become a concern. MORE is
excited to help repair and protect this valuable resource."
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio): "We are keenly interested
in examining mountain bicycling as a possible component of our next trail
management plan revision," says Bill Carroll, deputy superintendent
While the timetable for establishing a pilot mountain bicycling program
in Ohio is still in development, local bike advocates are hopeful that
preliminary studies will be approved. "The park is only 15 minutes
from downtown Cleveland, and is no more than an hour and a half from more
than 4 million residents of northeast Ohio. This trail has the potential
to become one of the best in Ohio and a destination for the entire region,"
says Mike Farley, of the IMBA-affiliated Cleveland Area Mountain Bicycling
IMBA trail advocate wraps Aussie tour
The International Mountain Bicycling
Photo ©: IMBA
Joey Klein, a master trail builder and trail advocate for the International
Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), recently wrapped up a six-week
tour of Australia. Operating on a whirlwind schedule that called for daily
presentations to mountain bike clubs, land managers and bicycle industry
leaders, Klein made the most of his time in Oz.
Here's a by-the-numbers look at Klein's visit:
- Visited 7 out of 8 territories
- Met more than 500 land managers
- Rode with 20 local bike clubs
- Gave 26 presentations
- Conducted five Trail building Schools
- Inspected 28 mountain bike sites
- Built 1.6 kilometres of new trail
- Flagged 4.5 kilometres of trail for future projects
"The final weeks of the trip were incredibly productive," says Klein.
"I attended a series of meetings in the Capitol Territory, many of which
focused on Australia's National Parks, which are at a crucial turning
Klein described the key issues facing Australia's Parks:
- National Parks in Australia are managed at a state level (not federal),
so mountain bike clubs have to create partnership's with each state's
Department of Sustainability and Environment.
- Many National Parks are adjacent to cities, and even though these
parks have a front-country atmosphere they are managed much like back
country Wilderness in the United States - including bans on riding singletrack
- Every state and territory in Australia is adding new National Parks
which potentially negate current riding opportunities in State-managed
- Some National Parks could be designated as "World Heritage Areas,"
making them off-limits to riders.
Despite the obstacles that Australian riders face, Klein reports that
there are many hopeful signs. Land managers are beginning to open their
eyes to shared-use trails, and partnerships between IMBA-affiliated clubs
and state officials are increasing. "During the final days of my visit,
I had positive meetings with high-level managers for the lands surrounding
Canberra. The nation's largest mountain bike club, the Canberra
Off Road Cyclists turned out in force for my "An Evening with IMBA" slide
show - more than 70 singletrack-starved mountain bikers came away from
that show determined to find new solutions to their access problems,"
"IMBA's Trail Solutions book is well regarded here," notes Klein. "It's
really gratifying to see that the book and the previous tours I've done
here are helping make a difference in what has to be one of the most varied
and thrilling places in the world to ride a bicycle."
More changes to '06 NORBA National Series
USA Cycling announced two significant changes to the previously announced
2006 National Mountain Bike Series on Thursday. Organizers of the series
have added a seventh event and both the date and the venue of the opening
round in Southern California have changed.
Compressing the NORBA season into just four short months, the originally
scheduled Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, Calif. on April
22-23 season opener has been moved to Southridge Park in Fontana, Calif.
50 miles east of Los Angeles and scheduled for May 5-7 .
The new event is scheduled at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. July
Updated 2006 NORBA Series Schedule
NMBS#1 May 5-7: Southridge Park - Fontana, Calif. (XC, ST, DH, MX, SD)
NMBS#2 June 10-11: Sugar Mountain Resort - Banner Elk, N.C. (XC, ST, DH,
NMBS#3 June 17-18: Mount Snow Resort - West Dover, Vt. (XC, ST, DH, DS,
NMBS#4 July 8-9: Deer Valley Resort - Park City, Utah (MA, XC, ST, DH,
NMBS#5 July 15-16: Infineon Raceway – Sonoma, Calif. (XC, DH, MX)
NMBS#6 August 5-6: Brian Head Resort - Brian Head, Utah (MA, XC, ST, DH,
NMBS#7 August 12-13: Snowmass Resort - Aspen, Colo. (XC, ST, DH, DS, SD)
Shimano named Presenting Sponsor of MTB World Cup
The UCI and Shimano have announced a renewed sponsorship agreement for
the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup covering the next three years (2006-2008).
Shimano will be the “Presenting Sponsor” of the UCI Mountain Bike World
Cup, as well as being the exclusive provider of neutral technical assistance,
in accordance with the recent pit-stop style support rules for UCI sanctioned
cross country races.
The newly-updated contract runs at least until 2008. In this period,
Shimano will continue to be the official supplier of technical services
at UCI World Championships in Mountain Biking, Road Racing, Track Racing
and Cyclo Cross.
Dusk 'til Dawn 12 Hour
Queensland's Gold Coast Hinterland will be the scene of the inaugural
Nite Rider Dusk Till Dawn 12 Hours; a nighttime-only endurance race scheduled
for January 21st and 22nd. Two Wheel Promotions has designed a challenging
event which spares riders from the summer sun as they hit the sweet single
trails Kooralbyn is famous for.
“Who needs daylight saving when you can jump on a plane to Queensland
and race all night?” said event promoters Bill & Libby Van Haren.
Kooralbyn is the ideal set-up for the Nite Rider Dusk till Dawn, with
accommodations at the resort adjacent to the race circuit and just a 75-minute
drive to the airport in Brisbane or the Gold Coast.
The event is open to solo competitors as well as teams of two, four,
and six. For event details and race entries online click www.twowheelpromotions.com.au.
Arizona promoter to hold 300-mile desert MTB race
Arizona based MTB endurance rider and University of Arizona PhD student
Scott Morris is inviting all comers to join him for three to five days
on the Arizona Trail for the inaugural Arizona Trail 300. Scheduled for
April 14th, the race will follow the Arizona Trail from the Mexican border
south of Tucson to Superior, in the north of the state. "It follows
suit with the Kokopelli, Grand Loop and Great Divide Races," Morris
says. "There will be no entry fee, no prizes, no support and plenty
of awesome back-country mountain biking."
The course features everything from 9000 foot alpine riding to low Sonoran
desert singletrack and significant stretches of hike-a-bike. Morris speculates
that the race could be completed in as few as three but maybe as many
as five days. "There's only one way to find out," he says, "and
that's to head on out to Tucson this spring and give it a try."
For more information, including a route description and pictures, visit
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