MTB News & racing round-up for January 11, 2006
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
NZ National MTB Series; race 1 wrap-up
Fierce competition between Marcus Roy and Clinton Avery, the reemergence
of Brendan Sharratt as a competitive cross country rider and an injury
to Tim Wilding were the key features of the elite men's cross country
race in the first round of the 2006 New Zealand Community Trust Mountain
Bike National Series held in Dunedin on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Avery had a fast start and took an early lead but Marcus
Roy caught up mid way through the fist lap, and a tussle for first place
continued throughout the six laps of the race. Wanganui rider Sharratt,
having his first race back in the national series for a number of years,
showed he was still a contender for selection in the Oceania and world
championships to be held in Rotorua later this year with a comfortable
With a field of 28 proven elite riders, strong competition was expected,
and the riders didn't disappoint. In an exciting finish to the race, Avery
came back from a 33-second deficit midway through the final lap to sprint
to an eight second win over Roy.
Former Commonwealth Games and Olympic representative Robyn Wong (Wellington)
had a fantastic start with Annika Smail, ranked number two in the series,
in close pursuit. Local rider Erin Greene has plenty of crowd support
and delivered with a formidable third placing. In keeping with the format
of the day, a sprint finish also decided the elite women's winner, with
Smail overtaking Wong on the final lap to start the 2006 season with a
Next week's race at Coronet Peak will see an even bigger field in both
the Elite Men and Women with national representative Kashi Leuchs returning
to the series and Sonia Foote making her first appearance.
For complete New Zealand National Series #1 results, click here.
Aussie National Series round 4 preview
Australia's National Mountain Bike Championships get underway this weekend
in Mt. Beauty, Victoria (near falls creek). On deck are both the men and
women's cross country races and Commonwealth Games selection for elites,
juniors and espoirs. Also planned for Mt. Beauty is the first-ever Aussie
Short Track National Championship.
2006 Singlespeed World's set for Stockholm, Sweden
In the unorthodox way that such an decision is made, the Internet is
alive with buzz that the site of the 2006 Singlespeed World Championships
has been awarded to a group from Stockholm, Sweden. According to Nick
Sande of Surly Bicycles, he and Skip Bernet, who placed last in a special
derby at the 2005
World Championships used to determine the 2006 selection committee,
considered "about sixteen proposals. Most of them were serious, a
couple of them worthless, and six of them were good enough to make this
a very difficult decision."
For the complete story about the site selection, check out Sande's blog
entries on www.surlybikes.com
and stay tuned to Cyclingnews for more information about 2006 Singlespeed
World's as it develops.
Signings at GT team
By Steve Medcroft
Early this week, GT Bicycles announced the re-signings of U.S. Cyclo-cross
National Champion Todd Wells and mountain-biking patriarch Hans Rey and
the signing South African Burry Stander to their 2006 MTB roster.
Stander rides cross-country and short-track MTB and 2006 will be his
first year as a pro. Career highlights include being the South African
Junior XC champion in 2003, 2004 and in 2005. Also in 2005, Stander took
first at the Sandpoint XC and STXC races as well as the Snowmass STXC
"My highlights in 2005 were definitely the three NORBA junior races
that I won on my first trip to the states," Stander said. "In 2006 I hope
to finish in a top five position in the NORBA STXC or XC Series." Stander
announced that he will be racing "all the NORBAs, Sea Otter, Commonwealth
Games, South African Championships and a few World Cups."
Wells returns to GT after a season capped by a win at Cyclo-cross National's
and with an ambitious schedule for 2006. His 2005 highlights (as well
as the 'cross championship) include first at the Park City NORA short
track, third at the Brain Head short track, second in both the U.S. cross-country
and short track national championships, second overall at the Tour of
Connecticut Stage Road Race, first in the Tour of the Gila criterium and
first at the USGP 'cross race in San Francisco. Whew!
Hans Rey, the consummate performer and the Godfather of Freeride, returns
to the GT squad in 2006 for his 20th year. Rey was also featured on 20
magazine covers in 2005 and launched his charity, 'Wheels 4 Life'. "My
other 2005 highlights were my two main Adventure Team trips to Copper
Canyon, Mexico and the Alta Rezia (in the Swiss/Italian Alps) Freeride,"
Rey's plans are to focus on Adventure Team trips in 2006. "I'm looking
at several possible destinations, including the Philippines, Greenland,
and Turkey," he said. "I will also continue working closely with my sponsors,
doing trials shows, workshops, and other PR-related stuff."
For more information on GT's athletes and bikes, visit their web site
Iron Horse Bikes team news
Iron Horse Bicycles announced the signing of French downhill star Sabrina
Jonnier to a two year agreement this week. Jonnier will campaign the 2006
UCI World Cup downhill and 4X schedule for Team Iron Horse/Mad Catz.
Currently in Perth, Australia training for the 2006 season with teammate
Sam Hill. During the 2005 season, Jonnier made the podium at every event
she entered including winning the Sea Otter Classic Gravity Omnium, U.S.
Open, and two UCI World Cups. Jonnier also picked up a Silver Medal at
the World Championships and finished second at the European Championships.
Iron Horse also re-sealed their existing sponsorship of Sam Hill. Hill
is fresh off another successful World Cup race season (two UCI World Cup
wins, 2nd overall UCI World Cup Series, UCI World Championship Silver
Medalist, and U.S. Open Champion). Sam will continue his success
onboard Iron Horse Bikes through the 2008 race season.
Hill will focus will U.S. Open, UCI World Cup Series, UCI World Championships,
and select North American and Australian National events.
Berrecloth in Discovery Channel stunt
Photo ©: Specialized
Specialized Factory rider and BMX stunt envelope-pusher Darren Berrecloth
was selected to be one of the first athletes to be featured on the Discovery
Channel's new series "Stunt Junkies." Each 60-minute episode of Stunt
Junkies takes viewers behind the scenes of an unimaginable stunt, for
a close look at what it's like to push the limits of personal expression
and defy danger.
During the filming of Berrecloth's episode, the Discovery Channel paid
a visit to Specialized and got an inside look at how the rider's latest
bike, a 2006 Specialized Demo 8, was engineered, tested and built. With
the Discovery Channel cameras rolling, Berrecloth also took the time to
launch from a two-story high loading dock into the Specialized warehouse.
"We've had a lot of interesting things happen around the office in the
past thirty something years, but nothing that crazy," said Specialized
founder and president, Mike Sinyard.
Berrecloth's episode of "Stunt Junkies" will appear on February 1, 2006
at 10pm on the Discovery Channel.
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