MTB News & racing round-up for March 22, 2006
Edited by Steve Medcroft
Welcome to our regular round-up of what's happening in the dirt. Feel
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Six times the challenge in new US endurance series
By Steve Medcroft
Five 100-mile mountain-bike race promoters announced the formation of
a U.S. ultra-endurance national series this week. Comprised of the Mohican
100 (Ohio), the Lumberjack 100 (Michigan), the Breckenridge 100 (CO),
the Wilderness 101 (PA), the Endurance 100 (Utah) and the Shenandoah Mountain
100 (Virginia), the National MTB Ultra Endurance Series runs from June
3rd to September 3rd of 2006 and will be awarding National Series Championships
in Open Men, Open Women, Singlespeed and Masters 50-plus categories. As
presenting media partner to the series, Cyclingnews will be providing
reports and results from each race.
Formed, promoters say, to fill the void in national-level competition
for ultra-endurance athletes, contenders for the series will face some
of the most challenging and popular 100-mile courses in the country. "Ultra
endurance needs to be represented on the national stage,” says Ryan
O’Dell, promoter of the Mohican 100, the first race in the series.
“And although most of the participants in these events aren't trying
to win but simply to finish, there is a whole class of athletes - like
Garth Prosser, Jeremiah Bishop, Chris Eatough, Tinker Juarez and Mark
Hendershot among others - who have a unique talent to push themselves
over greater distances. They deserve a national series as a way to recognize
for full details.
NORBA marathon series starts this weekend
The NOVA Desert Classic, the first stop on the 2006 National Mountain
Bike Series (NMBS), is set to showcase some of the country’s top
pro and amateur mountain bike riders at McDowell Regional Park Friday
in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Reborn in 2003 out of the ashes of Arizona’s long-standing Cactus
Cup, the NOVA Desert Classic has continued to be a popular early season
race for pro riders. With the venue so close to the metropolitan areas
of Phoenix and Scottsdale, Ariz., the NMBS is making good on their promise
to make mountain biking more accessible to urban areas.
“The course that the Marathon riders will race on is called ‘Competitive
Track’ and was designed and built specifically for mountain bike
racing by the racing community,” said Jerry Sieve, director of Team
NOVA, a youth-oriented cycling foundation.
The NOVA Desert Classic encompasses plenty of racing and non-racing events
for everyone from kids to the pros. The Marathon race is the only event
that will count towards NMBS series points. The National Mountain Bike
Series continues May 5-7, in Southern California with a multitude of downhill,
cross country, and short track races that will count towards NMBS points.
Pretty special being in Melbourne; Emma Colson Interview
Emma Colson will be representing
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Emma Colson is one of three Australian representatives for the women's
cross country mountain bike race to be held at Lysterfield this Thursday,
and as Cyclingnews' Mal Sawford finds out half the fun for this
37-year-old physiotherapist is the fact she'll be racing on home turf,
which is something pretty special. He caught up with her at her inner-city
Melbourne terrace after a tough Sunday morning training session.
Cyclingnews: Tell us about your training session this morning
Emma Colson: Mountain bike starts are my weakness.
I dragged Dave [husband and local MTB guru David Olle] out of bed - we
had to get going early because he had to work. We went down and sort of
found something that approximated the start at Lysterfield [the Commonwealth
Games MTB venue]; a bit of gravel rise then across the grass. He gets
me over the first 30 seconds every time but after two minutes I'm past
CN: Did you do a few repeats of that?
EC: Yeah, I did six of them this morning and then
I went out motor pacing on Beach Road [the popular training route for
local cyclists and venue for the road time trial].
CN: Did you bump into Kathy Watt?
EC: No I didn't see her; I didn't see her this time.
I see her quite a bit down there. She's quite recognisable - her and Carey
[Hall, Watt's coach and partner]. My motor pacer had a nicer bike than
Carey has though! The real upright old Vespa, a cool looking thing. I
was meant to go motor pacing on Thursday but he didn't turn up - he ended
up getting a puncture on the way down there and had to get the thing towed!
CN: Did you wear your Australian team kit when you were out on
EC: Yeah, so you get a few 'Go Aussies' - it's pretty
good. I just thought if the cops picked us up they might be a little bit
lenient given that we're breaking the law! [The time trial course wasn't
scheduled to be closed for practice until the following day, but a number
of riders including Kathy Watt hold regular motor paced sessions on Beach
Road without interference from the local constabulary.]
Read the entire Emma
Colson interview here.
Australia's only completely-solo 24 hour race on for Easter
Canberra Off-Road Cyclists will once again be staging Australia's lone
Solo-Only 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race at Majura Pines on the Easter weekend
(15/16 April). Staged from the Innabaanya Guide Camp, the 2006 Solo-Only
24 will provide a relaxed race format over some more challenging courses
than are traditionally available at the Mont Australian 24 Hour Mountain
Bike Championship. Of course, being Easter, lots of people turn the race
into a camping holiday in Canberra and promoters expect dozens of bunny
tails, fluffy ears on helmets and, of course, Easter eggs on Sunday!
The race starts 1200 on Saturday. The minimum age for riders in the 24
hour solo is 18 on 15 April 2006. The finishing rules are the same as
for the Mont – riders must be on course when the 24 hours are up
to get a valid finish.
The event offers Open, U23 (18 to 22), 40+, 50+, Open Single Speed (
If there are enough riders) and special U18 contest.
U18 riders must be aged either 16 or 17 on the 15th April 2006 to be
considered in that competition. For riders aged 16 and 17, there will
be a combined 12 hour (6+6) in which riders race 6 hours on the Saturday
(starting at 1200 with the 24 hour field) and then stop after 1800 Saturday.
These riders then start again after 0600 Sunday with a staggered start
based on the time they finished after 1800 Saturday. In other words, each
U18 rider has exactly 12 hours rest between the two 6 hour stages. These
riders will then finish with the 24 hour rider field after 1200 Sunday.
U18 riders must have signed permission from their parent/guardian to race
and their parent/ guardian (or a delegated responsible adult authorised
in writing by them) must be on site as a helper whenever their U18 rider
is riding in the race.
Prizes will be similar to 2005 (ie heaps - cash, schwag, race goodies
etc) but for 2006 they will also include paid entries to the 2006 24 Hours
of Adrenalin World Solo champs (Conyers, GA, U.S.A.) for the overall male
and female winner.
MTBA follows UCI with mandatory full-face helmet ruling
In line with a recent decision by the UCI on this subject MTBA recently
mandated the use of full-face helmets in all DH events at all levels of
activity in Australia.
Tony Scott, MTBA EO said, "This move has been contemplated for a
few years now, but with the shift in UCI policy we now have a clear directive
to protect our members by ensuring that riders in DH events are protected
from head injury as much as possible. Full face helmet design has also
advanced considerably in the last few years meaning that new lighter weight
full face helmets are available and more fully compatible with DH MTB
He added, "The use of full-face helmets will become mandatory as
of July 1 2006, but I suspect that this decision will not adversely affect
many of our members since, by and large, they pretty much use this type
of helmet for DH events anyway. Members are reminded that all helmets
used in MTBA sanctioned events must comply with the Australian standard
or international equivalent and must have a compliance sticker to that
effect. Helmets will be checked for a compliance sticker and will be rejected
and entry to an event denied if a compliance sticker is not present."
IMBA and Fox to recognize outstanding advocates
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and corporate
supporter Fox Racing Shox announced a new program this week. Called "Fox/IMBA
Heroes," the award is intended to honour advocates that are making a significant
difference in their local communities for mountain bike trail access.
IMBA and Fox will announce each of five honorees separately throughout
the year - four to coincide with each of IMBA's newsletters, IMBA Trail
News, and one to be announced at the IMBA Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference
in Whistler, British Columbia in June. All Fox/IMBA Heroes will receive
a new Fox Racing Shox fork of their choice and an assortment of schwag
courtesy of Fox Racing Shox. Winners will be featured in IMBA's newsletter
with a short story explaining their mountain bike advocacy achievements.
"Fox Racing Shox's support of the Fox/IMBA Heroes program will help
us honour the hard work of five key advocates throughout the country this
year," says IMBA's Executive Director Mike Van Abel. "By partnering with
IMBA on this project, Fox is further demonstrating their commitment to
the people that make a difference every day in their local mountain bike
"Ensuring that everyone has great trails to ride is an essential part
of our business," says Fox Racing Shox's Marketing Manager, Elayna Caldwell.
"By honouring the hard work of key advocates coast-to-coast, we hope to
inspire even more volunteerism and stewardship."
DH stars go underground in Red Bull Challenge
Have you ever imagined going down 120 meters - equivalent to a 30-story
building – on a bicycle? What about doing that inside a goldmine?
Well, then, prepare your emotions because that is going to happen at the
Red Bull Challenge in the Goldmine (the “Mina da Passagem”
(the Passage Mine) located in Mariana, State of Minas Gerais) March 24th
Markolf Berchtold (Santa Catarina, Brazil - Brazil's best-ranked international
downhiller), Nathan Rennie (Australia - Santa Cruz Syndicate/SRAM/RockShox),
Gee Atherton (England) and Kyle Strait (USA) are scheduled to attend the
competition which starts above the mine on a course littered with man-made
obstacles. Once into the mine, riders race without sunlight for a 120-meter
loss of elevation. “The entrance of the mine and the second curve
that gives access to the galleries are the most difficult parts of the
competition”, says Tadeu Monteiro, the competition’s technical
The circuit’s full length is 650 meters. On Thursday, March 23rd,
athletes will map out the route on foot. On Friday there will be an open
free practice. Qualifying rounds will be held on Saturday. The ten best
mountain bikers will advance to the finals on Sunday to compete for the
fastest time. Awards amount to $35 thousand reais (equivalent a U$15,000
The Kona Demo Tour hits the road
If you've been drooling over the latest offerings in Kona's 2006 lineup
and dreaming about hopping on a CoilAir, King Supreme or Dawg Primo, dust
off your planner; the 2006 Kona Demo Tour is coming to a town near you.
More than 60 demos are planned at bike shops, trail heads, known riding
areas and of course, Kona Groove Approved Bike parks world over, with
more than 50 stops planned for Canada and US destinations.
Demos that take place at bigger events, such as the Sea Otter Classic
and Crankworx and Monster Park freeride competitions, will feature Kona
Les Gets Factory Team riders and/or Kona Clump riders competing and hanging
out in the pits to sign autographs, give hi-fives and make-nice with bike
enthusiasts like you.
So, check the list at www.konaworld.com
to see when the 2006 Kona Demo tour is coming to your neck of the woods,
grab your riding gear and helmet, favorite pedals, credit card and driver's
license, and we'll see you there!
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